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Simple… it is unfair for hardworking innovative Americans to work for less while children of wealthy parents get fortunes handed to them for no reason other than the accident of birth.

This is bad for society at large.   Those children did nothing to earn their money…  If they want to be rich, they should create wealth on their own efforts, just as did their parents.  Even still, coming from luxury they have many steps up over the 99% of Americans who have to work to survive.  We should not reward insolence and luck, while penalizing potential and effort…

But that is what not having an estate tax does.

Most of a wealthy person’s assets are never taxed.  Under the “realized capital gains” clause, items that gain value but are never cashed in, have capital gains that are never realized and therefore no tax is assessed.  If you bought a ’69 Chevy with a 396, fluid heads and a Hurst on the floor, for $3500 in 1975…. Today at worth of $55,000 it would sit, untaxed, until sold and only after then would tax be assessed.

The Estate tax is the only time most of the wealth of wealthy people, sees itself taxed and the most typical item handed down is stock.

The push to eliminate the estate tax entirely is a concentrated effort to allow all this wealth to go forever untaxed. When the estate gets sold off,  that $50,000 car sold at Southbys goes straight to the owner’s heirs as realized capital gains, never getting taxed….

So what is wrong with that, you ask?

if that money is not paid by the wealthy at time of death before being divided up to its heirs, it must be paid in some other form by those earning less, and working harder.  The money is still needed.  Not getting that money here means that someone else has to pay for it…. and the question comes down to this….  If we must have this money, is it better to take it from a dead person who will never need it? Or a live person who desperately needs every dollar they get in order to live?

That answer is obvious.  Which is why to argue for the removal of the estate tax must hinge on class privilege.  Since one cannot justify forcing poor human beings to pay for the needs of wealthy people, one has to degrade those suffering as being sub human.  Like we did slaves.  Or native Americans. Or an entire race of dark skinned people allowed by an amendment of our Constitution after the Civil War to become citizens equal to all within our borders. We told ourselves they were not human and performed all sorts of atrocities upon them.

So if you accept the argument that non-wealthy do not matter, (47%) that only wealth has the right and obligation to run this country, then you get an argument that can be bought on repealing the estate tax.

It would have to feed on human negatives and state that you must allow the money to stay in family hands….. so THEY….. don’t get it…

Primarily, that is the only argument in favor of this act.  It is a base, selfish act that assumes the money belongs to the dead person….

Now if you take the economic perspective, and recognize that money is good only when it gets used, recognize that because our government prints money, all money really belongs to government, (it just lets us use it for free while we are alive), then true evidence pushes for raising the estate tax, not lowering it. Return as much of the estate as one can back to its real owners, “We The People”….

Estate taxes do fund programs.  Programs which pay people; which buy manufactured goods, which provide necessary services… all of which put that money back into the economy.   So taxing an estate at higher and higher rates, creates funds that can accomplish a lot of good.

  • They help reduce the deficit and national debt.
  • They help put people to work, and provide services making lives better.
  • They can be used to cut other taxes.

Currently estate taxes are levied only on the largest of estates…with amounts over $5 million dollars.  The gigantic estates do generate a lot of revenue to government.  If that tax is repealed that money would have to come from higher taxes elsewhere, or more incurred debt, or deeper cuts in services…. or most likely, from all three simultanously….

Finally, America is proud of its work ethic.  No matter what ones class, all are proud of the hard work they do to make a living and look down on those who don’t work, but have things given to them…. Repealing the estate tax throws this American value on its ear.  We are rewarding laziness, insolence, and debauchery by giving estates of great wealth to those who did not earn them.

America must remain the land of opportunity.  Everyone must have the same break as everyone else… But that does not happen when money is allowed to pass down within families from one generation to another.  Those children need to work hard like everyone else.

It is simply unAmerican to repeal any estate tax.  It must become America’s duty to raise it much higher so all begin on equal footing when making their future  economically solid…..


You should be making $18,000 more a year right now.  And would, except for the inequality put in place  beginning with the trickle down policies of Ronald Reagan… now more appropriately called “tinkle” down economics… 

The bottom get pissed on.

The heavy line shows where you would be if the average rate of growth from across the years ’79 to ’10 were applied evenly.  The lighter line shows the reality….

