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Reading stories by Rural Democrat and RDemocrat about the lack of media attention to the Whirlpool Rally to protest the outsourcing of more American jobs even though it was well attended and addressed an important economic issue made me wonder why the nonsense spouted by the Tea Party gets wall to wall media coverage and real issues are practically ignored.

What is it about the Tea Party message that makes it easy to communicate?  It’s simple, consistent, and mindless.  They hate government and taxes.  It ties into people’s fears, prejudices, and experiences.  Even though the Tea Party has powerful corporate backers, they get "regular people" to be the front men.  Their Congress people show up and both feed the crowd and ride the wave.  They have media sponsors that carry the message.

You can’t refute the message directly, because no one will listen.  Are there alternative simple, consistent, and hopefully not mindless messages that might get some traction?  If there is one thing that may be perceived as being as bad as government and taxes, it may be big corporations and bonuses.

Big corporations outsource American jobs to foreign countries to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations deny Americans access to affordable health care to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations fire older American workers to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations gamble with American retirement accounts to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations pollute American air, ground, and water to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations charge Americans 29% interest on their credit cards to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations risk American food and water supplies to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations encourage sending Americans to war to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations exploit foreclosure of American homes to give bonuses to millionaires
Big corporations privatize American infrastructure to give bonuses to millionaires

We need our elected officials, aka government, to act on our behalf and represent our interests. Unfortunately government of the people, by the people, for the people now means government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation.
We need to increase taxes on the rich:

To restore gutted pension plans and provide unemployment insurance, health care, and job retraining to Americans hurt by the loss of off shored  and downsized jobs.
To provide benefits to our service men and women who have sacrificed for our country.
To pay back Americans who bailed them out after their reckless risk taking nearly brought down the global financial system.
To build the infrastructure for new industries to replace jobs lost and to clean up our natural resources damaged in their pursuit of obscene profits.

Increasing taxes on the rich is not about socialism or income redistribution, it’s about having them share the burden for the damage done to our economy, our country, our communities, and our citizens by their greedy and irresponsible behavior.

There is nothing wrong with getting rich in our free enterprise system, but when many are harmed in the process of enriching the few, it is a matter of justice that some compensation be made to the common good for the losses incurred.

How do you get the media to pay attention to other ideas?  How do you get the issues thoughtfully reported?  How do you get away from the noise and propaganda?  How to you get people to realize they are being taken advantage of for political purposes?

Originally posted to ahumbleopinion on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:06 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    The Bible can be a powerful advocate for a progressive society.

    by ahumbleopinion on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:06:55 PM PST

    •  This really needs MORE tips and recs... (3+ / 0-)

      OK, it's not "news"...but it simply and effectively explains the problem of the increasing wealth gap.

      As our corporate-owned "representatives" in congress pretend to debate issues of great importance, they are deliberately avoiding this issue: because they ARE the problem.

      Virtually every senator is a millionaire...some with net worth as high as $250 million. The top 172 house members - 40% - are also millionaires. And we expect reform from that bunch of corrupt plutocrats?

      The MSM is the same: corporate-owned, corporate-controlled. I don't know what the solution is, but we have to start with ruthlessly hammering these facts, every day, to everybody we know.

      It's getting worse, and it's getting worse faster.

  •  You said it bro!!! (6+ / 0-)

    If you read anything today read David Degraw‘s analysis of the super rich here  and  here .

    (percent of the nation’s
    financial wealth)

    To see the data go to UCSC.

    Where we are headed if we don‘t change course and begin to fairly tax the super rich.


    Photographer: Tuca Vieira, Paraisópolis Favela in Sāo Paulo, Brazil 2005


  •  Why is the Teabaggers message easier? Maybe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because raging against the "outsiders" falls back easily on the "us-against them" tribalism while supporting more subtle and abstract policies for the common good relies on thinking, trusting strangers, and government -- not things most folks like to do much.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:28:09 PM PST

  •  Richest 400 have median rate of 16% (4+ / 0-)

    And Republican Eisenhower had a top rate of 91% !

    1956 Tab Table:

  •  Big corporations are not bad. (0+ / 0-)

    Monopolistic or oligopolistic corporations are bad. Companies merge until they gain such large market share that they eliminate competitive pressures. They gain pricing power by eliminating competition. This destroys the free market--lowering wages, raising profits, and reducing quality.

    Rich people are not bad. But if taxes on rich people are too low (as they are now), then you create a permanent leisure class. You create an entire class of people who can live entirely off of their investment income.

    Two thirds of new wealth comes from existing wealth; only one-third of new wealth comes from work. If something like 70% of financial wealth belongs to 1% of the population, then 70% of this two-thirds of new wealth, or almost half of new wealth goes to the top 1%, without their so much as lifting a finger. This is a simple result of the compound interest.

    Taxes on rich people need to be very high to offset the free ride that they would otherwise have due to the compound interest.

    You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. --MLK Jr.

    by Opakapaka on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:41:01 PM PST

  •  Eisenhower taxed couples making over (3+ / 0-)

    $400,000 at 91% .. 24 tax levels all through his 8 years in office. Gradually the number of tiers was reduced and the rates slashed.

    The lack of money to pay for two wars effectively does as Norquist dreamed: starving the beast, drowning government in a bathtub.


