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The cause of the great depression and this one were clearly related to/caused by the banking industry. Deregulation of banks, gambling on margin trading, giving home loans with no income verification, deregulation of banks, bundling of toxic loans as AAA, deregulation of the banking industry, selling of toxic loans to every other bank in the world (domino effect when they go bad). Pick which ones you think apply to the last century or this one. Greed. That being said, Krugman in nov 2011 did advocate raising taxes on the wealthy and making a financial transaction tax in order to pay for the deficit.
It 's really easy to Google the tax rates for America. That being said you are incorrect. The lowest tax rates we had in the last century were prior to the first great depression in the twenties. It is no surprise that the low tax rates for the last 10 years has sent us into another one. It's a simple issue. For people to have a society that works, it has to be paid for. Governments can only tax the poor (Social Security, income tax, sales tax, gas tax, ect..) so long before their broke. You then can either tax the people left that have money or heads will start to roll. Think Cuba, America, Russia, French revolution, Magna Carta, all of these came about because of injustices. Some turned out good, some turned out bad, but it will happen.
You are correct that there is no stigma today associated with being on welfare. A large portion of the biggest and most profitable companies in our country today not only pay no tax, but have lobbied (bribed) a large group of wealthy people to write loop holes in the tax code to give them extra money back. This same group of welfare queens that run these companies also pay a smaller share of their income to taxes then most of the people working for them. If you don't believe that the social security tax is not a tax, your wrong. It is payed by the poor before deductions. Wealthy people that make income from investments don't pay it.
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