Friday, October 28, 2011
If you look at what the Tea Party Movement started off as in late 2008 early 2009. Against the TARP Bailouts, against Big Government and wasteful spending from the Federal Government, the debt and deficit. Wall Street and broader Corporate America's relationship between government. And what Occupy Wall Street is about now and actually have been against all along and are just now getting their movement publicized. Its very similar, OWS is against the same things and I would add being against Corporate Welfare to that list. They actually have plenty in common and I would even add Iraq and Afghanistan to that list. Being against those wars or least believing that its time what we pull out of there now. I'm guessing most people in the Tea Party supported the Afghan War at least from the beginning. Because we were under attacked from 9/11 and fought back. But a lot of them are against that war now. As well as at least some type of Campaign Finance and Lobbying Reform. Fine but as far as what the TP and OWS believe in as far as what we should do instead. Its completely different, there's at least a faction of the Tea Party that would like to take America back to pre 1930s New Deal and eliminate our Safety Net. And basically get government out of the economy all together and the progressives or socialists in OWS. Would like to see round three when it comes to our Safety Net and turn it into a Welfare State.
The Tea Party basically believes the problem with the economy at least, not the Religious Right folks. Is the government especially the Federal Government. They see it as too big, spends too much and wastes too much money and would at least like to get the Federal Government's budget. Back to the 1950s level, pre Great Society at around 18-19% of GDP, pass a Balance Budget Amendment to the US Constitution. Lock in the Federal Budget to around 18-19% of GDP, get a lot of the government out of the economy. Including the regulations. And this is where the TP and OWS are basically complete opposites, because at least the Socialist Faction of OWS. And OWS is a broad coalition of yes socialists but also liberals and even libertarians. But the Democratic Socialists in this movement would like to see us perhaps double our Federal Budget. Round three of America's version of Democratic Socialism which would make us look like Britain or Sweden. Universal Healthcare and Health Insurance provided by the Federal Government. Universal Higher Education again provided by the Federal Government. Outlawing Private Money from our Political Campaigns. As well as a whole list of Job Programs, Public Works Administration. Again all provided by the Federal Government paid for by going back to the 1950s Tax Rates from 25-90%.
What Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party have in common, if they just focused on those things. And worked together that would be a hell of a Progressive Agenda. That could be a boost to our economy, because it would end future Tax Payer Funded Bailouts of Corporate America. End Corporate Welfare and we could get real Campaign Finance and Lobbying Reform with Public Disclosure and perhaps other things. That would force our Public Officials to listen to their people or pay the price for it. Because they would then have more insight on what they do when they are on the Public Payroll.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Tea Party vs Occupy Wall Street
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The OWS is in excellent shape politically, because its not just Social Democrats who support this type of movement. Even though its always assumed they are behind this type of movement, where this movement is not united. Is what comes next, what happens after OWS gets what they want in the short-term. An end to corporate welfare and some type of campaign finance reform that limits how Corporate America can influence government. And requires them to disclose their activities as it relates to the Federal Government.
What does the alternative agenda look like after Cowboy Capitalism is ended and defeated? What does "economic justice" a term that Socialists use all the time look like. Last night I laid out what socialist tax reform looks like. With steep tax hikes on everybody with the starting income tax rate starting at around 25%. Plus an additional value added tax which looks similar to a consumption tax. Thats a nonstarter that will never happen. So what else do Socialists have in mind to bring "economic justice" to America. Tonight I'll focus on health care reform.
American Socialists when they make their case for single payer health insurance, what they call Medicare For All, argue that one reason why we should do this, is because the rest of the world has single payer health insurance. Where the Federal Government runs health insurance, whether people like that or not. Nothing liberal democratic about that. This would qualify as social democratic. The problem with their argument, is that they are simply wrong. What the rest of the developed world has is what's called universal health care. Where most if not the entire country has access to health insurance and health care.
Which is different from government-run health insurance and health care. What a lot if not European nations have including the United Kingdom, is a public private health care system. Which includes both health insurance and health care. France and Germany being excellent examples of this where they have what the Obama Administration was arguing for in the drawn out health care reform debate of 2009-10 is a public option in health insurance and health care. Which is what I've been arguing for the last three years. And still believe in it, where the people no one else gets to decide where they get their health care and health insurance. Public or Private their freedom of choice.
I made this argument a couple of weeks ago, but for single payer healthcare supporters, Democratic Socialists in America to get the economic system that they want, they have to take their agenda to the people. To get what they want by convincing that they are right and that a big problem with our economic system is that we have too much freedom. And that we need more government control, including in health care. And that's exactly what you see them trying to do right now with the OWS movement. And we'll see what kind of success they have in the future.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Campbell 1308: Countdown With Keith Olbermann- Michael Moore Says Occupy Wall Street Will Only Get Bigger
|Source: Campbell 1308- Michael Moore-|
Wow! I’m shocked that Michael Moore one of the leading Progressives/Democratic Socialists in America, is behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’m not sure he has much credibility on the issue. Bashing a governmental and economic system that he’s benefited greatly from. Fine, he sees a country that’s in a lot of trouble and wants to see us get through this and recover from it. I get that, but bashing a system that he’s benefited from, is hard to swallow.
The agenda of Occupy Wall Street I believe is pretty clear. They see America in a lot of trouble and blame Wall Street and capitalism for our problems and would like to see us move to an economic system that looks like Sweden or France. Where the people get education including higher ED, transportation, health care, health insurance, pension childcare, perhaps even housing and banking. Not paid for by the Federal Government, but by taxpayers. The Federal Government would take a lot of our money and if you’re in the middle class right now and have seen your wages go down in the last ten years and are worried about being laid off next week or next month. And feel overtaxed.
If you think you’re overtaxed right now, check out the social democratic system’s of Scandinavia. Forget about the middle class tax hike in any flat tax, because these Tax Hikes would trample that. Talking about the lowest tax rate starting around 25%. Going back to the 1950s tax rates. And those are for people making 25-30K a year. Just over the poverty line. Try living in Washington, New York or San Francisco making that type of money and paying those taxes. First of all you probably wouldn’t be able to afford to and if you did, you would probably be heavily dependent on public assistance just to survive. Instead of having the individual liberty to take care of yourself.
