Wealth Distribution in America (where so few are worth so much)

I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that the United States remains the wealthiest country in the world and has been since at least the end of World War II. Now the bad news, very few of you enjoy a portion of that wealth and that number continues to fall.

If you are truly concerned about people, the statistic that means the most is the “median wealth” rate. For those who either slept through, forgot or never really pay attention to math and economics, the median rate is simply where the exact middle of the population stands. Half are either above it or below it. The higher the median rate the more people are enjoying the overall wealth of the nation, the lower the rate, the fewer people who have control of the wealth.

I posted some links on Twitter earlier today and I’ll post them here now for you all to peruse at your leisure:

http://middleclasspoliticaleconomist.blogspot.com/  This link summarizes recent data that shows we are behind 15 other nations in terms of median wealth. Damn European Socialist States!!!!

http://www.getinthehotspot.com/10-richest-countries-in-world/  This link lists the 10 richest countries in terms of median wealth, we ain’t among them anymore.

https://infocus.credit-suisse.com/data/_product_documents/_shop/323525/2011_global_wealth_report.pdf This is for you brainiacs out there who are far better with interpreting economic data than I and have even less of a life than I do. But it’s the basis of this rant for those wanting to check the figures and concepts cited here.

The common refrain from conservatives and especially those conservatives in the 1% and especially those conservatives who make up the 17 billionaires who are trying to buy this election for Mitt Romney is that big government, regulations and high taxes stunt growth, keep entrepreneurial innovations from being created and keeps people from becoming part of the 1%. Just heard a talking head spout that off today on the radio.

Well, if that is true then all of these people need to explain some indisputable facts of history involving this nation’s history and what’s happening in the world today and how we compare to those lousy socialist state ideologues in Europe who are so damn Unamerican.

First of all, the greatest growth in terms on innovation, business, and wealth not only for the 1% but for the middle-class was after World War II. Now it helped that we were just about the only industrial nation left unscathed by war, but we did build up a huge debt to fight that war, higher in relationship to GDP than we have today. Top marginal tax rates for the upper class was 95%, regulations in terms of banking and business were at their highest in history, and the growth was continual. We led the free world, we were the worlds largest creditor nation. They came to us and we had the money to loan out. Things were going so well that you know what? Those European Nations out there not under the control of the Soviet Union began to adapt our policies in terms of regulations, unions and taxation. The only thing they added was universal healthcare for all their citizens.

Then came Ronald Reagan, Reaganomics and the dismantling of the New Deal in this country. We began to deregulate banks and businesses and something started to happen. entrepreneurial growth began to sputter, other nations picked up where we left off. Fewer people were becoming members of the 1%, but those already there were doing very well, thank you very much. Their wealth continues to expand. Where did that wealth come from, it came from the ever shrinking middle-class. While this was going on, the median wealth rate for the nation began to fall. And now today, instead of the worlds largest creditor nation, we are now the world’s largest debtor nation. Imagine that. A lot of that money is owed to China, but an even larger amount is owed to those damned evil Socialist State Europeans who maintained the regulations and tax rates they took from us after World War II.

Now many will point out that Europe isn’t doing all that well under the current economic environment. That is true. But here’s the thing, they are faltering because they are going full force austerity with their people while we are still just getting started. And we’re doing better than Europe right now because we haven’t gone full austerity. What’s more is even though the European Nations are suffering in the depression worse than the United States on most terms, their median wealth rates still far surpasses us. So they may have fewer billionaires than we do, but they have far many more secured middle-class people who also happen to still have a social safety net and universal healthcare, paid for by their higher tax rates. And people in Europe are more likely to end up in a higher income bracket than anyone in the United States even though Europe has more regulations and taxes than we do.

The economic fact here is that the more equal income distribution is in any country, the higher the median wealth rate and the better the nation does as a whole. More people live better, healthier and secured lives. The more unequal that distribution, the harder it becomes to enter a higher income bracket and the more people who end up in poverty for reasons not of their doing. This is where we have been moving under 30 years of Reaganomics.

