Midnight Special - Government, Taxes and The Class War

This is a reply I made to my brother in an email. It was a conversation about a story how "high income earners are leaving high tax states". My brother is a conservative fairly right wing former republican (like alot of former democrats) who is strongly for limited government and taxes with the conservative belief that people should be able to "keep what they earn". He does agree to socialistic help for people who really need it, but like most conservatives, that is limited to REALLY REALLY needing it (while being pure of character). He even defended the One percenters who move out of state as well as those who use off shore accounts to avoid taxes. His reasoning is that's what he would do because it's his fucking money and giving it to the government is a waste so why should it be any different for the rich. This was my last reply after asking him what exactly he felt the government should be responsible for (and giving examples like sewage treatment, food inspection, air quality, etc.) and my opinion about how most of the One percenters "earn" their wealth. At the end of my initial comment I told him "Fuck the Rich".

I personally feel this is a critical discussion topic that needs to occur to achieve greater unity and solidarity among the peasants.

"I was being a little sarcastic bro. I'm not against capitalism, I'm against neoliberal capitalism, gangster capitalism, crony capitalism, unregulated capitalism, monopolistic capitalism, generational capitalism, disaster capitalism, predatory capitlism, and vulture capitalism. I'm also not against socialism. Much of our economic system is based on socialist principles, not just for the poor but for the rich, especially for the rich of which I'm firmly against. The rich are the ones that get to use their money and wealth to bribe politicians which in turn makes this political system the corrupt pile of shit every knows it is. We're humans man, that's the way it is.

The very rich have received something like 29 trillion in bailout money, basically interest free, from the federal reserve since 2008. I'm against socialism for the rich.

I'm not against the widget maker selling more widgets, starting more widget stores and making more money. I'm not against the taco stand turning into two, fifty, a hundred, and the owner making more money. But there's a big difference from that and what really goes on at the top. There's a reason the wealth inequality charts are flying through the roof with astounding statistics about how much wealth is going to the top. We hear about the top four billionaires owning more wealth than half the country. Or the top seven on the planet owning more wealth than half the planet. When these fuckers can "earn" billions in one day, something is wrong with that system. Hedge fund billionaires? Derivative billionaires? Predatory bankers? You want to defend the rich keeping their hard earned money as a matter of principle? How about the NBA basketball players now earning $100 million a year? Think they're worth that and should be able to keep it all? How about the FUCKING Kardashians? Or take those profiting off of war and killing, the huge military industrial complex spreading mayhem across the planet? Should they get to keep all their "hard earned" money? Come on man, the only moral "principle" is to end how these fuckers get that much money without adding any value to society.

Well you know, where's the line? What "rich" people am I talking about? I don't know, but all I can say is fuck that. I'll never agree to an economic system that causes this sort of wealth inequality which in turn causes extreme poverty and basically makes us all peasants to the rich, just like it's always been. There's a reason why we have such a common saying as "money is the root of all evil". Or a reason why the Bible says it's harder for a rich man to get to heaven than a fucking camel getting through the eye of a needle. Or a reason why we have such a popular song called "Sixteen Tons". Another day older and deeper in debt, to the rich fuckers.

I'm not sure there are many people who don't want a government that is more efficient and cuts out the waste, fraud, abuse and unnecessary bullshit. Taxes are too high for everyone, even the rich are having trouble buying that second vacation island or the backup yachts to take them to their luxury Bug Out Places when they cause the shit to hit the fan. By far the biggest unnecessary bullshit is the ruling class (those rich fuckers I talk about) quest to rule the world via a global military force for their banks and corporations so they can get more rich and bribe political parties to pass laws so they pay less taxes and cut the wages of the peasants so they can get even richer (I just saw an article from the NY Times complaining about how the peasant's wages are rising too much, something must be done!). I've said before the total budget for the Department of Defense (which is rising drastically under Trump just as he said he would), Homeland Security (talk about an unnecessary government program), all the intelligence, spying, VA, Dept of Energy (nukes), etc., that make up the imperialist police state, total over $1.2 trillion per year. I've personally reviewed the White House budget a number of times and added them up myself.

This is NOT fucking new bro. I've told you about Smedley Butler, "General" Smedley Butler. The highest decorated Marine in history prior to WWII, a forty year vet. Talk about a Patriot bro. But here's what he had to say about his job in the military:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."

Butler wasn't against capitalism but he certainly was against the rich fucking capitalists that will kill anyone in their way to get their wealth. In 1933 he helped stop a coup against Roosevelt by ultra capitalist wealthy businessmen (the "Business Coup") were plotting to create a fascist veterans' organization with Butler as its leader and use it in a coup d'état to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But do the conservative, lesser government Trump supporters like Taner complain about that? No, they think they're fucking Patriots while their boy Trump is ramping up the fascist military police state and the fake war OF terror so they can get them some muslims and build a wall around the country and complain about all the government programs the liberals are creating to give money to women, children, and "oh fuck", gay people! While 65% of their tax dollars go to socialism for the rich. It's actually kind of humorous.

Trump supporters acting all indignant about paying taxes for a $10 billion government program assisting children living under the poverty line while gladly paying their taxes for Trump's ramped up military imperialism are just as naive, ill informed, and outright hypocritical as the liberal progressives under Obama who supported every bomb he dropped. There's a pattern here, it's the two political parties and the manufactured divide created to keep the people blaming each other instead of those that RULE us.

I mean, you're absolutely right bro, there's plenty of waste at all levels of government regarding the use of our tax dollars. Just this morning I went to the Vancouver City Council website and looked at some of the project proposals. There was one on there to award an Engineering and Architectural firm a contract for "$491,980.00 for design and engineering services associated with Vancouver Fire Department Station 11. Also, authorize the City Manager or his designee to execute amendments to this contract as needed for a total not-to-exceed contract value of $800,000."
Now I'm not up on current costs for design and engineering services, maybe you are, but that seems like alot of money for just that portion of whatever the hell they're doing.

