Income Inequality: Is Class Warfare Coming to America?

Barack Obama - CaricatureImage by DonkeyHotey via Flickr
As the Occupy Wall Street movement intensifies, the debate heats up on the question of income inequality and what it does to a mature society like the American one.

Obama is taxed as the Class Warfare President!

There have never been so many poor people in America. And, seeing how the Euro crisis is handled, one suspects the same will soon be true for Europe!

The International Monetary Fund has just come out with a study showing that rising income inequality could hurt economic growth. As reported in the Huffington Post , a rising income inequality could now be hindering economic growth.  If income inequality decreased by 10 percent, the duration of an expected period of economic growth would grow by 50 percent. 

A friend of mine who is both a savvy entrepreneur and a politically engaged author, pointed out that we no longer have a model of "trickle down" economics but one of  “flood-upward” to the top one percent, represented by the traders and bankers on Wall Street. He sent me a really striking newsletter about this and I can't resist sharing it with you. It contains, inter alia, a fantastic diagram, judge for yourself!
If it’s Class Warfare – Who’s Winning?

By Gordon S. Black, PhD

Family Income 
The propaganda circulating on the Internet would have you believe that President Barack Obama is engaging in class warfare – pitting the middle and working classes against the “great” makers and shakers who supposedly create the wealth in America.

The current protests on Wall Street and elsewhere are raising the same issue – who is getting better off in America today, the ninety-nine percent represented by most of us or the one percent represented by the men and women who created the financial meltdown in 2008? This is actually a pretty easy question to answer, and you might find it interesting. The chart above is an answer to the questions – who in American is winning the “Class Warfare” and when did it start. The dividing dates are the beginning of the Reagan Revolution in 1980 and the end of the Bush Revolution in 2007.

President John Kennedy famously said: “A rising tide raises all boats,” and in his time it did. The economic prosperity of the post-war period was a shared prosperity that made everyone better off. That “shared prosperity” ended with the three decades that started in 1980.  For the top one percent, life has never been better – huge mansions, private jets and yachts, private schools for their children, and the like. They are clearly the “winners” of the new economic policies. For the rest of us, the top 20 percent is doing all right, but it has been a struggle for everyone else.

Unfortunately, “trickle-down” economics is actually “flood-upward” to the top one percent, represented by the traders and bankers on Wall Street – the men and women who get their huge bonuses even when their institutions fail and spread misery among the rest of us.  The very people who today decry even the most basic safety net for ordinary Americans demand and get their own private safety net against their own failures -- the safety net of "too big to fail" that supports the luxurious lifestyles of tens of thousands of corporate bigwigs who have the political muscle to force Congress to protect them in ways that they would deny to all of the rest of America.  This is the new morality of the corporate managerial elite.

Obama did not start the “class warfare.” It started long before he came into office, and he is attempting to fight back with “too little and too late.” He is up against a $100 million dollar propaganda machine funded by people like the Koch Brothers and aimed at the little people who should know better, but do not.

But how did this happen?

How could the world change so dramatically for the ninety-nine percent of us without our understanding why or how it happened? 

Basically, over the past three decades, the “special interests” in the United States, representing the new “plutocracy,” have purchased Congress wholesale through the campaign financing system, and this chart is a direct expression of the need of the incumbent members of Congress to pay off those “interests” with your and my tax dollars. Their money, backed by billions in lobbying and paid-for advertising and other propaganda, owns Congress on both sides of the aisle, and this chart is what you get – the middle class declining, the working class without jobs, and the impoverished expanding, all trickle-down effects of an experiment in economics begun in 1980 and culminated with the tax-cut experiment under George Bush.

If this is our reality, why do they accuse Obama of “Class Warfare?” 

All propagandists operate with the same kind of lying. The Nazi’s, sponsored by the Krupp Industries, accused Poland of aggression as a pre-text for invading them. The Bush Administration, sponsored by the Koch Brothers, accused Iraq of possessing “weapons of mass destruction” as a pretext for invading Iraq. Now, they accuse Obama of starting a “class warfare” that they themselves started more than three decades ago, and which they are winning spectacularly.

These people rely on you, the American voters, to be dead, dumb and blind to their perfidy – to be little piglets that they can lead to their slaughter where they get everything eventually, and you get nothing at all. 

The final question only you can answer. Are you going to let them continue to slaughter your dreams for yourself and your family? 

Trust me – they believe after three decades of success that you will do nothing to stop them. Are they right?

Gordon S. Black, PhD,

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