Tag Archives: capitalism

Question #3 Amendment to Nevada Constitution

It is a real disgrace but we are suffering a multi million dollar ad campaign, or should I say lie and deceive campaign against the amendment, Nevada ballot measure, question #3.

I will try to add some reality to the actual question and try to dispel the most common lies and deception. Most of the talking points can be found at their website, Coalition to Defeat the Margin Tax Initiative.

  1.  The tax is a small, contrary to the claim, “huge,” in the lies. 2% is a small tax.
  2.  The tax is only calculated on the gross sales if the company wants to file that way. Even then, it’s 70% of 2% or 1.4%. Not all so huge.
  3.  If the business decides to, they can claim tax only on proceeds after subtracting cost of goods sold (and that includes labor/payroll costs). In other words, a business that is making millions in sales but little or no profit will have little or no tax since cost of goods sold will be almost as much as gross sales.
  4. The money collected will be put in the State Distributive School Account, to be distributed in a manner provided by laws that already govern those funds. There is no risk that the funds will not go to the school district.
  5.  Few if any businesses will have to close or relocate because of this tax. However, if the companies elect to move rather than repaying the community that supports them, then I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

So much for the down side of this ballot measure. Let’s now consider the good:

  1.  It is in the state’s best interest to decouple the school system funding from our property taxes. The way the system works now, those poor communities where property taxes are low have the lowest funding for their schools.
  2. Getting away from the destructive notion that the rich get a free ride in Nevada because we don’t expect them to pay their fair share in income taxes, is a good move in the right direction.  After all, this tax is only for businesses with more than $1 Million in revenue.

If I’ve missed anything here, go right ahead and make your case in the comments below.

 

America’s Coming Revolution

America is broken to the point that the citizens are doubting that it can be fixed without a major upheaval. I only hope that it can be a peaceful revolution. But many people are beginning to doubt that we can fix these things before it’s too late.

Let’s take a short inventory:

  1. Billionaires can now openly corrupt our political process buying candidates and elections.
  2. The Supreme Court and many of the higher courts are openly against the citizen and for multinational corporations and billionaires
  3. Half of the country’s representatives are openly against any rights for women. Hobby Lobby is only the latest example. If you’re not owned by a man, you’re nothing in their eyes.
  4. The banking industry controls both political parties.
  5. Our government is so broken that no matter what the Democrats want to pass, the Republicans are blocking every move.
  6. 86% of Americans want to extend unemployment benefits but our broken system can’t get it passed.
  7. One party does anything and everything to block to other party, even at the expense of the country.
  8. The middle class is crumbling into poverty while the wealthy get more of our country’s wealth.
  9. Our healthcare system is still broken. Still!
  10. Our kids now have trillions of dollars in student loans.

I’m not implying in any way that all these things can’t be overcome peacefully, but it’s looking pretty bleak. And America is more disgusted than ever with our government and fewer people are interested in voting.

This is a perfect scenario for the billionaires so now they can buy candidates for peanuts.

I don’t want to see a bloody revolution but if we don’t want our children dying in the streets, we need to get motivated, today, to vote out any party that obstructs progress and refuse to vote for any candidate that is funded by big money.

What has Happened to Our World?

I stumbled across a children’s health clinic being held at a local hardware store, today.

The horror of our health care industry smacked me right in the face. What have we done with our once great nation?

I saw an endless line of children without health insurance. Some of the children were so sick someone called the ambulance. Even a fire truck showed up. Some of the children were too sick to even stand on their own.

How could we let this nation come to this? How can we be so silent while the Republicans turn this great country into the Libertarian Paradise of Somalia?  Children there are dying without health care, too.

Health care is a right, it’s not a privileged offered to only the wealthy. Obamacare is a small, tiny step in the right direction and even that is being opposed by the Republicans. The Republican party wants the sick and the poor to hurry up and just die.

This isn’t the America I read about in school. This is a bizarre nightmare brought on by too much Libertarian Voodoo economics.

This country is falling apart around our ankles and we need to get mad as Hell and get out in the streets and demand progress.

The Endgame

Ever play the game of Monopoly?

Losing the game of Monopoly

You know how it ends. Eventually no one has anything left but the rich.

