Lawmakers and economists constantly wrack their immense, bulging brains over how to boost the economy and create jobs. But Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren insists that — as with Dorothy suddenly learning that the ruby slippers she wore could return her from the Land of Oz to her home in Kansas — the solution to our nagging dilemma has been in plain sight all along.
Warren appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball with the perpetually cranky Chris Matthews to promote her book, “A Fighting Chance,” and to remind us that bringing back prosperity isn’t rocket science. We already know how to do it, because we’ve done it before. The last time America’s big banks destroyed our economy — back in the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the resulting catastrophic Great Depression — we learned through trial and error how to rebuild and grow our middle class.
Warren went on explain that during the 1940’s-1970’s, our country created prosperity, and a thriving middle class, by investing in infrastructure and opportunity.
“Well, you know, this isn’t magic. We actually know how to do this. We did this for nearly half a century, coming out of the great depression until about 1980. We made the investments together that helped build opportunity for all of us.”
Warren takes care to mention that she was given opportunities for education and advancement that no longer exist for today’s young people.
“I went to a commuter college that cost fifty dollars a semester. It opened a million doors for me. How could I go to a school that cost fifty dollars a semester? Because I grew up in a America that said, we collectively, all of us, are going to make those investments in education so that any kid, who works hard, who plays the rules, who tries to get out there and make something of herself, is going to have a fighting chance to make that happen.”
She then pinpoints when the American Dream went wrong, dating our current downward spiral to the Reagan years in the mid-1980’s.
“It changed in the 1980′s when the Republicans came up with a different vision. They said, ‘Eh, that’s not how you build an economy. The way you build an economy is you let those at the very top, the richest and the most powerful, keep more of their money and more of their power, and somehow it’s going to trickle down for everybody else.’”
Alas, as we all know now, that
tinkling trickling down never happened.
Watch Elizabeth Warren and Chris Matthews.
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