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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 10:05 PM

24. We don't have to wall of the world's poor in order to have a strong middle class.

Every other developed country trades more than the US yet has a stronger middle class. The reason: they have more progressive taxes, strong unions and stronger middle classes.

Waving the $2/day foreign worker bogeyman as the cause of our economic problems is using semi-logic like republicans do when they argue that raising the minimum wage will increase unemployment - "When you raise the price of something, you get less of it." It sounds logical except that real-world experience shows that raising the minimum wage actually increases employment for a variety of reasons.

Similarly progressive countries are not afraid of that scary $2/day worker from "Dark Africa". In fact the EU has one-way free trade with the poorest countries in the world so that they can export their products to Europe without import tariffs. In spite of (because of?) this Europe has the best distribution of income in the world and much stronger unions and middle class than the US has. They seem to know that the African worker is not their enemy.

Europeans tax themselves heavily and progressively, support strong unions and safety net and trade with the rest of the world much more than we do. Too many Americans seem to prefer low/regressive taxes, weak unions and a shredded safety net, then blame our problems on African workers. With low/regressive taxes, weak unions and a shredded safety net we could eliminate every import from every poor country in the world (kind of a walled-off society) and we would still have the same problems.

republicans raised tariffs in 1921 and 1924 which dramatically reduce trade, and guess what happened? By 1929 we had the worst inequality of income that we had ever had in the US - not surpassed until the 'bush tax cuts' destroyed any progressivity in our tax system. Tariffs don't make a strong middle class. If we ignore history and evidence of what works, we mimic what republicans like to do - appeal to emotion and use semi-logic to scare people.

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alp227 Mar 2013 OP
Spitfire of ATJ Mar 2013 #1
backscatter712 Mar 2013 #2
primavera Mar 2013 #13
Phlem Mar 2013 #3
Rhiannon12866 Mar 2013 #4
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2013 #5
JCMach1 Mar 2013 #6
pampango Mar 2013 #7
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pampango Mar 2013 #20
JCMach1 Mar 2013 #26
pampango Mar 2013 #27
Alkene Mar 2013 #8
DCBob Mar 2013 #9
mpcamb Mar 2013 #10
Exultant Democracy Mar 2013 #11
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tawadi Mar 2013 #15
Earth_First Mar 2013 #16
Doctor_J Mar 2013 #18
pampango Mar 2013 #21
Doctor_J Mar 2013 #22
LineLineLineLineNew Reply We don't have to wall of the world's poor in order to have a strong middle class.
pampango Mar 2013 #24
Kolesar Mar 2013 #29
nightscanner59 Mar 2013 #19
Douglas Carpenter Mar 2013 #23
Dawson Leery Mar 2013 #25
madville Mar 2013 #28
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