Freedom Doesn’t Trickle Down: Reflections On The Changing Face Of Our Democracy

| January 4, 2017

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We have been led to believe that the government’s primary responsibility is protection of wealth, not to “promote the general welfare”, and definitely not the correction of economic deficiencies; therefore, many Americans have long considered so many of our own citizens to be liabilities rather than assets that need to be protected. However, the “status quo” can never be morally justifiable unless it serves all and is not prejudicial towards any group or even any individual; universal empathy and consideration for the needs of ALL others are essential requirements needed to sustain our democracy. After all, the criterion by which a society rates itself should be whether minimum standards for all are being met, not whether maximum expectations for some are being exceeded.

“FREEDOM DOESN’T TRICKLE DOWN: REFLECTIONS ON THE CHANGING FACE OF OUR DEMOCRACY” tells the story of the progressing evolution of a once confident, freedom-loving nation into a fearful society dependent on a “trickle-down” economy. Although it is considered by others to be a nation of abundance, America is defined by its people, not by its borders or resources. It was our spirit, our values, and our unity that made us great, not the fact that we are the world’s richest country. Our wealth is the by-product of coordinated efforts made possible by our unity, and our present economic woes are the result of our increasing division. In order to restore our country to its former glory, we need to revive forgotten shared values and universally reaffirm that human life and the requirements for meaningful existence are infinitely more important than money, and that we are mutually responsible to each other to defend and preserve them.

I feel compelled to point out the absurdity of the situation that has made writing this book necessary. According to the Federal Reserve Board, the average wealth of a member of the top 1% of our nation’s population is 7400 times the average wealth of a person in the bottom 40%. Our sluggish economy is due simply to a lack of available funds in an increasing number of potential buyers because most of the finite capital resources of our country are stagnating or recirculating within the wealthiest echelons of society. But still, we are under the spell of “trickle-down”, and so many have been led to believe that government-subsidized social programs along with overtaxing the wealthy are the main causes of our economic downturn. Yet, in order to repair a weakened structure, does it make any sense to reinforce the strongest components and neglect the weakest? Furthermore, if money IS a source of our strength, is it the purpose of the strong in society to assist the weak or to ignore, exploit, or subdue them? If I still do not have your attention, consider the inevitability that this economic instability will eventually consume the entire middle class if corrective measures are not implemented. . . . Consider also that the wealth of the top 1% actually increased during the recent recession, in spite of it . . . or maybe as a result of it???

Most of us will agree that we have many problems that need to be addressed, but I really believe that it would be to our advantage to correctly identify their sources before attempting to implement solutions.

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