Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, February 21, 2009
  We've only just begun...
Pulitzer Prize Winner David Cay Johnston, who wrote the amazing book "Perfectly Legal" about how the super rich and mega corporations have completely gamed the tax system, writes a great essay about some relatively simple fixes to tilt the playing field back towards the working class:
For anyone born after, say, 1970, the world has been shaped by Ronald Reagan's remaking of government's relationship with private interests—a vision of lower taxes, less regulation, and maximum economic leeway for those at the top. In this view, the pursuit of wealth is the warp and weft of America; everything else will follow.

By contrast, the preamble to the Constitution tells us the nation's reason for being in 52 words that can be reduced to six principles: society, justice, peace, security, commonwealth, and freedom. Individual riches don't make the list. They are a product of American society, not its guiding purpose. Progress, then, must begin with a return to the best of the values that created this Second American Republic—one born, it's worth remembering, from the failure of the Articles of Confederation, whose principles (weak government, unfettered capitalism) found their resurrection in the economic policies of the past three decades.
Who's gonna' tell the Dittoheads that our constitution's framers were "socialists?"
The Founders were Socialists indeed, apart of course from the little detail that they envisioned a minimal government spending less than 1% of national wealth, and with little planning of or direct effect on the economy other than through tariffs and maintaining a currency.

But if Reagan's modest reduction in the growth of government shows his belief that the "pursuit of wealth is the warp and weft of America" then doesn't the founders' vision show even more of this philosophy?
Dave- You're on vacation. Put the computer down and go to the beach.

Anyways- Reagan's own interpretation of his policies aren't the problem. It's folks like Grover Norquist, Limbaugh, Club for Growth, et al, as well most of the modern GOP who twist Reagan's actual history to create a mythological justification to act like idiots in the modern day that Mr. Johnston appears to be talking about.
Reagan's "modest reduction" gave way to Grover Norquist's "drown in the bathtub." For that reason alone, the Reagan approach to government should be completely discredited. It won't be, of course, and I await more lengthy wastes of bandwidth about how the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression or whatever.

And Reagan himself said the best thing about America was it was a place where a man could grow rich. As Molly Ivins said (paraphrasing; I've long lost the book to any number of friends), "That's it. The summations of our highest aspirations as a people."

Remember, kids; the rich want less government, because when government can't do its job, it's easier for the malefactors of great wealth to, well, factor more male.

(who still loathes Randroids and libertarian douchebags; talk about missing the point of the Framers)
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