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What's Killing America's Middle Class?


#21

Thank you for this post! You are saying what many of us feel; what many of us live, even though we work as hard as anyone.

The commercials on the MSM are the worst! They usually portray an “upper-middle” lifestyle
as the ideal and natural state of things, partly because they target those demographics, but also to con us into a debt slavery in pursuit of a lifestyle that is beyond our means.


#22

Yes, nephewsam, you are right! Read Democracy in Chains. I just finished reading it and it tells how this has been happening to us and some of the reasons why. The haves, those who own the businesses, want cheaper and cheaper labor, and fewer and fewer laws that protect worker safety and the environment so that they can make more and more profit for themselves at the expense of everyone else. They only care about their own “freedom”. Freedom from paying taxes to support anything or anyone that they don’t like or care about. Freedom for these radical " libertarians" means slavery, tyranny, and injustice for everyone else. They complain that Americans have an excess of democracy and too much freedom to control what they and their corporations do and force them to pay any taxes for anything except the military, police and prisons. They believe this even though for the most part to any sane person just the opposite is more true. What these guys want sounds like a totalitarian police state to me! They force all American workers to have to compete with slave labor workers in China and India, and other third world countries. Laborers are not human beings to these sociopathic people, they are just natural resources to be exploited. They act as if the entire planet belongs to them and only to them and everyone else be damned. They make Dickens’ Edwardian England look like a paradise. They are never satisfied because they are totally addicted to greed and lust for more and more power and more and more wealth. They think that being wealthy and greedy makes them superior to other people, even though this is absolutely not true. Jesus was the greatest human being who ever lived, but he was absolutely penniless. These men, and most all of them are men, are mostly from the south. A great deal of their motivation is because they deeply resent racial equality of any kind. If you are used to having privaledge as a white male, then having to be treated equally with black men, women, or God forbid, gay people feels like discrimination to them. Desegregation of public schools in the 1960’s was a great motivating factor in their rise to power. This is why bigotry of all kinds, especially racism against people of color and immigration of people of color into America is such a big part of their agenda and activism and why they naturally are aligned with the Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists and nationalistic fascists. They hate the poor, disabled, and suffering people of the world because their poverty and suffering causes people to want to raise taxes to provide care for these people and perhaps it reminds them of their guilt and responsibility to care for others that gets directly in the way of their insane greed and lust for power. They know deep down inside that what they are doing is morally wrong so they clothe themselves in phony morality. They know that what they want to do is also wrong so they have to lie about what they are doing or else no one would go along with them and they lie to themselves like every drug addict does to justify their evil behavior and their addiction to greed and power. Then they falsely accuse everyone who opposes them of lying so it takes the onus off of themselves because they are the real liars and phonies and purveyors of fake news. They want everyone to believe that democrats are just as bad as republicans so that people will be too paralyzed to vote for anyone because all politicians are so bad. This is not true. Watch C-Span sometimes. Watch when bills are debated. Time after time I have seen democrats stand up to defend the ordinary people of this country from republican partisans and their bills which seek to strip us of our rights and plunder and pollute our public lands and the environment for personal gain and dump the toxic waste onto poor communities who cannot deal with it and being poor, have not profited from exploiting our natural resources. We ought to dump the toxic waste these men create right onto their own front yards and make them drink fracking chemicals instead of filtered or bottled water from Figi. It says in the Bible in Revelation that God will come down and destroy those men who destroy the earth. These evil men will be punished severely by God in the end. However, in the mean time, and it is a mean time, we must rise up and fight these thugs! They forget that the Bible says the worker deserves a fair wage for his work. It is the workers of this country that have really been robbed. Taxation is not robbery. It is only an attempt by government to try to right some of the wrongs done by corporations and greedy employers who have robbed workers of fair wages for generations so that workers can at least stay alive and have basic food and shelter. Even any slave would be given that much, but the insane greed of men like the Koch brothers will not allow them to have any compassion. Compassion makes them feel all squishy inside, instead of mean and hard and how they define manliness. Their hypermasculinity and fear and loathing about gays stems also from their own insecurities about their own masculinity. They are like Trump, who is an idiot, but goes around telling everyone how smart he is. Trump is weak, but tells everyone how strong he is, etc. Perhaps these men were never loved by their mothers and girlfriends and found more certain gratification and satisfaction in money like the drug addict finds in his drugs? I don’t know, but I can guess. Anyway, we must rout out these guys and find a way to permanently stop their evil agenda which is basically everyone for himself, except when your company needs a taxpayer funded bailout. I say all for one and one for all! Liberty, equality, and fraternity! It is together, in solidarity, that we fight these guys who want to divide and conquer us. I don’t know how we can deprogram the zombie Trumpites and Fox News addicts, but we have to find a way. They are driven by fear and emotion, rather than rational thought, I hear, so maybe we can get them to fear what will happen if these right wing thugs get their way. The so called Freedom Caucus and the Koch brothers are planning to rewrite the Constitution giving them absolute power forever and they are two or three state governorships away from being able to call a Constitutional Convention to do this, which is why they are rigging elections so much by gerrymandering and voter suppression, because if they can permanently change our Constitution they will create a permanent dictatorship run by them. We cannot let this ever happen. Not enough people are aware of what they are doing. Google it if you don’t believe me and you can read about it. They are attempting to overthrow our democratic government because they hate democracy. They do not believe in majority rule, but rule by elites, and they are the elites that will rule. They want to be kings and dukes and earls, etc. with everyone else being the slaves and serfs and the whole country will belong only to them. This is why they are constantly lying about caring about the middle class, so people will vote for them enough to get them the governorships they need to change the Constitution. Once they do that, they will never have to worry about elections ever again because they will have permanent absolute power and control over our militarized police and the greatest military ever created. If they take over America, they can rule the world. The fossil fuel companies are worried that they will lose money from green energy and global warming so they are in league with these thugs so that they can frack and drill and mine up the earth at will and get richer and richer at the expense of the earth’s environment. They won’t care if everyone else starves to death as long as they have what they want for themselves. Can you see what I am saying? Believe me it is all true. I have been seeking the truth all my life and I wish it was not true, but it is. We must find a way to stop these guys!


