"I've been trying to figure out the political philosophy addressed in the Reader. You hold your cards close to the chest! Is it reflected in this quote from Sasha Abramsky's article? [The American Way of Poverty, ASO '14] 'The cost of such an effort would be large… how we fund and maintain our safety net programs… how we regulate the wages and benefits employers provide…' and so on. Mr. Abramsky seems to be describing a variation of a planned economy based on active redistribution of wealth. Could you indicate which political party, parties, or movements best reflects the viewpoints of The Reader?"
- John Albrektson, Redlands
from The Reader Magazine:
There is evidence by sources as centrist as London School of Economics (LSE) that the U.S. economy is already as you've described: "a planned economy based on active redistribution of wealth". The direction and scale of that redistribution is largely kept out of the public view. Professor Robert Wade of LSE shows it is going from the bottom up, and has been this way for more than 30 years.
From 1983 to 2013, while the number of companies controlling 90% of American’s information went from 50 to 6, the majority of Americans had negative income growth. Professor Wade found that over this period, $1.5 trillion was redistributed upward from the lowest 90% of the US population to the top 1%, every year.
That something like this could occur in a "free society", something so obviously against the interests of the vast majority is a sign of the extent to which American media is in the service of the richest 1% of the population.
American’s decreasing access to honest information within a glut of tabloid-like distraction and misinformation is increasingly difficult to comprehend or discuss for reasons perhaps best explained by George Orwell in 1984:
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."