Let me tell you how screwed we are. Better yet, let me once again quote my favorite economist, the late Beatle John Lennon. I’ve frequently cited the words he sang in “Working Class Hero” because they make the most salient point concerning our devastated economy: “A working class hero is something to be/Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV/And you think you’re so clever and classless and free/But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see.”
He’s singing about you white guys, the peasants who voted for the Republicans in such sufficient numbers that they kept control of the House of Representatives, preventing the Democrats from legislating any but the slightest increase in a taxation system designed to make the rich richer. The most that President Obama could get passed, even after winning a second term, was an insignificant tax increase on the superrich families earning more than $450,000 a year. That and a lousy 5% increase on the capital-gains profits from gambits that allowed GOP candidate Mitt Romney to pay 14% on his many millions in income while lesser souls were paying upwards of 35% on their hard-earned labor in the real world.
The richest of the rich, like the Koch brothers, bought your vote with hysterical appeals to your most primitive and therefore distorted instinct of self-preservation based on a false notion of one’s own class position. Most white guys who vote Republican are big losers in today’s economy, but they still think of themselves as middle-class winners. They make up a majority of those with underwater mortgages and foreclosed homes, and they are denied once widely available decent-paying jobs with medical coverage. But they still believe that when Uncle Sam invades some country with oil, they will benefit. They won’t.