Posts Tagged Mitt Romney

By Virtue of Their Efforts

Americans understand that some people will earn more than others, and we don’t resent those who, by virtue of their efforts [emphasis mine] achieve incredible success.  But Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.”  – President Barack Obama 

The Middle Class, literally, carrying the economic burden of society, including the rich man.

The Middle Class, literally, carrying the economic burden of society, including the rich man.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with not only Obama’s speech in particular but this country’s attitude toward economic stability and upward mobility, in general; this idea that those who have a lot – obscenely a lot, owning 80% of the country’s assets a lot – have it because of “virtue of their efforts.”

The reason I keep referencing President Obama is not because I am especially interested in beating up on him  – as he is certainly not the only leader who entertains these incredibly misplaced notions about bootstraps – but to point out that such assertions, coming from the President who sets the tone, do not help people but lend credibility to false bootstraps narratives that tell us that the only thing standing between the haves and have-nots is supposedly just hard work and effort.  As if systemic inequalities, formulated into policy by our very leaders and the corporations whose bidding they do, were not the enemies of the very security that Obama is advocating for.

Was it possible to get through a speech addressed at the American people without giving credence to, and therefore validating, the very bullshit bootstraps narratives that are the reason we are here? Or could we maybe indulge the radical idea that the American people, the wage-earners and non asset-holders, the poor, disabled and disadvantaged, are worth uplifting, regardless of their efforts?

Or maybe at least acknowledge that effort has nothing to do with why so many people are struggling while so few are benefiting.

The problem with narratives, while certainly heart-warming, is that they automatically and implicitly view people who do not enjoy incredible monetary success as those who simply are not making the effort and sacrifices, as people who don’t work hard enough, try hard enough and make better decisions, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps blah blah yawn.

Never mind that the ability to make the best choice often depends on one’s socio-economic situation in society as well as race, gender and a host of other factors that systemically place certain people on trajectory-fucking paths and disadvantaged positions vis a vis people who enjoy a host of privileges – such as being born white, straight, able bodied and wealthy or any combination thereof.

Privilege gives people freedom of choice, it gives them options, which, in turn, allow making good and prudent decisions possible. And isn’t that what poverty is ultimately about? That one’s choices shrink in proportion to one’s wealth whereby the less you own, the fewer choices available to you?

Poor people are often blamed for their situation, as if they were born into privilege and wealth with a myriad of choices available to them while inexplicably making the bad ones to their own detriment.

Romney 2012

This delusion – or lie may I dare say – that sheer will power can make individuals transcend barriers, the glass ceiling, and overcame systemic inequalities, is precisely the kind of misleading bullshit that the likes of Romney (and even the President) and other one percenters regurgitate when speaking to the masses of people who are navigating a tedious existence of one paycheck/crisis away from destitution without any real prospects for improvement in sight, thanks to a host of middle-class busting policies by both of our parties and a practically non-existent social-safety net.

These are the things that, contrary to popular (and it appears even professional belief)  cannot be ameliorated with mere sheer individual will-power, as individuals cannot be tasked to solve and overcome systemic issues.

Systemic Inequity

Not getting paid fair, livable wages is a systemic issue; not being able to collectively organize in a union to protect yourself from exploitative employers, is a systemic issue; not being able to access affordable and quality health care because our government has decided to let the free market of profit and greed be in charge of making health-care decisions for us, is a systemic issue;

Working a life-time in your vocation of choice and diligently paying into your 401(k) just to see it decimated by the great captains of hard work is a systemic issue;

Paying nearly 40% of your middle class income (and thus from your subsistence) in taxes (that mostly go towards things that do not benefit you) while those making fifty or hundred times more than you don’t pay a dime thanks to a tax structure that favors the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, is a systemic issue;

Blaming the Poor

Religious People Blaming the Poor Because That’s Exactly What Jesus Would Do

Working for an employer that does not grant you equal pay for equal work because you are of a certain color, ethnicity, creed, gender, sexual orientation and a host of other aspects that are a part of one’s identity, is a systemic issue;

Finding yourself unemployed because some asshole like Mitt Romney bought the company you worked at, drove it into bankruptcy and then stole your retirement while he was at it, is a systemic issue;

Not being able to find work after such a layoff and unemployment benefits not only paying you sustenance pay but also running out despite a shitty job market, is a systemic issue;

Being at the mercy of banks and corporations that get to do whatever they want with you without any oversight and accountability in place, is a systemic issue.

This list is certainly not comprehensive and goes on and on.

