Mudcat Café message #1421051 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1421051
Posted By: Amos
25-Feb-05 - 05:40 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Is this your ownership society?

by Holly Sklar

published by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service

Is this your ownership society?

Would you invest in a company that cut your wages, laid off your cousin, polluted your neighborhood, cut your health insurance and raided your retirement fund? If so, you'll love President Bush's "ownership society."

At a time of rising support for socially responsible business, Bush's ownership society offers less social responsibility, less opportunity and accelerating dis-investment in the future.

Extensive studies demonstrate the economic benefits of corporate social and environmental responsibility, including improved financial performance, productivity, quality, innovation and reduced operating costs. "For example," says Business for Social Responsibility, "many initiatives aimed at improving environmental performance -- such as reducing emissions of gases that contribute to global climate change...also lower costs."

The ownership society backed by Bush's fiscal year 2006 budget is the worst of all worlds: fiscally, socially and environmentally irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and toxic to democracy.

Lincoln fought for "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Bush stands for government of the owners, by the owners, for the owners.

The richest 1 percent of households already owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Take-home pay as a share of the economy is at the lowest level since 1929.

Bush is reshaping the tax and budget system so workers pay a greater share of the costs and owners pay less. As wealth is increasingly sheltered from taxes, inequality will become more entrenched and hereditary in Bush's ownership society.

While Bush runs up the national debt to reckless levels, risking economic crisis, to give more tax breaks to millionaires, his budget cuts education, a pillar of individual and national progress, on the pretense of fiscal responsibility.

The unemployment rate is 30 percent higher than it was in 2000. About one out of six Americans has no health insurance, and half of all bankruptcies are illness-related. One out of eight Americans lives below the meager official poverty line -- and many more can't make ends meet above it.

Yet, Bush's budget slashes already inadequate small business assistance, workforce development, community economic development, public health and safety, Medicaid, housing assistance, public transit, food stamps, childcare and much more. (...)