Revolutionary Act is proud to present our first guest post, from RickB of Ten Percent:
The level of discourse from McCain is truly awe inspiring, if by awe inspiring one means lower than whale shit.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Saturday accused Democratic rival Barack Obama of favoring a socialistic economic approach by supporting tax cuts and tax credits McCain says would merely shuffle wealth rather than creating it. “At least in Europe, the Socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives,” McCain said in a radio address. “They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Sen. Obama. Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it’s just another government giveaway.”
Now I don’t want to worry the passport averse US populace but erm Europe is not um ‘socialist‘ neither are any of its ‘leaders‘. Jeebus knows that if it was we would be in a lot less shit over the Neoliberal created crisis in global capital. Certainly there are remnants of social democracy still persisting in Europe against the free market onslaught by and for the wealthy, but socialist? Not even fucking close. And that’s another thing, McCarthyism may have done its job in the US but socialist is not a dirty word.
So what might the American record on poverty be? Has the ‘wealth creation‘ and ‘trickle down‘ of the Neoliberal policies of Reagan, Bush, Clinton & Bush (W) meant an equal society? The simplest measure is the Gini coefficient-
Yes you’re the yellow line, notice how it meandered along until 1980 then it began climbing steadily through both Republican and Democrat administrations. That is because all of them adhered to Neoliberal economic policy. Look at the climbs for other countries and they also coincide with the introduction of Neoliberal dogma. Or how about pay disparity as a rough guide-
In 2004, the ratio of average CEO pay to the average pay of a production (i.e., non-management) worker was 431-to-1, up from 301-to-1 in 2003, according to “Executive Excess,” an annual report released Tuesday by the liberal research groups United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies. That’s not the highest ever. In 2001, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay hit a peak of 525-to-1. Still, it’s quite a leap year over year, and it ranks on the high end historically. In 1990, for instance, CEOs made about 107 times more than the average worker, while in 1982, the average CEO made only 42 times more.
Obama’s plans are better than McCain’s who is using a straw man argument of an imaginary pinko Europe and thinks society is best served by growing inequality as the rich become richer than they have ever been. His preferred newspeak for this is ‘wealth creation‘ and his demonisation of even modest stabilising measures becomes ‘government giveaway‘ which tells you his attitude to democracy. Government is the one powerful institution the people have some control over, thus he wants to weaken that tiny speck of power redistribution, also perversely as the government is only spending the people’s money it is not a giveaway, it is returning capital to the populace. That it might in some small fashion do this in a way that does not amplify the growing inequality is what he objects to.
Much has been made of the racism, belligerence and ignorance of McCain supporters at rallies but this is only to be expected for a party that governs in the interests of a tiny elite of the very wealthy. They cannot rule on the votes of 1% of the nation so they very deliberately target the least informed, worst educated who will not be aware they are voting against their own best interests. Of course their polices, in a feedback loop, further create uninformed poorly educated people who cannot share in the wealth of the nation but have been convinced that government is bad and rich people are accorded godlike status. People are encouraged to look upon a billionaire’s wealth not as a theft from the public commons but a sign of achievement and probable moral superiority to the ‘undeserving poor’. It is also not unexpected that conservative religious charlatans have invented the ‘prosperity doctrine‘ which assigns divine right to the pursuit of riches in a remarkable reading of the bible that is akin to walking out of Star Wars with the impression the Empire is the good guy.
Posted under Politics
This post was written by Dan on October 23, 2008