Skip to main content

Bill Moyers recently gave a speech at the Brennan Institute.  If you go to his website, you can read an edited version of that speech, titled The Great American Class War:  Plutocracy Versus Democracy.

Simply put, Moyers provides context - from a variety of sources, to what we currently confront, and how it fits in our history.

He quotes Justice Brennan, and his experience of why he was a liberal.  

He looks at his own background, growing up a child of the Depression whose first 11 years of life overlapped with the vast majority of the Presidency of FDR.

He quotes a warning from The Economist and then adds pertinent words of his own:

Ten years ago the Economist magazine — no friend of Marxism — warned: “The United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.” And as a recent headline in the Columbia Journalism Review put it: “The line between democracy and a darker social order is thinner than you think.”

We are this close – this close! – to losing our democracy to the mercenary class. So close it’s as if we’re leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon waiting for a swift kick in the pants.

Please keep reading.

The historian Plutarch warned us long ago of what happens when there is no brake on the power of great wealth to subvert the electorate. “The abuse of buying and selling votes,” he wrote of Rome, “crept in and money began to play an important part in determining elections. Later on, this process of corruption spread in the law courts and to the army, and finally, when even the sword became enslaved by the power of gold, the republic was subjected to the rule of emperors.”
After this, Moyers, provides examples of what we confront, starting with
We don’t have emperors yet, but we do have the Roberts Court that consistently privileges the donor class.
  He continues in a similar fashion to excoriate the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Republican party -  abiding by fair use prevents me from quoting all of that.

Perhaps this paragraph provides an appropriate summary:

Why are record numbers of Americans on food stamps? Because record numbers of Americans are in poverty. Why are people falling through the cracks? Because there are cracks to fall through. It is simply astonishing that in this rich nation more than 21 million Americans are still in need of full-time work, many of them running out of jobless benefits, while our financial class pockets record profits, spends lavishly on campaigns to secure a political order that serves its own interests and demands that our political class push for further austerity. Meanwhile, roughly 46 million Americans live at or below the poverty line and, with the exception of Romania, no developed country has a higher percent of kids in poverty than we do. Yet a study by scholars at Northwestern University and Vanderbilt finds little support among the wealthiest Americans for policy reforms to reduce income inequality.
And that is part of the problem, because increasingly - thanks to the Roberts Court, to the Senate being populated by millionaires who seem to have forgotten about those who are struggling, to a Republican party  (and too many Democrats) who are beholden to the corporate interests and the wealthy who control and benefit from them - the wealthiest Americans have no interest in anything that does not further enrich and empower them, and in the process our democracy is disappearing, the social contract that should bind us together is being shredded and the notion of "we the people of the United States" is becoming obsolete, as this become evermore
a government of the corporations, by the already powerful, for the wealthy
as I wrote in this piece for CNN.Com in February, 2011.

Moyers is no idealist.  He is a hard-headed realist, a journalist, a former student of theology, someone who has observed and thought about what this country means for more than half a century, who has used his various programs as a means of allowing other thinkers to have their ideas expressed to a broader audience.

There are three more paragraphs that I feel I must quote.  I will do so one at a time, although they run consecutively, because I want to offer some additional thoughts of my own on each.

In one way or another, this is the oldest story in America: the struggle to determine whether “we, the people” is a moral compact embedded in a political contract or merely a charade masquerading as piety and manipulated by the powerful and privileged to sustain their own way of life at the expense of others.
This is one of the early battles of this nation, starting with the event that actually led to our Constitution being written, Shays Rebellion, which scared the moneyed classes into coming together to "fix" the flawed Articles of Confederation.  The government they created was NOT a democracy -  those people who could vote - largely white, male, property owners over the age of 21 - could only vote directly for the House of Representatives, with democracy held at bay through the indirect elections of Presidents and Senators.

It is also part of the battle between Jefferson and Hamilton.  Each had his strengths, each had his flaws, but the Federalist approach of Hamilton keeps reappearing, as it did in the Gilded Age (and in Supreme Court decisions such as Lochner v New York) and as it does again with the Roberts Court and Citizens United, among other atrocious decisions.  IT certainly appears when a budget deal negotiated in part by a Democratic Senator will cut retirement benefits for those who have served in the military for a pittance of a savings but impose no additional taxes or responsibilities upon those making billions in the current economy, sitting on trillions of cash, while millions have no jobs or what jobs they have are losing benefits and are insufficient to maintain a family, plan for the future, and whose retirement plans increasingly will be to keep working until they drop dead.

I should make it clear that I don’t harbor any idealized notion of politics and democracy. Remember, I worked for Lyndon Johnson. Nor do I romanticize “the people.” You should read my mail and posts on right-wing websites. I understand the politician in Texas who said of the state legislature, “If you think these guys are bad, you should see their constituents.”
Here I will disagree somewhat with Moyers.  I agree about the expressions one encounters from those constituents.  But that is for many because that is all they have ever been taught - by politicians who manipulate them, by preachers who distort the Bible, by petty and larger tyrants who will willingly turn people against one another and against their own interests so long as they themselves maintain power and gain riches.

It is a problem.   It is solvable.  But when those on "our side" take the approach that so long as they are marginally to the left of the Republicans, then  the real progressive approach that would speak even to many of these constituents goes unheard.

When the journalists no longer see themselves as tribunes of the people but are more concerned with to whose Christmas party they will be invited, the press ceases to have a function on behalf of we the people, even if ownership was not increasingly concentrated in hands that seek to use that power to propagandize on behalf of the powerful, not when a Democratic administration seeks to neuter the press by going after journalists as well as those who expose the wrongdoings in the past as well as the current administration.

But there is nothing idealized or romantic about the difference between a society whose arrangements roughly serve all its citizens (something otherwise known as social justice) and one whose institutions have been converted into a stupendous fraud. That can be the difference between democracy and plutocracy.
one whose institutions have been converted into a stupendous fraud

and any institution that attempts to stand up to this steamroller finds itself marginalized if it is lucky, privatized or crushed if it is not so lucky.

The words I quote from my CNN piece are of course derived from Lincoln, from Gettysburg.  Moyers ends with a similar reference to that speech.  I will let him have the final word, as I again strongly urge - demand - that you go read and consider the entire speech:

One hundred and fifty years ago, Abraham Lincoln stood on the blood-soaked battlefield of Gettysburg and called Americans to “the great task remaining.” That “unfinished work,” as he named it, remained the same then as it was when America’s founding generation began it. And it remains the same today: to breathe new life into the promise of the Declaration of Independence and to assure that the Union so many have sacrificed to save is a union worth saving.