The last ten years we’ve been living under Cowboy Economics. Where the wealthy pay very little in taxes after all the tax deductions. And everything else compared to what they make. Where we essentially have very little if no rules in our economy, where we got screwed over by big banks. And then where we bail them out for behaving badly at taxpayer expense. Tell me if that sounds backwards or not. And where the middle class have gotten royally screwed. Where our poverty rate has essentially doubled from 13% in the 1990s.
That’s what a neoconservative economic policy looks like. Oh by the way two unfunded wars. And an unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit. This is what economics looks like coming from the Far-Right. And now what we have coming from the Far-Left of course is the complete opposite direction. What we need to do is get back to American capitalism that worked in the 1990s where government pays for its operations. Keeps its expenses down, where we have a lot of economic liberty. But where it’s also regulated. And we need to start building things and selling them at home and abroad again. That’s how we rebuild our economy.
What we need to do is stop doing what doesn’t work which is Cowboy Borrow and Spend Economics. And not move to democratic socialism either. But get back to American capitalism which is how we got to be the number economic and military power of the world. Essentially the leader of the free world and avoid going back or moving to extremes.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
One of the things I respect about the Occupy Wall Street Movement is the fact they do support Campaign Fiance Reform. And ending the partnership that Wall Street has with the Federal Government. Now I disagree with their solutions and their Alternate Agenda. But they are right that we need to end this partnership and that we need to reform our Campaign System. And to a certain extent this movement has been Bi Partisan or No Partisan even. With socialists, liberals, libertarians, independents and perhaps even some conservatives all part of it. All these groups of people don't like the influence that Wall Street has on our Federal Government. And all at least to a certain extent support CFR and ending Corporate Welfare. And perhaps all would like to see our Lobbying Rules reformed as well. But these different Political Factions all have different approaches in how they reform our system. But at least they all agree that it needs to be reformed but just have different approaches in how to do it.
When it comes to reforming our Campaign Finance System, socialists naturally would like to nationalize the system. Get Private Money out of it completely, I have a problem with that both practically and ideologically. Socialists would also like us to scrap the Two Party System and allow more parties into the system with Ballot Access. One so they can get more of their candidates elected but also because they believe its a good idea. I agree with them on their second point which I'll get to later. Liberals would like to see Full Disclosure where all Public Officials and candidates would have to disclose where and how much money they got and when. As well as Lobbying Reform and make those people disclose where and how much and when they get their Campaign Funding. I support those ideas as well and some liberals Non Partisan Democrats who look at the country before their party. Such as myself would like to see us scrap our Two Party System and allow socialists, libertarians, independents ballot access as well. Conservatives would like to see an end to Corporate Welfare and see Full Disclosure in our Political System as well. Libertarians would probably like to see Full Disclosure, and end to Corporate Welfare. And getting government out of the economy all together. Believing that if government doesn't need to regulate, that business wouldn't need to contribute to government. And to a certain extent they have a point.
The reasons why I don't support getting Private Money out of our Campaign Fiance System are both practical and ideological. It would be thrown out by the US Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds. Like those reforms always have because it considered a violation of Free Speech. You would basically need a Constitutional Amendment to make that happen and good luck getting that out of Congress right now. My ideological problem with ending Private Money is that people including organizations of people which is what organizations are. Corporate and otherwise have a First Amendment right to lobby, protest and influence their Public Officials. As they should because they have to live under the laws that they pass. So they are deeply effected by what their Public Officials do in office. I like scrapping our Two Party System and allowing in libertarians, socialists and independents. Because we are a country of 310M people and are represented all across the Political Spectrum. And two parties is simply not enough to represent everyone.
What we need to do instead is set up a system of Full Disclosure where all Public Officials and incumbents have to reveal. Where they get their money from, how much and when. As well as Full Disclosure for Third Party Groups that attempt to influence elections, as well as Political Parties. And make all Public Officials Public Records exactly that open for the public. So we know why our Public Officials do the things that they do and why. And then vote the corrupt officials out of office, thats how you reform our Political System.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Campaign Finance Reform on The Bill Press Show
Saturday, October 22, 2011
And by the way, OWS are anti-Wall Street as well and they are especially against the relationship that Wall Street has with government. On that last point alone, that's where the consensus is and where they have support all over the political spectrum. And if they just concentrate on that, they'll win support. But when they get into laying out their alternative agenda, The Socialist Alternative as I call it, "free health care, free health insurance free higher education", debt forgiveness, 20$ minimum wage, minimum income for all, that's where they lose support. Because they only represent around 10-15% of the country ideologically. That's why the Democratic Leadership has been reluctant to get involved with OWS. Because they can't afford to be seen supporting Socialists or be anti-business. And besides they now take more money from Wall Street than the GOP.
When OWS is just about being against the relationship that government has with Wall Street and reforming Wall Street, but not trying to end it or nationalize it, but limiting the influence that Wall Street has on government especially the Federal Government and getting behind real campaign reform, then OWS has broad support even with Independents. Because people all across the political spectrum believe that Wall Street has way too much influence over our public officials in both parties. And support real campaign reform that has full-disclosure in it so the voters know exactly where our public officials get their money from. And which public officials are bought and corrupt and which public officials are honest and in public service to serve the people they represent. Including the people that voted for them.
And if OWS concentrates on that, then not only will Socialists be behind this movement, but Liberals, Libertarians, Independents and even Classical Conservatives will behind this movement as well. Because neither Wall Street or the Federal Government are very popular with the country right now. But when the Socialists in OWS instead concentrates on their agenda and free this and that and going back to the 1950s tax rates with the lowest starting at 25% going up to 90% and everything else their support plummets. Because America just isn't there as a country politically. So if they concentrate on where there's a consensus, that's where they can be very effective. And can have a major impact on the 2012 general elections.