As you recall, near the end of my Forest Service career the FS decided to centralize all human resources, budget and accounting services in the country to a new organization and facilities in Albuquerque, N.M.. Up to that point those services were largely decentralized at the National Forest and Regional Office levels. The "deciders" decided to build these big new office buildings to the tune of $33 and $50 million to house all the people and equipment that would be transferred and/or newly hired. I imagine the end totals were at least twice that much. I was one of the very few who pushed back on the effort, stating it would create a large bureaucracy and remove needed services from the National Forest level and we sure didn't need two new buildings worth over $100 million. I retired instead of going to that monolith and sure enough, a couple years later my old organization at the Regional Office was calling me to beg for help because they sure couldn't get it out of Albuquerque. Not long after that they started shipping positions back to the field to alleviate the crisis in service to National Forest Supervisors.

That stuff happens every day at all levels of government. What's necessary and what isn't? Have you heard about the Pentagon's "missing trillions"? The story that the Pentagon can't account for $21 trillion? What that's about is accounting and auditing, it can't account for $21 trillion in accounting adjustments. Evidently DOD stopped it's auditing programs in the late nineties and record keeping has gone downhill since. Some are speculating conspiracy theory explanations regarding the "black" budget, illicit money from the Afghanistan poppy fields, etc. But it looks more like a fucked up accounting system. Of course who can really count out nefarious actions from our government.

Mother should I trust the government?

What can we do about it? I don't know. You can go to your local community meetings and complain about the cost of flowers and shrubs in the roundabout. I can go to Vancouver City Council meetings and complain about the cost of engineering design services for an existing fire station. We can all get together and voice our complaints about the costs of ruling class global military imperialism. What else can we do? Elect better politicians to the democratic and republican parties? Fuck that, if there's anything that's been tried over and over and failed it's that.

So ya, it is about the rich people bro, and in turn about this neoliberal, gangster, crony, capitalist system enabled by our vaunted "representative" political system. We're all slaves, we're still chained to the "company store". That means the very rich people bro, that's always what it's meant. It doesn't mean your friend that builds houses and takes vacations in Cabo every six months. It's the really rich fuckers who control everything. The billionaires who start the wars, the people who think it's worth it to kill half a million children, the sociopaths and psychopaths who think their wealth allows them to trample over the rights of the rest of us. The Greedy Bastards. That's who I'm talking about when I say Fuck the Rich.

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37 users have voted.

Comments

thanatokephaloides's picture

I'm not against capitalism, I'm against neoliberal capitalism, gangster capitalism, crony capitalism, unregulated capitalism, monopolistic capitalism, generational capitalism, disaster capitalism, predatory capitlism, and vulture capitalism. I'm also not against socialism. Much of our economic system is based on socialist principles

What you want here is free enterprise, the economic system that deteriorates into capitalism as soon as enough capital owners buy protection against their competitors to eliminate the competitors' freedom to exist. Once that happens, free enterprise is supplanted by -- in your own words -- "neoliberal capitalism, gangster capitalism, crony capitalism, unregulated capitalism, monopolistic capitalism, generational capitalism, disaster capitalism, predatory capitlism, and vulture capitalism".

The confusion of free enterprise with the capitalism it deteriorates into is a common one among right-wingers.

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16 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides view the words as the same anyway.

And what does it really matter if one says free enterprise vs capitalism? It all ends up in the same place. And the capitalists are always belly- aching about free enterprise.

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7 users have voted.

dfarrah

thanatokephaloides's picture

@dfarrah

Well, people view the words as the same anyway.

They're not. And the distinction is a critical one. No economic pseudo-system is as unfree enterprise as monopoly/monopsony capitalism (think Wal-Mart in a small town). But it's still a form of capitalism. Free enterprise is one, too, but only the least noxious member of a very noxious clan.

And what does it really matter if one says free enterprise vs capitalism? It all ends up in the same place. And the capitalists are always belly-aching about free enterprise.

While being the very ones to blame for its disappearance. Methinks they do protest overmuch. Wink

This relates to another sacred cow of capitalists and right-wingers: the unregulated free market, which does not and cannot exist. All markets have restrictions and rules; the only question is who makes those rules, and who do those rules benefit. Either a democratically-elected government regulates the markets for the benefit of everyone, or the "law of the jungle" prevails, whereunder the strongest make the rules to benefit themselves.

The economic world envisioned by Reason magazine and its ilk is no more achievable than the Stalinist one is, and for the same reason: it denies human nature. Society will always need to maintain checks and balances -- rules and regulations -- on the economic marketplace. It always fails, otherwise.

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10 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides that half of all government activity is in the "regulation" of capitalism through tax advantaging, protectionism, militarism, trade and treaty laws. However regulation doesn't necessarily mean restriction, but also out and out favoritism by the government. Always balanced by the needs of the citizen, who will just have to live with the leftovers no matter what the needs are.

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Big Al's picture

@Snode Regulation doesn't always mean restriction.

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mimi's picture

@thanatokephaloides

What you want here is free enterprise, the economic system that deteriorates into capitalism as soon as enough capital owners buy protection against their competitors to eliminate the competitors' freedom to exist.

Besoz bought the protection against other potential competing online booksellers in 1994-1996, by buying the license to exclusive usage of non-copyrightable data of the largest database provider in the US (Bowker and Books in Print back at those times). Amazon's protection was bought by that special license of usage, excluding in one strike ALL other online booksellers' rights to the same rights Amazon got. Not only did he effectively kill all real online competition, but in addition killed even competing brick and mortar chain bookstores, aside of independent ones.

I used to use those databases in bookstores, before the internet times. Each bookstore had to pay for them and got the data on CD's for their usage in their own brick and mortar bookstore, which were not connected in any way to digital networks. The www came along, people got fantasies about online bookselling and started writing their webpages. Besoz was the only guy who was able to buy his exclusive license to use ALL the data online. One of the biggest coups - in my understanding - . I think the way I understood back then of what had happened is now proven to be very correct. Look where Amazon stands now.

Well, in the words of GW Bush, I really think I am starting to hate some for their freedoms...

Three to four years ago I chatted with a fellow waiting for my plane in the BWI Airport.
He was tired and showed me his hands. Thick, skin broken up, swollen hands. He told me he works at the conveyer belts at an Amazon warehouse.

