Eat the Rich

According to some, the “1%“ (with apologies to the bikers in the audience – we know you guys are the original 1%) are in fear of their lives and – more importantly – their money from the raging mob. That is, the rest of us. The mouthpieces of the ultra wealthy are either actually reading what the denizens of the lower rungs of the ladder are growling about, or, (and this is frightening) they are getting ready for the class warfare to come by firing their shots across society’s collective (with their exception) bow. As my belief in and opinion of the holders of our choke chain sours, I increasingly suspect the latter.

Yes, I realize that smacks of resentment, envy and conspiracy theory. All of which I wish I could say I am immune.

I am not.

Since the meltdown, the grousing of the masses has grown steadily louder. From the rumbling that has always been a part of the American experiment, to the scatter-fire bullhorn of the Occupy movement to the tire dump fire of today, the anger and sense of (man, I hate this word) disenfranchisement is a hugely powerful force looking for a message to focus on. The deep and deepening belief that there are two Americas – one poor and collapsing, the other wealthy and untouchable – is at the source of this force. And while it is certainly true that the situation is not new and indeed has existed since before the nation was founded, the masses always believed three basic prescripts: that ‘anyone’ could make the jump to the other side of they just worked hard enough; that bad guys, no matter their heritage, would be treated to the same law (though, like ‘believing’ one can win the lotto, evidence shows that the rich bad guys always get special treatment) and that, even if you shot for the stars but landed on the moon, you could still do alright. That, even if you didn’t get the big house on the lake and the yacht, you could still build a nest egg and enjoy a decent life.

Those beliefs have been shattered.

The truth is, things have been like they are now during more of our history than folks would have you believe. In fact, it’s really only the mid to late part of last century that a robust middle class existed. Before that, there were well-defined lower and upper classes with a small, often temporary or transitory group in the center. Those folks were often in flux, moving either up or down the class ladder.

While the upper – lower class had it better before the 1920’s or so, that was largely because the number of things people needed to pay for was simply smaller. Food, clothes and rent. Then electricity bills. Water bills. Garbage bills. Sewer. Phone. TV. Internet.

But during the middle class heyday, from the New Deal till the 70’s, incomes rose and unions became strong. Oil was cheap. Food was cheap. Mortgages were reasonable and so were housing prices. The combination – along with, very importantly, expectations – fueled a skilled middle class. There were wars and industrialization to fuel the job market and the economy.

Something has changed. The advent of “big” money is the primary force behind the change. Everything else is merely a symptom.

Many would and have argued that morality has changed. It has. Others say that laws have changed, making it easier for the rich to get richer and harder for the poor to be anything but poor. They have. Fingers point at the Supreme Court, more at corporate leaders, many at Wall Street. All point to the right places.

These are the effects not the cause. Big money is the cause.

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~ by Mad Prophet on February 1, 2014.

One Response to “Eat the Rich”

  1. Hear, hear!!! I completely agree. I feel like maybe the awakening of a collective consciousness realizing that we are approaching a tipping point of financial globalism is upon us. We need to talk to each other, avoid red vs. blue rhetoric, and highlight the inequities of the current world financial system.

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