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Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:11 AM

Why Have Americans Stopped Resisting Economic Privilege?


Why Have Americans Stopped Resisting Economic Privilege?

December 19, 2014
by Steve Fraser


The following excerpt is from the introduction to Steve Fraser’s new book, The Age of Acquiescence.


Marx once described high finance as “the Vatican of capitalism,” its diktat to be obeyed without question. Several decades have come and gone during which we’ve learned not to mention Marx in polite company. Our vocabulary went through a kind of linguistic cleansing, exiling suspect and nasty phrases like “class warfare” or “the reserve army of labor” or even something as apparently innocuous as “working class.”

In times past, however, such language and the ideas they conjured up struck our forebears as useful, even sometimes as accurate depictions of reality. They used them regularly along with words and phrases like “plutocracy,” “robber baron,” and “ruling class” to identify the sources of economic exploitation and inequality that oppressed them, as well as to describe the political disenfranchisement they suffered and the subversion of democracy they experienced. Never before, however, has the Vatican of capitalism captured quite so perfectly the specific nature of the oligarchy that recently ran the country for a long generation and ended up running it into the ground. Even political consultant and pundit James Carville (no Marxist he), confessed as much during the Clinton years, when he said the bond market “intimidates everybody.”


[font size="1"]Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University[/font]

Occupy Wall Street, even bereft of strategy, program, and specific demands as many lamented when it was a newborn, nonetheless opened up space again for our political imagination by confronting this elemental, determining feature of our society’s predicament. It rediscovered something that, beneath thickets of political verbiage about tax this and cut that, about end‑of‑the world deficits and ­missionary-​minded “job creators,” had been hiding in plain sight: namely, what our ancestors once called “the street of torments.” It achieved a giant leap backward, so to speak, summoning up a history of opposition that had mysteriously withered away.

.......(snip).......

Gilded ages are, by definition, hiding something; what sparkles like gold is not. But what they’re hiding may differ, fundamentally. Industrial capitalism constituted the understructure of the first Gilded Age. The second rested on finance capitalism. Late-​nineteenth-​century American capitalism gave birth to the “trust” and other forms of corporate consolidation at the expense of smaller businesses. ­Late-twentieth​-​ century­ capitalism, notwithstanding its mania for mergers and acquisitions, is known for its “flexibility,” meaning its penchant for off­-loading​ corporate functions to a world of freelancers, contractors, subcontractors, and numberless petty enterprises. The first Gilded Age, despite its glaring inequities, was accompanied by a gradual rise in the standard of living; the second by a gradual erosion. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://billmoyers.com/content/steve-fraser-age-acquiescence/



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Reply Why Have Americans Stopped Resisting Economic Privilege? (Original post)
marmar Dec 2014 OP
fredamae Dec 2014 #1
Blecht Dec 2014 #2
world wide wally Dec 2014 #3
annominous Dec 2014 #5
Zorra Dec 2014 #4
Brigid Dec 2014 #6
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #7
marmar Dec 2014 #9
BillZBubb Dec 2014 #10
tkmorris Dec 2014 #12
Rozlee Dec 2014 #13
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #17
Rozlee Dec 2014 #26
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #28
Brigid Dec 2014 #29
Rozlee Dec 2014 #31
hifiguy Dec 2014 #16
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #18
Zorra Dec 2014 #20
hifiguy Dec 2014 #22
Brigid Dec 2014 #23
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #25
True Blue Door Dec 2014 #8
Orsino Dec 2014 #11
tabbycat31 Dec 2014 #14
hifiguy Dec 2014 #15
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #19
hifiguy Dec 2014 #21
Bluenorthwest Dec 2014 #33
Prophet 451 Dec 2014 #34
xchrom Dec 2014 #24
pampango Dec 2014 #27
pa28 Dec 2014 #30
Ken Burch Dec 2014 #32

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:48 AM

1. Because We Don't Know

and Remember our own history-Aka: "The Dumbing Down of America" mainly through an Intentional reduction in Quality and Purpose of education along with the disappearance of our once credible and useful Fourth Estate. There are other factors but they are a "ripple effect" of the above, imo.