Many in the middle-class and even the working poor see themselves as conservatives and will work on behalf of the 1% to make sure they aren’t regulated and taxed out of existence. It’s a shame that the weaker among us are more willing to help out the greater among us than vice versa.

We are still the richest nation on the planet, it’s just more of that money is with fewer and fewer people who continue to hoard it and not reinvest it back in the country. Worse yet, many of them are keeping that money in European banks who in turn, are rebuilding the European infrastructure and keeping things just peachy keen for them Godless, socialist state European heathens.

What is an American?

Though he later apologized, John Sununu followed up on a common talking point from the right these days that can be heard on MSM, read on the internet, face-book, twitter, etc by saying that President Obama “needs to learn how to be an American.”

Now I’m no fancy, big city politician with MSM access, but I have read my Constitution. After all, isn’t the Constitution the document that determines what is and what isn’t American? The strict constructionist would have you believe that. So what does the Constitution and law say about this?

Well it would appear that as it stands today, there are only three requirements for being an American. Either be born here, be born to American parent(s) outside the country, or be nationalized. I’ve read more and couldn’t for the life of me find anything regarding thought, political affiliation, party preference, sexual orientation, sex, religion, or race that disqualifies anyone from being American. Imagine that.

People of both sides of the political aisle like to think they speak for what is or isn’t American. The truth of the matter is, neither side has that ability. In fact, going to the constructionist point of view and regarding political parties; well, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the 1790’s created a political party known as the Democratic-Republicans known today as the Democratic Party. The party began with many of the founders who wrote and enacted the Constitution. The Republican Party was founded in 1854, long after all of the founders were dead. Though it’s true that both parties over time, have swayed their political leanings back and forth. And by the way, the founders were made up of liberals, conservatives, Christians, Jews, Deists, those of no faith, capitalists and socialists (though those terms had yet to come into vogue at the time) all working and arguing with each other to come up with compromise to get things started here.

Early Republicans were actually more Progressive than what you have today. Early Democrats were more racially bigoted that we have today. But throughout our history, no matter the party, no matter the political leanings, they were all Americans, providing they were born or naturalized here.

The issue of race was cleared up after the civil war and you cannot seriously say someone who isn’t white isn’t American anymore. Sorry Rush Limbaugh, I know this really upsets you.

The history of this nation is a history of differing views, orientations, races, religions, political parties, sexual orientation, debating with each other about what we should be as a nation. That is what America is about. Doesn’t matter what side of an issue you take, both sides are American, providing you were born or naturalized here.

There never has been a religious test. In fact, the Constitution expressly forbids using a religious test for public office. So all people of all faiths, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Scientology, Deist, Atheists, LDS or no faith at all are American, providing they were born or naturalized here.

There is no thought test for being American. So whether you are right or left of the political divide, capitalist, socialist, progressive, fascist, communist, Maoist, Independent, you are American providing you were born or naturalized in this country.

Enough of this crap on both sides that so and so isn’t an American. In my humble opinion, the only kind of thinking that would disqualify you from being American is applying the view that if they think different from you, they’re not American. That is the closest thing to a thought requirement that I can think of. Though admittedly, not even that, is in the Constitution or law. You don’t have to agree, and people can clearly be wrong either economically, ethically, socially, whatever, they’re still American.

Fact is, like it or not, regardless of our views, parties, religion, sexual orientation, sex, race, what have you, as long as we are born here, born to American parent(s) or have been nationalized, we are all Americans and no one has the right to say otherwise.

Ben Quayle is the Worst Congressman in History

Okay, that is pure hyperbole. It is of course a take off of Ben’s 2010 campaign ad and his recent 2012 update regarding what he thinks of President Obama. I would say more, but honestly, this man offers little to deserve being quoted and has even less in his background to justify quoting. Let’s take a look at his record representing the people of Arizona in the House of Representatives.

