Is 'middle class' a Marxist term?
Rick Santorum says Americans shouldn't define themselves by economic boundaries. 'Since when in America do we have classes?' he asks.
But is the idea of a middle class itself anti-American? Is it Marxist, in fact?
That's what former presidential candidate Rick Santorum thinks. Speaking to a group of Republican supporters in Iowa in August, he noted that President Barack Obama talks about the middle class all the time. (See the video here.)
"Since when in America do we have classes?" Santorum asked. "Since when in America are people stuck in areas or defined places called a class? That's Marxism talk."
He encouraged Republicans to stop talking about the "middle class" because it divides the country. "Stop it," he said. "There's no class in America."
His comments were somewhat debunked by an essay on The American Conservative website, which noted that class distinctions existed long before Marx. In fact, the theory of class conflict was developed by classical liberals and emerged as early as 1837. Modern libertarians have attempted to reclaim that original vision, writes Anthony Gregory, with their opposition to the taxing state and the way the banking and defense industries "line their pockets at the expense of the people."
Still, Santorum's view is a fascinating one. He embraces an idyllic vision of America in which there are no economic distinctions and income mobility is unlimited, where anyone can get anywhere through hard work and determination.
Certainly there are examples of rags-to-riches life stories, of extraordinary people who were able to pull themselves out of poverty on their own. But it's becoming much tougher to do that. The class lines in America are not only real, but they are hardening. The country is practically a real-life "Downton Abbey" at this point.
Consider one study showed that 42% of American men raised in poverty stay there as adults. That's much higher than the 25% in Denmark and the 30% in Britain, The New York Times reports. And the rags-to-riches story is very rare: Just 8% of American men in poverty rise to the top fifth of incomes.
Income mobility, or the ability to move into wealthier classes, fell by a "statistically significant degree" between 1995 and 2005, the Boston Federal Reserve reports.
Your location may play a role. One recent Harvard University study found that in cities like Atlanta, where low-income families often have little to no interaction with higher-income individuals, a child born in poverty has just a 4% chance of becoming wealthy. But in cities like Salt Lake City and San Francisco, the chance of that climb rises to over 11%.
Santorum may view the phrase "middle class" as Marxist -- although, curiously, he has used the term several times before -- his comments shouldn't be dismissed outright. In an ideal world, Americans should not be held back by class lines, and everyone should have an equal chance to make it in life. But in reality, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting locked out of opportunities, and those trends aren't changing whether you utter the words "middle class" or not.
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Speaking of entitlements, the SuperRich have been benefiting from entitlements from the Government since like forever. It's just never talked about to the same level of what the working poor and others receive. Government regulations are not defining classes, it's the selfish SuperRich that are defining it. The Fact that every once in a while, a person makes it, and folks jump up and down and say see, anyone can do it. Everyone can't. That's Alice in Wonderland.
Well I have worked hard for the last 30 years, yes I am better off than I grew up, and yes I may be considered wealthy by some lower standards. Though I am still middle class compared to my poverty upbringing.
Even if most wealth is earned and most millionaires are self made. The only way they have achieved this is through both rich and poor sacrificing to build a better society the last 100 years. Problem is today too many believe that too many people are living off others, too many people are hoarding their wealth. Greed during my 30 years as an adult has become the new normal. A CEO is now paid 1000 times the average employee versus just 100 times just 30 years ago. The income divide has become to great.
Then bring on wage stagnation and no one that works for a wage is making any progress. They are just getting by. After so long of just getting by people tend to give up due to lack of opportunities. People need something to desire.
Now with college educated individuals at an all time high as a percentage of the population employers have what they want, an educated mass of people they can manipulate with the almighty dollar. You take what they offer or you starve under the burden of all the debt you took on to get that education.
So someone tell me that the poor or even lower middle class has the opportunity to get ahead in today's market place. Unless you had something to begin with, or were lucky to have won the economic lottery and landed in the right career field that is in demand at the moment, or invented the next great product, or was just a better thief than the next guy. Then you are struggling. That is why people are starting to revolt. Just wait another 15 years and let someone comment about no class society. People will rise and take back this country for the rich, the politicians, and the rich politicians.
We used to refer to people as employees, now we call them "workers". Marx would be so proud.
The word "think" has been replaced with "feel" in far too many contexts, to the point that in our society, these completely different words are used interchangeably in many cases.
Instead of referring to them as "women" or "ladies" or "girls" or "gals", women are constantly referred to as females, like they are no different than animals.
Instead of history, kids learn "social studies". Instead of English, they learn "language arts". Instead of arithmetic, kids learn "investigative math", where there's no right or wrong answer, as long as they can show how they went about solving the problem.
There are but a few examples.
Statements like this make it clear that Santorum knows so little about American history that I wonder if he's even a citizen. :-P
Actually we have only two claases of people in the USA.
1. Those that work for a living
2. Those that vote for a living.
My sister is a Special Ed teacher and she has a good analogy. She says, "No child is diagnosed as mentally retarded anymore. We have cured it".
We are very much a class system. We just look for sugar coated terms to conceal it.
Changing the wording doesn't change the situation.
I used to like Santorum more than I do lately. But he's starting to sound like a RICH politician.
Maybe we can drop things like affirmative action and head start and all of these programs.
We don't need them anymore, all things being equal.
The Republicans obviously hate the middle class, they will use any means to brainwash people into hating their own rights and freedom. Especially the right to earn a fair buck.
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