99% of us are all earning an average of $18,000 less than we should be…  So how does this break down?

Average household incomes grew by 53.4 percent from 1979 to 2007. But that didn’t break down equally:

  • The bottom fifth of households saw their income go up by 29.2 percent, well below the 53.4 percent average.
  • Income for the middle fifth of households grew by a measly 19.7 percent.
  • But how did people a little higher up, but not at the very top, do? A little better, but still below average: households between the 81st and 90th percentiles—so in the bottom half of the top fifth of the income ladder—had just 39.1 percent income growth. Again, well below that average of 53.4.
  • So how far up do you have to go before you hit the average? The 91st to the 95th percentile almost got there, with 53 percent average growth. But they fell just short. Households between the 96th and 99th percentile seriously exceeded 53.4 percent, though. They had average income growth of 78.1 percent.
  • That’s nothing compared to the top 1 percent, though: Their income grew by 244.7 percent, close to five times the average.

It is clear that most of the overall income gains from 1979 to 2007 bypassed the vast majority of American households. As such, their living standards are lower than they would be had these gains been shared more broadly.

Ways To Share More Broadly.

A.  Raise the Minimum Wage:  $10.10 is a start.  

B.  Organize More (and throw out ineffective current bosses) Unions. Override All State Laws Outlawing Unions.

C.  Reduce Wage Theft:  charging workers for uniforms, drinks, food, supplies. Cheating on overtime.

D. Tax the top 1% appropriately…  Include Capital Gains as income. Tax Corporations at the same rate as individuals. Raise the top marginal percents to these levels…

  • Over $1 billion in income…  tax rate of 60%
  • $500 million to $1 billion in income  = 55%
  • $100 million to $500 million in income  = 50%
  • $50 million to $100 million in income =  45%
  • All the rest: no change….  

On top of this, allow all money put into capital improvements, to be deducted dollar for dollar. (Capital improvements require building things).  The rational is that if you put that money into capital improvements, you are improving this nation as much as if you were directly paying taxes to it.  Perhaps more so.

This can be done, but it must be done with a Democratic Executive, and over 60 Democrats in the Senate (or change the filibuster rules), and a fully Democratic House.  That is what has to happen for any change.  If it doesn’t happen then Americans rightly get what they deserve for being stupid.  Because we all know that Republicans are quite happy with the very fact that you ARE making $18,000 less than you should and quite happy that they are the ones receiving it, not you……. 

It wasn’t supposed to go that way. And it shouldn’t go that way….. 






Delaware's Heroes For What

We hail our fallen heroes.  Hopefully many of you stirred some dull roots with spring rain today:…  memories, both a blessing and a curse.

But for whom did they die?

Did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC      Contributor      Total Indivs PACs
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                     $71,550                                               $36,550               $35,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co                                                          $58,200                                              $33,200               $25,000
Ashland Inc                                                                                $55,420                                              $25,700               $29,720
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                      $46,000                                                  $6,000               $40,000
Bank of America                                                                     $40,440                                                 $3,940               $36,500

Those were Tom Carper’s top 5 contibutors……

Or did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,        Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Young, Conaway et al                                                        $121,300                                            $121,300                     $0
Skadden, Arps et al                                                              $92,600                                             $87,600                       $5,000
Grant & Eisenhofer                                                              $70,049                                              $70,049                       $0
Comcast Corp                                                                         $69,200                                            $44,200                       $25,000
Morris, Nichols et al                                                            $57,550                                              $57,550                        $0

Those were Chris Coons’ top 5 contributors……

Or did they die for…....

Top 5 Contributors, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Investment Co Institute                                                $12,500                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
Skadden, Arps et al                                                            $10,640                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
National Multi Housing Council                                $10,500                                                 $0                                     $10,500
Bank of America                                                                  $10,250                                                 $750                                 $9,500
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                 $10,198                                                 $250                                 $9,948


These are John Carney’s top contributors……

Our state relative to nationally, is actually on the good end of campaign contribution spectrum.  Nothing here, is really out of line. You should see some in other states…

But let us isolate by industry…..

For John Carney…. 

