Tag Archives: rich

The Demise of the Republican Party Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Single Issue Voters Getting Manipulated

Almost all of America agrees with the policies of the Progressive Left. This includes agreeing with the majority of the following issues:

  • The rich have gotten too rich
  • The rich have too much influence over our political system
  • Our political system needs to be more representative of the needs of the middle class
  • We need to fix the economy so we can bring back the middle class in this country
  • We need to take care of the least among us, including extended unemployment benefits, food stamps, food for poor children
  • We need to fix our broken health care system
  • We need to get off fossil fuels and need to start developing energy systems for the 21st century
  • We need to do something about global warming and the freaky once-in-a-century storms we’re seeing every day, now

In fact, not only does the vast majority of America believe these things, the vast majority of REPUBLICANS believe these things.

So, if that’s true, then why does anyone still vote republican? The answer is obvious and this answer explains why America is at a greater risk than ever of being destroyed by the wealthy, at the hands of the the Republican voters who believe all these things. This answer should scare the dickens out of you.

The Republican party and the top 1% of our wealthy elite have found a way to get the average Republican to vote against America. This sounds like hyperbole, but bear with me. The vast majority of Republican voters are single issue voters. In other words, they are willing to see all the other issues, mentioned above, go to Hell as long they get their one hot item issue. Even if they don’t get the one issue, they’ll vote for a party that lies to them and says they’re going to provide it.

And, what are these single issues that the Republican voter will vote for even if it means the destruction of America? What are the things that are so important that they’re more important than our economy or more important than everything else our country stands for? You’ve probably guessed. But here is a short list of things that some fanatics will vote for, even if it means voting against everything else that matters to them.

  • Gun rights
  • Abortion restrictions
  • Birth control restrictions
  • Putting women in their place at the back of the bus
  • Putting minorities at the back of the bus
  • Putting gays in their place
  • Protecting the great white class in America
  • Religious control of our country
  • Getting rid of the black man in the white house
  • Undoing equal rights
  • Benghazi
  • Anything Fox News says

The wealthy have found out how to control these ignorant fanatics to vote against everything that matters to them, just so long as they foolishly believe their one-ticket item will finally be addressed.

And now that the Republicans in the Supreme Court have opened the flood gates and allowed the wealthy and transnational corporations control of our political process, we are seeing billions of dollars spent to get those fanatics mobilized.

Come election day, these fanatics will be wetting their pants from all the scary advertising and will be the first ones in line to vote.

All the while, the rest of America will watch in horror at the spectacle that we see every election year and most will neglect to even get to the voting booths.

Big money will be controlling the fanatics more than ever this election year. If the rest of us quietly watch from the sidelines, we can kiss this country goodbye. Not goodbye in the future or goodbye next year or in a few years. If we don’t fix this right now, we will not get another chance.

Talk to your friends. Talk to your neighbors. Try to wake up your single-issue voters in your family to the fact that they’re being manipulated to vote against their own best interests and the best interest of their country.

More than anything, get everyone you know to register and get out and vote.

The Demise of the Republican Party Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Those Lazy Poor People

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now how some people always blame the victim. It’s the girl’s fault for getting raped, it’s the dress, it’s the victims fault who live in repressive countries, it’s the poor’s fault for being poor and lazy.

Let’s evaluate that last one.

If lack of ambition was the only cause or even the primary cause for poverty, then only one or maybe a handful of people would have any money because they have more ambition than everyone else.

Well this obviously isn’t the case, now, is it? There are lots of people with ambition who die poor and lots of lazy rich people. One would have to be purposely blind to not see that around them every day.

If you take a moment to think through the stories you’re told, you can see where the logic breaks down. And, once you realize you’ve been fed a crock of baloney, you probably end up with at least these two questions:

  1. Well, then, what is the real cause of poverty?
  2. Why are people so ignorant to not see through the illogical statements, if I can? They must be able to see that what they are saying is wrong. And, if they’re saying things they know are wrong, why are they doing it? What are they getting from this deceit?

I think we all know what the lazy rich are getting by us fighting among ourselves. We’re not fixing the problem with the rich. The rich are the news commentators, they are the news media.

And for the first question, take a quick stroll through this article on the poor to get a good idea on what is making people poor.

