Government of, by and for Who? - What Does the last 120 years of American History Show Us?

From FDR to LBJ to Nixon -vs- From Carter to Clinton to Obama to Trump.   

 Over the years, I have developed definitions for two forms of government: of, by, and for we the people or government of, by, and for only the oligarchs.  I have also written hundreds of posts about the impact and causes of our current, abusive, authoritarian-oriented, government rule.
 
A lot has negatively impacted Americans since the 1970s.  One of the greatest impacts, see charts, is the shift from rewarding the hundreds of millions of profit makers for their increased productivity to rewarding the few one percenters with those productivity savings - "gobble up."  By 2007, this resulted in an income growth for the wealthy that is  23.5 times more than the middle income citizen since 1980, $1,300,000.00 v $55,300.00.

Productivity savings from hundreds of millions of workers gobbled up by a few 1%s

PostReaganProductivityWinner-Losers.png

Turning point from government for the people to government for the 1%

Productivity-Wage.png
 

"Gobble Up" of Productivity Gains Redistributes Income to the Top

AverageHouseholdIncomeByQuintile.png

 

What has led to this income and wealth inequality are the changes in our laws before and after the 70s.   They have shifted significantly from equally protecting and empowering all citizens to protecting and empowering just the wealthy.   This is shown chronologically by the two historical timelines below.  And the point in time were this shift takes a major turn against we the people was around 1971, with the Powell Memo.  Other damaging events occurred before that, but the Powell Memo laid out a detailed plan for the oligarchs to take control of the American government. Soon after Powell wrote his memo he was appointed as a justice to SCOTUS, where he contributed to two key SCOTUS decisions defining money as speech.  Then Reagon become the first president elected with corporate free speech.
 
Now, under the current administration, the oligarchs occupy the White House, own the US Senate, and the two are stacking the federal courts with oligarch lackeys.  
 

Key Historical Events, Two Overlapping Timelines [some resources provided]

  • 1890-2010 Government of, buy and for we the People, Pushback on historical oligarch abuse with wealth concentration busting legislation
    • 1890: Sherman Antitrust Act - Limiting abuse of those who can’t self-regulate their authoritarian power
    • 1901: Teddy Roosevelt becomes president after assassination of McKinley
    • 1907: Tillman Act - Prohibits corporate ownership of federal politicians
    • 1914: Clayton Antitrust Act - Strengthened Sherman Antitrust Act, minimize corporate abuse of power
    • 1929-12/7/1941: Great Depression, record unemployment, New Deal, Second New Deal
      • 1933: Democrat FDR became president
        • 1933-1934: FDRs New Deal
          • 1933: Banking Act (Glass-Steagall)
            • FDIC Created as firewall between banksters and brokers
          • 1933: Townsend Pension Plan proposed
          • 1933: Tennessee Valley Authority Act (TVA), pays for itself with sales of electricity
          • 1933: National Industry Recovery Act, child labor restrictions, minimum wage, maximum hours, collective bargaining
          • 1934: Share Our Wealth Society Founded [11]
          • 1934: Communications Act - Created FCC
        • 1934: Huey Long, Governor of LA, announced his Share Our Wealth plan [11]
        • 1935-1936: FDRs 2ndNew Deal
          • 1935: Social Security Act (Townsend Pension Plan for elderly), Part of the Second New Deal [11] (Would have also included single payer health care but the AMA killed it - from author of Eleanor Roosevelt biographies.)
            • 1935: Works Progress Administration (WPA), provide useful work for millions of victims of the Great Depression and thus to preserve their skills and self-respect
            • 1935: National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), empower employees, right to unionize, minimum wage, 40 hour week. Also know as the Wagner Act
            • 1935: Wealth Tax Act, a progressive tax that took up to 75 percent on incomes over $5 million
      • 1936: FDR re-elected
      • 1938: Fair Labors Standards Act, establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards.
      • 1939: Nazi Rally in NYC to Protest FDR’s progressive “Jew Deal”
      • 1944: FDR proposes second bill of rights [1]
      • 1945: Harry Truman becomes president
      • 1946: Truman signs Hospital Survey and Construction Act to build medical facilities across the nation.  The southern Democrats insisted that decisions for construction be left to the state.   The result was no new facilities in African American communities in the south.
      • 1948: Federal Water Pollution Control Act
      • 1948: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights published with leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt
      • 1953: Eisenhower becomes president
      • 1954: SCOTUS rules on Brown v Board of Education to declare "separate is not equal"
      • 1956: National Interstate and Defense Highways Act
      • 1961: JFK becomes president and tells Congress we’re going to the Moon
      • 1963: LBJ Becomes president
        • 1964-1965: Great Society - Overshadowed by Vietnam War
          • 1964: Economic Opportunity Act - War on Poverty
          • 1964: Civil Rights Act
          • 1965: The 1935 Social Security Act was amended to include Medicare and Medicaid
          • 1965: Elementary and Secondary Education Act - Head Start
          • 1965: Housing and Urban Development Act - Minimum housing standards
          • 1965: National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act - support cultural organizations such as public museums, public libraries, public television, public radio and public archives.
          • 1965: Water Quality Act - set national water quality standards
          • 1965: Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act - vehicle emissions standards
          • 1965: Child Safety Act - assure consumer products are safe
          • 1965: Voting Rights Act - minimizes voter suppression
      • 1965: Ralph Nader publishes Unsafe at Any Speed
      • 1968: Truth in Lending Act, promote the informed use of consumer credit
      • 1969: Nixon becomes president
      • 1970: Clean Air Act
        • 1970: EPA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) created by Executive Order
          • NOAA Early Warning Weather Satellites
          • EPA protects human health and safeguards the natural environment
      • 1971: Occupational Safety and Health Act
        • Ensure every working man and woman in the nation is employed under safe and healthful working conditions
      • 1972: Clean Water Act, amendment to 1948 FWPC Act
      • 1973: SCOTUS rules on Roe v. Wade
      • 1974-2009: Gap in 'of, by, and for the people' legislation, after the 1971 Powell Memo (See anti-citizen actions in second timeline below.)
      • 2010: Affordable Care Act
      • 2010: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).1890-2010 Government of, by and for we the People, Pushback on historical oligarch abuse with wealth concentration busting legislation

