PAUL BUCHHEIT | JULY 18 2016 | COMMON DREAMS
Their unspoken goal is a two-class nation, with a heavily armed security force to quell resistance from the more outspoken members of the lower class. It may be somewhat of an unwitting goal, since narcissistic wealth-takers, as they build their fortunes, tend to lose their ability to empathize with others.
Barack Obama said, “We are not as divided as we seem.” But those are just feel-good words. A middle class still exists, but in weakened form, as many families from the once-dominant mainstream of society continue to move up or down, mostly down. The conspirators in the breakdown of the middle class have complementary roles that allow them to divide the country as they perpetuate the myth of prosperity for all.
Congress: The Kingpins
Gun control is the most flagrant example of Congressional disdain for the middle class. Over 90% of Americans want background checks, but Congress has failed to act. The House of Representatives even rejected an amendment that would have allowed research into causes of gun violence.
Over 90% favor laws on clean air and water, but Congress has proposed to weaken them. Almost 80% want to increase Social Security benefits. 83% want Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Nearly 90% support mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. About two-thirds of polled Americans believe corporations pay too little in taxes. 90% support the protection of public lands.
Based on a study of 1,779 policy issues, Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page concluded that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
Military: The Enforcers
Barack Obama said, “They are not very good at feeding their people, but they invest a huge amount in their weapons systems.” He was talking about North Korea. In the U.S., where half the discretionary budget is spent on the military, one of five children live in food insecure households.
As we pour trillions into war, cutbacks decimate programs vital to the middle class—vital to the one out of five Americans who have mental health problems; to the dependent children who lost funding for the first time in nearly 20 years; to the neglected public schools; to injured workers; to food pantries.