Letters to the Editor -- July 29, 2011

Smell the coffee to reach American dream


Thomas Hartmann, radio and TV host, recently wrote a timely book called, “Rebooting the American Dream.” He proposed 11 ways to rebuild our economy and middle-class prosperity. His plan is modeled after Alexander Hamilton’s 11-point plan, titled, “American Manufactures.”

Hartmann informs us “that billionaires lose millions of dollars every year on their small newspaper publications. Their pet project is to continually spread propaganda to the citizenry that low taxes for everybody is good for them and the economy. More often than not, the citizenry vote for those candidates who promise to keep taxes low. Consequently, the billionaires’ losing investment becomes a winning one because their tax rates remain low.”

Acclaimed author and novelist Larry Beinhart, a Fulbright scholar, advised Hartmann about his research on tax rates. Beinhart found that, “when tax rates for the very rich went back up into the 70 to 90 percent range from the 1930’s to the 1980’s, the economy grew steadily and went 50 years without a crash or major bank failure.

“American workers’ wages increased enough to produce the strongest middle class this nation has ever seen. The American Dream appeared to be in full bloom. In contrast, when tax rates dropped below 50 percent, the opposite happened.”

Hartmann’s own research found that Reagan and Bush Jr.’s tax cuts led to a bloated government and huge debts. A similar study done by the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute supported Hartmann’s findings.

In contrast, they found that Clinton’s tax raises cut demand for government, and thus the size of it, and resulted in increased wages for the employee.

Alan Greenspan, former Fed chairman, called this “wage inflation.” That was a good thing for the worker and a strong argument that progressive tax reform is part of the correct formula for our economy; 98 percent of small businesses do not net more than 250,000 yearly. This is a popular conservative myth. They would not be subject to tax hikes. Also, demand for their products, not tax hikes, is the main driver of their hiring more workers.

For all the good things we liked about Ronald Reagan, Reaganomics did not result in the cream coming to the top of the coffee cup. His decision to do away with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act eventually paved the way to our economic downward spiral and the shrinking of the middle class. It led to a huge growth of oligarchic, monolithic, corporations that dominated the economy, devastated our local small business economies, and controlled our government.

Then, later on in Clinton’s tenure, the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement led to globalization and the eventual loss over the next 12 years of 8 million manufacturing and service jobs that were outsourced to foreign lands for cheaper labor and higher corporate profits. Now, only corporations and their shareholders continue to reap record profits.

How can we be remiss in failing to recognize that the health care and banking monopolies, and their corrupt business practices of price gouging and passing off toxic mortgages worldwide, caused the world financial collapse? Too many of our citizens point wrongly at the labor unions as creating the deficit because they allegedly bullied management to give them generous contracts.

My experience is that management always had the power players. They created the need for an equal playing field to bargain. Without union organizing, we may not even have a minimum wage standard in this country.

Union membership provides a living wage, pension system, grievance procedures and safe working conditions that management otherwise would not provide.

Jimmy Hendrix, a very popular musician in the 1960’s, once said, “when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” We have to wake up and smell the coffee if we want to regain our footing on pursuing the American dream.

Bill Clemens

Harry puts on his hat


Agenda 21. Wildlands Project. ICLEI. Bilderberg Group. Council for Foreign Relations. Equal Access to Justice Act.

What are these items? Should I be concerned?

Darn straight, you should be.

Smart growth. Smart meters. Urban growth boundary.

Each topic should be Googled.

On the first topic, Agenda 21, go to YouTube and then in their search area, type in “Agenda 21 for Dummies” and watch the video.

Some of these topics sound reasonable, and they are made to sound that way until you realize what the end game is.

See the map for Wildlands Project – 50 percent of the lands here in the U.S. should be vacated. Same as REGI for Delaware.

Gee, I sound like someone who should be wearing aluminum foil on his head.

Once you start your own research, there will be tons of questions that will be asked and you should find out for yourself.

Just a few thoughts.

(P.S. – Re-read “Animal Farm.”)

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach