The World Economy Has Embraced Conservatism

Low Tide Driftwood wallpaper, sunset, beach

Low Tide Driftwood wallpaper

 

The world’s economy is becoming conservative/libertarian, The World’s Richest 8% Earn Half of All Planetary Income

Wealth-inequality is always far higher than income-inequality, and therefore a reasonable estimate of personal wealth throughout the world would probably be somewhere on the order of the wealthiest 1% of people owning roughly half of all personal assets. These individuals might be considered the current aristocracy, insofar as their economic clout is about equal to that of all of the remaining 99% of the world’s population.

Milanovich says: “Among the global top 1 per cent, we find the richest 12 per cent of Americans, … and between 3 and 6 per cent of the richest Britons, Japanese, Germans and French. It is a ‘club’ that is still overwhelmingly composed of the ‘old rich’,” who pass on to their children (tax-free in the many countries that have no estate-taxes) the fortunes that they have accumulated, and who help set them up in businesses of their own – often after having sent them first to the most prestigious universities (many in the United States), where those children meet and make friends of others who are similarly situated as themselves.

Framing be a large part of our economic problems, or at least discussion them, i wish they had not used the word “earn.” Once someone has earned or otherwise accumulated some wealth, work is not a big part of the picture. Wealth erans interests. Despite what the working class hears on the news, some people are raking in plenty of cash. They do that with safe to moderately risky investments in bonds, treasury bills, mutual funds. Though those are the immediate sources of income, tracing the river of money back to its source will find a worker making something or providing a service – performing some kind of actual labor. Labor that is rewarded based on merit. The combined labor of millions of people creates enormous wealth for the few. Who decided that what the CEOs, bankers and hedge fund mangers do, constitute such rare and valuable skills and services that they must be rewarded with the income thousands of workers. If capital is the cake, why are workers getting  a smaller and smaller slice of that cake. Did the market really decide that, as conservatives and libertarians insist. Or did those who control the levers of power, absent any counter balance from workers, like strong unions, decide that they could get away with vastly over rewarding themselves and get away with it. This is whatever – a plutocratic economic system, a crony corporate economic system, economic corruption that has become the new normal – it is not merit based capitalism. This s the reality of a kind of world governance. Compared to the twisted misdirection of Fox news and Glenn Beck’s bizarro  U.N.’s Agenda 2, in which the U.N. will supersede U.S. sovereignty. Well the for’ners and international banking already have more say in U.S. legislation than the average red state conservative voter. And any attempts by people like Sen. Warren (D-MA) to reign in some of this power, are derided by conservatives as interference with their freedom.

NMMNB and The Atlantic on Rand Paul (R-KY) and peddling snake-oil to the true believers, WHEN THE GOING GETS PARANOID, THE PARANOID TURN PRO 

The Atlantic’s Philip Bump notes that Rand Paul got big laughs in a recent speech joking about the large number of diagnostic codes that will be used under Obamacare. It won’t shock you to learn that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the new codes, but this is the right doing what it does best — killing good ideas it doesn’t like by making them seem ridiculous to the rubes — and Senator Paul seems quite good at it:

An excerpt:

I’m a physician, and when you come in to see me, I put down a little diagnostic code and there was 18,000 of these. But under Obamacare, they’re going to keep you healthier, because now there’s going to be 140,000 codes. Included among these codes will be 312 new codes for injuries from animals. 72 new codes for injuries just from birds. Nine new codes for injuries from the macaw. The macaw? I’ve asked physicians all over the country: Have you ever seen an injury from the macaw?

Among other industries I have done some work with medical insurance data bases. They are an absolute necessity. The number of codes grows every year – based on hospital and doctor requirements. Steve explains the well grounded rationale for this at the link. What is funny, in a dark way, is that Paul thinks he is a physician. he seems to be gearing up for a presidential run. Good for him. Though this “I’m a physician” business is going to haunt him, Dr. Paul: Not board-certified, but self-certified

Libertarian ideology rejects most of the modern regulatory systems that protect consumers, because everyone should be responsible for determining whether the hamburger contains E. coli on his own. But does that do-it-yourself dogma apply to the regulation of medicine, too? If you’re Dr. Rand Paul, practicing ophthalmologist, the answer is emphatically yes.

