Nearly a trillion in bailout grants handed out without strings to banks and companies owned by the ubër rich while a comparatively small loan to the American car industry denied unless the last big unions agreed to commit hari kari.
Legislation to restrict bankruptcy protection for individuals but not companies, and no restriction on predatory lending and credit practices that put borrowers at risk.
Then there is the difference between what CEOs “earn” and what the average employee earns which has already multiplied by a multiplication factor thousands of times greater than it used to be and that doesn’t even include the company perks for CEOs for which they don’t even pay taxes.
What do these have in common?
In retrospect, what seemed to have made America great and relatively unique throughout the world after the last Depression was the size of its middle class, the opportunity at least to move upward despite more humble beginnings, and the relatively benign treatment of even those who remained in lower classes (at least in comparison to most countries) and the rough parity between the competing class groups. Class warfare has always been going on to a certain extent, but it was muted with all three classes each having some genuine power and the ability to weld it after the Depression. The situation evolved a rough set of checks and balances which tended to hold down the avariciousness of any one particular class. Two against one usually prevented excesses of any single group like the ubër rich once exercised back during the Robber Baron Age for most of the late 1800s.
Unfortunately, since Reagan’s time, the ubër rich have secretly re-declared the class war while simultaneously attacking anyone who points out the obvious by declaring that even asking the question is tantamount to “instigating class warfare.” Astonishingly, it worked. The ubër rich have pretty much won. While few were looking, they not only regained control of much of the government most of the time thereby emaciating the opposition, they also tightened control over what was left of the independent media as well. The balance of power was throughly shattered.
The ubër rich war against the middle class has been succeeding too and the current economic crisis is merely one more tool to accomplish the end of reducing the middle class. The tactics there seem to be maintaining ignorance, cutting off avenues of upward mobility especially education, eliminating the good jobs that made them middle class, turning them against the lower classes and playing on fear. Fear not only of the lower classes, but fear of damned near everything starting with “terrorists,” including jihadists (pictured as anyone dark hued and of a different religion), so-called eco-terrorists (i.e. anyone who opposes corporate greed and pollution) and racketeers (usually defined as any and all labor union officials).
Whether the latest meltdown of the economy was a deliberate class war strategy or merely inadvertent side effect due to the massive move of middle class tax revenues and other resources into the hands of the already ubër rich makes no difference. The result was the same. Our large middle class is an endangered species. Downward mobility is a distinct possibility and already on the way. Those who are left as middle class have been convinced by PR that the fault is of the lower class for wanting a living wage (as opposed to the ubër rich wanting obscene amounts to add to what they already cannot spend). Cleverly done.
It also helped to have a cynical bought off journalism corp that no longer believed in quaint journalistic ethics like independence and fairness or traditional investigative reporting. Once the ubër rich controlled the reporter hiring and editorial policies, it was a foregone conclusion of how things would turn out. Of course, the subversion and perversion of the punditry was greatly helped by the laziness, greediness, and cowardice of those being hired to “report.” The capture of the media was complete when the small number of on-screen “talent” was paid so much, they had hopes of being ubër rich themselves. They certainly weren’t going to speak against the ubër rich class they hoped to join, even if they had anything in common with the lower or middle classes anymore.
Prognosis: Poor, just like what many more of the population will likely soon be. Unless we wake up and realize we are under attack, that is a foregone conclusion. Our only hope is that the economic meltdown will prove to be a Pearl Harbor in the Secret Class War of the ubër rich against everyone one else.