There is no nice way to say this: we are in a political and economic mess. The lower class is forgotten. The middle class is preyed upon by the gluttonous rich, and the super-rich abuse everyone in their rise to a new privileged golden elite. Why are the Democrats so useless? Why do they castrate themselves? Why does anyone functional enough to watch television vote Republican? Why would anyone identify themselves with an economic jihad directed at them?
This sorry lot of affairs has been thirty years in the making and will outlast every reader of this review and of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. The authors suggest there is still reason to hope for something better, but I don’t think they believe it.
Progressive taxation is so wounded by political action from the right and obscene amounts of money against it from the corporate sector and the One Percenters of America that it will soon be on life support. Regulation of the financial markets and banking is a farce. Restrictions on corporate executive compensation does not exist. Put it all together and the conclusion is that middle-class democracy has expired.
Do the tea baggers have anything to offer? Noise, noise, noise. They are the human equivilant of a car chasing dog. What would they do if the car stopped? Eat the tires, and then what? Disfunction, disfunction, disfunction.
There is no one in Congress today prepared to earn their legitimate pay. To do that they would have to say no thanks to money contributed by organized interest groups, corporations, and One Percenters. They would have to seek fairness, not privilege. They would have to pledge balance of interest and civility. They would have to put people before business. Well, fat chance there.
If you want to know the facts and political history behind your discontent, you need this book. You wont be happy having read it, but you will better understand your unhappiness. Charles Marlin