The point is to illustrate that these are not things that individuals can overcome with sheer will power and just a little bit “more effort.” These are the things that fundamentally prevent a lot of people from upward mobility. Because when you are  at the mercy of the corporate robber barons that view DC as their customer service department,  and all cards are stacked against you, you are at a systematic disadvantage and thus trapped.  Work as hard you want and good luck trying to beat the system that is categorically holding you back.

The government must step forward and through regulations shift the burden away from the hard working middle class and the poor to level the playing field. It was about time that the 1% paid their fair share of taxes instead of getting exemptions in the form of legal loopholes while the 99% pick up their slack.

It was about time corporations not only paid their fair share in taxes (or any at all, most don’t pay taxes) but they also started paying their employees fair and livable wages because someone working his or her whole life in their vocation of choice, or not choice but out of necessity, is entitled to not find themselves with nothing at the end of the day.

That is why Romney’s infamous “I want everyone to be rich” comment is so enraging,  – as if everyone in this society could be a millionaire, and as if we didn’t need teachers, fire fighters, sales associates, professors, manicurists, cooks, janitors, truck drivers, hair stylists, nurses, engineers, architects and a host of other such professions; professions that do require hard work and are needed for the functioning of society but which just don’t happen to pay six figure salaries.

Obama Out of Touch

Obama held a lofty speech peppered with lots of ideas about how corporations can make workers’ lives better, urging companies to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 on their own (yeah right), with a lot of rhetoric about hard work and opportunity, while in fact coming across as someone who is out of touch with the reality millions of US workers whose companies are actively and openly trying to deny them benefits, overtime, safety on the job or any other kind of benefits, are facing.

While it is hopefully optimistic of him to plead with companies to do the decent thing and pay their employees fair, livable wages, he, of all people, should know that you cannot achieve equity and  (social) justice by merely recommending that those who engage in unjust behavior please refrain from doing so in the future.

robber_barons_2Case in point AOL, which has announced that it was going to cut their employee’s 401(k) matching contributions to save $7.1 million despite a $679 million income in the last three months of 2013, up 13 percent from the year before.

AOL is probably one of those companies that Obama was addressing and their response to his plea apparently was a huge middle finger to his request as they are trimming back benefits from workers who made the company profitable, because clearly making over a billion dollars a year is not enough. Quick the CEO needs more money, after all, for his ski house in Aspen.

Does that sound like an entity that would change its practices to pay decent wages and benefits because the President politely asked them to by appealing to their (seemingly non-existent) conscience?

It certainly would not hurt AOL to step  up to the plate and show the rest of the world that it cares about it’s employees by not gutting their 401(k) but AOL will not do that because as a corporation it only cares about the bottom line and because calls for fair wages, union representation, overtime and a host of benefits for employees are a mere suggestion by our leaders, as opposed to required by law.

Memo to the President: people are working hard, just that good jobs with a livable wage are vanishing, while people are working harder and harder to make ends meet with their employers often being the enemies of their security. Voluntary compliance by corporations, employers, especially if it undermines profits, is not going to get us out of the recession.

I cringed when I heard Obama say what he did during his State of the Union Address because not only was it was filled with a lot of hot air and little substance, much like the majority of his track record as the President, but because it is such a harmful notion to spread as it feeds into the very deceitful and misleading narrative about hard work, the (ever elusive it appears) American Dream and bootstraps narratives that the Conservative base is gobbling up so enthusiastically.

It is also precisely because of such simple, lofty narratives of “hard work” and “ambition” and “The American Dream”  that we do not have a decent social safety net in place, for example,  and why most Americans have been manipulated into believing that such a system would give rise to legions of lazy people, takers and moochers and strawmen really  – which is why people in this country have been consistently voting to eliminate whatever meager social safety net is in place (even though, quite frankly, the welfare, food-stamps and financial assistance poor people receive in this country, if they receive them, is hardly worth even calling a social-safety net). The crude reality is that people in this country do not have any security. Period.

We don’t have many of the structures in place that would directly address the economic issues and challenges Obama pointed out plaguing millions of Americans today, such as lack of jobs  – good jobs  – and we do not have them because the government has failed, over and over again, to provide and secure them.

What’s In a Good Job

Jobs where people are treated with dignity and valued, and never exploited.   Jobs that come with the protected right to organize. Jobs that offer healthcare benefits. Jobs that offer benefit packages such as paid leave for  vacations, emergencies,  births and deaths without such leave being held against an employee. Jobs that provide for a good work-life balance.

Jobs where employees are valued as individuals contributing to the success of the company as opposed to just being seen as cogs in a wheel to be used to get the guy on top and the wealthy shareholders fat and wealthy.

A job that not only offers its employees meaningful access to health care but one that also offers decent retirement packages and matching contributions by employers, so that after a life time of hard work people do not find themselves with nothing to show for but the thrill of being one step away from the poor house.

Jobs where federal overtime rules are not treated as a suggestion. Jobs that provide a safe and healthy work environment that doesn’t render people sick.

This is the bare minimum for what makes a job a good job, for the most privileged workers.

For those who are not privileged, a good job is one that does not discriminate against employees on the basis of their identity; one that grants equal pay for equal work to employees regardless of their race, gender, age, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and/or identity; one that accommodates disabilities of any kind and one where the expectation to “get along” is placed always and only on bullies and harassers, and never on the people being bullied or harassed. A job where it is safe to report bullies and harassing behavior.

These things that make a job a good job, in turn, need to be legislated by the government, not merely treated as loose guidelines that employers should put into practice if they are so inclined, because when profit drives your agenda you will not be so inclined.

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american dSee, people in this country are not struggling because they are not working hard or putting effort into things – as the President states –  but because the protections and provisions mentioned above, you know, the things that make a job a good job and a secure job leading to a stable, solid, prosperous middle class, are not there and because our lawmakers, most of whom are millionaires (and corrupt) are not enacting legislation that would force employers to put into practice such protections and provisions.

The result of such inaction, such apathy, is ultimately exemplified by  companies like AOL that, despite record, billion dollar profits, stiff their employees and cheat them out of their retirements and do so openly and unapologetically.

AOL is not the only company, however.  This practice of slowly and systematically exploiting employees to maximize profits is something a lot of companies have been engaging in, and continue to engage in , openly and without compunction while Washington has been standing by idly holding lofty speeches about hard work, effort and bootstraps, indirectly admonishing those who cannot afford gold plated car elevators as those not working hard enough, being ambitious enough and putting in the extra effort that those who own all and everything allegedly have put into things.

Thing is, Mr. President, if your goal is to help people out of the trap of working hard while still being tethered to poverty, then it would be a good idea to maybe first acknowledge that they are entitled to food, not hold lofty grand speeches about hard work and effort and then sign food stamp cuts into law, leaving millions of people hungry.

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Mitt Romney Sued For Criminal Racketeering

Remember how during the last Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney and his phony wife went around telling everyone what a stand up guy he is with ethics, integrity and a love of god? That they should not have to apologize for being “hard working” and “successful” and that it was, in fact, hard work and Romney’s relentless honesty and integrity as a man, humanitarian and entrepreneur that had lead him to his success as a one percenter riding car elevators?

Remember the infamous 47% speech in which Romney, behind seemingly closed doors, declared and dismissed nearly half the US population as nothing but lazy, unmotivated free-loaders who lack both work ethics and a desire to lead better lives and instead are just waiting to get handouts from crooks like him? Remember how he refused to release his tax returns of the past decade because he did not feel that he should have to apologize for his “hard work” and “success”? Remember how he thought that paying 15% in taxes on a $100 million dollar income a year was him being just like the rest of us, doing his share?

so rich romney

Well, I guess if you consider conning people out of their jobs, benefits and retirements hard work, Romney certainly has a point. At any rate, the man who believed himself to be the epitome of the American Dream and hard work and bootstraps narratives is currently being sued in federal court for criminal racketeering.

Steven “Laser” Haas is the owner and sole shareholder of Collateral Logistics Inc. (CLI) the firm which was retained to oversee the liquidation of assets in the bankruptcy of eToys in 2001.

During the process of liquidating the company Haas came across irregularities, unethical practices and outright criminal acts originating from the top at Bain Capital (Mitt Romney’s asset management firm), Goldman Sachs, Kay Bee Toys and Stage Stores, all of which were involved in the machinations to sell eToys for mere pennies to Bain through its interest in Kay Bee […] Haas alleged in his affidavit to the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 3, 2012 that after he had uncovered numerous irregularities, he had been offered $850,000 by Bain to keep silent about what he had discovered.  When he attempted to report the bribe, he was told that since he had not accepted it, he didn’t have a case. Bain of course denies that the offer was ever made.

The American Dream (and Jesus and Joseph Smith) hard at work. Well it is a good thing that Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, atheists and community organizers are a threat to this country and not someone like Mitt Romney.

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France Initiates the “Millionaires Tax” – Puts An End to Trickle Down Myth

The wealthy enjoy all the advantages of living and doing business in a first world country. However, they believe that all that should come at no cost to them. They believe that their wealth exempts them from contributing to the very society and structures in that society that have enabled them to be where they are. In other words, wealthy people want a free ride (which is ironic because “wanting a free ride” is precisely what is often used to argue against social safety net and various other programs aimed at keeping people off the poverty wagon).

Well, France has finally put an end to the free ride wealthy people have been enjoying at the expense of everyone else when its Constitutional Council gave the green light on Sunday to the government’s controversial ‘millionaire tax’, to be levied on companies that pay salaries of more than 1 million euros ($1.38 million) a year.

The measure was introduced in line with a pledge by President Francois Hollande to make the rich do more to pull France out of crisis. To that end, a 50 percent tax is to be paid by high earners on the portion of annual income exceeding 1 million euros. This change has infuriated the wealthy because, of course it did; god forbid anyone ever asks a rich person to pitch in a dime for the common good. Let’s go after Medicare and food-stamp recipients and thus the poor as we do in this glorious, most awesomest country in the world blah blah fart.

Hollande’s 2012 supertax election pledge infuriated high earners in France and prompted actor Gerard Depardieu to flee the country. It has also alienated entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who have accused Hollande of being anti-business.

Hollande has said that the wealthy should contribute more to help to repair the country’s finances, arguing that the supertax should also encourage companies to curb excessive executive pay.

Not Being Greedy Is Difficult

I find it interesting that rich people, the 1% to be precise, get all riled up, feel exploited and, literally, run away as it’s been the case with Depardieu the moment they are asked to give a bit of their obscene wealth in the form of taxes, but that poor people – the elderly, food-stamp recipients, the disabled, student loan borrowers – heck even hard working middle class folks that hold two jobs and still are barely able to make ends meet and are fucked in case of a crisis – are repeatedly being asked to make more and more sacrifices to subsidize, essentially, the privilege of the wealthy. And they are asked to do so without complaining and in the name of compromise, good will and bi-partisan ship – as if agreeing to be underpaid, worked to death and rendered unable to make ends meet were compromises.

However, let me ask this: is it fair to ask someone who makes $20 million a year to spend half of that in taxes or is it fair to ask someone making $65 thousand a year to pay half of that in taxes?

Is it fair to ask someone living at the poverty threshold, eeking by on a miserable existence by collecting an abhorrently low, not-fit-to-feed-a-dog-in-a-pound welfare check and food stamps in this country, to please take some more cuts to their already meager, not-fit-to-feed-a-dog-in-a-pound welfare check and food stamps so that the wealthy can remain tax exempt and still pay very little?

Is it fair to ask a recent college graduate stuck in a shitty job making $45k a year and drowning in student loan debt (which he had to accrue to get that 45k job)  to pay nearly 40% of that in taxes while the CEO of Facebook pays less than 10% of his billion dollar income, if that, in taxes?

In the US the top one percent hold 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.  What the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes in an hour, the average worker (not the janitor, but the college graduate  in the cubicle) makes in a month. The on-the-book tax rate for Capital gains, primarily the payment vehicle of the rich, is 15 percent –  while most American workers pay upwards of 40 percent of their  sustenance in taxes.

The narrative here, according to the 1% and those who hold the torch for them in the name of The Grand American Dream,  is that average American workers are hundreds of  times less productive than the CEO who makes hundreds of times more money than they do. And that they are lazy. Lack motivation. Work Ethics. Depend on hand-outs and just don’t know how to be successful or properly manage their hand-to-mouth earnings.

Just earlier this year, our spineless President made permanent the Bush administration’s tax cuts. Permanent; barring and preventing top earners, the 1%, from ever having to pay more in taxes than the maid who cleans their house or the even the educated engineer even who builds their car elevator.

Trickle Down Economics A Scam

One of the biggest scams, one of the most outrageous, yet effective, lies of the 21st century has been trickle down economics and the absurd idea that the more you let a company or individual amass wealth without taxing them or regulating them, the more those rich people will invest back in the economy and in the long run benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole. In other words, the bullshit here is the notion that the wealth the wealthy amass by not paying much in taxes or fair wages etc., will come back to citizens as a whole.

The truth is, unregulated Free Market Trickle Down theory and ideology has been tried and has proven, beyond all reasonable doubt to be a failed idea. In practice, it simply does not work (for 99% of the people, that is).

The only people this ideology of greed and immoral self-service works for are the robber barons and thus the very people that spend hundreds of millions a year selling this lie to the masses – under the guise, and false promise may I add, of the American Dream and how hard work pays off and that those “who are successful” should not be “punished” yadda, yadda, yadda, blah.

I cannot imagine anyone still holding on to this perverse lie where people are basically asked to personally fill the pockets of robber barons  – willingly and unquestionably no less – with a straight face.

Trickle down economics and the promise of prosperity-for-all as long as the wealthy get to remain wealthy while the economic burden will be carried at the backs of the middle class, the poor, and disabled, is an outrageous lie and blatant deception.

It is also brilliant from a robber baron/Mitt Romney/one percenter perspective because it has convinced people for decades to hand over their hard-earned dollars to said robber barons, willingly and passionately, in the hopes that they too, one day, can be one of those barons. And you know what? It may work for a very few who manage to somehow get a foot in the door to the Kingdom  and profit immensely while the majority of their fellow men will not.  But for most people becoming the next Bill Gates or Mitt Romney is nothing but a pipe dream. Most people have to get an education or training, get a job and work for a living and save up for a retirement instead of playing golf until 11 every day and letting other peoples’ hard-earned monies work for them and when they fail to make that money work for them they are let go with a golden parachute and set for life.

At any rate, as the wealth gap between the rich and poor has been increasing to staggering heights over the past thirty to forty years, people are yet to see any of that trickle down wealth come to fruition. If anything, a dwindling middle class and a tremendous wealth gap in this country appear to be testament to the exact opposite, namely that the more you let rich people amass wealth, the more they will amass wealth but without putting much of it back into the economy in terms of fair wages, benefit, jobs and investments.

Just enter the world of labor export to places like China where slave laborers are paid abhorrent “wages”, if one can even call it that – I believe slave labor is a more appropriate term since a few dollars a month are hardly wages – so that a company like Apple Inc. – which is supposed to be the example of the American Dream – can post a $7.5 billion profit; Apple Inc.  – the great American company that employs more people in China than its beloved US of A.

I applaud France’s measure because it is attempting to close the immense wealth gap – which is the cause  and further catalyst of economic recessions  – by forcing those navigating an existence in extreme wealth and privilege to pay a bit more so that the poor don’t have to. A lesson this country could learn and will learn – the hard way if need be.

The truth of the matter is that cash flow must exist in the economy for all parts to work effectively. If the upper levels of earners are not keeping those monies flowing, then the only mechanism left to us is taxation. It’s sort of like a parent trusting a child with something but then realizing that it is not working, after all, because said child has taken gross advantage of said privilege given to him.  So the parent has to step back in again.

The wealthy, the 1%, have taken immense advantage of the freedoms their governments gave them for all these years – so much so that the world is in a recession thanks to deregulation and abolishing a host of other mechanisms in place to insure a level playing field where all members of society pay their fair share. This has resulted in stagnant wages, the complete non-existence of a social safety net in this country (when I say welfare monies in this country are not fit to house and feed a dog in a pound for a month, I am not exaggerating) and a host of other middle-class busting policies keeping the 99% poor and asset-less while the 1% keep getting wealthier by the minute.

If corporations and the rich paid in taxes what they used to pay back in the 40s and 50s, and 60s when America grew like wildfire to be the planet’s economic powerhouse truly resulting in making the American Dream a reality for millions, America would not be discussing, as recently as the budget debate and lousy compromise of just a couple of weeks ago, what poor, sick, or elderly group need to be gutted, cut, or kicked to the curb next.

(Have you noticed how so-called “entitlements” are always on the table when it comes to budget discussions in this country? By both parties.  It is never “let’s stop subsiding oil companies” or “maybe we do not need another aircraft carrier” because apparently oil companies and defense contractors that post record profits already getting our tax dollars is not entitlements, but someone getting money back they paid into for years, is).

Currently, the conversation in America is a conversation being set up by guys like Charles and David Koch, the Walton heirs, Exxon, Lockheed, Raytheon, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney and so forth. Entities that feel entitled to their greed and do not want us ever talking about re-taxing them. That is why they complain about the debt to muddy the waters and distract from the real cause of the recession, demanding that the poor, sick, and elderly give a pound of flesh, because the CorporateCon Right Wing Mega-Rich have no intention of helping anyone with anything and want to keep and secure their massive economic gains which they have made at the backs of said poor, sick, and elderly.

The paradigm in this country, regardless of party affiliation, is always cutting more food-stamps or gutting Medicare or keeping minimum wages stagnant for a bit more. No one, not even Democrats, ever truly considers taking those things off the table and instead solely putting oil companies, the Defense Department and tax exemption for the wealthy on the table when talking fiscal responsibility.

That conversation needs to change.

So let what France is doing be a lesson to those of us in the US. If you do not want taxes set upon you, get to work doing your part to keep the economy moving, such as paying your employees fair, livable wages and great benefits to balance a home/at work lifestyle so that people do not feel enslaved to their jobs. 

The Walton family (i.e. owners of Wal-Mart) is a prime example of entities that possess more wealth than can be used in several lifetimes, yet insist on continuing to pay wages to their workers that are essentially poverty level, even though they have more than ample room to improve those wages and still profit handsomely. As long as the government stays shies away from holding Wal-Mart accountable and hopes instead that they will somehow eventually come out and do the right thing, nothing will change.

At any rate, in the case of France, one million euros per year should be more than sufficient to live and thrive on, dear Wealthy People. Remember, that you are being taxed on your income and wealth while 99% of the people in the world are being taxed on their subsistence. I do, however, dare you to try to live on 30,000 Euro for one year without running away – or hey, I’ll be generous, let’s make it an even 100k – if you can, that is.

Remember, being poor is not for lazy people but making a little less than a million per year apparently is. So much so that those wealthy people are, literally, fleeing their motherland.

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Someone Is Finally Defending the One Percent

Smart parents are more likely to have smart children, and their greater intelligence will be reflected, on average, in higher incomes. Of course, IQ is only one dimension of talent, but it is easy to believe that other dimensions, such as self-control, ability to focus, and interpersonal skills, have a degree of genetic heritability as well.” – Greg Mankiw

Clearly, the first question I ask after meeting a privileged CEO who spends more time on the golf course than in the office where his average employee makes a fraction of what he makes in an hour, and whose primary long-term contribution to the firm will be a PR disaster after which he’s fired by the board for “ethics” violations and sent on his merry way with a seven-figure golden parachute, then it is “well my, what an intelligent and diligent worker with great interpersonal skills you gentleman are! Couldn’t we pay teachers, firefighters, college professors and nurses less to give you more money?”

Ah the trials and tribulations of the 1%. I mean yeah folks, exploitation is hard work. So many offshore accounts to create, so much tax evasion to be done, so many loopholes to be exploited, so many unions and worker’s rights to be quashed, so many Congressman to be bribed and bought, so many health benefits to be denied, so many dinners with the President to be had, and so much manipulation to do to get people to vote against their own self interest and buy into the bullshit bootstraps narrative,  and yet so little time.

Clearly the 1% need advocates too and that’s where former President Bush/ wanna-be President Mitt Romney adviser Greg Mankiw comes in who was finally brave enough to write a book defending the 1%. Ann Romney would be happy.

Solution to the Debt Program

Mankiw is a Harvard professor (my condolences to Harvard and all his students) and apparently also timeless comedian who briefly made the headlines last year for telling a hilarious joke (see right). Haha..poor people. Hahaha…seniors on medicare.  Hahaha…self deportation. Let’s make the elderly whom Paul Ryan just proposed we take Medicare away from the butt of jokes…hardi har har har.

The party of hate and greed apparently cannot function without inserting that hate and greed into their pastimes and jokes as well. I imagine that as a 1% er who gets richer by the minute because others keep getting poorer, that really must be funny.

His hilarity has been finally memorexed in a book titled “Defending the One Percent” in which he argues that income inequality is not as terrible a thing as liberals make it out to be. And even if it is, fixing inequality is really hard to do in a way that is not totally unfair to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

Awww….

Mankiw’s basic argument is that the 1 percent are richer than you probably because they are just better than you. It’s just science! Even the children of the wealthy are probably wealthier and better-educated than you at least partly because their genes are just better than yours, he suggests, and not because these people won the cosmic birth-family lottery that let them be born into wealth and privilege open the doors to the kingdom. Terrible beginnings don’t matter, except insomuch as they make great first acts for Sandra Bullock Oscar movies.

poor helping the rich

First of all, the fact that we live in a society that rewards intelligence, diligence, and interpersonal skills with wealth, while the lack of those with destitution, is pretty fucked up, because such a supposition automatically views people who are not intelligent, diligent and who lack interpersonal skills as less than.

Less than deserving of fair, livable wages, less than deserving of access to affordable and quality health care, less deserving of receiving a quality education, less deserving of clean air, water, food and soil, less deserving of a bail out and definitely less  deserving of overall financial stability. In other words, if you are stupid and lack charm, you deserve being exploited by your employer, have your house taken away, pay outrageous interest rates on your credit cards, have no access to health care, not get a good education, breathe in toxic air and ingest toxic food and overall be punished in society and viewed as a lesser human being.

I guess that explains the homelessness problem and why that prick Reagan defunded all government run mental institutions. People with mental illnesses (which may include “unintelligent” people) and those who lack breeding and pedigree don’t deserve a roof over their heads, medical treatment, a warm meal and a job. Let them rot on the streets, why should we, as a society, care? Let them eat cake… or garbage…

That is what the meritocracy is all about in this country, right? The idea that if you got what you got then it’s ’cause you greased your elbows and worked hard while those who don’t have anything or are barely muddling through despite a job and hard work, are lazyasses who neither want better lives nor want to work for it, ipso facto they deserve starving or succumbing to an illness or else lead a tenuous middle class existence from which they could be unceremoniously exiled after a brush with unemployment or a health crisis.

