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by Stephen Lendman
Monday, Jul. 29, 2013 at 6:45 AM
Hardwired Inequality in America
by Stephen Lendman
America's always been separate and unequal. Today it's worse than ever in modern times.
Wealth disparity between rich and poor is unprecedented. Annually it widens. Government complicity with business bears full responsibility. It's worse than ever under Obama.
Census data show half of US households impoverished or bordering it. People don't have enough to live on. Growing millions face unconscionable destitution. Force-fed austerity worsens things.
Obama mandates it. He calls it "shared sacrifice." Ordinary people and America's most disadvantaged sacrifice so rich ones can share.
It's official administration policy. It has bipartisan support. Expect much worse ahead. Back room deals assure it. America's social contract's on the chopping block for elimination.
Obama accelerated the process. He deplores social justice. His rhetoric rings hollow. On July 27, The New York Times headlined "Obama Says Income Gap Is Fraying US Social Fabric," saying:
Upward mobility "was part and parcel of who we were as Americans," he said. "And that's what's been eroding over the last 20, 30 years, well before the financial crisis."
"If we don't do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be. Unemployment will not go down as fast as it should. Income inequality will continue to rise. That's not a future that we should accept."
He bears full responsibility. He mandated force-fed austerity. He's uncompromising. Don't expect Times and other scoundrel media to explain.
"If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested," he said. Everybody feels as if we’re rolling in the same direction."
He lied calling the economy "far stronger" than four years ago. Recovery on his watch is none at all. Main Street Depression conditions affect most households. They're getting worse, not better.
Millions live from one paycheck to the next. They're one expensive illness or lost job away from impoverishment, homelessness, hunger and despair.
Obama cut back room deals with Republicans. He did it secretly. He claims otherwise. He lied saying:
"I will seize any opportunity I can find to work with Congress to strengthen the middle class, improve their prospects, improve their security."
"I'm not just going to sit back if the only message from some of these folks is no on everything, and sit around and twiddle my thumbs for the next 1,200 days."
A previous article said he's waging financial war on humanity. He's doing it at home and abroad. He's done it throughout his tenure. He supports capital's divine right. He's beholden to monied interests. They own him.
Whatever they want they get. Popular needs go begging. Obama claims he supports a "thriving middle class." He's destroying it. He's doing it systematically, willfully and maliciously.
He's on the hustings. According to Politico, he's "re-focus(ing) his oft-meandering message back on the economy."
It's old wine in new bottles. It's repackaged duplicity. He says one thing. He supports another. His approval rating's marginally down.
Months earlier, it was 53%. Now it's 45%. On July 27, his weekly address focused on a "better bargain for the middle class." It was typical Obama. Say one thing. Mandate another.
A White House press release said:
"In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people about his speech at Knox College on Wednesday, where he discussed the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class, including having a good job, a home that is your own, quality education, a secure retirement, and affordable health care."
"While we have laid the foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth, there is more work to be done, and that is why over the coming weeks the President will continue to lay out his plan for growing the economy from the middle out, and create a better bargain for the middle class."
His full address reeked of duplicity, saying
"Hi everybody. On Wednesday, I spoke about what we need to do as a country to build a better bargain for the middle class - to make sure everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead in the 21st century economy."
"You see, over the past four and a half years, America has fought its way back from the worst recession of our lifetimes. We saved the auto industry, took on a broken health care system, invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil, and changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest at the expense of working families."
"As a result, our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs over the past 40 months. We produce more renewable energy than ever, and more natural gas than anyone. Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years."
"Thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve cleared away the rubble of crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth."
"But as any middle-class family will tell you, we’re not yet where we need to be. Trends that have been eroding middle-class security for decades - technology that makes some jobs obsolete, global competition that makes others moveable, growing inequality and the policies that perpetuate it - all these things still exist, and in some ways, the recession made them worse."
"Reversing these trends must be Washington's highest priority. It sure is mine. But over the past couple of years in particular, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. An endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals shift focus from what needs to be done."
"And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes could not be higher. The choices we make now will determine whether or not every American has a fighting chance in the 21st century."
"If we don't make the investments necessary to make America a magnet for good jobs - in education, and manufacturing, and research, and our transportation and information networks - we might as well hit the 'pause' button while the rest of the world forges ahead in a global economy. And that's certainly not going to fix what ails the middle class."
"Here's what will: a strategy that builds on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America, and what it takes to work your way into the middle class. Good jobs that pay good wages. An education that prepares our children and our workers for the global competition they’ll face."
"Homeownership that's based on a solid foundation, where buyers and lenders play by the same set of rules. Affordable health care that’s there for you when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you’re not rich. More chances for folks to earn their way into the middle class as long as they’re willing to work for it."
"Over the next several weeks, in cities and towns across the country, I'll continue to lay out my ideas in each of these areas. Because reversing the forces that have conspired against the middle class for decades will require more than short-term thinking; it will require a long-term American strategy, based on steady, persistent effort."
"I know there are members of both parties who understand what's at stake, and I'm open to ideas from across the political spectrum, as long as they meet the test of strengthening the prospects of hard-working families."
"But repealing Obamacare, gutting critical investments in our future, threatening to default on the bills this country has already racked up, or shutting down the government just because I'm for keeping it open - none of those thing add up to an economic plan. None of that will take this country where it needs to go."