Ben’s greatest accomplishment to propel him into national office was being born to Dan and Marilyn Quayle. You remember Dan, former veep to the first George Bush. I honestly thought it was a good choice for George, it kept him safe from all assassination plots. Ben had no experience in any political office prior to running for Congress in 2010 but was experienced as a contributor to a rumor and gossip site known as “TheDirty.Com” a website that featured pictures of scantily clad women that Ben could only get his hands on because of his father’s name and/or the money he paid them to be near him, and chronicled the night life in Scottsdale, Arizona. As you can see from his picture, Ben was destined to be the next Hugh Hefner, but he decided to go the political route instead.

In an election year where most independents and liberals stayed home, only the solidly conservatives who only vote as they are told came out, Ben won District #3, where yours truly happens to reside. Of note during his campaign was a poster he had out of him and his wife with some children. He failed to mention that the kids shown weren’t his. In Arizona, it really doesn’t matter to the conservatives to ask questions like that, again, most of them only do as they are told. It should also be pointed out that it was a four-way race. He won as the tallest midget of candidates in the district.

Ben told us he was going to Washington to knock thing around. So, what has he done since winning? Actually I’m asking you guys because from what I can find, he’s done nothing of his own. Like many of the conservatives from Arizona, he has done what he’s been told, but hasn’t authored any important legislation, hasn’t gathered any coalition of Representatives on any important matter of national importance, hasn’t chaired any committees, hasn’t distinguished himself at all in nearly two years. He’s really done nothing. Seriously, nothing.

Well, I’ll take that back. He actually has his own child now for his 2012 campaign ads that he literally has in front of him. I suspect he has Evie there in front of him to keep people from defacing the posters. But honestly, they don’t have to, his face is already on them. Ben did also manage to get himself involved in a bit of a controversy. His district was redrawn and he is now up against another freshman Conservative Congressman,  David Schweikert. The problem is that David actually has a political career in Arizona. He actually has a record and has some accomplishments. So, Ben’s mom Marilyn went to Governor Brewer to complain and Jan went to the Arizona Legislature and forced them to impeach the Chairwoman of the State’s Independent Redistricting Commission, Colleen Coyle Mathis. Forget that she laid out no specific reason to justify the impeachment, no law cited that she broke, no actual misconduct other than pissing off Marilyn Quayle. Did I mention that Conservatives in Arizona do what they are told. The State Senate did impeach Mathis without cause at Jan’s direction.


In a rare move for the State of Arizona, the rule of law actually won out and Mathis kept her seat and the redistricting remained. So Ben is up against Dave. Ben is trying to repeat his line from 2010 regarding Obama. He’s voted as told including recently voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with nothing. That same day he also voted down a rider that would have also removed tax payer supported Healthcare for Members of Congress. Hey, Ben’s got a new baby to raise and has a right to healthcare because he’s Dan’s and Marilyn’s little boy and he’s in Congress playing tough even though I suspect many a time, somebody’s putting the “kick me” sign on his back.

No, Ben is not the Worst Congressman in History. He’s done nothing to rate as anything in the history of Congress. However, I think it would be nice to replace him with someone who would actually work and try to accomplish something on their own rather than take orders from Grover Norquist, Karl Rove and the NRA.

GOP Believe Healthcare is a Right, just not for the common people

For the 33rd time on July 12th, 2012, but for the first time after the Supreme Court decision that the Affordable Care Act was Constitutional, House Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor placed before the House a bill to completely repeal the Act. They offered nothing to replace it with, just a bill to repeal it completely. Forget that this vote actually cost the American Tax Payer $48 million dollars, for something that would never be heard in the Senate. And even if it was and somehow passed, would never be signed by the President.  There was something else about this bill that has gotten little attention in the mainstream media.

Prior to this vote that would in effect: eliminate healthcare for 30 million Americans, allow insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions again, rescind coverage for getting sick again, remove children under 26 from coverage again, allow more than 20% of premiums collected to go for things outside of healthcare again, make it legal to overcharge women for coverage again, etc etc etc, there was a rider that was voted on for the bill that was presented by the Democrats. It was a rider that was voted down completely along party lines. It was a rider that would remove Members of Congress from getting tax payer paid-for healthcare. It would have denied Members of Congress the same thing they were trying to deny 30 million Americans for.

