“School’s out for summer (♫♫)” and many folks will be packing-up their family cars and take to America’s highways to visit national parks as well as relatives. Unfortunately, as many crisscross the nation they will bear witness to a sobering image of abandoned storefronts and infrastructure in serious disrepair.
So how exactly did America get to this point? Well, lots of government mismanagement of tax money contributed to the county’s slow decay as well as the growing gap between rich and poor.
The nation’s richest communities like Silicon Valley, Beverly Hills, New York and Washington DC have witnessed an economic explosion, while rural America has struggled to keep up with inflation, let alone save for the future. According to the Economic Innovation Group, the Distressed Communities Index report; “Most American communities are not distressed, but they are far from flourishing. The Zip codes mere miles apart occupy vastly different planes of community well-being and few people are truly mobile between them. It is little surprise that many Americans feel they have been left behind.”
The report uses zip codes as economic indicators to disseminate poverty rates as well as employment trends. Silicon Valley gurus Sean Parker and Ron Conway, who spend their days investing in promising tech startups, spearheaded the Economic Innovation Group.
The study highlights the dwindling middle class and the creation of two Americas: “one prosperous group of communities where vacant houses, poverty and those without a high school diploma are nearly non-existent, and another swatch of communities where more than a quarter of residents live in poverty. More than 50 million Americans live in distressed communities, where nearly a quarter of residents lack a high school diploma, and employment opportunities have dropped by nearly 7 percent. In the most distressed city in the country, Camden, NJ, the city’s median income is 36.4 percent that of the rest of the state. Other cities topping the distressed list are Detroit, Cleveland, and Flint, Michigan.”
The so-called free trade deals, like the dying Trans-Pacific Partnership, provides more protection to large corporations and their financial assets while trashing average working Americans’ wages.
Contributing to the nation’s downfall is America’s foray into globalization. For example, most large corporation’s CEOs have long believed that free trade would benefit the struggling middle class—it hasn’t. Nevertheless, the CEOs were asked at the World Economic Forum in Davos if they still believed globalization was good for all Americans, surprisingly, they revealed they were skeptical. CNBC said in an article “only 38 percent of the public believed globalization has had a largely positive impact on improving the movement of capital, people, goods and information. Public discontent has the potential to erode trust, which is needed for long-term sustainable performance. The real challenge here though, isn’t just one of how CEOs navigate, it’s about the need for CEOs to have a deeper, two-way relationship with stakeholders, customers, employees, and the public.”
The widening gap reveals an absurd concentration of wealth with just eight men possessing the equivalent of half the poorest world’s population. According to Euronews, the men include: “founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, business magnate and founder of Inditex Amancio Ortega, investor Warren Buffett, telecoms magnate Carlos Slim, founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Oracle Larry Ellison and Michael Bloomberg, the founder and CEO of Bloomberg LP.”
It’s hard to overlook the common denominator of the greatest redistribution of wealth of all time, politicians. The concentration of political power in the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC, is run by a few corporate and financially privileged and well-connected individuals who exert their influence over the economy.
The book Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the few says, “this transformation has amounted to a pre-distribution upward. Intellectual property rights—patents, trademarks and copyrights—have been enlarged and extended, for example, creating windfalls for pharmaceutical companies. Americans now pay the highest pharmaceutical costs of any advanced nation.”
While the great American heist has broken the spirit of the workers, the permanent bureaucratic class has quietly changed antitrust policies for corporations with noteworthy market power, like big food enterprises, cable companies, large airlines as well as Wall Street banks. “As a result, Americans pay more for broadband Internet, food, airline tickets and banking services than the citizens of any other advanced nation. Bankruptcy laws have been loosened for large corporations—airlines, automobile manufacturers, tax laws have special loopholes for the partners of hedge funds and private-equity funds, special favors for the oil and gas industry, lower marginal income-tax rates on the highest incomes and reduced estate taxes on great wealth,” the books author reports.
“The portion of workers with any pension connected to their job has fallen from just over half in 1979 to under 35 percent today. Labor unions have been eviscerated. Fifty years ago, when General Motors was the largest employer in America, the typical GM worker, backed by a strong union, earned $35 an hour in today’s dollars. Now America’s largest employer is Wal-Mart, and the typical entry-level Wal-Mart worker, without a union, earns about $9 an hour,” Robert Reich explained.
One would think that Reich, a huge Democrat supporter, would have been thrilled by a Trump presidency – he wasn’t, even though President Trump won the hearts of the GOP and former blue dog Democrats with his “forgotten men and women” speech.
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capitol has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost,” Trump said.
“Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country,” he continued.
“Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capitol, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes — starting right here and right now, because this moment is your moment: It belongs to you.”
“We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own… We’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. … The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.”
The media and Left went nuts, claiming the President spoke in dark angry tones. But he just repeated what he heard and saw during the campaign. The folks are angry and mad. After another trek across the country, this reporter knows exactly what President Trump meant, the little guy has been forgotten, the rich have gotten richer, and the middle class has dwindled. Until politics returns to individual districts across the country, no amount of biblical words will restore the “greatness” of America.
Stay tuned for a video of the new America!