Anyone born in the late ’40s, ’50s or ’60s grew up with an idea of a sometimes rough-and-tumble American political system that favored the powerful, as always, but enabled the middle and lower-middle classes with a certain amount of security and opportunity. Millions worked their tails off and got ahead, particularly during the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon years. The result was a general sense of fairness and faith in a basically decent system that other countries admired.
That idea is out the window now. Since Reagan, I mean. The oligarchs run the show and the middle and lower-class are humping it double-time on the treadmill so they can stay in place, and many have fallen off and are lying on the floor, grimacing.
As this 6.12 N.Y. Times book review reminds, “The happy one in a hundred had 12 percent of all income in 1984; that had risen to 24 percent in 2007,” and “the bottom 80 percent to 90 percent of the country is struggling hard and has tasted none of the fruits that have been showered on the wealthy. From 1980 to ’05, during which markets soared and America got indisputably richer, fully 80 percent of the nation’s income gains went to just the top 1 percent [while] most Americans’ incomes stagnated, with the middle class getting nowhere.”
What can we Americans do about this? Hmmm. Wait, wait, I’ve got it — let’s elect one of those oligarchs President of the United States! Wow. Thank God for the insight and good common sense of the American rightwing community.