When a political pendulum swings one way, and then the other, things happen. The libertarian, hard, Randian right has basically brainwashed their minions into believing that good, decent, hard-working billionaires are having their rights assaulted by the liberal unwashed masses. They are terrified of socialism. They are so terrified of it that anyone who dares cross swords with them, is to be harassed as a socialist and a Marxist. Trust me, The Pink Flamingo has been on the receiving end, for months – and I have the tweets to prove it. According to the far right, there is no greater insult than someone being called a liberal. According to their mind-set, liberals are NOT patriots, they are traitors. Simply having liberal thoughts is treasonous. If you do not think along the party line you are a Marxist, liberal, socialist, and a traitor. You are NOT a patriot.
“...The plutocrats’ compulsive denigration of the poor, the ill and the dispossessed is perhaps the most telling evidence of status obsession linked to insecurity that is at the core of their social personality. They find it necessary to stigmatize the latter as at best failures, at worst as moral degenerates – drug addicts, lazy, parasites, in part to highlight their superiority and in part to blur the human consequences of their rapacity. Behavior of this kind is the antithesis of what could be the cultivated image of the statesman of commerce – even though they pay a price in public esteem. They also pay in price in terms of the other aspect of their own self-image….”
One of the problems in dealing with a certain mind-set, is they are basically ignorant of history. When it comes to the political pendulum swinging one way, it goes all the way back, the other way, before it moderates. We’re watching a far right swing. Those of us who are of the NORMAL majority, are watching as it is getting ready to swing back to the middle. But – it’s going to move past the middle and go way far to the left. When it does, please, don’t hesitate to blame the far right, GOP, Charles & David Koch, ALEX, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, FOX Tabloid News, Paul Ryan, Eric Cruz, Mitt Romney, Grover Norquist, etc. etc. etc. And – they will be blamed. When history writes their story, it is not going to be kind. They will end up with a few footnotes, about how they brought about the great socialist revival in the United States.
When it happens – please, blame them.
When you treat people like dirt, the way the GOP is doing, thanks to their worship of Ayn Rand, and the influence of the far right libertarian John Birchers, you have a tendency to make people mad at not only you, but what you believe. If there is much more of this, and an ongoing assault on our democratic values by the ultra wealthy, please, fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a very bumpy ride.
It is already starting:
“...It turns out that the rich are actually doing more harm than good. London is rapidly pricing out locals. Homeless people can be seen laying out their cardboard in the doorways of Mayfair’s elegant Regency houses. There is a housing crisis partly due to shortage and recession – a million builders are jobless. But there’s another reason. The city’s real estate has become the number one haven for rich international investors, who are buying almost 60 per cent of properties valued at $3.2 million or more. These buildings are often left empty for months on end but harsh new laws have made squatting an imprisonable offence. Local councils, meanwhile, are breaking up communities and shifting their poorer residents to other cities, which may be hundreds of miles of away.17
What’s happening in London is symptomatic of the distortions created by runaway wealth and overheated property values.
Thousands of miles away in Peru is another casualty of feral capitalism. Gold is a prize commodity in times of trouble – and mining is bringing fat returns for corporations, investors and purchasers. Peasants have been shot as they protested against gold and other precious-metal mining projects that are poisoning their water and polluting their land.
The rich, says French writer Hervé Kempf, are quite literally destroying the earth. With their investments in oil and mining, the new global oligarchs are making the planet uninhabitable. And, like Gina Rinehart, they are using their clout to block the changes desperately needed to tackle climate change….”
The ultra wealthy do not create jobs by hording their wealth.
Robert Reich wrote:
“...Here’s the third part of the perfect storm. Most Americans are in trouble. Their jobs, incomes, savings and even homes are on the line. They need a government that’s working for them, not for the privileged and the powerful.
Yet their state and local taxes are rising. And their services are being cut. Teachers and firefighters are being laid off. The roads and bridges they count on are crumbling, pipelines are leaking, schools are dilapidated, and public libraries are being shut.
There’s no jobs bill to speak of. No WPA to hire those who can’t find jobs in the private sector. Unemployment insurance doesn’t reach half of the unemployed.
Washington says nothing can be done. There’s no money left.
