I was going to say before WWII, there were very few "middle class". The GI Bill and FHA housing is what created the middle class beginning in the late 40's and runnuing through the 50's, & the 60's. (the rise of Unions also heavily contributed) The disparity hasn't been as great almost since the "robber barron" era.
I have to admit I'm almost in the "haves" (top 5%), but I don't think it's fair so many are suffering. I want a return to a time like the '90s where everybody was winning- not just a few.
I'm up there in the near-haves too, and I can tell you sincerely and completely that I do not resent or mind paying taxes. I wish that they were used in ways that I'd consider more reasonable, but then I also understand that just because I think that my point of view is reasonable it doesn't follow that it actually is.
I really and truly believe in what the Romans called the res publica, a term that gives us "republic," but which translates as "the public thing," what constitutes the commonality that makes us all part of a society. One of my favorite ironies is that Republicans, who lately seem to believe that there ought to be no "public thing" at all, call themselves "republicans."
I believe deeply in that idea presented by Christ that "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." I skip the religious implications, but understand that what Christ intends us to conclude is that there ain't nothing more important than taking care of the least among us.
I've come to accept the idea that total and complete economic equality can't happen because most people are moved to work harder because they'll be paid more. My ideal would be that people work because they're authentically interested in what they do--but that's a pipe or bong dream, unfortunately. We'll never see the world that Star Trek imagines, where money among humans (Ferengis being different in this regard) is irrelevant. But acknowledging that economic differences are inevitable, i'd vote to minimize those differences as much as possible. And to accomplish that is a responsibility of government.
Tea Partiers are now getting ready to stone me, I imagine, so I'll duck.
Edited by yoyo52 (09/28/1005:27 PM)
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Before the WWII there was almost no middle class - After WWII there was a boom in the industrial sectors, the returning GI's went back into the industrial complexes. The war yielded many many new inventions that created new manufacturing technics to new and wacky products <-- That gentleman lead into the buying sprees into 50s and 60s.
Manufacturing and construction - created the middle class
Late 60s the bubble burst and lasted into the very late 70s - Reagan with his tax cuts was supposed to create jobs, which it did not per say but did stabilize the economy. Late Bush tried the same kind of tax cuts but instead UI still went up. So why does the GOP are still hanging onto the Bush tax cuts I dunno, it didn't work before so way would it work now??
Anyway Manufacturing -> construction -> and now medical industries - Is the middle class. Where else can you get paid 25 to 35 bucks an hour ?
Late Bush tried the same kind of tax cuts but instead UI still went up. So why does the GOP are still hanging onto the Bush tax cuts I dunno, it didn't work before so way would it work now??
Because the top 2% have lots of $ and influence(aka Rupert "Fox News" Murdoch) and that is their main base for contributions. . . it's quid pro quo! . . that simple. The GOP doesn't believe that BS for one minute, but if they acknowkledge it does NOT work, how can they justify cuts for the wealthy? . . and how could they sell that BS to the masses who are getting screwed by seeing their jobs and futures sent overseas ?
And in the process, because jobs are more scarce now - even if you have a job there is a huge pressure NOT to raise wages (even COLAs), and they can fire you at the drop of a hat and hire someone for 50% less ! Why many in the middle and lower incomes support these SOBs is beyond comprehension !
What is surprising to me is why jobs didn't go up during the Bush years even after starting 2 wars. After all, WWII helped end the great depression with all the manufacturing for war. I guess the manufacturing is different nowadays and doesn't affect the economy like "the old days". Overall, consolidation, automation and efficiency are the name of the game now....and that eliminates jobs.
_________________________ Well, until they make it right, I hope they never sleep at night. They better make some changes and do it soon. -Things Goin' On/Lynyrd Skynyrd
I don't exactly know iBook, but I'd guess since most of our manufacturing is overseas (Taiwan, Korea, China, etc) -their economies benefitted more than ours. In WWII, most of our manufacturing was stateside... and you're right - the economy benefitted enormously from the war efforts.
Funny story told to me by a salesman.... but a well known Japanese company was on the verge of bankruptcy in the late 1940's even after we helped rebuild their economy.. this company made vehicles, but just couldn't sell enough to stay in business... along comes the Korean conflict and they put a bid into making jeeps for the US military. They got the contract because they were close to the theater of operations (Korea) and it would save on shipping costs and time. That US contract saved the company from being wiped out forever. The company ?? ever hear of Toyota ? yep true story !
so wars help manufacturing enormously... unfortunately thanks to the GOP mantra and policy, we gave all ours away !! (Clinton takes some responsibility, too)
so wars help manufacturing enormously... unfortunately thanks to the GOP mantra and policy, we gave all ours away !!
That's right, all products sold here were manufactured here until 2000, I forgot.
Yes, it's been dwindling for years...but NAFTA opended the flood gates and nailed the manufacturing coffin shut. Sure in the 70's & 80's many electronics (TVs , stereos) slowly went overseas, then appliances, then clothing, one thing after another... but NAFTA put the whole process in hyperdrive ! . . and made sure none would ever return. as the manufacturing base shrunk, so does the middle class.. you can employ only so many workers as WalMart greeters and hamburger flippers technicians at McDs. don't forget Reboot, I did also lay it on BClinton too !
I have no real clue about what iBook asked, but have some guesses that have to do with increase in productivity. A week or so ago I saw a statistic about the increase in production by US companies over the last year or so. I forget the exact numbers, and unfortunately do not have a link to the numbers, but do recall that there was a sizable rise each quarter reflected in the data. At the same time, as we all know, unemployment was rising and new jobs were just not being created. So how does it happen that output increases while at the same time employment declines? The answer has to be increasing productivity among American workers--or, as I like to think about it, squeezing even more work from a labor force scared of losing work and, in the earlier part of the 21st century, cowed by the argument that the capitalists are the only ones who are worthy of increases in income. IMHO, American workers are really supine in their response to pressure from the capitalists to shut up and get to work.
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