By M. Jane Letty
“What is more disorienting to one’s security than a crisis? What crisis could they roll out that would get them to agree to endure hardships while also keeping them at bay to buy enough time to insulate themselves from the masses?”
~M. Jane Letty, Essayist
We’ve been here before with former Vice President and third-time presidential candidate, Joe Biden. But, just as with anything else the Democrats do, especially this Democrat, the “O’Biden Bama Democrat”, they’re glossing over their culpability and turning the DC Swamp into a sheet of glass just in time for election season. All politicians are equal. Some politicians are more equal than others. The April 2020 Atlantic article, in its true nature, romanticizes Biden’s return to save the country from economic ruins by speed-rating him for the low-info voter: “He oversaw the 2009 economic recovery for Barack Obama. If he wins the presidency, his first task will be to perform an encore on an even more daunting scale.”
Wait. Was there an economic recovery in 2009? If so, the middle-class missed it while they were still reeling from the last “encore” by the same name, but from the senate. The only “Encore” the middle-class was still depending upon from 2000 through 2009 was (still) struggling over how to evenly divide the frozen Salisbury steaks to feed their families while splitting pills and beating back the wolves at the door. But, no worries. Obamacare and foreclosure would be the “hope and change” that would ruin their appetite, weaken their resolve so they couldn’t fight back in 2016. That’s why they’ve yet to recover from the 2016 election of President Donald J. Trump. For all their treachery and smugness, they grossly underestimated the silent majority, then and since. Fortunately and unfortunately, history repeats itself.
In January of that year, the month Obama took office, the country lost some 800,000 jobs, as unemployment edged toward 8 percent. That capped the worst three months of jobs numbers since defense factories ceased operating at the end of World War II. The stimulus that Obama proposed was a mix of tax cuts, tax credits for business, aid to state and local governments, an expansion of food stamps, and a raft of infrastructure programs. (from “What Biden Learned the Last Time the World Stopped”, The Atlantic)
Written as a Sociology assignment shortly after the 2016 presidential election, enlightenment and developments I could not cover inside the confines of my course, compelled me to revisit when I read the aforementioned article.
I encourage reading “The Global Economy and the Priviledged Class” by Robert Perrucci and Earl Wysong. It’s a long, but important piece to read not only because my summary argument (below) pairs with it, both in context and annotations, but because the paper sheds light on a great deal of misinformation and lack of an appreciation for the middle-class. I chose to publish this paper for those curious enough to seek a better understanding of what happened to the middle-class and why restoring this class is so critical to the survival of our American culture beyond just the economy. The plight of the middle-class is something the mainstream media, privileged and political class, globalist elite, and their “pets” or offspring do not want exposed. They are, however, all in for continuing to exploit in pursuit of celebrity status, political power, and world dominance—specifically, cripple America so it can crawl on its knees like every other country. Regardless of political leaning, we should all care about what these entities are attempting to do, again. Why? Because the middle-class is the majority, no matter what the headlines or broadcasts say.
Exploitation of future generations by the political class and global elites of the late 90s and early 2000s has paid off for them in one sense, while in another, coming back to haunt them. And, after the spectacle they’ve made of themselves of late, the entire country is experiencing what the middle-class endured twenty years ago when these same DC Swamp Creatures and assorted government officials gutted them…twice before. Many were just babies, literally, those who are erecting mini-Clown Worlds, burning and looting businesses, hating “Whitey” and frothing at the CHOPs to Defund the Police while trashing law enforcement while not realizing the “joke” is on them. How so? The politicians that incited this generation to destroy its future economic security won’t be around to be held accountable by the time they realize what they’ve done. At least those of us who’ve endured the global initiative, the Obamanation, and the loser party of 2016’s pitch-fit are alive and well to call them out for it. We won’t have to go in search of “Who made this big mess?” or discover we had a great economy and destroyed it because some NWO demagogue sounded the shepherd’s horn of rabid sheep with a belly full of BB’s. Twenty year’s from now, they might realize they were used by the likes of Biden, Sanders, Pelosi, Obama, Schumer, Clinton, etc., to vicariously act out what they started in the 70s and the same politicians will be dead and gone and won’t have to pay for the meal the same way Alinsky never did. They’re even doing to the police, today, what they did to the Vietnam Vets when they returned home.
