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AMERICAN AND CRAZY: CAPITALISM SUBVERTING DEMOCRACY

By jazz_music following x   2017 Sep 4, 11:52pm 587 views   30 comments   watch   quote     share  

Big Money routinely trumps the will of the people. Here’s the proof:

91% want to strengthen rules on clean air and protection of drinking water; yet Congress – led by the Republican majority -- is proposing to weaken them;
90% want to protect public lands and parks; yet the Republicans are proposing to put them on sale or otherwise privatize them;
74% of Americans favor ending subsidies to big oil; yet Congress has retained most of them;
90% of the citizens support legislation requiring background checks for gun purchase, but Congress can’t pass one.
The majority of citizens favored allowing tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 to expire, but the best Congress could do is compromise on $400,000;
70% of Americans consider climate change to be a high priority issue, yet Congress has taken no action;
Some 80% of Americans favor shoring up Social Security even if it means higher taxes and a similar number support retaining Medicare as is, but we’ve twice offered cuts to both programs as part of a “grand bargain”;
Or take this gem … more than 80% of Americans want to clamp down on Wall Street but the best we could get was weak-sister legislation that is being completely eviscerated as it is translated into regulations.
The list could go on and on. Over the years Americans have favored an end to fracking, single payer health care, greater public investment in infrastructure, an increase in minimum wage, and an end to the perennial wars and removal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet Congress and the President routinely ignore these wishes at the behest of monied interests.

So much for the will of the people.

Stacking the Deck in Favor of the Plutocrats: Democrats received 20 million more votes for Senate than Republicans in 2014, yet Republicans hold the majority of seats. Similarly, it only takes about 48% of the popular vote for Republicans to hold a majority in the House.

Why? Because a sophisticated cadre of the ultra-rich have been on a 30 plus year campaign to buy government. Think tanks, corporate “free” speech, Democratic complicity, and a bought and paid for media has resulted in a gerrymandered map, a stacked Supreme Court and elections in which money trumps the wishes of the people, and routinely puts the will of a tiny rich minority over those of the majority.

From Democracy to Oligarchy: By any measure, the US is an Oligarchy, not a democracy. This too, is a result of our doctrinaire belief in unconstrained capitalism, which inevitably results in grotesque income inequalities, and – ironically – economic collapse. Pushed by an unholy alliance of true believers and rich special interests, we’ve tried unconstrained capitalism three times now, and each time it has obliterated the middle class, and wrecked the economy.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/04/07/capitalism-america-giving-crazy-bad-name-while-subverting-democracy
1 Tenpoundbass   2017 Sep 5, 7:00am   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
We've got clean air and water everywhere Liberals don't rule with a stolen fist.

We can't even use them anymore without Liberals wanting to create long drawn out legal battles.

Common Dreams, somesing sells me your Dreams are not the same as my dreams. I'm going on a hunch.
Your dream has made up stats and expects me to foot the bill for people who don't belong here.
2 errc   2017 Sep 5, 7:12am   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
So you're saying this is absolute bullshit:

"We are a representative republic, if there is enough real public support from DACA, it will pass in Congress. If not, not."

--------------

It seems like bullshit, especially after watching the majority of Americans put themselves at the opposite side of The Governments' failed War on Drugs. Especially when Trump responded with Sessions. How fucked is that? Could you imagine a bigger fuck you to the citizenry?
3 Patrick   2017 Sep 5, 10:09am   ↑ like (3)   ↑ dislike (3)     quote        
jazz_music says
Why? Because a sophisticated cadre of the ultra-rich have been on a 30 plus year campaign to buy government. Think tanks, corporate “free” speech, Democratic complicity, and a bought and paid for media has resulted in a gerrymandered map, a stacked Supreme Court and elections in which money trumps the wishes of the people, and routinely puts the will of a tiny rich minority over those of the majority.


We agree on this @jazz_music

But what is the right defense against a system which is so thoroughly corrupted by money?

