From DAVE SMITH
“The Liberal Agenda” has been falsified and bastardized by the Conservative and Fundamentalist radio hosts of this country, and the Right has been hacking away at our safety nets since Reagan became President.
The Progressive Liberal agenda has always been about caring for and empowering the least among us (Matthew 25), and setting a secure floor under our citizenry. Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal: a living wage, a basic safety net; Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal: Social Security; Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society: the elimination of poverty and racial injustice, and Medicare/Medicaid. It’s been about building America from the ground up using government only for what is absolutely necessary and providing a basic standing point: free public education, free medical care, and care for the needy and elderly as in all other developed countries in the world. And, yes, tax the wealthy and very wealthy more than the middle class folks who are just working every day. Why? Because the wealthy benefit more from the commons and thus should pay a higher percentage of their income for it.
Every positive step forward in this country has been brought by the Progressive Left… and the Right’s agenda has been to say No. Progressives brought us the 50-hour work week, then the 40-hour work week. The Right said No. Progressives brought us the Minimum Wage. The Right said No. Progressives brought us the right to unionize the workplace. The Right said No. Progressives brought us worker safety laws so people don’t die in factories or offices which used to be one of the leading causes of death in the US, but not anymore. The Right said No.
The Right’s Agenda is that none of this is necessary; that our democratically-elected government should have no role in providing any standard of living for the American people, and that all power derives from economic power and should be held at the top by the largest corporations and wealthiest individuals… and they should have virtually unlimited power over the political process.
What is the vision for America that the Right has? Less government? What does that mean? It means there is no force restraining the power of corporations and great wealth. It’s a Kingdom… the boss should be King.
Do you want Social Security administered by government with a 3% overhead, or by Wall Street so the billionaires can skim some money off the top?
The documented studies show (see http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/): Those societies where the extremely rich are fewer and less rich, and the poorer are fewer and less poor, and the middle class is larger and stronger, those societies have lower rates of infant mortality, of teenage pregnancy, of mental illness, of violence, of homicide, of STDs. They have longer life-spans, higher standards of living, higher levels of trust in society, higher levels of civic participation.
A German industrialist was interviewed recently and the American reporter kept saying “You pay 50% income tax.” The man says “Yeah.” And the reporter kept saying “You pay such high taxes!” And the industrialist says “Yes. I don’t want to be a rich man in a poor country.”
Thanks to Thom Hartmann