A link to some videos of the Daily Show on class warfare. The first video shows the duplicity of the conservative mindset when it comes to pay and benefits. You really should watch these. (grokked from Jay Lake)
This is a part of the emerging narrative you can read here. There's also some more data points here (note correction to original article they point to, however, it doesn't change the main goal as "lowering wages"). Bill O'Reilly calls himself a "Culture Warrior", but he really means "Class Warrior."
In the past I've linked to some articles showing the income disparities in this country. And I think now we're starting to see the man behind the curtain, or at the very least we're seeing the curtain billowing. While I'm not as reactionary as that Market Watch article above, I do believe he's got a point. The elite wealthy are now stretching their muscles with both their increased wealth (from personal experience I can state that this economic downturn did not really affect the top 15% of the economy) and increased political freedom (Citizens United case and new FEC regulations that allow political actors to hide their funding). And it's all being done to solidify their position by weakening the majority's (because they believe so hard it's a zero sum game, their perception is tilting reality to make it true).
It's a dangerous game they're playing, and it won't end well for anybody. It never has. Sure, individually they might do well until they check out. But there's never been a society in history that has allowed what is currently happening to run for long. The corrections have never been easy, either. What's happening in the Middle East, for the most part is an aberration. It typically looked a lot more like Libya than it looked like Egypt/Tunisia. And while we like to sugar coat what's going on in Libya with talks of "feisty rebels" and all the sanitized versions of the war, you're seeing some cracks, aka the woman who was dragged away from reporters after declaring she had been assaulted and raped by Ghaddafi's soldiers. Expect to learn more relatively shortly. (And you may remember the Egypt conflict wasn't all that pleasant or bloodless)
I had hoped not to have this happen in my lifetime, but I fear it's becoming unavoidable. Ian McKellen as Gandalf delivered the line in the movie adaption of The Fellowship of the Ring, "So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." So, after two years of breathing easier that my internal critic wasn't constantly nagging me with the thought, "Okay, Buchheit, you swore and oath to defend this thing, and just what are you going to do about that, boy?" I'm back to having those dark thoughts.
There's still time to right the ship of state. However, one side has no interest in that argument and the other side is just as complicit, but only because they don't want to upset the gravy train. One side is yelling, "Damn the breakers, we're taking her in," while the other side is meekly whispering, "Maybe we ought to think about this." To make the course correction would be to bring in a tremendous amount of pain (far less than the alternative, but more than the status quo) in a direction not many people are talking about.
To my TP friends, when you would talk about, "We're mad as hell, and we want to take our government back (with implied talk of Revolution," you might remember me saying, "I've been there." Thanks to your actions, I'm back there.