There is a war for your mind. It is a constant war with battles waged not for control of the majority but the few.
The battle for the minds of the majority was won long ago.
You may ask: If the war was won already then why aren’t we all in accord? Why don’t we have a common understanding?
A good question. A good question indeed. The challenge for victors is that wars are never truly won. Victory is usually nothing more than a period of calm when the many submit to the few and when all appears well throughout the land.
Then one day someone asks a new question … and the war begins anew.
About the 1%. They won long ago. For them to continue to win they need class warfare constantly being fought. Peace and calm do not define victory. Division and distrust and discord are the means of assuring recurring victory in the episodic battles that wage to keep the 1% in power and in control of society’s direction and wealth. Distract the many and try to manage the bothersome few.
Relative peace and civil discourse are anathema to the 1%. If we were not constantly arguing and hating one another then we would be comparing and discussing. An outcome for the greater good seldom works in the 1%’s favor. Not that the greater good works against the 1% — but the entire premise of the 1% is that more is always better than less. Even when more is so much that ‘more’ has little meaning other than the quest for more being the end game itself.
That does not make the 1% evil or bad or even ungood. Survival of the fittest, the fastest, the most cunning among us is just the way of life.
To the 99% I say: there is no such thing as the 99%. You may not be the 1% but you are certainly not the 99%. At best you are the sum of the parts of our society that cobble together some coalition. If history offers clues then the left can bring together elements of the 99% for very short periods, unlike the right which manages usually to keep its three to four allied elements generally in some form of harmony.
To the 99%, you are being driven to constant distraction. I do not wish to accuse the 1% of being unpatriotic but I would tell you that patriotism has very little meaning to them — regardless of the empty homilies that pass their lips or how many flags adorn their homes and buildings. Patriotism is constantly used to define issues for the purposes of focusing the minds of the more conservative elements of our society that do respond to symbols of family, faith and country. Much or most of the 1% are apolitical and apatriotic and embrace those concepts only when it supports their own economic objectives.
Yes, the vast majority of the 1% would trade your jobs without second thought if it meant another few cents on the dollar in their pocket. That is not patriotism.
The 1% would sell weapons and natural resources developed by our tax dollars to almost anyone in the world that would buy them if there is profit in it. The transfer of technology, resources and national knowledge accrued by the many and sold on the world’s markets — that is not patriotism.
Our illegal immigrant problem — we are daily driven to distraction and encouraged to drive out those that took our jobs and violated our laws because ‘illegal means illegal’. Yet where were the voices when laws were needed to manage our borders and to develop the skills and to protect the jobs of our own citizens? They were silent because it was profitable. That is not patriotism.
Do not hate the illegal immigrant that came to America to find a job and a better way of life. They were invited. The wealthy are wealthier because of it. You are too.
Dear 53% or 47% or whatever percentage group you belong to: America has fundamentally changed. The 1% won long ago and we are now on a path that can not be easily reversed. Talk of reversal of our economic fortunes is wasted time and energy. Our reality has fundamentally changed and there is no going back.
There are good times (for some) ahead but the good times of 10, 20, 30 years ago are gone and will not come back in our lifetimes.
America’s middle class is dying a slow protracted death and that is why we are so angry. Yet the American middle class is just as much to blame for its own demise as is the 1%.
America’s middle class will continue to shrink and to lose its vitality … and while the middle class will be encouraged to be angry at the working class … those supposed dregs of society that are incapable of pulling themselves up by their own efforts … that working class infused with a healthy dose of illegal immigrants that just want to feast off the ingrateful gratitude of the well fed and pampered middle class that supports them … and yet … and yet … DISTRACTION ZONE … and yet it seems to be the 1% that is pocketing the wealth of the middle class.
To the middle class of America: Stop allowing yourself to be distracted. Focus. Please get some perspective before it really is too late.
To the middle class of America: You exist. You have a Darwinian right to continue your existence as long as you are worthy of existence. Your existence and continued class health and wealth does not depend upon demonizing the less well off in our society. They have almost no voice. They are the future you if you do not focus!
Some perspective, please:
- The middle class is always the most artificial of society’s three strata of wealth. You only exist in any significant numbers if you are allowed to exist because you serve a purpose. Throughout much of history you, we, have seldom made up more than 10-15% of society’s wealth.
