Wednesday, February 26, 2014

You might be living in a plutocracy if...(part 7 of 10)

(Watch Nick Hanauer, businessman and venture capitalist, and one of the original investors in, explain how the super-wealthy are not the true job creators. Hanauer argues, "If it was true that lower taxes for the rich and more wealth for the wealthy led to job creation, today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet, unemployment and underemployment is at record highs." Indeed, the labor force participation rate is at a 35-year low, 24 million Americans wish they had a full-time job but can't find one, and the main reason that the unemployment rate is dropping is because more unemployed Americans have given up looking for work, out of hopelessness, and are no longer counted as unemployed. Ironically, if every unemployed person gave up looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 0%.) 

You might be living in a plutocracy if...

...lies are piled on top of lies, to ensure that the most wealthy Americans get wealthier while the rest of America stagnates or falls behind.

For over three decades we have been deceived by the corporate & political rhetoric that claims (a) lowering taxes on the wealthy will create an abundance of good middle-class jobs, and (b) unions & regulations kill jobs. So, we've handed out colossal tax breaks to the wealthy, we've deregulated, we've demonized unions to the point where very few Americans are part of a union, and we've glorified the rich as some sort of job-creating meta-human gods....gods that we should willingly, even lovingly, become lapdogs for.


The lowest labor force participation rate in 35 years, backbreaking debt on the middle-class and poor, stagnant wages in the face of rising prices, a tidal wave of financial fraud coming out of Corporate America, environmental pollution (see next paragraph), extreme wealth & income inequality, a shrinking middle-class, the largest prison-industrial complex in the world, persistent efforts by the super-wealthy to evade taxes despite enjoying historically low tax rates (including historically low effective tax rates), and aggressive political lobbying from corporations to lower their tax rates despite enjoying their own historically low tax rates.

But even worse than all this, is that the corporate and congressional powers-that-be keep selling the same old snake oil year after year--"Job-creators!" "Evil unions!" "Deregulation!"--and millions of American voters continue to buy it, in wide-eyed delusion, even as their wages, benefits, and futures are worse than their parents and grandparents. For example, millions of Americans continue to vote for political candidates that praise deregulation, even as under-regulated companies (and products) spill chemicals & coal ash into their drinking water, cause their fish to become laden with mercury, and fill their atmosphere with so much filth that children and pregnant women are sometimes warned to stay indoors because the air may sicken them.

Plutocracy requires (a) lies on top of lies, and (b) an electorate willing to believe those lies and continue voting for whichever political candidates that Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Bank of America nominate with their ill-gotten money. And, thus far, the strategy of the plutocrats has been wildly successful--for them. The already-wealthy are becoming wealthier, the middle-class is going nowhere but down, and the poor are constantly insulted as "takers" and "leeches," to distract us from the greed, fraud, and pollution that continuously flows out of Corporate America.

(Watch as news anchors at CNBC try to argue that bank regulations are ineffectual, and watch how U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren exposes their ignorance of history. Excellent commentary by Cenk Uygur.)

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