Is wealth inequality in America hurdling our nation toward civil unrest?

Is wealth inequality in America hurdling our nation toward civil unrest? In a television interview this morning – former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski warned that the growing wealth imbalance in America – now reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression – could lead to civil unrest in the streets. As the middle-class in America falls deeper and deeper into desperation – Brzezisnki said, “we’re going to slide into intensified social conflicts, social hostility, some forms of radicalism, there is just going to be a sense that this is not a just society.”

We have a society in which 400 people own more wealth that 150 million other Americans. We have a society in which 50% of all the children in America will depend on food stamps at some point in their life before they are 18 – and among African American children that number is 90%.

We no longer live in a just society - and if Brzezinski is right - turbulent times could be ahead for America.


Maude's picture
Maude 12 years 49 weeks ago

Wealth inequality is being brought to us not only by the Republicans but by the faux Democrat in the White House who has been doing the bidding of his corporate billionaire buddies ever since he set foot in the Oval Office. And high profile Democrats who insist that voters re-elect Obama so he can nominate a liberal for the Supreme Court are like judas goats leading the middle class over the cliff onto the rocks of total destruction. If we re-elect Obama he will cease throwing crumbs to the left and will complete the agenda he has succussfully started his first term; more money for the rich, less jobs for the rest of us, more killing in the Middle East, more torture, fewer civil liberties, more destruction of the environment and wildlife, and the handing over of Social Security and Medicare to Obama's bankster buddies on Wall Street. There is one thing that he will not do; appoint a Liberal to the Supreme Court. Once he is re-elected and begins his onslaught on the middle class, high profile Democrats will do what they do best; complain about Republicans and allow it all to happen. When really smart people insist on wearing blinders regarding Obama, what chance do those of us who see him for who he really is have of convincing people that if we want to save the middle class Obama must be replaced by a REAL Democrat?

1776's picture
1776 12 years 49 weeks ago

I believe that there people out there are becoming more and more angry with the " Class Warfare" that is going on. We are tired of the rehtoric from the Democrats in Congress and the Senate. The only one with any sincerity is Bernie Sanders, G Bless Him. Should Obama give in for what will be the fifth time to the GOP's demands there may very well be a strong movement by the citizens of this Country. We need a strong third party and should Obama win a second term, personnally untill we do that I would not want to see a Republican in the Office of President, I would hope that we will begin to form that third party and find strong Progressives to run in that party for 2016.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 49 weeks ago

What's with Obama agreeing with the republicans & putting Social Security on Medicare on the table, as if these programs are part of the cause of the soaring national debt?

I am beginning to wonder if we have a republican mole in the Oval office...

lakerbryant's picture
lakerbryant 12 years 49 weeks ago

To answer your question, yes and no. I think we came close during the financial crisis when protesters presented outside of the homes of Wall St. bankers. If things become uncomfortable enough for people to put down the remote control then it's very likely based on current trends.

The middle class is a buffer between the rich and poor. Between projects and the country club are middle class neighborhoods, literally. One would think that the most wealthy people would understand the need for this buffer.

Here's the rub, according to the Huffington Post when asked if they supported cuts to entitlements most people said no. When asked who they thought should be in charge of the process preventing such cuts, they said Republicans. In other words, the people who are opposed to cuts want the people with the knife to be in charge of the process that will ultimately result in cuts to entitlements. Interesting!

Liberals are wearing the POTUS out on Chicago's Progressive Talk Radio for even considering cuts in entitlement but look at the aforementioned conflicting information from the polls. I don't blame the POTUS at all I blame the people. The people put Republicans in charge of the House in the mid-terms and now they will pay dearly for their apathy.

lakerbryant's picture
lakerbryant 12 years 49 weeks ago

Obama is a master of the rope-a-dope. For instance allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire polled weakly back in September 2010. Now it's polling overwhelmingly in favor of letting them expire. With "Don't Ask Don't Tell" he wanted to slow walk it and the GOP agreed, now a Progressive court is catalyzing a more rapid rate. With health care reform, a single payer system was popular only with the base now "Medicare For All" is a more popular concept. Bottom line is we want Obama to wow us with extreme offensive demonstrations and he's really playing a game of field position.

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 49 weeks ago

Americans may be ignorant but they are not stupid. Our government has laid a foundation to control Americans. If there is unrest, blood will flow from the poor, and working class Americans, like a raging river.

