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Forum Post: This is a high priority issue, Like Money out of politics. What other issues need to be prioritized?

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 4, 2012, 10:14 a.m. EST by VQkag2 (16478)
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Labor Day and the Election of 2012: It’s Inequality, Stupid.

Monday, 03 September 2012 09:50 By Robert Reich,

The most troubling economic trend facing America this Labor Day weekend is the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the very top – among a handful of extraordinarily wealthy people – and the steady decline of the great American middle class.

Inequality in America is at record levels. The 400 richest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together.

Republicans claim the rich are job creators. Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to create jobs, businesses need customers. But the rich spend only a small fraction of what they earn. They park most of it wherever around the world they can get the highest return.

The real job creators are the vast middle class, whose spending drives the economy and creates jobs.

But as the middle class's share of total income continues to drop, it cannot spend as much as before. Nor can most Americans borrow as they did before the crash of 2008 — borrowing that temporarily masked their declining purchasing power.

As a result, businesses are reluctant to hire. This is the main reason why the recovery has been so anemic.

As wealth and income rise to the top, moreover, so does political power. The rich are able to entrench themselves by lowering their taxes, gaining special tax breaks (such as the "carried interest" loophole allowing private equity and hedge fund managers to treat their incomes as capital gains), and ensuring a steady flow of corporate welfare to their businesses (special breaks for oil and gas, big agriculture, big insurance, Big Pharma, and, of course, Wall Street).

All of this squeezes public budgets, corrupts government, and undermines our democracy. The issue isn't the size of our government; it's who our government is for. It has become less responsive to the needs of most citizens and more to the demands of a comparative few.

The Republican response – as we saw dramatically articulated this past week in Tampa – is to further reduce taxes on the rich, defund programs for the poor, fight unions, allow the median wage to continue to fall, and oppose any limits on campaign contributions or spending.

It does not take a great deal of brainpower to understand this strategy will lead to an even more lopsided economy, more entrenched wealth, and more corrupt democracy.

The question of the moment is whether next week President Obama will make a bold and powerful rejoinder. If he and the Democratic Party stand for anything, it must be to reverse this disastrous trend. This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.



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[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

Sorry, Reich is not my hero. He has opposed tariffs on Chinese goods sighting his fear of a "trade war". Give me a break. We import 5 times what we export to them. A trade war would only help the US. He serves the neoliberal agenda. What a wimp. http://www.thenation.com/blog/154886/useless-sanctions-china-robert-reich-says-forget-it-better-rebuild-american-industry

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Nah. You are gravely mistaken. Trade wars are bad! That's how we got the great depression. Better to rebuild American industry. Besides that 1 single issue, Reich certainly is correct on the big structural issues.

Reichs approach mirrors OWS position. get with the program.

Good luck in all your good efforts.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

No, you get with the program. A trade deficit is a structural issue. The Depression was NOT the result of trade wars.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Didn't Smoot-Hawley make it worse.? Whatever the case we MUST work with the entire planet. All countries, how else are to become one world government.

Deficits/debt are non issues. Just get the economy growing again and they will melt away!

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

I don't want one world government. Trade deficits are not a non issue. Trade deficits are not the same as budget deficits. Did Smoot-Hawley make the depression worse? Well, if you ask Michelle Bachman, she says yes. although she called it Hoot-Smalley. If you ask someone who is not a complete moron, then no it had no appreciable effect. OWS is in opposition of neoliberalism. Outsourcing, and the destruction of tariffs is a primary tool of neoliberalism. First learn, then teach. http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

We disagree. That's all. no need for the insulting condescension.

Smoot Hawley DID make the depression worse. Notwithstanding your irrelevant attempt to attach the issue to Michele Bachman.

Deficits ARE meaningless because they WILL melt away as soon as the 99% get relief and start the consumer economy again!

I am against outsourcing as well, but Trade wars ARE bad!. I am against neoliberalism, of course!

I also KNOW we will one day have a one world govt. Don't matter if you want it or not. Natural evolution. Better for the poorest people, better for resource sharing, better in that it removes major reasons we wage war!

"imagine there's no country" JL


[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

Yes, the British and Roman empires worked out so well. You tied yourself to Michele Bachman. You have the order reversed. There will be no decrease in inequality until neoliberalism is reversed. I don't know if you ever actually read any links but you really seem to need to. Try this one. http://economyincrisis.org/content/avoid-trade-war-we%E2%80%99re-already-one

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

You brought up Michelle Bachman! Not me. Mentioning Smoot Hawley has nothing to do with her unless you think she owns anything that she utters.

I do not follow her, nor did I know that she ever misstated it. So NO I did not "tie myself to Michele Bachman" as you erroneously stated.

That makes you statement a misdirection and a lie. You original attachment is also a misdirection and false comparison.