We now live in the new Gilded Age where the wealthy own more than all the rest of us combined. We are in the final stages of the game of Monopoly and we’re losing. We are giving away our money and our government and our freedom to the billionaires and transnational corporations.

You know it’s true. Your income doesn’t go as far as it used to. You have probably experienced a loss of pay or of benefits or employment and probably know others who have as well. Your expenses keep going up but your wages don’t.

And what’s worse, is you doubt that it will be getting any better.

In fact, we are so far along the game of Monopoly that the rich are not only taking everything from us, but they’re even changing the rules of the game so they make even more faster.

The only way we win this game of Monopoly is to get politically active. Get out there and join groups and start leaving comments correcting the websites and blogs that shill for the wealthy.

But, most importantly, get out there and start talking with your family and your friends and your neighbors. They all feel the same way you do. Everyone knows we’re losing this game of Monopoly and we have to get active, right now, if we expect to fix this before it’s too late.

What kind of America are you going to leave for your children and grandchildren? Will they be slaves for the wealthy or will we demand our fair share of the profits of this great and wealthy country?

Get active and get three other people to join you in getting active.

The games almost over.

Cancel The Trade Agreements

The millionaires and transnational corporations are trying to sell us on another trade agreement, the TPP.

Free trade causes a giant sucking sound

This job killing trade agreement will do tremendous harm to Americans, just like all the other trade agreements have. We’ve seen one trade agreement after another and we’ve been promised how each will bring prosperity to Americans, but things just keep getting worse.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that we’re being sold a lie. These trade agreements have American workers competing with the starving and even the slave laborers of other countries.  How do we expect to keep our American quality of living when we’re competing with workers in third world countries? We can’t obviously, and that’s why things are continually getting worse, right here at home.

These trade agreements don’t even help the other countries’ workers because all the  money goes to the corporations.

Way back in the old days, we had a presidential debate where Ross Perot came right out and said that if we sign these trade agreements, we would hear a giant sucking sound as all our jobs left the country.

He was right!

It’s time, right now, today, to cancel all the trade agreements and quit listening to the millionaires and transnational corporations lie about how wonderful life will be if we just believe them this time.

But it’s time, right now, today to call our representatives and the president and tell them all that we want out of all the trade agreements and we want to put our tariffs back in place.

Time is running out. We are quickly losing control of our government to the rich and multinational corporations and we have to start fighting, today, to get our country back. It will be too late before we know it.

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5 Things wrong with Obamacare

We’ve already discussed the benefits of Obamacare. Now let’s talk about what’s wrong with it.

1. Not Single Payer. Obama started from a conservative plan offered by Nixon, Romneycare, and the Heritage Foundation. This keeps the insurance profits in the cost. We really need Single Payer.

2. Death Panels. Keeping the insurance companies means keeping the death panels.

3. Republicans. They are the real problem with Obamacare. If it was the same exact thing offered by Romney, they would love it. But since they love their party more than the voters, they don’t want to fix it for fear of giving Obama another victory.

4. Our kids can only stay on our plan for a few years. We should be able to keep our kids on our plan as long as we want.

5. We need more doctors. Supply and demand will lower medical costs if there is reasonable competition. Free clinics will also provide more price competition. Obamacare needs to offer FREE medical education to anyone capable of doing it.

See what others love and hate about Obamacare.

Keystone XL Pipeline – It Ain’t Over Yet

The oil industry is pouring millions of dollars into marketing, telling Americans that it’s all over but the crying and it doesn’t matter if we think it’s our country or not, they’ll do what they damn well please.

I’m seeing pundit after pundit repeating the billionaire marketing jingles.

But it ain’t over. Americans aren’t going to just bend over and take it up the pipeline. There is still plenty we can do and our numbers are still growing.

But, it’s time, today, to make a stand. Let the billionaires and their XL Pipeline cheer leaders know that this is still our country and we don’t want the stinking toxic sludge coming across our country just so the billionaires can refine it in the Gulf Coast and then ship it all out of the country.

This pipeline will actually cause our gas prices to go up because none of the gas that is refined will be sold in America.

America doesn’t want the XL Pipeline and we will be heard.

Oh, those poor misunderstood billionaires and oil executives and transnational corporations. Don’t you just feel sorry for them?

Get involved. It’s not over yet.

Enough Trickle Down

How’s that whole trickle down economics working for you?

