What’s Good For The Middle Class Is Good For America

This article, Here Comes the Anti-Government Left, gets to the heart of what makes Elizabeth Warren so popular, and feared – by the elites in both parties – at the same time.  Warren is taking aim at the soft underbelly that supports both parties – corporations, Wall Street, and the banks.  While also being the sole advocate for a group neither party wants to overtly offend – the middle class.

Warren spends much less time fulminating against the rich per se. Though she has an interest in inequality, she talks far more about the middle-class than the poor. Her signal preoccupation is the way financial institutions have amassed enormous economic and political advantages at the expense of everyone else. She has co-sponsored a bill that would break up the megabanks. She has labored to expose why it is that federal regulators never take big banks to court. She decries the way reform battles in Congress pit a few dozen activists against thousands of industry lobbyists, an asymmetry that virtually guarantees victory for the status quo.

[…]

But the substance of Warren’s agenda is far more radical. She wants to upend a fundamentally corrupt system, one in which big banks and other interests have co-opted the apparatus of government.

Co-opted government, means that we’ve morphed into an oligarchy and our democracy is no longer.

Warren questions the very legitimacy of their wealth and power. “I’ve been in the Senate for nearly a year and believe as strongly as ever that the system is rigged,” she said in a recent speech.

We don’t have a free market, we have a rigged market. Rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful. And in order for the middle class to get back to prominence and power, and for our government to again resemble something similar to democracy, those in power now must lose some of their power. And that’s why Warren is more favored and feared.

Warren-style populism, on the other hand, goes right to the source of the cynicism. In the same way that Middle America believed government was mostly benefiting the undeserving poor in the 1980s and early 90s, today they believe it mostly benefits undeserving rich and powerful. And, just as Democrats had to dispel the former belief before they could advance the rest of their agenda, today they must dispel the latter. Warren’s approach does that.

Warren is all about putting those responsible for our rigged system on the spot.

Here’s what she had to say about the GOP killing unemployment insurance, This is just wrong.

Millions of families are hanging on by their fingernails to their place in the middle class – and the United States Senate just voted to let them fall.

I’m ashamed that the Senate didn’t extend unemployment benefits yesterday. I’m sickened that my colleagues went home last night knowing that they just cut off a little help for millions of people who have worked hard and who can’t find a job.

And I’m appalled that so many Senators cannot admit the simple reality: we are still in the middle of a jobs crisis. People have been looking for work for months or even years. Many are starting to give up entirely. Young people are beginning to think that there isn’t a future out there for them. Long-term unemployment isn’t just about money; it’s also about losing hope.

These people – our friends, our families, our neighbors – they weren’t the ones who broke our economy. So many people worked hard, played by the rules, and did everything we told them to – and now struggle to find work. They need our help.

We help because we care about people, but we also help because it is good for the economy. The numbers show money put into unemployment goes right back into the economy to help stimulate more demand and more business activity. According to a new Congressional report, in just one week after unemployment benefits expired, our state economies lost $400 million. Extending unemployment makes good business sense.

There’s so much we should be doing to strengthen our economy and rebuild our middle class, and yesterday we took a step backwards. Washington needs to get back to work solving problems – not making them worse – so families can get back to work.

I really don’t get why the Republicans would stand in the way on this issue. I don’t get it, but I’m taking stock – and like many of my colleagues who voted to help people yesterday, I’m not giving up

Congress didn’t haggle over “pay-fors” when the big banks needed a bail out. American working families deserve, at the least, the same respect the banks got.  What’s good for the middle class is good for America, is the new slogan.

Further Reading:
Meet the people who are so rich they`ve already paid their 2014 Social Security tax (more here).

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