Taxes for the rich, equality for the rest, says economist
Economist Jeffery Sachs says that more equality is the best way forward for the US economy.
Story by The Takeaway. Listen to audio above for full report.
The United States is currently divided into three, according to economist Jeffery Sachs, "One is a very super rich at the very top, the top 1 percent, you could say, then there's another 20 percent or so of our society, which are the affluent, upper middle class. And then we have a lot of people hurting"
In recent years, politics and economics have been hurting people's incomes, job opportunities and security, according to Sachs. But he believes that government can actually turn around the trend. He says, "it's really the elimination of the positive role of government, even the demonization of government during the last 25 years that has done such enormous damage to the United States."
Many in the United States demonized government at a time when they needed government to be a positive force in education, technology, and skills, according to Sachs. But because of politics, "government was nowhere to be found as a constructive force," he says, "instead we had tax cutting for the rich and we had a cut of social services for everybody else.
Global forces began to give power to the richest parts of society, according to Sachs. As a result, "the government became more and more almost a hand-maiden of powerful lobbies in this country, and a reflection of the richest households who are the campaign contributors."
Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of favoring the richest parts of society, Sachs says. But he takes heart in the slogan of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests: "we are the 99 percent," as opposed to the richest 1 percent.
The question remains whether or not the political parties will make the changes needed. "I think President Obama had it in his hands to do this," he says, "unfortunately I think he went for a short term stimulus gimmick at the start, which was the wrong move." He continues:
I'm hoping he will see the way forward to a campaign and a platform that is a long-term structural change. We don't need the stimulus gimmicks, we need the long term change towards fairness, toward sustainability, and towards a return to productivity so we can have decent jobs in this country.
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