Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Vertical Immobility: American Dream Too Steep to Climb

What used to be known as the land of opportunity slowly becomes a place where many have little to look forward to. For the first time since the Great Depression people no longer have prospects to do better than their previous generation. RT's Marina Portnaya reports on what the economic crisis have left of the American dream.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, July 24th, 2012.]

1 comment:

steven andresen said...


This RT report about the failure of the economy to allow people at the bottom to move up the economic ladder reminds me of Greenwald's thesis in his last book. There, he argues that the rule of law no longer exists in the United States. It no longer exists because there are two systems of justice in America today, one for the wealthy and powerful, and another for the rest of us who aren't. The wealthy and powerful do not get punished for taking advantage of the rest of society. They do not get prosecuted for various financial shenanigans. They control legislatures, so they get retyroactive justifications for their criminal behavior. On the other hand, for the rest of us, we get severe punishments for far less significant crimes.

The business about the failure of people to move up the ladder of success is just another aspect of how the country has been stacked in favor of the already wealthy.

I think there has been a change in the economy from capitalism to feudalism. The difference is that with capitalism one allows that a nation's wealth is created by an interaction between producers and consumers, between people who make things and others. The feudal economy is a system where wealth comes from the producers as though whatever they do has been approved by God. This is why a feudal economy was headed up by so many Kings and royalty that, presumably, were given the right to rule by God's words and actions. That is, their success showed that they had God's favor.

In the U.S. now it seems no one objects to the criminality because the success of the criminals is a sign to people who would otherwise oppose criminality as these criminals being on God's side.

Feudalism is just the idea that wealth trickles down from those who have wealth, and if you want to be wealthy, you should not stand in the way of wealthy people, no matter what they have a mind to be doing.

Capitalism is just the idea that wealth creation is a product of some group effort.

The people at the bottom are now being ignored because it doesn't seem to society, in general, that you get any wealth creation at all from people who have nothing. So, you don't do anything for those who have nothing, nor for those who are in the middle. The only people worth supporting are the wealth producers at the top.

Hence, we live in a feudal society, which is no longer a democracy. Democracies are products of capitalist economies.

We live in some kind of kingdom of bankers, or corporate Dukedoms.

pre Magna Carta, too.