I suspect that this comic is in response to this video.
Don’t you remember listening in civics class where America was branded as exceptional for the labor movement that gave rise to the middle class – and not exceptional in how stinking rich you could get by exploiting a cheap work force and renting a one-room office in the Caymans to avoid paying tax?
Don’t you remember how the U.S. was branded as exceptional by implementing the radical concepts of civil liberty, a secular government and inclusive society – not exceptional in how few limits we put on military power, repeating the mantra of being a “Christian Nation” as if non-Christians are not TRUE Americans and fear-mongering against the “other”?
I’m too young to remember when our Nation’s motto was E pluribis unum; but it once was.
Of course Obama does not have a perfect record in defending ALL the good aspects of Traditional America; but it is getting a bit hard to stomach that the only things less “traditional” about the Obama admin than the loyal opposition is that he is black and he mentions “the gays” in speeches.
How the loyal opposition seems to deviate from Traditional America is union busting and an objectivist-level assault on altruism.
I suggested that perhaps older folks just don’t understand that “Traditional America” no longer exists. They don’t know it’s impossible to work your way through college independently. They don’t know that you can’t find a full time job and working 40 to 60 hours a week in part-time makes you enough money to sustain YOURSELF; not support a family or save up to buy shelter and transportation, much less go out and actually enjoy life with that family. Oh yeah, and if you get sick you go bankrupt.
Professional positions (if you are lucky enough to get one) are not a ticket to the middle class. Unless you were born into money or given money by the government; you start out burdened with college debts, car loan, and mortgage. Your take-home pay is much less than most people think it is, and that money is gobbled up in interest and loan payments. The higher-ups get bank, but the ground-level workers do not.
Before unionization, the lowest paid professional worker (as in, instructional staff) at U of Michigan had a full time equivalent pay of about $19,000 a year and the highest paid professional was paid about $690,000 a year.
Why so much and so little? – “market pressures”
In other words, that is what they could get away with. How do you attract good talent to high-level positions when, in similar sectors, such positions come with 7-figure salaries and golden parachutes? Why pay a part-time English prof a reasonable amount of money when there are a slew of new recruits willing to work for next to nothing just to put the work experience on a resume?
We allowed this to happen – by supplementing our own incomes with debt; giving ourselves this weird illusion that we could actually afford to live a lifestyle similar to what it seemed others in a similar situation should. We accepted indentured servitude as the norm. It wasn’t what you could afford, it was the amount of monthly payment you could scape up.
It is time that we fight for Traditional America, at least the ideal of Traditional America – a place with an economic system that actually rewards hard work and innovation, an economy diverse enough to include opportunities for a variety of strengths, and a society that doesn’t tolerate profound debt slavery or high-paid parasites.
This isn’t going to fix itself by just living more simply and being mindful of money, though that’s a big part of it. Further, it’s definitely not going to be turned around by demonizing the poor and continuing to confuse having money with being productive while refusing to reward productivity with actual money.
Perhaps we should also re-introduce the concept of the “honest businessman” – or ethical business owner. I mean, was there ever a time when lying to Congress, causing an ecological disaster, and being directly responsible for the deaths of your workers would cause your business to get a bad reputation and consumers and other business people to not want to do business with you?!
Or was it all whining about how business owners and upper management magically have no responsibilities to God or Man besides making money?
If so, those “market pressures” are going to usher in the next age of corporate feudalism and nobody will be around to remember that “Traditional America”.