Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bill Crawford: Disparities and Uncaring Republicans Open Door for Socialism

The growing support for socialistic programs within the Democratic Party has many traditionalists worried. They should be.

Data shows wealth accumulating ever more rapidly among the top one percent and growing ever more slowly among the bottom ninety percent. From 1946 to 1980 middle-income Americans saw greater income growth than rich ones. Since 1980, income growth for the bottom ninety percent slowed to less than one percent a year, while for the top one percent it skyrocketed. (Piketty/Saez/Zucman 2017)

A story in Barron’s last year said that the three richest Americans (at the time) – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett – together had more wealth than the 160 million poorest Americans, or half the U.S. population.

The story went on to cite Torsten Slok, the chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, who said that unchecked, rising income and wealth inequality “could cause social and political unrest.”

Indeed, history shows time and again that when the rich and powerful become too rich and powerful, the people revolt. In America, revolts usually occur at the ballot box.


Policies enacted by the Trump administration are accelerating income and wealth disparities. As tax cuts make the rich richer, cuts in social programs make the poor poorer. Despite low unemployment and a booming stock market, wages for the middle class and working poor have not moved. They have actually declined when inflation is taken into account.

The disruption, discord, and disdain emanating from the White House only cause more unrest. Perhaps as soon as this November, the risks of political upheaval may be realized.

The likely beneficiary of such upheaval is the Democratic Party. If they score heavily in upcoming elections, the move toward socialistic practices that traditionalists fear will occur.

Ironic isn’t it. The uncaring, bombastic anti-social agenda pushed by Trump and his Republican congressional allies may be the very thing that tips the balance and puts Democrats back in power.

You can get a sense of the shifting tides even here in Mississippi. How is it in this oh so Republican state that Democratic senate candidate Mike Espy and potential Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Hood are given decent odds to win?

It’s too bad that the common sense politics of conservative Republican governors is out of favor with the base. The spectrum of gubernatorial leadership from Mike Pence in Indiana to John Kasich in Ohio shows how conservative leadership can work for all the people, not just the rich and powerful.

"It's not just the people at the top who ought to benefit in any society, it ought to be people throughout society," outgoing Ohio Gov. John Kasich said last week. "And that doesn't mean you play Robin Hood and take from the rich and give to the poor. But it means you give everybody an opportunity to be able to do well."

Both governors were pro-business and cut taxes. But both also paid attention to the needs of their constituents. They even expanded their Medicaid programs modifying the programs to address what they perceived to be their state’s unique needs.

Republicans not providing ways for the poor, working poor, and middle class to do better while catering to the rich and powerful, opens the door to socialistic Democrats.

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

35 comments:

Y'all Watch-Iss Right Here.. said...

Once again Crawford throws a bucket of raw meat on the floor in the Pitt-bull compound - Then eases back into his La-Z-Boy recliner with a bucket of popcorn and a quart of Blue Ribbon beer.

Anonymous said...

complete ,absolute ,utter, total BULL SHIT!!!

Anonymous said...

We've had both republican and democrat leadership since 1980. The problem is that, to the vast majority of Americans, it doesn't matter which one you vote for. The end result is the same. Meanwhile, we spend our time arguing about race, religion, R vs D and Ole Miss vs Miss State.

I'm self employed and pay out a third of everything I make in a year in taxes. Make the wealthy pay that same percentage - regardless of the source of that income - and you'll see social conflict fade significantly. When people can afford to live, there's a lot less to fight over.

Anonymous said...

we've HAD socialism for last 50+ years (GREAT SOCIETY)---we're opening the door to civil war between TAKERS AND PAYERS--takers are sick and tired of this BS!!!

Anonymous said...

Bill. You make many statements as facts, but can't back them up.

What social programs have been cut - as you state affirmatively in your opening? Name a couple - either at the national, or state level. We will all hold onto our seats waiting for you to find them

Yes, the rich are getting richer - generally throughout history that's how it works. Until, that is, an individual takes a tumile for individualized reasons, or because of widespread crashes. But, they are going to get richer in any environment, not just the Trumpian world you are demeaning. Bill Gates, or Warren Buffett, or George Soros, or ....... all have gotten richer, and richer, and richer, throughout the past few decades despite administration's Republican or Democrat. (And, despite the normal mantra, most of the richest are all Dems in the FWIW category.)

