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Accelerating Middle Class Poverty

Friday, May 28, 2010 13:14
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By Frosty Wooldridge

According to Newsweek, 38 million Americans live below the poverty line.  Over 35 million Americans subsist of food stamps.

The federal government defines that line as an annual income of $20,000 or less for a family of four.  For the first time in our history, more of America’s poor live in the suburbs than cities. 

In Bedford Heights, Cleveland, Ohio five years ago, a Hunger Network food pantry served 50 families per month.  Today, 700 families depend on the pantry for food.  Why?  Manufacturing jobs shrink with outsourcing, offshoring, insourcing and millions of ILLegal migrants taking jobs from American citizens.

History — A Great Teacher

Do you recall feudalism in ancient Europe?  Remember how kings sat in their castles while serfs tilled the fields, brought food in payment for taxes, died in wars and lived in miserable poverty?  Remember the Broadway production of Camelot with Guinevere listening while the king sang, “What are the common people thinking tonight?”

Remember how 20th century Robber Barons like Rockefeller, Swift, Amour, Carnegie, Gates, Gould, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Kennedy and others manipulated workers while amassing obscene fortunes? 

We enjoyed a vibrant Middle-Class by the mid sixties. 

In order to thwart corporate strangle-hold on American workers, unions formed to give the common laborer collective power.  The AFL—CIO, with such men as Walter Reuther, George Meany and others forced corporations to pay a living wage with decent family benefits.  

However, unseen trouble lurked on the horizon.

In 1965, Teddy Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson slipped an immigration bill through Congress that jumped immigration from 175,000 immigrants annually to 1.5 million each year — a sudden, five-fold plus increase.

Onslaught of undocumented foreign-nationals

So-called legal immigrants busted unions and lowered wages.  By 1986, millions of “ILLegal” poverty stricken peasants from Third World countries crossed over our borders. 

They took jobs at half or one-third the wages paid by corporations.  For example, meat packers in the 1980s earned $18.00 an hour with benefits.  Construction workers earned $22.00 an hour.  American cab drivers earned a decent living.  Catastrophic changes descended on working America.

The slave-labor workers decimated our lower- middle-class

All of a sudden, companies found a mother lode of workers in ILLegal migrants.  They grabbed jobs from American workers at $6.00 an hour, lived 20 to a trailer or apartment and found they could tap into free medical care and schooling for themselves and their children.  They drove cars without licenses or insurance.  They worked off the books without paying income taxes.

Voila! The new Robber Barons of the 21st century found their new slave class.  These new slaves weren’t African Negroes shackled in chains while being torn from their country.  No!  These new workers arrived mostly from Mexico where the average worker earned(s) $3.85 per day.  Why?  Mexico’s Robber Barons perfected their strangle-hold on slave class dominance.

What is the result? 

Today, corporations crush America’s Middle-Class into our newest poverty class.  Our working poor stand in welfare lines.  You can’t find an American cab driver any more.  You’ve got Muslims who won’t take you if you carry something they don’t like while African immigrants can’t understand English.  Swift, Hormel, Tyson, Wal-Mart and hundreds of other large employers engage in illegal hiring practices.  They’re not alone!  McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle’s, Pizza Hut and many other fast food chains employ ILLegal aliens.  Construction firms, house painting, drywall contractors and roofers hire ILLegal aliens at a fraction of a livable wage. 

Bill Gates leads the new 21st century Robber Barons. (Read the book: Robber Barons by Mathew Josephson) Gates’ immense $54 billion fortune allows him to dictate to Congress on how many H1-B and H2-B visas can be offered. Thus far, more than 1,000,000 American high tech workers lost their jobs to insourced foreign workers.  Over 3,000,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished into India, Mexico and China.

Who Makes the Goods America Uses?

Maytag and American Flyer outsourced and offshored their plants to China.  Wal-Mart buys 90 percent of its products from China and other countries where they can buy products normally produced at wages of 22 cents-per-hour.

Last year, Ford and General Motors collapsed.  Michigan workers suffered lost manufacturing jobs at 1,000 per week in the past 18 months.   Middle-class families suffer job crucifixion while their children languish. 

By employing ILLegal migrants, now at more than 20 million in the U.S., 21st century Robber Baron employers cut their expenses in half while they increase their profits for their owners and top CEOs.

Results?  Howard and Jane Pettry of Middleburg Heights, Ohio said, “We’ve worked all our lives and paid taxes.  Now we’re living off credit cards. It’s terrible.”

How terrible?  The average American credit card holder owes $9,644.00 on his or her card.  Most run interest rates at 18.5 percent.  Guess who benefits from all that interest?

In the meantime, Congress watches, waits and waffles while doing nothing to stop legal and ILLegal migrants from crossing America’s borders at rates of millions and millions annually.  

Who is in Charge Here?

Who do you think controls Congress?  Not the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and big business in general, right?

Even more stunning, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost U.S. taxpayers $689 billion during the last five years.

President Obama rebuilds Iraq, spending hundreds of billions of dollars, while he watches skyrocketing poverty levels degrade our Middle Class. 

Throughout this national calamity, American citizens watch as their neighbors lose jobs or see their wages diminished.  However, if it doesn’t affect them directly, they won’t speak a word. 

If you think the 21st century Robber Barons plan to stop this massive wage degradation, you better hang on to your britches.  Like the wealthy Robber Barons of Mexico, our corporations won’t stop the next added 20 million ILLegal migrants — nor will they stop the insourcing, offshoring and outsourcing of jobs.

Can you imagine what Obama and Biden sing tonight as they gather around their opulent furnishings, “What are our common citizens thinking tonight…ta, ta, we don’t care!”

The Death of the U.S. Middle-Class

In the end, America’s Middle Class roared into being from the 30s to the 90s, but fades from existence in the early part of the 21st century.  Concurrently, the less educated their children from dumbed-down school systems, the less able they will be to rise up against their masters.

Ironically, our own Congress commits this national fraud against our citizens.  Worse, Americans don’t speak out — 50 to 60 percent of us don’t vote, and the rest can’t be bothered as long as it doesn’t affect them. 

Denial grows as a key piece of the addictions afflicting our national leaders while dragging this country into cultural, linguistic and financial quicksand.

As the next added 100 million people manifest their numbers in American society, with 70 million immigrants (legal and ILLegals), we might view Mexico to see our future.  By making $3.85 per day per average wage earner, our society degrades to a high class and a low class – with a giant gap between.

R I P — Here Lies America’s Middle Class – Died a contrived death at the hands of the 21st century Robber Barons — and its own disinterest.   They bowed their heads like sheep in the pasture of their demise.



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