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As I was scrolling through the various diaries last night, I noticed an ad banner for South Padre Island, one of those "come visit us and see how wonderful we are" promos.  Not that I have any desire to visit South Padre Island (I'm sure it's very nice), but something popped into my noggin:

Who normally goes to South Padre Island?

So, I went to the first place one goes to research such things:  Wikipedia.  From them, I have learned that it's a spring break destination for college kids and also draws families with its beaches and waterpark.  And they have a music festival and fishing tournaments.

Who goes to South Padre Island?  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it's the millionaires and billionaires.

It's the middle class.

And if you shrink the middle class, you shrink the number of people who can go to South Padre Island, and accordingly, all those businesses who rely on the middle class visitors are going to lose money and possibly their businesses because nobody can afford to go there any more.

Destroy the middle class, destroy your business.  Catchy slogan, don't you think?

So, don't you think it makes sense that we start driving this message home to business owners that if the middle class dies, their business dies?

And not just small businesses, but bigger family entertainment companies like Disney, Seaworld, Six Flags and Busch Gardens.  And how about the chain restaurants like Outback, Olive Garden, PF Changs?  I don't think Paris Hilton and the Walton family are dining there.  But you know who is?

Middle-class families.

How about home improvement and home living/style stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Bed, Bath and Beyond?  I'm fairly certain that the upper crust wouldn't dare be seen dead in such places.

But my family would.

How about things like cars, appliances and electronics?  Where would Ford, Kenmore and Dell be without the middle class?  Much smaller or non-existant, IMHO.

If wages aren't keeping pace with inflation, and folks are losing their jobs left, right and center, well perhaps repainting the house or replacing the carpeting is going to have to wait, because there is no money to do it.

Destroy the middle class, destroy your business.

As Democrats, lefties, progressives, pro-labor, etc., we sometimes look at business as the enemy.  Perhaps, we need to start reaching out to some of these companies and appeal to their basic business sense.  We are the ones who are keeping them going, not the Rockefellers, not the Waltons, not the Hiltons.  It's the Smiths, the Johnsons, the Millers.

I think small businesses understand this better than larger companies as evidenced by the outcry from small business owners that continuing the tax cuts will do nothing to create jobs.  And with today's economic uncertainty, people are rolling back their discretionary spending and only buying the necessities.

That means no trips to Disney World, no more dinners at Olive Garden, and no new flooring from Lowes.

I'm not a business genius, but this seems to be a simple equation.  You take away the buying power of your client base, you sabotage your business' success.

Destroy the middle class, destroy your business.

So, I'm asking for guidance.  How do we get this message through?  Congress seems to pay more attention to business (yes, primarily big business), but if we created a joint effort between businesses and workers lobbying on behalf of the middle class, I think Congress would take it much more seriously.  How do we do this, and do you think businesses would get on board with this?

I'd love to get feedback from everyone.  Am I on to something, or have I completely missed the mark?

Originally posted to Zombie Saguaros on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 03:08 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (6+ / 0-)

    Progressive...Democrat...Proud! - me

    by TigerMom on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 03:08:38 PM PST

  •  Why do you think they love debt so much? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, millwood, Kristina40

    That we had a boom at all was due to the fact that cheap debt largely compensated for both stagnant incomes and runaway asset prices. Hence the desire to get the bubble machine working again. Debt inflates asset prices, making the rich richer on paper, but it also allows the middle class to keep pace - borrow to keep consuming and only spend to service the debt - especially if they too "invest" in assets like real estate and get a little bit of the appreciation for themselves, all while the rich need not reduce their profits by paying out higher wages or benefits.

    Also, you might have noticed that the worst offenders among the plutocrats are those who don't depend on the middle class in any way; they don't give a shit about us because we're not their customers and never were. This is especially true of Wall Street; they live in a universe of pure paper playing with millionaires' and billionaires' money. They can keep right on playing that game no matter how bad things get for the bottom 99%, because a) the money pot grows a little bit every time a dollar changes hands and b) they're not above hosing the merely rich.

    Soak the rich! Everything is their fault: done on their orders and for their benefit.

    by rf80412 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 03:20:32 PM PST

  •  The rich are effectively eating (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, prodigal, DemandTruth

    their seed corn now.  They don't seem to care, either.  They'll just move on to the next hot market (India, China) and pick their bones clean over time.  We'll be just another Third World hell hole by then.  They'll move their homes to "safer" places and leave us to fight over the scraps and the bodies.  I wish I knew a nice way of fixing this.  There just isn't.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 03:20:42 PM PST

    •  Yep. This is why as an investor I am furious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      at the way the superrich are destroying the US economy.  It hurts the rich too.

      The superrich don't even have safer places to move, since they've been trying to pull this shit everywhere.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 09:01:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, if there was a political party that worked (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, Kristina40

    for the middle class and didn't answer mindlessly to wealth and privilege, we could vote for them and then they'd pass better laws . . .

    too bad there isn't such a political party.

    Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks? - Glee

    by prodigal on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 03:22:26 PM PST

  •  I have long been mystified by business (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, neroden, DemandTruth

    support for the Republican agenda. Support form the poor and seniors is obviously bonkers, but those in such groups are often lured into doing so by issues like abortion and a hate on gays and other minorities. Business people have the economics even more wrong and often with no lure on such matters (since they are voting purely on economic issues).

    Fine, they no longer need North American workers, but they really do need North American customers. Even billionaires are not going to fill up their garages with ipods or eat fast food very often.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 03:24:21 PM PST

    •  Because Lacking Progressive Income Taxation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, millwood, Kristina40, DemandTruth

      there is so much money to be made so fast, that they don't have to worry about the mid to distant future.

      A billionaire doesn't need any customers at all.

      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 Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 03:33:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Once the customers go away (0+ / 0-)

        the currency will eventually collapse.  Fortune go boom.

        But the superich don't think that far ahead.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 09:02:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wishful thinking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, global citizen

      I know a few business people who are clearly bewildered by the current collapse of the middle class. They're hanging onto the forlorn hope that "things will pick up soon." They fear they might be losing their customer base, but dare not say so out loud. They suspect the Republicans might be thieves, but are afraid to admit it. My guess is that another year of tough times will push many of them into finally severing their ties to the GOP

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