Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Assault on the American Middle Class

Here is a nice interview with Elizabeth Warren. She was chosen by Obama to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She is an excellent person who has been pushed into a corner by the slicker, more power hungry poltical types in Washgington. This is a tragedy because she has real empathy for the American people.

She's in this video, but she shows up at 0:45 into the video:

The Republican "plan" in Wisconsin and other states is exactly the problem she is complaining about. The politics of the right has been to cut taxes for the rich by levering up hidden taxes for the bottom 90% of the population. And now the Republicans want to destroy the remaining public unions, eviscerate the school systems, and impoverish everyone. They want to create a two class system: the titans (those with "tiger blood") and the servants. Guess which group 99% of the people you will belong to!

Here is another talk, "The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class", by her at the University of California in March 8, 2007. This is more academic but gives a fuller picture. Elizabeth Warren starts talking at 4:45...

The really key bit to see is at 9:25 when she compares "incomes for a family between 1970 and 2005" and "incomes per worker" for the same period. Stagnant. This is the era of the Reagan "revolution" and the promises of unleashing the entrepreneur with Bush tax cuts, and all the other promises of "trickle down" economics.

She makes a very important point at 26:45 when she points out that the current 2 income family has less money left over after basic expenditures than did the 1 income family of 1970. That is a serious degradation in the standard of living. It makes it very clear that these families are caught on a treadmill that is forcing them to put more family members to work to "stay even" with the cost of living. This is the "trickle down" economics that Reagan delivered!

At 43:10 she points out that educating a child for the middle class went from 12 years of public paid for education, to 18 years where the public pays for 12 years but the parents pay for 6 years (2 years pre-school and 4 years college). This is an example of how families are much more precarious and under greater financial stress than they were a generation ago.

For an update on this "assault on education" for the middle class, here is Ed Schultz of MSNBC's "The Ed Show" giving all the details of how governor Walker of Wisconsin is removing money from the education system and redirecting it into goodies for the upper class via vouchers:

At 54:10 Elizabeth Warren makes the point that America is going from a "middle class" society to a two class society, the rich and the poor (the "underclass").

This is the world that the Republicans have delivered to the bottom 90% of the population! A world where the middle class works harder, earns slightly more, in much more in debt, is much more insecure, which sees more burdens put on it, and which sees education for their children becoming much more expensive.

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