The 2 statistics that really jumped off the Page...for me at least, were these: In 1950, families spent 22% of their Income for their Housing(shelter). It has now....nearly DOUBLED, standing at @43%.
THAT....means that, along with higher SALES Taxes, and Higher Property Taxes, the Average Family has less..."Discretionary" Income, with Which to PURCHASE Things...and Drive our Economy. They are Working hard just to keep a Roof over their Heads. In SHORT: 60 years ago, it cost us LESS out of our Paychecks...to PAY for the Place we Live In. A ...Whole LOT Less of our Incomes.
WHY are things so different NOW ? A Few Reasons: ONE,...the Towns and Cities of America, which had grown Slowly, or even been Dormant During the Depression and War Years, suddenly, in the 1950's and 1960's - Began to Explode with new Growth.
Many people in those days had 4 or 5 children, and Immigration Contributed, as well, to our Growth in Population, from 150 Million to our Current 310 Million.
As America's Towns and Cities Grew and Grew, they sought to provide more and Better Services for their Residents. To - COMPETE with OTHER Cities and Towns for New Plants and new Company sites they wanted to attract to their Town. SO, Property taxes began to go up and UP, and over the last 60 years, are probably 3 or 4 times what they were back then, on Average.
The Worst of these Increases in Property Taxes hit in the 1980's-2010 Era, Precisely because, as their Populations Exploded, Places like Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Austin, Seattle, and ALL Over California...they were Hit hard by Rising Health Costs, Periodic DOWN Economies, that INCREASED the Ranks of the POOR(81-84, 90-93,2001-2003, and 2009-Present); EACH One of these Economic Downturns - COST us in Terms of Rising Health Care Costs, and Drove up the National Debt, and in General, Drove up COSTS of Everything, for Example, Sales Taxes in Texas have Risen, through the Decades, from 3-5%..to our Current 6.25%, and with local taxes, often an EFFECTIVE rate of Over 7-8%! Generally, the State and Local Tax Burden on Individuals has Risen over 60%...through the Years.
In 1950, the Average CEO of an American Corporation made between 30-60 Times the Average Earning of his Employees. Today,....He or She Makes, ON AVERAGE...nearly 400 TIMES as much as their Average employee salary ! Can you SEE..the SHIFT in Wealth Distribution(Slice of the Pie, as it were) ???
NO...WONDER the American Family is Dying on the Vine !!!
There are FEWER and FEWER Career opportunities, the PAY is LESS, the Taxes(Locally and State to be SURE)...are Much Higher, and Health Care is 1000 Times as Costly as it Was - 60 Years ago !!!
We...DESPERATELY...Need to Make our ENTIRE FOCUS in America...on the REBUILDING of the Middle Class in America !!!
It has Been Getting HAMMERED...for Decades !!!
We HAVE created More Rich People, and Many of them are Incredibly RICH...Indeed!
But, as THIS was Evolving in America, the Middle Class Slowly...Began to DROWN,...in the 1970's,...to the Present Day. The ONLY...Real Respite the Middle Class GOT from this Awful Trend, was in the Late 90's, BRIEFLY, and then we were Swept...RIGHT Back Up into the Middle Class Decline - AGAIN, when Bush Came In.
Like Reagan ONCE Said: "Facts are Terrible Things!", and he was RIGHT.
In 1950, the Portion of Federal Revenue Coming from US Corporate Taxes...was a WHOPPING...30%!!!
TODAY,..it's a PALTRY - 7% !
Why such a Pitifully LOW Number, Today?
Simple: we, in the last 40 years, have MORE and More, allowed US Corporations to Play by DIFFERENT Rules than those they USED to Play By. Nowadays, Many US Corporations are able to Shift Assets around the Globe, Claim Foreign Taxation Rights, which may be Small, and ESCAPE Paying their Taxes to the Treasury. At the Same time, for the Benefit of Stockholders and Investors, and Corporate Executives, we Have Made it Easier and Easier for Companies to WRITE Off Stupid Investments and Foolish Moves...as "Tax Losses", avoiding YEARS of Taxation...That Way.
The Net Result of ALL These Trends: The BURDEN for Working Americans..has STEADILY Gotten Harder and Harder to Bear...for the Last few Decades; At the SAME Time, Life for the Wealthy has Gotten...BETTER and BETTER all the Time. The Taxes for Wealthiest Americans are LOWER than they have Been since the 1920's, and the Many Loopholes at their Disposal, and the Many Exemptions they can Claim, reduce their ACTUAL Tax Burden, in Many Cases,...to LESS than what Middle Class Families...MUST Pay !
For Example: Mitt Romney made over 20 Million last Year, but because of Deductions and Exemptions, etc.,...he only PAID...14% or so in Income Taxes.
ANY...FOOL Can see that the TAX System has been in Desperate NEED of an Overhaul...for DECADES.
But, every Time the Congress Even TRIES to Discuss it Rationally, - IN COME the K-Street and OTHER special Interest Lobbyists, whose ONLY...concern is the WELL BEING of their Clients. Their interest, in Arm Twisting Congress...is to make Sure that THEIR Clients, the Ones who OWN Them, Get the BEST deal...out of ANY Tax Code Changes !
What they...DON'T Give a Damn about,...is the WELL Being of the United States of America, or it's Millions of Struggling Families !!!
Yet, YEAR after YEAR, we the People...ALLOW these Corporate Shills, called "Lobbyists", to RUN...American Political Activity !!!
It will FINALLY...Reach the POINT, Fairly Soon, I suspect, where the American People are FINALLY...going to TELL the Special Interest People that have - DESTROYED our Country,...to GO to HELL; Get OUT of our Way...while we Save our Broken Country !!!
As LONG as, we the People just...ALLOW these Creatures to Dominate American Politics, and the TAX Code(or LACK of One, Truthfully)...we will Continue to Slide down in the World.
When the PEOPLE...actually DEMAND that their Government and it's Institutions...SERVE- US!, and NOT the Other Way Around: THEN, and ONLY Then,...will there be SOME real Chance for Improvement in America !
I Just Hope that by the Time the People SEE the Urgent NEED to DO This,...it's Not TOO Damn LATE !!!
...It MAY be, Already.