I would also argue that there is nothing perverted or even new in our people, but that the problem is the shift in our economy from a balance between labor and capital that has heavily favored capital. Capitalism is the engine of our economy, but an engine can be debilitated by too much fuel. We complain about current tax rates and ignore the past when they were much more progressive and much higher. Our economy is based on consumer spending (about 70%), when the policies change in such a way that new money goes into fewer and fewer hands, the results expected are exactly what we are seeing now. We missed a lot of what was going on during the first part of this decade because consumption was fueled by debt backed up by home values. When that house of cards fell it exposed the reality of our economy, consumers had far less disposable income than previously. We have since seen capital try to make up for this by selling products for less by producing them for less. But to do this, they hve outsourced production, killing more American jobs and putting greater downward pressure on incomes.
A sustainable economy should function by one simple edict, take a little, leave a little, but don't break up the game.
Our policies over the last 30 years put us on a path to break up the game. Through most of the last century wealth was concentrated at a level of about 22% of all private assets in the hands of 1% of capitalists. And it remained in that vicinity for most of the century. With the policies beginning in the 80's, this changed, pushing a greater and greater share of the wealth into fewer and fewer hands to the point where over 40% of all wealth is in the hands of 1%.
Where do you think this train goes?
We're not Czarist Russia, but if we are heading in that direction, what do you suppose will happen? Do you believe that continuing this path of wealth concentration is sustainable?
I don't come at this from a perspective of a desire to see wealth equality or to stick it to the rich. I come at this as a patriot who would like to see America work for Americans they way it had in the past in a sustainable way. Capitalism is not a form of goverment, it is an economic system, and it cannot function in the absence of a political system. But that political system will create the construct, the playing field, if you will, for the capitalist system. The system cannot be fair, it is built by the haves for the benefit of the haves, BUT, and this is key, the haves need to have a long term view of how they put policies in place. if they are consumed by the short term view, they will take as much as they can as soon as they can, and they will break the system. Rich people don't make policies thaat are good for workers because they love workers, they make policies that are good for workers because ultimately, the workers have the power to take everything they have. When FDR began instituting labor favoring policies, it wasn't out of a desire to be socialist, it was out of a necessity to avoid revolution.
We need balance.
Obama is FAR from being socialist, in fact, the policies he favors could save capitalism from itself.