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February 1, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Are you better off than 32 years ago?

Candidates for president ask, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Today it’s more appropriate to ask, “Are you better off than you were 32 years ago?” We have had Republican administrations, starting with Ronald Reagan, 20 of the past 32 years. We started with his trickle-down economics, which didn’t work, but Mitt Romney wants to give it another try. What does it take to convince Republicans to give up on failed policies? Please do not suggest the erosion of the middle class began with President Barack Obama; it did accelerate under George W. Bush.

The past 32 years have been dedicated to the wealthy and corporations. The middle class has been neglected. Did the middle class destroy itself? For the middle class, it’s been stagnant wages, longer hours, and watching plants close and jobs shipped overseas. People in the middle class have learned how to survive, if they have a job, in an environment where employers have all the advantages and keep employees worried about keeping a job. The result is employees are working harder for less wages and employers are getting wealthier and more demanding of their employees. This work environment appears to have become the norm.

The middle class has been swindled by their employers and by the Republican politicians. The Republicans are counting on the middle class again to be uninformed and vote for them in 2012, only to continue the middle class’ 32-year downward spiral.

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  1. I opine that the real question is are we doing better than we were 236 years.

    No. Our Founding Fathers and Framers are turning over in their graves. And that's hard for dust to do.


  2. Even with the economic disaster that devastated much of our financial wealth from 2007-2010, I am better off today than I was 32 years ago. I am not convinced this is a relevant question in all realism. The question that one might ask is whether you have more optimism for the future today than you did 32 years ago. My answer to that is NO. Obama is systematically degrading the nation's wealth and prosperity by his anti business policies including heavy handed environmental regulations, an uncertain tax future, Obamacare, government intrusion and an entirlement culture of record proportions.
    The 32 year ago comparison seems meaningless at this moment. If you were to ask whether everyone was better off today than they were in 2006, the answer would in most cases be NO. The economy started to unhinge under George W Bush and has been a record failure under Obama.

  3. Starr is just one more who practices the "politics of envy." Jealous of what others have, those fellow travelers want to take away as much as possible from the productive and "redistribute" it to the lazy, the indolent, the slothful (Yeah, I know, redundencies). If guys like Starr would have put as much sweat, blood & tears (effort) into working to better their lives while climbing up the ladder, they wouldn't have had so much idle time on their hands to complain about others who did and be as green-eyed jealous.

  4. Mr. Starr, et al.

    Please consider this economic truth without consideration for political correctness:

    The workforce since 1980 has grown substantially with the addition of millions-upon-millions of mostly unskilled women and immigrants. Additionally, technology has made it ever easier to utilize inexpensive labor in other countries. The only expected result is that the wages and wealth of the working class will stagnate or be lowered. It is an unfortunate fact.

    Now, with that new knowledge, please construct a solution.


  5. Jerry Fink: 5:59 we do agree some times. I am better off than I was 32 years ago but that's not the real issue. The question should be more in line with "Where would you be without the last 32 years of government intervention?" Much government could be beneficial--like defense from enemies foreign and domestic, law enforcement, schools that work, CDC disease intervention.... Much government has been harmful: excessive spending and human tolls for "wars" that don't protect any one's interest, excessive military support and foreign aid, feeding indigent populations that are still unable to support any economy, sending American money overseas via government programs, Federal Reserve mismanagement of the money supply, failure to pay for deficit costs, enacting handouts for tuition, low interest rates, grants....

  6. "Compare that with Reagan."

    Reagan raised taxes 11 times --- you good with that?

    and you are spot on, dip --- the guy's predictable as the sun coming up.

  7. Dave Starr asks a valid question. Some of you might feel you are better off, but imagine how much better things could be if we as a nation weren't subjected to the whims of the Wall St. casino and banks. Some at this point are suggesting hundreds of trillions are involved in recent scams. Investigators are only scratching the surface.

    "Losses on JPMorgan Chase's bungled trade could total as much as $9 billion, far exceeding earlier public estimates, according to people who have been briefed on the situation."

    "THE unfolding story of how Barclays -- and, in all likelihood, other big banks -- rigged interest rates is full of telling tidbits about the way Wall Street works. It also represents yet another teachable moment."

  8. El_Lobo I never was much of a Reagan fan. I thought he was an actor playing he role of president. Now we have a president that has increased the debt much more than Reagan but it is someone elses fault. How can you justify that? I am sorry but to me this is the liberal mantra, "It is someone elses fault that we are not successful."

  9. Fellow commenters,

    It seems it is time to remind you all once again of the obvious. One of the last great statesmen of our Country, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said

    "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

    Many of you could benefit by heeding his sage advice.


  10. WHOA..I am so angry I am burning up the phones lines and planning to work night and day to get Democrats tossed out..OUT
    I have never worked for any campaign..I am sort of a..apathetic voter..Like to discuss issues but..don't contribute but now..
    Iam going to actively work to get every dem tossed out..OUT OUT!
    Am I better off than 32 years ago..I am not better off sicne last week..just can't keep up with these donkey j*ck*sss's.

  11. When Reagan took office, the National Debt was about $1.03 trillion. When Bush left office, it was $10.7 trillion. The Debt increased $9.67 trillion during those years.

    During Clinton's tenure, the Debt went from $4.5 trillion to $5.7 trillion, or 12.4% of the total.

    Therefore, 87.4% of the National Debt accumulated since Reagan came from Republican Presidents. Are you better now than 32 years ago?

  12. Kepi:
    AND? Do you have a picture of the Kennedy Compound? Do you have a picture of John Kerry's house or how about Nancy Pelosi..?
    Enquiring minds would like to know

  13. Sun Jon:
    Two house were foreclosed on this last month in my neighborhood. The smoke shop up the road is laying off workers.
    No, I am not better off..and neither are you..and it should have stopped by now..Four years of this is long enough..and who gives a crap about Raygun or.."Bush did it." Time to man up and ain't getting any better and it is getting worse again..
    The smoke shop was closed down by a bill signed by Obama last Friday..Thanks OB..don't expect any votes in this neighborohood..

  14. Baccus DEM Montana..slipped that little tobacco bit into a farm bill..but..the Dems will claim "Bush did it." Yeah, right!

  15. Oooo..Bush didn't do it..It was "big tobacco" who victimized poor iddle Baucus..and made him do it..AHhhhh...Yunno..Bloomberg was really influenced by Big Coffee who just wanted to put sugary soft drinks out of people would drink coffee..BS!
    Why can't the dam dems just take responsibility? Why is it always "Bush did it" or "Big Business made me do it."
    How about the Dam Dems did it..??

  16. Hello Teamster
    What do you think about Navistar (International Harvester) going bankrupt? Think Cummins is next?
    Is that better than 32 years ago?

  17. Vidi:
    Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican..and Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accord in 1973.

  18. DarthFrodo
    You're welcome..
    And Thank You..

  19. M. Malone,
    Please get help.

  20. mschaffer:
    Are you following me around..and addressing me personally rather than the topic at hand?
    It appears you need help

  21. "you good with that?"

    lol at RefNV and a few others who hold Reagan out as the answer. You can point to all his good, of which there was much, but he kept things in check by increasing taxes 11 times. What is wrong with y'all that you cherry pick his record. Hell, most of you wouldn't vote for him now because he's too liberal.

    Even Norquist makes excuses for him so don't feel alone.

  22. kepi
    I don't need the smoke shop..or the jobs/tax revenue derived fromm audlts making choices about their own health and lives..(Highway Bill)
    I don't need an engine in my car or semitruck. I don't need the goods and products delivered by those trucks..when they no longer will be able to get engines. (EPA)
    I don't need electricity from the generating plants on the navajo nation..(EPA)
    As I explained to Mcshaeffer on the "GOP not very Christian" thread, I am self reliant..
    Are You?
    All those things are going to become very expensive and scarce..You can be snide about smoking but very soon what is not mandatory will be illegal..

  23. The smoke shop information was in an letter in yesterdays LVRJ. I don't see it today. Several people read it and were unable to determine whether the smoke shops will close.
    It is coming and if Obama gets reelected the list will expand.Sugary soft drinks is just the start of what will be illegal and the health care or else just start of what will be mandated.. by the "we know what'sgood for you" and spend democrats.
    I can survive..I can trade lessons in survival skills for the useless gadgets that won't run on "wind power." I always knew that hobby would come in handy

  24. The Reagan era was arguably the beginning of the "global economy", which pushed American products and labor into competition with every country and worker in the world.

