FoxNews released a report yesterday on the 16th quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll. The headline was appropriate: “Middle Class Resigned To Stagnation.”
“Here, 54% of those surveyed defined the middle class as those who could still keep up with bills, not get too buried in debt, and not lose their jobs. Once basic economic goals—such as paying for a child’s college education, retiring comfortably, or even just surviving a health care emergency—are only realistic for the upper class, according to 40% of those surveyed. Annual vacations, regular pay increases, quality healthcare, and even just basic job security—these things are now only manageable for the upper class, about one-third of those surveyed reported.”
The quotations from the survey are heartbreaking. But one bright shining light is that many of the people know that this didn’t “just happen.”
“Indeed, most surveyed blamed the government for their declining economic plights. According to the survey, 64% believe Congress is making things worse for the middle class and 45% believe President Obama is making things worse. They also blamed big business, but to a lesser extent: 54% said CEOs of major U.S. corporations are making things worse for the middle class, and 55% said major financial institutions are making things worse.”
One of the assumptions in the piece, which is treated as beyond question, is that corporations and civil government in the United States are two different organizations with different interests. But with politicians rotating into corporate positions and CEOs being appointed to Federal office, this is largely an illusion. Corporations use government and vice versa. Consumers and citizens find themselves increasingly impoverished.
Ironically, on the same day, FoxNews also reported on how our “disgraced” ex-CIA and ex-General David Petraus is probably being scarfed up by one of the world’s largest private equity firms:
“Landing Petraeus, who previously served as the celebrated Commander of U.S. Central Command, and his vast Rolodex of international contacts would be a big coup for KKR. According to Bloomberg News, Petraeus is in talks with KKR about a role at the private-equity firm, which is one of the world’s largest. Petraeus and KKR co-founder and co-CEO Henry Kravis are close friends and the specific role the former general would be hired for has not yet been decided, Bloomberg reported.”
His official title and cover job description may be up for grabs, but his future role is obvious: to use his deep domestic and foreign political and military connections to arrange deals so that his firm can make money with inside information.
Except for those especially lucky, gifted, and motivated to political accomplishments, the majority of the middle class cannot expect to make a living from government debt and spending. And they know that neither mainstream political party is likely to help them out.
“‘Our political allegiance revolves more around cultural values than economic interests,’ explained [National Journal editorial director, Ronald] Brownstein. Guns, gay rights, abortions—voters help decide stuff like that. Economic policy, meanwhile, is more heavily influenced by the companies that can afford the most powerful lobbies. That’s why America’s middle class is mad as heck and they’re just going to keep right on taking it.”
I think the Second Amendment, protecting all life, and opposing homosexual “marriage” are all important. But at some point I pray that descendents of the middle class can defeat Democrats and Republicans by forcing them to allow a free market economy to operate in this country.