Oh look at what our friends at MoveOn have come up with! I love this new style of saying things really quickly with pretty, pretty pictures so you don’t have time to analyze a point, consider it, and critique it for validity before moving onto the next point (and I mean love sarcastically, in the sense of I despise this base form of propaganda that is designed under the idea that if they say it fast enough you won’t catch the lies). This is what happens when you mix the lessons of Goebbels with an ADHD generation.
So let’s take this slowly.
Okay the economy has doubled in size…but the wage thing is a little shaky. Median income in 1980 was 37.4K, in 1990 it was 40.8K, in 2000, it was 44.9K, and in 2003 its 43.3K (that’s adjusted for inflation in 2003 $’s)
(Now you might wonder why I use the older report and not a new one…well, when I did some research I found that the new reports, read since the Dem’s took over Congress under Bush, the numbers suddenly changed and showed absolutely no growth, not that figures changed from inflation but that the upward curve for median income suddenly flattened. It gets really flat after Obama comes in. Now either voting in Democrats is so harmful to the fabric of time-space that it literary erases gains in the past, which may very well be the case, or a line about “in the state of Denmark” comes to mind. If you really want it here’s the most recent “report” )
Also yes we’ve eaten a lot of those gains in the last few years. Might be because of recession. Is it fair to judge the growth of the last three decades by the lowest point since that growth (at the very natural recession that comes after a boom cycle)? Not really. Now 1980 was the worst part of Carter’s reign and we’ve gone up in real dollars 6 grand a year income. I don’t know about you but if I got a 6K raise I would not consider that nothing.
And here’s another fun one
Notice how the only incomes that seem flat lined are those of single income earners (mostly young and single people) but dual income earners seem to be doing really really well. Hmm…does the dropping rate of divorce over the last three decades mean anything to you? Oh, yeah. Maybe people who have families and are earning money for more than just themselves are more driven and more dedicated to providing for their families. Now I won’t go psycho-Christian on you here and demand everyone get into marriage and have 2.5 children, but perhaps the lack of wage gains might have something to do with the more antisocial overtones of my generation and the increased rates of divorce and staying single. Just maybe.
So Robert’s first point is an out and out lie.
Let’s blame the rich. Yes the rich benefit from economic gains more than the middle class…maybe because they put up the capital. They took risks in putting up all the money. It paid off. Yeah they did better, but they worked for it. So the top 10% makes 20% of the income. How much should they make? If you have the top 10% only making 10% of the income then that would mean we’re in a perfectly socialistic system otherwise known as hell on Earth. Think about Ancient Rome where the top 10% earned 90% of the income…20% for the top 10% (i.e., the salaries of the top 35 million people are double the average) sounds about right. Keep in mind also we’re in a recession. That percentage changes probably at the height of a boom. Oh and they have 40% of the wealth. Duh. They invested money. In things. That’s why they’re doing well they had the foresight to invest. And as most of the wealth in the nation exists in the stock market and in the value of companies, what a shock that most of that wealth is held by people who own stock. Just shocking. But this idiot is making having things they earned seem like a bad thing.
I would like to point out once again, that economist Thomas Sowell has proved that most people acquire wealth over time and that if you’re in the middle class you will likely be in the top 20% in terms of wealth by the time you retire. (And if the government didn’t have a death tax you could actually give that wealth to your children or charity and help distribute it to the worthy and give them a head start, but the government wants to take that wealth and give it to the least worthy).
However keep this little bit of class warfare in mind.
Having all this money give rich people power to lower their taxes. Okay…well let’s take a look at some of the biggest donors to politics. Follow this link.
Hmm…it would appear 11 of the top 16 donors give to Democrats. 53 of the 100 also give to the Dems. Top Donation organizations seem to also skew to the left.
And I love that statement “before 1980 the top tax rate was over 70%” (in case you’re wondering you had to make over $250,000 to get that rate). No discussion of how that’s literally highway robbery. No discussion of how it’s is beyond immoral to take 70% of what a person earns, or how evil that is, or how in the good old days redcoats would be shot (and if they were dead or violently beaten to death) for taking far less than that. 70 percent. Do you think the government is entitled to 70% of what you do? That only 30% of your work, 30% of your life, belongs to you? No. So why should it be different just because someone makes more money.
It would appear to me that even though we cut taxes in the 80’s we took in more money (although this does not appear to be adjusted for inflation, so the growth is probably steeper than it should be) and
Gee, it would appear that if you lower taxes you still take in the same amount of GDP, this is called Hauser’s Law. http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/5728 In other words if you lower taxes GDP will more or less go up to compensate, and if you lower taxes GDP goes down (yeah, this is trickles down). And admitting that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, when did the economy start it’s just to double, about 1983 when according to this chart there was a major cut in the top tax bracket. Now that would only mean something if there had also been an economic boom when Kennedy dropped it from 90% to 70% but that didn’t…oh wait did. But that’s just two data points, and I’m probably reading too much into that.
