Oregon’s rich getting richer and all others falling behind, wage study shows | But it’s a National Trend and We are Becoming Florence

Oregon's rich getting richer and all others falling behind, wage study shows | Oregon Business News – OregonLive.com

‘ The free-market fervor that has gripped the country since the Ronald Reagan administration has allowed the country, for the most part, to remain competitive in a globalized economy. But some contend that the trickle-down economy has sent just that — a trickle — to the masses, while steering a torrent of riches to the wealthy.

“There’s something going on at the very top, an explosion of the ‘uber-rich,'” said Bryce Ward, a senior economist with Portland-based consulting firm ECONorthwest. “There’s been no growth in a decade for the middle.” ‘

Not just Oregon– its the whole country. And if you project it out at current tax rates and loopholes, it looks like a permanent oligarchy.

US becoming late medieval Florence, with new Medicis:

‘During a reign of 30 years, Cosimo [Medici] uses his fortune to maintain absolute control over the internal affairs of Florence. Opponents find themselves squeezed to financial extinction.

Within the city this control is discreet. Outside, in relations with other powers, it is generally acknowledged that Cosimo is the ruler of Florence – by now a city state of considerable significance.

The expansion of Florentine control over the surrounding region accelerates before and during Cosimo’s lifetime. Arezzo falls to a Florentine army in 1384. Pisa, a great prize, is taken in 1406. Livorno, of immense value as a seaport, is purchased in 1421.’

Substitute Goldman, Sachs and Morgan Stanley for Cosimo, Iraq and Afghanistan for Arezzo and Pisa.

Note that in 1527 republicans in Florence made a last attempt to eject the Medicis. Instead they get saddled with a Duke for succeeding centuries. We are in danger of becoming a grand duchy.

The unbridled wealth of a few financiers is as fatal to a republic as the unrivaled power of a few generals.

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10 Responses

  1. Some HipHopper said it a while back: "The rich get richer and the poor get worked".

    Pithy…

    Something I just commented on my FB page seems apropos.

    Corporatocracy Vs Plutocracy:

    Wikipedia:
    Corporatocracy
    "Corporatocracy or corpocracy is a form of government where corporations, conglomerates or government entities with private components, control the direction and governance of a country. This is sometimes considered to be a form of fascism."

    Commenter: Plutocracy

    Razer: Plutocracy may be different:

    Wikipdia again:
    Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy.

    In a plutocracy, the degree of economic inequality is high while the level of social mobility is low.

    That last phrase about social mobility… In a corporatocracy there is stratification (for want of a better word). The social mobility of the more affluent is better and that of the poor not so good… The affluent are less likely to be stuck by birth into a social role they don't care for. The poor, often no chance at all to change their circumstances..

    Maybe the movement is towards Plutacracy after all. Will the Corporatocratists(?) get fed up with their social roles, rebel, and rebirth the Hippies, Yippies, Beatniks, and socially outcasted counterculturalists?

    Film @ 11.

  2. Add to that – the new SC ruling allowing them what owns us, to now also OWN most everything we'll hear come election time, and – viola – the final straw, on the the final back, of the final camel of what passes for democracy in this sad land.

  3. The new-feudal lords of capital are framing the future, while the bulk of the population gets marginalized; indeed some are called simply "animals."

  4. "The unbridled wealth of a few financiers is as fatal to a republic as the unrivaled power of a few generals."

    I often wondered if our troubles might be lessened to a degree if those who would do bad things to us knew their names were freely available to the general public, and that pitchforks and torches were the new hot item at Walmart.

  5. Have you noticed that the financiers are treating our President like a majordomo?

  6. While the Medicis did yield near dictatorial power, their emergence was not as smooth as Cole suggests.

    They were nearly toppled as a result of the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478 and were actually expelled in 1494.

    Their return and consolidation was buttressed because not one but two Medici became Pope. The Medici also boosted their prestige by being massive patrons of the arts and culture. They were only bankers but skilled politicians.

    The world has changed such that even if the head of Goldman Sachs were to become Pope, that would no suffice to ensconce him into a Grand Duchy, as were the Medici. Nor is there any other institution with such credibility.

    Nor has Goldman Sachs been the patron of any massive outpouring of art, literature, music, or philosophy.

    While some Goldman executives have held government office, they have been functionaries. It would be difficult to envision any of them staring down Putin or playing a later day Richard III.

    In short, Goldman Sachs lacks the Medicis' class.

  7. Ronald Reagan had absolutely nothing to offer to the middle and lower classes. But he was very popular because he offered a friendly face to those who opposed the civil rights revolution.

    "Social/fear Issues" have been the secret of success for the wealth concentrators ever since. Bush used 9/11 to camouflage his concentration efforts. Obama is trying to use nice speeches to calm the masses while he puts heavy hitting concentrators in his money handling department (weakest ploy ever).

    Skill requirements at the working class level are steadily being reduced by automation and computers. Before bar code readers it took some real skills to work the cash registers in supermarkets. Now its just swipe swipe. Computer controlled lathes and mills have pretty much eliminated the need for skilled machinists. Computer graphics have eliminated the need commercial artists. Many many jobs now command lower wages because the skill levels have been reduced, thus increasing the potential labor pool for a particular job.

    Automation, computers, and modern communications systems also make it much easier to outsource work to other countries, which in turn leads these countries to become original sources of goods and services.

    As long as the owners of capital are free as a bird to seek the highest return and the lowest taxes, and lobby strenuously against any measure that distributes wealth, the lower classes can only go lower.

  8. Here in Oregon, we're having a Special Election to vote on two items that would affirm the correctness of Orgeon's legislature's raising the tax rates on corporations and the wealthy. The article being discussed was generated because of the election; polls close at 6pm 1/26/2010. Our household voted to affirm. The Eugene Register Guard published a political cartoon illustrating the stark difference between the billions of dollars in budget cuts alredy made versus the rather small increase in revenues the two measures would provide. 96%of all Oregon businesses are sole proprietorships or partnerships, not corproations. The forces trying to derail the vital increase in revenues have resorted to the massive lies and distortions typical of the Republican Party that admits to backing the measures.

  9. Minor point of terminology — the period of Cosimo di Medici isn't "late medieval." It was rather the high point of the Italian Renaissance.

  10. There is a bridge between the Roman Republic and the present US Republic having its middle pier in the Florentine Republic.

    Niccolò Machiavelli's "Discourses on Livy" ISBN 978-0-19-955555-0 provides history and perspective necessary to conduct a Republic, the content necessary for a functioning civics course. Machiavelli's fingerprints are all over the constitutional formation of Philadelphia, the Discourses widespread in founders libraries. A book for today, required for tomorrow if a Republic is to be kept.

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