Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are They Blind, Or What?

Reader LM writes:
Why do poor republicans identify with CEOs and their outrageous bonuses, their stockpiling cash, and their not hiring?

I just saw a friend post a thing about the military saying "I'm too busy protecting your freedom to occupy Wall Street." What does one thing have to do with another? Is it more American to pay the upper echelons of business at an outrageous rate and not use it to hire people to put them back to work?

Who is creating this class warfare: the ones who perpetrate it or the ones who point it out?

The poor and middle classes are the 99%, whether they're Democrats or Republicans, and they are protecting the ones who are screwing them over. Is it just that the Republican poor and middle classes think that someday they'll be the wealthiest and when they get there they don't want to have to pay more? I mean, if the 1% were ACTUALLY providing the jobs then they might have a point, but they're not. They're spending their time trying to figure out more loopholes to screw the 99% in new and interesting ways.
This is a question that's perplexed me for most of the last 10-15 years. It should be clear by now to most people that the rich are taxed at a disproportionately low rate, and receive tax breaks or exploit loopholes in the tax code that the middle class and the poor can't get or can't use (mostly due to the fact that they are poor or middle class). The wealthiest 1% of Americans corrupt our political system with their lobbying dollars to tilt laws and regulations to their favor, and receive health care access and benefits that are far beyond what the average working stiff can receive or afford. The 1% are even favored after death, being able to leave an even larger portion of their estate to their descendants than ever before, encouraging the establishment of a permanent upper class, the very thing that estate taxes are intended to prevent.

I don't get it. To me, this chart says it all:

Obviously, though, not everyone either understands or believes that chart. If more people did, there'd be riots in the streets, far beyond what Occupy Wall Street has managed so far, riots so big that the alleged anonymous soldier in LM's quote would either be called out to stop them, or join in. Maybe the math is too hard for most Americans. But saying that Americans are bad at math doesn't excuse this level of ignorance. Everyone has to eat, everyone has to have a place to sleep, and the cost of both of those necessities has skyrocketed in the last 30 years. Yet, perversely, the Republican poor and middle classes enthusiastically support the very policies, people, and legal actions that create higher costs, defeat their attempts to advance, and actively deny them the very freedoms and opportunities they claim to desire and possess.

In the last few months, however, we've begun to see the signs of an awakening among the American people. The Occupy movement is the most obvious example, as are the recall effort against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and the defeat of Ohio's anti-labor law. Maybe Americans are regaining their senses, after slumbering for far too long. And, to my faithful fan LM, I want to show that it's not necessarily the soldiers who are voicing that illogical, self-denying sentiment about "protecting our freedoms." In fact, it looks like it's just some Repug shills: via def shepard :
"For too long, our voices have been silenced, suppressed and ignored in favor of the voices of Wall Street and the banks and the corporations," said Joseph Carter, a 27-year-old Iraq war veteran who marched Wednesday to Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the movement that has spread worldwide.

The former Army sergeant from Seattle spoke to fellow Occupy protesters and passersby on Broadway after joining about 100 veterans marching in uniform from the Vietnam Veterans Plaza through Manhattan's financial district nearby.

Their unemployment rate outstrips the national average and is expected to worsen. They worry about preservation of First Amendment rights. And they're angry.


"For 10 years, we have been fighting wars that have enriched the wealthiest 1 percent, decimated our economy and left our nation with a generation of traumatized and wounded veterans that will require care for years to come," said Carter, who leads the national Iraq Veterans Against the War group.

  Maybe after an Arab Spring, we're entering an American Autumn.

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