Well, Big Guy, I have some good news and some bad news for you. First, the good news: If you define the middle class, quantitatively, as anyone making between .75 and 1.25 percent of the median income, then the only country with a smaller middle class than us is Russia.
Now for the bad news: We have a class gap with the goddamn Russians, and they’re winning! I ask you, how in the hell could we kick their ass in the Cold War and then let them outgun us in the elimination of the middle class?
Our oligarchy is smarter than their oligarchy. Oh sure, theirs is more brutal than ours-- though we’re slowly closing that gap--but ours practices its nastiness with a smile. The Russian oligarchy rules with an iron fist while ours is skilled at marketing oppression and convincing the masses that pain and want are signs of a healthy economy.
The problem is that we have too many vestige of middle class privilege left, vestiges like Social Security, Medicare, private health plans, pensions and access to higher education.
They’ve got to go, George, everyone of them. That’s the only way we’ll catch up with the Russians. Every benefit not jettisoned by the Corporatist State is lost profit and lost prestige.
How can America be a model of feral capitalism if we allow our profit margins to shrink just so we can maintain the illusion of a healthy middle class? The second our oligarchy saw how welfare was sapping our economic strength, they dumped it. It’s time they did the same with the middle class. Those people simply have to learn that in the New Age there’s no free ride.