Category Archives: Finance

On The Money; A New Game Piece in Monopoly

On The Money;

Economics for the 99%

A New Game Piece in Monopoly

 monopoly

I heard recently that Milton-Bradley Corporation, makers of the ubiquitous board game Monopoly, has retired the iron. If you haven’t played Monopoly for a while, I’ll remind you that to start the game, each player chooses, from among a handful of miniature metal objects, one of them to represent them on the game-board.

monopoly game pieces

The iron, never popular as a game piece, has finally retired. My mother retired her iron in the ’70s. I’ve certainly never owned one, and I’d have no idea how to use it if I did.. I’ll bet a lot of young people today wouldn’t even recognize an iron, or have any idea what it was used for.

ironing-mountain

In its place, M-B has introduced a new game piece, the cat, a brilliant move if you ask me. I love cats. I would much rather be a cat, than an iron, any day of the week. The cat might get chased around a bit by the Scotty dog, or get run over by the race car, but I think the cat will do well in the game of Monopoly, maybe a little too well.

monopoly-cat-660-jpg

The cat just might undermine the the entire premise of the game of Monopoly, and none too soon, frankly. Think about it. Can you imagine a cat ever paying rent? I can’t. If you’ve ever been to the real Atlantic City, you can’t help but notice that the closer you get to the Boardwalk, the more cats you see. I’ll bet not one of them pays rent.

boardwalk cats

Even though you’ll find hotels galore on the real Boardwalk, you’ll also notice dozens of cats, strutting up and down and under the Boardwalk, like they own the place, without a care in the world. I think they have the right attitude, and as newcomers to the game of Monopoly, that attitude just might save the cat, and us.

boardwalk cats support

The game of Monopoly is an exercise in what economists call, “rent-seeking behavior”. In the game, you “buy” a “property”, say “Baltic Ave.” for instance. Then, when other players land on a “property” you “own”, they pay you “rent”. When you “own” all of the “properties” in a particular area, you can charge the unfortunate players that land there, higher “rent”. If you spend some more money on those “properties”, buying “houses” and “hotels” you raise the “rent” still further. You win the game, when other players no longer have enough “money” to pay the “rent” they owe.

monopoly money

In real life, rent-seeking behavior has become epidemic, and it represents a major shift in our economy. You can expect to see more rent-seeking-behavior as the economy shifts away from manufacturing and resource extraction, towards this more coercive and direct form of blood-sucking.

nosferatu2

For generations in the past, capitalism must have seemed rather magical. Markets brimmed with consumer goods that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Fish from distant ocean fisheries, cheap redwood patio furniture, harvested from remote forest habitat, radios, toys, clothes and other products manufactured in distant lands, from materials mined in far-flung corners of the Earth, surely amazed the American consumer, eager to have them all. Most consumers didn’t see the devastation that capitalism left in it’s wake. They just saw a seemingly endless supply of shiny new things to buy.

shopping

In the future, our economy will look very different. Instead of a magical place where shiny new things appear out of nowhere, the economy will look like your landlord, and the sheriff’s deputy who comes to evict you. The economy will be breathing down your neck constantly, not letting you get too comfortable anywhere. Instead of extracting resources from distant lands, the economy will extract them from you. Even now, the economy looks, and feels more like the game of Monopoly, than it did to your parents generation, but the Baby Boomers really enjoy playing Monopoly, especially since they got a head start.

boomers

Because of their large numbers, the Baby Boomers already occupy a large portion of the available housing. Because they grew up at the very pinnacle of American consumerism, they have wildly unrealistic expectations for their lifestyle, and because they got into the housing market well before the housing bubble, they were well positioned to acquire “investment properties”, and hold on to them even as younger families lost their overpriced homes in the foreclosure crisis.

