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Middle Class Manifesto

Middle Class Manifesto

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Published by T M Copeland
An essay demanding that the primary budgetary consideration be whether or not any proposal made to balance the budget be evaluated based on its impact on the middle class in America.
An essay demanding that the primary budgetary consideration be whether or not any proposal made to balance the budget be evaluated based on its impact on the middle class in America.

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Published by: T M Copeland on Feb 18, 2011
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05/19/2011

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The single most important consideration our Congress and our President shouldhave when deciding how to balance the federal budget (And, this consideration shouldapply to state and local political budget issues as well.) is how every proposal will effectthe health and well being of the middle class of this country. So much talk time andfussing is being spent on whether the dollar is headed for hyperinflation, whether thecontinuing deficits will bankrupt the country, etc., when these are only symptoms of thedisease.The disease is the potential decline and destruction of the middle class. Thisnation does not want that. In spite of far right thinking that thinning the middle class willdrive up competition for jobs and reduce labor costs, making the United States' production and manufacturing companies more competitive on the world stage, thinningthe middle class is a major social, political and economic mistake. It is a mistake only people so blinkered by greed and allegiance to the dogma of "free trade' could make. It isa mistake made by the intelligent myopics in our society. The intelligent myopics are thatgroup in a society who are smart enough to BS and bedazzle the majority but are sointensely focused on a narrow objective, in our case maximizing the return on privatecapital to the exclusion of all else, so as to lose sight of the unintended consequences of such a short sighted policy. Unfortunately, this is the group that has dominated nationaleconomic policy for at least the past six decades.Even more unfortunate is the lack of appreciation this group has of the criticalimportance of maintaining and expanding the middle class in the United States. Thingsdid not fall apart in this nation during the Civil War and its aftermath because there was,in the Union states, a vibrant middle class. Likewise, after that war, perhaps for the firsttime, there was an emerging and vibrant middle class in the rebuilding Southern States.Things did not fall apart during the Panic of the 1880's because the nation was anchored by a vibrant and optimistic middle class. Things did not fall apart during the Greatdepression for the same reason. Now we are lead by a gaggle of men and women who have no experience outside
 
of government and finance. These folk believe the middle class can be restored if we just protect the banks and other financial institutions and the value of the ownership in those banks and institutions. They believe that the critical thing of importance is the preservation of wealth. Therefore, the resources of the nation have been put to that useabove all else.Reality is exactly the opposite. The banks and financial institutions in this nationwill remain healthy only if the middle class remains healthy. The banks and financialinstitutions in this nation can grow only to the extent that the nation's middle class prospers and expands. Let's be clear, banks and financial folk do nothing other thanshuffle money. They do not make anything. They do not create national wealth. Theydon't create any wealth. At most, they simply aggregate wealth and rake a large chunk of wealth off the top while doing so.This is not to say that the Goldman Sachs of the world will not continue to growand prosper as the United States middle class dwindles and shrinks. It may and probablywill. It just won't do it here. It will continue to grow and prosper from investments innations where the middle class is vibrant, growing and optimistic. These nations will not be the ones with the lowest tax rates or the strongest military or the least regulatedeconomies. These nations will be the ones that follow policies that foster middle class prosperity and growth. No doubt, in the service of short-term profits, the Goldman Sachs of the worldwill immediately begin to simultaneously pump their devil's elixir into whatever hostnation's neck they sink their parasitic fangs while sucking the life blood from it as well. No doubt they will, over time, be able to buy the national governments of those new hostsas they have done here and, in so doing, they will begin the process of draining thosenations of vitality and vigor, as they have done and are doing here.Indeed, their here work may be done and it may be time they moved on. Whether or not that proves to be the case, we should look at the potential to turn this train wreck 
 
around.The current budget crisis is a pretty good place to start. Rahm Emanuel borroweda line from Saul Alinsky, who probably borrowed it from someone else, that says, "Never waste a good crisis." Not withstanding the fact that Emanuel and his, then, boss,President Obama, did exactly that, the sentiment is still a valuable truth.In solving this "crisis" the President and Congress can elect to swap it for another,worse, crisis or really use it to turn things around. To accomplish the latter our leadersshould measure every proposal to bring the budget under control by whether or not the proposal will help or hinder the prosperity and expansion of the American middle class.If it does, vote it in. If it does not, vote it out.This consideration should be far more important than our relative military might.As it is, we spend more on "defense" than all the rest of the world's nations combined.Maybe we could scale back to no more than the cumulative total of all the other nations'of the world expenditures on military. If thing get really tough deficit-wise, maybe wecould consider spending no more than seventy-five percent of the combined total of therest of the world. That still sounds like quite a bit of money relative to all the folks outthere we may someday need to fight.The truth is scaling back to the seventy-five percent number would probably bringthe budget into balance. But, maybe that is unrealistic. Maybe, the world will dissolveinto chaos if we try to do that. Maybe we have to continue to play policeman to the Earth.If so, isn't that a service? Are we the only nation benefiting from that service? Jesus, Ihope not. If so, it isn't doing us a great deal of good.While we are busy policing the world, keeping the sea lanes open, making surethe air traffic paths are open to all, in short, making international globalization of theeconomy possible, our economy is headed to the crapper. So, somebody else is benefitingfrom all this policing. Why don't we ask them to help defray the cost. After all, if we just

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