Michelle Obama is Wrong

Michelle Obama is wrong. On October 11, 2018, she said: “Fear is not a proper motivator.” As noble as that sentiment might be, it is wrong. Donald Trump has proven to the entire world that fear is an excellent motivator. He has motivated his base by stoking fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, fear of the free press, and now – fear of all Democrats. And as a result, his party controls all elements of the United States government.

Now the vast majority of Americans have much to fear.

We fear that the norms of civil discourse and respect in our society are decaying – with the President modeling behaviors that nobody would want of their children.

We fear that society is becoming more unequal – with the 1% gaining more money and power and the remainder of us fighting for the dregs.

We fear that our healthcare options will be stripped away, leaving us unable to afford decent healthcare and financially vulnerable to a health crisis.

We fear that rights that are protected by the Constitution are being systematically stripped away by the Republican dominated Legislative and Judicial branches.

We fear that Women’s rights are being eroded, at first slowly, but now with increasing speed and severity.

We fear that the regulations that protect our food, water, the goods we buy, and the services we use are being rolled back in ways that jeopardize our safety and security.

We fear that pollution and greenhouse gasses are destroying the planet’s ability to support life for future generations.

We fear that people who are non-white, non-christian, or non-hetero will be discriminated against or worse with no legal recourse because the courts are not supportive.

We fear that those who have money and power can do as they please with disregard for the law and human decency with no repercussions.

We fear that those who speak up about the abuse they have suffered will be humiliated, dismissed, and hounded by the self-appointed right wing trolls.

We fear that the very fabric of our society has been torn, and it is only getting worse.

But we can’t let fear paralyze us. There is still time for hope and goodness to prevail. But the window of time is closing. The longer that Republicans control the levers of government, the more damage they can do.

Historians will look back on the past two years as a very dark time in American history. This election will decide whether that darkness will deepen and our democracy will fall further into the abyss, or whether the people will take back their country and begin the long climb back to the land of the free and home of the brave. All Patriots MUST VOTE. Nothing is more important.

 

Why Would We Let Sh**hole People In?

Lets move past the word that the President used, and get to the real topic – why do we want to let people from Africa, Haiti, or other such countries in to the United States? After all, they don’t share our likeness, our values, or our culture, and they might not share our Christian religion. They bring crime, drugs, and worse. This is a huge danger to the American way that we all hold so dear. The very essence of what America means is being threatened by the sh**hole people.

But what does it mean to be an American? Are we a nation of the best people from western Europe – the kinds of people that Trump and his supporters want?

The Colonial founders of the United States were of course largely British. But even they were a mix – of aristocrats and commoners, many of whom came over as indentured servants. And shortly after the founding of the country, immigration of lesser people began. Who were these lesser people? They were the dregs of Britain – the Welsh, Scots, Cornish, or others who were escaping from the crushing poverty of economically depressed (e.g. sh**hole) areas of Britain.

But worse were to come. The 1840’s saw mass migrations of two “subhuman” classes to America – the Irish and the Germans. Both groups were fleeing intolerable sh**hole conditions of poverty, starvation and oppression. Later in the 1800s, other undesirables of racially inferior quality immigrated from sh**hole areas such as Italy and Eastern Europe. Throughout these immigration cycles, each group of newcomers was derided which every bit as much vehemence as the most anti-immigrant Republican politician offers today. But, as there were no laws restricting immigration, (except from China), our ancestors came anyway.

What kind of people were they? Were they the most educated? The richest? the ones who passed the merit tests? Of course not – they were just the opposite. But what they lacked in power and wealth was more than made up for by the qualities they did possess: the energy, bravery, and fortitude to break away from their miserable sh**hole existence  and risk everything for a chance for a better life. It was only the people with those unmatched qualities that could have created the America of today.

So let’s be honest. Most of us are from countries that at the time, were sh**hole places. And America is a Great Nation because of that, not despite it. And if we are to continue in our greatness, we need to continue to encourage those who bring new vitality, new ideas, and new innovation to our land.

We can be ruled by our own fear, and decay into an isolationist, reactionary wasteland, unwilling to change and with our best years behind us. Is this what we want for our children? And for their children?