Also notice that Reich’s implication is that the tax rate itself is too low…not, you know, that there are too many loopholes and ways for his Democratic donating cronies to get out of paying taxes. No. That couldn’t be it. It must be the rate itself. I know this because Obama and the Democrats keep coming up with a major tax rate increase and not a list of thousands of loopholes to eliminate (not that the GOP is much better on this, but still, I do believe they had a plan about a flat tax with no loophole for the corporate side). Now if you want to talk about getting rid of all the loopholes I’m there with you, but neither side is really talking about that.
Huge budget deficits… because we’re not bilking the rich enough. We’re not taking in enough money thus we’re going broke. That’s it. That’s what I always think when my bank account is going low: I don’t have enough money coming in, rich people should give me more money. Not you know, maybe I should cut back on spending. No, that can’t be it. Or let’s look at something…
Around 1980 government expenditures were at about 21% of GDP, this is a problem when you’re only taking in about 19% of GDP, and then the expenditures went up…why? Because Regan thought defeating the Soviets was worth cutting some deals with the Democrats (you’ll have to make the call on whether you agree, I’m sure he thought spending would be lowered by future generations so I’ll give him a pass since he did destroy the Soviet Empire). Then you’ll notice that spending really starts getting cut under a GOP congress from 1994 until 2001. And as bad as Bush’s spending was you’ll still notice he kept it under 20% of GDP until he decided to become a Keynesian (which is why I would love to see him up on treason charges) and drove up spending with a Democratic Congress. But look at that nice little spike Obama and a Democratic Congress brought. Could our deficit problem be that we’re spending more than we’re taking in. No it must be that we’re just not taxing people enough. (In case you’re wondering between federal, state and local governments, government spending was about 42% of GDP…I don’t know about you but I really think we should try and get all government spending down to less than 20% of the economy).
And don’t you just love how he uses the thing about the children bullshit. No one from the Democratic Party can complain about the state of education when it is the Democratic Party which is beholden to the Teachers Union, which is unquestionably the greatest threat to public education in existence.
Union vs. Non-union. Public employee vs. Private. Native Born vs. Immigrant.
This is all bad according to Robert.
The petty class warfare of point two good. The war of people who earn money vs. those who don’t is bad. If that line of thought makes your brain hurt, I understand.
And it’s not that people are fighting over the scraps. It’s that people are tired of having their money go to people who haven’t earned it (Union employees, public employees, and Illegal Immigrants—Americans don’t have a problem with legal immigrants, only the criminals who come here and expect free health care, free education for their criminal children, and the right to vote without bothering to become a citizens, yeah we have a real big problem with them, might be because of this thing called reason and justice).
This one isn’t even connected with the suggestion of logic that the others were.
And let’s see why the middle class doesn’t have the ability to borrow money. Could it be because the government forced the banks to make loans to people who couldn’t pay them, ruining the banks and destroying their lines of capital to make loans with? Not in Robert Reich’s world, otherwise known as fiction.
And it’s because we can’t buy shit that we have unemployment. Not because businesses are so afraid of doing anything lest Obama and his Democratic colleagues tax them to death if they’re even moderately successful. Not because this administration is openly hostile to business. Not because expansion under ObamaCare would mean death to most businesses as no one can logically meet all of those requirements. No that can’t be it.
Then there’s that odd conclusion. “The only way we can have a strong economy is if we have a strong middle class.” I’m not going to argue with the conclusion, because it is correct…it’s just that nothing in this video reaches that conclusion. Nothing. It would be like me lecturing for 20 minutes on Shakespeare’s sonnets then saying “Thus we can see that Einstein’s theories on gravity are correct.” The conclusion is true, but not because of what I was talking about.
So exactly how are going to get a strong middle class. I would recommend defense of private property. A legal climate open to investment and entrepreneurship, tort reform, improve education (i.e., get the government and unions out of it), cutting the federal and state government by at least 20% (preferably 50%), and destroying all trade tariffs.
Robert Reich offers no suggestions at how to create a strong middle class. Now like a good propagandist he does suggest a few things in a roundabout way. Tax the rich. Reduce the power of individual to donate to the political process. Have the government spend more. Defend unions, hire more public employees, amnesty. And further encourage a meaningless materialist culture where people just mindlessly buy shit (often that you don’t need). Hmmm…been there, done that, didn’t work. But it would be hard to know that with how fast he went trying to hide the flaws in his line of thought.