Why the U.S. “Middle Class” is Poor

The Federal, state, and local government takes in over five trillion dollars in the form of tax revenue each year.  Guess where the majority of that tax revenue comes from?  No, it doesn’t come from huge corporations, or investment banks, or insurance companies, or Wall Street.  Close to 90% of that tax revenue comes from you and me and really small businesses.  Never mind that these government entities can’t break even with all this money as that is a topic for a much longer post, but just imagine for a moment that we the citizens of the United States provide the Federal, state, and local governments with approximately $4+ trillion in tax revenue.  Larger corporations only provide roughly 6% of government revenue through taxes.

Large U.S. based multinational corporations have been enjoying record profits during the last few years while main-street american citizens are struggling.  Large corporate profits are approaching $2 trillion a year.  As a result, the stock market is fairing pretty darn well considering the struggles many Americans are facing economically.  Huge American corporations are enjoying cheap international labor and a lean base of U.S. employees that are terrified of losing their jobs.  Labor productivity is very high for these large American companies.  Why hire U.S. citizens when profits are hitting historical record highs?  Those at the top of these large U.S. corporate entities are rolling in the money as are investment bankers, Wall Street, and the rich that are in the know and invest money to make more money without doing anything to make that money.  Is it any mystery why the income gap in our great country is wider than any other developed country in the entire world?  Is it no wonder that the gap is still increasing?

Now, in addition to the enormous tax burden individuals and small businesses absorb, there is another high-priced burden — prices of everything we buy.  How do corporations make a profit?  Because we, the ordinary citizen, pay more for those products than they cost to produce and distribute.  Because we believe all the advertising bullshit that makes us think a product is worth more than its cost.  The marketing gurus call this “perceived value”.  So, as a result, not only are we supporting all our governments with the majority of their tax revenue, but we are also giving excessive money to huge corporations so that they can enjoy profits.  We, the middle class, are getting fucked on both ends.  And guess who gets all our money?  The government and the 1% that runs corporate America (huge corporations, investments banks, Wall Street, banks, insurance companies).

Now, in addition to the above two burdens, most of us must resort to forms of credit and loans to enjoy life.  As a result, we end up forking out money in the form of interest payments to the altruistic banks.  If we a buy a car, a house, or simply enjoy a vacation or dinner out — along comes the extra expense in the form of monthly interest payments.  Or, if you are young without wealthy parents and want an education to get a job then you also need to take out a loan (a loan you will be paying for the majority of your youthful life).  And since the corporations we work for aren’t going to give us annual pay raises above the rate of inflation (or hire you young folks after taking out that big loan to get an education) we will never be in a position to pay off that debt.  Therefore, monthly interest payments simply become a life-long additional expense in addition to income taxes, sales taxes, and inflationary prices coined “perceived value”..

The final piece of the elimination of the “middle class” comes in the form of higher inflation above an beyond the already considerable price inflation forced on the individual through corporate prices that are far above production and distribution costs.  This additional inflation is caused by the incompetence and cronyism of the Federal Reserve combined with our governments that can’t contain spending to the some $4 trillion bucks we hand over to them.  The crook-like Federal Reserve just keeps printing more and more U.S. dollars which simply waters down what little dollars we have left in our wallets.  Why do they keep printing more and more dollars?  I am not the one to answer that question, but it has something to do with our mounting Federal debt, trade deficits, and currency wars.  But it really doesn’t matter why when you consider that in the end it is the “middle class” that ends up disappearing.  How much more are you spending to fill up your gas tank?  How much more are you spending at the grocery store?  How much more are you spending when you travel and have to check bags?  How much more are you paying to heat or cool your homes?  How much more are you paying for entertainment and dinner out?

I don’t have a fully developed solution outside of a Utopian creation, but I do have a broad fundamental concept.  It is time to tax the shit out of the rich.  It is time to tax the shit out of huge corporations that are taking our money by shipping jobs overseas, charging us too much money to buy their products, and working current employees like dogs without raises greater than inflation.  It is time to cut the shit out of government spending.  I don’t care if the stock market takes a major hit.  All I want is the middle class to have a chance to get back on its feet.  A country without a healthy and strong middle class isn’t going to be around long in its current form.  And I for one am reaching the point where I would be more than willing to ensure that current form no longer exists.  But, a new form must first be envisioned through logic and true leadership.  Tearing down a corrupt and broken form without envisioning a radical but workable new form simply leads to a bandwagon of buffoons beating their chest and demanding a free bushel of bananas in exchange for nothing.  My Utopian visions could solve our problems, but then again, people would have to understand and agree that money is a myth and that the true form of currency is human energy, motivation, cooperation, sacrifice, and acceptance of some inequality not in gender or race, but in ability..

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7 thoughts on “Why the U.S. “Middle Class” is Poor

  1. That “Job Fair” photo is sad, and terrifying. Unfortunately, I fear it is just the beginning of many such and much longer lines. In Greece, they are lining up for bread and soup instead of jobs. After that, it may be for the gas chambers.

  2. Alright, well I’ll go ahead and add a second comment in this cricket-filled void. I find it telling that your “following” has palpably dissipated with these recent posts. The reason for this is patent enough–the subjects you are dealing with are difficult if not downright crushing to face. No one wants to confront these problems–they are ugly, dark, and dispiriting. All the more reason to confront them I say. That was really my whole point in my Rick InSanitorum reply–there is a psychology of denial at play here that is perhaps more then anything at the root of the problem. It goes back to Nietzsche’s Amor Fati really–the ability to face harsh reality, to look it straight in the eyes and not flinch and not want anything other than what is, to not want to live in a “fantasy” that negates reality (whether that takes the form of Christian “faith” or the plastic hope of debtors swiping their way out of the truth of their impoverishment and slavery).

