We are dancing around the idea that there are no classes in America. We, as a country and a culture are clinging doggedly to the manufactured myth of American equality. But the truth keeps raising its ugly and inconvenient head and intruding on our consensual hallucination.
We have manufactured an elite. At first, it was an open elite, with the GI Bill educated vets from WWII being added to the old guard, then the college-educated boomers came in and swelled the ranks to the bursting point. So we have a well-off, educated, and smugly self-satisfied upper class of prius liberals and hummer neocons looking down their noses at the unwashed workers and trying desperately to figure of means of barring the door so that they can keep the gains that they have clawed out of an unequal system.
We are sitting at an unemployment rate of around 14%. Oh, the government claims that it is only 9.5%, but when they don’t choose to count around three million or so folks because they aren’t on regular unemployment, they are on extended unemployment benefits, you know that things are dicey.
The way that I see it, we have managed to atomize ourselves into a a conglomeration of self-serving individuals instead of a nation of free men. We worship at the altar of Mammon, calling it the “free-market” to throw off the unwary. We sneer at the unsuccessful and categorize them under the ruthless sorting of social Darwinism.
That the folks at the bottom of our society are there because they deserve it is the overarching belief of the country. Their lack of education and intelligence, their weight and drug problems are not the fault of the elite who have jealously cornered the gifts of the society, but the contempt of an angry God who finds the proles lacking.
Needless to say, I find none of this appealing. I am certain that Jesus spoke of the rich in very unkind terms. I am certain that the rich would not feel at all ashamed for letting a child starve to lower their taxes. So with the confluence of the end of the bubblish excessive gravy train of the past twenty years, and the desire of the winners to consolidate their gains, we will see an increasingly angry mobile and an increasingly nervous set of folks who are going to slide into the lower class from their perception of being in the upper class.
Things aren’t going to be pretty.