“This takes the cake …”
Commentary by Diane Steen-Hinderlie
To default on the national debt reflects what’s happened over the last generation: defaulting on the social contract of having high individual pay results in correspondingly higher revenues for the public good.
Since the latter ’80s I’ve expressed concern about out-of-control CEOpay (with the rest left with pay that barely keeps up with inflation) to family, friends, and groups. Some wouldn’t be that alarmed, saying we’d all benefit because then they’d pay that much more in taxes. That’s hardly what’s happened, however.
More than two-thirds of CEOs self-report as conservatives, and that party has come up with “no new taxes” or even cutting taxes for the top. Management/CEOs want to “have their cake and eat it, too.” This group of mostly men nevertheless parrots what Marie Antoinette said about the rest of the people, “Let them eat cake,” a French term for cheap carbs. That translates to cheap labor in our day.
Three pieces of pound cake for which the rich overreached in the last decade were at least a couple trillion in tax cuts, a massive war machine, and drug industry Medicare profits, all of which compounded our national debt. The middle and other classes might now have their plate cleaned, underhandedly, while on or planning vacations, through interest rate hikes if there’s a default, safety net shredding, general government spending slashed (e.g., food inspections−expect moldy carbs), etc.
We don’t need a balanced budget amendment, but rather balanced income arrangements in our work places!
Diane Steen-Hinderlie is a WAMM member who lives in St. Louis Park