Alexander Hamilton's position on the under funded, poorly outfitted Colonial Army:
"America, he argued, didn't need to triumph decisively over the heavily taxed British: a war of attrition that eroded British credit would nicely do the trick. All the patriots had to do was plant doubts among British creditors about the war's outcome.
'By stopping the progress of their conquests and reducing them to an unmeaning and disgraceful defense, we destroy the national expectation of success from which the ministry draws their resources.'"
For many working Americans 95 cents of every dollar of family income is spoken for, swallowed in descending order by housing, transportation, food, taxes, utilities and healthcare.* The thought of a net household profit to invest in equity growth endeavors appears no longer within reach for the average American. Consider for a moment that for a person who earns $30.00 an hour, every dollar saved is equal to $20 earned. To pay for a fifty dollar family dinner out of savings, $1000 of income had to have been generated.
As the "War on Terror" drags on, as health care costs continue to rise, as projected life expediencies increase while employment opportunities diminish, how will the "ministry" Hamilton referred to garner the revenue to pay the public and private institutions whose goods and services it employs? Who will lend the government money if it can not raise the income to pay the interest on the loans?
There is a science to the manipulation of public opinion. In business we refer to it as marketing, in politics, propaganda. An economy suspended above huge debt can function as long the public scurries across the ropes with out looking down. It is the job of political appointees like Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to keep our eyes from drifting. Economists employ an illusionist's skills; bankers and brokers are but grandiose horse traders with a talent for making an aged hag appear as a powerful steed.
The paradigm will shift. It will come like a storm. Perhaps as a revolution. The last forty years of "get it while you can" policies have gutted the future for the working middle class of this country. A clear message was sent to Washington and Wall Street when Obama was elected. Yet the monied elite has turned a blind eye. Who could think they would do anything else.
The French were always an artistic culture and they favored the guillotine because of its metaphoric message... sever the head of failed soc-political ideology... let a new mind sit atop the shoulders of the people.
There are many brilliant, socially conscious individuals willing to give their lives to revitalize this country and its position with in the world community. Their time is at hand.
In 2006 the NY Times found the middle fifth of American earned $45,000 pre tax dollars and the by quantity money dispersal went to Housing, Transportation, Food, Taxes, Utilities, Healthcare and left $2.300 net profit (5% approx)
In my county of Susquehanna, PA, the 2003 average pre-tax wage per job was $23.4k. The average household had 2.5 people. The 2008 household pre-tax income "estimate" is 42k (how this was arrived at is not clear, unless there are two full-time workers per household).
A thought: In retirement, if one hopes to generate a 40k pre-tax income, a rule of thumb is that one million dollars of invested savings is required. If the average household is consuming 95 cents of every dollar in budgeted expenses, how will this nest egg be created?
*US Dept of Labor statistics 2009: based on an average pre tax household income of 63k (1.3 workers) 34% goes to housing, 17% transportation (auto & fuel) Food 12.4% Healthcare 6%.