Sunday, October 14, 2012
Does the Big Economy Need Us Anymore?
First thing you learn in Economics 101 is that an economy consists in the flow of money to drive the demand for goods, which jumpstarts the production and services sector. By allowing lower and middle-income individuals to keep more of their income, they are encouraged to spend more, and thus the cycle is driven. When there is more demand for goods, there is more demand for people to produce them, therefore more jobs, etc. And when you provide for the security of the worst-off people, you give them freedom from fear that allows despair to lift and for their ambitions to flourish.
The upper-tier of the US economy is huge, and forms its own micro-bubble that doesn't really rely on the economy as a whole to thrive and to survive. The work of waging war, for example, takes money straight from the coffers of the government and distributes it to the military-industrial complex, which then feeds a million soldiers and employs millions more personnel. Whether or not the local coffee shop survives is of no consequence to that part of the economy.
Then consider the super-wealthy, those who may be running companies that use resources, the common-wealth, in order to provide largely for the military-industrial complex, largely provide investment in pharmaceuticals to cure our illnesses, and fast food and food-devaluation enterprises that take the production of agriculture and turn it into salty fatty foods that make people sick, thus providing more cattle for the pharmaceutical industry to keep the cycle going.
The people involved in these sectors of the economy only rely on you and me to consume a nickel at a time, the lowest-quality and cheapest products that can be produced without poisoning our bodies and minds too quickly. The upper-tier of the economy for the most part cares little for the man on the street or the small business, and in fact often competes directly with small business, removing money from local economies and concentrating them into the hands of individuals and companies which - for prudence alone - invest in the upper-tier of the economy, and ultimately in the war industry which resides at the top of the pyramid.
For the economy to get back to a healthier place, it really comes down to providing more tax relief for the middle class, and for communities to decide on their own to kick out large corporate chains in order to foster small businesses whose profits will tend to circulate locally for a longer time.
At the same time, the upper tiers of the economy need to be taxed heavily, because they make the most use of the finite resources of the earth that we all —in the Constitutional sense— own and have stewardship of together, for the benefit of the country as a whole. Likewise, big industries pollute the most and therefore contribute to the problem of disease, species decline, etc. which cost the country and the world untold amounts of liquid wealth and destroy natural resources. Finally, big corporations must be strictly regulated by lawmakers who are free from corruption or bias, and therefore they should not be allowed to petition the Congress directly through lobbies or to provide funds to buy elections.
What we are witnessing is the rotting of the fruit of democracy, not due to 'moral corruption' in the sense corporatists would have us believe, shaming scapegoats like homosexuals for personal behavior, but for 'moral corruption' at the top, where everything is for sale, including you and me.