Six years ago on 12/8/14 I published an article in KONK Life whose words ring true today as back then: American Dream…..going Going GONE.
We have not made much progress in 6 years. If anything, we continue to drift backwards. I republish the article today as a reminder that we must move forward rather than backward.
Time is of the essence.
THE AMERICAN DREAM. Work hard, study, go to college…..The world is yours! Gone!
There was a time when parents hoped for their children a better life than they had experienced. The process was known as social mobility. It worked. The children went on to better jobs, educations and enjoyed the excesses of a material world. No more. Gone!
The American dream has been replaced by an American reality. People find themselves stuck in a social status. There is no upward mobility. Sociologists and economists claim what you will be is determined by who you are. Lineage and ancestry come into play. If your father was a carpenter, you will be one. If your father was a ditch digger, you will be one.
The United States is on the road to becoming a banana republic. We may already be there. There are two reasons. First, bad government policies. Second, systematic crime and manipulation by big banks. Both have little or no consideration for anything but themselves. The rich get richer and the poor poorer.
While this downward trend has been going on, the United States’ reputation has suffered a similar malaise. The United States is on its way to no longer be a leading power and shining city on the hill.
While the middle class has been disappearing, it has found significant success in other countries. We are going backward while the rest of the world moves forward.
What is replacing the middle class is a form of the feudal system known in the middle ages. The king in a castle on the hill and the serfs working the fields below. Fields owned by the king. Families doing so for generations.
The middle class was born of World War II. Soldiers returned. They wanted a better way. They went to school and worked hard. From 1945 to the mid 1970s, the system worked. As productivity increased, wages increased. A middle class developed. People were earning good wages. They could provide for themselves and their families. Their children went on to a better life.
Since 1973 there has been a downward spiral, however. Productivity has increased 80 percent. Wages, only 10 percent.
The reason obvious. Government first and foremost. Government has been bought by corporate America and the banks. Lobbyists hired by them have great influence. They write laws and have Congressional members introduce them. Congress dances to their tune.Who is doing similar work for the former middle class and other persons not so fortunate?
We have been sold a bill of goods. For example, U.S. corporations claim they cannot pay higher wages. They cannot afford it. If they do, they will not be able to compete globally. A crock. How can Germany be explained? Germany is an industrial nation. Successful by today’s standards. Germany has consistently raised the wages of its workers and has a strong middle class. Germany competes in the same world market as the United States.
People are discouraged and despondent. A 2013 CNN poll showed 60 percent of Americans believed the American dream was no longer available. Three reasons were given. Lagging wages, a tough job market, and greater income inequality.
A college education is more expensive than ever. Most students go into extreme debt to obtain a college degree. Purportedly the ticket to success and wealth. Then they cannot get a job upon graduation.
We are told the recession ended in 2009. Tell that to the unemployed or those making low wages. Control by corporations and banks of government power has resulted in the top 1 percent earning significantly more dollars in the past five years.
The unemployment figures fail to impress me. Yes, under 6 percent is terrific. However, that figure does not include the 92.6 million unemployed that have fallen off the radar and are not counted.
Workers’ wages have fallen 36 percent in the last ten years. Seventy six percent of Americans live pay check to pay check. Burgeoning unpaid student loans constitute a big economic threat. Employment growth is only found in the MacDonald’s of this world. Twice the number of people are on food stamps today than were in 2008.
There has been no recovery for the working people. Most will work till they die. Forget retirement.
The solution? People have to take back the government. It is not going to happen quickly. Election districts have been gerrymandered under the guidance of the rich. It has to start at a grass root level.The precinct level. People must organize and go door to door to elect people who genuinely have their interests at heart. A tough long term way. However one of the few if the middle class is going to have a chance of recovering.
If not my suggestion or some other workable one, I fear we may experience an Arab Spring. It has happened elsewhere in the world. Why not here? There already are demonstrations nationwide over the race/police issue. Such could grow into a why can’t we get a better jobs one. Remember that in the Egyptian demonstrations, college graduates who could not get decent paying jobs were in the forefront.
Our country is in a hole. We have to dig our way out. The road back is long.
Unionism had a lot to do with those rising wages.
