Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Reagan "Revolution"

The stagflation of the 1970s created a stock market in which the rich lost money. They got mad. They put their money where their mouth was and produced the Reagan "Revolution". This table summarizes what right wing politics wrought in America:

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The table can be simply summarized: rich got a lot richer.

Here's another way to look at that data:

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The above are from a study by Arloc Sherman and Chad Stone for Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The study notes many ugly details. But this summarizes the worst of the worst for me:
...the wealthiest households reaped a sharply growing share of the nation’s income, while the share going to middle- and lower-income households shrank. Between 1979 and 2007:
  • The top 1 percent’s share of the nation’s total after-tax household income more than doubled, from 7.5 percent to 17.1 percent.

  • The share of income going to the middle three-fifths (or 60 percent) of households shrank from 51.1 percent to 43.5 percent.

  • The share going to the bottom fifth of households declined from 6.8 percent to 4.9 percent.

  • The share going to the bottom four-fifths (80 percent) of the population declined from 58 percent to 48 percent.

The last 30 years has been a wet dream come true for the ultra-rich. They celebrated and demanded more until they capped the runaway greed with the panic and crash leading into the Great Recession.

FDR fixed the economy by put shackles on the rich to keep them from distorting the economy again. Sadly, those laws and restrictions were systematically eliminated over the last 30 years. Even more sadly, Obama has decided to turn his back on FDR and become a George Bush Mini-Me. He has continued the Bush/Republican "solution" of throwing more cash at the bankers who caused the problem and more tax breaks from companies. Meanwhile he lets the unemployed languish and allows foreclosures to proceed unhindered. Tragic!

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