[Cross-posted from the website Reclaim the American Dream.]
Behind the hollow sparring over the border wall and government shutdowns, the ground is shifting under President Trump and the political pendulum is swinging toward a new economic agenda. Even conservative Fox News reports that American voters, by a huge margin, now want to reverse the Trump tax cut of 2017 and increase taxes on the super-rich.
The media ballyhoo of the moment trumpets the tax-the-rich proposals from Democratic presidential hopefuls, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and first-term House Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
But an even more stunning political harbinger is the cry of anguish for the middle class by Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson. Last month, Carlson issued a stinging warning to America’s “ruling class” that creating “a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society.”
In a passionate rant that sent shock waves through right-wing think tanks and talk radio, Carlson challenged the pro-business orthodoxy of free market capitalism, pointing as evidence of its failure to “stunning out-of-wedlock birthrates, high male unemployment, a terrifying drug epidemic.”
We are ruled by mercenaries
“Our leaders don’t care,” Carlson declared. “We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule….They don’t even bother to understand our problems. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them.”
His peroration: “If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it is happening in the inner city or on Wall Street….Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. “
What so alarmed Carlson is the spreading cancer of economic inequality that has been metastasizing for nearly four decades, since the captains of Corporate America abandoned the share-the-wealth stakeholder capitalism that lifted the middle class in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s and replaced it with rampant shareholder capitalism that showers 80% to 90% of the nation’s economic gains to Wall Street hedge funds, the top 1% of investors, CEOs and their corporate minions. Read more