by Progressive Populist
By Brad Hennigan
We’ve seen the stats. Wage growth for 70% of American workers has stagnated or declined over the last decade, while productivity has dramatically increased. During the same period, income growth for top earners, particularly the top 1%, has grown to the point that since the Great Recession, 95% of all new wealth generated in the U. S. has gone to 1% of its population.
But how did we get here? I argue that while the actual policies that have caused our current economic situation are numerous and complex, the REASON those policies exist comes down to only two points: voter apathy, and herd mentality.
I’ll tackle herd mentality first. I don’t necessarily mean for the term to be negative, in fact human nature’s tendency toward herd mentality can be quite positive for human progress. But pro-corporate think tanks some four decades ago made the decision to exploit herd mentality to the benefit of business and the moneyed elite, and to the detriment of everyone else. They have been very successful in creating a divide in America that runs typically along religious lines, pitting “pro-choice” against “pro-life, ” “believers” against “heathens, ” to the point that those who do vote regularly put aside their personal utilitarian well-being (food, shelter, health) for ideological reasons.
In other words, these pro-corporate interests set out to divide and conquer We the People, and have been remarkably successful. U.S. citizens follow their herd instincts and fight each other over battle grounds manufactured by corporate-owned media outlets, which allows the moneyed elite to elect politicians that write and pass laws in their favor.
Divide and conquer, folks…the oldest trick in the book. …