Originally posted to teacherken on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:33 AM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Social Security Defenders.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (275+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Bob Love, Powered Grace, Involuntary Exile, George3, shaharazade, maggid, travelerxxx, CJB2012, kurious, J V Calin, Choco8, GwenM, mollyd, LaFeminista, tweeternik, mrsgoo, tb92, BHooked2it, cwsmoke, divineorder, VTCC73, philipmerrill, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, dance you monster, bobswern, Darryl House, a2nite, wytcld, Redfire, kbman, tofumagoo, EagleOfFreedom, Bisbonian, GrannyGeek, doingbusinessas, Chi, WisePiper, Pam from Calif, Gowrie Gal, snazzzybird, HedwigKos, praenomen, marleycat, dewtx, countwebb, johanus, hannah, xaxnar, Most Awesome Nana, cybrestrike, CTDemoFarmer, OregonWetDog, Phoebe Loosinhouse, Moody Loner, shaggies2009, catilinus, tardis10, rapala, SouthernLiberalinMD, Catte Nappe, juca, pixxer, tegrat, Ohiodem1, Dolphin99, cocinero, happymisanthropy, murrayewv, Superskepticalman, pvasileff, Sychotic1, Wreck Smurfy, Tommymac, Syoho, No Exit, Brown Thrasher, side pocket, mudslide, Ipracticedissent, Shockwave, wxorknot, LeftHandedMan, quagmiremonkey, greengemini, ceebee7, rmonroe, PinHole, basquebob, BYw, detroitmechworks, elziax, Laurel in CA, pgm 01, Bluesee, susakinovember, brentut5, Rogneid, ladybug53, Larsstephens, HudsonValleyMark, ArthurPoet, myrmecia gulosa, sow hat, EdSF, Sprinkles, NoMoreLies, Doctor Who, historys mysteries, paz3, Santa Susanna Kid, radarlady, rasbobbo, peachcreek, Ree Zen, Kay Observer2, Steveningen, grollen, ban48, spooks51, Justus, Miss Jones, Lily O Lady, BlueDragon, i saw an old tree today, eyesoars, NM Ray, ridemybike, Ckntfld, Shelley99, jaf49, PrahaPartizan, fiercefilms, sanglug, eru, indres, technomage, jbsoul, Debs2, Texknight, barbwires, JVolvo, marina, skybluewater, Aaa T Tudeattack, gfre, FisherOfRolando, fixxit, Randtntx, Alumbrados, jasan, Nespolo, VALuddite, Galtisalie, zerelda, Cronesense, revsue, jayden, Shippo1776, mookins, Raggedy Ann, dle2GA, Ditch Mitch KY, Words In Action, No one gets out alive, Rhysling, oofer, Ironic Chef, rodentrancher, 417els, manneckdesign, freesia, absdoggy, Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, 3goldens, SherwoodB, jaebone, Vienna Blue, Calfacon, politically indigo, bbctooman, Oilwellian, skepticalcitizen, northcountry21st, denise b, lostinamerica, Just Bob, bronte17, wilywascal, Bluehawk, KJG52, notrouble, Heart n Mind, LeftieIndie, kalika, Ignacio Magaloni, goodpractice, Claudius Bombarnac, Skyye, justme, Jeff Y, MartyM, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Hatrax, Loose Fur, EquityRoy, ChemBob, JanL, jerseyjo, onionjim, HCKAD, caryltoo, GreyHawk, CwV, GDbot, eagleray, Radical Faith, IreGyre, Mighty Ike, anodnhajo, Ozymandius, la58, Kristina40, Oldowan, triv33, bsmechanic, RFK Lives, cv lurking gf, sagansong, TexDem, elwior, aunt blabby, janetsal, rivercard, Lurker in the Dark, Ray Pensador, buckstop, Dirtandiron, eztempo, yellowdogsal, letsgetreal, ORswede, dwahzon, tommyfocus2003, shevas01, shortgirl, MHB, deepeco, reggiel, spacecadet1, Jarrayy, Plox, Oaktown Girl, slowbutsure, cslewis, Calamity Jean, NYC Sophia, JerryNA, importer, Maverick80229, ChuckInReno, JamieG from Md, TampaCPA, elginblt, blue aardvark, SphericalXS, twocrows1023, humanmancalvin, kitana0308, justaHippie, opinionaire, skinflower, Lilredhead, 2dot, gharlane

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:33:59 AM PST

  •  I look forward to your comments and reactions (54+ / 0-)

    both on what Moyers offered and if so inclined on my words as well.

    My primary purpose of course is to persuade you to read and consider the Moyers.  If I have done that, I am satisfied.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:45:05 AM PST

    •  thank you teacher (23+ / 0-)

      i will proceed with today's assignment.

      fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

      by mollyd on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:53:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Glad you posted a piece on this... (61+ / 0-)

      ...it's really quite important. Moyers has been nothing less than outstanding, throughout his career; but, lately, his insights (and guests) have been a profoundly critical wake-up call to society--a veritable media island of sanity in an Orwellian state that's captured by a corporatocracy that couldn't give a rat's ass about 99% of its citizens.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:15:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now bobswern don't forget This President just (26+ / 0-)

        also gave an important speech on inequality, and as the leader of our party the actions of House Democrats in their Budget vote this week shows that the Party has turned a corner. /Snark

        More Moyers from the link in the diary:

        Listen! That sound you hear is the shredding of the social contract.

        Ten years ago the Economist magazine — no friend of Marxism — warned: “The United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.” And as a recent headline in the Columbia Journalism Review put it: “The line between democracy and a darker social order is thinner than you think.”

        We are this close – this close! – to losing our democracy to the mercenary class. So close it’s as if we’re leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon waiting for a swift kick in the pants.

        We just got another 'kick in the pants from House Dems who voted for the fail budget this week which  provides for the raiding of pensions and more austerity .

         Now its up to PBO  to use veto power to prove that inequality speech was not just more populist words  trotted out in time for elections.

        Either that, or we just keep spiraling down the rabbit whole until we crash on the bottom of the canyon.  Those who survive   can then begin the long climb back.

        Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

        by divineorder on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:42:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If the very bipartisan House budget passes (4+ / 0-)

          the Senate, the first budget in President Obama's tenure, there is no way that the President would veto it. That would lead to a Democratic federal government shutdown, something politically untenable for the Dems.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:52:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's nice conventional wisdom, but the fact (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybrestrike, mkor7, elwior

            is Republicans popularity went down 8 points after the shutdown but rose again 2 on bad ACA rollout propaganda on the website.  There is a better chance that they would not go for the shutdown when Dems continue to show decades long willingness to be complicit with their legislative fail.

            Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

            by divineorder on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:02:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  do - I think you are missing my point (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PinHole, nextstep, ArthurPoet, divineorder

              If the President vetoes the budget he will be the one causing the shutdown. The Republicans wouldn't be blamed for any part of it. The GOP only controls one piece of this puzzle, the House, which passed a bill with nearly the same number of Republican and Democratic votes. If they had to the GOP would pass a CR and let the sequester take effect. That's the fall back here, which doesn't help the Dems or the safety net programs. There isn't a good Plan B, if there was a veto.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:48:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  VC no its your assumption that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elwior

                Another shutdown was guaranteed, which I argue it was not.

                Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

                by divineorder on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:46:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  do - if there was a shutdown the Dems would (0+ / 0-)

                  take the hit. The GOP isn't going to have any more shutdowns before the midterms. As I said above if there was a veto there would be a CR, and the sequester. Is that a better outcome?

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:47:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The Dems would take the hit? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    chuckvw

                    Who did take the hit?  All those young people who volunteered after 9/11 and went off to war with a pension commitment that their is government is not going to keep.

                    •  The political hit (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JerryNA

                      Not the actual sacrifice.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 10:31:54 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Hey, the only thing keeping me in this (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ljanney

                      lunatic asylum of a nation is my military pension.
                      Cut it and I'll have no reason to stay.
                      My wife's been wanting to leave anyway, the far right disgusts her so badly that she'd gladly leave the land of her birth.

                      •  I UNDERSTAND YOUR WIFE'S REASONS (0+ / 0-)

                        LIKE YOUR WIFE, I  REACHED A CONCLUSION SOME 10 YRS AGO THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NO LONGER A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.  WE HAVE BECOME A PLUTOCRACY OWNED LOCK-STOCK-AND BARREL BY THE RICH AND POWERFUL CORPORATIONS, THE FINANCIAL HOUSES ON WALL STREET, AND THE BILLIONAIRES. WE VOTERS ARE MERE PAWNS ON THE BIG CHESSBOARD OF GREED. SO I MOVED MY FAMILY OVERSEAS TO LIVE IN ANOTHER NATION.  AS I SEE IT FROM MY FRONT PORCH, THE USA HAS ONE MORE SHOT AT A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY; NAMELY, TO GET RID OF THE TEA PARTY IN THE COMING MID-TERM ELECTIONS AND FREE THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO BEGIN TO SERIOUSLY FIX OUR ECONOMIC-POLITICAL- SOCIAL DISEASES.  IF THE TEA PARTY REMAINS IN CONTROL, THEN GOD HELP THE USA AND OUR LONGSTANDING BELIEF THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

                        •  Strangely enough--in absolute terms the 1% would (0+ / 0-)

                          be better off investing in something constructive that would give somewhat more income to the 99% than continuing with their game of monopoly.  Economics is NOT a zero-sum game.  The only reason the 1% can have for continuing with austerity is if they are so bad jealous of those worse off than themselves that they would rather have almost all of a smaller pie than a slightly smaller slice of a larger pie that would come to somewhat more pie for them than have to witness the poor getting uppity because of somewhat more income for the poor.

                        •  Hi William Burns (0+ / 0-)

                          I see you've dropped in on a couple of our recent conversations.  We're happy to have you, but could you try and adhere to some of our conventions?

                          First and foremost, we tend not to appreciate people who, in Internet terms, shout at us, so could you type your messages in standard, lower case fonts with capitols only in names, beginning of sentences and other Very Important Concepts?

                          ;-)

                          If you need an overview of other standards in the community, maybe this will help:

                          Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

                          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                          by a gilas girl on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 09:35:10 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Kick In the Pants (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ljanney

               It's amazing how our Democratic pols, from the president on down, accept as a "compromise," the 5% or so of the wealth that the Republicans have given back of the 90% they have taken from the poor and middle-classes over the last 30years.   This new budget continues the "avalanche up" to the 1%, with barely a "Trickle down" to the 99%.