I know, I know, I can hear it already by those who refuse to admit to themselves that they were wrong, “but I know a lazy poor person. It must be true.”

Well, do you have any idea how hard it is to live a life in poverty? There is stress every minute of every day wondering if and how you’re going to make ends meet. You’re spending every minute of the day working for poverty wages because you don’t get paid enough to just work 60 hours like the lazy rich might do.

If you’re so poor that you’ve lost your home and your family and don’t even have a car with gas in it to live in anymore, you spend every minute of your life trying to keep from losing the few possession you still have and you’re working to figure out how you’re going to get enough food so you don’t starve, and you’re trying to figure out where you’re going to spend the night without freezing to death.

Do rich people work this hard? Of course not.

So, next time you hear someone say or even imply that the poor are lazy, it might be time to set them straight.

The Poison Pill Killing the Post Office

The Poison Pill Killing the Post Office
David Schlecht

This story can’t be repeated often enough and it’s important enough that it should be on everyone’s mind and on everyone’s lips.

Five years ago, the Republican party put a poison pill into legislation that is killing the Post Office. The Post Office is now expected to fund medical benefits for their retires FOR THE NEXT SEVENTY FIVE YEARS, all in the next few years.

Think about that for a minute. The next seventy five years means they’re having to put money aside for people who aren’t even born yet and might work at the Post Office.

The purpose of this poison pill is obviously nothing less than an effort to kill the Post Office, the only office that is protected by the Constitution.

The Republicans want to give the Post Office off to one of their rich Super PAKs and they might as well make sure there are billions of dollars in medical saving accounts to give away while they’re at it.

If you’re a Republican, I’m sure you have some excuse about how your party is so unethical and so against everything America and it’s constitution stand for, but you can only lie to yourself for so long.

The Republican Party is not only poisoning the Post Office, they’re trying to poison the entire country and no body is talking about it. Have you heard about this on your Fox news channel? Nah, didn’t think so.

We have got to overturn this awful poison pill and kick the crooked Republicans out of power for the next few generations until they come clean and start working for the better of the country rather then the best interests of their billionaire donors.

To be a Christian

To be a Christian
Paul J.

With all the talk from the Republican candidates about how superior their own personal religious strengths are, it should remind all of us what it really means to be a Christian.

Do you consider yourself a Christian? What are your most important Christian principles?

Considering how Jesus taught and how he lived his life, here are some Christian principles many consider important. How do you rate on these Christian principles?

  1. Works of Mercy: Do you support and vote for a political party that is for providing material needs of the weak, sick, and poor? Or do you vote for a party that is against health care for all?
  2. Does your political party seek to take away rights from others, such as gays, or illegal aliens, or Muslims? Or does your political party show mercy for all, regardless of their differences?
  3. Salt and Light: Do you shine like a lamp and show your political party that you believe in “do unto others as you would have done unto you?” Or, do you support a political party that wants tax breaks for the rich while deserting the needs of the poor?
  4. Does your political party want to cut expenses by taking away benefits and services for the poor to help the wealthy? Or does your political party want the wealthy to share in order to feed the hungry, and heal the sick?
  5. Are you sure that your political party shines with the light that you want illuminating you and your family and you community and your country?

If you are a Christian, these are some difficult questions and hopefully will make you stop and think, regardless of your political party.

Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me. [Matthew 25.40]


We Are Barn Builders

We Are Barn Builders
David Schlecht

One fundamental characteristic of the America of the past is that we were all barn builders.

When someone in town was having troubles, when someone’s barn burned down, the town would get together and help build a new barn for their neighbors. We survived as a country because we helped each other.

Our forefathers, knowing that we were a country of neighbors helping each other, build a country and a constitution based on that knowledge.

In fact, the preamble of the constitution lays it all out in plain English:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

This country and our government is created to make it easier for us to help one another.

This country was founded and became a strong leader in the world because we were barn builders.

Does your political party try to help you build barns and help your neighbors? Or are they trying to make it harder and harder for us to pool our tax dollars together to make a better country for everyone? Is your political party for helping your neighbors by providing for all of our welfare? Do they make it easier for us to donate to a retirement insurance program that we can all collect from in old age? You know, Social Security Insurance?