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9 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

nobody went without food. I sat in the back of a truck while cotton was being picked and then they gave me a bag. At noon, my Mom gave the pickers food she had cooked.
My parents "made" me and my brother pick cotton.

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17 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@on the cusp
I needed this to understand you. I hope I understood this comment correctly (finally). It's hard for me to read the lines and what is in between them. But you helped me getting there a bit closer.

Peace.

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4 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

thank you for sharing this. I hope your brother responds with appreciation for your thinking, especially given that you're explicit about some pretty costly public spending. Ouch. I mean, I think you're granting everything he's pointing out, but you're taking it beyond that to a larger reality.

I don't know why so many families are divided so seriously since the 2016 election. In my family, I'm the conservative, as I think Trump is an improvement because he's removed the mask of acceptability from our government's obscene crimes. We're all still on good terms, but we avoid speaking about these things. I respect you and your brother for taking it on.

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18 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Linda Wood

as I think Trump is an improvement because he's removed the mask of acceptability from our government's obscene crimes.

Seems to me that what is acceptable with regards to government's crimes is in the eye of the beholder. MMMV (my miles may vary).

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11 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

CS in AZ's picture

@mimi

What I fear is that for a lot of people, Trump is making the worst aspects of American attitudes more acceptable. He’s openly belligerent to other countries to a degree I’ve never seen before. I mean, Canada is even mad at us now. But his supporters think this is fine, they love his tough-guy act.

Trump is the embodiment of the idea that the US is, and must remain, the world’s 2000-pound gorilla. The biggest, baddest bad-ass anywhere ever. And far too many people agree with that and feel good about it. It makes them feel they’re important and special, just for being born here.

And for the head of such an organization you want a ruthless, violent, vicious person who wields his power through fear and intimidation. He’s even demanding that sports figures “stand for the anthem and show respect for the military” who are his/our enforcers.

And people are agreeing with him, in numbers I’m shocked about. No one seems to understand the actual meaning of being “a free contry” which was the watchword when I was growing up. People doing something you don’t like was met with “well it’s a free country” — not under Trump. Now we don’t even pretend that. It is comply, or else. America, fuck yeah! This fightens me. That this is becoming a widely held and acceptable attitude. In fact, the only acceptable attitude in some places.

I agree that Trump doesn’t bother with the mask, it’s gone. He won’t wear it like Obama did, and Clinton, and even Shrub, if you compare him to Trump. So the media is horrified, and the democrats pretend to be horrified, but I don’t think they reflect what people feel. Sure, many are horrified at his uncouthness. But far too many think it’s grand and are delighted with him.

At this point I think there is a very good chance he will be re-elected. The “resistance” is a joke, and I see little to no likelihood that anyone will mount an effective challenge. It’s a good thing he’s old because he might be serious about that president for life thing. And his supporters would probably go along with it.

Trump may not be very smart, but he’s very good at being top dog.

By the way, did anyone see that quote from Obama recently when he said he feels like Michael Corleone? Isn’t that weird? For him to openly admit that politics is like the mafia. Wow.

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16 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@CS in AZ @CS in AZ

I agree that Trump doesn’t bother with the mask, it’s gone. He won’t wear it like Obama did, and Clinton, and even Shrub, if you compare him to Trump. So the media is horrified, and the democrats pretend to be horrified, but I don’t think they reflect what people feel. Sure, many are horrified at his uncouthness. But far too many think it’s grand and are delighted with him.

At this point I think there is a very good chance he will be re-elected.

I can only try to respond from a foreigner's pov. I truly believe that most people in Europe are horrified (at least they were in the beginning, may be it's changing slowly), because all the masks Obama, Clinton and Bush were wearing, they didn't either see as a mask, or they themselves in Europe were wearing similar masks, and as such they didn't seem to feel those masks as threatening. They pretty much wear the same outfit over their faces...

The difference I may see is that over here in Europe, people expect that you wear the masks with more grace, dignity and appropriate attitudes. they feel that the last emperor of yours is 'not behaving well enough' to be 'acceptable'. And look for who is dealing with him most professionally in diplomatic ways. I would say it's Macron. One can only say the Frenchman's diplomatic skills are like a "breathe of well smelling air" instead of the stinky mess that we have to inhale from the Western winds.

It's hard for me to feel the enormous betrayal, many here express they felt from the Clintons, Obamas, and Bushes. I have a nervous allergic reaction, if I see that, because some folks might just make a 180 degree turn because of that.

They see something valuable in the "de-masking of behavior of previous politicians and presidents betraying them", forgetting what those (on the other hand) might have kept under control, ie. unlimited hate and cruelties among citizens acting out as if cruelty and utter inhumane behavior is acceptable.

Cruelty, violence by the police forces and yes, violence in the media broadcasts are the new normal and acceptable these days. And of course to defend against those police forces, the ordinary citizens just needs their guns to fight for their own freedom from oppression. It doesn't get any better as that kind of hoax argument to arm everyone from head to toe.

The police violence, all the pictures and images are now spread and submitted withing minutes world wide. That changes the equation. It has very negative consequences. And nobody will know how to contain those consequences other than oppress the transparency and speed with which such images will be broadcasted worldwide online.

So much for the great freedoms ... oh and of course instead of the openly bad behavior we get now the 'under the radar' trouble makers in Europe a la Steve Bannon in Europe (sorry not worth for me to translate, it's just telling), mucking up all the dirt he can to divide and conquer.

Frankly, it's disgusting. And who you elect next time, is almost not important anymore, at least, I guess something has to change in the way you vote, before I believe the elections have much meaning.

We live in very sad times and they are not at all interesting, they are just the same shit as we have seen before in the past But that was another generation. Now the young ones need their own shit. Sigh.

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7 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

@Linda Wood done some worthwhile things. And I am glad he does things differently, even if it causes the poor dems to hyperventilate for months on end.

Dems or progressives who think Trump is all bad are hypocrites. Most of them had no problem with Obama/Clinton/Clinton doing the same things. Their knee-jerk reactions demonstrate how tribal they are and how incapable they are of thinking.

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11 users have voted.

dfarrah

mimi's picture

@dfarrah
non-American folks, not born and raised in the US, are hypocrites, because they have some difficulties understanding what Trump is actually doing that is so great?

I think I need more tweets from him to understand him better...

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9 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

snoopydawg's picture

"Those people who get free medical care at hospitals." He apparently had heard about those grifters who just suck off other people's money. I asked him how he knew that "those people" weren't paying for their medical treatment? "Did you overhear someone saying that they couldn't pay for their treatment?" He said no , he had just heard that was what was happening. I then asked him if we should just let people die if they don't have money to pay for their treatment? "Of course not, but..."

I said "but what? We are supposedly the richest country in the world, yet there are thousands or millions of us who can't afford health insurance." We then went on to discuss all of the people who are on food stamps and are getting housing support. He said that there was a lot of fraud in the system. "Bullshit!" said I. I told him how hard it is to get qualified for that help in the first place. I then asked him about work comp fraud. Surely he has heard of it. He had. We all have seen the videos of people who have said that they were injured on their jobs and couldn't work any longer, yet they were videotaped doing something physical that they said they could no longer do. But the number of people who commit workers comp fraud, welfare fraud or any other fraud is less than half of 1%.

Where the real fraud is when people had paid their insurance premiums for decades only to get told when they had been diagnosed that "they hadn't disclosed that they had acne when they were a kid so the insurance companies kicked them off their insurance and they could just go die because they didn't have insurance anymore.

Or the people who were injured at work and were told that nothing was wrong with them even though their arms were broken, gone or had some other problems that were verified by their doctors. This is also called workers comp fraud and the percentage is sky high! I told him about how my workers comp insurance denied me treatment for almost 5 years until a judge finally had enough of their crap and told them to fix me or he'd hit them with huge fines. Got my surgery finally, but by then the nerve damage was permanent and I had lost my career because no company can hold someone's job for them for that long. We talked about other types of this kind of fraud, but then I really laid into his ideas of people getting away with fraud.

I started talking about corporate welfare fraud. Where successful companies get huge tax breaks and subsidies and how they make billions in profits yet don't pay any taxes on it, yet they get millions in tax refunds. And that then make us have to pay higher taxes to make up the difference. Take Amazon for instance. Billions in profits yet no taxes were paid and they got almost $1 billion in tax return anyway! I kept hammering away at all the fraud that companies get away with, but people complain about little Susie's mom getting help to feed and house her because Amazon refuses to pay mom a living wage. Not minimum wage. A living wage! And maybe Susie's mom makes too much to qualify for Medicaid if her state had bothered to expand it, but not enough to be able to afford medical insurance. Susie then gets really sick and mom takes her to the hospital, but she embarrassedly says that she can't afford to pay her bill. "So who is really committing fraud?"

Then we talked about the corporations and the people who park their money offshore so they don't have to pay taxes on it and then I really laid into the banks and the military. Yep. I talked about our voting choices. Whoboy, I sure got a lot of things off my chest! He finally got it. But like your brother there are many more who think that things in this country are working just fine except for "those people,,,"

I have no idea how to get people to wake the Hell up and see how they have been lied to their whole lives and are blaming the wrong people.

This guy actually thanked me for telling him what the real reality is, not the one he's been told about.

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28 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg Sounds like you did just that sd. And relative to my brother, we end up agreeing much more than not after all is said and done.
It's a good example of how the manufactured divide among the people is maintained via ideological propaganda.

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21 users have voted.

@snoopydawg an hour of Fox news and he'll be back to normal. I hope not, but that's how it went for me.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Snode

I'm sure he's on SSDI which is much harder to qualify for, but his income is under $1,000 a month so he's basically one of those people.

I do think that next time he hears about those people he will try to wake that person up. He really didn't know.

And just like Reagan's "Cadillac queens", workers comp insurances love to make people believe that there is a lot of fraud and that's why you will see the videos of the very few people scamming the system. Of course though the tv network won't tell people about the ones that wc screws. On no, they have a message to feed the sheep. Unfortunately the sheep do buy it.

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10 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

@snoopydawg Yes, and the biggest fraudsters are in Medicare/Medicaid. Physicians, insurance, managed care, nursing homes all have bad apples. And one, convicted Guv of Florida is polishing his image to run for Pres. Is this a great country or what?

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Snode

I ended up turning him into the medical board because he was committing fraud. People would come in to the office because they had an eye infection which optometrist couldn't prescribe meds for and he would sign them up for cataract surgery. Their vision wasn't bad enough to warrant it, but he'd do his own special test that changed their vision. It was a grey area for fraud. But the case I turned him in for was a young girl who had a congenital cataract. Removing it wouldn't help her see better for reasons too difficult to explain. But he did it anyway. But what boiled my blood was when she was scheduling her surgery she said that she also needed to schedule one for her other eye.

I went WTF? Her vision in the other eye was 20/25. He changed my recorded visual acuity to 20/200. That's fraud!

The thing is that he wasn't trained to do cataract surgery and you could tell by the results the next day. I worked for a doctor in Salt Lake City that was the pioneer in cataract surgery. People who have this surgery done today are benefiting from his work and I was a part of it. He would give lectures with videos of his surgeries that I had created. (Yes, I'm patting myself on the back, but I'm very proud of what I helped him do)

The doctor in California also did fraudulent surgeries on patient's retinas and I was just so disgusted and distraught that I was even a part of it. I had no problem turning him in. But he only got a slap on the wrist and when I left California he was building his own private surgical suite. Money he made by committing fraud.

Fortunately for me before I got injured I was working with another group of doctors who were also pioneers in their fields. They came up with treatments that had never been treatable before. This is what I've lost when my workers comp denied my treatment. I would love to still be working with them. Sigh ... the "what if's" ...

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12 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

mimi's picture

@snoopydawg
helped me a lot to understand you. I salute you for bringing the fraudsters to the board.
Boy, I it's irrational what kind of memories you pull out of me with your comments. But they are not that relevant here, because they concern Germans and their own frauds.

