A good friend of mine recently became Swiss. He is looking to let go of his American passport to escape the madness of the American Empire as much as possible on this planet. He asked me in a recent email:
The USA has become a very weird place in many ways – or maybe I have over the now 25 years I have been away. You were also away for a long time, what is your perspective on the country?
I answered him in a longish email:
On the USA, my perspective is that there is a certain branch of the wealthy oligarchy is controlling the discourse and the large companies. Its control is by buying the hearts and minds of the people who are business oriented to buy into a mental set, a zeitgeist which is tinged with a particular morality. The mental set of leaders of this sect have perpetuated the idea that people who work in monopolistic positions in say finance or media (Murdock and his ilk) or any of the big corporations (GE) are virtuous. The workers, whether here or in low wage countries are of a different sort of people and deserve to be, or at least as a practical matter can be, treated with contempt. There is a leitmotif going on of stories of the immoral poor who feed at the trough of government largesse and are undeserving. One commentator has called the whole narrative the “Stern Father” narrative.
The middle class has been (and is in the process of being) made into the masses, without rights, without decent access to education unless they get loans from the finance elite (and become life long debt slaves), without access to healthcare, without access jobs, to housing sometimes now. The American middle class as a motor of the economy is being hollowed out. Note that 70% of GDP is historically domestic consumption. When the 99% no longer can consume at a growing pace due to the boom bust cycle then the economy of the 1% falters as well. And the difference between rich and poor is getting starker by the year.
The drive of the rich to keep their entitlements and to rob the rest of any entitlements that they may have takes on the weirdness we see in the media. The morality plays of anti-gay, anti-women, anti-ethnic minorities,anti-labor narratives are in fact obfuscations, the equivalent of a very smart marketing of a certain part of the elite media to get people who are in the middle class to vote for candidates who will fleece them by cutting their social security, Medicare and public education.