Trickle Down

To the Editor:
Let’s call it Trickle Me Once, Trickle Me Twice.  The Trumpublican tax “reform” is a simple reaffirmation of Ronald Reagan’s supply-side, trickle down economic platform that has resulted in the wealth and income disparity we have today.  It is purely magical thinking to believe that the corporate world will share its tax windfall with the average working American whose own tax “relief”, unlike that for corporations, is set to expire.  Company bonuses are nice but, unlike pay raises, they are only temporary.  In other words, future deficits will fall squarely upon public rather than corporate income and Conservatives can amplify their disparagement of federal public well-being and safety net programs such as Medicare and Social Security.  The goal seems to be to continue the transformation of America into a Banana Republic ruled by a wealthy, oligarchical elite.  All “isms” have positive and negative aspects, but coupled with the deregulation of banking and the fossil fuel extraction industries, this is Capitalism at its worst.
Robert Porath

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The Dust Bins of History

To the Editor:
    For those fortunate enough to have grown up in the Golden Age of Education when “camping out” for several years at a university was economically viable and a person could enjoy a long access to its portals of thought and learning while delaying one’s entry into “the real world”, the economics of today’s higher education is frankly mind-boggling.  And the societal changes are enormous.
    While a college degree is still regarded as being socially preferable, public monetary support for education has fallen precipitously and the subsequent personal debt incurred in acquiring that sheepskin has, along with the rise of a ravenous service economy and the death of the Middle Class, has greatly reduced both its accessibility and its cost/benefit ratio.  If one is not pursuing a specialized (and generally narrow) degree with the prospects of a high income, the overall monetary value of higher education is clearly on the decline.
    Further, with the ubiquitous distractions of pop culture and the commercial idiocy that dominates television and the instantaneous access to “information” offered by the Internet and so-called “Smart” Phones, it seems possible that the pursuit of knowledge, reasoning, and a well-rounded education (and their proponents) all seem headed to the dust bins of history.
RP

2012

To the Editor:
    While President Obama has yet to emerge as a strong leader against the plutocratic drift of the country, a drift fully embraced by the Republican Party, the 2012 elections still present a critical pivot point determining the public future of the nation.  Will we have a government (and Supreme Court) that supports the well-being of the majority of Americans or one that caters to the extravagance and thirst for power of a wealthy elite?  Recent Supreme Court rulings have effectively further forced elected officials into a virtual serfdom of dependence on deep-pocketed interests to fund their campaigns, resulting in a corporate takeover of government and the enactment of law.  Ideally, capitalism (or any economic system) is supposed to facilitate well-being for everyone, not just for a small wealthy class. Today, here and all around the world, people are awakening to the loss of that ideal under the rise of the power of global and corporate financial institutions that have only their profits in mind.  Wresting power from these behemoths is a Herculean task, but now is the time to begin the effort.
RP