Friday, October 21, 2011
|MSNBC- Rachel Maddow & Paul Krugman-|
Twenty years ago (and I’ll be nice here) you could accuse Progressive Democrats of being the tax hikers and not just on the wealthy, but on the middle class as well. And thanks to President Bill Clinton the Democratic Party was able to eliminate, or at least scale back that horrible stereotype. Because President Clinton cut taxes for everyone and was very fiscally responsible as President. The tax hike stereotype kept Democrats out of the White House in the 1970s and 80s. But during this presidential campaign of 2011-12, hopefully that stereotype will be switched to Neoconservative Republicans. (As I call them) As it relates to Herman Cain with his 9-9-9 flat tax and now Rick Perry’s flat tax. Because that’s exactly what a flat tax is, a middle class tax hike. Because you would be raising taxes on people paying 10-15% in Federal income taxes, to 18-20%. While people who are currently paying 28-33% in Federal income taxes, would get a tax cut.
The wealthy would go down to that 18-20% tax bracket. And with the flat tax the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC would be eliminated. So low-income workers would now get a tax hike. And of course Neoconservatives like to make the argument that low-income workers don’t pay taxes. What they fail to realize or mention is that they pay payroll taxes. Which of course is a regressive income tax on middle and low-income workers. Because it’s a flat tax that no matter how much you’re making per year in income, you get stuck having to pay the payroll tax. A flat tax may sound great, because it simplifies the Federal tax code a hell of a lot. But the negative aspects of it can’t be ignored as well. Do we need tax reform, of course, do we need a more simpler tax code, well considering that most Americans don’t understand it, that should be a pretty good clue there. But we need to do it in a way that helps us get our Federal debt and deficit under control.
We need a new tax code that would also help to lead to economic and job growth. Thats also fair to all Americans who pay taxes and doesn’t try to benefit one group over the other in an unfair way. Which why I believe in what’s called the Fair Tax or a version of it, which is a consumption tax. That would replace the income tax, not be an addition to it. That would give Americans the economic liberty to decide how much they pay in taxes. Based on what they consume in America, that would also be progressive as well, (at least my version of it) because I would tax basic items that people need to survive, like food, health care, health insurance, clothing, family Autos etc, at a low rate. like 5-7% and tax luxury items like luxury cars, planes, yachts, second homes, sporting events, etc, at a much higher rate. As well as things that are unhealthy for people. Like alcohol and tobacco at a high rate as well to discourage those activities. Of course we need tax reform in America for multiple reasons, but we need to do it in a way that’s fair and beneficial for our economy. That also helps us pay down our debt and deficit and get them under control and that’s not regressive. That gives one group of people and unfair advantage over everyone else in America.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Socialists, obviously want more government and higher tax rates. The Liberals want to reform government to make it work better and regulate, not end Wall Street. Libertarians want government to separate from Wall Street and get out of the way of the economy as they see it. So they are united in the fact that they want government to separate from Wall Street. In the sense that they don't want each other to do the others bidding any longer. They know that both the Democratic and Republican parties take a lot of money from Wall Street. And are both limited including President Obama in how far they can go to take on Wall Street.
Both Democrats and Republicans, would risk losing campaign support and contributions. "Don't offend the people who pay your mortgage. Or you may be left homeless." Which is why I believe both parties have been reluctant to get behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, because they are worried they could lose support from Wall Street. The people contribute a lot of money to their campaigns. The Socialist in this video clearly backs up my point here, with all the resources that America has. He would like a lot of them to be used to provide "free health care, health insurance, higher education, universal pre-school", etc. Through the Federal Government of course, through higher tax rates. And perhaps new taxes as well.
Which would want to make the Federal Government a hell of a lot bigger than it is now. And try to make America look a lot more like Britain and Sweden. I heard some supporters of this movement and few people comment on YouTube as well, including Democratic Socialists like progressive radio talk show Host Thom Hartmann, call for the return to the 1950s Tax Rates. 70 and 90% Tax Rates, lowest tax rate starting at 25%. Again to pay for all of the social insurance programs that they are advocating. So the political agenda from Socialists is pretty clear and they've been outspoken about it as well.
The democratic argument is basically that we as Americans, have too much individual freedom. And as a result a lot of people make too much money. Especially as it relates to the rest of the country. And they want to scale a lot of that economic freedom back. Because they would argue that together as one country we can be more equal with much higher tax rates. The Federal Government providing a lot more public services. What would be nice is to see a video or talk show, where they have a panel of at least one Socialist, Liberal and Libertarian. Because all three of these political factions are fed up with Wall Street. And their relationship with Congress and the Administration. And would all like to see reform. But what would be interesting about a show like that would be the diversity of it. That it's not just Socialists who hate American capitalism that would be on it. But a broader range of people in America that would all like to see reform in America. And how government operates. But they would all offer different alternatives.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Thom Hartmann is right in this sense, a lot of the progress that has been made in America. Has been fought for by progressives, not exactly liberals but people who believe in moving America forward. And I would add socialists to that group as well but Mr Hartmann's history is partially wrong. Calling Franklin Rossevelt a liberal is a bit of a stretch, I mean this is a man who didn't give a damn about Civil Rights. Or was even a borderline racist, as a liberal myself I find that a bit hard to take. FDR was sure a liberal on Foreign Policy, but unfortunately a Neoconservative on National Security. With the Detainment Camps of Japanese, German and Italian Americans during World War II. Because of their ethnicity, nothing liberal about that. FDR was a Democratic Socialist on Economic Policy. With the New Deal, so FDR was a mix bag someone who couldn't be placed in one Political Faction. One of the reasons why he got elected overwhelmingly and kept getting reelected overwhelmingly. Because he could reach out to so many different Political Factions. Including Southern Voters who didn't want a Liberal President, Jack Kennedy is an excellent example of that. Now there's a real Liberal Democrat and someone who was proud to be a Liberal Democrat. And all of these Political Accomplishments that Hartmann mentioned, like Civil Rights and Equal pay so fourth. These accomplishments on Social Issues were definitely Liberal Achievements. But all of the Social Insurance programs from the New Deal and Great Society. Those are all Socialist Policy's and achievements.
