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Massive Widespread Economic Pain Across America

Politics / US Politics Aug 16, 2010 - 02:07 AM GMT

By: Joel_S_Hirschhorn


the United States is not kaput it is certainly withering away even as a rich upper class enjoys all the things that money buys.  There is massive, widespread economic pain inflicting a huge fraction of Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, relying on food stamps, losing their homes, and who are feeling totally insecure financially.  This maintains sluggish consumer spending that makes necessary economic growth impossible.

The corporate bigwigs meanwhile are essentially using economic blackmail as they sit on trillions of dollars in cash, refusing to invest their capital and making great profits because they have cut workers and increased productivity.  They want even more benefits from government that they think Republicans will give them.

No wonder that only 11 percent of people have confidence in Congress and most Americans are fed up with both major political parties.  It is bewildering why more Americans are not openly condemning President Obama and his administration.  Perhaps because there is no clear Republican that warrants support to replace him.

It seems that Obama has taken some power-narcotic and entered into a delusional mental state.  He persists in talking as if the Great Recession is over and all is going just swell.  His wife takes the kids for a vacation in Spain and soon the whole family will go up to a swank place in Cape Cod for another vacation and, of course, Obama likes to go out golfing frequently.  Does any rational being perceive he really feels the pain that so many citizens feel?  He lives the life of a typical rich and powerful corporate CEO, not a servant of the people.

Progressives often seem amazed and befuddled by Obama’s persistent policies that take care of the business and financial sectors, apparently forgetting that when he campaigned for the presidency he took huge amounts of money from those people.  If he does not appoint Elizabeth Warrant to head the new consumer protection financial agency Obama should be openly and loudly condemned by everyone on the left.

Obama finds self-satisfaction in making the argument that everything he has done is surely better than any Republican has done or would do.  He misses the point that being better than the worst imaginable is not the same as doing a really first rate job that serves the interests of ordinary people and especially of those hit the hardest by the continuing recession.  In many respects the economic conditions now savaging the nation are as bad as the Great Depression.  The many millions facing hunger, no jobs, homelessness, foreclosure, inadequate better health care, bankruptcy and financial insecurity define a nation way down the toilet.  The middle class has been murdered.  We are now a two-class society with a rich Upper Class and a suffering Lower Class.

That billions and billions of dollars are still being spent on two unnecessary wars should make everyone feel as if they are living in a big insane asylum.  All that money should be going to investment (especially public infrastructure) and jobs creation here in the USA .

No wonder that a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this week found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a majority disapproves of President Obama’s handling of the economy, and nearly two-thirds expect the economy to get worse, which it will.

Even more important than Obama waking up to reality is that more Americans wake up to their nasty political reality.  Voting in elections has become a political placebo.  Electing more Republicans to Congress in the fall is nothing more than taking two aspirin when you are near death from starvation.

The real medicine needed for our delusional democracy is revolution that overthrows the two-party plutocracy.  We need leaders for one, but there are none that most Americans could and should support, not even in the Tea Party movement.  Time to learn from history: Even the greatest nations and societies end up losing their glory, wealth and power.

By Joel S. Hirschhorn

Joel S. Hirschhorn has been widely published; his previous book is Sprawl Kills - How Blandburbs Steal Your Time, Health and Money - see He has published many articles and oped pieces in major newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune) and on progressive web sites such as CommonDreams, The Progress Report, SmirkingChimp and Opednews; Google Joel S. Hirschhorn to see his writings and achievements and see link below.  Before becoming a writer and consultant, he was a senior staffer for the U.S. Congress (Office of Technology Assessment), Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources at the National Governors Association, a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and head of an environmental consulting company.

Joel S. Hirschhorn Archive

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