September 19, 2010
The Disappearing Middle ClassBy Jeremy Meister
In the clutter of arguments over Ground Zero mosques, conservative-versus-RINO primaries, and whether or not we should push more "stimulus" through Congress, another problem is going on very quietly in Flyover Country. The middle class in America seems to be disappearing, and there is no mystery as to why.
Karl Marx hated the middle class, or the "bourgeoisie," as he called them. His Communist Manifesto is nothing more than a rant about the evils of this group and how they have inflicted harm and damage to everyone around them through colonialism and ingenuity. Marx stated that people should do things by hand. The lower class should be happy with their lot in life. And the balance between the lower class and their upper-class leaders is upset by the injection of the middle class and its struggles to carve out its niche. The perfect society was gone with the rise of the bourgeoisie upstarts.
Marx and Engels envisioned a return to the simpler time, where a vast lower class was ruled by its betters. Not surprisingly, they saw themselves as leading the underlings to the new paradise. The idea of "Communism" was a state where the Ruling Class would own all property in a society. The lower class would work for their uppers, allowed to use the property of the state. Since an immediate grab would be both hard and unpopular, there would be a transitionary state where the ruling class would gradually begin taking property under its yoke. This phase would be called "Socialism."
This is the phase that the current U.S. government is going through. The Obama administration has already taken control of the banks, the auto makers, and the student loan program. With its health care law, it is now in position to start demanding ownership of the hospitals and doctors. With the financial reform law, the administration can begin putting its boot of ever-increasing weight on the necks of business.
All of this is being done to cater to the lower class. It gives politicians a populist talking point and a way of getting reelected. One of the biggest stated reasons for passing health care: 30 million are uninsured. The opinions of the other 280 million citizens don't matter, nor should they, since their opinions are tainted by "greed" (the single biggest sin of the bourgeoisie). The reason for seizing the auto makers: to bail out "working class families" who again are said to be struggling against "greed." The reason for financial reform: to alleviate the "reckless practices" of that place which were caused by "greed." Same goes for the student loan program. Same goes for almost everything this government is doing.
The byproduct of this Socialization is the shrinking of the middle class. When you punish people for working hard, those people will stop working so hard. When you reward people for doing nothing, then you're going to have more people sitting around doing nothing. It's simple logic.
True: all these bailouts are transfers of wealth -- not from the rich to the poor, but from the working middle class to both the upper and lower classes. The ends are taking care of themselves at the expense of the middle. It's been an ongoing effort for decades. Consider the college and university system. "The poor" are given all kinds of special considerations on college applications. It's one of the driving ideas of affirmative action. The government is helping out, "redistributing" money to the bottom. "The Rich" can use their money and influence to get in. The middle class gets no special consideration or privilege. Because they do work hard, they get to work harder -- and the Ruling Class calls this "justice."
Housing is another good example. Our government decided that people who couldn't afford houses should get them. The people of the Ruling Class got a campaign issue that they could show their voters at home: see, we're doing something about racism in housing sales. The Ruling Class's careless actions caused housing prices to inflate. Honest, hardworking middle-class people found it harder to obtain the American Dream as prices skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the lower class found it easier to get a home. And when the bubble popped, the well-connected upper class looked to their friends in the government to bail them out -- again, with the middle class's money. Lower-class people who couldn't afford their dwellings got to keep them. Everybody won...except the middle class.
One of the more insidious projects on the Ruling Class's list of projects is the plan to take 401ks from private individuals so as to bail out labor union pensions. The responsible middle class, who has worked diligently for years collecting money for retirement is on, the threshold of having it taken away so that irresponsible friends of the Ruling Class can have their budget hole plugged.
Are the rewards for obeying the laws and playing by the rules? Our government, which made all kinds of promises to the bourgeoisie decades ago, is now breaking those agreements. What good will a new promise be?
The rhetoric of the Ruling Class doesn't meet the reality. After all, President Obama lectures Americans about wealth redistribution even as he and his family are taking expensive holidays and playing golf. Bill Ayers now works for the very government he advocated destroying in the '60s and '70s. Head of the Treasury Tim Geithner is a tax cheat even as he pledges a crack down on people who avoid taxes. It's not just people, either -- entire issues can be involved. Amnesty for illegals is a good example: the plan is to reward lawbreakers by giving them what they want. Why? Because they are poor. If the middle class protests by refusing to give these people housing or jobs, or by turning them in to the proper authorities, then middle-classers get in trouble.
But this is not hypocrisy. It's Marxism on the move. The upper and lower classes are working against the middle. Successful bourgeoisie become upper class. The Ruling Class despises competition. The lower class doesn't like seeing people leave their ranks. It's an unholy alliance and class warfare at its most vicious.
"Redistribution of Wealth" -- the Ruling Class isn't talking about its own wealth. Why is a government composed of millionaires so opposed to cutting taxes in any way, shape, or form? Simple: those laws won't apply to them. Why would the media back all kinds of laws and regulations on speech/press? The media will have friends on those boards. They will be able to do and say things their competition will not. Why did health care go through even with so many opposed? Congress, the president, and other Ruling-Classers are exempt. The entire system is being rewritten to insulate the Ruling Class, just as Marx advocated.
It could be argued that the American Revolution was a middle class uprising. The colonial leadership was not made up of the aristocratic elite. Early American leaders thought like middle-classers. They wanted to use their businesses to improve themselves. This is why they wanted free trade and lower taxes. This is also why they added provisions to the Constitution banning titles of nobility and added amendments forbidding the government from seizing property. These are the protections being eroded in the modern day.
And this is what the Tea Party is really mad about.
Jeremy Meister works in radio and film in the Midwest. He can be reached at Meister@windstream.net.