Friday, August 18, 2006

The American Plutocracy

The United States is now divided roughly at the median income. Those above it consider themselves “winners”. Their income comes from their job(s), their 401k and other investment portfolios, and the increasing value of their home equity. They are from good families that value education and have connections to the best schools and job sources. Most of them don’t give a hoot about the lower half of the income spectrum whom they consider “losers”, a bunch of uneducated ne’r-do-wells who will not succeed under any circumstances, so government welfare for them is a waste of economic resources. They allow the political donor class to call the shots in government and believe that what is good for corporations and the political donor class is good for the country. They hope to become part of that class at some point in the future.

“Free trade” allows corporations to prosper, and as long as the “winners” can hire competent management of their portfolios and keep trading up in their homes their success will follow that of the corporations and the political donor class. Allowing unlimited immigration and unlimited outsourcing will eventually drive the wages of the “losers” to subsistence levels, allowing more of the wealth of the nation to go to the “winners”.

The US is a plutocracy where the corporations run the nation, supported by a slim majority of the population who profit from the status quo, think they do, or aspire to at some point in the future. As long as these “winners” constitute a majority of people who vote, nothing will be done to change the status quo. Only if the “losers” either achieve a majority and start voting, or come close to revolution, will the situation change.

Promoting religion and religious values in politics is a way of keeping some of the “loser” class voting for the values of the “winner” class. If they consider the “winners” better people with “good religious values” and the “losers” people of low values and parasitic qualities they will continue to vote the “winners” interests even though they may constitute part of the “loser” class economically.

Bush’s proposed legislation and campaign tactics demonstrate his dedication to this philosophy. His foreign policy and global trade policy indicate that he would like to see it spread around the world.