Thursday, January 6, 2011
SOME VERY ERRANT SUPPOSITIONS!
OK, you got your extended Bush tax cuts for the rich, and you have established control over the House of Representatives, and you've been Speaker of the House for 2 days. NOW, WHERE ARE THE JOBS, MR. BOEHNER?
We hear Republicans, their Tea Party faction, and Blue Dog Democrats all telling we we've got to cut back on spending and "we don't have the money" for further stimulus programs to create jobs. Free market enthusiasts all tell us with the Bush tax cuts for the rich now extended two more years private industry will once again be creating jobs.
I say that is errant supposition number 1, and a lot of poopycock!
By looking at the chart below, you'll see we have PLENTY of money! The only problem is, it is very disproportionately in the hands of our country's richest 1% elite, doing NOBODY else any good! And keep in mind the chart only goes through 2007---the situation is even more extreme now!
That's right, people. As of just under a year ago, the richest 1% owned a whopping 42% of all of our national wealth. The next highest 4% controlled 27%; the following 5% controlled another 11% of our wealth; the next 10% controlled 12%, and THE BOTTOM 80% CONTROLLED ONLY 7%!!! That figure of the top 1% has risen noticeably over the past ten years. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers).
In addition, consider these facts:
1. An estimated 37% of the country is on food stamps!
2. Many wait until midnight on the last day of the month so their checks will clear to buy food at Wal Mart!
If we break the data down further we will find that 93 percent of all financial wealth is controlled by the top 10 percent of the country. That is why these people are cheering their one cent share increase while layoffs keep on improving the bottom line. But what bottom line are we talking about here? The Wall Street crowd would like you to believe that all is now good that the stock market has rallied 60+ percent. Of course they are happy because they control most of this wealth. Yet the typical American still has negative views on the economy because they actually have to work to earn a living (from mybudget360).
It is a sad fact that whenever anyone even broaches the subject of higher taxes for the wealthiest 1% he or she is immediately branded with trying to engage in "class warfare."
I say that is errant supposition number 2!
The REAL perpretators of class warfare have been the richest elite themselves! Ever since 1981, they have fired salvo upon salvo on the middle class and poor, and today the richest elite are bolder and more contemptuous of those beneath them than ever before! They want it all to themselves and will now do anything to get it. It began with their ridiculous and now discredited "trickle down economics", then came freezes in pay scales, and then it regressed to deliberately outsourcing millions of good-paying American jobs to cheap, foreign slave-labor markets, and also to the importation of cheap, illegal labor to break the very backbone of any vestige of unionism. Today, the middle class is rapidly shrinking and may soon disappear altogether. They are not content with even all of this: now they want to repeal the estate tax and are trying to turn public opinion against it by calling it an unfair "death tax" and insinuating that the government will try to grab everyone's estate for taxation, not just those over $5 million. But that should surprise no one, really. Time and again they have lied and distorted any pro-people government measure into one that is somehow, someway "bad" for the general public.
Errant supposition number 3: The government does not create jobs.
During the Great Depression, the New Deal launched a LOT of jobs! Some of the buildings, parks, dams, and roads exist to this very day! Postal workers are government employees. So are many teachers, policemen, and firemen. The truth is, the government DOES create jobs, and they are jobs HERE, not outside of our borders. In addition, they pay relatively good wages, unlike the outsourced jobs now so in favor among conservative and Tea Party Republicans, huge corporations, and free marketers, and we could use a lot more of them to help rebuild our decaying infrastructure.
If the rich send jobs overseas to increase their profits and protect their holdings, that's just "good business". But if workers try to unionize or go on strike to protect their wages and benefits, they are greedy---errant supposition number 4.
We have employed a double-standard in this country for far too long when it comes to workers' vs. businessmen's rights and income levels. It is inherently unfair to always give those in business all the advantages and rights while neglecting or diminishing those of evertday working people. And the implied attitude that an employer can do what he or she damn well wants just because they have capital invested in a particular endeavor places all the advantage in that person's favor, and that is not fair, either. Although many Republicans may disagree, money does NOT guarantee supremacy! Not only that, but we Americans tend to believe that a business-owner can set his or her own pay scale, but all the workers' pay rates must be controlled and limited. There should be a limit or common sense used for BOTH extremes - not the sky is the limit for one and pay as little as you can get away with for the other.
Errant supposition number 5: The government should stay out of the affairs of business.
Those who argue for such insanity are foolhardy indeed. For it was the LACK of government involvement in the economy which helped create the Great Depression as well as the mortgage meltdown crisis which brought on our current Great Recession. It was lack of proper government regulation that brought about $4.00 per gallon gasoline, too. Government must ALWAYS have a say in what goes on in the economy, for government is the only buffer ordinary people have to protect themselves against the excesses of greedy, organized capital!
And the sooner Dick Armey, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and the rest of those laissez-faire Tea Party types learn that, the better!