Anxiety keeps the super-rich safe from middle-class rage

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Anxiety keeps the super-rich safe from middle-class rage

Why aren't we more angry?

Why isn't blood running, metaphorically at least, in the streets? Evidence of how the rich prosper while everyone else struggles with inflation, public spending cuts and static wages arrives almost daily. The Institute for Fiscal Studies reports that last year incomes among the top 1% grew at the fastest rate in a decade. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, the top 1,000 are £60.2bn better off this year than in 2010, bringing their collective wealth close to the record pre-recession levels.

Now comes a report this week from the High Pay Commission, set up by the Labour pressure group Compass. It reveals that FTSE 100 chief executives are on average paid £4.2m annually, or 145 times the median wage – and on current trends will be paid £8m, or 214 times the median, by 2020. In the financial sector, even the CEO can seem modestly rewarded: this year, the top-paid banker at Barclays will get £14m, nearly four times the chief executive's earnings and 1,128 times more than the lowest-paid employee receives....

The commission describes levels of top pay as an instance of "market failure" because most arguments used to defend it just don't stack up. For example, despite claims that pay levels are dictated by global competition, the majority of FTSE 100 CEOs are British, promoted from within their companies. Only one CEO has been poached in the past five years – by a British rival. But top pay also suggests political failure, particularly on the left. To put it crudely, why can't leftwing parties harness middle-class anger against the super-rich? Surveys show a substantial majority of the electorate agree that differences in income are too large and that ordinary people don't get a fair share. Only one in eight disagree. Why is this so difficult to translate into a political programme that could command mass support?


Issues Pages: 

As long as the working class can make payments on lines of credit for just a few of the same things rich people have, they will feel there are no significant difference between their own situation and that of rich people buying the same things and a lot more with cash on the barrelhead. We just pay for baubles and prestige items for a lot longer. The proles are too easily satsfied, or perhaps they realize they have no money and have more important things to think about, like working over-time and second and third jobs to make ends meet. Working class slobs have no time or spare cash for a decent revolt. Too busy chomping at the bit trying to make things work for them and their's.


Fidel wrote:

As long as the working class can make payments on lines of credit for just a few of the same things rich people have, they will feel there are no significant difference between their own situation and that of rich people buying the same things ...

... while the rich reap the interest we pay on our purchases. They win twice - paying low wages and then taking back most of it in usury fees. It's like the wages we work for are just loans with high interest. And then we prop up their profits with gift 'bailouts' from our tax money. :-)
Time for a (bloodless) revolution!


it's the "company store" on a national level.

remind remind's picture

Everytime I read this thread title I see: The middle class keeps the super rich safe from the super poor's rage.

Basement Dweller

In the major cities, people think their dwellings are making them rich. But in the longrun they are indebted serfs who will see their gains dissolve when interest rates go up (and they will). Someone owing more than their house is worth is a really good, reliable worker.

Maysie Maysie's picture

There's middle class rage? Where?


Apparently, Goldman Sachs is wondering where it is too, and is perparing for it:

VanGoghs Ear

"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
- John Steinbeck

Still pretty much true and Canadian's aren't all that different. But I mean I feel like most people try to enjoy life and focus on the positive since it's hard as it is without being poor as well.
What is being poor once all your basic needs are met? If you don't feel poor than your not. This not to make excuses for the disgusting selfishness in outrageous salaries given nowadays but to realize that we should all be trying to create a simpler less consumer driven society rather than a mansion and 3 cars for every family.


VanGoghs Ear wrote:

«Le socialisme n'a jamais pris racine en Amérique parce que les pauvres se voient pas comme un prolétariat exploité, mais comme temporairement millionnaires gêné."
- John Steinbeck
Toujours à peu près vrai et du Canada ne sont pas tellement différents. Mais je veux dire je me sens comme la plupart des gens essaient de profiter de la vie et de se concentrer sur le positif, car il est difficile car il est sans être pauvre ainsi. Qu'est-ce que d'être pauvre une fois que tous vos besoins de base sont respectées? Si vous ne vous sentez pas de pauvres que vous n'êtes pas. Ce n'est pas de faire des excuses pour l'égoïsme révoltant des salaires scandaleux donnée aujourd'hui, mais de réaliser que nous devrions tous essayer de créer un simple consommateur moins la société plutôt que par un manoir et 3 voitures pour chaque famille.

Je suis d'accord. Il est plus à la vie que la poursuite de la richesse ... il ya la recherche du bonheur ... Maintenant, c'est le socialisme.


(google translator)


That's an excellent quote from Steinbeck. They are all temporarily embarrassed millionaires for sure. 

And fascism has historically required a kind of synergistic approach to keeping the masses down. In Latin America they used state-sponsored terror with help from certain NAFTA trade partners we are all familiar with.

In Europe NATO employed a "strategy of tension" throughout the cold war with stay behind armies perpetrating false flag terrorism. They even reconstructed Himmler's SS to spy on our WW II allies after the war, and even paid them to devise new and better torture methods. Our governments welcomes thousands of Nazi war criminals with open arms policies and gave them sanctuary from Soviet and Israeli justice.

And today it's fear of terrorism. There has to be a unifying cause, and there has to be an identifiable enemy, like Osama bin Laden former leader of "al-Qaeda." Elvis bin Laden was their Emmanuel Goldstein for many years and used as a propaganda centre piece for numerous Two Minute Hate sessions in America and Britain and even Canada since 9/11 as a reminder of why we need a burgeoning police state, increased spying on the lives of Americans and Canadians, and bloated militaries.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Maysie wrote:
There's middle class rage? Where?

Here. Here. Here. Here.

The problem isn't the lack of rage, it's where the rich have tricked the middle class into putting it.

Lachine Scot

Maysie wrote:

There's middle class rage? Where?

Road rage.