According to an amusing story in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal, the Kentucky Republican Senate candidate bills himself as a “board-certified” physician even though he is not actually certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology — the only recognized body that certifies doctors in his specialty.

Paul’s only certification was provided instead by something called the National Board of Ophthalmology, which is very convenient because he operates that organization himself. As the Courier-Journal explains drily, the American Board of Ophthalmology, which maintains a fully staffed headquarters in Philadelphia, has existed for roughly a century and currently lists about 16,000 doctors on its rolls. (Most hospitals and insurance companies strongly prefer doctors who are board-certified because certification indicates that they have kept up with changes in technology, best practices and so on.) The National Board of Ophthalmology has existed since 1999, when Paul “founded” it, lists no more than seven doctors, and its address is a post-office box in Bowling Green, Ky. He had claimed to be certified by both boards, but Courier-Journal reporter Joseph Gerth quickly discovered that claim was false.

I’ve been reading this stuff from the libertarian and conservative fringe for years – we have too many certifications and boards, just let people practice Ophthalmology, heart surgery, airplane design, bridge building, whatever – without all this gov’mint red-tape. let the market decide. Once there are a few bad eye treatments or a few badly designed planes fall out of the sky, people will stop doing business with them, another triumph of the market. No doubt offering great solace to all the now blind people listening to their TV. The fringe, who are not great on fact checking or rational thought, get a kick out of Rand, just like they did his dad. You can take the clown out of the circus tent, but he’s still wearing clown shoes, and he likes it that way.

Black and White Sea Shell wallpaper – “whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot”

Black and White Sea Shell wallpaper

 

I could do a post on the conservative noise machine and their claim that Romney is really leading in the polls by 176%, but the pollster have a liberal bias. Then I decided to post about something more interesting and fact based. This is a devastating view of the Romney class of plutocrats from a conservative web site, Revolt of the Rich, Our financial elites are the new secessionists. By Mike Lofgren

I do not mean secession by physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens from time to time—for example, Erik Prince, who was born into a fortune, is related to the even bigger Amway fortune, and made yet another fortune as CEO of the mercenary-for-hire firm Blackwater, moved his company (renamed Xe) to the United Arab Emirates in 2011. What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot.

Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?

Being in the country but not of it is what gives the contemporary American super-rich their quality of being abstracted and clueless. Perhaps that explains why Mitt Romney’s regular-guy anecdotes always seem a bit strained. I discussed this with a radio host who recounted a story about Robert Rubin, former secretary of the Treasury as well as an executive at Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup.

Conservationism’s krazy uncle Sheldon Adelson lives in the U.S. but most of his billions come from Asia. Romney of course has offshore accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. Sure most of the plutocrats live here, but they’re not really here when they live 20 stories up in multi-million dollar penthouse condos and security guarded gated communities. It is one of the reasons they are willing to pander to the conservative mullahs like Ralph Reed ( who was part of the web of Jack Abramoff’s corruption and is back in action to help Romney). Congress can pass all the legislation they like to restrict personal decisions about health – the elite will always be able to buy whatever medical service they want here or fly to where they can get it. Stephen Schwarzman is the hedge fund billionaire CEO of the Blackstone Group. He has billions. When he gets up in the morning he doesn’t have to worry about not having health insurance, whether he can get a second job to pay for his kid’s dental work or how he is going to get out from under an underwater mortgage. His every material needs can be met several times over. Yet he complains about working Americans who pay no federal income tax, “You have to have skin in the game. I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.” Those people, what Schwarzman thinks of as the ungrateful peasants are the system. He and his cohorts think because they move vast sums of money around, make decisions that can and have crashed multiple economies, that they are the producers. That we would not survive without them. As Lincoln once said,”Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation.” Conservatism has come to stand against this progress, this view of the economic ties between labor and capital as a drag on the John Galts of industry, the producers like Romney and Schwarzman. Everyone else should be on one knee being grateful for these great men for moving money around. Money that at its root is a bet that labor can produce goods that will make the elites money. This is not solely an argument about wages, it is more generally about the social contract. The plutocrats who see themselves, amplified by media puppets like Fox News as exempt from contributing to the betterment of the nation via bridges, universities and government research. They have come to regard the public infrastructure with very little regard. Taken to its logical conclusion this secession from democracy and revival of a new kind of monarchism might last for a while just because they have convinced so many median income working class folks – especially in the South, to act against their own rational self interests. Romney and friends may not actually believe stuff like this, but they love and encourage it – Conservative Group Claims Obama Has ‘Communist Beliefs,’ Compares His Policies To Hitler’s

The mailer, a product of the Faith and Freedom coalition, is titled the “Voter Registration Confirmation Survey.” But its questions have little to do with registering to vote. Rather, the survey asks a host of leading inquries into how its members view the President’s record.