    Though I appreciate some of the quotes you have posted here from M. Stathis, I likely won’t read any of his works or delve much deeper into that realm–for none of this is really “new” to me. I’ll just add this to the conversation, by no means overlooking the valid points you have made above. It seems to me that the problem largely boils down to one of what might be called parasitism. In my observations their are two classes of parasites that have brought us to an impasse of almost incurable insolvency. The first class is what is now being referred to as “the one percent”. This class of individuals consists of those who are essentially contributing little if anything to the whole but are making off with massive portions of the economic pie, leaving nothing but crumbs for the rest of humanity to subsist upon. This class of individuals consists of the entertainment complex (rock stars, movie stars, professional athletes, et cetera) and then of course what might be described, to use a Brave New World term, the Controllers (CEOs, Bankers, Speculators, and Politicians–who are just another class of “actors”). The alliance between these two sub-categories is obvious enough and the subject of an essay I wrote that you are familiar with called “The Celebristocracy–Neo-Opiate of the Masses”.

    The second class of parasites are the so-called “freeloaders”–a huge portion of the population likewise contributing little if anything whatsoever because they are allegedly, for various “reasons” such as mental and physical “disabilities”, unable to do so–who nonetheless take their portion of the remaining crumbs through the vehicle of state and bureaucratic assistance, through massive government “programs”. In my diurnal forays into the world I see these people everywhere–all it takes is one look for me to see that they are contributing absolutely nothing to the economy or the further development of the human being. They are ultimately little more than vegetables on state sponsored life-support systems.

    What I don’t get is why those in the middle–the so-called “middle class”–are expected to bear the burden of these two classes of parasites. It is clearly “taken for granted” that they should. Why is that? How and when did that decision get made, and by whom? Why is it that the people who are doing all of the real work, who are making all of the real and truly valuable contributions, are expected without even being asked, to support and sacrifice their lives for the sake of these other bottomless pits, to perpetually “bail” them “out”? As we press forward into the future, and as you have pointed out above, the burden placed upon this “class”, what I might even simply refer to instead of the “middle class” as the only actual “working class”, grows more and more heavy, more and more unmanageable, more and more crushing–until little if anything is left of it; until it threatens to disappear altogether, becoming little more than an indistinguishable swarm of worker bees who have nothing more than their laborious lives and their equally laborious deaths.

    Something has got to give. I can’t believe that this class of people, who are doubtless in the overwhelming majority, are going to keep being stripped more and more to the bone and just sit quietly back and become mute skeletons. As I ended my InSanitorum post with, voluntary austerity measures are not only “called for” but desperately required. Yes, yes, yes, absolutely “tax the shit out of the rich” and “cut the shit out of spending”. And fuck the scare tactics about “what will happen to Wall Street if we tax the rich”? Wall Street is just an economic Las Vegas–a financial fantasy world of slot machines jacked off by jackpot addicts. They want to convince us that if they fall we will all fall with them–nothing could be further from the truth. The world is far more solid than that–Nature and the Universe is utterly indifferent to their masturbational number games. As the Federal Reserves keeps printing more and more money, it would behoove us to burn more and more of it to offset their madness.

    Of course, I may be wrong. Those in the “middle” of this massive mess may just continue to silently bend over, and take it up the ass from the one percent while giving the “disabled” a blow job, all the while having their eyes fixed on the TV broadcasting the next “big game”, “hit movie”, or “rock show”, which effectively hypnotizes them enough to forget or not feel the fact that they are being ass-raped and face-fucked to death.

    Cheers,

    ~DS~

    • That was an excellent comment brother — perfectly structured highlighting or illustrating the big squeeze on the middle class or worker bees as you call it. And it is both sides of this squeeze that would make an intelligent protest or revolution so difficult. The freeloader side would jump on the bandwagon and then of course the “controllers” would interview these numb-skulls and plaster their interviews, photos, and comments all over the media complex. The effect or impact of this is to obviously mask or discredit the protest. In fact, this is exactly what we saw with the OWS movement.

      I fear that an intelligent revolution, overhaul, or re-birth of the American construct will be difficult not only because of the above argument, but because the “controllers” are smart enough to prescribe a slow and quiet death or as Mike Stathis calls it a “Silent Great Depression”. The pain and wealth withdrawal from the middle is slow and enduring sucking out blood like a mosquito perpetually attached to a main artery. And as you point out the tap dancers (entertainment complex) serve as a nice distraction that apply the anesthesia while the mosquito goes about his business. Rather than call the future of the worker bees a silent great depression, I might as well call it a silent death.

      I laughed at your comment about crickets. I don’t expect many people to read or comment on these posts. There are still a few more to come. I have not had the energy or motivation to visit the sites I like as of late which impacts traffic given the community nature of WordPress. Once I get off this gloomy stream I will get back to visiting the sites I enjoy.

  3. Oh my, the the worst of the dismal science is swallowing you up. Do not let it take your spirit or psyche. It is distressing out there, but the country has made it through civil war, slavery, panics, depressions, bombings, World Wars, and the King of England. We can make it again.

    • Actually, the dismal science is pumping me up…for a change such that we can indeed “make it again”….and not just Americans…but the human being in general.

      • That is good news. The Dismal Science needs a complete revamp. It is a lost liberal arts “science,” and it does not even know it. Despite the greed, theft, lies, capture of political processes, we have witnessed the past few years alone, the academic discipline still requires fancy math models that show nice tidy results where everything turns out okay and there is no need for government. The only way this discipline is going to wake up is via the web and blog, much like Thomas Paine work folks up with his pamplets back 200+ years ago.

  4. Last sentence has typos.
    The only way this discipline is going to wake up is via the web and blog, much like Thomas Paine’s wrtings woke folks up with his pamplets back 200+ years ago.

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