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Friday, January 27, 2006

Income Disparity, Profitability, Economic Growth, and Joblessness

Well, now that sounds like a happy topic!

First, to correctly give credit where it is due, the original thought behind this post lies with Socialist Butterfly's DailyKos Diary and with my post today at Blue Texas (also cross-posted to my DailyKos Diary). At times, things just come together where they openly dispell the lies that have been laid at your feet for years.

The lie, of course, is that by giving tax-breaks to the wealthy and to businesses that we will create a "growth engine". Yes, the rich may get richer, but a rising tide lifts all boats. The rich will eventually pull us great unwashed masses, kicking and screaming, into prosperity. Damn the poor people torpedoes! Full speed ahead Cut taxes even more!

If this theory was correct, then we would either create more jobs or better paying jobs or some combination of the two. Instead, as Socialist Butterfly points out, our economy is underproducing some six to seven million jobs. Cutting taxes on corporations sure hasn't helped Ford and Chevy, has it?

It would also seem that streamlining a company so that it was more profitable would mean that the jobs remaining might actually be able to get a raise. Apparently, that isn't true. Instead, record numbers of Americans are pushed even further away from the trough of luxury and prestige and are forced to exist on the gleanings left behind from a whirlwind of economics that impacts them, but somehow, never seems to touch them.

In all but two of the last seven Presidential elections, we have voted in the person hawking tax cuts for the wealthy as being beneficial. In six of eight, we voted in the man promising less regulation of industry, and in the other two we voted in the man promising to re-invent regulation. We have sown the wind.

And now, we are reaping the whirlwind. Corporate abuse, corporate compensation, union busting, in combination with cuts in every major domestic program have created a downward spiral for those at the bottom.

A land of opportunity does not stack the odds against those who are willing to work hard and sacrifice, nor does it provide unlimited reward for making immoral decisions without regard to the overall effect those decisions have on people. I don't care how you justify it, offering a person the promise of a ladder of achievement while sawing through the rungs on the ladder is cruel and ultimately destructive to all of society.

It took an economic avalanche in 1928 to wake America from the false sense of prosperity it had built during the Gilded Age and the Roarin' 20s. It took two decades to crawl out of the hole that corporatist politicians with sickly smiles of monetary gain had dug for us. It has taken almost three decades for corporatists of the same ilk to slowly dismantle the system set up to ensure de facto egalitarianism and provide a minimal acceptable level of existence. The path to a better life is slowly being stripped away by a political lie built on false promises based on heretic prophecy founded upon failed ideology.

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