Globalization, for all its promised benefits, was a calculated risk at the expense of the working class. The globalist elite and the privileged class knew it wouldn’t be an easy sell to the America people. So, they did what ghouls do—they raided every source of security until it gutted them, leaving behind only the ruins, cadavers of a once thriving lifeblood of the economy. They are vultures in every sense and moved on from one roadkill to the next. There is no distinction of Party. Both parties took part in the gutting of the middle class and sold out America to the globalist initiative. Not all, but frighteningly too many.
There seems to be a disconnect and lack of empathy for those who had their hard-earned socio-economic security covertly outsourced, only to be met with an astonishment that when presented with the opportunity to restore our economy and reverse economic policies designed to favor globalism, erased is—once again—being demonized for fighting back. Now we see those who gutted the middle-class are regretting it and, trotting the globe to lament anywhere and everywhere except where they destroyed. To Nobel prize-winning global economist, Paul Krugman’s credit, at least he didn’t soil where he eats for his mea culpa. Krugman Admits He and Mainstream Economists Got Globalization Wrong, by Tom Ozimek
So, here we are…again. With the same cast of vultures in character, except for President Donald J. Trump. No one could imagine what’s happening right now, except those who designed it. But, that’s a future essay already in draft and isn’t nearly as polite as this one. I’m offering the following paper to highlight how far we’d come from where we were when we were taken down by the same marauders. We rose from the ashes, once, then twice. We’ll rise from these ashes again, too. If there’s anything about the way a loser resigns itself to the loss, it’s how they go out–burning every bridge in their wake. And, now that they’ve been exposed for what they are we will never again give them the benefit of doubt.
Here’s the paper as it was submitted to a Somali-refugee-turned-Marxist-professor. I was the only Conservative and GenXer in a cohort of late-Millennials, the Progressive type. More than once, a paper I wrote was pulled. Once, I was told my papers and writing style was considered politically aggressive. We both know the only reason she shaved two-points from my 4.0 GPA was because she could. When she thanked me for expressing a consistent ideology throughout the course, I told her to keep the change.
*The last paragraph came full circle twice in one week with economist Paul Krugman’s resurfacing offering a new-old doomsday prediction and SCOTUS punting on DACA. It’ll also show just how long Democrats and Republicans have been using that issue as a legislative bargaining chip and how relieved they were when SCOTUS whiffed. The old playbook, it appears, has been dusted off, repurposed, and passed along as some sort of torch to an indoctrinated, radicalized, frothed up version of Flying Monkeys. It’s also what inspired me to release this paper once and for all. If not now, when?
The Global Economy and the Privileged Class
Sociology Assignment/January 2017
The visual sense of this weighty argument for how The Global Economy and the Privileged Class gutted the middle class, (emphasis, mine) which I dispassionately watched the movie, Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore was course required viewing. It’s the only reason I endured it for a second time. Once was enough when it came out in theaters, ironically in 2009. Clearly, I don’t share Moore’s view of America or the one that’s being presented is a distortion. His obsession to inject a bastardized Marxist haves vs. have nots existence I find repulsive and antithetical to the America that those like him love to hate and hate to love, which would’ve been covered had we not intentionally skipped the chapter on politics and the economy. Instead, we’re covering this in a chapter on global stratification. But, I digress.
Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I vaguely recall the fear and insecurity of the time. As a young child, I do remember being frightened by shadows on the wall and the relief of learning it was just my imagination. There was a security in being able to push back on the trick my mind was playing with a reality that all was well. After reading this article, I could imagine the working class seeing similar shadows as the workforce began to thin out, the media spin—although much less sophisticated back then—was touting the great benefit of going global would be for America. Without a face or name, fear and insecurity were the monsters the working class were led to believe were just shadows on the walls. Looking back, the shadows were pretty scary. Like good citizens, they went back to sleep, believing the American Dream was safe and secure so long as they didn’t question their government, paid their taxes, obeyed the rule of law, and focused on the bright future a post-WWII afforded them. Every day they woke up and went to work, giving 110%, never realizing for all their faith and loyalty they were becoming disposable. The working class could not have known what the corporate class knew, and the emerging privileged class knew it—Economics. While the working class toiled away in manufacturing, corporate leaders grew increasing resentful of how much loyalty and dedication cost. Another growing resentment of the globalist elite was the (once) protective shield unions provided the working class. Post-war strength and economic stability seemed to embolden the working class, so that wouldn’t be effective. What is more disorienting to one’s security than a crisis? What crisis could they roll out that would get them to agree to endure hardships while also keeping them at bay to buy enough time to insulate themselves from the masses?
