Sunday, January 1, 2017

Republicans (I Know, They're for Personal Responsibility) Want All the Money

Okay, they don't, really. They want the donor class to have all the money so the donors can give Republican politicians (some) money and (some) power. Art of the deal!

This is obvious for all to see. So why don't they, e.g. Trumpsters? My best guess is the Fabulous Feint™. What's that, you ask?
  • Social Security is going broke (it isn't).
  • Medicare is going broke (it isn't).
  • Raising the minimum wage kills jobs (it doesn't).
  • Cutting taxes creates jobs (it doesn't).
  • Cut taxes, then close the loopholes (they never close them).
  • The National debt will kill us (it's manageable).
  • The poor need to have "skin in the game" (The poor don't have squat, and they generally have bad "skin.").
  • Health care is best when consumers have choices (Choose the cure for your cancer that best fits your pocketbook!)
  • People are living longer, so delay retirement until 69 (You're a roofer. You can roof until you're 69.)
  • Bill O'Reilly can complain about the lazy poor for a living until he's 69 (That's actually true. He can probably go even longer.)
  • We can eliminate the trade deficit if we make great deals (Yes, we can, but prices will rise, and jobs will be lost, and demand for Made in America™ products will fall, and more jobs will be lost. Art of the Deal!). (Meanwhile, Germany still has high-paying jobs, social benefits, and the highest trade surplus in the world, go figure.)
...and so forth. Here's a taste of how and why that works:
What's needed is a holistic reform of national economic policy: the systemic transfer of power from business owners and investors as a class to workers as a class. That means things like raising the minimum wage, rebuilding unions, reforming corporate governance, enlarging the welfare state, providing worker-friendly benefits like paid leave, and direct government investment in enough job creation to force employers to compete for scarce workers, rather than workers competing for scarce jobs.
The Republicans don't want this; their entire agenda rests on transferring even more power to the wealthy.
For much of the corporate elite that makes up the GOP donor class, their interest in keeping workers powerless is rather bloodless: They make bigger profits when labor is as cheap and compliant as possible.
Where's Trump's place in all this?
Trump's vision for himself is much closer to a kingpin or mafia godfather — and thus much more comfortable with showmanship, gift-giving, and bread-and-circuses — than your average Republican corporate titan.
The crucial thing to realize is that Trump's desire to be a beneficent strongman also requires keeping the working classes powerless.
We don't live in a post-truth world, regardless of what the usual suspects say. We live in a world where shit just got real. We need the truth more than ever.

Next step? Wait, hope, pray, or better yet, work hard to help Trump's sucker class figure the scam out, sooner rather than later, before we're all screwed.

Fun fact: Russia, Trump's new paradise, has had a shrinking economy, especially since 2014 (when oil prices crashed combined with increasing sanctions due to Russian antics), leaving average incomes at USD 8,181 as of Jan 2015, with projections of continued slippage in 2015 and 2016, according to the World Bank. This places Russia at or below par with countries like Kazakhstan and Mexico, and well below that of Portugal, Greece, and Poland. Also, Russia has an average life expectancy of 71 years, as compared to 79 in the U.S. and 83 in Japan. Heckuva job!

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