    On paper, economics would indicate that such a move results in lower prices and higher standard of living for everyone...This, of course, comes directly from the words of Adam Smith and "The Wealth of Nations". In practice, however, it has resulted in the referenced wage stagnation and the wholesale exportation of jobs to countries with labor forces that earn substantially below what American labor would need for a living wage. In economics, this is called an externality.

    In sum, the "global economy" did make products and services cheaper for everyone, as promised, and things were good...for a while. But the resulting competition with Chinese and Indian labor, which makes a wage below the poverty level, even for their standards of living, has devastated American labor.

    Global wage Equilibrium will be reached, however, we must first sink to meet their rising standards for this to occur; hence, the aforementioned wage stagnation.

    This was Reagan's legacy. We have ostensibly added to this legacy with the Bush-era tax cuts, which have done nothing to stimulate our economy, and have helped to push us into our current deficit condition.

    In short, we have given away everything that had made this country great, prior to joining the global economy, including our manufacturing capabilities (which any economist would tell you is the key to any country's average standard of living). We have, therefore, sold ourselves to the highest bidder...Apparently, China.

    This era is coming to a close now, however, as the people who have lost their jobs and higher wages can no longer afford to buy from those who have more. 70% of the American economy is based upon consumer spending, and now there are fewer consumers. This is leading to chronic economic stagnation and left us perpetually susceptible to another downward spiral. Our recession of three years ago is now replicating itself around Europe, and is spreading around the world, causing another global slowdown, starting with China.

    Lastly, governments in those countries who have attempted to renege on economic safety nets, the hallmark of European socialism which has thus far insulated the average European worker from the ravages of cheap global labor, have seen the beginnings of social disorder (i.e. Greece).

    To summarize, those of us who work for the wealth machine can no longer even afford to buy cheap Chinese junk. The global wealthy are about to learn that you need regular folks with money (the middle class) to buy your wares, and to be able to retain wealth...Unless you can market to less than 1% of the population.

  25. Don Evans:
    Good Post..I didn't like Reagan and I voted Democrat until 1994..
    Clinton NAFTA..and no matter who you elect, everyone of them "globalizes"
    NOW..In the highway bill, supposedly, there is an "infrastructures bank" where private investors can invest to fund our infrastructure. Please explain to me how an investor can make a profit off public roads..and how will those investors impact what gets fixed where?
    Public Roads..are being sold to the highest *international* bidder?

  26. kepi
    The smoke shop issue and the water issue are wto separate issus.
    Why Don't I Vote Democrat?
    1) Open Borders..OverPopulation..That is the Water Issue..It may be a drought but if Lake Mead was brimming and you all flush your toilet at would be a mudhole. I am an old time democrat who believed in zero population growth..but that just means abortion for a selected targeted group and unlimited baby welfare for a different special interest group
    2) NAFTA, CAFTA, RAFTA trade agreements..
    3) UN Smally Arms Treaty
    4) The run amok EPA
    5) And the alphabet soup kettle goes on and on..
    Add in regulation..fees/fines/penalties/taxes and tell me why I should vote for a bunch of politically correct bozos that are now the neodemocratic party..
    As for Medicare and Social Security..I don't need either although I paid more in taxes, fees, fines and penalties than I will ever collect

  27. Kepi:
    Senator Baucus, D, Montana inserted that into the highway bill and Obama signed it AFTER the smoke shops won a lawsuit saying the smoke shops were a service..not a manufacturer..
    The Fact is..that is one more reason why I don't vote democrat..taxes, regulations were showing up and no one ever heard where they were debated or made public..I thought the Republicans were doing it..but I found out it is sneaky snake democrats who slip their agenda into spending bills..
    Democrats are creepy..sneaky snakes..and I no longer wanted to be associated with them after 1994

  28. I have never understood why anyone would accept a trickle and be happy.

    I have never understood why we are expected to be happy with a trickle.

    On a linear basis, a trickle gets less and less as each one takes their trickle until there is not enough, or none, down the line.

    A trickle will not keep a boat from sinking eventually. Over 32 years, or 20, the boat floods and disappears.

    All but the trickle has been dammed up by a small group of profit makers. That dam has grown bigger and bigger to hold all those growing profits over the same period.

    It seems a form of a parched earth policy.

  29. Thank you, Don Evans, for the excellent comment!