by Don Washington on 2011/06/16
With the President the Democrats bargaining away Medicare as I write this I realize that it may already be too late to keep them from selling our futures to people who see us as useless eaters but I believe he can still do better and he needs to remember that in times like this half measures never saved anyone. In 1998, median income was $51,295, by 2009 it had fallen to $50,303, and right now it’s collapsed all the way down to $47,000 in 2010/2011… and falling. All these numbers are adjusted for inflation and that sound you hear is the middle class plummeting toward the forgotten poor and working classes who long ago discovered that the outsourcing, streamlining, free trade, welfare reform, workfare, reinvented government, privatization and downsizing that has removed them from the conversation was coming for the middle class.
Think about it, we no longer even discuss the fates of the poor and working class… we’re too busy trying to save the middle class… by fueling the very entities that obliterated the poor and working classes and are now devouring the middle class one mortgage, health care crisis, empty 40lk and IRA at a time. It has been forty years since the Census Bureau has seen a full decade in which median income failed to rise. That would be since the 1930’s; the last time there were no rules to keep the financial sector from turning the rest of us into their slaves. Flat wages, economic inequality, foreclosures, bankruptcies and fear have firm hold on the bodies and souls of a dwindling middle class. In times like this half measures never saved anyone.
The laundry list of the crisis we’re in can’t be overstated. One in four of our mortgages are underwater http://www.marketwatch.com/story/113-million-homeowners-underwater-on-mortgage-2010-02-23 and the banks are making money on every one of them http://www.mygnhi.com/blog/banks-profit-6-figures-on-foreclosures-short-sales-heres-how/ to the point where they are embroiled in a legal wrangle with a number of State Attorney’s General and they are trying to subvert even that minimal level of accountability. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/in-proposed-mortgage-fraud-settlement-a-gift-to-big-banks/.
We have stopped losing hundreds of thousands of jobs every month but it is clear that we are not creating nearly enough jobs http://africa.ibtimes.com/articles/156994/20110603/big-disappointment-in-jobs-creation-at-54-000-unemployment-rate-jumps1.htm to even begin to call this a recovery. We have 9% official unemployment but the real number is closer to 22% http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-real-unemployment-rate-215_07022010 and among minorities the official unemployment numbers of 12.6% for Hispanics and 16.4% for African-Americans http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/90415-white-house-aide-minority-unemployment-shockingly-and-unacceptably-high but these numbers are low; the smart bet is to double them. In these times half measures never saved anyone.
Economic inequality has the reached the point where crime is not the right word to define it; http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph sin, shame or obscenity are closer to the mark. Hunger and poverty numbers have been going up every year since George W. Bush was President and have continued to rise during Barack Obama’s Presidency. http://www.afaceaface.org/blog/2011/02/07/hunger-in-america-2011-united-states-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics/. The forgotten poor and working classes are not going away; they are getting bigger and more desperate by the quarter. Our situation is beyond grave and our political system has spent its time rescuing bankers and investors who are profiting off of the misery they’ve caused and leaving the rest of us further and further behind. It is as if the President and the Congress have been exposed to some parasite that has it protecting them and not us. They get forceful action and programs to make them whole into the trillions, http://www.rlf.com/portalresource/lookup/poid/Z1tOl9NPluKPtDNIqLMRVPMQiLsSwOZCq0!/document.name=/CorpTrust03.pdf & http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/12/01/fed-to-detail-emergency-lending/ and we cannot even get enough money to write down our debts. Half measures for unorganized people and Promethean efforts for organized money. Half measures never saved anyone and they are not saving us now.
So the question is what now? It is one of the great failings not of Obama’s Presidency but of our nation’s history that as President he has become a champion of the very people he was elected to hold accountable. It is hard to read how the press, which derided the stimulus package, an $800 billion bridge into a $10 to $15 trillion dollar chasm that the entire economy is still falling into, now revise history to say that President was not bold enough at the time… when they were telling him that any government stimulus was likely a mistake. The President listened to the press’ drumbeat of “conventional wisdom” and passed a half-measure stimulus package that was weighed down by more tax breaks and other corporate welfare giveaways. The irony that the same “conventional wisdom” that told the President not to be too bold is now claiming that his economic half-measures will be one of the reasons why he’s not re-elected. This should not be lost on him and it is not lost on me. In times like this half measures never saved anyone.
I think it high time that the President stop raising limitless funds from the forces of organized money. The plutocrats and oligarchs are a plague of vampires on the real economy and it is collapsing into a pile of smoking rubble the likes this country has not seen since 9-11 and it is setting the stage for more of the same kind of carnage to our Constitution and civil liberties. In times like these right-wing populism gives you Republican candidates who are inches away from belt buckles bearing the stamp in God We Trust, mandatory detention camps for Muslims, total surveillance and indefinite detention for enemy combatants and torture as interrogation right here in America where we all have to have and show our papers at all times because we have nothing to hide. If that sounds like a similar nation that we are not supposed to invoke because merely mentioning it strips our argument of its power so be it. These people are burning Korans and banning books, which is just a polite way of burning them because they find them morally offensive just like that other dead regime that they share DNA with. In times like this half measures never saved anyone.
What to do? Take a stand Mr. President. Stop confusing your friends and inspiring your enemies to act; embrace the People’s Budget http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/The%20CPC%20FY2012%20Budget.pdf and levy a Financial Transaction Tax http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-15/financial-transaction-tax-might-fix-host-of-ills-ralph-nader.html, on these people who are hording trillions of dollars from the real economy to finance their mergers and acquisitions and get some claw back of those corporate bonuses http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/accountable-development/key-reforms-clawbacks and make blocked, progressive and commonsense legislation the heart of your campaign. http://dpc.senate.gov/docs/fs-111-2-152.html. The President needs to remember that half measures never saved anyone.