Top 5 Industries, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC       Industry Total           Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                       $96,520                                                                   $2,820                     $93,700
Securities & Investment                          $93,000                                                                  $1,500                     $91,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $59,110                                                                   $45,610                     $13,500
Commercial Banks                                    $49,000                                                                  $1,250                       $47,750
Finance/Credit Companies                    $43,250                                                                  $5,250                      $38,000

For Chris Coons…….

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,      Campaign Cmt                                                Industry Total             Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $1,495,387                                                    $1,341,519                    $153,868
Leadership PACs                                        $512,900                                                           $0                              $512,900
Lobbyists                                                       $345,302                                                       $325,472                        $19,830
Securities & Investment                        $296,800                                                       $235,300                      $61,500
TV/Movies/Music                                     $228,157                                                          $163,800                       $64,357

For Tom Carper……..

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte                                            Industry Total               Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                     $371,710                                                          $94,470                         $277,240
Securities & Investment                        $320,340                                                      $125,840                       $194,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $294,382                                                       $170,761                        $123,621
Lobbyists                                                        $214,262                                                     $207,042                            $7,220
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products      $207,710                                                      $50,300                         $157,410

And now, in what I believe is the first time ever…. here is the combination giving you an idea of who influences our 3 man delegation…  Compiled by adding together all three’s industry totals listed above and then ranking them top down…..


Lawyers/Law Firms   ……………..    $1,848,879

Securities & Investment …………….   $710,140

Insurance…..,,,,,,,,,……………. , ……   $668,257

Leadership PACs ………………………. $675,400

Lobbyists  ………………………………,…$568,779

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $486,108

Commercial Banks  …………………….$435,240


Finance/Credit Companies………….$208,865


And that is who owns our delegation….  Just seeing the visual makes it clear why some of the anti-people votes cast by this delegation, … are ever cast at all….   No, contrary to how we exclaim… They are not insane.  They are practical….

It will get worse with McCutcheon passed…

Already the amount of dark money as shown by tallies done by the Center for Responsive Politics show that nondisclosing groups have already reported spending more than three times as much as they had at this point in the 2012 elections — a presidential cycle when higher spending would be expected.”

Did you get that?  The unprecedented spending done in 2012, a contested presidential year, as of now been tripled over the same point of time back in 2012…….. . And it is both sides. In the past dark money was 80% Conservative, 20% Liberal.  Today (2014), it is 60% Conservative; 40% Liberal…   Spending by liberal nondisclosing groups is more than four times higher than it was at this point in 2012, while their conservative counterparts have tripled their previous spending level……

Which means, no tv watching this summer… and social media will become a real turn-off….  Both mean that most of America will tune out this election…  Thank you, Supreme Court…..   What were you smoking?

And if most of America tunes out this election,   it again begs the moral and serious question…. for whom did they die?  Certainly not us.

Delaware's Heroes





I wanted to put some thoughts down on this, since it has begun at least locally to become a major thrust of conversation… Has America lost its Exceptionalism?

Be wary,  that is a very general question, and the wisest answer so far to date, has been Rick Jensen’s:  “Which definition of American Exceptionalism are we going to use?”

“If you define American Exceptionalism as Marilyn B. Young does i.e.: Liberals whose beliefs changed toward an exceptionalism that calls for imposing democracy worldwide, then, yes, the theory is likely. If the definition is Jay Lovestone’s (as in Lovestone v Stalin), then most people would likely agree with American Exceptionalism as our natural resources, strength, and capitalism prevents communism from being overwhelmingly popular. If you choose de Tocqueville’s original definition, then to deny American Exceptionalism is to deny the historical facts of a largely Puritanical population taking advantage of their opportunities to engage in commerce, worship as they choose, and live in a country whose government functions as a representation of the people, not of the ruling, royal class.”

So all “Exceptionalism” arguments are circular, because we are comparing bananas with apples and oranges, to see they all are better than watermelons… (they aren’t; watermelons rule; btw)

But,… what if we made up a new definition, one in which America was defined as being its people’s right to self determination?…. Simply put, it steals from our Declaration of Independence and states along Jeffersonian lines, that people have the right to go in the direction in which they want.

If that becomes one’s definition, then not only is our nation non-exceptional, but it is working hard to become as unexceptional as possible.

