Which would be–if a Pew Research poll and piece working it’s way around the internet by a former Reagan Treasury official—not these United States. At least anymore.
The Pew Research poll, published this morning, concludes that “far more Americans now see their country as sharply divided along economic lines.” According to the poll results, in 1988 only 26% of Americans thought the country is divided between haves and have nots; today the country is evenly split 48%/48% on the issue. The number of Americans who see themselves as falling in the have-not category has also grown significantly, doubling from 17% to 34%.
Meanwhile, in a scathing analysis by Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration and a former assistant editor of the Editorial page of that bastion of Capitalism, The Wall Street Journal, the hollowing out of the American economy by over twenty years of Reaganomics and neo-liberal trade policies is blisteringly laid out.
Craig opens the piece, entitled “American Economy –R.I.P.” with the statement that “The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes, but economists, policymakers, and most of the public are blind to the tottering fabled land of opportunity.” He concludes “Hubris prevents realization that Americans are losing their economic future along with their civil liberties and are on the verge of enserfment.” What flows between is a detailed analysis of the real numbers in US trade and productivity that point toward a continued downward spiral for US middle and upper middle class households.
Click the links above for the documents in their entirety—they are a worthwhile read. They also underscore what is likely to prove to be the final nail in the Bush/GOP political coffin (as if Iraq wasn’t enough) –- the failure of the Republican supply-side agenda to provide true prosperity to the vast majority of the American public. In 1992 Bush the elder went down to defeat because, as Bill Clinton, they forgot “It’s the Economy Stupid. It looks like Bush II didn’t learn from Poppy’s mistake.