Wealth redistribution is not and never will be the answer. America is not a pseudo-socialist European country with rationed healthcare and 50% tax rates. None of those countries are producers, none of those countries are inventors. None of those countries are exceptional the same way that America is exceptional and we are not going to destabilize. We are the richest country in the fuckin world. Our middle class live like kings compared to the rest of the world. The reason people are having these catastrophic thoughts is simply a lack of perspective. The average Egyptian family eats meat once a month, because that's all they can afford. In America, all but a very few live like fuckin Kings.
and each and every one of us through hard work and a little bit of luck can improve our station in life.
I beg to differ..
I've lived in Europe, serveral times and places. I've been part of Europe pre EU and Post. You say that they aren't productive. You're mistaken. Take a look at Airbus, that company works hard and has a MASSIVE support system. Hell they manufacture components in different contries and still produce a product comparable to ours. The Europeans live pretty damn good, I had enough of them for neighbors to put the lie to that assertion. And in many ways I felt safer there than here. Particularly in the food and health areas.
As for American exceptionalism. Even if it exists.. corporate greed and short sightedness is smothering the next generation of that. Right now I don't see any innovations coming down the pipe.. in fact I see a LOT of attempts to smother anything new or innovative that the established businesses don't like.
The writer's strike back in 08? A large part of it was a mere .03% increase in royalties. From a group that was INFAMOUS for cookign the books and hiding their profits. They are racking in massive profits online and on demand sales and don't want to share it with their creative talent. The studios (video and audio) want to keep the system they've had in place for decades and not update it. Hell got a smartphone, ipod or other music player more advanced than a cd player? If the Music studios had their way you wouldn't be able to lisence to digital music at all. (American studios tried to BAN early MP3 players.. but then they also tried to ban VCRs, DVRs, Tape Recorders, the list goes on)
So I would argue the greedy 1% is stifling innovation. Look at SOPA/PIPA/CISPA, if these were passed things like YouTube, Hulu, iTunes would have never been able to get off the ground. There is a difference between protecting your property and stifling innovation and change. Did you know that Happy Birthday is copyrighted till 2030? And if media groups had there way? It would NEVER enter public domain. You'd have to potentially pay the owners if you taped and posted your grandkid singing it on YouTube. How is that exceptional and innovative? I'll give you it's damn creative to charge outrageous amounts for a song that was copied off another (substitute 'Good Morning' for 'Happy Birthday' and you get ALL the differences). But hey.. we got to protect the LLC that bought the copyright.
American Innovation comes from a strong education system.. which we definitely don't have, culturing an enviroment where businesses are encouraged to research.. which we no longer do (used to give tax breaks..but those went away in the 70s) and coming together, which we aren't. Right now we're more divided and partisan than we've been in a LONG time.
You've got the working class and middle class, who have gotten ROYALLY boned and the entitled upper class. Who are getting more and more of the pie and sharing fuck all of it. And changing the rules to protect and hide their share.
Be honest, we're about 10 years from a really nasty break if things don't change. The schism between the guys runnign the company and the guys on the floor doing the work have literally NEVER been bigger. You get guys who litterally get HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS for pissing away their market share, losing business, screwing up by the numbers and bankrupting their own company while the guy doing the work gets less and less. Because if he complains, he can get fired and replaced by someone younger and cheaper. Loyalty isnt' being rewarded.
My dad worked for Levi Strauss, till some Master of Business Atrocities decided that everyone over 50 in his division or had more than 20 years with the company had to go for one reason or another (basically they wanted them gone to save dollars). In his case it came back to bite them in the ass because when they got rid of all those quality assurance people without having talent to replace it. There was literally NO ONE under 35 able to do his job. The schooling and training weren't there anymore. (Another miracle of 'American education') In the end the company wound up paying through the nose as he came back as a consultant.
If American industry was 'exceptional', you'd have special interests looking into getting the R&D tax break reinstated or find ways to get encouraged to invest in domestic markets. Instead they push through loopholes for hiding their cash outside the country or getting rewarded for outsourcing.
A lot of people don't realize more than 'stupid grunt work' and call center jobs. Accounting divisions and tech jobs are getting outsource, you know the jobs that are supposed to 'replace the low paying factory jobs'. Which we can't fill because.. that's right.. education here sucks.
We're stagnant, run by the greedy and they are finally over reaching. You watch. We can either reform.. or sooner or later we will see things like the Arab Spring here.
Capitalism should be equal.. not only for the established businesses. It's harder today for me to get a job than it was before I went into service, despite having a degree, the training equivalent to another degree and a THIRD one on the way..as well as a history of security clearances and such. I should be beating recruiters off with a stick.. not getting 'We want you to do $30.00/hour jobs for $18.00/hour for at most 30 hours a week'..cause the companies don't want to do health coverage. I got one 'offer' to do avionics work.. onsite for 12.00/hour with a +10/hour if I move more than 100 miles off site.. (the 10 an hour extra was AFTER I clocked in on the remote site and fyi.. my transit was out of MY POCKET).
Clearly the redistribution of weath isnt' the proper thing.. but increasing salary for someone beside the executives is needed. I literally have not gotten a living wage offer for my job skills. There should be more to business than crunching the most cash out of every possible corner for this quarter and ensuring the guys at the top get ungodly bonuses while everyone else is shorted.
My dad had a job that he could raise a family of three boys and a wife on without her working when I was a kid, by the time we got back from Europe.. for 2 boys and my mom.. she had to work. Full time. Now adays.. aside from my older brother, everyone I know has two full time earners in their family. Face it.. for most of the country, we're working more, longer, harder for less buying power.