Do you realize we’ve been in Reganomics for over 30 years now and it’s tearing this country apart.

It’s time we quit with the lies of Trickle Down economics, or Voodoo economics as the Republicans used to call it.

It’s time to roll back the Reagan tax cuts and start rebuilding our middle class. It’s time to end the trade agreements and go back to the tariffs that worked for 200 years.

Check out Thom Hartmann’s article on the failed state of Reaganomics.

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.

United We Fall

United We Fall
Dave Speck

This post is in response to Mr. Schlecht’s post yesterday encouraging us to reach across the aisle and make coalitions with the conservatives and Republicans. Let’s start by saying that I’m not disagreeing, but rather playing devil’s advocate. Maybe we’re both right in some ways.

[See us on the DailyKos Diaries]

It just might be possible that America is at a crossroad, much like the crossroads of the last gilded era (the 1920s) and the rise of Germany’s Hitler. In both of those cases, there were plenty of followers of the conservative movements. In America, the conservative movement was drowned out by a huge liberal involvement and America recovered from the gilded age with The New Deal which put a stop to the landed gentry and reversed the toxic wealth disparity through laws and taxes. Germany, on the other hand, had a liberal block that was both unwilling and unable to get traction.

In both cases, nothing was gained by compromising with the conservatives. Granted, Mr. Schlecht does not say the word, “compromise” but that seems to be where he’s heading.

What if America’s liberals of the 1930s didn’t reverse course, but rather compromised to just slow things down a little. Would America have rebounded like we did? I would say obviously not. Only by standing true to our knowledge and the facts and demanding that we act accordingly were we able to turn things around.

And, knowledge & facts are the reason that we can’t compromise with those who history & facts prove to be wrong. The conservatives are not driven by knowledge or facts. In fact, they consider anyone possessing such sorcery to be the “elite”. The conservatives prefer their fairy tales of no man made global warming, earth is 6,000 years old, and the church should dictate the laws to the country.

Honestly, I ask you, how does one “compromise” with wrong? You can only compromise if you’re willing to be part wrong, yourself.

We need to forget compromising with those who refuse to listen to the facts. There is no saving those just like there was no saving the Nazis in Germany. They know they’re right regardless of the facts staring them in the face proving they’re wrong. How do you even talk to someone like that?

I say you don’t. We need to get our word and the facts out to those who are willing to listen. If a conservative is so blind that they listen to conservative propaganda like Rush or Fox, then they’re happily ignorant and no amount of facts or coaxing will wake them up.

Instead, we need to be getting our word out to those who know we’re right but just haven’t gotten motivated yet. We need to motivate the 75% of America that know we’re right. The 75% of America who are closet liberals but are just afraid of the word because it’s been demonized so relentlessly by the fact-free conservative media.

Get out there and talk to your family and your neighbors and your friends and get them motivated. And if you can’t get through to them because they’re handicapped by their conservative propaganda, forget about them. Move on to those who might actually be able to believe the facts and learn from history.

Why Should We Save the Post Office?

Why Should We Save the Post Office?
by
David Schlecht

The corporate media has done an absolutely miserable job of educating the American people about the source of the troubles the Post Office is having and the news media has been worthless at explaining the pros and cons of losing the Post Office. So, let’s look at what’s causing the troubles with the Post Office and let’s see if it’s worth saving.

The Post Office in the Constitution

The U. S. Constitution protects only two businesses, in fact, it’s just two facets of the same business: The Press. Some people might think that the military is important enough that it must be defined in the constitution. But, alas, it’s not. In fact, the military is limited to only two years of financing, the only part of the budget that must be renewed every two years. No, the only industry protected in the constitution is the Press and by extension the infrastructure the Press needs to function, the Post Office. Yes, the constitution protects the press and requires the Post Office.

Why is the Post Office so important that it’s defined in the constitution when the military isn’t? It’s because our forefathers considered it vital to the functioning of a free democracy. After all, an uninformed or misinformed electorate can’t function.

The Post Office is required in order for the small town press to operate. The multi billion dollar corporate press doesn’t need the Post Office but the real press does.