Let me share some information that is not very flattering for me. As you know, I do not consider myself a perfect person. I am striving to be a better Christian and a Jesus’ disciple. What I am trying to do is not very easy for me. You may also recall that I have commented that the conservatives appear to be in a constant state of constipation. God has, through the years, put me in my place. The last forty days or so have been filled with extreme stress and tension. I believe this stress and tension started with my prostrate examination around the fourth week in May. The urologist really jammed me with his examination of my prostrate. My internal system may have been shocked. After the prostrate examination I was called by the medical center that my pacemaker needed a new generator and the procedure was scheduled for June 6, 2011. I was given about seven days to have an echogram (there is usually a waiting list for echograms) and a blood test as well as some other necessary checklists. I was totally discombobulated but I completed the requirements by June 6, 2011. Before and after the procedure I had difficulty going to the toilet. The shock from my prostrate examination and the telephone call from the medical center may have triggered my state of constipation. In fact it was probably twelve days since I had a bowel movement. With my difficulty going to the toilet, I went to my primary health care physician and I was told that there was blockage in my colon and I needed to insert an enema or I could be in serious health jeopardy. I took the enema and a two to five minute wait was necessary for the enema to take effect. At about three minutes of taking the enema I rushed to the toilet and just as I sat down there came an explosion from my rectum. In fact I was lifted off the seat two or three inches. This experience was accurate but I did feel much better.

God does let me know whenever He is unhappy with my comments. It may be possible that my wayward life has caught up with me in Jesus’ eyes. A few days had passed and I was diagnosed with Shingles. Shingles can be triggered by extreme stress and tension. Currently, it is a painful experience. I have been prescribed medication for the Shingles. Shingles can reoccur; the disease may last several weeks; this serious health issue may also require surgery to ease the discomfort and pain; and the disease has no simple answers. Although the rash may go away, blisters may form from the rash. The discomfort and pain may linger for the rest of a person’s life. I needed some improvement with my condition because I was scheduled for my second colonoscopy on July 6, 2011. The results of the colonoscopy revealed a negative finding of any serious problem with my colon.

I ask for your prayers in being a better Christian and a Jesus’ disciple.

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 49 weeks ago

As the health issues have worsened, I have tried to assess the year with regard to my health. 2009 was not a good year. 2010 was a better year. The first half of 2011 is the worst year that I can remember. My energy has dramatically diminished. The prostate examination has put my internal system in shock. A new generator was implanted in my pacemaker. A case of Shingles surfaced and I had my second colonoscopy. The remaining six months are uncertain on my health issues.

We are playing for high stakes and I want my country to return to the American dream.

The above article is a detailed assessment of Shingles!

My time must prepare my soul for God’s judgment of me. You will need to carry on the battles for a better America and a better world. May God guide your efforts!

If you can remember these words, please remember me.

I Said a Prayer

I said a prayer for you today and I know God must have heard

I felt the answer in my heart, although He spoke no word!

I did not ask for wealth or fame I knew you would not mind

I asked Him to send treasures of a far more lasting kind!

I asked that He would be near you at the start of each new day to

Grant you health and blessings and friends to share your way!

I asked for happiness for you in all things great and small

But it was for His loving care I prayed the most of all!

This post is coming to you from my hide away bunker deep inside the enemy’s territory!

You are holding the torch to be agents of change for America and the world to be better places to live for all of God’s children. I will again say may God guide your efforts.

We, as Americans, rest on the shoulders of the people who came before us, such as the Founding Fathers and other great Americans. The Founding Fathers and great Americans rested on the shoulders of people who also came before them. All of us rest on the shoulders of God who is the foundation in our lives. We are members of God’s family. There are people who say that they are independent. These people are wrong. We, as God’s family members, are dependent on each other. We are to look after each member’s well-being. Non-Americans are also members of God’s family. What you and I have are given to us by God. God wants all of His family members to share in His gifts. We will be judged by whether or not we were willing to share His gifts with all of God’s family members.

I conclude this comment with Carrie Underwood singing a song. As she sings, I am calling to Jesus for His help because He knows best!

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 49 weeks ago


Is Shingles the reason for me to cut back on comments and posts? I would say that Shingles is a big part but there are other reasons. I have no clout, juice, money, or power. What group or persons in this Anti-Christ nation will be influenced by a person who lives from month to month? If I cannot pay my bills for two months, I will enter the growing list of homeless persons. Only the rich can declare bankruptcy. You need to be rich in order to be bankrupt. This is how our laws help the rich from losing all their wealth. Since stress, tension, anxiety, and uncertainty contribute to the ongoing cause of flare ups that assist in the surfacing of Shingles and my comments and posts are in big part of stress, why should I create the stress that aids in the lingering affects of Shingles? All of the above words are reasons for me letting God take the wheel in my life. From time to time I hope to make a comment that I am still with you. Between such times you will be in my prayers. May God guide your efforts!

bentley72's picture
bentley72 12 years 49 weeks ago

The Cloward and Piven strategy seems to be working Thom.