Seems only fair. The argument from the Tea Party Controlled House of Representatives is that tax payers shouldn’t be held to pay for the healthcare of others. It should be the individual’s responsibility. Government paid healthcare is after all “Socialism”. It’s bad, evil, must be eliminated, unless you are a Member of Congress.

Once elected to the House of Representatives or Senate, you have access to the best healthcare plan the tax-payers can provide. What’s more, it’s inexpensive to the user and the user’s family, and it’s there for them for life.

The thinking on the Right regarding “socialized” medicine is mind-blowing. Even though Republican President Theodore Roosevelt first proposed universal healthcare over 100 years ago, it took a Democratic President to finally pass it under the provisions pushed by the conservative members of the GOP and Heritage Foundation (though it would now appear that they never supported these ideas “retroactively” to cite Ed Gillespie).

During the Medicare Debate, the GOP harped on how this was Socialized Medicine and cannot be allowed to pass. But it did pass, and during the Tea Party shouting matches at ACA town hall meetings, many carried the sign “Keep Government Hands off my Medicare.” It is but to laugh.

A country and a people are only as strong as their weakest links. If you want to call it “Socialized medicine”, go ahead. I don’t really care. The rest of the industrialized world realize that government supported healthcare for all keeps their people healthier and medical care less expensive. If you deny coverage the way the GOP say you must, healthcare is far more expensive, available to far too few people and the entire nation suffers, except for those in Congress who have healthcare for life at our expense.

If you are a Veteran, you support “socialize medicine”, if you are a senior, you support “socialize medicine”, if you are a member of the United States Congress, you support “socialize medicine” because you use it and you are all very unlikely to give it up. Let the rest of us have it and keep it too. Michelle Bachmann, Jean Schmidt, Ben Quayle, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, et al voted to keep their socialized medicine because they think they have a right to it.

Now about the Jobs Mr. Speaker…..

Free Speech versus Responsible Speech

This morning on Twitter, I saw a post with a link that I read, felt sick to my stomach and retweeted for those who follow my tweets. Here it is for you all to read and to understand the basis of my next rant:

“Sickening: Obama staffer dies tragically in Chicago OFA office, right wingers dance on his grave”


I did not agree with Andrew Breitbart, I found his style of journalism vile and misleading from using Timothy McVeigh look-a-like James O’Keefe performing a “60 Minutes” parody piece to take down ACORN and his purposefully mis-editing of the speech Shirley Sherrod gave that ended up with her suing him, up to the events just prior to his tragic (yes I said tragic) death. His apparently “drunken” rants against OWS protesters and how he bullied those on Twitter with the assistance of his followers. I thought the man was vile. After his death, I found it interesting to hear from those on the left who knew Breitbart personally say that when the cameras weren’t around, when people weren’t tweeting, he was actually a kind, reasonable man with a good sense of humor. The man actually advocated for gay marriage rights. He was conservative no doubt and he saw himself as a messenger of that position and he knew that the style he used grabbed at the base anger of many who felt the same way and galvanized them into action. It was his job as he saw it, and he did it effectively, Rest In Peace Andrew.

This being said, when he died, there was Twitter traffic out there, similar to what the Right Wing has done with Alex Okrent, some of it just as vile. Even before hearing more about Breitbart post-mortem, and even though his death happened just a couple of days after I was a victim of his bullying attacks on Twitter, I called out some of the more vile people on the left with their rhetoric. Although Andrew Breitbart personally attacked people who believed outside his belief system, had personally caused harm to many in this country, in death, he did not deserve the angry attacks. The fact of the matter is, being dead, he had no idea what was being said, but his family was very much alive and if only for that reason, caution and respectful comments should have been the rule of the day. His family loved him and did not deserve to be made a part of the people’s anger.

