from Huffington Post by Leo W. Gerard
As the Senate moves to consider the wholly inadequate stimulus package passed by the House -- zip for the jobless, no increase in food stamps, squat for the nation's crumbling infrastructure -- it's useful to consider how the country has come to find itself in the current economic mess.
Part of the reason we need a "fiscal stimulus package" under what President Bush continues to claim is a strong economy is the bad behavior of a government operating in cahoots with corporate America over the past 30 years. This shameless cabal has given us a reckless stock market, a subprime mortgage crisis that is taking down homeowners while threatening banks and insurers, health care and gasoline costs flaming out of control, an endless war that violates international law and savages the budget, rising unemployment and income inequality, and the off-shoring of manufacturing jobs that is undermining real wages.
This, as New York Times financial reporter David Cay Johnston points out in his new bestseller, Free Lunch, is not the America of FDR. It is not the America that nurtured a middle class from the time of the New Deal with Social Security, employer-paid health insurance and defined benefit pensions, and, later, low-cost college educations. This is not the America of investing tax revenue in programs to benefit the majority, like the U.S. interstate highway system, and in regulation to benefit the majority, like the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (a chicken coop now being "guarded" by a fox formerly employed by the corporate-dominated U.S. Chamber of Commerce).
That America is gone. Ronald Reagan got on his high horse, cracked his whip and told those little doggies to move along. Since then, income disparity in this country has grown so that in 2005, Johnston reports in Free Lunch, if you consider all income, the 300,000 wealthiest men, women and children, the top one tenth of one percent, made more money than all the other 150 million Americans put together.
This concentration of income at the top does not occur in places like Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. It does, however, in places like Brazil, Mexico and Russia, Johnston points out.
The rest after the click ...
It doesn't need my comment. It's pretty complete as it is. We'd rather find our economy being compared to Brazil or Russia or Mexico than to do anything some right wing-nut, son-of-a-bitch, so far to the right that he makes Attila the Hun look like a flaming liberal, might label Socialistic.