Taxes aren't the issue here. Quality of life isn't determined by tax rates as we can see in many examples around the world. The issue also isn't
government spending, if they spend less then they tax less, and everyone has more money resulting in prices going up. If they spend more, people have
less money and prices go down (unless they print it, which makes prices go up). So that also isn't the cause either.
I believe I've figured out the real cause and it's something that's almost totally ignored in the political debate, it's the growth based economic
model. A growth based economy is unsustainable, because it requires that people spend more and more money on goods every year above the rate of
inflation. What happens however is people reach a saturation point on their goods, where they have everything they need and enough of what they want
to be entertained. What happens at this point is goods stop selling. No one has a reason to buy a new hammer for example when their current one
works just fine. Manufacturers have been aware of this for 70 years now and over decades have phased in the concept of planned obsolescence. Our
goods are designed to break after a certain amount of time, that way we go and purchase more. This model is the basis of our entire economy at this
point, the shirt you're wearing for example is designed to fall apart after x washings, your lightbulbs only last x hours, and so on. A little known
fact is things weren't always this way, the lightbulbs from 1900 burned longer than the lightbulbs today, infact some brands have been burning for
nearly 115 years straight without ever being replaced while costing a mere 50 cents in todays dollars (2 cents back in 1900). Think about that the
next time you buy a lightbulb... even one of the so called $45 25 year green ones.
To get back on topic though, our goods are designed to fail earlier and earlier. We've even spun it as a good thing by outsourcing labor for cheap
prices. Chinese goods fail earlier but are cheaper to produce, the end result is we have to purchase things more often. To use a personal anecdote
I've gone through 4 Walmart brand quesidilla makers in the past 3 years, 2 of them have even started fires, and each one cost me about $30, so I've
had to spend $40 a year on that appliance. A well built appliance would last 25 or 50 years and cost maybe $75 total. A significantly lower amount
of revenue per year. Because our economy, especially our stock market is measured in growth however (amount of units sold) it's considered far better
to make items that need to be replaced more often. We've even gotten to the point where items are so difficult to repair due to how they're built
that it's more cost effective to throw something out and buy it new than the repair.
This system is behind stagnating wages because it drastically increases the cost of living. Since it costs more money to maintain the same lifestyle
since you're continuously buying new things you have less to spend on luxuries, and fewer luxuries overall as they break sooner.
The politicans are aware of this model as well, remember when George W Bush said everyone needed to go out and buy things in the mall? If we don't
have growth, our entire country falls apart, the reason for this is that we've exhausted all the money people have to spend, and goods are now
purchased on credit. In order to have endless increases to the credit limit more and more growth (sales) must be maintained in order to show some
ability to eventually repay that credit. That seeming joke of a comment by W was anything but, had people not gone out and spent money they didn't
have to create growth our nation would have gone bankrupt at that point. Remember the housing collapse? The whole thing was sparked not by the
market suddenly turning south, but by the rate of growth slowing down.
This is why people have less money. They have to repurchase an object more often at a total higher cost, even if each purchase is individually a
little lower. People have to do this because manufacturing power has reached a point where everything can be produced for everyone and we would be
left with tons of unemployed otherwise. So rather than change the model, we're stealing from people.
Sadly, I don't know the solution for this. If goods last longer mass unemployment will happen, probably on a scale larger than the great depression,
if things continue as they are everyone will be bankrupt. Both sides lead to the same place unless there's a drastic change in how things are
edit on 7-2-2013 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)