Not even Democrats still use the phrase "the public good." Public goods are now, at best, "public investments." Public institutions have morphed into "public-private partnerships" or, for Republicans, simply "vouchers."Outside of defense, domestic discretionary spending is down sharply as a percent of the economy. Add in declines in state and local spending, and total public spending on education, infrastructure and basic research has dropped dramatically over the past five years as a portion of GDP.America has, though, created a whopping entitlement for the biggest Wall Street banks and their top executives -- who, unlike most of the rest of us, are no longer allowed to fail. They can also borrow from the Fed at almost no cost, then lend out the money at 3 percent to 6 percent.All told, Wall Street's entitlement is the biggest offered by the federal government, even though it doesn't show up in the budget. And it's not even a public good. It's just private gain.We're losing public goods available to all, supported by the tax payments of all and especially the better-off. In its place we have private goods available to the very rich, supported by the rest of us.
There's a class war going on alright, and the super rich and the TBTF banks are winning it.
By Robert Reich
August 24, 2013 | Huffington Post