This blog is to that 20-25% of the population that has now become expendable to our economy. When we switched from a manufacturing based economy to a market based economy the need for a large work force became unnecessary. As our manufacturing infrastructure was being dismantled more and more of our people became expendable and many of those workers were the low skilled and under educated. In a manufacturing economy there is a need for low skilled and low educated workers to learn repetitive skills to keep the manufacturing machinery humming.
We as a nation must come to grips with the fact that we are a declining empire. Instead of reinvesting in our infrastructure and in our people we have chosen to invest in those whose only job is to perpetuate this false notion of selling crap as if it were gold. Our markets today are based on this notion that things that have no value are valuable. When you discontinue manufacturing products then the only methods for creating wealth is to create false markets of false worth. A good example would be the derivatives market that were bought and sold globally as valuable commodities when the reality was they were worthless. What we have created as an economy is a giant ponzi scheme where those on the top continue to prosper while those in the middle and especially those on the bottom continue to suffer. What has always amazed and intrigued me is how the wealthy have convinced the middle class to vote for policies that are in direct contradiction to their own interests. Policies that have allowed the top 1% of our population to double their wealth in the last decade while their tax liabilities have continued to decrease. As any historian knows the great empires of the past have not fallen from the assaults of outside foes but because of internal excesses that were allowed to fester until they crushed these empires.
The question now becomes what do we do with these expendable people. The answer we have come up with is to warehouse them. We warehouse them in our inner city ghettos and in our prison system. We have created a permanent underclass with little or no hope for mobility. These folks live on the margins of our society. These folks don’t vote nor do they participate in the larger efforts of our society. We have created a false economy for them to participate in (illegal drugs) but it is an economy where we control the winners and losers. We control this false economy by the people we target to prosecute for their illegal activities. Can any of us honestly believe that if we as a nation did not want illegal drugs in this country we could not prevent their introduction or at least decrease their availability? We lie to ourselves and say we want to educate, train, and employ them, but my question is this even if you educate and train them what jobs will they have? It is not enough to train and educate people if you don’t have industries to employ them. We must create industries to provide employment opportunities for these forgotten people. If we don’t then we will not have enough prison or ghetto space to house them.
We need to have an honest conversation with ourselves and with our politicians and stop the lying. We have to as a nation be willing to accept the truth and the reality of our position. Those of us in the bottom 99% of the population who has not seen their wealth double must unite and demand that the wealth of our nation be distributed in a more equitable manner. We need political leaders who have the wisdom and the political will to create a new deal that focuses on reestablishing our manufacturing infrastructure. We must put an end to this giant pyramid scheme we currently call our economy. Let’s be clear those other empires saw the issues that would be their undoing, but chose to ignore them and continue down the path of self destruction. My fear and my guess is that we will do likewise and sit quietly on the airplane as it continues to descend into the ground. We will continue to focus on the minutia that the wealthy continues to feed us to keep us from discussing the real issues that we face as a nation. An example would be the current healthcare debate. Who among us does not believe that our current healthcare system is broken and will bring our economy to a crashing stop? Yet, rather than be able to agree on what we all know are the facts we allow the wealthy to turn this into a partisan debate of philosophy. Why do we believe that we are right and the rest of the industrialized world is wrong? The only thing we are missing is Nero fiddling. Nero where are you when your country needs you?
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. - John Kenneth Galbraith
The Disputed Truth