Ibn Khaldun described how societies die exactly the way we are dying now, through division (loss of group identity as Americans above all else) and plutocracy:


By the 14th century the great Tunisian Islamic philosopher of history, Ibn Khaldun, described societies gaining prosperity through “group feeling,” only to lose it within about 120 years as the ruling dynasty succumbed to self-indulgence and greed – paving the way for their land to be conquered from without or taken over from within.

https://jagadees.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/socrates-on-debt-and-ibn-khaldun-on-the-cyclical-rise-and-fall-of-societies/
To recover, we would have to completely dump identity politics first of all, but given that the mainstream press is all about identity politics, we're probably doomed as a country. The ultra-rich will continue to divide us by race, gender, etc so that we have no effective unified way of opposing them.

Every article about race is one less article about, say, why the richest pay only 20% tax on billions "earned" by sitting on their asses, while people with real skills pay 40%. (top marginal rates on cap gains vs income from work)
4 anonymous   2017 Sep 5, 10:16am   ↑ like (1)   ↑ dislike (1)     quote        
Patrick says
Every article about race is one less article about, say, why the richest pay only 20% tax on billions "earned" by sitting on their asses, while people with real skills pay 40%. (top marginal rates on cap gains vs income from work)


Ditto every article about DACA. (why do you think Trump is bringing it up)
5 Patrick   2017 Sep 5, 10:18am   ↑ like (1)   ↑ dislike (1)     quote        
Trump is actually trying to benefit US citizens by making it clear that we actually do have a border and will enforce its existence.

Wages for the lowest paid US citizens will go up, not down, if the wall gets built.
6 errc   2017 Sep 5, 10:21am   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Patrick says
Trump is actually trying to benefit US citizens by making it clear that we actually do have a border and will enforce its existence.

Wages for the lowest paid US citizens will go up, not down, if the wall gets built.


We have a lot of borders. Oddly, he's only focused on ~10%, which coincidentally is the only border with brown people on the other side . #AllBordersMatter
7 errc   2017 Sep 5, 10:22am   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Wages for the lowest paid US citizens will go up, not down, if the wall gets built.

-------------

What is your level of certainty here?
8 joeyjojojunior   2017 Sep 5, 10:26am   ↑ like (1)   ↑ dislike (1)     quote        
Patrick says
Trump is actually trying to benefit US citizens by making it clear that we actually do have a border and will enforce its existence.

Wages for the lowest paid US citizens will go up, not down, if the wall gets built.


Ending DACA will do next to nothing for wages. If you want to stop illegal immigration, do what Bob says. Enforce the laws on the books and put CEOs in jail.

This is pure theater to appeal to Trumpkins.
9 Patrick   2017 Sep 5, 10:33am   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
joeyjojojunior says
If you want to stop illegal immigration, do what Bob says. Enforce the laws on the books and put CEOs in jail.


I absolutely agree with you too on this one.

Employers of illegals should go to jail. But how can the people get this accomplished when the US Chamber of Commerce is dictating our laws?

What would take power away from money and give it back to voters?
10 Patrick   2017 Sep 5, 10:36am   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
errc says
Wages for the lowest paid US citizens will go up, not down, if the wall gets built.

-------------

What is your level of certainty here?


Pretty damn close to 100%.

Fewer illegal workers (who never complain about low pay) inevitably means more demand for US citizen workers.
11 errc   2017 Sep 5, 10:40am   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Do you support raising the minimum wage?

Wouldn't that be a simpler way to raise the pay of lowest paid American Workers?
12 joeyjojojunior   2017 Sep 5, 10:40am   ↑ like (1)   ↑ dislike (1)     quote        
Patrick says
What would take power away from money and give it back to voters?


Well, which politicians vote against the COC the most?

https://www.uschamber.com/how-they-voted/2016
I defy you to look at the chamber of commerce scorecard and tell me both parties are the same.