Is your political party pro-America and pro-barn-building or is your party for the rich and the greedy and the oil companies and anti-American?

And you want to know the best part? When we take care of one another, we all have money to help create jobs. Who creates jobs? A thriving middle class. A thriving America.

It’s Time to Turn Up the Heat America

It’s Time to Turn Up the Heat America
Dave Speck

It seems that America is starting to wake up and revolt against the Republican efforts to destroy our country. Seeing the hundreds of thousands of Americans marching against the anti-worker, anti-middle-class policies of the corrupt Republican governors gives me hope.

The Tea Baggers are starting to wake up and realize that they’re being used by the billionaires. They’re beginning to realize their weird signs made no sense since what they really wanted conflicted with what Dick Armey and the Koch brothers were telling them.

The corporate press is trying their hardest to hide this non-violent revolution but they can’t hide it much longer. Americans are waking up to the fact that our media is part of the problem, not the solution. For the real news regarding the revolution, Americans are resorting to news on the Internet.

Let me suggest a few places you can go to see the real news when it comes to America revolting against Republican crimes.


Who Owns the Deficit

Who Owns the Deficit
Dave Speck

So we hear the republican chanting over and over how the sky is falling if we don’t balance the budget, even if it means we have to take food out of the mouths of our elderly and sick and weak and poor. The world will end. Why all the noise?

The Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling 18 times during Reagan’s administration. Got that? 18 times. During that time Reagan increased our nation’s deficit by three trillion dollars, more than all the previous presidents combined.

Where did all that money go? It went to tax breaks for the rich, mostly. That and to the military budget and his failed Star Wars program.

Then, along came Clinton and he balanced the budget and had a surplus that would have paid off the deficit in 10 years.

Where did all this money come from? Clinton ended “Welfare as we know it.” In other words, he stole it from the poor. He also raised taxes on the wealthy a couple percentage points.

Then, Bush added almost five trillion dollars to the deficit and the republican voted seven times to raise the debt ceiling.

Where did all that money go? Tax breaks for the rich and two illegal wars.

Then the economy crashed, as it always does when you lower taxes on the rich, and Bush pushed through another trillion dollars to the banker crooks.

Now, Obama wants to add a small fraction to the debt, less than 8%, and the Republicans are threatening to bring the entire country down unless we take more money from the poor.

Do you see any sort of pattern here? The republicans ran up almost all of the 10 trillion dollar debt and they don’t want to pay for it. They want the poor and the weak and the elderly and the sick to pay for their big party.

The republicans and the rich have been living large for the past 30 years at our expense and now they want you and me to pay for the bill.

What would you say about a political party that does this? What would you say about a party that is willing to crash our economy if they don’t get their way on everything? We’re in this mess because of the tax breaks to the rich and the republicans are saying they will destroy the country if we don’t give more tax breaks to the rich.

What party does big business own?

US Debt per GDP


Where Nevada’s Revenue Comes From

Where Nevada’s Revenue Comes From
David Schlecht

Here is a graph of Nevada’s Revenue stream. Check it out. While looking at it, remember that Nevada comes in dead last in almost every area that matters, from health to intelligence to poverty.

Where Nevada's Revenue Comes From

Take a look at the slice of the pie that is the largest – sales tax. Sales tax is one of the most regressive types of tax because it affects the poor and middle class the most.

So, in Nevada, we see an example of what it’s like when the rich are not expected to pay their fair share. Do you see any income tax on the wealthy? Any taxes on billion dollar bankers? Any taxes on billion dollar mines? No? Me neither.

So the rich get a free ride and the poor and middle class are saddled with everything.

Well, Nevada, how is that working for you? Does it attract business having no income tax? No, I guess not.

When will you ever learn, Nevada?

But the bigger question is what on earth are we doing trying to bring the rest of the country down to Nevada’s level by following their tax structure and giving the billionaires a free ride while expecting the poor and middle class to work for less and carry a greater portion of the cost?

When will America ever learn? It’s time to throw out the failed Republican policies. We’ve been here before, America, it was called the Great Depression and it didn’t work so well back then.

The Real Tea Party

Captain Jack

Just got this in my email. This is from the Tea Party. It’s quite disgusting to see so many Americans intent on attacking America’s president and the workers and middle class. Just read this.

