Writer Joe Bageant decided that many American voters, particularly those from the white underclass, act as if they are suffering from a Stockholm Syndrome of the soul in which they identify with their captors and vote against their own best interests. It is important to understand how this happens, because such an understanding might point to a winning strategy to overthrow the plutocrats who rule our nation.


In the USA, according to the U.S. Census Bureau of November 2008 we had 206,072,000 eligible voters (18 and older citizens).  [Only 146,311,000 of them were actually registered to vote.] Ever the optimist I used the 206,072,000 potential voters as the base for my approximate calculations and conclusions.

This percentage was taken from a CBS report dated September 2010.

These are the ones who make up the true ruling class of America—20%.  Without the agreement of the approximate 40 million of this group, the 3,000,000 millionaires(1% of total US population) and 412 billionaires in the USA who are also counted among the members of this group would not be in control. These are the ones who own Wall Street stock.  5% of this group earn more than $180,000 a year.  This includes most of our elected officials In Washington DC and just about all the mainstream media pundits who put the spin on the news for us.  This equals to approximately 40 million voters [as an approximate percentage of 206,072,000 potential voters].  These are the people for whom the Milton Friedman economic ideology is working quite well. Most of these people have college educations and most of them vote. Most of these people are highly motivated to protect and grow their personal wealth and these voters are divided fairly equally between Democratic and Republican.  The wealthy of this group are not skewed in one direction toward either party.  The rich have much more in common with one another than they have with the majority of Americans and they vote accordingly. Just ask Sen. John Kerry(D) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner(R) who both pitched a hissy fit when Max Baucus threatened to tax medical stock that they were heavily invested in.

This is the largest group. This is the swing group that the politicians court. You can look at the Poverty Guideline tables that follow to see where you fit. The closer  you are to the poverty line, the less attention you can expect from them.  This 65.7% group is equal to approximately 136,000,000 voters or citizens who are eligible to vote should they choose.  These are the people with the real power–should they ever choose to wise up and use it, to tip the apple cart in favor of the majority.  But first we must have some real candidates to represent the people–candidates who are not from either of the two major parties. What happens instead, depending on the year, is that the plutocrat Democrats or the Republicans who are members of the upper 20% group garner enough votes from this grab bag to win the election.

How do they do it?

  • Primarily by pretending to be “one of the folks”–which they obviously are not.
  • Via scare propaganda such as “things will be really bad if you don’t vote for  me”
  • With the assistance of the media which is controlled and owned by the Wall Street sources from which they profit

Neither party is very interested in this group as the majority of them tend to not vote.  They consist of about 30 million of the population over the age of 18.

These are the forgotten ones.  The poorest poor, almost half of this group 6.3 %, are living below half the poverty line designations. Most politicians don’t give a damn about this group because for the most part, they don’t vote.

Many of them are not registered to vote and both houses of Congress and members of BOTH parties apparently like it that way if you will consider how quickly they jumped on the bandwagon to defund ACORN–all based on the flimsy evidence of a highly doctored video created by a known Republican operative.  Only 7 Senators voted “NO” on defunding ACORN–an organization for the poor whose only crime has been to empower the poor by registering them to vote.

Poverty Tables

Liz Berry

Liz Berry