DISSECTING RAND Part VI: The Plutocracy of America


Would someone please explain to The Pink Flamingo, the love affair the right has with the Koch Brothers.  They have an agenda.  It is all about keeping themselves rich, and they don’t give a dam about anyone or anything else. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep your money and to be extremely rich.  I wish those options were available for those of us who don’t have $54.5 million bucks to spend to purchase the GOP.

“...The disclosure of Noble’s outfit is the biggest window we’ve seen recently into who purchased the current composition of Congress two years ago. Before this disclosure, the Koch network could only be tied to a few disclosed donations during the 2010 election: about $30-45 million reportedly raised by Americans for Prosperity, the attack-ad sponsoring Tea Party front founded by David Koch, over $2 million in contributions to political action committees through Koch PAC, and $1,050,450 in donations to the Republican Governors Association. The Center’s $55 million grant budget, raised possibly in connection to the Koch fundraisers — one of which Sean Noble and some of the wealthiest Republican billionaires in the country attended only months before the midterm elections — certainly raises the stakes in terms of calculating how much the current Republican Congress owe their current political fortunes to the Koch machine. From cutting the EPA to passing bills to undermine the Clean Air Act, Congress has handsomely rewarded the business interests of Koch Industries.

As I reported for ThinkProgress last year, David Koch visited Capitol Hill as Republican freshman were being sworn into Congress. He was a guest in the Speaker’s office on John Boehner’s first day on the job. I ran into him on his way out of the Capitol. Koch grinned as he told me that the Tea Party is composed of “just normal people like us.” A few moments later, I asked if the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision had helped him with electing the new Congress. He cringed at the question, picked up his cell phone, and walked away….”

This is all about turning the US into a plutocracy, where the ultra rich (billionaires) keep on getting richer, while paying very little in taxes, and the rest of us are increasingly impoverished.  They want austerity.  They want an end to government spending.  They want to turn the US into a Fourth World nation where only the ultra wealthy have, and the rest of us are nothing but slime, flowing through the streets to be washed away by the rain.  Don’t worry, in their little world there are no street cleaners.  It is every multi-billionaire for himself, and damn the rest of the world.

Want to know what we are going to face if people like Paul Ryan, a Koch flunkie, have their way?

“...Pawn shops are flourishing because the crisis is even hitting the better-off. “People from good families, old families are starting to feel the pinch which shows how bad things have got,” said one dealer, Dimitris.

“Ferraris, 4x4s you name it, are all being pawned because no one can pay the taxes slapped on them in the past year. It is a terrible thing that we Greeks, a proud nation, have been reduced to this because our politicians mismanaged our economy.”…“This,” says Pappas, “is what we have been reduced to. I ran a successful business in Chicago for years. I came here because I loved my country but politicians have not only destroyed it, they have destroyed me.

“With all the [austerity] measures I couldn’t keep my taverna going. The soup kitchen is the only way to survive. Please make sure you write that: that Greece has been destroyed.”

After more than two years of remorseless spending cuts and taxes, Greeks are facing levels of poverty not seen since the Second World War. Unemployment has hit a record 21.7 per cent and lower and middle-income Greeks now think nothing of looking for food in rubbish bins outside stores . The Greek Orthodox Church says it feeds 250,000 people a day….”

Yet, the Randians can’t see what their slobbering devotion to such an evil person is doing.  They want to turn the US into another Greece, with foolish little men like Paul Ryan, doing the bidding of their Randian over-lords.

Wake Up America

Don’t get me wrong, there is a heck of a lot of waste that could be cut.  Take the new plans for an East Coast Missile Defense, please.   They are planning to use it to counter North Korea, and other enemies. Sorry, but his is abjectly stupid.

“…The House reaffirmed that plan Friday by passing an amendment that replaced the first year of the sequestration cuts — more than $50 billion to the defense budget — with discretionary cuts that were included in Ryan’s budget. The House also rejected a Democratic amendment to reduce the bill by $8 billion to keep it in line with the BCA.

Aside from the sheer size of the bill, the House version contains several policy provisions that are likely to face opposition in the Senate, not the least of which is the East Coast missile system. Republicans said the site is needed to counter rising threats from Iran and North Korea, but Democrats say the military does not want the East Coast missile shield and blasted its $100 million startup cost….”

This just gets better.

The Hill

This is all about money, padding pickets, enriching donors, and appealing to voters who want a strong military.  I want a strong military, but I want it rational and responsible.  I want money spent on systems that work, not on something that is a waste of money.  Funny how the Randians in the House don’t mind destroying entitlements, but they can pad the defense bill.

You gotta love it.

Or, what about the following:

Ayn Rand Nation - Gary Weiss

It has nothing to do with patriotism, or doing what is right.  It is about making money, nothing more, nothing less.

According to T. Boone Pickens, the Koch Brothers are bad dudes. The Pink Flamingo has been telling you that they are manipulating energy prices – for their own profit. They are perfect Randians. Screw the country to make a few billion.

“...Pickens’ biggest concern right now centers on what he sees as the Obama administration’s lack of an energy policy. He says special interests are blocking real energy reform, and he singles out Koch Industries, a chemical, fertilizer and refining juggernaut run by brothers David and Charles Koch, as the main culprit.

“The biggest deterrent to an energy plan in America is Koch Industries,” he says. “They do not want an energy plan for America because they have the cheapest natural gas price they’ve ever had, and they’re in the fertilizer business and they’re in the chemical business. So their margins are huge. And they do not want you to have an energy plan, because if you had a plan, then natural gas prices would come up.”

The Obama administration may be lacking a cohesive, straightforward approach to America’s energy independence, but fossil fuel production has greatly expanded since Obama took office. The president has approved drilling permits in federal lands and waters that were previously off limits to oil and gas companies, much to the chagrin of environmentalists. From 2005 to 2011 the amount of foreign energy sources imported by the U.S. fell by 15%. Obama rejected the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in January, but he has recently expressed support for building the southern portion of the pipeline that would extend from Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.

“It’s very hard to get an energy plan,” Pickens laments. “It isn’t a failure of the Democrats. It’s not a failure of the Republicans. It’s a bipartisan failure. Over the years neither party could provide the leadership to have an energy plan.”…”

Business Insider

What’s really going to be fun is the war the Koch Brothers have declared on the Cato Institute.

There is nothing wrong with a business wanting to make a buck, but when they are doing it by reducing wages, depressing the market place, and being cheered on by Randians, it is enough to make a decent Republican want to puke.

“…”Walmart figured out how to shift the burden off the retailer and move economic risks lower down the supply chain ultimately to a low-paid, mostly Latino workforce,” said Guadalupe Palma, the group’s campaign director. “Changing this industry means creating thousands of good jobs and improving the quality of life in Southern California.”

Retail is hardly the only industry that utilizes subcontracting and temp agencies to handle its less-glamorous work. Low-wage foreign guestworkers walked out of a Hershey chocolate plant en masse in Pennsylvania last year, claiming to be subjected to abusive working conditions. The workers had been employed by a temp labor supplier twice removed from the storied chocolate company. And even hoteliers like Hyatt have shifted some traditionally in-house jobs such as housekeeping to outside temp agencies, which generally pay lower wages and don’t offer benefits….”

All of this makes you wonder just what the GOP has against those of us who aren’t billionaires.