Can you imagine an America without a strong middle class?

screwed t shirt imagesElizabeth Warren, Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the banking bailouts is asking "Can you imagine an America without a strong middle class?" She reports, "Today, one in five Americans is unemployed, underemployed or just plain out of work. One in nine families can't make the minimum paymenton their credit cards. One in eight mortgages is indefault or foreclosure. One in eight Americans is on food stamps. More than 120,000 families are filing for bankruptcy every month. The economic crisis has wiped more than $5 trillion from pensions and savings, has left family balance sheets upside down, and threatens to put ten million homeowners out on the street."  Warren is right, and it's astounding that nobody is pointing out that this is the direct legacy of nearly 30 years of Reaganomics.  Probably part of the reluctance to tell the truth on this - the result of a criminal synthesis of trickle-down economics, international so-called "flat earth free trade" for corporations but no protections for humans and labor, and the trashing of a 200+ year industrial policy, wasn't just brought to us by Reagan and two Bushes - Clinton played a huge part in it, too.  So both Democrats and Republicans have worked with the corporatists - have become, for a large part, the corporatists, who have sold the American Middle Class down the river into third-world poverty.  We need truth tellers, but you won't find them among corporate-owned politicians or in the now-even-more-monopolistic corporate-owned media.


Zero G. (not verified) 14 years 28 weeks ago

Uhmm, I don't have to imagine America without a strong middle class, I can observe it.

It would take imagination to picture a strong American middle class.

Zero G. (not verified) 14 years 28 weeks ago

In California, I recently got a pedestrian traffic violation ticket - $446. A friend got a ticket for rolling through a stop sign - also $400+.

Fines of these magnitudes in times like these?

Brenda (not verified) 14 years 28 weeks ago

When you see how horrible Americans have it you just have to wonder how Republicans are allowed to complain that the minimum wage is too high. I would like to see any ONE of them live on minimum wage let alone a family. Many single mothers only have that option for work. I support a Living Wage and hope that eventually Progressive's will make that an issue after we get Health Care.

Tom W (not verified) 14 years 28 weeks ago

Our middle class evaporated so long ago it's scary.

WE have become a country where our primary jobs are at "McDonalds", along with being the people that will take over and answer the phone calls from around the world; to help people in the newly developed countries with their computer problems.

Move over India. We're taking over your "help desk jobs".

And whatever manufacturing jobs we Do Retain, our workers are going to get paid as if they were in China, which will own the "American" Companies.

Welcome to Free Trade folks.

Tom W (not verified) 14 years 28 weeks ago


The Republicans are so out of touch with reality its pathetic.

Just look at the recent news about John Boehner spending 89,000 this year FOR GOLF!!!

He doesn't have a clue about the struggles by people making the minimum wage or on Social Security.


dljarvis (not verified) 14 years 28 weeks ago

Thom and others,
I am wondering what you think of this idea. It is obvious that we will not have a middle class, or an economic recovery unless we can bring good jobs back to America. I had the thought that something like Roosevelt's NRA might be appropriate today. Corporations would be invited to join this voluntary "association", much like they join the Chamber of Horrors (er, Commerce) today. They would pledge to reduce offshoring, create jobs in America, and adhere to fair labor standards in their foreign operations, etc., etc. They would be rated or certified by the "administration" based on how well they did these things. Then a massive public relations campaign and the use of the "bully pulpit" could encourage American homes and businesses to support and invest in those companies that were investing in America.

I like this idea for a couple of reasons. First, it is voluntary and not government regulation. It leaves it to each corporation to figure out the best way to meet the goal of bringing work back to America. The governments role would be strictly informational--letting people know which corporations were serious about contributing to the American economy. Second, it gives We the People the means to do something about our economic situation through our purchasing and investment decisions--something more than endlessly writing our congressmen who seem to occupy another planet.

What do you think? Could it work?

Guerdy Joseph (not verified) 14 years 28 weeks ago

I was listening to you the other day on the nj turnpike & I almost went off the road. You said if we couldn't get a " real public option" we might as well scrap the plan altogether. I'm for the P.Option, but This is the mistake we as progressives always make. Ted Kennedy stated one of his deepest regrets was not working with Nixon when he introduced his healthcare plan over thirty years ago. I'm a visiting nurse, who works in the community in Brooklyn, NY and witness the travesty of a nonaccessable healthcare system that is literally killing my clients. If we worked with what was offered by Nixon ( that's probably the only honorable thing he did on office), by now we wouldve been able to tweek that plan over the years and most likely be in single payer by now. Let's not make that mistake again. Let's do this so my kids can have what is a right, affordable healthcare, in our lifetime. Let's begin build our agenda brick by brick & eventually have the structure on a solid foundation.
 Let's do this progressives!
G Joseph RN
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