What Costco has to teach the 99-percenters who think they’re Republicans

It’s not complicated. Every retailer, restaurant, and corporation in America can do what Costco is doing, but they don’t.

Costco

Why is that?

I think it’s because the people who own and run these businesses refuse to look beyond next quarter’s financial statements. Their thought processes, their vision, and their values don’t include ways to share their wealth with their workers.

They are greedy, selfish, sons-of-bitches who want us to think that’s just how capitalism works.

That also seems to be how today’s conservatives who are outside the 1% think, too. What other explanation can there be for why they think they are Republicans?

Conservatives Don’t Seem to Understand Reality

Costco clearly has leaders, a board of directors, and shareholders who are visionary and courageous enough to implement ethical and moral business strategies that are profitable AND which include a more equitable distribution of those profits to workers in the form of livable wages.

Contrast that with the lies we’re told by Wall Street, by Big Business shills like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and the National Federation of Independent Business, by libertarian mythologists like Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute, and by Republican politicians who keep claiming that trickle-down economics works, that we should abolish a minimum wage and leave compensation to market forces, and that government interference and over-reach are stifling business and our economy.

How is it that conservatives don’t get that all of that is, of course, complete and total bullshit?

How is it that conservatives who make less than $340,000.00 – what it takes to be in the 1% – insist on voting for Republicans and their failed policies which have ALWAYS been designed to benefit the rich and powerful first and foremost?

Liberals: Time to “Welcome Their Hatred”

We need leaders like Bernie Sanders who welcome the hatred of Wall Street and Big Money.

Compare Bernie

 

We need people like Lawrence Lessig as politicians who represent us and who are willing and eager to confront Big Money for their lies and their failures.

 

As individuals, we also must welcome the hatred of the rich and powerful. We need to find the courage to band together. We need to shine light on the fact that conservatism and Republican policy is to blame for where we are now as a nation and as a society.

More than anything, we liberals need to stop surrendering to the all-too-common liberal weakness of always wanting to find compromise.

No more compromises. It’s how we got to this sorry state of affairs. We let conservatives move the center further and further to the right by acquiescing to their demands and our own desire to avoid confrontation and conflict.

No more.

Liberals didn’t elect Reagan and two Bushes. Liberals didn’t cause banks to fail. Liberals didn’t demand that government shrink and corporations become less and less regulated. Liberals didn’t funnel all of the recovery and wealth to only the absolute richest among us.

We liberals need to continue to point out these and all the inconvenient truths that stem from conservatism (and its absurdly juvenile and greed-driven stepbrother, libetarianism).

Our fellow citizens who self-identify as conservatives need to hear from us whether they want to or not. They need to hear the truth; that they are also part of the ever-shrinking middle class and the ever-growing class of working poor.

They need to hear from us liberals that they are wrong – plain and dead wrong – for voting for ANY Republican anywhere and at any level of government.

They need to keep hearing it. Conservative (and much of libertarian) ideology that informs and drives Republican policies have unequivocally been proven to be dead wrong for everyone on every issue, and that includes economic issues. That is true, of course, for everyone except for the rich and powerful.

The Parties Are NOT The Same

It’s pretty simple and absolutely obvious. The GOP is the party of big business and the rich.

For those who are tempted to trot out the b.s. false equivalence that, “Both parties are the same,” save it. As far as I’m concerned, you’re second in line as the greatest obstacle to making real progress in this country. You give Republicans cover, and you need to stop it.

Number one on the list of obstacles are actually those Americans living in households with adjusted gross incomes of less than $340,000.00 per year who insist that they are Republicans and who vote for Republicans. I have news for them. They are not in the 1%. The conservatives in the 99% mean precisely nothing to Republicans except as useful fools who can be counted on to vote for them.

Organized Labor Is the Path to Prosperity

It’s absolutely stunning that conservatives aren’t banding together with the rest of us in the middle class in support of organized labor. History proves that stronger unions are the path to better and higher standards of living for everyone.

It bears repeating.

If you make less than 340-grand and think unions are somehow the problem and Republicans are the answer, then you not only don’t understand reality, you’re the biggest obstacle to prosperity we have right now in America.

So, how about it, conservatives?

How about you wake up and stop voting against yourselves and the rest of us?

You’ll thank yourself and, more importantly, so will future generations.

95 percent

——

Additional Reading:

Strengthen Unions

Wealth Inequality in America

Top 1 percent: How much do they earn?

Capital Eye Opener, March 8: The Fight Over Minimum Wage, and Rand’s Partisan Appeal

New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Major Minimum Wage Increase

Activists Around the US Fight to Raise the Minimum Wage

 

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#Fracking is literally killing babies in Utah, and local, state, and federal officials are helping to make that possible

fracking kills

What Paul Solotaroff’s expose in Rolling Stone, “What’s Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah?” reveals is disturbing on so many levels.

It’s what happens when Big Money instead of We The People control government.

It’s what happens when voters stay home.

What are we Americans willing to sacrifice in the name of jobs and money, and when does that sacrifice become too much sacrifice?

