Wednesday, October 27, 2010

1981 - The Year It All Started

There weren't any "homeless" people in my town back then.  Sure, there were the ususal bums and hobos and winos, but no homeless.  Then they started appearing.  Slowly at first and then, is was as if the floodgates had opened and suddenly they were a daily fixture.

1981 - Ready Ronnie's first year as president and the beginning of "Trickle Down" economics.  It was the year that the middle-class were tricked into believing that losing all of their income tax exemptions and cutting taxes on the super-rich was good for America because the money we lost would eventually "trickle back down" to us.

New wage and tax data released this month by the Social Security Administration reveal a shocking picture.

Excerpts from an article by David Cary Johnston at

The new data hold important lessons for economic growth and tax policy and take on added meaning when examined in light of tax return data back to 1950.

The story the numbers tell is one of a strengthening economic base with income growing fastest at the bottom until, in 1981, we made an abrupt change in tax and economic policy. Since then the base has fared poorly while huge economic gains piled up at the very top, along with much lower tax burdens...

...The number of Americans making $50 million or more, the top income category in the data, fell from 131 in 2008 to 74 last year. But that’s only part of the story.

The average wage in this top category increased from $91.2 million in 2008 to an astonishing $518.8 million in 2009. That’s nearly $10 million in weekly pay!

You read that right. In the Great Recession year of 2009 (officially just the first half of the year), the average pay of the very highest-income Americans was more than five times their average wages and bonuses in 2008. And even though their numbers shrank by 43 percent, this group’s total compensation was 3.2 times larger in 2009 than in 2008, accounting for 0.6 percent of all pay. These 74 people made as much as the 19 million lowest-paid people in America, who constitute one in every eight workers.

1981-  When sarcasm and personal attacks replaced debate.  When "running government like a business" cut essential services to the bone.  When funding for the mentally ill and child services were cut and "privatized."  

1981 - When the homeless began appearing on the streets.


  1. 1981 - It was morning in America. What the hell did they slip in our coffee?

  2. I don't know Intelli. Maybe it was fluoride in the water. I think it was a generational thing. The last gasp of the "greatest generation" and the pre-baby boomers who, because of WWII, still trusted their government leaders and Wall St. tycoons. We're going through the same thing right now. You should trust clean-cut men in business suits, they have your best interests at heart.

  3. It was the early 80's when a "bag" lady showed up on a park bench on the corner in New Hope. She was promptly put on a bus and escorted out of town.
    True story.
    Elitists, gotta love em.

  4. I remember those days. Peanut butter was meat and ketchup was a vegetable. I knew Ronnie boy was a horrible president but most people seemed to think he was great.
    "This sad old man that we've elected king."

  5. Diane,.. there was a time when most homeless truly were the dregs of society and given the bum's rush. Then they started becoming the mentally ill who were kicked out of government institutions and now, could be your next door neighbor. Sad.

    Tex... you said it!

  6. Good post C...depressing in the realization that it is going to get worse..but, good post.

  7. We are a third world ecomoney. (sic)

  8. Where are your dancing girls on the header? I miss them...sigh. Is it a good thing or a bad thing when you can trace the beginning of the end? The disparity between rich and poor in this country is sickening. Isn't it greater than in any Western industrialized nation?

  9. JJ... thanks, depresses me too. Probably why I spend so much time in the woods.

    Punch... economy, close but you still get a cigar.

    Gropius... Thought I'd give the disco girls a rest and yes, the wealth disparity in the U.S. is the worst of all 1st world countries and nearly as bad as some dictatorships and kingdoms.

  10. So what are you suggesting be done about this travesty and rape of the great mass of people? Like dogs most have been trained to command and have been sitting still for so long you could tell them it's ok to move and they would find their ass stuck to the floor. What exactly are you proposing for a solution Mr. C? You can not give an diction of a problem with no solution in mind.

  11. "Trickle down" is a lie and overt greed is the enemy of the community. I am so sorry to learn of the large increase of homeless in your country.

  12. I am doing what I can Walking Man, bringing attention to it, talking about it, arguing about it. And, voting for those who at least say they get it. The rest is up to the younger generation.

    Ditto LGS, on both points.


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