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View Diary: Vanishing Middle Class Security (27 comments)

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  •  You Have to Have a Reasonable Chance to Know (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, mike101, wader, YucatanMan, Chi

    what's happening to qualify for blame of being in denial.

    The rightwing capture of the information systems of the information age began almost half a century ago.

    Only the left regards the people as stupid or denialist. The right has never dared let its fortunes depend on the inherent stupidity of the American people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 08:10:44 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  While your view may be comforting to believe (5+ / 0-)

      I don't believe its factually accurate.

      Below I try to cover a lot of ground, and I am not sure its all entirely clear.

       While its true the right wing propaganda machine has dominated Americans news, that has had less influence than the American middle class belief that it was a part of the establishment and that it benefited from being a part of that establishment. Welfare reform under Clinton worked, for example, because the public believed it was the other guy being harmed.

      They thought for most of that time that they weren't a part of the "other" that would be harmed. It would  be the people abroad. It would be the poor. If you were White, it would be the people of color. Etc. Always the other.

      The vast bulk of American public believed in the establishment because they benefited from their own grand bargain during that time. What's changed is that their bargain is dying and the chickens are coming home to roost. That the elites having run out of fertile targets are now turning on the middle class. Its that old line first they come for your neighbor, and then finally they come for you.

      And now, even as I type this, the reality is that 70 percent of the public has Internet access, and can, right now today, if it were interested, discover the truth if it wanted it. So, why don't they look for it? Why continue to believe a narrative that based on your own personal experiences (of job  insecurity, unemployment, malemployment, and increased serf labor)  should tell you that its false? It can't just be that others are lying if there's the ability to discover and get around the lie. I know this because anytime I have a question- I google it until i get an answer.

      If I want to understand the state of what's going on with 401ks I research it on line. Most americans can.

      if you are talking about the poor, however, that's a separate subject from this diary. The poor have never been a part of the conversation.

      It can't be as simple as "the right wing lied to the middle class, and had such power that the middle class couldn't figure it out" That may be comforting to  believe, but its just a comfortable lie if we choose to believe it.

      Lies don't work that well unless they resonate with the the audience. You can't run a con this long if you aren't selling something the public wants to buy.

      You also write something at the end that misses the point. Denial and delusional thinking aren't about intelligence level. We are all capable of being manipulated. Of having our buttons pushed, the question is how? Not if.

      The American middle class believes that it got something out of the bargain with the establishment (frankly I should say Western since what's going on in Europe right now with the electing of the plutocrats there is also a matter of the European middle class thinking the same: We are better off with the status quo. Yes more are fighting it, but they are still electing plutocrats in their elections. Why?) .

      The middle class after WW2 got home ownership, it got jobs, it got security- so long as it went along to get along with whatever the status quo wanted. It believed that. This provided the basis for the current con.

      Its feels good to believe that we "just need to educate them" (this is the standard liberal line  like OWS pushed), but its not reality. Emotions are at play here. Not education.

      What has changed is that going along to get along for the bargain no longer is true. The emotions that seemed valid before, no longer are. They aren't adapting to the new bargain in which the wealthy are extracting wealth from the middle class.

       What's changing is that you can't count on home ownership to gain wealth, you can' count on job stability, you cant count on retirement.

      Those things are clear just by looking at your own life. The same with every other American. You don't need the news media to tell you that. Its happening in your own lives.

      So, when I speak of clinging. That's the clinging. That the grand bargain of the American or Western middle class  after WW2 would go on forever so long as you buy into the status quo.

      That's why I speak of low-employment. That was one of the assumption. However- it is an assumption.  Because you can ask: What if its not true? What if low employment isn't forever? should we have a welfare state premised on it?

      What does that mean for policy?

      There are other such assumptions that are a problem.

      For example, we assume growth (left and right) because is happened for the last 200 years, but prior to that, this wasn't the history. what happens if the assumption of growth isn't correct? Should we have a zero growth welfare state not just because of the environment, but because we don't have the resources to assume eternal growth?

      I know I am jumping around here, but your argument touches on so much that is flawed in the ways we talk about these issues.

      So, yes, it is to me delusional and being in denial because the American public may have had, at one point, a valid belief that it gained something from the status quo that it can no longer expect, but still does expect.

      That's not a right wing construct no matter how comforting it is to say that it is. Its a matter o admitting that there's a reason why the public allowed itself to be manipulated, and then understanding that reason no longer exists, but that emotional need to believe in that reason (that we will be middle class if we believe) still exists. People are scared. They  know that things are unraveling. They just don't know based on the historic bargain what to do with it.

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