Brave New World is Aldous Huxley’s futuristic novel. There’s a strict class system in it.
The upper classes are Alpha and Beta. From birth they are destined to fill positions in the top social and economic strata. They’re a permanent aristocracy. Opportunities fall into their laps and nothing bad happens to them. Most people are in the lower classes, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. They’re stuck in menial jobs their entire lives. Their social and economic mobility is nonexistent.
Huxley’s Brave New World is run for the benefit of the select few in the upper classes.
America’s Brave New World is run for the benefit of the select few in the upper classes.
They’re doing very nicely. An infographic on YouTube entitled “Wealth Inequality in America” shows just how nicely. You’ll see how the distribution of wealth in America is stupendously tilted toward the super-rich. There’s been a huge increase in productivity since 1975, but very little of the benefit has accrued to the average American. Almost all has flowed up to the top 1 percent (the Alphas) due to “trickle-down economics” or “Reaganomics.”
Reaganomics led directly to the death of the American Dream by gutting workers’ prosperity. It’s easy to forget how prosperous ordinary Americans once were (unless you’re an old geezer like me). Economics professor Robert Reich, Clinton’s labor secretary, says the average worker is underpaid by around $49,000 per year (the calculation is easy). This fact is not known to the average person and is never mentioned during our abysmal elections.
It started with the Republican Party’s swing to the far right in the 1970s. Ronnie Reagan didn’t start it, nor was he alone. (He had Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan, among others.) But he was the finest practitioner of the art of picking your pocket with a smile. Feeble-minded Americans voted for Ronnie because his delusions made them feel good. Republicans perfected this trick with their “think tanks,” manipulating voters brilliantly with mind tricks and “wedge issues.” The rip-off was done mostly by stealth, via the tax code, and also by the gutting of agencies protecting workers and their right to unionize.
Next, Ronnie’s crew got control of the media. Democracy needs an informed citizenry getting information from honest sources. That’s all gone. Ronnie abolished the Fairness Doctrine. We now have the “furnace doctrine,” with conservatives free to blow smoke and white-hot lies. Antitrust laws were dumped, enabling consolidation of the media into a few right-wing hands. Finally, a radical Supreme Court guts laws at will, regardless of the intent of the Constitution. The Alphas can now buy elections because money is “free speech.” Welcome to Ronnie’s Brave New World.
America’s economy used to look roughly like a pentagon. There was a base of reasonably paid unskilled workers. The next was a big, bulging (convex) layer of the prosperous middle classes, with well-paid workers in industrial and professional jobs. It narrowed into a small top with the rich and super-rich. Economic mobility was almost guaranteed for those who wanted to get ahead. That’s all gone.
As a result of Ronnie’s policies, America now has the same social and economic structure as Third World countries. We have a huge base of miserably paid worker bees, a hollowed-out (concave) middle, and a narrow top, towering endlessly upward, occupied by the rich Betas and the super-rich Alphas. Even Newt Gingrich decried this “right-wing social engineering.” Ronnie’s crew engineered this destruction of Middle America, purely to benefit their plutocratic pals. That’s why George Bush Senior described Reaganomics as “voodoo economics.” This fact is not known to the average person and is never mentioned during our abysmal elections.
The middle-class purchasing power of yesteryear, powering a mighty industrial economy, has been severely crimped. That’s why America’s industrial heartland is now America’s economic wasteland. Republicans couldn’t care less, as the Alphas make out like bandits from importing junk that destroys jobs, their dirty tricks allow Republican minorities to get majorities of seats, and the brainwashed Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons vote for them anyway. Once-proud Americans, now struggling to exist, depend on cheap imports and the Chinese wet themselves laughing.
It’s the greatest political conjuring trick in modern history. Democrats, formerly the party for the working classes, still don’t know what hit them.
Nobel-prizewinning economist Joseph Stiglitz stated the obvious (May 2012, Vanity Fair): “The chances of even a middle-class citizen making it to the top in America are smaller than in many countries in Europe. The cards are stacked against them.” The conservative Economist and Financial Times have consistently agreed. Moreover, Stiglitz is clear that Ronnie’s Brave New World threatens America’s future economic growth.
Going around Ronnie’s temple in Simi Valley, you won’t learn that his delusions stuck us with a Brave New World that ripped the heart out of America’s heartland.