A Drift Toward Oligarchy



America has created unprecedented wealth and productivity, we have also created the illusion that an endless pursuit of wealth is healthy. This misconception leaves our democracy at the mercy of multi-national corporations who peddle their influence to lower taxes, labor standards, environmental controls and financial regulations at the expense of the middleclass, while concocting complex tax evasion schemes that create growing concentrations of wealth and inequalities unseen since the 1920’s. Unfortunately, today’s conservative ignores the concept fair taxation are the dues for membership in a civilized society. They misinterpret wealth equality as a liberal plot to fuel class warfare and governments intent to steal from the wealthy and share it with undeserving freeloaders. The reality, in spite of three decades of economic expansion and corporate growth is household incomes have risen only slightly, almost entirely because of increased work hours and/or women joining the work force. Between 1980 and 2007 the after-tax income of the average middle class household increased about 15%. In contrast, the wealthiest one percent of incomes tripled from $337,000 to more than $1.2 million. This is an increase of almost 260% during the same time frame. The mythological perceptions we have of ourselves, the erosion of labor unions and our inequitable tax policies have contributed to anti-government rhetoric and are founded on the belief that a complimentary role of government, progressive taxation and labor unions requires a totalitarian government. These misconceptions subscribe to a conservative mythology that simply doesn’t live up to reality. For a nation with our principals, wealth and strength what this represents is an historic failure.


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