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Homeless in America
I just got through reading a piece by Dmitry Orlov titled, "2015: Grounds for Optimism" in ICH, Information Clearing House, which rather than writing a synopsis here I suggest it be required reading for those inquisitive minds looking for "optimism" this year-it's quite a revelation.
One thing Orlov touched upon, "Economic inequality"-not his take by the way-is the current economic reality in the US, not only its rise beginning seriously in the 1980's to today where incomes of the 1% have risen to levels topping those in the roaring 1920's but comparable to the age of the robber barons in the 1890's-is fast eroding the middle class in this country where average incomes have been essentially flat since the 1970's.
Oh we can blame Reagan for his supply side, trickle down economics when he came into power in the 1980's but really it has been the demise of domestic manufacturing taking the means of production to 3 rd world countries-with Congress subsidizing these moves-that has contributed to corporate executives getting ever richer with these changes while many middle class Americans having lost their middle class incomes from plant closures-along with the outsourcing of good paying jobs-are becoming part of the ever expanding poor in this country.
It seems insane to have let this happen as the rise of the middle class after WWII was the primary reason the country became the world's economic powerhouse and largest economy.
But there's been a significant change since policies of Henry Ford in the 1920's who believed it necessary to pay his workers a high enough wage so they could afford the cars they produce.
Now the corporate moguls shutter their domestic factories and blame the American worker for asking for wages that are not competitive, take the means of production to 3 rd world countries where they pay peon wages and then send the stuff these foreign workers make back to the US where it's NOT taxed as foreign manufactured goods because its owned by American corporations like Walmart, Home Depot and the rest of the big box outfits-which by the way are the primary reasons local small businesses have been destroyed-pay minimum wages to the people they hire while the owners and top execs get filthy rich.
Whether it was planned or not is not the issue. The end result is what matters as many average American workers and their families have been forced to live paycheck to paycheck, savings exhausted, credit cards maxed out, mortgages past due and many having to take whatever employment they can get-usually minimum wage-trying to make do, many forced into foreclosure, their kids blaming themselves if they get sick when the family lost their health insurance because of downsizing or a "reduction in force" yet not poor enough to receive Medicaid-they're forced into a downward spiral of despair and self loathing for the plight they've fallen into-see the HBO documentary "American Winter" for a revealing glimpse of what's now happening to many middle class people in America.
So what's become the "American Dream" in America; nothing but a chimera for many in the US.
But read Orlov's article for a clearer understanding of the present economic inequality that exists in America; also how others in the world see us for what we have become.