"They who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. RIP, the Middle Class:
2. Why the Upcoming Shutdowns and
Symptoms of a Deeper
3. On what is "the crisis"
And once again there is not
much crisis news, today. But I did find two items, and I
added a third, namely by answering the question what does belong to
what I call the "crisis". Clearly that has no precise answer, but
there is a fairly decent answer of principle, that I mostly take from
Also, I should say that I
have updated the index for the crisis series, while I have yesterday scored the
1 millionth hit of this year in Denmark, which is some two months
earlier than last year.
1. RIP, the Middle Class: 1946-2013
The first article is by Edward McClellan. I found it on AlterNet, but
it originally appeared in Salon.
It runs over 5 pages. I
select a few points, in the order they were published:
There are some things I could
say in criticism, but one reason to link this article is that it sounds
pretty radical, in a way few articles did, indeed roughly during the
same 67 years.
For the majority of
human history – and in the majority of countries today – there have
been only two classes: aristocracy and peasantry. It’s an order in
which the many toil for subsistence wages to provide luxuries for the
few. Twentieth century America temporarily escaped this stratification,
but now, as statistics on economic inequality demonstrate, we’re
slipping back in that direction. Between 1970 and today, the share of
the nation’s income that went to the middle class – households earning
two-thirds to double the national median – fell from 62 percent to 45
percent. Last year, the wealthiest 1 percent took in 19 percent of
America’s income – their highest share since 1928. It’s as though the
New Deal and the modern labor movement never happened.
Also, in case you need to refresh your memory, or are too young to have
one, the series "On "American Averages""
that dates from April 2013 (and goes on for three consecutive days) is
quite interesting in finding what people had and did in the U.S. in the
1970ies, that now seem the richest and best years, at least for most
Here is an aside on the unions in the U.S. and on what Clinton
contributed to the present situation, which is a lot:
is at 14.7 million, the lowest total since just before World War II.
There’s a well-known graph that shows middle-class income share
declining along the same axis as unionization.
And there is this:
Bill Clinton continued
down the same deregulatory path, signing the North American Free Trade
Agreement and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited
commercial banks from owning investment firms.
It’s time to
declare an end to the deregulatory experiment that has resulted in the
greatest disparity between the top earners and the middle earners in
nearly a century.
I picked out that mostly
because it allows me to link in my own Crisis +
DSM-5: It's deregulation, stupid! that also will be
2. Why the Upcoming Shutdowns and Defaults are Symptoms of a
Deeper Republican Malady
Next, an article by Robert Reich, on his blog:
This starts as follows:
Republicans have gone directly from conservatism to fanaticism without
any intervening period of sanity.
And this is from its ending:
I think Reich is right, but
this does not mean that they will not try.
In truth, the fanatics
now calling the shots in the Republican Party don’t really care what
the public thinks because they’re too busy worrying about even more
extremist right-wing challengers in their next primary — courtesy of
gerrymandering by Republican state legislators, and big-spending
right-wing gonzo groups like the Club for Growth.
The Republican Party is
no longer capable of governing the nation. It’s now a fanatical group
run out of right-wing states by a cadre of nihilists, Know-nothings,
and a handful of billionaires.
is "the crisis"
It is quite likely most of
my readers do not know what I mean by "the crisis" that this Nederlog is about, as are 274
other Nederlogs on that subject, that I started on September 1, 2008.
Also, that is quite
justified, for my understanding of the term is a bit broader than is
commonly accepted, and also differs in some other details.
First, I use the term to
refer to events that seem - to me - to be quite wrong, and to be quite
wrong in an avoidable way, at least in principle.
Second, there are at
least five sectors of society and one of nature that seem
to be going quite wrong currently, and have been doing so for quite a
Here they are, all
with a brief diagnosis and a duration, that are both taken from my Crisis +
DSM-5: It's deregulation, stupid!:
- the economy: The economies of Europe and the US are
in a major mess and a crisis since 2008, while also nothing much
effective has been done about this, other than saving the banks while
forcing the population at large to pay for the debts. See the crisis series.
