Juan Cole | In the Age of Trumpian Reaction, is MLK’s Legacy to the 99% being Reversed? | Rise Up Times

Reaction has two main meanings in English. One is to respond to some new situation (not specifying the nature of the reaction). The other is to resist some innovation. In this second sense, a reactionary is one who wants to go back to a previously existing condition of society. A reactionary is worse than a conservative. A conservative resists progressive change that benefits large numbers of people but does not help the rich. A reactionary wants to undo a progressive change already long since effected, taking achievements away from the people for the sake of the 1%.To learn more about Rise Up Times and supportMedia for the People! with a donation click here.We live in a reactionary age. Trump crony Newt Gingrich wants to undo the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt entirely, getting rid of social security and condemning large numbers of elderly Americans to penury. (In the 1930s the elderly were the poorest segment of society; that is no longer true today, and people can hope to retire and live with dignity, because of social security). We live in a moment where 8 billionaires are as rich as the poorer half of humankind and when the top 1% takes home 20% of the US national income (up from 10% only a few decades ago). Ironically, it is in this moment, when workers and the middle classes are prostrate and the lion’s share of resources is going to 1.2 million households out of 124 million American households– it is at this very moment that reactionaries are demanding that ordinary people surrender their pensions and social security and health care for the sake of a further fat tax cut for the super-rich. The average wage of the average worker has been flat since 1970 in the US, as any increases in productivity or real economic growth appears to have been taken right to the top and the 1% by the Republican tax-cut conveyor belt. A loss of entitlements would actually reduce their incomes substantially, sending them back to the 1950s.I saw the Wall Street Journal reporter Brett Stephens on Farid Zakaria’s GPS recently, opining that he goes around the country talking to small business owners, and they are complaining about excessive regulation and the injustices of the 2002 Sarbanes Oxley Act. Let me just say that I believe Mr. Stephens was using “small business” as a more sympathetic stand-in for his actual client, mega corporations. Sarbanes-Oxley made it illegal to destroy records to forestall a Federal investigation, in the wake of Enron and other scandals that robbed large number of employees of their pensions.

Source: Juan Cole | In the Age of Trumpian Reaction, is MLK’s Legacy to the 99% being Reversed? | Rise Up Times