dianhow 12 years 49 weeks ago

Obama's 2 1/2 years did not cause our massive wealth inequality That took many years and was the ultimate GOP scheme since Reagan's 1981 deregulated all he could , tripling the debt- not paying for anything, selling guns to Iran- giving total amnesty in 86 - leaving borders wide open for millions of illegals / cheap labor. Bush 1-2 Cheeny kept that going and then some with more corp tax cuts - loopholes, OIL subsides, waging war based on lies, war profits and Fear tactics. the GOP's best weapon. Bush hid his war debt- kept it 'off budget' Bush admin failed to get Bin laden -they badly mishandled the Afghan war, leaving too soon to attack Iraq. Then they dumped all their failures on Obama. and now blame him for weak economy .Quite a feat of deception but I mostly blame ignorant voters for putting GOP in power again in 2010 .after GOP toxic record - crash . This GOP has done zero for jobs - just demanded even more corp tax cuts - while cutting / gutting our kids education- the old-sick health care- funds for the disabled, as GOP GOV in FLA has done . GOP congress just cut funds for making sure our veggies do not have E - coli . How much lower can they sink ?

branscom's picture
branscom 12 years 49 weeks ago

Brzezisnki and his comments are headline news? Come on Thom! Maybe you need to get back on the Alex Jones show again and hear him rant at you some more. Jones has been warning (yelling at) everyone about this since the Financial Crisis in 2008 and earlier. Brzezisnki should know as he is one of the Globalist social engineers/planners and somewhat an expert at self-fulfilling prophecy .

sunka2911 12 years 49 weeks ago

I agree, if this doesn't get changed and the middle class comes back to the levels of the 50's, there will be warfare in the streets. The teabaggers talked about a revolution, but it won't be them, it will be the average american finally getting pissed off enough to take back THEIR country from the rich.

KassandraTroy's picture
KassandraTroy 12 years 49 weeks ago

I'm pretty sure that the militarization of the police in this country is preparation for popular uprising.

That Obama so cavalierly dismisses both his base and the Democrats in congress enough so that even Kent Conrad complains of his secret meetings with the republicans is evidence that we are moving both toward a police state to protect the wealthy and suppress the citizenry, including efforts in Florida and elsewhere to suppress the vote, is ample evidence that we have a king, not a president.

They talk about "shared sacrifice" like it's some noble thing, but the people of this country have already sacrificed our homes, our wages, our jobs and our prosperity to the rich and Wall Street. We elected Obama for some justice, we thought, and now we find out that he is a seamless transition from Bush in ALL his policies.

Will the people rise? Who knows, we may already have Stockholm Syndrome. But if we don't and in large numbers, here in a few years, I think we will look like Hitler's Germany, complete with gas chambers.. I can see that TPTB have taken a little from this totalitarian regime and that one and come up with a real doozy to keep US confused, frightened and fighting with each other.

AND, if Obama and the republicans succeed in destroying the social safety net, we will be in an unending Depression. I think that's is what they want, a slave labor country for when China finally kicks out American corporations for all the pollution they cause and they bring the jobs back here to no unions and a starving, sick populace

So much for "The American Dream" It's turning into a nightmare. FAST

fatfax's picture
fatfax 12 years 49 weeks ago

Declaration of Independence tell us what to do in such situations. Read It !!

michaelb44's picture
michaelb44 12 years 49 weeks ago

I keep hearing that Americans are not stupid, SORRY THEY ARE. 8 years of Republican rule and a well financed program for 25 years before that, to destroy the middle class and the country and what does the voting public do. After 2 years of these people obstructing everything Dems try to do to help the American people, we vote them out of office. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. This counrty is not heading for Fascism, we're there. We are not becoming a oligarchy, we are one. We have allowed ourselves to be purchased while we where watching American Idol on our HD tv's. We have no one to blame but ourselves. We can hope that our new rulers will be benevolent, history is not on our side.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 49 weeks ago

Violent times are around the corner unless the Social Diseases forced upon the world by the rich are not soon attacked and cured. Not only is wealth accumulated by the deliberate perpetuation or ignorance of Social Disease, law enforcers have to spend their time chasing, incarcerating, or risking their own lives to apprehend diseased people, a petty bunch compared to the world's big murderers and thieves who enjoy their Monte Cristos in Monte Carlo. That's right, triple match, Let's make a deal.

We who have been rocked in the cradle of capitalism have tasted too much freedom and goodness to return to the old dominion of sovereigns controlling our well-being and happiness.

It could be 1968, but worse. Snipers, home invaders, bank robbing gangs, looting. We've got the Internets now, heh, heh, and when things get to critical mass, who will be in control?


aufie's picture
aufie 12 years 49 weeks ago

Politics always trumps fairness. There is big big money in the banks and brokerage houses, so both parties curry their favor and accept their money (bribes). It's just the way things are and nobody is going to change it as long as we have politicians who are only there to be reelected.

