By noon on Tuesday, you will hear the far right slamming this very puzzling and rather strange piece by former GOP staffer, Mike Lofgren. He recently retired after serving for well over a decade on the Senate Finance Committee as a staffer.
Lofgren’s almost incoherent article highlights much of what The Pink Flamingo has been saying for months.
“…While Democrats temporized, or even dismissed the fears of the white working class as racist or nativist, Republicans went to work. To be sure, the business wing of the Republican Party consists of the most energetic outsourcers, wage cutters and hirers of sub-minimum wage immigrant labor to be found anywhere on the globe. But the faux-populist wing of the party, knowing the mental compartmentalization that occurs in most low-information voters, played on the fears of that same white working class to focus their anger on scapegoats that do no damage to corporations’ bottom lines: instead of raising the minimum wage, let’s build a wall on the Southern border (then hire a defense contractor to incompetently manage it). Instead of predatory bankers, it’s evil Muslims. Or evil gays. Or evil abortionists….”
“...It is hardly surprising that the most adamant proponent of the view that there was no debt ceiling problem was Michele Bachmann, the darling of the fundamentalist right. What does it matter, anyway, if the country defaults? – we shall presently abide in the bosom of the Lord….. The plutocrats would drag us back to the Gilded Age, the theocrats to the Salem witch trials. In any case, those consummate plutocrats, the Koch brothers, are pumping large sums of money into Michele Bachman’s presidential campaign, so one ought not make too much of a potential plutocrat-theocrat split….”
“… The GOP cult of Ayn Rand is both revealing and mystifying. On the one hand, Rand’s tough guy, every-man-for-himself posturing is a natural fit because it puts a philosophical gloss on the latent sociopathy so prevalent among the hard right. On the other, Rand exclaimed at every opportunity that she was a militant atheist who felt nothing but contempt for Christianity. Apparently, the ignorance of most fundamentalist “values voters” means that GOP candidates who enthuse over Rand at the same time they thump their Bibles never have to explain this stark contradiction. And I imagine a Democratic officeholder would have a harder time explaining why he named his offspring “Marx” than a GOP incumbent would in rationalizing naming his kid “Rand.”…”
Now, use this as a follow the bouncing ball.
It isn’t pretty.
All in all, it is rather damning. The Dems are corrupt and clueless, the libertarian wing of the GOP has become nothing but a band of highly paid, well groomed prostitutes. They work hard for their money, keeping their billionaire bosses free from nasty regulations that would cut into their bottom line. Never mind that they are beginning to look like fools.
In a piece for the NY Times noted liberal and perennial whipping post for Rush Limbaugh, Robert B. Reich wrote:
“...THE 5 percent of Americans with the highest incomes now account for 37 percent of all consumer purchases, according to the latest research from Moody’s Analytics. That should come as no surprise. Our society has become more and more unequal.
When so much income goes to the top, the middle class doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going without sinking ever more deeply into debt — which, as we’ve seen, ends badly. An economy so dependent on the spending of a few is also prone to great booms and busts. The rich splurge and speculate when their savings are doing well. But when the values of their assets tumble, they pull back. That can lead to wild gyrations. Sound familiar?…”
Before you go postal on The Pink Flamingo, accusing me of being a liberal, I’m simply presenting some information that bothers me. Something is terribly wrong in this country. Once upon a time, we were a nation that stood up for the little guy. The small business person was lauded as the back-bone of the nation. If Reich is correct and the average American worker’s take home has risen about 6% (adjusted for inflation) in a quarter century, then something is terribly broken with our system.
“…Twenty-five of the 100 largest U.S. corporations paid their chief executives more last year than they paid in federal income taxes, according to a report released Wednesday. The nonprofit Institute for Policy Studies says the 25 CEOs averaged $16.7 million in salary and other 2010 compensation.
Most of the companies they ran, meanwhile, came out ahead at tax time. They collected tax refunds that averaged $304 million, based on a review of public filings. The think tank says the 25 firms that paid out more in CEO compensation than U.S. taxes reported average global profits of $1.9 billion…”
CEOs have a right to make big bucks. They usually deliver success in exchange for their compensation.
Something is going on here. It is as though we are headed into a new Gilded Age.
“...The report shows that 2009’s unconscionable 263-to-1 ratio between CEO pay and average worker pay in the U.S. grew to 325-to-1 last year. Companies generally are doing well. Their executives are doing extremely well. But the people whose labor creates the products are left behind….”
John Thorpe wrote an op ed for Business Insider. The Pink Flamingo agrees. Tax idle corporate cash! Corporate America is sitting on cash reserves of 2 trillion dollars. If they were threatened with either a tax or start investing that money by putting it back into the economy, we might see things turn around. As it is, they’re simply going to sit on it. I don’t mind the rich getting richer. What I do mind is the fact that they’re destroying our economy in the process.
I know the author is a Dem, but he has some excellent points. Right now, the GOP is so busy pandering to their billionaire pimps that they can’t do what is right. The Dems are so busy pandering to get re-elected that they can’t do what is right. It appears as though neither party gives a rip about people. It explains the wrath of the tea parties, but then again, they are a product of billionaire pimps who want less government regulations, etc.
“…Yet the fact that CEOs’ pay is rising along with stock prices underscores the disconnect between pay and companies’ true underlying performance, Lazonick says. While companies in the S&P 500 boosted profit 47% last year, much of that was due to cost-cutting and layoffs, not from the creation of businesses and growth, Lazonick says. Revenue, a gauge of the money flowing into businesses for selling goods and services, grew at a much slower pace than profit — and ended the year up just 7%….”
