Americans’ form of suffering may be the reason why politicians and corporations take advantage of them. Americans seem content to suffer in silence. The number of activists stirring the pot pales in comparison to the real suffering.
If one doubts the financial plight of the majority of Americans one should read Robert Reich’s article in the Guardian titled “Almost 80% of US workers live from paycheck to paycheck. Here’s why.”
The official rate of unemployment in America has plunged to a remarkably low 3.8%. The Federal Reserve forecasts that the unemployment rate will reach 3.5% by the end of the year.
But the official rate hides more troubling realities: legions of college grads overqualified for their jobs, a growing number of contract workers with no job security, and an army of part-time workers desperate for full-time jobs. Almost 80% of Americans say they live from paycheck to paycheck, many not knowing how big their next one will be.
The article goes on to state some inconvenient truths.
- The American worker wages have been flat for 40 years.
- The American worker lost its bargaining power to the destruction of the union and the ability of corporations to form monopolies.
Robert Reich is right for the most part. But many of his solutions are incomplete and will erode over time if we do not change the basic tenets of our economic system. We have a fundamentally flawed system that remains simply through the indoctrination of most.
Specifically, if one gives capital beneficial treatment over wages and other forms of income, then those who hold the most of it will continue to be parasites to everyone else. There is absolutely no justification that the government taxes capital gains at a lower rate than the working person’s wages. There is no reason for depletion deductions which further shortchange the American treasury of income even as corporations extract and profit from resources that should belong to us all.
There is no reason to allow an unlimited accumulation of wealth as most of the time it is but the excess labor and unpaid services and intellect of those who actually produced. Does having an idea implemented by many using the accumulated knowledge of generations of humans many times paid for by millions of taxpayers justify Jeff Bezos being the richest person on the planet? The answer is a categorical no. If we were not indoctrinated in the belief that any, one idea from an individual is necessarily solely his own, we would be free to create policies that are more egalitarian.
The above-mentioned realities and many others allow a few to grow at a faster pace than the economy at large. The mathematical fact is that such form of growth is unsustainable and parasitic. In America, the wealthy, many unknowingly, are sucking their unfair share. And like occurs whenever parasites infect, the host ultimately withers and die if left unchecked.
A recent caller to Politics Done Right should give many of us hope. She understood that our economic system is to be blamed for the plight of most Americans. Most Americans are neither worthless or lazy
The woman refers to herself as the working poor. She said since 2005 she received two raises, one for twenty-five cents and the other for fifteen cents. Many would say she should improve her skills or even change jobs. The point is if her position only warranted a forty cents increase in thirteen years when the economy grew by 50% during that time speaks volumes about the extractive nature of the current economic system.
The current economic system transfers profits from efficiencies to the wealthy, the corporate investors. We will force government to change policies when enough Americans are deprogrammed from the false belief that the risk of one’s capital is more important than one risking life and limb, that one person’s idea implemented by others justifies unlimited wealth extraction, and that the natural resources in/on the land belong to those with capital to extract it.
Give every American access to success and watch a more equitable and sustainable growth. That means equal access to health care (Single-Payer Medicare for All), pay-it-forward free K through College education, a living wage that guarantees food, clothing, and shelter, the same right of corporations to bankruptcy on any debt, and childcare for working parents. We can afford it all if do not allow an economy with built-in inequality