Things that laid the groundwork for where we are today. Or, at least where some Americans are, as the majority are no longer falling for the feed the rich starve the poor, the wealthy are gods we shall allow free rein to reign, and call it Oligarchy, Aristocracy, Autocracy, or whatnot, most aren’t haven’ it.
” Democracy […] is dead in America “
For what it’s worth, I don’t believe we are seeing the death of democracy, but we are witnessing the end of the Republican Party as we know it; or as we’ve known it since the Reagan Administration.
That era brought changes.
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
Under Reagan, in those last days of the 1980s, the television landscape changed, and cable TV and other paid services were born. With that came a flood of new points of view, personalities, and punditry proliferated.
Here we are now with our smart phones providing us our bespoke, curated news to sooth your own personal point of view, and we all know that truth does not always get you your viral HEADLINE.
In June (2019), because of course he did, Trump awarded Reagan’s economic advisor, Art Laffer, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Laffer is this “arch-conservative economist” with a keen interest with giving wealthy white guys more wealth.
Sadly, Laffer’s career has been heavy on punditry, light in academic rigor, and absolutely destructive for the average American and the long-term health and sustainability of our economy.
THE GUARDIAN | OPINION: Why are we still pretending ‘trickle-down’ economics work? | Morris Pearl, June 12th, 2019
A number of economists have already dismissed Laffer’s signature supply-side economics theory as pure nonsense. For his dubious role as the “godfather” of Reaganomics, Slate dubbed him World’s Worst Economist. He’s been called a key part of the “Intellectual Rot of the Republican Party”. Esquire suggested that Laffer’s turn as the architect of disastrous Brownback tax experiment in Kansas should hang “like a dead possum” around his neck for the rest of his days.
Laffer is this god within the Republican Party, with his theory of “cutting taxes and regulations creates economic growth (a cousin to trickle-down economics, which argues more specifically for tax cuts for the rich).”
The whole idea of cutting regulations for the betterment of the capitalist dream is not exactly new. Back in the early 18th century, Adam Smith saw the birth of capitalism, of moral standards and benign neglect, to let markets be what they may be, let trade freely flow through the chain (quote mine).
For Smith believed the sole purpose of government should be to maintain the roads, create the infrastructure required, educate the masses, but that is pretty much it. The market should remain free and open, with no restrictions to hamper its growth.
Basically he is operating under the Robber Baron mentality, those gods of the American Industrial Revolution, with this notion that the wealthy should have the power, and workers should have no rights that interfere with their acquirement of wealth and power, and any environmental concerns are gobbledygook. So, basically anything that may get in the way of them acquiring more wealth is bad.
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”Elizabeth Warren
Ya, not so surprising that this theory that wealth somehow just naturally spills down gets a lot of traction when you have rich dudes running the government, like duh, sorta kinda self-serving, but anywho.
These nice tax cuts for the wealthy elite causes this shot of adrenalin through the markets, and the rich dudes point at that bump of growth as proof, and Bob’s your wealthy uncle, the poor plebs swallow it like good little ignoramuses.
Now, truth is, if anything is dying, according to DAVOs 2020, what is on its death bed is Capitalism.
So, this quote from a billionaire Silicon Valley ‘dude’ at DAVOs a couple of days ago proclaimed;
“Capitalism as we have known it is dead,” Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce, said at Davos. “This obsession that we have with maximising profits for shareholders alone has led to incredible inequality and a planetary emergency.”YAHOO | FINANCE
DAVOs was founded by a Professor Klaus Schwab:
“Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”… Crowdsourcing ideas, insights and wisdom from the World Economic Forum’s global network of top leaders from business, government and civil society and young leaders…WEFORUM.org | The Fourth Industrial Revolution, by Klaus Schwab
As more and more we watch Capitalism grow, we see its effect on the planet, and the shrinking of the middle class, as the division of wealth becomes more and more lopsided.
Failed solutions of the past have nothing to offer future problems.
Back in those halcyon days of Reagan, the benefits of capitalism were being seriously questioned, and the great division in America took on a new face.
Personally, I find the accumulation of wealth similar to any addiction. Therefore, having wealth as the sole consideration for whose in charge of making and governing over taxes and the laws of the land, is much akin to drug addiction being the sole consideration for whose in charge of the drug cabinet.
Now, with the election of Bushy senior came the next big thing, the end of the Soviet Union in 1989, due to a change of policy when it came to the USSR.
With that loosening on the grip of much of Eastern Europe, a sweep of democracy spread to new places, and changed the whole landscape. Butta-boom-buttta-bing… communism goes bye-bye… and by the spring of 1991 in gallops Putin on his white charger to rescue them from the evil West with their fair elections and freedom of the press.
See, the ol’wealthy dudes who had reaped the rewards under communism were not so keen on relinquishing their grip on power, so ex-KGB Putin was just their cuppa tea, or, er, Vodka, maybe.
Thing is, Russian citizens didn’t know that when they fell for Putin, that all hope of anything free and fair ended with his election.
Today, the only thing Russia really exports is corruption, well, and Vodka.
Today’s republicans are rather smitten with Putin, with his misogyny, homophobia, and all the white old rich dudes with the money, and they want them some of dat.
So, by the time Obama came around, this whole faction of the repubs had been schmoozing with Oligarchs for some time, seeing the financial benefits to the Russian model. Obama put the party into racist spasms, and with those pangs came forth ThE TEA PArTy.
That radical right, conspiracy rampaging gun enthusiast, white nationalist party of propaganda and hate, I guess you could say they gave birth to Trump via a breach, with Russia as the midwife.
The clown show presented as an Impeachment trial by GOP Senators, therefore, is not the death knell of democracy, but the cover up of a desperate party in the final days of the rule of wealthy white dudes, and the death knell of their precious Capitalism.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
We are indeed in the dark. Change is no longer on the horizon; it has arrived.
I encountered Professor Klaus Schwab (Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum), I think it was in a TedTalk, but it was just this last summer. In this talk he lays out the theory that explains the death throes of this old guard, as it shifts towards the new revolution, the fourth.
Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.
The resulting shifts and disruptions mean that we live in a time of great promise and great peril. The world has the potential to connect billions more people to digital networks, dramatically improve the efficiency of organizations and even manage assets in ways that can help regenerate the natural environment, potentially undoing the damage of previous industrial revolutions.
The republicans and their sham Impeachment trial, like a proclamation of “let them eat cake”, may just bring about the same fate.
So, just remember when you’re watching their clown show, what you are seeing is fear.