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View Diary: The Mercy of the Progressive Court (19 comments)

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    notions in there.

    Food stamps, benefits for the poor, they're not misused nearly as much as hyped by the rightwing, and the amount of misuse is too trivial to harm the population needing them. All programs of all kinds by all organizations are imperfect, subject to some level of errors and abuse. Even the Mafia has enforcers because there are people who will try to cheat the mob. I see people using food stamps all the time around here, but I've never seen any cheating. I'm sure there is some but it's not very often at all.

    So no, progressives are not terribly concerned about mass abuse of welfare types of programs used by ordinary people. It seems to be a mainly rightwing fear or anger that the chance that anybody could cheat on a program means that either the program mustn't be offered at all, or else there must be a police state like monitoring of everyone getting benefits. There's extreme concern on the rightwing about persons getting something they don't deserve. Progressives feel the strongest are those that present the greatest threats, like business and the rich, not the weakest.

    I'm presuming your questioning whether progressives could allow business to continue is based on rightwing ideas about our history.

    This is what actually happened. The American middle class only happened once, we had it for only about 50 years before rightwing economics began grinding it down again beginning around the mid 1970's. During the time we built the middle class, 30's to 60's, the top tax rate on the highest individual incomes was 91%, we had heavily regulated trade governed by tariffs, the minimum wage equated to over $10/hr today, banks and finance institutions were severely restricted compared to today, business was taxed more heavily, estates and investments were taxed more heavily, airlines were more regulated, media corporations were more heavily regulated, and the list goes on and on.

    We started this period with a massive regulatory and government hiring programs of the New Deal; then ran increased government taxing, hiring and spending 10x as much in fighting World War II, then with all that debt we set up the GI Bill to invest billions in college educations and home buying for returning vets; then we ran the massive foreign aid programs of the Marshall Plan and other reconstruction such as in Asia including a number of our recent enemies in the war, built the Federal highway system at home, and all this left us with a bigger debt to GDP ratio than we have today.

    America became the #1 global superpower during this time, we went to the Moon, millions of working class kids could afford college without debt, we started Medicare and Medicaid, LBJ's war on poverty spending cut the national poverty rate in half in about 2 years, and the American average working family reached its greatest economic security and opportunity of our entire history. And our dept to GDP ratio fell precipitously as we spent, which the rightwing insists can't happen and never happened, but it did because money spent on working people doesn't go into vaults, it's respent by them which is what stimulates the market economy.

    Those were all Democratic Party policies all opposed by the Republicans and rightwing. And we never started downhill till we adopted conservative economic policies of cutting social programs and infrastucture reinvestment, cutting taxes on the rich, deregulating business, deregulating finance, restricting unions, and opening up free trade.

    Even the stock market for the rich almost always performs better under Democrats than under Republicans. I'll leave that explanation to those who follow the issue more closely than I.

    The data's in. Far, far more regulation and taxation than you would tolerate and probably more than you can imagine has in our history proven to create a vibrant economy with the greatest opportunity for the most people.

    I don't think you will be comfortable here but I wouldn't chase you out if you're not being abusive to people. I think if you pick one topic for a diary, lay out the way you see it and the evidence you see, you will find a great many surprises in the evidence the participants bring to their arguments. There is such a large range of views in the Democratic Party that we do have conservatives and even people who are rightwing on many issues.

    Good luck.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 04:36:06 PM PST

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