The realization that America is in a slide, on a trajectory of decrease, "undeveloping" if you will, is dawning on Americans and it's a rude awakening. I agree with the statement "I want my country back," but not with the sentiment that it has been lost because Barack Obama is president. So, who did take it?
Those in the 20% highest income bracket, the rich and the obscenely wealthy, see a bright future: a simple two caste system of "haves" and "have nots." A return to the 1920's, a time to which we now have similar disparity in wealth.
To people on the right side of the wealth skew a financially segregated society, with money and power consolidated among a few, is comforting. Lose of their current high position seems impossible and the problem of finding "good help" is ameliorated. They have only one issue, maintaining the imbalance of power.
To this end they are deploying both tangible and intangible defenses: the gated and exclusive community; the security system and body guards; the Ivy League education; the clout of the lobbyist; the financial corruption of the election system; nepotism and connections; the punitive wages paid to the masses; monetary and regulatory barriers to business entry; a marketplace strangle hold against under-capitalized up-start competition, and nearly total authority to write the rules of the game.
The duplicitous "conservatives" would have American "have nots" believe that illegals took our jobs, unregulated globalization is the final beneficial manifest destiny of the free market, our current president is a fascist and a socialist at the same time, all people of the Islamic faiths are our enemies, all our enemies are foreigners, too much personal freedom is a bad thing, and totally free (unregulated) markets are our salvation.
It's easy to see the above statements as prima facie contradictory and/or convoluted. Not to mention that they are the facade for a catastrophic amount of fraud perpetrated against the American people.
It's much more difficult to determine the actual causes of our current descent. At the same time, uncertainty, dread and the failure of recent actions to correct the situation make it nearly impossible to remain calm, weigh our options and take positive actions.
Didn't we elect representation and leadership that promised change? Didn't we, in large numbers, give small donations that added up to a big campaign war chest to help those that promised change gain office? Didn't we plug up a failing financial apparatus? Didn't we make a huge investment to save industries in temporary trouble? Didn't we send our politicians the message that corporate tax dodges and tax advantages for exporting American jobs are horrendous? Didn't we, the taxpayers, ante up all we could and aren't we the ones who continue to hold the bag for deregulated market failure?
Yes, all that and more, and yet the "undeveloping" continues as Wall Street rallies. What in heaven's name is going on? I do want my country back, but to get it back I've got to know who really took it and how.
According to MBG Information Services, cited in Bob Herbert's The Horror Show (New York Times, August 10, 2010), "there are now 3.4 million fewer private-sector jobs in the U.S. than there were a decade ago." Thirty million Americans that want to work are out of work, while we need to create an additional 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.
Even though the Obama Administration's effort toward health care and financial reform both lacked teeth and a moveable jaw, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce intends to spend $75 million to fight democrats in the coming election. (Time Magazine, August 16, 2010)
Now, the President as dropped his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA and he has launched a $22 million dollar program to train 3,000 offshore information technology workers. (Information Week, August 3, 2010)
So, generally, this is how our government, and more to the point, our society works:
We elect representation based on what they say during the election campaign.
What candidates say is based on slicing and dicing various interest groups, religious and moral beliefs, and issue positions to obtain a winning number of people who will vote for them.