"Twas Him" and "Tammany's Tiger" that finally killed democracy.
http://www.harpweek.com/09Cartoon/BrowseByDateCartoon-Large.asp?Month=August&Date=19

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:55 AM

2. A kick

And a rec for this important, well-written article.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:10 PM

3. One thing that keeps the population pacified is television.

Their minds are not as focused on the unfairness of their wages as they are on who will be eliminated on their favorite reality show that night or who will win tonight's big game.
More and more people are kept "on the verge" of bankruptcy but not quite. Giving them the idea that they must work harder and longer to make ends meet. And people are pushed over the edge slowly instead of en masse. This makes everyone's problems unique and the common thread more difficult to find.
Making financial indepence or even job security more difficult gives the "aristocracy" or corporate bosses the latitude to tell workers that "if they don't like the wages offered, there are millions of others that would. So people tuck their tails between their legs and just say, "yes, sir"

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:34 PM

5. Good point. We masses had a better chance when religion was our opiate.

 

TV is much more insidious than religion. Maybe the difference is the same as the difference between reading the book versus watching the movie.

We must claim the air waves back as a public resource, and dedicate some portion of over-the-air TV to public education.

There's always the chance that such TV will fail to entertain. Then it will be like Marie Antoinette famously said: "Let them watch cable".

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 12:15 PM

4. Infinitely Recommend. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:17 PM

6. People must study the Gilded Age

And the poorer they are, the more important it is. They must especially take note of the high level of labor unrest during thd era. They'll draw their own conclusions.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:32 PM

7. The people have been trained to only kick downward

The aim of the PtB is to get the populace so desperate that they'll work for pennies, or a meal, or a dosshouse bed for the night. That's why they cut welfare. They dehumanize those who need welfare both because they honestly think everyone incapable of finding a job is a useless eater who should die and so that the genpop will be brainwashed into hating those on welfare. That means less protests when they shrink welfare or abolish it entirely.

Thing is, the Democrats have moved so far to the right and become such wusses, that they keep backing off important shit. Like:
- "the US is the only country in the developed world without some form of universal healthcare. It's an incredible drag on business and taxpayers and we should just pick a random European system and steal it".
- "Government *should* redistribute wealth. That's part of the fucking government's job. To take money from the rich fucks with too much and give it to the poor bastards with none".
- "In the richest country on earth, it is a fucking disgrace that *anyone* goes hungry or doesn't have a roof over their heads".
- "We have given not enough time or power to people who make things and too fucking much to people who just make money".
- "It is the mark of a civilized fucking society to provide for the poor and sick. There is no such thing as a lazy moocher living in luxury on welfare and it's blatant class warfare, with a hint of racism, to say so".
- "Humiliating and demonizing the poor pleb on welfare does not make you tough, it does not make you a hard-choices realist and it shouldn't give you a fucking stiffie. It makes you a sadistic fuck, taking his sociopathy out on people who can't fight back. No-one likes a bully".
- "Being a mean, cruel, ignorant shitkicker is not a prerequisite in a political leader".
- "The Rapture is not a fucking exit strategy".
- "It is not socialism or communism to say these things and the fact that you think it is proves that the liberal media are a complete myth".

Thing is, I actually don't blame Obama. The facts are simple: In order to get elected, you have to have or have access to colossal sums of cash. The campaigning, even for a Senate race, costs more than the GDP of small countries. Bringing in that kind of capital requires either rich backers or rock-star charisma, preferably both, because the USA doesn't have elections anymore, it has auctions. On top of that, getting elected requires serious facetime in media, preferably national media. And the national media are, on teh whole, right-wing because they are fucking corporate. The only candidates the MSM will allow to be taken seriously are those who are either safely corporate Dems (who push disgraceful trade deals or Clinton's obscene gutting of welfare) or to the right of Goebbals. Obama is exactly what the media love to present to you, centre-right economically, liberal socially with a compelling personal story. He *has* to be that in order to even get in the game. But, because the American electoral system is designed to ensure that only two parties can compete, voting Democrat rather than Crazytown means that the plebs get fucked slightly less. Yeah, the Democrats might fuck you but teh Republicans will torture you, rape you and then slit your throat just to hear you gurgle.

