Part 3: http://wp.me/p4bXEi-oK
I learned as I may have mentioned in Part 3 that the economic pivot from an egalitarian economy post the Great Depression followed by WW II began in the early 70’s during the Nixon and Ford years. The pivot was stalled while Carter was in office. But once Reagan’s Devolution began, the economy was set on a course that led us to the crash in 2008. There were some warning signs of the oncoming disaster; such as the S&L crises and the dot com crash of 2000. These type of crashes had been erased from the American economic landscape since the New Deal. The were prevented by strong regulations and any downturns had their impacts lessened by strict enforcement. Both Clinton and Obama understood the problems better than almost anyone in Congress and certainly better than a majority of Americans. But, for whatever reason they both chose to not attack the core problems. In fact, Clinton brought on some of the very issues that created the Great Recession. He repealed Glass Steagall, watered down welfare, and balanced the budget. All unnecessary acts that became huge problems under the inept presidency of George W. Bush. His legacy has been to bankrupt every organization he has ever been involved in, except one. That was the US government, which is nearly impossible to bankrupt, but he did come close. Obama came along and did little to restore the regulations and even less to enforce the regulations that remained. Part of the reason was that under Bush II multiple government agencies became marginalized in the budget and in their mission so they became totally ineffective. Obama, like I said understood the problems, but he never seemed to really grasp the extent of the solutions needed. History and the completion of his second term will supply better answers.
Understanding the roots I then decided that I should take a look at what our future was supposed to be. Back in the early 60’s, economists and sociologists projected what America would look like in 50 years. They predicted a dramatic increase in our leisure time, and a coinciding increase in our productivity. Our cities would be massively rebuilt to fit in with our new leisure lifestyle; transportation systems would be updated to perform faster and safer, our communications would include phones that you could see the other person while you talked to them. The combination of the biggest economy, the best schools and colleges would educate everyone and assure the US and the entire world that everyone would have a bright shiny future full of polished chrome and pastels everywhere. But that is not what happened. At least a lot of it. The infrastructure was never rebuilt on a massive scale, but we do have picture phones! Our productivity increased just as predicted, but we have less leisure time. Our schools are not the best in the world, but our colleges are, and our kids are not getting that education. So, I say lets fix what got broke and put back what was working and leave the rest alone!
Here is a short list of what we need to do to make the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) increase employment and equalize income. In Parts 5 and 6 I will go into them in more detail. By the way Einstein says “hello”, although it sounds more like “meewww”. Cats talk funny.
- Reduce the work week to 36 hours
- Eliminate the legal definition of part time and full time
- Update the rules to classify an employee as exempt
In addition the minimum wage needs to be increased to be 67% of the living wage in the county where the job exists. Eliminate multiple persons on a tax form, each person files taxes and the top tax rate MUST be at least 67%, and earned interest always gets taxed at the highest rate a person pays.
I hope to get to Parts 5 and 6 faster than I got to this one.