Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Great Trickle-Down Bait & Switch

(Beginning at 2:45 in the video above, billionaire Sam Zell tell us how the super-wealthy--the 1%--"work harder" than the rest of us, and that we should try to emulate them.)

Modern day trickle-down economics began in the early 1980s, when President Reagan and Congress began slashing taxes on the super-wealthy. Since that time, income inequality has soared and wages for the middle-class have stagnated.

Trickle-down economics was sold to us as a way to "raise all boats." We were told (promised actually) that if we gave colossal tax breaks to the wealthy, the wealthy would use their increased after-tax income to invest in new business, which would then create tons of good-paying jobs. We would soon, surely, be living in the land of milk and honey!

Today, we can see that plutocrats and billionaires are switching their marketing tactics. Since it's clear that trickle-down economics didn't do what we were told it would do, the plutocrats and billionaires are now saying, in effect, "worship and emulate us." In other words, the rationale for trickle-down economics is no longer that it will create lots of good-paying jobs, the rationale is that we need a 1% super-wealthy class that sits on Mount Olympus and a poverty class that worships them and tries to emulate them. In effect, a feudal society.

But what America (and the world as a whole) needs is a new and stronger New Deal, not an arrogant class of people who think of themselves as gods for the rest of us to worship. And besides, why should everyone strive to be a billionaire? Is it now, suddenly, wrong to want to be a police officer, or a nurse, or a teacher, or an astronaut? We have to strive to be billionaires? We have to think about money above all else? What a frightening, morally bankrupt world the plutocrats are creating for us. Where's an FDR or a Harry Hopkins when you need one?    

(Listen to wealthy businessman Kevin O'Leary say "It's fantastic!" that the 85 richest people in the world have more money than the 3.5 billion poorest people. Like Sam Zell, O'Leary thinks the poor should look up to the rich and try to be like them.)

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