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, April 21, 2016

An Open Letter


The following is an excerpt from open letter, Robert Reich sent to the Republican establishment.
“You’ve invested your millions in the GOP in order to get lower taxes, wider tax loopholes, bigger subsidies, more generous bailouts, less regulation, lengthier patents and copyrights and stronger market power allowing you to raise prices, weaker unions and bigger trade deals allowing you outsource abroad to reduce wages, easier bankruptcy for you but harder bankruptcy for homeowners and student debtors, and judges who will let you to engage in insider trading and who won’t prosecute you for white-collar crimes.
“All of which have made you enormously wealthy. Congratulations.
“But I have some disturbing news for you. You’re paying a big price, and about to pay far more.
“First, as you may have noticed, most of your companies aren’t growing nearly as fast as they did before the Great Recession. Your sales are sputtering, and your stock prices are fragile.
“That’s because you forgot that your workers are also consumers. As you’ve pushed wages downward, you’ve also squeezed your customers so tight they can hardly afford to buy what you have to sell.
“Consumer spending comprises 70 percent of the American economy. But the typical family is earning less today than it did in 2000, in terms of real purchasing power.
“Most of the economic gains have gone to you and others like you who spend only a small fraction of what they rake in. That spells trouble for the economy, and for you.
“You’ve tried to lift your share prices artificially by borrowing money at low interest rates and using it to buy back your shares of stock. But this party trick works only so long. Besides, interest rates are starting to rise.
“Second, you’ve instructed your Republican lackeys to reduce your and your corporation’s taxes so much over the last three decades, while expanding subsidies and bailouts going your way, that the government is running out of money.
“That means many of the things you and your businesses rely on government to do; build and maintain highways, bridges, tunnels, and other physical infrastructure; produce high-quality basic research; and provide a continuous supply of well-educated young people, are no longer being done as well as they should. If present trends continue, all will worsen in years to come.
“Finally, by squeezing wages and rigging the economic game in your favor, you have invited an unprecedented political backlash; against trade, immigration, globalization, and even against the establishment itself.”

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