Thirty years after the Reagan Revolution, which delivered America from the perils of New Deal-Great Society socialism, we see the results of Saint Ronald the Reagan and his devoted followers. America's growing poverty is testament to the wonders of the trickle down social and economic policy. From Saint Ronald to Newt Gingrich to Cheney/Bush, with help from corporate-minded Democrats like Bill Clinton, the idea of a purposeful, effective public sector has been ridiculed and dismissed in favor of a supposed free market that is rigged largely in favor of great wealth and corporate influence. The loss of that purposeful, effective public sector is evident in the decay of public infrastructure and America's growing poverty.
Since most of the perpetrators of this welfare-for-the-rich have been Republican administrations, I was not surprised to find this graph in Timothy Noah's The Great Divergence.
Simply put, more Americans share in the nation's prosperity under Democratic rather than Republican administrations. Even Clinton's neo-liberal triangulating didn't change the balance (or maybe the trend would be even more pronounced). Despite this very distinct difference in income growth, Timothy Noah amply demonstrates that income distribution has grown very unequal over in the past three decades.
Conservatives used to always belittle Democrats and liberals for simply "throwing money" problems, of always advocating the same policy, regardless of circumstances. Those same so called conservatives have now become a variant of their own parody: for every problem, tax and domestic spending cuts are always the correct solution unless the problem is "national security" in which case the money faucet is on.
But my schadenfreude at conservatives hoisted on their own petard still leaves most Americans poorer and increasingly on the margin. As cynical as I am about the national Democrats, I look at the graph above and think, "No way do I want to see a Republican president in 2013."
Labels: why am I in this handbasket?