Dear Friends,

We’re engaged on many fronts in the political battle with Barack Obama and his union allies in Wisconsin and many other states across America.  As you heard today, an activist judge played the role Obama wanted and blocked Gov. Walker’s new collective bargaining law.

And a new poll finds Gov. Walker’s opponents trying to mobilize the public against him.  So we need you to help in 2 important ways:

1. Vote for Gov. Walker in this new Journal Times Poll – CLICK HERE TO VOTE

2. Help us fight back against the mob tactics of the Obama campaign team and organized labor unions – and make the most generous contribution you can afford to the Tea Party Express.

If you can afford a larger contribution of $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more, then please – do your part to show the Left that their efforts will only embolden us even more!

You can contribute any amount up to the maximum allowed limit of $5,000.  And since we’re in a new election cycle, those of you who had previously “maxed out” are once again able to contribute as much as you’d like – all the way up to that $5,000 maximum.

To contribute, just click the button below:

As always, if you prefer, you may also make a contribution via U.S. mail, by sending a check to:

Tea Party Express

That’s right, word for word how it was sent. Let me repeat, “We’re engaged on many fronts in the political battle with Barack Obama…”

These people are in a battle with the representative of the majority of America. What does that make them? Well, beyond the obvious such as ignorant, naive, confused, there is the very real aspect of being against everything America stands for. These people are plain and simple, anti-American.

They want to stop the “mob tactics”. Really? You mean like Democracy? These people are being asked to donate money to fight against workers in Wisconsin. Now that’s pretty darned disgusting.

We have a very sick cult in America being blinded and led by billionaires who are out to destroy our democracy and steal what’s left of our American Dream.

Does Supply Drive an Economy or Does Demand?

Does Supply Drive an Economy or Does Demand?
David Schlecht

We’ve discussed supply side economics many times on this blog and there are countless websites that compare the two economic models, Keynes vs Friedman. But this time I’m going to add a bit of history to the discussion. After all, if we can’t learn from our mistakes, we’re doomed to repeat them, and repeating them we are.

Supply Side Economics

Probably the best way to describe Supply Side Economics is Voodoo economics. This is the idea that if you give money to the rich, they will hire people and pay a good wage and the heavens will open and the angles will sing and leprechauns will dance. It’s also referred to as trickle-down economics.

In other words, people will run out and buy just because the stores are full.

Keynesian Economics

This is the old model of economics where demand drives the economy. In other words, when people have money they will buy.

Now this is obviously just broad strokes and there is a whole lot more involved in each of these models of economics. You may find yourself interested enough to learn economics and get into the nuts and bolts of these, but this is as technical as I plan to get.

Alright, so here’s the little bit of history I promised you. Neither of these perspectives of economics is new. Since the beginning of economic times, the concept of supply and demand has been the fundamental core of the study of economics.

However, back in the early days of America, the concept of unfettered free trade was the approach the government took and this freed up the companies to be as greedy and they could. This allowed America to become quite wealthy, or at least our wealthy became wealthy.

Of all the leading countries, we were becoming the most wealthy. This seemed to convince many people that if a little free is good, oh my gosh, totally free trade must be the be-all end-all of wealthy. So, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, America decided to pull all the plugs and let the rich get as rich as they wanted.

So by the 1920s we saw the roaring 20s when the wealthy were insane with their greed and wealth. At lease back then, they were smart enough to protect our industries through tariffs.

Then, the big crash.

Following the Great Depression, many economist admitted that the whole idea of completely unregulated greed was bad for America. At this time, Keynes came back to the idea that maybe really, demand drives the economy. This wasn’t the first time economics thought of this, but it was back in vogue.

Then, about 50 years ago, Friedman brought back the greed and supply side economics.

So, fast-forward to today and we’re all the rage back into supply-side economics and unfettered free trade. Of course, we’re also seeing the return of the economics of the Great Depression.

When will we learn from history? When we start exposing the idiots who keep pushing failed economic policies on us. When we eject the same people who got us in the First Republican Great Depression. The Republicans.

Unfettered Free Trade doesn’t work. All it does is impoverish a nation and make a handful of greedy people insanely rich.

Free trade doesn’t work.

Supply Side Economics don’t work. It’s a myth.

