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Between a High Debt and a Hard Place

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The only way to look at our government's resolution of the debt ceiling crisis is to see it as a stay of execution. We cannot forever afford the high debt, especially as it continues to grow. At the same time, we cannot morally afford to do without many of the services we are or should be paying for. In the meantime, the only alternative being offered is financial suicide (defaulting on our debts).

Our economy is suffering from its own form of AIDS. It is losing the ability to heal itself and recover from injury, and is thus losing its ability to fight off what could kill it. This has less to do with debt and more to do with the flow of wealth. The flow of wealth is upwards, it is consolidating. Rather than "enjoying" a "Trickle-down economy, we are hanging on, while suffering from a vacuum-suctioned economy. Our wealth is being sucked into a central location. That central location is not the government; it is a small elite center in the private sector. In the meantime, our lost financial resources are being replaced by new bills caused by the skirting of responsibility by the same group that benefits from our vacuum-sucked economy.

Our problem is that the government's current debt resolution plan does not address the many ways in which money from the lower and middle classes is being confiscated by small groups in the upper class. We can see this in the availability of jobs with livable wages for the lower class. This is the forgotten class, the invisible class. Their concerns are either never, or superficially, at best, addressed by both the media and the government. Their jobs have been lost to outsourcing. Their jobs have been given to either foreign workers or technology, and their jobs have not been replaced. We can call those in the lower class "surplus people" -- to borrow a Naomi Klein term. And thus, the rare times when the needs of the lower class are addressed, those in power decide on how to best warehouse [to borrow a Jeff Halper term] them -- the people who are not needed, the people who offer no benefit to the system. So we store such people until we can throw them away without guilt. Our economic system shows them no respect, and, in turn, we should only expect no respect in return. And if that is not enough, many government resources that could help them be needed again are spent on the rich.

The only thing that has made some in America [a few from the middle class] aware of what is happening to the lower class is that they realistically fear that they could become its newest members. Why are their fears legitimate? It is for the same outsourcing reasons that were already mentioned. In addition, they are beginning to suffer from bad karma. The disregard that the conservative middle class has had for the poor is now being shown to them by the rich. The rich have decided that not only do they want to contribute to the warehousing of the poor, they no longer want to support the lifestyles and infrastructure of the middle class.

The newest catalyst in our economic and social demise has been the Tea Party. Their employment of reductionism that says all of our problems are due to high taxes and government spending, and its employment of individuals and small businesses as phantom beneficiaries if we mindlessly slash our government's budget and phantom victims if we don't, is behind the ceiling battle. In the name of the middle class, they shield the rich from their adult obligations. Their protection of corporations and the rich from being taxed is like building an iron curtain around all of the pharmacies to keep people buying medicine.

Regardless of the proposed cuts in military spending, until we see a revised tax structure that shifts more of the burden to those who are getting richer, we will continue on the same road to the poorhouse, and, ultimately, economic death. Regardless of the proposed cuts in military spending, the biggest beneficiaries of government spending are the rich. And it isn't until we see a change in the flow of our wealth that we can start on the road to economic recovery. The debt ceiling compromise, and the debate itself, avoided discussing what is needed to heal our economy. So our economy has hours, days, weeks, months, or a few years to live. All we have gained from the latest showdown is some time. The question becomes whether we will take advantage of this time.

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Curt Day is a religious flaming fundamentalist and a political extreme moderate. Curt's blogs are at http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ and http://violenceorsurvival.blogspot.com/

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