David S. Lynch's picture
David S. Lynch 12 years 49 weeks ago

Sadly, I'm becoming more and more convinced that the only pathway to change at this point involves unrest. So much is being continually stolen from us - and there's nothing more dangerous than a populous with nothing left to lose.

David Cantrell's picture
David Cantrell 12 years 49 weeks ago

I have seen this situation coming for decades, yet no one has or will do anything about it. The reason being the most powerful military on the planet will be turned against you (The U.S. military). We have already seen that voting in elections is not going to do it. The start of or one of the starts was when Ronald Regan fired the air traffic controllers, now we have controllers going to sleep on the job. There are no penaltys for people that do destructive things to this country. They just build librarys to glorify themselves. Get rid of the greed at the top if you want to see any kind of positive change, and put God back in government. I don't think you will see this happen because the bible says there will be wars & rumors of wars until armagedin. We here in the U.S. could not even "MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO", what I mean by that is we could not take a lesson from Russia that went bankrupt fighting in Afghanstan, now we have 4 wars going at the same time. Our economy cannot stand up against that much war & that much greed. Remember when Pharo opressed the jews & God intervened on their behalf, well it is going to take something like that again to stand up against the most powerful military on the planet.


Friend of God

historywriter's picture
historywriter 12 years 49 weeks ago

I've been thinking about this for a while, buoyed somewhat by the unrest in the Middle East, but fearful about an actual uprising that would probably bring out all the troops the conservative right-wingers can fund (and now I'm not that sure about Obama; where would he stand?). But we now have some powerful tools that the government can't shut down, like the Internet and so on. It would be pretty hard to now close ourselves off, now that we have already experienced a more or less democratic society.

Pantalaimon 12 years 49 weeks ago

We need a French-style revolution -- complete with guillotine.

The light at the end of the tunnel: Liberals have 2nd Amendment rights too!

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 12 years 49 weeks ago

Are we hurdling toward civil unrest--I certainly hope so. It's the ONLY thing that will wake up people, cause the monied to fear and regret their greedy ways--maybe consider the truth that we are stronger as a country when we ALL do better--that business cannot profit without the worker and the consumer (2/3 of the business picture), for whom they appear to hold contempt.

1776: we need to talk about class warfare, because that is exactly what it is. The wealthy have waged what they think is stealth warfare against the middle-class. We have noticed. They are the ones crying foul and you are either their lapdog or one of them.

They call it class warfare only when we SPEAK UP.

jstrahan's picture
jstrahan 12 years 49 weeks ago

I'm surprised at how many people have already conceded Obama will cave to the Republicans in the debate to raise the debt ceiling. It would make more sense to wait and see exactly what Obama does in fact agree to. A big question no one raises is why the Republicans have any say in whether the debt ceiling is raised? All the debt in question was created by the Republicans. The increase in the deficit during Obama's time in office is due TARP, two wars that should never have been started, the Bush tax cuts, and drug coverage for seniors, none of which were paid for. The bigger question is how dumb is America? Obama did not create the deficit. Obama did not help close 50,000 manufacturing sites or export 8 million jobs and compound the problem with tax credits for corporations who did. The Republicans did.Obama did not block all legislation to increase employment such as take away tax credits for corporations that export jobs and give them to the corporations that hire Americans. Republicans did. Obama did not allow the oil and gas industry to self-regulate. The Republicans did. The Republicans did not permit the banks and Wall Street to self regulate. The Republicans did. No party has ever previously stated clearly that their primary job was to keep Obama from getting re-elected. The Republicans did. History shows the most bills filibustered by one party in a year is 12%. Last year the Republicans filibustered 75% of the bills proposed by the Democrats. History clearly shows trickle down economics has never worked and yet this is the only solution the Republicans have put on the table to address unemployment. If we vote the Republicans back into power we will deserve everything that happens to us. This will very likely eventually lead to people in the streets. The Republicans took 8 million jobs. Many of those same people lost their homes. The Republicans have tried to eliminate food stamps also and fought any extensions to unemployment insurance. Even those who swallowed the Kool Aid and bought the 50 year claim by the Republicans that what is wrong with this country is Democrats want to take everything away from the white people and give to the colored will eventually wake up and see the Republicans for what they are. They are puppets for Corporate America. It could really get ugly when millions of Americans finally get the message they have duped. If Obama caves to the Republicans in the debt ceiling negotiations, then he doesn't deserve to be our President. However, what is the alternative. Is anyone other than a Klux Klan member or someone married to their cousin stupid enough to think Republicans are the answer rather than the cause of all of our problems?