Voodoo Economics always brings disaster. Read your history.


What The Tea Party Wants

What The Tea Party Wants
Dave Speck

It is very hard not to hear the voices of the billionaires behind every single tea party request.

The Tea Party Requests

  • Fewer regulations on the oil companies
  • Drill baby drill
  • Lower taxes on the billionaires
  • Welfare for Billionaires
  • Lower benefits for the middle class
  • Smaller government
  • Kill the unions

… and on and on it goes.

Who Votes Against Their Best Interests?

It takes a real fool to be out there chanting against the middle class and against the workers and against regulating big business and against fair taxes on the rich, against their own best interests.

But, the Republican party if full of fools.

So, tea party, what, exactly, do you want, other than what the billionaires want?

You want smaller government? Tell me what small government country you want to be like. Somalia, maybe? Haiti? There isn’t a single one out there I want to be like. Tell me what big government country you don’t want to be like. The bigger the government, the bigger the benefits to the tax payers. Of course, we all want to clean out waste from our government but making it smaller isn’t the solution. It only helps the billionaires.

So, tea party followers, please, tell me, what do you want that the billionaires haven’t told you to want?

Who Fixed the Last Great Depression?

During the last Great Depression, America voted for progressives to fix the country and Germany voted for a conservative, Hitler. Who are you voting for? Since I know that you will refuse to admit it to yourself, I’ll help you out. You’re voting for the conservatives.

Egypt in Chaos

Egypt in Chaos
Dave Speck

Egypt has been in the news a lot lately. Do you know what’s been missing from the news?

Many analysts say one of the driving causes is the tremendous disparity between the wealthy and the rest of the country. That has been the root of revolutions since the beginning of time.

Do you know what developed country has a greater disparity? America! Yes, we have let this country get more out of control than Egypt and we’re not even voting in great numbers yet. Will we take this country back from the greedy by vote or will we wait till our votes are worthless like Egypt’s before we revolt?

I hope we come to our senses soon and start voting because I would really hate to see revolution come to our country again.

[poll id=”62″]

State of the Union Address

State of the Union Address
David Schlecht

So what were your thoughts on President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight? Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • High Speed Rail! It’s about time. This is a good goal. Of course those against America will oppose it.
  • Investing in innovations like solar is a good step if you can make sure you’re stimulating OUR economy.
  • Electric cars. Yeah!
  • No messing with Social Security
  • Make the rich pay their fair share
  • No comment on bringing our jobs home. Just chatter about how if we’re better educated we’ll be better able to compete (with dollar a day Chinese slave labor?)
  • No comment about busting up the too-big-to-fail banks or cleaning up our media or enforcing anti-trust regulations.

All in all, it was a motivating speech that was a little short on specifics, but full of lots of grand ideas.

Nevada’s New Governor, Foolish as the Last

Nevada’s New Governor, Foolish as the Last
Dave Speck

I just got this in my email from Steven Horsford. It’s a reasonably sane interpretation of Nevada’s disaster of a Governor. Is Nevada flushing down the toilet any hope of saving Nevada from becoming a third-world state?

There are some aspects of the governor’s speech tonight with which I agree: We must work together to pass a balanced budget. We must focus on economic development and put Nevadans back to work.

But tonight Governor Sandoval offered a budget that would gut public education – and our kids’ futures as a result. It would cut our school budgets by more than 14 percent. It would slash colleges by nearly 30 percent.

  • This means laying off literally thousands of teachers and closing entire college campuses.  Worse yet, he proposes to cut our children’s teachers’ pay by more than 10 percent.  That’s just wrong.
  • It means putting our children in classes of 40 students.
  • It means eliminating sports and music, and ending gifted and talented programs.
  • It means we cannot afford real reform to our schools or come even close to a tolerable level of funding for higher education – the engine of a new economy.

In short, this budget would dismantle public education.

I will not accept a budget plan that extinguishes all hope for a new Nevada built on better schools.

I will be looking for the best ideas among my colleagues here at the Legislature – Republicans and Democrats – to produce a balanced budget that leads us forward, not backwards.

This process starts tomorrow morning at 8:30 when we begin our budget hearings. I URGE YOU TO GET INVOLVED BY CONTACTING THE GOVERNOR AND YOUR LEGISLATORS IN THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY IMMEDIATELY.

The future of Nevada depends on you.

Thank you.


It’s looking pretty bleak, there, Nevada!

Use the Right Words

Use the Right Words
David Schlecht

I used to have a college professor who would often say, “you can’t get the right answers if you don’t ask the right questions”.  This couldn’t be more true than it is today with the Right-wing nuts trying to poison our information. When you hear people trying to defend a position using the wrong words, take notice. It generally means that their position is indefensible. It’s called framing. Let’s look at some examples:

From the previous post from Matthew, the MoneyRates quote uses the phrase, “tax burden“. Taxes aren’t a burden, they’re the price we gladly pay to live in a civil society. The nice thing about America’s constitution is we the people can decide we want to be more like Somalia and less like America by lowering our taxes. But, is that really what we want? When you hear “tax burden”, beware of the right wing spin.

Another simple example is the whole question of abortion. Nobody is pro-abortion. Period! Nobody is arguing for abortions. But one side is arguing that there are times when abortions should be protected. This is considered a choice. People want to be able to make a choice if it affects their lives and their health and the health of their family.  So the question is “choice”. The anti-choice crowd knows they lose the argument using the right words to they cheat and use the wrong words to purposely come up with a different answer. They say “pro-life”. Really? Everyone’s pro-life. Well, everyone but most of those who say they are. If you’re pro-life, you’re anti-death so you support free medical, and oppose the death penalty. If you say you’re pro-life to oppose abortion, you are not pro-life, you’re anti-choice.

How about the term “death tax”? Do you know anyone who has signed a check to pay for their taxes after they died? Nah, me neither. Why not? Because there’s no such thing. There is, however, a rich-brat tax. Rich brats who are set to inherit billions of dollars (contrary to the wishes of our founding fathers) have to pay a high income tax (inheritance tax) when they receive the money. That’s not a death tax, that’s a rich brat tax and it should be a progressive tax that goes up to 99% on anything over 100 times the lifetime income of an American worker (worker, not counting the CEOs). That is what our founding fathers envisioned.

The right wing are masters at changing the words so we come up with the wrong answers. Before you start discussing issues with your friends and family, make sure you start out using the right words or you will never come up with the right solutions.

What other words do you hear the right use to get the wrong answers?

Job Creators

Job Creators
David Schlecht

Nevada’s Senator, John Ensign, blamed the Democrats for the Republicans opposing the middle class tax cuts by saying:

“Today we witnessed that political stunts are still alive and well on the floor of the United States Senate.  At a time when both sides of the aisle could and should be working together to ensure that we are not raising taxes on Americans during this economic downturn, Democrats are playing games.  By setting arbitrary income limits for tax relief, our nation’s job creators will be forced to suffer under increased taxes; greatly limiting their ability to create jobs for the many unemployed people across our country.  The American people expressed their outrage at this kind of wasteful legislating, but their voices have fallen on deaf ears in the Senate.”

Let’s look at that comment for a moment.

Say you are the CEO of a big corporation and taxes on every dollar over one million dollars was 90%. Would you take lots of money out as income and give 90% to the country? No, probably not. You would probably keep most of the money in the business where you can use it to reduce your taxes by claiming expenses. Keeping the money in the business is like money in the bank. You can take it any time you want.

Now let’s add in a competitor. This makes it even more realistic since most businesses have competitors. If you took your money out of the company (and paid high taxes) and your competitor put his money back in the business, which of you would be going out of business?

So, ask yourself, does it help the economy when people keep their money in their businesses or when they take it out of the company? It seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? The business that is reinvested in becomes more valuable and provides more jobs. The company that takes the money out in profits and taxes hurts the economy by losing jobs.

Let’s play along with this scenario just a bit further. If it is good for the economy to have lower taxes on the rich, then why did lowering the taxes on the rich cause recessions and depressions every time? Remember reading about the roaring 20s? That was a time when the taxes on the super rich were reduced into the 20% range. What happened right after that? The Great Depression. What happened right after Reagan lowered taxes on the super rich? The Reagan Recession and bank failures. What happened when Bush lowered the taxes on the rich? Possibly the second Great Depression in a century. See a graph of top tax rates and compare the dates with 1) the Great Depression and 2) the steady decline of our economy since the 1980s.