                 You've got to hand it to the Republicans for chutzpah though; who wouldn't take advantage of naive, spineless "negotiators" if they had the chance.    I keep hoping the Dems will draw some lines, but they keep tripping or choking over them.

    •  It's basically what Michael Moore says (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      Remember "Capitalism: A Love Story"?

      Bill Moyers is only the latest to voice this.

      Send all the Plutocrats… to Pluto.

      "Alcohol enables Congress to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning." - George Bernard Shaw

      by Loose Fur on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 03:36:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the thing...and it's harsh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ljanney, skinflower

      Moyers is stellar.  As always, he makes perfect points.  I am proud that he is a fellow Texan.

      But the harsh reality is that the people who NEED to hear/read this simply will not.  Bill is preaching to the choir.

      ABC, NBC and CBS won't make these points on their nightly news shows.  FOX CERTAINLY won't.   Those audiences account for the majority of Americans, despite the excellence that PBS offers.

      So the most important question is: HOW do we get this kind of content in front of the people who need to read it?

    •  That the wealthiest do not support policy reforms (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skinflower

      to decrease the income inequality does not puzzle me as much as those who have no reasonable hope of ever joining the wealthiest who rail against any policy to narrow the gap.

      If you have worked for 20-30 years and not made it above the lower middle class you are not suddenly going to become part of the wealthiest group.

      •  I am 70 and poor enough that Obamacare got me (0+ / 0-)

        Medicaid handed to me on a silver platter instead of having to buy Medicare gap insurance.  I am sufficiently convinced that the 1% have such a strong grip on political power in this nation that they have absolute veto over any policy change that would at all decrease either their share of the money or their share of political power, that I do NOT expect anything better for myself ever.   I want the children of today's children to have a good shot at living out their lives in a world in which agriculture works well enough to feed the population to advocate for trying to negotiate a deal with the too big to fail firms in the energy industry that would give them a little more income, even short term, in exchange for finally phasing out fossil fuel and phasing in renewable energy and finally cleaning up the mess from fossil fuel.  Fortunately, the demand for energy is sufficiently inelastic that the point of maximum consumer spending on energy is about 90% above the baseline price.  So I would recommend user fees on greenhouse gas emissions as CO2eq, to be split between paying user fee in kind (272.7kg carbon content of fossil fuel to pay fee for a metric ton of CO2eq) and investing either to improve efficiency of electric utility (smart grid electronics, energy storage, HVDC transmission lines) or to produce renewable energy (algal biodiesel [carbon negative due to bio char byproduct], enhanced geothermal systems [dispatchable base load power], wind turbines, solar pwer, etc.  I recommend phasing user fees in $10/ton CO2eq 2015, $20/ton 2016, $30/ton 2017, then full Social Cost of Carbon in 2018, then in 2019 a separate fee on electricity to bring average fee on electricity up to 40% of pre-fee price of electricity, then in 2020 bring fee on electricity up to 50% of pre-fee price, 2021 fee at 60% of pre-fee price, 2022 70% of pre-fee price, 2023 80% of pre-fee price, 2024% 90% of pre-fee price.  Purpose of fee on electricity is to raise revenue for fossil fuel firm investments in renewable energy and for fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights when there is no longer enough greenhouse gas emissions user fees collected to cover all the offsets for bio char and still have something left for those investments and purchase of mineral rights.  Since too big to fail firms demand financing to bring their return on equity up to at least 20% after paying the interest on the borrowed money, a lot of ten-year treasury bonds will also be needed to provide this financing and also to pay for getting parts of algal growing and processing modules line up ready for fossil fuel firms to invest in them when the relative prices of petroleum and algal biodiesel are such that fossil fuel firms are willing to invest.  I realize this imposes much austerity on the 99% in the form of a near doubling of most prices.  I steel believe this is a lesser evil than having the children of today's children starve to death due to failure of agriculture to adapt to climate change enough to feed the population.

    •  I Grew Up With Bill Moyers (0+ / 0-)

      And William F. Buckley, And LBJ, Nixon, etc.
      The odd Isthmus City Madison I live in was vibrant, lively, & crumbling in the 70's, along with a stagnant economy.
      I have watched as a simple process plays itself out, predictably...the ability to suck money up to the top like a vacuum cleaner is because the vacuum is a computer & human nature coupled with institutionalized greed is ultimately corruption.
      Sometimes I think I'm the only one who understood the implications of the Godfather3.
      Moyers is awesome, at any rate, but then I loved watching Buckley paray & feint.

  •  i take issue with the "housewives rebellion" (10+ / 0-)

    "Those women in Marshall, Texas, were among its advance guard. Not bad people, they were regulars at church, their children were my classmates, many of them were active in community affairs and their husbands were pillars of the business and professional class in town. They were respectable and upstanding citizens all, so it took me a while to figure out what had brought on that spasm of reactionary defiance. It came to me one day, much later: they simply couldn’t see beyond their own prerogatives."

    if these are not an example of bad people, what is?

    and thats maybe the problem, that we don't teach it is bad to only think of those exactly like you

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:02:12 AM PST

    •  I will quibble as I did with Moyers (8+ / 0-)

      about the constituents.  When they do not know any better because that is how they have been taught, how they have operated, I tend not to judge THEM as harshly, and instead work on the institutions that have shaped them and those who use such institutions to manipulate people.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:05:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  these were affluent, educated people (9+ / 0-)

        and supposedly they went to church

        and we still excuse them because they chose the easiest belief system?

        fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

        by mollyd on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:14:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Most everyone in their (4+ / 0-)

        cohort has had the opportunity to break out of that mediocrity.   We all know people who have, including many here.  That many have not, does not reflect well on them.

        It is easier to blame the 'institutions'.  Some (too many) people are like water, ever flowing downhill.  

        As I was growing up, there were often times when I longed for a place in the authoritarian universe of religion & class; especially as a young person who had been unmoored by a messy divorce and other disruptive events.  

        But somehow I sensed those comforts were false and unsatisfying.  I'm with Moyers.  

        Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Ken.  

        How is Leaves doing?

      •  I will quibble with your quibble (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chrisculpepper, Ljanney, skinflower
        When they do not know any better because that is how they have been taught, how they have operated, I tend not to judge THEM as harshly...
        I grew up in the KKK south and I had to deal with those who didn't know any better because of how they were taught, but I agree with Ben Franklin:

        "We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."

        At one point in my life, I though these folks would in time figure out that fairness applies to everyone and that we are all in this together.

        But alas, that has not been the case.

        The bullies I grew up with are now running the Republican party. I can hear it in their dogma and see it in their policies.

        I will no longer wait, nor do I give them the benefit of the doubt.

        In a world of the blind, the one eyed man is a pariah. Ask Galileo. Ask Darwin.

        by OKParrothead on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:50:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Class Warrior Nancy Pelosi leading the charge.... (21+ / 0-)

    for the 1%, fighting for austerity and pushing our caucus right.

    Nancy Pelosi Told House Democrats to "Embrace the Suck."  
    Moyers is correct in the class war framing you highlight in the diary.

    What's the solution ?  Democrats could promote  “the four percent solution.”

    The name refers to the average level of unemployment we had in 2000, the last year we were at full employment and the last year of a healthy economic period (1995-2000) when wages and incomes rose smartly and inequality actually declined. In an important new book by Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein, Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People (available for free download), they make a sustained argument for enshrining the four percent figure as an overriding national priority and putting full employment squarely at the center of the progressive agenda.

    Baker and Bernstein handily demolish the various arguments against such a target — unemployment that low would cause accelerating inflation, current unemployment is mostly structuralm and so on — and detail the many economic benefits that would follow from meeting or at least approaching that target. There is probably no other economic policy that would deliver as much in terms of raising material well-being, reducing inequality and even bringing down the long-range deficit.

    The excuse that voters would not buy it is simply not credible. Take a look back at some of Benenson’s data:

       In a forced choice question, just 39% of voters and 23% of Independents agree: The way to get our country back on track is to get government out of the way and unleash the power of businesses and markets to create jobs by lowering taxes and eliminating needless regulations. While 59% overall and 65% of Independents agree with the alternate choice: The way to get our country back on track is to get the public and private sector working together to invest in manufacturing, technology, small businesses and education to create jobs our country needs and train our children to succeed in the new economy.
    Obviously, Congress will be an obstacle here but, contrary to the Zen precept, you can’t hit the target unless you’re aiming at it.

