The current crisis has exposed the bourgeois facade of endless progress and revealed that a large percentage of the middle class was really working for the banks–all along, the proletariatization of the middle class was taking place serving both an economic and political purpose. The US Congressional Budget Office estimates that in the next three years there will be a $2.9 trillion gap between productive capacity and actual output; in short, more than 300% the amount that congress approved as part of Obama’s stimulus package. Such a gap will mean that the state must decide if the top 10% of income earners bare the brunt of the cost, or if the middle class and workers will have to endure lower living standards.
Hovering around 20% in the US and rising as it is throughout the world, chronic poverty will remain a permanent legacy of the current recession. “Third World-type” conditions already exist within the advanced capitalist countries–families in the American Deep South and northern inner cities subsist on a couple hundred dollars per month and rely on food stamps to feed themselves. Conditions for the bottom 20% of the population are not that much better in the EU where the prospects for recovery are not as bright as in US, and even less so for Japan.
Because the effective demand is limited by the earning power of workers and middle class in the post-credit crisis of the early 21st century, and the sharply reduced personal wealth (drop in real estate values, private pensions, and stock portfolios) the illusory middle class “wealth effect” will remain low and accumulated surplus capital high, thus keeping the world economy under limited growth prospects for a long time.
Accountant John Smith in Denver lost his life’s savings in the stock market, he cannot find work, his wife divorced him, and it is all his fault because he has failed to receive the requisite training to conform to the “new market conditions.” People permit their lives to be conditioned and ruled, and sometimes often ruined by man-made systems that the entitlement-minded financial and political elites have forged to retain their privileged status.
How many ads are there online, in newspapers, etc., about “assistant manager” in everything from office clerical positions to fast food jobs, when in reality those are low-paying jobs veiled by a bourgeois “status title” people appreciate more than income? After all, the “real worth” of the individual was “creditworthiness” bundled as part of net worth, thereby giving the illusion to a large percentage of people that they were part of capitalism’s success.