America’s Youth

Our Countries future along with our planet’s future could depend on the votes of Millennials and Gen Z. The November midterm elections will determine whether we continue to have a democracy that works for all of us or we crater into a dictatorship! Their votes very well could be the deciding factor.

I consider myself a true conservative because I try not to waste anything. I’m just a country bumpkin who takes pride in being ( Friggin Frugal ) as my wife and best friend calls me. A few examples:

* We compost , we conserve energy- gas, home heating oil, electricity, maintain a well insulated home, etc….

We are able to live a very comfortable life on a modest income ( < 60 k per year ) in Connecticut. And we are retired and very happy.

Question: Why does anyone need a Billion dollars to live on? When we have so many Americans living like paupers!

Our Capitalist Government has created the Divisions we have today! If we really want to make America Great for the first time we need to SHARE THE WEALTH. Where is Robin Hood when we need him?

I see billionaires like hoarders. The more they have the more they want!

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Sounds like it's been 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. We need four more Roosevelts.

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Well said, I particularly like the comment on innovation, that great leaps occur as a result of the lure of millions not billions. Accumulated wealth, especially when it is inherited, is sterile.

America is an exceptionally innovative country, but we have neither true democracy nor free markets. In 1787, Adam Smith anticipated this when he a) advocated for progressive taxation, and b) recognized that a strong government was necessary to collect those taxes and break up monopolies and anything else that would distort the free market which was central to his economic vision. He saw society as an organism where there is mutual benefit to all those pursuing their selfish aims.

Redistribution of wealth (through taxes) was a necessary component of such a society. When the average citizen has more wealth because of those taxes, he buys more from the factory owner, to the benefit of both. America had a great economy between 1950 and 1980, in large part because of high taxes. Then Reagan and the simply dreadful Milton Friedman stood Smith on his head. The result today is the MAGA crowd which remembers the good old days, and then blames the Democrats. But the truth remains - if you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat.

One of the things revealed yesterday, in Griffin's response to criticism of the sterile billionaire class, is that he seems to thinks he knows what's best for ordinary Americans. To hell with democracy! Extraordinary - bordering on the delusional.

The key to making America great again (small caps) is to increase taxes, rather than cut them. Liz Truss would be wise to crack open "Wealth of Nations."

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Only time I believe in "trickle down" is when the ultra-wealthy are pi##ing on the rest of us.

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Regarding the 1st point - I've always referred to the so-called "supply side" policy of republicans, since Reagan took office - as "trickle up" economics. The major accomplishment of this policy: Huge increases to the deficit. Huge wealth inequality.

Regarding the Second point - I've never considered America's economy to be a "free market" economy. As far back as I can remember it's been subject to REGULATIONS. The reason wealth has been focused on fewer and fewer people, to me, is because the people with the wealth PAY our legislatures to pass regulations which cause them to get wealthier. And, to me, it doesn't really matter who emerges into the "wealthy" category - they seem to do the identical "stuff." One example I keep seeing comes from Mark Zuckerberg. He is covertly spending MILLIONS to fight off the idea Congress might break up hiis MONOPOLY. The latest example - while watching TV I saw an ad by the "American Edge Project" (identified in the "small print") with a retired school teacher encouraging people to contact their Congress person urging them to "back off" legislation regulating the Tech Industry (as a way to curb inflation - not kidding). I checked the website of "The American Edge Project" and it gave no indication of who is financing it. A little more research and, of course, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg founded the "project." I've seen this scenario repeat itself numerous times (And, I don't watch much TV).

Regarding Dr. Reich's third point: Despite the reality he's likely NOT a "billionaire" all I could think of was the perfect example of a "rugged individual"who became "rich" based on inherited wealth is none other than Trump himself. I never watched his TV show, but in studying him, I've learned he's so "rugged" he's unable to FIRE people himself (despite his antics suggesting otherwise). As president the closest he came to doing it in person was using a "Tweet." To me, some of these people (Trump, Musk, Peter Thiel, Zuckerberg, etc.) are pathetic and their "thirst" for MORE wealth is insastiable. I long for the days when I was young and earnings beyond about $200,000 (probably a couple million today based on inflation) was taxed at 70%. Additionally, the Stock Market was regulated to discourage the financial shenanigans which seem to be common practice in today's economy. All these "rugged individuals" would have been unable, back then (60's and 70;s) to disguise their earnings via stock options, foreign accounts, etc. The "New Deal" set regulations more favorable to us Middle Class minions - republicans have been fighting it since the 1930's with the turning point being Reagsn's election (IMHO). Is there another FDR out there?

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Right on Robert! The wealthy who buy politicians and control our government devise all sorts of excuses to conceal their naked rapacity. And these days, they feel empowered to lie even more blatantly because they know ordinary citizens can’t do anything to change these circumstances.

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"Trickle down" happens for sure (a few poorly paid service jobs) but the other half of the equation is "torrent UP". Funny they never mention that.

"Free markets" don't exist, probably never have. There's always some manipulation going on by someone, somewhere. And, you get the regulations you pay for.

