Thursday, May 24, 2012

Growth & fairness

Robert Reich is right again, as usual. Fiscal Democrats think President Obama should focus on his economic growth accomplishments instead of harping on income inequality, as if they are diametrically opposed. Yet Reich points out that this is a false dichotomy that plays into the conservative narrative that Obama is attacking free enterprise. But growth and fairness are in the same progressive basket, both necessary for an economy that works for all instead of just a few. He says:

"The only way the economy can grow and create more jobs is if prosperity is more widely shared.
The key reason why the recovery is so anemic is that so much income and wealth are now concentrated at the top is America's the vast middle class no longer has the purchasing power necessary to boost the economy.

"The richest 1 percent of Americans save about half their incomes, while most of the rest of us save between 6 and 10 percent. That shouldn't be surprising. Being rich means you already have most of what you want and need. That second yacht isn't nearly as exciting as was the first. It follows that when, as now, the top 1 percent rakes in more than 20 percent of total income -- at least twice the share it had 30 years ago -- there's insufficient demand for all the goods and services the economy is capable of producing at or near full employment. And without demand, the economy doesn't grow or generate nearly enough jobs."

And it is the 1% that intentionally created the situation by gambling with the 99%'s money, losing big and then getting bailed out, again with our money. And they continue to rig the system in the same ways. Whereas if the system was fair the 1% would still reap good profits but workers would always reap them as well, thereby making the economy work for everyone. But no, greed has so infected the top that they just don't want to share any of their ill-gotten gains and to hell with the rest of us.

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