Yes, Unions have been most helpful with forcing increases in wages, do to dramatic increases in the cost of living. If it wasn’t for Unions, many, many more people would be in poverty.
And if it wasn’t for unions things would be far worse and not just with low wages, but especially with working conditions, work place safety, health insurances, grievances and many other things.
Be careful about letting political anti union rhetoric distort your view on this issue too.
When the parking rates in KW go up some group votes on it, when the cost of a building permit goes up, some elect group OK the increase. When a tariff goes up on Chines imported goods goes up, only one person makes that choice.
How much taxes (tariff) is Trump collecting from China. How much more do I have to pay for my I Phone. He cut my taxes said he BUT he raised my taxes in the form of a tariff.
Is Joe Biden going to reduce the import tax which Trump has placed on Chines good. And what are their plans for all the tariff $ the collect. Not a word has been said nor asked by the press. No vote is taken by an elected group just the pen stroke by the President is need to take more money from me. What power to hold.
Sandy is a pest and a troll who has openly admitted he posts on Lou’s blog to agitate and provoke arguments and fights. He is also a stranger to honesty and is aggressively willing to post dishonest and misleading information. It seems that’s how he get’s his jollies. He is also hostile and racist to jews, blacks and the Chinese people, regularly using derogatory terms to reference them. His posts seem now days to mouth memes and talking points directly from the Russian RT Network. I’d call him intentionally delusional, with a warped mean streak.
The same old repetitious complaint about Sandy and his posts is getting really boring. I don’t agree with him most of the time, but I can skip over his posts if I want. The same way I skip yours.
Not to me, I think they are fun and put that creep Sandy and his argumentative and racist nonsense in it’s place. That guy Sandy has been an azzhole for years, Keep it up, who ever you are.
“Who ever you are”…Look in a mirror. Same person posting under a different name.
Organized Labor was the foundation for building a middle clazz(sic).
Trump knew that he didn’t have to worry about his base understanding tariffs.
Or bother to learn. The tariffs are paid by the importers and pazzed on to the consumer. Trump and his crooked government don’t get them, the consumer does in the form of higher prices on goods they buy.
So who’s actually paying for this stunt, we the average American pay more for things we don’t make here anymore (because it’s too expensive) with dollars we don’t have because we lost those jobs so that products came be made cheaper elsewhere.
The money paid by the importers as a result of the tariff go to the US government treasury. The importer charges the tax to buyer. The tax is paid in the end by the US buyer, us.
It is just an other tax charged to us citizens by the Government. The big difference is who sets the tax rate. The congress sets the tax rate on my income tax; it is set by a group. The present alone sets the tariff rate; it is not voted on by a group. One man sets OR removes the tariff tax. Is Joe, Democrat going to cut the tariff there by cutting my taxes or leave Trumps tariff rates?
Is there a check and balance? It is only Trumps decision to increase or decrees a tariff, not Congresses. Now “JOE” said he will replace the old tax code but will also keep all of Trumps tariff (taxes) thereby hitting us with extra taxes.
And for what is all that money Trump collecting tariff taxes go? Neither of them has explained nor have their VP’s
Sandy is a provocateur troll who doesn’t really know what he’s talking about and just want’s to start a fight.
Sandy, look up “extra” and “tariff” (not a tax that goes to the treasury, but rather to the consumer) before you want to go all bat sh*t scary “JOE” bull sh*t crap. Besides, Joe’s new tax code will increase the tax on the RICH, and lower it for the rest of us, which ain’t scary, it’s GOOD.
If you don’t like what will happen in America after “JOE” restores democracy then maybe you should move to say Venezuela or Brazil or Columbia, where a strong man dictatorship still exists (as does the accompanying street violence) where you’ll likely feel more comfortable and at home.
Sandy YOU complete Russian fool tool – President Joe Biden should have at LEAST as MUCH control over tariffs and taxes as Trump had and NO less. And YOU should care NO more than you cared what Trump did in that subject these last four years, which was NOTHING!
You have no credibility on this or any other subject, having been nothing but a troublemaker on any subject (including this Trumped up BS) since the day you started positing under the name Sandy, with a post that said you didn’t vote for Trump but……
I have lived a comfortable life so far thanks to organized labor and have redistributed some wealth along the way enabling others to do the same.