Foreclosure

Since the Federal Government taxes the money they make from renting those investment properties, at the low “capital gains” rate, rather than as “earned income”, tax policy strongly encourages this kind of “rent-seeking behavior”. Think about this when you hear politicians talk about the “capital gains tax”. They’ll say that keeping the “capital gains tax” low, creates jobs. In reality, the low capital gains tax rate screws young working people out of their chance to own a home and drives rent prices up.

capital-gains-tax-reduction

Isn’t it ironic that the Baby Boomers, who introduced terms like “crash-pad”, “hippie commune”, and “intentional community” into the general lexicon, have turned into some of the greediest landlords in the history of humanity. The Boomers like playing “Monopoly” with these “investment properties”, and they’ve read dozens of books about how to “win” at it. Even as wages stagnated through most of their working careers, many of them have done quite well for themselves by engaging in this kind of “rent seeking behavior”.

hippies-demotivational-po

While they never stop congratulating themselves for the Civil-Rights Movement, the Boomers now harbor as much prejudice and hostility, based on income, as their bigoted, racist parents did, based on skin color. The Boomers especially despise the homeless, who conspicuously avoid paying rent. I’ve heard the same kind of derogatory slurs, and vile comments hurled at the poor and homeless from former hippies, as I heard from the bigoted, racist drunks my Grandparents hung with, about Blacks and Hispanics, 40 years ago.

800px-Little_Rock_integration_protest

Today’s large poor and homeless population remind them of just how badly they’ve failed as a generation, something they remain in deep denial about. They don’t want to face the fact that the problems in our society run far deeper than the superficial changes they’ve made to the status quo, and that many of those changes only exacerbated the real problems we face as a culture.

satus quo

The Boomers also expect to finish their lives, enjoying the same kind of excessive consumption that characterized their youth and middle age, but having lived at the very pinnacle of American consumerism, they long ago outstripped the carrying capacity of the planet, and have been consuming your future ever since.

Boomers go for bust

They really don’t want to face this fact. They can’t face this fact, and they can’t face life without their lattes, luxury cars and lots and lots of things to buy. So, they blame the poor and the young, victimizing them with their hostility, defensiveness and denial, as well as their excess.

boomer 2

The Boomers don’t understand, or care, why you don’t have the money, or why you don’t want to pay it to them. They know that the law, and market forces are on their side, and they intend to press their advantage. They won’t face the reality of their unsustainable lifestyle, so long as they can extract more from you. They intend to win this game of Monopoly, and they don’t care what’s left for you when they’re done.

People+playing+Monopoly

In the future, rental properties will fall increasingly into the hands of the 1%, who will form large faceless property management companies to run them. They will hire thugs and creeps to manage these properties who will bully tenants, steal their belongings and skimp on needed repairs even more than the Boomers who own them now.

slumlord2

While the constitution guarantees privacy rights to home owners, tenants increasingly sign these rights away when they sign a rental agreement. As home ownership becomes less affordable, the terms of rental agreements will favor landlords even more. Rentals will become less secure, less private, and more expensive, as the 1% uses them to squeeze even more blood out of their tenants.

slumlord-sm2

Enter, the cat. Cats play by their own rules. Cats hunt ferociously. Cats scavenge effectively. Cats beg endearingly. Cats hide invisibly and cats howl incessantly. Cats are inscrutable. Cats are unpredictable, and cats are the most effective killing machines nature ever unleashed on planet Earth.

ferocious cat

Cats know how to get their way, but cats never pay rent. As a newcomer to this game, you don’t stand a chance if you play by their rules, but as a cat, you can strut up and down boardwalk like you own the place without a care in the world. Take what you need and stay out from under foot. There’s some Monopoly advice that’s On the Money.

boardwalk cats under


On The Money; “Quantitative Easing”

On The Money

Economics for the 99%

How “Quantitative Easing” Makes Life More Difficult

porky and bust

Over the last few years, the Federal Reserve has pumped trillions of dollars into the economy in an effort to spur growth, through a program they call “Quantitative Easing”. Many feared that this would lead to spiraling inflation, but outside of food and energy, prices have not risen much in the last few years. How was the Fed able to pump so much liquidity into the economy without triggering Zimbabwe-like hyper-inflation, or even Carter era-like double-digit inflation?

