Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | We’ve seen class warfare before

To the editor:

Comments: President Obama’s budget is being called “Class Warfare.”

Every budget ever proposed is a redistribution of wealth and therefore “Class Warfare.” Class Warfare is a fact of life in a structured society, particularly a democracy. Any two persons, companies, political parties or other entities involved in an exchange negotiate for their own self-interest.

Our country has a long history of class warfare. In 1980, bad economic times with high inflation were blamed on government and unions. The government broke the air traffic controllers union; this led to a drop from

30 percent union shops in 1980 to fewer than 15 percent today.

At the same time, deregulation swept government with a passion and shrank government oversight. This led to junk bonds and the dismantling of some well-established “American industries” (steel) for the quick buck.

The intent can be argued, but history shows a savings-and-loan bailout, loss of real production, a decline in college access and a shift in wealth to the rich.

Republican and Democratic administrations followed this. Each had their leanings but major swings in laws affecting the balance of the middle class and rich were evolving and they signed NAFTA and GATT/WTO. Again, the intent can be argued but history shows — large outsourcing of American jobs, continued loss of real production, a decline in college access and a shift in wealth to the rich.

George W. Bush followed them; the ramifications of his deregulation, business-friendly administration are still unfolding and not yet known. What we do know — the middle class will be strapped with another massive bailout — this time Wall Street, continued loss of real production through out-sourcing, a huge debt for the Iraq war, a decline in college access and a shift in wealth to the rich.

Are the changes that are proposed by President Obama “Class Warfare” or a swing of the pendulum back toward the center?

For me, it doesn’t matter what this constant struggle is called, class warfare or a pendulum swing. What matters is the affect it has on our nation now and into the future.

To be the leader of the world, a nation has to be a leader in creativity, not only of products and services but also of ideas and innovations. We have fed off the past and allowed a shift in the creativity from our factories and colleges in the pursuit of a fast buck. We gauge our success by the rise and fall of the Dow Jones on a daily basis. We have based our policies on the Dow Jones instead of a vision of what is best for all the country.

President Obama’s proposals are an attempt to reverse this trend. Are they worth the risk and sacrifice? Ask any nation that was at one time the world leader and center of world creativity.

Fran Mulcahy

Clinton

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