Tag Archives | Class

United States Is Officially A Banana Republic

Banana USA In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof reels off some key statistics in confirming what most Americans have suspected for years —the United States has now become the largest banana republic of it's kind, with the largest slice of income going to the smallest group of oligarchs.
The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.
Not really breaking news, but he includes several helpful links to recent studies demonstrating the emotional toll of striving to achieve the hyper-riches of the Bushes next door, through higher divorce rates and forced moves to hunt down the more lucrative positions.
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Psywar: The Real Battlefield is the Mind (Video)

Via American Pendulum:
Psywar: The Real Battlefield is the Mind explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the “elitist theory of democracy” and the relationship between war, propaganda and class.
Includes original interviews with a number of dissident scholars including Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, Peter Phillips (“Project Censored”), John Stauber (“PR Watch”), Christopher Simpson (“The Science of Coercion”).
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The Coming Working Class Revolt

From Nick Pell at Red Star TimesGM Auto Workers.

Hard to believe, but it’s been a year since the Obama Administration forced General Motors into bankruptcy. This has resulted in a curious phenomenon: the first generation of auto assembly workers in almost a hundred years who cannot afford to buy the cars they manufacture.

Given the context both nationally (the Massey mine collapse and the uncontrolled hemorrhaging that resulted from the BP / Deepwater Horizon disaster) and internationally (Greece seems always on the verge of explosion and the Chinese working class are waking from their 20-year post-Tienanmen slumber) the situation at GM points towards a very exciting and potentially explosive phenomenon.

Full Article at Red Star Times

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Clueless

ladies-who-lunchNick Pell at the Black Sun Gazette responds to Alexa Von Tobel’s article urging people to go a day without spending:

I don’t like what the ruling class of this country do. They lead oppressive, imperialist wars while driving down the living standards of an increasingly disenfranchised working class.

However, nothing quite gets my goat like the nouveau riche elements that make up the upper middle class. If you’ve ever heard me talk about it, or are just curious why anytime a well-to-do celeb chimes in on some topic they’ve gleaned illumination from atop their penthouse apartment it makes me rage hard, this recent article at HuffPo will explain it.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll retch on your shoes when you read the first three sentences.

What would be it like to go a day without spending any money? I’ve thought about this before but I’ve never considered actually trying it.Read the rest

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Enter Syria’s ‘Tell Zeidan’: A 7,500 Year-Old Harbinger of The World’s First Cities

Truly fascinating article from John Noble Wilford in the New York Times. Is this the place where social classes — the rich and the poor — as we know them today first emerged? Reports the New York Times:
Tell Zeidan Artifacts

Archaeologists have embarked on excavations in northern Syria expected to widen and deepen understanding of a prehistoric culture in Mesopotamia that set the stage for the rise of the world’s first cities and states and the invention of writing.

In two seasons of preliminary surveying and digging at the site known as Tell Zeidan, American and Syrian investigators have already uncovered a tantalizing sampling of artifacts from what had been a robust pre-urban settlement on the upper Euphrates River. People occupied the site for two millenniums, until 4000 BC — a little-known but fateful period of human cultural evolution.

Scholars of antiquity say that Zeidan should reveal insights into life in a time called the Ubaid period, 5500 to 4000 BC.

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The New Marijuana Apartheid

Air America makes the claim that a system of “marijuana apartheid” has been created in which the drug has been decriminalized for the wealthy and educated but not for the poor:

Pot in California is only legal for those of a certain class, or those who live in certain areas. It is effectively illegal in most communities of color. It’s not legal for pot smokers in many conservative counties and municipalities. And it’s effectively out of reach for California’s poor.

Marijuana is only legal for those who have $100-$300 to fork over for a medical marijuana card (you don’t get any pot in return), who live in an area where there are medical marijuana dispensaries (generally liberal-minded, gentrified areas), who have proof of residence, and who don’t fit the stereotypical image of a drug dealer.

Just the $100-$300 barrier alone means that pot’s still illegal for anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck.

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