At the crux of this change, is the probably this facet:  Those rights and values that used to be held up as true for people, have now been usurped by big business, or multi-national corporations…

One could take it one step further, that at one time America was exceptional… With a wide open frontier growing faster than regulating authorities could keep up, best practices could evolve and become powerful, before the squelching counter-force of the status quo could take its effect….

In real life, we are facing the return of the status quo, as being defined as ruled by an elite, in all that has changed over the last 14 years.  I would mark the tipping point (based on my viewing stand) as tipping in 2007… Other’s may use different markers and put their finger before or afterwards, but the playing field has seriously changed based on Conservative principles which originally emerged out of the 1994 Gingrich neo-Conservative movement… Some of the changes occurred through their emphasis on lack of regulation, some through their pro-financial legislation, and some through their Conservative Court decisions…

But all have been enacted to embrace restraints and control over democracy, by those landed class having tremendous amounts of money at their disposal.  Ironically, for them to have the freedoms expressed in the Declaration of Independence, they must suppress yours….

What we are looking at transpiring over just the past few years, is a return to a ruling class, just like in Ireland, where the subjects have no rights at all, and if any amenities are to be given, it is only to keep them alive to keep the profiteering economic engines continuing to spit out money for its owners…

A topic recently discussed here was Wal*mart and speculation that some corporate pressure would now be upcoming to re-invest a bit more of America’s resources back into food stamps because one of its landed-gentry (the Waltons) was now foundering.. in other words, it is deemed to be good landed-gentry policy to put the boot into ones people, but only as far until one feels the effect applied to oneself, and then and only then, does the pressure get let off.

Under old American thinking, that never could have happened.  The majority would revolt through elections and the landed gentry would be forced to pull the idea off the table until another opportunity.

In arguments of this structure and magnitude the future use of adjectives such as “good” and “bad” to describe the two sides, is misleading.  For in any type of disagreement, one always sees oneself as representing the good they wish to represent, and the other with opposing belief, sees them as evil…

Therefore a more thorough distinction must be used.  Rich and poor is too general and too relative.  The most accurate definition I can think of how to delineate the two opposing parties, is that one employed by the Wall Street activists of the 1% versus the 99%…  That is such a convenient piece of language.   Realistically, of course the area between 90-99% would be full of people who had some fingers in some pies on both sides… And quite probably a more accurate delineation would be to draw the line at the 15% mark, at which a very clear line evolves between being either self-sufficient, or a supplicant…  But, for reference primarily due to its common use, it just makes sense to continue using the 1%–99% divide.  That polarization helps illuminate the major discrepancies and make arguing points for each side, .. much easier.  .

What we have seen since the century mark passed us with no Y2K disaster….. is the 1% making giant inroads into our government, our communications, our economy, and our employment….

Money can do that.

If one is wealthy, one can a) hire people to craft legislation,  b) pander it through Congress and state legislatures surreptitiously attached to campaign contributions, and c) hire scholars to invent and trumpet the advantages of each of those bills.   This creates a one-sided argument against which no one is immune… Those too poor to pay cash, those too poor to take off work, those too tied down to drive down to Washington or one’s state capital, have their side eclipsed.  The legislator could be one of the most benign to the principles of the Constitution, but if he is lied to and provided glowing accounts of how his vote will resonate glowingly among all voters, without a contrarian opinion, he is doing whatever they say.

Not to absolve their blame, but it is just as if you, saw me every day and said “how are things going” and I said “not so good”, you’d feel concerned and want to help.  But on the other hand if you stood in a checkout line with a mom and two kids using WIC paper to get necessary nutrients, and asked… ” how are things going”,… their negative answer would roll off your back… Not because you are callous; but because you don’t know them.   Excessive wealth has insulated our Congress, in fact, I would go out on a limb and say it has insulated the entire DC belt-way.  They just don’t know what average America goes through anymore.

When your most pressing problem is that you were invited to two important functions and have to figure out which one to snub and turn down, your prowess of representing your constituents is in question…. You have effectively been insulated from your constituent’s priorities…  As long as big money is allowed to be involved, it will happen to all we send there.

Against this, one would think that our communications industry would be implored to exploit for its own power, the divide between the ruling high gentry and the peasants supporting them.  Truth was, it WAS that way post-WWII. Perhaps their healthily dislike of the government came from seeing up close and personal it’s inefficiencies during the fog of WWII, but clear evaluations did take place inside our major media over the McCarthy Hearings, Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, and Welfare and Poverty. People always got a perspective different from the official government’s opinions.  And newspapers were far more partisan way back then, on both sides.

