The guy in my profile picture is Frank Sinatra...
I think now it's probably the "elite" plus suit that kinda does it for me... But then I am clueless about Sinatra, beyond having heard the name.
If you read my other posts, you'll see that I actually support tax increases on multinational corporations, and tax reductions on small businesses. I posted earlier about how the majority of American workers are actually employed by small businesses, and many small business owners are feeling the same economic crunch we are all feeling. Think about how defensive the middle class would feel if there was a tax increase on them, because that's exactly how most small business owners feel today. It's a struggle to just balance the checkbook each month. In some cases
, I suppose the comparison works but... It seems to me that if you have enough credit or assets to start a business, you're ahead of a sizeable fraction of the population and if you're moderately fortunate or good at management and guessing the market (so some of them anyway), then you have a better cushion in case of business surprises or personal difficulties. Whereas many of the working class -- particularly increasingly urban to cheap suburban, lower working class -- have to rely on their immediate community, pawning a few remaining solid
objects of value, or monthly (and sometimes delayed) government payments that are rather hard to live on (last I heard a food stamp budget was not that large when you look at nutritional needs and the costs in the supermarket -- then there are regulations about how and where you must live for Section 8, if landlords even accept it on and on...). You can make that comparison if you want, but I'm skeptical that it's really all that comparable. And that's a lot of people.
In the bigger picture though, if you say that smaller businesses are employing so many people... What does that really change for incomes and benefits, versus cost of living? I am still left wondering why so many of the recent jobs generally
are low-paying, often part-time / short-term contract / temporary / private contractor (not technically employed by businesses for tax purposes at all). It isn't completely clear to me that tax breaks for those businesses must translate into security, wages or benefits for all those employees. Maybe that case could be made, but I'm having a hard time imagining it just now. Of course, that is also not necessarily saying that small business owners are just being mean and purposefully setting their own standards for profit "too" high (I don't know that either off the bat). But there's no hard and fast rule I know of where making the system easier for them, must "trickle down" to their workers. The whole trickle down thing hasn't seemed to work all that well so far...
The free-market is the foundational basis for America's economy, and insinuates nothing else. If you talk to any economist - regardless of political affiliation - they will tell you without hesitation that the secret to America's prominence has been its commitment to free-market capitalism. The primary reason it has received such heat as of late, is because of a tax code that is not taxing multinational corporations enough, taxing small business too much, and offers far too much deregulation of certain industries. In addition, there is far too much lobbying and corporate collusion between multinational business giants and Congress. These are the true evils, and we should attribute blame to those factors, and not on the financial system that has made the United States the world's most powerful nation.
I would probably buy most of that -- assuming real estate and significant chunks of the financial sector were included in "certain industries." I think that's a lot of what people mean when they say the financial "system" is broken?
And as for powerful, I wonder --- there's a lag between economic means and power. Some of the Tea Party knew this, and they were just willing to bet that the US could
do 'enough' basic things, quite regardless of its credit rating... At least, it could continue long enough for them to scream, "Look, that Obama is actually still running the government without our authorization -- he's choosing which of the bills we already incurred to actually pay! So that proves it. He's a dictator, we've been telling you all along!" Why, I imagine a few are very upset they haven't had a chance to see how that would play with those parts of the public whose news interest stops more at the ocean's shores.
Arguably in the 1960's, America could still drive its military almost anywhere in East Asia (except perhaps mainland China) without serious consequences, through a whole network of occupied/ indebted states or places that wouldn't resist a conventional invasion very long... But if I recall correctly, the US economy was already starting to show signs of growing slower and shedding certain leading technologies (computer chips!) to competitors in East and Southeast Asia.. Super status and military or even diplomatic power, but not quite the same untouchable level of economic power -- not even up to the level that most (again led by US hype and "development models" of the day) spoke as if
More generally, and speaking to the present: In a world of credit and intangible status and fear of change, one can be powerful for some time without being solvent or even especially productive. The question is how long and what kind of power, precisely that is, and when will the world bother to change.