The role of American Liberalism in America to stand up for Individual Freedom and our Constitutional Rights and to protect them. The US Constitution was written by liberals and libertarians. And when it comes to Economic Policy, yes a Safety Net but use it to empower people. Not take care of them which is different and do it in a Fiscally Responsible way. Not try to grow the Federal Government indefinitely, or raise taxes indefinitely but pay as we go. And as far as Foreign Policy, have a strong enough military to protect us. And protect us in a way where we can avoid going to war in the first place. Because no one would be dumb enough to attack us at least not in America. And work with our Foreign Allies and be engaged in the World to protect our National Interests in the World. Not to run the World and again thats different as well.
The role of American Conservatism is to protect our Individual Freedom and Constitutional Rights to conserve them. And on Economic Policy make sure our Economic Freedom is protected and to empower the market as much as possible to solve our problems. And to be Fiscally Responsible as well. And they are similar as liberals on Foreign Policy.
The role of American Socialism is to make sure that the Safety Net is protected, to expand it whenever possible. And that government is always protecting the Middle Class and Low Income workers. And that we aren't trying to run the World and mind our own business. Trying to set the example of what a democracy should be instead of lecturing to the World. And socialists tend to be liberal on Social Issues as well, if they are Democratic Socialists. One Political Ideology has not ruled America, we've been influenced for the good by these three Political Ideology's as well as libertarianism as well. Which is something that I don't believe Thom Hartmann understands. And as a liberal myself yes liberalism has had the most influence because we do live in a Liberal Democracy. In the form of a republic and we'll always be that way.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video of Thom Hartmann on American Liberalism
Monday, October 17, 2011
Wow I actually agree with The Young Turks on something or at least Cenk Uruguyar, I'm sure I misspelled that. But hopefully you know who I"m talking about. Turkish is not my first language which should be no surprise to anyone and I doubt german is his first language. So good luck to him in spelling my first and last name as well. I agree with Cenk in this sense and hopefully I didn't misspell that, its only four letter for crying out loud. I agree with him in this sense, that the wrong people were bailed out in 2008. The people who blew most of their wealth away, meaning their Corporate Wealth. I'm sure the people running these company's were doing great personally but their company's were bankrupt thanks to them. And the people who did business with them, were left bankrupt or drowning in debt. As a result of the "Great Recession" of 2008 and the Housing Crisis. They didn't get any bail out and had they did or get bailed out soon, like having the debt forgiven. Like what's done with Developing Countries, which could be financed by the company's who received TARP. And a lot of them are up in running again. And then they could start spending money again, increasing their Consumer Spending. Which could help in jump starting our Economic Growth which could lead to Job Growth.
One of the reasons why our Job Growth is so sluggish right now, even though we did have a decent Jobs Report in September. Is because our Economic Growth is so sluggish, because so many people in the Middle Class. Are currently drowning in debt right now, which why I'm in favor of letting people. Who to no fault of their own are currently drowning in debt and not spending what they normally would or need to. Because a lot of whatever new revenue they receive, goes to paying down their debt or mortgage. I'm in favor of letting these people deduct their debt from their taxes, which would result in a Tax Cut in the hundreds of billions of dollars. In an addition to President Obama's American Jobs Act. Where the President currently proposes a 200B$ Tax Cut for the Middle Class, including an extension of the Payroll Tax Holiday. Including extending that to employers as well as workers and I would be in favor of an additional Tax Cut. For the Middle Class as well. What I would call a Consumer Tax Credit, where people would get a credit but they would have to spend it. By a certain amount of time. Not pocket the money or put the money in the bank or pay down Credit Cards.
The fact is if your responsible with your money and you have a large debt to pay off. Your going to spend what it takes to get that debt paid off. Including your spending in other areas, meaning Consumer Spending will drop as a result. Because there would be less Consumer Spending would be taking place. So we need to get these debts paid off before we can see a jump in Consumer Spending. Which would lead to Economic and Job Growth.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from The Young Turks on the bailouts
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The problems with TARP of 2008 or the Temporary Asset Relief Program, is that we borrowed about 800B$ to pay for it. To go on top of a 400B$ Federal Budget Deficit and a 10T$ Federal Debt. And we bailed out failing banks we essentially bailed them out for their bad behavior. While the victims of their bad behavior the people who did business with their banks, remained victimized. And three years later they are still struggling from the banks bad behavior. We bailed out banks that were "too big to fail", first of all we allowed them as a country to become "too big to fail" in the first place. And then we bailed them out for their bad behavior, which is a Double Edge Sward for the country. We suffered for our governments bad behavior of letting banks become "too big to fail" in the first place. And then we suffered from these banks and their bad behavior. What we should've done instead is force these banks that are "too big to fail" breakup as a result of becoming too big. As a condition of getting their bailout money, as well as forcing these banks to come up with new Management. As another condition of receiving TARP, as well as forcing them to buy Bankruptcy Insurance. So they would never need to be bailed out again at all. Because they would have their insurance that they could go to when they are failing.
Reforms like this would've prevented banks from becoming "too big to fail" again, because now they would only represent only a rather small part of the Banking Market. Because now their would be other banks, including Community Banks. That are Private Banks but they just aren't National Banks and especially not monopoly's. Instead what's happen instead is that a lot of these banks are now back up in running. Still "too big to fail" still controlling about the same market size as they did pre TARP. Still doing a lot of the same things as they did pre TARP, like Investment Banking and holding bad assets. And looking to pickup an even larger percentage of the Banking Sector then they already have. And if they were to go down again and with this economy thats still a possibility. With all the people struggling in America an unable to pay their bills. Like their homes and business's, losing their jobs etc, that could definitely happen again. And we would be back in the same situation as we were back in late 2008. Looking for ways to save our Banking System, when you let people behave badly and them reward them for that bad behavior. Your giving them to permission to behave badly again.