Cgmunchkin's picture
Cgmunchkin 12 years 49 weeks ago

I have read the Spirit Level and understand that that many of the issues we have are symptoms of the Inequality that has been building for the last 30 years. Taxes have been rising on working people, while taxes on wealth decreased drastically. I grew up in poverty, but had mentors who encouraged me. The community college system was implemented making it affordable for me to get a college degree. With working, I graduated owing $1,000. I got a job with health care, vacation and a pension. Gradually they took away retirement health care, they decreased pay for new hires, then they changed our pension from a defined benefit to defined contribution. Last year I was downsized. Luckily I was old enough to draw my pension and my husband who is older had health care in retirement, so we are OK. I had the American Dream. I want that for the young people coming up. That is why I am active and getting involved in Rebuild the Dream with Van Jones. I have found that when you talk economics in a way that people understand, they get it that the wealthy have done very well at their expense and I think we have just about reached the tipping point on a lot of fronts.

dannahancock23's picture
dannahancock23 12 years 49 weeks ago

I also feel a tipping point nearing. I think it is very, very important for us to consider what our response will be. Remember, the whole world will be watching. A bloody revolution will only cause the cycle to repeat. I had a vision that a day came, and people started walking, from wherever they were, in the direction of the nearest coast. They did not march on Washington. They had ceased to see Washington as responsive or rellevant. They just started to walk to the sea. People who could not walk, were out on the roads and highways, handing out water and food. Churches and lodges, in every town, opened their facilities in support of those who were walking. Very Gandhiesque. As the crowds gathered at the shore, they were told that the rest of the world had seen what they were doing, and also started walking away from their abusers. We all reached across the sea, hands seeking hands, and we remembered who we were. It was a very cool vision, actually rather a celebration of human sovereignty.

Geraldine Rieman 12 years 49 weeks ago

I was horrified to hear this morning that Obama agreed to put Social Security and Medicare on the table.

I wonder what our taxes go FOR?

Just to pay the salaries of the politicians and pay for their nice tax-payer provided health care?

What about We the People.

I do not understand why Obama did this. He had said that he would not do that. The whole game in Washington is a waste of the taxpayer's money. We pay for what?

And then people like Bachmann say that nothing will happen if our country does not pay its debt. People believe her instead of economists. People love to have a hero to look up to.

I am thankful that we have Bernie Sanders, but it's not enough. It frightens me what is happening in this country, I did not think that this would ever happen.

Global Convergence's picture
Global Convergence 12 years 49 weeks ago

The Planet is being ravaged by policy devoted to the will of exacting corporate ( facist interests). As clearly as the case has been made Thom, what on a planetary scale is necessary is humanitarian priorities with even greater strength than a mistaken weakness created within the American supreme court. As far reaching as it seems, todays world is global and in order to bring equality truly back to humans a strategy much more grand than the one country solution will reverse the historical aggressivness of organized crime and the influence it projects via our courts across the planet.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 49 weeks ago

Our former National Security Advisor is warning us all that the economic corrosion caused by the implementation of reaganomics has resulted in the Republicans putting at risk our security, and disrupting the general welfare of "We The People". This is ECONOMIC TERRORISM, plain and simple.

The solution starts with "400 people" paying their fair share...eliminate loopholes, offshore banking, all manner of corporate welfare, needless wars, go back to pre Reagan tax rates. It's going to get ugly if the political will to enact measures like the above remains non existent. It's deeply unfortunate that we don't have more elected officials like Senator Sanders who truly believe in DEMOCRACY.

Hammering in th... 12 years 49 weeks ago

Hi Thom, I am a podcast listener and so do not have a chance to call into the show. However you say you read this blog every day so I will post my comment here.

Every once in a while you have some rightwing ideologue on who makes the statement that Ronald Regan ushered in the greatest period of wealth creation in US history. The last time I heard someone say that was last week I think, and it occurred to me that Wealth Creation is not what America is about. Yes in the last 30 years fabulous wealth has been created. Huge massive fortunes larger than most people can comprehend. Imagine making 5 Thousand Million dollars a year. Personally if I had 1 million I would never have to work another day in my life. At 5 billion a year that person made my million in less than an hour.

However every one of those fortunes have been made on the backs of the poor and middle class of this country. Every Tax break for the rich increases the tax burden on the average family. Every time an investor or CEO enriches him or herself beyond any reasonable level of compensation he does so at the expense of his company and its workers.

Yes we have witnessed massive wealth creation in the last 30 years but we have at the same time witnessed the largest increase of poverty and shrinkage of the middle class. Every dollar taken to enrich the fortunate few means a highly productive American worker who doesn't get a deserved raise, or a qualified American who doesn't find that needed job. Ultimately the frenzy of wealth creation of the last thirty years has destroyed the American Dream, for many millions of hard working honest Americans. Gordon Gecko was wrong greed is not good. Wealth in of itself is not bad but when it is obtained by picking the pockets of Government and the Average American it is obscene.