And here's the real bitch: It's not going to change, not for a long time. Let me break this down:
FACT 1: 19% of the plebs think the sun orbits the earth. In other words, a fifth of the electorate are dumb as dirt (and yes, the UK population is just as bad, that's missing the point).
FACT 2: Your media is entirely corporate which means conservative and conservative which means corporate.
FACT 3: Humans are instinctively obedient (Milgram), instinctively conformist (Asche) and will believe fucking *anything* if they hear it enough times (too many researchers to list).

Combine 2 & 3 and much, maybe most, of your population have been brainwashed to believe that a wussy moderate like Obama is the reincarnation of Stalin. Media power is EVERYTHING. The Signal is all around us, everywhere and all-pervasive. It is on your tablets, on your cellphones, on your watches and eyeglasses within the next few years; it is time, it is money, it is the air we breathe and the water we drink. The Signal is fucking GOD. That's how powerful it is. Control the media and you can do ANYTHING and I mean that as an absolute term. Cheney could get pulled over tonight with a dead hooker in his trunk (and, straight-up, no exaggeration in the slightest, I am fucking expecting them to find dead kids in his yard when he dies. No word of a lie) and if it doesn't get airtime, it didn't fucking happen. Conversely, Dennis Kucinich said he saw a UFO. Literally. He said he saw something in the sky that he could not readily identify, that's exactly what he said and the definition of a UFO. Within two hours, the story was that Kucinich believed in little green men.

FACT 4: Conservatives have abused the Congressional rules to give them a minority veto over everything which they will abolish teh very second they're in power and reinstate in a lame duck session when they're going out of power.
FACT 5: Conservatives own the SCOTUS. They have a tame group of five judges who make their opinions purely on political grounds and barely even bother hiding it.
FACT 6: Conservatives have gerrymandered the living shit out of the map to give themselves safe seats, enacted voter "fraud" legislation to prevent likely Democrats from voting (so blatant, I'm amazed they don't just say "you cannot vote if you are a Democrat" and got everyone using unverifiable voting machines (I worked in IT for ten years, it takes more effort to make teh fucking things unverifiable than it does to make them accountable. I'm not saying they used it to steal an election, I'm saying they could).

Add those three facts together and you get plebs who will either vote for conservatives or their vote will simply not count and The Signal will not tell you about it. And even if it did...

FACT 7: (Look at me, preaching a fucking sermon here) There will be no revolt. The revolution will not be televised because the revolution will not fucking happen. Because The Signal feeds you bullshit. It's lulled you to sleep with American Idol and woken you up to Morning Joe. Bread and circuses, man, bread and circuses. Built the Roman Empire, bread and circuses did. Except system's more efficient now. Can't have the state provide you with bread and circuses, that would be too much like *gasp* socialism. You have to work and buy your own bread and circuses.
FACT 8: Don't think I'm being fucking snobby here. I'm a pleb, just like the rest. I use Facebook. Being disabled and crazy, it's my only window on the outside world. I love wrestling almost as much as I love Father Lucifer and for a good deal longer. I have a Kindle, an Amazon account, I shop at Tesco. I'm as much a puppet of The Signal as anyone else. Only difference is that I can see the strings.
FACT 9: The ultimate aim of the corporate PtB is to have a population so desperate, so *broken*, that they will work for pennies, or a meal, or a dosshouse bed for the night. I'm a Ripperologist (someone who studies the crimes of Jack the Ripper) and being in any way serious about that, you have to know quite a lot about Victorian London. Here is my favorite piece of trivia about Victorian London: The price of sex with a prostitute, 4d, was the exact price of a light meal, a shot of gin or a dosshouse bed for the night. I love that piece of trivia because it shows you, in a very real way, the connection between commerce and your very fucking survival (and also patriarchy, these women were not in a good place but that's a whole 'nother sermon). That's their endgame, man. To have you so desperate and with so few options that you'll work for pennies, or a meal, or a bed for the night. And if you can't find a job, they'll send you to the workhouse, rent you out as slave labour in exchange for your dole. When you're too old or broken down to work, fuck you, you're out on the street or Soylent Green. If you protest, they'll ignore you and if enough of you protest, they'll send in the police or the army. And if you don't want it, fuck you, there's millions desperate enough to take it. That's what their ultimate aim is, always has been. And the Republicans (and not all but too many Dems) are their political arm just as the SCOTUS is their legal arm. And too many of the plebs have forgotten or never learned, why you need unions.