Where the Post Office Problems Originated

Many people falsely believe the Post Office’s problems are caused by the fact that email is replacing mail. Well, no, that’s not really the problem at all. The Post Office was doing well up until about five years ago and there was plenty of email five years ago. So what happened five years ago to bankrupt the Post Office? Five years ago there was a bill passed by the Republicans (and yes, there might have been one or two Democrats who mistakenly voted for it) that require the Post Office to fund billions of dollars in future retiree benefits, benefits for postal employees 75 years from now. You know? People who haven’t even been born yet.

Why would anyone pass a bill that would be so silly and would serve absolutely no purpose but to destroy the Post Office? Why the Poison Pill? Because they don’t believe in the U. S. Constitution and they want to destroy any possibility of a free press. The Corporate press is happy to see this change, it keeps the little man out of the market. But the American democracy is brutally harmed by this.

America is suffering the worst corporate press we have ever seen in this country. Our press is controlled by just a handful of billion dollar corporations, and we’re not getting the real news anymore. When is the last time you saw local labor news? Have you ever? It used to be a fundamental part of every local newspaper.

The Post Office is the Remedy

So what’s the remedy to this corporate takeover of our news? What’s the solution to this blatant censoring of the news that really matters?

The Post Office.

That was the plan from the very beginning of this country and it’s time we started to utilize this solution today.

As the concept of delivering mail changes, the Post Office must change with it. The Post Office must provide a method for the small time press to distribute the news. Since more people are using the Internet for delivering news, the Post Office needs to be in the business of providing Internet Service. The Post Office needs to start providing email boxes, email delivery services, web sites for press related organizations, and many more of the types of services they used to provide when the press was just dead trees.

If the Tea Party wants to contact their people, they have to build email lists and web sites and mail boxes and comment forums. If the corporate media doesn’t want to tell the public about them, then it will take a billionaire or two to donate enough to the Tea Party to allow them to build a meaningful Web presence.

If the #Occupy people want to contact their people, the corporate media will definitely do everything they can to demean the organization and will certainly do nothing to help deliver their news. When was the last time you read a positive article about the #Occupy group? Do you really believe there is nothing good that they are doing? Hmmm.

This is the purpose of the Post Office. Local news of and by real people, whether it be Tea Baggers or #Occupy or anything in between.

The Corporate Media

OH, MY LORD. I can hear the Internet providers and their Corporate Media gasping at the thought. That would be just terrible if the Post Office provided, at a discount, better Internet service than the current international phone companies and international new media can provide. What if there was real competition? Oh my lord, they might have to actually provide a decent service and a competitive rate. They might have to actually provide a postal service to everyone, even those they disagree with — and at a competitive rate.

I can hear them squealing already. Oh my gosh, we won’t be able to pay our CEOs hundreds of millions of dollars. We won’t be able to control the Internet. OMG! They sky is falling.

And finally, the last part of the fix it to remove the destructive law that requires the Post Office to fund billions of dollars worth of future retirement benefits for the coming 75 years. And, we need to kick out of office any party that is intent on destroying the Post Office.

You should wonder why you never hear any articles like this in your corporate news.

America needs the Post Office.

 

The Full Court Press

The Full Court Press
Captain Jack

Look around you and you cannot help but notice that America is not only getting forced further and further to the right, but the further we go to the conservative side of the scale, the worse things get to the average American.

Still, a solid 30% of Americans continue to vote for those bringing down this right-wing austerity on our heads and wonder why things continue to get worse.

Why are we slipping further to the right no matter how hard we fight back?

Because…

A handful of extremely wealthy Americans and transnational entities are making more money off our misery. The  less we make, the more they make. And they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars buying our politicians and Supreme Court justices, and our new sites, the few we have left. Soon they will all sound like Rush and Fox and O-Liely and Sean Whatshisname.

The Full Court Press is on and it’s almost game over. We don’t have time to sit around and wonder what happened, we have to get mobilized today and get this game back on our court. We are almost out of clock.

Yeah Nevada, Way To Go

Yeah Nevada, Way To Go
by
David Schlecht

Congratulations Nevada, you just might have a chance of pulling yourselves out of the quagmire you find yourselves in. You voted against the Austerity presidential candidate.

Rather than dragging America down to your level, you’ve elected to put the country on a different path than yours.

Now, if you can just make those same decisions on your local elections and get the failed policies out of office.

This is not a political issue, this is an economic issue. You didn’t get were you are by following the mistaken policies of just one party.