That is a pretty neat argument when you are part of the 1% or those wanna-bes because it just makes it so much easier to keep focusing policies on the 1% and how to get them rich(er) (and to get you to vote for their interests so that you too, one day, may join their rungs), as opposed to focusing our resources to create a meaningful social safety net that addresses those very issues.  Why worry about leveling the playing field and caring about unintelligent losers who lack charm and clearly deserve to be exploited or else lead a life where they are a paycheck away from complete destitution, when you can focus all your efforts to keep the wealthier even wealthier?

Of course, the assertion that the US rewards intelligence, diligence, and interpersonal skills with wealth is an abject falsehood. As if only 1% of the population possessed such attributes, which then automatically translates into them being deserving of and entitled to everyone else’s money and all the privileges contained therein.

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David Lynch Doesn’t Trust Mitt Romney

(When a genius talks, pay attention)


90 Days, 90 Reasons

There are many reasons to not vote for the dystopian duo Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. David Lynch, film maker extraordinaire, gives you reason 52 as part of the independent initiative  “90 Days, 90 Reasons” (an initiative unaffiliated with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign) where a wide range of cultural figures are asked to explain why they’re voting for Obama and not voting for Mitt Romney in 2012.

REASON 52I HAVE NOTICED SOMETHING IN MITT ROMNEY’S NAME.

DAVID LYNCH
David Lynch. Born Missoula, Montana. Eagle Scout.

Dear Americans, Republicans, and Democrats Alike,

I am going to vote for re-electing President Obama. I have noticed something in Mitt Romney’s name, which I think speaks to what he is about. If you just rearrange a few letters, Romney becomes R MONEY. I believe Mitt Romney wants to get his Mitts on R Money. He would like to get it and divide it up with his friends, the Big Money Bunch.

I believe he would like to get his Mitts on R Money, R Resources, R Freedoms, and R American Dream. I do not trust Mitt Romney to look after the best interests of 99% of Americans. I think electing Mitt Romney would be a catastrophe for our country—one which would be real difficult to straighten out later. Please do not let Mitt Romney get his Mitts on R Money or R United States of America.

—DAVID LYNCH
Los Angeles, California

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Car Elevators and Costco: Ann Romney Antoinette Is a Real Renaissance Woman

Ann Romney must have gotten briefed by her husband’s campaign managing team that Costco can be used for something else beside raiding and a hostile take over or some some shit, because in an attempt to appeal to the common man – or woman –  so everyone thinks she is one of us and not a plutocratic elitist bigot with $55,000 elevators for her cars and a $ 77,000 race horse she tax deducted, Ann Romney Antoinette condescended to our level  by revealing her Costco shopping list when visiting the “Rachael Ray Show” on Thursday.  There, she said she can spend a mere $137.50 when cooking for 30 people, totaling just $4.50 per person. Right, because multi-millionaires who own six mansions and car elevators need to worry about staying within the food budget.

I always start at Costco”, Antoinette said as she took Ray’s film crew on a Costco trip, picking up spinach, berries, frozen cream puffs and rotisserie chicken.  Romney gave some shopping tips, like buying the pre-cooked chicken last so as to not heat up the other food in the cart, the New York Daily News reported.

Isn’t that brilliant? The thought process that must have gone into this: buy the hot food item last so as to not melt the frozen foods. Amazing. Next stop, rocket science, Ann. She really is first wife material just based on that fact alone if you ask me.

Ann Romney is a real renaissance woman see.  She is not just an unemployed parasite sitting pretty with a team of chefs, housekeepers, nannies, groundskeepers and custodial staff on a quarter a billion of dollars of money her husband cheated people, and this nation, out of, she is just a regular Joe, or Josephine. I mean this woman even  knows how to maneuver the Costco aisles all on her own and without a staff.  In an interview, she explained: “I know how to shop Costco. You go in the door — I don’t want everyone to learn this trick — you take a sharp right and you go way down to the back of the store and just shop the outside of the aisles.” Isn’t that amazing? Her publicist team did do a good job briefing her on proper common man etiquette and protocol of how to enter a grocery store and navigate the aisles.

How truly earthen and common man-ish of Ann:  condescending to the level of the common man to show that the silver spoon that’s been shoved down her openings in all these years does not define her plutocratic self at all.