End of people over profit timeline.


 

  • 1919-2019:  Government of, by and for the Oligarchs, Oligarchs use profit/“speech" to take control 
    • 1919: Michigan Supreme Court ruling in Dodge v Ford replaces corporation service for the public good with maximize profit above all else. [3]
    • 1933: Proposed corporate coup to replace FDR with Fascist dictatorship was exposed by Marine General Smedley Butler 
    • 1934: Textile Workers National Strike. State governors used national guards to protect corporations
    • 1935 progressive governor of Louisiana Huey Long assassinated
    • 1947: Taft-Hartley Act - Passed to undermine the 1933 NLRA, disempower the worker, and promote Right to Slave Wages, and wage theft.  This law was aimed at eliminating the popular alliance that powered FDRs New Deal: labor unions, which were backed by the Democratic Party, The Communist Party and two socialist parties.  This lead to a purging of union members who were also members of left leaning parties and McCarthyism.
    • 1954: Virginia and “segregationist" James Buchanan fight Brown v Edu and Federal overreach [5] works on political messaging
    • 1969: Nixon becomes president
    • 1970: Legislative Reorganization Act - opened up politicians voting records, then helped special interests and corporations to influence legislators at the committee level
    • 1971: Powell Memo/Lewis Powell’s Plan to US Chamber of Commerce for oligarch takeover of government
      • 1973: ALEC (Paul Weyrich) - writes pro-corporate legislation for states to copy
      • 1973: Heritage Foundation  (Paul Weyrich, Joseph Coors, Edwin Feulner)
      • 1974: CATO Institute (The Charles Koch Foundation, Libertarian) helps promote James Buchanan ideology. 
    • 1971: Lewis Powell appointed to SCOTUS by Nixon
    • 1971: Only 175 companies with lobbyists in Wash, D.C. [2]
    • 1973: Nixon signed the Health Maintenance Organization Act which transformed healthcare to profit centers.
    • 1974: Gerald Ford becomes president
    • 1976: SCOTUS, with Justice Lewis Powell, ruled that oligarch money is speech for buying politicians [4]
    • 1977: Jimmy Carter becomes president
    • 1978: SCOTUS, with Justice Lewis Powell, ruled that corporate money is speech for buying politicians, invalidates the 1907 Tillman Act [4]
    • 1977-78: Growing corporate lobby forces show their power to abuse [2]
      • Labor legislation stopped
      • Consumer protection agency stopped
      • Airlines, railroads, trucking deregulated
      • Closing tax loopholes for the wealthy replaced with reduction in  corporate and capital gains taxes.
      • IRS code, section 401k, added to protect only executive retirement from taxes
      • Corporate control of corporate bankruptcies allowed cancelling union contract commitments  
    • 1979: Moral Majority created (Paul Weyrich, Jerry Falwell)
    • 1980: Usury laws loosened to favor lenders and abolish interest rate limits.  In addition, credit access was made easier to allow workers to borrow cash to distract from their stagnant wage growth or wage theft [2]
    • 1980: Koch brothers unit their billions with James Buchanan's messaging expertise to run David for VP.  This loss convinced them they could never win without buying people like VP Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell.
    • IRS 401k rule extended to all workers as employers shift retirement cost to employees. 
      • Employee's retirement costs grow from 11% in 1980 to 51% in 2006 [2]
    • 1981: Reagan becomes president
      • Taxes reduced significantly to triple the oligarch's net worth (monied speech) by 1990
    • 1981: 2,445 companies with lobbyists in Wash, D.C., oligarchs gain more control 
    • 1981: Reagan fires 11,359 union members of PATCO using Taft-Hartley and decertified PATCO

