Culture income inequality

Published on August 23rd, 2013 | by Todd Smekens

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Middletown: Where’s the Stimulus?

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(photo courtesy of The Century Foundation)

Gallup concludes in their recent industry poll that our economy is the main driving force behind perceptions of industry. I would contend that Americans consider many aspects beyond just our economy.

The Fed’s stimulus package has pumped trillions into the financial industry since 2009. It’s fueled the stock market and housing industry, but has not reached Middletown, nor will it. Look around.

The banking industry is wrought with corruption and abuses, and no matter how hard corporate owned media tries to keep it from Middletown viewers, we still see it. What’s even worse, the Justice Department looks the other way. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out who pulls the strings of our elected officials.

Gallup must think like most CEO’s and boardrooms – if consumers feel more confident in the economy, then they’ll start buying more stuff. However, it takes money to buy stuff and fewer people have access to money. The Federal Reserve might have pumped trillions into the economy, but Delaware County just posted a map of delinquent property taxes in the millions. All we hear is more cuts are coming, no stimulus, no trickle down.

Muncie Community Schools is out $8.0 million and has to make decisions about closing some schools and combining others. They need voters in November to approve a funding increase to pay for school buses. Most certainly, they will have to consider cutting the growing administrative costs over the past several years while teacher wages have been stagnant, and more jobs will be lost. The consequences are even less money for people to buy stuff.

I drove around yesterday taking pictures of our existing schools, and you can tell we don’t have money to pay for maintenance either.

If we use Delaware County, or Muncie, as a laboratory for the United States, the stimulus has done very little.  Muncie is attracting solid investments due to their creative efforts in partnering with companies. We’ll see more of these public-private partnerships in the future. However, we need to make sure that taxpayers get more than just jobs from the deal. More on this later.

More economists and business leaders are becoming realists about trickle down economics. Since the Reagan years, we’ve witnessed one of the grossest displays of economic inequality this country has ever experienced. The richer got much richer, and Delaware County got much poorer. Check out the chart:

income inequalityCan we expect help?

To answer that question, all we have to do is look at how far off our “elected officials” are apart – President Obama has used the break in Congress to travel the Midwest and push for a “better bargain” for the Middle Class including corporate tax reforms to help raise money for infrastructure improvements which are desperately needed, but Congress has used their break to bash Obama’s healthcare reform package again, and others talk about impeachment. Our district congressman, Luke Messer, has been bragging about co-signing a bill designed to defund the Affordable Care Act.

As Bloomberg reports:

Obama’s strategy is cutting corporate tax rates and narrowed loopholes, the plan is designed to appeal to a wide swath of corporate America, the small-business lobby and a large number of congressional Republicans who support cutting taxes and ending corporate welfare. And with its increases in public-works spending, the plan appeals to organized labor, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a large number of Democrats who support more stimulus spending.

However, with the Teapublicans pushing to defund the ACA and wanting to impeach the President, don’t count on Middletown getting help from republicans.

Muncie and Delaware County are Middletown, USA, and a good gauge for America’s pulse. While the people are struggling, losing their homes, suffering from poor health, our elected representatives brag about attacking programs designed to make our good health a priority, and refuse to consider other programs meant to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and provide jobs, if the program is a detriment to the rich folk who put them in office.

The friction between, ‘what is good for the few versus what’s best for the many’ is quietly creating a movement, and tea will not be served.

plutarch

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About the Author

Diverse professional background with a passion for leadership, spiritual inquiry and sharing. I enjoy being a witness to the rapid changes our global culture is experiencing and then trying to tell its story to readers. I enjoy cycling, yoga, spending time with my daughter, and being healthy. Google


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