But thanks for what you are doing. Kudos and respect.

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4 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

@snoopydawg I am sorry that it wasn't as powerful as it should have been. I know a female OB/Gyn That started her career at a group practice that had a similar problem. One of the founders had a lucrative income stream from his specialty, hysterectomies. Many were on young women, and not all necessary. To also keep from showing up on the DEA pain med prescription thing he would under prescribe pain meds, and the poor women would show up at the emergency room of the local hospital. As low totem person the new "girl" got to go to the ER at all hours to bail out the practice. This idealistic young doctor fairly soon left medicine. The one thing all the people under the senior members knew was that if they blew the whistle, they'd be essentially blacklisted and the partner would be given a slap on the wrist, if that. He eventually was "pushed upstairs" when the liability got too blatant.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Snode

Only in this country could someone as crooked as him not be prosecuted! "I don't recall" how many times? He didn't need to recall anything. The facts were plain to see!

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7 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

mimi's picture

you talk to your brother. Can't imagine with opposing views like you describe between you and your brother, anyone would still talk to each other politics, if it happened in my family.

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14 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

CS in AZ's picture

@mimi

I had the same thoughts reading Al’s letter to his brother, how great that they are able to talk about the different views, and how lucky for his brother that Al is so well spoken and thoughtful. I really love the way this letter gets to the heart of the matter — and in the end if he really reads it, I would think he would have to nod along and say, that’s all true.

I have one brother, a lot younger than me (8 years), who is very much like Al’s brother it seems. He’s cool on most social issues, but when it comes to this one — taxes, the government, and who to blame for the “fraud waste and abuse” of our tax money — and also how he reacts negatively to “anti-rich” and anti capitalist messages, he’s “conservative” and very pro business. In fact, he owns a small business now and is reasonably successful.

When I’ve had conversations like this with him, although I’m nowhere near as eloquent or as knowledgeable as Big Al, he ends up saying he agrees. I got him to say yes, he agrees in principle that single payer, tax-funded healthcare for everyone, would be a better use of money than endless war. He would have voted for Bernie Sanders, he says. As it was, he didn’t vote.

I can find common cause with this brother. The people in my circle that the ties seem irreparably broken are the Hillary nuts. I just can’t talk to them at all anymore, not about politics.

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11 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@CS in AZ when I go back at his emails. He doesn't blog and likes to send out email rants to a group of friends and family. I don't reply back to his friends, put it that way. Some of them would not take it like my brother.
I've long thot that we're kind of an example of what can happen when the so called right and left actually receptively talk things out.
Thanks CS.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

He's as mule headed as they come and he not only changed his religious beliefs he changed his political views and no amount of facts will change his mind. Plus he is the "older brother" and they think that they are always right!

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7 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

mimi's picture

@snoopydawg \

... no fun, because one still loves his brother somehow. And who can work against all those well meant Christian lecturers.

Sigh.

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5 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

mimi's picture

@CS in AZ
within the family about politics. The last time I had a chance to talk about politics with my siblings or parents was in 1968. And we didn't talk, because there wasn't much to say. Both my siblings were highly disinterested and uninformed about politics and history. My father was a conservative businessman with strong social and cultural opinions (which was more social democratic than American Democrats are today) and the rest of the family was social democratic or liberal. I think I was the only one as a student who engaged a little bit politically. Then I left the country for good. I didn't meet with my family often. We were always spread far apart. I awoke politically only thirty years later around 1998 in the US understanding nothing. Slowly I scrolled through blogs and news articles and so I ended up doing what I do now. Reading and listening.

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7 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

She bristled at the people using their Lone Star cards, the Texas food stamp card.
I told her we should let the poor people starve to death, but there is no educational value to them dying in the woods. Nope. They need to die in the ditches alongside the highway leading up to the grocery store. That would encourage other poor people to work, and people with jobs could feel superior.

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22 users have voted.

@on the cusp is that these people are likely the working poor who don't get paid enough to pay for basics, like food, while executives and shareholders are rolling in the dough.

The checkout person is mad at the wrong person.

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18 users have voted.

dfarrah

@dfarrah How many are just over the line from getting any government assistance? Someone looking at people in pretty much the same circumstances getting help while you don't, and resenting the heck out of it.

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14 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

This is one of your best in a long time.

I am still amazed at how people believe the rich deserve their wealth while those who have been impoverished by our predatory economic system deserve nothing.No one needs a better example than that of Jeff Bezos who works his employees to the verge of death while paying them less than a living wage. And what about Walmart and McDonald's that train their employees on how to use the social safety net to supplement their poverty wages so that the corporate big wigs do not have pay them a living wage? Who pays for the supplementation of the corporate bottom line? It is we the few remaining taxpayers who have not been bled to death by poverty level wages, or by unexpected tragedy or illness that is often not even covered by insurance, or who have had their jobs shipped over seas or replaced by automation.

These blood sucking corporations have found ways around laws (that were intended to protect wage earners) by keeping their employees under 30 hours a week so as not to cover insurance or other benefits or by declaring their employees to be independent contractors who get zero benefits and must pay both the employer and employee contributions to Social Security.

And another thing, health insurance does not equal health care. Why in the world do we even need a middle man in our health care system? The real death panels are the insurance companies. And why are companies allowed to replace human beings with automation without having to pay a tax upon the robots?

One last thing to everyone who complains about SNAP (food stamps). Nothing makes me more angry than to hear people complain about SNAP. SNAP is one of the most effective government programs that actually creates economic value as a result.

Economists consider SNAP one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus. Moody’s Analytics estimates that in a weak economy, every dollar increase in SNAP benefits generates about $1.70 in economic activity. Similarly, CBO rated an increase in SNAP benefits as one of the two most cost-effective of all spending and tax options it examined for boosting growth and jobs in a weak economy.

Further, SNAP is only a supplement and often inadequate in communities that have been hard hit economically. Here in my county in western NC, both the median income and levels of poverty are slightly better than those of the state as a whole. Still the biggest local food bank annually serves between 20%-25% of the population, the majority of which have at least one family member who is working. Local food banks act as an additional supplement to needy families not covered by other programs.