The options prompt the most extreme answers — with very few moderate or supportive possibilities:

As Mother Jones, who obtained the survey, points out, the Faith and Freedom coalition and particularly its head Ralph Reed are leading the effort to turn out Evangelical voters for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The group plans to spend over $10 million for this purpose.

Romney has praised Reed for his turnout efforts, saying, “Ralph Reed is doing a great job here with the Faith & Freedom Coalition. This is going to make a big impact across America and I appreciate the work you are doing here.” The Presidential candidate even gave Reed the ultimate honor of sharing a hotel with him during the convention.

Democratic bloggers and pundits could have it much easier. Just do what Republicans do, make stuff up and spit it out pretending that the bile constitutes some well-considered thought. In the real world the only Nazis are ones that side with conservatives – Neo-Nazi Minuteman ( who was running for sheriff as a Republican and supported by the state Republican Party) kills 4, himself in AZ.

 

Just in case anyone is interested in how to win an argument, just make up a position your opponent has never stood for, make the argument as wildly ridiculous as possible and proceed as though… I don’t know, was sitting  in an empty chair, Fox Wins Straw-Man Argument Against Taxing Millionaires At 100 Percent

Fox News is distorting President Obama’s economic agenda by pushing the straw-man argument that taxing the entirety of millionaires’ incomes would fund the government for less than three months. In fact, Obama has proposed no such thing, and this Republican talking point obscures the billions in revenue that would be generated from letting the Bush tax cuts expire for wealthy households.

[  ]…Steve Moore: “There Just Aren’t Enough Rich People, There Are Not Enough Millionaires And Billionaires To Pay The Bills.” Wall Street Journal editor and frequent Fox guest Steve Moore agreed with MacCallum’s straw-man argument and stated:

MOORE: Right, and that assumes that people would still work and still invest and you’d still have rich people if you took 100% of their money. But you’re right, there’s just, and the problem of course, Martha, is there just aren’t enough rich people, there are not enough millionaires and billionaires to pay the bills. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 9/24/12]

…Elizabeth MacDonald: “Taxing Millionaires At 100% Would Now Run The Federal Government For Two And A Half To Three Months.”

Did anyone else just get a little misty eyed at the prospect of the persecuted wealthy who might be taxed at a 100% rate in Fox Fantasyland. The only real proposal on the table, goodness forbid, is to raise taxes on millionaires to the same rate they were during the Clinton administration. Obama has said he would keep the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250k. Yes, Obama is surely the clone of Hitler.

Cornell University law professor William Jacobson, who writes the ridiculous blog Legal In.sur.rec.tion, has jumped the proverbial shark in his smear of Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, No, Elizabeth Warren Did Not Engage in the Unauthorized Practice of Law

At Legal In.sur.rec.tion, Professor Jacobson contends that Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Senate candidate, liberal firebrand, and Harvard law professor, has  engaged or appears to have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in the state of Massachusetts.  In support, Professor Jacobson points to numerous briefs either filed by Ms. Warren or with her listed as being “of counsel” in various federal courts around the country in which her office address is listed as being in Massachusetts.

[  ]…In making his arguments, Professor Jacobson makes a fatal error by assuming that merely preparing legal briefs in (seemingly non-Massachusetts) federal cases or providing advice on federal law while located in Massachusetts and maintaining a primary office in Massachusetts constitutes the “practice of law in Massachusetts.”    Although he cites several cases for this proposition, these cases do not go nearly as far as Professor Jacobson assumes, as they each involve cases wholly within the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts courts, specifically Massachusetts real estate transactions and Massachusetts probate matters.

