Trickle-Down Economics, Greed and the Republican Party are Destroying American Values

greed-moneyRepublicans love pushing easy to regurgitate rhetoric because it’s much easier to brainwash people with simple catch phrases than it is to inform them of complex issues.  Doubt me?  Just watch a WWE event and see which wrestlers are most popular – the ones with catchy catch phrases.  Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, Daniel Bryan – all wrestlers with extremely popular catch phrases.  Ironically, wrestling is most popular in the South, which is where conservative ideology is most popular as well.

A big line Republicans love to use is “we need to get back to traditional American values.”  And to be honest, they’re right to a certain extent.  But when they say that, they really don’t know what the heck they’re talking about.

What are “traditional values” anyway?

Years ago unions were much stronger, taxes were much higher and we had far more protections for workers than we did corporations.  People earned enough that both parents didn’t have to work.  Want to talk about solidifying family values?  Look at all the households where both parents are working 50-60 hours a week and their children are being raised by daycares or babysitters.

That’s what many Americans workers have to deal with in the day and age of “trickle-down” economics.  Once we allowed greed to rule our economy, that destroyed everything.  We were fed this lie that hard work and dedication will payoff.  That’s not true.  There are millions of Americans who bust their asses working tons of overtime or two or more jobs just to get by – just to survive.  

Meanwhile the company for which they work continues to make record profits, executives for those companies continue to pull in salaries that were unheard of decades ago and every year they get richer while the rest of us work harder but get less.

That’s trickle-down economics.

Family values began to die when we created a society where business is no longer based on ethics, but profits.  Where employees aren’t valued assets, they’re expendable expenses.  Where a company “projects” $30 million in revenue, only makes $25 million and that company sees that as a “loss.”

And guess who suffers thanks to that “loss”?  The employees.  Thousands are laid off while the ones kept are asked to work more for the same amount of compensation.  Meanwhile the executives of those companies continue to raise their own salaries and compensation packages.

Decades ago people didn’t have to work 50-60 hours per week.  Both parents didn’t have to work full-time jobs.  Companies wanted to take care of their workers because they realized happy workers are productive workers.

Now many businesses don’t care about their employees.  They see them as a number.  All they care about is, “Is this employee’s production helping us generate more revenue?”  If the answer is no, that employee either needs to work harder and longer or they’ll be replaced or eliminated.

Most people work with a constant fear of losing their job.  Working hard for a company for 20 years doesn’t matter.  If anything, to that company, you’re a higher paid employee so they’ll likely force you out with an early retirement package if they can.  Loyalty means nothing.  If it’s the higher paid employee of 20 years or the new 23 year old fresh out of college who’ll do the job for 20% less, they’re probably going to lean toward the cheaper expense.  Because, again, employees aren’t assets – they’re expenses.

Traditional American values died the moment we let trickle-down economics become the driving force behind all of our economic decisions.  That’s when revenue, profits and greed became the driving force behind our economy.

That’s when traditional American values died.  When parents have to decide to spend less time with their families because their jobs required them to work 60 hours per week, otherwise their employer would find someone who will.  When vacations became shorter and shorter to the point of being virtually non-existent for many families.  When weekends became working weekends.  When baseball games, dance recitals and family dinners took a back seat to late meetings, deadlines and maximizing production.  That’s when traditional American values died. 

So when Republicans talk about the death of American values, they need to look in the mirror – because their party laid the groundwork for killing them.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Sandy Greer

    THIS is the type of article you should be writing, Allen. A thoughtful, in-depth analysis – food, for our thoughts – rather than the usual gossip over who on The Right said what stupid thing.

    Give us the ‘issues’. We are intelligent enough to handle them.

    As for me, I never looked at it from this viewpoint before. But now that I do, I agree – 125%. In fact, I won’t even go into my usual rant about The Right. After reading your article, I find it totally unnecessary:

    You’ve more than covered the bases. Thank you, Allen!

  • Droopy Fiasco

    Well said.

  • Jess

    Americans wouldn’t live in a small house like the one they grew up in or drive the cheap cars with no radio or AC. They want it ALL so they HAVE to work for it ALL!!!! Get real it is how the VALUES have changed and now the working stiff is supposed to “share” so the non-working can have it all too!!! When are we going to wake up!!!!!!

    • Phil Keast

      Hmmmm, of course, that’s the answer, let’s erode workers rights to the point where it is cheaper to employ one person to work 60 hours, than employ two people to work 30 hours. Of course that means that the employee working 60 hours has virtually no life outside of work, and the person who could’ve been employed if the workload were split across two people is now unemployed (and therefor a grasping ingrate with an unreasonable sense of entitlement). Oh, and because the number of people with disposable income is less (since we are employing half as many people as we could), we’d better increase the prices of our products to maintain revenue, but that’s ok, poor people neither deserve nor want our products anyway, and if they worked 60 hours a week like our employees they wouldn’t be poor, although unfortunately we don’t have any positions available, but I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find some other employer willing to screw you over like we do with our employees.

    • Phil Keast

      Oh frabjous day, you get two replies for the price of one.

      You are right, you’ve lifted the cataracts of ignorance from my eyes. It’s all about the way our values have changed. You know, the things we used to believe in and teach our kids. Things like sharing, playing well with others, not being greedy, helping others when you see they can’t do something on their own, helping some up when they fall over, not kicking someone out of the sand pit just because they look different, the joy of learning new things, so many simple things that I remember being taught in pre-school 50 years ago.

    • J.D.

      What is it like to get raped by corporate America and love it like you do. There wouldn’t be SO many “non-working” if the greedy corporations, by which trickle down economics has benefited, would stop trying to squeeze every last little bit of profit out of our asses. The next thing they are going to do is eliminate the minimum wage so that they can “compete” with China. Besides dumb GOP supports like Bolling think that that communist economic model is one we should be following. You sir are part of the problem.

  • Robin Mullen

    great article.

  • Jeremy Johnson

    Irony != coincidence.

  • Brenda Hoefel

    Stop it! Tax cuts on those who do not pay taxes is against sound government!