Monday, February 15, 2010

The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup,

Provocative.

I like the idea of agreeing with the Tea Partiers about something. Maybe we meet here:


The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class
"The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight." -- Michael Lind, To Have and to Have Not



hiho
Mp

11 comments:

Kraig said...

What is your take, Mark ? Who are the economic elite.

I don't have any reason to doubt the statistics, howver, I would like to see the definition of 'poor' and 'poverty'. It would be interesting to compare income and living standards now vs 25, 50, 75, 100 years ago.

The article lost some credibility when discussing the stress of having to figure out how to pay cable and internet bills.....more of a luxury item to me.

krshorewood said...

I like optimism Mark, but the tea partiers appear to be owned by these very forces. Nice thought if we could get them past their racial/conspiratorial hysteria.

Anonymous said...

Yup, they are sucking us dry. Slowly, but surely, our labor is worth less and less.

But we mustn't complain, no no...
because right behind us there is someone who will work harder for less because he cannot afford the luxury of passing over an $8.00-an-hour job, or any job, for that matter. It's a great plan. Make everyone as desperate as possible. Then, see which rights and dignities they are willing to give up so they can eat...

Sad, but true: "Money sometimes oils the wheels of justice".

Mpeterson said...

What's odd Kraig, is when I hear myself referred to as part of some kind of "elite" when my wife and I together earn around the local median income, while the CEO's on Wall Street and in the military-industrial complex can buy Senators and laws that make them even richer. Seems to me a national elite would be those who are actually in power. Me? I teach philosophy at a small campus of a midwestern university. I mean, c'mon. I'm about as far from any real power as you can get and still claim to be working.

I usually think of the economic elite as those in the top .5% or thereabouts.

We don't generally notice the drain upwards, although as you note, the numbers all show it plainly -- because even though most wages have been stagnant for 30 years, we're still IN AMERICA and, as a country, we're still coasting from the bump we got after WWII when we held 75% of all the capital in the world. That's how rich we were... even the poorest among us.

I don't think really poor people in America can afford cell phones and cable... and I don't count anyone who can afford cable TV as poor.

-- on the other hand, the fact that wages have stagnated for a great majority of Americans over the last 30 years while wealth continues to trickle upwards... largely as a result of cutting tax rates that worked perfectly well during the 50's, 60's and 70's... does say something about what's happening.

If the only evidence for increased poverty were a bunch of folks with cell phones, I wouldn't believe it for a minute -- for me, what's been convincing are these long term trends, trends I'm not old enough to have watched unfold. It's been like watching a train wreck you knew was coming. When Reagan's people went after David Stockman, you could see where we were headed.

Grant said...

The article lost some credibility when discussing the stress of having to figure out how to pay cable and internet bills.....more of a luxury item to me

I don't think really poor people in America can afford cell phones and cable... and I don't count anyone who can afford cable TV as poor.

How about motorcycles and satellite dishes?

Jeez. I guess our Calvinist streak is getter darker. We've moved the goalposts pretty far since begrudging the welfare queen her Cadillac.

Mpeterson said...

The Calvinism has been with us from Plymouth Rock, but you should remember that the vast -- and documentable -- majority of welfare recipients are white and don't drive Caddies. That image was test marketed to appeal to latent racism -- and worked perfectly... all the while undercutting welfare for the vast majority who use it to tide themselves over until they can find new jobs.

Should we go after welfare abuse? With a hammer. Should we get rid of the safety net? This isn't 19th century Britain, and I don't see why we'd want it to be.

Grant said...

Right. And while it may be drained of it's racism (or not), the cellphone/cable tv "luxury" image accomplishes the same task as Reagan's mauvais mot.

The poor are not only supposed to be penniless; they should also be penitent.

Mpeterson said...

Exactly Grant, and there's the Calvinism still at work -- poverty as a sign of sin and wealth as a sign of grace.

Anonymous said...

Belling has proof that evolution doesn't exist. Just listen to the first bit of Hour 3, Part 1.

http://www.belling.com/cc-common/podcast.html

Anonymous said...

"The believer reasons this way: “Rich today, poor tomorrow. If God should change my circumstances so that ease gives way to suffering and laughter to tears, it is enough to know that I am still his child. He has promised to acknowledge me always as his, and in that I rest content.” - John Calvin

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2007/08/24/john-calvin-on-prosperity-gospel/

Grant said...

Wow. Just...wow.

And these mother#@$@&s accuse liberals of being out of touch.