    Democrats on the fence about this aggressive growth agenda should keep in mind the probable political payoffs from getting close to full employment. Obama’s approval rating would likely go up and that, combined with economic improvements, would give them a much better chance of gains in the 2014 election. And full employment wouldn’t exactly make the Democrats a lock for the 2016 Presidential election but that, combined with the Democrats’ burgeoning demographic advantage, would make them damn hard to beat.

    Our job? Call Congress at their local offices during the break.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:14:42 AM PST

    •  Off the top of my head... (11+ / 0-)

      would it be useful to tie tax rates to unemployment rates? ... i.e. in periods of high unemployment, raise tax rates on both wealthy individuals and healthy corporations, but they would have incentives to create jobs because the healthier economy would then cause the tax rates to be spread out a little more evenly?

      Perhaps that's all off target, but I think there must be a way to make wealthy people and corporations understand that at least most would BENEFIT from pumping more money into the broad economy, one way or another.

      I don't want to see the proposed Swiss solution here -- give everyone a basic "salary" to live on -- but people need a way to make enough money to live on. I understand that some really low-level jobs don't require much education, but some people don't have the mental equipment (through no fault of their own) to extend their education. Yet they need food and shelter, and they have the same right as others to find love, create families, etc.

      If you work hard, and provide something of value, you should earn enough to support at least yourself, without needing to resort to food stamps. Wealthy people and corporations shouldn't have it both ways --  low taxes for themselves (starving the safety net), and low wages for their employees.

      And yet they want even more inequality.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:33:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brilliant IDEA!!!! (6+ / 0-)

        I love it.

        Tax rates on incomes over 4 million a year, should go up 10% for every percentage of unemployment over 4%, and deductions should be reduced 10% for each precentage point as well, with unemployment measured as it was in the Carter Administration, when workers that had run out of unemployment benefits were still counted as unemployed.

        The old Airline Economist at ShadowStats computes the actual U6 at around 22%. Great Depression numbers only masked by the safety net.

        To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

        by Bluehawk on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:09:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I like your idea about tying tax rates (6+ / 0-)

        to unemployment numbers, but I also like the Swiss idea of giving everyone a basic salary to live on (which you don't like).

        I think the future, including increasing automation, virtually assures that we will always have a significantly higher percentage of unemployed than we've had in the past. Everyone needs to have their basic needs met and if there are no jobs we must do something as a society. The basic salary concept would fill that gap and there is no doubt that there is plenty of money to cover it. It's just a matter of priorities regarding the distribution of that money.

        •  I agree with most of what you say. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA

          But we have a long way to go before the Swiss idea could become law in this country.  We have moved so far in the other direction, and we have great forces arrayed against us.

          Unfortunately, there is a lot of misplaced pride in the "American" idea of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. Also, someone has been stealing our boots for the last 40 years.

          "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

          by gfre on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 11:46:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Is it that Obama is in control of the money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7

      to elect House Dems (through the DNC and/or his relationships with big donors) or is it that some pro-austerity schmuck has goat pictures of Pelosi?

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:38:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:18:30 AM PST

  •  I'm not sure how bad people want it to get (26+ / 0-)

    before they admit we don't live in a democracy.  If it isn't obvious the very wealthy control everything by now, then maybe they will never see it.  Or maybe they're just part of the class that's doing well.  Everyone by now knows this is a problem, wealth inequality, but nothing, absolutely nothing has been done to stop it from getting worse let alone reverse it.  
    Every year Obama has been in office, almost 6 years now, wealth inequality has increased as have the number of people living in poverty.  And the ruling class has no intention of changing that.  Zero.  
    But I agree with Moyers, what are we waiting for? The one thing that is clear to me, our political representatives will not fix the problem and electing a few different ones won't fix it either.    

    "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:18:36 AM PST

    •  The illusion is still strong that, as opposed to (9+ / 0-)

      many other countries, the elites here do not exercise undue power due to some protective measures taken by elected officials. At least that's the theory that's often talked about. I don't believe that theory. I don't think the poor believe they're being protected by anybody.

      I think most folks know instinctively that the rich get the good things, including justice, and the poor get squat (or next to it) - or vague promises of less than squat one day.

      The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

      by catilinus on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:44:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think anything gets done until we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        counter the right wing propaganda machine.  We have talk radio spouting Anti Obama propaganda 24/7 for the entire duration of his tenure in office.  It's a constant drone that never stops, and a lot of people believe in it.  Never before have such lies been told about a President in such a blatant fashion.

        And a lot of people believe it.  Why would anyone believe that it would be preferable to have a bunch of insurance companies in charge of paying for our healthcare, as opposed to a Medicare type arrangement?  Why do they believe that every other country that pays for care is not working when it actually does work?  Hell, even our own citizenry looks forward to having the peace and mind that comes with Medicare, and it would have been easy as pie to transition to exacly that -Medicare for all.  They talk about Canadian health care as if it is the worst thing in the world, when it's a great system.  As with most countries in Europe.

        Listen to Limbaugh and Hannity for a bit.  And think about the impressionable electorate they mobilize every election day.  Until we can discredit the propagandists, we will never be able to overcome their bull shit.  It's either that or we have to have a lot of people die because of their complete indifference, which I think may be not too far off in the future.

        But we are destined to become a third world nation, in my opinion.  The only thing we spend on is the Military, and there's no return on that investment except blood.

  •  I am in a class that is doing well enough, (21+ / 0-)

    but I have eyes.

    "with the exception of Romania, no developed country has a higher percent of kids in poverty than we do."

    Second to last, above Romania, is not what I expect from my country.

    "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

    by Bisbonian on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:27:20 AM PST

  •  Well we will just have to get right to work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, Kristina40

    electing Hillary Clinton so that...

    •  Heh. I see what you did there. (6+ / 0-)

      But yes, it's funny. I think this site will become pretty unreadable when it comes to 2016.

      I always ask, "So we elect Hillary Clinton...then what?"

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:21:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If 2008 was any example (0+ / 0-)

        All the Hillary supporters were chased off the site. I hope that's not the case again in 2016.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:54:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "THEN what?" Easy answer: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChemBob, Kristina40, sagansong, chuckvw

        More of the same old same old, just a different gender.

        That's what.

        For the love of everything decent, can we please stop campaigning for novelty candidates and start finding people who are capable of actually doing what they say they're going to do?

        This country will not tolerate one more corporatized administration: hell, even the Russians understand that. Just 3 years ago, one of their better journalists opined that he'd be surprised if the U.S.A. as a country would survive much beyond 2018 unless dramatic changes were made - and nothing he suggested had to do with austerity or going the way of hard line conservatives, either. If THEY can figure it out, why can't we see it?!

  •  What I want to promote is the concept (11+ / 0-)

    that the purpose of federal taxes is to keep the currency moving at a good rate. As it stands now, the velocity of the dollar is more sluggish than since they started keeping track in the 1950s. It makes no difference how many dollars the Treasury and Fed pour into the economy, if Wall Street hoards and Congress sequesters. Congress rationing dollars is an abomination. Indeed, since the typical response to rationing is hoarding, it's possible that Congressional action has prompted the Wall Street response.
    There is no reason to ration dollars, since we can never run out, as Bernanke, Volker and Greenspan have all been saying, over and over again.

    Of course, one reason Congress is so upset about the ACA is because health care is, as of 2012, a $2.7 trillion industry. A majority of those funds flowing through the Treasury at the direction of individuals to service and good providers, without Congressional intervention, spells disaster. Neither the bankers, not the Capitol Hill Gang will have a say. Indeed, even the private insurance companies that have been funneling dollars to the financial class will be constrained by the limits on their profit margins.

    Whether the dollars that flow back into the Treasury are dedicated for a particular purpose is less important than that they flow and do so expeditiously. (The problem with military hardware is that it is a sink. The stuff is useless, unless we start a war to capture somebody else's resources).

    That said, since we are probably always going to have people who want to exercise total control, there will never be a final solution. People have to be vigilant. But, the people who lust for power are not the norm. We do not have to restrict the whole population to keep them in check. Indeed, restricting the whole population makes it easier for them to take over.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:52:48 AM PST

  •  let's go back to the pre-Reagan (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, k9disc, cocinero, ChemBob

    marginal tax rates. I propose a 70% marginal rate on incomes over $1,000,000. Take the motivation (greed) out of Wall St. manipulations.

