Let's study some history

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To The Editor:
In response to Kurt Holcher’s verbose and pointed letter praising the “free market” system as promoted by the American radical right and the “worshipers at the altar of the crazy actor,” I would suggest that some study of history, particularly economic history of the USA might be in order.  The United States is not the inventor of the constitution, though there are a good number of differences of opinion as to what exactly comprises the “first constitution.” Some consider Ancient Rome, some Athens and some even credit the Prophet Mohammed for creating the first constitution.  

While he uses the word, “capitalism,” in the most narrow sense, as in the kind of capitalism promoted by the likes of Dubya and Milton Friedman, the fact is that the USA has never remotely been a non-capitalist country.  The claim that “free market capitalism” is the cause of the USA’s rise to the highest standard of living in history is fraudulent, at best.  The rise of the USA standard of living was the result of a complex process of regulated capitalism, combined with progressive taxation and curbs on corporate power and domination.  In short, the New Deal, tax policy and the rise of labor unions are the most important economic and political actions that brought wealth to the American working masses and raised the standard of living.

The destruction of the U.S. tax code at the hands of the likes of Ronald Reagan and his philosophical heir, George W. Bush, is the single greatest factor in the horrific concentration of American wealth into a few hands today and the attendant destruction of working class incomes.
Combined with insane levels of military spending, the heroes of the American Right have not only put this country into massive debt, but also destroyed the economic base of the country - its working class.  The GOP war on workers and unions has exacerbated the ugly trend.

Right wingers are always very concerned about debts and deficits when they are not calling the shots, but I remember clearly president, er, vice president Dick “Shooter” Cheney saying that the deficit was “just a number” when they quadrupled the military spending and cut taxes, and yes, cut taxes mostly for the rich.  

The GOP is on the verge of becoming a lunatic fringe group, led by crazies like Bachmann, Palin and Santorum, people who have no business being in the public trust anywhere, ever.  The tremendous thumping it got in the 2012 elections should have been a warning to the true believers - only their gerrymandering preserved the House under their corrupted thumbs - but it obviously hasn’t.  Does anyone remember when the GOP was confident it was going to take the White House and the Senate?  I realize that thinking back that far requires some mental strain, it being all of 11 months ago.

I could continue addressing a number of other false points brought out by Mr. Holcher, but it quite frankly it is a waste of my time, because nobody who still believes in the “tax cuts for the rich help us all” fairy is ever going to be swayed by logic or reason.  That fairy does not exist and neither does a “free market” in a modern capitalistic society.  Besides, I am already well over the 300-word limit, and am only submitting this long missive due to the fact that virtually every right wing mailbag letter also goes over the limit., but always with less rationality, accuracy or truth than my own.

John Cerullo,
Margaretville