 inflation

Usually, when a country pumps a lot of liquidity into the economy, they put that money into the hands of the people, through government jobs programs, relief aid, etc. Poor and working people spend that money almost immediately. When you suddenly have more money trying to buy the same amount of available stuff, prices rise, fueling inflation, but that’s not what happened here.

 monetarypolicy_quantitativeeasing

While the Federal government did spend some tax dollars on stimulus projects, while extending unemployment benefits and expanding Food Stamps, that only amounted to a drop in the bucket compared to the liquidity the Fed has injected through quantitative easing. Instead of hiring tens of thousands of people for public works projects, tens of thousands of State and Federal workers lost their good paying government jobs in this recession. Benefits for the elderly and disabled shrank rather than grew, and schools felt the pinch as well.

 death of social safety net

Money earmarked for the housing crisis mostly went to the banks who made the bad loans, not the poor people who lost their homes. While the Fed continued to print money like Safeway circulars, the vast majority of us haven’t seen any of it. Since we still don’t have any money, we can’t go out and buy stuff. Since we can’t buy stuff, stuff sits on shelves. When stuff sits on shelves, retailers can’t raise prices, and inflation remains low, but where did all the money go?

 quantitative-easing-bond-market

According to Harper’s Index, about 90% of all new income generated since the recession started, went to the wealthiest 10% of the population. Among them, the top one-tenth of 1% took the lion’s share. The Fed carefully funneled all of this new liquidity into the pockets of the super-rich. That money went to bank reserves, bank executives, bank shareholders, financial executives and the like. Those people already have lots of money and extravagant lifestyles, so the rest of the economy hardly noticed the trillions of dollars the Fed handed them, because mostly, it got squirreled away in oversea tax havens.

 quantitative-easing-programs-and-policy-easing-is-not-increased-the-us-money-supply

Now, however, we begin to see that money coming back into the market, to buy up foreclosed and distressed homes. Home prices, you’ll doubtless recall, surged to astronomical heights riding a nationwide housing bubble, fueled by lender’s eagerness to loan extraordinary amounts of money against extremely ordinary homes. Somehow, this hyper-inflation in the housing market seemed like a good thing at the time.

 tlc_

Eventually, however, ordinary people failed to earn the extraordinary amounts of income that the lenders assured them they would, leading to the complete collapse of the housing market, bank failures, and a massive taxpayer bailout…of the banks, while millions of families lost their homes through foreclosure.

 perfect storm

For the last few years, a huge glut of overpriced homes, that rich people wouldn’t be caught dead in, but working people cannot afford, has depressed the real-estate market. The invisible hand of the free market should cause the hyper-inflated prices of these ugly suburban homes to drop until ugly suburban families can afford to buy them, but thanks to the Fed, and their “quantitative easing”, the rich now have enough money to buy all of these homes, even though they still sell for twice their pre-bubble price. The rich can then rent these ugly suburban homes to ugly suburban families by the month or year, making them a sound investment once again

 housing-cartoon

Do you see how that worked? First the banks created hyper-inflation in the housing market. When that went bust, the banks held a gun to the government’s head and demanded a taxpayer bailout, and we all lost our homes and our jobs, which sent the economy into a tailspin. Then the Fed printed a lot of cash and gave it to the rich, so that they could afford to buy up all of our homes and rent them back to us. That way, instead of creating new hyper-inflation with all of that new liquidity, the Fed just preserved the leftover hyper-inflation from the housing bubble, thus relieving us, as working people, from the burden of home ownership, and the accumulation of all of that pesky equity. Wasn’t that clever?

