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An insider's critique of American financial politics and media
on December 8, 2013
As far as this goes, it's a worthwhile examination of the repeated pattern that Robert Reich identifies in US economic history: that the widest income gap precedes and apparently precipitates a crash. He describes compares the related graph to a suspension bridge, with the highest peaks in 1929 and 2008.
The sharp increase of the income gap is solely due to the highest-income people claiming that they deserve to pay a lower rate of taxes than everyone else -- and gaming the political system to get their way. They claim to deserve huge tax breaks because they are "job creators"... However, as one wealthy business owner admits, his money mainly goes into offshore investments, and his own purchases don't support the economy. The most wealth-generating business model in fact results in exporting jobs from the United States.
The reviewer who panned this film, dismissing it as leftist, evidently has not seen it at all. In fact the stats show productivity is higher than at any time in history. However, ordinary people can barely make ends meet. The middle class has tried to compensate for wage stagnation by first of all mothers of families going out to work, then by more borrowing. This has all been to no avail, and instead there are massive losses of homes as well as jobs.
The real engine that drives prosperity is the purchasing power of a large middle class having income to spare for discretionary purchases. As their wages decline (though costs rise), their purchases decline, thus reducing sales and forcing more shutdowns of jobs, etc. in a "vicious cycle". Reich's analysis of the contrast between that dismal picture, and what he names the "virtuous cycle" that boosts jobs, is enlightening. It would be helpful to have this video and repeat watching these scenes in order better to understand both the problem and proposed solutions.
As far as the film goes it appears well-researched and valid. However, it does not address the issue of the government borrowing money from the privately-owned central banking system known as 'The Fed". The only dot which can be connected here is Reich mentioning that income tax was first implemented in 1913.
That caught my attention because it's the same year The Fed was established. The Fed's owners are private bankers who rule Washington, apparently through buying elections and politicians on both the 'left' and the 'right'. After 100 years of being governed by this financial system, isn't it time for American people to examine that aspect of their economic history? (The banking system and debt-based money was not specifically addressed in this film.) If they then decide they don't like the results, what would American voters do to change their situation?