- 11:22 am - Mon, Aug 20, 2012
- 2 notes
From the post:
Political commentators in the United States have long puzzled over the phenomenon of lower- and middle-class voters voting against their own obvious interests, primarily their economic interests. Many explanations have been offered. Certainly, the political propaganda disseminated by the rich through the media which they own and through the political discourse which they now direct through campaign contributions and unfettered campaign advertising is one cause.
In particular, the inherent cultural conservatism of many in the middle and lower classes has made them susceptible to messages emphasizing issues such as abortion; immigration; the role of religion in government, particularly in public schools; and the corrupting effects of a sexually promiscuous culture. Political elites know these issues will attract votes even if those same elites have no intention of doing much about the issues. These issues, however, remain potent ways to get people to vote unknowingly for economic policies that have redistributed vast sums of wealth upward in American society. This redistribution has been done through 1) low tax rates on high incomes resulting in vast deficit spending leading to the issuance of government bonds purchased primarily by the rich who then receive interest from America’s middle- and lower-class taxpayers instead of having to pay taxes that would lower the deficit and 2) through the deregulation of industry, particularly of the financial industry in ways that have allowed vast fraud to be perpetrated on the public, for example, by the mortgage industry.
All of this has become exceedingly obvious since the crash of 2008. And yet, the public has failed to band together effectively to put an end to it. Why is this so?
Do you think that Catton is correct? That the division of labor will continue to increase alienation and predation within our society and make it difficult to gain consensus to act decisively in the face of the urgent challenges of climate change, resource depletion, pollution, soil degradation, etc etc etc…
Or do you think that we will rise up and overcome?