Originally Published: January 16, 2018 6 a.m.
I disagree with John Stossel’s premise in his recent column “The Evil Rich” that less regulation makes the pie larger. Stossel believes in the idea that corporations will regulate themselves. However, we’ve seen many examples, (1873, 1893, 1929, 2000, 1983, and 2008) that prove that the free market economy creates havoc and hurts the majority of citizens while leaving the “evil rich” unscathed. In addition, Stossel says “Democrats…label each attempt at reform a gift to the rich.” Well, in effect it often is. Gov. Doug Ducey, for example, instituted “tax reform” that has forced our education system to the bottom while lining the pockets of private prison and for-profit school corporations.
Trump’s cabinet heads are sacrificing clean air, water and open land so corporations can profit from mining, cutting, and drilling in National Forests and the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Betsy DeVos, who basically bought her education cabinet post, has made millions by investing in private charter schools in Michigan.
These billionaires are takers. They back campaigns in return for laws allowing them to profit from the state. Stossel says “entrepreneurs create things; they don’t take from others.” I agree, but when big businesses receive tax breaks, loopholes, and no bid contracts, they are indirectly taking from all of us through reduced government services. For example, massive corporate tax cuts in the Republican tax bill will force cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability. Millions will lose their health care. Thus, with tax cuts and less regulation, the rich get richer, and the pie gets smaller.