...capitalists stole the farm. It was recently reported that the corporations receiving the most national bailout money paid billions of dollars in bonuses just before the bottom fell out. And some of these capitalists dumped their stock immediately before it crashed because they knew it would happen before the general public did.
Since Ronald Reagan became president there has been a concerted effort by capitalists and their lackies in Congress to de-regulate business and corporations. What happened is that the U.S. financial corporations sold a national Ponzi scheme to Americans. And we went on a drunken-sailor spending spree without saving much. It was made to appear that things would only go up, up, up. It was nirvana.
The result has been a shift for the U.S., from being a nation built on a strong middle class, to one that has a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Middle class America, as we knew it, is disappearing. If you won't work for slave wages, corporations will move overseas. If you won't give us the tax breaks we demand, there are nations which will give us those breaks. There is no longer anything that could be labeled "an American corporation."
In western Europe, where there is not the paranoia about socialism as in the U.S., nations have embraced social democracy. National health insurance is a forgone conclusion, and corporations have been carefully regulated. Result: private insurance companies are successful, and the economic structure is not in as much danger as in the U.S. Western Europeans are far healthier than Americans and pay far, far less for health costs. Europeans have much longer vacations and better retirement benefits. Europeans are more equal, and studies show they are much happier people than Americans.
It used to be the other way around. Since Reagan, things for the average American have gotten worse, and Americans are worried about the future. We have been sold a bill of goods [greed capitalism].
It is silly to suggest the U.S. become a socialist nation. It is just as silly to ignore the good things about social democracy. We need therapy as a nation. Our labeling every attempt to help Americans as socialism is doing us in. We need to take a cold, hard look at what has happened since greed capitalism took over American practice and dialogue. Americans deserve a better and more honest approach to serving the average Joe and Jane. Our fear of the future need not be so accepted.