When does an economic and energy system become dangerous enough for us to rise up en masse against it in terms of how we live our lives and how and for whom we vote?

When are we going to stop believing the lies of Big Money interests in both the private and public sector?

Except for the rare leaders who have said no to frackers — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin — Big Gas has been on a 10-year joyride unlike any in American annals. There are now more than 1 million active oil and gas wells in the country, and our oil companies posted profits of $600 billion during the Bush years. President Obama, who promised to cap and trade emissions while building out America’s post-oil future, instead has presided over the breakneck expansion of fossil-fuel drilling. Under his watch, U.S. production has risen each year — up 35 percent for oil, 18 percent for gas — and enabled the country to barge past the Saudis as the world’s lead producer of oil and gas. (He also broke his word to end tax cuts for oilmen; those subsidies are up nearly 50 percent since he took office.)

Whatever Cheney’s doing now, he must look upon his handiwork and smile. OPEC has lost its whip hand over oil prices, SUVs are selling off the lot again, and Obama takes victory laps because we now produce more oil than we import. Glad tidings for all – except the people in more than 30 states who wake up to the thump of fracking rigs. To them, the message from Washington has been tacit but final: You folks are on your own out there.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/fracking-whats-killing-the-babies-of-vernal-utah-20150622#ixzz3gGIWdirA
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

#Independents, #Democrats, and Rational #Republicans: You control November and the Senate

Left-leaning Independents and Democrats, if you stay home this November, a Republican Senate will basically be on you.

Republicans can be ousted, but only if you show up and vote against them. You can be damn sure that our fellow Americans who think they’re Republicans will be showing up.

Yes, vote against Republicans. All Republicans.

What the GOP Stands For

The GOP has become a party of extremist ideology that no longer resembles the core values of America.

  • Bigotry towards our LGBTQ brothers and sisters
  • Paying women differently than men for the same work
  • Limiting and even ending health care accessibility to women and the poor
  • Protecting corporations instead of the environment by denying climate science
  • Enacting local laws to curtail voting
  • Walling off and arming the Southern border in the name of protecting the country and the economy
  • Perpetuating a belief in the failed theory of trickle-down economics

These disturbing ideas are among Republican dogma and policies. They are NOT core American values. They are, in fact, the antithesis of what America is about, and it is why every Republican must be defeated.

The Change That’s Needed – Real Leadership

The GOP in its present incarnation simply does not offer anything of value in the short or long term to anyone outside the Top 2% of wealthy Americans. The only way for the GOP to get the message and to change is for those of us in the middle and the left to outnumber and outvote our right-wing fellow citizens on Election Day.

What would cinch the deal would be to get some help from whomever is left in the GOP rank-and-file willing to accept the truth, and that is this: Your party does not care one whit about you and, in fact, they are dangerous to you and the rest of society. Right-wing ideology and policy are traceable as the primary sources of all of our geo-political and economic problems, past and present.

Thanks to the tea party and right-wing Big Money nowadays, the GOP has moved too far away from any middle ground or compromise worth considering. This is where Republican leaders have failed their party and their constituents. For anyone to believe that somehow the current crop of tea party Republican leaders is going to start moving the party toward the rest of us is naive fantasy and a denial of reality. Unless and until the American voting populace rises up to defeat EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN EVERYWHERE, the GOP will not change.

We Must Lead

It’s more important than ever that we in the middle and on the left step forward and become this country’s leaders.

Independent and internal change from within really isn’t in the nature of politicians and political parties. Current campaign finance laws more than ever ensure this by rewarding the self-serving and cowardly politician. Politicians do not lead, they follow. They follow the money that funds their campaigns and the follow whatever policy mandates that money issue to them. Unless you’re among the wealthy and powerful, you (and I) are not having the influence we should have.

It’s not just the GOP. This truth applies to ALL political parties, but the first thing we must do is to stop agreeing with the notion that the Republicans and Democrats are the same. They are not.

That is why we must vote and we must lead our fellow citizens and our elected representatives with courage, resolve, and conviction AWAY from ultra-conservative, right-wing ideals and ideologues, not toward them. The time for hope and compromise is over.

Show Us the Money

Politicians demonstrate daily that they have no courage and no real convictions other than to those people and the money that they believe will help them to get elected and reelected.

Let’s be clear on how we got to this.

Thanks to CONSERVATIVE campaign finance laws and CONSERVATIVE laws meant to restrict voting coming from ACTIVIST CONSERVATIVES on the Supreme Court, our politicians and elected leaders are ever more constrained to serve their Big Money masters, not us.

How is this manifesting itself this year?

As evidenced by non-partisan sources like OpenSecrets.org, the GOP is leading so far when it comes to money for the 2014 midterms.

