We used to have something called “the Middle Class”. We were hard working blue and white collar workers who basically were the backbone of this country. We made your cars and cashed your checks, helped you buy hat new suit or opened your bank account or get you a loan. We bought the TVs, stereos, hone theaters, cars, latest gadgets for our kids, and basically put our disposable income into the economy. Now the economy has made us disposable. For we are no longer the Middle Class…upper or lower. We are now all the working poor; a nice wake up call for me (who was raised in an Upper Middle Class Household as a kid…but I watched my dad bust his ass until he made six figures, then retired with a nice package at age 60). My immediate family was solidly mid-upple middle class. I was a Wall Street guy who made six figures, and forget about it when my wife worked and we had no kids…we were doing VERY well, but then again, so was everyone else in the Clinton years. But that was before my wife became a full time mother and I was able to afford things on one salary because of my recent promotion to Vice President. That was before 9/11 and I became disabled. We now survive on my wife’s salary as an RN and my Social Security (which I am now slated to receive for life because of the nature of my disability: Acute PTSD from 9/11 and Bi Polar II). We make ends meet, we’re cobbling money together from here and there to send my oldest daughter to a Private High School. We have few debts, and we are luckier than most people are…but trust me, if we’re hurting by making it paycheck to paycheck, I can only imagine what’s going on with those less fortunate than us. While I would usually call us the middle class, I am now putting us in the bucket with everyone else who works, pays their bills (or sometimes cannot), and goes paycheck to paycheck. We have become part of the Working Poor.
Then there is what used to be the Upper Middle Class, the ones who live in their Mc Mansions, buy a new car every week, work for a large corporation or own their own businesses. For them, nothing much has changed except for the fact that they now pay less in taxes than at any time since 1950. True, these are the guys who basically ARE the economic drivers right now…they are the only ones who can afford to buy big ticket items such as TVs and cars. They are also the ones who have disposable income to do so on other things: manicures, pedicures, weekly trips to the beauty salon, pay a pool boy to take care of their pool. I cannot quite call them rich, because they’ve moved the bar on that…they’ve moved it so high, it’s become part of a ceiling one must break through in order to achieve some financial success in America. I’ll just call this the New Middle Class.
We have the Rich, pretty much self explanatory…the ones who own most of the wealth in this country. Now we have another entity altogether different, one which has only shown its hand in the past few years. They have always been there, but buried in the Middle Class or Rich, or even sometimes the Lower Middle Class. These are our representatives in Washington, 535 members of millions of us chosen to govern and set policy supposedly based upon the demands of the people. But this they do not do…this has become passé, for now the time has come with the recent Great Recession (actually a Depression according to many economists) to truly show their colors. What used to be done in back door rooms (I’d say smoke filled, but Nancy Pelosi would have a fit) with not so much obviousness is now being conducted in public. Those who govern are owned by the Corporations that lobby for their votes. And once you take their campaign cash, you are theirs for life. Look at John Boehner, once caught handing out checks from tobacco companies to Representatives on the floor of the House (point of reference: I smoke and I think this was deplorable). That used to be done behind closed doors. The connections between various Representatives and oil companies, drug companies, and insurance companies that used to be met with silence or denial are now met with, “So what?” by those that Govern. They themselves have become like what once happened in Rome…they have become a class unto themselves: The Political Class. They are the marionettes whose strings are pulled by Corporate America for the benefit of Corporate America, the Rich, The Political Class, and the New Middle Class. It is the latter that keep them in power.
Does it mean there are more of them than us? No. They just have more money, and money means power, and power means control over the masses. So what used to be an honorable profession in serving your nation as a representative has become a full time job and/or a business. And these are the same people who arrange the Congressional redistricting lines to keep them in power and their corporate masters happy. So they keep the New Middle Class Happy to ensure their support (and some of the support from the Working Poor who are transfixed by the eye candy delivering so-called news on FOX). My question now is a simple one, and it really is one that’s starting to be asked more and more: WHY DO PEOPLE VOTE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO HURT THEM? I honestly can’t figure that one out except that it’s the Orwellian Nightmare come to pass.
THAT my friends is the new class system in this country. We can blame the Rich all we want, but they are only benefitting from what the Political Class decide. We can’t blame the New Middle Class for the very same reason. We can blame ourselves, those of us in the Working Poor for not speaking out more vociferously and getting involved in government. We just don’t give a damn…we are angry, but we have no constructive use for that anger. And we are working just to live. But in order to change this, we need to focus that anger on upending the apple cart. The Corporations may be powerful, but the People are stronger. We can enact term limits to prevent the wholesale buying and selling of candidates and eliminate gradually a layer of The Political Class, but it will always exist now that we have let it. They have come from the shadows and gained form, and they like being able to come out into the daylight and exist…and exist at the expense of others.
Thus the great debate on the Debt Ceiling…it is not just a fight for the simple borrowing power…it is a fight for the very soul of this nation. You see, all the progress of the New Deal is being scale back as I type. All the progress we’ve made on good working conditions and the foundation of a solid Middle Class are being dismantled in washington DC right now. And in the end, those of us who get Social security will be happy we are getting our checks and will shut up for a month. And those of us who have never even knew this so called debt ceiling now know one exists, that Congress is in it only for themselves, and Emperor Obama is indeed without clothes in the Oval Office. and we are not better off than we were 4 years ago, or even one year ago. The debate was controlled by the Corporations who created the so-called grass roots (more like Astroturf) movement of the Tea Party. They are the ones that moved the Political Class, and the President with it, to the Right and away from the vast majority of us who believe in social Programs and fair taxing of everyone…especially and including the Rich and the New Middle Class.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of paying for their tax breaks…even more than they are tired of paying for the Social Programs of the masses. And the time to begin to move as one is NOW. This debate has been a crisis that was wholly manufactured by the Political Class for its benefit and that of the Corporations that control EVERYTHING. We need to organize, and to become a movement ourselves, for as surely as they attempt to destroy the Working Poor now, we will be eliminated if we don’t fight for ourselves now. Your children and grandchildren’s future doesn’t depend on some damned debt ceiling…it depends on our ability to stand up to the New Order and change it to OUR Order, the order of the people. The freedom of those children and grandchildren ride on what we do over the next few years and we must be the ones to start the movement.
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” – Winston Churchill