Clearly you have no credibility. You want me to read your linbk? Why? More misdirections and lies?

Please, Good luck in all you good efforts.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

You aligned yourself with Michelle Bachman whether you were too misinformed to know it or not. You are too poorly informed to know when you are aligned with OWS and when you are not. The site I referred you to is pro-OWS. You, seem to be afraid of new information.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Why would I be afraid of someone spewing misdirection and lies?.

If you seriously think that just because Michele Bachman misstated the smoot hawley act means anyone who mentions it is tieing themselves to her you are woefully out of touch.

You have no credibility. Please don't respond.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

No, not because she mispronounced it, but because she spewed the same stupidity about it causing the Depression. So you haven't read it, but some how you know it's "lies and misdirection". Amazing.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Michele Bachman is unrelated! She was not born when the 1st people connected Smoot Hawley to the great Depression.

Michele Bachman is unrelated! Forget Michele Bachman! She is not related to the issue.

Do you understand? To connect her to Smoot Hawley is simplistic, misdirection, false comparison. To state I tied myself to her is a lie!

Michele Bachman is unrelated!

Please do not respond. Michele Bachman boy!

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

In fact I'm gonna respond twice. You may refuse to read any links, but others may. This will expose your lack of knowledge about these issues and make you look very foolish. Not that you need any help with that.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

I can see why you wouldn't want me to respond, but I don't answer to you.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Michele Bachman! LMFAO

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

You think she's kinda cute don't you?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Don't want a one world government - nope - not one little bit.

Correction - don't want mans one world government.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Well that's fine. I believe it is the logical evolution. I mean every movie where aliens invade we come together, united against the common enemy.

Star trek has earth with one world govt. Works for them!. We would fairly share resources! And it would be one less reason to wage war!

"imagine there's no country" JL


[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

1st we need to mature - to learn how to get along with each other - to accept that individuals are just that - INDIVIDUALS - and to take no threat from that fact. Like I have said and will always say it does not matter the government or social system that is in place - it matters how we treat each other and it matters how our governments treat each other and it matters how our governments treat their own people and it matters how we treat the world we all live on and how we treat all of the life there on.

Man is not ready not mature enough for a one world government - one step that would show this as a possibility would be the maturity of the people to have governments that worked for the GOOD of ALL their own people and all of their neighbors as well. Then we could perhaps think of having a one world organization.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I agree 100%. We ain't mature enough!. It will be decades before any movement towards this logical evolution!


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Every country on this planet can be a leader towards the Good Fellowship of ALL.

We just need to make a start some where any where and let the example spread.

It could be us the USA it could be the UK it could be Russia or China or any country on earth that begins the process.

But the process starts at home where ever home is.

It starts with the fair proper and good treatment of every citizen.

It starts with the fair and proper treatment of all life.

It starts with the fair and proper treatment of the environment.

It starts with putting life environment society above money.


[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Sing it loud brotha'. Sing it proud!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago


[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 11 years ago

and a nationalist as well. Racist & nationalist? hmmmm? Some ism you got going on.

How do you feel about immigrants and homosexuals.?

[-] 0 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

Your not any smarter with this screen name than the others.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 11 years ago

Of course the republiclans are job creators

They create millions of jobs - in China and India
And thousands of jobs in banks & wall street & washington
And lets not forget all of the jobs at fox

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Thats how the 1% corpoRATions make money. We all know about Mitts vulture capitalist model. (read Taibi's current Rolling stone article.)

The middle class are the real job creators! We must cut their taxes/debt and the consumer economy (yuch!) will explode, and jobs will be created.

Money does not naturally tinkle down. When the 1% have it they hoard it!. However if the 1% see that the 99% have money then the natural mechanism to suck up every penny kicks in and the economy grows.

Greedy bastards.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

people don't need jobs , they need access to land and resources

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Wow. I can't agree that people don't need jobs. Sorry. But I do like the access to land and resources. We can a gree on that.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

people need access to money

unless they own land they can rent, resources they can sell or money the can loan

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Ok!. Good deal. I'm not against that.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

jobs are replaced by technology

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I think the greed of the Bain like vulture capitalists have created more outsourcing than tech innovations.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I think the military industrial complex likes to make other countries enemies

[-] 3 points by bensdad (8977) 11 years ago

but without enemies, my halliburton stock will collapse!

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Sell it now brotha. buy alt energy stocks on the dips.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I agree! Changing that, & drawing down without losing jobs will be very difficult. We've made some cuts. More planned. We've ended some military actions, more planned. But it will take years, work, and the ability to recognize and support progress when we see it.!

[-] 0 points by Evergreen38 (14) 11 years ago

without a bogeyman, where we would be? it's a one, maybe two word answer that I'm looking for Matt

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

with ourselves ?

[-] 0 points by Evergreen38 (14) 11 years ago

i was looking for, 'at peace.'