Not long ago Warren Buffett stated, "We're in a class war in this country, and unfortunately, my class is winning." He couldn't be more correct.
We don't like to think in terms of socio-economic "classes" in the US. We prefer to believe that, even though we use terms such as "lower class" and "upper class", somehow those do not apply to us as individuals. We like to believe that our family is in the "middle class", and that so, too, are about 98% of all Americans. We've heard that the so-called middle class is disappearing, but we don't believe it. We really are deluded.
When representatives of the Fed Government tell us (via the Mega Corporate Media) that the recent Great Recession officially ended last year, what they mean is that it ended for the upper class. The disappearing middle class and the lower class are still in a recession, and will be for quite awhile. There is no such thing as a nearly jobless economic recovery, regardless of the propaganda from the Government. When the stock market is doing well, the rich are doing well. The primary way in which the rest of us do well is via decent-paying, somewhat secure jobs.
There is a myth in this country that the overwhelming majority of Americans are involved in the stock market. Undoubtedly many are, especially through pension fund investments; but overall, the involvement for most of us is not to any significant degree. I've seen a number of sources that state: only about 25% of working adults are involved significantly with stocks; but for only the upper class, the number virtually is 100%. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Mega Corporate Media place undue importance on the stock market when it comes to our economy. Two-thirds of our economy is driven by consumer spending, not by the stock market.
More and more, it's becoming blatantly apparent to the average person that the stock market basically is a racket. For example, high frequency traders who use high powered computers to buy and sell in less than a minute have a huge advantage over regular traders, and may be privy to inside information. They were the cause of the market dropping about 600 points in a flash not long ago. Furthermore, the SEC does not have the capability to keep up with these types of operations. Then, too, there is the whole business of trading derivatives that makes the entire system shaky. [There are about $600 trillion of derivatives out there currently.] Derivatives essentially are worthless, they have no intrinsic value, unless you are an insider.
The mega banks are making debt slaves of us all, and the Fed Government is helping them. Recent claims by national politicians that the latest financial regulatory laws are good for consumers but not for banks or Wall Street are pure, unadulterated propaganda. The recent financial reform, including credit card reform, is nothing but window dressing. [If someone misses a payment, banks still can charge as much as 70% interest from then on; there was a time when that was called usury, and it was illegal.] The mega banks loved the reform, mostly because it failed to address any significant issues. For the most part, it's business as usual for the banks and Wall Street.
Because mid-term elections rapidly are approaching, national politicians now are claiming that they're concerned about deficits and the national debt. Those claims either are lies or propaganda, or both. History suggests that's so. As soon as the elections are over, it will be business as usual. To think otherwise is to be politically naive.
Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. all raided the SS Trust Fund in order to get enough money just to pay the interest on the national debt. I'm fairly certain that Obama, as well, will take his turn. [A small portion of the billions taken was returned to the Fund.] Most of those interest payments go to central banks worldwide. This is not a partisan issue. The Republicans and Democrats are factions of the Transnational Mega Corporation Party (the TMCP), the only major political party in the US. Mega banks are an important part of the TMCP. Obviously, I'm inventing/ coining the name, TMCP; nevertheless, the entity exists, by whatever name or no name. As FDR once said, "In this country, Presidents are selected, not elected." Woodrow Wilson, late in his final term, opined that he feared he had ruined the country by signing into law the Federal Reserve Act. He was right. The Fed Reserve has our government borrow its own money and pay interest to the Fed Reserve Bank, "...a privately owned corporation, and not a federal instrumentality...", according to a 1984 Fed Court decision.
The upper crust of mega banks and other mega corporations, not politicians, rule this land. The politicians are puppets. Those few who are not puppets quickly are marginalized and ostracized by the "mega corporate club", so to speak. This all is so blatantly obvious that it's embarrassing. I love this country, but our central government is a farce. Those who think not are, in my opinion, victims of incessant propaganda.
So, what's to be done? There are many options available to us, but frankly, I don't know which one would be effective. Then there's the question of practicality. My observations over the past fifty years suggest that Americans aren't willing to risk much to bring about political change that matters. That's why several options are not very practical. It would seem to me that at the very least, we should retire about 99% of the incumbents in next month's election...and that applies to both factions of the TMCP. Unfortunately, due to propaganda from the Establishment, I suspect even that won't happen.