Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Thom Hartmann highlights how trickle-down economics have swamped the U.S.' middle class:
Creating a middle class is always a choice, and by embracing Reaganomics and cutting taxes on the rich, we decided back in 1980 not to have a middle class within a generation or two. George H.W. Bush saw this, and correctly called it “Voodoo Economics.” And we’re still in the era of Reaganomics – as President Obama recently pointed out, Reagan was a successful revolutionary.

This, of course, is exactly what conservatives always push for. When wealth is spread more equally among all parts of society, people start to expect more from society and start demanding more rights. That leads to social instability, which is feared and hated by conservatives, even though revolutionaries and liberals like Thomas Jefferson welcome it.

And, as Kirk and Buckley predicted back in the 1950s, this is exactly what happened in the 1960s and ’70s when taxes on the rich were at their highest. The Civil Rights movement, the women’s movement, the consumer movement, the anti-war movement, and the environmental movement – social movements that grew out of the wealth and rising expectations of the post-World War II era’s middle class – these all terrified conservatives. Which is why ever since they took power in 1980, they’ve made gutting working people out of the middle class their number one goal.

We now have a choice in this country. We can either continue going down the road to oligarchy, the road we’ve been on since the Reagan years, or we can choose to go on the road to a more pluralistic society with working class people able to make it into the middle class. We can’t have both.

And if we want to go down the road to letting working people back into the middle class, it all starts with taxing the rich.
- Meanwhile, Robert Reich discusses how the U.S.' economy is rigged to generate perpetually increasing inequality.

- Eric Ravenscraft writes about the high cost of living in poverty. Marc Spooner argues that ignoring the plight of Saskatchewan's homeless people makes everybody worse off. And Valerie Tarasuk makes the point that funneling waste through food banks does nothing to help a systematic lack of access to food or other necessities of life.

- Brent Patterson makes the case for public hearings before Canada gets locked into the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But Derrick O'Keefe writes that the corporate media has been teaming up with the Libs and Cons to make sure serious criticisms of the TPP are waved away.

- Finally, Rosario Marchese writes that it's not too late for the Wynne Liberals to reverse their disastrous Hydro One privatization, while Kelly McParland notes that the selloff involves all the financial planning and foresight of needlessly taking out a payday loan. And CBC reports that Ontario is already following the consistent pattern of privatized electrical utilities leading to higher rates for customers (in addition to lower public revenues).

No comments:

Post a Comment