#23

Nighthawk, Remember, those commercials are created by advertising companies for the purpose of getting people to buy another companies’ products. These advertising companies use every psychological brainwashing technique known to man, and they are constantly looking for new and more effective ways to get people to buy stuff, because that is their job, and companies make all their profit by selling people products. They are well paid by the corporations who sponsor the advertising. The entire MSM is for profit, and they get all of their profits from advertising dollars from sponsoring corporations. This is how corporations can dictate much of the content of even what is said on the news. Fox News, for instance, hired journalists when it got started, and told them that they could report the truth when they were hired. One day, the journalists came upon a story that said that cow growth hormone given to cows to artificially increase their production of milk would increase the cancer rates in the United States by ten percent. The wanted to report this to the public because they rightfully believed the public had a right to know this fact. When their editor found out about the story, he insisted that the journalists omit the part about the increase in cancer rates because Monsanto, the company that made the growth hormone, was a sponsor of Fox News and might pull its advertising off the air and they would then lose revenue. The journalists refused to omit the part about the cancer rates and they were then fired. The journalists sued Fox in Florida courts for violating their freedom of the press and freedom of speech. They won the first lawsuit, but Fox appealed and they won the appeal. The judge in the appeal stated that there was no law that prevented TV news stations from firing journalists for refusing to lie to the public even though this is blatantly unconstitutional! Oddly, this story was not widely reported by the media, but you can find it if you google Fox News fires journalists over Monsanto growth hormone story. The lawsuits are a matter of public record in the state of Florida and can be checked. This is why for profit media outlets have serious problems. We need stronger laws that protect journalists so that they will be allowed to,tell the truth on the news to the public. They can lie all they want to in the opinion section, so their freedom,of speech to,lie won’t be infringed upon, but the news should have to be factual and true or else we will all lose touch with reality. The airwaves are really public airwaves and they are not really owned by these media outlets. This shows how far out of control we are with deregulation and the need for stronger laws to protect the public from despotic companies with nefarious agendas. Monsanto does not care if they cause ten percent more people in this country to get cancer, as long as they make plenty of money. This is realiy sick! No wonder we are in bad shape! The need to make profit by selling products,even products that people do not really need, is why companies will get very upset if people boycott their products. These companies hate recycling because if people recycle old things and don’t buy new things they will lose money. That is partly why the corporations and republicans hated the counterculture so much, because the counterculture recycled stuff and wore old clothes from a free store and wanted to,get off the grid and live in cob cottages. If everyone buys some land and makes a cob cottage and gets off the grid and insulates their homes they won’t use any or much oil or gas, that will hurt the oil companies. If people grow their own organic food it will hurt the profits of the factory farms. If we empower ourselves and demand our rights, then companies will have to comply with regulations that eat into their profits and they see this as stealing from them, even though it isn’t really. We could have more freedom if we homestead or live like the Amish. The Amish don’t need Social
Security, welfare, or Medicare or Medicaid. They provide all the help they need to each other as needed by working together as a cooperative. The rest of us don’t have that luxury so we need government programs, but it really isn’t so different, because the Amish provide the same government programs to themselves as their kind of Amish government, just as we do with our government. The big difference is between Amish farms that discourage greed and encourage social cooperation and our corporations who incourage greed and discourage cooperation. The fear of communism and socialism, mostly unwarranted fear, is often used to keep Americans from taking actions for the common good and welfare. Corporations have made tremendous profits by promoting libertarian rhetoric that discourages us from working together for the common good. We are the only industrialized country that does not provide everyone with health insurance, even though we spend more than twice as much on health care per person than any other country and don’t cover everyone. We could easily cover everyone with high quality health care for less than we pay now, but we would have to get rid of health insurance companies and the for profit health care system to do it and they make too much money ripping us off to want to give it up. No overpaid CEOs or stockholders either. If we could only get rid of these things and have a single payer nonprofit system we could get health care for everyone and save lives and save money as well, but the greed of the for profit system won’t let this happen. This is a national tragedy and shame on us! Every time someone tries to do the right thing for health care the for profits start screaming about death panels and socialized medicine and long waiting lines and things to scare people. However, if even tiny Uruguay can provide free healthcare to everyone in their tiny third world country, I think that we can easily do it and provide even better care and really save lives. High blood pressure is easily treated when fought early and strokes, kidney failure and heart attacks can often be prevented by treating it for four dollars a month, but if not treated, twenty years later, it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a heart attack or a kidney transplant or stroke rehab. Primary health care can prevent this.


