FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING – THE PAST IS NEVER GONE – Marilyn Armstrong

History wasn’t supposed to be an academic subject we learn in school and promptly forget. I am always a bit pixelated by people who tell me that there’s nothing in the past that means anything to them. They are inevitably the same people get twisted up in something they could have  (easily) avoided if they knew some history.

Photo: Owen Kraus

Let’s take the old “trickle down” theory of economics. It has been tried by I don’t even know how many conservative or Republican administrations. It has never worked. That’s because it doesn’t work. It can’t work. It’s one of those theories that presupposes that the people involved will intentionally do “the right thing.”

That extra money will be reinvested in the business and used to pay employees better and hire more people.

Except they don’t. Ever.

They take the money as a bigger salary for themselves and other top-level administration. They use the rest to pay bigger dividends to investors and as often as not, cut staffing, lower salaries, and these days, move the entire business to a less expensive economic environment. The thing they never do is raise salaries for current employers and hire more people.

Why not?

Good question. There was a time when that is what businesses did. They believed in America. They weren’t any less greedy or rapacious than the current bunch, but they were patriots too. They believed in the United States, trusted Americans to produce high-quality work. They also thought high-quality work mattered.

Crown and Eagle mill

These days, greed is what’s left but without the patriotism or dedication to producing quality work. They don’t care whether what they do strips the land, destroys anyone living in the area, or is lethally poisonous. As long as they make an extra penny per whatever, that’s good enough.

Most of these “old time” rich people eventually turned to philanthropy. They did care about America and once they’d wrung every penny they could get from whatever industry they built, they thought it was their duty to “pay back” the country.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

These days, most of the super-rich have no allegiance to anyone or anything but themselves. They think if we aren’t rich, we’re trash. That’s exactly how they treat us.

If you work harder at your job, they will fire someone else and you will get twice the work. I eventually learned to never let them know how quickly I could work because I never got a raise or a pat on the back. I just got more and more work. In one job, I started out as the junior writer in a department of five.

Rumford River dam, part of the original Bernat Mill complex.

By the time I left, I was the junior writer in a department of me alone. Everyone else had quit or been let go. I still hadn’t gotten a raise or promotion. I did what five people had previously done. Nothing trickled down.

That was the last time I let myself work full-speed.

And that’s why trickle down is a pile of horseshit. Nothing trickles down. The guy at the top keeps it all and laughs as they haul his money to a Caribbean island while he avoids paying any taxes. To anyone.

Two banks, night in Uxbridge

If anyone reads history, the story of economics in this and every other country will assure them this isn’t going to work because it never has. It never will.

Meanwhile, a pile of damn fool voters will believe the bosses who promise they will make it better — yet never understand why they keep getting poorer.

13 thoughts on “FORGETTING AND REMEMBERING – THE PAST IS NEVER GONE – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Cynical as this is, Marilyn, this is an unfortunate truth of our modern world. It has been like this always. The rich have always abused the working and middle classes as has Government. Who pays all the taxes? It is that same person sitting there doing all the work. If you are lucky, you live in a country where you get something in return for all your tax money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny inward omly saying to Mr. Swiss how much our jobs meant to us, always striving for a bit of recognition. When you are no longer needed your realise that you were just a number and nothing more

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Worst, all the books I wrote — and I wrote many of them — are all out of date and the products they went with are long out of date. Yes, a number. But we did our best and that really has to be enough. Garry is lucky in that he gets a bit more recognition. Just as well. He’s such a ham.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You nailed it Marilyn, that’s exactly what’s going on and it does society no good. I’m sorry but philanthropy is no pay back. Nobody wants a handout we just want some recognition for our work and fairness for our pay.
    This greed will bring the whole system down eventually.
    Leslie

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  4. Yeah, but try to tell the dullards that. Any fool who believes “I’m going to tell you how to get mega-rich in five easy steps…” is an idiot of the first water. A twat waffle 😉 . Today I had what I call a ‘non-argument’ with someone who appears to embrace the head t.w., but when challenged about that, said “Well I DIDN’T vote for HIM.” Well why keep defending the ass then? And assumptions about how I voted, because I have two X chromosomes makes me seethe. I see clearly about what politicians appear to be made of these days and it ain’t integrity, honesty and doing all one can for one’s constituency …. it’s about lying, cheating, slinging so much mud that someone could set up a Pottery Barn on the spot, and getting all the graft and money one can. I have to wonder if Washington and Lincoln and other noteworthy men of caliber (and please nobody bust that particular illusion..I got few enough left) aren’t weeping at the stupidity and greed and ultimate downfall America is facing. Still, isn’t our decline just history? All ‘great’ civilizations have eventually fallen…I suppose it’s just our turn. Too bad it will be because we’re collectively too stupid to survive..

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    1. There was plenty of graft and bribery in the Good Old Days too, but not to the huge extent we are seeing it now. They were talking hundreds of dollars. We’re talking BILLIONS. Also, there’s a whole new attitude about, as if it doesn’t count if you don’t get caught. I think that’s one of many things that greatly bothers me, that we gauge how serious is THIS breach. It is better/worse/ the same as the last one. That isn’t how a government should run. Not ours or anybody else’s.

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