Friday, July 18, 2008

Matt Taibbi: It's a Class War, Stupid

-How to Hatch a War on America's Middle Class-

-It’s the HUBRIS, Stupid-

Well, Bastille Day has come and gone and so far, no signs of a repeat performance any time soon, despite the fact that the middle class is being K.O.ed’ by eating so much goddamn cake they can’t shoot their diabetic arms up straight as a few greedy corporate elites and their beltway lapdogs enjoy the show. Meanwhile, LWOH operatives are deeply wondering if the Googlers down the street at the HQ Dump have finally, finally figured out a way to “seamlessly and transparently” emit teh Kool-Aid out of the computer screens already!

Matt Taibbi’s article "It's a Class War, Stupid"
in the current issue of Rolling Stone is one of the very best short-of-tell-alls about Corporate America’s War on the Middle Class to come down the pike since Lou Dobbs’ all-but-forgotten book attempt to unite and then rile (albeit unsuccessfully) – docile America’s doomed middle class. Yours truly encourages all LWOH readers to imbibe. Taibbi offers an excellent account of how our government is spending two and a half billion dollars a day in Iraq which is “essentially subsidizing new swimming pools for the contracting class in northern Virginia” while my ninety year old, recently widowed aunt in Longmeadow, MA worries that this winter, she will no longer be able to afford to heat her home.

It’s all in the hubris…People like Bill Gates, to name one, must really, really hate America’s upwardly mobile, educated middle class enough to go to Congress and demand that American citizens who have invested heavily in their educations be replaced with “unlimited” amounts of H-1B visa imported workers to take their jobs. But Gates is only one of several of the “Hubris Class” who are best defined as those snivvely, insufferable corporate executives with a distinct brand of “hate thy neighbor” that is so easily spotted on any Silicon Valley outing whether it be the office, the mall, or merely driving down a city street with one of these over-caffeinated, petty and perpetually insecure Escalade drivers barreling down on anyone who might threaten their mean-spirited and bunkered existences. Why? They know that as resources including everything from oil, gas, food, titanium, uranium, stock options, affordable boob jobs and S. sea remote island vacations are on short order, they could never imagine anyone who looks like them to actually have a piece of that, too. And of course, what could possibly be more delightful than tripping over a few of those smelly, toothless homeless guys in the street on your way to Coco who used to manage your IT department? "American taxpayers who subsidize cheap foreign workers to take their jobs don't HAVE a right to a job, stupid!"

Hell breaks loose (insert shock here) all at once: On this note, does anyone wonder about the “timely convergence” of the sub prime mortgage crisis, the loss of access to healthcare, the pillaging of social security, pensions and retirement benefits and here it is – the granddaddy of them all --- the wholesale outsourcing and sell-out of our jobs from manufacturing on up to the rampant disappearance of our white collar jobs to imported third world workers to move in and take all these “problems” off the hands of the corporate overlords? Everywhere you look, crops of tenement style cheap, multi-story housing are sprouting up and covering the once beautiful mountain and ocean view landscapes in Silicon Valley to accommodate the hordes of cheap workers and their families of dubiously labeled “best and brightest” from the third world to take the jobs of educated, middle class Americans for a fraction of the compensation required to meet the standard of living in the Bay Area.

Who (as in which individuals) is behind the Great American Middle Class Sell-Out to China, India and Dubai and why is it that whenever we read such valiant attempts by journalists to paint a large picture of the Big, Bad, Corporate Wolf, why do they stop short of revealing the investigative part of the journalism that the plebes never, ever privy to knowing? You know, “investigative” as in who these actual asshats are, how much $$$ they haul, who they schmooze with, on which community committees they serve and so forth?

