Dumb Americans – Class Struggle, Greed & Idiocy

Dumb AmericansDumb Americans are everywhere. The growing economic inequality is destroying middle class America, reducing the population into a two tiered system with extreme wealth on one end of the spectrum, while the other end contains the massive ever increasing population of uneducated, delusional poor.

American democracy has been obliterated. The rich control the political system and continue to manipulate the economy, resulting in an unfair, one sided benefit. Economic freedom and opportunity have vanished. Greed among the top one percent has succeeded in privatizing profits while subsidizing costs.

Americans are stupefied and constantly distracted with mindless entertainment coupled with constant lies and political propaganda. Bread and circuses abound and few people with adequate intelligence and critical thinking can see what remnants of truth remain via limited venues of expression.

Dumb Americans

Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair, states the upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall.

An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year—an economy like America’s—is not likely to do well over the long haul.

The reasons associated with this forecast include:

  • Rising inequality coincides with shrinking opportunity
  • Special interests and preferential treatment undermine the efficiency of the economy
  • Collective government action to invest in infrastructure, education, and technology.

The more divided a society becomes in terms of wealth, the more reluctant the wealthy become to spend money on common needs.

Manipulation of the financial economy is a primary factor for the inequality. Government loans provided at zero percent interest to numerous financial institutions in addition to bailouts at taxpayers expense, when an epidemic of failures occurred. The bipartisan system insures this inequality remains consistent, regardless if a republican or democrat is in office. All seek to protect rich and corporate elites as evidenced by their disinterest in removing corporate subsidies and welfare, nor raising taxes on the rich. They may voice their displeasure with the government, but in reality they prefer it remain unchanged, preventing any redistribution of wealth. As a result, they own the government.

“Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent.”

This has become possible due by an large to the growing class problem in America. The deception of equal opportunity distribution.

“The illusion of personal power substitutes consumer sovereignty—which smartphone to purchase—for real power over the decisions that affect our lives.”

Dumb Americans

The dumbing down process

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.

For this group of people, the political and harsh economic reality is incomprehensible. They consume and worship celebrity gossip, sports rivalries and mindless Hollywood sensationalism, However, these situations enable the average person to pretend that he or she is plugged into the winning side of the unequal opportunity distribution. Regardless of this ignorance is based on lack of real world education or apathy, the sobering facts speak for themselves:

  • There are 8.5 million people receiving unemployment insurance and over 40 million receiving food stamps.
  • At the current pace of job creation, the economy won’t return to full employment until 2018.
  • Middle-income jobs are disappearing from the economy. The share of middle-income jobs in the United States has fallen from 52% in 1980 to 42% in 2010.
  • Middle-income jobs have been replaced by low-income jobs, which now make up 41% of total employment.
  • 17 million Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.
  • Over the past year, nominal wages grew only 1.7% while all consumer prices, including food and energy, increased by 2.7%.
  • Wages and salaries have fallen from 60% of personal income in 1980 to 51% in 2010. Government transfers have risen from 11.7% of personal income in 1980 to 18.4% in 2010, a post-war high

Stories such as this are only being published now because economic condition of the average person has finally become so insecure, that it is impossible to ignore the situation any longer.

I remember reading somewhere that Harriet Tubman said she could have freed many more slaves, if only she’d been able to convince them that they were indeed slaves. Illiterate Americans think they are free, and by comparison, people who can read and write are dangerous subversives and dissidents.

Depressing Statistics

  • The U.S. economy actually grew more between 1930 and 1940 than it did during the decade that recently ended.
  • Over the last decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen from about 38 million to about 52 million.
  • It is being estimated that total U.S. government debt will grow by 42 percent by the year 2015.
  • The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.
  • According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.
  • According to the Economic Policy Institute, almost 25 percent of U.S. households now have zero net worth or negative net worth. Back in 2007, that number was just 18.6 percent.
  • The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
  • U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the peak of the real estate market in 2005.
  • According to RealtyTrac, one out of every 45 U.S. households was hit with a foreclosure filing in 2010.
  • The financial condition of American families continues to deteriorate rapidly. In 2010, one out of every eight American families had at least one family member that was unemployed. That number was the highest it has been since the U.S. Labor Department began keeping track of that statistic back in 1994.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.
  • Americans now owe more than $900 billion on student loans, which is also an all-time record high.
  • According to a recent article the purchasing power of a U.S. dollar has systematically declined. For example, $100 in 2010 would have the purchasing power that $3.64 had in 1900.

Abusive inequality is no accident of history. It has occurred by design. Forget morality and fairness. The wealthiest of the wealthy have ingeniously engineered the political and economic systems to get exactly what they want and screw the rest of society. They do not fear outright revolution, peaceful or violent class war.

If this is the case, it would be prudent for everyone to examine their individual perspective and alter one’s approach in dealing with your personal economic and social freedom. It makes no sense to march like an automaton, blindly following the piper who song’s lament class struggle and lead to one’s ultimate financial, social and political demise. Perhaps a song entitled, Wake Up would be more appropriate considering the sobering and disastrous facts. Time is of the essence, it is running out for all of us. Whatever change we face, it must come in a timely fashion as the current situation does not bode well for the future.

Dumb Americans

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