I am a constant reader and seeker of new knowledge. Lately I have been reading about inequality in the USA and CRT (Critical Race Theory). Daily I am exposed to some supposed solution to one of the many problems these subjects include. As I think about it, I feel the fixes are missing the mark. What is needed is not a bunch of people shooting arrows at a moving target. We need an all encompassing approach that takes it all into account. There are so many factors: tax policy, financial market policy, health care, educational reform, discriminatory policies, minimum wage, rules and laws, enforcement of already good laws on the books, equal access to services and the list goes on. People opposing these reforms are smart and willing to play the long game. They have think-tanks dedicated to nuancing the rhetoric and legislation in their favor. Many of the laws that are touted as neutral are in fact racist or otherwise discriminatory in their implementation due to access. Many things not in the rhetoric have influence on the outcome. Studies have shown change in class over one’s parents is a very rare commodity.
For example, when some politician advocates for an increase in minimum wage, the importance of things like paid vacation, paid sick leave, personal time, paid childcare, and retirement benefits are ignored. These are the things that make class movement “sticky”.
Unrestrained Capitalism will be the end of any chance of fixing any of these problems. From the 1930’s to the 1970’s capitalism was well regulated in the USA and business cycles were very mild and the general standard of living was rising at a pleasing rate. With the assertions of the early stages of the current Republicanism, this has all changed. With the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine and the Citizens United decision by the supreme court, our decent into chaos began in earnest. To even begin the process of forging ahead, we need to backtrack and reinstate the Fairness Doctrine and reverse Citizen’s United and campaign finance. We need to start enforcing the laws regulating capitalism. We need to look at breaking up companies that are too big to fail. A cap on the size of any company will reduce the risk of having to bail out companies during an economic downturn. They can simply divide like any single celled organism. This will increase competition and efficiency.
The USA has the economic capability to lift up the bottom third of the population without causing any suffering on the rest of the economy. True, some of the billionaires will feel like they have been targeted, but the damage will be to their ego, not their standard of living.
Pinker, Steven: “Rationality”
Piketty, Thomas: “A Brief History of Equality”
Ray, Victor: “On Critical Race Theory”
Garfield, Bob: “American Manifesto: Saving Democracy from Villains, Vandals and Ourselves”
Reich, Robert: “Saving Capitalism”
Shapiro, Thomas M: “Toxic Inequality”
Frankfurt, Harry: “On Inequality”