If we want to continue as the greatest nation on Earth, we need people from sh**hole countries – more than they need us. They are the key to our future. Our past tells us so.

Killing the Goose that’s Laying the Golden Eggs

The United States is the richest country the earth has ever known. And today, the wealthiest 1% of Americans own 40% of this great wealth. The remaining 99% percent of us hold 60% of America’s wealth between us. The gap between the ultra-wealthy and the remainder of us has grown larger over the past 50 years to an unprecedented level.

The richest 1% live lives that are completely different than the rest of us. They have multiple homes – in the nicest locations – the best of everything, and never have to worry about problems of saving for retirement, healthcare, or providing for their children. When you have 10s of millions, none of those issues that the rest of us deal with on a daily basis are of concern. The rich live in a world of entitlement that insulates them from the reality of others.  They have never had it better.

 

But it isn’t enough. They want more. Donald Trump, in complete indifference to the promises he made as a candidate, is fully onboard with their desires. There are numerous examples, including his support to reduce regulations that are designed to protect people from the excesses of business, killing healthcare, reducing budgets for social programs, etc.

But the biggest and most obvious example is the misnamed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This bill includes a number of intentionally confusing provisions that contain both positive and negative implications for the 99% – but it is CLEARLY designed to provide huge benefits for the 1%. When the original versions from both the House and Senate were unveiled, they were roundly criticized as being Robin Hood in reverse.  So, we were told that they would make it better in conference.

But the latest version, unveiled just yesterday, is worse. Now it provides an even greater break for the wealthiest. Why? Because those who already have so much – wanted more – and they compelled their Republican servants in office to give it to them. And they did – to the detriment of the rest of us.

The people aren’t completely stupid. They do have a voice at the ballot box. They have been fooled before (Exhibit A – Donald Trump). But they won’t be fooled again. And this time, the social issues won’t be enough to convince people to vote against their own economic self interest.

There will be a swing in power – a huge swing – as a result of the next national election. Republicans will be thrown out of office in massive numbers. And Democrats will be empowered – even compelled – to reclaim wealth from the richest 1%. It will be ugly.

And so it will come to pass. In their greed, the rich will be brought down. They couldn’t leave well enough alone, and they will pay the price. As they should.

A Real Middle Class Tax Cut

The goal of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is to stimulate the economy and create more and better jobs. The ideal result would be a stronger American economy, based on increased manufacturing, providing good jobs that pay well without requiring higher education. Just like it used to be. It the core of Trump’s promise to Make America Great Again.

But its not what we got. What we have is a bill that rewards industries who invest in automation, but does nothing to encourage employment of more workers. And, by all analyses, it will transfer wealth from the middle class to the richest of Americans. The Republicans say that this is because the wealthy pay the most taxes, so if there is a tax cut, they will reap the largest benefits – there’s no other way to do it. That is nonsense.

Its easy to create a tax system that doesn’t reward the ultra rich. Just go back to the way it used to be when America was great. In 1965, top federal tax rate on regular income (on income over $200,000) was 70%!! And the top Corporate tax rate was 48%!! And in 1965, America WAS GREAT. At the time, our percentage of the world’s GDP was 38%, compared to 25% now. And these rates held until the early 1980s, as did America’s manufacturing preeminence in the world. In fact, the gradual lowering of the top rate to 50% in the early 1980s to 38.5% in 1987 coincided with the beginning of the decline of American manufacturing and the hollowing out of the middle class.

And what did the US do with the income it received from these taxes? It INVESTED in itself – in infrastructure, in education, in scientific research, and of course in the military. Today, we only invest in one of these – the military – because, as John Boehner used to say, “we’re broke”. But we’re only broke because we choose to be. If we return to the tax rates of when America was at its strongest, we could balance the Federal budget and have enough leftover to invest in ourselves – and Make America Great Again.

So why don’t the Republicans and Trump support such an idea? Because they are completely subservient to their wealthy donors – and those donors expect a return on their large investment. The Republicans don’t have any intention of fulfilling their promises to the middle class. The only question is – will their supporters realize the truth?