The present crisis started in 2007-2008, but
in principle under Reagan, Clinton and Greenspan, namely by successive
deregulations of the banking world, also obfuscated some by the arisal
of PCs and the internet, that also fundamentally changed the economy:
1980-1990. See the crisis
- health care: The health care systems of both the US
and Europe are in a major mess: The dominant end is profit rather than
good health care, and both the management of health care and medicine
itself are corrupt in major ways. See the DSM-5 series.
(1) The management of health
care seems to have been always a mess in the US compared with Europe,
but in Europe the American model has been introduced since 2000 in the
name of "the blessings of market forces", and has grown steadily more
expensive and worse for patients, if highly profitable for medical
doctors and medical managers;
(2) the practice of medical
science and health care has grown a lot worse: The science grew to be
an adjunct of the marketing of medicines;
the health care got thoroughly bureaucratized: All of this has been
ongoing since the 1980ies. See the DSM-5 series.
- education: The educational system, on all levels, in
both the US and Europe is in a crisis, and offers far worse education
for far more money than before. See my published columns.
Both schools and universities have been
giving less and less real education, normally in the name of equality,
since the 1960ies - and note this is one of the changes the victims can
neither really see, nor really feel, nor really understand: To be able
to know and understand what they miss they need what they miss - a
(half way) good
education. See my published columns
& civil law: Politicians, political parties and legislatures
are all for the most part quite corrupt in the US and Europe, and seem
to attract and protect precisely the wrong kinds of careerist and
naturally born posturers, liars and deceivers (already feared by
the ancient Greeks). Also, it has turned out there are no really
independent courts: the courts follow politics mostly. See the crisis series.
Politics became much more of a top down market and
public relations driven careerist thing especially since the 1960ies
and 1970ies showed anything can be sold by TV, including actors who
want to be presidents; politicians are for sale to lobbyists; opinions
can be created and bought by marketing / public
relations campaigns; and judges turn out to be not to
be independent from politics nor able to constrain politics, and indeed
for much that is new - computing and internet - there is no existing
and in any case no effective legislation. See the crisis series and below, under surveillance-state.
- public debate: There
is hardly any intelligent public debate - language has grown corrupt
through political correctness; public relations talk and marketing rule
almost every important topic: much of the public debate - if there is
- is along public
relations lines, in Orwellian doublespeak.
Ongoing with the decline of education and with the rise of
public relations as the tool of choice of governmental bodies,
corporate bodies, and political parties, the standards of public
debate have grown ever and ever lower, and indeed many questions that
should be intelligently discussed in public are either not discussed at
all, or only in marketing / public
relations terms that make a rational
debate, discussion or argument impossible. See Bernays' "Propaganda" to get
a grasp of what is going on.
- climate: The climate
gets warmer and warmer and is effectively out of control, with
unforeseeable and unstoppable social consequences.
Since the 1950ies (Rachel
And to all of the above,
the following crisis item must now be added:
As my references show, I have
written about all aspects, but not in equal amounts, and I also
generally avoid climate topics, mostly because these cannot be solved
realistically in any way that I can see.
- surveillance-state: Everything
that people do with a computer and communicate to
another computer by way of the internet has become the - as yet - almost
totally freely accessible personal property of the bosses of the NSA
(and GHCQ, and other governmental spying organizations), which bosses
thereby are assured near total control of nearly everyone, namely
through controlling his or her personal data.
The duration is a bit difficult, in that most spies have wanted full
insight in all data they could get, but it can probably be best dated
to 2007, when the real mass spying became effective.
In any case, the above is a fair indication as to what I consider to be
in crisis. And as most started to grow wrong already
in the 1970ies and 1980ies, most will remain in crisis, until most
everything collapses, or until some sort of solutions are reached.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: