. [W]hen middle-class incomes begin to grow, and when people aspiring to the middle class
get a shot to become part of it -- that's the measure.
-- Vice President Joe Biden (June 2009) --
Curiouser and curiouser ...
A Gallup poll published October 16 shows the November presidential election is too close to call. Obama is tied with Romney 47% to 47% among registered voters. However, Romney is beating Obama 50% to 46% among likely voters.
People who are registered to vote but who likely will not vote: those 2% Mystery People hold the key to the election.
Or rather, to the nonelection.
Who are those 2% masked men anyway? What are they thinking? Obama would give his eye teeth to know. So would Romney.
The mystery is easily solved. I am one of the 2% Mystery People.*
In 2008, I pushed the button for Obama. I phrase it that way because I did not vote for Obama. I voted against McCain. After all those years in Washington, he didn´t know anybody better than Sarah Palin to pick for his running mate. A Frontier Mama who doesn´t know the proper prone position for firing a rifle she knows nothing about ("Does it kick?"): a heartbeat away.
And the heart is old, unreliable. A fly boy who couldn´t fly, McCain crashed more than one airplane. I wasn´t going to give him the opportunity to ditch another.
If you interview us, the 2% Mystery People -- the registered voters who hold the outcome in our hands by voting or not voting in November -- you will hear worries and fears ranging from unemployment and crime to public education and degradation of the environment.
All those concerns boil down to one:
Cold numbers tell the cold story of the rise of the oligarchy and the fall of America:
The latest official economic data** confirm not only what has been widely reported in the media but also what we see where we live and work. Since 1981, the rich have become richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class smaller. (This catastrophic trend is analyzed in depth in The Source of Terrorism: Middle Class Rebellion).
Yearly, the United States Census Bureau ranks households from the lowest to highest in income. The Bureau then divides them into five equal population groups, or quintiles. Next, the aggregate income of each group is divided by the national aggregate income to derive each group’s share of the national income pie. That share is what matters: poverty and wealth are not absolutes; they are defined relative to time and place. What is "poor" for Americans today is "rich" for Chinese in 900 AD.
What concerns us here are the data for 2008-2011. Those are the years of the Obama Administration.
The latest official data show that the slice of the national income pie going to the wealthiest top fifth of the population rose from 50.0% in 2008, to 51.1% in 2011. The slice that went to the top 5% of all households -- the core of the oligarchy -- climbed from 21.5% to 22.3%.
To the contrary, the share of the national income going to the bottom fifth -- the poorest Americans -- fell during Obama´s presidency from 3.4% to 3.2%.
Finally, if middle class is defined in the most rudimentary manner possible, i.e., as the intermediate second, third, and forth quintiles, under Obama the middle class’s share of the national income pie fell from 46.6% in 2008, to 45.7% in 2011.
Here it comes, Joe Biden -- the measure we´ll be held to. Under the Obama Administration, not only did the middle class shrink, poor Americans now have less a shot to become part of It than in 2009, when Biden announced the basic and measurable goal quoted above.
Conclusion: President Obama failed America. Vice President Biden´s task force to strengthen the middle class is either incompetent or a hoax. By his own basic and measurable standard, Obama does not deserve another term.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is an unabashed, unabridged oligarch.*** If elected he will definitely do no better than Obama to stop America from dying, probably worse.
What to do?
Our post of 9/15/2012 noted that the millions of us nonvoters will not determine if Obama or Romney is the next president. However, we will determine something else:
"Whoever he is, the next president will be elected by only 30% of the people legally eligible to vote. Mr. President will once again be a politico picked by a small minority. Any claim by him or his supporters to have been ´democratically elected,´ i.e., to be the choice of the majority of Americans, will be a lie.
By not voting we deprive the winner and the reigning oligarchy of the one thing they want but do not have: legitimacy. Obama? Romney? We want them both to lose -- and they will.
We nonvoters in November will not create a single thing. We will only make manifest what is latent: the United States does not have a democracy. It has an oligarchy. Only by admitting that fact can desperately needed changes be made."
Barack and Mitt, there you have it: what the 2% Mystery People are thinking. The next time your chauffeur drives you down the road, count off 20 people. Chances are 10 of them will not be voting November 6. Sirs, it is our nonelection -- not your election -- which really counts.
Keep your eye teeth, President Obama; you´re going to need them. You too, Mitt -- no charge.
Post Script. Failure, hoax, incompetent. No doubt many readers are thinking that it is easy to sit there and bash others. "What have you got that´s any better?"
I find your criticism fair and valid, indeed meritorious. Our upcoming 4-part series identifies and analyzes a major cause of the class polarization/middle class decline. We will show how to break a big cog in the wheel of destruction.
*In its October 16 press release, Gallup defined the 2% Mystery Group in demographic terms.
"With three weeks to go in the campaign, Obama appears to be losing momentum, and now trails Romney by four percentage points among likely voters. That contrasts with his seven-point win over McCain in 2008. Given this shift in overall voter preferences, it follows that Obama will have lost support among at least some subgroups of the electorate. Those losses are not proportionate across all subgroups, however. He shed the most support among Southerners, college graduates, postgraduates, 30- to 49-year-olds, men, and Protestants. He also lost a moderate amount of support among whites, Easterners, women, and Catholics -- while not building new support elsewhere."
Gallup´s finding confirm a central point. We said it before (post of 9/15/2012 ·"3/5 Human" and the article published 7/22/2009 in a series on momentum, "How to Build Momentum for A Political Candidate"). We will say it again:
Obama and his campaign staff do not understand momentum. The latest indicator appeared on October 9, 2012. With less than a month to go, Obama trotted out the family dog under the pretext that it was his birthday. The party only confirmed a suspicion widely held by the 2% Mystery People: Obama´s idea of presidential administration is a 4-year photo op.
**For the latest official data, click here. Go to "Table H-2. Share of Aggregate Income Received by Each Fifth and Top 5 Percent of Household." Click on "All Races."
***Obama, too, is now officially an oligarch. The lower limit for admission into the core of the oligarchy -- the richest 5% of all Americans -- in 2011 was $186,.000. (See Table H-1 at Census Bureau site). Obama´s income for 2011 was $789.674.