Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Outsider Issue! What Ever Happened to the Middle Class?

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are almost exclusively concerned with one issue.  They have developed stands and talking points on many issues, and Bernie Sanders has a long history of insight and service to the government and the American people, but when allowed to talk in an unbridled manner, they both return to one issue and it is the same issue.

What ever happened to the American middle class?  That is it.

The main goal of Bernie Sanders’ decades-long career in politics has been to address the root causes of economic inequality because, as he has stated, “The middle class of this country, over the last forty years, has been disappearing.”

In order to address this, Bernie advocates policies that get at the root causes of these inequities. He calls for expanding the social safety net, creating more well-paying jobs, and reforming systems that perpetuate inequality such as our broken criminal justice system.

The super-rich and multinational corporations have not been paying their fair share in taxes. Bernie proposes removing tax loopholes and tax breaks that only benefit the rich and multinational corporations, as well as raising the rates for the wealthiest Americans. With a tax system reformed in these ways, the financial burden for expanded social safety net programs would be placed on those with extraordinary means.*

The main goal of the Donald Trump campaign is to lodge the blame for the loss of the middle class squarely upon the shoulders of immigrants who have come to the United States to purportedly steal the wealth of America's workers.

Trump believes that the influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans to earn a middle class wage.*  So obviously, to Trump, it is the fault of underpaid bottom rung workers that the middle class is shrinking.  

That from a man in the upper one percent who brags that he doesn't pay taxes if he can "play" the system to avoid it. That from a man who uses his power and wealth to use eminent domain to seize private property from middle class and lower middle class people without the wherewithal to fight him in court. That from a man who employs 200,000 people and believes that “Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country,” he said.  

It is apparent to me that both Sanders and Trump are right about one thing.  The loss of the middle class is destructive to the health of this country.  Sanders is right about the cause. The middle class is shrinking because the upper 1% is greedy and has positioned themselves to destroy the middle class for the sake of their short term personal gain.

Trump is "playing" the American people, attempting to gain more power and wealth for himself and his corporations, pushing the blame that should fall upon him and those like him upon the poor and unentitled.  He is interested in serving only himself and certainly not the American middle class.

*From candidate's website

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Books 2016

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz