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

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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

 

The Banana Republic and Baby Boomers

The rampant corruption of our political system is masterfully distilled by Lawrence Lessig to the barest elements in this video.

 

America truly has become a Banana Republic operated by and for the benefit of the rich.

We let that happen.

And, when I say ‘we’, I’m looking at you, fellow Baby Boomers. We did this, and now it’s up to us to fix our screw-ups.

It’s time for some of you to change the way you think and how you vote; otherwise, I don’t know how you’re going to look future generations in the eye and tell them, “I was thinking of you when I voted for corporatists, banksters, and wealthy elites.”

It’s time for you to stop voting against your own – and our collective – self-interests. It’s time to stop electing the liars who tell us that trickle down economics works, that government needs to shrink, that defense spending needs to increase, that we need to drill and dig more for our energy, and that corporations and banks must be allowed to do whatever they like without regulation and oversight because to do otherwise would hurt their (historically high) share values and profits as if that were the only measure of a vibrant, thriving, sustainable, and inclusive economy and society.

It’s on all of us, but it’s mostly on you Baby Boomers who somehow turned into 21st century conservatives who reject science, facts, your social responsibilities, and any compassion you may have once had for your fellow human beings and the planet we all live on.

To my fellow liberals, you’re almost as much to blame as conservatives. Enough already with the pandering and compromise; enough with the disengagement from politics and silence on critically important issues; enough with not calling your representatives and not calling people out for being wrong and wrong-headed; most of all, enough with staying home on election day.

There are more of us than there are of them. We can move this country back to the left if we get off our asses and do something – anything – to affect change.

Which brings me to this. A reality too many of my fellow liberals refuse to accept.

It is ‘Us’ versus ‘Them.’ It’s time we stopped pretending it’s not.

When you refuse to acknowledge that conservatives hold values, beliefs, and policy positions that only hurt society and which block any possibility for progress, then you have surrendered the fight. We must be ready, willing, and eager to make the distinctions and reinforce everything that distinguishes Us from Them.

We need to stop wasting precious time and energy by going into every issue and every debate thinking there’s some sort of mythical middle ground. That’s the naive and juvenile fantasy that has allowed our society to devolve. Conservatives know there is no middle ground, and they know they can get liberals to keep giving ground because that’s what liberals do. They compromise.

That’s why we have to take our measure of blame for the world we live in; a world where to be a conservative and a member of the Republican party has come to mean that you want to live in a Christian theocracy in which corporations operate with impunity while the state discriminates against women, minorities, LGBTQ, and immigrants…..and that seems not only normal but desirable to conservatives

We liberals have allowed conservatives to keep moving whatever middle used to exist farther and farther to the right. Hasn’t it gone far enough?

We liberals let the center move so far to the right because we either stayed silent or we compromised. We’ve always been the ones to compromise. That must stop, and it must stop now.

No more compromises with the right. You liberals who insist on compromise are the ones who now are actually allowing conservatives to go on ruining this country and what was once a great society. Not one without its flaws, but at least one in which the wealth and power gaps were not as obscene as they are now and not one in which it seems perfectly reasonable to some people that the likes of Trump and Carson are taken seriously as presidential candidates.

It’s time for my fellow liberals to quit being such pansies and push-overs. It’s time you started fighting – not physically, but intellectually and politically, in the public square, on social media, and out loud. It’s a fight for the future, and it’s time to fight like there is no tomorrow because unless we fight and win, conservatives and conservatism in its current form most assuredly will keep us from bequeathing any sort of bright and peaceful tomorrow to future generations.

Rich conservatives rule us because we liberals let them

This meme set me off this morning.

BernieonbankCEOsHow is it possible that no one of consequence from Wall Street is in jail?

The answer is simple.

Too many Americans over the last 35 years have bought into the lie of trickle-down economics, the ridiculous fantasy of The Invisible Hand of markets, and the utterly perverse and abject moral bankruptcy of Objectivism.

Those people are called conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans, and as far as I’m concerned, the gloves are off.

If those labels – yes, labels – are how you describe yourself, you’re the problem. Unless and until you wake the eff up, you will be called out as the reason and the source of our problems because it is YOU who have been and continue to vote against YOUR OWN self-interests and the interests of EVERY American outside the 1%.

No, Democrats are by no means perfect or immune to this criticism. Anyone following this page knows this, but also know this. Both parties are NOT the same, not even close, and we need to stop acting like and talking about the political realities as if they are.

Yes, we get to feel better about ourselves when we say “Both parties are the same,” because it allows us to feel pure and untouched by petty, dirty, corrupt partisan politics.

But, the truth is simple. Both parties are not the same, and Bernie Sanders proves that. As an independent, he could have decided to run as one or as a Republican or as a Green or as a Justice Party candidate. He didn’t because he understands the reality that if we’re going to get this country back on track as a progressive nation that leads the world on social, economic, and environmental fronts, then we must stop kowtowing to conservatives and Republicans. The only way to do this at this point in time is through the Democratic Party.

One more unvarnished bit of reality as I see it.

The only other Americans more culpable for our problems than Republicans, conservatives, and economic libertarians are LIBERALS WHO STAY HOME ON ELECTION DAY.

If you don’t vote, you don’t get to bitch, and you are part of the problem.

If you aren’t registered, get registered (https://registertovote.org/index.html) and vote in the primaries and general elections for Bernie Sanders and anyone but a Republican.

 

Maybe the middle class will wake up someday and realize they aren’t #Republicans

I have an answer to this question.

