Denying the very existence of an entire class of citizens? That’s waging some very real warfare against them.
There hasn’t been any organized, explicitly class-based violence in this country for generations, so what, exactly, does “class warfare” really mean? Is it just an empty political catch-phrase?
The American Right has decided that returning the tax rate paid by the wealthiest Americans from what it was during the Bush years (which, incidentally, featured the slowest job growth under any president in our history, at 0.45 percent per year) to what they forked over during the Clinton years (when job growth happened to average 1.6 percent per year) is the epitome of class warfare. Sure, it would leave top earners with a tax rate 10 percentage points below what they were paying after Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, but that’s the conservative definition of “eating the rich” these days.
I recently offered a less Orwellian definition, arguing that real class warfare is when those who have already achieved a good deal of prosperity pull the ladder up behind them by attacking the very things that once allowed working people to move up and join the ranks of the middle class.
But there’s another way of looking at “class war”: habitually vilifying the unfortunate; claiming that their plight is a manifestation of some personal flaw or cultural deficiency. Conservatives wage this form of class warfare virtually every day, consigning millions of people who are down on their luck to some subhuman underclass.
The six ways from The article
- Registering the Poor to Vote is ‘UnAmerican’
- Unemployment Benefits Have Created a ‘Nation of Slackers’
- You Can’t Really Be Poor if You Have a Color TV!
- Food-Stamps: ‘A Fossil That Repeats All the Errors of the War on Poverty’
- ‘The Main Causes of Child Poverty Are Low Levels of Parental Work and the Absence of Fathers.’
- Taxing Working People Less Than the Rich Is ‘Perverse’