If you stick your finger in a light socket and get hurt, would you stick it right back in there? No, probably not. Then why would you vote for a candidate that wants to put the country’s finger right back in that tax-breaks-for-the-rich light socket?

It’s really not that hard to understand.

And one last point. The Republicans have been using and abusing procedures for the past three years trying to obstruct everything the Democrats try to do. They have broken all records for filibustering. That’s how they used procedure abuse to stop this last attempt to fix our broken tax system. They abuse the political system and then go and lie to us about how the Democrats are abusing the system.

Ah, the party of lies. If we want to save our country we’ll have to start pushing back and exposing the lies. After all, ALL the Republican congressmen are chanting the same lies. After all, the lies were tested out on the blind followers before being released to the talking heads.

The War on America’s Middle Class

The War on America’s Middle Class
David Schlecht

There is an interesting article circulating the Web showing numerous indicators of how America’s middle class is being destroyed. Here are just a few examples:

  • 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
  • 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
  • Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
  • Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
  • In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
  • As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
  • The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
  • Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
  • In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
  • The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
  • In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.

What policies have caused this mess? One party is hell bent on reducing government (in other words, removing regulations on greedy business). One party wants more tax breaks for the rich. One party is screaming to reduce and remove tax dollars spent on the middle and lower class while voting for more subsidies for the international corporations. Both parties are afraid to protect American industries.

I know, I know, it’s not a party issue, it’s a policy issue. But who is voting for America and who is voting against America and for the multi-national corporations?

How Can We Ever Dig The USA Out Of This Hole?

How Can We Ever Dig The USA Out Of This Hole?
David Schlecht

Both America’s political parties are working overtime to magnify the divide between the left and the right. It’s good for a political party to have a well defined platform, but it’s downright bad for America for the parties to encourage their voters to hate the other party. We will only be able to fix this mess when we can come together on the causes and the solutions.

It’s not a matter of political parties. It’s not just the left vs the right. It’s not the Republicans vs the Democrats. It’s not even the conservatives vs the liberals. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s not a “us vs them” issue. It’s an issue of all of Americans coming together to fix this mess.

The first step in cleaning up this mess is just like addiction recovery, we must admit that we have a problem and face the causes of this problem. Once we can see the problems, the solutions become clear, even easy.

So, what are the problems and the causes? Obviously the issue first and foremost on everyone’s mind is the abysmal state of the US economy — our jobs or lack thereof. Also way up on the list are issues like our dysfunction government, but this is too vague to address. Let’s really address exactly what is dysfunctional about our government. Many say the unresponsiveness of the government to the people’s needs, or something about how our government seems to be owned by the big businesses and industries. Still others lament about our loss of oversight. How can BP be drilling all those off-shore wells given their proven inability to deal with problems?

Here is my short list of things that have been going wrong with our country:

  1. Sluggish economy
  2. Lack of jobs
  3. Steady decline in wages while productivity sky rockets
  4. Reduction in workplace safety
  5. Corporate lobbyists writing the laws that our representatives rubber stamp.
  6. Lack of a reliable or believable news media

Next we have to look at the causes of each of these issues. One of the best ways to determine the cause is to look at what has changed to cause the problem. After all, these issues are new to America. None of them existed 30, 40, or 50 years ago. What has changed? Let’s look at it.

1. Sluggish economy — I don’t think that anyone can argue that this isn’t the direct result of lack of jobs. No one is really believing that the economy is sluggish because businesses aren’t making enough products. In other words, supply side economics are an obvious farce.
2. Lack of jobs. This is obviously caused by the fact that all our good jobs have been shipped over seas while our “service economy” that the sellers of the “free trade” disaster promised us have gone to minimum wage workers or in many cases, immigrants who are willing to work for even less. Migrant (even illegal immigrant) workers weren’t a serious problem before the 80s. Let’s look at the two issues separately.

The problem with our jobs going over seas is quite simply caused by the free trade deals we’ve entered into. There is no way American workers can compete in free trade with workers willing to work for pennies a day. This, in itself isn’t everything. We are also suffering from companies moving their factories overseas and then sending their products back to America to sell. This only became profitable when we dropped our tariffs from the 20% range to the current 2% range.