And to compare Indiana, or Ohio, economics of government to Mississippi overlooks so many controlling facts is laughable. Yes Pence and Kasiach both governed differently and successfully. But to assume that their decisions would fit in Mississippi economic and demographic world is a fallicy and ic you were being honest with yourself other than just creating another column you would readily admit it.



Anonymous said...

sorry----PAYERS are sick and tired of this BS!!!

Anonymous said...

All of ya'll overlook the crux of unrest in our society today. When opportunity and hope are reduced to a thin thread, then unrest and, yes taking, dominate the actions of the have nots. Jobs for the middle class have been shipped overseas for decades, reducing the opportunity that people here can pursue. In turn, people's hope has dwindled dramatically compared to what it was in the 60s-80s. As a result, people care less about boundaries or the long-term because they are attempting to survive day-to-day by whatever means available. Here's a repeat of an old lesson -- If you starve even the most docile dog in the world and back him into a corner, he will bite you in an instant and eat you. It's not rocket science folks -- the have not masses need more opportunity, and that will breed hope.

Anonymous said...

We have allowed the idea of compassion to become equated with 'everyone deserves' a basic standard of living - which we then fund handouts instead of jobs and equal opportunity to deserve something because it was earned. Teaching generations that personal responsibility for improving one's own standard of living is not 'compassionate'. This is the great lie that has stolen the proverbial American Dream resulting the opposite of true compassion. This nation achieved because people came here who wanted a fair chance to work and become successful, not to get something free from someone else.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Espy

Anonymous said...

10:29 changes to SNAP, child tax credit and EITC will reduce benefits, just to name three.

Anonymous said...

I’m voting for Espy too. Flowood resident.

Anonymous said...

2:06 - wrong. May reduce the growth in those benefit programs, but the overall spending for them has not been reduced.

If the changes have the effect of reducing illegal use of the programs - yes, I would concede that for those that are abusing the programs their 'benefit' will be reduced. But don't believe you can back up your statement that with any empirical evidence that the benefits have been reduced.

Adding a 'work requirement' for able bodied individuals to SNAP is hard to classify as a reduction in benefits - maybe a reduction in free handouts if that's where you want to hang your hat.

Anonymous said...

11:27, the unemployment numbers call you a lie.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

Missippi is the only state that lost population in 2017. I left too,but I'm still registered to vote there. I'm voting for Epsy too.

Anonymous said...

2:58, you should know better. There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. The employment rate is not the issue. The issue is opportunity for work that pays enough to raise a family in a comfortable standard of living. If forty percent of those working are in a service industry or other occupation that won't allow them to break into the middle class, then those numbers don't represent opportunity. Bring the jobs back to the U.S. that left to go overseas under the prior administrations, and then you'll see opportunity.

Anonymous said...

2:06 you didn’t ask if cuts were good or bad, just for examples of cuts. Changes to SAP, child tax credit and EITC WILL cut benefits for the very poor. Then there are all the other welfare reform plans Trump and House Republicans want to push through. Not against these but your denials of cuts is untrue.

bill said...

2:59, by your own admission you'll be committing voter fraud. Which precinct? Just curious. I promise not to turn you in.

Anonymous said...

Liberty Baptist Church precinct.

Anonymous said...

Trump has done more to move this country toward socialism than anyone in history. A few years ago I was against Medicare For All but I now see that as the only solution left after the huge mess that Trump has made of the healthcare system. His entire administration is nothing but a giant FU to the poor, working and middle class, sick and disabled, and so on.

Anonymous said...

You moved out of state but remain registered and intend to vote. May I ask why you think this is something to brag about? Ask those folks down around Hattiesburg that moved out but still went to vote for Johnny. Local DA was able to send several of them off to jail. Hope the Madison DA does the same with you.

Anonymous said...

4:05, you continue to state, just as Bill has done, that these cuts exist. But you haven't provided anything to back up your claim. My statement is that they have not been cut. Programs may have been subjected to changes, but that does not automatically convert into cuts in the programs, or in the benefits.

Hypothetical: If a program budget remained exactly the same appropriation, but 50% of those that had been receiving benefits got twice as much and the remaining 50% got nothing, are you considering that a cut? Yes, the 50% that were eliminated from benefits got less, but the program was not cut. It appears that (of course, in an exaggerated sense) is what you are suggesting. My comment was that there have not been cuts in these programs. But thank you for keeping Bill's narrative alive for him - without facts to back it up, of course.