GOP slate
“So pathetic that an asshole like Trump apparently appeals to more Republicans than ‘august’ leaders like Perry, Santorum, and Cain who, incidentally, are also still being taken seriously while unmitigated failures like Jindal, Cruz, Paul, Christie, Rubio, Bush, and Walker (and Fiorina) are considered to be the ‘serious’ candidates.”

Yes, these guys and the entire slate of GOP candidates says a lot about what it means to be a Republican these days. How anyone outside the one-percenters finds common cause with them is a mystery to me.

Sharing the above on Facebook prompted this response….

GOP slate comment

 

I want to thank my friend for her strength and conviction, and for inspiring me to write this post.

Here goes……

Maybe, just maybe…

Maybe, just maybe, we can get those folks in the middle class who think they’re Republicans to wake up someday.

Maybe if……

….people started asking themselves what it means to be a Republican today 

….people shut off Fox and Limbaugh and paid more attention to organizations like Represent.Us and the work they’re doing to fight corruption 

….more people decided to end their willful ignorance and consumption of right-wing propaganda they’d come to realize that people like the current slate of Republican hopefuls are not only a complete disaster from a policy and leadership perspective, they actually are a danger to America and to a modern society

….the poor, working poor, and the disappearing middle class in America who think they’re Republicans stopped voting against themselves and the rest of us when they vote for a Republican, we’d be back on top as a nation and as a society

How did it come to this?

Let’s be honest. The only reason this pathetic and laughable slate exists is because they appeal to the Republican base; a base that can be counted on to vote.

That’s why we on the left need to show up to every election; from school board and town council, to federal elections. We need to show up so that we can outvote our fellow citizens who operate under the self-inflicted delusion that they are Republicans.

I say self-inflicted because in the 21st century the only way to be as misinformed as self-professed middle class Republicans are is to be so willfully. And, that’s how Trump gets more than scorn and ridicule as a candidate. Because people are willfully misinformed and too easily manipulated.

Silence is surrender

So, maybe, just maybe, if we on the left keep speaking out loudly and forcefully we’ll see rational Republicans  speak up.

Where are they? Where are the rational Republicans?

It seems reasonable to conclude they either agree with what their party has become, or they are content to hide in fear of The Base. We need to help them to find the courage to come out and criticize their party and people like Trump, Santorum, Cain, and all the rest, frankly. These candidates are complete frauds. They have only their undeniable track records of failed policies and leadership to show as their credentials to be President. All anyone need do is examine their records to know that to be true.

Take a stand

If my fellow citizens who consider themselves to be Republicans are offended by criticism like this, that isn’t my fault. If you’re offended, then I have to assume it’s because you identify with the ideology of present-day Republicanism.

If you think I’m wrong, then show me the inaccuracies. Show me the unfairness in my criticisms. Show me indisputable data from sources other than Fox, Heritage, Cato, or corporations. Defend your party and your candidates using logic and facts.

If you can’t, then you’re invited to agree with me publicly that, at a bare minimum, the obvious truth is that your party has been usurped by cretins, clowns, and charlatans like Trump, Cain, and Santorum.

Just as bad and perhaps worse is that your party is controlled more so than the Democratic Party by the kind of Big Money that is literally dangerous to people, the planet, and to the global economy.

A party which embraces people like these just can’t be taken seriously except when it comes to the ideological and political danger that present-day Republicanism represents to every socio-economic strata of our society except, of course, to the oligarchs in control.

It’s on liberals, too

We Americans on the left must stop being cowards. We must first show up on every election day for every level of office. We must proudly speak up and revel in our ability to outvote our fellow Americans in the GOP base. We must be forceful in order to inspire more Americans to come out from under their apathy to vote against candidates who would gladly turn over our entire democracy to the oligarchs who run Wall Street, corporate media, and multi-national corporations.

We liberals cannot be afraid to offend. We must raise up our voices and find the courage to point an accusatory finger at dangerous characters like these Republican candidates. Maybe it will help to wake our fellow citizens up to the truth. Maybe it won’t. Either way, it will reveal the truth.

That truth is a simple truth, and it is this: conservatism is a backward-looking and failed ideology, and the Republican Party of the early 21st century is the party in the lead when it comes to being of, by, and for the rich corporatists, not We The People.

Optimism over willful ignorance

One-half of America is willfully ignoring reality. If we on the left stay silent about that, we are just as culpable for the disappearance of the middle class and any opportunity anyone has for improving their lot in life as those who insist on voting against themselves by voting for a Republican. Any Republican.

I hope it’s clear by now that political apathy on the left is a challenge we on the left can solve. We can start to overcome that apathy by being outspoken about it.

We need to hear from more people like my friend who later added this….

GOP slate comment 2

I want to be optimistic like her. I want all of us to be optimistic. I think that optimism is contagious, but it must be nurtured and strengthened everyday.

That’s why I won’t stay silent. We need to inspire each other and give each other strength. That’s why I rail against conservatism, right-wing ideology, and Republican candidates who never really represented ordinary Americans and have completely stopped doing so now.

If you’re reading this, all of this applies to you, too. That is unless, of course, you’re either among the top one percent or you’re content in your role as a modern-day serf surviving off the scraps that fall from the unfettered and under-regulated corporatist’s table of trickle-down economics and failed Republican policy.

Reich exposes economic myths. That’s too kind. They are lies.

Reich exposes the bullshit perpetuated by corporatists and their shills in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Now what? What can we do about it?

Start by sharing this video as a way of informing people.

Next, be forceful and assertive in confronting the lies and the abject lack of humanity at the core of perverse ideologies like Objectivism and theories like trickle-down economics.

Finally, be more politically active. Call your elected officials. Tell them what you want from them, and tell them you’ll be voting. As corrupt as our system is, they still can’t get into office – or stay there – without our votes.