Bernie Sanders would have made a pretty darn good choice at 18% voting with the COC
13 Dan8267   2017 Sep 5, 11:26am   ↑ like (2)   ↑ dislike (2)     quote        
jazz_music says


America went off the rails long before Trump came along. Trump is a symptom, not a cause of the problem.
15 Dan8267   2017 Sep 5, 11:36am   ↑ like (1)   ↑ dislike (1)     quote        
Tenpoundbass says


No problem here. When Trump is replaced by a Democrat, all his orders and policies will be reversed as well. This is the new normal.
16 bob2356   2017 Sep 5, 1:09pm   ↑ like (1)   ↑ dislike (1)     quote        
Patrick says
errc says
Wages for the lowest paid US citizens will go up, not down, if the wall gets built.

-------------

What is your level of certainty here?


Pretty damn close to 100%.

Fewer illegal workers (who never complain about low pay) inevitably means more demand for US citizen workers.


At a certainly level of pretty damn close to 100% why don't you find someone to take book on that and bet the farm? Go all in.
17 jazz_music   2017 Sep 5, 1:10pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Patrick says
To recover, we would have to completely dump identity politics first of all, but given that the mainstream press is all about identity politics, we're probably doomed as a country. The ultra-rich will continue to divide us by race, gender, etc so that we have no effective unified way of opposing them.

Every article about race is one less article about, say, why the richest pay only 20% tax on billions "earned" by sitting on their asses, while people with real skills pay 40%.


I agree with you too, except from my POV I see a bunch of white guys with the identity politics e.g. here at patrick.net and nobody else.

The news keeps us from asking the right questions and talking about things that might matter. This is across the board. When I watch PBS I yell at the TV. News has a spectrum that caters to various emotions, prejudices, outrage and stimulates fear and despondency.

I just saw this thing called the Redneck Revolt on the web which looks smart because it is white workers resisting white supremacy. https://itsgoingdown.org/white-workers-resisting-capitalism-white-supremacy-interview-redneck-revolt/
I don't know much about it. www.facebook.com/RedneckRevolt, redneckrevolt.org, redneckrevolt@riseup.net

The thing is you have to be very astute and shrewd to put anything together because the system is watching VERY VERY VERY carefully at everything that goes and they will throw everything and the kitchen sink at you laws be damned to make sure you never get started. After all this was Nixon's whole idea about the drug war and the southern strategy and since he got over Reagan came along (Union leader Reagan, LOL) and really fucked workers and everybody real good for 8 years. Propaganda got institutionalized and we are where we are now. Our entire society devoted to ever increasing passive gains. (that is the economy) No rights, everybody is a possible informant, warrantless entry, confiscation, everybody scared as hell to make any waves against the rise of the elites and most of us are still holding out hopes for crumbs off their tables.

You are lucky to have someone astute, credible like iwog here to tell you what time it really is and devote himself to arguing all deluded comers into oblivion. I LMAO almost daily. --key: the bigger the inequality gets the less of life we will all get to experience ever, we are simply not keeping up and so have a nice day with yourself. NEXT.

The elites got organized. The yearly summits. They know you got to conspire to get what you want.

I noticed while browsing that there have been other times in our history that the elites have squeezed the life out of the working class. I just started reading about the most salient example of a successful uprising against them. There was the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 which was a mass insurrection of white and black workers.

... There was John Brown and the somewhat limited legacy of white militant resistance to chattel slavery in the early to mid 1800’s. While John Brown was not the only militant white to aid in the struggle against slavery, he was perhaps the most effective and has become the symbol of white resistance to white supremacy.

There was the Rainbow Coalition (not to be confused with the reactionary formation of the same name started by Reverend Jesse Jackson). The Rainbow Coalition was a street level working class formation that brought together groups like the Young Lords, the American Indian Movement, Brown Berets, I Wor Kuen, and Young Patriots (among other organizations) to form a cross race movement against capitalism.