2014 Election Overview. The 2014 mid-term elections promise lots of excitement -- and money. Take a look here at who's raising the most, where it's coming from, party breakdown, the most expensive races thus far, top donors, how incumbents are doing versus challengers and more. (Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/)
2014 Election Overview.
The 2014 mid-term elections promise lots of excitement — and money. Take a look here at who’s raising the most, where it’s coming from, party breakdown, the most expensive races thus far, top donors, how incumbents are doing versus challengers and more. (Source: http://www.opensecrets.org/overview/)

While it’s pretty close right now, and while the Democrats are by no means pure on the issue of money and influence, it is immature, uninformed, and disingenuous to keep believing and to keep saying that both parties are the same and equally guilty.

They are not.

The Money Difference

The GOP demonstrates constantly that they have no appetite to move out of line with where the tea party and conservative Big Money powers are leading them. Therein lies a fundamental difference that separates them from the Democrats.

It’s important to understand this distinction: Conservative money leads Republicans toward politicians and policies like those listed above in this post. None of those ideals are designed to help anyone EXCEPT the rich and powerful conservatives in this country and abroad. (Think “abroad” is a stretch? Understand the ramifications and who benefits from the TPP and TTIP.)

This is what makes Big Money that comes from the likes of the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson different from money that comes from Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and Tom Steyer. The first two are trying to move the country in a direction that is harmful to everyone but them by backing Republicans. The others are not.

I’m not defending Big Money. I’m still doing what I can to support the work of others to reform our campaign finance laws and to amend the Constitution. (See the American Anti-Corruption Act, Represent.UsWolf-PAC, and MoveToAmend.)

The Choice That Must Be Changed

Where the money comes from and what it will be used for tells us about the choices being made by politicians.

This is why any politician who calls themselves a Republican must be punished at the polls. They have made a conscious decision to join the party funded for and rooted in ideals like inequality, bigotry, irrational xenophobia, science denial, and catastrophic economic theories.

No matter how moderate or reasonable any one Republican candidate might seem, any candidate who calls themselves a Republican is a representative of that party and so must be defeated.

It’s the only way to bring change to that party; to punish them for their ideology and their policies at the polls.

The Appeal to Republicans – Save Your Party

To all you rational and reasonable Republicans, you need to start voting FOR your best interests and AGAINST your party, too.

It’s your only hope of leading the GOP away from the precipice of political extinction to which it now races at full speed.

One day soon, this country will be a minority-majority country. The GOP has almost no appeal to minorities. Your party also seems intent on alienating women, and it already has nearly zero appeal to anyone who isn’t an aging, white, rural, male Christian.

You must know that that is a strategy that leads to extinction. So, this election is on you, too. Save your party and your future.

Out From the Left and the Middle on Nov 4

It’s on all of us in the middle class to save America from the disastrous ideals and policies of GOP conservatism.

If you don’t get to the polls on November 4 and if you don’t vote against every Republican, you simply cannot expect them to change, nor our society or our politics to improve.

The Democrats in their current incarnation are no prize, either, but it is the Republican party which must be defeated now if we hope to pull them back to the middle where some compromises are possible.

I’m done moving toward them. It’s far past the time that conservatives were called out for the damage they and their ideology have done and continue to do,

Have We Not Learned That Bigger Is Not Better When It Comes to Banking?

10 largest banks

How can this be a good thing?

The very people who legally crashed our economy – and those who did it illegally and still haven’t gone to jail – and have kept their bonuses are now even bigger than before.

This is when our government needs to – HAS TO – step in and say….

“You are a danger to the rest of society. You are no longer going to operate in this manner. You have abused the rights and privileges afforded to you in the law, and now the law is changing. You will be broken up, and you will be regulated such that your actions cannot threaten the global economy and the financial well-being of all of the rest of us ever again.”

If there was ever an industry that has repeatedly proven that it is populated with and largely led by people incapable of policing themselves, it’s the financial services industry. This isn’t a personal attack. It’s just the facts, and it’s just history.

There can’t be opportunity and protection without a balance between the private sector and the government. There is no balance today. The scales have been tipping for far too long toward Big Money. This is why it’s so important that we strike at the root of all of our problems – money in politics.

Caseyoncampaigning

We must change campaign finance laws in order to get the influence of Big Money out of our political processes and out of the halls of government. It’s the only way we can expect to have any influence as ordinary citizens over our elected officials.

What can we do? Plenty.

Join up with other concerned citizens who have come together to make their voices heard.

Here are some of my favorites. Please feel free to share this and to add others.

 

https://movetoamend.org/
https://movetoamend.org/
http://anticorruptionact.org/
Join the fight. Become a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the American Anti-Corruption Act at http://bit.ly/CitizenCoSponsor
http://www.wolf-pac.com/
http://www.wolf-pac.com/
https://represent.us/
https://represent.us/
Support MAYDAY.US Together we can end the corruption of money in politics. Pledge now: https://mayday.us/pledge
Support MAYDAY.US Together we can end the corruption of money in politics. Pledge now: https://mayday.us/pledge

Center for a Stateless Society » Charles Koch Clutches Pearls, Dies of Moral Rectitude

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Charles Koch of Koch Industries, wounded to the core of his being by allegations from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others that his championing of the “free market” conceals lobbying efforts to rig the system in his favor, suffici

See on c4ss.org