I tend to read just about everything that I can from the left, the right and everything in between simply because I so enjoy learning how folks think or, more precisely, don't think. Obviously, America is suffering a profound economic calamity; therefore, just about every ideological group has its own stance on how to solve the problem. Invariably, the position on the left almost always congeals to the same faux fix and progressives are fairly consistent in identifying what they perceive as the root cause of the problem.
Jonathan Turley has a blog worth following because of its primary focus on civil liberties but on occasion other folks show up as guest bloggers on a variety of issues.
Selling Out Middle Class America
Submitted by: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger
I will mention two, among many, of the major factors in the decline of the American Middle Class laid out by the authors. The first is that until the 1970’s our Income Tax was really graduated to the point that government had ample revenue to do its job. The second is that one of the major revenue sources for the Federal Government was tariffs. It was the dismantling of the graduated Income Tax and the proliferation of trade agreements reducing tariffs (and tariff revenue) that have been major pieces in the shipping of jobs overseas, increasing our national debt and destroying what was the greatest industrial economy in the World.That's it folks - the progressive solution to the economy: restore tax rates to pre-1970's levels and impose huge tariffs on foreign goods to drive up the protectionist price of everything. A history of federal tax rates is here. There are a lot of years with tax rates in the 60%, 70%, 80% and even 90% plus percent tax rates.
According to progressives, government can only adequately do its job when those historically high tax rates are restored. But in the 1940's, 50's and most of the 60's, American didn't have a welfare state where entitlement payments exceeded tax revenues. In fact, we barely had any personal entitlements at all.
It was LBJ's Great Society that spawned the gargantuan growth in socialism and entitlements that continue to this day, albeit on steroids. LBJ also bankrupted the nation with the Vietnam War and a combination of progressive engineered entitlements and costly wars left the US in one pickle of a financial mess by the time Nixon arrived. Creditors demanded payment for debt in gold. Rather than wipe out whatever gold reserves we had backing the dollar, Nixon opted to just devalue the dollar by de-tethering it from gold which, of course, constituted a form of default. Nixon also greatly expanded the size of government and entitlements. Once the dollar was freed from the constraints of gold that forcibly instituted some measure of fiscal sanity, America rapidly descended into its 100% pure paper fiat monetary system.
Nixon also created the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) and other new government agency bureaucracies. The EPA has become a noose around the neck of the US economy and many federal agencies wield so much authoritarian and dictatorial agency power that they have literally become power mad fiefdoms that aren't accountable to anybody, least of all the Congress that created these monsters. The Nixon presidency did more damage to America and the American middle class than all presidents combined because his actions resulted in:
There are several factors that squeezed the middle class with devastating results. 1. The loss of purchasing power of the dollar because working class wages never rose as fast as the decline in the purchasing of their wages and 2. The outsourcing of US manufacturing jobs that once paid the high wages that produced a strong middle class. To further complicate the outsourcing problem, Congress did pass legislation that taxed US corporate profits earned on US soil at higher rates than profits earned on foreign soil. The American middle class was betrayed by the very Congress Critters they elected. What kind of elected officials literally pay companies to move offshore? Traitors!
On the free trade issue, the liberals hardly have a legitimate grip because liberals don't understand the difference between true free trade agreements and corporatist protectionist agreements. US trade agreements are nothing but corporatist written schemes and scams wherein spheres of influence and protectionism are divided up among rent seeking multi-national corporations.
The Kleptocracy of Cannibal Crony Capitalism. Bill Clinton and his Republican NAFTA Baby Co-Conspirators
Photo: America's favorite modern progressive Signing NAFTA: Clinton signed NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), an agreement with Canada and Mexico.
As liberals and progressives opine for higher taxes and more corporate protectionism, they sound like the regurgitated version of Francois Hollande, the French socialist prime minister who recently raised taxes on the wealthy to 70%. Meanwhile, France is experiencing substantial capital flight as the French economy plunges into even more misery under the weight of statism, socialism and taxes.
The global economy is a whole lot more complicated than it was in the the 1950's, 60's and 70's when Americans were prosperous and hardworking producers in a relatively free economy. A return to those days requires sound money, the substantial downsizing of government, a massively reduced tax burden, a huge reduction in draconian regulatory powers and PEACE instead of chronic war, something liberals and progressive would never allow.
I'm always beating up on the left when they claim they oppose wars. Yeah, the GOP currently has the label of War Party but who got us into WW I, WW II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Balkan Wars - all progressive, liberal Democrats, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson and Clinton.
Progressive wars vaporized over 100 million folks and that doesn't include another 100 million folks who died under communism, mostly by starvation.
At the end of the day, liberals and progressives oppose freedom and prosperity because to them the great vat of humanity is nothing more than a human zoo that must be managed and controlled like other members of the animal kingdom or even exterminated like cockroaches if humans are perceived as a common nuisance.