It was this conflict between migrant workers and “nativist” workers in the late 19th century and early 20th century that made it difficult at many junctures for the efforts of organized labor to be more effective. This was one of the main reasons why the Battle of Blair Mountain was such a potent threat. Members of the United Mine Workers had started to work directly with and encourage union membership of not only black workers, but also migrant workers, primarily Italians, who had been shipped into the region to destabilize worker cohesion and union organizing. ...
18 bob2356   2017 Sep 5, 1:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Patrick says

What would take power away from money and give it back to voters?


Absolutely nothing short of bloody revolution. The founding fathers lived in a world where the extreme concentration of wealth in a very small percentage of the population was not possible. The system of government they created doesn't have any checks and balances against that possibility. Citizens United was the last nail in the coffin.
19 jazz_music   2017 Sep 5, 1:17pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
The Maritime Union is another example of workers that conquered the elites and the various ploys to divide and conquer. This led to the Longshoremen's union and later the Teamsters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Merchant_Marine
... In 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, or "the Wobblies") was founded, representing mainly unskilled workers. "The Wobblies," a force in American labor only for about 15 years, were largely routed by the Palmer Raids after World War I. In 1908, Andrew Furuseth became president of the International Seamen's Union and served in that office until 1938.

Andrew Furuseth successfully pushed for legislative reforms that eventually became the Seamen's Act.[29] During World War I there was a shipping boom and ISU's membership included more than 115,000 dues-paying members.[30] However, when the boom ended, the ISU's membership shrunk to 50,000.[30]

In 1915, the Seamen's Act of 1915 became law. The act fundamentally changed the life of the American sailor. Among other things, it:
abolished the practice of imprisonment for seamen who deserted their ship
reduced the penalties for disobedience
regulated a seaman's working hours both at sea and in port
established a minimum quality for ship's food
regulated the payment of seamen's wages
required specific levels of safety, particularly the provision of lifeboats
required a minimum percentage of the seamen aboard a vessel to be qualified Able Seamen
required a minimum of 75 percent of the seamen aboard a vessel to understand the language spoken by the officers.

Laws like the Seaman's Act put U.S.-flagged vessels at an economic disadvantage against countries lacking such safeguards.[32] By moving their ships to the Panamanian flag of convenience, owners could avoid providing these protections...


See? The elites found an immediate way to nullify the workers gains, but then there was a broadening of the workers uprising and those unions survived successfully for many decades. Even today they still hang on to membership. It's too bad that engineers were so easily manipulated by the management against their unions in the 1990's and 2000's. --it was really too easy.
20 jazz_music   2017 Sep 5, 1:35pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
When you look back at every time the elites lost ground there was not only massive injustice and loss of lives there was a population of workers that the elites REALLY REALLY needed to have in their pockets to accomplish their empire building.

Who would that be nowadays? Multi-disciplined, english-first-language, computer scientists? Can you think of any VAST labor categories that are crucially important to the elites? That would be the possible source of a labor uprising.

THESE were the workers that organized and asserted themselves successfully to create the wonderful life that I grew up in coastal southern California 1950's - 1970's.

I was lucky enough to have came up in the Mecca of the western world at the all-time pinnacle of American working man's horizons. Can you imagine the luck of that? My father was an awesome guy. A golden gloves champ in his youth in Brooklyn. His career was rock solid. He was a high-ranking Mason. His career was built upon his position as the most senior member of the local maritime union, (he was among the original members) he was a skilled electrician, a degreed boiler operating engineer, (which was high tech in the 1930's) and a tool and die maker too. --the greatest generation?
21 Patrick   2017 Sep 5, 1:37pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
errc says
Do you support raising the minimum wage?

Wouldn't that be a simpler way to raise the pay of lowest paid American Workers?


No, illegal immigrants are illegal, so minimum wage just discourages picking Americans. Employers will refuse to employ US citizens and quietly choose cheaper illegals instead.
22 jazz_music   2017 Sep 5, 1:49pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
I remember how paranoid the anti war protesters were in the 1960's. I met some activists at USC and UC Berkley during those days, and wonder "if it were not for these protesters would we still be at war in Viet Nam?" I only helped their cause in small infrequent ways.

