Open Thread - 12-09-22 - The Pendulum
My generation. Born of world war. Born of a conflagration so great it caused humanity to pause and reassess itself. Standing on the brink will do that. My generation was born of the "greatest generation", and was weaned by middle class affluence. It was one of those times in history when the pendulum swung in favor of the common man. It was a time when capitalism worked, and not just for the wealthy. Capitalism had prevailed over communism. It was that dualism that gave birth to my generation. Enlightened pols had gone against the grain of opulence and levied hefty taxes on the rich that paved the way for decades of prosperity. That prosperity defined my generation, but it also set us on the trajectory to the present.
The opulent rode the pendulum as well as the middle class in a symbiotic dance of affluence. Great strides were taken on that path of humanity. Rights were gained and codified into law. Many of the poor were lifted up into the middle class. Cooperation became the rule rather than the exception. It was, after all, the Age of Aquarius. The future was bright.
But, as pendulums do, it reaches an apex and then swings back in the opposite direction. The juxtaposition of the rich to the poor can also be described as a pendulum. Throughout history it has swung back and forth from benevolence to oppression.
The monied class, in its infinite greed, is now swinging the pendulum arm back in its favor. The fiscal regulations that fueled the middle class have been greatly diminished and in some cases done away with entirely. The wealth gap has widened, again. The middle class is disappearing. Again, as always, the monied class is reaching for the stars. And with the help of technology they may reach that goal with this swing of the pendulum.
Could it really be that simple? Can fiscal regulation return us to prosperity? Prosperity for all and not just for the rich? Can capitalism still work, if we return to high taxes on the wealthy?
If so, it will take leaders with the will to make it happen. Leaders that are not beholding to the uber wealthy. Leaders that work for the good of all of their constituents. Leaders that no longer have to chase re-election by lobbyist, spurred on by Citizens United. Leaders with a vision beyond their own greed. If not, this time, the pendulum may never swing back in the favor of the common man.
Or will it take another world wide conflagration for We The People to re-learn that lesson?