He further errs in deeming “on point” a 1976 case in which the Massachusetts state bar issued an ethics opinion prohibiting a law firm from listing a “Boston Office” address on its letterhead where the firm lacked any Massachusetts-admitted attorneys but instead sought to claim that a Massachusetts firm with which it had a relationship falling short of an “associate” or “partnership” relationship constituted its “Boston Office.”   This case, however, is not “on point,” as it is not an unauthorized practice of law case but is instead a misleading communications case in which the firm was prohibited from “holding itself out to the public” as having a Massachusetts office.  Jacobson incorrectly assumes that merely listing an office location in a court filing, rather than a communication “to the public” constitutes “holding oneself out to the public” as being licensed in the jurisdiction in which one’s office is located.

But most importantly, Professor Jacobson ignores Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5(d), which states that:

“A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this jurisdiction that…are services that the lawyer is authorized to provide by federal law or other law of this jurisdiction.”

The Official Comments to Rule 5.5(d) further elaborate to make explicit that 5.5(d) permits such an attorney to have even a “systematic and continuous presence in [Massachusetts] for the practice of law as well as provide legal services on a temporary basis.”

And further, more astute legal minds than Jacobson here, Does Elizabeth Warren Have a Law License Problem?

UPDATE (2:30 PM): There’s additional discussion of possible defenses over at the National Review Online (gavel bang: commenter). As one NRO reader notes, “The post indicates that this is a federal case. You do not need to be licensed to practice law in Massachusetts to practice law in federal courts located in Massachusetts or anywhere else. Federal courts decide who can practice before them, and individual states can’t tell federal courts that an attorney cannot practice before them.”

I’m not sure of the exact points at which this becomes not just a simple case of a partisan voicing an opinion and has reached the point of legal defamation. Defamation, in this instance by Jacobson, libel by written statement on the web that is a false claim or statement of fact about another person that harms his or her reputation. Being an attorney Jacobson is well aware of the malicious falsehood of his bizarre statements against Warren, so he cannot plead ignorance. I wonder at what point Cornell University and New York Bar Association ethics inquiries kick in. It is from his standing at that university and his professional credentials on which he is resting the authority of his statements – see who I am, my opinion carries extra weight. I cannot imagine that the university is too pleased at hearing about the professors sleazy ethics.

Early November Autumn wallpaper – Republican Delusions About Race and Wealth

Early November Autumn wallpaper

Just when you think The New Republic has gathered some semblance of journalistic integrity ( I was regularly reading   Jonathan Chait, who has moved on to New York Magazine) they post columns like this – Herman Cain Played the Race Card, But Liberals Are the Ones Who Dealt It by John McWhorter

Let us imagine for a moment that a woman came forth claiming that Barack Obama had sexually harassed her fifteen years ago. What would the reaction be from liberal partisans, and assorted other supporters? We can easily imagine that there would be urgent questions about the motivations of the woman who came forward, and the media outlets that broke the news. There would likely be a furious attendance to the possibly “racist” aspects of the coverage. There would be an almost cavalier neglect of the gravity of the charge itself, as if it were somehow utterly beyond consideration that Obama had actually done it. And if the accuser were white, well, that would only further fuel liberal suspicions.

In short, the response to such allegations against Obama would involve playing the race card—and it would bear a strong resemblance to the way Herman Cain has responded to his own sexual harassment scandal. The left has been outraged at the Cain campaign’s response, but it also ought to feel a pang of recognition. If the race card is still a viable part of our national discourse in the Obama era, it is so at the behest of liberals—and it’s no less odious or callow when it is played by the left as when it is by the right.

