Don’t believe the hype – Paul Ryan doesn’t know much about the middle class

How much does Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan know about what it’s like to be a member of the middle class? Uh, not much…

“I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, when I was flipping burgers at McDonald’s, when I was standing in front of that big Hobart machine washing dishes, or waiting tables, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life,” Ryan recently told a crowd at a high school in suburban Denver. “I thought to myself, I’m the American dream on the path or journey so that I can find happiness however I define it myself.”

It drew big applause.

And yet Ryan, 42, was born into one of the most prominent families in Janesville, Wis., the son of a successful attorney and the grandson of the top federal prosecutor for the western region of the state. Ryan grew up in a big Colonial house on a wooded lot, and his extended clan includes investment managers, corporate executives and owners of major construction companies.

According to, as of 2010 Paul Ryan had a net worth somewhere between $927,100 to $3,207,000, making the Romney-Ryan Republican ticket truly a ticket of millionaires running to give tax breaks to their fellow millionaires.


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2 thoughts on “Don’t believe the hype – Paul Ryan doesn’t know much about the middle class

  1. Here we have the meritocratic play-show. Let’s all remember that a merit-based society values a stratified hierarchy and the creation of an elite class, an untitled aristocracy, an elitist society, not a society that values equality as its driving principle. Ryan is an elitist and everything he stands for hasn’t a whit to do with republicanism and democracy, but everything to do with feudalism and peonage.

    No doubt Florida will resound with this “rustic” rhetoric over the next couple of days. It’s a subversive dog whistle designed to undermine those who “don’t work for what they receive – from the government.” Now is a good time to be reminded that this entitlement demonization is a subversion of the real condition of dependence in this country – corporate servitude – the inability for individual Americans to assert their economic independence in a world dominated by unchecked multi-national, supranational corporate entities operating above the authority of sovereign governments.

    Ryan is peddling a distorting falsehood. The hard working American who can succeed with enough drive? Meritocratic rhetoric, for one, and a bald-faced lie – the individual hasn’t any economic liberty in an environment of supranational capitalism and within a society whose government yields to corporate extortionists who call themselves “job creators” who are nothing less than meritocratic elitists. Uber-capitalism does not advance individual liberty. Government regulation of exploitative industry does not inhibit individual liberty.

    Ryan and Romney’s America looks like a queer fusion between Singaporean/Chinese meritocracy and European primogeniture/fascism. It is a compelling combination of corporatist principles which maintains a ruling elite who are parasitic upon all those beneath them – very Galtish and disdainful of anything “public” – which to Ryan, in particular, is synonymous with “collectivist” – Ryan has repeatedly confused The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence with The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. His comments here reveal he values the latter: fictions penned by a Russian atheist and not the former: the enlightened ideation of an interdependent society composed of individuals, devised by revolutionary America.

  2. Do you suppose Mr. Ryan, if pressed, could name the location of the McDonald’s where he flipped burgers, and the approximate dates he worked there? Ditto for the claims that he waited tables or worked as a dishwasher. Do you suppose he could name any of his bosses or co-workers at those jobs – people who could verify his claims? Extremely unlikely, I think. It is exceedingly unlikely that Mr. Ryan has ever performed an honest day’s work in his pampered life.

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