When George W. Bush was President, the Bankruptcy laws of this country were "reformed." Allow me to share some of those "reforms", which remain part of the Bankruptcy Code to this day:
If you lived alone and owned a 10,000 square foot house, for example, which had little equity and cost a great deal on a monthly basis to maintain, you could keep that house, discharge unsecured debts you owed and use the newly available funds to continue paying the cost of living in that house.
However, if you were a renter, a means test was established, whereby the amount of money you could spend on rent in your geographic area and family size was determined. The amount of unsecured debt you could discharge was based upon the funds available after such a means test was conducted.
If you owned a Lamborghini with little equity and which cost you a great deal in monthly payments, you could keep that car, discharge unsecured debts you owed and use the newly available funds to continue paying the cost of that car.
However, if you leased a car, a means test was established, whereby the amount of money you could spend on your car was determined. The amount of unsecured debt you could discharge was based upon the funds available after such a means test was conducted.
Those "reforms" were designed to benefit those who had previously accumulated wealth and establish an unlevel playing field for everyone else.
The Republican "tax reform" under the Trump Administration operates in a similar manner, but provides an even greater unlevel playing field.
These "reforms" the Republicans continue enacting are designed to benefit those who already "have" and preclude those who don't already "have" from ever "having."
It's absolutely stunning to me that people are unable to see this pattern and reality. It never ceases to amaze me that so many people continue electing politicians who work so hard to redesign the "game" to exclude more and more people from ever "having" and protect and futher improve the lives of those who already "have" the most.
Sadly, this is related to the scarcity worldview held by Republicans / conservatives. As social science researcher Brene' Brown explains, "the opposite of scarcity is not abundance. It's enough." Republicans / conservatives operate from a scarcity mindset.
As such, they believe that the more people they exclude from "having", the more is available to them. The excusion involves "out groups." Those "out groups" include marginalized groups of people for whom civil rights were designed to end such exclusion and the financial "have nots."
They also tend to have very binary thinking.
If you're not a "success" in their eyes, you're a "failure." If you're a "success", you should be rewarded. However, if you're a "failure", you should be punished - excluded. In reality, however, just because someone may not be a “success,” according to their definition of “success,” doesn’t make them a "failure."
If you're not a "winner" in their eyes, you're a "loser." However, in the real world, just because someone isn't a "winner," under their defintion, doesn't make them a "loser."
By the same token, they believe that if you don't "dominate" others, they will "dominate" you. As such, it's imperative in their worldview to do anything and everything possible to design the playing field such that they "dominate" the "others" - the “out groups.”
Among other things, the serious flaw in a scacity mindset is that the more people you essentially exclude from participating in the economy, the worse the economy becomes because the money isn't circulating. The more money circulates, the better it is for everyone.
As an aside and for those who in any way think I am a Hillary Clinton fan even though I admittedly voted for her for President, allow me to ease your minds. Hillary Clinton voted in favor of that bankuptcy "reform" after having sought advice and counsel of Elizabeth Warren. She then disregarded it. This was while Clinton was a Senator and before Warren became a Senator. The "reform" was passed in 2005.
As I said in the last article I published in Huffington Post, labels are limiting. Clinton is very much exclusionary; however, just not to the same degree as Republicans / conservatives.