 Being evil-500x500

Lo and behold, now it looks like the economy is recovering. Isn’t that great? Most of us are still worse off than we were 10 years ago, but for the 1%, The Great Recession represents a major victory in their efforts to enslave the American people. Why do you think they call it “The Great Recession”, while the rest of us call it “The New Normal”? You can bet that as soon as you get used to “The New Normal”, the economy will tank again, and they’ll expect you to make even more sacrifices to prop it up. There’s a look at “Quantitative Easing” that’s On The Money.

bernanke explains qe


On The Money; A Suit, a Cell Phone and a TV

On The Money;

Economics for the 99%

A Suit, A Cell Phone and a TV

suit cell and tv

According to the UN, in order to participate fully in American society, you need to have three things:

un

1, a suit, 2, a cell phone and 3, a TV set, which begs the question: Why would anyone in their right mind want to participate fully in American society? I own none of these things. I don’t miss them one bit, and I pity the poor people who have them. Think about it.

think-about-it-debbi-granruth

If you need a TV, I presume that you are expected to watch it too. That can’t be good for you. Don’t you have something better to do with your time in American society?

cat-makes-fun-of-your-television-show-selection

Then again, what can you do while wearing a suit?

dorcus sweat

You can pose for pictures. You can work at a desk. You can chat with other people wearing suits. You can walk a short distance, a couple of blocks or so, if it is paved, mowed, tiled or carpeted the whole way. You can watch TV, I suppose, and you can drink. If someone serves you, and you are very careful, you can eat, but that’s about it.

5322852-young-male-model-in-suit-speaking-on-phone-and-eating-bread

What can’t you do in a suit? Fix a car, build a house, paint, weld, cook, fish, hunt, climb a tree, hike the Appalachian Trail, have sex, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or pretty much anything else that you really need to do to survive, or would actually enjoy doing, you probably don’t want to do it in a suit.

Man in Suit Hiking

You cannot launder a suit. You must have it dry-cleaned. This costs money, and has the bonus of impregnating your clothes with toxic chemical residue, which you then breathe in, and absorb through your skin. Perchlorethylene, or “Perc” a ubiquitously used dry-cleaning solvent, causes cancer and acts as a powerful neurotoxin, so it makes you dumber before it kills you.

dry cleaning toxic

I imagine someone participating fully in American society, sitting there in front of the TV in their suit, poisoning body and mind, and then they pick up their cell phone.

C-Lockhorns-phone

I guess they use it to order food and have it delivered, or call their mechanic, or any of the other contractors who actually live their lives for them. Funny that the UN did not list “money” as one of the things that you needed to participate fully in American society.

man-phone-tv-computer-story-top

Really, if you have money, you don’t need a suit, you don’t need a TV and you don’t even need a cell phone. If you have enough money, you can afford to pay people to wear suits for you, make your phone calls for you and you can pay attractive and interesting people to sit on your own sofa and make idle chit-chat, so I really think the UN missed the boat on this one.

mediaburn

This is like saying that to participate fully in heroin addiction, you need a syringe, a spoon and a candle. No, if you are a heroin addict, you have a syringe, a spoon and a candle, but you need heroin. The syringe, spoon and candle are not going to help you get heroin. It’s only your sheer desperation and willingness to do anything for your fix, that gets you the heroin. That’s how you participate fully in heroin addiction.

12429628-recreational-drugs-cocaine-isolated-on-black-with-syringe

So it goes with American society. It’s only your willingness to do anything for money that makes you put on that toxic suit, and answer that blasted cell phone. The hypnotic glow of television is always there to absorb what little attention you have left at the end of the day, and insure that you never even imagine any other way to live. That’s what I’d call full participation in American society, and I pity anyone who does it.

