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And a regressively structured tax structure that promotes economic stratification in a pear tree

by: Eric B.

Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 09:13:33 AM EST

Bridge, today.

This is not a holiday story Gov. Rick Snyder wants to read to his children.

Continued shrinking of the state’s famed middle-class factory jobs. Fast-growing occupations that pay so little, workers may qualify for food stamps. Job growth that ranks 49th in the nation.

It’s less Christmas joy and more “A Christmas Carol.”

Bridge Magazine economic projections paint a Scrooge-like portrait of the state economy over the coming decade. But that’s just one possible future. In the Charles Dickens story, Scrooge is scared enough to change his ways.

Is Michigan prepared to change?

No. No they aren't. In fact, Michigan's leaders have the last month busied themselves opening offices in Detroit where they plan to pitch the idea to people most impacted by this that the policies responsible will in the long run help them out.

By the way, anyone notice the second paragraph. If not, go read it. If yes, go reread it. The next time you hear some rightwing wanker braying on about makers and takers, cheerfully point out to him or her that if the job creation taking place pays such shitty wages that earners qualify for food stamps that the problem ain't that the people getting assistance are lazy. It's that job creation is being subsidized on the public dime. You may even wish to share with them the now-familiar stories of Wal-Mart advising people to get Medicaid and McDonald's telling single mothers who work there to get food stamps (also, to return Christmas gifts to help pay the bills). That might mean taking seriously calls to raise the minimum wages. And no, dear rightwinger, fast food companies aren't going to cut jobs to make up for higher wages if the demand for the product still exists. And, the math doesn't work out in a way that suggests it won't.

Down deeper, the rub, as the poet says.

“Tax cuts have overwhelmed all other policies for the past 20 years,” (MSU economist Charles) Ballard said. “You certainly don’t want to raise taxes and throw the money away. Nobody loves to pay taxes. But I’d be willing to pay more taxes for better roads.

The expansion of early childhood (education), that’s one success. Education and fixing roads and bridges are very important in positioning ourselves for economic growth. But we have continued to have massive disinvestment in higher education.”

The problem is that our current elected leadership has shown no end to affinity for raising taxes on the poor to the expense of the wealthy. But, that mostly leaves finding ways to tax the last scraps of the middle class and the weathy, and there's been absolutely zero interest in that.

What we have today is a taxation system that favors the wealthy over the poor and distressed, making sure that the money cycled into the system and to the bottom rungs where it gets spent on consumer goods just cycles around, even as wages falls with the tax burden of those best positioned to afford it. i realize that the Sandinistas gave "redistribution of wealth" a bad name, but it's time to correct that by pointing out that wealth is like any other form of energy: In a closed system, things run towards a state of entropy, but what keeps things operating cleanly and healthily is a constant infusion of it from some new source. As the Earth has the sun to add more energy, so too does our economy require an infusion from those who are sitting on more money than they need.

Eric B. :: And a regressively structured tax structure that promotes economic stratification in a pear tree
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The real wealth redistribution (0.00 / 0)
takes place when corporations take so much of the wealth generated by each worker, that the worker is left scraping to get by. As the cost of everything else rises while wages do not, we approach what is essentially slavery. The master takes nearly everything, allowing the worker to keep just enough to live on.

The problem is certainly not lack of productivity (the usual excuse for not raising the minimum) or the shareholders and the CEO wouldn't be rolling in the loot they steal from their employees.

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