Neoliberal tax policies and deregulation produced American equivalents.
We have always had robber barons in American politics, but the Neoliberal moment created a new social class. At about 1.3 million adults
It owns 45 percent of the privately held wealth
we have a gutted fairness doctrine and the end of anti-trust concerns in ownership of mass media, allowing a multi-billionaire like Rupert Murdoch to buy up major media properties and to establish a cable television channel which is nothing but oligarch propaganda.
They established 'think tanks' like the American Enterprise Institute, which hires only staff that are useful agents of the interests of the very wealthy
It is the class that owns our mass media, that pays for the political campaigns of 'our' (their) representatives,
that blocks progressive reform and legislation with the vast war chest funneled to them by deep tax cuts
that allow them to use essential public resources
and facilities gratis
clipped from: www.juancole.com
while making the middle class pay for them
will continue to follow us until the economy is re-regulated, anti-trust concerns again pursued, a new, tweaked fairness doctrine is implemented, and we return to a more normal distribution of wealth
10. Stagnating worker wages and the emergence of a new monied aristocracy. Of all the income growth of the entire country of the United States in the Bush years, the richest 1 percent of the working population, about 1.3 million persons, grabbed up over two-thirds of it.
It is the alliance of the Neoliberal super-rich with the new lower middle class populists led by W. and now by Sarah Palin that produces clown politics in the US unmatched in most advanced industrial countries with the possible exception of Italy.
9. Health and food insecurity increased for ordinary Americans. Health care costs skyrocketed.
'From 1999 to 2009 health insurance premiums increased 132%"
8. The environment became more polluted. The Bush administration was the worst on record on environmental issues. Carbon emissions grew unchecked, and the threat of climate change accelerated. In fact, Bush muzzled government climate scientists and had their reports rewritten by lawyers from Big Oil.
7. The imperial presidency was ensconced in ways it will be difficult to pare back. But note that its powers were never used against the oligarchs
6. The Katrina flood and the destruction of much of historic African-American New Orleans, and the massive failure of the Bush administration to come to the aid of one of America's great cities
a wake-up call for what all of us have in store from the small social class that Bush served.
5. The Bush administration's post-2002 mishandling of Afghanistan, where the Taliban had been overthrown successfully in 2001 and were universally despised.
The Bush administration's attempt to assert itself with a big troop presence in the Pashtun provinces
its use of search and destroy tactics and missile strikes, its neglect of civilian reconstruction, and its failure to finish off al-Qaeda, allowed an insurgency gradually to grow. It should have been nipped in the bud, but was not. Once an insurgency becomes well established, it is defeated militarily only about 20 percent of the time. Eight years later, the Neoconservative thrust into Central Asia (in search of hydrocarbon leverage, or in a geopolitical pissing match with Russia and China?)
4. The Iraq War, which the US illegally launched a war of aggression that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, displaced 4 million (over as million abroad), destroyed entire cities such as Fallujah, set off a Sunni-Shiite civil war, allowed Baghdad to be ethnically cleansed of its Sunnis, practiced systematic and widespread torture before the eyes of the Muslim Middle East and the world, and immeasurably strengthened Iran's hand in the Middle East.
The cost of the Iraq War when everything is taken into account will likely be $3 trillion.
3. The great $12 trillion Bank Robberry, in which unscrupulous bankers and financiers were deregulated and given free rein to create worthless derivatives, sell impossible mortgages to uninformed marks who could not understand their complicated terms, and then to roll this garbage up into securities re-sold like the
Cheshire cat, with a big visible smile of asserted value hanging in the air even as their actual worth disappeared into thin air. Having allowed the one-percent oligarchs to capture most of the increase of the country's wealth in recent decades, Bush and Paulsen now initiated the surrender to them of nearly a further entire year's gross domestic product of the US, stealing it from the rest of us by deficit budget financing that will have the effect of deflating our savings and property values and relative value of our currency against other world currencies.