No money? The marginal income tax rate on the very rich is the lowest it’s been in more than 80 years. Under President Dwight Eisenhower (who no one would have accused of being a radical) it was 91 percent. Now it’s 36 percent. Congress is even fighting over whether to end the temporary Bush tax cut for the rich and return them to the Clinton top tax of 39 percent.
Much of the income of the highest earners is treated as capital gains, anyway — subject to a 15 percent tax. The typical hedge-fund and private-equity manager paid only 17 percent last year. Their earnings were not exactly modest. The top 15 hedge-fund managers earned an average of $1 billion.
Congress won’t even return to the estate tax in place during the Clinton administration — which applied only to those in the top 2 percent of incomes.
It won’t limit the tax deductions of the very rich, which include interest payments on multi-million dollar mortgages. (Yet Wall Street refuses to allow homeowners who can’t meet mortgage payments to include their primary residence in personal bankruptcy.)
There’s plenty of money to help stranded Americans, just not the political will to raise it. And at the rate secret money is flooding our political system, even less political will in the future.
The perfect storm: An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work.
We’re losing democratic capitalism to plutocratic capitalism….”
Leave it to Paul Krugman to get it right:
“…Did the rise of the 1 percent (or, better yet, the 0.01 percent) cause the Lesser Depression we’re now living through? It probably contributed. But the more important point is that inequality is a major reason the economy is still so depressed and unemployment so high. For we have responded to crisis with a mix of paralysis and confusion — both of which have a lot to do with the distorting effects of great wealth on our society.
Put it this way: If something like the financial crisis of 2008 had occurred in, say, 1971 — the year Richard Nixon declared that “I am now a Keynesian in economic policy” — Washington would probably have responded fairly effectively. There would have been a broad bipartisan consensus in favor of strong action, and there would also have been wide agreement about what kind of action was needed.
But that was then. Today, Washington is marked by a combination of bitter partisanship and intellectual confusion — and both are, I would argue, largely the result of extreme income inequality.
On partisanship: The Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have been making waves with a new book acknowledging a truth that, until now, was unmentionable in polite circles. They say our political dysfunction is largely because of the transformation of the Republican Party into an extremist force that is “dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.” You can’t get cooperation to serve the national interest when one side of the divide sees no distinction between the national interest and its own partisan triumph….”
This great divide, the rise of the 0.1% is what is going to bring about the GOP caused rise in socialism in this country. It isn’t going to happen this year but give it a decade or so, when today’s college kids, those who don’t have jobs, grow up. Wait until their little sisters and brothers come along, another ten years from that, and this Randian, libertarian paradise, is going to fall into the dust-bin of history, big time.
When they get finished raising taxes, you will be luck to get away with a 60% tax rate if you are ultra wealthy. They are going to come for it, and big time. I’m not advocating what is going to happen, I just know my history. Ike was put into office by the children of the Depression, those who disliked the New Deal. Reagan went into office as a direct result of Jimmy Carter’s incompetence. George W. Bush’s family values were an opposite to Bill Clinton’s hedonism.
We’re going to enter into a period of moderation, for awhile. But, unless that moderation is tempered with wisdom, and what political ideology is, that is going to be followed by a Scandinavian style socialism, that all the Rush Limbaughs in the world won’t be able to stop. Heck, the likes of Limbaugh and Paul Ryan have caused it.
Even of the Koch Brothers succeed in turning this country into a plutocracy in their own perverted women-hating image, they are no longer young. One of these days, Karma (which is a bitch) is going to catch up with them. When it does, it won’t be pretty. Even if it doesn’t, they can’t live forever and control forever. Once they lose control, and a younger generation rewrites the campaign finance rules, look out.
I don’t want a socialist nation. I like my country the way it is, without Citizen’s United. I think taxes should be no higher than 20-25% with everyone having the same deductions and the same base limit of about $25K per individual and $35K for a family. That is EQUAL. This nation was once built on equality. I like capital gain deductions and the end of the death tax. That’s not what is hurting the economy. It is an unfair tax rate that allows the rich to get richer, while we the little people subsidize their wealth. They are the ultimate Welfare Kings.
None of this is going to be pretty.