But, it looks like Nevada is waking up.

We need to stop letting the elites, the leeches, ride free on our backs. It’s time the rich started paying their fair share. Did you know Microsoft is incorporated in Nevada rather than Washington so they don’t have to pay taxes? So who pays for the infrastructure that they use? You and I do, and the people of Washington. Does Microsoft? No.

This, Nevada, is the reason our state is in such sad shape. The rich get a free ride and the expenses fall on the backs of the true small businesses and on the rest of us tax payers.

We give tax breaks to the mines and other multinational corporations and expect the Nevada taxpayer to pick up the tab.

No more!

It’s time we started expecting the billionaires to pay for the 90% of our state’s expenses that they incur. It’s time their taxes paid for the roads their employees travel, and the roads their trucks use to deliver goods and provide them a profit. It’s time they paid for the court systems and all the other infrastructure they are using and expecting us to cover.

Yeah Nevada, it looks like you’re starting to wake up.

Fiscal Cliff and Spending Cuts

Fiscal Cliff and Spending Cuts

Matthew K.

What does it mean, fiscal cliff?

It sounds pretty scary, like the end of the world or something. But, in reality, it is nothing so drastic or scary. The term is just a marketing term to fool you into thinking emergency measures are needed. So what’s the worst that will happen when we reach the cliff. Nothing. Got that? Nothing.

But, if we all get scared by the hype and think that drastic cuts are necessary, then, yes indeed, bad things will happen, and the effects will be felt for years to come.

Don’t get me wrong, we can’t just sit on our hands. We have to address the mess this country is in and this is the time to do it.

So, what spending cuts should we do?

To start with, no country has ever, EVER cut its way to prosperity. You might want to ponder that for a moment.

So if the solution isn’t to cut, then what do we do?

We do the same thing we did before when we were in debt to the tune of 125% of GDP, which is much worse than we are today. What we did then was we created jobs programs, we invested in infrastructure, we created the GI Bill that sent people to college for free.

That’s what we need to do this time. We need to do what has been proven to work.

But we still need to look at trimming our budget as well. We need to trim the things that aren’t investments in our country and our economy. We need to stop giving money and tax breaks to the rich and the multinational corporations.

This brings us to the real question. What is spending and what is an investment?

You already know the answer to that. If you go out and treat yourself to a nice hundred-dollar steak dinner, that’s spending that is gone the moment you pay for it. But, an investment, like money in the bank, is there for all time, bringing in more money every day.

Spending for a country is the same. If it’s not bringing in a return on investment, it’s spending. The biggest spending we do as a country is spend on our military. We spend more than the rest of the world combined.

And what sort of return do we get on all those bombs dropped? All those missiles fired? Nothing. We are spending, like a short term steak dinner, on almost every dollar we spend on the military.

Money spent on free education is an investment that returns money to our coffers for the entire lifetime of the student. How about social programs like social security? It has been shown that every dollar invested in the people of a country through social programs like Social Security and Medicare are returned at a rate of $1.27 for every dollar invested. That, my friends, is what’s called an investment.

We need to face this fiscal cliff as an opportunity to stop the big dinner spending spree of the military and move that money into investing in our people and in our roads and bridges and our future as a country.

 

Your Circle of Empathy

Your Circle of Empathy
by
David Schlecht

One finds countless excuses why conservatives are so different than the rest of America, excuses that range from authoritarian followers, to misplaced morals, to compartmentalized thinking, to downright sociopathy, to just plain ignorance. Many times you will see writers trying to fit all or even most of the symptoms into one shoe box or another. You will also see writers trying to put these in a less than honest light to help buffer some of the raw ugliness of their findings.

I’m going to present another perspective. This isn’t so much separate from all the rest but is rather a unified theory that includes many of the other findings and concepts.

Your Circle of Empathy

Humans have a natural inclination to feel and exhibit empathy. Your degree of empathy and the size of your circle of empathy is primarily dependent on one thing, your feeling of safety. There are other less influential factors, such as mental illness like sociopathy but this essay does not deal with those. But, it has been found that the vast majority of ruthless business owners are clinically psychopathic, finding gratification in stealing candy from babies. This is no exaggeration.

But, alas, that is a whole blog post all in itself.

