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Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:19 AM

"Where Are the Populist Democrats?"

Where Are the Populist Democrats?
Jim Hightower
4/23/2015

....Hillary Clinton has warned that “extreme inequality has corrupted other societies.” Uh…yes. But what about our society? Clinton says: “We have to have a concerted effort to meet a consensus about how to deal with this.”

Huh? That’s not an answer, much less a solution. It’s a political tap dance around a crucial matter facing America. Why would she dodge a chance to swing away at a down-the-middle issue that’s right in the wheelhouse of her party’s populist strength?

After all, recent polls show majority public support for direct government action to reduce the wealth gap, from raising taxes on the superrich to raising the minimum wage above the poverty level.

Turns out there’s one tiny constituency whose opinion outweighs all others on this issue: the 1-percenters.


Clinton and other top Democrats are weaker than Canadian hot sauce when it comes to embracing the real populism that voters want. Here’s a possible explanation for that mystery: Only 13 percent of the superrich think government should take action to redress inequality.

...When both parties kow-tow to money, the people’s needs are ignored, and politics becomes illegitimate.

http://otherwords.org/where-are-the-populist-democrats/

58 replies, 4672 views

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Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Where Are the Populist Democrats?" (Original post)
RiverLover Apr 2015 OP
Scuba Apr 2015 #1
RiverLover Apr 2015 #2
L0oniX Apr 2015 #52
demwing Apr 2015 #3
RiverLover Apr 2015 #5
zeemike Apr 2015 #15
Jackpine Radical Apr 2015 #27
demwing Apr 2015 #31
Jackpine Radical Apr 2015 #32
merrily Apr 2015 #33
Jackpine Radical Apr 2015 #37
merrily Apr 2015 #39
Cosmic Kitten Apr 2015 #18
marym625 Apr 2015 #4
RiverLover Apr 2015 #6
marym625 Apr 2015 #7
merrily Apr 2015 #35
marym625 Apr 2015 #36
merrily Apr 2015 #40
marym625 Apr 2015 #43
merrily Apr 2015 #44
marym625 Apr 2015 #49
merrily Apr 2015 #50
marym625 Apr 2015 #55
merrily Apr 2015 #57
marym625 Apr 2015 #58
L0oniX Apr 2015 #54
mother earth Apr 2015 #23
marym625 Apr 2015 #25
L0oniX Apr 2015 #53
marym625 Apr 2015 #56
Enthusiast Apr 2015 #8
daleanime Apr 2015 #9
ibewlu606 Apr 2015 #10
DonCoquixote Apr 2015 #38
donnasgirl Apr 2015 #11
RiverLover Apr 2015 #16
NYC_SKP Apr 2015 #12
appalachiablue Apr 2015 #13
WillyT Apr 2015 #14
Ford_Prefect Apr 2015 #17
RiverLover Apr 2015 #19
FiveGoodMen Apr 2015 #34
merrily Apr 2015 #45
Cosmic Kitten Apr 2015 #20
RiverLover Apr 2015 #29
Cosmic Kitten Apr 2015 #30
merrily Apr 2015 #46
LiberalArkie Apr 2015 #21
RiverLover Apr 2015 #28
merrily Apr 2015 #47
Thespian2 Apr 2015 #22
AzDar Apr 2015 #24
aspirant Apr 2015 #26
MidschoolLiberal17 Apr 2015 #41
RiverLover Apr 2015 #42
merrily Apr 2015 #48
L0oniX Apr 2015 #51

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:27 AM

1. We're out here being called "fucking retards" if not being ignored completely.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:37 AM

2. It's gone beyond being frustrating.

"What America has is a Representative Democracy problem" (L Lessig)

The people are not represented anymore.



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Response to RiverLover (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 10:44 AM

52. Hate to sound like a tea bagger but if our government isn't going to represent us then...

 

it must be time for the majority common citizens to not pay taxes. Odd that we should vote for someone who won't represent us on the more important and maybe vital issues concerning the common citizen.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:57 AM

3. What we need is an iconic act that will capture Americas attention

 

landing a gyro copter on the Capitol lawn to deliver letters to a corrupt congress is a good start, but we need something bigger, more dramatic, and more rebellious.

