There's been something like a buzz-saw on the loose for many a year now... it goes something like this, when someone says, "Life is getting increasingly miserable for the middle-class... we're sinking into poverty... you know, something is just not right about this." A big-shot politico or propagandist (probably a millionaire, to boot) will respond with this buzz: "Why that smacks of class warfare!" That "buzz-saw analysis" will then be repeated by every pundit and his employer for days on end -- "so it must be true"...
But... The Chairman of Merck took home last year $17.9 million. This year Merck announces plans to lay off 13,000 workers. The CEO of Bank of America took home $10 million, and the bank announces it's firing 30,000 workers...
"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." --Warren Buffet
General Electric made $14.2 billion in profits in 2010 -- paid no Federal Income Taxes -- and collected $3.2 billion in tax credits...
Corporations saw their profits soar 243 percent in 2009 and another 61 percent in 2010. The wealthiest 10 percent now account for 60 percent of all consumer spending in this country.
Corporations, according to the Federal Reserve, are sitting on at least $2 trillion in savings (plus another $1 trillion or more stashed outside the country). Where are the jobs from these "job creators"? Increasingly, not in this country. They have no reason to invest in the U.S. because consumer demand simply doesn't exist in America... so instead they are investing in the elites of China, India, and Brazil...
How did we transform from a "faith based" nation in which greed was frowned upon as a sin, into one in which greed has become god? Adding to this insult to genuine faith, there has been a deliberate effort to destroy all organized opposition to this "god" through union busting, exporting millions of decent paying jobs (desparate people are less inclined to "rock the boat" and they'll settle for starvation wages), and the transferring of even more wealth to the already rich. Exploiting cheap labor in foreign, Third World, countries has enabled corporations to maximize profits.
The top 1 percent take in more than twice the share of national income today than they did 30 years ago.
The richest 400 people on the planet have as much wealth as the 3 billion folks on the bottom who have to make due with less than two dollars a day! And still the apologists for the god of greed respond to this fact with, "Ah well, that's just the luck of the draw. Too bad for them."
Contributing to this massive shift of wealth from the middle-class to the wealthy has been its philosophical / propaganda underpinnings. Talk show propagandists, like Beck, even go so far as to tell his listeners to leave the faith community they attend if ever someone talks about social justice! Social justice has become a "bad word", at the very same time that greed has become the national god. Humm, I wonder if there could be a connection...
Let Rove, the Kochs, and the Chamber of Commerce keep paying for their tea parties... but it's time for everyone else to start throwing down some good ol'American beer and really take back this country -- we are worth more than what any of them could pay!
And, by the way, this is not class warfare -- it is a fight for democracy! "Capital is like cow manure. If you concentrate it in a big pile, it stinks. If you spread it out evenly, it makes things grow." --Jim Hightower
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.