These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
In 1883, long before FDR, William Graham Sumner of Yale University used the phrase "the forgotten man". He (correctly, I believe) identifies the middle class as the truly forgotten--that the burden for trickle-up prosperity fall upon the middle class. This quote is insightful:
As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X. . . . What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of. . . . He works, he votes, generally he prays--but he always pays. . . .
A and B are represented by the fat cats among our president's friends. Many of them evade paying taxes. Some of them even make it into our president's cabinet. Julio and others (represented by X in Sumner's quote) are helped, but it is always at the expense of C. As a member of C, I am in favor of helping X. But the reality is that the greatest help is not always in the form of a handout. The current administration seems not to understand that, as long as they can:
1) pass stimulus and bailout bills
2) print more money
3) reach into our pockets, and pass the bill onto our children and grandchildren
I don't like it. The economy is in a crisis, which is portrayed as the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Such hyperbolic rhetoric is blatantly false. FDR's New Deal did not bring the nation out of the Great Depression. Obama's New New Deal has the likelihood of taking us into the greatest economic crisis ever. Those of us who stand to suffer the most are the forgotten ones in the middle of the socio-economic pile. We are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren, soaking them with the sins of the fathers, to the third and fourth generation. I pray to God that I'm wrong.