Submitted by: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger
Normally, when I work on a guest blog it takes me some hours of research and writing since I type slowly and try to be as accurate as I can be. This one will be a little different because it is written mainly to refer you to the transcript and/or podcast of a fantastic interview with the investigative journalists Donald L.Bartlett and James B. Steele. The interview was conducted by Rob Kall, whose OpEdNews website http://www.opednews.com/ is one that I look to for interesting insight into the political issues of the day. The interview deals with these authors’s current book which is called: The Betrayal of the American Dream”.
Rob Kall’s interview with the author’s is lengthy and so rather than my usual effort to provide a synopsis and relevant quotes of a position that I endorse, I’m going to give you a hint of what this interview contains and the provide you the links so that you can make your decision on the author’s thesis and hopefully be informed on some very important issues for all of us. Readers here know I supported President Obama for re-election, but have been critical of many of his policies. This interview and the book that it is about, demonstrate that the forces at play in the rapid decline of the American Middle Class seem beyond the power of our government to control, simply because they are backed by an elite that not only finances election campaigns, but that has also dominated the discussion with so much false propaganda, that today’s politicians who were born later than 1960 are not even familiar with the reality of how much our economic landscape has changed. Because of this unfamiliarity many don’t even have the conceptualization that things used to be different and why they’ve changed so drastically. In that sense this is less about conspiracy and more about the effect poor education, corporate media and propaganda can accomplish. When I say that the problem is beyond government’s power to fix, it is with the caveat that if the issues presented here were first understood, then maybe we could combat them. In some sense we are all blind men, hypothesizing the nature of an elephant by touching different parts. This interview and the book it is about can miraculously cure the blindness and start the discussion on how we can deal with this 3,000 pound elephant in the room we call America.
I will mention two, among many, of the major factors in the decline of the American Middle Class laid out by the authors. The first is that until the 1970’s our Income Tax was really graduated to the point that government had ample revenue to do its job. The second is that one of the major revenue sources for the Federal Government was tariffs. It was the dismantling of the graduated Income Tax and the proliferation of trade agreements reducing tariffs (and tariff revenue) that have been major pieces in the shipping of jobs overseas, increasing our national debt and destroying what was the greatest industrial economy in the World. For me, a child born to politically aware parents, before the end of World War II, I’ve lived through this history and watched in dismay as these changes took effect. Most Americans though, except for those most prescient, have no idea of what was done, simply because these changes took effect before they were born, or in their early youth. This election past and the polling of attitudes that went with it, show that the majority of Americans perceive that they are being cheated, but often their perception of how, has been skewed by the disinformation that is rampant to the extent that they blame it on the wrong source. If you read either the transcript of this article: “The Selling Out of the Middle Class is No Accident” at this link: http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/The-Selling-Out-of-the-Mid-by-Rob-Kall-121017-79.html or listen to the interview at this podcast: http://www.opednews.com/Podcast/Applying-Investigative-Jou-by-Rob-Kall-120915-680.html
I deeply believe that it will be time well spent.