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    by cigale on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:58:54 AM PST

    •  cigale - do we get the old code back? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluehawk, JanL

      The Tax Reform Act of 1986 so fundamentally changed the US tax code for individuals that rates before 1986 and rates after have no relationship to one another. The rates are apples and oranges. I think the 1% would be very happy with 70% rates and the old code that went with them. I was a 1%er and when the top marginal rate was 70% my effective rate was 10%. When the top rate was 70% the average effective rate for the 1% was about half that. With the new top marginal tax rate of just under 40%, and the post TRA86 code, the effective rate for the top 1% will be about 30% (what it was under Clinton) so we aren't too far from the effective Pre-Reagan effective rate.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:00:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't higher taxes force more investment and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies

        spreading around of money?

        I mean you want to be fairly lean on the profit end so you don't lose your shirt having your 'excess money' taxed. Didn't the 1% at that time have to run a much finer line of serving their shareholders and making profits?

        Seems to me that a great incentive for spending your money your way instead of taking it as profits is that you can escape those heavy taxes for 'taking too much'.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:52:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it doesn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          I think you are confusing three separate issues. Prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 the way an INDIVIDUAL could lower their federal income tax was to invest in projects that had legal, reputable, tax shelter elements. Depending on the project, real estate, oil and gas, research & development, movies and many others you could take as a deduction from your salary the amount you invested before calculating your taxable income. In some cases you could legally take more than the amount you invested as a deduction from your salary income. So the code for individuals had high rates but clearly did create incentives for personal investments. TRA86 changed ALL of that. Now, with a few exceptions, if you invest in a project there is no deduction against your salary available at tax time. The investment may qualify for long term capital gains, but there is no "tax advantage" to making the investment. That era ended in 1986.

          As it relates to CORPORATIONS the rules are different. Investments made by corporations can be written off over time against revenues but the cash goes out the door in year one and the tax benefit comes over three to five years. There is also this notion here at DKOS, that is widely shared, that higher corporate income tax rates are an incentive for companies to invest in additional employees, plant and equipment. Anyone who has taken the first college level class in financial management or financial accounting will tell you that the idea is nonsensical. Corporations have capital and investment budgets. Projects are funded based on the best after tax rate of return. Higher taxes penalize projects and depending if the taxes are local, state or federal is puts that political entity at a disadvantage for business expansion.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:23:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  VCLib, saying a simple tax reversion won't work is (0+ / 0-)

            not at all the same thing as saying that we can't design a better tax system. The reason why people want to go back to that older tax scale is because the CEOs were "only" making 50x the pay of their workers, not 450x like today. They were not buying politicians quite so openly, nor creating astroturf organizations to manipulate voters. (Though given the campaign to keep smokers from thinking that cancer was real, they did their own share of astroturf.)
            I understand that you were (are?) in the corporate management world, and that you absorbed the mindset. I understand you think that executives somehow "deserve" to make a boatload of cash. You've said it before. Now can you agree that the current system is failing 99.9% of the country, that it is unsustainable, and that a repair must include a higher tax rates for the wealthy? Will you agree to provide constructive ideas on how to accomplish those goals instead of just shooting down what you think will not work?  I'm pretty sure that a person here at DailyKos has a point of view that CEOs are not royalty, right? There is no "divine right of compensation". The Upton Sinclair quote "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." applies to you, but I hope that this does not blind you to the urgent need for reform.

            •  Jerry - I don't think I mentioned executive comp (0+ / 0-)

              in this comment in this diary. I was just answering the question of do higher tax rates encourage more investment? They don't under the current code. I was just giving some history when on an individual basis higher tax rates, combined with the IRS code at the time, did in fact encourage investments.

              The issue of executive compensation is a complex one. I have mentioned that the correct public policy to deal with excessive comp is higher marginal tax rates. I am on record here writing that more than 100 times. I do not think there is a legitimate role for government to limit executive compensation. Corporations are owned by their shareholders, not governments, and government shouldn't step into the shoes of the owners. The good news is that all of the compensation for the senior executives of the Fortune 1000 is taxed at the top marginal rate (including stock options)  which is good for both state (for those states who have an income tax) and the federal government.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 04:58:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Corps need more regulation b/c shareholders aren't (0+ / 0-)

                running the companies any more.  Yes, the Boards of Directors are made up of shareholders, but they're a minority of all shareholders.  Other shareholders are shut out of the process entirely, with no ability to introduce new rules for the companies, influence the direction of the company, or even force true negotiation with management. As a shareholder, I get to vote Yes or Abstain, in many cases with no true No vote allowed, counted, or heard. When a CEO is overruled by shareholder owners of Fortune 2000 companies, it makes news because it is so rare. The government has to step in just to return ownership of companies to owners instead of glorified grossly overpaid managers.
                As far as tax rates, I think top tax rates are too low. I also disagree with you in with your assumption that current tax rates encourage investments. That's just another corollary of "supply-side" voodoo. The Congressional Research Service report from Sept 2012 showed that lowering tax rates did not improve the economy, and in fact over the last 25 years there was a negative correlation. Low tax rates encourage speculation, maybe, but not long term investment in growing companies. Too often, CEO managers are short-timers who want to grab as much as they can for themselves without consideration of the health of the companies they are running past the next quarter's stock dividends and options. If anything, capital gains tax rates should go back to matching higher income tax rates.

                •  Jerry - I have NEVER wriiten that current rates (0+ / 0-)

                  encourage investments. What i have written, and it's true, is that higher rates do not encourage investment. The decision by corporations about where to invest their capital, operating, and research budgets is a complex one. Tax rates are one of many variables. Higher rates penalize projects, but strategic and other business reasons often overwhelm tax rates.

                  Boards of public companies pay close attention to proxy votes. I have been a public company director since 1988 and have been the compensation chairman of numerous public companies. I have the distinction that every CEO has tried to have me removed from every board where I have been comp chairman. Institutional shareholders, who often own significant numbers of shares, clearly have their voices heard at the board and senior management level. How big a voice should an individual who owns 100 shares really have in a company that has 30 million shares outstanding? Why should government empower small shareholders over those shareholders who actually have significant ownership positions?

                  In the entire US history of taxing long term capital gains the rates have only been the same for a short period after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 when both the earned income, and long term capital gains rates were capped at 28%. In every other period long term capital gains have been taxed at a much lower rate than earned income. For most of the time the long term capital gains rate was one half your individual marginal rate. The manner of calculating that was that half your long term capital gains income wasn't taxed and you would add the other half to your earned income when determining your tax. So your comment that we "should go back to matching higher income tax rates" is nonsensical. Capital gains rates have always been lower except for when they were both maxed at 28%. No country in the G20 taxes earned income and long term capital gains at the same rate. All of them tax capital gains at a lower rate than earned income. I wouldn't want the US to be the outlier as it would run the risk of capital flight.  

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 09:53:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you for the lesson, VClib. :) (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib

                    As far as low vs. high tax rates & investments, I misread something you wrote above.
                    .
                    In re smaller shareholders, granted they should not run the company, but they should not be totally shut out by people who own just 10-20% of the company, either.  There has to be a balance, and right now I'm not seeing it.
                    .
                    What research has been done that shows capital gains should be taxed at a lower rate?  Anything?  Or is this just an article of faith that must not be questioned by mere wage earners?  Joking aside, seriously, has any research been done by modern economists that shows capital gains deserve to be treated differently?  Does the economy really suffer, anywhere, ever?

                    •  Jerry - I think it's a good and legitimate (0+ / 0-)

                      question regarding capital gains tax rates. I think the problem is that it is so difficult to keep all the other variables constant and every developed country has a lower rate for capital gains. I am not sure how you would do real world research.

                      However, there a few things we do know. One is that higher capital gains tax rates do NOT result in higher capital gains tax revenues to the Treasury. When capital gains tax rates are lower people are much more inclined to sell appreciated capital assets, pay the tax, and move on to a new investment or spend the proceeds. When they are high people keep the appreciated assets and borrow against them, which is not a taxable event. That's not how it is scored by the CBO, but that is the real historical data. President Obama, who favors taxing earned, investment, and capital gains at the same rate, has acknowledged in Q&A that higher capital gains rates don't produce more income for the Treasury. We do have a few interesting nuggets in the US. A few years ago Congress passed legislation that if you invested in a startup, that met certain criteria, and held the stock for five years, the capital gains tax would be zero. And it was a real zero, no AltMin recapture (which was a gotcha the first time this was done some years ago) no funny offsets, a real zero tax rate on the gain. It started as a one year deal and there was a surge of investing, mostly toward the end of the first year and then was extended one more year and another surge happened toward the end of the final year. That's what I saw personally and the aggregate data is probably available somewhere.  

