Thursday, January 20, 2011
[1783 - US and Britain end hostilities (for a bit)]
[1920 - The American Civil Liberties Union is organized]
[1937 - Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn into office]
[1985 - Super Bowl XIX: San Francisco 49ers 38, Miami Dolphins 16]
During the Reagan era "trickle down economics" was the order of the day. It was justified in part by the assertion that tax cuts for corporations and for the wealthy would result in general prosperity and lead to a better standard of living for all Americans, including the poor and disadvantaged. In those times cooler heads labeled this nonsense "voodoo economics," which it certainly was. Instead of raising the living conditions of the nation's citizens, the Reagan era left the country with record deficits that were only extinguished by somewhat sounder policies of the '90s.
When the Bush administration came in and dusted off the Reagan ideas, the country was in a condition of budget surplus. Predictably, Bush exhumed the failed policies of the 80's, which led to the same results, with catastrophic consequences for the common man. From a period of surplus we returned to record federal deficits for the foreseeable future. In a time of record high corporate profits, real wages for workers did not increase rapidly enough to keep pace with inflation. As a result, real income for the working class American decreased, and millions more citizens and families fell below the poverty line. Meanwhile, corporate executive pay increased exponentially when compared to the income of rank-and-file workers. In most cases executive compensation bore little relationship to performance. In short, with Bush at the helm the rich got richer, the poor got poorer, and the middle-class shrank as it lost health-care coverage.
As if to punctuate eight years of disastrous policy, the Bush Administration precipitated the current financial meltdown and resulting depression based on greed, consumerism, and misplaced faith in the self-regulating power of free-market Capitalism. It remains to be seen if the new folks who took the reins of governmental power can rescue our world from runaway materialism and corporate crime. The initial results are not encouraging. Wall Street has gotten well at taxpayer expense and returned to its former excesses while the rest of us continue to lose our homes and suffer.
William's Whimsical Words:
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Last updated on January 19, 2011