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A Nation On a Self-Destructive Path; The Dismantling Of The Middle Class

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Ouroboros by

The American middle class is under intense attack by a consortium composed of Corporate America, Wall Street, the wealthy, and the U.S. Congress. The rich and powerful sectors of this nation have accumulated tremendous wealth but they want more; in fact, they want it all. They are determined to find new and innovative ways to extract the remaining wealth of the middle class and transfer it to their own accounts. And so far they have been very successful. The American middle class is on life support, and if it goes under, so will our consumer-driven economy.

The wealthiest 1% of America is bent on creating a modern day version of the feudal system that existed during the Middle Ages when lords and barons controlled the lives of their serfs and peasants. And that model seems to be working quite well as the rich get richer and the majority of Americans struggle to merely survive. The goal is to turn the middle class into a class of serfs who all work for the minimum wage. In this process those in control are ably aided and abetted by the U.S.Congress, led by the Republicans but also supported by far too many Democrats, all of whom facilitate this cruel agenda.

If this deadly consortium that is intent on destroying the middle class is not stopped in its tracks, and its insidious goals are achieved, it will be devastating to the majority of Americans; and it will sound the death knell for this nation's consumer-driven economy; one that is totally dependent upon the sustained purchasing power of Middle America. Without that consumer power it will wither and die.

To illustrate the self destruction taking place in America, I'll use the image at the top of this article, that of "Ouroboros", an ancient Greek symbol that depicts a snake eating its own tail; it is often used to represent self-reflexivity or cyclicality, as in something that recreates itself. But, I will take the liberty to temporarily alter the meaning of that symbol, for this article only, to depict something entirely different; I see it as an illustration of how America has become the modern-day version of Ouroboros; a symbol for a nation that, in effect, is devouring itself as it follows a course of self destruction.

An often-quoted economic statistic is that consumer spending has constituted about 70% of GDP since 2001. Considering the dire scenario that I portray, where does America stand today? Neither the middle class nor the consumer-driven economy is dead yet but they are both bleeding profusely; respected economists have warned that this nation is heading directly into a double dip recession, one that will devastate America financially. Just imagine what will happen to GDP when that 70% of consumer spending falls to 50% or even 35%. At that point the middle class will be an endangered species and our economy will be shattered.

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No modern industrialized nation, be it China, India, France, Germany, the U.K. or America can maintain a stabile economy and a decent lifestyle for its society unless it has the capability of producing products of value for home consumption and exports abroad. If a nation such as America loses its industrial base, and its imports from other nations greatly exceed its exports, that nation will find that its economy will be crippled and its financial foundations will crumble. The best economic minds in America know this to be a fact. But their recommendations to address our economic problems continue to fall on deaf ears in Washington D.C.

America is in very serious trouble; we are in the midst of an approaching catastrophe. A large portion of our manufacturing jobs are gone for good. We have a president and a Congress that should have declared a national emergency long ago; they should be meeting night and day to come up with ways by which this nation can develop new industries and create millions of new jobs.

They are doing nothing of the kind. They are engaged in a gigantic struggle for dominance, they have our government and our democracy caught up in a massive gridlock. By their inactions in America's greatest time of need and their blind allegiance to Corporate America they are literally destroying our consumer-driven economy and, at the same time bringing an end to the American dream.

This president must, once and for all, listen closely to the American people. Americans are war weary, they are tired of seeing their taxpayer dollars being totally wasted; they want jobs, they don't want unemployment checks, food stamps and hand outs. This president must, if that's what it takes, be willing to sacrifice his entire political career to do what is right for this nation and its people, and totally reject the intense pressures by those who greatly profit from these mindless wars.

So America finds itself with seemingly insurmountable problems. We watch as those who wield the power and influence in America continue to dismantle the middle class. So what are we to do to prevent this from happening and protect those who contribute the most to America's GDP?

With the myriad of problems America faces, including the attacks on the middle class and the drying up of the economy, how many things would need to be done to reverse this trend? Actually only one action needs to be taken. Mr. Obama, by taking one action, can solve our most critical problems. That one action is to begin a substantial, continuing withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan on July 31 of this year. Then he must do the same thing in Iraq to meet the set deadline of December 31. In both these cases, the withdrawals must be well planned and expeditious and he cannot be influenced in any way by the military to change his mind.

That's all that needs to be done; just that one action. Once America throws off the shackles of war that have suffocated and impeded our creativity and innovative abilities, great things can and will happen. When this nation stops pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into senseless wars around the world those dollars can flow back into positive, constructive projects to restore America. These billions will do far better in peaceful endeavors than they ever did in the pursuit of illegal, immoral wars.

Think about the dramatic changes that would come to America if those billions of dollars were used to fund a new green economy that would develop the many alternate sources of energy that we must have in order to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil; millions upon millions of new, productive jobs.

The dismantling of the middle class would be brought to an immediate halt as Americans would get back to work to make products of value for home consumption and exporting around the world. The consumer-driven economy would have a great rebirth and America's manufacturing base would be restored. That eerie symbol of Ouroboros would no longer hang over America.

Yes, this might be considered an impossible undertaking, one that some would say cannot be done because this government will not end its obsession with wars and occupations. Well, let me put it this way; as impossible as it may seem, it can and must be done. The terrible beating that this nation and this society are taking entirely due to our government's twisted priorities can't go on much longer before they trigger a massive collapse. This may well be the last chance to reverse this process.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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All the evidence is now in; this nation is heading... by michael payne on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 at 8:07:49 AM
The "rulers" (which Barry has been promoted to sin... by stevor on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 at 9:43:17 AM
You have to remember that Walmart exported all the... by Odyseus_97 on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 at 11:25:20 AM
we need more bernies by tim mcghie on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 at 4:11:31 PM
I watched the video and agree with him 100%, the p... by nativenezperce on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 at 6:49:44 PM
I've been wondering what the final blow to America... by Michael Dewey on Thursday, Jun 9, 2011 at 11:39:14 PM
The dismantling of the middle class would be brou... by Michael Dewey on Thursday, Jun 9, 2011 at 11:39:53 PM
Mike, All due respect, this is uber naivete: H... by Herbert Calhoun on Thursday, Jun 9, 2011 at 11:55:00 PM
Well, I won't take offense to that statement; I ac... by michael payne on Saturday, Jun 11, 2011 at 1:16:48 PM
I think that the majority of people including econ... by David Chester on Friday, Jun 10, 2011 at 3:49:33 AM
Most of us are either already Proles, or are on ou... by Bruce Morgan on Friday, Jun 10, 2011 at 6:19:18 AM