                      One of the other issues with taxing long term capital gains and earned income at the same rate is that capital losses can only be used at a minimum level to offset earned income. There is a $3,000 a year limit. So if you lose $21,000 on an investment you can deduct $3,000 a year for seven years against your earned income. If they were taxed the same you could make a case that to be equitable whenever you had a realized capital loss (you sold your shares or the company went bankrupt) you should be able to deduct the entire amount of your loss against your earned income in the year the loss was recognized.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 08:39:45 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Jerry - one other data point (0+ / 0-)

                      Nearly all developing countries have a zero or single digit tax rate on capital gains because they want to attract capital.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 08:41:58 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect there are more than a few... (19+ / 0-)

    plutocrats and politicians who can't wait for the day Moyers will be safely dead and no longer troubling them. Just as there are so many celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, now passed away, that had no use for him in life.

    On a somewhat related note, Kevin Drum picked up on something I haven't seen much on elsewhere. There's a tremendous amount of posturing around the continual failure of the U.S. to do better in education when compared with other countries. M. Night Shyamalan Steps Into the Education Wars is Drum's take on what Shyamalan has found. He quotes him from an interview:

    You know how everyone says America is behind in education, compared to all the countries? Technically, right now, we're a little bit behind Poland and a little bit ahead of Liechtenstein, right? So that's where we land in the list, right? So that's actually not the truth. The truth is actually bizarrely black and white, literally, which is, if you pulled out the inner-city schools — just pull out the inner-city, low-income schools, just pull that group out of the United States, put them to the side — and just took every other public school in the United States, we lead the world in public-school education by a lot.

    And what's interesting is, we always think about Finland, right? Well, Finland, obviously, is mainly white kids, right? They teach their white kids really well. But guess what, we teach our white kids even better. We beat everyone. Our white kids are getting taught the best public-school education on the planet. Those are the facts.


    The devolution of America into a society divided by economic class is obviously going to make even most white kids less advantaged as the concentration of wealth leaves them in the same straits as children of color.

    To emphasize it even more,

    "...if you pulled out the inner-city schools — just pull out the inner-city, low-income schools, just pull that group out of the United States, put them to the side — and just took every other public school in the United States, we lead the world in public-school education by a lot."

    The Wealth Concentrators are NOT creating wealth - they are extracting it from the gains created by prior generations that benefitted the vast majority of Americans. Covert but deliberate racism (attacks on food stamps, welfare, etc.) is being used to drive a larger assault on everyone - and using a divide and conquer strategy to pull it off.  The attacks on public education are part and parcel of this.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:16:57 AM PST

    •  Plutocracy doesn't depend on poverty. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaggies2009, k9disc

      There are many ways to defeat the plutocracy and repair democracy that will have little ot no significant remedy to the poor.

      Those are two separate and very unequal problems.

      There is a lot of wealth creation, it's simply concentrated and not distributed equitably. However, as we repair the flows of wealth, and reduce or remove the power of plutocracy, again, that won't likely eliminate the problems of multigenerational poverty.

      I think we need to respect the integration of these issues and where they overlap while not confusing them or bundling them. It's immensely easy to solve the problems of concentrations of wealth and political power, far easier than solving the heart breaking repetition of mutigenerational broken families whether they're blazingly visible in the inner city or in abandoned rural areas, Appalachian hills or the Ca desert.

      •  Not as hard as you think, actually (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bluehawk, goodpractice

        Take a look at "The Spirit Level" by Wilkinson and Pickett. So many of the problems afflicting the poor in developed countries like the United States have one underlying factor documented in thousands of man-hours of studies and research.

        It turns out they are not two separate and very unequal problems.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:40:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob

    What are we going to do about it? I have a few ideas, but given what just happened with deBlasio, I'm not sure anymore if electoral options are feasible.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:35:31 AM PST

  •  Thanks, teacherken. I am beginning to fear the day (10+ / 0-)

    when we no longer have Bill Moyers around to serve as our conscience. He is so brilliant in getting to the heart of the truth, choosing exactly the right words to do it.

  •  where is our leverage point? (7+ / 0-)

    There are many people here who criticize the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress for doing little or nothing to challenge growing economic inequality and the power of Wall Street.

    Can we really affect this situation just by explaining to them in this forum that they're wrong? I don't think so. I think our current electoral system is a designed to hook up rich people with politicians who generally agree with and are sympathetic to them. The rich people give the politicians money to get elected, and the politicians rule the country in a way that's agreeable to the rich people. These politicians don't actually care whether we agree with the way they're governing or not.

    So we need to elect different politicians. But how can we, in a system where it takes hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars to get elected? The rich people have this kind of money to spare, and we don't.

    The only answer, I believe, is to figure out a way that we can get politicians elected using massive numbers of volunteers to communicate person-to-person, instead of communicating by using money to buy mass media. Part of this will be a slow process of persuading people that they can't trust the politicians who run on rich people's money. Part of it will be filling people with enough hope in their ability to really change things, that they can actually motivate themselves to do the hard work of phone-banking and canvassing.

    It may seem impossible to elect politicians using people power in the face of millions of dollars spent on advertising, and a disillusioned, cynical population that has largely given up on even voting. But do you have a better idea?

    •  IRV - Instant Runoff Voting is the Silver Bullet. (6+ / 0-)

      5 choices, ranked, and we tick off the lowest vote getter until we come up with a winner.

      This makes contests impossible to game. There is no "Lesser of Two Evils" and we don't need to beat the other guy.

      There also is a remedy to have all values represented in the vote tally. Fantasy race... I would vote: Warren, Sanders, Brown, Green Candidate, and lastly, Clinton - if that were to happen, then my votes and values could be counted towards the assembly of our political platforms.

      The Libertarians would love it, as they could vote for both Ron and Rand Paul and not have to vote for the social conservative at all...

      Leftists would love it, as we could finally vote our values and not have to be the whipping boy, scapegoat, and redheaded step child of the Democrats.

      Party Democrats would like it as they could gradate their party-line ballot and be better represented.

      Republicans would like it because the econpubs could vote for their econ peeps and the social for the social peeps.

      All of the factions would be in support of IRV, and IRV makes gaming the system nearly impossible, given so many variables.

      The only ones against this would be the corporate center Democracy, Inc. - the DLC and corporate Republicans. They would be vastly outnumbered and their policy would be naked.

      That's our leverage, that's the move, IMO.

      Peace~

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:39:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even in Wisconsin which is now owned by the Kochs (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluehawk, KJG52, goodpractice, JanL, greenbell

      it was once possible to win big races with no money.  One just has to do intense retail politics and make a end run around the corporate media.  A successful example was Bill Proxmire in Wisconsin who famously won his Senate races with extremely small war chests , and a more recent example being Paul Wellstone in Minnesota who won despite being outspent 8 to 1. A compelling candidate with charisma,  a cadre of enthusiastic supporters and an innovative campaign with an attractive platform can defeat money.

    •  It only takes all that money if you want to go the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies

      major party route.  People got elected before they had TV ad buys. A candidate will have to get out and hold rallies, go door to door. They will really have to work for it. People actually appreciate meeting the candidates. I no longer trust the party anointed candidates anyway.

  •  There's a line that one of the writers (4+ / 0-)

    at Automatic Earth kept repeating throughout the post crash period. He said "we don't have an economic problem, instead we have a political problem."

    What does that mean? The best example I can think of is that when John Boehner said "We're broke" sometime ago, nothing was further from the truth. If that was true, then that would be an economic problem.

    But we have a politics that somehow has us embracing the suck of the recent budget deal, is unable to lift the minimum wage past $15,000/yr for a full-time worker, is hostile to unionization, and can barely implement reform in the delivery of healthcare to make it better for the people it serves. I could go on.

    If you just look at it objectively, more people benefit from treating with the deficit as a long term problem, higher wages, workers rights and a better healthcare system. In theory, the votes should be there. But people vote against themselves fearing that Atlas could shrug at any moment.

    "In text, use only a single word space after all sentence punctuation." - Oxford Style Manual, Oxford University Press, 2003.

    by shaggies2009 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:54:15 AM PST

    •  It's a political choice... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluehawk, shaggies2009

        Look at China and what they have done over the last 30 years. They are the manufacturing powerhouse of the world now. And it's not because private industry did it ( even though they take advantage) It's because the government there ...Decided to do it.

