Can The DNC Take Us Back To The '60s American Economy?
It always bemuses me when I get messages saying that I'm a complete "Libtard," or a "cuck for the Dems." My confusion stems from two places. The first is the sheer number of critical articles written about the DNC that I've done. But putting that aside, one of our main focuses at The Indie Truther is to look at what has happened in the world that has been successful that Amerca has yet to try. Such as the piece about how Portugal is winning the war on drugs by focusing on rehabilitation over punishment. Or what worked for all classes during recent American history that we've gotten away from, and the direct impact these detours have had. And what I mean by "recent" begins at the industrial age. The reason for this is simple: it seems absurd to count the number of lamplighters that lost their jobs due to electricity at the turn of the century in unemployment statistics.
Written By: Anton Sawyer
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The main takeaway from all the research (which you can read a full, in-depth look at the specific numbers here) is that the most economically prosperous time for all classes of America was during the 1950s, 60s, and mostly 70s. One quick example I’ll give is when you take the federal minimum wage of 1963 ($1.25 per hour) in comparison to the annual household income of that same year ($6,200), it comes out to a 2.01% overall average. Taking the same numbers in 2020 ($7.25 and $68,000), it has dropped to 1.06%—a full percentage point dip. Keep these numbers and dates in mind, as the 60s will be returning in a little bit.
Though manufacturing during that time played a part, the largest catalyst was the higher taxes on higher wage earners that was funneled to government programs like infrastructure. This is the watershed. This was during a time when there was one working parent that could not only afford a mortgage but also support a wife and two kids. This knowledge has pushed me into watching which political side does its best to get us back to those economic numbers and then supporting them accordingly. Numbers don’t lie, conjecture and agendas do. It’s like the scientific method; the numbers lead you to the right answers, feelings don’t. Given this fact, it seems we might have a couple of recent pieces of legislation that could steer us in that direction: President Biden's “skinny budget” (SB), and his infrastructure act (IA).
Two big issues come within these pieces of legislation that are being fought by many. The cost ($1.5 trillion SB, $2.3 trillion IA) is one, and the other is the climate change provisions in each. First off, I do feel any element that can create work for the impoverished is great, but I do believe that the money going towards climate change would be better spent on science and sustaining human life off of Earth, but the overall cost does have some provisions in it to cover them. But let’s look at where it is getting us back to the golden era of the American economy.
The first part of Biden's plan is expected to focus on physical infrastructure, from bridges and ports to railways and water systems, as well as clean energy, electric vehicles, manufacturing, and research and development. Part two, set to be unveiled in April 2021, will reportedly focus on child care, healthcare, and paid leave, among other provisions. All of these are incredibly popular amongst all voters. A Monmouth University poll released in January 2021 found 61% of the people surveyed rated transportation and infrastructure as "very important" or "extremely important." Similar polls also have found the issue to win high marks publicly, even if it's not the top pressing issue for many. To address the costs, the White House is considering various tax hikes on wealthy individuals and corporations. The tax portion of his proposal is called the "Made in America Tax Plan," with the administration hoping to stress that the proposal encourages job creation by incentivizing companies to stay in the U.S. The proposal breakdown includes a call to modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets; eliminate all lead pipes from drinking water systems; caps on hundreds of thousands of orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines; updates to veterans' hospitals and federal buildings; and investments in communities vulnerable to flooding. It also calls for upgrades to ports, railways, and airports, as well as investments in public transportation. When it comes to all of these plans, there was one response that was given by a high-ranking Republican that says it all—and not in the way he meant it.
Tyler Goodspeed, former acting chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under former President Trump said, "With this so-called skinny proposal, we’re seeing a proposed increase in non-defense discretionary spending of 16%, its highest level as a share of the economy since 1965." As I have said, we have to look at what has worked and where we were as a country during prosperity. If this means that the discretionary spending—which includes previously mentioned jobs like those for infrastructure—is that high, then it’s allocating those resources to workers themselves and not only government contractors. The thing I find to be so irritating is when statistics come out and show how many jobs would be lost if taxes to the “job creators” were to be increased. Yes, that is going to happen, but do you honestly think that someone making a non-living wage at a fast-food restaurant is going to care if they lose that job when they could be making a living wage doing construction or contract work for the government?
These initial budget proposals, while not perfect, are beginning to take the shape of what had worked in the past. Even top Republican economic advisers admit that it will put discretionary spending back to levels that were once an indicator of success. Importantly, this kind of legislation we’re seeing today was also one of the first steps taken by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. To raise taxes on top earners (70% in his day), and then use those funds to put Americans back to work during the Great Depression. He faced the same backlash and was called a “socialist” and all of his tax increases were referred to as “soak the rich” taxes. His greatest response was during his inauguration speech in January of 1937. “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. But it is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it for you in hope—because the nation, seeing and understanding the injustice in it, proposes to paint it out. We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country’s interest and concern, and we will never regard any faithful law-abiding group within our borders as superfluous. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” Of course, conservatives have rallied the logic that this is punishing the wealthy, and to create a stable economy, the wealthy need tax cuts to create jobs. All I ask is to keep this in mind: the last two-term elected Republican president to enact a budget that ended up being better for the country overall than when he arrived was Eisenhower. Nixon left us with a recession where people had to stand in line for three hours just for a chance to get gas for their car. Reagan left us with double-digit inflation and Black Monday, which was the greatest stock market crash at that time since 1929, and Bush Jr. gave us the de-regulations that allowed two wars, the housing crisis, and kicked off The Great Recession. Given the fact that so many of the poorer Americans have been “winning bigly” every time a GOP is in the White House, maybe we should see how the opposite of that plays out for a little bit. You know, just to try?
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