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On a different topic, this correlation does show how educational scores directly correlate to poverty… The more luxurious one’s lifestyle is, the more one learns….
That is so common-sensical it is almost laughable that America pursued the corporate get-rich-quick No Child Left Behind Approach and wasted an entire generation of talent, instead of focusing on the obvious. (Notice I said.. almost laughable. None of the Millennials are laughing at it these days.)
But that is not what I want to talk about right now. I want to address the bigger picture… I want to address why the US can’t have nice things too?
I need you to do two things…
- Find the US on the chart above.(The chart enlarges if clicked)
- Ask and answer this question to yourself, “why?”
Mexico, Chile, and Turkey, are the only developed nations having a higher percentage of families below 50% of the global medium income than the US. Now look at some who are higher….
- Slovak Republic
Does anyone remember what these countries were like in the 40’s? Why is it that the United States despite all its opportunities is barely above the status of being a third world nation?
This was reinforced earlier this week by an article using the same title I chose above, which was based off a returning Americans vision of our nation after being in Europe for a while….
It stated something like: imagine what a First World traveler must think after emerging from JFK and riding the New York Subway into Manhattan…..
That was one of those pieces that stick; I’ve been thinking about it ever since…
Why do we as a democracy, totally and fully support those who are pushing us lower and lower down on the global economic scale? What is so great anymore, really, about being an American?
Oh, I wish I could fly to the Canaries for the weekend… But I can’t. I’m an American.
Oh I wish I could hop on the train and see you a couple of hours (200 miles away) but I can’t. I’m an American.
Oh, I wish I could have healthy food to eat, but I can’t. My store won’t sell it. I’m an American.
Oh, I wish i had enough left over to go to the movies this weekend, but I can’t. I’m an American.
Oh, I wish our schools would teach that to our children, but they can’t. We’re Americans.
Oh, I wish someone would fix that damn pothole. I keep asking. But they can’t. We’re in America.
Oh, I wish I had enough money to buy everyone in my family a Christmas present. I can’t. I’m American.
Oh, i wish they’d kept those woods as a park, instead of making more trashy apartments. But, we’re American.
Oh, I wish they’d make that refinery stop polluting. But they won’t. We’re American.
Oh, I wish we could buy food that wasn’t Gentically modified. But we can’t. We’re American.
Oh, i wish someone would try to save the Monarch Butterfly before it goes extinct. Nevermind, I live in America.
Just some random thoughts… proving that compared to other nations… as the chart well shows, we really do have it bad….
Now why is that so?
Why is the supposedly richest nation in the world, on it’s own accord forcing itself to live in austerity, when it has all the possibilities that have ever been open to the race of men?
Obviously other nations aren’t so picky. They are living much better! So why can’t we have nice things too?
Why can’t we pay ourselves enough to fly to the Canaries for a weekend?
Why can’t we invest more and build ourselves a train system equal to China’s and Europe’s
Why can’t we have healthy food to eat by having unhealthy food cost more to cover it’s future medical expense?
Why can’t we earn enough per week to have enough left over to spontaneously go to the movies this weekend?
Why can’t our teachers teach three foreign languages to all our children by age 8?
Why can’t they fix that damn pothole?
Why can’t I spend what I wish on everyone I love and still have enough to live on later?
Why can’t we keep those woods as a park? Why do we had to commercialize absolutely everything?
Why can’t we establish rules that stop pollution, or cause a non-compliant place to close shop?
Why do we have to have everything genetically modified, even if it kills us later?
Why did we do nothing and let the Monarch butterfly go extinct… when we could have easily saved it?
The easy answer is that we chose to go down that path… Putting blame on any and everything else is a cop-out. We collectively made choices and this is the choice we made….
The hard answer, the one we struggle with, is why did we make that choice?
Why did other nations not make the same choice as did we, and now have all these nice things, while we are entrapped by our poverty and have really very little to show for all our good productive work? How come they got stuff, and we didn’t?
Why does Israel, which lives with rockets falling on top of them daily, live better than do we?
Why does tiny Denmark have so many wealthy people?
Why is the quality of life in the United States more closely ranked with that of Turkey, Chile, and Mexico?
Why are all the nations called Socialist and Communist by the Tea Party and the Republican Party of the United States of America, all doing better than us, and nations where cut-throat self expression is honored, are nestled at the bottom against us?
Time for a new scatter chart…
Courtesy of New York Times. (Click image to read)
Riffing off a Beatles tune title, “Happiness Is A High Progressive Tax Rate.”
Those people above who are happy, who have all those nice things… aren’t Socialists. They just come from a highly progressively tax country. People with no taxes are horrifically bitter… don’t believe it; you should try living in Somalia. Of course, no taxes are great if you are wealthy… but as one takes away each tax, one reduces the number of wealthy one will eventually have left…
So when America decided to reward the rich, and let their wealth and abundance “trickle down” all over us, we chose to go down this path of austerity. Without first thinking clearly that no one gives up their money unless forced, we assumed the bounty would flow to all.
The wealthy kept the money, and it has grown immensely. For them.
So now, they can afford to pay us lower than our worth, because others will jump at the chance to take our spot.
So now, they can afford to buy those who pass laws. to make laws for them, at our expense. For what we think doesn’t matter; they can buy the election.
So now, since they can afford cabs, we don’t need trains.
So now, since they can afford private schools, public schools should be mined to earn them even more money.
So now, since they can eat healthy food, we can’t because the profit margins are higher when they serve us sawdust, instead of real protein products.
So now, with copyrights paying them across two lifetimes, they don’t need us to go to the movies as they in the past.
So now, that pothole which affects only 1000 cars a day, can wait for the intersection into their newly developed shopping center to be completed.
So now, just why should they pay workers a living wage. They’re starving. They’d work for free if we’d just let them.
So now, parks are a nuisance and an extra cost. Better to develop the land underneath and collect rent instead.
So, now because it costs money to stop pollution, we don’t. Cuts into profits too much.
So now, all food is genetically modified… Cheaper to produce and that makes it more profitable.
So now, who needs a dumb-assed Monarch butterfly? It creates no benefit, costs money to save, it should just die and decrease the surplus number of species this planet is gasping to carry…..
We made that choice. This is our legacy. The good news is that we make choices every day. This choice we once made defines us now, but does not have to define us forever…
I’ll now leave with words from Dicken’s, rather proper for this time of season….
“I see an empty place at this table. I see a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die.”
Well, I’ve said too much. I…You’re the People here. You do what you want with this thing. Just one more thing, though. This planet needs this measly one-horse institution to change its course, if only to have some place where people can come without crawling to the 1%.
Just think about it over these holidays… Why is it that the US can’t have nice things too?
A. A woman, with two small children, separated from an abusive husband. He has just started violating a no-contact order, and is making threats over the upcoming divorce.
B. A father of three boys, married, lives in rural area. Owns 97 acres of woods. Has a two mile driveway. Then fifteen miles of one lane road to the nearest major highway, whose junction is 38 miles from the nearest police station.
C. A 15 year old urban dropout, who was jumped and beaten up badly when he was twelve in an act of random violence; he was in the wrong place when they were looking for something to do, allegedly to “teach him a lesson”; the reality? There was no reason for it.
D. A thirty year old man, who was raped over 100 times while a child by a neighbor, and that neighbor now is politically well connected, who boasts on talk radio of how big his arsenal is….
E. A bright, attractive professional woman of twenty five, who has a high powered job, lives alone out of necessity and convenience, lives on an international schedule, enters and exits often between midnight and 6 am.
F. A 43 year old mother, who at 18 became state’s witness and testified against her acquaintance and he, is being freed tomorrow, sentence done….
G. A 62 year old pill popping DJ, who excels at conservative talk radio, by stirring up hate, spinning lies into truth, and coining derogative names to be recycled by bitter old white me, like “femminazi’s”….
H. Pastor Washington, who has taken the calling of walking around the inner city on very cold nights, and persuade homeless people to swallow their pride and come inside to a warm shelter…
I. One day, you?
It began as an answer to a question. Why do economies crash when taxes are cut, and grow when taxes are raised?