The 70s and 80s were primed for a crisis because most people felt reassured and comfortable they could depend on the companies they had devoted time and energy into and from their efforts, established themselves safe from poverty through savings, mortgages, pensions. Without warning, they would find themselves “dumped from the middle-class” by the tens of thousands (1) by what can also be described as “hothouse reapers” or, more commonly known as Human Resources (2). At one time, unions worked to protect the worker from unfair and unsafe working conditions. But, not long after the clandestine restructuring of the classes from a three-class system to a two-tier system, the unions also abandoned the very people they pledged loyalty. Another blow to the working class. As far as the privileged class was concerned, “Lifetime employment was out and lifetime employability was the goal”. (3) The privileged class needed to somehow get out of paying for the future they promised and the middle class earned—the middle class was aging and healthcare costs were on the rise, the pensions were impressive on paper, but not worth the pulp-emulsion they were printed on, and the appeal of “going global” was better than having a displaced worker “going postal”.
With no safety net and unable to confront the corporate sector, the working class was broken and desperate to believe anything—especially that their employers, fellow Americans, fellow human being, couldn’t possibly be the cause of the destruction of the “American Dream”. But, they were…and they did. True to a shape-shifter’s form, they deceived the working class by convincing them that a global economy would somehow restore them and tricked them into believing what’s good for the company—globally—would be good for them…and the world. A global economy sounded like what the privileged class hoped it would—sharing prosperity, goods in/goods out. To the working class, all of those things sounded like work and work sounded like relief from the shock of the hardship of being D-listed—displacement.
It was a Pet Rock.
After demonizing the working class by holding them responsible for economic loss by being “selfish” to want to hold on to the American Dream, the privileged class had another Trojan Horse—they would leave the working class to pay the taxes they, themselves, no longer had to pay since they outsourced to countries that would produce the same products for less wages and inferior quality. Not only did the privileged class secure themselves and increase profits by abandoning the working class, leaving them with the tax burden for goods, they also took rebates and subsidies. (15, 16) This was adding insult to injury as the working class continued to suffer displacement. It almost seemed as if the privileged class felt entitled to do this after having to pay the majority of taxes prior to the concept of a global economy.
To quote from Moore’s movie, “Evil can’t be regulated.” struck a cord. But even to my tin ear, I believe Karma can be exacted. And, it will. It’s now just a matter of time…the kind that ticks and ticks and ticks. Despite positive sanctions through praise at eliminating waste, those who leveled the working class, with a stunning surgical precision, “the waste management” would find themselves at the mercy of the merciless—the protected privileged class. Even the white collar human resources and administrative personnel who participated in the firing of hundreds of thousands of workers were disposable to the privileged class. They would find themselves on the receiving end of what they were doling out. (24) It’s difficult to imagine which was worse—having the rug pulled out from under yourself or having the rug you were pulling out from others pulled out from under yourself. But, what the working class didn’t understand, the terminators comprehended. It was a very dangerous gamble on the part of the protected privileged class, but they rolled the dice anyway.
Eventually, the workers who wrote the pink slips were being issued one. Unbelievably, some were called upon to replace positions they had been discharged from, but as agency. Agency was corporate’s remedy for staffing US plants and offices with labor they had no obligation to invest in. This sub-class of the working class would cause a rift in an already hurting work force and further the ideology domination of corporate elitists to desensitize the worker. To discourage the working class from seeking redress through unionizing, corporate kept the number of core workers below union qualifying numbers, so they created a “foster-worker” through temporary agency workers and just for good measure, to drive home the message that nothing is a given, no matter how hard you work or how skilled you are, the contingent worker was an option if you didn’t fit their need or bucked their internal system. The core worker enjoyed what the working class once was told they could depend upon—fair wages, work/life balance, benefits. Some with a pension, but mostly not. The temporary/agency worker was a second-class worker, hired to take on tasks the core either disliked or disconnected themselves from, while the contingent worker was truly disposable. While the contingent worker was replaced by the independent contractor, it is still the least desirable of the working classes unless you had an entrepreneurial spirit. Make no mistake, they’ll come to crush that as well. Vultures leave no meat on the bones.
