So you might ask, “Is there one very short book I could read to understand our political-economic system of power and greed?” The books 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell are perfect, but if you don’t have time to read 300 pages, Animal Farm with only 139 pages would be perfect if you think while you read. It is about high minded and smart pigs who take power away from humans and soon become corrupted with absolute power and become just like many Republican politicians now. Screw the people for their benefit.
That is starting to happen in the power grab in the Midwest and Florida by Republican governors and legislatures. Even the news portion of MSNBC distorted what is happening there.
The only way we can restore a fair economic system where people can go up in class, something that is becoming almost impossible now, is for every American to know and understand what our political system is doing to their family and future generations. It is a fable passed on by politicians, but the numbers show that only one percent of those in the bottom quarter ever get out now. Before the 1980s, poor and lower middle class families such as mine had a chance to get educated or start a company and succeed is becoming close to impossible now. I doubt Obama would have succeeded. Republicans want to eliminate Pell Grants for college.
Why bother to know about politics? If we are ignorant, fear is used very effectively during the election campaign by the Republicans especially skillfully because all of our so-called rational decisions are made with a good dose of emotion. Democrats don’t have a consistent message so they are not so good at the propaganda message. Only when the Republicans steal and change laws that make it obvious that they are screwing us, do Americans revolt.
The Hedge Funds CEOs who had favored Democrats in the past with names like Loeb and Cohen, who previously have donated generously to President Obama’s campaign in 2008, now give huge sums to the Republican Party with the Billionaire Oil Magnets, the Koch Brothers at the top, giving millions of dollars at a clip.
The House Bill by the Republican House getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security has upset even Republican seniors as some TV stations such as MSNBC in the commentary and not news section gave us a better understanding of it.
The night sessions (ET) such as Maddow http://maddowblog.msnbc.com or http://rachel.msnbc.com 9 PM EDT and 6 PM PDT and Ed Schultz http://ed.msnbc.com are probably the best for most of you. Keith Olbermann will be staring his program in June on Al Gore’s channel.
The article below shows a strong correlation between tax cuts for the rich without paying for it and our current deficits and slower growing economy and stagnant wages since the 1970s. Adjusted for inflation, the wages of most Americans have not increased since then even though our productivity has increased over ten fold and profits have increased sharply. The Republicans have been very successful in economic growth in other countries but not here. China and India are prime examples.
Money is like Cocaine, It Stimulates Our Brain’s Pleasure Button, the More We Have the More We Want. The more sugar we eat, the more we want. The more we need something, the less likely we will give it away to others. What’s Mine is Mine and What’s Yours is Negotiable? The Midas Complex with gold is such an example.
This is strongly shows that Power Corrupts. The comment, “Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely,” originated due to the absolute corruption of the Renaissance Popes, now a series on Showtime with the Borgia Family starring. Yes, they had many sex parties including giving dispensations to the rich for “donations.” That is when the Priest Celibacy Laws were first put in place to get the money from rich families who put their kids in the Priesthood such as the Borgia Family.
Democrats cannot do as much damage to us because their voters tend to be less affluent or poorer and more liberal. Unfortunately since Reagan trashed labor union members, by ignoring the Wagner Act passed in the 1930s by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect workers.
Republicans are trying to wipe out government unions such as in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan and other states where they have the governorship and the legislature, the only place Democrats can get adequate funding and organized people to help get the vote out.
Rachel Maddow, http://maddowblog.msnbc.com tells us that among the top ten large donors to the parties only 3 government unions are Democrats and 7 top donors for the Republicans are the wealthy individuals and corporations.
I expect the next election due the illegal change by the corporate minded Supreme Court where corporate and religious conservative Chief Justice Roberts, Justices Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito make up a majority. Why did they reject a fast hearing of anti-Healthcare Virginia bill? No one tells us why, but I can easily guess that Corporate Healthcare and Big Pharma don’t want the whole bill to be destroyed because it will include big profits with many more customers because everyone has to join. Many of these tend to be younger, so less likely to become sick and those with prior illnesses can be charged up to three times more money for coverage.
Some Corporate Democrats along with all Republican Senators approved Roberts and Alito which gave them the power to pass any laws they wanted no matter how much it violated what previous justices ruled for 100 years in the ruling that made corporations people in the 1890s and the one Citizens United ironically named bill that gave power to the rich and ideological. President Obama voted against both Roberts and Alito because he looked into what they did as judges. Both Alito and Roberts lied under oath about how they will conduct the court decisions. Thomas were nominated by the other older Bush and Kennedy and Scalia by Reagan.
Jim Kawakami, April 28, 2011, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
14 Ways A 90 Percent Top Tax Rate Fixes Our Economy And Our Country
http://www.ourfuture.org/ http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010041625/13-ways-90-percent-top-tax-rate-fixes-economy A return to Eisenhower-era 90% top tax rates helps fix our economy in several ways:
- It makes it take longer to end up with a fortune. In fact it makes people build and earn a fortune, instead of shooting for quick windfalls. This forces long-term thinking and planning instead of short-term scheming and scamming. If grabbing everything in sight and running doesn’t pay off anymore, you have to change your strategy.
