Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Remember the American "middle class?"

The Democratic Activist
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, 1/25/10

Remember "middle class?" A home of your own? Health care? College for your kids? Vacations? Sick leave? Retirement with a pension at 65?

Forget it.

In the news today:


On Tuesday night's Daily Show, bailout watchdog and financial reform advocate Elizabeth Warren told Jon Stewart that "this is really the moment" that will determine the future of America's middle class -- the system must be fixed or "the game really is over."

Warren, who chairs the Congressional Oversight Panel created to monitor TARP, said: "It is simple. This is America's middle class. We've hacked at it and chipped at it and pulled on it for 30 years now. And now there's no more to do. Either we fix this problem going forward or the game really is over."

In recent months, Warren has repeatedly warned that America's middle class is on the verge of collapse. In an essay for the Huffington Post last December, she raised the possibility: "America without a strong middle class? Unthinkable, but the once-solid foundation is shaking." A few days later, she told MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski "We are at serious risk in America of having 'middle class' no longer synonymous with the old notions of security and solid, but instead meaning living one paycheck to the next, living one bad diagnosis or pink slip away from financial collapse."

Warren has been the TARP oversight chair since November 2008, and Stewart asked her why the system hasn't been fixed yet.

"Well, these guys really do get it." Warren told Stewart -- the CEOs, bankers, and people in power -- "They get it. And they work best behind closed doors." If the decisions are in their hands, she said, "Nothing, nothing will change. You know, I want to turn to these guys sometimes, and I want to say: what part of 'we bailed you out' do you not get? These are people who would not have their jobs because they would not have their companies."

"The chips are all on the table," Warren added. "We are going to write what the American economy looks like for 50 years going forward. And right now the CEOs have any real change bottled up in the Senate."

(Click here to go to the original article.)


"Middle class?" How quaint!

Don't be silly. This is America 3.0, the United Corporate States of America.

In this version, new features include: two stratified classes ... one tiny upper class, and one huge lower class for everyone else (the large middle class developed during the 1930's and included in the previous version has been removed); free speech and free elections only for giant corporations and a few billionaires; foreign purchase of U.S. elections and ownership of federal and state offices by terrorists and other enemy nationals (any wealthy individual or group that owns or controls a corporation with a U.S. subsidiary); having to be "nice" and "appropriately deferential" to people just because they're a lot richer than you are (this was borrowed from an earlier program called "Aristocracy" that had fallen out of favor during the last 80 years but was has now returned in the new edition of America 3.0).

Get your copy today!

Actually, OCCOWB (Our Conservative Corporate Overlords and Wealthy Betters) will be mailing you a copy every week (like those pesky AOL disks) for generations to come, quite possibly forever. So don't worry about getting a copy ... you won't be able to avoid it.

You liked America version 2.0 better? 

Sorry, that version is longer available ... and besides, anyone possessing a copy will be detained without charges as an "enemy combatant," disappeared, and waterboarded (which is not torture, because -- as we keep saying -- OCCOWB does not torture) for as long as OCCOWB likes. Check the Terms of Use document; it's in there.

"But ... the Bill of Rights" prohibits such treatment!" you say.

What "Bill of Rights?" THAT was version 1.0. FDR's preservation and expansion of those freedoms, his creation of the conditions in which the American middle class could be born and would prosper, was 2.0. 

THIS is 3.0. Shut up (loud smack across the face). Mind your betters. Now, go to your room ... and you won't be coming out, little mister, until you learn the error of your ways. NO HEALTHCARE for you! Yes, you have to share your bedroom with three other inferior peasant families just like yourselves. And no, you may NOT have a crust of bread.

Thank you.

Pass it on.

(But first, click here, here, and here and take action as if our future depends on it, as it well may.)
The Democratic Activist


  1. environment and context shape the country's values; just as when in the the early years of the 70s, Americal acted on a backlash to the sixties and started down the path toward shallow consumer values. Politicians and lobbyists generated fear over gas shortages, foreign competition for business, the communist threat, and gender rights. Political leaders seized on the fears of mainstream America and began to dismantle civil rights legislation, labor laws, and social programs. The right wing of the "leadership" rallied the "silent majority" against Jimmy Carter's objective values despite the shameful machinations of the Nixon adminstrations in the face of the law of the land. Gaining traction with the Iran hostage situation, the party of Reagan whipped up the fears and hatred of the right wing and combined with religious fervor managed to gain more and more momentum for their subjective favoritsm for pushing tax cuts and other legislation geared to favor corporations and financial institutions over individuals. Through the last thirty plus years, the power of the middle class has continued to erode. Now there is no middle class. Without a basis for a participartory economy; the middle class has no power. Throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, partipartory power was gained and held by the middle class through populist strength and labor unions. Now that the U.S. no longer has a family owned farm economy or a large production of goods economy, the "middle class" no longer has the tools with which to strive for economic strength. Without production of and sale of useful goods and products as an important part of our economy, we are reduced to a consumer economy which as we can see from the results in the last two years - is shaky, bubble based, and deceptive. Without work; we have nothing substantial on which to build. Americans need jobs in new areas where they can feel the pride of providing for themselves by hard work rather than anger and bitterness at groups of people who are selctively idntified according to who makes the best targe for splitting the American community into hateful, spiteful, selfish, shallow, small minded, dogmatic, ignorant segments; segments who fight among themselves over nothing rather than banding together in a populist movement to reclaim their self respect.

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  3. I feel as though we are experiencing the "boiled frog syndrome." I know of a lot of conservative low-income people who rant on about protecting the middle-class, but I say, "What middle class?" It's nuts that the mind-frame of some of the voters is to attack the people who are suffering from this paradigm shift.