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.
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.
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