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Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Farewell to the ‘Middle Class’: 1776 – 2006

Hank Williams Jr - Red, White and Pink-Slip Blues / This all too realistic a song brings to mind Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, and black and white photos of the first great depression. Make no mistake; we are in the beginning stages of the second GREATER DEPRESSION, termed the GREATEST DEPRESSION by Gerald Celente. The song is a good introduction to the topic of this article which mourns the demise of the ‘Middle Class’ in the United States, and the rest of the world. 
For a brief period of some two centuries, mankind beheld a beautiful illusion of freedom and prosperity for all men everywhere. A new class of citizenry sprang up that had been largely unknown in the world of the past 5000 years; this class came to be known as the ‘‘Middle Class’’. All good things they say must come to an end, at least in this world, and this has indeed been the case with this class amongst the population that was truly an aberration of history. This beautiful aberration held out hope for the masses when it first arose, and as it matured, it began to offer illusions of grandeur, of royalty, to many in nations that became wealthy beyond anything seen in history, the United States in particular.
The ‘Middle Class’ was defined by economic prosperity; prosperity that was created by hard work, and creation of capital through savings. In recent times, since the fourth quarter of the 20th century, the ‘Middle Class’ was deluded into believing that prosperity was an entitlement, guaranteed by the government, and could be achieved through massive debt. Rather than shirk in horror from the Debt – Death Trap, the masses embraced it with open arms. They failed to realize that debt is a merciless foe that takes no prisoners. Debt is a piper that never forgives; he always demands payment, and if payment is not forthcoming, like the children of Hamlin, he leads his victims into the land of shadows and gloom, not one of sunshine and hope. Sadly, nay tragically, a dark pall is being cast over the whole world through the ongoing collapse of the current economic system, and when the piper finally stops piping, he will have been paid in full. The payment will be the complete and total decimation of the erstwhile ‘Middle Class’ that sprang up like a beautiful wildflower but soon withered away in the heat of the noonday sun. 
We read in the book of Proverbs in Proverbs 1:32 the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. The ‘Middle Class’ sought prosperity through the foolishness of debt, without understanding that true prosperity has no relationship to the amount of material goods one possesses.  Prosperity is a spiritual condition that depends not one iota on what designer labels one wears, or the size of one’s dwelling place, or how many automobiles one owns; true prosperity is the freedom of the soul, of the mind to find contentment, whether one is rich or poor in material goods. Jesus Himself taught that an abundance of goods does not equate to an abundance of life.
·         Luke 12:15 And he (Jesus)  said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

Since they did not have their priorities in order, the ‘Middle Class’ gave themselves over whole heartedly to the pursuit of the American Dream; however, they confused the dream with being rich and famous, not being a FREE PEOPLE, and in the end it cost them not only the goods that they so eagerly coveted but also the FREEDOM that they failed to guard and protect. In my home country of Canada, people sing in their national anthem, The True North strong and free!… In the United States they sing, ‘home of the free, and land of the brave’… All nations have anthems that extol the virtues of their nation as being the land of free people. However the ‘Middle Class’ failed to see the threat to their freedom, and even to their very existence, a threat that came gift wrapped like the Trojan horse in the form of massive debt; now it is too late, even though the majority yet fail to see the obvious. The bell has begun to toll, the sun has almost set; yet the ‘Middle Class’ holds out hope that the laws of God will be suspended, and for once night will not fall. Tragically the evidence proves otherwise, night has indeed fallen even though it is not yet midnight, and even though the bell has not yet stopped tolling.
The cunning trap that was sprung upon the ‘Middle Class’ to make them voluntarily ring in their own death knell was that of unmanageable debt. Whether this was done by design or it was an act of short-sightedness on the part of political and financial leaders is a subject of much debate, but regardless of how it happened, what matters are the results. Rather than provide graphs and charts, and statistical data to prove that this time ‘it is truly different’, things will not go back to normal, this is not just another recession, I will provide links to many indisputable reports that leave no doubt that the great experiment to create a new class of society, the ‘Middle Class’ is now over. These reports and analyses go beyond the headlines, beyond the 30 second clips to give the reader and viewer a glimpse into the real condition of the economy, and of the world of the future that will little resemble that which exists even today.
  • Death of the ‘Middle Class’ – CNBC news report from Dec. 2009. It is obvious to those who keep a close watch on such matters, that the government rhetoric does not match the results. Having spent trillions to try and revive the economy, the numbers keep getting worse, the rich keep getting rich, the poor don’t have much to lose, so it is the ‘Middle Class’ that is paying the price of this never ending ‘ECONOMIC CRISIS’ by its own demise. In this video interview with Elizabeth Warren, the talking heads were evaluating the impact of TARP, the $700 billion bailout that was handed out not that long ago, mostly to Wall Street. It is now obvious TARP has failed thus necessitating TARP 2 or QE2 as it has been dubbed by the media.
  • The Incredible Shrinking ‘Middle Class’ – PBS San Diego documentary Sept. 2008 / In this documentary an interesting statistic quoted was San Diego county’s unemployment rate; in Sept. of 2008 it was 6.4%, in August of 2010, it is 10.8%. In two years, in the midst of a much advertised recovery, the unemployment rate has almost doubled from 2008, and will surely double by this time next year. Is there a serious disconnect between the government’s fictional optimism and the real pessimism of the average Joe not just in San Diego county but all over the United States? With sovereign debt crises now engulfing many countries, this gloom and pessimism is spreading much further around the world, as for example in Greece.
  • The Death of the ‘Middle Class’ / Part 1   Part 2 / these two short videos leave no doubt that the ‘Change’ Obama promised has indeed come to America, and the world. Sadly, it is not the type of change the majority that voted him in with such hope had envisioned. I am not laying the blame for the demise of the ‘Middle Class’ at Obama’s feet; as these linked reports prove, the death blows began raining down in earnest with Ronald Reagan, and have accelerated with each succeeding administration. If Obama does not finish the job of eliminating the remaining segment of society that see themselves as the ‘Middle’, the next administration most certainly will.
  • The Rageh Omaar Report - A Greek Tragedy? / This excellent documentary news report is a preview of that which is soon coming to many other parts of the western world, parts of the world where there once flourished a vibrant ‘Middle Class’. The UK may see something similar (but on a bigger scale) as early as this autumn as David Cameron introduces severe ‘austerity’ measures. All G20 countries plan on ‘austerity’; austerity will bring agonizing social pain as felt by the Greeks, and will change the very fabric of society as is already happening in Greece, and even in Ireland and Spain.
In conclusion I would like to say that that which many people with foresight had been warning us about for many years in the past is no longer something we need to look for in the future. It is here in the present, the obvious is too obvious to be overlooked or missed any longer. The ‘Middle Class’ is going the way of the dinosaurs, and what lies ahead for future generations is not the Utopia that was promised by leaders, past and present, but a form of technological Neo – Feudalism that will make the Dark Ages seem altogether enlightened. It will be two years soon since I began publishing this blog, and even from the beginning of 2009 to the present day, so much has happened that proves to me conclusively that the nails are being driven into the coffin of the ‘Middle Class’ at an ever faster rate; so when you finally begin to hear the bell that has been tolling for some time now, ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee!

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