(COMMON DREAMS) Robert Reich, February 24, 2016 — There’s no official definition of the “establishment” but it presumably includes all of the people and institutions that have wielded significant power over the American political economy, and are therefore deemed complicit.
At its core are the major corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; the billionaires who invest directly in politics; and the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers.
Arrayed around this core are the deniers and apologists – those who attribute what’s happened to “neutral market forces,” or say the system can’t be changed, or who urge that any reform be small and incremental.
Some Americans are rebelling against all this by supporting an authoritarian demagogue who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. Others are rebelling by joining a so-called “political revolution.”
The establishment is having conniptions. They call Trump whacky and Sanders irresponsible. They charge that Trump’s isolationism and Bernie’s ambitious government programs will stymie economic growth.
The establishment doesn’t get that most Americans couldn’t care less about economic growth because for years they’ve got few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.