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Yes, America, There is a Class War, and You Just Lost It


#1

Yes, America, There is a Class War, and You Just Lost It

Juan Cole

The economy has grown enormously since 1970. So if workers did not get a share in the newly created wealth, who has it? Easy: The top 1%.


#2

The system of checks and balances simply does not work.

It ought to work - we want it to work - but the results are in, and it most certainly does not do the job.

We have been brainwashed, as Eminem states.

The first priority would then be to regain perspective - an anti-brainwashing campaign.


#3

I’ll disagree with Dr. Cole on one point: I believe that the average citizen is very much aware of class.

It’s just that 100s of millions of people in the lower and middle classes think that they’re going to strike it rich themselves someday, so they support lower taxes on the dream income that they’ll be earning in some mythical future.

Rags-to-riches, Man, The American Dream. It’s created a nation of fools.


#4

Uummm …yes. .that what he means when he says most Americans are brainwashed …


#5

“Socialism never took root in the United States because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but rather as temporarily embarassed millionaires.”
–Ronald Wright, “A Short History of Progress”

And a large portion of the propaganda that we’re marinating in, perhaps the majority, is aimed at perpetuating this notion. See also casino gambling, multistate lotteries and TV talent contests.


#6

Did you read that second paragraph? The one that says:

“Americans do not understand this sort of con game because mostly they don’t understand social class. They often don’t even believe in the latter.”

I’ll just say again, Americans understand and believe in class.

They also overestimate the likelihood of moving up the income ladder.

And with politicians of every stripe feeding them a steady diet of “meritocracy” this, and “American exceptionalism” that, they’ll continue to believe that their big break is right around the corner. Reinventing yourself in the land of opportunity–what fairy tale could be more alluring?


#7

See also sports, Amway, and the soon-to-implode Bitcoin.

But even worse are the politicians who never tire of reminding us that if we “work hard,” there’s no limit to our opportunities. They never mention the opportunity to move down the economic ladder, or the strongest likelihood of all: Stagnation.


#8

No, we didn’t just lose it. It’s been a nearly 40 year war, led by Republicans and aided and abetted by Democrats, and it was over decades ago. This does not preclude a new class war, but that will not happen until and unless the 99% unite. Don’t hold your breath.


#9

I have Ronald Wrights magnificent little book.

But I remember seeing the “temporarily embarassed millionaires” first in a John Steinbeck book - I think “Travels with Charlie”, or perhaps it was a letter of Steinbeck’s - memory fails me I’m afraid ~

Speaking of “Travels with Charlie”, it, and Steinbecks translation of the Arthururian ‘Morte D’Arthur’, “The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights” - are my personal favorites of his writings.

There is a lot in his “Log from the Sea of Cortez” also.

Eminem says Americans have been brainwashed - I agree.

But I also think the half who don’t vote are the most realistic of us all. They understand - down deep in the gut.


#10

Cole’s Wealth Concentration graph that shows the lowest concentration when Carter was POTUS (immediately before Saint Ron’s trickle down mantra became gospel in the US) thereby confirming that the 99% has been losing the class war for nearly 40 years and the headline for this article was more applicable to 2004 when Warren Buffett told network TV that “there is a class war and my class is winning”.

Every day on NPR for the past month another GOP operative being interviewed reiterates various spins on Saint Ron’s trickle down propaganda to promote their tax cut scheme.


#11

“The rich in the United States use American highways, and American wifi, and depend on the FBI to keep them from getting kidnapped. But they don’t want to pay for those things.”

On the Federal level the bottom 40% pay nothing, The top 1% pay close to half of the tax burden and the top 20% pays 80%.

So who doesn’t want to pay for things?


#12

Do you have statistics or reliable data on that assumption?


#13

Sigh. You mean you didn’t know this?


#14

Strawman much?


#15

You do realize that your chart shows not raising taxes on the rich winning by ten points, right?


#16

There are problems with that data but I don’t have time to sort it out at the moment. Certainly does not look like the taxes I’ve paid. It is incomplete in my opinion.


#17

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! “problems”? “my opinion”? Of course you don’t have time.


#18

You = “It’s just that 100s of millions of people in the lower and middle classes think that they’re going to strike it rich themselves someday, so they support lower taxes on the dream income that they’ll be earning in some mythical future.”


#19

No, I just have better things to do. lol


#20

Of course you do. Lalalalalalalalalala.