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Florida's War on the Middle Class

Sun Sentinel

For going on 14 years, the Florida Republican Party has fiddled and belittled the middle class. It isn't an act of God that's destroying the American Dream; it's petty, self-serving, greedy acts of Man, justified by a perversion of capitalism that's the equivalent of economic rape. Relentlessly, a political, ideological mind-set has been robbing generations of their "pursuit of happiness."

Of course, the nightmare doesn't have to continue. It is within our control to stop it — if, but only if, enough people face reality. In the meantime, as long as Floridians remain passive, their future is bleak —and getting bleaker. There will be no long-term economic recovery in this state until and unless the middle class recovers its buying-power. That's just a fact of our consumer-driven economy.
Since 1999, Florida has been the guinea pig for a failed experiment in top-down, free-market economics on a scale never seen before. The assault on the middle class began in earnest when voters elected Jeb Bush and a Republican-dominated Legislature, a consolidation of power that gave them unprecedented carte-blanche to implement year after year of elitist economics — without a peep from those getting shafted.
Florida's sorry state of affairs is well-documented in the briefing paper, "Under Attack: Florida's Middle Class and the Jobs Crisis," co-published by Demos and the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy. Here's a summary of some of its conclusions: