Clearly the weak American social safety net has become an international badge of shame, worn with pride around the necks of American capitalist elites who have put America up for international pillory as a pariah state wherein estimates show 1.5 million Americans live on less than $2 a day, which is on par with many third world nations.
Le Monde quote:
"on February 24, the USA Today daily published a feature on extreme poverty in the United States, reporting that the number of families living on less than $2 a day had more than doubled in 15 years, going from 636,000 in 1996 to 1.5 million in 2011."
Despite the fact the 2012 elections will cost over $2 billion dollars, essentially bought by private capital (primarily financial capital). These elections are essentially depoliticized, focusing instead on so called character qualities of the candidates largely in what may only be referred to as a media public relations extravaganza! Wherein issues that confront the great American working class in the GOP led class warfare are never substantively addressed except in all but the most forgettable sound bytes. Therefore the American public has become completely atomized at this turn of events, wherein millions are angry and confused, no longer knowing the way out.
Le Monde quote:
"French economist and historian Thomas Piketty has already demonstrated out how America's wealth is as distorted as it is vast. But should you discuss this particular matter with an American citizen, you will be told that "the rich are rich because they deserve it." The quasi Communist idea of taking from the rich to give to those in need is not a fair reward for talent."
Americans have been brainwashed into accepting a ridiculous level of income inequality, Americans only do so because of the high degree of working insecurity present in the US to a degree unimaginable in other major industrialized countries around the world. For example, if you lose your job in America, usually you and your family lose your health insurance coverage. This is something that is completely unimaginable in the European Union. American workers therefore have to be extremely compliant, which is exactly the way the American elites like it.
Clearly the Le Monde article is correct. In fact Piketty in April was quoted by the New York Times quite sensibly stating that there is nothing radical about supporting income equality in America. What is radical is accepting the American income inequality that exists in America presently.
New York Times quote:
"The United States is getting accustomed to a completely crazy level of inequality," Mr. Piketty said, with a degree of wonder. "People say that reducing inequality is radical. I think that tolerating the level of inequality the United States tolerates is radical."
Please let's have an honest dialog about the myth of American exceptionalism. Indeed in the plain sober light of day the simple truth is too many Americans have been brainwashed by the media. This has caused the mainstream German magazine Der Spiegel to publish headlines asking, "Has America become an Oligarchy?".
Clearly the purpose of the American plutocrat owned media's propaganda is to brainwash people into believing the myth of the American dream. No one has said it better than the late comedian George Carlin who plainly told us they call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it, and it is no coincidence therefore that political satirists and comedians such as Jon Stewart and Colbert and Bill Maher have become household names, because the only people in America left that dare to speak the truth and keep their jobs are comedians and satirists. Just like in the days of old when only the court jester could dare speak the truth to the king and still keep his head, so it is today that the American dream has become a tale of the Emperor's new clothes. The American dream has become pablum for the mind for the brainwashed masses who have fallen victims of the propaganda of the GOP led class warfare, who are only able to speak interminably repeating the Fox news talking points as if it were a Gregorian mass chant, which has taken on articles of faith akin to religious zealotry in their worship of the vast wealth holdings of the 1 percent as their new age American deity.
Le Monde quote:
"If an American is tenacious enough, shouldn't he or she be able some day to make it to the top of the heap? "No pain, no gain," as they say. But the Great Gatsby Curve says No. So much so that in the United States, as elsewhere, "having talent" may just be another way of saying "having inherited money."
Where until recently the high priest of the temple of the 1% formerly led by Saint Alan Greenspan where he and his followers prostrated themselves before the altar of unbridled avarice, wherein before Saint Alan was defrocked by the 08 financial crisis, for which he bears substantial responsibility. His primary article of faith was "the invisible hand of the market", which forbade sensible financial regulation by define commandment, which has led to the most inequitable distribution of wealth in America of any major industrialized nation on earth.
America's 1 percenters have become an object of idol worship in popular culture which includes reality based TV shows where they are adored for their horrible behavior for which they are richly rewarded reminiscent of the bad behavior of medieval lords in the feudal age.
Le Monde quote:
"The American system of education, at one time considered to be "the great equalizer," is partly responsible for this state of affairs. A recent study conducted in Michigan and quoted by the New York Times shows that the discrepancy in performance levels between rich and poor students has risen by 50% since the 1980s - which means that wealth, more than race, is what makes the difference in school."
This has led to an atomized American society, wherein the proposition of democracy as expressed through elections has become a proposition at tension with itself, as American elections are financed by private capital, and as such have become essentially depoliticized. The Occupy Movement is the first spontaneous grass roots effort since the 1970's from the American working class to respond to the social injustice as expressed through the efforts of the Occupy Movement in the atomized American society of 2012, wherein people are angry and confused as expressed through the anguish of millions of Americans who no longer know the way out.
Le Monde quote:
"American workers are being increasingly badly paid as businesses amass larger and larger profits. The result, as Evariste Lefeuvre of the Natixis corporate and investment bank in New York points out, is that the profits of American companies amounting to 13% of GDP are at a historic high."
As 59 million Americans find themselves without health insurance; 132 million without dental; and 45 million on food stamps; 46 million Americans are living below the poverty line. This international badge of shame has marked America as being talked about as a neo-feudal pariah state in European capitals, where universal medical access is considered to be a human right from cradle to grave, where everyone has 4 weeks paid vacation, paid sick leave and paid maternity leave. Continental Europeans have no student loans to speak of as university tuition is so low, American students pay more in books than Continental Europeans pay for tuition. As such they are unable to understand the American tolerance for worker exploitation and social inequity, which they find to be bewildering.
Translated quotations from Worldcrunch (in partnership with Le Monde).
To read the original Le Monde article in full text in French, please click on the link below.
Let's please remember 93% of income gains now go to the top 1%
New York Times quote:The top 1 percent has done progressively better in each economic recovery of the past two decades. In the Clinton era expansion, 45 percent of the total income gains went to the top 1 percent; in the Bush recovery, the figure was 65 percent; now it is 93 percent.
To win in America all we have to do is to care about each other and stick together!
If we are looking for change we must look to the Occupy movement to provide that peaceful nonviolent approach to change in helping to elect better progressive politicians to public office. The Occupy movement and the American unions are the last great hope of the American working class dream!!
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