But big money bought them all. Big money owns them all.  Instead of competition, we have homogenization. with nothing ever wrong being pinned on big money…. We have arguments of why taxes need cut;  no one ever sees arguments of why they should be raised even though the paper receives 9 to 1 letters in favor of raising taxes… Our media no longer represents American thought;  it represents corporate mouthpieces, as was recently evidenced by NBC cutting away from the collapse of the USA to gargle over a troubled Justin Bieber in its networks competition over Neilsen ratings and getting the most “Likes” on Facebook..

When the reality of events shows Big Money in its correct light, the media does everything to discount it.  Whereas the media was once considered a courageous fourth element of government, it is now the house slave, whose whole survival depends upon the whim of his master… When one questions the slave if his master is a nice man, one can certainly pre-guess the only response one will get….

So when a wealthy power grab bill comes up in Congress, every media outlet sugar coats it.  UMMM Sugar Rush!!!! There is some good, there is no bad.  The top wealth has quenched all argument.  Of course the arguments burn inside of us.  Our frustrations grow.  For we see the reality.  But as in Eastern Germany, we tend to keep it too ourselves, since we must assume we are the only ones, and thinking such is dangerous…..

Besides government and communications, big wealth has taken over our economy.  When we sell low, they bought. They own everything.  When one owns everything, what is best for one, is not best for all others.  Hence, bundling securities in 2006-2007 which meant bundling very bad loans and selling them as very safe investments to all the world’s governments, was partaken without anyone having the right to answer, … “um did you say those were … “bad loans?”  

The how to “how this happened”, was that the very wealthy thorough their influence in Congress and through squelching all dissent in the media, were able to remove previous laws that required that risk to be disclosed.  There is a valid reason why such a deep crash never occurred in the interim between itself and the Great Depression.  It was illegal to do so.  But once pursuing those policies known to lead up to a great crash became unregulated and therefore legal,  guess what?  We got exactly the same result as when we tried it the last time….the 1920’s.

Other economic factors are its result of Big Wealth’s interference. Big wealth is the reason our college debt is too high.  Big wealth is the reason no new manufacturing investment is now taking place. Big wealth is the reason our government is cutting jobs instead of growing them.  Big Wealth is why your take home pay has gotten smaller, and now buys much less… Big Wealth is why Unions are less effective, being mostly illegal unless they apply by the tight rules Big Wealth has set for them…

But mostly all three of these came about by your fear of losing your job.  Big Wealth is your boss.  He may be your bosses’ bosses’ boss but Big Wealth controls you in your job.  Don’t believe me?  Just perform this test… Stand up in your next meeting and publicly say… “Occupied Wall Street was right about everything and dead on….”

i’m not going to dare you to do so, because I already know the answer.  You can’t say that, unless you don’t care whether you work there or not.   “Freedom is just another word… for nothing left to loose”…  If you have nothing to lose, only then are you free to speak your mind.  If you stand to lose your job for doing so, face it, you are silent for that reason…  If you are afraid to speak your mind, then essentually all your freedom is gone.  Stripped away. It may exist on paper, but your freedom today is not guaranteed in any way.

Sad thing… is that it used to be.  In my lifetime, one could keep one’s job and be a communist…  whatever…. Son, as long as you doing your work?  Then that’s ok.

But today one can never say that at one’s employment: “I agree with Occupy Wall Street”.  , for it is full of spies.One cannot even rant it on Facebook even jokingly, without being kicked out of ones job.  Our nation has lost its way.  Everything is controlled by the 1%.”

Now I’m sure some people will take issue with this, and do their best to weave it into whatever they want to weave it into.. That’s fine.  That is what the 1% is paying them to do and I am relatively confident that those people will stick out like sore thumbs for being the toadies they are: supplicants to the teats of excessive wealth.

If America is destined to go the way of all other past nations, then let it only speak in one voice and become a mouthpiece for its landed gentry, I can do nothing to stop it.  All I can do is point out, that today, the America we have at our disposal, is no different than that of ancient empires, than that of Roman control,  than that of medieval warlords, then that of imperialistic Europe, then that of Hirohito, than that of Soviet Russia, or even that of our own Guilded Age whose excesses led to the creation of the New Deal….

