Saturday, October 29, 2011

The American People vs. The Political Elites

Fox News Poll: Majority Says Obama's Economic Policies Are Good Ideas | ThinkProgress

This is the Occupy movement's complaint in a nut shell. Large majorities of the American people from every part of the political spectrum feel that Mr. Obama is actually trying to make progress with the single most important issue for the country, the economic recovery. This is a Fox News poll for goodness sake!

The incredible, growing gap between what's best for the country and what's best for the economic elites and their political lacky's is the single biggest source of the populist anger. As the GOP continually offers nonsensical "jobs" programs that actually put millions out of work, the protests continue to grow.  The anger in the country is now pointed at the 1% who control the political process.

The fight against the actual, real class war being waged against the 99% has begun in earnest.  The problem is that the 1% do indeed hold the reins of power and will not give them up under any circumstances.  The bad news for them is that their are millions of us, and only a few of them.  They will need to spend all their money to sustain their control. Will the Occupy movement force them to spend until it hurts?  I certainly hope they try.  It's time to let them know what a real "spending problem" is like.

More work to do...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Alabama's Stupid Immigration Policy

Here is a consequence of radical anti-immigration fervor. Somebody forgot to count the cost of a policy that forces all immigrant workers, legal and illegal to flee the state. Are we ready to pay American workers what they expect to be paid in order to harvest the crops?  Are we willing to treat workers with the respect Americans expect in order to fill the jobs being vacated by the cheap labor pool of legal and illegal immigrant workers?

Alabama has chased off their cheap labor pool.  It's precisely the wrong thing to do and Alabama will suffer economic and social consequences. Giving in to radical, emotional policy decisions is never a good idea. What would have happened had an intelligent, pragmatic immigration policy been in place?  Wouldn't it have been better to offer a path to citizenship? Wouldn't it have been better to have treated the workers with enough respect to enable them to keep their jobs and perhaps allow them to become American citizens? Wouldn't it have been better to find away to let them be here legally?
I think yes to all of the above.

It's the common good of the nation that's at stake. A radicalized fear of foreign immigration does nothing but affects everything.  Time to call this out, put a stop to it, grow up, get a life, acknowledge reality, accept the "melting pot," get over it, move on……

More work to do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Inside the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council conference - YouTube

Inside the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council conference - YouTube

This is a non-profit.... charity group. They write legislative templates for legislators to use in every state in the union. What's their charitable cause? They actually write and lobby for legislation that state legislators use to introduce laws in state governments. They are using the non-profit designation to lobby for huge profits and influence in state governments all over the country. It's illegal.

This is the "point of the spear" so famously referred to by a recent GOP frontrunner. This is where the right wing gets it's radical agenda implemented. It's the most dangerous aspect of the right wing junta that's been going on since Citizens United.

It's largely under the radar. We hear on the news about policies that seemingly arise from nowhere. In Wisconsin and Michigan, the governors of those states ran fairly unspectacular campaigns. Yes, they were Republicans and talked the talk, but both of them shocked their constituents with a rain of legislation busting unions, privatizing government, taking over localities, stealing from the public coffers to bribe corporate interests.

This torrent of legislation came from ALEC. It was written by their cadre of lawyers, offered to any and all Republicans in every state in the Union. A little close examination reveals the similarity in the issues represented. Everything from carbon emissions, fracking licenses, nuclear waste removal, to privatization of public education, abortion, and the repeal of the AHCA. Our own Virginia Attorney General was able to launch is first-in-the-nation suit against Health Care Reform by cutting and pasting from an ALEC template.  It's illegal.

More work to do....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Great Sucking Sound

Occupy Wall Street says the top one 1 percent of Americans have gotten too rich. Are they right? - Slate Magazine

That big sucking sound you hear in the news is the wealth and opportunity of American citizens disappearing into the great black hole of Wall Street. We've reached a turning point in our history. We're in worse shape now than in 1928 before the Great Depression.  The difference between "them's that's got" and "them's that don't" is wide and growing wider.

The share of income among the top 1% is 21%.  It's higher than at any point in American history. The share of wealth among the top 1% is 33%, also higher than at any point in American history.

The bad news is that the wider the disparity in wealth and income, the less opportunity exists for the 99% to improve their lot.  This represents a severe downturn in the expectations for the American Dream.  It is a waste of the most precious resource this country has, it's people.

How bad is it?

The 1 percent has about 43 percent of all the nonhousing wealth, which has held up comparatively better. Sociologist William Domhoff reports that the 99 percent hold just 38 percent of equity in businesses, 40 percent of financial securities, and 62 percent of stocks and mutual funds. Among the 99 percent, about one in three households has more than $10,000 in stock. Among the 1 percent, nearly nine in 10 households do.
In short, inequality has increased in the past decade, leaving the 99 percent with smaller and smaller proportions of income and wealth. And it has many economists, public policy wonks, and, well, protesters very, very worried. As put by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, “growing inequality is the flip side of something else: shrinking opportunity. Whenever we diminish equality of opportunity, it means that we are not using some of our most valuable assets—our people—in the most productive way possible.”
This is the reason the 99% are now marching in the streets.  This is the reason that folks are starting to wake up to the loss of social justice, of the social contract, and of the opportunity to chase a dream.  It's not just about the money. It's about America. It comes down to who is doing well and who isn't.  Is much more about who will be able to well and who won't.  It's about the future.  Vast quantities of opportunity and wealth are getting sucked up by fewer and fewer of our citizens.  It should be the reverse.

More work to do.