Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why Income Inequality is Bad for Business

There's a very good, straightforward and powerful explanation of the importance of economic fairness in today's StarTribune, written by David Morris.

Income inequality as it exists in the U.S. today, an extreme inequality which the Republican Party is sworn to continue and increase, is bad economics, very bad for business, bad for the future of private enterprise, bad for our health, bad for our children and grandchildren, downright stupid when you measure its effects on education, and (today being Sunday, maybe we should consider this) it turns Christianity on its head. Why do these "super-Christian" and supposedly pro-business Republicans support policies which undermine everything they stand for? My explanation? It's a shell game, a trick, a sham, a con game. To use a phrase popular in the South "They'd climb a tree to tell a lie." They don't give a damn about the things they trumpet in speeches and commercials. Their loyalty is to money in their own pockets and power in their own hands.

One of the chief lies they tell is this: Democrats who favor greater income equality want everyone to earn the same. This is untrue. What we want is a return to the system which functioned well during the longest prosperity in American history, the period between the New Deal and the inauguration of Reagan, a period when workers' earnings rose as a companies profits rose. Since Reagan it's all been taken apart. Since 1980, the American Dream has been narrowed to the upper classes, to people who own stock for a living rather than working for a paycheck. They forget, and would like Americans to forget, that prosperous working people are the engine of a strong economy. Republicans treat them like the enemy.

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