One of the interesting problems in economics and indeed in conflict, is the problem of free riders, those who exploit the economic system in their own self interest at the expense of everyone else. The Republicans think that the free riders are poor. As part of an on line debate I posted the following contribution on this subject.
Actually free riding was much less of a problem in the period 1950-1970 when the economy was doing well, before Nixon sabotaged it (his real crime beyond Watergate and saving China from Soviet nuclear attack in 1969 and then bargaining with China and getting nothing in return), the rich paid their taxes and they paid a lot, the education system was quite rigorous and not dumbed down, and there were plenty of highly productive jobs that people with only high school education could do and feel worthwhile, productive, like they earned their living and indeed they did. We built the inter-state highway system, funded deep scientific research and a lot of people born in the USA studied hard sciences, math and engineering.
When you re-shape a society so it is far more feudal, far more based on inherited and alum privilege, when you let the Casino Wall Street economy reshape the whole economy to pour money into non-value add croupier and attorney pockets, lo and behold you get people saying the poor are free riders…As if the real motive wasn’t to create a servant class the rich could lord it over and socio-pathically revel in the suffering of lesser beings to make their own somewhat warped selves feel better.
This is the other side of the mad society that Jung nails so well. It is in someone’s interests for society to be this mad. The madness did not come out of a clear blue sky, but was constructed by those who hated the New Deal for taking away their cheap servants and who have spent the last 75 years trying to find a way to undermine the New Deal and assert their inherited or usurped feudal power. Citizens United was just another step on the way along with the repeal of Glass Steagall, and the radical revision of tax rates for the rich under Reagan and Bush 2. Not a conspiracy so much as the rich just using their growing political power of corruption one step at a time….a bit more rich, a bit more political power to make them a bit more rich and buy a bit more political power ever since 1970…