Monday, October 5, 2009

Inequality Must Go

Part of the legacy of the Reagan/Bush/Bush years was “trickle down economics”.  It never  trickled.  It gushed.  And it wasn’t down.  It was UP.  This is the only GOP program from the last forty years that actually succeeded in the manner they intended.  This is the policy I call No Millionaire Left Behind.

Wealth 2004 Not long ago, liberals were insisting that income inequality was America’s most serious economic problem.

Now there are more immediate crises: A 9.8 percent unemployment rate, a yawning budget deficit. But the inequality issue hasn’t gone away.

The latest census figures show the gap between the wealthiest Americans and everybody else widening — rather than shrinking, as some economists expected — during the crash of 2008. An August report from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch suggested that middle-income Americans, buried in real-estate debt, will have to wait much longer than the rich to see their finances rebound.

This landscape will put liberalism to the test. Since Ronald Reagan was elected nearly 30 years ago, Democratic politicians have promised that their program could reverse the steady post-1970s growth of income inequality without sacrificing America’s economic dynamism.

But having promised win-win, they may deliver lose-lose. In the short run, Barack Obama could preside over an America that’s more economically stagnant and more stratified…

Inserted from <NY Times>

Tom070108-2 The graph is one I made myself using Excel.  2004 data is the most recent I could verify.  It’s much worse now.  At first glance, it appears that the pie has three pieces.  It has four.  Do you see that little line, just to the left of the green slice?  That’s not a dust spot on your screen.  It’s the tiny portion of US wealth that the bottom 40% of us share.  That has to change.  The US economy is now a pyramid in which the capstone has become so heavy it’s crushing the base.  Even the most cursory glance at this graph clearly shows were we need to go for the resources needed to restore some measure of equity.

But here’s the problem.  The rich are not represented solely by one political party.  They have two, and the Democrats are included.  Now don’t think for a minute that I consider the Democratic party equal to the Republican party.  The difference in degree is huge.  While Democrats quietly sneak some preferential treatment for the rich into legislation, the Republicans gleefully wrest every possible penny from the middle and lower classes to provide socialism for the rich.  But Democrats need to be on notice that the people of this nation put them into power to make changes that benefit we the people, not the beneficiaries of almost 30 years of GOP hegemony.  If they sell out, as Baucus has on health care, we need to replace them in the primaries.

Although they don’t come close to the Republicans for pure evil greed, the Democratic party is still a swamp, a swamp it’s our job to drain.  Are your waders ready?

6 comments:

HILLBLOGGER said...

Hi Tom,

like the beard! Heh!

TomCat said...

Thanks, HB! {{blush}}

Mary Ellen said...

I don't think all Republicans are "pure evil", nor do I think that of Democrats. I don't like to use such a broad brush.

The Democratic party made a lot of promises, promises they knew that they could not, or would not keep. If you look at Democrats like Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, and more--they are cut from the same cloth as Republicans John Boehner, Susan Collins, or John Cornyn.

The swamp in the Democratic party won't be drained until the voters quit being so lazy and start doing some real research before they vote instead of backing whoever happens to be in power with a "D" after their name.

Ditto for the Republicans.

RealityZone said...

the system is broken. it has been tweaked to benefit the global corps. they are now in a reset. a reset of keeping the old, or taking a quantum leap into the new era. the infighting among [tptb] the powers that be is at an all time high. the real question is===have they over reached this time?

TomCat said...

Nunly, when I said "pure evil" I was not referring to rank anf file Republicans, but to the policies and behavior of their leaqdership, such as Senators, Representatives, and the talking heads to whom the Senators and Reps defer.

I have blasted Chris Dodd and Nancy Pelosi here. I don't think I've ever gone after Barnry Frank, but would not hesitate were the situation to call for it. On those rare occasions where a Republican does or says something reasonable, I give credit where credit is due. But the bulk of what has come from that side of the aisle has been race baiting, obstruction, and hate. Time and time again, Obama has tried to involve them in the process, and each time they virtually spiyt in his face.

TomCat said...

Good question RZ. Time will tell.