Saturday, July 26, 2014
wealth management-- or not
Last night Bill Maher had an interesting show with Hogan Gidley (religious right winger on Santoriums team when he ran for president), Matt Kibbe (ardent libertarian and tea partier), Amy Goodman (journalist, writer and liberal feminist), Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos series, scientist and spokesman for logic and science), and Richard D. Wolff (economist, writer, and ardent and unashamed Marxist). An hour wasn't nearly enough for these along with Maher to discuss the issues in the depth that I'd have loved to hear.
Like most Americans as soon as I see the word Marxism, I am suspicious, but the point he was making is capitalism takes a vital middle class. We now though have a very determined wealthy class where having a billion dollars is not enough. They are taking it from both the middle and those in the bottom who would work their way up if they had a way. Because they can get salaries lower overseas, the manufacturing jobs have gone and for start up businesses, such as my husband consults for, to keep it here takes real character as right away the big money tries to buy anything and you know where it goes next!
On poverty, it is logical that generations will continue in a poverty cycle given the inferior schools in those neighborhoods. This has been true since I was in the education program in Portland, OR in the 60s. We spent time student teaching in four different schools chosen because of the wealth of the neighborhoods and this was with one district, one property tax rate. The poorer neighborhoods had inferior programs, and of course, because of poverty more children in single parent homes, parents working two jobs and kids on their own. Poverty is a breeder for sure, but the statistics of three generations on welfare has not been proven true. For one thing now there is a work requirement in the US; so that those that can work must work. It still leaves the working poor because of the low minimum wage, which leaves a full-time worker below the poverty level.
The way up is education and crazily the right has done all they can to keep education from succeeding by limiting funds. So, skip the PC which both sides love, and make schools concentrate on the basics. That's also the hope for future voters using sense in their selections of candidates.
I think we also need to make public universities affordable again. Right now the tuition rates are unreal. I found that out when considering how to help our grandkids when they get there. Good Lord, it is pricing the middle out of a college degree.
What has happened with wealth being concentrated, and ways up fewer, the middle is squeezed out. It’s more iffy now to get into it from the lower economic levels as I once could do, and the middle itself is disappearing. The economist said a vital capitalism works because of a vital middle and we are losing it—blame who you will. We could still fix that, all of it, if enough of us agree.
What has amazed me has been the wealthiest, and why they want that much. But as soon as you ask that, they paint you as hating the rich. They are clever at manipulating those who have the most lose.