Ignoring the man behind the curtain…

Ignoring the man behind the curtain…

Three years ago I wrote this post about Trickle Down theory. Since then, we’ve seen more of what I view as the most disastrous public policy in my lifetime.

That saying about reaping what we sow only applies when we have a direct hand in causing the problem. Did you vote for Reagan? Then much of what’s wrong with this country today is your fault. I hope you’ve repented.

I got into an argument recently with a millennial who was perfectly happy to pin our disastrous economic situation on all the Boomers who made our economy what it is today. Sadly, there were a bunch of us, right at the tail end of the generation, who weren’t old enough to vote. As I’ve said before, I’d happily have voted for anyone but Reagan, given half a chance, but I wasn’t old enough to do that when he was elected to his first term.

But there was a valid point: We should have known better. The rich don’t stay that way if they give their money away in taxes. The assumption that the “Job Creators” would actually operate in the interests of anyone other than themselves is, in large part, fallacious. If you still think you live in a democracy, you’re sadly mistaken. This is a plutocracy. An oligarchy. We are living in the new Gilded Age. And we got there because people actually believed the lies, thought that if we made it easier for the rich to amass fortunes, we would see any benefits from their greed.

What on earth were they thinking?

Three articles will tell you just how wrong those theories were back then.

TheGuardian.com: Trickle-down economics is the greatest broken promise of our lifetime

CNN.com: The ‘trickle down theory’ is dead wrong

NewYorkTimes.com: In the Real World of Work and Wages, Trickle-Down Theories Don’t Hold Up

Meanwhile, the GOP candidates are talking about war in Syria as if that will fix anything. The only thing that matters to them is protection of their own stash, and to hell with the rest of the country.

If you vote for any of these thieves, you get what you deserve, but don’t take the rest of the country with you. They don’t give a rat’s fuzzy behind about you, and they will happily drive the rest of us to the poorhouse given half the chance. Unless you’re a millionaire, you’ve got no business supporting them.

Just say no.

Just when you thought you understood, someone explained it better…

Just when you thought you understood, someone explained it better…

Cassandra isn’t my name. It never has been, but there are times when I can’t imagine a better, more proper identification for how I view the world.

Take this shining example of hindsight, brought to you by EPI, by way of The Atlantic.

A Giant Statistical Round-Up of the Income Inequality Crisis in 16 Charts

But who is EPI?

From their website (www.epi.org):

The Economic Policy Institute’s mission is to inform and empower individuals to seek solutions that ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity.

About EPI. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden discussions about economic policy to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers. EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security.  To achieve this goal, EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working America.  EPI proposes public policies that protect and improve the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers and assesses policies with respect to how they affect those workers.

Interesting, huh?

I’ve known this was going to happen since my senior year of high school (1980-81), though I never had the facts or figures to back it up. The phrase “Trickle Down Economics” and its bastard brother “Supply Side” have been with us since Reagan took over as President. I have no love for the GOP, and certainly none for St. Ronnie, since he took away my access to my deceased mother’s SS Survivor benefits when I was in my second year of college. (I would have voted for John Anderson if I could have, when he ran as an Independent against both Reagan and Carter, the latter of whom I supported in his first run.)

Even then, those responsible recognized cognitive dissonance when they heard it. The Atlantic noticed way back in 1981, with this article: The Education of David Stockman

“The whole thing is premised on faith,” Stockman explained. “On a belief about how the world works.” As he prepared the script in his mind, his natural optimism led to bullish forecasts, which were even more robust than the Reagan Administration’s public promises. “The inflation premium melts away like the morning mist,” Stockman predicted. “It could be cut in half in a very short period of time if the policy is credible. That sets off adjustments and changes in perception that cascade through the economy. You have a bull market in ’81, after April, of historic proportions.”

Reality and the myopic view of the then (and now) GOP leadership have proved very, very different. Robert Reich understands this all too well.

UNDERSTANDING THE FISCAL CLIFF (in 2m 30s):

The sad, sad truth, though, is that whether Sequestration happens or not, we still have a ridiculously long way to go. We seem to have learned nothing in all the time since Dickens first observed so wryly (by way of Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, a perennial family favorite) just how little most of the rich care for those beneath them.

Scrooge can’t fathom why the poor deserve a break, declaring December the 25th “a poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket.” His grudging day off for his underpaid clerk is the only tip of his hat to sacrifices for other human beings who have less, until his partner smacks him upside the head with reality.

Dickens’ classic does not mention going to hell. There is no discussion of a vengeful god or of a fire-filled eternity. Hell looks very different in Scrooge’s world. His partner, Jacob Marley, knows too well the consequences of a life void of human compassion.

For all the GOP’s constant bluster of morality, public industry, private corporations like Hostess and even the politicians in Michigan and other Right to Work states fail to care about the impact their personal economy has on the US and our majority of poor and middle class. They should be forced to spend some time in the shoes of their employees. Unfortunately, A Christmas Carol is a work of fiction and there will be no Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present or Future to break the chains they forge in life.

It’s up to us. I hope we’re up to the task.

And now for something REALLY scary…

And now for something REALLY scary…

Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch Aug. 10, 2010, 12:45 a.m. EDT

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — “How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy.” Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.”

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reagan-insider-gop-destroyed-us-economy-2010-08-10?pagenumber=1

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