Take THAT, you despicable, American Middle Class Swine: During a time when heating oil, (a subject that truly frightens my elderly aunt and millions of others in this country) along with automotive transportation are “about to join health insurance on the list of middle-class luxuries”, Taibbi points out that home heating and car ownership are slipping away from the middle class thanks to exploding energy prices which he explains is “the hidden cost of the national borrowing policy we call dependency on foreign oil, "foreign" representing the Arab and Chinese nations that lend us the money to pay for our wars.” I say, this is China and India’s way of saying “we own your jobs and your houses now, so die American middle class swine.” Or something to that effect...The question is, if we didn’t borrow the money to pay for the exploding costs for foreign oil, as Matt suggests, would our problems disappear? Could be a good start -- but that’s only half of it, at best. The real problem here is not the pricing increases of gas, heating oil, food or your personal trainer but the ability to pay for it. How do we pay for things we need? Unless your name is Farquhar, most people born into families without trust funds who invest heavily in their educations and earn degrees, often more than one – do it the old fashioned way by being gainfully employed.

For all you inquiring minds, Matt uncovers an inside glimpse into the earmarked wasteland of DOD budgeting below:

“According to a recent report by the GAO, the Department of Defense has already "marked for disposal" hundreds of millions of dollars worth of spare parts — and not old spare parts, but new ones that are still on order! In fact, the GAO report claims that over half of the spare parts currently on order for the Air Force — some $235 million worth, or about the same amount Sanders unsuccessfully tried to get for the community health care program last year — are already marked for disposal! Our government is buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Defense Department crap just to throw it away!"They're planning on throwing this stuff away and it hasn?t even come in yet," says Bernie Sanders. According to the report, we're spending over $30 million a year, and employing over 1,400 people, just to warehouse all the defense equipment we don't need. For instance — we already have thousands of unneeded aircraft blades, but 7,460 on the way, at a cost of $2 million, which will join those already earmarked for the waste pile.”

Massaging the Military budget and diversifying corporate and personal investments from fossil fuels to “Green” is only washing one hand with the other or painting broad brush strokes on the canvass of “bait and switch” to feign any honest attempt at what can be done to rescue America’s middle class from this highly orchestrated war on America's Middle Class. As long as this country is dedicated to legal policies that legally replace American citizens’ jobs with imported cheap labor, this country can look forward to joining the third world ranks of serfdom that a few elites here are pining for: Old Colonial status. In fact, with the exception Matt’s fine job of describing what a DOD earmarked wasteland looks like, I’m not so sure this article is any different than others I have read that accurately point out one aspect of “what’s going on” by paying lip service to the issue of middle class eradication and then omitting the whole who’s screwing who part and what can be done. So here it is, folks…

An Immigration Overhaul is Overdue: Resources are scare and jobs are vanishing. For the last eighteen years, a few greedy, hubris drenched elites from the Neo-Dark Ages known as Corporate America have used legal immigration from India and China to eradicate educated Americans from the labor pool, drive down wages down here, and now kick them out on the street without access to healthcare, pensions, social security, etc. What we have seen over the past two decades is a mantra of “global this and global that” which have become the buzzwords to make the Left look Right and smile while the corporate overlords pull out the rug from under the middle class. Oh, yes, we bleed for the global poor while we allow our own middle class to fall into the ghettoes of places like Obama’s Chicago S. Side digs so he and a few elites like him can disproportionately prosper at the expense of the middle class. This country needs to put the brakes on its Immigration policies that have allowed a few to personally profit from outsourcing jobs by holding every lawmaker and corporate whore responsible for this annihilation responsible to fix it. Now. This country must demand of its local, state and federal lawmakers a complete overhaul of immigration to slow down or halt the flood of cheap labor in this country when there are clearly not enough jobs and depleting resources to go around.

Americans want to work again, and do not want welfare – particularly of the corporate welfare variety -- which is the defining hallmark in this War on America’s Middle Class. Putting Americans to work again may not be a hubris soaked, corporate executive’s dream come true, but these assholes have sucked the air out of the room for the past two decades. It's time for guys like green businessman Al Gore, who is BFF to these hacks, to find a humility and sense of community backbone and take these immigration attorneys and the corporate execs they rode in on to the wood shed to overhaul this whole croc of a GREAT AMERICAN LABOR SHORTAGE ruse with reforms to navigate our way out of this Neo-Dark Age run not by sociopathic, twitty, corporate ghouls in Escalades.