Many felt that in their attacks and insults on Andrew Breitbart following his death, they were exercising their Freedom of Speech. I whole heartedly agree, they were. In fact the people Tweeting the vile stuff regarding Alex Okrent are also exercising their Freedom of Speech. But there’s something else. Speech can never, ever, be one-sided. Though I agree with the maxim, “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” there is still more to this concept. It’s where Responsible Speech comes into play. When you hear or read people telling lies, insulting the personhood of others because of their political views, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic situation, etc, as Americans we have a RESPONSIBILITY to counter that speech, to correct that speech, to give those listening/reading both sides of the argument. The attacks on Breitbart were there from the left, but so were the calls from the left to the people of like-minds to calm it down. To not have done so would have been clearly Irresponsible.

I have yet to read or hear from people on the Right, from the Romney Camp, calling out on those who maliciously bully a poor dead young man who’s only crime was believing the way he did and working for that belief. That’s all Andrew Breitbart was doing, it albeit in a more vocal and obvious way.

To not call out these people on either side of the political divide is ultimately very dangerous. As someone tweeted back to me this morning:

“RW often does that kind of despicable behavior. Look at Germany & Italy in the 1930s, 40s. There’s no place 4 Fascism in the USA”

He was of course referring to the deafening silence from the German and Italian people to the written and vocal attacks of those considered to be the domestic enemies of the State. They did very little to counter it and we all know what happened in the end.

On the left, we need to be responsible, if the right truly believe in a Free America and the rights of all Americans to do what they see fit to make this country better for themselves and others, then there should be universal condemnation from both sides for this vile, unchristian, un-American attack on a poor dead boy and his family for committing the grievance crime of trying to help his country. Those who attack him need to be called out to defend their words, that is Responsible Speech

Dealing with Right-Wing Trolls

I’ve only recently started blogging in order to be able to explain more fully certain points of view I may have that 140 characters just isn’t enough for. That being said, I still prefer Twitter for quick responses, often with tongue planted firmly in cheek, or to send out links to good articles regarding the issues of the day. The one issue of Twitter that remains, and that depending on your level of tolerance, good humor or sense of humor can be a problem is dealing with Trolls.

Trolls are those who love to insert themselves into your time-line to cause trouble, annoy and disturb what you’re trying to say, and oddly are not open to any intellectual discussion or compromise. Some have speculated that they are like the RWNJs who call in on Left Wing Radio Call-In shows to spout off Frank Luntz Talking points. They are easily spotted in Twitterland.

Ordinarily they have either no true Avatar, or a very colorful, American Flag on full display with pieces of artwork with all the Patriotic Trappings you would expect if you did acid on the 4th of July. Then there is the Bio. Again, either non existent, or something “glorious” with the key catch phrases “Conservative Christian” “2nd Amendment” “Tea Party Patriot” “NoBama” “Father” “Veteran”, etc, usually citing some oxymoron. Finally, they usually have very few followers, less than a few hundred at best.

You can be involved in your own Time Line when they will sneak in with something insulting (or what they deem as insulting) to you. They’ll call you a liberal, socialist, communist, Maoist, fascist or some combination of the above, or even all of the above. Did I forget to mention these people aren’t all that bright? They want to engage you and hopefully irritate you so much, you end up blocking them. Then they cheer that they were so obnoxious, stupid and clearly so out of touch with reality, you blocked them. I wonder if they don’t get paid by the Koch’s for the number of times they are blocked.

So how to deal with these people? Well, the simple course of action is to simply ignore them. Keep in mind, they enter your Time-Line and you respond, they now are known to your followers and get a wider audience. I believe that is part of what they want. It’s obvious that they are not interested in trying to engage you to try to sway you to a new way of thinking. Insults and lack of anything remotely considered a fact does little to accomplish that goal. Oh, did I mention that there are some Trolls out there who do truly believe in their rhetoric and still throw out the same crap mentioned earlier. These are the mentally insane folks. These are the guys who wait for the Public Library Computer to free up so they take off the tin foil caps and rant their rants.

