Post-WWII America was characterized by a more egalitarian income distribution and overall prosperity. The American Dream was alive and well. Construction of the interstate highway system, the first manned Moon landing, and other successes engendered relatively positive attitudes toward government. It was this time of optimism, progressiveness, and trust in government in which Panderbear grew up.
All that changed dramatically following the 1980 election of Republican President Ronald Reagan, panderer extraordinaire. Ignoring both sound economics and arithmetic, Reagan pushed through Congress, with the assent of feckless congressional Democrats, massive tax cuts flattening previously more progressive income tax rates. What followed was an historic 3-decade upsurge in the incomes of and concentration of wealth in the top 1% at the expense of the middle class.
In a reprise of the 1920's and 1930's we've experienced boom and bust - speculative financial and real estate bubbles, Great Recession, Tea Party insurrection, and now Occupy Wall Street. If we ignore history and continue to compound our woes with regressive tax rates, corporate deregulation, anti-labor policies, and under-taxation of both corporations and the wealthy, we will not soon see again the optimistic America Pandercub knew.
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