The way to prevent TARP from ever happening again in the future, is not to let it happen. Force banks to breakup once they are too big and force them to sell off those assets at Market Value. And force them to pay for Bankruptcy Insurance so when they do go down again, Tax Payers wouldn't bail them out again. As well as have more Community Banks including Public Options for each State to have as much free, fair and open competition as possible.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about TARP from Real News
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I'm going to throw out actually put a few facts on the table and hopefully that will give you an idea of where I'm going with this blog. Incase the title of this blog isn't a big enough clue. We have a 14T$ National Debt, a 1.8T$ National Deficit, 9.1% Unemployment, 1% Economic Growth. And we are about to send more money out of the American Economy to Uganda of all places. That represents no threat to us, money that we don't have and money that we need. By generating this money in our own economy, through Economic Growth. Oh by the way our military is already overcommitted around the World. Which along with our economic problems is why we are finally starting to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq. We are already responsible for the National Defense of Developed Nations besides ourselves. Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea and we are helping with the Air Cover of Libya. We don't have the resources or the money to take on another Foreign Military Operation like this. Fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have already taken care of that for us and we fought those wars at the same time. Uganda is not a small country about the size of Egypt physically, its a large country of around 35M people or so. This is not Haiti and National Defense will also be playing a role in Deficit Reduction. Because of the size of its budget and how overcommitted we are.
This operation in Uganda should sound familiar and I'll explain why. We are sending Combat Troops to Uganda, all by ourselves, maybe the African Union will help us as well. And we'll be there to protect the piece so to speak and we are also be sending Military Advisers to Uganda as well. Any hints on what this sounds like, here's another clue, we fought in a war like this. In the 1960s on the other side of the planet. In hot humid jungles and we involved in a Civil War there as well. Times up the answer is Vietnam the Vietnam War, the mismanagement of a war. That went on for ten years, that brought one President down a man I have a lot of respect for and also a fan of. Lyndon Johnson and fought by two other Administrations, President Nixon and President Ford. President Nixon and Ford being the Presidents that finally got us out of Vietnam. You could also add Afghanistan and Iraq to that list of Foreign Wars that we were involved in. That looked like Civil Wars, Afghanistan being in a Civil War and Iraq where the opposition wanted to fight a Civil War but without the resources.
At some point the United States has to figure out, whoever the President is. And you would think that President Obama would be the President to figure this out. And hopefully this will be figured out before our involvement in the defense of other countries ruins us. Especially in countries where we have no business being in, that we can't be everything to everybody. That we are limited in what we can do on Foreign Policy because we have limited resources. That these countries have to take care of their own business.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about American Troops headed to Uganda
Thursday, October 13, 2011
One thing I think about when I think of Labor Unions Organized Labor, is what Working Conditions would be like. For the American Workforce without them. Because with Organized Labor we have a weekends, Social Security, Medicare, Minimum Wage, Unemployment Insurance. Cobra, safe Working Conditions etc. Its sorta how I think about Lyndon Johnson a man as a democrat I have a lot of respect for. Without President Johnson, how much longer would African Americans and other Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Have to wait until their Constitutional Rights were enforced, probably at least until President Carter. Who had a large majority in both Chambers of Congress and President Carter being a big believer in Civil Rights. But did he have the Political Skills to get Civil Rights Legislation through Congress. Or would at the time Senate Leader Bob Byrd a democrat and a liberal on many other issues. But someone who was once a member of the West Virginia KKK and while in Congress as well. And who voted against the Civil Rights Laws of the 1960s, would he had blocked them in the Senate as the Leader and Minority Leader can do. Without Organized Labor in America, we would've have to create it, they serve as a check on Corporate America. And when this system works, they aren't enemy's or even opponents but partners. Sorta like in Pro Sports when Management and Labor are getting along. They work together to do what's best for the organization.
I'm not anti capitalist, corporate or profit, I'm pro all of those things, I'm a liberal not a socialist. But if you let anyone run free without any checks, thats exactly what's going to happen. And this goes for Organized Labor as well, they've had their own corruption and abuse issues they've had to deal with. Like in the Jimmy Hoffa era and since and have had paid a heavy price for it as well. With their membership being much smaller today then even twenty years ago. But just like the country needs a Federal Government, we need Organized Labor and we need American Capitalism as well. We just need them to be better and reform them to make that happen. So every time I see this Anti Labor proposals proposed, that tells me that the Far Right. Who's pushing these ideas, knows exactly what I'm talking about, that if you eliminate Organize Labor. Then their allies in Corporate America would be left unchecked and able to run free and ship their jobs oversees. That don't have the same Labor Rights that we have or they would be able to pay their American Workforce close to nothing. Without much if any benefits, because again who would stop them. And then they would be left to give their Political Allies more money.
One of the last things we should be doing with the American Economy, is eliminating Labor Rights meaning Organize Labor. Another one would be moving towards a Democratic Socialist Economy and they are about even on the list. Of what not to do and maybe I'll show you the rest of my list in a future blog. Organize Labor is as important and as relevant today as its ever been. Just not as powerful.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
What looked like a real shot at bringing Democracy to Egypt and finally ending Authoritarian Rule in this large country of 80M people. That has a lot of potential for the future, if their government gives them the freedom to achieve it. Looks like its stagnating as the Military Establishment in Egypt has become its effective ruler. And they are starting to have crackdowns on the Democratic Protesters in Egypt as well as crackdowns on Coptic Christians in Egypt. A Religious Minority in Egypt, instead of returning Egypt to Civilian Rule. The Egyptian Military has established a Military Ruling Council for the entire country of 80M people. And the Democratic Opposition sees this for what it is and is now protesting against the Ruling Council. Because I believe they see the Ruling Council as Mubarak Regime Plus, as people who want to reestablish another Military Dictatorship there. That would cooperate with the West in the War on Terror in order to stay in power. Thats exactly what the Mubarak Regime did in its thirty years in power and how they stayed in power. With all the Foreign Aid it received that they used to defend the country and their regime. From terrorism domestic and foreign, before the Democratic Opposition couldn't take it anymore.
President Hosni Mubarak trying to install his son as the next President of Egypt, was probably the last straw so to speak. The thing that set them off, after the bogus General Elections that they had in 2010. That returned President Mubarak and his "National Democratic Party" back to power. Which probably doesn't look much different then the Communist Party in Cuba politically. With little if any Political Opposition in Parliament. What Egypt should be doing with either the Military Council or with a National Transitional Council that would be made up of civilians. That would be like an Intern Cabinet with an Interim President and Vice President. Until the new Constitution is written. And a new Administration and Parliament is elected, is moving in this direction. Move the process of getting their Constitution written and holding Fair and Free General Elections. Which is what the Democratic Opposition wants and I believe the Egyptian People as a whole want as well. What looks like is happening instead is that the Military Council is stalling for time. Until they can get the new Military Dictatorship installed instead.
