It's always mystified me, how right wing nut jobs with more car
derelicts and washing machines in their front yards than blades of grass
stubbornly cling to the delusion that trickle up and trickle down
economics works. Because self-styled conservatives think, for want of a
better word, in frames and when you compartmentalize your thinking in
rigid frames, no force on earth can move you to rethink, reappraise or
reform your mode of thinking.
Since the Southern Strategy of
1972, poor southern voters were convinced by the criminals of the Nixon
administration that whatever the liberals wanted was inherently evil and
was akin to Socialism and Communism. Then when Reagan began his rise in
1980 (by kicking off his campaign with a dog whistle speech in
Philadelphia, MS, where four civil rights workers were brutally murdered
with virtual impunity), the divide created by Nixon and his henchmen
was officially turned into a schism.
It was Reagan, in
the first year of his presidency, who'd dramatically lowered taxes on
the wealthy by citing a theory pioneered by Milton Friedman and other
acolytes in the Chicago School of Economics and that theory was called
"Trickle Down Economics" (which his own Vice President George HW Bush
called "Voodoo Economics").
The whole idea was so patently
absurd and arrogantly flew in the face of established economic history
and theory that one who has more than two neurons to rub together is
amazed that it had gained any traction ever, let alone still being a
driving force behind Republican economic policy today. Essentially,
Trickle Down Economics boils down to this:
Let's make the
"job creators" in this country so obscenely bloated that some of it is
bound to trickle down into the waiting, gaping mouths of the proles like
crumbs falling from the beard of Henry the 8th to his bowing and
scraping servants. This is rife with lies: #1, when the wealthy get tax
breaks, they simply sock the money away in an offshore account so that
even the interest cannot be taxed. None of it gets trickled down.
Another ridiculous fallacy is that everyone in the top 1% is a "job
creator". This plainly doesn't apply to wealthy individuals like right
wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, hedge fund and vulture fund
managers in the financial sector and so many others.
it up, history over the last 32 years has taught those still willing to
listen and learn that the post Reagan economy can be summed up thusly:
It's not a trickle up system but a geyser and then there's the trickle
down effect, minus the trickle.
Under the fiscal cliff deal, the personal income tax rate on those making $425,000 or more has been capped at 39.6%
still well below the 90% it was set at during the Eisenhower
administration. And even with a 5% increase on capital gains taxes,
they're still capped at an absurdly low 20%
with none of the loopholes (such as the stock option one that got Facebook a nice fat $429,000,000 refund
courtesy of John and Jane Q. Public) even being addressed let alone
closed. Plus, the much-ballyhooed Fiscal Cliff deal made the Bush tax
cuts permanent for everyone not in the top 1%.
Obama administration is still jockeying for position trying to claim
credit for wanting to cut "entitlements" such as Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid.
A quick look at the graph above will tell you when things really
began to turn sour for the American worker. Usually, private earnings by
the working class accounted for roughly half of the nation's GDP or
Gross Domestic Product. After eight years of economic sodomy by the Bush
administration and four years of largely do-nothing policies under
Obama, it's fallen to under 47%. Note, also, that right around the
nanosecond Bush took over the White House in 2001 at how dramatically
workers' earnings began to diverge from corporate profits (which was
recently reported to have skyrocketed by 18.6% or $1.75 trillion
since 2011). After a dramatic dip in corporate profits and a middling
increase in workers' wages the year Obama took over, corporate profits
then skyrocketed again while workers' earnings began another slide
And still we keep hearing
from the MSM and liberals alike that since the Dow Jones Industrial
Average is now at over 14,000 and counting, the recovery is still well
underway and we hear sarcastic kitchen table punditry from these same
people about how Obama is the worst Socialist ever. But the plain fact
is Obama's attitude toward industry and the banking industry is more in
line with the fascists of 1930s and 1940's Germany than the Socialism of
What these sneering,
self-appointed pundits conveniently forget as they tweet, text and write
content on their Apple iPads and iPhones is that those massive
corporate profits have come at the expense of American jobs. American
industry, as is well-known, had decided during the Bush years to ramp up
individual profits by outsourcing and offshoring American manufacturing
jobs overseas, making America "a nation of shopkeepers," as Napoleon
had once described the British. Corporate profits are also heavily
indebted to the massive loopholes invariably friendly to private
industry that have no problem headquartering either physically or on
paper (such as Apple, which has tax-dodging subsidiaries in Ireland
and is notorious for having Foxconn run their suicide-plagued sweatshops
in China that "employ" children as young as 14
) at the same time they have their expensive products made by Chinese slave labor.