The historical evidence is overwhelming. Tax cuts caused the Great Depression. Tax increases caused a bounce back. Tax Cuts caused the second part of the Great Depression in 1937. Tax increases almost up to 100% during WWII gave us the most booming economy in our history.
The 50’s with high taxes, were a boom for America’s business. The boom continued up until Reagan announced a tax cut was part of his platform. A recession followed. As the economy got itself back together, the lowest tax cuts ever in Americas history were enacted in 1988. A huge recession followed. Almost as soon as the Clinton return to a higher tax rate was enacted, the economy bounced back, never stopping until Clinton’s successor, began trumpeting his version of tax cuts. As they were enacted, the economy slumped. It has never recovered, because the Bush Tax Cuts have never been rescinded. One year ago, as it looked probably that the tax cuts would be allowed to expire by the Democratic Congress and President, the economy began roaring back. Then, in November, the Republicans balked in the Senate, and without enough votes, the ice cold water of more tax cuts, put out the economic embers before they could ignite the economy’s flame….
The answer is simple. When you have low taxes, there is great incentive to take money out of the economy and gamble with it….
When you have high taxes, there is great incentive to bury your profits back into the economy by expanding ones business, such as building more manufacturing plants, investing more in research and development, paying more for your employees and their benefits, for the very simple reason that if you have low profits on paper, you have lower taxes…
All that money buried in your own business, is still yours.
America signed on the the Reagan mantra that low taxes would create investment opportunities for businesses to build more plants. Had that been so, then Reaganomics might have worked.
Problem was that corporate profits went instead, to overseas, or, were used to buy existing corporations and joined two companies together, cutting excess jobs. One can see this in Delaware by the elimination of lots of small Delawarean banks that used to dot our landscape.
It seems ironic that countries on the international scale that have the Republican ideal of government, such as low taxes and no regulation whatsoever, are poor like Paraguay. Those on the opposite extreme, with high taxes and lots of rules, have a rather high standard of living for almost all of its citizens… like Norway and Switzerland.
Would you rather live well? or live poorly?
If you chose living well, you should rejoice that now, we are having the idea discussed here in this country, of raising the taxes on the wealthy, just so they choose to invest here in America, in the form of building real jobs, for the very reason they don’t want to pay those higher taxes….
The President, in Wilmington, stood under a rain drenched canopy, and welcomed the crown prince and princess of Sweden….
And from them, the chief executive accepted in “profound gratitude” a monument erected by the Swedish people on the spot where their countrymen first set foot upon the new world…
Rain, falling steadily through the night and day, brought a dreary note to the historic scene, at the junction of the Delaware and Christina Rivers. Decorative flags and buntings sagged.
Although the president’s speech was addressed to “your royal highness”, he paid tribute to the Finns who were represented too, in the 1638 colonization of Delaware.
“Finland, small in size, but mighty in honor, occupies an especially warm place in the American heart.” he said to Finnish foreign minister Rudolf Holsti, without specifically referring to that country’s lone practice, of all European debtor nations, of paying it’s installments to this country, regularly and on time….
Accepting the monument, the president said, “It will typify the close association and continued good will between our two nations”..
“To this spot, came the pioneers, but in succeeding centuries, tens and thousands have come to these shores and added their strength and fine qualities of citizenship to the American nation.”
Americans remember “with grateful hearts”, the chief executive declared, that Sweden was the first neutral European nation to negotiate a “treaty of amity and grace with our young and struggling nation.”
Turning to Delaware’s governor, the President remarked that that official, holds office in offical succession of those governors from New Sweden.
Which reminds me, said the chief executive of a rhyme descriptive of the doughty first governor Johann Printz, who is said to have tipped the scales at over 300 pounds…
“No governor of Del.
Before or since,
Has weighed as much
As Johann Printz.”
Worship in the historic Old Swedes Church, and an afternoon address by the Secretary of State Cordell Hull, followed Mr. Roosevelt’s address and dedication of the monument on the day’s program.