FACT 10: Last one, I promise. All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again. History, economic history anyway, runs in cycles. Times and technology change but it goes the same way every time. The rich exploit teh rules, gobble up too much cash and crash the system. The plebs protest, demand some protections. Government puts in (water down versions of) those protections. And then all the people who remember the last crash start dying off and the corporate PtB start eroding those protections until eventually, they go too far, they crash the system and the whole cycle starts again. It's what happened with the Dutch tulip mania, it's what caused the fucking American Revolution (the original dispute that triggered the whole thing was because the Crown cut taxes on tea imported by the original megacorporation, the East India Trading Company). It's not a coincidence that the idea that the poor are poor because of their own faults; that being rich is a duty and if you aren't, you didn't try hard enough; that you shouldn't tax the rich because they're "job creators". All of these ideas were incredibly popular in the years leading up to the Crash of '29. And then, just as everyone who remembered that started dying off in droves, along come a bunch of rich fucks and brainwashed plebs who think they don't need no fucking rules and they start eroding the protections. All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again.

It's not going to change. Not until the end of scarcity (which is possible right fucking *now*), or the end of the class system or patriarchy or The Singularity. It's not going to change. The best you can do, the only thing you can do (save for suggestions that would, rightly, get this post pulled by the mods) is mitigate the damage, ease the pain just a little. That's all that can be done for now.

Here endeth the lesson. Peace with you.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:49 PM

9. preach on!

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:00 PM

10. The words of the Prophet were written on the subway walls!

Lots of good stuff in that rant!

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:04 PM

12. Always nice to meet a fellow traveler

Great post.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:28 PM

13. You briefly touched on some of the propaganda the media has made people believe.

That's the stigmatization of the poor. Even the poor refuse to admit they're poor. I know so many people who are poor and claim that they're middle class. They complain about how 'those people' are sitting around collecting freebies from the government while they're working hard to make ends meet. I met this woman once who told me what a great provider her husband was. He was collecting disability pay for his arthritis! Sorry, but that's her Uncle providing for them. I've heard people making barely above minimum wages that think they're middle class because no way will they admit they're poor. They collect the Earned Income Credit and get government health care for their kids, but nope, they're not poor. Like alcoholism, the first step to getting help is admitting you have a problem. They don't think they've got a problem. Everybody else does. And I know middle class people who live like they're upper middle class. On a salary of $50,000 a year, they go out and buy an expensive Mercedes. They buy a car whose monthly payments are two thirds of their rent. If they had a cheaper car, they could afford to buy a home.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:27 PM

17. Yes, but take it further

Look at the lifestyles presented as normal on tv. You ever watch Friends? Watching that show, you would think a cook/chef and someone drifting from one dead-end job to the next (Monica & Rachel) could afford a loft apartment in New York. Or a paleontologist (I know some academics, they make crap money) could afford a spacious apartment. Or that an office drone and a jobbing actor could. The lifestyles presented as "average" on tv, in sitcoms and dramas and so on, aren't average. They're upper-middle-class at least. The only time you see poor people and their lifestyles is when they're brought on Jeremy Kyle (think a moralistic, judgmental, constantly shouting Jerry Springer) or something similar to be laughed at.