While all of this is going on, the perks to the “little guys” of corporate America have been drastically cut. People are so terrified of being out of a job that they are accepting less and less. There is something terribly depressing about such a thing, especially if you are a “little guy”. If you are a hot shot CEO, it’s great.
“…“People are just happy they’re working when their neighbors are not,” says Joyce Gioia, a business futurist and CEO of The Herman Group. As Labor Day approaches, the national unemployment rate remains high at more than 9 percent. With the economy still in flux, workplace experts like Gioia are predicting it will take several years before employers bring back their more generous benefits.
In 2011, 77 percent of employers reported their benefit offerings had been negatively affected by the economy — a 5 percent increase over the past year, according to the SHRM 2011 Employee Benefits Research Report.
For the most part, employers have kept the basics — health insurance, paid holidays, life and dental insurance. However, they have reduced offerings such as long-term care insurance, retiree health coverage and adoption benefits. And most have slashed benefits such as executive club memberships, legal assistance/services, mentoring programs, organization-sponsored sports teams, professional development opportunities, travel planning services and housing/relocation costs.
“All the ‘nice to haves’ have been cut,” says Mark Schmit, director of research for The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). “It’s a hard time to be an employee.”…”
It is as though the GOP is almost helping to pave the road to serfdom.
I don’t like what I see. It is quite obvious the American Dream is taking profound hits from both the far left and the far right. People from all walks of life have a right to earn a decent wage, have a few perks, create a decent life for themselves, and save for the future. That WAS the American way of doing things. Then the libertarian billionaires stepped in, taking up where the socialist left stopped, robbing their workers of a few perks, their pensions, and battering them into submission. Neither side is right. Both sides are wrong.
The middle ground, the world the GOP once represented is being hammered out of existence. I am watching people I know, seniors who were once very well off, quite happy to face the future, now facing abject poverty and oblivion. Inflation (which does not exist, according to the right and the left) is robbing them of their hard-earned money on a daily basis. This brave new world we are facing is cold, cruel, and ugly.
The Dems have robbed small businesses of the ability to move cash, get loans and face the future with some security. Litigation has forced them to spend a tremendous amount of their “profits” on insurance to prevent catastrophic loss when some drugged out twit is finally fired for helping to ruin a customer base. The business owner must then jump through hoops not to be fined, sued, and basically destroyed. Meanwhile the big guys can get away almost with murder.
Then there is the most recent appointment by Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia, to serve on the state panel dealing with the state’s new extreme anti-immigration law. He has put Phil Kent, a John Tanton flunkie on the board. This is deplorable. and is more of a sign that the GOP is in serious moral trouble to the point of moral bankruptcy.
“...Kent has additional connections to extremists. His articles have run in publications of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist hate group that believes “mixing the races is rebelliousness against God” and that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” An article penned by Kent that ran in the CCC’s newsletter in 1999 described the CCC as a good conservative group that had been “targeted for demonization by the political leadership of the Left and its media allies.” Kent described his participation at one of the group’s national meetings where there was a discussion by “some speakers urging preparation for a future North American balkanization whereby some majority-white country in middle America might be established.” Sam Francis, then the CCC’s newsletter editor, called at the meeting for the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to Kent. In other issues of the CCC’s publication, Kent’s books are advertised for sale.
Kent also serves on the board of ProEnglish, a group that pushes for government documents, such as driver’s license tests, to be printed only in English. ProEnglish is the creation of John Tanton, the racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement. Tanton has made his white nationalist views clear, writing that he believes that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” In a memo Tanton prepared for the leadership of the Washington anti-immigrant lobbying group Federation for American Immigration Reform, Tanton questioned the “educability” of Latinos and warned of a coming “Latin onslaught.” Tanton serves on ProEnglish’s board with Kent, and Tanton’s foundation, U.S. Inc., funds the organization….”
I don’t like this world I am seeing. Like Mike Lofgren, I don’t like the way things are going in the GOP. I am sick and tired of the cynicism of the Jim DeMints of the world who are making things far worse, not better.
One of these days I’m going to get around to writing a book about how conservative talk radio has ruined the GOP and the nation. I hold the Rush Limbaughs, the Roger Ailes, the Kochs, Murdocks, and their willing brain-dead minions far more responsible for the fine mess we are in than I do the George Soros (es) of the world. The former alleged to be find upstanding individuals who have the nation’s best interests at heart. Soros has his pocketbook at heart. He openly admits manipulating politics to enrich his bottom line. The conservative bunch are in it for money and power, but they pretend to be doing it for all the best, altruistic reasons – keeping the country safe from Liberals.
The opportunistic bottom feeders like DeMint and his tea party associates will continue to degrade and destroy our system as long as they can con money from their libertarian billionaire pimps. It’s not about leadership. It’s not about jobs. It’s not about sticking up for the little guy (unless they are punch drunk on Ron Paul’s kooky tea). It is about liberals, conservatives, and libertarians making the world safe for the billionaires who feed them.
I don’t know about you, but this is one Republican who is fed up, and is not willing to take much more of it. Frankly, I am sickened by this devotion to a militant atheist who detested Christ, coming from a bunch of men and women who pander to the “Christian” right. No wonder things in this country are going to hell. Until the very men and women who claim to be “God fearing” stand up for what they allege to believe, we’re going to continue on the road to ruin.
God help us all!