Now if you want to have some fun, you can engage these folks. I’ve been known to do this from time to time. Unfortunately, as a former supervisor of mine once told me, “He doesn’t suffer fools” and I usually just say the hell with it and hit the block. You can do that, no harm, no foul, but you give them a victory. There have been times when I will re-tweet their stuff to my followers in much the same way Andrew Breitbart and his folks would do. I was part of many such exchanges before he died and actually had some fun because even though they entered my Time Line, by bringing me in, I was able to annoy the hell out of a lot of these folks resulting in me being blocked. Often I will see some of my Twitter family being attacked by these trolls and I will move in to take some of the heat off of them. I’m familiar with their line of reasoning, their lines of attacks and have become adept in turning it around on them.

One thing they cannot stand is for when they call you an Obama Supporter and/or Liberal Socialist, say proudly that you are, and why aren’t you. Get them to try to justify their positions. It’s usually lame reasoning that you can retweet to others and you end up being blocked.

However, if you just want to tweet among like-minded friends, enjoy time telling jokes about the other side, making your observations, sharing your knowledge and suddenly a troll inserts him or herself into your time-line, just ignore them. Don’t respond at all. They usually move on to others who do enjoy playing with their food.

Happy Tweeting!

Progressive Tax Fairness? Are the 1% Paying Their Fair Share?

In 2007, those in the top 1% controlled 35% of the national net worth while the bottom 80% of the nation controlled only 15% of the nation’s net worth. In terms of Financial wealth, the top 1% controlled 43% of the nation’s wealth while the bottom 80% only controlled 7%

What’s sadder is that tracking of both net worth and financial wealth in the United States from 1983 through 2007 shows a steady decline for the “bottom 80%.” This study was compelling and enlightening:


I bring this up because recently I was watching a Right-Wing talking head discussing the push to have the upper class pay higher taxes to address the nation’s deficit and he was citing the fact that they already pay an extraordinary amount of the Federal Taxes, both is terms of amount and percentage. I didn’t doubt his figures, but he left something off. Those at the top already control the majority of the nation’s net and financial wealth. They enjoy the benefits of the nation and it seems only fair to me that they pay a higher share of keeping this country running. And beyond that, despite the ever shrinking control of the “bottom 80%” control of the net and financial wealth of the nation, they actually pay a higher percentage of overall taxes than do the upper 20%.

Many on the Right complain that the bottom 50% do not pay Federal Income tax. I would be remiss not to point out, as everyone should understand, that although the bottom 50% do not pay Federal Income, they still pay FICA, that funds Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In fact all of their income is subject to that tax unlike the upper classes, who after they earn $106,800.00, do not pay a single cent more in FICA. And of course the bottom 50% have a higher percentage of their total income/worth that is subject to Sales, State, City, County, Property taxes than those at the top. So if we’re going to talk about tax fairness, let’s look at it from a fair perspective.

Here are interesting figures I pulled from the Internet:


These are simply charts, so you can apply this as you see fit. I see fit to try to apply it to how much the upper percentile of people pay in Federal Income Taxes compared to what they control and compare that to the lower. Going to the chart for Tax year 2007:

Tax Year 2007

Percentiles Ranked by AGI

AGI Threshold on Percentiles

Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1%



Top 5%



Top 10%



Top 25%



Top 50%



Bottom 50%



Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income Source: Internal Revenue Service

The top 10% paid 71.22% of Federal Personal Income Tax. That same 10% group controls 73% of the Nation’s Net Worth and 82% of the Financial Wealth Distribution. Conversely, the lower 90% paid 28.78% of Federal Personal Income Tax, but only control, 27% of the Nation’s Net Worth and 18% of the Financial Wealth Distribution.

What I find interesting about this comparison is that in terms of “Net Worth” the percentages are actually fairly close, which indicates that neither side is significantly over or under paying Federal Taxes as it relates to their Net Ownership in the County. However, when looked from the perspective of Financial Wealth, in other words cash on hand, the upper 10% pay significantly less than what they have in cash, compared to the lower 90% paying more in Federal Taxes than what they have “cash on hand.” I find this interesting because we know that since the Crash of 2008, more and more corporations and those in the 1% have been “hoarding” their cash, keeping it out of the economy. It’s the cash they have that isn’t going to Federal Income Taxes while the lower 90% are paying cash they don’t have for taxes.