I find it unconscionable that in the richest country in the world that we do not have universal single payer healthcare and that a significant portion of our population is living hand to mouth, often having to rely upon local charitable programs to get them through the month. All of this so the richest people can continue to wage wars of choice in order to rape and pillage the planet while getting more and more tax relief.

Thank you for this truly outstanding essay, Big Al.

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26 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Big Al's picture

@gulfgal98 Not much talk about Medicare for all or single payer anymore is there. That's how it goes and how fast time goes by without any progress toward it.
Most of us "pay" for it by more than taxes as you say, with low paying jobs, fewer and lesser benefits, and now as we've seen, lower life expectancy.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

then she will think about MFA. Sure you will, Nancy. Right after you push for pay as you go again just like you did in 2006. Details in Amanda's essay.

Boy those kos kids are going to be in for a rude awakening if their blue wave happens. Pelosi is screaming to them that no she is not going to fight her donors, but they refuse to listen to her. SMDH!

Oh yeah, and she says that she isn't interested in impeachment. Again!

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7 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg political system. The only answer is to make MFA improved a cornerstone of the party platform now. It's like Booker I think last year saying that the party might address war and militarism next year but not now. These people are trained to view politics in a certain way that completely eliminates common sense. It's all geared toward the competition between two parties so the only incentive is to win, not to actually do or stand for anything.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al

They are not talking about universal health care, they're talking about universal health coverage! Same plan as the old one if Difi is right. And she isn't on board with the new old one either. Yet.

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6 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

Hawkfish's picture

@Big Al

That’s how Canada did it. Several states have run initiatives recently: CA, CO, WA from memory. One day one will crack and the dam will start to break.

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9 users have voted.

We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

Jen's picture

I wish I could talk to any of my family members in a way that would make them understand. The last one to "give up" on me was one of my cousins. Now there's no one left that will talk to me at all. They all think I've completely lost my mind.

They will bitch and bitch about how expensive their prescription drugs are and they will say that we live in a dictatorship no matter who the pres is. But that's about where it stops. Because they also will still claim that we live in a free country and that the military is fighting for (or protecting) our freedoms. They will still say we live in the greatest country in the world. It honestly makes me want to pull my hair out and beat my head against the wall. They'll say socialism is the same damn thing as nazism. They'll say we fought in WW2 against communism (and Russia). Let me just say, I hate the public school system. But then, that's not exactly it, because most of them never even had high school history. Most of them will just get their "news" from Fox and think they're informed. They all voted for Cheeto (but now think he's a dictator - might have to do with his taking guns away comment).

So, the last time I sent an email, I might have over-exaggerated a bit. I said that once the rich fuckers decided they've gotten all they're going to get the next step would be to exterminate the rest of us. I don't know if that's the part that made her decide I was not worth the time to talk to anymore, but it's been almost 3 months and nothing. And that was the last one in the whole family that would talk to me at all.

So, yeah, I'm a little envious of everyone that can talk about stuff like this with family and not get totally disowned.

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23 users have voted.

@Jen

I think you're absolutely right about this:

Let me just say, I hate the public school system. But then, that's not exactly it, because most of them never even had high school history.

That's part of the problem with public education in our country. Not everyone gets a good education in history, not even a basic understanding of the most important issues we face. Some do. Some school districts do have good programs and teachers. Some don't. It's essentially a crap shoot.

And when you said this,

I might have over-exaggerated a bit. I said that once the rich fuckers decided they've gotten all they're going to get the next step would be to exterminate the rest of us.

I don't actually think that's an exaggeration at all. In a country that idolizes Madeline Albright, who said it was "worth it" to murder 500,000 Iraqi children for whatever petro/fiscal policy she advocated, and in a country that is openly planning and setting up for a policy of "limited nuclear war," exterminating the rest of us seems to be part of the planning.

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16 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

An old find from here on C99.....

they are always right

and then the games begin

Characteristics of Injustice Collectors

1. Injustice collectors are never wrong. How is it possible that they are never wrong? It's simple: They are always right.

2. Injustice collectors never apologize. Ever. For anything.

3. Injustice collectors truly believe they are morally and ethically superior to others and that others seem incapable of holding themselves to the same high standards as the injustice collector does.

4. Injustice collectors [want to] make the rules, break the rules and enforce the rules of the [nation]. They are a combination of legislator, police, judge and jury to those they consider their subjects. They forever banish from their kingdom any subject they deem disloyal, and only grant clemency if there is sufficient (in their eyes) contrition.

5. Injustice collectors never worry about what is wrong with them as their "bad" list grows. Their focus is always on the failings of others.

6. Injustice collectors are never troubled by the disparity between their rules for others and their own expectations of themselves. Injustice collectors rationalize their own behavior with great ease and comfort.

7. Injustice collectors have an external orientation; the problem always exists in the world, outside of themselves, and in their view, the world would be an acceptable place if their rules and standards were followed at all times.

8. Injustice collectors do not have a capacity for remorse, empathy or guilt.

10. The phrase "walking on eggshells" describes life with an injustice collector.

11. The IC (injustice Collector) will prey upon your weaknesses to frame all issues in their terms.

12. IC's will always cry foul when you are 'mean' to them and accuse you of being nasty when you are confronting them with their negative behavior.

14. They can only strengthen relationships through imprisoning their mates and banning behaviors and other relationships. Friends and family are a huge threat to the IC.

16. They do not care about you at all, they care about aggrandizing themselves with you as an assistant producer.

19. Hypocrisy is their modus operandi for debating and arguing with you. Everything they say about you is true about them. (aka Projection) It makes it so you try to 'win' fights by getting them to agree with you, which they never can because their whole position is false.

caucus99percent.com

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11 users have voted.

