One of the most hilarious talking points coming from far-right Republicans and the Tea Party is that when “red states” like Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are asked to bail out California or Massachusetts, that’s when they will finally become “fed up with socialism” and secede from the Union once and for all.
The problem with that meme is that it has no basis in reality: the more prosperous and Democrat-leaning areas of the United States are likely to be subsidizing dysfunctional “red states,” many of which are suffering from insufficient tax revenue and an abundance of low-wage workers who don’t have much to tax. Tea Party Republicans like to point out that poor cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Camden, New Jersey are run by Democrats, but they neglect to mention that some of the most affluent parts of the United States—from Manhattan to the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area to Cambridge, MA to Seattle to Chicago’s North Shore suburbs—are dominated by the Democratic Party. People in those heavily Democratic areas pay a lot of federal income taxes, and quite often, their tax dollars go to red states.
“10 red states that mooch off the federal government” by Alex Henderson
What’s the common denominator among the states listed by Mr. Henderson besides being red?
They are so-called right-to-work states.
What’s the obvious conclusion?
Weak labor = lower pay = lower living standards for everyone = weak economy (except for the rich) = lower levels of local and state tax revenues = rest of us subsidizing poor red states
Corporations Did Not Build America, Labor Did
When labor was strong in America, average people like my father, a high school graduate, could find jobs and make the kind of money that allowed for a respectable and decent middle class life. We were far from wealthy, but he made enough to pay the mortgage and to buy a new car every so often. We went on modest, little, middle class vacations to places like Ocean City, MD, Washington, DC, and once to Myrtle Beach.
Three of his four kids went to college right out of high school. None of us graduated with crushing student loan debt. Only the one who went on to become a school teacher had – and still has – the protections and the benefits unique to organized labor.
The money my father spent during his working life through the 50s, 60s, and 70s went right back into the local economy. He and people just like him were directly responsible for creating jobs and generating taxes by virtue of that spending.
Make no mistake about it. It never has been and never will be rich people or corporations who are most responsible for job creation. This economy works from the middle out, not the top down. Unless you’ve been duped into believing the lie of trickle-down economics, you understand that truth. The corporation can only exist and thrive if there are markets to serve, and those markets are driven by consumer consumption. Take away consumers’ ability to consume, and you cut the throat of our capitalist system.
Who Are the Real Moochers
Now, to anyone tempted to respond that the red states on this list are spending too much on its citizens already; that social safety net programs need to be cut to save money and to motivate those moochers to get jobs; that all of this is why these states need federal subsidies, save it.
That’s bullshit, and you know it. At least you should know it. To not know it is simply a display of willful ignorance of the truth.
The poorest states in the nation are poor and collecting aid from the feds because their citizens cannot find jobs that pay decent wages. This is despite the fact that Republican legislators pass laws and Republican governors sign these so-called “right-to-work” laws into existence as incentives to attract and retain business.
Here’s the reality. Companies in those states can pay their workers less because they know they are protected from organized labor by right-to-work laws which ought to be called “no-right-to-organize” laws.
Stop Voting Against Yourself
There is ONE political party and only ONE who stands AGAINST average citizens and AGAINST labor. One.
Any vote for any Republican anywhere is a vote for a person who, today, voluntarily represents the one party squarely against you and your own economic self-interest unless, of course, you are among the 2% of Americans making $250,000.00 or more per year. I can see why those folks vote for Republicans.
I can’t see why anyone else would.
The only explanation is that they have been duped into believing that the GOP and its policies contain one scintilla of concern or interest in them, or in anything likely to benefit anyone outside the 2-percenters.
This is not about hand-outs to able-bodied but lazy individuals. This is not about Reagan’s mythical welfare queens having more and more children to collect more welfare. You do know that welfare was reformed under Clinton, right?
What this is about is who the real moochers are, and that makes it about politics.
It’s about which party gives a shit about the rest of us – even a little – and which party considers the rest of us to be expendable resources to be used in whatever way most benefits them.
This November’s midterm matters. It matters a lot.
To be sure, the Democrats are no prize. If only the majority of them would actually be Democrats, that would make our choices even clearer. The Republicans, however, are squarely against anything and everything that doesn’t benefit the already-rich and powerful.
Here’s some harsh reality.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not on that list of rich and powerful people. It’s far past the time for you to stop pretending that you ever will be.
If you’re reading this and you think you’re a Republican, you’ve been lied to and you’ve been duped. It’s time to for you to stop being willfully ignorant of the truth and of the facts.
If you’re reading this and don’t plan to vote in November, you’re part of the problem. Not voting only compounds the problems we face, and you can be assured people like this person will be voting.
You need to understand these realities and be thinking about all of this when – not IF, but WHEN – you vote in November.
It’s this straight-forward: A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote against your own economic self-interest unless you’re in the top 2%.