Wealth does not create more jobs; need does. In a healthy capitalistic system, one which creates a long term economic stability, satisfying the needs of the bottom 90% of workers provides the greatest stability. Wealth becomes a byproduct of employment. Guarantying high levels of wealth to the top 10%, and especially 1% creates an overall unstable economy for the vast majority of Americans, the bottom 90%. Plutonomics is a hindrance to stable high employment and sustained new job creation.
Why doesn't our government do something about plutonomics?
Plutocracy: An elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth. Government controlled by the wealthy. (Basically, the richest 1% of U.S. Households)
Plutonomy: A term coined in 2005 by Citicorp's Ajay Kapur to describe the economy of the past three decades. Economy controlled by Plutocrats; Economic system run by and for the benefit of the Plutocracy.
Why doesn't our government do something about plutonomics?
They have. They've adopted it. They love it. They can't get enough of it. It has become clear that, for several reasons, plutonomy is now the economic system preferred by the majority of congress, the previous four presidents, and possibly our current president. It's easy to understand why. First, it provides members of congress with a readily available source of large campaign contributions (with the Supreme Ruling, even larger in the future). It is the lifeblood of their reelection, their further employment, their continued affluence, and their growing influence. Second, protecting the plutonomy is a guarantee of a place in the sun after resignation, electoral defeat or retirement. Terms in congress have become internships for corporate boards of directors, lobbying firms, think tanks, well paid corporate positions, lucrative speaking engagements and paid gigs at main stream media outlets. Third, and not insignificantly, they are lifted into the upper echelons of high society. They get to breathe the rarified air of the rich, powerful and famous. Fourth, they wanted to get rich and at the same time believe the bottom 90% would be alright. That way they wouldn't have to nudge their conscience from its thirty year nap; so, they decided to ignore the obvious. For wishful politicians plutonomy was a case of, "please be true, please be true, please be true - whoops - well, I'm rich, too bad for you." Then to hold their job they took a page or scene from "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." They blustered, blew hot air, stirred emotions and created mush. It's really not hard to understand; it's just hard for the working class to justify.
Thus, Libermann's support for the public health insurance option vanishes as he approaches retirement and looks to position himself for a seat on the board of directors of an insurance company. It wasn't a change in position over principle; it was an audition. Since 1989 Chris Dodd has received $13.9 million from the finance, insurance and real estate sector. After Dodd announces his retirement he no longer has to pretend to support strong financial regulation. He declares a two man regulatory finance subcommittee, then cuts it in half and pushes to replace the proposed independent, standalone Consumer Financial Protection Agency with a weak Bureau of Financial Protection inside the Treasury. It is a Wall Street job interview.
Why don't the invisible "average consumers" do something about plutonomics?
First, part of it has been the great selling job that the Republicans and many Democrats have done. In fact, even though he sent this snowball rolling down hill, some Democrats still admire Ronald Reagan, the sacred icon of the Republican party. On second thought, many Americans are unaware of his responsibility for the debt, demise of unions, depressed wages and decreased services. They see him as the nice old man sitting atop his steed with a smile and his hat stylishly cocked to one side. His promise of a good life for everyone was too tempting to ignore. The promise that we could have it all was an allure that we couldn't resist.
Second, they gave us an enemy. Never mind that it was our own government. The presentation of a scapegoat for our failures was soothing. It wasn't us; it was them, them out there. Government is not the solution; it's part of the problem. They let us separate America from the government of the United States. They were able to separate the Constitution from the government that the Constitution set up. We had found the enemy and it was us, no them - wait - we're not too blame. As my daughter humorously says to every mistake, "I didn't do it." We had separated ourselves from our government. It was no longer what they did, it was what they were and we had nothing to do with it. All we had to do was convince ourselves that we didn't live in a democracy; so, even though we elected these people, we yelled, "Tyranny." Even though we could replace them we shouted, "Sic Semper Tyrannis." Very clever self deceit.
Third, we admire the wealthy. We are 90% of the population, and although we are more angry, we continue to grovel at the feet of the powerful and wealthy and to be used by them. With the Supreme Court ruling on corporate political contribution, we could be groveling even more. Too many people in this country still worship the wealthy because they worship wealth. They want to be them, so they dare not attack them. It's the same psychology that causes people to buy Inquirer, Star, and People and tune into a tour of an athlete's "crib."
Fourth, we don't know what's going on until its already gone on. We really don't know who these politicians are before we elect them; so, it's hard to know how important their personal wealth is compared to their constituents well-being. To top it off, they have no compunction about lying to us about the importance of wealth or the extent of their personal wealth. Add our gullibility and carelessness to that, and artful politicians know that we can be swayed by clichés, and cleverly crafted sound bites that edge the truth aside. We have allowed politicians to sell bribery as lobbying. The main stream media's reliance on advertising from the plutocrats has made their judgement unreliable. They are part of the plutocracy and are dependent on a vibrant plutonomy. While we say that we don't trust politicians, we keep trying to. Their reelection is almost assured. We let media labels and revelations about their personal lives influence our decisions about their qualifications as lawmakers.
Fifth, We are easily distracted by side issues that have no effect on our economic well-being. We vote based on abortion, stem cell research, gun control, illicit affairs, religion, gay-rights, immigration, marijuana legalization.
Sixth, We're just f'n lazy. We do not take the time nor put out the effort necessary to find out the truth. The information is available but it is up to us to look because MSM has a vested interest in believing the information of the plutocrats.
We need to grow up. The childish admiration of the plutocrats (the wealthy and famous) is an insidious distraction. It blinds us. It prevents us from seeing what is really happening, and if we can't see, we can't act. Time is running out if we want our children to have a prayer for a decent life. They deserve it more than we do. We are letting this happen.
This brings me back to my thesis. Wealth does not create more jobs; need does. In a healthy capitalistic economy, one which is satisfying the needs of all the people (even the outcaste 90%), wealth is a byproduct of employment, and it rightly should be. A capitalistic system that does not create products and services intended to satisfy the increasing needs of the vast majority of people does not create stable employment; thus, it results in an unstable economy for the bottom 90%.
We need to replace the Plutonomy with Populonomy, a populist economy based on the needs of the 90%, an economy that benefits the 90%. Money needs to be shifted from the top 1% of wealthy people and corporations to the 90%. That means a return a the 1940's and 1950's graduated income tax scale and an increase in capital gains taxes. Only then will we see a true change in the employment and spending power that will stabilize the economy.
A final note: In this disastrous economy, raising taxes on wealthy people and corporations is not redistribution of wealth. It is re-employment. It is money for job creation.