In fact,  I would go so far to stretch out on a limb that the current public perception of America’s Exceptionalism, was founded  upon the structures first put in place by the New Deal… I know that opens a theory up to a whole battery of counter-arguments, and most of them I have used myself to test out this hypothesis.  But after all the dust has settled, I have still to admit (and you probably will too), that with historical analysis outweighing whatever theoretical arguments get dashed against it,  the New Deal worked for 70 years until we started taking it apart…

With it gone, we are not exceptional anymore. We are just the same as everyone else.  A 1% ruling over the 99% peasant class beneath them…. The same as King George’s Great Britain. The same as Robespierre’s France. The same as Caesar.  The same as Babylon’s king… The same as the ancient Pharaoh….

None whose empires are still around today.  None today hold onto their power they once possessed.  With our expansionist opportunities now dimming, with the advent of a disturbingly stupid but powerful upper class, with our allowing them to usurp our edifices of democracy and force them to rule in their favor, not ours, America is now at a crossroads.  We can either choose to become comfortable slaves, grateful for the shelter, food, and Super-Bowls thrown for our benefit, … or we can choose to become the masters of our own destiny, and accept whatever that may befall.   The latter option worked best in our past. The later option was the Golden time of American Exceptionalism from which we have now removed ourselves…..

Should we go back?  Or accept the incremental slavery slowly wrapping its tentacles around us?

If my words ring hollow, then our time has already passed.  If you feel the same, then time is short.  It must change 2014, and in 2016 must make it even more clear…  After all, 2012 was writing on the wall…  America is only exceptional because its people are exceptional.  Its everyday simple people who wake up every morning and go to bed every night. That theme rolls through all the definitions of Exceptionalism listed above at this article’s very beginning. But when those people no longer own their nation, our fate will be sealed… and it won’t be pleasant….



Dear Diary:

What if we raised income taxes on the top 1% several percent with a sunset clause not tied to a year, but based on achieving a certain state unemployment rate.? Perhaps 4.9%?

Work that through sometime soon, please?   



This philosophy is at the core of America’s current demise.  Unless it changes, reverts back to caring about others and realizing we are only as good as our weakest link,  I ‘m afraid the writing is on the wall as far as America’s future prosperity goes…

Anyone to who says the fault of America is its firemen who are paid too much, it’s police force who retires too well, it’s workers who are too wealthy, it’s teachers  who do too little, is our number one enemy and should be eliminated just as any terrorist would…

Terrorists bring down buildings.  These people ruin great civilizations.

August 18, 2015

Today, in a domino tumbling of bad news for Delawareans, it was announced that Christiana Care would be leaving the state. The local medical facilities and clinics would go up for sale. In hours, AI Dupont announce it was leaving all health care organizations, and would only take privately funded patients. One hour later, BayHealth announced it was closing Kent General and Milford Memorial…

All cited Highmark as the reason. Highmark announced their plan to pay insurance claims only to their own doctors and hospitals. This freezes out all others, since most patients do not have an option but to take the employer’s offered medical plan. Since the first of August, over 90% of Delawareans have switched to Highmark.

This action was originally allowed in Delaware by Karen Weldin Stewart, the insurance commissioner in 2012 and was subsequently supported by ALEC legislator Patty Blevins currently head of the Senate… Neither could be reached for comment. Both are vacationing in the Grand Cayman Islands.

Why YOU Don't Matter (per Today's Republicans)

(Or Why You Only Matter At Election Time)

Amber Waves Of Grain; Purple Mountains Majesty

Photo Courtesy of Barb&Kathleen@ ThriftTalkDiva

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, the Associated Press reported this weekend.  I know a lot of adults breathed a sigh of relief going:  “whew… at least I’m not the only one.”

One can shrug their shoulders and say that’s the way it is supposed to be, I guess.  Not much one can do about it.

But to do so, one has to forget their lives growing up.  Where their parents made do, often having something extra to pass down to us, their children, when they moved on.

Whether it was a house, a small savings, they lived well enough, They died with dignity knowing they started with nothing, and actually “made it.”  Today, comparatively, the baby boomers started out wealthy and now have nothing to give their children, except  their debt.

