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04:54 PM on 08/10/2010
Greed and Capitalism. Pure and simple.
07:32 PM on 08/10/2010
Capitalism is not the most perfect economic system out there, but it is far far better than any other
I know that I do not know.
08:05 PM on 08/10/2010
Good point. Most of our large corporations today are strongly opposed to any sort of free market competition and are dependent upon government subsidies. For example, if we had unsubsidized pricing of commodities, coal and oil would be the most expensive energy sources available.
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04:51 PM on 08/10/2010
Well at some point that billionaire is gonna need a new septic field and when they do I hope we are their to laugh while they get sheet all over themselves.
04:41 PM on 08/10/2010
I have never agreed with Mr. Reich more. The biggest contributor towards the widening class gap is "the systematic and ever cleverer manipulation of laws and rules by those able to pay lobbyists, legislators, lawyers, accountants to do their bidding."

Just as our arcane tax code generally benefits those who can afford to figure out how to take advantage of it, existing corporations embrace regulations that, while hurtful to their business in some ways, do act to prevent start-up competitors.

Mr. Reich makes a fine argument for a flat tax (or, at least, a graduated, but extremely streamlined tax code) and de-regulation.
06:08 PM on 08/10/2010
Fine idea, but there are far too many in Washington who prefer to pull the economic strings one by one.
10:56 PM on 08/10/2010
If you are reading Reich as saying "flat tax," you have the wrong decoder ring on.
03:45 PM on 08/10/2010
"I am not a classs warrior. Call me a class worrier." When your adversary is at war with you and you are not at war with them, but only "worrying", haven't you already lost the war? In WWII did we worry our way to victory? Warren Buffett recently was reported to have said his class, the super rich, have initiated class warfare and are winning. Will worrying at this point help? The Republican party, the conservative wing of the Democratic party, the right wing media and their corporate owners have brought this country to its knees and we face a bleak third world nation future. If Republicans regain control of the legislative and executive branches of government (they already control the judiciary) we are doomed. God help us.
right to tell what they don't want to hear
03:40 PM on 08/10/2010
"I am not a class warrior. Call me a class worrier. Our choice in the years ahead is either demagoguery that turns Americans further against one another and the rest of the world, or genuine reform that enlarges shared prosperity. It is the responsibility of all of us to fight the former and work toward the latter. "

I doubt this can be done by not fighting back in the class warfare. Warren Buffet says there is such a war and that his class is winning. Now, why are we so reluctant to accept this simple fact?
Jorge Montijo
03:22 PM on 08/10/2010
The prosperity after WWII was due in great part to the socialist policies put into place by Roosevelt to stem the rise of Socialism/Communism in the U.S. They "encouraged" (mandated and regulated) a system in which the wealth of the nation was distributed more widely than previously or after. Government investment and incentives in infrastructure creation generated growth and happiness.

American people are and have always been deeply divided. While equality has been the rallying cry of the U.S. for centuries, the reality is that the cry is hypocritical. Inequality and depravation (of rights and wealth) have been much more common than the opposite.

We are almost certain to end up with demagoguery because we crawl too slowly to true equality. The lack of understanding we have towards each other and the ever growing complexity of our world pose the challenge of exceeding the expectations and trappings of our bipolar society. We are one society, one people, one race on one planet, and our lives are inextricably linked with each others'. If we can accept the fundamental truth that we are in this together, then maybe we can start working together.

There will always be people and entities bent on exploiting our differences and fears against one another and for personal gain. A united opposition to demagoguery and lies and an uncompromising dedication to the the truth might be enough to prevent a slide towards a more hateful, vindictive, and exploitive world.