So, from that perspective, the upper 10% would appear to have it pretty good compared to the rest of us. Broken down to the infamous 1% for Tax Year 2007, they paid 40.42% of total Federal Personal Income tax while at the same time controlling 35% of the Net Worth (admittedly looks like they are being screwed here) but also controlling 43% of the Financial Wealth of the Nation, just slightly below. Again, what are the numbers since 2007 when they started hoarding more of their money?

To sum up, I don’t see the upper 1% or even 10% paying far more than their fair share of taxes. In fact, looking at trends, they could probably pay a bit more. At the very least, they wouldn’t miss it. However, the lower percentile of people are getting screwed in terms of their tax responsibility compared to what they actually have to show for it.

Regardless, Federal Tax Revenues in relationship to Expenses must be increased. If deficits are a problem as both sides seem to agree, then the only way to pay it down is a combination of both spending cuts and revenue enhancements. The lower classes already pay more than their fair share. In fact, any increase on them does have a direct impact on their standard of living. The upper 1% or even 10% can actually pay significantly higher percentages of their wealth to pay off the debt and it still wouldn’t have any significant impact on their standard of living. The lower percentile people have already sacrificed wages, benefits and government social safety service in an attempt to get out of a financial mess created by the unregulated banksters at the top. Since the crash, not a single sacrifice from the upper 1%, in fact, they’ve gotten richer in the deal. If fair is fair, it’s time for the 1% to give in and help out to get the deficit under control and stop blaming it on the lower classes and expecting them to clean up a mess they did not make at all.

Repeal and Replace the GOP

Today the GOP House, for the 33rd time, with the help of five gutless Democratic Party Quislings voted to repeal completely the Affordable Care Act. It was the same rhetoric in their speeches, all provable lies that anyone can look up and verify for their political narrative. Afterwards, Senate Minority leaf eater Mitch McConnell has vowed to make it the first agenda in January if the GOP takes the Senate this November. An obvious lie on his part, the first order of business will be him removing the filibuster that they’ve used so effectively to harm the nation’s recovery and make the President look bad. Fair play is not an option in this GOP’s playbook.

Polling today about the ACA in unmistakable, since the Supreme Court Ruling, more and more Americans accept and approve of the Act and oppose any efforts to repeal it. The only group that still has majority support for its repeal is surprisingly enough, the GOP that has marginalized and removed all the rational and intelligent people from their party. The mathematical fact is that even a majority of a minority party (GOP only accounts for 30% of voters) is a minority. The majority of the nation today supports the Affordable Care Act.

By repealing the Act, the GOP will immediately:

Remove the healthcare of 30 million Americans.

Will again allow insurance companies to divert more than 20% of premium income to pay for bonuses for corporate executives and lobbying instead of providing healthcare.

Will allow insurance companies to set life-time limits on care.

Will allow insurance companies to remove people from coverage if they become ill.

Will allow insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Will return the donut hole to seniors, increasing their pharmaceutical costs.

Will remove preventative healthcare to keep expensive problems from occurring for patients,

Will allow for-profit insurance company officials to get between you and your doctors to ensure company profits.

Will add to the National Debt due to uncontrolled, ever-increasing cost of healthcare to ensure insurance companies profit and paying for the uninsured for emergency room treatment.

There are many reasons to ensure the GOP doesn’t take the White House and Senate in November, but this is one of the biggest reasons. They have no alternative to the ACA other than to go back to the ever-increasing cost of healthcare, adding to the national deficit so that for profit insurance companies can get even larger profits than before. And how can they do that, by allowing Americans to die. It’s an economic fact, healthcare is only profitable if you get money from the patient without providing care needed for them to stay healthy and alive.