- America’s sizeable middle class is largely an accident of history. Your pre-World War II ancestors lived a meager existence and were almost certainly blue collar or red neck working class. Middle school would be the education level of the average household adult. Our immediate ancestors looked forward to a nice Sunday dinner. It was THE big meal of the week. Except for World War II that would still be the daily fate of most Americans today. In the past, before we died, we would often bequeath our personal clothes and small personal items to specific people … because they needed them, and generally that was also all we had. We were just as third world as the third world of today. Yes, the average American — and that defines the middle class — had very little other than what they wore or the tools that they used or the books that they left behind.
- The accident of history that created the great American middle class is that the industrialized world was destroyed by the end of World War II and there was an opportunity to own the world at bargain prices. We could take what we wanted. We could define the laws of trade as we wanted. We could and often did take whatever we found in other people’s backyards around the world. We were economic imperialists of the highest order. The great American middle class exists today because the 1% of the day needed someone to manage and to organize the world’s wealth. As that wealth poured into America we prospered. Managing the world required a well educated citizenry. Even today there are still families that boast of someone that is or was ‘first’ in their family to get a college degree. We did it for the red, white and blue … or so we thought.
- Yet someone always asks why. Why is always a dangerous question. It didn’t take long for the world to ask why? For several decades we said ‘because we said so’ and that was answer enough. Why are you pumping our oil and our people are living in poverty? Why are you supporting dictatorships in our country when you speak of democracy and freedom? Why? Why? Why? By the 1970s the world had recovered enough from World War II that they really did want an answer to the question of why? Our world began unraveling at a very fast pace by 1973-1974 when our middle class stumbled as Globalization, version 1, took hold. Version 1 = failure of the U.S. to be able to dictate terms of global economic policy and wealth. The result was that our corporate wealth began to diversify via the formation of multinational corporations; the limited sharing of wealth with others of the world. Multinationalism was our attempt to coopt the economic capabilities of emerging economies.
- Globalization, version 2, would expand and change our way of life within just 10 years (1973-1983) of version 1’s debut. Just as Nixon (1973) recognized that we can no longer dictate terms to the world, it was Reagan (1983/4) that ushered in version 2 of globalization: the elimination of national borders for purposes of economic wealth transfer. To reassure the American public that we were not giving away our national rights and economic wealth we were promised that free markets would create trickle down to provide us the quality and quantity of wealth that our people had come to know and to enjoy. It was literally a theory thought out on the side of a dinner napkin.
- Reagan’s promise of free markets and trickle down was an honest and well-intended promise perhaps but free trade and trickle down economics have very nasty side effects. The primary side effect of trickle down is that it divorced Americans from the actual creation of wealth by reversing and diluting their relationship to what brought them wealth to begin with: the creation of products and management of the world’s resources. Without these two key ingredients there is no reason for the existence of America’s middle class at its current size and level of wealth. Reality is that the hourly value of our work efforts has fallen almost every year since 1980 when adjusted for inflation. What has distracted us from noticing the hollowing of the great American middle class is that we were invested in our country’s wealth. We had a stake. Divestiture from that wealth has occurred at just a few percentage points per year. Magnify that point or two of annual loss by several decades and you will find that the sheer raw numbers of Americans invested in stock markets bonds and funds has dropped to 1968 levels, and their number has dropped every year since 2004. Yes, we did notice the loss in our personal fortunes but we supplemented our loss with easy credit reforms from the Reagan years and the use of our homes as collateral to buy all the goodies in life made by the other people of the world benefitting from Globalization, version 2. We were also lucky to keep our costs at home low through cheap food and goods made by all of those illegal aliens that we invited to come to America just so long as they did not demand benefits and an honest wage.
- For the 99% or whatever percentage of America represents your group: Globalization version 3 is now upon us. The fate of the great American middle class is that it is no longer needed by the 1%. Money flows so freely now across borders that we no longer speak in terms of multinational corporations — such a quaint term from the 1970s and the 1980s. Wealth has few limits upon it because it has diversified. We have achieved the ultimate transfer of wealth: we own parts of the world and the world owns huge parts of us. There is no patriotism involved. ‘Patriotism’ is a distraction and diversionary concept to make you believe that ‘we’ are threatened. If you belong to the middle class, we ARE indeed threatened. There is limited need for most of us in Globalization, version 3.
