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A Simple Example of How the Free Market Is Sucking the Middle Class Dry

By       Message John F. Miglio     Permalink
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Thus the problem with our economy today is quite simple:   The upper one percent has sucked the middle class dry while they have stashed their money offshore and left the general economy in a depressed state.   And as long as the super rich and the corporate elite pay off the politicians to rig the tax code and economic policies so they can keep playing this rigged game, nothing will change.

Unfortunately, unlike the example of the nine losing poker players, American citizens cannot stop playing the game of free market capitalism or force the upper once percent to give them their money back.

As a result, average Americans are stuck in a depressed economy with high unemployment, declining wages, and an enormous income gap between rich and poor that will continue to produce a lower standard of living for years to come.

Progressives like Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders have been railing about this problem for decades. So has yours truly. Unfortunately, the members of the mainstream news media, who are employed by the same super rich individuals and corporations that write the tax code and create the economic policies, are not only downplaying the rigged game, but currently repeating the free market mantra that the only way to balance our budget and improve our economy is to cut entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

In fact, they repeat this so often and with such certitude that some members of the middle class, like the brain-dead fans of Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, actually believe it.   But not everyone does, and many middle-class Americans, especially those who have lost their homes and jobs, are finally breaking away from their decades-long love affair with the free market and are beginning to realize they've been played for chumps all these years, just like the nine poker players in my hypothetical example.

Better late than never, of course.   But will they be able to do anything about it?   The Occupy movement was a good start, and it highlighted the country's economic inequities and social problems.   But it didn't have the power to break the symbiotic relationship between our corrupt elected officials and the upper one percent that hold them in their pockets like so many nickels and dimes.

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In addition, although President Obama always talks a good game, he has done very little to confront the upper one percent in any substantive way.   In fact, when you have Eric Holder, his craven attorney general, come out and declare that Big Banks are not only too big too fail, but too big to prosecute, all hope is lost.   We have crossed the line from plutocracy to outright fascism.

The result is that average Americans are angry, bewildered, and depressed, but they don't know what to do. How can they fight back?   Signing petitions and attending rallies so far has done little to change the power structure in Washington.   And sadly, many citizens have given up and are simply becoming inured to subsisting at a lower standard of living and working harder for less money, just like the horse in Orwell's Animal Farm.

Is there any hope?   Not in the short term.   But don't forget, all empires, especially those governed by a ruling class rife with greed and corruption and indifference to its populace, eventually fall of their own weight.

And the American empire is no exception.   The only question is how long will it take?

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John F. Miglio is the editor of the Online Review of Books & Current Affairs and author of Sunshine Assassins, a futuristic political thriller.

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