Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

The 1981 Epoch: Ronald Reagan’s Genocide of the Middleclass

Staring at the extinction of their middleclass way of life, you’d think Americans would be ‘mad as hell and not going to take this anymore’.

It is mind boggling that so many Americans have a god-like fascination with Ronald Reagan. This is the man who set in motion the financial gang-raping of the middleclass. Unbelievably, a significant portion of Middle America still loves the man. Why? Is it some sort of Battered Wife Syndrome, the ongoing reality-clouding propaganda by Citizens United or is the conservative middleclass too embarrassed to admit that they were duped by Reaganomics?

But, here we are, repeating stupidity. Instead of trying to reverse Reaganomics, we are now trying to enhance it; more tax cuts for the rich and for corporations, more union busting, deregulation and privatization of government programs.

To increase our understanding, let’s review history: today, many Americans believe that middleclass society magically appeared with the birth of our nation and grew over time. This is not true. With the market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression, the country fell into economic chaos and floundered under Republican President Herbert Hoover. Prior to that, there were a few rich people, a lot of poorfolk and a handful of in-betweeners. Franklin D. Roosevelt became president in March of 1933, quickly launched new legislation and executive orders that would become known as the New Deal.

The New Deal increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, increased corporate taxes, regulated banks and Wall Street, created government programs (social security, unemployment insurance and minimum wage), and created pro-union alliances. FDR’s policies pulled our Nation out of the depression and gave rise to Middle America. In less than a decade, the Leave It To Beaver and Ozzy And Harriet society would grow to become the largest demographic in the country and the envy of the world—The Great American Middleclass.

From the late 30s through the late 70s America prospered and the Middleclass would live comfortably. In steps the B-movie cowboy with his traveling show of Reaganomics and the 1981 epoch begins. Middle America starts to save less to maintain living standards, eventually leading to the necessity of financing their way of life. Wealth transfers from the Middleclass to banks, corporations and the rich get richer. Wealth disparity now sit at the largest level since the robber-baron days of the late 1800s through the 1920s.

We need a call to action. We need leaders with intellect and integrity but most importantly we need leaders with the political will of FDR. We need a champion of the Middleclass.

Americans need to act, educating ourselves on what policies actually work based on historic proof. We must not listen to money-influenced mainstream media. We must not let ourselves polarize against each other with agenda promoted by today’s corporate-financed politicians—it’s their tactic to divide and conquer.

Social media can be the great equalizer; we’ve seen its power in the Middle East. We can use it to educate, organize, create an agenda and protest. Once we have an alliance with critical mass, change will come. Here’s an example: use social media to organize home owners to not pay their mortgages for a few months. Even if a portion of home owners participated, the financial institutions would be chewing on the politicians’ asses to find a resolution before the markets tank.

Change is easier than we realize.

Genocide of the Middleclass, begun by Ronald Reagan, must stop.

-Roger Ingalls

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

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9 thoughts on “The 1981 Epoch: Ronald Reagan’s Genocide of the Middleclass

  1. Right-wingers aren’t interested in what’s best for America; they’re interested in what makes them feel good about themselves. They want to feel like “rugged individualists,” even though conservative policies are bad for them and their families. It’s all about emotion.

  2. Roger, great article. I think part of the problem with “Reagan worship” is that it is not Reagan that is worshiped at all, but a false image of him and his policies. Eugene Jarecki’s HBO documentary goes into this weird phenomenon:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/06/AR2011020603388.html

    It seems Reagan and Reagan’s ghost don’t have much in common. Of course, this does not excuse the damage he actually did – it was real and long-lasting. But now his image is used to justify all kinds of crazy crap.

    But… people love a cowboy, no matter what. Today, it’s all about image and nothing more.

    -Tom Rossi

  3. Tom-
    Thanks for the comments and the HBO link.
    I’m amazed that many people can’t objectively look at Reagan. But like you said, it is all about image. I have to admit, some of his behind the scenes antics (while President) were endearing…everyone loves a cowboy!
    Thanks again-
    Roger.

  4. I’m resisting getting started on the Teflon Coated President or his economic insanity. I fell for his lies and voted for him when he ran for governor of California. He won, broke his promises, screwed over the working person and I never voted for him again.

    When he was president, he promised not to raise taxes and he kept his promise but broke it too. He lowered taxes for the wealthy and did away with some large tax deductions for the working person, which raised the working persons’ taxes. My taxes doubled with the same amount of income the year that tax package was enacted. His people even suggested doing away with the write off for mortgage interest but that was a hot potato that even he couldn’t pull off.

    He was a liar. He should have been impeached. It was considered but both parties felt that the US couldn’t take another Nixon type scandal.

    The reason he has this cult following is because there are fools out there. What is it President Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people most of the time and most of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Well, the Reagan cult that supports the myth that he is a great president are those fools that will be fooled for life.

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