Kinds of safety affect ones circle of empathy

There are many kinds of safety. Primarily, safety can be defined as freedom from want and fear. Are you afraid for your personal safety in your home and neighborhood? Are you afraid of the Mexicans invading America to steal our jobs? Are you afraid of the mooslems coming for ya? Are you afraid you won’t have enough food to feed the family tonight? Are you afraid you’re losing your home? Are you afraid that lump in your breast or throat is cancer and you don’t have decent insurance? Are you afraid you’ll be shot by a vigilante on your way home some night? Are you afraid Omaba’s commin’ for your guns?

There are countless types of fear and uncertainty that we face every day.

How Fear Reduces Our Empathy

When you have little fear and are adept at dealing with you fear, your capacity for empathy is naturally quite high, your circle of empathy contains the entire universe. You feel for the wildlife losing their habits to human encroachment, you feel for the oceans that are being poisoned and are dying around us. You feel for Mother Earth. You would probably even feel empathy for life on other worlds if they existed.

That is the natural state of human empathy.

Why do you suppose that is? Caring for the earth has allowed our small clans and societies to coexist in the world. If the cave men hadn’t survived by coexisting with the world, you and I would not be here today. Therefore, empathy is in our genes.

Now, let’s take away some of the safety. Let’s consider two small societies, living close together. When the food becomes scarce, the loving neighbors become competitors for the scarce food. They become “the other.”

If your town is hungry, you don’t have time to worry about the health of the rain forest. It’s time to slash and burn so you can feed your family. It doesn’t matter how many plants and animals have to die.

Your circle of empathy has just gotten much smaller. Even your next door neighbors are now looked at like possible competitors. In fact, when food becomes even more scarce, the loving community becomes bitter rivals. Now, it’s each family out for themselves.

Even more scarcity, more fear of hunger, and families start to split apart. Siblings are left to fend for themselves. One parent abandons the family, some times just to go out and die of hunger, leaving the food for the remainders. Sometimes parents will even abandon children when things get bad enough. This is a point where this theory ends. Some will sacrifice for the kids and many will not. The argument is, “They’ll all just die when we’re gone anyway, and we can always have more kids when things get better.”

Still some will stay together and die together and some will not. Seldom will both parents remain. We see this all the time in hunger stricken countries in Africa.

At this gruesome extreme of the safety scale, nothing is safe. The family dog starts to look like possible nutrition to keep the children alive. The size of our circle of empathy at this point includes just ourselves, and maybe our children.  That’s a pretty small circle compared to the first circle encompassing all the universe.

“Let Him Die”

How big is the circle of empathy of a person who yells, “let him die” when asked about medical care for a sick but uninsured neighbor? In this example, it wasn’t just a single person, but the entire Republican debaters and audience. Not a single person disagreed, though many were too embarrassed to admit out loud that they agreed.

Cultivating the Culture of Fear

There is no hiding the fact that the Republican party cultivates fear and capitalizes on the irrational voting behavior of their followers. The psychopathic millionaires and billionaires running the Republican party, you know, the ones without any empathy, reduce the empathy of their followers through fear and then add to that fear by reducing the safety of the American voters by destroying the things that make us safe, like industry regulations, water and food safety, drug safety, Social Security, Medicare, sitting idly by while religious fanatics attack America, taking us off to war on illegal wars.

If you don’t control your fear, the Republican party will control you.

 

 

 

Fixing America’s Economy

Fixing America’s Economy
by
Waylin

There is a fix for America’s current financial, political, education, and health industry disasters.

Any addict hoping for recovery must first admit what the problems are. America must wake up to the cause of our current problems and admit that they are problems that needs addressing.

In all the cases mentioned above, there is one primary underlying addiction that is perpetuating the disaster. For those who are willing to take the time to look at our history, it is obvious that we had a handle on these problems for the most part of the past 100 years. We had the world’s best education systems, we had the world’s best medical, we had the world’s leading economy.

But, looking back at the 1920’s and you will see that, like today, this wasn’t true. They were the unregulated “Roaring 20s” but it lead directly into the world’s worst Depression of all time. What have we been doing right since the 1920’s and what are we no longer doing right, today?

The answer is capitalism, or more accurately, unrestrained greed.

