A friend has appropriated the perfect term to describe the people who are sucking the middle class dry from their big corner offices in skyscrapers across America. He calls them the Vampire Elite. They represent a far greater threat to our security than feckless domestic terrorists or even Al Qaeda, yet most Republicans are in their thrall and most Democrats too cowardly to face them down although nothing less than the future of the American Dream is at stake.
The Obama administration was going to have a dickens of a time getting the U.S. back on the road to prosperity after his predecessor gifted us the worst recession since the Great Depression.
But it is the Vampire Elite -- the corporate big shots and bankers and stockbrokers and their super-rich clients -- who are the greatest impediment.
I don't know if vampires are soulless, but the Vampire Elite sure is. It played the system with Swiss watch-like precision during the Bush years, reaping record profits for Wall Street while visiting pain upon Main Street.
Then there is the revolving door between corporate executives, lobbyists and regulators which continues to spin greedily on despite Obama's vows as a candidate to change the culture of Washington, including injecting some transparency into its incestual acts. In fact, key members of the president's economic brain trust were key Wall Street players.
Meanwhile, many of the jobs that used to exist simply aren't coming back.
As in at least 25 percent of the 8.4 million jobs that disappeared during the recession, according to some economists. In fact, with job creation expected to be about 133,000 new jobs per month at best over the next year -- and 100,000 new people entering the work force every month -- it will take more than 20 years at this rate to replace all the jobs that were lost, and that ain't gonna happen.
Corporations also have been fiendishly efficient at figuring out how much money they can save when they get rid of workers.
In fact, corporations have laid off so many lower-paid workers that they are flush with cash, a staggering $1.18 trillion to be exact, and productivity has gone up as the people with the big corner offices have become even more adept at busting the humps of their workers.
The coup de grâce, as it were, is the Citizens United ruling earlier this year by the slavishly big-business Supreme Court. The nihilist majority justices gave corporations free rein to buy politicians out in the open, as opposed to the various forms of big-business bribery that already grease the skids of many a campaign and legislative initiative.The system is working exactly as the Vampire Elite intended, and there is very little that you and I -- let alone President Obama -- can do about it.