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Issue 48 Winter 08-09

Issue 48 Winter 08-09

“Middle Class Security”

by Jazz-minh Moore

Living in Manhattan, within these yo-yo times of Financial Collapse and Barack Obama’s historic election, Jazz-minh Moore has felt that she is at the epicenter of history in the making. Wall Street is a few subway stops away. The defunct Lehman Brother’s Building is on her walk home from Mid-town.

This piece, entitled Middle Class Security, could not have been conceived out of any other moment in history. The middle class has essentially been run off the road—their home values, health care and retirement going up in smoke—by an ELITE minority careening recklessly around Wall Street in a sleek stretch Hummer limousine. The gas-guzzling vehicle has ignored all warning signs, after its drivers systematically dismantled and deregulated the “New Deal” of the ’30s that supported and protected the American Middle Class. Since Ronald Reagan assured America that wealth would ‘Trickle Down’, statistics have shown that the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, under every Republican rule, from Reagan to Bush, to Bush... to Bush AGAIN.

As the Middle Class tumble down the cliff, three bankers exchange briefcases of money. Of the $700 billion government bailout, $10 billion was given to Morgan Stanley, a number that, roughly, equates to the $10 billion in yearly bonuses allotted to their employees. Many (not all) of the Morgan Stanley bankers lost millions of investors money and do not deserve these bonuses, but they will probably get them anyways. As ‘normal’ Americans suffer financial hardship, this kind of corrupt Corporate Welfare is being played out in many of our country’s most powerful institutions.

Commenting on the sense of pain and betrayal expressed by millions as they lose homes, assets and dreams of retirement, Phil Gramm, one of John McCain’s top economic advisors (and incidentally, one of those to pass the law enabling the Enron scandal) said, “We’ve kind of become a nation of whiners”. In so doing, he became a mascot for the out of touch, cold, rank perspective of the Elite. Meanwhile, the future of Wall Street’s performance is seen in its steep decline down the chart from its 12,000 point peak.

President-Elect Barack Obama’s list of tasks for his first term as president is a long one, and extends across the road. The America he is inheriting is in deep economic crisis, dependence on foreign oil and unsustainable energy threatens national security in a variety of ways, illegal and budget busting foreign wars dishonor and bleed the nation—it’s a mess.

Jazz-minh believes that Obama has the character and judgment to perform brilliantly.

Jazz-minh Claire Moore was born at Breitenbush Hot Springs, a Retreat and Conference Center located in the ancient forests of the Cascade mountains east of Salem, Oregon. She is currently a working artist in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Jazz-minh’s exhibition of recent paintings, entitled Impossible: Take a Moment, is on view at Collectively GRASP in San Francisco, through December 6th. www.collectivelyGRASP.com. More of her work may be viewed at www.jazzminh.com

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