How did this happen?

The year was 2001.  Bush was elected and Republicans had a majority in the House, and were one shy in the Senate.  Time to implement the  election winner’s policy.  The campaign was run on tax cuts, and tax cuts we were going to have….

On the floor of Congress, the debate took place like this:  “Look” the Democrats said, “we have a stable economy with the national debt hitting 0 in 7 years. Why do you want to mess around with that?”

Republicans replied: … “Tax Cut. Tax Cut.. Get your tax cuts here.” and America began its swirl down the toilet.

The Democrats countered:  “if you cut taxes now, in 15 years the rich will have all the money, and the middle class will become poor. A society can’t be all about “making a profit”. As with a business, there has to be continuous reinvestment back into the economy; otherwise sooner or later the supporting structure runs out of juice, gets tired of holding everything up, and it all crashes down….”

Republicans replied: … “Tax Cut. Tax Cut.. Get your tax cuts here, ”  and it was done.

With a party supporting their every wish, the wealthy started dismantling the single biggest drawback keeping them from earning top dollar:  the middle class.

The argument became:  we aren’t making enough profit.  Everything had to go that got in the way making a profit.  Making a profit became how we identified ourselves.  Of course that only applied to the corporate world.  The US Government was gutted to assist in the making of profit.  The Middle Class was gutted to assist with the making of a profit.

How was this done?  The word “no” was used to respond to all increased payroll requests.  And our expenses that benefited major corporations, kept edging higher.  Medical coverage, a necessity, now took a bigger bite out of the no-go-higher paycheck.  Utility costs, a necessity, now took a bigger bite out of the same no-go-higher paycheck.  Insurance of all kinds, now took a bigger bite out of the same no-go-higher paycheck.

Government itself was cut back, whittled down, eradicating the purchasing power of a lot of those no-go-higher paychecks completely.  Soon there were too many people looking for work.  Some were desperate to work at all, no matter what the wage.  Really?  That made those who run companies to ask themselves this question:  why should we continue paying  Mr. X this high amount, when we can get Ms. Y to work for this with the same productivity?  Mr. X joined the lines of the unemployed.

With more Mr. X’s in the unemployment line,  those still working accepted more and more stress for the paycheck they still had, and gave more and more concessions to their employer (who mind you, was quite happy before with his more than adequate income while paying out those amounts), digging themselves further and further into the hole.

So the entire middle class is working for less, and paying it all back and more….

According to Republicans, it is all their fault; they are lazy, insolent, disagreeable louts who deserve every bit of pain they’ve received.  They are the surplus population that needs to be eradicated from existence,   Sorry, but that’s just the way it is..

And was, through American history until the 1930’s.

In the 1930’s Democrats said, “no, it doesn’t have to be this way.”  We can tax those with money, have Social Security when we retire, build projects and invest in infrastructure that improve our lives, like electricity, like telephones.  You know, we can set prices so people can make a living off what they work. we can set profits so small businesses can live off what they sell; we can make it so everyone can have a house, food on the table, and die with dignity, not being a burden to the next generation.

And that is what they did.  They said profit is good. Too much profit is bad, and so we are taking everything over this ascertained level.

And to be honest, it was touch and go for a while, and gradually the meticulous detailed economic planning gave way to market economics, but only after the economic free-fall had been stopped.

And yes the rich screamed ferociously loud (and lost every national election for the next 60 years).  But we got the childhood we lived through because of that action.

There was more.  We said banks could not invest the money that people needed for their livelihood. That restriction has since been removed.  We said, if you paid into Social Security, when you retired, you got something back.  That promise is now gone from every Republican platform. Done away with. Eradicated.  We said that income taxes were good, they supported the country and made us strong. That held true until we chose to let the wealthy have more, and take less ourselves.  We said, of course, it is right for a employees to strike, stop working if the boss won’t pay them correctly. He can’t fire you for striking.  Once that was protected, the bosses eventually caved in when he saw paying proper wages was cheaper than the alternative.  Over the course of these actions, it enabled a person to go to work for a company, and retire from that company with a pension, with Social Security, with Medicare; they could pay their bills up to the end, and still pass something onto their children, us.

