Infrastructure-What Went Wrong


America: What Went Wrong?
by Donald L. Barlett & James B. Steele

published in the 
Philadelphia Enquirer
October 20-28, 1991

PART 1: Dismantling the Middle Class
Across the country, people seem to sense the rules of the game have changed in some undefined way that rewards a few and hurts the many. They are right. In a nine-part series, The Enquirer examines the dismantling of America.
A: How the game was rigged against the middle class,
B: Who got caught when the rules changed?,
     1: Who-and how many-in America's middle class
     2: After 3 decades American worker loses out to Mexico
C: The middle class gets caught in crunch
     1: Tax 'reform': Small break for you--big breaks for the rich

PART 2: Getting rich off of bankruptcy
In the surge of bankruptcies caused by heavy corporate debt in the '80s, the winners are high-priced consultants hired to close companies. The losers: workers thrown out of their jobs.
A: The lucrative business of bankruptcy
B: The very lucrative bankruptcy business
     1: One week of flying, phoning, packing and unpacking for $225 an hour....
     2: The 30 biggest bankruptcies in US history

PART 3:  Shifting taxes from them to you
Hundreds of companies have drastically reduced their federal tax bills through special interest tax laws.
A: Big business hits the jackpot with billions in tax breaks
B: Big business gets the big tax breaks
     1: The federal debt
     2: Corporations discover NOL (net operating loss), a tax writeoff bonanza worth billions....

PART 4: The Foreign Connection
Foreign investors find the US a very congenial place. They buy firms, play the market, and get tidy tax breaks.
A: Why the world is closing in on US economy
     1: Congress taxes foreigners at lower rates than you

PART 5: When government controls come off
The future was supposed to be rosy for deregulated airlines, trucking and S&Ls. Results have been disastrous.
A: The high cost of deregulation: Joblessness, bankruptcy, debt
B: After deregulation, industries in chaos
     1: The collapse of the US trucking industry

PART 6:  Playing Russian roulette with health insurance
As companies cut expenses or fail, Americans lose their health insurance. Sometimes they lose their health too, and then their savings.
A: For millions in US, a harsh reality: It's not safe to get sick
B: Millions face life minus health care
     1: How death came to a once-prosperous discount-store chain

PART 7: Simplicity pattern: Irresistible to raiders
When takeover artists targeted Simplicity Pattern Co., it had $100 million in reserves. They left it $100 million in debt.
A: Raiders work their wizardry on an all-American company
B: What the raiders did to one company
     1: The raiding of Simplicity Pattern Co.

PART 8: The disappearing pensions
Many workers have no pensions at all. Someday others could find themselves with reduced benefits. That is something that will never happen to the members of Congress
A: When you retire, will there be a pension waiting?
     1: Money drained from the pension funds of 4,800 workers at Posner-controlled companies.
B: Pensions are not always a sure thing
     1: Workers saving for their retirement lose on junk bonds
C: Sweet pension deal in Congress

PART 9: How Washington really works
The influence of Washington lobbyists is felt in many ways. It is not just the laws they get enacted. It is also the ones they stop.
A: How special-interest groups have their way with Congress
B: Congress is swayed by special interests
     1: How to write or telephone lawmakers


WE CANNOT CLAIM TO BE FREE IF WE EXPECT THE THREAT OF FORCE BE USED TO MAINTAIN UNITY.

Alternative Voices
The Voices that made all of America--
north, south, and central--
Great.

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