We are witnessing, in the present economic downturn, a reversal unmatched since the Great Depression.
And all of the cushions and safety net put into place since then, via the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, is rapidly being lost.
Even the labor reforms that showed up in Wisconsin under Robert LaFollette, Sr. in the Progressive Era are now facing extinction in, of all places, Wisconsin, and the movement against labor unions is spreading to Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Florida and elsewhere.
We are seeing the return of “slave labor” in the sense that wages are stagnant, and more than ever, part time workers without benefits are becoming the norm in many areas of the economy.
And if one is unfortunate enough to be unemployed, many corporations and businesses are refusing to hire them, as if they are damaged goods.
The attack has begun on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pension plans, health benefits, and other programs that made life better in America.
Powerful corporations, and wealthy people such as the Koch brothers, are managing to influence the Supreme Court, and are in league with the Republican Party, to set back a century of progress and reform.
This is a battle for survival for millions upon millions of middle class people who are rapidly falling into deprivation and poverty and despair.
The feeling is that there is no future, as life becomes more difficult for working families, but also for young people who have a gloomy view of the future, without an education, or even with a college education.
The Social Darwinist ethic of the late 19th century Gilded Age is returning, that of survival of the fittest, and it is creating an ugly atmosphere in America, as the middle class turns on itself and opposes what other middle class people have, and all this to the benefit of the wealthy and the corporations, who are sitting by and licking their chops as America turns on itself.
This is a very dangerous situation which could lead to a breakdown of law and order, a horrifying thought, as we face a daunting future where economic opportunity seems evasive and scattered.
The political divide in this country MUST be breached, or doom is ahead in more ways than one can imagine!