THE BLOG
07/13/2011 02:42 pm ET | Updated Sep 12, 2011

We Had an Agreement: The Results of Being Played

Economic wealth that the corporations and investment bankers have been reaping for over a year and continue to enjoy today are a direct result of you and me giving our tax dollars to them via our elected officials. The plan was to help the power brokers who would then in turn help us.

We have generally agreed to this type of relationship for decades. It became especially apparent two years ago with deliberate government bail out programs. We agreed to this arrangement not because we are dumb and can't figure out how to distribute wealth ourselves, but largely because we realistically understand certain lifestyle preferences, talents, intellects, and personality types are better suited to managing complex economies. Often times they are called Type A personalities. They are not better than other people, in fact some make an argument that they are less humanistic. They are driven, though, by needs and reasons many do not possess or even seek. To be fair and in no way pejorative, other people are better suited to being kind and thoughtful for example.

We need these Type A personalities to take on the many stressful responsibilities because they have the temperaments for that work. But recently it has become apparent the moral and social contract we have made with these personalities, as we communally carve through the Great Recession, is that we are being lied to by them.

They were expected in exchange for our help, to first if not simultaneously bring stronger footing for themselves and for us. But they have thus far largely reacted without consciences. They have not even shown us the respect of lying to our faces, or behind our backs. In fact, they have simply ignored us. Ignored the moral and social contract they entered into, which gave them the privileges they now enjoy.

We have called and been told they are "in a meeting." We have dropped by their offices, and "their assistants screen us out." We have gone to their supervisors and been "tossed from one customer service representative to another who themselves are scared" because they a) know what kind of people they work for, and 2) quietly huddle in the strength of their numbers to hush resistance that might jeopardize their own jobs.

The unemployment rate has climbed to 9.2 percent and The Great Recession rumbles on. The recovery has stalled. The government is out of money to stimulate the creation of federal or state jobs. Our paychecks are less because employers are freezing wages and cutting hours. Investments in new growth opportunities are stalled while those we entrusted in this for mutual benefits have decided it is best for them to hold rather than to play.

You see, in fact, there has been an economic recovery in this nation. It has been experienced by the upper class. There has been no democracy in the recovery.

We were naive. President Obama, the Secretary of the Treasury, Chairman of the Fed and all of those geniuses who saved our country from an utter meltdown, only succeeded with the wealthiest. Am I the maid who washes the floor of your mansion. Am I the retail clerk who rings up your designer gown. Am I the lab technician who tests your urine sample so you can move into lucrative management. Am I the soldier in Afghanistan so you can tee off with your foursome each Saturday morning. Am I the barista at your Starbucks.

We each serve a special purpose in life. But the rest of us have not felt the recovery. The housing market has not come back. The job market has not come back. The career opportunities low-interest business loans are to generate have not come back.

That is due in part to the Type A's we entrusted with our tax dollar bailouts to rise to the top and the realization that they feel no indebtedness to us, the ones who put them there. We deserve more of the distribution of wealth that the recovery has produced. The middle class and lower class, over 300 million of us Americans comprising more than 90 percent of the nations's population, have been crowded into our corrals of housing devaluations, underemployment, and families buckling from financial stress, so the cowboys can ride free in the wind across expansive plains that we all own equally.

Economic egalitarianism is hard to achieve in any society. Not socialism where all boats sink to equal levels, but where all boats rise. The upper class in their yachts that you and I opened the doors to with our tax dollars through TARP money and government bailouts have forgotten that without our help, they would be underwater. Dive through the sunken ships of Wachovia, Bear Stearns, and AIG. We the people threw life-jackets. Some of us threw ourselves into the water in collective labor bargaining to keep companies afloat. We the people were heroic in rescuing so many Type A's and their financial sectors. I say heroic only because our act now seems selfless. It wasn't supposed to be that way. We had an agreement.

But years later, sunbathing on their decks, now they want us to rub lotion on their backs. They complain about our entitlement programs like Social Security and health care. And we can complain about their arrogant sense of entitlement that the Great Recession is over, for them.

The deal was we help them, they help us. It's bad enough that they have not fulfilled their part of the agreement. However they think they got away with it. They are in fact so well readjusted after the Great Recession that they are fighting back against us now. For example, to keep favorable tax depreciation schedules for their private jets. To keep a neurologist at the VA hospital from running a costly CAT Scan on your WWII veteran grandfather for answers on why he feels dizzy. And to keep you working longer and harder for the same wage instead of hiring more staff.

We simply must stand up for ourselves.