I had this epiphany the other day, in church, believe it or not:
Money, wealth, where it originates and where it goes, is all that matters. Everything else is a distraction.
The other day, I saw this sign in the front yard in very big letters on King Road in Malvern, Pa.:
“So Far, the Change Sucks.”
Earlier this year, His Holy See the Pope declared “Reaganomics” evil.
I have thought the same since Day One. Of the End, that is.
You see, the End started sometime in the early 1970s.
The End started when inflation outpaced “minimum wage,” when real, livable wages were replaced by the credit bubble of the ‘90s which caused the Great Recession of 2007-2018?
(We have the Great Depression II. We’re still in it.)
Like the lyrics from the 1979 song by Nick Lowe, “Cruel to be Kind,” there are ways to get us completely out of this mess. You won’t like the Andrews’ 3-Point Economic Recovery Plan, but it’s based on several observations.
The biggest mistake made by the current Presidential Administration: the multibillion-dollar “economic recovery plan.” What if Obama would have given the $800 billion out to the all working Americans? That would have meant something on the order of $6,000-$7,000 per person. Talk about a kick to the economy! If you got that kind of cash, even with the subsequent aftershock of inflation, wouldn’t that have done you more good? As it is, he again took money from the poor and gave it to the rich.
# According to the Wall Street Journal article of Oct. 4, “Americans Sour on Trade,” in a recent poll, “83 percent of blue-collar workers agreed that outsourcing of manufacturing to foreign countries with lower wages was a reason the U.S. economy was struggling and more people weren’t being hired. No other factor was so often cited for current economic ills. Among professionals and managers, the sentiment was even stronger: 95 percent of them blamed outsourcing.” Outsourcing helped us glide to the End.
Outsourcing: part of the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed in by Reaganomics. Bloody infamy!
# The recovery. What a cruel joke! Just believing you want something to be true calls up “What a Fool Believes,” a song by the musical group Doobie Brothers that gives us a guy who believes he was in love with a girl and they were together, when it was something he just conjured up. “To call it any kind of a recovery is profoundly blinding,” wrote Al Lewis in his column in the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 15 this year. “Artificially juicing the nation’s economic output with government spending, and pumping up the stock market by giving almost-free money to banks, was never likely to end the Great Depression, Part II.” What kind of damage does double-digit unemployment do to an economy? Al wonders. It is still too soon to remotely call the Great Depression II over.
No recovery plan, just let the free market dictate: Reaganomics, strike II. A plan riddled with the rancor of corporate greed. Sell your grandmother, but make sure the dividend gets paid every quarter and my stocks are up 7 percent.
# The ranks of the unemployed swelling. A story out of AP in the Harrisburg Patriot-News from Sept. 17 noted “The ranks of the working-age poor climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty.”
An article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review of Aug. 29 this year predicts that sluggish growth and high unemployment in the United States “might persist through 2017 or longer.” The End takes a long time.
Attempted privatization of insurance and subsequent failure: Reaganomics strike III. Barbaric!
What Reaganomics did was preserve the rich. This is all it set out to do in the first place.
Follow along, now:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes, in a posting of Oct. 26, that the nation is “almost evenly divided between the haves and have-nots,” regarding the Pew Research Center report, “Divided We Stand.” While 55 percent of Americans lost their financial shirts, 45 percent “did not experience any of these hardships while the recession was in full effect from December 2007 to June 2009.” The newspaper reports 66 percent of blacks and 70 percent of Hispanics lost ground.
So the rich get richer. “It is simply unfair that the richest 1 percent of Americans capture almost a quarter of the total income in the economy,” writes Sebastian Mallaby in a review of AFTERSHOCK: THE NEXT ECONOMY AND AMERICA’S FUTURE, by Robert B. Reich, in the Sept. 26 New York Times Book Review. Oh, and by the way, the top 5 percent of Americans by income account for 37 percent of all consumer outlays, according to the Aug. 5 Wall Street Journal, in an article based on data from Moody’s Analytics (this information courtesy of Blaise Milanek’s Weekly Financial Commentary).
Almost every category of house purchase prices have shown a drop in sales, according to an article, “Home sales in Lancaster County plummet in July,” in the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era from Aug. 26. All except for one – houses priced $400,001 and up, which saw growth – a whopping increase of 17.6 percent! The richer getting richer, and fast!
Blame Reaganomics. Reaganomics begat the End. Reaganomics is the essence of evil.
# Take the money and hold it. As during Great Depression I, the wealthy hold onto all the money and won’t let go. Business risks are down. Corporate America is holding onto $1.4 trillion in cash, not hiring because of “uncertainty.” Waiting. Waiting for what? Paranoid that if business tanks, so will the company, and so will business, so keep the survival fund! No wonder the Republicans are getting popular these days.
Or maybe it is this. According to BusinessWeek, as of Sept. 26, 2009, Apple Computer had about 37,000 full-time equivalent employees, of which about 25,000 were based in the U.S. By contrast, Apple has subcontracted with a company called Foxconn that employs roughly 250,000 people, devoted to building Apple products. For every one Apple employee working in the U.S., there are 10 Foxconn employees building Apple products in China. Apple earned $3 billion in profit with a 42 percent gross margin in the first three months of this year! What a travesty!
Profits, profits, profits. We swelter while the very large companies are riding NAFTA and Reaganomics for all its worth, milking the poor workers overseas and making the already wealthy very wealthy.
My three-part solution is very cruel but, in the end, promises to be very kind.
Part I: Place a cap on wealth. Anybody remember watching the film “Brewster’s Millions” starring Richard Pryor? You can’t get rid of wealth, because it will follow you and like God protecting babies and drunks, preserve you. If a guy is worth $70 billion, place the cap at $1 billion. $1 billion is plenty. The rest of the money that is seized goes to no-interest business grants to brand-new, start-up companies that have to put together a business plan, make a request for proposal, and win the grant. Place a Grand Czar in place to oversee it and be accountable for every breath he or she makes.
# Part 2: Heavily tax those making more than $10 million, at 60 percent. They still take home $4 million, which can buy plenty of bling. The taxes go directly to eliminate all real estate taxes. There should be a tax for real estate on income only and all standard property taxes should be eliminated. Period.
# Part 3: All products sold in America must be made in America. No exceptions! Manufacturing must be brought back into this country – the only true way to “stimulate the economy” and keep people employed. Look at the impact that Apple products being made here in the U.S. would have!
Yes, this plan would create hyperinflation. But in the end, we would all benefit from a very strong economy with wealth for everyone.
The End would turn into the Beginning again.
We HAVE TO turn in one of these directions:
# Either redistribute the wealth. See part I and II or
# At the very least, mandate all goods sold in America be made on American soil. No exceptions!
Very cruel. But ultimately kind.