Back then there was this big fraternal group of marijuana users, this really bound people together from all walks of life amazingly.

What do we have now that binds people together now from all walks of life? --gym membership, fight clubs, gun clubs, second life, patrick.net?

How in the world would you vet people from those groups so that you could trust them?

And there is still freemasonry. The Masons have gotten HUGELY involved in politics before and may do it again, but I don't see any leanings from them. They have an empire of their own and a lot of enforcement belong to their ranks. They are basically a cult and kind of creepy too.
23 TwoScoopsMcGee   2017 Sep 5, 2:02pm   ↑ like (1)   ↑ dislike (1)     quote        
Patrick says
Trump is actually trying to benefit US citizens by making it clear that we actually do have a border and will enforce its existence.

Trump asked why it was always about Dreamers from another country, what about American Kids' dreams?

Zuckfuck told us the reason in his Report griping about 700,000 Dreamers ready to work - that's 700,000 native born Whites and Blacks not getting those jobs.
24 errc   2017 Sep 5, 2:09pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Which American kids dream of doing the work that we all pass on and leave for the Mexicans?

Can Americans even afford to do those jobs?
25 joeyjojojunior   2017 Sep 5, 3:29pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
errc says
Which American kids dream of doing the work that we all pass on and leave for the Mexicans?

Can Americans even afford to do those jobs?


We're winning the race to the bottom!!

#MAGA
26 anonymous   2017 Sep 5, 5:19pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Patrick says
Trump is actually trying to benefit US citizens by making it clear that we actually do have a border and will enforce its existence.

Wages for the lowest paid US citizens will go up, not down, if the wall gets built.


Ending DACA will do basically zero for wages. If you want to stop illegal immigration do what Bob says. Enforce the laws already on the books and put CEOs in jail.

This is pure theater to get folks like McGee, TPB, et. al excited.

fyi--you realize that deportations are down quite a bit since Trump took office, right? He is doing LESS than Obama.
27 Patrick   2017 Sep 5, 5:22pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
null says
fyi--you realize that deportations are down quite a bit since Trump took office, right? He is doing LESS than Obama.


Does not seem to be for lack of trying:


ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan recently said the drop in deportations is because of the backlog in federal immigration courts and the lengthy time to process each case. The number of cases waiting to be completed has surpassed 610,000 through June, according to the TRAC research project at Syracuse University.

Immigration courts have long been overburdened, with regular deportation cases taking up to two years to complete because of the volume of cases. The Trump administration has added to that backlog by arresting more people and cutting back on the Obama administration policy of allowing undocumented immigrants to be free on bond as they await their court hearings.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has dispatched 25 more immigration judges to detention centers along the southwest border with Mexico and wants to add more. The Justice Department's goal is to hire 50 immigration judges this year and 75 in the following year.
28 SpecialSnowflake   2017 Sep 5, 5:23pm   ↑ like (2)   ↑ dislike (2)     quote        
Except Hitlery had moar money and still lost.
29 errc   2017 Sep 5, 5:45pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has dispatched 25 more immigration judges to detention centers along the southwest border with Mexico and wants to add more. The Justice Department's goal is to hire 50 immigration judges this year and 75 in the following year.

------------------

You Republican voters sure love your BIG GOVERNMENT. Who do you want to pay for this, me? Big surprise, not!
30 bob2356   2017 Sep 5, 11:17pm   ↑ like (0)   ↑ dislike (0)     quote        
Patrick says
null says
fyi--you realize that deportations are down quite a bit since Trump took office, right? He is doing LESS than Obama.


Does not seem to be for lack of trying:


So what did trump fuck up that there are so many less deportations than when he took office? Why does he have to add people just to get back where he started? Where is all of the promised business management skills that were going to make the government run better?

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