Friday, April 12, 2013

More Shocking Ideas

Last fall my readers were shocked to learn that I agree with President Obama that incomes and wealth are badly disproportionately distributed in the USA.  The data are shocking, and the situation is immoral and, ultimately, unsustainable.  I won’t go into this again here.

The basic economic problem that we have here is that real wages have been steadily declining since the early 1970’s, after increasing regularly every decade since 1830.  The promise of a better life tomorrow for ourselves and our children has ended, and that’s where the trouble starts.

When this first began happening, workers responded by working more hours, by taking two jobs and by sending other family members out to work – in order to maintain or improve their standard of living.  When this didn’t work, people began borrowing on their homes and on their credit cards.  This is one reason why the housing and credit crash of 2008 was so devastating.

Of all the factors that have led to the decline in real wages and the growth in inequality, perhaps the only one that is somewhat under our control is the decline in private-sector unions.

“But the figures announced by the bureau point to grave problems for the future of organized labor. The portion of private sector workers in unions fell to just 6.6 percent last year, from 6.9 percent in 2011, causing some labor specialists to question whether private sector unions were sinking toward irrelevance. Private sector union membership peaked at around 35 percent in the 1950s.”  New York Times

As a business owner and employer, I always cheered the decline in union membership and power, but as an American, I now realize that this was one of the worst developments that could happen in our country.  The decline in real wages and the inequalities now present were what re-elected Obama, and there is no end in sight to the class-warfare situation that is developing.

 In my view, raising taxes on the wealthy and strengthening unions are the only two remedies realistically available; promoting growth has not worked.  The Republican Party should adopt a program of supporting and encouraging the growth of responsible unions, and should stop the automatic opposition to all tax rate increases.



Labels: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since in my career I have worked in union and non union positions, I would side with non union. With the union job, you have to deal with two managers. One from the company and one from the union. The struggle between union and management hurts the workers in the end. Because if a dispute can not be resolved, the union goes on strike. Can anyone survive on striker pay? No. Secondly, a good part of your union dues will go to support Democratic Party candidates. That party is in the process of destroying America- led by the radical Obama.

Unions are not the answer but part of the problem. And taxing the rich sounds like socialism to me. Socialism doesn't work. Eventually you run out of other people's money.Taking from the rich does not raise the poor. And the rich will always find ways to shelter their money or move out of the country if they are severely taxed. Who could blame them.

No, the real answer is to allow and encourage the poor to obtain their own riches just as the other "rich" people did. That's called capitalism and it has worked since the founding of our great nation.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

It doesn't surprise me that you miss the point, or refuse to see it. I just hope that enough people actually consider the ramifications of what as been happening and what it means - instead of reacting conventionally.

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russ said 'it doesn't surprise me that you miss the point or refuse to see,' the income gap.

We see and see your point and do not agree with your solution.

Unions have an agenda that does not always agree with what you say. They cause issues in productivity and needed changes to accomodate change. Understand that Obama would still have us making buggy whips at GM.

Your acceptance of socialism just increases the avoidance of work to produce wealth.

Government controls and burdens make entrepreneurship difficult. Yes, a few make it, but the burdens of government, that is all levels of government intervention make start ups difficult.

There have always been big disparities in wealth. However, in USA there used to be opportunity to move up coupled with need to move up.

The opportunity to move up is actually discouraged by government handouts, minimum wages, unemployment benefits, etc.

So, it is not we miss your point nor understand, we do not agree with you. You have been seduced by socialism and political correctness.

Those of us who do not agree with you are not 'reacting conventionally', rather we understand the real problem: Too much government and we do not want a return to feudalism nor its sucessor, statism.

We choose chaos rather than slavery or serfdom.

At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks Russ is pulling our leg on this issue just to get a reaction. Your too intelligent to really believe in this pro union crap and wealth redistribution. But it did achieve the result of getting people to respond. But if you listen (I don't) to lamestream media, you get the same BS 24/7. Take from the rich and be pro union. Makes one want to vomit.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

This is no joke, and I am not pulling anyone's leg. If you know the facts about our economic condition, can you just dismiss them? Does anyone believe that this will not lead to violence? Does anyone know any better ways to correct the problems? Cutting taxes will not work anymore, and most of the causes are not under our control.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cutting the tax burden worked well for me. I moved to a Southern conservative state and do very well as compared to the poverty level I would have been in had I stayed and retired in RI.

In addition to low taxes, my utility, insurances, and license fees are also much better. Also, this is a Right to Work state. That solves another problem issue. Oh, and I don't shovel snow either.

My license plate frame says Northerner by birth- Southerner by Choice. Long live Dixie.

At 8:14 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Above comment totally irrelevant to the issues involved, which are: the steadily deteriorating position of MOST middle and lower income Americans in the face of the rich getting very much richer, and NOT due to their efforts or talents.

Read my earlier blogs for the facts and the data. Ignore these issues and fall back on conventional wisdom at our peril.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous comment is right on and not irrelevant. You again missed the point. In fact your comment on "conventional wisdom" is right on. Wisdom. As in the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

In a capitalist society, there is freedom to make changes to one's financial situation. The main impediments to personal financial freedom are government taxes and other restrictions.

More taxes and income redistribution as you propose will only hurt the people who seek to improve their lot in life. If taxes were the answer, places like Detroit or any other major city where liberal loons thought they could steal from the rich to give it to union thugs and other welfare parasites would be thriving. It does work here or in most of Europe.

My fear is that more and more pro entitlement/wealth redistribution people like yourself are gaining control of our society. That is scary and must be turned around if our nation is to survive and thrive.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

I have to expect that the initial reaction of most of my readers, who tend to be conservative, like me, is dismay, but like President Bush, who realized in late 2008 that circumstances warranted overcoming traditional conservative beliefs to save our system, some readers will take a second look at reality. I hope you realize that Franklin Roosevelt, and his non-traditional policies, saved the capitalist system.

At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're running into the fixed ideology of many conservatives. They seem unable to deviate from that path even when following it may prove disastrous. Pragmatism is not a hallmark of the right wing mind.

That said, I think you've identified a real problem in our society and proposed 2 realistic approaches to solving it. Those who don't like your suggestions also don't have any proposals of their own.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Excuse the poor metaphor, but "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country".

At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While this web post is not in this series, it belongs in one of your earlier diatribes about wealth distribution, I submit it here because it is current.


Post a Comment

<< Home