We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Two American epochs: Growing Together 1947-1979 and Growing Apart 1979-2012 (charts)
The charts have been designed by an economist, and as such will require a bit of study to see some rather startling differences between two post-war periods. It appears that the dramatic changes in income by percentile groups radically changed after neo-conservatives took over leadership in the ruling class starting in 1981 under the Reagan administration which promoted reduced tax rates for the rich, attacked unions, promoted deregulation of the economy (sold as "trickle down economics"), and began the development of a police state infrastructure under the cover of the War on Drugs (see this, this, and this).
Liberals would like to view the social-economic events after 1979 as some kind of aberration in the system of capitalism. I see it in part as only a natural evolution in its dynamics which rewards only a tiny segment of the population--those who "own" all significant economic enterprises. But, I also see the rise of capitalist rightwing agendas as retaliation against the American populace for their opposition to the Vietnam War and their support of the Civil Rights Movement.