We used to have the world’s best education system. But, then we started getting stingy with our education dollars, and today we want to give a big slice of the education dollars to billionaires in the way of privatized schools and vouchers.  The most successful countries in the world today, have a tax rate almost double what we have in America and aren’t afraid to spend it on education.

Got that? Double.

Why don’t we have higher taxes? Because greed has taken control of our country. Unrestrained Capitalism has us believing that it’s in our best interest to abandon all the things that made America strong over the past 100 years: unions, education dollars, regulations, taxes.

When you hear the term “free markets” it is code words for taking away what little restraints we still have on greedy capitalists.

America used to have laws that said insurance companies must be non-profit as well as our hospitals. We’ve abandoned those regulations and look where it’s gotten us. The medical industry is working diligently to restrict the number of doctors we have in America.  Why? Well, for greed, and nothing more. Fewer doctors means higher profits for doctors.

Now, all you Fox zombies, just hold on. I’m not saying we need to do away with capitalism, I am saying we need to get back to the days when we weren’t afraid to regulate it. Regulations are our friends.

Since the days of Reagan, our politicians are afraid to break up the big monopolies. They even express interest in advancing them, if they’re a Republican, and they’re too afraid to do anything if they’re a Democrat.

Our capitalism is running amock and we have to regain control of it. But, that will be impossible until we come to admit that we have a problem. Like a typical addict, we have to admit we have a problem before we can fix it.

The 99% Movement is succeeding at bringing this to our attention, but the greedy capitalist are doing their best to discredit the movement. We have to all wake up and realize that the greedy corporate news sources are dead set on preventing us from taking back control of our country. It’s time to turn off the broadcast television and time to admit we have a problem. The problem is unrestrained capitalism and therein lies the fix.

The Gift of the 99%

The Gift of the 99%
Matthew

There is no denying that Fox and the Republican party is dead set against the 99% Movement and #Occupy.  I hear many a Fox viewer repeating the talking point, “The 99% doesn’t represent me.”

I don’t expect the customers of the Conservative propaganda to spend much time thinking, but this comment shows much more than just lack of thinking, but actually shows downright brain washing. If you’re not a billionaire, you’re the 99% and, no matter how much you might hate it, you represent yourself, as do the rest of the 99% of us.

Now just think about this for a minute. Before the 99% woke up, America was discussing billionaire talking points day in and day out. All the news on all the so called Liberal Media were talking the billionaire talking points of austerity and, “Oh my gosh, I think I just wet myself again over the budget.”

Now that the 99% are finding our voice, the so called Liberal Media is now forced to talk about something more than billionaire talking points. We even accidentally hear in the so called Liberal media words like “unfair wealth distribution’, and “wealth redistribution to the top 1%”, and “welfare and tax cuts for the billionaires”.

As much as the Fox viewers might hate the thought, they are waking up from their Fox delusions and realizing that Fox and the Republican party are the mouthpiece for the billionaires. There’s no wonder they hate the 99%. No wonder they hate their viewers, who are waking up. No wonder that they hate having to talk about the unfair distribution of wealth in America.

Thank you #Occupy and the 99%. We are beginning to talk about the things that really matter to America because of you.

The Ponzi Scheme of Commons Exploitation

The Ponzi Scheme of Commons Exploitation
by
David Schlecht

We’ve posted before regarding the need to protect our commons and the damage caused by allowing the greedy to exploit our commons for profit.

I’m glad to see that others are beginning to recognize the unavoidable destruction that comes from the greedy exploitation of our commons.

This is such an important issue that it has to be addressed immediately.

We are allowing some to get rich by mining our minerals, and drilling our oil. I say “our” because everything in the ground belongs to all humans, all of us. Anything and everything we take from the Earth is limited. Sooner or later everything will run out unless we make rules, right now, today, to prevent the extraction of anything that is not replaced at the expense of those benefiting from the taking.

But, stop. Think about this a minute. Aren’t you and I benefiting from having cars to drive and oil and gas to burn to keep us moving and keep our heaters and air conditioners and air filters working? I’m guessing we will all say, yes, we are all benefiting from exploiting our finite resources.

What happens to our kids and grand kids when we’ve used up all those resources? Haven’t we effectively stolen the resources from future generations?

It’s time we started realizing that this Ponzi scheme will only last so long before it will all come crashing down. What will happen to our economy when all the oil is gone? It will be the biggest economic crash we’ve ever seen and it will last the rest of time.

