Item #1. This country is in a world of crap. We have two parties, one of which openly carries water for, and gets paid for it by, a fascist oligarchy and the other which fund raises off pretending to fight against a takeover by a fascist oligarchy while dodging wildly to keep from having to admit that said takeover has already taken place.
And that’s it. Those are the only choices we are given. Those two parties produce virtually ALL of the candidates for office in our executive and legislative branches and since they’re basically two sides of the same coin and the differences between them lie only in how to carve up the rest of us, people in the lower reaches of the pecking order have been left basically with no say in how our country is run. And some of us are getting damned tired of it.
In a recent Mic article, Thomas McKay summarizes the results of a Princeton study (Sorry, no link to the study. The Education Industry, itself part of the oligarchy, has monetized those out of my reach) that establishes the fact that the takeover by the 1% has been pretty much an accomplished fact for a while now. The chart at left shows the widening of the income gap beginning in roughly the mid 70s (baby steps) and continuing in an ever widening pattern through 2010. Most of us are aware that the income gap widened in much the same manner and may even have increased the rate of spread over the past five years, call it from 1976 to now.
So the income gap is NOT simply a product of machinations by a single party that suddenly decided a quick buck was more important than integrity and honesty in dealing with the people. Since its inception, it has continued unabated through three Republican and two Democratic administrations and numerous rollovers and changes in both houses of congress and there is nothing or no one on the horizon to indicate that it will not continue at the same or even a faster rate no matter who we elect in 2016.
This is simply the way things are in the oligarchy that fully half the population either doesn’t believe (or pretends not to believe) exists. It can’t help but call into question all that righteous indignation displayed by today’s left since they’ve had the same 35-40 years to realize what was going on that the rest of us have had. It has everything to do with the modern Democratic Party’s focus on bipartisanship and compromise since it is where 35 years of those kind of tactics have led us.
This chart shows even more vividly the lopsided distribution of any income gains beginning basically with the Reagan administration and again extending through 3 Republican and two Democratic administrations. No doubt that top 1% enjoyed an overall gain of 100 percentage points under George W. Bush, but what some people fail to realize is that their BIGGEST gains, right at 150 percentage points took place from roughly 1994 to 2000, during Bill Clinton’s watch.
So basically we have been becoming more and more an oligarchy since about 1976 and anyone who pretends not to have known that all along and who kept silent in the hope that oligarchy would somehow benefit their own portfolio… or however they measure their own position on the food chain… are a major part of the problem and can therefore never be a part of any solution as far as the bottom 20% is concerned.
And as more and more of the middle 60 percent whose real incomes… basically stagnant right now… actually start to fall, as has been going on with the bottom 20% for the past several years, maybe we’ll see someone finally waking up to the fact that when sharks run out of little fish to eat, they start eating bigger fish and that while you may be a bigger fish than me financially, to the shark you’re still just an over sized sardine.
The important thing is that we… Democrats, Republicans, Independents, whatever… do NOT continue to sit on our asses and expect anyone from either of the major political parties to fix it because it just is NOT going to happen. The people RUNNING those major parties are simply going to get richer and we’re going to get poorer and if you don’t realize that after 35 goddamned years, it just may be that the middle class isn’t WORTH “saving”.