- It gets rid of the quick-buck-scheme business model. Making people take a longer-term approach to building rather than grabbing a fortune will help reattach businesses to communities by reinforcing interdependence between businesses and their surrounding communities. When it takes owners and executives years to build up a fortune they need solid companies that are around for a long time. This requires the surrounding public infrastructure of roads, schools, police, fire, courts, etc., to be in good shape to provide long-term support for the enterprise. You also want your company to build a solid reputation for serving its customers rather than cheapening the product, pursuing quick-buck scams, cutting customer service, etc. The current Wall Street/private equity business model of looting companies, leaving behind an empty shell, unemployed workers and a surrounding community in devastation will no longer be a viable business strategy.
- It will lower the executive crime rate. Today it is possible to run scams that let you
pocket huge sums in a single year, and leave behind the mess you make for others to fix. A high top tax rate removes the incentive to lie, cheat and steal to grab every buck you can as fast as you can. This reduces the temptation to be dishonest. If you aren’t going to keep the whole dime, why risk doing the time? When excessive, massive paydays are possible, it opens the door to overwhelming greed and a resulting compromising of principles. Sort of the definition of the decades since Reagan, no?
- Combined with badly-needed cuts in military spending – we spend more on military than all other countries on earth combined – taxing the wealthy ends budget deficits and starts paying off the massive Reagan/Bush debt. This reduces and ultimately eliminates the share of the budget that goes to pay interest. The United States now has to pay a huge share of its budget just to cover the interest on the borrowing that tax cuts made necessary. Paying off the debt would remove this huge drag on our economy. (Never mind that Alan Greenspan famously called for Bush’s tax cuts by saying it was dangerous to pay off our debt – now that same Alan Greenspan says we need to cut benefits to retired people because our debt is so high.)
- It will bring in revenue to pay for improvements in infrastructure that then cause the economy to explode for the better. Investing in modern transit systems, smart grid, energy efficiency, fast internet and other improvements leads to a huge payoff of increased prosperity for all of us – especially for those at the top income levels. Infrastructure improvement and maintenance is the “seed corn” of economic growth. We have been eating that seed corn since Reagan’s tax cuts.
6) (related) It will bring in revenue for improving our schools, colleges and universities. Not only will this help our competitiveness, but it will improve each of our lives and level of happiness.
- It will boost economic growth and rebuild a strong middle class. A consumption-based economy does better when consumers have more to spend. Perhaps not cause-and-effect, though I suspect so, but after FDR raised top tax rates the economy grew dramatically. The 90% top rate years under FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and the beginning of the Kennedy years were the years when we built the middle class. And remember, after Clinton raised top tax rates only modestly the economy grew. How's it been doing since Bush's tax cuts for the rich?
A look at economic growth rate charts shows a steady decline in the decades since top tax rates began to fall. Is it just a coincidence that the economy booms after tax increases that provide revenue to invest in new “seed corn,” and that the economy declines as we reduce taxes?
- It is good for business because increased revenue will enable increasing government spending for the benefit of regular people. This recirculates money into the economy more productively than the current system of putting huge fortunes into a few hands and hoping for a resulting consumption of high-end goods. The wealthy can only spend so much h so more disposable income in the hands of regular people is good for business. Any business owner will tell you they want customers more than they want tax cuts. (Let’s wait until the top one percent no longer owns most of everything before we talk about whether there is an effect on investment.)
9) It protects working people. Exploiting workers with long hours, low pay or lack of pay increases, lack of worker protections, firing union organizers and schemes that call employees “contractors” will no longer pay off as it does today. The era of extreme union-busting came in at the same time as the tax cuts.
The chart shows the share of the richest 10 percent of the American population in total income – an indicator that closely tracks many other measures of economic inequality – over the past 90 years, as estimated by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.
- It redistributes income and wealth in ways that help all of us. Currently a few people receive most of the income and own most of everything. A very high top tax rate reduces this concentration of wealth.
- It fights the political instability that results from concentration of wealth. Great inequality in a society and the resulting loss of opportunity results in political instability that can lead to extreme ideologies, rebellion, etc. We are seeing all the signs of a resurgence of these problems today.
- It will help rebuild our sense of democracy and belief in equality. As we have seen and are seeing, when too much is in the hands of too few, they have too much power and influence and use it to get even more.
- It will strengthen the government that We, the People have worked hard to build, and strengthen its ability to enforce the laws and regulations that protect all of us and the resources we hold in common. It will increase its ability to provide all of us equally with the benefits of our joint efforts and our economy.
- Finally, for good measure, increasing top tax rates will cause those affected to work harder to make up the difference. The Ayn Randians claim the very rich are the “producers” and all the rest of us are just parasites and slackers who feed off their “work.” So it will be very good for our economy to get them working harder by taxing them at 90%! You may have heard about those 25 hedge fund managers who brought in an average of $1 billion each last year – an amount that would have paid for 658,000 teachers -- while the rest of the country suffered through a terrible economy. If we had a top tax rate of 90% they would “only” take home $100 million or so each – in a single year. And we could have 658,000 more teachers. So it’s a win-win.
Taxes are how we all pitch in to enjoy the benefits and protections of modern society. Those benefits and protections are what enable people to become wealthy, and we ask that they give some back so others can prosper as well.