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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:31 PM

After 30 Years of the Supply-Side/Reaganomic Revolution, Are America's Best Days Behind Us?

Last edited Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:22 PM - Edit history (1)

Are America's Best Days Behind Us?

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, Mar. 03, 2011

...................................

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),
our 15-year-olds rank 17th in the world in science and 25th in math.
We rank 12th among developed countries in college graduation (down from No. 1 for decades).
We come in 79th in elementary-school enrollment.
Our infrastructure is ranked 23rd in the world, well behind that of every other major advanced economy.

American health numbers are stunning for a rich country: based on studies by the OECD and the World Health Organization,
we're 27th in life expectancy,
18th in diabetes and
first in obesity. Only a few decades ago, the U.S. stood tall in such rankings. No more.

There are some areas in which we are still clearly No. 1, but they're not ones we usually brag about.
We have the most guns.
We have the most crime among rich countries.
And, of course, we have by far the largest amount of debt in the world.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2056723,00.html#ixzz2L5vdKb5b

The US doesnt have a single mile of high speed rail while 20 countries have high-speed rail and China will soon have 23,000 miles
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_by_country


American Civil Engineering infrastructure report card

2009 Grades
Aviation D
Bridges C
Dams D
Drinking Water D-
Energy D+
Hazardous Waste D
Inland Waterways D-
Levees D-
Public Parks and Recreation C-
Rail C-
Roads D-
Schools D
Solid Waste C+
Transit D
Wastewater D-
America's Infrastructure GPA:
D
Estimated 5 Year Investment Need:
$2.2 Trillion
http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply After 30 Years of the Supply-Side/Reaganomic Revolution, Are America's Best Days Behind Us? (Original post)
ErikJ Feb 2013 OP
Warpy Feb 2013 #1
ErikJ Feb 2013 #6
ThomThom Feb 2013 #2
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #3
unblock Feb 2013 #4
Initech Feb 2013 #5
bvar22 Feb 2013 #7
indepat Feb 2013 #8
ErikJ Feb 2013 #9
Bigmack Feb 2013 #10
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #15
bemildred Feb 2013 #18
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #11
bluestate10 Feb 2013 #12
Prophet 451 Feb 2013 #13
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #16
Prophet 451 Feb 2013 #19
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #20
SheilaT Feb 2013 #14
bemildred Feb 2013 #17

Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:38 PM

1. Starving the government meant starving everything the government does

except the military. The military has always been showered with far more than it requests and probably ten times more than it requires.

Raising revenue is the only way to get our country back. It's the only way to avoid becoming another third world backwater, and we're nearly there already.

There are two major ways to increase the revenue stream: raising taxes and raising wages. Both need to be done.

The Pentagon needs to go on a diet, cut 10% per year until our expenditures are in line with other developed nations.

Ten years down the road, with increased revenue and decreased military spending, we'll be in a position to tackle most of the serious problems in this country: the health and education of its citizens.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:15 PM

6. You mean the War Profiteers

They take a huge part of the defense budget. The top 5 defense contractor CEOs make $20 million a year average each. Hartmann is always saying how the war profiteers have the biggest mansions in the DC metro area.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:47 PM

2. It is all down hill from here.

#1 in losers

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:51 PM

3. America's best days were immediately after World War II.

 

From then on, I think the momentum has simply been slowing down gradually and gradually.


Plus, of course, rising nations like China, India and others were bound to ascend to their own magnificence anyway. Countries come and go. Nations rise and fall.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:11 PM

4. if we can somehow wrest power from the super-rich, this country still has huge potential

just imagine is we had solid, properly enforced regulations ensuring actual competition; genuinely progressive overall tax policies; an end to race-to-the-bottom state competition for corporations (pollute here! please!); honest, open, fair, publicly financed elections; a living minimum wage and a serious social safety net; single-payer health care; etc.

ultimately, if much of the loot that the super-rich as hoarding and abusing and jerking around the world economy for their own amusement were put to productive use helping the neediest people here in america, the overall american economy would have a long, sustained boom much like it did after wwii.

with the shifting demographics, i think we'll get there, though it might well take 2 or 3 decades.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:12 PM

5. It's been an absolute shit storm since Reagan.

He is the epitome of everything that is soulless and wrong with this country. What's pissing me off is that the media is still keeping his talking points alive - especially that "big government" bullshit. He's been dead for ten years. Can't we let his crap rot in the ground with him?

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:56 PM

7. There is no need for Wage Slaves to be educated.

That is a waste of time and money,
and only makes the peasants unhappy.

The Reagan Revolution is almost complete.
We might have been able to avoid it if we had a Political Party that represented the Working Class.

...but don't lose hope.
Any day now, the Invisible Hand of Free Trade will reach down from the heavens and "correct" the markets.
.
.
.
.
Yep. Any day now.





You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:13 PM

8. These data describe a right-wing-soused society wherein government has long acted almost solely in

the interests of large corporations, especially the MIC, and the most affluent to the detriment of we the people. This misfeasance manifests itself in every segment of society and has led to enormous income inequality and concentration of the nation's wealth due to, in part, a highly regressive income tax scheme, low estate taxes, and a punitively low minimum wage. Consequences of this misfeasance/misfeasance include a falling standard of living, a shrinking middle class, the lack of universal health care, and the nation falling to or near the bottom in all quality-of-life ranking factors, a high incarceration rate due, in part, to long sentences for non-violent drug offenders. Why all this? Because this is what right-wing politicians want as manifested in the Ryan budget. Recent legislation gave a large gift to Amgen and tax cuts to those earning $250,000 to $450,000, but Republicans are clamorously demanding deep cuts to social security and Medicare. Now, someone please show me this is not a right-ring-soused society, that I've got it all wrong.