For the Arab Spring to be real and be a real Democratic Movement, it has to be more about then eliminating old Authoritarian Regimes. And replacing them with Democratic Governments as well and so far the Democratic Opposition is only half way there. With still having a long hill to climb.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about the Military Council in Egypt
Saturday, October 8, 2011
The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Professor Michael Hudson- Occupy Wall Street to a Bank in The Public Interest
|Source: The Real News-|
All of these protests on Wall Street that are going on around the country, could be positive for the country. If it leads to real reforms in our economy, that reforms our banking system in a way that we stop bailing out banks and other company's, regulate their bad behavior. And lets them keep a lot of their profits instead of subsidizing them when they are successful. And thats not what we have right now. We have so many tax loopholes, that a lot of our business's end not paying much if anything in taxes like General Electric. But tax them at a rate that allows them to be profitable and encourages them to be profitable.
But we eliminate most if not all of our loopholes in the tax code and subsidy's. We don't bail out banks when they go under and we don't let them become monopoly's. We force them to sell off at market rate before they become "too big to fail". We break up these big banks that have become like monopoly's. And instead of having a banking system with a few huge banks, we have a banking system of a lot of small and mid-size banks all cross the country. We have more community banks, with still a few big national banks. But they aren't "too big to fail", because of all the competition that we have in our banking system. And instead of bailing them out when they fail and rewarding their bad behavior, we force them to pay bankruptcy insurance and they would pay that based on the size of their bank. And at how big of a risk they are too failing based on their history.
One way to bring more competition to our banking system, so these company's don't become "too big to fail", is to have a community banking system all across the country. For each state, have each state with their own public options in the banking system. That would be self-financed, independent of government as far as how its managed. Non Profit and subject to the same rules and regulations that all private non-profit banks would be subjected to. And then let the market decide which banks are successful, once the public options are up in running. And everyone is playing by the same set of rules that are designed to protect our economy and consumers.
This is the approach we should be doing, instead of "Cowboy Economics". From the Far-Right without meaningful regulations of the economy at the expense of consumers. And socialist state-run economics from the Far-Left. Where we would literally nationalize our banking system. And turn them into public utility's and public monopoly's. Leaving consumers with little if any choice in how they do their banking What we need to do with our banking system, is to enforce current rules pre-2010 Dodd-Frank banking reform legislation. End "too big to fail, end monopoly's and make sure we have maximum freedom and open competition that provides Freedom of Choice for all of our consumers.
Friday, October 7, 2011
I've been blogging for a while now at least for a year, that the main problem with the American Economy. Is because of the lack of the Consumer Spending, which has led to our lack of Economic Growth. Which is why our Unemployment Rate has remained so high going on three years now. And that if we want to stimulate the economy to jump start Economic Growth, people have to start spending money again . Buying and in investing in things that they've been putting off because they are worried about losing their jobs. Or are drowning in debt, so every new dollar in revenue they get. They spend on paying off their mortgages or Credit Card bills or putting the money in their Savings Account. Or putting money back in their Retirement Accounts that they lost when Wall Street sunk in 2008. So for the Federal Government to get Economic Growth going again, 4-5% or better. They have to encourage Consumer Spending, especially in the Middle Class. Where most of the country lives and Tax Cuts is a way to do this but it has to be done in a way that encourages Consumer Spending. So consumers that receive this money, doesn't pocket it or use it to pay down their debt or mortgage. But actually spends that money on things that stimulates the economy. Like shopping, eating out, buying new devices, cars etc, buying things that gives business's revenue. So they can start hiring again and putting people back to work
I don't think we get to strong Job Growth without strong Economic Growth. So we need to encourage Economic Growth and the people will start hiring again which will lead to Job Growth. Because business's will start making more money and see their profits rise. And start hiring new workers to meet the new demand. And to get to Economic Growth, business's have to make more money, more money then they have in a long time. And then realize that they are getting swamped by new customers in the market. And need more workers to meet the new demand, as well as raise the hours of their current staffs. So Tax Cuts like a Payroll Tax Holiday for both employers and workers, as long as that revenue is returned to the Trust Funds. Is a good first step, as well as what I would call a Consumer Tax Credit, where people would have to spend that money. Lets say within a few months and they wouldn't be able to put that money in the bank. Or pay down debt but spend that money on goods like I mention earlier.
One reason why people aren't spending money, is again because they are worried about losing their jobs. But also because they are drowning in debt. So for these people to start spending money again, they need to get out of debt. They need to pay down their debt, so they have money to spend. So what government can do here, is give people who weren't irresponsible with their money. But are debt for no fault of their own, their wages were slashed at work. They are unemployed and ran up huge Credit Card bills to get by. The value of their homes sunk because the crash on Wall Street etc. Give these people the money to pay down their debt or pay off their debts for them. By getting the Financing of their Mortgages Restructured and then give them additional credit to spend. Once they are out of debt and can afford to spend money.
We can't get our economy going again and creating jobs with strong Economic and Job Growth. Until we get Consumer Spending going again, which would lead to strong Economic and Job Growth. And a big reason why so many people aren't spending right now, is because of their own Personal Debt that they face.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Personal Debt in America
Thursday, October 6, 2011
|Source: RT America-|
Van Jones had the best line at this whole event. When he said he wasn't mad at the Tea Party and the broader conservative movement for being so loud. But he was mad at the progressive movement for being so quiet. And that's exactly been the problem for Democratic Socialists in America. While the Tea Party has been so loud and been organizing going on three years now, Socialists have been sitting back and staying home. Not going to work, not writing their blogs, appearing on TV and radio shows that are ideologically comfortable for them.
Take MSNBC, PBS and NPR just to use as examples and perhaps you picked up another clue there, not voting taking the 2010 mid-term elections where House Democrats lost the House. (Thanks a lot Socialists) And now we have a Tea Party run House of Representatives. Thanks to the Tea Party and Democratic Socialists and we actually have to have debates on whether we should close the Federal Government or not or raise the debt ceiling or not. Hearing questions is Sarah Palin the most influential public figure in America or not. Is Michele Bachmann going to be the next President of the United States or not. All because they believe President Obama is not progressive or socialist enough for them.
