I’m not an economist. I know that will scare away a lot of people, but I have to preface everything I’m saying with that grain of salt. I have no economics degree, but I have studied economics on my own, both online and at the library, and studied the works of my heroes, like Scotsman and renowned Economic and Political Scientist Mark Blyth of Brown University. Just so you know where I’m coming from with this piece.
As a kid growing up, I came from an ultra-conservative family who revered Reaganomics while ignoring the debt he incurred during his presidency. Debt was, with the except of Reagan’s, decried by members of my immediate family, especially the debt incurred by Reagan’s Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who, rightly, was criticized for having a huge majority government starting in 1984 and doing very little for the middle class or the poor with it.
All Reagan and Mulroney did was help corporate economic interests and rack up the largest debt in Canadian and American history with that majority and subsequent majority in 1988.
I have found similar sentiments in the United States, but here in in Canada, we tend to give our governments 2 terms or 8 years and then when they become horribly corrupt, we turn to the government that had become corrupted before them. In the end, obviously, very little changes. But I digress.
When Donald Trump was elected president, he used the slogan “Make America Great Again: (stolen from Reagan’s 1980 campaign). But “great” for who? Under Reaganomics, labour was worth next to nothing. Almost all of the tax cuts went to the top 1% and failed miserably to “trickle down” to the working class (who, let’s face it, do the majority of the work in our society, whether they flip burgers or load trucks).
I’m not arguing at all that the CEO and the guy or girl who greets at Walmart should receive the exact same pay. That’s ridiculous. People should be rewarded for hard work and “moving on up.” But many CAN’T “move on up.” Someone has to work the McDonald’s Drive Thru or flip the burgers. Not everyone can, based on sheer economics, be the boss. Do those hardworking people who, through no fault of their own don’t make it, deserve to be almost homeless while CEOs who sit on their asses all day or play golf like the president does deserve ALL the profits?
An economic system, regardless of whatever scary label you want to give it, should benefit EVERYONE. No sane human being wants to stifle the dream of moving up the ladder and achieving their economic dreams. But should a person busting their ass to make a difference for themselves and their family be paid so little that taxpayers, who also bust their asses to get to the middle class, have to help pay their salary so the poor can survive?
Let’s be honest. Tax cuts for the wealthy are redistribution of wealth, something so-called “capitalist” Republicans and conservatives claim to be against. Also, shifting the tax burden onto the middle class while the rich and corporations pay next to nothing in taxes is amoral. It’s not a “good start.”
A “good start,” if you’re truly anti-tax, is to raise the minimum tax exemption. The real welfare queens aren’t the people busting their asses for a minimum wage that is little better than being on welfare but the corporations and big banks who get money BACK from the government – YOUR money. Conservatives especially should be royally pissed at that sort of system. A flat tax with no exemptions would be better than this pseudo-progressive tax system.
Maybe I’ve lived in a “compassionate society” all my life and I don’t understand free markets. But I doubt it. Everyone benefits from the infrastructure created by all of us working together, so it only makes sense that you should pay the electorate back for providing that infrastructure. Maybe you believe that infrastructure should be private. But it currently ISN’T. So pay your fair share for it without whining while hardworking people are one paycheck away from living on the damn street.
The bottom line is, when you give the MIDDLE CLASS and THE POOR more of their money back, you incentivize them to spend money, which helps businesses. When you give tax cuts to the rich and the corporations, they pocket the money and put it off-shore where they don’t have to pay taxes on it.
That shifts the tax burden onto the middle class and the poor from the rich. You’re making people who can least afford to pay those taxes to benefit those who can most afford to pay them. And again, I thought Republicans and conservatives HATED redistribution of wealth.
Will things ever change? People are too brainwashed by a system that, to quote the late, great philosopher George Carlin, “threw them overboard 30 f**king years ago.”
They take the “lesser of 2 evils,” which is still evil. They never demand better. Yes, to be frank, I’m talking about YOU. And me. We’re all cowards willing to accept our subpar, unjust lot in life simply because we’ve been brainwashed into believing we have the best system in the world.
It’s bullshit, pardon my language. America’s “greatest generation” screwed millennials and they have the unmitigated gall to attack them for “being lazy,” which is so far from the truth. I’m not from either generation, so I have no stake in the success of either generation. I just call it like I see it.
The Baby Boomers thought they could have it all, so they mortgaged the futures of their kids and grandkids to get what they wanted. Now someone has to pay the pied piper. To be honest, I don’t know the ages of my audience, and it’s probably best that I don’t. I don’t want to cater to anyone. It’s about the truth, not pandering.
I’m tired of seeing hardworking people get screwed over, and that includes union workers, particularly GOVERNMENT union workers. I’ve watched as those people stay late and bust their ass for a company and a government that doesn’t appreciate their efforts and never will.
Something has to be done about this, or the wage gap will continue to expand and more people will be eating out of garbage bins. It’s not right. And many of the culprits call themselves followers of Jesus Christ, who stood for the oppressed and the needy. Who died for them. It’s a disgrace.
If I’m wildly off base, let me know in the comment section below. Thank you for reading.