To those that want to Occupy Wall Street and to Tea Partyers and to the American middle class in general: There is a war for your mind. It is a constant war with battles waged not for control of the majority but the few. As long as our system remains in gridlock then the 1% continue to win.
The battle is for the few that ask why — those that refuse to vote the party line and to perpetuate constant gridlock. We must ask why over and over again. Why do we continue to allow our jobs to be given away for the profit of the few?
Our middle class is in a race to the bottom with the working class people of the world. Nothing against them, but as a member of the American middle class I am not ready or willing to make one of the largest wealth transfers in history. I am not willing to support the continued enrichment of the 1% or the enrichment of the world at my own expense.
We are in a race to the bottom that will only plateau once we have fallen significantly and the rest of the world has risen to where labor rates and market saturation of want over need is balanced. That could take another generation or two.
To the middle class: our best days are ahead for most of us but only if we make changes now! We must make significant changes in our personal choices of lifestyle and demand public transparency of both government and corporate transnational financial transactions.
In our personal lifestyle and professional choices: we must eliminate debt and we need to develop a menu of skills.
Eliminating debt will be bad for our economy. It could shrink our economy 15-20%. Get over it. Get on with it. Our current economic situation is longterm. There is no positive outcome on the horizon if we live as we currently do. Eliminate debt and restructure your life to be as debt-free and self-sustaining as possible. Thirty year mortgages are the road to serfdom. Renting is not a great plan either in many cases. If you have to buy strive for less and strive for shorter term loans. Stop buying McCastles.
Income assurance: the American middle class has a significant challenge: it has few tangible skills. Your/our entire education system is based upon managing the world around us. You need a menu of skills that are of value to others in your community. Ask yourself: if you were to lose your job today what service can you provide that others would be willing to pay for?
If you find the above question hard to answer then you are in trouble, deep, deep trouble. You not only need a skillset but a menu of skills; and each need their own hourly value. You need to start planning now for your life in the emerging American middle class — one that will be smaller, more agile, and which is our future already as of today.
To the 1%: I bear you no ill will. It is the nature of all survivable things to seek more efficient means to accumulate more value and more power. This always comes at the loss of something or someone else. You have existed always and always will.
To the 99%: Stop. Think. Avoid distractions. Do not attack the left or the right because you belong to the other. You will fail if you do. We will fail if you do.
To the 99%: Seek to think objectively. Demand that our leaders put numbers to paper. DO NOT buy into promises of hope and change. DO NOT buy into claims that we can take our country back. It is far too late for that. Collaborating with the new owners because you believe it to be your patriotic duty to support amoral, apatriotic, anationalist accumulation of wealth only hastens the day when America is just another province of the world.
Money is power. America is just a politically defined flow of money. It was not the left or the communists or whomever you might wish to blame for America’s current economic woes. We have only ourselves to blame as we collaborate with the 1% — they will profit by it but we will not, not the majority of us. The wealth of the 1% is no longer American wealth. It is wealth that knows no country and offers no allegience to anything other than reinvestment at higher dividends. Do not be distracted by the presence of flags or invocations to protect our inherent rights as Americans. This is meaningless drivel to the 1% — which they will willingly sell to you as in ‘you too can be rich if you just try hard enough’, all the while flying as many flags as China can produce.
To those that are participating in Occupy Wall Street — you have my sympathies. To supporters of Occupy Wall Street that complain that no one is paying attention, did you notice that it was Fox News that provided you your first major coverage? And it is Fox News that continues to provide you the majority of coverage. You are the new distraction. The artificial debate created is whether you and the Tea Party are similar. It really does not matter. Your concerns are very similar. Your desire to blame someone other than yourself is the same.
Your anger is aimed in the right direction but I don’t believe that you have a plan. Your rage is just as controlled and directed and manipulated as is that of the Tea Party. Do not be useful tools.
The American middle class as we know it will die a protracted death over the next 10-20 years. Suburbia and all of its trappings will soon enough be very different. The new middle class will be much smaller. It already is. I cannot think of a practical way to stop this, or to advise you how you could stop this future from arriving. It is after all already here. America 1950 will be completely gone by 2030, and in 2030 we will be talking about the middle class that emerged from 2007.
Be slow to anger and swift to thought. Only some will win. The battle is for the few and will be won by the few that win the hearts and minds of the distracted many.
>> What the middle class of the world may look like by 2025.