This reads a lot like some neo-liberal nonsense trying to pass itself off as the ever so rational middle ground when it’s just right-wing talking points with ribbons and bows. Let’s take up McWhorter’s inverted logic on its face. Is Cain than playing the race card or engaging in black on black racism when he makes a disparaging joke about Anita Hill. Cain proved his right-wing bona fides with that little bit of insider wink and nod at getting away with lying about sexual harassment. After all Anita Hill was correct, Clarence Thomas lied under oath. Cain seems to be just plain lying. I think most would and should forgive and forget if Cain had made one offensive joke. That is not the case. He has engaged in a pattern of behavior that does not reflect well on his character. From the very beginning of the allegations  – which quickly came to number four and we’re still counting – Cain’s denials have been inconsistent ( among those who say Cain did engage in harassment are a Republican pollster) . Is that a case of the race card in play or caring about the facts regardless of ethnicity. Cain and the Right are the ones doing the race baiting, black on black racism and not just questioning the veracity of the women involved, they’re doubling down with another wave of harassment – Limbaugh: Gloria Allred Clarified Pronunciation Of Cain Accuser’s Name: It’s “Buy-A-Lick, As In [Slurping Sound] Buy-A-Lick”.  We’ve all been here before. Conservatives and pretend liberals like McWhorter see racial inequality as something to be dismissive of, while liberals see racism as a real phenomenon to be addressed. If liberals point out racism conservatives condemn them for pointing it out. To conservatives calling them out on their racism and throwing yet another race card temper tantrum is code for stop bothering them while they put on another kabuki festival of faux outrage. If Cain were white they’d still be strangling the truth and calling the victims names. Their playbook does not have a section about lines one never crosses because of ethics. In the conservative movement malicious, evil and devious are rationalized in the name of victory and power.

Senate candidate Clark Durant: ‘I am Debbie Stabenow’s worst nightmare’

The Grand Rapids Press U.S. Senate candidate Clark Durant, next to student Dave Eberle, talks to a group of College Conservatives at Calvin College on Thursday afternoon.

[  ]…“Does anybody think Steve Jobs should not be (sic) in the 1 percent? He made life better for the 99 percent of the rest of us. You want to create opportunities for people with their unique gifts,” he said. “They have created value and wealth.”

Durant is not America’s worse nightmare he is just another clone of the same old nightmare. A champion of delusions and dog-eat-dog plutocracy. Neither Durant or Jobs ( a Democrats by the way) ever made a dollar without labor. Some shmuck somewhere provided the labor, the service, the expertise that made Durant and Job’s wealth possible ( Jobs did not even invent Apple, Steve Wozniak made the circuit board and they put the GUI for their operating system on top of Unix – which many people used to create things and make money). I’m not calling Durant or the millions of people on the Right who think like Durant names when I say they are delusional. They are genuinely detached from reality. Abraham Lincoln said, “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”. A recent article about the Durants who believe in economic pixie dust – The Wrath of Ayn Rand

In her popular novels, Rand glorifies ambitious, fiercely independent individuals who soar and succeed by virtue of their own resources and willpower alone. It’s her ode to individualism that captivates her fans. Also the simplicity of her world view, I suspect: Rand’s is a Manichean universe populated by a few great souls on one side, and the inept masses on the other; the masses would perennially muddle in their own misery if not for the exceptional creativity and bravery of a few to do great things, and it’s up to the masses to keep out of their way. In Atlas Shrugged, Rand declares “The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time.” Upon little reflection, Rand’s reasoning is obviously specious. Who on earth rises to the top without the help of someone, anyone at all? Indeed, luck plays an important role in a person’s success, too—if you evaluate it honestly, that is. Rand’s thinking is a pleasant enough fiction for those at the top of the heap, but it’s wholly improbable, naïve—and rude.

Durant sees himself as some fictional superhero even as he lives off the expertise of others. This site’s front page is a daily reminder of the basic researcher that comes via public investment in science and technology. Discoveries made by people who are much smarter and harder working than the right-wing fake superheroes of commerce. The next generation of electronics is going to be based on graphene, whose discovery was financed by the American public.

Ari Berman on how Karl Rove’s latest smear tactics against Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Jon Tester are backfiring

The Nation’s Ari Berman says Karl Rove’s latest attack ads against Sen. Jon Tester and Elizabeth Warren are further damaging Rove’s credibility and having the opposite of his intended effect. “We saw, for example, after that ad ran, a ton of people flooded the Elizabeth Warren website. Made a lot of donations. And it helped her profile – it didn’t hurt her at all,” says Berman.

The ads, shocker, are fast and loose with the truth as well. Rove is living up to that Faustian deal he made in his youth. Though Unka Karl being an atheist I assume he is not worried about having to pay off the deal with a soul.

