The current day analysis/discussions of inequality in the United States focuses on outrageous pay for corporate CEOs, low wage fast food workers, lost manufacturing jobs, equal pay for women, and the general deflation of worker pay. It is as if this phenomena is new but to those who have plowed into the real history of America the circumstances on inequality is modus operandi of capitalism/colonization.
A little history refresher will explain the reality. The great colonizer, England, of the 1600's sent its religious baggage to the new American colony to serve as cannon fodder for the genocide of the rightfully inhabitants. British royalty's goal was to steal the resources to enhance the wealth of England and themselves. Constant wars with Spain, France, and the Dutch required money and resources; administering colonies in the West Indies and elsewhere required money and resources; and of course maintaining a viable slave trading industry.
Before and after the American Revolution, hundreds of uprisings and rebellions (like the Shay's Rebellion of 1786) occurred in which working class whites (and former indentured white slaves), small farmers, and a few free Negroes (and escaped slaves) revolted against low pay, high taxes, and lost jobs due to slavery while at the same time the business class gained all the economic benefits. Sound familiar? These rebellions posed a grave threat to the business class: the large landowners (and plantation owners), merchants, manufacturers, bankers, etc. This group formed militias along with the support of local sheriffs and the military to suppress the rebellions.
This class warfare served as the foundation for the creation of the Constitution as a document which according to Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States": The Constitution, then illustrates the complexity of the American system: that it serves the interests of the wealthy elite, but also does enough for small property owners, for middle-income mechanics and farmers, to build a base of broad support. The slightly prosperous people who make up this base of support are buffers against the blacks, the Indians, the very poor whites. They enable the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law - all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity.
So in conclusion, nothing has changed in 400 years and the only constant has been Americans' stupidity, racism, and denial of reality that has allowed the inequality to continue. How long will it take for the so-called working classes to wake up and realize that they have been duped by a capitalist greed-based system designed to protect the wealthy at their expense? When will they realize that the tax system, trade policies, Wall Street, corporations, and the Republican party are all part of a system of oppression designed to limit the worker and protect, promote, and enrich the wealthy? Don't hold your breathe!
Comments to think about.