PityTheFool


The Ballad of Bobcat McKee

The Ballad of Bobcat McKee

 bob mckee

I heard Dennis Huber interview Bob McKee this morning on KMUD’s Monday Morning Magazine show. I listened mainly because Bob McKee sounded so much like Bobcat Goldthwait. I thought, “Man if anyone can make real-estate law funny, it’s Bobcat”, but the punchlines never came.

 bobcat goldthwait

No, the joke was on me. I was listening to the desperate, quavering voice of a millionaire real-estate developer, whining about the fact that he broke the law, then fought the county in court, at tremendous expense to the taxpayers of Humboldt County, and lost. Now he hopes to drum up a wave of popular sympathy that he can use to force the county to let him off the hook.

 off the hook bail bonds

I’ve heard Bob Mckee interviewed at length on KMUD, at least half-a-dozen times, but I never noticed how much he sounded like Bobcat, until today. Thanks to all of these shows, I know more than I ever wanted to know about The Williamson Act, the law Bobcat violated. It sounds like a stupid law, but it only applies to landowners with large rural holdings, totaling, what, 1% of the total population of Humboldt County?

 1 percent burns

Well, Bob, we have a lot of stupid laws in Humboldt County. Most of them only apply to poor people. Poor people get punished for violating stupid laws in this county, every hour of every day. Poor people get punished in this county, even when they haven’t violated any stupid laws, and the county gets away with it, because poor people don’t have six million dollars to spend on their own defense. I wonder why we don’t hear much about those people on KMUD.

 1 percent problems

Personally, I’m glad the county spent six million dollars of the taxpayers money to prosecute Bobcat, and I want them to spend whatever it takes to punish him for his stupid Williamson Act violations. I hope they seize all of his property, demolish his home, take his kids away from him and throw him in jail for it, just like they do to poor people around here every day. It would reassure me greatly to know that we have injustice for the rich, as well as the poor here in Humboldt County.

 cops beating w nightstick

While I have learned a lot about the stupid Williamson Act, thanks to all of the in-depth interviews on KMUD, and full page ads in our local papers, I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe that Bob McKee did not violate the law. For all of your high profile, mostly bought and paid for, media coverage, Bob, you really haven’t made your case very effectively.

 make.your.case.

I know that Bob McKee has a lot of friends down here in SoHum. Every blood-sucking dope-yuppie around here talks about Bob McKee in glowing terms, because he sold them logged-over timber land at a price almost anyone could afford, and they got rich off of that land by flouting the law. Now Bob seems to be saying, “Hey, I helped you get rich off of your criminal behavior, now come help me get rich off of mine.”

 criminal behavior

It really amazes me how many of KMUD’s programmers have answered Bobcat’s call to action. Bud Rogers even immortalized Bob McKee in a song. That’s how fucking sick we are down here in SoHum. We sing folk songs about real-estate developers. Can you imagine Bob Dylan singing about a real-estate developer?

Ol’ Bob, he knew how to cut parcels in two.

He sold half to me and he sold half to you

The county, it said he had broken a rule

He spent six million fighting them just like a fool.

Now he wants you to come out and stand by his side

But I think they should just take it out of his hide.”

bob_dylan

Those aren’t the lyrics to Bud Rogers’ song, but you can imaging Bob Dylan singing them, at least I can. Musicians should save their folk songs for people who can’t afford to hire their own jingle writers. Really, artists need all of the paid work they can get.

 jingle writer

I know Bob McKee donates a lot to KMUD. I mean, it’s pretty widely known, and I have been there at the pledge drive when Bob McKee stopped by to make a donation (and talk about his case, incidentally), but the fact was not mentioned on Monday Morning Magazine.

 kmud

Dennis followed his half-hour interview with Bobcat, by badgering Humboldt County Supervisor, Mark Lovelace, with a bunch of loaded questions about, you guessed it, Bob McKee’s Tooby Ranch Williamson Act case, as though Bob McKee’s Tooby Ranch Williamson Act case was the biggest scandal in the county’s history.

 bob mckee tooby ranch

Bob McKee never made me a great deal on a piece of land, nor has he donated money to support this blog. No, my opinion of Bob McKee was forged when I heard him say, on KMUD, in an interview with Bud Rogers: “Well, you know, there’s a lot of poor people around here these days. I can’t do anything about that. I hate to tell people what they’ll have to pay for a piece of land these days.”