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The interesting thing is that some of these glorified thieves cannot claim even one ancestor who was here for the heavy lifting that built the country. They came just in time for the stealthy lifting that stole the country after the Civil War. Every member of the EU enjoys more economic democracy than we do, and they have a longer life expectancy, AND a higher median level of education than we do. We need to return to the tax schedule under Eisenhower--the last good Republican President. Under Ike, the top tax bracket paid about 91% of their income in taxes, and not one of them had to give up a second mansion or yacht.

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The word-game regarding the "free market" deserves to be appreciated by a wider swath of the public. The traditional use of the the phrase from the time of Adam Smith to at least the 1960's when I studied economics in college was that the market was competitive enough to allow easy entry of new suppliers and consumers. In modern terminology, "free market" meant a competitive market where monopolies and oligopolies could not exist. The importance of a free market to economists was that in a free market the magic hand of the marked would find the right market price to balance supply and demand.

So in that earlier epoch, it was widely appreciated as good to have a free market (particularly from the perspective of economics) because competition was what made traditional economic theory work. A "free market" was a good thing.

Capitalizing on this favorable view of a "free market," the Chicago School of neo-conservative thinking somehow was able to alter the meaning of the phrase while conveniently retaining the favorable impression it made. The phrase "free market" came not to mean a competitive market but just the opposite. A market without government oversight could and would become a monopoly-dominated market where competition could be replaced with unlimited profits and skyrocketing prices for consumers.

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Dear Mr. Reich: As always , your comments are true to the mark. Reagan should have more accurately said: A rising tide lifts all yachts. As was factually noted by Mr Leavenworth, the federal tax rate under President Eisenhower, a republican with vision, was astronomically higher than current rates. And with that money he built dams, promoted modernization of cities, and crafted the interstate highway system, all projects aimed at improving the life of average citizens. What a concept.

As the wealth gap continues to widen, I wonder who the titans of business will look to as their future customers? Ellis Johnson M.D.

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You are SMACK ON THE MONEY, so to speak :) Cuts right to the gist of the matter, without question.

The vehemence of the reaction from the right is a testament to how accurate your analysis is - and generally it slices through the BS and gets it correctly! Thank you for your mindfullness and perceptions!

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Great video! It is good to see the myths exposed. If only we can get guardrails and regulations back in place and reverse the erosion of what we once had ; Ethics, laws that actually impacted even the wealthy, such as antitrust legislation a fairer tax rate on the rich and rules that protected worker's rights to unionize, and enjoy safe working conditions and working hours that are not gamed to keep the workers down. Living wages are helpful, too. Binding arbitration should be illegal.

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Thank you Robert for reminding us again about the truth, instead of the blather about "fake news" coming from the former Liar in Chief. And the Rosevelt history along with later Justice Lewis Powell allied with the GOP and now we are in a dark place.

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I keep thinking historically in WW II when American companies like Xerox and Ford was making money hand over fist on Germany actually helping the Nazis. Correct me if I’m wrong Professor Reich, but I don’t belief they paid any tax on their millions of dollars made there. At the same time shiploads of Jews were not allowed into this country although people knew what was going on in the sending them to concentration camps. I see a moral issue here. What is morally correct when money is involved?? Maybe there is no morals- money becomes God! My father always told me “ to make money, you have to have money” And “save up for a rainy day, when you might need your savings to survive.” The old individualistic philosophy. Where is any kind of true empathy and altruism? The Danish tax rate is 52% and it’s ranked one of the best countries to live to be happy. I really think America needs to look itself in the mirror.

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Under President Reagan, between 1980 and 1988, the top marginal tax rate in the United States fell from 70% to 28%. Between 1981 and 1989, total federal receipts increased from $599 billion to $991 billion.

In December 2020, a London School of Economics report by David Hope and Julian Limberg was released which examined five decades of tax cuts in 18 wealthy nations and found they consistently benefited the wealthy but had no meaningful effect on unemployment or economic growth.

Herbert Hoover believed "incentivizing" business prosperity would trickle down to the average person and that economic assistance to citizens would stifle the workforce. This philosophy was not effective against the Depression and led to his defeat in the 1932 presidential election against Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

And yet the beast refused to die.

President Ronald Reagan instituted tax cuts, decreased social spending, increased military spending, and market deregulation, all influenced by the trickle-down theory and supply-side economics. My own father was his enabler as Treasury Undersecretary.

And Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Dec. 22., 2017, which cut personal tax rates and personal exemptions which expire in 2025 and revert to the old, higher rates. However, corporations received a permanent tax cut to 21%.

There is only one, only one, reason for this sadism.

It's personal sadism on the part of certain white males in power. I was the child of one of them, and I have personal observation. These guys are deeply damaged personalities. And the public of the USA admire them.

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Sep 29, 2022·edited Sep 29, 2022

Of course Musk would deny it, because that would mean he’s not the self made genius that he claims to be.

The amount of reform needed to fix both economic inequality and the outrageous political spending seem insurmountable at times, but I truly believe it can happen. Maybe not in 5, 10 or even 20 years. But hopefully sometime soon enough that the next generation and beyond can benefit.

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