- Class war raged for decades. Business and America's super-rich
always win. In his 1925 short story titled "Rich Boy," F. Scott
- "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different
from you and me. They possess and enjoy early...They think, deep in their
hearts, that they are better than we.."
- "Even when they enter deep into our world....they
still think that that they are better than we are. They are different."
- In his article, titled "The Truth About 'Class War'
in America," economist Richard Wolff said:
- "The last 50 years have indeed seen continuous class
warfare in and over federal economic policies."
- Corporate giants and America's super-rich waged war against
working Americans and won. Notably since the 1970s, "(b)usiness and
its allies shifted most of its federal tax burden onto individuals."
- Since WW II, tax rates on super-rich Americans fell from
91% to 35% today. Obama's deficit cutters want it lowered to 24% along
with eliminating some deductions with loopholes to compensate and save
others. Moreover, they want the top corporate tax rate slashed from 35%
- Many corporate giants, in fact, pay minimal or no taxes.
Some, like General Electric, get generous rebates in highly profitable
years. They game the system, benefitting form tax laws they write. American
workers lose out from greater than ever burdens on them.
- Obama schemers also want deeper Medicare cuts, higher
Medicaid co-pays, and Social Security's retirement age raised to 69 with
lower cost-of-living increases. Privately they want Wall Street to control
it to suck out maximum profits, then shut it down entirely.
- In addition, they want home mortgage interest and tax-free
employer provided health insurance capped or ended.
- They represent business and super-rich elites. America's
middle class is targeted for extinction. Since taking office, Obama capitulated
to Republicans on preserving tax cuts for America's super-rich. He gave
trillions of dollars to Wall Street crooks and other corporate favorites,
including profiteers benefitting greatly from multiple imperial wars on
- At the same time, he stiff-armed budget-strapped states
and distressed households. Promising millions of new jobs, he created none.
Four years into a Main Street Depression, real unemployment approaches
23%. In ravaged cities like Detroit, it exceeds 50%.
- Federal worker wages were frozen and austerity cuts imposed.
Examples include Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Families
needing help to heat homes in winter won't get it. Neither will students
relying on Pell Grants.
- Other imposed cuts affect:
- the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
- community healthcare centers;
- nonprofit health insurance cooperatives;
- HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other disease prevention
- WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) grants to states for
supplemental foods, healthcare, and nutrition education for low-income
- Head Start, providing comprehensive education, health,
nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income families with
- the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (targeted
earlier with more coming), providing food stamps for poor households;
- community development block grants for housing, overall
reducing HUD's budget by $1.1 billion;
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) first-responder
- energy efficiency and renewable energy programs;
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean/safe water
and other projects;
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) medical research;
- the National Park Service;
- vital infrastructure and transportation needs; and
- other non-defense discretionary spending.
- Planned new cuts will sustain Wall Street, militarism,
favoritism, waste, fraud, and other rewards for Washington's usual special
interests They benefit at the public trough.
- Everyone else gets to eat cake. They're on their own
sink or swim. Obama calls it "shared sacrifice." Workers sacrifice
to let business and super-rich elites share.
- Corporate America's power grab holds US households hostage.
Neo-serfdom and debt peonage define their final solution. Wolff calls mainstream
economics "faith-based." For Michael Hudson, it's "junk
economics," destroying societies to benefit Wall Street and powerful
- According to Wolff:
- "In plain English, the last 50 years saw a massive
shift of the burden of federal taxation from business to individuals and
from rich individuals to everyone else. Class war policies, yes, but a
war that victimized the vast majority of working Americans."
- Especially since the 1970s, real wages haven't keep up
with inflation. Benefits steadily eroded. High-paying manufacturing and
service jobs went offshore to low-wage countries. Automated production
- More than ever, "free markets" work best for
those who control them. Others lose out, growing numbers entirely.
- Technology driven productivity increasingly pressures
workers to toil longer for less pay and fewer benefits. Explaining predatory
capitalism's contradictions, Marx indeed was right. He called it anarchic
and ungovernable, and what existed in his day was a shadow of today's monster.
- It alienates masses by preventing societies from developing
humanely. It produces class struggles between "haves" and "have-nots,"
the bourgeoisie (capitalists) and proletariat (workers). It exploits the
many for the elite few. Those most privileged populate Wall Street.
- It flourishes in America and Western societies. Aided
by political opportunists, powerful monopolies and oligopolies now control
production, commerce and finance.
- Households are angered and traumatized by falling incomes
adjusted to inflation. As a result, more family members work more for less.
Corporate bosses extract more surplus from pressured workers.
- Class war in America isn't new. Today it rages, pitting
private wealth against populist interests.
- America's middle class is on the chopping block for destruction.
The criminal class in Washington is bipartisan. Complicit with Wall Street
and other corporate crooks, they've wrecked the economy and working households
- America's broken system is defined by sacrificing workers
on the alter of capitalist excess. Growing numbers understand a venal,
depraved, degenerate system. It's too broken to fix. It's corrupted, suffocating
- No wonder millions now rage against it in hundreds of
cities nationwide. It was just a matter of time. They're mad as hell and
won't take it anymore. They worry about no future prospects. They know,
or should know, political Washington won't help.
- They're victimized by institutionalized inequality. Good
paying jobs and retirement security are increasingly out of reach.
- America's a kleptocracy run by political criminals complicit
with corporate crooks. They strip-mine working households for profit. Systemic
corruption benefits at the public's expense.
- America's no longer fit to live in. Change demands dismantling
it and starting over. Vital issues include:
- social justice;
- returning money power to public hands as the Constitution's
Article 1, Section 8 mandates;
- dismantling duopoly political power, replacing it with
an entirely new multi-party democracy;
- getting money out of politics;
- -shutting down insolvent banks;
- -prohibiting too-big-to-fail ones;
- ending corporate personhood; corporations are businesses,
- reinstituting anti-trust laws with teeth, prohibiting
monopoly and oligopoly power;
- breaking up big media;
- making broadcasting a public utility on airwaves belonging
equally to everyone, not business giants to exploit with generous subsidies;
- prohibiting all corporate handouts, loopholes, and special
- making business pay equitably on all profits;
- ending America's student loan racket;
- mandating progressive taxation, including treating income
and capital gains equally;
- reenergizing organized labor;
- ending inequality and persecution;
- creating jobs paying living wages;
- stressing environmental sanity; and
- ending America's imperial wars.
- Hopefully OWS protesters understand dark forces want
to co-opt and subvert them. Hopefully they'll focus on what matters most.
- Key is getting money power in public hands and making
banking a regulated public utility. Achieving that makes social justice
and other vital goals possible.
- Millions of Americans and others globally are committed
for change. Hopefully they know they're in the mother of all struggles
and will stay the course. It's how all great victories are won.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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