Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There is a big club and you ain’t in it.

In 1066 an event referred to as the Norman Conquest occurred in Europe. When it was over the victors decided to count the spoils resulting in the a document, Doomsday Book. Finished in 1085 it revealed the 1% fact. 1% of the population owned just about everything. There have been lots of attempts at redistribution of that wealth since then but in the end a thousand years later the 1% still own as much as the rest of us put together.

In an effort to get back to levels of the feudal days the plutocrats have decided we need to attack the New_Deal safety net programs that made life tolerable for those serfs tenacious enough to live to old age.

Previous presidents had done much to improve the lot of the "least of society“,Lincoln freed the slaves, Roosevelt broke the trusts, Wilson promised pensions to the vets of WWI. Generally these attempts were clawed back, Jim Crow,The gilded age, The unleashing of troops on the Bonus Army. Social security was the first to stick and was improved over the course of the next seventy years. Medical care was added and the system was expanded to include more workers and improved disability insurance. Unemployment insurance, cobra health insurance and food stamp programs also came along to protect the populace from the creative destruction of capitalism.

The success of these programs was on display when the latest bubble burst in housing and the great recession of 2007 came along. We had a contraction along the lines of the great depression but we didn’t get the horrible bread lines and displaced populations because we had these programs in place. Little comfort to the folks that lost their jobs and homes but better than the, “brother can you spare a dime”days of the 1930’s.

For some reason after the government bailout of the rich with TARP and trillions of dollars lent at zero interest by the Federal reserve worked to save the investment economy the 1% have decided it is time to destroy the folks at the bottom to avoid picking up the tab.

Enter the worst president in my lifetime and the “Shock Doctrine”. The debt ceiling, a nonsensical and possibly unconstitutional law, (See the 14th amendment)is being used to create an artificial crisis to justify cutting programs for the poor. A deficit that can be traced to illegal wars and huge tax cuts for the 1% will be balanced on the backs of the old, the poor and the disabled veterans.

We do not have a spending problem at the moment we have a revenue problem. It can be short term or we can make it permanent that is the decision we are about to make. Tax rates are at historic lows. Social Security Never contributed a dime to the deficit until the “Fierce Advocate” thought just one more tax cut and the confidence fairy will save us all. They already cut benefits with the last change in COLA this one will lower the standard of living for those at the bottom of the scale. There is no reason to capitulate on entitlements now. These programs are stable for at least a decade so the president can burn the village to save the village after the election if he thinks it is that important to make more elderly poor. Although with higher then 8% unemployment and having threatened the life of old people I think his re-election is now in serious doubt for the first time. If the economists that I tend to believe are correct this austerity fetish will probably result in another down turn and then even batshit crazywill beat him.

Rather then continue to increase poverty, 25% of the population at the moment, we need a different plan. No more failed Laffer curve discredited bullshit tax cuts as stimulus. Lower the retirement age to create jobs. Lower the cost of Medicare by lowering the age and expanding the pool with some people that consume a little less will extend the program life. Make the subsidy a sliding scale for Medicare if you need the elderly to pay more, raise the price for the richest. When unemployment has dropped to 4% or below then we can address cutting no defense discretionary spending. End all foreign wars and close 20% of overseas facilities immediately.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good start