Had today's so-called Progressives did better research on Barack Obama's biography when they all supported him in 2007-08, they would've known that Obama's socialist leanings are very limited. Barack Obama would never ever be confused with Bernie Sanders or Ralph Nader. Barack Obama is basically a Bill Clinton/Jack Kennedy Progressive Democrat. Not a Henry Wallace Democratic Socialist. That's what he was four years ago and what he is today. As a result of sitting on the sidelines and watching other people come into power, the Tea Party all 70 plus of them in the House the not so Progressives in America have lost influence in the Federal Government.
So its good for the so-called Progressives to finally stand up and get organized behind a movement and an agenda. And hopefully they'll remember to vote in 2012. And they'll organize their own movement that's made up of a bunch of different political action groups. Not one unified organization raising money and recruiting candidates to advance their cause. Democratic Party or they form their own Progressive Party. Which they have the people for in DSA, the Green Party and the Democratic Party. There's an old saying that I like a lot, that basically goes like this. "If you don't vote you don't have the right to complain". And if you sit at home, you watch the world go by without you. And hopefully this is a lesson that the Far-Left are learning right now and will learn from it. And not make the same mistakes in the future.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
What we see in these Wall Street Protests and these so called Take Back America rally's in Washington. Is Democratic Socialists all across the country from several different Political Parties. The Democratic Party, the Democratic Socialist Party, the Green Party, the Progressive Party, along with some libertarians. And perhaps a few liberals, who are fed up for lack of a better term. In what's going on in Corporate America and in how they see what's going on in Corporate America and in how they believe thats affecting our economy right now. With Middle Class and Low Income workers getting laid off. While Executives are getting raises and bonus's and seeing people making a lot of money on Wall Street. But that wealth not getting down to the rest of the country, as well as large corporations and banks. Getting bailed out after running their company's in the ground by Tax Payers. Actually by our National Debt Card that Tax Payers not the government gets to pay the bill for. And they see this as Anti Capitalism actually, which I give them credit for and call it corporatism. And even though I disagree with their alternative. Which I'll get to later and they want to transform their movement to the Far Left's, I'm sorry not really. Farther Left's version of what the Tea Party was able to accomplish. And are still accomplishing in 2011 going into 2012.
Progressives could be able to transform this movement into a Political Movement. And use this Political Movement to be able to recruit Political Candidates in the future that will stand up to what they don't like. In the Federal Government and Corporate America. And as I blogged a couple nights ago, if they play this right and look like a diverse group of everyday people. Just looking to work hard, be productive and make good lives for themselves. And not look like thugs, terrorists, anarchists, communists etc. They could turn this into a long standing Political Movement, that could either take over the Democratic Party. Which I hope doesn't happen or transform this movement into their own Progressive Party. That could challenge democrats and republicans in the future. Progressive Blogger Jane Hampsher of Fire Dog Lake. Made the point on Monday that this movement is better not unified. Into on organization and I'm not talking about a Political Party. But a group of Progressive Organizations that are all fighting for the same goals with similar policy's. Which is exactly what the Tea Party is for the right. A group of Conservative Organizations all fighting for the same causes.
I don't like this movement's ideas of what they want to see in the future, I mean I'm not a socialist. I don't want to see the return of 70-90% Tax Rates, people have to have incentive to be productive. And giving the Federal Government that doesn't do a very good job of managing its current budget. A much bigger role in our economy as well as lives as far as delivering Public Services. People have to be able to keep a lot from their productivity, thats one thing what American Capitalism is about. But I like what this movement is trying to defeat and hope they are successful.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about Take Back America
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The California Prison Hunger Strike to me shows the need for Prison Reform. And I'm going to focus on a certain type of Prison Reform in this post. In how we deal with our Violent Offenders and not going to push for a policy. That goes from "put them away and throw away the key". To an approach that doesn't even put Violent Offenders away but slaps them on the hand, a light slap at that. And hopes they don't do it again, which would be going from one extreme to another. But more of an approach that acknowledges the need for Solitary Confinement and unfortunately we do need it. But that the fact that these Iso Inmates are still Prison Inmates and they are still humans as well. And deserve to be treated with Human Rights as well as they serve their time in iso. Before they are ready to go back to General Population. That gives these inmates a solid shot of keeping their sanity, assuming they still have it. While they are in isolation before they are ready to return to General Population. That try's to help these inmates get their anger under control before they return to a more mainstream prison environment. And come up for Regular Review to review their status in isolation and what's expected from them. While they are in isolation, so they know what they have to do to leave isolation.
To move these inmates back to serving their time in a productive way, going to school, getting a job. Taking visits from friends and family, doing Community Service etc. And that gets to things like allowing Iso Inmates certain things while they are in iso. Like Reading and Writing Material, music, limited TV even, better and more food. Daily showers, a few more hours out of their cells for the Iso Inmates that make improvement. And of course Professional Counseling to help these inmates get their anger under control. So they don't feel the need or want to attack other inmates or staff. As well as more motivation to get themselves out of isolation, like not being allowed to finish their Prison Sentences in isolation. Meaning not allowing Isolation Inmates to be released from prison while they are in isolation. And especially not be paroled out of isolation, meaning once they are put into isolation. That their Prison Sentence would freeze and once they are released from isolation. And back in General Population, then the time off from their Prison Sentence would start being reduced. Another words for whatever time inmates serve in isolation, that time would added to their Prison Sentence. And all inmates would be made aware of this once they enter prison.
The fact is prisons have to have Solitary Confinement for the safety of inmates and staff so they aren't under constant attack. Otherwise prisons would be impossible to run, because inmates and staff would always be under attack. But again these people are still humans and deserve to be treated as such.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about the California Prison Hunger Strike
Monday, October 3, 2011
|Source: Russia Today- Kevin Zeese-|
Looks to me like Democratic Socialists in America are making it official and that they “are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore”. And their first target is going to be on Wall Street and that they are also going to get help from Libertarians as well. Another political faction that Wall Street is not popular with right now. And that Socialists are looking to start what they call an ‘American Spring’ and have a Socialist Revolution in America. And it looks like the big banks are their first target and getting them closed down.
