What Classless Society?

The Growing Rich-poor Gap in Classless America, Top 10% controls 96% of the wealth – Published on Global Research.ca, by Jack A. Smith, October 3, 2010.

The so-called growing rich-poor gap in “classless” America is a euphemism for the existence of an accelerated class struggle against American workers and the poor by a relatively small minority that possesses or has access to great wealth and power … //

… Differences in income are acknowledged — but it is claimed that since upward mobility and attainment of the American Dream are available to everyone if they work hard enough, there is only one class despite gradations in wealth. It’s called the middle class, presumably with statistical subsections for the very rich and very poor. But the “Dream” and upward mobility have never been available to everyone, and over the last three decades have been substantially reduced for many new generations of working families. 

How often do you hear the politicians of the two ruling parties or the government they administer referring to the working class, lower middle class, the lower class or the upper class and the ruling class?

In America, virtually everyone seems to be lumped into the middle class if they are earning between $25,000 and $250,000 a year, which is a preposterous parody of real class relations. Representatives of these two income variants have little to nothing in common except the class to which they appear to have been assigned.

The millions living in poverty are called “the poor” and are in the public mind often blamed for their own plight (lazy, shiftless, ignorant). The very rich are called the “top 1%,” and the simply rich are termed the “top 10%,” and are often admired and thanked because they create the jobs that prevent the inhabitants of the middle class from falling into the ranks of the poor.

For the past three or four decades the upper class and its agents have been accelerating a campaign against the wages and living standards of the working class/lower middle class and more recently  the middle class as well, pushing more and more people into the lower classes. One example of this is that wages no longer correlate to productivity increases, as they did in the first three decades after World War II; another is the erosion of progressive taxation.

In addition, the influence of wealth on the White House and Congress has seen to it that hardly any significant social service legislation has come out of Washington for 40 years. President Obama promotes his healthcare legislation as a major progressive achievement, but this apex of the current administration’s social contribution is to the right of Democrat President Harry Truman’s proposals  in 1948 and Republican President Richard Nixon’s program of 1972. Truman and Nixon failed, and there has been such political regress over these decades that Democratic Party programs now emanate from the center/center-right.

The problem isn’t just the disproportion of money in the hands of a small minority while the standards of most American families are eroding, but it is what’s done with all that money. It elects Presidents, governors and mayors in most of the major cities. It elects members of the House and Senate and state legislatures. If you have millions to spend without batting an eye, you have political clout in America, often decisive clout, and it’s principally deployed to further the interests of the “haves,” as opposed to the “have nots.”

This is what is meant by class war, and it seems to be waged these days only by the top 10% (the upper class) that controls 96% of the wealth against the 90% (working class to middle class and lower class) which controls 4%. The bottom 50% by the way accounts for a pathetic 1% of America’s wealth.

Isn’t it time for the “bottom” 90%  to stand up, fight back, and claim their share? (full text).

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