 

Union membership shrinkage reduces financial support for Demcratic Party

UnionMembershipSlaveWages.png

  • 1982: Previously illegal exotic loans legalized to increase consumer debt and steal equity
  • 1984: Reagon re-elected
  • Decades: Tort Reform reduces payments to citizens and their lawyers for corporate abuse (cutting Dem Party income.) [14]
  • 1985: Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) created in response to 1984 election loss.  Funded by Koch bothers. [9]   
    • Oligarchs success of dropping union representation of workers from 33’% to 3% and tort reform force Democratic Party to seek funding from Wall Street and Big Banks
  • 1987: FCC Fairness Doctrine Ended - Lying is OK for the sake of profit
    • 1988: Rush Limbaugh syndicated nationally and Hate Radio unleashed across US
  • 1992: H Ross Perot gets 18.9% of the popular vote - voters register dissatisfaction with Dems and GOP
  • 1993: Clinton becomes president
  • 1996: Telecommunications Act - Attempt to update the 1934 Communications Act, News Divisions were relocated to profit oriented entertainment divisions and media monopoly was legitimized [6]
    • 1996:  Rupert Murdoch creates Fox News, Lying is Monetized and political polarization maximized
    • Sinclair Broadcasting owns 250 local TV stations promoting conservative worldview [7]
    • Clear Channel -  1,200 stations of Hate Radio [7]
    • Over 90 percent of the country’s media is owned by six or seven corporations
    • Has impacted Net Neutrality [8]
  • 1996: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act ended much of LBJ’s Great Society [4]
  • 1997: Balanced Budget Act created Medicare+Choice - became Medicare Advantage in 2003, first step at privatizing Medicare.
  • 1999: Financial Services Modernization Act repeals 1933 Glass-Steagall and lets banks mix savings and investments
  • 2001: G.W. Bush becomes president
  • 2003: Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) - renamed Medicare+Choice to Medicare Advantage and added Part D for prescription drugs
    • Medicare Advantage is stealth privatization intended to undermine traditional Medicare [10}
    • Medicate not allowed to negotiate drug prices with producers [15]
  • 2005: The Third Way founded - a Democratic think tank that promotes neoliberal economics like free trade [9] [15]
  • 2009: Obama becomes president
  • 2010: SCOTUS, Citizens United, doubles down on money is speech
  • 2016: Third Parties get 5.7% of popular vote and 2.7% of 2008 voters forsake the Dem Party - voters register dissatisfaction with Dems and GOP for the second time
  • 2016: Republican Party Platform promises to abolish Obama’s 2010 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [12]
  • 2017: DJT becomes president
  • 2017: Oligarchs take over the White House, then, with Moscow Mitch, stack the federal courts with oligarch lackeys [13]
  • 2017-2019: Stacking of Federal Judgeships to favor oligarchs [13]
  • 2018: DJT appoints Mick Mulvaney head of CFPB, Mulvaney refuses to request CFPB funding and redefines mission to benefit corporations [12]
  • 2019: 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate unconstitutional

End of profit over people timeline.

As shown by this history of oligarchy v democracy, until the power of speech (defined as “money" by SCOTUS) is more democratically distributed, the Oligarchs have the power, over time, to beat back any democratic gains by the people. 

 

 

 

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