Written by Richard A. Levins
Originally posted at Levins Publishing
Politicians routinely describe the decisions they face as “tough choices.” A typical “tough choice,” as told by our political leaders, is one of several hundred variations on this theme: “raise taxes on the super-rich or cut services for everyone else.” The “services for everyone else” vary among retirement, health, education, and infrastructure benefits as the situation demands.
Context is important here. Our economy, as everyone by now knows, serves only the super-rich. Even I, economic cynic that I am, was a taken aback to see the 2010 numbers: one out of every three dollars of the new income created by our economy went to the richest 15,000 households, with not quite 3 people per household. Think about it this way. We have an economy that sends one-third of its new income to a small group of folks that could barely populate Mankato, Minnesota, while the rest of us 300 million or so poor slobs scrap for the rest.
This is the economy in which the “tough choices” must be made.
What’s so “tough” about these choices? How did they ever get to be “choices” in the first place? Who could possibly see cutting health benefits to someone who needs them, when so few have so much, as a choice? Only a person who writes a check for $1 million to a political campaign promising lower taxes while Americans go hungry and without jobs. Only a politician who sees support from the Financial Elite as more important than the well-being of the other 99% of those who voted. In short, only a person who is, as they say, “without a moral compass.”
A recent University study had the say-it-all title of “Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior.” Maybe that’s what’s going on here. Maybe the Bible had it right when Jesus talked about how difficult it is for the rich to get past the pearly gates. I don’t know.
But I do know this: when people hoard billions while lobbying for others to give up what they have and deserve in a civilized society, we have left the world in which decent people face tough choices. Instead, we have entered the moral Twilight Zone.Tags: acuff, AFL-CIO, economic policy, economy, prounion, stewart acuff, Union, union jobs, US Economy, uwua