Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Class Warfare: Up The Stakes

It has been my thought that this country has been involved in class warfare for a very long time. It seems that I am not the only one who thinks so, and maybe the war should be fought in a different manner because the working class are getting hammered by the well off.

From Dailykos Daily KosIs It Time For Class Warfare?
by Something the Dog Said
Wed Aug 25, 2010
Those who read my posts (and there are a lot more of you than I ever thought there would be) know that I am not really a fan of divisive politics. This comes from the teachings of my Mom, who spent her political career reaching out to Republicans to get things done in Washtenaw County. Her argument was always that while you might hammer your opponents in today’s fight, you’re probably going to need them to get tomorrows work done. It is generally good advice, but it is predicated on the premise that your opponents want to get things done and really are working for the best solution for everyone.Sadly Mom’s good advice can not be used right now. There has been too big a shift in power in the nation for us to look at the Republicans as any kind of honest partner in anything. The efforts of the folks like the ultra-wealthy Koch brothers have shifted our discourse so far to the right that things which would have had politicians thinking about spending more time with their families in the past can be said with a straight face and taken as serious.At a time when the wealth of this nation is once again concentrated in the hands of a few and the rest of the nation suffers because of it, the idea of class warfare has to be revived and considered. I hate the term "class warfare" mostly because I don’t like the meme of war when it comes to politics, any kind of nod to the acceptance of political violence, even rhetorically is dangerous in my mind. Still, in this case it is accurate.The Koch brothers, Rupert Murdock, the Coors Family, and other old-ish money Right Wing folks have used the power of money to push an agenda that helps them and their fortunes grow but does nothing for the people of this nation over all. They are the source of the deregulatory push that has us recalling more than a quarter million pounds of lunch meat and a quarter billion eggs. They are the folks who helped muddy the water about cigarettes and climate change. All so they would not have to spend some of their incredibly massive profits to make their products and the production of their products less harmful.This kind of power can only be overcome by the power of the people. The thing about the power of the people is it only works when they are united. The old slogan does not read "The people, fractious, will never be defeated", hell, that doesn’t even rhyme.One problem we face is the way the tax code is written. The idea that we are going to increase taxes on folks making more than 250,000 a year just feels too close to home. Almost no one you know makes that kind of money, yet, it is close enough that we many of us can imagine it. In my work life I have made 100,000 one year. I did it selling cars, not working in an office (and yeah there is a giant gaping whole in my soul from it). It was a hell of a lot of money and I can imagine what it would be like to make twice that.Even folks who make somewhere between $50,000 and $75,0000 a year feel like they could get to this level. Even though they are not likely to, even though they don’t know anyone who makes that kind of money, they think about it and feel like it is attainable.This makes it hard for us to talk about making the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share. If you think that you are going to be in that group, well you don’t want to do something that would hurt you later. What is needed is to start talking about the top brackets being in the 1 million dollar range and above. Even the most optimistic middle class worker does not see a day when he will be making a million dollars a year from his or her job.Looking at it this way puts the fight in the proper perspective. The other thing we need to start doing is talking about the earnings of the ultra-wealthy in ways that everyone can grasp. A million dollars a year is a lot of money, but really it is hard for many people to intellectualize a million. Take a moment and try to imagine a million pennies or a million cars or even a million slices of bread. Very few things that we deal with in our lives come in million packs so we don’t have a good grasp of what that number means.However, everyone has had a regular pay check, so if we say that we want to raise the taxes of those who make $38,461 every two weeks, 79,000 a month (which is the same as 1 million a year) then it comes into focus just how far away most of us are from being hit by these taxes. It is hard to defend a tax break for people who make more in month than most households make in an entire year.This is the type of number we have to start using and talking about if we want to bring people together. Folks like Joe Wurzelbacher the famous "Joe the Plumber" like to think that letting the tax cuts for the top 2% of earners expire is going to impact them. To get them to wake up we need to throw a little cold water on their day dreams of avarice.The other component of the new class warfare is getting the unemployed to band together. The job situation in this nation makes each person looking for work see all the others as competition. If there are five people for every job opening, then that is four people you have to beat out for that job. This robs us of the cohesion that the unemployed should have. As long as we are fighting each other, we won’t be fighting the very folks who will off shore 10,000 jobs for a .5% increase in revenue.There are 14 million unemployed and under-employed adult citizens in this nation. If they all turned out and voted for one party it would be a wave that would dwarf 2006. These votes can be had, if the Democrats will focus on two things, first that the Radical Republicans will not act to create jobs. They want the "market" to do that. They have voted against every single action that helped the recession so far and would continue to do so if in power. Democrats need to stand up and say if the market won’t create jobs then it is the job of the government to do so.The second thing is to say that the ultra-wealthy are going to help pay for these jobs. They make more two weeks than you make all year, and we are going to make them pay 5% of everything over 79,000 a month to help put the people of this country back to work.This is the win/win the Democrats need. It puts the working folks (better known as 98% of the population) on their side and puts the screws to the folks who have had it so good for so long. It also has the long term affect of reducing some of the power of the ultra-wealthy to influence the debate.As I said before, I don’t like this kind of politics. It has its dangers mostly in stoking anger of one group of Americans against another. But there comes a time when we have to deal with what is not what we would like to believe. There is a line from Young Frankenstein: "A riot is an ugly sink, unt, I think that it is just about time dat ve had vone!"Class warfare is an ugly thing too, but it is just about time that we start to engage in it. The fat cats and ultra-wealthy have been doing so for years, now it has to be our turn.
The floor is yours.

Looks like my newest blogging software has a few tics which need to be worked out. Notice no paragraphs?

Scott Wins Ove McColum

Rick Scott put one past the polsters on Tuesday as the man beat Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Republican primary. Scott was edging out McCollum by only a few points, and McColum would not concede the race until after 12:30 this morning. It's been fun watching these two guys scratch and claw at each other. Scott will be one to watch after this " upset." Next up will be the Rubio/Christ,Meek run for the Senate, which I hope that the polsters are wrong once again with their Christ picks. Wake up Florida! You do not need Christ in the Senate.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This is a test post. this is it

Software Problem Continues

Still attempting for find a free program that will let me post article links which would be hidden behind a set of words. So far, not such luck. I have 4 more versions of blogging software to try. My current one ( Zoundry Raven ) has an icon for the link but it is inoperable. Haven't figured out why as of yet, but I am working on it.

This is not a good day to be having to mess with this stuff, what with the elections going on down here. I will update the election results sometime today. I Hope!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

New Blogging Software

   which I have used in the past. It'll take me a little time to get used to this one all over again, but, at least I am somewhat up and running once again.

    I really liked using Windows Live Writer but I've been having problems with it in the Windows 7 operating system. Hopefully, I can find a work around to the problem..

   Some of the primary elections here in Florida are coming up on Tuesday, so later today I will posting my thoughts on that whole farce. It has been fun to watch and listen to over the past few months, especially among the Republican candidates.

   See you in a bit!

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