The decline of the United States began thirty years ago with President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts for the rich. That extra money from the cuts allowed the rich to purchase legislation that redistributed income from the middle class to themselves, such as free trade agreements which allowed corporations to ship the jobs of working people overseas. The difference between the old wages here and the newer lower wages over there were shoveled into the pockets of the rich via rising corporate profits, enhanced dividends and soaring share prices.
The rich were also able to purchase deregulation of various industries, which allowed corporations to jack up prices that the middle class pays, but which pushed up corporate profits, dividends and share prices. The rich also ensured the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was thrown into the garbage and that the way the government measured inflation was changed so as not to measure inflation. That’s because price increases from overly cooperative corporate so-called rivals meant more money from the middle class was and is redistributed to the rich.
The rich were also able to purchase more free trade treaties, additional policies to redistribute income, such as lax Wall Street regulations. The rich also purchased the majority of politicians of the Democratic Party, including President Barack Obama. That’s how the one percent was able to rob the 99 percent of 93 percent of total US income growth from 2009 to 2011.
The tax cuts for the rich from Reagan to George W. Bush have pushed the United States into decline. That’s why we need a progressive tax with a 91 percent top marginal rate. That would curtail the power of the one percent to purchase destructive economic policies that have pushed the US to the economic abyss, and perhaps even reverse this trend.
Additional related stories