Sunday, July 30, 2017

Less Xenophobia And More Economic Honesty

Much of the rhetoric on the economy that's employed by demagogue and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump centers around economic xenophobia directed at such countries as China. While China's explosive economic growth in the past 20 years has impacted world markets, as this opinion piece by Linette Lopez in Business Insider notes*, the "laissez faire" economic policies initiated by right-wing icon Ronald "St. Ronnie of Hollywood" Reagan and taken as gospel by Rethuglicans was equally responsible for the decline of jobs in America.

For example, when St. Ronnie's Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that corporations could repurchase shares of their own stock (to manipulate the price), it shifted corporate focus to shareholder interests, rather than reinvesting in the workforce and lowering prices. It made the investor class very wealthy at the expense of economic sustainability and competition with foreign companies. Meanwhile, wages flat lined as cost-cutting by corporations to meet investors expectations of maximized profits dominated their thinking. Lopez writes:
"....Since the 1980s, companies have invested less than 10 cents of each borrowed dollar. They've put far more effort into buying back stock which, thanks to the way executive compensation works, makes the C-suite richer and richer.

From 2003 to 2012, S&P 500 companies used 54% ($2.4 trillion) of their earnings for stock buybacks. That has also contributed substantially to the inequality we're seeing, as the main beneficiaries of buybacks are wealthy investors."
There's more that right-wing economic policies did to damage the economy: budget cuts, and deregulation among them. So when you hear demagogues like Rump blame China, Mexico, etc. for the economic decline of American workers, right-wing laissez faire economic policies have contributed mightily to that decline, something that they'll never acknowledge.

(*hat tip to our friend P.E.C. for the lead)

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