dcbuzzell's picture
dcbuzzell 12 years 49 weeks ago

For as long as we have distractions like American Idol and the Anthony trial and who is sleeping with whom, I doubt if there will be anyone in the streets fighting for freedom, food, shelter or much of anything else. There is a reason why this is known as the United States of Amnesia. No one person can remember what took place beyond three days ago. We used to be number one in everything, now we are lucky to be number 57th and a third world country!! God HELP America!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 49 weeks ago

Gerald: Sorry to hear that you have been having so many medical problems. I wish you well and I hope you get better. Take it easy if you can....I know that stress is very bad and medical problems can result from it. I am not a medical doctor, or any other kind of professional related to stress, but some people find that meditation (especially when using "healing music" "hemi-sync" helps relaxation and stress reduction). Every means of reducing stress should not be overlooked. Good luck and I hope you succeed. If you really want to go all out there is also "floatation". I know it all sounds new-agey.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 49 weeks ago

I am glad to read that so many people are finally waking up to who Obama really is!

And to those who fear what is likely to happen next...massive social upheaval.. of the might of the US military....(who are mostly all stretched very thin in the MIddle East and around the world)...and with the recent laying off of much of the police forces in many cities (I suspect that this will result in many bank robberies and overall robberies and thuggery)....and that of those in military or law enforcement who are left are also very likely in the same boat as most of us and may have a very unenthusiastic regard to follow orders from the ones who are exploiting them as well...after all, remember Vietnam?...Fragging officers?.....The troops rebelled against their commanding officers.....our numbers may be enough to call their bluff.

Rich people, Republicans, may very well change their tune when they realize that they will not be able to take their riches to where they might be going if things got rough enough. The only thing that will change things is something that is rarely necessary...... and we vote all the time to no avail. When democracy fails us, even as it is spelled out in the constitution (just a quaint piece of paper according to people like GWB...did he not even say as much when he was President?), then there are other means at our disposal to right things once more. We have seen it in our past...and it did require going beyond the ballot bring some sense to those with all the gold.

When selfish and greedy rich people, who can more than afford the little extra taxation, and who have been given special favored tax status all these years, refuse to budge and would rather people lose their social security, or other social benefits, and let them starve or die of treatable diseases they cannot afford to pay for medical care, then those wealthy people deserve to be dealt with in a very severe fashion by the very mobs who they would let starve and/or die.

Our pretentious and hypocrite politicians point out how a lone pro-democratic hero in Tianamen Square is brave enough to stand in front of a tank...and the deaths of over a hundred others who stood up against tyranny and other such stories. And then they turn around and do what they are now trying to do here in the US and expect us all to just roll over and keep quiet. This would be another reason why I think the ruling elite just might back down if enough of the population rises up. The US government could no longer strut themselves as a bastion of freedom and democracy. Maybe we are way past that anyway...

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 12 years 49 weeks ago

I agree with all said! Indeed we have once again reverted to an extremely unjust society, with massive ill gotten wealth being created at the expense of the working class. This transfer of wealth is an ideology promoted and embraced by the republicans, and until the average voter realizes this we will continue our slide towards the needless repeating of history, which is violent revolution.

Gerald, take care of yourself dude, stress is a killer. This is the last official day of my vacation, and I have had some fantastic carefree days, including visiting Fort Niagara yesterday. Carefree is the medicine I recommend.

Ibrahim SWLA's picture
Ibrahim SWLA 12 years 49 weeks ago

Founding Fathers? Perhaps you should read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States". The founding fathers are exactly like the liars we have in government right now. Nothing has changed.

dwalker81's picture
dwalker81 12 years 49 weeks ago

Mr. Hartmann,

I have a book suggestion for you. It is called "Secrets of the Temple" by William Greider.

In essence, it discusses the economics during the Voelker era from a Federal Reserve perspective. It interviews all the key players in both administrations, Voelker, as well as Fed Governors. Because honestly, the Peter Ferrara's of the world, yesterday's debate with Stephen Moore, they are getting the edge on the debate, and I believe this book will give you the upper hand.

It's lengthy, and sometimes redundant; however, it will clearly illustrate the internal chaos in the Reagan administration regarding advocation of the monetarist policies in which Carter initiated through his appointment of Voelker, particularily from non-monetarists in Reagan's administration as well as all of Reagan's people during election years.

Simply put, Reagan obviously was a monetarist, but only when it suited his political ambitions. Not only does it include quotes from Reagan and his administration of this political fact, but it also includes rich economic statistics that dispel, among many things, the fact that Reagan created 20 million jobs.

Peace Mr. Hartmann,


blueworld 12 years 49 weeks ago

It isn't simply the "inequality", but the MASSIVE inequality. We struggled along with less pay, longer hours, fewer & more costly benefits...our children moved home, our parents as well. The financial debacle in 2008 & lack of prosecution under Obama's administration is the final straw. Nearly every family in this country is struggling in one way or another, some more than others dependent on race, locality etc. We're on the razor's edge as it is; the new jobs report is abysmal. One more natural disaster could literally break the bank. History has proven that when there is no legal or legislative recourse to correct abuses, there will be unrest if not outright revolution. People never seem to starve gracefully & quietly, go figure. July 14th is Bastille Day, coincidentally.

