A report by the US Census Bureau reveals that half of the country's population has fallen into poverty or is scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.
Based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau more than ninety seven million Americans are considered to have low-income, defined as between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level.
Another 49.1 million Americans live below the poverty line, meaning 146.4 million Americans, or 48 percent are considered low-income or poor.
Meanwhile, according to a Governance Metrics International survey, American CEOs saw pay increases of between 27 percent and 40 percent last year.
Political commentator, Mark Dankof joins Press TV from San Antonio to share his opinions on the issue.
The video offers the opinions of two additional guests: Wayne Slater with the Dallas Morning News and Saul Landau, the vice chair of Institute for Policy Studies.
Press TV: Well, let's give an example of how the middle class have been squeezed and how this disparity has come. The example the number of Americans on food stamp has risen to a record high of 45.8 million, on the other hand the medium value of the CEO profits on stock options has jumped to 1.3 million from 950,400 -- that is seventy percent boost. I mean, are we talking about two Americas that is divided?
Dankof: I think that is clearly what is going on here, just as Wayne [Slater, the other guest of the show] indicated in the first part of the show. For me when you look at the American economy, it comes down to about four things. One is the massive exportation of the manufacturing sector of the American economy. We have lost five million jobs, manufacturing jobs, in this country, in the last ten years chiefly to save approximately 32000 dollars, per 1000 jobs, that are exported to either the china or to India. These savings are of course accruing to the corporate rich. This is nothing more than the exportation of the manufacturing sector, the American economy, in order to utilize cheap labor costs abroad. This is in conjunction with unrestrained legal and illegal foreign immigration in the United States, that has made it difficult for people already living here to subsist off the service economy.
The second thing is deregulation of the banking industry, which has produced, unprecedented fraud, in the American economy and banking and insecurity in industries in the last ten years.
Mortgage- backed derivatives, derivatives generally, credit default swaps, the whole nine yards, has resulted then in the third problem, which is that between the bank bailouts and the Federal Reserve's Board's printing of fiat money to the tune of sixteen trillion dollars in recent months. We are seeing a total destabilization of the value of the American currency in the teetering character of the American banking system, and the global banking system, generally,
There is a forth thing of course, and that is the ongoing cost of these American wars of the imperial conquest in the Middle East, chiefly at the behest of the bankers, chiefly at the behest of the oil companies and natural gas consortiums and to the behest of the Zionist lobby. He spent a trillion dollars in the last ten years in Iraq and the cost of we are spending in Afghanistan, is somewhere between ten and twelve billion in a month.
All this taken together has produced the outcome that you cited in the first part of this show.
Press TV: Mark Dankof, it seems like there are implications that have come out since the year 2008, Iraq soldiers to patrol the homeland; 20,000 troops for US domestic security, Department of Homeland Security, interestingly to focus on the white middle class in this anti-terror strategies, and certain warnings that are coming out. Is this, what the US is facing, consequence of an economic fallout for them to face unrest within their own country?
Dankof: I think that is exactly what we are facing, and it is a situation, you cited the Kellogg Brown & Root situation in terms of the so-called jobs that were being offered that suggest the militarization of the American state at home. This is clearly what is going on, the elimination of the Posse Comitatus laws, the organization of the American military to impose its will in terms of, imposing the will of the political class in stemming rising domestic discontent, we are going to see this in the coming years, we already have a policy of warrantless wiretapping in the United States, people who can be detained and held with the suspension of the habeas corpus, we have Mr. Obama's attorney general, arguing that the president of the United States, can order the assassination of Americans that he deems to be a national security threat -- this was chronicled in [Patrick Buchanan's American Conservatives] some months ago.
And the other thing is noteworthy is what is happening in the American military; when we look at the disproportionate number of the Hispanics, African Americans and the working class whites, who have lost their way economically, particularly the ones form towns of ten thousand and under in population, these folks represent disproportion of number of individuals, who are enlisting in the American military despite the catastrophes that are taking place abroad, because it represents the only opportunity for economic survival for them, and for their families. This in a sense is a back door draft.
Press TV: Mark Dankof, do you agree to encourage people to go along with that spending? Are people going to go along with it, because I would see the first question they would ask is “spend it on us.”
Dankof: Well, you would think so but the passivity of the American public up to now, the Occupy Wall Street movement notwithstanding, is rather amazing, and really when you look at the presidential election, it is clear that Barak Obama is in the back pocket of the same banking and Zionist interests as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were, and in terms of the Republican presidential primaries, it would appear that a certain banking corporate Zionist thief, by the name of Newt Gingrich -- that George Will recently described as the ultimate politician for hire -- is likely to be the Republican nominee at this point.
If that occurs, we are in a situation where it is tweedledum and tweedledee in terms of who wins the election in 2012 in the United States, and I think in terms of the national and global economic collapse and third world war that we may well be looking at the scenario, with the only thing yet to be determined is whether or not it happens before or after November of 2012.
Press TV: Mark Dankof, final question to you, we saw what happened with the Senate passage of section 1030 of the National Authorization Act, I think you mentioned about snatching up American citizens off the streets, held in detention camps. Is this an effort by the US government to pretty much silence this 99 percent Occupy movement in the US?
Dankof: I think it is absolutely sign of it and what you have is the development of the burgeoning police state in the United States, domestically at the same time that we become more aggressive and more irresponsible abroad. All of this dovetails with the policies that presumably are to the advantage of less than one percent of the American population, and at the expense of the 99 percent plus.
And what is significant to me, as we examine some of the very excellent things and some of the other guests have said, is that there is a very burgeoning agreement in the United States, across the political spectrum, that this is in fact, what is happening and when 63 percent of the members of the Republican Party are beginning to entertain a closer look at some of the Patrick Buchanan's arguments in 1992 and 1996 and the arguments of Ron Paul today, it is a suggestion that even in the Republican Party, the all corporate neo-conservative Zionist consensus is beginning to break down a little bit.