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ECONOMY Jim Hightower: A Regime of Austerity Versus the Common Good

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The super-rich are separating their good fortunes from the well-being of the many.

By Jim Hightower / AlterNet April 4, 2018, 12:20 PM GMT

Sometimes, it's useful to state the obvious. Here's a fact, for example, that we all know to be true: America's economy is enormous. It's worth saying that out loud and repeating it to ourselves and others, because today's Powers That Be (economic, political and media) are wrongly forcing a regime of austerity on our nation. They're insisting that we hoi polloi must downsize our middle class dreams, claiming that America no longer has the wherewithal to do big things.

Their narrow and pessimistic prescription for our future is not only at odds with the American spirit, but also at odds with the facts. The wealth of this nation is naturally huge and expansive -- thanks to such fundamentals as the sheer size and diversity of our land, the breadth and depth of our natural resources and especially the can-do attitude of our enterprising and hardworking people. Far from shrinking down, we have the economic strength today to be spreading the middle class and advancing the historic, egalitarian ideals that were planted at America's founding.

In natural terms, our economy is a giant sequoia. Unfortunately, our present corporate and governmental leadership can't seem to grasp one of the basic laws of nature: You can't keep a mighty tree alive (much less have it thrive) by only spritzing the fine leaves at the tippy-top. The fate of the whole tree depends on nurturing the grassroots.

Sadly, in this time of such potential for greatness, we're led by a myopic crew of leaf spritzers. In Washington, on Wall Street, and in the corporate suites, the elites have taken exquisite care of themselves, with the top one percent tripling their share of the nation's wealth since 1980. How did they obtain this phenomenal boost? By siphoning up shares of America's wealth that had been going to the rest of us. Blithely oblivious to the dangerous shriveling of the grassroots, they've increased their take by offshoring our middle-class jobs, slashing American wages and benefits in practically every sector, busting the ability of unions to fight back, deregulating their nefarious corporate and financial operations, dodging their tax obligations, privatizing and gutting public services (from schools to food stamps) and turning our elections into auctions run by and for billionaires.

This massive redistribution of wealth is not an issue of economics, but of basic morality. In plain words, it's robbery -- not only robbing workaday Americans of both their share and their dreams, but also mugging America itself of its unifying ethos. Fair and just behavior -- especially by the powerful -- are requisites for holding so many millions of us together as a free society.

The importance of this founding ethic has been instilled in us by the phrases, stories and symbols of our culture: The golden rule (Bible), the general welfare (Constitution), the common good (kindergarten), the social contract (New Deal), the land of opportunity (ubiquitous slogan), E pluribus unum (coins, the dollar bill, and the Great Seal), "one nation... with liberty and justice for all" (Pledge of Allegiance).

These and others reiterate and confirm our ethical pledge of trust in each other, our commitment to the notion that we're all in this together. That's the moral glue that defines and binds us as Americans. But each one is now being openly mocked -- cast aside by the rich and powerful as irrelevant to how our economy ought to work... and for whom.

The super-rich are separating their good fortunes from the well-being of the many. It's not just America's economy they're skewing, but our values. They're destroying the place where egalitarianism, upward mobility and the middle class once had a welcoming home. That's the fight we're in -- a historic fight to decide who we Americans really are.

https://www.alternet.org/economy/jim-hightower-regime-austerity-versus-common-good

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It's funny hear bending over and grabbing your ankles as "leadership"... lol.

Why are leftists so enamored with weakness? What exactly is the problem with being strong?

Serious question.

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Oh my goodness! Mr. Hightower certainly has a masterful grasp of the obvious.

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"Alternet" - ROFLMAO.......you don't even have to read that drivel since it's always left-wing populism. Poor little babies, they hate the people who took chances and made money and work to keep it instead of laying on their couch watching the idiot tube and waiting for handouts. How pitiful.

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gatorfan wrote:"Alternet" - ROFLMAO.......you don't even have to read that drivel since it's always left-wing populism. Poor little babies, they hate the people who took chances and made money and work to keep it instead of laying on their couch watching the idiot tube and waiting for handouts. How pitiful.

You're the pathetic one...stereotyping people you know nothing about. Begone, loser.

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Floridatexan wrote:
gatorfan wrote:"Alternet" - ROFLMAO.......you don't even have to read that drivel since it's always left-wing populism. Poor little babies, they hate the people who took chances and made money and work to keep it instead of laying on their couch watching the idiot tube and waiting for handouts. How pitiful.

You're the pathetic one...stereotyping people you know nothing about.  Begone, loser.

Then start using reliable and objective sources. We'll wait... lol.

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PkrBum wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
gatorfan wrote:"Alternet" - ROFLMAO.......you don't even have to read that drivel since it's always left-wing populism. Poor little babies, they hate the people who took chances and made money and work to keep it instead of laying on their couch watching the idiot tube and waiting for handouts. How pitiful.

You're the pathetic one...stereotyping people you know nothing about.  Begone, loser.

Then start using reliable and objective sources. We'll wait... lol.

I've been sharing Jim Hightower's posts for years. He has his own website. I'm tired of the stupid here. Just because a person holds a liberal viewpoint doesn't mean that person is lazy, or looking for a handout, or whatever right-wing crapola the criminals are pushing these days.

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Floridatexan wrote: ....  Just because a person holds a liberal viewpoint doesn't mean that person is lazy, or looking for a handout, or whatever right-wing crapola the criminals are pushing these days.

Are you speaking to the politically charged rhetoric/demonization we hear all over the place in the media, on social media, from our politicos, etc?   Perhaps you oughta take a lil look in the mirror 'flotex"?   Let me guess ... you're one of those "left wing" "criminals"  Rolling Eyes     Well, all I can say to that is .....  vice-versa.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?  

Just because one holds a conservative or libertarian principles doesn't mean they want to throw everybody else under the bus either.  In my estimation there's about as many deplorable voter, politicians, and ideas on the left as on the right.   But not all of 'em in either case.  In fact ... not even a simple majority.  As for me, I'm still optimistic about the general goodness and intentions of most Americans regardless of political party affiliation.  )Or perhaps I've just retained too much of that 70's mentality? I've got the hair for it anyway Laughing Laughing )





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