We are in the midst of experiencing the killing off of the middle class. When the bank bailouts of 2009 were done in such a way that the middle class had to pay for risky bank ventures, both Democrats and Republicans agreed that “street guy” had to take the hit. Overnight the wealth of the middle class virtually evaporated. Black families lost 53% of their wealth.
The question is, if you assume capitalism is working, who is it working for? Wages, in terms of purchasing power, hit their high in 1973, and long gone are the days when a single income earner of the middle class could support a family with a six room house and two cars. Something has gone terribly wrong, and it is incumbent upon us to find out what that is (though a good number of people think they already know what that is) and fix it.
Radio Open Source is a left leaning program I listen to regularly, not because I agree but because it is thoughtful and no one screams. Here is one of the programs in a series that Christopher Lydon is hosting on capitalism. It is worth a listen.
I have mentioned it before, but if I had to do my ministry all over again, I would invest a significant portion of my energies to economically protecting the working man from banks and the financial industry and the politicians who are in bed with them. The devastation they are working on the middle class is extreme. They are being enslaved. People’s only way out is to find a way to become rich and rise above the storm. This, by definition, is beyond what “street guy” has in his arsenal.
Make no mistake about it. This is a Republican and Democrat alliance we are talking about. President Obama is no savior of the working man. His policies “foamed the runway” for banks, to use the words of his Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner. From the Huffington Post –
At the meeting, Elizabeth Warren, then chair of a congressional oversight panel established in 2008 to oversee the bailouts, questioned Geithner about HAMP’s (Home Affordable Mortgage Program) ability to help homeowners — not the last time she would grill him. “In defense of the program, Geithner finally blurted out, ‘We estimate that they can handle ten million foreclosures, over time,’ referring to the banks. ‘This program will help foam the runway for them.'”