The American worker has been getting the shaft, often without lube, and
those of us who are still employed are treated to a regimen of hatred,
scorn, suspicion and outright cruelty by corporate titans and small
business owners alike who are showing their true colors thanks to a
permanently high unemployment rate. In seemingly impunitive violation of
labor and workplace safety laws, corporate behemoths such as Amazon,
Wal-Mart and other pathologically grasping corporations determined the
squeeze the last bit of work and use out of their workers are allowed to
roll back worker rights to the days of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and
before that while the Obama administration turns a blind eye.
What media and liberal pundits also forget is that there is no longer a
single economy uniting Wall Street and Main Street: Since the repeal of
Glass Steagall, the FDR-era law that forbade traditional bankers from
risky speculation, the economy of the United States has been neatly
bifurcated so that you have Wall Street and its ocean of capital and
then the boarded up shops of Main Street that used to employ local labor
until the metastasizing of Big Box stores such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy
and Home Depot.
And the bankruptcy
laws have been designed to always favor corporations and not individuals
who didn't tend to get into financial trouble with risking speculation
and gambling away other peoples' money. When Congress (led by Vice
President and then Senator Joe Biden, a man who never met a corporation
he or his adopted state of Delaware didn't want to incorporate) passed
the despicable and sarcastically-named Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and
Consumer Protection Act of 2005, it made it virtually impossible for
private individuals to file for bankruptcy protection while doing
absolutely nothing whatsoever in the way of closing those loopholes for
corporations whose white collar crimes had caught up to them.
Hostess executives nakedly stole pensions that workers had been kicking
into for decades, put them all out of work after submitting to the
unions a "proposal" they knew the union wouldn't accept then closed up
shop and parted out the company to the highest bidder. It's beyond
obvious that Hostess executives wanted to cash in their chips and never
had the slightest intention of keeping those people employed.
And when other American corporations decide to lay off their labor
force and farm out the same jobs at starvation wages to Third World
countries such as the Philippines or Bangladesh, we have our
intelligence and pragmatism insulted by them insisting that, even when
the outsourcing occurs during a time of record profits, they have to do
so to "remain competitive."
It's screamingly obvious at 300 decibels that neither party of the
government and private industry harbors the slightest iota love for the
American worker that had made both great for two centuries. We live in an environment in which the organized labor
movement, while it may not be on life support, is certainly wheezing.
Criminally disingenuous corporations insist workers forfeit benefits,
lose their pensions, take pay and hour cuts or face the consequences.
And the defanged labor unions either have to capitulate to save jobs
that never should be endangered to begin with or face the audacious
scorn of anti-union conservatives as with the Hostess debacle. As if they actually care about American jobs beyond their own.
Homemade conservatives can be defined in two words: Useful idiots.
Because they've been conditioned to think that whatever liberals want
for everybody is pure evil and is Socialism and Communism, that they
just want to tax everyone to death and take money out of their pockets.
These memes are whispered in the ears of these goobers by the same
multinational, multibillion dollar companies who put their wives,
brothers, offspring or even themselves out of work. The Tea Bagger
movement, as many of us know, is a not a grassroots movement at all but
one funded from the start by the Koch Brothers, Dick Armey's Freedom
Works and ALEC.
And now that we're
having our first serious debate about the minimum wage for the first
time since Congress and Bush administration grudgingly raised it for the
first time since Reagan, we're hearing the same bullshit from
lobbyists, Republicans and other useful idiots about how incrementally
raising the minimum wage to $9 by 2015, by which time the Consumer Price
Index will have risen by 9-12% and essentially turn that $9 ph into
today's $7.25 ph, will spell the doom for private industry and how it
will have no choice but to outsource more American jobs to sweatshop
countries. The tepid "reforms" of ObamaCare are being blamed by these
same grasping sociopaths for laying off and cutting the wages and hours
of their workforce.
Wall Street taught us last year and the year before that, such
selfish-based thinking is not only institutionalized but viciously and
arrogantly defended by police departments who themselves had had their
pensions stolen or siphoned by the same Wall Street oligarchs whose
interests they protect. There is simply no way out of this mess short of
an asteroid the size of Texas hitting the earth and bringing about an
extinction level event.
Because as long as corporations are allowed to own
everything and exert so much unchallenged power over the lives of rank
and file human beings, as long as we keep the current political systems
in place on this planet, nothing will ever change this corrupt system
that refuses to even sacrifice one crumb to the waiting masses below
The human race is, to put it simply, too stupid and greedy for planetary stewardship.