Mountain Stream Autumn wallpaper -“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

american landscapes, fall, autumn, trees, nature

Mountain Stream Autumn wallpaper

 

Rick Ungar’s essay at The Washington Monthly – Democrats Wrong To Play Defense On Class Warfare – is mostly a caution to Democrats and President Obama not to shy away from calling class warfare what it is, the Republican economic war against middle-class/blue-collar working class America.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday”, GOP Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan, had this to say –

Class warfare may make for good politics, but it makes for rotten economics. We don’t need a system that seeks to divide people. We don’t need a system that seeks to prey on people’s fear, envy and anxiety.

Since Ryan’s appearance – one echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during his own Sunday morning talk show turn -the GOP has been using every opportunity to parrot the phrase.

In response, the Democrats have taken every chance presented to them to once again go on defense by rejecting the allegation. By so doing, they are completely forgoing the opportunity to acknowledge that there is most assuredly such a war, it’s been raging for decades, and it’s high time that people begin to focus on who is on the side of the rich and who is on the side of the middle class and the poor.

Considering that this war was launched in the mid-1970’s, when CEO’s decided that it no longer served their interest to continue paying their workers a fair wage, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could be shocked to learn that the middle class has been under attack since Jimmy Carter sat in the White House or be persuaded that, somehow, Barack Obama is responsible for its creation.

Back in the 1970’s, before the first shot was fired, the richest 1 percent of Americans earned 9 percent of the income. By 2007, that 1 percent was taking 23.5 percent of the money. The numbers are even more depressing when we add in the next 4 percent at the top of the income scale. Meanwhile, everyone else has been left to suffer stagnating household incomes.

Ryan has cojones the size of watermelons to seat there and talk about the politics of fear and envy to divide America. There would be no Republican party, no conservative movement, no right-wing hate radio, no Rupert Murdoch, no influence by right-wing sugar daddies like the Koch brothers without the politics of fear and hysteria the Right thrives on. It is not something to admire or respect, the phenomenon that conservatives have managed to use various kinds of fear – big gov’mint, ethnocentrism, fear of cultural changes, Islam, a woman’s right to have autonomy over her own body and nonexistent religious persecution – to get a sizable minority of middle-class/blue-collar to vote against their own best interests.

Not only have the forces of the wealthy, under the capable direction of four star generals like Charles and David Koch, managed to have their way with relative ease, they’ve cleverly succeeded in convincing many of their victims to join in on their side.

Exhibit ‘A’ to support that reality would be the Tea Party, a collection of middle class people financed by the Koch brothers who have locked arms with their enemy without even knowing they have done so. By sounding a false alarm about the dangers of big government, the upper class has fooled these people into believing that laying down the only defenses they’ve ever had – government and unions-is the way to solve the problems that plague them.

With successes like this in hand, it’s no wonder that Republicans believe they can sell the notion that Obama is somehow responsible for trying to start a class war that has already been going on for decades.

If you go to conservative websites you can read posts and comments b y these conservative middle-class culture warriors who have declared war on themselves. One good example of how they mangle reality to suit how they view the world: President Obama and Democrats are all socialists because they went through with loans to the auto industry started by Bush 43 and approved by Congressional Republicans. At which point the U.S. government held stock in two auto companies as collateral for those loans. Ronald Reagan had the government outright seize ownership of the savings and loans during their big collapse in the 1980s, he is still the conservative saint of everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin. If Obama and Democrats are socialists for proceeding with a plan already approved by Republicans, that should, with some consistency of thinking, make Regan the living embodiment of Karl Marx. One other myth that will not go away is the belief by conservatives especially self-described tea partiers, is that Obama raised their taxes. Not only has Obama not raised taxes or proposed raising taxes on the middle-class, he has cut taxes several times. Again, Saint Ronnie raised taxes four times. It was Bush who was steering the nation’s financial ship and decided not to enforce the bare-bones financial regulation we had left. These are some of the things Bush and Republicans could have done to avert the recession or made it less disastrous:

Alan Greenspan’s Federal Reserve, which lowered interest rates without increasing regulation, refused to enforce a 1994 law requiring prudent underwriting standards and turned a blind eye to abuses in the process of loan securitization.

The Office of Thrift Supervision, which let savings banks under its supervision engage in outlandishly risky practices.

The Wall Street firms that bankrolled subprime lenders and turned their high-risk loans into securities

The credit-rating agencies that blessed toxic subprime securities with Triple-A ratings.
The SEC’s failure to police those agencies.

