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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/8/11

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

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Message Michael Payne



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.

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.


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