What's the 21st century equivalent of dumping tea in Boston Harbor?

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Response to demwing (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:19 AM

5. Will have to think on that...

God knows signing petitions & protests aren't changing anything.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:47 AM

15. Signing petitions can be ignored and protest last a few hours

then we go home and they go back to business as usual...and the media will talk about some celeb...

It is going to take more commitment than that to change things...but who has the time when most people can't afford to miss work or they lose their home...and our liberal organizations will not get together and do anything but raise money for some TV ad...which is usually worthless.

And you see what they did to Occupy...so new approaches are needed and I wish I had one.
A general strike that a lot of people took part in and stayed until the job was done, but I don't know how to do that.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 11:00 AM

27. The media ignore that stuff.

I think it's gotta be something that actually scares the 1%--like a general strike.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 12:15 PM

31. A general strike would fit the bill: "bigger, more dramatic, and more rebellious"

 

It would send a clear message that we're not going to play this fucking game anymore

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Response to demwing (Reply #31)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 12:21 PM

32. Very interesting.

Yesterday morning I joined a couple of friends for coffee--a retired psych prof & a woman who works on liberal causes. Practically the first thing the prof said when I joined the group was, "So when are we starting the General Strike?" There was almost a sense of elation, a freeing of the soul, in that thought. It just seems to be in the air these days.

Public discontent is sorta like natural gas--the Powers really don't notice it concentrating until it reaches explosive levels.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #27)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 01:02 PM

33. Hard, if unions are penalized for them.

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Response to merrily (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 05:59 PM

37. You're thinking too narrowly.

It would be a Peasants Strike, a Jacquerie, not just a strike of labor unions. Consumers, laborers, kids--everyone who can be spared from vital jobs in hospitals, etc. would walk out. Or at least enough of them to get some real notice.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 11:01 PM

39. Perhaps, my friend, perhaps.

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Response to demwing (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:49 AM

18. A Social Media storm with a Call to Action

The Democratic Establishment
is decidedly right-leaning.

Obama has said, he himself,
would be a considered a republican
20 years ago.

The New Democrats, DLC, 3rd-Way
are unquestionably pushing a
republican economic agenda.

Rahm Emanuel is being supported by
Scott Walker republicans.
"They" have taken over the party.

Until average Democrats realize and accept
this fundamental shift NOTHING will change.
Those urging vote (D) because, democrat
are blocking any substantive change .

To that end:
Meet the people where they are.
Social Media.

Inspire and inform.
Establish the narrative.

Push narrative to sympathetic media
co-opt unsympathetic media.

Seek minor acts that
establish solidarity...
(think flag pins, yellow ribbons etc)

Plan for larger action
that can be expressed
without major inconvenience
such as expense, extensive travel

Recognize participation
Urge continued work to fulfill vision.

Lather, rinse, repeat

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:16 AM

4. She is running to win the Republican vote

She has made that clear. And, as much as they can without going against their party, leaders in the party have supported her.

You will see her start pulling in women from the right. She will absolutely do it. Now, if she did it with democratic values, that would be fine. But she'll do it by pandering to the right.

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Response to marym625 (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:30 AM

6. Exactly. And if I had to give the short answer as to why I oppose HRC,

what you wrote here would sum it up nicely.

Democrat(R)s will never have my support. They don't help our country, just the opposite, and they definitely hurt the Democratic Party.

Widespread privatization
Globalization
Union-bashing
War mongering
Weakening environmental standards
Monopolizing industries
Corporate welfare
Lack of regulation & oversight of the financial industry

This is NOT why I call myself a democrat. We're supposed to be better than rethugs. But money has been the great equalizer.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:38 AM

7. I am very sincere in my sadness and disbelief

At the absolute disregard for the economic side of the issues. That people are truly calling out liberal Democrats as racist, misogynistic, bigoted, etc because we know that the corpocracy/oligarchy that we have allowed to take over is the direct cause of the social inequities that have been taking over the country. That all the gains we made in the early part of the second half of last century are being dismantled.

