Throughout history human beings suffering oppression and persecution eventually come to the conclusion that their circumstances are so dire they have nothing to lose by rising up and fighting back against their oppressors. In many cases, people fight their oppressors because of persecution, abuse, and loss of freedoms, or in the case of the French Revolution, because the rich and powerful took resources from the people leaving them with little option but stage a revolution or starve to death. In America, one group is beginning to fight back because claim they are weary of attacks by the Obama Administration as well as abuse and persecution by a group they claim are driven by unrestrained greed.
Apparently, although Wall Street, corporate America, big oil, and the richest 1% of income earners have suffered patiently and in silence through decades of abuse and attacks, the tipping point that incited their decision to fight back against their abusers was President Obama’s vicious assault during the State of the Union speech where he uttered the fighting words income inequality. The President said, “After four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.”
There is a subset of terms to the dreaded “income inequality” that contributed to the richest Americans decision to fight back against a tepid populist movement drowning in poverty, and it is likely they were just as put-upon by hearing minimum wage increase, unemployment benefit extension, preserve Social Security, save public worker pensions, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, and overtime pay. Economists, financial advisers to the wealthy, corporations, and the wealthy themselves report feeling severe anxiety that the American people’s mood is turning against the super-rich they feel makes the public hard to control.
To be fair to the beleaguered wealthy elite, after heavily contributing to the cause of the Great Recession, they only reaped 95% of recovery and likely feel abused that 99% of Americans shared the remaining 5 percent. Coupled with the Pope’s warnings about income inequality that led Home Depot’s co-founder to warn the Pope to shut his Holy Mouth, it is addressing the causes of income disparity that drove the plutocrats into a panic that began slowly building during the Occupy movement. Another billionaire compared the Occupy movement’s protest against income inequality to the Nazi “Kristallnacht” attacks on Jews in 1938 leading him to warn his wealthy elite class of a possible genocide against the wealthy because “when you start to use hatred against a minority, it can get out of control.”
In several anonymous interviews to shield themselves from more vicious attacks like hearing liberals say “income inequality” is crushing 98% of the population and hampering a robust economic recovery, Wall Street and wealthy precincts around the nation said they are worried about the shift in tone toward the wealthy elite and the popularity of class-based appeals such as decent wages, affordable healthcare, and not stealing public workers’ pensions or Social Security the rich lust to raid for greater tax cuts. However, Republicans and their wealthy donors say they are seeing signs that the political mood appears to be shifting back toward deification of the wealthy and are hopeful their ignorant voting bloc will help the trend continue.
The billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, and a major Republican donor, said he hopes the appeal of the populist movement to address the causes of income inequality is finally out of the people’s system and they get back to worshipping the rich very soon. Ken Langone said of the populist movement and Democrats addressing income inequality that, “I hope it’s not working. Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.” Langone is in the same camp as Republican economic propagandist Stuart Varney who said that workers expecting to be paid wages for time worked were “greedy” and unfair to their wealthy corporate employers. Fortunately for the besieged wealthy elite, their decision to strike back against attempts to address income inequality and its causes will win the day and America will become the nation of peasants Republicans serving as legislative surrogates for the rich are working to achieve.
According to economist Thomas Piketty in a new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the crushing income inequality the rich and Republicans are fighting heroically to preserve is only going to increase to benefit the wealthiest one-percent and be worse for everyone else. Piketty writes that “Inequality is endemic to the core structure of an America that operates more as a plutocracy than a democracy. It is an inherent result of the consolidation of a substantial amount of both financial power and political influence in the hands of a few families.” Since the early 1980s when Republican man-god Ronald Reagan convinced idiotic Americans it was in their best interest to give everything to the rich, income inequality skyrocketed to the point that even talking about its devastating consequences to 98% of the population in 2014 is regarded as a vicious assault on the rich.
It is remarkable that although Wall Street is thriving beyond its wildest dreams, corporations are posting record profits every quarter, and the wealthiest Americans have taken all but 5% of the fabulous economic recovery since they crashed the economy, just discussing income inequality is an assault they will not let go unchallenged. To fully understand the mood of the rich who feel they are being unfairly assaulted by “greedy and envious” Americans struggling to survive as the rich prosper, former Bush treasury secretary Larry Summers gave Americans a taste of how Republicans will continue widening the income gap. He said, “Reducing inequality is good, but it’s 50 times better to do it by lifting those up who are low than by tearing those down who are high. The politics of envy are the wrong politics in America. The better politics are the politics of inclusion where everyone shares in economic growth.”
Republicans and their wealthy donors do not want “everyone to share in economic growth” any more than they want to “lift those up who are low” or they would not oppose creating living-wage jobs, increasing the minimum wage, preserving workers’ pensions, attempt to slash Social Security and end Medicare, pass legislation abolishing overtime pay, or eliminate antipoverty programs. It is really unclear why the richest Americans, Wall Street, the Koch brothers, and wealthy corporations feel the necessity to rise up and fight to preserve the income inequality crushing Americans and thwarting strong economic growth, because they have already succeeded in taking nearly everything from the people and, for all intents and purposes, won the war they started three decades ago.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.