Anonymous said...

Ha sounds like all Espy needs to do is declare for the GOP or independent. The GOP ranks are not pleased with their choices

Anonymous said...

I am going to vote for the DA too.

Anonymous said...

"...we've HAD socialism for last 50+ years (GREAT SOCIETY)---we're opening the door to civil war between TAKERS AND PAYERS--takers are sick and tired of this BS!!!August 26, 2018 at 10:25 AM"

I think you meant to say 'PAYERS' are sick and tired of this BS. Takers, as always, are enjoying the ride.

He Drinks From A Brown Sack On The Porch.. said...

"...changes to SNAP, child tax credit and EITC will reduce benefits, just to name three."

'Changes' does not equate to reductions. SNAP has not reduced benefits. It only redefines and retools the program, makes the sound of it less offensive to liberals and makes it easier to use a swipe-card instead of a coupon book. The word 'nutrition' is also sorely out of place. What's nutritious about three slabs of ribs, a case of bacon and twenty liters of orange soda?

Child tax credit has not changed.

Earned Income Tax Credit has always been a joke. There is nothing related to 'earned income' about this area of the tax return. It simply gives cash to people who did not earn the income in the first place and did nothing to warrant a check. Can't call it a refund since it was never paid in the first place.

Oh....You were going to list programs that have been cut or reduced. Meanwhile, those of us who have always pulled the wagon, continue under the yoke of socialism.

Anonymous said...

@ August 26, 2018 at 6:45 PM

Maybe 4:05 could have stated it better, but they are correct.

The other way to say it is that Republicans have made it more difficult or created more hurdles to receive such benefits.

Drug testing, duration of time to receive such benefits, capping the amounts of said benefits.

Mississippi has passed laws where people lose SNAP benefits after so many weeks if they are not gainfully employed within a certain amount of time. The unemployment amount is @ $250 week, I think after 4 months its exhausted?

But yet, our legislators find way to pass tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest Americans, while the rest of us are footing the bill to maintain this country's infrastructure.

They've pushed this drain the swamp narrative, while #45 loaded his administration with Wall Street tycoons like Steve Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Gary Cohn, and his supporters scream about George Soros and liberal conspiracies while the fox's are in the hen house getting fat.

Bill Crawford tries to point key issues to Mississippians and they only thing they do in return is call him names.

Does anyone around here ever get sick and tired of the same ol' same ol'!? SMH

Anonymous said...

Last week on the radio I heard a local employer bragging that he pays $18.00 an hour, when you do the math that's 36k a year.Try feeding ,clothing and housing a family of 4 on that.

Anonymous said...

If you only make $18/hr, try not to have a family of 4 to feed. That might help things.

Anonymous said...

History makes clear that when the disparity in the wealth continues to be widely distributed, it's only a matter of time before civil war and/or a dictator follows.

Eventually the greed at the top begins to pick off the lower upper classes and upper middle class and all hell breaks lose.

It's more complex and subtle with today that in the past, but the end result will be the same.

Anonymous said...

@ August 27, 2018 at 9:51 AM

What if they are a good Christian couple and don't believe in using contraception? They shouldn't have sex because they are poor?

which leads to the next point of why do they, conservatives, fight abortion by tooth and nail? But yet the conservative majority, legislature, and its supporters do not want to expand Medicaid, wants to make it harder for poor families to receive SNAP benefits, are hyper-cynical of sexual education?

The contradicting philosophies are crazy. We have to get it together in this state.

Anonymous said...

5:39 a.m. posted: The unemployment amount is @ $250 week, I think after 4 months its exhausted?

Try again. Not sure where you got that.

Anonymous said...

26 weeks with a maximum of $235.

Anonymous said...

3:23....There is always an 'extension' out there at the end of 26 weeks, given the right circumstances. Amazing the number of claimants who start looking for work fifteen days before the claim is about to end.

Let's return to the 1980s when claimants were required to attend Job Search Skills Training....and the time when they had to produce evidence of where they searched for work and to whom they spoke, specifically. But I guess those requirements were demeaning and tended to separate a claimant from his family and was ultimately displeasing to the ACLU.

Anonymous said...

We could also return to 1982 where CEO pay wasn't 312 -1 like it is now. As with most things there is plenty of fault to go around and wage growth is definitely part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Cutting CEO pay doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Like blaming PERS woes on SLRP.

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