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If You’re Low-Income, America Is Still an Oligarchy


#1

If You’re Low-Income, America Is Still an Oligarchy

Jeremy Slevin

The U.S. isn’t an oligarchy after all.

At least that’s the argument in a recent article by Vox’s Dylan Matthews. Matthews cites new research finding that the rich and middle class agree on about 90 percent of bills that come before the United States Congress. He adds:

That leaves only 185 bills on which the rich and the middle class disagree…


#2

Matthew 25:40 ...‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

So much for being a "Christian" nation...


#4

It is becoming apparent to me, when I read ridiculous articles in wealthy-urban-liberal oriented sites like Vox, that the wealthy liberals of our gentrifying cities and outlying upscale weekend resort areas really are utterly clueless as to the frightening levels of rage building among the working class - the hatred largely focused right now toward their darling Hillary. And unfortunately, we on the left are in such a marginal position to educate so the rage goes in a progressive direction. So the only direction it is likely to go is toward fascism.


#5

Any middle class Murkin who doesn't believe the US is an oligarchy is either not paying attention or in need of therapy to deal with denial.

For the past 40 years the US oligarchy has at an ever accelerating rate transferred wealth from the 99% to the 1%. Slevin's statistics are consistent with the evolution of this wealth transfer first affecting the lower income/wealth demographic, and then spreading its wealth transfer schemes up the income/wealth ladder to the point that the 1% owns everything and ALL of the 99% are reduced to serf status. Obama's TPP, TTIP and TISA are huge leaps forward for the 1% (backward for the 99%) and major milestones in wealth transfer.

Slevin's statistics on the rich and middle class concurring "on about 90% of bills that come before the US Congress" is a red herring when you consider that 90% of the bills have little or no economic impact. For example, its easy to agree on who to name a bridge for.


#7

When you consider that billionaires can buy as many politicians as they want and the rest of us can't afford to buy even one politician, all of the 99% are relatively "low income in a land of billionaires", Matt.


#8

I find the findings to be suspect since they're heavily contradicted by what the Page and Gilens Study came up with.

I wonder if DHFabian works for this same entity since s/he also pushes the meme that the Middle Class HATES the poor:

....Associate Director of Advocacy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress


#9

Oligarchy, here it is in action. For those who think the upcoming Democratic Convention in Philly is going to be a tea and scones with cream and strawberry affair, think again. Hillary's people win again, but did they?


#11

The oligarchs' wealth transfer machine is working its way up the class ladder, so those upper middle class people WILL experience the life you describe DrewHunkins, sooner than you think.

Along with Delaware, South Dakota and Wyoming, Nevada is a world class tax evasion haven for the 1%, so why wouldn't Nevada Democrats help Hillary expand their tax evasion industry ?


#12

Protesting against Oligarchy is as useless as pissing up a rope --- it gets nowhere but on your own hands, as nobody even knows what 'Oligarchy' means, and there's never been any Revolution, let alone a successful one, against Oligarchy.

All successful revolutions, like our First (and only successful) American Revolution were against Empire 240 years ago this July Forth --- and unless stupid and distractive pro-Empire trolls can prevent it our 'Coming Second American Revolution against Empire' will also be against Empire, and better start real soon or we're all dead, in "the short run" as John Maynard Keynes did not say.


#16

Immiseration without representation


#17

The greatest harm has been as a result of the ignorance of our better-off, largely the result of the short-comings of today's media.

As difficult as things can be for low-income workers, they are among the better off. A minimum wage income, as modest as it is, is roughly double our former welfare aid. It's true that many of them are teetering up on a tight-wire with no safety net below, one job loss from losing everything with no way back up, but they can afford adequate food and shelter for now.

I'm much more concerned about no-income people in a nation that is brutal to its "surplus population" -- those who aren't of current use to employers. We have stripped them of the most basic human rights (per the UN's UDHR) of food and shelter. We know that not everyone can work (health, etc.), and that there aren't jobs for all. The US shipped out a huge share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s.

I guess that's the most important point. Knowing this, we still decided that those who aren't of current use to employers don't qualify for fundamental human rights. Human worth itself is determined by economic status. What does this say about this generation of Americans?


#18

Yes, actually, it's the middle class that chose the policies that brought us to this point, from Reagan's deregulation mania to Clinton wiping out actual poverty relief, from NAFTA to the TPP, from demanding a prison system that makes the old Soviet gulag look puny in comparison, to our ongoing massive, annual tax cuts for corporate powers.


#20

That is a very good observation.