A good friend of yours truly who owns a software company has repeatedly said this over the years, “Make enough money and you can afford what you need.” Simple enough, and how true. Everything is possible with good paying jobs, but for some reason, the closest thing that our lawmakers and corporate executives come near to the topic of “investing in society” is NOT investing in our own CITIZENS ande local communitites, but rather in somebody ELSE’S citizens via importing cheap workers from third world culture here. To better understand what this means, Taibbi’s article provides an example of how carefully lawmakers reveal that it is NOT our own CITIZENS whose needs should be invested by quoting Bernie Sanders with this soundbite: "Corporate America is going to have to reinvest in our society," says Sanders. Ok.

Reinvest”? What exactly does Bernie Sanders mean here? – WHOSE society does he refer to? Invest in WHAT and/or in WHO? I suspect he is referring to the transfer of fossil fuels to Green Tech, a wildly profitable, lucrative scheme for those with the right contacts. Of course, the only beneficiaries of the emerging green tech set are those showered with options and the imported, cheap workers the Colonial Class is hell-bent on bringing over here by the millions to take the jobs, healthcare and homes from the American middle class citizens. More have/have not talk and nothing more. The next time Sanders visits Silicon Valley, how about a few self-described progressives hitting up Pampas for lunch with a few hubris soaked V.C.’s to see what they have to say about putting the brakes on imported cheap labor for at least fifty years? I would love to be fly on that wall. Hmph. Maybe I’ll organize the outing.

Yes, Matt is absolutely right. It’s a class war, only I’ll stop short at calling anyone stupid who actually gets “IT’S THE HUBRIS, STUPID.” Taibbi concludes the article by summarizing the political abyss, asking us to, at the very least, question where our tax dollars are going and to redefine the “national interest” as he most truly redeems his humility mettle:

“These fantasy elections we've been having — overblown sports contests with great production values, decided by haircuts and sound bytes and high-tech mudslinging campaigns — those were sort of fun while they lasted, and were certainly useful in providing jerk-off pundit-dickheads like me with high-paying jobs. But we just can't afford them anymore. We have officially spent and mismanaged our way out of la-la land and back to the ugly place where politics really lives — a depressingly serious and desperate argument about how to keep large numbers of us from starving and freezing to death. Or losing our homes, or having our cars repossessed. For a long time America has been too embarrassed to talk about class; we all liked to imagine ourselves in the wealthy column, or at least potentially so, flush enough to afford this pissing away of our political power on meaningless game-show debates once every four years. The reality is much different, and this might be the year we're all forced to admit it. And while we've all heard stories about how much waste and inefficiency there is in our military spending, this is always portrayed as either "corruption" or simple inefficiency, and not what it really is — a profound expression of our national priorities, a means of taking money from ordinary, struggling people and redistributing it not downward but upward, to connected insiders, who turn your tax money into pure profit.”

Memo to Matt: This white collar labor shortage myth is a croc.

Let's see if Rolling Stone's humblest dickhead -- so far with a pair --- will take a closer look at who's driving this war on America's educated middle class and begin the dialogue on this class war against our neighbors.



Citizen Carrie said...

Another great kick-ass post, TooTruthy. And thanks for the link to Matt Taibbi's article. Basically, anyone who's collecting a paycheck is under attack these days.

2Truthy said...

CC, "anyone collecting a paycheck" indeed will soon be on the expanding terrrist list, of like about 285 million citizens (is that an underestimate?)
These bipartisan, one big party of money "leaders" have mesmerized the comatose on both the Left and Right into believing this country must purge is wasteful, selfish lust for jobs they invested heavily in with their educations by foregoing them altogether to become a nation of interns.

At least there are guys like Taibbi who dare to broach the subject of "class." The only problem I have with this is that whenever it is discussed, it is only with reference to the "poor" and with the "rich" as authors seem to know that "middle", espcecially "educated middle" is taboo.

Anonymous said...

when ninety nine percent of the country is being trounced by the remaining wealthy one percent, writers of all stripes have a lot to write about, don't they?the only thing left to make around here are books.

2Truthy said...

anon, getting tired of all the mealy mouthed blowhards from "new media" yet, too:)