 Homeless-And-Cold

Guess what, Bobcat. I’d love to want to care about your stupid lawsuit, but we have a lot of stupid laws here in Humboldt County, and we have a corrupt, brutal and abusive county government. The streets of Humboldt County are full of victims of injustice and abuse, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’d hate to tell you what I’d charge to write you a catchy jingle.

worlds smallest violin


Dear Santa

this piece should appear as a “letter to the editor” in The Independent and The Redwood Times this week.

dear santa

Dear Santa,

Dear-Santa

This Christmas I found a very special gift beneath a fir tree, about half a mile from my home, a cracked and leaking 12v deep-cycle marine battery. I found the battery behind a fir tree, about 6ft from the road, where it had been carefully placed to be invisible to the motorists who pass by. Fortunately I walk that stretch of road nearly every day, so I found my holiday gift before most of the lead and acid could leak into the nearby stream.

deep-cycle

I realize that folks around here don’t seem especially concerned about the serious environmental crisis you face at the North Pole, what with the ice caps melting and all, but really Santa, have you lost your mind? Lead and battery acid are incredibly toxic to fish and wildlife, and I’m pretty sure that a 40lb slab of heavy metal pollution was not on the Mattole River’s Christmas list this year.

polar bear

However, you know how much I love to recycle, and a battery like that is worth about seven dollars to the good people at the recycling place in Redway, right across from the hardware store. Seven dollars folks, for one battery, cash on the barrel-head, no questions asked. That’s real money! That’s enough to buy a fat burrito from Nacho Mama. Seven bucks will buy enough diesel fuel to get you back and forth to town in your huge jacked-up pickup truck. Really, who couldn’t use $7?

seven-dollars1

So, if you’ve got dead, useless 12v automotive, marine, deep-cycle, golf cart, solar system, or any other type of lead-acid battery lying around, don’t re-gift them to your watershed. I know you are glad to see the salmon return, but the salmon don’t want your leftover poison. Instead, bring your dead batteries to town, and trade them in for cold hard cash, in Redway.

redway_dribbble


Crack Heads, Flu Season, Fake Crises and Bill Gates

Crack Heads, Flu Season, Fake Crises and Bill Gates

 gates gilligan

Look, I know most of you don’t read this blog to learn about economics or for articles about science. You should. Just because I’m a fool, doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I know you don’t give a shit about economics or science, you just want me to say something stupid enough for you to chuckle at, and make it snappy. I know I’m just a short stop on your craven quest for amusement.

craven cigarettes

For you, immediate gratification takes too long. You don’t want context, edification, or even a set-up. You don’t even want to read a punchline, you just want the punch. You’re looking for a crack-house where you can free-base funny. Even a one-liner is too long, if it’s over 140 characters. You’re like, alright, I’ll read one line, but skip the vowels and punctuation, I haven’t got all day.

twit-on-twitter

So flu season is upon us again. This year many Americans will contract the Mexican Swine Flu because they can no longer afford German Measles. I suggest they hold out for the Chinese Bird Flu. I’m sure it will be a bargain. Some people won’t be able to make up their minds, they’ll be like “Mexican or Chinese… I had Chinese for lunch, I’ll have Mexican flu this year”. With the Chinese Bird Flu you wish you were dead, and you think you can fly, but if you sweat it out 14 hours a day seven days a week you can survive it. Speaking of China, what do people in China call their nice plates? …And why doesn’t anyone catch American made diseases anymore?

chinese bird flu

Speaking of American made diseases, while Congress wrestles with the ‘Fiscal Cliff” and the “Debt Ceiling” I though I might help them get a jump on their next fake crisis scam. How about these fake-crisis-scam names:

Scam alert

“Taxageddon”

taxageddon

“Financial Firestorm”

financial firestorm

“The Deathstar of Debt”

