A nation of hope and opportunity for all
There are a lot of highly manipulative people who want to make you believe that certain very important things do not matter.
These are awful realities that plague our entire nation, and indeed the world and every citizen thereof, including those who don't realize it and those who do realize it but don't want you to.
I'm not saying these deniers of reality are all bad people. There are any number of reasons why a person might understandably prefer denial and distraction to fully accepting enormous and daunting realities that would scare the fucking devil. But those too afraid to look reality in the eye have got no business giving political advice.
What in the world are we going to do about these very real existential threats?
We will either face them honestly with everything we have or we will continue to ignore them and eat our shit sandwiches until its too late. If it isn't already.
Thoughtful people understand how serious these matters are. Honest people will admit it. Those who don't want you to pay proper attention will bullshit you.
Whatever, whatever, oligarchy.
Oligarchy is a real word. A lot of the smartest people we’ve got are using it to describe our present circumstances. It's what inequality leads to – rule by the rich. I don't know what would be worse: not knowing oligarchy's a real word or not knowing it's what we've become. I suppose the absolute worst would be knowing but pretending otherwise in order to mislead people. My advice is: figure out who the smartest people are, and who among them are honest, and then give greater weight to the words of those people.
Listen to the smart people.
More striking still, it appeared that, if the process of concentration goes on at the same rate, at the end of another century we shall have all American industry controlled by a dozen corporations and run by perhaps a hundred men. Put plainly, we are steering a steady course toward economic oligarchy, if we are not there already.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Listen to the smart people.
It is the doctrine of the oligarchy that there is nothing that we hold in common, that the commonwealth is a myth, that it is even a sign of softheadedness and weakness. The oligarchical power feeds on the sense that we are all individuals, struggling on our own, and ennobled by the effort.
Listen to the smart people.
Robert Reich: America Is Now a Full-Scale Oligarchy
We must get big money out of politics.
According to an investigation by the New York Times, half of all the money contributed so far to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates—$176 million—has come from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control.
Who are these people? They’re almost entirely white, rich, older and male—even though America is becoming increasingly black and brown, young, female, and with declining household incomes.
According to the report, most of these big contributors live in exclusive neighborhoods where they have private security guards instead of public police officers, private health facilities rather than public parks and pools.
Most send their kids and grand kids to elite private schools rather than public schools. They fly in private jets and get driven in private limousines rather than rely on public transportation.
They don’t have to worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes. They don’t have to worry about climate change because they don’t live in flimsy homes that might collapse in a hurricane, or where water is scarce, or food supplies endangered.
It’s doubtful that most of these 158 are contributing to these campaigns out of the goodness of their hearts or a sense of public responsibility. They’re largely making investments, just the way they make other investments.
Reich’s book [The Work of Nations] saw inequality largely as a technical problem, with a technocratic, win-win solution. That was then. These days, Reich offers a much darker vision, and what is in effect a call for class war—or if you like, for an uprising of workers against the quiet class war that America’s oligarchy has been waging for decades.
The US is an oligarchy, study concludes
Report by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities suggests that US political system serves special interest organisations, instead of voters
The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: "The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."
Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying organisations: "When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it."
In a recent interview at the Economic Policy Institute, Nobel Prize-Winning economist and MIT professor Robert Solow riffed on the political effects of increasing inequality and concentration of wealth at the very top. "If that kind of concentration of wealth continues, then we get to be more and more an oligarchical country, a country that's run from the top," he said.
Bernie Sanders: Keeping US from Becoming Oligarchy Is ‘A Struggle We Must Win’
US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gave a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC on Monday to talk about his proposed recovery program and to address the economic challenges facing the US, both at present and in the future, particularly as the wealth gap grows and financial institutions escape accountability.
“[W]e are moving rapidly away from our democratic heritage into an oligarchic form of society,” Sanders said. “Today, the most serious problem we face is the grotesque and growing level of wealth and income inequality. This a profound moral issue, this is an economic issue and this is a political issue.”
“We need to take a hard look at our trade policies which have resulted in the outsourcing of millions of good paying jobs,” he continued. “Since 2001 we have lost more than 60,000 factories in this country, and more than 4.9 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs. We must end our disastrous trade policies (NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, etc.) which enable corporate America to shut down plants in this country and move to China and other low-wage countries.”
His recovery program, An Economic Agenda for America, would invest in infrastructure; turn away from fossil fuels; raise the federal minimum wage; and close the gender wage gap, among other tenets.
“We need to end the race to the bottom and develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad,” Sanders said.
Now a lot of people like to sound smart. They often speak of facts and figures, polls and statistics. They possess all the numbers. They're 538 smart, 'Bernie's stuck at 30%' smart. They are not really smart.
Don't listen to stupid people or people who have a vested interest in manipulating you. Listen to the smart people who are telling you the truth. We are in big trouble and we better do something big about it.
Doing the same stupid shit one more time, settling for fake change one more time, will seal our fate. Don't be stupid and don't be manipulated by people with bad intent.
And don't let anybody tell you that there is not a revolution under way. Anyone who honestly doesn't realize it is a fucking moron. The rest are liars. The oligarchy is real. The revolution is real. Only counter-revolutionaries or agents of the oligarchy have any interest in convincing you otherwise.
Listen to the smart people.
An oligarchy of private capital cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society because under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information.
The American people are rising up, once again, to try to change this country. This is the last chance we are likely to ever have. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't matter.
Economic, social and environmental justice — and a world of peace. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you, Bernie.