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Americans are bent on engaging in magical thinking instead if facung unpleasant facts.  We can no longer afford it.  The latest laugher is Boehner’s opposition to the Obama’s extension of Bush’s tax reduction for all but the top 2% of income earners.  The myth posited by Boehner is that it will retard the growth of small business and slow job creation.  This is nonsense.  Wise small business owners will invest to avoid taxes because Business expenses are  a 100% tax write off – that’s the best deal going.  But what about richest one half of the 2% group?  On average, they earn over a whopping $8 million a year – they’re not going to skimp on groceries if they’re nicked nicked a bit!  A second of Boehner’s Boner’s is the notion that what is stopping small businesses  from expanding is uncertainty – the best way to create certainty is to pass a law. 

As indicated in “Are the Rich Getting Richer?”, a Daily Abyss article dated Nov. 12, 2009, the rich really are getting richer at a much more rapid rate than the poor or middle class – the USA now more resembles Cuba and Iran with regard to the distribution of wealth than it does its Western developed counterparts.  Some facts:  the income of the poorest one-fifth of American families grew by 117% between years 1947 and 1973, the middle one fifth lagged behind – 103%, and the wealthest fifth by a mere 88%.  Clearly, the poor did relatively well during the post war period (more than doubling their income) but neither the middle class nor the wealthy lagged far behind.  Since that time there has been a marked turn around; between 1973 and 2000 the income of the wealthest families grew by 65% but the middle and lower class families lagged far behind: 25% and 11% respectively – clearly the rich are getting richer, and it doesn’t matter which party you vote for, the pattern remains the same no matter who’s in office.    Furthermore, there is little question of who bore the brunt of 9-11 and our subsequent two wars.  During these troubled time, the income of the richest fifth of American familes still contined to grow.  Admittedly it was a a paltry 2%, however, the income of the rest of the population shrank – middle class, -1.8%, and the poor -6.5%.  http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/tabfig/2008/01/14.pdf-.  Clearly our wars and hard time were bourne by the backs of the reat of us.  

The USA is rapidly becoming a plutocracy – by, for, and of the richest while the rest get the shaft.  It’s time to reverse this trend, and contrary to Boehner’s big boner, for growth’s sake, the time to do it is now.  Retaining Bush’s tax cuts will stimulate our flagging economy, and furthermore, it will put spending power into the hands of families of America, at least, those who need and will use it.  If you want to encourage family values, economic growth, or economic justice, you will support tax custs for the poor and the middle class, but not for the rich.     

From the Abyss,

Jim  

A Comparison of Annualized Family Income Rates for 1947 – 1973 and 1973 – 2005.

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  http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/economic-growth-across-the-income-distribution/

We are obsessed the “market.”  Market indicators, the Dow, the S & P 500, and NASDAX (and in this international era, the Hang Seng, Nikkei, DAX, and FTSE), are looked upon as a measure of economic health.  These measures tell little about the economic well-being of the lives of individuals and families.  In fact, there is a complete disconnect – market rises usually coincide with worsing conditions of common people.  Shrinking levels of unemplyment cause drops in market prices because they are omens of increasing demands by labor and higher wages – and that puts a squeeze on the all-imp0rtant profit.  Obviously, we have come to look at the nation as a nation not of people but of investment and business.  Tellingly, Presidents Bush and Obama alike have chosen Wall Streeters as their economic advisors while passing by such people-oriented economists as Paul Krugman or Joseph Stiglitz (both nobelauriats). 

It’s time to develop a new measure of the economy indicating how individuals are doing – buying power – employment – full time employment – leisure time – life expectancy.  It is only then that we will once again (or at last?) place a premium on the quality of life of the many rather than profit for a few.  Any ideas?

From the Abyss,

Jim

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