Look what they have made of us in the name of making us safe. This is the way the dreams of the Founders end, not with a bang but with a whimper.
This coming week, Senate Republicans are putting up for a vote repeal of the estate tax (which Republicans have renamed the "death" tax in order to fool Americans into thinking most have to pay it when they die). Right now, the tax only hits families with more than $4 million to give to their heirs. That's the richest one-half of one percent of American families -- only about 1,200 families altogether. Families can leave their children up to $4 million without any tax at all. But because this small group of families has so large a fortune, repeal would cost the U.S. Treasury $1 trillion in its first ten years. That's about equivalent to what's needed to save Social Security over the next 75 years. Put another way, the yearly loss to the Treasury is almost exactly equal to the amount the U.S. spends each year on homeland security. If the super-wealthy won't pay, the middle class will have to pay more taxes to make up the difference. Or the national debt will expand, and we'll all be paying more interest on the resulting borrowing (mostly from wealthy Americans, along with China and Japan).
a lot of graduates are simply not going to find jobs appropriate to their credentials. They're going to be wait staff. They're going to be call-center operators. Their twenties could be spent like that. I recently got Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute to do some research on this. It's still tentative, but he found that 17% of people in jobs that do not require college degrees have them. Those are very often people in their twenties who can't get professional-type employment, or people in their fifties who have been through one too many lay-off and are no longer employable because they're quote too old.
...what I'm emphasizing is the lack of difference, that the security the professional-managerial class thought it had is gone. The safest part of that class, when I was writing in the eighties, seemed to be the professionals and managers with corporate positions. Then something happened in the nineties. Companies began to look at even those people as expenses to be eliminated rather than assets to be nurtured.