Income Inequality—is a “work in progress”

Rags to Riches stories

Larry Brantley, you talk about the various revolutions across history when inequality gets so bad; and then you say it hasn’t gotten that bad for us here and now. But I think it has. I think it is just manifesting itself in different ways, that are not recognizable to us. I think the anger in the Tea Party against Obama is one of those manifestations. There is a certain violence about it looking at the birthers, socialist baiters, Benghazi nuts and so forth.   All of this gun talk, survivalism. All of this inner city violence and police brutality.

Capitalism is exclusive to the Capitalists, Communism is exclusive to the State. Socialism is exclusive to the individual.

We tend to equate these economic systems to certain political systems. Any of these economic systems an be bent and shaped into any political system. Some combinations seem to work better than others, but eventually they all come apart. It is much better if they are planned unopposed, perhaps even to an extent facilitated by those already in control. That one is hard to pull off. At the other extreme there is chaos, think of the French Revolution (If you were never made to read Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, it is quite insightful), or the Bolshevik Revolution.

An argument can be made that Reagan and “his team” (the philosophies and policies) are a contributory factor in every problem we face in the U.S. today. That is maybe how we should remember this ilk. Hopefully one day, all the airports and monuments named after Reagan can one day have a disclaimer plaque installed stating Iran-Contra, etc. This might be a better use of our time (an educational approach) rather than removing his name from everything. The recent attempt by women’s groups to place a woman on the $20 bill, so very legitimate, might actually in a Republican-Dominated Congress bring back the ideas of changing BOTH the $20 bill and the FDR Dime to Reagan images (Yuck!).

YIKES! I saw this on a friend’s timeline and, unable to bite my tongue, I had to say: “Perhaps, but I think we are seeing that the problem with capitalism is that we run out of resources for future generations. We need to create (or evolve into) a hybrid. Although I agree that extreme socialism is anti-social, I’d also use the cliche, “Freedom aint free,” and further suggest that Thatcher’s capitalism didn’t see the long-term economic value of clean water, healthy soils, biodiversity, the inherent conservative nature of conservation, and the fundamentally productive nature of ecological systems.” Was I too nice? Not nice enough? Should I not meddle in other people’s politics on Facebook? Do tell…and feel free to cut and paste this comment if you see this ridiculous/simplistic/Fox-News extremism popup on your FB feed.

Agreed Nate, but a more recent problem of Capitalism is that it is no longer related to the “Free Enterprise” system; it has lost all morals and ethics, and is just about corruption. So many business proposals are just like Naomi Klein’s book on the Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism that it is easier to sell an idea, get investors and then back out of it, and sell it or go bankrupt and take the investor’s money, than it is to follow through to the end of an successful project. People are no longer in business to make a good product—just to make money by whatever means necessary (people lose limbs in a machine or get cancer that’s okay; water is polluted, that’s okay just conceal it; etc).

From James Vickers: How did you think Republicans were going to try to solve problems this time, since they seem to have ruled out raising taxes on the rich (hell they’re still cutting them!!?), and creating a massive number of jobs, and employment?
The new Republican Reich, now has, as its “Final Solution,” locking up the poor. If you’re one of the unfortunate poor, the people usually born into a life of poverty, unable to reach escape velocity for whatever reason, you’ll be herded to the jails, and used by the rich, to make ever more money.
Why is it you keep voting for Republicans, or you don’t bother voting, when they’re doing this to you, will do this to your children, and grandchildren?

From James Vickers:  This is just substantiation of how the Republican method, of cutting taxes on the rich, then replacing them with onerous, regressive taxation on everyone else, is yet another problem, that bleeds demand in this country, and hurts economic growth. Other than reduction of sales, gas, fees, fines, utility, and property taxes (and a few others), cutting the payroll tax on the employee up to whatever the prevailing minimum wage, on a 40 hour week, would result in much more spending, thus more economic growth.
Replacing any of the regressive taxation at any level of government, with a higher top-marginal tax rate, would also result in economic growth, as that money will all be spent into the economy.

Our inherent economic models are just so out of date. There was so much off shoring and vulture capitalism that who knows what is possible with a “Wal-Mart Buy America” movement, for example?   Plus automation is eliminating so many jobs, government is being skewered at all levels, technology and tourism are not the sectors they once were……….???????? The whole movement to the financial industry is scary.

By DAVID BROOKS Published: February 29, 2008

When I was in college, William F. Buckley Jr. wrote a book called “Overdrive” in which he described his glamorous lifestyle.

The bad thing is that he is invited onto shows and is portrayed as the moderate, centrist and in some cases the liberal since he works at NYT.

The picture of the Capitol being remodeled really fits the caption.