Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Invested Millions

Robert Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century.
He wrote the following: “Powerful corporations and Wall Street billionaires have been the backbone of the Republican Party for decades.  They’ve invested millions in politicians in order to get lower taxes, wider tax loopholes, larger subsidies, generous bailouts, less regulation, lengthier patents and copyrights and stronger market power.  They’ve been allow to raise prices, weaken unions and make trade deals, that allowed corporations to outsource jobs abroad, and reduce wages.  It’s easier for businesses to file for bankruptcy, but harder for homeowners and student debtors to file for bankruptcy.  Some Judges allow insider trading, and won’t prosecute corporate executives for white-collar crimes.
“Although, billionaires have become enormously wealthy, the average Republican voter is earning less and paying more in taxes.  Sales are diminishing, because they’ve forgotten that their workers are also consumers.  They’ve pushed real wages down, so that some can’t afford to buy what their business is to selling.
“Consumer spending makes up 70 percent of the American economy.  However, the typical family is earning less today than it did in 2000, in terms of real purchasing power.
“Profits of many companies have been artificially inflated by borrowing money at low interest rates and using that money to buy back shares of their own stock.  Interest rates are starting to rise, so that game could be over.
“Businesses are finding they can no longer rely on government to build and maintain highways, bridges, tunnels, and other physical infrastructure; produce high-quality basic research; and provide a continuous to supply well-educated workers.  If those trends continue, our economy will get worse.
“For the most part Republican politicians are ripping America apart by race, ethnicity, and religion. The moral authority that our country once had as a beacon of democracy is in jeopardy.
“All that money powerful corporations invested in Republican politicians have reaped short-term gains.  They’d have done much better with a smaller share of the economy, because it would have produced a strong middle class.  They should have been less selfish and not thought only about short-term gains.
“They have forgot the values of a former generation of the Republican establishment that had witnessed the devastations of the Great Depression and World War II, but helped Eisenhower build the great post-war American middle class.  That generation of powerful corporations understood that broad-based prosperity would be good for them and their businesses over the long term.”

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