Nothing makes 99% of Americans feels more understood and cared for than a bunch of obscenely wealthy 1%ers slumming it for show. Who are they kidding. Not even Oprah cooks her own food. Assholes

This is almost as good as the lie she told during the RNC when she said that she and Mitt lived in a basement apartment in Boston eating their food on an ironing board they used as table. Poor things, it must have been so awkward when the maid interrupted their dinner to iron.

Anyway, sitting on quarter a billion with countless nannies, chefs and housekeepers, I bet this hands on menial work must be a whole new adventure for Ms. A.R. Antoinette, becasue, see folks, the fact that “little Annie who loves little Willard” is doing some food shopping and food cooking and all those other womanly things,  makes us common folk, and especially women, feel all warm and fuzzy and understood.

Moreover, such a calculated gesture which they were told was going to be politically expedient, also totally shows that her husband is qualified to be the leader of this nation. Becasue see if Ann Romney can cook food for the common man and actually cook it herself no less, instead of sending her houskeeping staff to Whole Foods and Gelson’s to do the shopping and cooking for her, it means that her husband would make the perfect POTUS.

In fact, nothing screams “qualified to hold the office of president” more than a man whose wife can navigate the aisles at Costco and the kitchen.

And as we all know, semi billionaires totally send their wives to push carts at grocery stores, buying pre-packed $ 7.99 rotisserie chicken and frozen, processed foods at whole sale prices for the dinner table, or 137 people as the need may be next time they have a get together with the Koch Brothers and all those people owning football teams.

That $4.50 a person/head budget is totally realistic and am sure comes handy for such high society events.  In fact, the Romneys are just a regular American family who just happen to be part of the 1% with a diabolic plan to remain on top while feeding on the lifeline of everyone else.

Now if this revelation doesn’t convince the independent voters and especially women, I don’t know what will. I mean this is so convincing and as a woman the very issue I care about: how to stretch my food dollars while my man goes out there being a man and doing all the things men do.

Thank you Ann. You are the personification of class and humility indeed. How mighty white of you. And while I think you are nothing but a full of shit, overprivileged plutocrat and doormat of a woman who doesn’t know a thing about how to do anything around a house but buy it and decorate it and whose only exposure to Costco probably was when your husband took you on a tour in case he plans on doing one of those Bain hostile takeovers (also known as working hard and the American Dream),  I applaud you for having the balls to go to Rachael Ray and all over the country, telling lies and being a phony asshole who pretends that she does not have a deep contempt for the american people whom you condescendingly referred to as “you people” when asked about your husband’s refusal to release more than two lousy years of doctored tax returns.

It is so refreshing of you to not pretend that you seem to think of the American people as this nuisance; as this inevitable, annoying, pestering entity you and your fiber coif husband have to unfortunately go through to get to what you really want to do, namely fulfill Mitt’s “destiny” to be President.  Like when you and your husband told the Obamas to “start packing,” because in your words, “It’s Mitt’s time. It’s our turn now,” to live in the White House. As if the Obamas were troublesome tenants who’d overstayed their welcome in the home that rightly belongs to the Romneys.

Thank you Ann. Gee I cannot wait to not vote for your husband.

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Stephen Colbert Offers Donald Trump One Million Dollars and His Balls

Over the past few years, Donald Trump has moved from being a pretentious asshole to a stark, raving lunatic. The fuckery  and with it the path to complete and utter lunacy laced with a large portion of assholishness started with Trump’s incessant demands for Obama to publish his birth certificate to show to the world that he is, in fact, not some communist Kenyan on a secret mission from Mars to destroy the United States and it ended with Trump offering Obama $5 milion to a charity of his choice if Obama released all college and passport records to him by Halloween, October 31st. 

Dystopian Assholes in a Bunch

Last night, Stephen Colbert had a very special proposition of his own for Trump:

“Mr Trump, I will write you a check for $1 million dollars from Colbert Super PAC – you know I’ve got it – to the charity of your choice. Anything. Save The Children. Feed The Children. Put The Children on Child Apprentice, whatever! One million actual dollars, if you will let me dip my balls in your mouth – one million. But… this dipping, and I hope you’re listening very carefully Mr Trump. This dipping has to be to my and more importantly, my balls’ satisfaction. One caveat… one caveat. My balls must be in your mouth no later than 5pm October 31st.”

Crude as the response may be, Colbert is actually right on.  Trump’s proposition was pretty damn rude and the equivalent of asking Obama to engage in a humiliating act for no fucking good reason other than to mock the President and satisfy Trump’s hate and fear mongering, not to mention racism.  So what Colbert did – even though not very PG 13 – was to turn the mirror around. I mean Trump really might as well have said “Mr. President i will donate 5 million to your charity of choice if you suck my balls.”  Trump used euphemisms while Colbert spelled it out. Brilliant.

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