“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy”

Chris Hedges

Perhaps the greatest coup in all of human history was the handful of uber-rich predators convincing the rest of us that they are "rich people". They are not. They are sociopathic predators. Parasites. They are nothing like us. They're not even like the arrogant lawyers who make a million dollars a year or any of the other people we would think of as rich. They're not like athletes that make millions a year. They're not like doctors or lawyers or even middle managers at investment companies with their tens of thousands in bonuses. These "people", and I use that term loosely, have levels of wealth that are simply and literally inconceivable. Yes, we know the numbers, however many billions; but human brains are not equipped to process those kind of numbers. We don't get, on a gut level, just how much that really is. And consequently, we don't get how different from us those beings really are. Virtually no one actually aspires to be them. We aspire to second homes, nice cars, vacations... the normal sort of 'rich'... we may or may not realize it, but we do not aspire to be part of the crazy, conscience-free, predator class that rules us today. Successfully convincing us that their interests are the same as the rich people who some of us aspire to be was surely the greatest public relations coup the ruling class has ever pulled. They literally have us cheering for our own subjugation.

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15 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@rachael7

Brilliant comment, Rachel.

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7 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

@rachael7

someplace well away from all political/policy influence the way you nailed the situation in this comment, we could have a different world.

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

detroitmechworks's picture

When you mention the whole "working class" thing nowadays.

While the Msm and pollsters might think that Americans all think they're middle class, the vast majority of those my age and under know we're peasants.

The Msm's shiny toys only distract for so long.

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11 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

but the outcome of the "Business Coup" was that the coup leaders pooled their money and started a disinformation and smear campaign against Butler and everyone involved. When it came to hearings, in the end nobody went to jail. Same as it ever was. Also I think there was a Bush involved in it somewhere.

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9 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@Snode But there was no coup, at least by those characters. By 63 and especially 68, that was all moot.

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7 users have voted.
polkageist's picture

@Snode
N/T

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8 users have voted.

Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

@Snode

...Also I think there was a Bush involved in it somewhere.

Usually one thinks of criminals hiding in the bushes, but there do seem to be a depressing number of instances where the Bushes have been hiding among the other criminals.

And here they still are, all shiny-clean and CorpoDem-'rehabilitated' with their little gang of violently thieving sadistic torturers staffing/'advising' yet another government, advancing the next step of whatever The Plan is, as it approaches the known and now obvious goal of global domination, possibly to have it fail yet again, with any luck.

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

polkageist's picture

You write well when you take the time to state your points and present your evidence. Very convincing. I like it when you write with passion and with example. I'm not being patronizing. I'm just so pleased and so impressed when you write like this. This contained anger and focused writing is what will convince people. I know I agree with everything you have written here. Thanks.

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9 users have voted.

Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

mimi's picture

I like to say that your brother is very lucky to have you. I wished my father would have had the chance to go to a university and study history and literature (that's what he would have done, if he could have) instead of having to mess around in Hitler's military and war and get a broken life. When he came back from Russian POW camps he just had to work to help his family to survive, feed himself and my siblings. No more education for him. But he read a lot, mostly political books. The only one in the family. Sad.

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6 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

Mark from Queens's picture

What Polkageist said...one of your best, for all the reasons he stated.

Wish I had more time to expound on the family dynamic thing. Going through some of that now with my father, who is now also on the receiving end of my sister's wrath, which is all Drumpf-based though.

Think this is an important conversation to be having at C99. Many times it seems we're up against everyone at the moment: phony Dem/Neoliberals, the extreme Right, the masses watching MSM propaganda, etc, the Faux Patriot/Bigoted Fox News contingent.

With regard to the latter, if you haven't seen this yet you must, The Brainwashing of My Dad.

Propaganda is the biggest divider of a coalition of the 99% coming together.

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8 users have voted.

(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

Big Al's picture

@Mark from Queens Only half way thru and has me thinking of further research on this issue. One thing I want to see what she says about the other side, because there are certainly two sides to this coin.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

to see if anything you said to him got through. Paul Mikkelson makes millions if he wins a golf tournament. He moved away from California because of the higher tax rates.

I have said this before. No one should be allowed to have $112 billion when there is so much poverty in this country. No one. I saw that Mrs. Clooney's outfit to prince Harry's wedding cost a cool half a million dollars. Most of it was the cost of her diamond earrings. Kerry Washington wore one outfit that cost $25,000! Do any of those millionaires and billionaires donate to food banks, women's shelters or any of the many organizations that try to help the poor? If not then should there be a rule where they are required to do so if they don't want to see their taxes go back to what they were before Ronnie Reagan started cutting them? I'm voting for Absolutely!

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8 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg My older sister who was on that email address list but didn't comment, called me a couple hours after that. Didn't get with her yet but she's like most here relative to politics. I'm interested to see what she has to say, she's very astute. I've tried to get her to write here a number of times.

To me the main issue isn't necessarily how much to tax the rich and wealthy, it's how to change society so a fucking golfer doesn't make 50 million a year while an elementary school teacher has to get a second job.

That's why I've been against the proposed 1% tax on Wall street transactions. I say screw that, end those transactions. End how they're making money out of thin air. Like I said, if someone wants to bake a thousand cakes a day and get wealthy, whatever. But much of the wealth at the top is not based on value to society.

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11 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@LeChienHarry
people like Gates, Zuckerberg, and other CEO corporate billionaires.

Dh and I have talked about charitable giving by individuals and corporations, but the problem is that leaves them in charge.

Exactly. They can decide to whom to give and how much and out of their own, dubious motives (which are often very obvious and don't meet the standards you would expect from your government officials).

As if those CEOS knew best who needs the money. If they would donate into a fund supervised by the government and then there would be a democratic vote by the people for which programs and to whom those donations in the fund should be going, it would be another ballgame.

But it's nothing more than the super-rich buying themselves freedom from their own guilt trips and still manipulating where and to whom their money goes to and for what reason.

Kabuki, even when Zuckerberg is playing the humble guy who apologized to the Europeans, it won't cut it.
EU Demands Facebook to Stop Sending Its Lobbyists - By Rafia Shaikh -Jun 8

Facebook has dramatically increased its spending on lobbying efforts both in the United States and Europe. While that may be working in the US, it appears Europeans are tired of the social networking giant sending lobbyists instead of its own staff to answer questions on user privacy and data security.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to a hearing in Europe last month but tried his best to keep it behind closed doors. However, after criticism from both the public and some Members of the Parliament, the hearing was live-streamed on May 22. But that didn’t help EU get any better answers since Zuckerberg simply repeated what he had already said during the two-days long marathon back in Washington.