"We can do this if we work together. It won't be easy, but if we take a few bold steps - and if Washington is willing to shake off its complacency and set aside some of the slash-and-burn partisanship we’ve seen in recent years - our economy will keep getting stronger."
"And as long as I have the privilege of holding this office, I will spend every minute of every day doing everything in my power to make this economy work for working Americans again; to build that better bargain for the middle class; to make sure that the American Dream is something that’s achievable for everybody - not just today, but for decades to come."
"Thanks, and have a great weekend."
Obama spurns rule of law principles. He mocks democratic values. He's no job creator. He's a job destroyer. He supports offshoring high pay/good benefit ones abroad. Low pay/poor benefit part-time/temp ones replace them.
He's waging financial war on humanity. He wrecked the economy. He looted the nation's wealth. He stole it from ordinary Americans. He handed it to Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites and rich elites.
He's thirdworldizing America. Today's wealth gap is deplorable. Privileged elites want it all. Social inequality's unprecedented in modern times.
Poverty, unemployment, homelessness and hunger approach record levels. Inequality's institutionalized. Millions struggle to get by.
Neoliberal harshness is policy. Obama's dismissive of growing needs. He's ideologically over-the-top. His holy trinity is eliminating public services, crony capitalism writ large, and cracking down hard on nonbelievers.
He's waging war on organized labor. He's commodifying education. He wants it made another profit center. He targets Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, environmental activists, animal rights defenders, truth-tellers and whistleblowers.
He ruthlessly goes after anyone challenging rogue state power. He menaces humanity. He enforces police state harshness. He champions unfairness. He masquerades as progressive. He's a scourge in his own time.
According to New York TimesSpeak, he wants "budget austerity" ended. He wants spending for "infrastructure, education, clean energy, science, research and other domestic initiatives" replacing it.
He wants repackaged same old, same old. He's in lockstep with Republicans. He wants double downed harshness.
He supports trickle down nonsense. He's destroying America's social fabric. He's doing it to save it, he claims.
He believes corporate tax cuts and handouts work. They stimulate economic growth, he says. They lift all boats. They benefit most people. False on all counts.
Economist Kenneth Galbraith calls trickle down economics a sanitized version of "horse and sparrow" growth.
"If you feed enough oats to the horse," he said, "some will pass through to feed sparrows."
David Stockman was Reagan's budget director. Crony capitalism triumphed, he said. His new book is titled "The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America."
It's a searing critique of current policies. It counters conventional wisdom. Casino capitalism replaced free enterprise.
Ordinary Americans suffer horrifically. They're swindled. Their welfare and futures are stolen. Washington conspires against them. It's allied with business. It's criminal class is bipartisan.
Obama serves wealth, power and privilege. Few benefit at the expense of most others. It's official policy.
Democrats and Republicans are in lockstep. It's a sinister alliance. It targets fairness. America's on a slippery slope south. It's heading for backwater status. It's on a fast track toward dystopian hell.
New World Order harshness is baked in the cake. Things go from bad to worse. Equity and justice are four-letter words.
Obamanomics sells snake oil. Duplicitous supporters claim otherwise. Decades of hard won social gains are vanishing.
Millions are on their own sink or swim. Hard times are getting harder. Demagogic doublespeak can't hide reality.
A Final Comment
Obama's no match for Michael Hudson. He ripped apart his Galesburg, IL economic address. He sounded like Clinton saying "I feel your pain."
He omitted saying he caused it. "Most great fortunes in history have been carved out of the public domain," said Hudson. Wall Street's doing it writ large.
It's "using today's downturn as an opportunity to cloak a vast new monopoly grab as a 'solution' to the economic problem rather than looming as a new threat to price American labor and industry out of global markets."
Obama's in lockstep with its plan. He's "foam(ing) the(ir) runway." He's furthering America's ownership society. He's doing it at the expense of most Americans.
Government guarantees returns. Taxpayers cover losses. In other words, socialism for the rich. Free market capitalism sink or swim for others.
Obama's scamming ordinary Americans. He's a con man. His speech was "an exercise in political stealth," said Hudson.
"Trust me," he said. Hudson quoted George Burns, Groucho Marx, and others saying:
"The secret of life is sincerity and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
Obama's selling snake oil. It's "fairy tale" economics. He ignored what needs addressing:
"Today's debt deflation and economic shrinkage are pushing federal, state and local budgets into deficit," said Hudson.
"This is forcing public spending to be cut back proportionally. That cutting will push state, local and federal budgets even further into deficit."
"This is why we are hearing calls to start selling off public infrastructure - to buyers who will become new customers for Wall Street investment banks."
"It is the same phenomenon we are seeing in Europe. The newest economic prize is the right to buy rent-extraction rights to turn public roads into toll roads and similar rentier tollbooth installations."
"All this increases the cost of living and doing business, making the economy high-cost even as it is being impoverished."
"That is not a solution. It bears out the classic principle that the solution to every problem tends to create new, even larger problems."
"Often these are unforeseen. But today's problems in the making are all too foreseeable. What is needed is to keep translating the President's speeches into their subtext."
Key is exposing, denouncing, and becoming activist against policies destroying America's social fabric. The alternative's too grim to accept.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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