Just amazed and saddened

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Response to marym625 (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 01:17 PM

35. Truth is not the objective. Neither is caring for the vulnerable or building a

strong middle class.

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Response to merrily (Reply #35)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 04:49 PM

36. a truth I found hard to accept

But no longer have a choice

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Response to marym625 (Reply #36)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 11:03 PM

40. Many of us are proof that

(a) brainwashing works; and (b) ideas are hard to give up.

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Response to merrily (Reply #40)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 10:54 AM

43. sure does

It is exactly that, ideas are hard to give up. And the idea of Obama and the reality were a hard lesson. But learned

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Response to marym625 (Reply #43)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 03:10 PM

44. It was also quite cosy to think that all I had to do was support Democrats and

that would take care of everything.

Before I married, I thought "I can't keep getting aggravated about every news report. Either I have to go into politics and do something or I have to focus on my life outside politics." And, obviously, I chose to focus on my life outside politics. But, then, there was 911 and Bush and I tuned back in big time and omigosh. The hits have kept coming ever since.

And not in a good way.

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Response to merrily (Reply #44)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 07:53 AM

49. I have been politically active my entire life.

And I mean entire life. I was out campaigning for McGovern when I was 8.

But the second time bush stole the election, I backed away for about 2 years. Just felt absolutely hopeless. But I came back.

I never thought that I would feel like we are too far gone to come back after 6 years of a democratic president. Obviously, it is not all him.

Even though I really do believe there is no way out, I have to keep fighting. We all do

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Response to marym625 (Reply #49)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 08:57 AM

50. I am not sure there is no way out. Sometimes, yes, I

get discouraged. But I have been seeing encouraging signs for some time now. Either way, though, you're 100% right. We do have to keep fighting. However, any hope of winning lies in organizing and fundraising. And so, far, I am not encouraged with what I see in that direction. I think it still can happen, though we all should have woken up sooner, but will we make the sacrifices? Can we? I don't know.

BTW, I have always actively supported Democratic candidates. I had no clue about DLC/Third Way/New Democrats versus traditional Democrats. No idea that takeover (or just about) of the Party had occurred. As I said, I thought all I had to do was support the Democrats, any Democrats. And, so I did. But I did not run for office and I did not keep up with the daily yin and yang of politics as much as I do now.

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Response to merrily (Reply #50)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 12:36 PM

55. As Sabrina1 keeps telling me

And probably others, we have to start with local elections and move up. Though I know how hard it is not to look at top.

I know that SCOTUS is an important issue. But truly, we lost that a while ago. Someone on DU had a great post about that. If I can find it, I will link it. And if HC gets in, don't expect anything but another corporate stooge that is also an advocate for state rights over federal law

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Response to marym625 (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 12:47 PM

57. It doesn't have to be either or. I don't think it should be.

RW Libertarians are famous for starting with things like school board elections. On the other hand, if Ron Paul hadn't run for President a few times, would they have penetrated American consciousness enough to gather numbers?

But, I am not sure a new Party is the answer, either.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12776005#post136

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Response to merrily (Reply #57)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 12:50 PM

58. We shouldn't need a new party.

Just take ours back.

Yes, I think the Libertarian would have been noticed without Paul. They were in fact

I was the first one to rec and comment on the post you linked to

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Response to merrily (Reply #44)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 10:52 AM

54. "focus on my life outside politics" Uh that's what's been on my mind lately. If Hillary...

 

gets the nomination I'm will be spending my free time with something else more beneficial like cleaning a cat box or sailing or writing catchy death metal tunes.

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Response to marym625 (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 10:09 AM

23. Well said, along with the DINO's. nt

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Response to mother earth (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 10:33 AM

25. Thank you. nt

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Response to marym625 (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 10:46 AM

53. Pure centrist campaign.

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #53)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 12:39 PM

56. frankly, I honestly think it's a great GOP campaign.

It's cowardly, it's contradictory and much of it is unbelievable, like the sudden change of heart about marriage equality

I know I will catch all kinds of shit for that but I believe it.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 08:41 AM

8. Kicked and recommended a whole bunch!


"Clinton and other top Democrats are weaker than Canadian hot sauce when it comes to embracing the real populism that voters want."