As for immigrants taking our “service economy” jobs, it’s just a sad state of affairs that we’re left fighting over service level jobs and fighting with foreigners. What has caused this? We didn’t have this trouble before the 80s. In the 80s we had unions that would act as watch dogs to ensure that Americans weren’t losing their jobs to immigrants. Now there is no one to stop businesses from encouraging illegal immigration.

3. Steady decline in wages while productivity sky rockets. What has happened in the past few decades to cause this drop in wages while the rich reap the benefits of our increased productivity? Before the 80s, wage increases directly tracked productivity increases. Now they don’t. What was different then? For one thing, we had unions.  For another, we had higher taxes on the super rich.

4. Reduction in workplace safety. What has caused this? One obvious issue is the lack of unions. Remember the days when unions played an active role in ensuring workplace safety? But there’s more. We used to have a government that had agencies that policed the companies to ensure that we were safe at work. Now we’re shrinking our government to the point where it is no longer able to function to protect us. Of course, even a well funded government is worthless if the agencies are filled with people uninterested in the people. Remember the line, “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie”. All the money in the world wouldn’t make FEMA a functional agency as long as it is managed by the wrong people.

5. Corporate lobbyists writing the laws that our representatives rubber stamp. When Reagan took office there were less than 400 lobbyists. Now there are over 47,000. What has caused this? What is different today than 40 years ago? The cost of our elections! It now takes millions of dollars to run for office. The average American can’t afford this without a generous corporate backer.

6. Lack of a reliable or believable news media. What has changed in our news business in the past 40 years? One obvious change is the extreme consolidation of the industry. We used to stop companies from taking too much control of an industry. Now we just close our eyes to it. When the news media is run by the millionaires, it will only reflect the interests of the wealthy.

Now that we have found some probable causes of the current ills destroying our nation, we can formulate plans to correct them.

1 & 2. Jobs and economy. The problem is simple. stop the free trade nonsense and put our tariffs back in place.

3. Wage decline. Again, reverse the mistakes. Stop the war on unions. Tax the super wealthy. Bring back the 90% top tax rate.

4. Reduction in workplace safety. We have to fund our agencies enough and give them enough power to stand up to the big businesses that are making money off our unsafe working conditions. We also need to be careful to never vote for candidates that say government can do no good. The might just prove themselves right. And, again, unions would only help in this area.

5. Too many lobbyists. The only way I see of turning back the undue influence money has in elections is to demand publicly funded elections.

6. Our broken media. Certainly if we started enforcing our anti-trust laws we could break up the big monster news media corporations and get local interests back to running our news sources. We used to have laws that required news outlets program in the public’s interest. It’s time we brought back those laws.

In conclusion, our problems are not party related, but they certainly are policy related. Don’t fall for the trap of accusing the “other side” for the problems. It’s all our problems and only WE can solve them.

For Want of a Nail

For Want of a Nail
David Schlecht

For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe the horse was lost
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the  battle was lost
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost
All for the want of a nail.

Have you been to the DMV lately? How long did you spend there? Do you realize that for little more than a $1.25 annually in taxes you could have more offices and shorter waits? But, no, the conservatives have convinced us that we want lower and lower taxes.

So where does this mad race to the bottom end? When we have the cheapest government money can buy? Hello Somalia.

Are we getting to be such cheapskates that we don’t want to pay the price of a nail and will let the kingdom fall? We will gripe and complain about having to spend hours in line at the DMV but will complain even louder about having to pay an additional $1.25 to build more offices.

When will America wake up and realize the conservative ways are not in America’s best interests? Hacking away at our social safety net while giving the billionaires a free ride doesn’t help anyone but the rich. Stripping  our government oversight agencies are giving the billionaire foreign corporations a free ride while we Americans pay for their pollution and illnesses. We feel worse and worse about ourselves as we let the poor, elderly, and sick suffer.

But, still we let the media (representing the rich) get us riled up about considerably less important things like where they’re building a mosque or whether there’s an illegal alien having a baby while hundreds of millions of our jobs are shipped over seas. As long as we’re distracted the billionaires get richer and we get poorer.

When will it end? Will we let the kingdom fall for the want of a nail or will we wake up from this media-induced coma  and start refusing the failed conservative policies?