And, of course, the subprime lenders themselves.

Somehow the recession is still Obama’s fault, or the fault of liberalism, or if you’re fond of right-wing libertarians on the net is was the combination of statism and too much regulation. By believing bogus urban myths, the kind that Glenn Beck manufactures faster than Hostess makes Twinkies, the right-wing middle-class is prolonging this recession and setting us up for another one. Which you can bet they will also wiggle out of taking responsibility. These are also the same people who buy into Social Security being a Ponzi scheme, think doing away with minimum wages will create millions of jobs, if we only started letting the kids work in coal mines again the economy would be booming, if we let move health shattering pollution into the  America’s air would have no economic problems and if we could just bring Fonzi back to give the jukebox a good wack we’d all live in paradise.

While we’re still on the subject of class warfare, urban myths and the wing-nut echo chamber, let’s kill this crap about the wealthy carrying too much of the federal tax burden – Understanding Class Warfare Hysteria

Next, you focus on the share of taxes each group pays. Few Americans have a sense of just how large a share of the pie is brought in by the most affluent. For that reason, the share of taxes paid by the rich is likewise surprising.

So put the two together, and you have results like this soundbite:

According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the 1 percent of households with the highest incomes pay 38 percent of federal income taxes. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of federal income taxes. Meanwhile, 46 percent of households pay no federal income tax at all.

And the president thinks that the wealthy aren’t paying the fair share?

That’s Chris Wallace on last weekend’s Fox News Sunday, but versions of this statistic are uttered almost every day.

Here is a fact that Fox, Chris and the echo chamber leaves out – the top 11% owns about 72% of the nation’s assets. The bottom 50.2% own about 2.8%. Why should people who own less pay the upper 11%’s share of taxes. This is also part of the myth that those in the bottom half pay no taxes. They pay a regressive amount of payroll taxes. They also pay regressive sales taxes, state taxes and fees. Basic arithmetic, would you rather make more money and pay a little more in taxes or make low wages and pay no federal income tax. Fox would have everyone believe that working class America has it made with those low wages because they do not pay federal income taxes. The average American, which includes the average tea smoker, will never make it into Bill Gates or Koch brothers income territory, but should that happen they’ll start to get the bulk of their income from capital gains and pay an effective federal tax rate of 15% ( thus the Buffet Rule). As a kind of bonus, the feds will also pay you to buy a McMansion by way of tax incentives. The conservative working class is not fighting big  gov’mint or that mythical rising tide of socialism they have been paranoid about for sixty years, they are fighting for the right-wing plutocratic masters who have lowered their standard of living and made them more powerless.

As though anyone needed more evidence that Herman Cain is a racist – CAIN: Black Community Was ‘Brainwashed’ Into Voting For Obama

Herman Cain, the upstart 2012 GOP candidate, said Wednesday that the black community has been “brainwashed” into voting Democrats into office.

In an interview with CNN tonight, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, said that African Americans have been told not to consider conservative points of view.

“I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the nomination as a conservative,” Cain said. “So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.”

You know who else thought African-Americans could not think for themselves, president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis who said, “The condition of slavery with us is, in a word, Mr. President, nothing but the form of civil government instituted for a class of people not fit to govern themselves. It is exactly what in every State exists in some form or other. It is just that kind of control which is extended in every northern State over its convicts, its lunatics, its minors, its apprentices. It is but a form of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern themselves. We recognize the fact of the inferiority stamped upon that race of men by the Creator, and from the cradle to the grave, our Government, as a civil institution, marks that inferiority.” Jefferson Davis and Herman Cain are thus blessed with some secret knowledge and insight that African-Americans, other than black conservatives, do not have. Cain like many in the Antebellum South believe black Americans to be weak-minded and weak-willed. If they would just all do as Cain says they’ll see the light. Cain has some special tin-foil that makes him immune from all the liberal “brainwashing” that other black Americans do not. Cain stands for the same economic policies as every other conservative – America as a plutocracy with ever-growing income disparity, even less opportunity to move up the economic ladder and fewer educational opportunities.

This is Herman Cain's America and he plans to keep it this way

 

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” –  Warren Buffett

“In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest.

Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.” – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations