If you're old enough, you might remember what flying was like before 1980. It was great. Airlines were known for keeping to precise schedules, without hubs and lay-overs and switching planes, the planes were spacious and comfortable, service was attentive and friendly, and you got actual meals during flights.

Then came Ronald Reagan and deregulation. Flying became a horror show. Backed-up or fucked-up schedules and routine delays, cramped seating, irritable service and barely even an edible snack to speak of.

If you lived in New York City before 1980, you rarely encountered "homeless" people, except perhaps in very specific areas, like "The Bowery," and it was understood that these were individuals with serious alcohol and psychiatric problems who were refusing treatment. As a social worker in the 1970's, I was able to do good long-term work with many substance abusers and psychiatric patients who wanted help in well-funded residential treatment facilities.

Then came Ronald Reagan and his ending of funding for social programs. In what seemed like an instant, the entire city was overrun with "the homeless" who'd been ejected from hospitals and treatment centers.

If you understand Reaganomics and you understand the current state of human "second nature," you can understand the incredible debacle that has befallen our country and much of the world economically.

Robert Reich, a professor of public policy, former secretary of labor during the Clinton administration and the author of "Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life," has a piece in on the economy and Reagonomics.

Here's Reich:

"The basic idea of Reaganomics was that the economy grows from the top down. Lower taxes on the wealthy make them work harder and invest more, and the benefits trickle down to everyone else. Rarely in economic history has a theory been more tested in the real world and proven so wrong. In point of fact, nothing trickled down. After the Reagan tax cuts, increases in the median wage slowed, adjusted for inflation. After George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, the median wage actually dropped. Meanwhile, most of the income went to the top. In 1980, just before the Reagan revolution, the richest 1 percent took home 9 percent of total national income. But by 2007, the richest 1 percent was taking home 22 percent. Reaganomics didn't believe in public investment, except perhaps when it came to the military. Everything else was considered government spending, which was assumed to be wasteful. Hence, the cuts (adjusted for inflation) during Reagan, Bush I and Bush II in education, job training, infrastructure, and basic research and development. And the reluctance to expand health insurance except when it came to corporate welfare for the pharmaceutical industry. Reaganomics' third principle was that deregulated markets function better. All hell broke loose. Energy markets were deregulated, and we wound up with Enron. Carbon emissions weren't controlled, and now we face global warming. Financial markets were deregulated, and we have a global meltdown."

And, oh yeah, remember the airlines? I remember. And as the 1980's progressed, I remember thinking: Ronald Reagan is going to go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever. A man who called his wife "Mommy" was ripping the economic fabric of a great country to shreds. Only now, almost four decades later, are books coming out debunking the Reagan Myth created by the neo-cons in the last decade. This current world economic crisis is more Reagan's fault than Bush's in that Bush was mainly a stupid child (see Will Farrel) doing what his elder psychopaths were telling him to do, while Reagan, also childish (see "Mommy") was old and charming enough to become the architect of an economic system that would eventually gut our financial security at its core.

Ironically, Reaganomics as an economic system sounds a lot like Full Permission Living in the sense that we are at our best when left to pursue life, liberty and happiness without oppressive rules. BUT... here's the big difference, and it's right on the banner of this blog - Full Permission Living espouses "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness through Self-Actualization.

That is everything. If you haven't yet freed yourself to a great degree from the destructive and self-destructive impulses of your second nature, you can't engage in full permission living. You need outer regulation. You need the limits imposed upon you from without because you will not act in accord with the universal law of oneness. If you have enough of an adult self available to you, you will seek out the guidance necessary to attain maturity, and therefore become ready for unregulated freedom. If you don't have enough of an adult self to do that, then you must have boundaries imposed upon you.

Without that level of self-actualization or imposed regulation, those in charge of the airlines, banks, oil companies, etc., all became Gordon Geckos, extolling the virtues of greed-gone-wild in an every-man-for-himself orgy of avarice.

And so, here we are. I know I keep coming back over and over and over to the same message, folks, but that's the way it is with the truth. You have to keep hearing it and saying it until you are living it. If you weren't born fully self-actualized (I'm still waiting to meet that person!), and if you're not engaged in some kind of deep self-work, you need to be regulated.

Sorry, my Reaganite friends, but your delusion has become everyone's nightmare. Economically-speaking, the Gipper will go down in history as one of the most naive and wrong-headed presidents ever.

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