DeathStar of debt

“Economic Tsunami”

economic tsunami

“Entitlement Apocalypse”

entitlement apocalypse

“Health-Care Holocaust”

health care holocaust

“Thermonuclear Budget Bomb”

bubget bomb

Don’t those all sound scary? I now own the copyright to all of these fake-crisis-scam names, and dozens more. I would be happy to license any of them to Congress and the media.

contract

I got this brilliant idea after I realized that if I had a nickle for every time a politician or media pundit mentioned “the Fiscal Cliff”, I could afford to hire Bill Gates to empty my ashtray and clean my bong. So keep some pipe cleaners in your pocket-protector Bill, the next fake crisis scam is right around the corner.

pocket protecter w pipe cleaners


On The Money; What Middle-Class?

On The Money

Economics for the 99%

What Middle-Class?

 middle class

If you took a drink every time you heard a politician say “middle-class”, you could have stayed smashed since last January. Isn’t it strange that here in the US, where “Marxism” “communism” or even “socialism” have become foul language, the Marxist concept of an expanding middle-class remains hugely popular. So much so, that every politician in America constantly promises to help grow the middle-class.

drinking contest

For a while in the US, we had a real middle-class. Strong labor unions organized workers and wages rose for workers as a result. Thanks to unions like the Teamsters, the AFL-CIO and the UAW, working people enjoyed home-ownership and considerable creature comforts. This was the age of Levittown houses and populux consumerism, and a brand new vision of widespread middle-class affluence that came to be known as the American Dream.

american_dream

Just like Marx predicted, workers organized, took control of the means of production, demanded higher wages, and the middle-class was born. And, for a while, it persisted, until capitalists found plenty of cheap, unorganized labor in China. Today, that middle-class has mostly retired. Thirty years of union-busting, outsourcing, downsizing, and wage stagnation have exacted a huge toll on the middle-class. In fact, you’d hardly recognize it today.

chinese_labor

Today, instead of an economy based on manufacturing, we have a service based economy brimming with low-wage, high-stress customer-service jobs. Facing lower wages (the “new normal”), higher housing, food, energy and health-care costs, the standard of living for most American workers has plunged precipitously in the last twenty years. Strangely, we still think of ourselves as middle-class.

MiddleClassPoll

Hey, our parents were middle-class, doesn’t that automatically make us middle-class too? Like it was genetic or something, but no, you are not middle-class anymore. The fact that you have three roommates helping to pay the rent should clue you in to that. The middle-class has vanished.

middle-class stinking

In the crater left by the imploding middle-class, we find the bourgeois. That is, the landlords, lawyers, cops, and businessmen, the people who most directly serve, and emulate the super-rich, the ones who already had money before the middle-class was born. These people are happy to be rid of the riffraff, and glad to have a whole new underclass of people to exploit.

landlord wannabe

That’s why you hear politicians talk so much about “the middle-class”. They know that the term only really applies to retirees from that bygone era, and their bourgeois, landlord/cop/lawyer/businessman supporters whose asses they already kiss. They know that a lot of people, who do not own property, or stocks, or investment income, but instead work for a living, at low wages, still identify with the middle-class, even though they got kicked out of the club decades ago.

middle class

When politicians promise to help the middle-class, they don’t mean that they will help you become middle-class. They mean that they will hold you down so the bourgeois can fuck you over. If you don’t like this old French term, call them the gentry, or the property owning class, or better yet, the landlords. Would you vote for a candidate who promised to help landlords? How about a candidate who promised to punish landlords? Now we’re talking, am I right?

landlord gets his

We have good reason to despise landlords, as we do cops, lawyers prisons and politicians, and they have all earned our contempt. Don’t dress them up in picket-fence-leave-it-to-beaver imagery, and then pretend like you live there too. The middle-class, Marxism, and the Berlin Wall all crumbled to dust a long time ago. It’s time to face facts, and call a spade a spade. The middle-class is dead, or at least retired, and the bourgeois are not on your side, and the politicians who promise to help them are not your friends. There’s a view of the middle-class that’s On The money.

american-dream


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