In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
— Ronald Reagan
The current economy is not the result of W alone as he has rightly (for once) claimed. Indeed, he can easily blame one of his predecessors for starting us down this slippery slope to economic catastrophe. Daddy Bush famously called it Voodoo Economics and he was correct. The graph below shows just what has happened to the national debt since the Reagan Revolution.
Not being an economist, I don’t know for sure, but this graph leads me to believe that Reagan’s economic vision that the conservatives keep saying is the model we need to use for the future was disastrous.
The 70s may have been the “me” decade, but in the 80s Reagan and his “philosophy” ushered in the real decades of Wall Street excess, deregulation and our current crisis. It was “me and my rich buddies.” The idea that lowering taxes on the rich would be for the greater good is laughable. The disparity between the rich and the poor in America has only grown since Ron pushed his agenda on us. Workers wages have fallen. CEOs wages have ballooned to the highest in history.
What we need at present is a total revolution. We cannot keep sending money to China and dismantling the manufacturing base of America. We cannot keep lowering taxes and spending more money and expect that we can go on forever with higher and higher debt and expect that the country can continue to maintain itself. This sort of thinking that we never have to settle up is what got us into this mess we are in. Now that the majority of our taxes is going to paying foreign debt, we can’t possibly concentrate on this country. We need an entirely different philosophy about what government does and what we as citizens need to do as well.
Government can lead by example. People are addicted to spending and using credit, and to expectations of getting something for nothing. Taking personal responsibility, but looking at ways of taking care of each other needs to be a goal for all. If the Madoff scheme and the Wall Street meltdowns teach us anything it is that when something seems too good to be true, even if you are the beneficiary and making money hand over fist, you need to step back, see what is really happening and then do something. I have no doubt that many fat cats knew that it couldn’t last. They knew that the whole economy could suffer, but as long as they were getting rich, they looked the other way.
Now would be a good time to take these people to task. Why is it that people who kill are plastered all over the news and thrown in jail, but people who have possibly destroyed millions of people’s lives through their greed get to go on without any punishment. Sure Madoff may go to jail. But for now he is living in his penthouse while thousands of petty thieves rot in jail.
I took an online test not long ago that tells you what your political leanings are based on a fairly long series of questions. I know I can be pretty liberal, but I found out that I am actually a libertarian/socialist. Yeah. I do see the disparity in wealth as one of the greatest ills of society. I have never understood why anyone needs millions upon millions of dollars and feels it is fine for others to be poor. I wish more people saw the world the same way I do.