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Class Warfare Today, and How the Working Class Has Been Robbed Over the Past Half Century

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In the late 1960s, a full-time job at minimum wage could almost lift a family of four above the poverty line.   By the late '80s, however, it left them 40% below it.   And that's about where things stand today.

Likewise with the stingy payments of Aid to Families with Dependent Children:   The value of such payments (between 1974 and 1995, when Clinton abolished the program) went down by 60%, in purchasing power.

As to the question, "can the minimum wage be raised without causing wholesale layoffs," that has not really been controversial for many years.   Every time the minimum wage has gone up, both federally and locally, the proto-fascist "reicht' has screamed that it's a job killer; but not once have their dire predictions been borne out   -- and that doesn't stop them from falsifying figures and screeching about every new proposal, including a recent rise in the min wage in Albuquerque, San Jose and Long Beach that has not adversely affected businesses.

In Australia, which has an economy comparable to that of the States in terms of its economic footprint, the minimum wage is now $16 an hour, and is the only rich country -- perhaps as a result? -- that was able to dodge the global recession.   McDonalds in Australia had to raise their price for a Big Mac by the astounding sum of 20 cents.  

In order to regain the purchasing power it had fifty years ago, the minimum wage in the US would today have to be around $22 an hour.   And the piddling amounts of increase now being proposed would hardly put a dent in the gigantic profits of America's great chain stores.

This indicates that the opposition is not on purely economic grounds:   Rather, the corporate plutocracy is so used to having its way that it is simply unthinkable that their upstart "serving class" could successfully demand an increase, however paltry, in their below poverty-level compensation.

It is, as in Orwell's classic '1984,' "the principle of the thing," and the principle is that the ruling classes are not happy with merely taking home virtually all of the increase in productivity benefits since 2010.   No, that's apparently not enough, for it seems equally important to them that they grind the faces of the proles into the dirt and then sneer at their ruined visages.   Quite appropriately then, their symbol, in "1984,' is a boot grinding the face of the human race into the dirt, forever.

For this first page or so, on class warfare, we must thank Ron Reed over at the New Cafe, from whom I lifted much of what you've just read.

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To understand more about what Ron describes, check out this eye-opening YouTube interview about the Pathology of the Rich.   Chris Hedges is interviewed by Paul Jay.

Three Ways the Super-Rich Suck Wealth Out of the Rest of Us

The facts are indisputable, the conclusion painful.   The wealthiest people in the U.S. and around the world have used the stock market and the deregulated financial system to lay claim to the resources that should belong to all of us.   And this is not a matter of productive people simply benefiting from their great contributions to society.   This is a relatively small number of people extracting massive amounts of money, through the financial system, in return for personally contributing almost nothing.

1. They've Taken $1.6 Million Per Family in New Wealth Since the Recession

It is noteworthy that most of their windfall came from stock market gains rather than from job-creating business ventures.   The stock market has, once again, been forming an overblown bubble of wealth that does not reflect the relative degrees of productivity of workers around America.   The market has more than doubled in value since the recession, and the richest 5% own about 80% of all non-pension-based stocks.

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2. They Create Imaginary Money That Turns Real

The speculative, non-productive, and fee-generating derivatives market has increased to an unfathomable level of over $1 quadrillion -- a thousand trillion dollars, twenty times more than the monetary value of the world economy.

3. They've Cheated the Most Productive Americans

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)

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Also, the rich are using offshore mega-warehouses... by Richard Clark on Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 6:22:04 PM
"Let me issue and control a nation"s money and I c... by Richard Clark on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 9:00:56 AM
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Spot On, Patricia!... by Richard Clark on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 5:14:57 PM
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It's Potters vs the Baileys, and Pottersville has ... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 10:49:27 AM
Ronny Raygun said, "Greed is good" when any decent... by Patricia Gray on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 5:14:57 PM
I understand why you feel that way.... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 8:57:57 PM
The markets are rigged, by and for the very r... by Richard Clark on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 12:36:45 PM
Many have pointed out the truth, facts and statist... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 1:43:33 PM
I'm in failing health too.  I hate to see wha... by Patricia Gray on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 5:24:08 PM
Dear Patricia, I'm not giving up. I am merely chan... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 9:03:47 PM
It always annoyed me that some of the requirements... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 1:08:54 AM
Were it not for the propensity of the poor and the... by Richard Clark on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 5:44:03 AM
Yours appears to be an educated opinion, so I will... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 12:17:42 AM
It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts ... by Lance Brofman on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 4:00:29 PM
Blaming regulatory policies and financial i... by Lance Brofman on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 4:02:22 PM
Great postings, LanceBut would it be possible ... by Richard Clark on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 8:41:35 PM
Depressions occur after investment bubbles bur... by Lance Brofman on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 8:54:31 PM
Lance, you say that "when capital accumulate... by Richard Clark on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 6:47:02 AM
What should we do to make the government act in th... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 4:06:38 PM
The Rotten Legacy of American Capitalism &... by Richard Clark on Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 8:24:47 PM
Yeah, but how can they get away with violating the... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 10:51:52 AM
With a long tradition of subsidizing capital and ... by Larry Butler on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 10:10:57 AM
A very well argued article you linked us to, Larry... by Richard Clark on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 at 3:46:53 PM
For the moment, the best chance I see of bringing ... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 at 12:39:53 AM
It appears to me it is costing almost twice as muc... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 at 1:16:38 AM