How Can You Not See It – The Destruction Of American Society

I have been compelled to write this post due to interactions with mostly “baby boomer” generations that seem to be stuck in an old paradigm based upon how they grew up and the benefits that they reaped in that time. It seems as if we come from different worlds and in fact that isn’t far from the truth.

We are going to go over several decades and show how those with money and power have systematically destroyed not only the family unit but also society and the U.S. economy. This was accomplished through numerous means including the “war on drugs”, privatized prisons, Big Pharma, Big Oil, The Military Industrial Complex, inflation, wage freezes and more.

The average American has become nothing more than a commodity. Money is collected for your birth. You pay for doctors, medication and insurance. You get sick and pay for treatments but they withhold the cure. When you die they charge your heirs to put you in the ground.

How Money Has Become Nearly Worthless

What needs to be understood about “money” is that the only thing that matters is what you can buy with it. In this day and age, due to “The Fed”, debt is considered pretty much the same as money so people mortgage their futures for purchases like homes and cars and even the cost of college. Unfortunately most people don’t see the real cost because they are “okay” making payments.

The actual value of your money has been eroded by runaway inflation but due to access to debt those in the middle class erroneously believe they are somehow protected.  A simple comparison of costs and wages from 1938 to 2013 will outline the picture I want to paint for you.

Cost of Living 1938

The cost to buy a new home in 1938 was only around twice the annual average income, now it’s nearly 10 times… Buying a new car in 1938 would have only cost you 1/3 of your annual income, now it’s close to 1.5 times the average annual income. Even though the Middle Class didn’t really start blooming until after the second World War due to purchasing power most households could afford a new home or car.

When we adjust for inflation and look at the numbers you may be shocked at how costs have risen and make the average person rely on financing purchases.

Inflation and Actual Prices

It can easily be seen from the chart above how inflation and lower purchasing power has changed the ability of the average American to enjoy the “American Dream”. Just so you understand how the chart is put together let’s look at what a new home SHOULD cost at $64,597 vs the actual cost at $245,800. This is a large part of the reason it takes two income earners to accomplish what one could do in the 1930s. But for large purchases like homes and cars the average person has to take on large debt.

If college tuition costs has stayed with adjusted inflation attending Harvard would only be around $7,000 per year instead of nearly $55,000 per year. Other Universities have increased comparably which is contributing to the student debt market that is now over a trillion dollars. Share that next time someone tells you to “go to college”.

9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact

I won’t go on beating a dead horse, but keep a watchful eye out. The U.S. Stock Market just had its worst first week of a new year opening since 1928!

As I am writing this, the world markets are plunging

Things are going to get VERY interesting.

Now let’s move on and look at how the “war on drugs” and privatized prisons have helped to destroy the fabric of American Society.

War on Drugs and Excessive Incarceration

Drug War

In June 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer. In 1972, the commission unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.

Between 1973 and 1977, however, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession. In January 1977, President Jimmy Carter was inaugurated on a campaign platform that included marijuana decriminalization. In October 1977, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use.

Within just a few years, though, the tide had shifted. Proposals to decriminalize marijuana were abandoned as parents became increasingly concerned about high rates of teen marijuana use. Marijuana was ultimately caught up in a broader cultural backlash against the perceived permissiveness of the 1970s.

The 1980s and 90s: Drug Hysteria and Skyrocketing Incarceration Rates

The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.

Public concern about illicit drug use built throughout the 1980s, largely due to media portrayals of people addicted to the smokeable form of cocaine dubbed “crack.” Soon after Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, his wife, Nancy Reagan, began a highly-publicized anti-drug campaign, coining the slogan “Just Say No.”

This set the stage for the zero tolerance policies implemented in the mid-to-late 1980s. Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who believed that “casual drug users should be taken out and shot,” founded the DARE drug education program, which was quickly adopted nationwide despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. The increasingly harsh drug policies also blocked the expansion of syringe access programs and other harm reduction policies to reduce the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.

In the late 1980s, a political hysteria about drugs led to the passage of draconian penalties in Congress and state legislatures that rapidly increased the prison population. In 1985, the proportion of Americans polled who saw drug abuse as the nation’s “number one problem” was just 2-6 percent. The figure grew through the remainder of the 1980s until, in September 1989, it reached a remarkable 64 percent – one of the most intense fixations by the American public on any issue in polling history. Within less than a year, however, the figure plummeted to less than 10 percent, as the media lost interest. The draconian policies enacted during the hysteria remained, however, and continued to result in escalating levels of arrests and incarceration. Read more – Brief History on Drug War

In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners.

US Prison Population



5 thoughts on “How Can You Not See It – The Destruction Of American Society

  1. Tenaya

    Hello Storm. Someone passed this post along through Facebook and as these matters are upfront for me as well, I thought I would respond.

    What I have noticed is that talking about these issues are such a taboo in our society that even when the evidence is so strong, some people don’t want to see it, or if they do see it, they are afraid to talk about it. The taboo is that one is seen as un-American, or a conspiracy theorist or just plain crazy. And, that is the real craziness….. So, thank you for sharing and for the comprehensive information.

    I will say that I don’t think this is just boomers. In fact, boomers were the start of the revolution back in the 60’s and many have been fighting the system in one way or another ever since. Many are the ones who are shining a light on the issues, including folks like Robert Reich, Robert Wolfe, Bernie Sanders, Laurence Shoup, Bill McKibben and the beloved John Trudell, to name a tiny few. I will give you that some boomers who are set in their lives, own their home and have their retirement set may not think about these matters. But I can tell you of so many who are thinking of or are now in retirement and dependent on meager social security, are very much at the effect of these issues. To pay into SS for all their lives and for it to be so inadequate for just living expenses is as much a crime as the other statistics you noted.
    Education to the masses is so important and I thank you. I have just finished a book called Wall Street’s Think Tank – The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal GeoPolitics. It is an excellent book for those who want to go deeper into the network of the capitalist class and their influence in politics.

    But, I also see a need to begin to envision a different future. This is what the Council of Foreign Relations has been doing since WW I – envisioning world domination for the capitalist class and infiltrating our government with their views, recommendations, “expertise” through staff appointments, papers, books, conferences and of course more clandestine methods. We need to start imagining that future as a communal effort. And those that have the expertise to do so, getting down to the nitty gritty of what policies will take us there. But, it will take all of us to be able to influence the governmental forces that are so infested with the likes of those interested in their own 1% at the effect of us all and this planet.

  2. ecarrollstraus

    The overlooked point you didnt mention is that t it is accepted dogma that “austerity” works It doesn’t. When people have no money (lost their job and no more public safety net) they canot support the economy. When they get sick and cannot see a doctor, they die.Someone has to figure out what to do with the dead people, and moral decency aside,that is a cost to the economy, Sickness spreads, and there we go again.

    Society suffers. In a consumer society, stores will close. That is a cost to the economy.In Greece, people committee suicide die to inability see a future.

    To the extent that money has a value, t ONLY does so when it is circulation.,

    1. Storm Wolf Post author

      I completely agree and have stated the same – tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy do nothing to stimulate the economy. The economy is only stimulated when you put more spendable income into the poor and middle class that make up the vast majority of the population.

  3. bazrocker

    communal effort.yeah,that is The Way.How one does it or collectively it comes about.I see India a place where there is the disparity but collectively as a people,they are ‘family’ use this word loosely but I see it everywhere.Pervasive.It can be no other competition or dominance over one another…

  4. Pingback: On Socialism, Tribalism and Capitalism | Storm Wolf Words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s