#24

I want to believe you. But was inflation figured in? Was cost of living figured in? If the number in that group were mostly on NYC or SF, then I’m not sure they all should be considered as upper middle class.


#25

My brother is in the Army. When he served in Afghanistan, his job was to clear minefields.


#26

As I understand it, the term middle class goes back to the end of aristocratic times when people started making a lot of money as merchants. Nowadays, those same merchants are being driven out of business by the likes of Walmart and Amazon.


#27

Everything in your lengthy reply is absolutely true in my opinion, which is based on many years of observation and personal experience. Our system is rigged, cruel, unfair and unsustainable.

I remember very well the story of the local reporters at the Fox affiliate in Tampa, about 15 years ago. I haven’t watched Fox News since, nor do I intend to ever. In my opinion, Fox News has done more to misinform and divide US citizens than just about anything.


#28

You’re free to read the study and those are certainly meaningful points. My only point here is the doom and gloom about the middle class is mostly hyperbole.


#29

mealouts:

The late historian, Tony Judt, wrote that we live in “the connected isolation of the wireless age.”


#30

How about a National General Labor Strike on May 1, 2018?
Go to your local city downtown center and bring a pot and spoon.


#31

Yes, I can see that. Thank you.


#32

Yes, it is the system


#33

Okay to start- then what?


#34

Thank you for his service. I hope that he is okay and back home.


#35

Yes, right you are!
Quick, …we need a list of demands!
Stop trying to fix our problems by only addressing one side of the equation: reducing spending and assuming that doing so will grow the economy to make up the difference. Only fucking idiots would still buy that load of horse shit!
Address the taxes side:

  1. Tax Capital Gains as regular income and stipulate this: Income is income, regardless of how you take it!
  2. Add two new tax brackets one for >$1million/year which is to be taxed at %51% and another for >$3million/year which is to be taxed at 91.9%.
  3. Reinstate the estate tax.
  4. Eliminate all taxes on labor until it is compensated beyond the local poverty level.
  5. Eliminate the cap on Social Security taxable wages.

Since they will never do this. Bring rocks and a few molotov coctails.

The only true fix is to get to free and fair elections. All Money Out Of Politics. This is the root of the problem.


#36

I agree regarding the “system,” but voters are making choices too. This is the failure of the “system” analysis—the role of the people. People chose to re-elect a militaristic, openly anti-labor and anti-environment conservative to the presidency in 1984 by massive margins, for example. People chose to re-elect GWB after the phony Iraq War WMD bungle too. People are making choices, we don’t like them, but they are playing a role here.


#37

They just eliminated capital gains which makes no sense! Also, it seems that the US is one of the few industrialized countries to advocate for cuts, cuts , and more cuts while only a few do great- really insane. Please write or call your members of congress as well as possibly speak at a town meeting . Do not forget about state and local elections which effect us in our every day homes. Advocate for required service ( beyond military) for all citizens who are well enough. That will help to get work done as well as connect more people rather than have a citizenry that fights itself and allows for authoritarianism.


#38

It is the system, and choices and gerrymandering as well. Plus making women’s health a political football.