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Response to indepat (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:42 PM

9. They claim we are Broke, yet there are trillions offshore.

Ater 30 years of unprecented historic low tax rates on the top 1% and corporations, the wealth of the country has been siphoned out of the country and into the pockets of the very rich instead of the investment and maintenance of our basic infrastructure.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:54 PM

10. I read this in 2011...

... my views haven't changed.

All Empires have their day in the sun. All Empires fall.

It's a fact of History.

We're overextended and rotting from the inside.

China is my best bet for the next Empire Rising.

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:08 AM

15. No, and in fact, China is on it's way out, no matter how much cash TPTB throws at 'em.

And the truth is, even though we have indeed markedly declined, we're not at risk for total collapse at this moment.

China, unfortunately, is, and the problems may begin to happen sooner than we think. The housing & industrial bubble, demands for more wages, and an ever increasing amount of discontentment making itself known over there, and many other things are slowly, but surely, combining to create the perfect storm.

If China DOES change in time, then it will likely be able to weather the coming difficulties without much serious long-term trouble. But if not, and if the nation's elite continue to try to preserve this faux-Marxist(Mussolinian corporate fascist is what it really is, make NO mistake)system that's been in place for the past few decades, then I'm afraid that China's collapse may be quite inevitable(and possibly extremely bloody at that!). And if that comes to pass, the short-term effects, sadly, will likely make the recession of '08 look like a cakewalk, and that's just on the economic side of things.

TBH, the powers that be would LOVE for China as it exists today to be the next superpower; it's their ultimate model for what they'd like to see implemented in the rest of the world; I think the only major difference here would be that, at least in today's China, a good number of the people still believe, sincerely, that they're a benevolently governed socialist society. But in America, it would instead be operated under a Teabaggeresque Randian shadow, and with Teabaggers as our role models. And many of us would know the terrible truth, which might make our situation all the more deplorable.

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 07:55 AM

18. Empire is an idea whose time is past.

It never was a very good idea anyway.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:03 PM

11. "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."

"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between." Oscar Wilde

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:12 PM

12. No.

We are headed for a Renaissance, specifically because of the damage that the Reagan revolution caused. The majority of americans now recognize that the nation has been on a path of decline since Reagan and his cronies brought about the era of big military and outsourcing of jobs. The smartest business people recognize that they can't continue to pay low wages and expect the people getting those wages to be able to buy their products. We have been in a cycle of economic recession and phony economic booms since Reagan allowed the stripping away of American manufacturing jobs in pursuit of satisfying the misplaced desires of the wealthy.

Thought is tipping back in the direction of the view that any country that will have economic success needs a manufacturing base that is kept strong. Workers need fair wages and benefits to be able to afford products produced by businesses. More business people are recognizing that schools and their health are not disconnected from the present and future well being of the businesses that they run.

My sense is that we are on the doorsteps of renewed greatness. This time every race and ethnic group will share in that greatness. Our 30 plus years of decline have been stopped. We have a wonderful President to lead us forward, and we will move forward.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:18 PM

13. Yeah, I think so

Reaganomics and the radical right agenda are too embedded now. They own one of the two political parties, much of the courts including a majority of the Supreme Court and the conservative public has been so radicalised that they think the wimpy centreist in the Whitehouse is the second coming of Stalin. They've rewritten the textbooks, rewritten the science and rewritten the history. Corporations control your Congress, the news you watch and because of that, nothing will be done about global warming. It's too late to fight back now, the chance was there but now it's gone.

Now, that's not to say you shouldn't fight them. You can always prove me wrong.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:10 AM

16. Well, if it really IS too late(which isn't necessarily true, btw), why fight at all?

Not that I actually would stop fighting in that case, but that's how most would feel, I reckon.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:16 AM

19. Self-respect

Better to go down swinging than wait for the axe to fall. I could be wrong, I hope I am.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:49 PM

20. Yes, by all accounts, you are indeed wrong.

No offense meant, by the way. I just have a more realistic outlook on things, that's all.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:57 PM

14. Yes they are.

And the scary thing is that hardly anyone recognizes that, and this country goes on behaving as if it were still 1955 or maybe 1962. We spend what is it, a full half of our budget on the military? And it's commonly believed we can't afford to continue funding social security. What nonsense!

Speaking of the military, we spend as much as the entire rest of the world combined on military. Why would anyone with more than two gray cells to rub together think that makes sense? I wonder exactly when our military threshold passed that point. I suspect that would give you an accurate date of the start of our decline.

During the 1950's and 1960's it was widely believed that there was a "missile gap", that the evil Soviet Union had more missiles than we did. Of course, those who were in a position to know how many missiles they actually had, knew it was a lie. But never spoke up publicly. So defense spending increased.

Fast forward to today. It's widely believed that Iran is getting ready any day now to build a nuclear bomb. I sincerely doubt they're any closer than some high school chemistry class in Altoona, PA is. But the citizenry must be kept fearful at all times so that all of those defense contractors and all of those generals and all of those everyone connected to military spending can continue to get their share. Meanwhile, schools are underfunded. People declare bankruptcy over medical costs, even when they have insurance. College is becoming more and more unaffordable.

Are our best days behind us? Probably. It's almost impossible for me to imagine the kind of changes that can turn this all around.

And wouldn't it be nice if a few years down the road someone on DU could find this post of mine and chide me for a lack of imagination.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 07:54 AM

17. Yeah, and we still have the same war-mongering assholes running the place too.

And that is why.

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