This is what greeted me in today’s Times-Standard.
What first caught my eye was the cartoon. Is this a premonition of what’s coming against the trusting Egyptian people? To him all those hundreds of thousands of protesters trapped in Tahrir Square are his mortal enemies, consequently Egypt’s enemies. Nothing more than “a mob of greedy slum dwellers.
Well, the the attitude most American’s were subjected too for the past 30 years. While the authoritarians arbitrarily controlled the Egyptian people, denying them their rights to choose, speak, work and eat, the same arbitrary subjugation was going on right here in America. In Egypt only the Elite had property and money. In America there was a wealthy Middle Class and a good standard of living with plenty of work. That had to be eliminated before physical control could be secured. That took time to change the laws and install a police state. You can read “How the U.S. became a police state” here.
While the cartoon is about Mubarak’s Egypt, the My Word by Richard Colburn, Decades of trickle-down economics destroyed the American middle class, details how Ronald Reagan began the takeover. At least you’ll know who is responsible when we are all broke, destitute and living in the street forced to establish neighborhood vigilante groups to survive. You can click the link or read his complete article below.
My Word: Decades of trickle-down economics destroyed the American middle class
Richard Colburn/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 02/01/2011 03:08:32 AM PST
The result of 30 years of Ronald Reagan-inspired “Trickle Down” economics is the destruction of the American middle class.
After Reagan’s election in 1980 and with the help of a conservative-minded Congress, economic and tax policies were enacted which shifted the cost of running a modern society away from large corporations and the very wealthy over to the middle class. Top tax rates went from the mid-70s percent range down to the mid-20s, with the promise that the windfall would trickle down to the rest of us. When some in Congress stood up to ask what guaranteed the certainty of this promise, they were belittled by conservatives who questioned their patriotism. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” proved untrue. Only the yachts were raised, with the rest of us sent crashing onto the rocks. Milton Freidman’s benevolent “Invisible Hand” of economics has morphed into an iron fist that sent working class Americans sprawling to the ground. Unfortunately, these policies have continued right on through the Bush One, Clinton, Bush Two, and so far, Obama, administrations.
After having lived through the misery of the Great Republican Depression, it was my Dad’s generation, the generation of World War II, with the help of government policy and organized labor that created the conditions which resulted in the largest middle class in history. The rich still got richer, just at a slower rate. They were forced to share a larger piece of the pie
with the people who made the pie possible.Under Reagan, tax and spend was replaced by borrow and spend. As a result, America went from the world’s largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation. Under his anti-labor stance, good jobs began to disappear and wages shrank, along with its manufacturing base. The U.S. went from having over 30 percent of its GNP in manufacturing to 8 percent today. Now, more than 30 percent of our GNP is in the financial services industry; money chasing money, producing nothing of real value. We have become the most economically stratified of any of the developed industrialized nations, with 61 percent of American families now living paycheck to paycheck.
How do we restore the size and vibrancy of the American middle class? First, enact public financing of political campaigns, eliminating the corrosive and corruptive influence private money has on elections. Second, return to the trade and tariff policies of America’s first 200 years prior to Reaganomics. Other countries do this, designed to protect domestic industry. Liberarian, laissez-faire policies do not produce the advertised result. Thirty years of putting still more money into the hands of the already very wealthy does sometimes produce more jobs. They’re just not American jobs.
Richard Colburn, a bassist with Bare Necessities, resides in McKinleyville