As well as campaign finance reform. Getting campaign money out of Corporate America and if they have success with this message and this coming week will be a first step, they’ll take their message through 2012 as well. And this will also represent a test for President Obama and the Democratic Leadership in Congress. They’ll have to be very careful in how they play this, without offending this movement. Who’ll they’ll need to reelect President Obama, reelect a Democratic Senate and elect a Democratic majority in the House. Without offending Independent voters who’ll they’ll also need as well to accomplish these things.
The Democratic Leadership has to play this movement right and its a real movement. That’s not only angry with Corporate America, who they are always angry with, but the Republican Party of course, but they are also not very happy with the Democratic Party as well, the democrats not just the President, but Congressional Democrats in both the House and Senate can be facing primary challenges in 2012, which is what a few Congressional Democrats faced in 2010 from this movement.
If the Democratic Socialists in this movement play this right and don’t look like a bunch of thugs and violent protesters, this movement and rally’s could turn into a new political party for them. A new Social Democratic Party, but much larger from the 1940s and before that. Because this new party could be made up of the Democratic Socialist Party, the Green Party and the Democratic Socialists in the Democratic Party like the Progressive Caucus and others. Into one new Progressive Socialist Party, that could include prominent politicians and activists. Like Ralph Nader, Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich.
And prominent political groups like organized labor and others into this brand new Socialist Party. And fight for things like the Fair Deal Agenda, that would be an addition to the New Deal and Great Society. New campaign finance reform, getting corporate money out of politics. New taxes on millionaires and billionaires, single payer health insurance, higher education for all and other things. If Socialists play this movement right as they call an ‘American Spring’, then this could turn into a much larger political movement. That could lead to another political party with real power. That could rip up our two-party system and give us a political system that’s more represented of America. Where all of our voices are well represented.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
One thing I like about Canadian Politics is that they have real choice in who Canadian Voters can vote for. They have real Conservative Party, a real Liberal Party and a real Democratic Socialist Party. In the New Democratic Party that used to call themselves the Socialist Party. And all three of these parties are very competitive and can make a difference in their Federal Elections. Unlike in America where we have a Two Party System in a country that has nine times as many people. Where both major parties are made up of three different parties . And when Ontario Voters go to vote in their Provincial Election. They'll have a real choice in who to vote for, Canada doesn't have a perfect Political System. Even canadians will tell you that, I have a Canadian Relative that would tell me that. For one thing their Federal Senate is more like the United Nations then anything. Where they have Appointed Members and where the Senate even though they are suppose to be. The Upper Chamber in Parliament, like the US Senate is the Upper Chamber in Congress. the Canadian Senate doesn't have that much authority. Even though their Members are Members of Parliament as well. If you combine the Multi Party Political System of Canada into with the Checks in Balances with America. You may have a perfect Political System.
America has Check and Balances three Branches of Government. So no one becomes too powerful and even though Canada technically has the same thing, most of the real power in Canada. Is with their Executive Branch and some power being left to the House of Commons, which in practicality is the real Upper Chamber in Parliament in Canada. And another thing I don't like about Canada, is that they have elections essentially when the Prime Minister feels they should. When its Politically Convenient for them or when the Prime Minister loses a Non Confidence Vote in the House. To me that leads to corruption and Authoritarian Rule, I mean the Prime Minister would really have to be unpopular to lose a No Confidence Vote in the House. Since their party has the most seats in the House at all times and then they wouldn't even need a majority to get reelected. Unlike in America where the President gets a four year term and four years to make their mark. And if the country doesn't like the President or likes their opponent better. The voters can throw the President out.
I love the choice that Canada has in its Political System and the checks that America has in our Political System and put them together. You would have I believe the perfect Political System. That could represent the Political Diversity of both great countries, where everyone is represented. And where the Branches of Government could work together.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video about the Ontario Elections
Saturday, October 1, 2011
There’s what I call classical socialism, or Marxism even where the state own the means of production in society. Most of the country is against that even a lot of Socialists. And there’s was I call public ownership socialism, or democratic socialism, where there’s still a private sector, but where the workers are essentially stockholders in their company’s and are represented on the Board of Directors. So the workers get true benefits as far as what they produce for the company and society. This is a form of socialism that I respect, because it’s very democratic which as a Liberal I respect. As well as there’s still profit motives for the company’s, which is also democratic.
With democratic socialism under workers cooperatives, the workers get to make more of what they produced for the company’s. This is what Libertarian Socialist Professor Noam Chomksy believes in and is his form of socialism. And then there’s democratic socialism what the Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich’s of the world believe in. Again private sector, but where the state steps in to provide public services that it believes shouldn’t have a profit motive. Health insurance, health care, pensions, education, etc. As well as some other areas where their would be private enterprise. Like public transportation, banking and other areas. And where the private sector is heavily taxed and regulated to fund the public sector.
The contributions that socialism has brought to America is not as a governing ideology. Because we’ve never had enough Socialists in Congress, or a socialist president. So they could really establish what they want to do and go further with their welfare state agenda and establish what they call a Fair Deal. Round three of democratic socialism in America after the New Deal and Great Society. But Socialists have contributed in other areas in our society. Especially in the economy, with our social insurance system, or safety net.
Socialists and Progressives, created the American safety net. Unemployment Insurance, but Socialists would probably go further and allow people to collect more money on Unemployment Insurance. Social Security, but again socialists would go further with that and make it a national pension system for America. Medicare, but again Socialists would go further with that and turn it in a single payer health insurer. Which would be known as Medicare For All. Public education, but again I believe Socialists would go further with that and outlaw for-profit Schools and perhaps private schools in general.
Socialists also believe in non-profit public broadcasting. Socialism has certainly made it’s contributions and marks on American society. Some of the things that Socialist candidate Eugene Debs, who I just saw a documentary about. back in the early 1900s was calling for has come true. But their whole agenda hasn’t come across yet, because they’ve never had enough power to make it happen. Or enough political support to get that power.