Cost to the Poor for Rewarding the Rich? (Cause & Effect)

Interesting comparisons.

See US tax top rates by year at this link:

Note the degree of change in the Reagan years.
Note the rates prior to 1964.

It would be interesting to compare what social changes started to occur in those same years, how essential community services started to erode and how people have been affected by the significant reduction of taxes on those who can most afford to pay.

An example:

The number of homeless people grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service cuts increased and the economy deteriorated. The United States government determined that somewhere between 200,000 and 500,000 Americans were then homeless. There were some U.S. federal initiatives that aimed to help, end and prevent homelessness, however, there were no designated homeless-related programs in the Office of Management and Budget.

The History of the United States (1980–1991) illustrates that this was a time when there was economic distress, high unemployment, and was the period when chronic homelessness became a societal problem. In 1980, federal funds accounted for 22% of big city budgets, but by 1989 the similar aid composed only 6% of urban revenue (part of a larger 60% decrease in federal spending to support local governments). It is largely (although not exclusively) in these urban areas that homelessness became widespread and reached unprecedented numbers.

Most notable were cuts to federal low-income housing programs. An advocacy group claims that Congress halved the budget for public housing and Section 8 (the government’s housing voucher subsidization program) and that between the years of 1980 and 1989 HUD’s budget authority was reduced from $74 billion to $19 billion. Such alleged changes is claimed to have resulted in an inadequate supply of affordable housing to meet the growing demand of low-income populations. In 1970 there were 300,000 more low-cost rental units (6.5 million) than low-income renter households (6.2 million). By 1985, the advocacy group claimed that the number of low-cost units had fallen to 5.6 million, and the number of low-income renter households had grown to 8.9 million, a disparity of 3.3 million units

The 1980s also saw a continuing trend of deinstitutionalizing mental-health treatment. It is believed that a large percentage of these released patients ended up in the homeless system.


11 thoughts on “Cost to the Poor for Rewarding the Rich? (Cause & Effect)

  1. The man who employed a few of my sons, one of them all the way through college (in addition to part of the time he was in high school), and who pays higher than is expected for the particular kind of job, used to be an economic conservative (in the sense of Reagan and the Pauls). He believed the ideology (like I was raised with it and thought it was true), that it helps everybody because it’s fair and the people with money will help others. This time around voting for president, he says he’s in favor of whoever is most liberal; we’ve been trying this trickle-down junk long enough to see it doesn’t work. He happens to be Jewish and open to thinking.

  2. The “trickle-down effect” has the potential to work, but is reliant on there being innate generosity within those from whom the trickling is expected to come.
    Experience shows that generosity is severely lacking in most cases and therefore needs another way of ensuring there’s a continual flow. I think the information in the links I provided show that in previous decades taxation acted reasonably well in that role (even though the wisdom demonstrated in the distribution of taxes can vary according to the nature of the Govt. in office).

  3. People get upset that government doesn’t do some very basic things as well as they’d like. But the government is so poorly funded now it’s not reasonable to think the money is there. It takes taxes.

  4. Government is so poorly funded because it no longer raises the amount of taxes needed because of the slashing of tax rates applicable to the ultra-rich.
    Instead, to meet budgetary shortfalls, cost cutting hits services previously provided for the very poor.

  5. Hi, Steve. I’ll go read the article at the link in a minute. It just occurred to me to say I like Tim’s name for this thread, it turns around the usual charge (pun not intended) that government punishes the rich.

  6. A recent (and yet not solved) cost, set of costs, rather, is ongoing in Michigan. The people have basically lost their democracy (I’m not kidding or exaggerating) and, in one city, subsequently been poisoned (I’m not exaggerating). A poster child for competent government is the idea that we have learned to keep lead out of paint and food and so on. But there is now lead in the water of Flint because arbitrarily-imposed (by the governor) “emergency” management (not elected officials) [also not federal… so that tired excuse to complain and act outraged, that ploy to hate government) doesn’t apply] tried to save money and cut corners.

  7. Flint Michigan seems to have become the poster-town for the ongoing effects of the poverty resulting from Reagan’s policies. I recall it’s the home town of Michael Moore who has documented the town’s downward spiral in his films.

    Increasing civic poverty creates increasing likelihood to cut costs in ill-advised ways when there are no more sensible cost-cutting methods available.

  8. Because of money, they were told they couldn’t have their elected government (in any potent sense — they do have their elections, but their official people have not been allowed to function). How not American is that? {I don’t mean to ignore that there has always (purposely) been an oppressed underclass.}

    But then there is a new mayor, and she decided to pursue declaring a true state of emergency. She proposed this to the governor, and he didn’t act like it was a pressing matter… until he heard the federal government is looking into the matter. Then he signed to agree with her concern.

  9. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder: No regrets on not running for president, no endorsement just yet

    There’s an article and a video here. It should be alarming to hear this man (and others like him)
    speak of “solutions” and the preference, need, or importance for outsiders to come up with them.

    That was back in September. I’ve been trying to get a direct link for this guy talking yesterday; can’t.

    The best I can do is share a way to find it:
    ‘Meager progress in Flint toxic water crisis by Michigan’s Snyder

    ‘Rachel Maddow reports on local clean water and filter distribution centers in Flint, Michigan running out of supplies already as Governor Rick Snyder is slow to implement an effective relief plan. Duration: 4:47′

    He answers as if this is just a market subject, there is “demand’ [for water, duh]. Dear invisible hand…*
    {*For them, this should be capitalized, reference to this concept; needs/demand should Magically be met.}

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