Divide and Conquer 2011
1/19/2011 – Seattle
1. Teacher Salaries Issue Sharpens Across Region by Kathy Boccella, December 20, 2010, The Philadelphia Enquirer
2. Republicans Incite Class Warfare—Within Middle Class y Matthew Rothschild, July 5, 2010, The Progressive
3. Washington State Education Leaders Lament Major Budget Cuts by Katherine Long, December 15, 2010, The Seattle Times
4. Christie Calls for New Jersey Pension, Education Cuts by Terrence Dopp and Esme Deprez, January 11, 2011, Bloomberg Business Week
5. Public Education in Texas Faces Massive Cuts , no byline, January 19, 2011, Associated Press
But if allowed to run free of the social system, capitalism will attempt to corrupt and undermine democracy, which is after all not a natural state.
- John Ralston Saul
And now comes the American plutocracy’s class warfare’s final phase as the political minions of our plutocracy begin dismantling the government infrastructures and services that benefit the middle and lower classes.
The problem here is simple. As the marginal tax rates continue to plummet for the wealthiest 1%, coupled with the massive loss of tax revenue at all levels caused by the Great Recession, most state, and local governments across the country face huge deficits. Since there’s zero political will to raise taxes, especially on our wealthiest who are gorging on record corporate profits and rising stock portfolios while the lower classes continue to face widespread unemployment and negative income growth, state and local governments have no recourse but to cut spending on everything, even once sacred cows such as education.
Let’s be clear here. The wealthiest 1% in this country has seen its income rise in record amounts, even since the Great Recession began in 2007. The wealthiest 1% own about 35% of all wealth in America, and this is the only group that has seen a considerable rise in its income since 1980. The upper 20% of of earners in America control 85% of all wealth, leaving a paltry 15% for the remaining 80% of Americans. That 80% includes most wage and salary workers in America. People earning the lower 80% have seen their incomes decrease since 1980 while their personal debt went up horribly to bridge the gap.
Here’s the thing. As the wealthiest 1% saw huge increases in income, their taxes went down! The premise for these massive tax cuts for the wealthy was to create jobs through the “trickle-down effect,” but of course since 2007 nearly 8 million jobs have been lost, so massive tax cuts for the rich, in terms of job creation, can be clearly seen as a bust policy. And now to finance these generous tax cuts even further, we have to cut social services and infrastructure across the board instead of bringing the tax rates back to their original values, which would balance the massive deficits across the board in a couple of years.
The wealthy elites, of course, don’t give a damn about public education and health, especially for the children of the working poor, so of course they want to see their taxes cut and have their well-paid political minions dismantle the education and social services infrastructure, especially squashing powerful teacher and other state employee unions, which have been a major thorn on the side of the plutocrats for several generations. When one no longer gives a damn about the public weal as we see from our wealthiest citizens, whether or not the children of the lower classes have access to decent education and health care is certainly not of any importance. In fact, the plutocrats want our children dumber and unhealthier. It makes them cheaper labor in the future. Even more profits! Whee!
Isn’t it ironic that the rich caused the Great Recession and also benefitted generously from its bailout that not only absolved the rich of any criminal charges for their massive fraud and mendacity in causing it in the real estate, banking and finance industries, but also saved their wealth from going down the toilet, and meanwhile everyone else in America suffers, and to add insult to injury to this suffering, the social services that benefit the suffering classes are being de-funded, dismantled, and eradicated just when they are needed the most?
The Tea Party loves to call itself a “populist” movement, but if you dig deep enough into who is financing it, you’ll find a lineup of the usual right-wing billionaire suspects who also finance most of the right-wing think tanks (American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, et al.), and news organizations (FOX News, The Weekly Standard, National Review, et al.) that have been heavily promoting the Tea Party. Their only goal is massive tax cuts for the wealthy, no matter what the cost is to the general weal of the United States of America. The rich no longer want to participate in any kind of shared sacrifice in America, and therefore need useful idiots from the working and middle class to champion their cause, and hence the Tea Party, masked as a “populist” revolt, distances these über-rich benefactors from any public scrutiny.
How can cutting public education be seen as anything but destructive for the American general weal?
While we watch America get turned into a third world country in the next few years, by the time the middle class useful idiots who championed the cause of the plutocrats realize they’ve been royally fucked, it will be too late.
Cutting government cuts the one avenue to power that common people have. Once government is removed or debased, common people no longer have a power structure that they own and also champions their cause, and they become subjects to the people and power structures (wealthy individuals, corporations, gangsters, etc.) who fill the power void left by the shrinking and effete government. Many people feel they are powerless now. Well, if government gets cut further and “drowned in the bathtub” as most Libertarians like to jest, how powerless will we all be then?
I know this seems far-fetched to most people. But open your eyes. It’s happening right now as we speak. The facts do not lie even though the highly -paid sophists on TV news like claim otherwise. It is their job to lie and obfuscate the truth long enough for this massive dismantling of our democracy to reach its final phase, at which point the rich will rule like feudal lords of old and the rest of us are merely subjects to their every whim.
Just pay attention. It’s really happening.