“It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent…Nonetheless, Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, has denounced ‘mobs’ and ‘the pitting of Americans against Americans.’ The G.O.P. presidential candidates have weighed in, with Mitt Romney accusing the protesters of waging ‘class warfare,’ while Herman Cain calls them ‘anti-American.’ My favorite, however, is Senator Rand Paul, who for some reason worries that the protesters will start seizing iPads, because they believe rich people don’t deserve to have them. “
Forgive the debt of the 99%? Really? So, let me get this straight — the proposal is that everyone who’s ever outspent their means, who’s run up 10s of thousands of dollars in debt on credit cards (that no one forced them to incur), who’s “had” to buy a 55 inch tv and flat-screens in every room, and everyone who “has” to lease a new Escalade because a 5 year old used SUV isn’t “good enough,” and everyone that “must” have a week or two in a shore house every year, they all now get to be free and clear of their responsibilities? And that solves the perceived “problems” in the financial sector…..how? Because people will never over-extend themselves again? Because it’s now okay to drive a 5 year old car? (Mine is 7 years old, by the way, and I’ll be driving it til it stops running.) Because it’s not “fair” that I should have to pay for all of the stuff I’ve bought? Don’t get me wrong: I opposed the bail-out of the banks, too, on the terms (or, rather, non-terms) it was done. And I’m sure this is a popular idea, as I can see from the reblogs; I just like my plans to: (a) make sense, and (b) not absolve people of responsibility for their own actions. (I mean, seriously, no one made me incur any of the credit card debt I’ve accumulated over the years — I chose to do so. I have also chosen to pay it all off because that’s what you do.) Just sayin’….
I’m going to Re-blog this comment because it seems to be a common sentiment and it needs to die.
this entire argument is based on ontological sentiment: poor people with debt are evil sinners doomed to burn in Hell for their wickedness. Flat screen tv’s are fornication and flashy ghetto SUV’s with shiny rims are gluttony. I am not going to Hell because I am frugal and pay my debts. I am a better person and you should be one too.
I don’t know why this sentiment is so popular with people. your betters don’t think it. the people being protested don’t think it, they think you and me are dumbasses because we (well you, I don’t anymore) attach morality to the check I write for my mortgage. You are not going to go to heaven if Citibank gets it’s mortgage from you. You are also not a bad person if you don’t pay your mortgage, especially if you can’t. Those being protested have no problems spending other people’s money. One could even argue that to be rich means, de facto, to spend another’s money. this was the case in the past and will be again in the future.
Anyway, this proposal, which isn’t anyone’s really, just something I read and put on Tumblr, is supposed to be irrational (or better, ambiguous), not rational. It is supposed to sound catastrophic and scary to those who have money and want the system to exist more or less like it does now and enacting this would be really really bad for them.
the reason it must also be ambiguous is because the reasoning for opposing the protestors (and what they ‘stand’ for) is ambiguous but popular sentiment. You can pick any reason you want. Herman Cain blaming the unemployed for being unemployed. Ron Paul blaming the Fed. Republicans blaming Blacks and Latinos for buying houses. Republicans blaming taxes and regulations as the cause of poor job creation. Republicans blaming the social safety net for our national debt. your own ontological opposition to debt.
In fact, I’d say now that if the protestors kept this and other ambiguous messages, they actually could be a Left’s version of the tea party. the only thing they are missing is force which hopefully they will start to now amass.
Rarely have I seen a more unpatriotic public display.
How to Create More Jobs By Lowering Wages: Texas and America
Perry and Romney can duke it out over who created the most jobs, but governors have as much influence over job growth in their states as roosters do over sunrises.
States don’t have their own monetary policies so they can’t lower interest rates to spur job growth. They can’t spur demand through fiscal policies because state budgets are small, and 49 out of 50 are barred by their constitutions from running deficits.
States can cut corporate taxes and regulations, and dole out corporate welfare, in efforts to improve the states’ “business climate.” But studies show these strategies have little or no effect on where companies locate. Location decisions are driven by much larger factors — where customers are, transportation links, and energy costs.
If governors try hard enough, though, they can create lots of lousy jobs. They can drive out unions, attract low-wage immigrants, and turn a blind eye to businesses that fail to protect worker health and safety.
Rick Perry seems to have done exactly this. While Texas leads the nation in job growth, a majority of Texas’s workforce is paid hourly wages rather than salaries. And the median hourly wage there was $11.20, compared to the national median of $12.50 an hour.
Texas has also been specializing in minimum-wage jobs. From 2007 to 2010, the number of minimum wage workers there rose from 221,000 to 550,000 – that’s an increase of nearly 150 percent. And 9.5 percent of Texas workers earn the minimum wage or below – compared to about 6 percent for the rest of the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state also has the highest percentage of workers without health insurance. Texas schools rank 44th in the nation in per-pupil spending.