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:12 AM

9. K&R.....

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:25 AM

10. Kicked!

 



"Clinton and other top Democrats are weaker than Canadian hot sauce when it comes to embracing the real populism that voters want." I love that line!!!!!

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Response to ibewlu606 (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 10:25 PM

38. hey

even under harper, there is a lot of good Canadian hot sauce.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:25 AM

11. Riverlover

http://www.lohud.com/story/money/personal-finance/taxes/david-mckay-wilson/2015/04/23/scarsdale-strikes-rich-tax-freeze/26270137/

And when there are so called Democrats doing wrong in the view of many, HRC would be one of the recipients of the bigger tax cuts.

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Response to donnasgirl (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:49 AM

16. They're getting very creative here. Thanks for the link.

This unreal, its actually taking money from schools and directly handing it those who are well-off.

Spending cuts for tax rebates.

The greater good concept needs to be re-injected into our party.

The age of greed & selfishness needs to end, soon.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:37 AM

12. “We have to have a concerted effort to meet a consensus about how to deal with this.”

 

That right there is her answer to everything.

That is the "Hillary Solution".

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:38 AM

13. K & R

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:38 AM

14. HUGE K & R !!! - THANK YOU !!!

 


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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:49 AM

17. The Democratic party has only ONE agenda - Support the 1% or be damned to a Republican Future.

They are the only factor driving this election anymore. If any other feature of the American economy or social fabric had meaning for them it would be apparent. Look at the amount of time and money spent developing TPP in great secrecy. Look at the MIC segment of the economy. Look at the non-interference policies of the DOJ into any subject area which previous administrations of both parties considered worthy.

Our election system has been steered into a process of selection by fear. The Republicans vote against anything at all due to fearing the outcome will advance cultural enemies, based purely on the most effective propaganda machine since WWII. The Democrats are told they must vote to prevent such a disaster as the Republicans will create if they win. Which is again supported by the 2nd most effective propaganda machine. Neither party allows dissenting views from their relative lines of thought to enter the political dialogue. Those of either party who raise doubts or alternate issues are castigated from on high as disloyal to the party and hounded by the mindless minions of the national press (who don't know the meaning of a follow-up question let alone how to pronounce one).

Sisters and Brothers our future has already been bought and sold! We are being led through the motions of choice and participation to suit the grand scenario written to distract us. They require our consent so they have manipulated the terms of our granting it.

I would suggest we should maybe sharpen our pitchforks but you cannot buy them at Walmart.

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Response to Ford_Prefect (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:51 AM

19. Well said. /nt

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Response to Ford_Prefect (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 01:09 PM

34. I think it's "Support the 1% AND be damned to a republican future"

Whether it's actually brought to us by (official) republicans or not.

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Response to Ford_Prefect (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 03:13 PM

45. You forgot Merry Supreme Court and Happy say hello to President Cruz.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 09:59 AM

20. We need a better term for the 1%, the billionaire class

The "BLAME" for wealth inequality
needs to be laser focused.

Republicans blame the working poor
and those on hard times, ignoring
corporate leeches, and Wall st parasites.

"Democrats" pretend they don't know
who "stacked the deck"... but they are
looking for the scoundrels!

Remember; inside every Teapublican
is a Populist waiting to be liberated!



These privileged Americans blame widening inequity on the very people losing their jobs, income, and wealth. They claim that hard-up people should simply improve their work ethic and character.

Why would Democrats care what these few elites think? Well, because meek Democrats like Clinton have become so dependent on rich people’s campaign checks that they let them restrict the party’s policies and message, thus alienating the workaday majority.

Hillary is not "MEEK".
She is complicit.
Ron Wyden is meek and feckless

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Response to Cosmic Kitten (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 11:34 AM

29. Really great points, CK, as usual. I agree.

No time to comment on each point, but real quick, just want to say it irks me that people say liberals/populists "hate the rich" or worse, we want to "topple" them. Not true. It's the corruption & coercion of our govt, the rigging of the system in their favor that is wrong.

Yes, we need a better term than the billionaire class. Because not all use their fortunes to screw the rest of us. (thank God)

So when Liz says, "the game is rigged", that's what she's addressing. Lessig's speech covers it well. I hope you watch it when you have time!

But to be perceived as angry due to mere jealousy of wealth is completely wrong & we need to counter that spin...

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 11:46 AM

30. Hillary stole Elizabeth's meme

I realize Elizabeth made
the comment that
"the game is rigged".

Hillary "borrowed" it
for her "Getting Started" video.
Hillary said the "deck is stacked"

Hillary is just parroting
words that did well in
her focus group

The issue of wealth inequality
needs to be thoroughly fleshed
out and diagrammed so the
general public has a road map
as to where their wealth has gone.

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Response to Cosmic Kitten (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 03:17 PM

46. "Level the playing field" as well.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 10:04 AM

21. Our Democratic party leaders feel that "Centrist" is Fox News and the "Left" is represented by

Morning Joe

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 11:27 AM

28. The alternative universe manufactured by controlling the narrative.

They do know how to spin, don't they?

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #21)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 03:19 PM

47. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Some days, the left bashing here is like the McCarthy hearings, difference being, even Revoltin' Joe knew that "far left" means communist.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 10:05 AM

22. Why politicians and corporations

don't give a shit about America's workers...

"In California, the cost of picking up the slack from companies such as Walmart, Burger King and Macy’s is $3.7 billion a year. In New York, the price tag is $3.3 billion. Texans are shelling out $2 billion. Couldn’t we build a few schools with that money? Repair some roads and bridges? Invest in new technology?"

(from Al Jazeera)

Why should Third Way corporatists and the GodOffalParty change the current state of inequity? Corporatists can sip wine on their yachts, while their Gulfstreams fly in politicians to kiss criminal ass. Welcome to America.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 10:20 AM

24. K & R

 

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 10:50 AM

26. With labor as an anchor

The Patriotic Populist Movement could catch on.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 05:52 AM

41. Yep, one of the reasons

 

I advocate increasing taxes on the top 1% by 10% higher than the middle class. For their amount of money, they should pay more to society in taxes so we don't suffer from income inequality.

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Response to MidschoolLiberal17 (Reply #41)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 07:47 AM

42. Welcome to DU, MidschoolLiberal17

The wealthy end up paying a much lower RATE than most of us due to write-offs and creative accounting. And lets not forget the low rate on capital gains....

And you don't even have to be a billionaire. I have a relative who is self-employed & does accounting work for a guy who owns several restaurants. He doesn't pay a dime in income taxes. He lives in a 2.5 million house & summers in Europe with his family. It wouldn't hurt him to pay some effing taxes.

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Response to MidschoolLiberal17 (Reply #41)

Sat Apr 25, 2015, 03:35 PM

48. It's that they take more out of society.

Who puts more wear and tear on infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports, ports, railroads), someone earning $25K a year waiting tables or someone with loads of money and a lot of stock in an import export business (to give just one example)? Who pollutes the air and water more? Who gets benefit after benefit from government for being a "job creator," even if the majority of the jobs created are overseas? When was the last time you got invited to a social event held by the Mayor or the Governor or the President at taxpayer expense? And so on. The airwaves are supposed to be public. How many millions have you made from them? And so one.

It's not they should pay more taxes so we can get their money. It's that their fair share should be much more than they've been paying. Probably more than they ever will pay.

Another example, a local one for me. A lovely park on the Boston waterfront was renovated. The renovation was supposed to cost one million. It ended costing several million. No big surprise there. However, the park stayed dug up a long time. No one could use it. Finally, it was finished. Yeayyy. But...it looked exactly the same from the street. So, I asked someone what they had done to the park. Answer: "They made it smaller."

Whaaaaa? All that time and tax money to make a park smaller? Why? More parking for boats. Now, why did everyone who owns a bit of a condo in Boston (or a mansion) have to chip in real estate taxes to make a public park smaller so more boats could park? There is a small hotel on the waterfront that caters to boat owners. If I had to guess why, my money is on guest parking for that hotel so the owner of that hotel can get richer. On my dime.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Apr 26, 2015, 10:39 AM

51. "weaker than Canadian hot sauce" OMG LMFAO

 

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