LoboPreto's picture
LoboPreto 12 years 49 weeks ago

"Hurtling". The root word is "hurtle", not "hurdle". "Hurdle" means to jump over, as in the "100 meter hurdles". "Hurtle" means to rush forward, oblivious to all obstacles.

Kassandra (#14) has posted the most observant reply. For years, the numbers of police, and the role of police, has been prepped for federalization -- to suppress public uprising. The military itself is composed of two layers: an elite officer corps of officers above O-5, and an large core of foot-soldiers being trained primarily in urban warfare and population control (Really, what do you THINK the true role of Iraq/Afghanistan operations is? To get something, resources perhaps? What resources are being obtained?). Above all the visible armed thuggery of police and military is the secret police, the FBI and CIA, whose primary roles are no longer crime prevention, but citizen surveillance and control.)

Remember the structure of the Nazi dictatorship? Gestapo, SS, Wehrmacht? Can you not see the same structure appearing in the shadowy development of the American dictatorship? The operational basis for the police state has morphed into one where the titular leader is irrelevant. It now makes no difference who is President -- he or she does what the plutocracy demands.

Ceruleanblue2011's picture
Ceruleanblue2011 12 years 49 weeks ago

I remember reading an editorial years ago that violence is often the only tool left for those who have no other source of power. If the Democrats and the President won't stand up for the other 98%, then we have virtually no one left on our side. The attitude of Obama and Co. seems to be, "If you don't like it tough! You have no other choices. We are the lesser of two evils." How ironic that Obama can't stop kissing the GOP's rear and pathetically begging them to be his friend. Our only hope is what is happening in Wisconsin. I am not advocating violence but can see that it might be the only option left to those who have no other ones left.

L Senteney's picture
L Senteney 12 years 49 weeks ago

The Republicrook goal has always been to convert the US to a Feudal Society. They attack education because they must not allow people to be educated enough to understand their diabolical goals, and the treasonous methods they have used since the advent of Reaganomics! The President has consistantly betrayed those of US who elected him, hoping he would oppose the Facist Republicrook plunder of America! Instead he has bowed to his masters at every turn, I fear our once Proud Nation has been conquered by the New World Order!

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 12 years 49 weeks ago

Well some people are preparing for conflict. A great Mother Jones issue last year detailed the many miltia groups and we've seen right wing extremists shoot up churches, fly into abuilding in Fl and shoot Rep Giffords. These guys love guns too.

And since fact and reason are frowned upon on the far right, we could have ourselves a buncha real crazies to contend with.

Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 12 years 49 weeks ago

As I am writing this, Pelosi has said nix to any cuts.

When I watched a Republican Senator this morning who was questioned yesterday by Al Sharpton about taxing the rich, the Senator seemed as if he were in a trance. Even when questioned about how the trickle-down fantasy failed, he chanted the mantra: "Give them tax breaks. They pay too much. We must allow them to create jobs..."

This is a Machiavellian meme on the Right today that calls up images of right-wing Germany as it was gliding under the spell of Hitler.

Why does Obama capitulate? Because he has to have the corporate money to survive, like all the rest of them. Before we hit another economic depression and riots, we need to have a real Boston Tea Party that throws the monopoly tea in the harbor. We now have taxation without representation again. Our representatives work for somebody else, not the taxpaying citizens. And the corporate persons they work for don't even pay taxes. It's amazing.

Corporatopia video:

cygnus1's picture
cygnus1 12 years 49 weeks ago

How the City of London Controls World Power ...Monday, May 02, 2011 – by Staff Report

This is bound to shed more light on the issue than any other.

Just listen to where Washington D.C. fits in. You will be amazed!

"Find out more about how the power elite has built their base of global infrastructure for controlling world economies, media, politics and religion. Watch this telling video presentation."



For all those nations who have "Crown land" in their countries, you now know that land does not belong to the Government nor to the Queen, and you now know why anyone who tries to settle on Crown land or "government land" will face bulldozers on their residences.

And now you will know just who crashes stockmarkets and WHY.

dannahancock23's picture
dannahancock23 12 years 49 weeks ago

Nicely presented. I will look for your comments.

