Argument with a neoconservative on Azplace.net
(The entire web blog argument can be found here)
Response to Neocon: Joe Republican Redux 1
Times changed after the 1970's, naturally-and not only because of the evil Reagan and his dreaded reforms. Everything changed. OPEC, inflation, oil and natural gas shortages here in the US.
Okay Neocon, if your theory is correct, why is it that the gap between rich and poor continues to widen? Why is it that the wealthiest 1% are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer? By your logic, wouldn’t the rich also become poorer too? After all, America is in decline since the 1970’s, no one argues this. But if America was in such drastic decline, out of the control of our politicians, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the richs’ wealth would be in decline too?
This is the biggest Achilles Heal of your entire argument, indeed of the entire argument of the Neoconservatives. Without strict government control of business, the gap between the rich and poor will widen to the level of third world status. I argue that Bush, Reagan, and even Clinton have accelerated this economic stagnation of the middle class, for the benefit of the rich.
The Economist article:
“A growing body of evidence suggests that the meritocratic ideal is in trouble in America. Income inequality is growing to levels not seen since the Gilded Age, around the 1880s. But social mobility is not increasing at anything like the same pace: would-be Horatio Algers are finding it no easier to climb from rags to riches, while the children of the privileged have a greater chance of staying at the top of the social heap. The United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.
The past couple of decades have seen a huge increase in inequality in America. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think-tank, argues that between 1979 and 2000 the real income of households in the lowest fifth (the bottom 20% of earners) grew by 6.4%, while that of households in the top fifth grew by 70%. The family income of the top 1% grew by 184%—and that of the top 0.1% or 0.01% grew even faster. Back in 1979 the average income of the top 1% was 133 times that of the bottom 20%; by 2000 the income of the top 1% had risen to 189 times that of the bottom fifth.
Thirty years ago the average real annual compensation of the top 100 chief executives was $1.3m: 39 times the pay of the average worker. Today it is $37.5m: over 1,000 times the pay of the average worker. In 2001 the top 1% of households earned 20% of all income and held 33.4% of all net worth. Not since pre-Depression days has the top 1% taken such a big whack… The most remarkable feature of the continuing power of America's elite—and its growing grip on the political system—is how little comment it arouses.”
(This article is echoed by recent articles in the New York Times (a series of 6 articles) and the Wall Street Journal)
This economic inequality is the legacy of Reaganomics and 30 years of Republicanism (including 8 years of a very conservative Democrat).
The Republicans, the ear piece of the business elite, want to slowly take us back to the “Gilded age” to pre-depression America where the gap between the rich and poor was phenomenal. Where the poor had little economic and political control. Democrats may have betrayed many of the progressive ideals of the past, but Republicans have firmly embraced the regressive ideals of the past, and are aggressively attempting to make it America’s future.
What bothers me so much is that you, and those of your ilk, so aggressively support such policies, which are against your economic best interest.
–-Alteration of a quote by Isaac Asimov
1 “Joe Republican ” was an article by Michael Moore. It was posted on Azplace. When I was searching for “Joe Republican ”, I found the azplace.net web blog for the first time on December 18, 2004.
FDR’s programs, however, did not usher in the era of the Middle Class; nor did they end the depression. Thank World War II for that… If not for the war, the Depression might have lingered on for who knows how many years?
I think it was a combination of the war and FDR. Why? Because before the many social nets created by progressives, the wealth of the nation was concentrated in the hands of the few. America did not become an economic power house only after World War 2. Throughout the entire late 19th and early part of the 20th century America was becoming an economic titan. The American military was invading and subjecting many foreign lands to our economic power which increased America’s wealth. But the majority of the wealth was going to the top 1% of the nation. Thus the rise of unions, anti-monopoly laws, child protection laws, progressive taxes, and consumer protection laws. Progressive ideas support by the people, and therefore supported, albeit often grudgingly, by the government. Big business fought everyone of these progressive changes every time. In the case of unions, they fought these rights violently. 700 people have been killed in labor disputes in America since the 1870’s, a number which is phenomenally higher than any other industrial nation.
Did FDR, or Truman enacted the GI Bill
Does it matter who enacted the GI Bill? FDR or Truman (both democrats), Democrat of Republican? The point is that the GI Bill is a very progressive piece of legislation, but it is very anti-neo conservative. The government giving out money to the entire population, instead of the rich. You are supporting a piece of legislation that is very anti-neo-conservative.
(I believe behind all the rhetoric of small government, I think that the elite neoconservatives actually in power support ‘big’ government, but only ‘big’ government that supports the ruling (wealthy) class. Our complex system of capitalism demands that government plays a predominant role in business.)
Question: was it GDP, or GNP, when was it changed?
I don’t know, I am interested please tell.
And you can also thank the Cold War for continuing the growth of the Middle Class and GDP wealth generated during the 1950's and 1960's. Taxes were high, but who cares when Government Funded Programs were employing so many in the private sector (space race, cold war, Korea, military).
By attributing everything to the Cold War, I think you are missing the point that America’s economy was a power house before World War 2, and that America was such a power house after World War 2 because Europe was devastated from war. America used that devastation to its advantage to wrest control over many markets that the former colonial masters could no longer control. Egypt and the Suez Canal from the French and English, Vietnam from the French (failed), Indonesia from the Dutch.
After World War 2, America was using the decline of European empires to its own advantage, to create its own “colonial system”, as it had many timed before, for example during the Louisiana Purchase from the French; the Spanish American War; the Alaska purchase; World War I and Central America.
And you can also thank the Cold War for continuing the growth of the Middle Class
What, exactly are you advocating here NeoCon? Perpetual war?
Your theory that the cold war generated so much wealth falls on its face when you look at the war on terrorism. Where is the great gains generated from this newest “perpetual war” created by Washington (even more absurd than the Cold War in hyping the threat of our “enemy”, I feel like we are in an episode of GI Joe)