I remember back during the Reagan Administration when “trickle down” economics was first introduced. The idea was marketed as “ we give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and they will in turn re-invest in America and create jobs”; this was a win/win for the country. After all, if you tax the people creating jobs, supposedly they won’t be able to create jobs.
This plan, was marketed to the public as an economic theory and plan that just couldn’t lose. If America’s workforce would just bear the brunt of heavy taxation with no special loopholes, hedges, deductions or other tax escape mechanisms provided to the wealthy, the wealthy would create vast and wonderful high paying jobs. The benefits of relieving the wealthy and corporations from paying taxes on 100% of their income or profits would magically “trickle down” to the working class.
It worked! They did create jobs; in India, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Mexico and any other nation where returns on investments could be predicated upon slave labor wages and government protection. Oh…and they then got to ship their crappy products back into the US tax free and we got Austin (a.k.a. Abdul) answering the phones for many major corporations.
The wealthy invested alright; in everything and every place but America. The economic bleeding from the US to foreign markets accelerated to such a rate that businesses literally disappeared overnight and took with them the jobs needed to keep America working. Off shore accounts were set up to provide fictional business addresses for the stashing of funds, assets and anything else of value in order to avoid US taxes.
The only thing that trickled down to the working and middle class was diminishing wages, a lower standard of living and increased costs of living. Oh, yeah….and taxes went up too….but not on the wealthy. The Reagan years marked a major event in the redistribution of wealth as the middle and working classes were relieved of ever increasing amounts of annual income and the country’s wealth was redistributed to those in the upper 3% and to corporations.
The Bush tax cuts to the upper 3% and to corporations, was covered by stealing the annual surplus from Social Security and redefining it on the books as “income”. This accounting maneuver was sold to the public as evidence that the tax cuts to those who were too damn special to have to pay taxes on 100% of income or profits, was working. Think about that. Your FICA taxes were stolen by the government, and used to cover-up the massive loss of revenues so that the wealthiest 3% of the country didn’t have to pay their fair share. And then, they lied to you about it. Not that that is a surprise in and of itself.
In my opinion, it was nothing more than evidence of theft of retirement investments from middle and working class people.
Even more incredulous to me is the number of middle and working class people, still clinging to the “voodoo” economics theory. If relieving the wealthy and corporations of their fair share of taxes is going to somehow create jobs…..why are 12 million or more American workers….out of work? Where are those jobs? Where are those investments in America that would result from treating the wealthy and corporations (who claim personhood under the law) as a special class of individuals who should be exempted from taxation on 100% of their income as you and I are, supposedly so that money could be used to invest in America!
In the years since “voodoo economics” was first introduced by Reagan, we have had successive administrations working hard to keep the redistribution of wealth fairytale rolling. Each and every one of them has been cheered on by Republicans who are still telling the same tales and about how we need free markets and some perverse form of what they term “capitalism” if we are going to survive even though this is not a system most of us would recognize when we think of capitalism. Any attempts to level the playing field, to protect American workers, is immediately deemed “socialism”. Yet Republicans have no problem with fascism.
As Republicans continue spouting the “free market, capitalism and no regulation because that’s socialism’ BS, and as we are forced further into the disaster that an unregulated global economy creates, we can all plainly see the whole system is set up to redistribute wealth to the already wealthy. The system successfully redistributes wealth from those who work for a living to those who could give a damn whether the rest of us live, die or survive.
The global economy in practice does nothing more than take the wealth of any nation and hand it over to predatory individuals and corporations while reducing the quality of life, the wage base and the overall economic health of every nation afflicted with a ‘global economy”. And that would be all of them, I believe.
The free market idea is of course the driver for the global economy. But, unregulated, with no oversight, we can see the devastating affects in our daily lives. Capitalism is the right idea, but this is not what we have now and it is not what we have had for the last twenty five years, if we ever did.
Our manufacturing base has all but disappeared to cheap foreign labor markets leaving us with nothing to sell on the world market. Voodoo economics has reduced us to a nation of paupers and the unemployed; they call us “consumers” now….we aren’t even “customers” anymore.
Even under a Democrat administration, corporations and the wealthy are given every protection and never, ever held accountable for their actions no matter how egregious. Having to appear in front of a House or Senate committee meeting and being allowed to fudge answers to direct questions about your personal accountability or responsibility regarding your level of corruption and then being driven back to your palatial estate or penthouse in your limo, is not the same as going to jail and being relieved of your assets for being so corrupt. Not one of these predators was forced to relinquish any of their ill-gotten gains while the nations’ workers (those that are left) foot the bill for intentional manipulation of markets and deceptive practices and corruption, implemented for no other reason than the theft of as much of the wealth of the nation as possible.
It seems obvious that redistributing the wealth is okay, according to Republicans, as long as it isn’t redistributed to you and that corporations can be too big to fail, but middle- America can lose their homes, jobs and their standard of living and that’s just peachy.
To top things off, the Republicans are again touting the privatization of Social Security. Maybe they think we don’t understand how many of us lost our retirement savings that were invested in the markets during this financial collapse. Maybe they think we are not aware that the only people who lost anything during this financial collapse, was, the middle class. Privatizing social Security? I don’t think so.
Getting rid of the two party system that is really only one party with a lot of in-fighting…..now there is the potential for reform.