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2 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

LeChienHarry's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg and corporations, but the problem is that leaves them in charge. Maybe we should revisit the Eisenhower tax rates: we had a much more secure citizenry, good education and the beginning of civil rights.

And of course, no government, public official, or entity should be for sale. End all forms of paying off the politicos and the lifers.

How?

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2 users have voted.

You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

@snoopydawg

... No one should be allowed to have (drain anything ludicrous like) $112 billion (out of others, as is too often the case, whether regarding once-illegal-monopolies, consumers, underpaid workers, the environment or the public purse,) when there is (thereby creating) so much poverty in this country. ...

The bizarre argument accepted by so many 'temporarily embarrassed millionaires' across America is that 'if they're that uber-wealthy, it's their money and they should be able to keep and entirely control it all' - along with the dilapidated-for-maximized-profit country and, apparently, everyone else drained-for-maximized-profit, having less money and therefore not entitled to control anything they may be permitted to earn or anything within their government and lives.

Yet taxation - and democratic government itself - only works when based firmly upon the sustainable premise that it must be imposed 'according to ability to pay'. And not in reference to bribes.

The insane levels of wealth accumulated by an ever-shrinking few comes from somewhere - and from hundreds of millions of someones further down the bread-lines.

Speaking as One Who Knows Nothing Of Financial Market Stuff, it seems to me, from reading those who do, that much of the excessive wealth of this rash of billionaire-heading-into-trillionaire money is either directly drained by bleeding less affluent others/the environment/the public purse or made up of politically-purchased monopolies/unbased/high-speed data-dot speculation 'value' on financial markets now pretty running the country/world in too many respects, despite contributing nothing positive in terms of anything real.

This wealth/power-sucking by the relative few results in their successfully refusing to pay taxes (don't try this at home!) for basic upkeep of facilities they rely upon, while their increasingly monopoly-limited 'company-store' wage/benefit-drained workers are too poor to pay taxes on what are all-too-typically not remotely living wages or to contribute, on insufficient pay, at sufficient levels to essential programs like SS - weakening the ability of government to do its intended job of maintaining the country, ensuring its ultimate financial collapse, and making it that much easier for totalitarian take-over of not only the entirety of all public funding but of the public themselves, left entirely dependent upon their calculated worth to entirely ruthless monopolistic corporate interests for the means to, however barely, survive.

For every destructive corporate/billionaire-serving action incorporated into policy, there is an equal reaction, diametrically opposite to what the public forming the country needs and wants, even if decades of corporate media-promoted propaganda convinces some that they should, effectively, support their own doom.

I'd like to suggest that, as progressives, our language might routinely reflect reality to counteract propaganda in such as that, while reasonable profits, pay and prices benefit the more sustainable system these create, maximized profiteering drains, destroys and kills the Golden Goose - and that it's everyone and everything else that disaster capitalism feeds off thereafter, until the parasites themselves starve for lack of victims.

...

Ask not what those running your country can do to you and get away with, point out, at every opportunity, what your democracy is supposed to be doing of, by and for the public forming it - for you.

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

QMS's picture

Thanks Big Al.

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4 users have voted.

is supposed to be the public service, filled with public servants representing and serving the public interest.

The government owns nothing; it all belongs to the public, including the powers they've delegated to the various public offices specifically so that those transiently holding them can serve the public essentially forming the country itself.

People should be demanding the pressing of charges against corrupt politicians acting against the very public good which their public offices exist to serve and to actually have the socially responsible government which is theirs by right and which they're paying public funding for, rather than the 'right-wing' propaganda-driven demand that 'government mind its own business, and leave those poor, pathologically greedy and abusive corporations and uber-wealthy alone' to abuse the populace (already robbed blind) and (poisoned/paved/perishing-for-profit) environment as they see fit.

Now, that's (decades of) 'perception management'!

And that has to be sorted out before some of the more thoroughly propagandized people will get how badly they've been had in being led into demanding to be ever more freely screwed over by those eager to do so.

Which deprogramming can be tricky as this is not a logic-based stance, or the traditional language and terms would be a give-away.

At this point, there still is yet nothing specific spoken out loud about American voters electing anyone as a Representative of Monsanto, Wallmart, the fossil fuel industry, et al, or whichever billionaires happen to have the most political money-generated power at the time; officially, democratic electoral politics are all about electing candidates representing the (albeit often unmentioned/misrepresented/'don't-worry-your-silly-head' interests of the) public, even if sometimes more particularly of the general public in various areas, without a word even in US 'public face' PR about the rights of the public being utterly superseded by the money of any self-selected and pathologically greedy bandit wart-lords.*

At least, not until ALEC/the Koch brothers and others get that US Constitutional rewrite they've been working toward.

But the perceptual framing of democratic governance - not ever 'rule', as there are and can be no above-the-law ruling kings/queens in democracy - has to be drawn back into the realm of reality...

Government of, by and for the people means exactly what it says. Nothing else is a legitimate government in America.

*(Not a typo - they are warts.)

Edited because I can't type. I had so better be able to sleep tonight...

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

LeChienHarry's picture

like the Koch Brothers, make a lot and influence much. Soros? Bezos? Goldman Sachs? I could go on, but I have a question...

Are all these entities in one way or another working together? Are they allied through organizations? Or is it every rich bunch for themselves until there are only one or two left standing?

Don't really understand the amount of competition or collusion there is out there.

Ideas and thoughts on this are very welcome.

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2 users have voted.

You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

snoopydawg's picture

@LeChienHarry

This is why austerity measures are sweeping the globe right now. The banks are the ones leading the charge. Dimon threatened to raise interest rates when the teachers were first striking. I think gjohnsit wrote about how the rising worker's pay is causing the PTB to freak out and something to do with the market. Sorry that I don't remember the details. But yes it's all of the rich f*ckers are working together.

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2 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents