Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let's Get It Together

While it's undoubtedly a real issue, the problem we face as a nation is not the amount of money that is misspent by the government; it is that not enough money is collected to do all the important things we expect our government to do, like build and maintain roads, bridges, dams, schools, educational and research grants, pay teachers and fire-fighters and police officers, maintain a viable national defense (though, for sure, some trimming there is advisable - we do account for nearly half of the entire world's military spending).  And have enough money available to recover from natural disasters.

In the not so distant past, before tax revenues were reduced by ineffective tax breaks for the rich (we've been cutting taxes for years - where are the jobs?) we were able to fund the development and innovation that made us the envy of the world, as well as aid in the rebuilding of nations devastated by war, famine, and natural disasters.

Until President Reagan dosed the country with his "government is the problem" kool-aid we had the necessary funds to build the interstate highway system and state universities and community colleges across the land.  We saw the average income of working americans nearly double in the thirty years from 1950 to 1980 which, for the first time in the history of the world, enabled vast numbers of people to live in homes which they themselves owned.  We were an economic powerhouse.  The rich paid remarkably high tax rates and it DIDN'T STOP THEM FROM MAKING MORE MONEY.  It didn't undermine the creation of wealth.  It didn't send jobs overseas.  It wasn't bad for the economy.  It was a win-win situation.  The rising tide DID lift all boats.

No more.  Since Reagan, middle-class incomes have stagnated, credit-card debt has ballooned, executive pay has sky-rocketed out of proportion, and our federal deficit and national debt has become a real issue that has undermined the financial health of the nation.

They sold out our national interest to the forces of globalization.  The internationalization of the work force is what sent our manufacturing jobs overseas where workers were paid a pittance compared to the good wages that Americans had fought for and earned through collective bargaining.  Conservative economic policies have gradually and purposefully eaten away at the effectiveness of our government and at our ability to do the great things that we, as a nation and a people, were proud of.

No comments:

Post a Comment