And yes, being poor and the people who are poor have been demonized. They've been presented as not wanting to work, as being too drunk or drugged to work (people think they're poor because they drink when in reality, they drink because they're poor). They're presented as lazy, irresponsible and sometimes dangerous. People are trained to despise them, to view them as a dangerous and hostile "other". The genpop have been trained to believe that welfare fraud is rampant, that anyone can get a job if they try, that the minimum wage is only paid to teenagers making pocket money and that there is no such thing as a disability that makes you unable to work. The actual facts are that welfare fraud is so rare that it costs more to root out than to ignore it, that there are three unemployed for every job opening, that it is increasingly everyone on the minimum wage (which was intended to be a living wage) and some disabilities make you incapable of work.

I'm British. Here, teh tabloids have been running an outright hate campaign against anyone receiving welfare benefits. Real, Orwell-style "two minutes of hate" stuff. There have been assaults and suicides because of it. I'm disabled, both because I'm physically crippled and because I'm severely mentally ill (MDD, GAD, "visions" and voices). Our system for disability support, ESA, assumes from the outset that your own doctor is a liar. You have to be interviewed by a doctor paid and incentivized to find you fit for work, no matter what your circumstances. The only reason they passed me as unfit for work last time was that my SO and doctor wrote letters saying that my suicide was virtually certain if they didn't. And I know how much the genpop despise me because the tabloids tell them to. There's a very good book called "Chavs" that describes the demonization of the working class here and, although some details are different, I can see it happening in your country as well.

The PtB want you starving and desperate, too broken and too desperate to protest for fair wages or fair treatment. They want you to labour sixteen hours a day for a dosshouse bed for teh night and a meal. And they're just plain brought one party entirely, a fair bit of the other, all the regulatory agencies and a majority of the SCOTUS. And nothing will change for the foreseeable future.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:57 PM

26. Well, take it even further to 'Sex and the City.'

The women wear shoes that cost more than most people's cars. Seriously, a red alligator bag that costs $32,000? Was it made from the world's only red alligator? My daughter's gotten caught up in the mystique of it all. She's become a tag hag and buys shoes that cost in the hundreds of dollars and says she needs to because she works with people that are very wealthy and wear suits that cost thousands of dollars and she does make an impressive salary. But, does she have to buy my granddaughter brand label clothes too? She's six years old and came squealing to me the other day to look at her Miu Miu sandals. A six year old doesn't need to be wearing $300 sandals. She doesn't need to be indoctrinated at such a young age to be a swag hag. As much as my daughter makes, she doesn't make enough to afford the luxuries of the ultra rich she works around. But, I've been to her work place. Even the secretaries wear those red-soled shoes that cost up to a thousand dollars. It's obscene.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:07 PM

28. It's "the Life"

I'd suggest reading "The Wolf Of Wall Street" (the movie is pretty good but the book is far better). In order to be successful, you're expected to look successful. This even extends to employers refusing to hire anyone who doesn't already have a job (and again, the demonization of poverty).

I wear sweatpants and t-shirts. The only article of clothing I paid more than £30 for were my sneakers and that's because I actually need the extra impact absorption of Nike Airs (my knees are shot to hell).

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:10 PM

29. Don't tell me, let me guess . . .

Your daughter lives in NYC, right?

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Response to Brigid (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:33 PM

31. *sigh* Nope.

San Antone.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:42 PM

16. That is one GREAT post!

 

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:28 PM

18. Thanks, man n/t

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:39 PM

20. “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves

not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

― John Steinbeck

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Response to Zorra (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:45 PM

22. To this day that is one of the most insightful things ever said

 

about this country. And it is tragically true. Americans are almost indescribably gullible and capable of the most extraordinary self-delusion. IOW, DUMB.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:48 PM

23. You should make this into an OP.

It needs maximum visibility.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:34 PM

8. I don't believe we've stopped resisting.

The ruling class is just a lot more socially agile and slippery.

It's one thing to resist when you're working a dirty, dangerous job for one company, 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the overlord lives in a mansion on the other side of town.