The Perry model of creating more jobs through low wages seems to be catching on around America.
According to a report out today from the Commerce Department, the median income of U.S. households fell 2.3 percent last year – to the lowest level in fifteen years (adjusted for inflation). That’s the third straight year of declining household incomes. Part of this is loss of jobs. Part is loss of earnings.
More and more Americans are retaining their jobs by settling for lower wages and benefits, or going without cost-of-living increases. Or they’ve lost a higher-paying job and have taken one that pays less. Or they’ve joined the great army of contingent workers, self-employed “consultants,” temps, and contract workers – without healthcare benefits, without pensions, without job security, without decent wages.
It’s no great feat to create lots of lousy jobs. A few years ago Michele Bachmann remarked that if the minimum wage were repealed “we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.”
I keep on hearing conservative economists say Americans have priced themselves out of the global high-tech labor market. That’s baloney. The productivity of American workers continues to soar. The problem is fewer and fewer Americans are sharing the gains. The ratio of corporate profits to wages is the highest it’s been since before the Great Depression.
Besides, how can lower incomes possibly be an answer to America’s economic problem? Lower incomes mean less overall demand for goods and services — which translates into even fewer jobs and even lower wages.
In short, the Perry (and Bachmann) model of job growth condemns Americans to lower and lower living standards. That’s nothing to crow about.
It’s really hard for me to see how lowering the minimum wage really helps unemployment. Unemployment isn’t the problem, people not having the money to survive is the problem. Sure you can drop the minimum wage and get everyone employed to make that little percentage number drop, but those people getting paid 1, 2, 3 dollars an hour are not any better off. They still can’t afford to survive in this country. We need more jobs that pay well enough for the standard of living. The goal isn’t eliminating unemployment, the job is to have everyone gainfully employed.
Given the Opportunity, the Right Can Offer No Defense for Politicizing 9/11
Conservatives own 9/11. No liberals died that day in that famously liberal city; no Muslims, no gays, no feminists, no environmentalists. The first responders who ran into those burning buildings, while everyone else ran for safety, had all burned their union cards. No union thugs died that day. Only rock-ribbed Republicans — the only true Americans — died on 9/11, because it’s impossible for liberals to be heroes or patriots. Conservatives own 9/11.
Which explains why this post by New York liberal Paul Krugman was the worst thing ever:What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
Sure, the Bush administration used 9/11 as an excuse to engage in a long, pointless, expensive, bloody war in Iraq. Sure, we’ve seen torture become as American as apple pie. Sure, we’ve hatred of Muslims become twisted into something that pretends to be an American value. And of course, we’ve seen conservatives claim that liberals don’t “get” fighting terrorism — even after President Obama got Osama Bin Laden.
But is that any reason to point all of that out? The rightwing blogosphere says nay. Breitbart’s Big Journalism rushes to familiar ground, playing the victim card against Krugman for writing about 9/11 on 9/11. At no point in a post dripping with outrage and grievance is a counter-argument made against Krugman’s charges — because, of course, there isn’t one.
Anti-Muslim bigot Jim Hoft takes a similar approach, clucking over how “disgusting” the post is, without answering — or even pretending to answer — a single one of Krugman’s charges. In fact, Hoft simply declares it awful, without even explaining why. Likewise, Erick Erickson.
If you need proof that even the right realizes there’s no defense for their post-9/11 actions and policies, there ya go. They can’t come up with one.
So, of course, they don’t bother.
Just another example of right-wingers throwing a tantrum because the truth hurts. — Ryking
I’m not about to say that only the right-wing did or does this, but it explains well why I have a really hard time accepting 9/11 as “Patriot Day” or watching any coverage about it. It’s something raw and real to me, something we should remember as a tragedy, and maybe as an awakening about where America really stands in the world’s eyes, but instead its just been politicized, and it makes me sick to the stomach to watch politicians and the media use it to bootstrap their policies and opinions.
what’s wrong with ron paul?
- He doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state.
- He believes abortion should be illegal.
- He doesn’t support the repeal of DoMA and didn’t support the repeal of DADT.
- He doesn’t support putting more money into inner-city schools, but does support vouchers for religious schools.
- He believes creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools.
- He doesn’t believe HIV causes AIDS.
- While he doesn’t support a federal ban on gay marriage, he also doesn’t support a federal law legalizing gay marriage. Some see this as a states’ rights issue, and this is how he frames it, but he does support other federal legalization movements (drugs, for example).
- His newsletter spouted horrible racist content for twenty years. He denies writing any of it, but if he allowed this content to go out under his name, he either approved it or was so ignorant of both the type of people he associates with and the type of content going under his name that he shouldn’t be trusted to run anything.