      "The Republican demand is essentially the same as secession--they want the United State to not be the United States." Bill Moyers

      by PlinytheWelder on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:12:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are now worse than an... (9+ / 0-)

    ..."European-style class-based society".

    Our upward mobility is now less than in Europe;

    Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs

    “It’s becoming conventional wisdom that the U.S. does not have as much mobility as most other advanced countries,” said Isabel V. Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. “I don’t think you’ll find too many people who will argue with that.”

    One reason for the mobility gap may be the depth of American poverty, which leaves poor children starting especially far behind. Another may be the unusually large premiums that American employers pay for college degrees.

    At least five large studies in recent years have found the United States to be less mobile than comparable nations. A project led by Markus Jantti, an economist at a Swedish university, found that 42 percent of American men raised in the bottom fifth of incomes stay there as adults. That shows a level of persistent disadvantage much higher than in Denmark (25 percent) and Britain (30 percent) — a country famous for its class constraints.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:49:40 PM PST

  •  But you WILL donate to the Democratic Party Or (6+ / 0-)

    It will go worse for you.

    It rallies behind the DLC or Else it gets the GOP again...

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:14:41 PM PST

  •  trustworthy (7+ / 0-)

    I try to watch Bill Moyers on PBS whenever possible. He is not afraid to step on some political toes, to talk to people that main stream media would prefer to ignore, and to be like the little child who pointed his finger at the foolish emperor and shouted "He has no clothes!"  He looks for positive changes and trends too and seldom if ever leaves the viewer feeling dis-empowered.

  •  The worm is turning... Corporate is losing the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, NoMoreLies, jayden

    handle.

    It is solvable.  But when those on "our side" take the approach that so long as they are marginally to the left of the Republicans, then  the real progressive approach that would speak even to many of these constituents goes unheard.
    I agree. If you don't vote your values, then your values are not counted and will not count in the future.

    It's why we are where we are right now.

    The good news is that is changing. People are coming out against corporate sponsored public policy in droves.

    All that needs to be done now is for someone to tout a serious human agenda and draw attention to the current corporate agenda.

    Thanks tk.

    Now to go read the whole piece...

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:45:52 PM PST

    •  I think there's a bit missing from that para (0+ / 0-)
      It is a problem.   It is solvable.  But when those on "our side" take the approach that so long as they are marginally to the left of the Republicans, then (???) [and] the real progressive approach that would speak even to many of these constituents goes unheard.
  •  I read... (5+ / 0-)

    and while I absolutely agree with the assessment that "there is a problem here" but I would add a far more optimistic perspective, and respectfully suggest that we should not underestimate the watershed shift in "who has the most power in media" today. Money, no longer rules the day.... not on the net it doesn't. On the net, in this virtual realm, there is another coinage that trumps money... and that coinage is truth honor justice (aka, "human nature striving for our birthright, striving for what we deserve... and the net gives us a voice, a voice we never had.)

    Case in point, look what happened when JPM tried to control the media narrative using twitter, it blew up in their face, quite literally:
    JPMorgan Cancels Twitter Q&A After an Epic #Fail

    My point: with the advent of the blogging (and the entire online social media) world, we, the populace of this world, can direct the media narrative... maybe not 100%, and maybe not with such direct immediate measurable results as MSM can and does, but IMHO ours is a far more overwhelming messaging agent ...in the long run.

    Why? or How?

    ... because (a) effort on our side can be sustained (ie: "we will outlast them") ...as long as we "keep the faith" and know that our seemingly solitary incremental efforts do make a difference and that we "are winning" .... and "that we have a winning strategy" ..

    (b) efforts on our side has a cumulative effect, such that, over time, we gather steam and strength because what we are really doing is not merely sending a message, we are building community, and once critical mass of "community" is achieved, our message will trump any MSM message, since ours will go viral... and they can't touch viral, which leads me to,

    (c) effort in one of our areas benefits from effort in another area, because the synergy of a community provides unseen opportunities and allies, wherein when even if one person cannot personally help, they might be able to point you in the right direction to another person who can (ie: "the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts".) It's not a zero sum game.... and all the money in the world doesn't necessarily win you the election. And .... and and and and...  we're just getting started!

    FACT: He who directs the narrative, owns the real power.

    My point is: in this newly emerging technologically enabled world, there simply is no one singular entity or organization that can dominate, because the internet is an omni-directional "viral" media paradigm which simply does not support a uni-directional "top-down" messaging control, which is what is needed for a singular entity to control the narrative. On the net, anybodies message (MEME) can go viral and thus control the narrative, if even for a brief moment. So, the populace is now (at least) an equal power broker in the digital media world... most certainly equal to any corporate entity. In other words, it's a level playing field now, or rather, I would even venture to say that there has been a "virtual" war these past 10 years fought over who would control the media narrative on the net, and we, the (blogging) populace won. And we won hands down.

    Solid verifiable undeniable proof?

    Obama is president, not Hillary. End of story. We took that Office from them, and that aint the only one. And we're just gettin' started.

    We own this turf and they, the corporate powers, know it, and they are afraid, very afraid... afraid that we figure out just how powerful we are, and afraid of what we are gonna do with our newly emerging power. Hence I say that I am rather heartened, in spite of the dire problems we are facing, and in spite of the prolific corruption we are gonna have to route out and clean up. Yes, there is a hell of a lot of work to do, but NOW we have a weapon (a "tool")... that is unstoppable, because humanity's hunger for truth and justice is unstoppable.

    As I said, we're just gettin' started. Just sayin'

    * Move Sooner ~ Not Faster *

    by ArthurPoet on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 02:40:19 PM PST

  •  Why is anyone surprised by this: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PlinytheWelder, JanL, ChemBob
    Yet a study by scholars at Northwestern University and Vanderbilt finds little support among the wealthiest Americans for policy reforms to reduce income inequality.
    You get wealthy by taking, not by giving.  I understand why wealthy people want to keep their wealth, I don't understand why anyone thinks by giving the wealthy more, they will (start to) give back.  Business is about making money, there is no morality to it.  Why do people have trouble with this and superimpose all sorts of good outcomes onto 'making money'?

    I'm also not so sure about this one:

    "If you think these guys are bad, you should see their constituents.”
    in that I agree with Moyers and the Texas politician that stated it.  It is probably because I am part of generation dumbass, the big red streak in the middle of the chart, a solid majority of which seems to pine for feudalism.

    And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

    by ban48 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 03:59:27 PM PST

    •  Try telling a tea partier... (0+ / 0-)

        That unemployment benefits  get more bag for the buck in the economy than defense spending ... :-)

      "The Republican demand is essentially the same as secession--they want the United State to not be the United States." Bill Moyers

      by PlinytheWelder on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:23:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  bill moyers is one of my original heroes. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nespolo, jayden

    ... and considering that I'm only forty (something)... and never even knew who he was before 2005.... that's saying a lot.

    now, when an elizabeth warren presents herself to our body politic I'm able to sit right up and pay attention.

    with gratitude.

    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 04:33:09 PM PST

  •  The fact of the matter is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob

    that psychologically, humans with power develop a severe empathy gap with those with less power.  Combine that with the fact that politicians are not elected by votes of the people but by the contributions of rich donors, and you are always going to have a political class that really doesn't care about the situation of average Americans, especially when average Americans are by and large pretty content with this situation and do not seem inclined to vote for those who will challenge this arrangement.

    I'm afraid the reasons we are in this situation are deep rooted, endemic, and persistent.  Therefore, I do not see our arrangement changing anytime soon.  There simply isn't any force in our society that will push in any other directon

    •  There is also the problem that power corrupts. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, greenbell

      In one of my first places of employment, our union rep was very vocal against management. To shut him up, the company offered him a job as foreman, which he took. He was then even more abusive towards his former coworkers than he had been to the company management. This was someone we all knew and many of us had gone to school with. You never know how someone will act once they are given power over others.

  •  How dare Moyers, Pope Francis, Marx, Merton, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice

    and Niebuhr criticize political democracy for catering to the powerful? For Niebuhr's  masterful paragraph on the subject see: http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/...

    Surrounding Latin American mega cities are millions of people that democracy forgets until they take to the streets.

    I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

    by Galtisalie on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 07:06:53 PM PST

  •  Bill Moyers is a national treasure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice, sagansong

    He has the integrity and conscience that so few other TV hosts/journalists have.