When we get told today by our media that we can’t afford to live like we used to, no one except the bravest of us, dare stand up to ask why?  Are you so brow beaten? Are you so numb you can’t see it is you’re own actions that are the cause of your demise?  Are you no better than the prodigal son, who squandered his father’s wealth, and now has nothing?  You had it all once.  Remember the dreams, the life plan you had for yourself when you graduated college?

And how much did it cost you to graduate from that college?  As much as a house, as our graduates today now face?  A tab so high Just so those who lent the money can make 10 times the amounts they made back when you and I were lent money to put ourselves through school?

So the problem is very simple. Very small.  Giving more money to the wealthy, the rich, the multinational corporations, takes money that should be ours, right out of our pocket.  It is that simple.  That is where we went wrong.  That is how we got here.  Four out of five adults facing poverty.

There is no guaranteed right that one must make a profit.  It’s not in the Bible.  It is not in the Constitution. Everything does not have to give just so you can make more money.   There are things on this planet far more important than how much “extra” money you can squeeze out of your fellow human beings.

All that we need to do to rejuvenate the middle class, is control excessive profit.  Not in a heavy handed way, mind you, but through proper levels of taxation.  Profit is extra.  It’s superfluous money. A business can run fine without making a profit.  In fact, most small businesses do.   They are trying to survive like you and I, with loans, with IOU’s, with barter arrangements,  with reinvestment, with building on, etc.

Remember how life used to be so good.  Now four out of five adults will, if not already, face poverty before they die.  Four out of five.  Is that the promise we got when we were told to stand by our desks, put our hands on our hearts, and  mumble to squeeze some  fun out of the daily ritual…. ” I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible; with liberty and justice for all.”  Did we go to school, go to college, marry, raise a family, struggle to put them through school, for this?  Four out of five of us living in poverty?

And  it took place while we worked very hard, getting conned into giving away all the things we every had all rights to, simply because we once elected the Republican Party of the United States of America into power.  Happy with yourself now?

Let’s get that dream back.  Screw their profits; rebuild America back into its beautiful dream, now.  Let’s give our children their dream back! At least that is something worthy.  That would make it all worth while.

On July 1st the interest rate on student loans rises  from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent of this year.

One year ago, the trillion dollar mark was crossed for the amount owed and required to be paid back for a student’s education..

3.4 to a 6.8 is a doubling… Just on a gross scale, off a Trillion dollars, the interest per year is jumping from $34 billion to $68 billion.   On a $16 trillion GDP, that is nothing.  But when you look at other figures, that jump has shocking consequences for the world-wide banking system.

The post graduate boom is usually what drives our economy.  New cars, New electronics, New houses.  Dining out. Spontaneous purchases.  A study by the New York Federal Reserve shows that graduates are living austerely to pay of their gigantic debt, most of which are more costly than the mortgages owned by middle America.  Asking someone to buy a house while paying off their educational loan, is equivalent to asking then to buy a second house while still paying off their first,  How rich does one have to be in order to do that? What amount of yearly income is required to do that? +$125,000? Does this mean there will be no net new buyers of houses for 20 years?  Anyways, after July 1st, there will be $34 billion less with which to purchase houses.

The Department of Education predicts a default rate of 13.4%… Off a trillion that means $130.4 billion dollars will be the amount defaulted. $130.4 billion. 

So adding the two together, the upcoming shock on our economy will now cost $198 billion. Poof, right out the door, $198 billion. Gone from our economy. 

Tran Union a credit reporting agency says the data in it’s files show that almost half, or 43.5% of student debt is in deferment.  In dollars off that trillion total, that would amount to $435 billion dollars of debt not being paid in a timely fashion.

Particular concern must be paid here, because more than half of college graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed — the highest rate in 11 years, according to an analysis of government data.

Putting the two together, we have half of those required to pay $435 billion defaulted, who are either under or unemployed.

As we saw with mortgages, when people can’t pay, there is no notice, They just walk away.

A nation depends upon its newest generation to lead them forward with energy and enthusiasm, long after the previous ones are tired and ready for rest.  This generation is coming out on the playing field, weighed down like knights of old, in ancient armor….  The upcoming football game does not look promising…  Their best 100 yard dash is just under 10 minutes.