- He believes in reinstating the gold standard, which most economists believe was one of the major causes of several financial crises at the turn of the century, including the Great Depression.
- He believes in free market capitalism.
- He wants to get rid of Affirmative Action, which has been shown time and again to be ineffective and not good enough.
His stance on drugs and wars win him a lot of liberal fans, but only if they don’t look at literally anything else he stands for.
Better, shorter article: what isn’t wrong with Ron Paul?
this is ridiculous. i can’t possibly comment on all of it but…
- um…. source?
- he does NOT believe abortion should be illegal, he is simply against the state funding it
- paul doesn’t believe in anyone forcing their definition of marriage on each other, which is why he believes in federal marriage laws and also does not support the repeal of doma. i STRONGLY disagree with him on the latter, but that is another matter. the second point is factually inaccurate, paul voted to repeal dadt.
- i find it hard to believe that paul supports religious school vouchers seeing as he does not believe in high government spending, and vouchers are certainly a welfare program
- there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with teaching creationism alongside evolution as long as you present them correctly
- i think the hiv-aids thing is actually his son rand
- he supports a decriminalization of drugs because the war on drugs is highly illiberal AND costly which gay marriage is not. an advantage of federalism is that it allows states to learn from each other rather than being mandated to from above.
- i agree that the newsletter thing is incredibly dubious but i can’t comment any further on that cos i don’t know anything else
- the gold standard is possibly one of the only ways for us to fix our financial system; paper money has no value and inflation is harmful. the gold standard would help reverse this
- why is believing in free market capitalism a bad thing? you assumed a lot about your readership bullet-pointing that
- if you yourself admit that affirmative action is pants, why do you not support its abolition?
Is it take-little-kids-to-school-o’clock again?
- Source on Ron Paul’s views on church and state, specifically an article on the subject written by Ron Paul himself: http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul148.html
- Ron Paul on his view that life begins at conception and that abortion should be illegal (though he skirts the issue by saying that he would strongly encourage every state to ban it instead of issuing a federal ban, which seems odd given his votes in federal abortion-related issues): http://www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues/abortion/
- Ron Paul definitely supports DoMA. (each word is a link to a source on that one, and the last two are an article written by him about how DoMA is necessary and an article about how he bashed Obama this weekend for trying to end DoMA)
- You’re correct that he did call vouchers welfare and vote against them, but only ones that applied to allowing inner city kids from DC (read: black kids) to attend secular private schools. He did vote yes, however, on federal vouchers to allow kids to attend Christian schools. http://www.ontheissues.org/2012/Ron_Paul_Education.htm
- There is something inherently wrong with teaching them alongside each other in science classes, namely that one is a scientific theory and the other is not. I don’t care what your religious beliefs are, but don’t try to shove them into science class as though they’re an equally valid (in a scientific sense) perspective.
- The HIV not causing AIDS thing (along with other ridiculous views like abortions causing breast cancer) are believed by Ron and Rand Paul’s “medical association,” which was created by conservatives who didn’t like being held to standards like “honesty” and “real science” by the AMA. http://cincinnati.com/blogs/nkypolitics/2010/09/28/paul-medical-group-hiv-doesnt-cause-aids-abortion-increases-breast-cancer-risk/#
- Being right about drugs doesn’t mean he’s right about anything else. A broken clock is right twice a day.
- Google the newsletters. Don’t pretend they’re defensible because you’re too lazy to read the vitriol he or one of his cronies spewed for two decades against non-whites.
- The value of gold is as arbitrary as the value of anything else. Gold has no inherent value, just like paper money. The difference is that unlike paper money, the gold standard isn’t scalable. The gold standard is Arial to the Helvetica of not using it.
- I did assume a lot about my readership by including that bullet point. I assumed they weren’t spoiled children, which you have to be to think free market capitalism isn’t an inherently terrible idea that stifles competition by allowing those with the most money to rule over everyone else, the gap between rich and poor increasing until we return to feudalism. An unregulated free market on a large scale is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a society. It’s great in small groups, but after a certain point, all there are is monolithic monopolies and the serfs that feed them.
- I don’t support Affirmative Action being abolished because we’d be worse off without it. As it stands, a white man convicted of a felony is more likely to get hired than an equally-qualified black man with no criminal record. White people still get paid more (sometimes as much as a third more) for the same jobs with the same qualifications. People with “black names” are often overlooked, regardless of qualifications. Affirmative Action has brought us up to the point of having half a chance (literally, half the chance an equally-qualified white person has) of success. It hasn’t done enough, and without it, the statistics would be even more dire.
And just to make this smackdown a bit sweeter, here’s a picture of Dr. Paul with the owners of white nationalist website Stormfront:
omg this reply is so beautiful.
Sorry for the long reblog, but this is just a wonderful takedown.
This is totally worth the long long post