I am lucky enough to have grown up in America in a time when it was truly the model for the rest of the world of what a freedom-based, democratic country was all about. A country where everyone had the opportunity to live a good life; everyone was provided a good public education; a society that cared about its citizens; health care was available to all; your home was your castle; your privacy and rights were golden and protected; church was what Sunday was all about, where you could go to practice your religion of choice; people were civil to one another; we welcomed freedom-seeking immigrants from other countries with open arms; we had an environment where you felt safe and secure; and we had a government that represented the people and protected all of these freedoms for us.
What happened to my America? – Part II
When did the demise of our socioeconomic status begin?
I believe the foundation was laid in 1981 when Ronald Reagan became President. He had a concept that he could restore America’s economy by cutting taxes and promoting unrestricted free-market activity (Reaganomics). He claimed that by cutting taxes it would generate more revenue, so he gave massive tax cuts to the wealthy and promised that the benefits would trickle-down to the middle class (“trickle-down theory”).
But it didn’t work. The rich got richer and the promised benefits of his “trickle-down theory” did not happen for middle class Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before, and the poverty rate had actually risen.
President Reagan was the one that started cutting the funding for social services for working-class Americans. It was during his presidency that helping the needy and impoverished digressed to ignoring or walking away from them; and homelessness became a growing problem. And President Reagan did little or nothing to stop it.
The National Housing Institute underlines that is the Reagan legacy: “The two-term president was no friend to America’s cities or its poor. Reagan came to office in 1981 with a mandate to reduce federal spending. In reality, he increased it through the escalating military budget, all the while slashing funds for domestic programs that assisted working class Americans, particularly the poor.“
Why would he do this? The following two quotes by him will tell you what his mindset was all about…
Medicaid Recipients – “…a faceless mass, waiting for handouts.” –Ronald Reagan, 1965.
Unemployment Benefits – “Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.” –California Governor Ronald Reagan, in the Sacramento Bee, April 28, 1966
It was during President Reagan’s tenure that the differences in financial status between the rich and the poor increased dramatically, morphing into the current socioeconomic classes of “haves” and “have nots.”
Obviously, this is still the Republican manner today.
To read my first blog on “What Happened to My America” https://rationalopinionsblog.com/2014/01/18/what-happened-to-my-america/
I really want to hear your comments on this topic.
What do you think about the status of our country and the direction it’s going?