A tall order indeed.
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you want this hat, admit it
03:21 PM on 08/10/2010
as long as the average person is this country does not correctly ascertain his true self-interest, the predators will steal his last dime.

the predators have relied on this truth since reagan.

ps keep worrying, reich. they love that.
03:13 PM on 08/10/2010
Why is Rob asking "what happened" Was he not in a key govt position as this rape and pillage was taking place? What did you do to stop it then and/or raise awareness?
03:25 PM on 08/10/2010
This debacle was bought and paid for by the Rethuglican Party. From Reagan on, none of the 'thug presidents were asking his advice.
03:05 PM on 08/10/2010
The dominant ideology of extreme capitalism is far more important than the trivial differences between the two corporate parties and the strong unapologetic defenders of the poor and the middle class are a tiny minority within the democratic party in particular and without a complete overhaul of the political system all signs point to the right.
02:37 PM on 08/10/2010
Ever get the feeling that the Megabank Kleptocracy is getting over-ripe and due for implosion??
04:33 PM on 08/10/2010
That happened. Our Clueless Leader bailed them puppies out on our dime, without changin a thing, bless his heart. Ain't he just a pip!
The truth will out.
02:30 PM on 08/10/2010
American people need to wake up to the fact that America is a plutarchy, which is described as both the plutocracy and oligarchy combined. It’s abundantly clear that the American corporations rule, and the only anthem is, “by the dollar, for the dollar.” Greed with its addictive power rules the day, and like any addiction there’s no rational other than “more is better.” The people are sadly off the radar, and are of minimal concern, other than being manipulated into thinking that what’s occurring is in their interest. What a sham!
02:21 PM on 08/10/2010
We're today facing the conequences from decades of personal inattentiveness to actions within our nation. The first step toward repairing the damage done from this is to repair our outdated political process by publicly funding political campaigns.
02:13 PM on 08/10/2010
I see the right continues to claim that 50% of the people in the U.S. do not pay taxes. And they NEVER cite the source of this assertion.

Point #1. The IRS statistics published on the internet (a REAL source), show that in 2007, the total number people in the U.S. who paid personal income taxes was 141,070,971. For those right-wingers who have trouble reading numbers, that is 141 million tax payers.

Point #2. This included INDIVIDUAL tax payers (some) and FAMILY tax payers (most).

Point #3. If the number of FAMILY tax payers was about 70% of the total, and this is probably on the low side, then about 100 million families paid taxes. If the average size of the family was 2, then the number of individuals in these families was about 200 million. If the number is (more likely) 2.5 individuals per family then the number is about 250 million. Add in the 42 million individual tax payers and the total is about 242 million or more probably 292 million people.

Point #4. In 2007, the population of the U.S. was slightly more than 300 million.
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02:47 PM on 08/10/2010
You start out with an excellent point that the IRS stat is about returns, not about people. And then you immediately begin making assumptions and calculations that compile statistical error with logical errors. Stick with the stat as the IRS publishes it, you have a much better argument.
02:05 PM on 08/10/2010
I just wish Reich would admit that free trade with China, NAFTA, and H-1b are all wage killers. I suspect he won't because Clinton signed all these into law.

Yes, it is a comforting narrative to suppose it's a choice between one party or the other. But the truth, and I strongly suspect Reich is aware of this, is that neither party offers a choice. Both parties are corrupt to the core. And only by creating alternative parties or organizations can we ever hope to change things.
Space is a vacuum because earth sucks.
02:39 PM on 08/10/2010
This is more bull. The parties are not the same. They have never been the same. This another of the talking points bull crap that we are now subjected to. America at one time was the home of the brave. It is now the home of the fearful, easily manipulated by one party to the detriment of both. It strikes me as to how the narrative changed to this "both parties are equally to be held responsible" line of discourse simultaneously as one party can be so clearly identified as a source of so much misery. My suspicion is that this narrative originates on the Right. Unable to swallow and take responsibility for the massive damage done to this nation under the Reagans, the Bushes and the vaunted Right Center governance model the Right now pushes the moral equivalence argument to another level and so many people buy into it, just as so many of them are now poised to put Republicans back in positions of power and influence. The two parties are not the same. There are people in both who are corrupt but that is where the similarity ends.
02:00 PM on 08/10/2010
yup- but you omit a third choice, based on the right of the middle class to keep and bear arms...
Space is a vacuum because earth sucks.
03:03 PM on 08/10/2010
The right to bear arms meant nothing when it came down to the rubber meeting the road, for lack of a better metaphor. Can you eat a gun? As America slept with guns at the ready the nation was stolen out from under her. There are more guns than people in this nation. Has that done anything to stop the high paying white and blue collar wage sector from being eliminate? I don't think so. The obsession with guns as the final arbitrator only serves as a salve and sedative to the already asleep. What good are guns when you can't afford to buy bullets and you don't know in which direction to shoot?"