Renaldo7's picture
Renaldo7 12 years 49 weeks ago

Posted 7-7, but could not find here goes again on 7-8-11Each of us needs to serve as examples for a more authentic society. The struggles between political parties is so severe that little or no communication exists between them. With a dominant Corporatocracy running both parties, especially evident in the RepubliCON party, the scene is set for a GREED versus NEED societal mush and the conflicts therefrom.I propose that we need to go partyless and to have term limits in all political offices as two ways to attend to the GREED-NEED dicotomy.To put the appropriate sting into this partyless system, term limits installed at all levels of political life (Federal, State, Local) would do wonders to bring a level of participation in Democracy that does not now exist. Imagine what it would be like if an elected congressperson did not, from day one, look to the next election, but was performing as if this were the last term, which it would be. In this scheme, there would be no pensions for the one term politician in congress or the presidency, applying the one term rule, and those elected for their one term would, at long last, be in this for the service to his/ her country. The economy for the non-pensioned politician would, in itself, save millions for tax-payers. In this brave appropriate world, the same one term limit would also apply to justices, supreme or otherwise, who would be elected by the people and not appointed for life. Real change requires a new reality that is based on a participatory democracy which goes way, way beyond anything that now exists.Sooner than later, 85% of all issues would be voted on by the population of all voters, thus emphasizing real Democracy at work. The Presidential revolving committee serving as The President, would only be advisory and would take its issues to the voting public. I dream of a better America in so many ways and look to that betterment with enthusiasm.

JmsThoughts 12 years 49 weeks ago

A bus heads to a factory, 2 bosses earning $1 Million each and 20 workers each earning $8 per hour. All started at the same parking lot and wikll end up at the same destination but each morning the bus needs to be fueled and it is the 20 workers who are to pay for the gas if they want to get to work and earn their daily wage. The bosses sit up front and control the speed and direction while paying little to nothing for the ride and also taking fare from the workers to board.

This is how I see the economy, how long will we allow them to take us for a ride and start demanding alternate transport and freedom to choose out own path?

Liquidfur1's picture
Liquidfur1 12 years 49 weeks ago

turned on the tv when i got home today in time to see thom talking with a panel of three young women. the ignorance of one of the women was typical of many americans ignorance of the wealth disparity problem in this country. she could not understand why we might need to redistribute wealth in this nation. why bring the wealthy down from their lofty perches. leave them where they are and work to elevate the economic status of the poor.

one problem with this. dollars are nothing. dollars are merely a unit of measurment for resources. this country has a finite amount of resources. there are a finite amount of resources in the world. monetary units show how those resources are divided among the poulation. in order for one person to have more another must have less. the amount of total resources worldwide is a constant.

when the very rich continue to get richer and other words hoarding more and more of the resources.....eventually there is not enough to divide among the rest

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 12 years 49 weeks ago



David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 12 years 49 weeks ago

I think that most social psychologists would agree that the hyper-wealthy people in America and around the world behave just like little children, continually testing the boundaries to see just how much they can get away with. And when we have decades of presidents- both republicans and democrats, and decades of congressmen/women who act like hyper-indulgent parents, never correcting the wealthy peoples' outright theft of trillions of dollars of our money and the abrogation of our constitution, refusing to enforce laws like the Sherman Anti-Trust act, sooner or later, the people will realize as a group- a potentially very dangerous group- that the American government is pointblank refusing to take any steps to protect the American people from enemies foreign and domestic and in fact is very actively helping to destroy America. And if our government does not act to protect us before the situation reaches the rather rapidly-approaching social critical mass, oddly enough the wealthy will almost certainly end up regretting their part in the destruction of America; but they can't moderate their behavior, which is why, sooner or later, someone else is going to do it for them, and the longer it takes for the correction to happen, the harder it will be on them. It's like, ok, so you really, really, really, really, really, really, really want to do this the hard way. Ok, but don't say you weren't warned.

And if Obama continues to refuse to look between his legs and realize that he has balls (and if Michelle continues to refuse to remind him), it might happen during his watch and then he will have two distinctions going for him: 1) The first African-American to be president of America; and 2) the president who by default- who, because he just didn't have the courage to keep the very clear campaign promises that he made to us even though well over half of Americans fully supported him having that courage- presided over America's fall into mob rule and/or military dictatorship. Congratulations Obama: you are a very smart, erudite, highly-educated, totally spineless, hypocritical wimp who understands exactly what he is doing and does it anyway.

And congratulations to all of you fake democrats in our government, although you are somewhat less to blame because few of you are intelligent enough to realize the inevitable, easy-to-predict results of your actions and inactions.

Street Punk's picture
Street Punk 12 years 47 weeks ago

Thom i dont see people protesting saying "thats not cool" is going to change any of their hearts, case and point "The battle in Seattle"! Our founding fathers revolted over less then whats going on now! To call it "radical" or "extreamist" to consider a revolution at this point is not right! I wonder what that makes our founding fathers then? The people should not be afraid of their governments the governments should be afraid of their people! When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty! I could go on and on with quotes, but to not stand up and fight back, well we would end up like those Nazis who did not like what was happening at all, but out of some crazy sence of morality or just cowardice they did not fight back against Hitler! With the exeption of a few like "Operation Valkyrie"!

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist