Monday, April 15, 2013

Class Warfare

Trey Smith

Inequality matters. You will hear people say it doesn’t, but they are usually so high up the ladder they can’t even see those at the bottom. The distance between the first and the least in America is vast and growing.

The Washington Post recently took a look at two counties in Florida and found that people who live in the more affluent St. Johns County live longer than those who live next door in less rich Putnam County. The Post concluded: “The widening gap in life expectancy between these two adjacent Florida counties reflects perhaps the starkest outcome of the nation’s growing economic inequality: Even as the nation’s life expectancy has marched steadily upward…a growing body of research shows that those gains are going mostly to those at the upper end of the income ladder.”

That’s true across America. In California’s Silicon Valley, Apple, Facebook and Google, among others, have reinvented the Gold Rush. But down the road in San Jose it’s not so pretty a picture. Do the math: in an area where one fourth of the population earn an average of about $19,000 dollars a year, rent alone can average more than $20,000 dollars a year, and that difference adds up to homelessness.
~ from The United States of Inequality by Bill Moyers ~
Anytime a politician, public interest group or citizen declares that the time is long past when the wealthy elite in this nation should pay their fair share, you can be assured that many in the rich minority will opine that this is a call to class warfare. Everyone has the same chance to be a fat cat, they say, so why are you picking on us?

But class warfare goes on ALL THE TIME. It's just that the rich do most of their bidding with little fanfare. They have crafted a system that continually favors them and sticks it to everyone else. This is why the inequality gap keeps growing and no one can put a finger on one singular cause. The causes are diffuse and they intentionally are diffuse to cover up the class warfare that the elite don't want us to grasp. We -- the unwashed masses -- are under attack daily, but because the attackers aren't waving big banners, we often don't realize it.

Though we always aren't conscious of it, as Moyers points out, it impacts the length and the quality of our lives which is far different from the lives of the pampered class.

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