Initiatives v Oligarchy

Our Founders' Warning: “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” (Thomas Jefferson)

Does Congress Create Policies that Harm the People and Favor Special Interests?

Congress Create Policies that Harm the People and Favor Special Interests

International corporate interests help harm our middle class and send it  into decline. Export of jobs to increase executive pay and boost corporate profit—2.7 million manufacturing jobs lost from 2000 through 2003—will continue if unresolved. Many major U.S. corporations have now become multi-national, so they look for the lowest costs and the nationality of their employees does not affect them significantly. Their special interest groups and lobbyists have a multi-national rather than U.S. agenda. The Gilens and Page 2014 article provides recent confirmation.

Between 1978 and 2005, CEO pay increased from 35 times to nearly 262 times the average worker’s pay. In contrast, men who were in their thirties in 1974 had median incomes of about $40,000, while men of the same age in 2004 had median incomes of about $35,000 (adjusted for inflation). On average, income of men is 12 percent lower today than income in their fathers’ generation. These recent U.S. Census data contradict the American Dream—that every generation will be better off than their parents. Instead, our current standards of living require multi-worker families. An increasing income gap between rich and poor tends to destabilizing society. These economic issues are serious enough to cause U.S. Federal Reserve chairperson Bernanke to issue a warning on the increasing social inequality.

Economic Productivity and Median Family Income
Economic Productivity and Median Family Income

Prior to 1980, economic productivity and median family income grew at the same rate—meaning that government policies fairly shared the benefits of growth between the rich and the average Citizen. However, since 1980 the policies have constrained the average Citizen’s benefit to about 25 percent while U.S. productivity gains were 80 percent. The trends have accelerated since 2000; income has dropped by about two percent while productivity gains have increased by about fifteen percent. (Economic Mobility) U.S. government policies now send the benefits of U.S. productivity gains to the wealthiest Citizens and Corporations, whose special interest groups and lobbyists have been very effective.