Reading through the catalog notes of the Great Exhibition of 1851 (the famous "Crystal Palace" exhibition intended to display the wonders of modern technology from around the world), I found this dismaying and disheartening entry:
"The absence in the United States of those vast accumulations of wealth which favour the expenditure of large sums on articles of mere luxury, and the general distribution of means of procuring the more substantial conveniences of life, impart to the productions of American industry a character distinct from that of many other countries. The expenditure of months or years labour upon a single article, not to increase its intrinsic value, but solely to augment its cost or its estimation as an object of virtu is not common in the United States. On the contrary, both manual and mechanical labour are applied with direct reference to increasing the number or the quantity of articles suited to the wants of a whole people and adapted to promote the enjoyment of that moderate competency which prevails among them"I consider it a point of pride that, when Queen Victoria toured the American section of the Exhibition, she found it all "certainly not very interesting", given that the everyday items displayed lacked the grandeur of the tapestries, sculptures, and other luxurious items of neighboring sections. We, as a nation, had not yet engaged in a jaded dissipation, in an exhaustion of resources to coddle and support the idle rich.
Yes, I said support the rich, for it is my view that we Americans who are in the lower 99% wealth bracket labor to support the uppermost 1%. It is one of the most insidious pieces of propaganda foisted upon the public that the idiot rich are somehow the "producers" in American society. They are the parasites. The parasites are not brown skinned. They are not Hispanic. They are not Negroes. The parasites are pasty white people sailing on yachts and driving foreign cars, and if things keep on going the way they are going, they are going to be eaten soon.
You have only to remind yourselves that the party of the rich, the Republicans, when they occupied the Presidency and held a majority in Congress, crafted TARP. TARP, keep in mind, bailed out the rich.
The taxpayers monies went to the pay off the banks' creditors - those who had gambled and lost. Any ordinary citizen would have been, oh so sorry, better luck next time, out a chunk of change. But the party of the FYIGM (Fuck You I Got Mine) gave the Wall Street bloodsuckers a do-over. I am astounded, simply astounded, that the American public is not more furious at the big banks, the Wall Street parasites, and the Republican party (yes, I know, the Democrats helped tremendously in screwing this particular pooch, but the Republicans were at the wheel. Obama is going to own this mess shortly, if he already doesn't, but credit where credit is due).
And all this after a decade of pitifully moribund growth, zero job creation, barely incremental income rise for the middle and lower classes, where the upper 1% saw a completely obscene and utterly disgusting fourfold rise in income, the Bush Tax Cuts made them all even richer. AS if that was necessary. All because we are told that somehow, the rich would throw us a sop, and we poor working slobs'd see more jobs, higher income, and new industries as the rich invested in a productive America. And instead Biff and Buffie's trust fund managers (who Mumsie and Papa appointed so that Biff and Buffie wouldn't blow their inheritance on cocaine and Magic Beans) threw it all down one banker's scam-hole after the next.
And then, AND THEN, the bankers had the gall to go before the Fed and say "Hey, that's a really nice economy you got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it".
Talk about a massive restribution of wealth. Talk about in the wrong direction. And yet, somehow, the American public is convinced that the wealth is flowing the opposite direction and it is rampant socialism. What. A. Load. Of. Crap.
Example: Take this piece of shit. Here is the fucking moron who provided the philosophical underpinning of supply-side economics - Arthur Laffer. He should be tarred and feathered for that alone. Laffer complains that allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to lapse is nothing more than soaking the rich, and we shall see such a calamity as has not been seen in his lifetime. Ah, newsflash, Artie, the economy (the one you said was doing GRRR-REAT! in 2007) ain't doing so hot, and ain't gonna see much of a difference if the cuts expire. And if you need an example, look at when Reagan raised taxes in the depths of his recession. What happened? Not much. So, Artie, shut the fuck up. The rich are not managing their (formerly our) wealth very well. Time for someone else to take a crack at it.
It would be nice to see all that money do something worthwhile for a change. Like, oh, I don't know, be invested among thrifty, courteous, honest, productive, hard-working small businesses, so that we could all get back to work again?