Reagan told us to give corporations more power. He said that if we allowed them to keep more money and regulate themselves, the efficiency gains would lead to more jobs, more investments, more innovation, and cheaper prices. Reagan told us that socialism was inefficient, not least because it destroys incentives and draws resources away from our most productive citizens. I think this is reasonable, but a funny thing happened on the way to privatization. Which is to say... The corporate consolidation of power over politics and the economy has been achieved by socializing cost (subsidies) and risk (bailouts). In many ways, the private sector has always been parasitic on government, i.e., not private at all. The Cold War Pentagon created most of the major technological advances in consumer electronics, communications, & aerospace technology. Corporations captured, privatized, and monopolized these public investments on behalf of a narrow group of shareholders- thus precluding the public from getting a return on that investment (-this is why cities and infrastructure rot as resources are pumped narrowly into a porky no-bid special interest machine. How do you think Eli Lilly crushed foreign drug competition, or Big Oil crushed the first electric car movement? Capital doesn't want competition. Capital doesn't want less government. To the contrary, it wants a dynamic, interventionist government to protect its special interests. What if the noble revolution in privatization since 1980 has been an Orwellian hoax? What if capital doesn't want privatization? What if it wants all the government help it can steal from the public?). Giving capital lower labor costs benefits us all! Not exactly. The war on labor and government-protected middle class living-standards has resulted in wages that cannot support consumption - thus, there is no incentive for capital to add jobs or innovate, that is, there is no demand to capture. Reagan never told us about this part. (He also didn't tell us that...) Underfunding consumption and overfunding capital leads to terrible consequences on both ends: 1) Consumption, no longer grounded by solid wages and benefits, is driven ex nihilo by debt (credit cards), and 2) capital, lacking genuine demand-based investment opportunities for their surplus, must invent phantom instruments ex nihilo to maintain high returns (see derivatives, hedges, as well as oil & currency speculation) This is where the Bush tax cuts went: risky, phantom, ponzi derivative garbage. Why? - because there was no demand to warrant investment in the real economy. Reaganomics does not adequately account for the need to have an effective balance between capital and labor; it doesn't understand that the middle class is too big to fail. Meaning: without an effective wage, benefit, and entitlement base to make average consumers solvent, there is insufficient money for consumption... and the economy dies. Again. Reaganomics created the perfect storm: consumers (having lost wages, benefits, and entitlements) turned increasingly to debt-based consumption ("death by Visa & crazy Mortgage"), while capital (having no demand to "invest" in) increasingly relied upon phantom, risky garbage to maintain high returns. Welcome to it America. We have seen unprecedented profits in energy, health insurance, retail (e.g.,Walmart), biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, etc. Unprecedented profits. Reagan told us that these profits would trickle down into higher employment and greater benefits. He said it would make the middle class consumer stronger (as he, Bush & Clinton quietly handed consumers credit cards and ALT-A's to make up for the fact that the money stopped trickling down). It is now apparent that Reagan's labor policies were designed not to make the middle class stronger, but to allow capital to bypass the American middle class in favor of 3rd world sweatshops. [Remember: ultra cheap labor is the goal of capital]. This is why we have seen capital flight to unstable regions, and an explosion of the Pentagon budget to protect 3rd world supply chains. Do you know where our imports come from? Do you know where oil comes from? Capital depends on evil "dictator controlled economies" which repress labor, paying them pennies an hour, making them live in holes. In order to extract resources and labor from these unstable places that wage war on their own people, capital requires massive military (public) assistance to keep their products and profits flowing. Capital depends on heavily repressed labor forces because this lowers costs and increases profits, especially when capital can move the military cost to the taxpayer (i.e., socialize the costs!). This is the dirty little secret of capitalism: it depends on a highly interventionist government. Therefore, since relaxing the tax, labors, and regulatory burden on capital, we have seen the opposite of what Reagan promised: the jobs have disappeared and the benefits have been cut. For 30 years, we have seen less and less investment in American jobs, and more capital flight to freedom hating, cheap labor countries. Capitalism has made our enemies stronger and the American middle class weaker. Only the profit (and not the jobs) remain in this country -- but that profit doesn't go to the public who pays the military costs of stabilizing 3rd world supply chains -- nope; it concentrates inside the pockets of the wealthy, who dole it out to politicians and media in order to create the legal, regulatory and disinformation to keep the ruse going. What's the ruse? Republican voters believe that tax cuts go to American jobs. Wrong. Half the tax cuts get "invested" into Washington in order to acquire the legal, regulatory, and military conditions to access 3rd world labor. The other half gets invested into conservative media sources in order to convince people that the tax cuts are actually trickling down to American jobs. Brilliant! Reaganomics destroyed all the legal, financial, and regulatory structures that grounded middle class demand. Then it tried to fix the demand problem with debt, and the investment problem with derivatives and over-leveraged garbage. (and Republican voters still don't see it. They just keep parakeeting dogma about tax cuts, as if it were still 1970 and the problem was inflation) America swallowed poison in 1980. The patient is almost dead.