It's another when you're working three different shitty part-time jobs for different companies, and the masters whose wealth you feed wander between islands, ski resorts, and estates on the other side of the country from you.

The pugilistic language of class and resistance is hard to sustain in an age of vast social abstractions. The enemy does not have a face, or a name, or a location - it is everyone and no one, everywhere and nowhere.

It takes on the characteristic of an environmental problem rather than Enemy Action. And as always, ordinary people are prone to ascribe a hostile environment to God or Fate rather than do something about it.

And that too is by design.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:01 PM

11. For the same reasons people always do.

The ruling class throws us just enough bones to make obedience easier than revolution. Circuses, some bread, slathered in propaganda sauce. It'll keep most of us alive and indoors, and persuade us that those left out aren't really people.

It's a precarious position to rule from, so some of us are paid well to keep the others in line--and thugs can always find jobs as enforcers.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:35 PM

14. They make people believe they WILL be rich one day

Which is why lottery tickets are always hot sellers. I don't want to take $$$ away from millionaires because someday I'll be one.

Reality is that very few people will come into that kind of wealth. But a large segment of the population believe they are the few.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 02:39 PM

15. Two reasons:

 

1. Lack of knowledge
2. Nonstop propaganda about the wonderfulness of being wealthy, the wealthy themselves and the "greatness" of 'murkan capitalism..

They are interrelated and explain it all.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:33 PM

19. Speaking of 2

Something I've noticed about the recent recession: While the Depression produced stories about the suffering of the average family, the Great Recession's literature is all about the suffering of the rich. Example: Ben Elton, a socialist, wrote "Meltdown" about the Great Recession, in which the hero was a suddenly poor stock trader.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:41 PM

21. The poor, poor zillionaires.

 

They had to sell one of their four vacation homes; Buffy has to drive LAST YEAR's BMW to private school this year. Oh, the pain. It really is time to start handing out some nice close shaves with the French National Razor.

Eat the rich, the poor are tough and stringy.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:50 PM

33. Ben Elton is a great writer and a very funny man

 

I love his stuffs. I'll have to read Meltdown....

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:56 PM

34. It's not a bad book, by any means

I like his stuff a lot and I've read all of them except his latest. I just thought it was an interesting point that the satirists are trying to make us sympathise with the people who caused the meltdown.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 03:50 PM

24. du rec.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:05 PM

27. American exceptionalism and racism: "Americans vastly underestimate inequality in their own society"

Americans are more likely than Europeans to believe that they live in a middle-class society, even though income is really much less equally distributed here than in Europe.



As the paper says, other evidence also says that Americans vastly underestimate inequality in their own society – and when asked to choose an ideal wealth distribution, say that they like Sweden.

Why the difference? American exceptionalism when it comes to income distribution – our unique suspicion of and hostility to social insurance and anti-poverty programs – is, I and many others would argue, very much tied to our racial history. This does not, however, explain in any direct way why we should misperceive real inequality: people could oppose aid to Those People while understanding how rich the rich are. There may, however, be an indirect effect, because the racial divide empowers right-wing groups of all kinds, which in turn issue a lot of propaganda dismissing and minimizing inequality.

Interesting stuff.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/inequality-delusions/

Americans "when asked to choose an ideal wealth distribution, say that they like Sweden". Yet most Americans still believe that we live in a middle-class society while we "vastly underestimate inequality in their own society".

It is going to be hard to make the changes needed to create a real middle class society when too many think we already have one and do not understand how unequal income really is distributed here.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:30 PM

30. History repeats itself indeed.

Funny how so many old gilded age political cartoons have suddenly become relevant and timely again.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 04:38 PM

32. Resisting privilege means admitting that it's unlikely that YOU will ever get rich.

 

A lot of Americans, even those living paycheck-to-paycheck(and some no longer GETTING paychecks)just can't bring themselves to accept that.

And no politician is going to have the guts to argue that they SHOULD accept it.

They would rather starve than give up on the belief that someday, they will need those tax shelters themselves.

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