As the great recession continues, failed “trickle down” theories are being recycled under a different name – “kick start.”
When politicians – Republicans and DINO Consevatdems alike – promise to enact policies that will “kick start” the economy, they are not referring to proactive, job-creating, initiatives reminiscent of FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corp, but the same, tried and failed class warfare “trickle down” policies that collapsed the American Working Class to begin with.
Economist and Professor Richard Wolff was interviewed for the public affairs program called “Making Contact.” He said, “Capitalism has a built in tendency to collapse,” and “we are in the middle… or to be more honest… in the early stages of a really big one.”
He explained, “In a Capitalist system, the economic crisis we are in today was entirely predictable.”
In other words, one does not have to be a “Psychic Friend” to predict that rampant deregulation and low marginal tax rates similar to the atmosphere that plunged us into the FIRST Republican Great Depression in the 1930’s, would have a similar result when implemented a second time.
On the back of the most recent Conservative-policy-induced collapse, Republicans are pushing for even more tax cuts for the wealthy, despite the fact that today’s tax rates are low by historical standards-and even lower for the rich. In fact, the economy we are in today is STILL the Bush economy… you remember… the economy that Republicans held unemployed Americans hostage to continue.
The budget shortfalls are allowing Republicans in local governments to cry “we’re broke” as they make up the gap by enacting heavy cuts to state worker pay, community colleges, state health care programs, childcare programs and other programs vital to the populace they economically hobbled.
Listen to Richard Wolff explain how we got into this economic mess, who’s to blame, and how, if we get organized, the flow of resources might be reversed, here:
It doesn’t matter that the Congressional Budget Office confirmed that tax cuts have the LEAST simulative effect on the economy. It doesn’t matter that even their own Bill Kristol admitted that corporations have plenty of money and corporate tax rates aren’t hurting anyone. Businesses invest when there is an unmet demand. As the Billings Gazette reported, “The Clinton era slogan of “it’s the economy, stupid” should now be “it’s demand, stupid.” To stimulate the economy and create jobs, good policy gets the money to the folks with the highest propensity to spend. That’s not the wealthy, who will spend very little if any of their tax savings.”
The battle is ideological. This is class warfare against working people… and the working people are losing.
It’s quite apparent that Republicans believe in making the poor and middle class pay the cost for the economic crisis they have ALREADY suffered from through unemployment and foreclosed homes and they had very little to do with bringing about.
It’s a way of shifting the burden of the crisis on those who can least defend themselves so that the politically-connected elite can continue to party off our labor – as they have since the beginning of recorded history until the New Deal.
If there ever was an “American Dream” it is because of New Deal policies meant to cultivate a society that worked for ALL.
FDR once said, “Yes, we are on the way back — not by mere chance, not by a turn of the cycle. We are coming back more soundly than ever before because we planned it that way, and don’t let anybody tell you differently.”
Republicans (and DINOS) would have us believe that all our economic woes are an accident… but they are not. As Richard Wolff noted, the crisis was predictable. One might say they PLANNED IT THAT WAY.
The so-called Reagan Revolution was in actuality a counter-revolution to the New Deal. To Reagan’s doorstep we can trace the systematic dismantling policy meant to create a more egalitarian society.
With Reagan, Republicans wasted no time shifting the tax burden (once 90% under that Socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower) to the middle class. Reagan’s next move was to bust unions, stagnate wages while simultaneously increase credit to give the illusion of wealth and turn the American worker into an indentured servant to the banks.
Republicans then went after education – doing away with civics classes and making education another brass ring that could be grasped only by accumulating massive debt.
One of the last pieces of this recipe for Oligarchy was to deregulate the media. Reagan did away with media ownership laws as well as the Fairness doctrine, which made propagandists like Rush Limbaugh possible. The airwaves were then flooded with pro-corporate, anti-worker Republican propaganda to keep the people stupid enough to vote Republican – stupid enough to vote for their own demise.
Bill Clinton put the nail in the coffin with NAFTA, CAFTA and GAT, which served to dismantle our manufacturing base and ship our jobs overseas.
America’s greatness at one time came from the spending power of average workers, obtained through Liberal Democrats and unions.
Now we have a race to the bottom. For example… Auto Workers. What used to be the “Gold Standard” of manufacturing jobs – are currently starting at pay 50% lower than workers did 30 years ago.
Meanwhile, the government spent trillions bailing out the “too big to fail” banks – which are larger now than before the crisis. The idea was, the bailout would “kick start” the economy. “Kick start,” as pointed out earlier, is the NEW name for the same old stinking corpse known as “trickle down.”
This nation has worse income disparity than over 100 other countries – including places “Average Joe” Americans consider “bad company,” like Iran and Pakistan. Tragically, there are only SEVEN countries whose income disparity is worse.
This was not always the case. Tragically, the American Middle Class was once the envy of the world – luring immigrants from all over the world with the promise of a better life. Ironically, America was the “shining city on a hill” that Reagan waxed poetically about – right before he proceeded to burn the city to the ground.
As Justice Louis Brandeis said, “We can have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few or we can have democracy, but we can’t have both.”
We Need A 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps
In his first Inaugural Address, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.”
Roosevelt hired 11 Million American – in today’s population that would translate to 20 Million – in other words, a 21st Century CCC would basically wipe out the current unemployment crisis, and in turn, take care of the deficit.
The Republicans are sure to moan, “we’re broke” when an ACTUAL solution for job creation is on the table. Yet, when the US threw over a Trillion dollars at the private sector, no one asked where the money comes from as it was labeled a “crisis.”
There is a deliberate consensus to keep these kinds of solutions out of the public discourse – because the true goal is not “recovery,” it is “cheap labor.”
Here in the US, measures that continuously attack the working class are being met with silence. Unless the American worker stands together, organizes and pushes back… silence will, once again, equal death.
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