Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The War on the Middle Class

The economy is in the toilet. Unemployment is drifting around 10 points with no real relief on the horizon. Good, hard working folks are seeing their paychecks shrink as their employers take more away. Bills are coming fast and loose for people who have two cents for every three that have to be paid out. Food banks, thrift shops, food stamps and free clinics are finding popularity with a whole new batch of customers.

And they tell me that the tide has turned and we are coming out of the recession.

Today, the Dow Jones reached 10,000 pts for the first time in a year and everyone is popping the corks and sparking the bowls. Yippee!! Wall Street is coming back! Bonuses have returned to the Street along with bigger paychecks. Some of these icons of American Capitalism have found ways of getting around the rules and keep some of the worse of the sub-prime mortgages alive and well. Credit card companies are seeing huge profits from the strong-arming of Americans.

This would be a bad gangster film if it weren't reality.

Nothing is going our way. The promise of electing Obama and the Democrats into power has fallen as flat as an old convention balloon. They postured from every soapbox that the days of huge corporations feeding at the trough of American taxpayers is over. Tax loopholes closed, universal health care, new green jobs and a real stimulus package to get the economy kickstarted.

They had their fingers crossed.

The stimulus was too little too late. It did as good a job as it could but was woefully inadequate. If you want to help a starving man, giving him a TicTac isn't going to do the job. Lots of good, green programs that would have provided real, well paying jobs were kicked to the curb because they gave the Republicans fits. Republicans.

After the elections, the American people let it be known that the last thing they cared about was the fucking Republicans. These WATB's have been sniveling about Obama at every turn. In addition, the Handjob Media has courted their every word; words that were mostly blatant bullshit that a high school journalism student could have debunked.

So, here we are. Nearly a year since a landmark historic election and the promise of real change in America. What do we have to show for it? Where's the reward for all of our hard work? Wall Street has made out like bandits...literally. Gov't reps and congress critters have made bank from all the free money on K Street. The shitty situation the country found itself in before the election is worse now and any hope for relief is becoming rare.

When is it our turn?

America the ATM. America the Chump. America the Rube. Wall Street was playing three-card Monte with our livelihoods and we asked for help. What we got was a government that took out hand, soothed our fears then told Wall Street to use a new deck of cards.

The problem is deeper than just getting our pet projects accomplished. Health care reform, environmental reform, getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, new green jobs, etc, etc, etc.... ad nauseum. These are great steps but they rely on too much change, change that is not just hard but near impossible. What we need to do is take back the country for the people. Corporations were established 150 years ago to help finance the Industrial Revolution. It brought America into the 20th century as a force in the world. But leave it to the greedy to take a good idea and pervert it into a pestilence. America does not need the corporate structure like it did in the 1880's.

We have too much wealth concentrated in one spot. Regulations must be enacted to rein in this abomination. Socialism isn't the answer but a more measured approach to capitalism is necessary. Then our agenda will come about like we expect. If you want to plant a garden on the battlefield, you have to figure out how to win the war first.

update: I just noticed that my blog roll was seriously deficient in penguins. The management regrets this oversight and it has been corrected. The responsible parties have been punished.

And so it goes...
David A.


BadTux said...

I disagree with you that socialism isn't the answer. Socialism worked pretty damned well at keeping the misery down in Germany and France while all this shit was going down, so well that unemployment is actually going *down* in those nations now rather than *up* like here. Yeah, socialism is less efficient than capitalism. But we can already make more shit than we can consume or that the earth can support making, so why *not* introduce an arbitrary amount of inefficiency into the system to keep people employed and having a bit of dignity in their lives?

Not that I propose eliminating capitalism, any more than capitalism has been eliminated in France or Germany. Just sayin' that Americans are way too swift to eliminate socialism as part of the answer to our current dilemma. It's working for the Europeans, so why wouldn't it work here?

- Badtux the Economics Penguin

David Aquarius said...

European socialism isn't the answer. I think an American hybrid of socialism, restrained capitalism and a total restructuring of corporate America is what should be taking place.

Personally, I consider the terms socialism, marxism, communism, and capitalism to be out dated or at the very least in need of updating to 21st century reality.

The whole notion of a 'utopian society' is fiction and bad fiction at that.

Thanks for stopping by, Tux! You always have comments that stick in my craw and make me wish I'd said that.

BadTux said...

European socialism isn't the answer

Why not? I asked the question above, yet nobody can ever answer it. They just say "It's not the answer", but why not? I have no ideology other than pragmatism, and pragmatism requires facts, not dogma. It's working for the Europeans so... why not?

- Badtux the Undogmatic Penguin