  •  I looked up Keyishian v. Board of Regents (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, goodpractice, teacherken, onionjim

    There's another quote from that decision that fits nicely with the article. The emphasis is mine. The remainder of the quote is for coherence:

    There can be no doubt of the legitimacy of New York's interest in protecting its education system from subversion. But even though the governmental purpose be legitimate and substantial, that purpose cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties when the end can be more narrowly achieved. Shelton v. Tucker, 364 U.S. 479, 488. The principle is not inapplicable because the legislation is aimed at keeping subversives out of the teaching ranks. In De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 365, the Court said:

    The greater the importance of safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech, free press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion, to the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes, if desired, may be obtained by peaceful means. Therein lies the security of the Republic, the very foundation of constitutional government.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:52:02 PM PST

  •  Thank you Sensei Ken (0+ / 0-)

    Mr. Moyers continues to see the greater historic sweep as it happens. Most helpful.

    "no more hurting people - peace" Martin William Richard

    by EquityRoy on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 04:14:05 AM PST

  •  I like to acknowlege to the original post, usually (0+ / 0-)

    Which is here.

  •  emailed it to myself for a long night (0+ / 0-)

    thank you, teacherken

    take care

    Peace & Love

  •  No reason major changes cannot be made (0+ / 0-)

    Why not the Swiss solution in face of major disaster?

    Why not periodic cash payments similar to the early stimulus pmts ($200.00) that went out to everyone - but in larger amounts?

    Why not think outside the box?

    Why not restructure the windfalls that are going to the corporate oligarchy and funnel some of it to the people.  The people for god's sake!

    Maybe when things get so bad that violence erupts.  Maybe then.

  •  Hamilton & Lochner v New York (0+ / 0-)

    Moyers is great. But in your arguments in his favor you reference Hamilton's Federalist approach and link it to a decision by the Supreme Court that over ruled a New York state law.

    Other than that decision upheld the Federalist idea that national law, especially concerning the Constitution, overrides state law, I can't see any relationship between that case and Hamilton's thinking. I have read pretty much all of Hamilton's writings and I can't see anything that would lead someone to think he would support working people to death, based on a contract, probably a verbal contract at that. I don't recall anything Hamilton wrote that would lead one to think that he held contracts as supreme.

    I'm just curious as to why you decided to drag the old Hamilton v.s. Jefferson thing into your article, especially because the 14th Amendment didn't exist until long after Jefferson and Hamilton died.

    I do think that the Court's decision in Lochner v New York, and the arguments dragging the 14th  amendment into it were borderline idiotic, and reflect what would now be called a Libertarian interpretation of the Constitution. Hamilton was nearly the opposite of a Libertarian.

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    for passing this one. Moyers is important and under appreciated. His perspective is priceless, especially now.

    edwardlcote.blogspot.com

    by Edward L Cote on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 08:45:24 PM PST

  •  Wise words from a wise man, (0+ / 0-)

    interpreted by another wise man.  There is an old joke that they could not have a Nativity play in Washington because they could not find three wise men and a virgin.  I don't know about the virgin, but it is hard to find three men and women who show very much wisdom, AND have the power of the majority party.

    What part of "you can't make a country rich by making most of its people poor" don't they understand?  Taking from the many what they need to survive, much less to advance and thrive, to benefit the VERY few, is neither economically smart nor moral.  It is exactly the system that Isaiah, Amos, Hosea and Micah predicted would lead to conquest and defeat because the moral order of the universe, which they called Yahweh, would eventually see to that.

    America became a world power when America made sure that the majority of Americans would not NEED permanent help, not by denying help when it WAS needed.  FDR saved us from fascism in his time -- twice: first at home, then overseas -- and fascism has grown back since then.  And so has, albeit in muted form, the Depression: and if our policies continue as they are, by listening to plutocrats and teabaggers, the full Great Depression will return.

  •  Dear Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    Austerity begins at home.  Look to yourselves and your wealthy donors before pilfering the pockets of the poor and working people to balance the excesses you have saddled us with.

  •  Huh. (0+ / 0-)

    "Yet a study by scholars at Northwestern University and Vanderbilt finds little support among the wealthiest Americans for policy reforms to reduce income inequality."

    Which should surprise absolutely nobody.

skybluewater, Alumbrados, Superskepticalman, cslewis, Sylv, KeithH, PrahaPartizan, Chi, oofer, grollen, left of center, SaveDemocracy, misscee, importer, Powered Grace, wytcld, Bob Love, Sprinkles, Shockwave, Troutfishing, LeftHandedMan, Do Something, RFK Lives, Doctor Who, rasbobbo, bronte17, justme, susakinovember, whenwego, farmerhunt, Frederick Clarkson, Ignacio Magaloni, mollyd, Nate Roberts, revsue, Redfire, Texknight, manneckdesign, Moody Loner, TexDem, NYC Sophia, Miss Jones, johanus, laughingriver, dwahzon, Steven Payne, Sychotic1, 2dot, zerelda, side pocket, bobnbob, marvyt, sbg, Leaves on the Current, murrayewv, Gowrie Gal, rapala, nailbender, kbman, historys mysteries, Bluesee, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, Farlfoto, NoMoreLies, denise b, Ckntfld, MHB, deepfish, SherwoodB, HudsonValleyMark, sc kitty, JohnB47, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, fixxit, eru, Pam from Calif, GreyHawk, komogo, CompaniaHill, Ozymandius, PinHole, brentut5, Savvy813, WisePiper, snoopydawg, Rogneid, peacestpete, JanL, ChuckInReno, xaxnar, Jim P, Dolphin99, snazzzybird, detroitmechworks, tarheelblue, Kingsmeg, 417els, technomage, triv33, praenomen, gpoutney, jerseyjo, JVolvo, tommyfocus2003, onionjim, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, shaharazade, kurious, Aaa T Tudeattack, janetsal, tegrat, pgm 01, Cronesense, Jarrayy, Debs2, Dartagnan, paz3, Positronicus, EdSF, Mary Mike, Nespolo, deepeco, RosyFinch, HCKAD, jayden, gfre, letsgetreal, mudslide, bobswern, Wreck Smurfy, leonard145b, eyesoars, djsands, rmonroe, Mighty Ike, Involuntary Exile, elwior, KJG52, jakebob, Calamity Jean, tofumagoo, Jeff Y, No Exit, J V Calin, kallen808, BYw, JamieG from Md, sagansong, shortgirl, LaFeminista, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, Rhysling, cybrestrike, Dirtandiron, ceebee7, greengemini, divineorder, lostinamerica, bsmechanic, gharlane, indres, mkor7, EquationDoc, aunt blabby, elziax, papahaha, sanglug, Shelley99, IreGyre, stevenwag, sfarkash, VALuddite, ArthurPoet, astral66, Livvy5, Tommymac, Randtntx, catilinus, Larsstephens, Words In Action, Just Bob, mookins, NM Ray, pixxer, Hoopgreen, Kristina40, DiegoUK, IQof20, kalika, ban48, Maverick80229, ericlewis0, Loose Fur, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, nosleep4u, Kelvin Kean, fiercefilms, soaglow, slice, Wisdumb, annieli, allenjo, Oldowan, spooks51, xarkGirl, cv lurking gf, deeproots, EquityRoy, mrsgoo, marleycat, Santa Susanna Kid, Claudius Bombarnac, dle2GA, moldyfolky, EagleOfFreedom, tardis10, shevas01, myrmecia gulosa, pecosbob, la58, FisherOfRolando, Oilwellian, SoCalSal, Alfreda89, SouthernLiberalinMD, caryltoo, jaebone, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, BlueDragon, i saw an old tree today, ridemybike, tweeternik, Whatithink, Heart n Mind, anodnhajo, sow hat, Mozzochi, cwsmoke, We Won, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, dance you monster, tb92, shaggies2009, a2nite, FreeSpeaker, FiredUpInCA, Darryl House, This old man, peachcreek, Syoho, Karelin, rivercard, Lilredhead, MartyM, Galtisalie, Brown Thrasher, wxorknot, George3, Wonton Tom, ShoshannaD, Most Awesome Nana, Ray Pensador, Lily O Lady, jusjtim35, IamGumby, countwebb, David Satterlee, Lurker in the Dark, goodpractice, HedwigKos, Vienna Blue, GwenM, Ree Zen, ggfkate, ORswede, JerryNA, Kay Observer2, maggid, OregonWetDog, northcountry21st, skepticalcitizen, LeftieIndie, eagleray, justaHippie, Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, jbsoul, Treetrunk, marykmusic, Skyye, Choco8, wilywascal, bobbyd6016, Edward L Cote, CadBob, BHooked2it, CJB2012, Ipracticedissent, tonyrose, uptowner, kfunk937

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site