One last point, higher education is failing miserably. The costs have skyrocketed so far above the inflation rate it is virtually impossible to graduate without enormous debt. And engineering students without a master's degree end up working tech support at best. Here again we see the influence of Wall Street. They 'donate' to the universities, sit on the university boards and own the companies providing the student loans. Is it any surprise student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and are passed along to the your estate after your death?
The unfortunate truth is we have all become indentured servants to the very few at the very top. The 0.1% own us in everything short of having a clear title. They have kept us distracted with political theater, corporate owned media, mass marketing, dumbing us down with horrid education and calling us 'excessive overhead' while they outsource manufacturing and any other job.
My friends, we have been had!
You have some valid points Bob but I think you are overlooking a bigger problem--most executives and corporations have no interest in anything more than a year or two into the future. But given how they have structured their contracts, what would we expect?
Top executive compensation is not only obscenely excessive, it is based mostly on short term performance and has little downside when they fail to perform. We've all read the stories where the CEO tanked the company or otherwise screwed up but still walked away with millions (HP, Home Depot, etc.). The millions wasted aren't available for R&D, employee retention or capital expenditure.
Of course Wall Street would punish companies 'wasting' money on such frivolous 'overhead' with no immediate payback (i.e., hurt the quarterly numbers). Unfortunately Wall Street financial firms now 'own' almost everything thru the huge sums in mutual funds, pension and retirement account they 'manage'. I say 'manage' because the only thing they seem capable of is insuring they get enough thru investment expenses to keep buying off the politicians. While they tell the public to 'buy and hold for the long term' their computers autonomously churning sub-second trades accounting for over half the daily trading volume. Fortunately the new NYSE data center conveniently has room to co-locate the computers to keep the trading delays to a few milliseconds.
With their focus on the immediate, is it any surprise their 'employee' politicians aren't interested in infrastructure investments, education, global warming or clean energy? The only reason they support the military is the huge redistribution of taxes from the 99% into corporate revenues. And they support privatizing Social Security, converting Medicare and education to vouchers so they can 'invest' the only big source of funds they don't already control.