Sunday morning did not have much media presence on our TV’s because of soccer, which the networks hope will be the next great sports craze. However in just the tiny bit of time intellectuals were allowed this morning the media managed to warn Progressives that they were too focused on the middle class and they were about to ignore hordes of voters among the poor. Applying a bit of logic to this piece of skewed nonsense will show that Progressive/Liberal agenda items are not only important to the middle class; they could also be very important for those who are considered poor. But what the media may be suggesting is that the poor are deficient in logical thinking skills and will never realize these social programs would also help them. (Surely, the media wouldn’t do that!)
Americans who accept low paying jobs because they lack training and/or education often cannot afford to work because child care costs would wipe out their income. Single moms are in an especially precarious situation when they have no nearby family support system. If you can drop your children at home and if you know your Mom’s a nurturing person with a healthy lifestyle, then you are lucky indeed. Free day care along with universal pre-K, are certainly programs that would help lift some people out of poverty and programs which would also help the middle class.
Free training and college, another Progressive goal, especially if accompanied by reliable child care and pre-K and after-school programs is a triple whammy that might make astonishing inroads into the number of poor in the country. These same things would also provide security to the American middle class. Children would be cared for systematically and parents could work with less guilt and fewer interruptions. For the middle class these are peace-of-mind-items but would also help folks climb their career ladders. For the poor they could be the difference between failure and success. These programs might attack those pockets of stubborn poverty in America that we discuss so often and create pathways out.
Progressives also believe, and the experiences of other nations which have these supports in place show, that these programs also improve day-to-day life for the middle class and help them concentrate on their jobs when they are working and concentrate on their families when they are not, instead of being torn between two loyalties. Family leave helps families deal with illness, death, and crisis within the family without losing their livelihood.
I love the Progressive/Liberal agenda for its sheer audacity. To peddle growth in the midst of a push for drastic austerity takes a lot of chutzpah.
And this stuff, while jaw-dropping, does not strike us as being as nutty in a way as the right wing diatribes have been. If you ask me who makes arguments closer to the promises we believe are made by our Democracy, I would have to go with the Progressives. There is also the argument that we like these things Progressive want to fight for; we want these things; these things would be a godsend for both the middle class and the poor.
But we have been beaten down; we have been shown our greed and the affects that our greed has had on the Federal budget and we are ready to take our punishment. We are almost convinced it is just. We are almost persuaded that we cannot ask the rich to part with one more red cent of their hard-earned bucks. I say this with sarcasm but the part of the middle class which feels comfortable, that feels on the verge of attaining enough wealth to put their money worries to rest, are truly loathe to touch up the very rich for these programs (even if our tax structures and our laws are funneling all America’s money into a very few pockets).
Both propaganda and direct observation, I might add, have done their work. Americans with a strong work ethic feel like they have wage suckers attached to every window, door and crevice in their homes (thank you Progressive Insurance for that image). Perhaps they are right, but I believe the number of wage suckers would also be trimmed by adopting a more progressive approach to social programs (along with a really effective new way to wean people off opioids and other debilitating addictive substances.)
The middle class is ready to cut the wage suckers loose. Everyone should have to work and plan and save and climb. That’s the American way. And, yes, it is, but it has left a lot of wage suckers and those unable to work circling the drain. Abandoning them will not improve America. It will make it sadder and scarier. People will not just go live in suburbs, they will have to live in walled and guarded communities and be very choosy about who they let in. Or we can try one more time to help those who need it find a way to live independent and productive lives.
So the media may be correct about the factoid they offered which said that Progressive/Liberal talk is focused on the middle class and that they will lose a lot of votes with this kind of focus. Clearly, though, the same social programs that are offered to assist the middle class, would be even more helpful to the poor. It’s a bold approach. When all are moaning about debts and cuts, go big. Spend money to make money. If were headed for a 25 year long great depression on our current path, risk-taking might be just the trick to turn the whole thing around. We would be betting on the same Americans we have been talking about kicking to the curb. Now, that’s Progressive!
By Nancy Brisson