I’m getting some lunch at Panera Bread, bless their corporate heart– they’re here, they take my card and they have Wi-Fi. I’m a little sorry that a nice pizza place I was going to stop at has closed their doors– tough for small businesses.
Not to eat their bread and dis them– it’s nothing against Panera, but big chains don’t trickle customers down onto Mom and Pop’s Pizza. They take the customers. That’s what they’re supposed to do.
I’m listening to WRNI news that the Republicans will almost certainly succeed in extending tax cuts for the richest, as a condition of tax relief for the middle class. In their faith-based enthusiasm they assure us that the rich will trickle on us and bless us with golden showers of prosperity.
Robert Reich on Common Dreams gives us the two competing narratives on economic reform. I’m going back to work, so I’m going to just lift a lot of what he wrote, but follow the link for the whole post, it’s really good…
Quiz: What’s responsible for the lousy economy most Americans continue to wallow in?
A. Big government, bureaucrats, and the cultural and intellectual elites who back them.
B. Big business, Wall Street, and the powerful and privileged who represent them.
These are the two competing stories Americans are telling one another.
Yes, I know: It’s more complicated than this. In reality, the lousy economy is due to insufficient demand – the result of the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income at the top. The very rich don’t spend as much of their income as the middle. And since the housing bubble burst, the middle class hasn’t had the buying power to keep the economy going. That concentration of income, in turn, is due to globalization and technological change – along with unprecedented campaign contributions and lobbying designed to make the rich even richer and do nothing to help average Americans, insider trading, and political bribery.
So B is closer to the truth.
But A is the story Republicans and right-wingers tell. It’s a dangerous story because it deflects attention from the real problem and makes it harder for America to focus on the real solution – which is more widely shared prosperity.
Reich calls for a new WPA. That’s what the ‘stimulus’ should have been called, because it’s what people want. We want to work, we want to see everyone give their fair share. Someone has to find the words and get heard.