Thursday, October 14, 2010

In Plain Language - What the Hell Happened.

Look, folks - it's really simple what happened here. And everything else is bullshit.

For the last 30 years, ever since Reagan came into office and busted the unions, wages have stayed the same or even declined, while prices have risen. This has resulted in every year as a whole workers have made less and less, but it's been so incremental, like the 'boiling frog', that we haven't noticed it, except to think that perhaps we weren't workng hard enough or were spending too much.

The 'investment class' on the other hand (those who don't get wages for working, but make money from investments and stock options - the 'top 1%' who makes money from money and not work), has had its income RISE over 400%.

BUT - since we are no longer a producing society (with most manufacturing jobs outsourced overseas - thanks, Chamber of Commerce!), but a consumer society, the ONLY way our economy stays afloat is for people to BUY things. Remember when Bush said "Go shopping!" after 9/11? This is the reason for the great credit push - they know we aren't paid enough in wages to buy a lot of stuff. So how to get Americans to keep the economy going without raising wages? Make them go into debt! So we get this unlimited credit (and all the costs included in that - the hidden fees, the late charges, the ability to change terms without notice). But that's STILL not enough.

So - enter the real estate/housing bubble, where homeowners are encouraged to buy what they need from the imaginary 'equity' in their homes. Since it doesn't really exist, it's more debt which will be handed down to our children and their children. And since we are NOT paid fair wages (wages that increase somewhat close to what the cost-of-living increase is) because the unions have been demolished, that's the only way we can stay afloat.

But, now even that is exhausted. We have come to the end of the line. The investment class has stolen every penny that we have. There's nothing left to steal from us, the working people. We finally had to stop spending, and that is when everything went down in flames.

Now, the top 10% whines that they pay 40% of all taxes, which they deem unfair. But what they don't say is that they control 90% of the wealth of the country! So, is it fair to pay 40% of the taxes on 90% of the wealth? Is it fair that we pay 30% for taxes on payroll (from WORK), but only 15% on investment income (money made from money)? And when the majority of the wealth of the country is held by investors, THEY DO NOT SPEND IT. It does NOT go back into the economy, it does not create jobs. It goes OFFSHORE to make more money for itself, and is not taxed.

When working people make more money, on the other hand, it DOES go back into the economy in the form of purchasing, which creates a market for things, which creates jobs to serve that market. Investment income does not help the economy. Working people buy things. Working people save money. Non-working people or people teetering on the edge of poverty do not spend, and they do not save.

Don't believe the hype, people. We are being stolen from, and until we see it for what it is, these suited thugs will continue to do so.

Sorry for the rant, but - when I hear this Republican piffle about Big Government and Tax Cuts, I just can't help but holler. If the investment class would pay its fair share, we woldn't be in the mess we're in. We've done it their way for 30 years, and we have become serfs. Guess what? The Trickle Down Theory just means we're being p***ed on.


PhysioProf said...

As usual, you speak the truth with power and clarity!

GDunn said...

Agreed. Your rant is one of the reasons the right promotes the idolization and canonization of St. Ronald Reagan of the Rich. Even many that Reagan's policies destroyed speak highly of his holiness.

Many of the same, the ones who lost pensions, houses, their lives, etc. will argue till their out of breath about the great St. Ronnie.

I don't want this to sound negative, but to these people reality doesn't matter.

lightnindan said...

Yes it's fair. You lower taxes to encourage people to engage in certain behavior. If you want people to invest, you lower the taxes on investment.
Yes, we're being stolen from by the government. Taxes may have been lower this year for the average working man, but with the huge balloon of spending, it is a matter of time before they will rise again, and to levels unprecedented in this nation.
If people would learn the concept of spending less than they earn, they might find that the recessions wouldn't bother them as badly. This post is nonsense. Noone made people buy houses that were beyond their ability to pay. Noone forced them to buy new cars and Longaberger baskets and jet skis and eat out three times a week on credit. Noone forced them to spend more than they make. Yes, we have some issues with Wall Street that should be addressed. There will always be those with money and power who choose to abuse it and should be dealt with. (Those in government are many times a part of this problem)
My 401k is where it should have been if the bubble had never burst. I lost a bunch, but waited it out and it's not an issue now. Others more heavily invested in real estate, are probably not back yet, but with patience they will be.
Generally speaking, stop whining about the success others have achieved, and start making your way on your own.

GDunn said...

Sorry, lightnindan, you are wrong. It isn't fair and you are wrong on so many levels, it is hard to begin. Let's just start with "lowering taxes" promote people to "invest." Wrong. You take the tax base that benefits local, state and the federal government and those who can "invest" (the extremely wealthy who pay little to no taxes to begin with) and they invest in China, in Mexico, in other nations. They do not invest in America.

I think the real nonsense here is your "I'm so great" attitude and "everybody should be like me."

Unfortunately, I live in America where laws are made to benefit the uber wealthy and corporations (how many corporations actually pay taxes? Many receive refunds from the American people!!!)

So, we live in a country where Republicans have created a reverse Robin Hood--starting with Saint Ronald Reagan. Yet, we have apologists, like yourself telling America it's our fault! WTF?!

Alicia Morgan said...

Beat me to it, GDunn! My reply is too long for comments, so I'll have to make a new post instead.