The war on class had yet to be won, but the battle “waged” on; as far as the privileged class was concerned, the white-collar handlers and “terminators” had done their job…and served their purpose. Now that they secured their financial interests and positions for their offspring or network operatives, the focus turned to power. In their minds, what good is all that financial security without absolute power? They also needed that power to prevent regulatory disruption, media humiliation or exposure through the courts. So, on the backs of the working class, the corporate elite and the protected privileged class invested in their future security; they gobbled up media networks to control the narrative, paid lobbyists to integrate their agenda; backed political parties that would seat judges who would rule in their favor. Although far less glamourous than being labeled a ‘gang’, the only thing that separates them is instead of initiating members, they indoctrinate. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know is no longer a euphemism for success—it’s a canon of ethics for the unscrupulous.
The single most frightening paragraph in this paper for me was the last one. The fear that the corporate and political elite have morphed and no longer hold an allegiance to their fellow American is not a shadow of a tree on the wall. It’s the monster. But, if you listen very carefully and not give away your position, you can hear in the distance, the American Dream revving up and the army of a class revival. At some point, what the elite feared the most will happen. They will fall from grace, run out of money, and the power of the people will take back the rest through hard work and at the polls. The movement might have started out global, but its roots are in our backyards. (36)
Business leaders in the 1970s and 1980s justified the massive plant closings and flight to developing countries by first crippling the American working class, then had the audacity to claim doing so was a natural progression. “The progress of an economy such as America’s from the agricultural to manufacturing to services is a natural change. The move from an industrial society toward a postindustrial service economy has been one of the greatest changes to affect the developed world since the Industrial Revolution.”(4)
Corporate downsizing created a protected privileged class and an insecure working class. It also carved out a labor sector that would work on the cheap-cheap, not complain for fear of deportation, and they could exploit their idea of the American Dream. Simultaneously, exchange mobility took place while corporate downsizing was occurring and the security blanket of the middle-class American was being ripped off by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Orin Hatch (R-Utah) in the passing of the DREAM Act. As many displaced American workers (800,000) were losing their dream while as many (800,000) undocumented workers were realizing theirs.
Just as I started this revisited essay with “We’ve been here before…”, I also close.
Thank you for reading. Your feedback, (below citations) is important and welcome.
Citations for revisit of assignment:
A. Robert Perrucci and Earl Wysong , “The Global Economy and the Priviledged Class”; www.benjaminjameswaddell.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Perryccu_Global_Economy.pdf
B. Ozimek, Tom. “Krugman Admits He and Mainstream Economists Got Globalization Wrong,” October 27, 2019. https://www.theepochtimes.com/krugman-admits-he-and-mainstream-economists-got-globalization-wrong_3128925.html?fbclid=IwAR0LtR5DLtnHSGp6qJLgrkyEX4KJ2uSncagoSZXEyd08z-R0GS9n6-A6XCY.
Citations for Sociology Assignment:
1. Office of Technology Assessment, Technology and Structural Unemployment Washington, D.C.: Congress of the United States, 1986; Thomas S. Moore, The Disposable Work Force New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1996.
2. Joel Bleifuss, “The Terminators,” In These Times, March 4, 1996, 12–13.
3. Sheryl Wu Dunn, “When Lifetime Jobs Die Prematurely: Downsizing Comes to Japan, Fraying Old Workplace Ties,” New York Times, June 12, 1996. 4. John Miller and Ramon Castellblanch, “Does Manufacturing Matter?” Dollars and Sense, October 1988
4. John Miller and Ramon Castellblanch, “Does Manufacturing Matter?” Dollars and Sense, October 1988.
15. Richard J. Barnet and John Cavanagh, Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.
16. Robert S. McIntyre, “Testimony on Corporate Welfare,” U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Budget, June 30, 1999. On the Internet at http://www. ctj.org/html/corpwelf.htm visited June 25, 2001.
24. Ann Monroe, “Getting Rid of the Gray,” Mother Jones, July-August 1996, 29