What happens when we’ve used the last of the rare earth minerals that make our technology run? No new computers, no new pace makers, no new technology. What do you think that will do to our economy?

Sure, there’ll be a whole new industry of little Chinese slave labor hands stripping the guts out of our old technology trying to scrounge up enough to make a new computer. What will that do to our computer industry? What will that do to our entire technology industry? It’ll be a disaster like we’ve never seen before.

Sure, we might not run out of oil today and we might have enough rare earth minerals to last a few more years, but sooner or later it will all be gone. We have to start conserving today. We need to start finding alternatives to our limited resources. We need to stop the greedy from exploiting our commons for money. When it runs out, it will be you and me that suffer. It’ll be our kids and grand kids. The greedy will already have their money.

Now, don’t expect the greedy 1% to willingly stop making money stripping away our commons. It has to be you and me to pass the laws that require that our commons be cared for. The only way to protect our commons from the greedy and from ourselves it to educate everyone of the train wreck right around the corner and to pass laws that protect our commons, right now, today.

The Commons and the Resources

The Commons and the Resources
by
David Schlecht

We’ve discussed the need to protect the commons in prior posts. Still, there are many people who don’t grasp the importance of protecting our commons. I’ll illustrate an important aspect of protecting the commons by looking at the crime of exploiting our resources for greed and profit.

In our example we’ll use the idea of exploiting oil even though this applies to all of our resources.

Let’s take the position that I am an oil tycoon and am spending millions of dollars each month to ensure that people continue to use my oil and continue to make billions of dollars in profit for me. Let’s say that I’m even pathological enough to discourage people from believing the catastrophic truth about the negative effects of using my products.

In 40 years I pass my empire on to my children and they pass it along to their children and on and on until it’s the year 2500 and every drop of oil is gone.

Along comes 2501 and the world is faced with a disaster that only oil can resolve.

What I have done as well as my children and grand children is steal the resources from our future children. I’ve taken something from the earth that belongs to every one of us and exploited it to make me stinkingly rich, here, now, today. I have taken the resources away from any future generation that may actually have a use for them that could help everyone.

We all need to start to expect that there should be restrictions on exploiting our non-renewable resources for greed and profit, expect that we would all find it important to protect our resources, especially the ones we can’t get back once they’re squandered.

Even renewable resources need to be protected. Our water supplies are renewable but no one should be allowed to make money by selling something that we all need to survive on this planet. This foolishness will only lead to a shortage of water while some have it all. It always comes to pass that those things that are in the most demand are owned, hoarded, exploited, and controlled by the wealthy.

Resources such as food or lumber are renewable but are also of limited quantity. There is only so much lumber we can grow and so much food.  Both of these must come from the earth which we are all responsible for. If we leave it up to the greedy to strip the land of all ability to grow food and lumber we will be allowing them to get rich while all the rest of us will have to deal with the barren, toxic wasteland the greedy will leave behind.

Sooner or later we will all begin to realize that we are all responsible for this earth we share. And the only way to be responsible for it and to protect it is to have reasonable limitations on how it can be exploited for profit.

Does America Need Manufacturing?

Does America Need Manufacturing?
by
David Schlecht

A stick of wood has little or no inherent value. Have someone carve it into an ax handle and you have created value. The person with the ax handle has value, as does the business he works for, as does the neighborhood and town he is in as well as the country. For every ax handle made, value is added to the country.

When America abandons it’s manufacturers, it is abandoning the golden goose. No more value is added to the country.

Sure, we now have a “service” driven economy, but it ads nothing of value. Do you want fies with that? Is that adding any value? I’ll mow your lawn, you fix my car. Is any value added? Of course not. In fact, if all you have is service, eventually all the value of the country will be depleted. Every time the money has to change hands, someone takes some out to live on, some of it goes to pay for the roads and street lights.

Obama is planning to put another trillion dollars into a stimulus package, but it will all go away just like it did ten years ago when we no longer make anything anymore.

We’ve lost over 40,000 factories in the past 10 years. That’s a whole lot of value that is gone. What little manufacturing we have left is not enough to offset the value lost in the “service industry”. The stimulus will all go away unless our representatives start to realize where it’s going.