Ownership Society, Circa 2004'

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member


    In 2004' that was probably considered a nutty and extreme thing to say in light of the political propoganda of the time but now it doesn't look so nutty does it?

  2. mthbstr8

    mthbstr8 New Member

    Thanks for broatching this topic. I've heard economists say that 70% home ownership in the general population is a dangerously high level, given that most people sadly don't earn enough to afford home ownership today.

    Home ownership is part of the American dream, and the promise that if you work full time you should be able to support your family is part of the social contract established in the 1800s.

    We've learned since then that the working class needs a safety net to protect them against depression, recession, layoffs, medical emergincies, etc, or else the economy runs a serious risk of loosing it's customer base. (those who fear "welfare creates a socialist state" aren't considering that, for the service sector especially, a corporation's best customers are their own employees, or are people of a similar demographic).

    Indeed, the healthiest ecomonies in history have been those with a strong middle class.

    We used to such an economy!

    In the last 8 years, however, the purchasing power of the middle class has dropped. More people have fallen into poverty, and fewer people have risen out of poverty.

    Conversely, fewer people have risen into wealth under the Rebublican regime. Instead, the income of those already in the top 5% wage bracket (executives) have seen their self-appointed salaries swell by over 3 times what they were in 1990. This at a time when the burden of paying for society has shifted to those who can least afford it.

    Middle/ low income earners have to work more hours just to cover taxes, yet they benefit the least. How long does it take you to earn just the dollar amount deducted from your paychecks each week? And when was the last time you got a taxpayer-expensed spa treatment (IAG)?

    Not only has the gross income of fat executives risen, but so has their net income, because their tax breaks have been ample, and they don't have to lift a thing, nor even have to break out a sweat! It's common for an executive to pay a smaller portion of their income to taxes than their secretary does.

    I believe the high cost of leadership in America is jeapardising our own National Security. We can no longer compete on an open, globalized market. Our banks keep taking more and more loans from other governments. We collectively keep putting more and more profits into foreign elite pockets. And our industrial products pale in comparison to the quality standards of others (ie, Toyota vrs Ford). The current economic strategy is making America weaker.

    Our ownership society is based on a merit-pay society (less so now, but traditionaly). You do the right things and you get rewarded. Clear-cut. One point some billionaires are realising (Boone Pickens) is that the wealthy are benefactors of a generous society. Our markets are designed to reward based on economic merit. But wait! Maintaining this merit-based society is expensive.

    Roads have to be built, telephone lines subsidized, homeless cared for, safety standards regulated, unions have to be encouraged, schools have to funded... all these things come with a cost in real dollars. Our government pays for these things on our behalf to create a market environment where ambitious individuals who illustrate merit can be succcessful.

    Even the founder of Google has concerns along these lines. He's having to look abroad for new-hires, because Americans are under-educated (useless to him for cutting-edge innovations). He also has realised that taxpayers fund the government, who in turn fund the schools, who in turn spit out the quality educated workforce that tommorrow's taxpaying wealthy will need!

    Beware; when the government can't afford these things with current year's tax income, they issue bonds (a loan from future tax payers), or treasuries (loans to foreign and domestic banks). Benjamin Franklin urged congress, "neither a borrower nor a lender be". Response, "whose Benjamin?"

    We all pay taxes, in a 'Kensian progressive scale' according to how much we can afford. Those who benefit the most from a free market economy justifully should pay, let's call it refund,... they should refund the government the most for it's investments, because they benefited the most. And the government's shareholders are the tax payers themselves, right. That means opportunity for everyone.

    Some on this website have boasted of making $100,000. Think of all the lower-paid support people who enable you to earn so much. The mechanic, the loader, the clerks, the office employees even. Compassion and empathy.

    Thanks again for starting this post so I could express myself. God bless!