Insurance, like in the rest of the civilized world and as our own VA system should be single-payer and/or socialized. Our own VA care has been rated as more desirable than private for-profit care. Socialize medicine works. If you’re hung up on the word “Socialize” then you can get mental health therapy to address than counterproductive malady.

The answer for this nation is clear, Repeal and Replace the GOP in November

Consumer Servitude


Growing up in the 1960s and entering the workforce in the 1970s I recall the common phrase from television and from the various stores and restaurants I worked at, “the customer’s always right.” As an employee, I dealt with some pretty snotty customers, many of us really had issues with these people, but our managers and store owners would educate us that these are the people who come to the store for services rendered, if we couldn’t provide what they needed, they can always go somewhere else, business would dry up and we would be out of a job. Although it was a lecture from the bosses, as I moved up the chain over the years, I came to realize that the bosses felt the same way and wondered if there could be a time when customers would have no choice but to shop with them and even better, have no protection from faulty service so those working at or owning the store/company/corporation providing the goods and services in question could be just as careless or predatory as they wish because the consumer would have no choice, no protections.

Well, over the years with the help of the National Chamber of Commerce and Corporate control of the Republican Party and by that proxy, the United States Government, it would appear that this is exactly where this country is moving. It’s no longer a situation where a company provides a needed service for the consumer, it’s now that the consumer has not choice but to accept the services those in charge provide.

It would seem to me that if the consumers truly had a voice in governance, elected representatives would have no problem proposing, enacting and enforcing consumer protections and regulations on corporations to protect the consumer. Instead, those in government are more concerned about elimination of all regulations as “job killers.”

In an ideal world, providing a faulty service would be the “job killer” since the consumer can go elsewhere to get that service. As a result, the company fails, jobs would be lost as the corporate owners go bankrupt for lack of business. Instead of existing to service a decent product for the consumer, the consumer now exists to fill the coffers of the corporate owners. With a blank check from Congress to do whatever they want without any consequence, any regulation, why should they provide a good service at a good price to the consumer?

The GOP fought tooth and nail against the creation of the Consumer Protection Bureau designed to help consumers because it would hurt the banks. You know, the banks whose mismanagement drove us into the worse economy since the Great Depression and then received a tax payer bail-out, while still handing out huge bonuses to the very people who mismanaged the banks and caused the current depression (I agree with Paul Krugman, this is a depression). Why can’t corporate success come from providing a good service or product for the consumer. Let good consumer relations be the incentive for business success. Oh, I forgot, it’s easier to screw the consumer when the government gives you free license to do so and if that fails, government will bail you out so you can exist if not from consumers directly, from tax payers.

The rallying cry of the conservative movement has always been “The Free Market.” Well, they’ve made sure that there isn’t a free market anymore, at least not the free market we were raised on. When you allow monopolies to exist, big companies to smother Ma and Pa Shops out of existence. When they are the only game in town, where’s the consumer choice?

It was Republican Teddy Roosevelt who pushed the break up of oil monopolies to give consumers free choice and lo and behold, services improved because these smaller companies had to compete with each other for the consumer dollars. The last time a trust was broken up was begun under Gerald Ford and finished by Jimmy Carter when AT and T was broken up. And as a result, smaller telephone companies competed with each other and resulted in technological advancements that have given us consumer choices we have today. Only problem is that now these companies are now merging back together at the behest of the Chamber of Commerce, GOP and Congress allowing it to happen. If they are the only game in town, where can the consumer go and why would a mega telecommunication company be concerned about quality and cost of services to the consumer?

By not breaking up huge trusts in corporations and banks you end up with “Too Big To Fail” that led to the crash in 2008. Thanks to the National Chamber of Commerce, the GOP and the Republican House, corporations don’t need to take care to provide the best service to appease the consumer.

This is the world that Mitt Romney wants to nail down for America. The result of which is obvious, all the nation’s wealth with the smallest percentage of the corporate elite. They will do just fine because the consumer serves the corporation, not the other way around anymore, in the Koch Brother/Mitt Romney world.