    Today, the long term capital gains tax rate is 15%, and the top bracket remains under 40%. As Wishbone points out, with 80% of the wealth held by 10% of the population, it's no wonder everything is going to hell.

    "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

    by shpilk on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 08:45:17 PM PST

  •  Increasing? I would put it another way... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, blue in NC

    Restoring the original tax % on the rich who have used tax credits/havens/breaks to avoid paying their lawful share is not socialism.

  •  Right on, but it doesn't matter. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue in NC, Hens Teeth

    A ton of people in the US strongly identify with the "self-made" man story of success, and all want to someday be that person, or if not, strongly identify with "it's their money, they earned it, and should keep it" school of thought.

    At the least, they will say it's not fair, because there are so many more of us, and a straight up vote would tax the shit out of them, so we've got to give them consideration.

    Counter that.  Doesn't matter what it's called, that's the kind of shit that needs some damage done to it.

    Oregon, somehow got it right, with "the middle class is already paying it's fair share", with a nice tax bump, if modest, on the wealthy and business.

    Maybe variations on that can be used in other places.  I know the Democrats are fairly well organized here, and there is a nice liberal base in PDX to work from, but still, some of the messaging has got to be effective in other places.


    by potatohead on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 11:00:00 PM PST

  •  And on that note... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, jimreyn

    Is the solution really as simple as one of taxing the rich?

    For my money, that would just be a start.

    The law has no special dispensation for crimes that might be "too disturbing" to prosecute. - Chris Floyd

    by felldestroyed on Sun Feb 28, 2010 at 11:12:07 PM PST

  •  I look at increasing taxes on the rich .......... (5+ / 0-)

    ...... as recouping our investment.

    The rich got their multiple tax breaks for several reasons:

    1.  It would trickle down to the rest of us (well there is a trickle effect.  We just don't want to admit what's trickling)
    1.  it would create jobs because only the rich can create jobs
    1.  This is an investment economy, so the rich will invest and create jobs

    So here we are in 2010 and not only hasn't the "trickle down" effect happened, we've lost jobs.  

    Well, it seems the rich didn't do what they received money to do.  They didn't do their job.  It's time to take the money back.  

  •  Real socialism has no taxes or they are very low. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue in NC, Hens Teeth

    That's because government owns just about everything anyway and there is no point in government taxing itself.

  •  Why on EARTH anyone who is NOT rich'd object to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, blue in NC, ozsea1

    your headline, or to raising taxes on the rich (more accurately, allowing their Bush tax breaks to expire), I can't imagine.  

    "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

    by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 03:00:26 AM PST

    •  Allowing the B**h tax cuts to expire (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is only a start. A good start, but still just a start.

      We REALLY need to get back to the Eisenhower tax structure.

      •  A poster elsewhere said once that (0+ / 0-)

        in the Eisenhower era, there were so many loopholes for the rich, with company perks and whatnot, that their level of taxation was even more favorable than it is now.  I don't know whether it's true or not, but what seems certain is that we've gradually given away more and more christmas gifts (i.e., a more regressive tax structure) to the super-rich, over the past decades.

        "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

        by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 11:01:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I've done quite a bit of studying (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimreyn, Egalitare, ozsea1, Villagejonesy

          recently about taxes in the '50s - '60s...

          It's difficult to reconstruct all the provisions, but I've found that there didn't seem to be all that many egegious loopholes or other "iffy" deductions.

          Interestingly, with the top bracket kicking in at $400,000, there were very few taxpayers who even hit that bracket. The CEOs of the biggest companies were routinely making less than that in 1960; GM CEO George Romney, father of Mittens, was making $225,000:

          Things have certainly changed since 1960, when then-General-Motors-CEO George Romney . . . turned down a $100,000 bonus, kept his salary at $225,000 a year, and declared that no executive should be paid more than 25 times the factory wage.

          And, of course, loopholes abound today: the top 400 taxpayers in 2007 (with an average income of $344.8 million) paid record low effective rates.

          The report shows that the number of the top 400 who paid an effective tax rate of 0 percent to 10 percent declined slightly, to 25 in 2007 from 31 in 2006. In 1992 only 6 of the top 400 paid an effective income tax rate of less than 10 percent.

          Another 127 paid 10 percent to 15 percent in 2007, up from 113 in 2006.

          Only 33 of the top 400 paid an effective tax rate of 30 percent to 35 percent, which is the maximum federal tax rate.

          Loopholes? I'll show you loopholes! Today, the haves and the have-mores have more loopholes than ever.

          •  Good for you--thanks blueinNC (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jimreyn, blue in NC, ozsea1

            Answers my vague post with specifics.  Kudos!

            "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

            by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 11:42:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're welcome! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jimreyn, ozsea1, Villagejonesy

              I'm not there yet on the exact extent of the 1960 loopholes, because as I said...there certainly were some.

              One thing to keep in mind about 1960 is that all the brackets were marginal: that is, only that portion of income above the bracket's starting point was taxed at the higher rate.

              So, for example...if you earned $500,000, you did not pay $455,000 (91% of $500,000) in tax; you paid 91% of the amount above $400,000 (91% 0f $100,000, or $91,000) added to the txes you were paying from each of your lower brackets.

              Here's a tax table. If you do the math, you'd find that a taxpayer with $500,000 in income would have paid $391,668 in tax (78%) not counting any deductions. $225,000 (Mr. Romney's salary) would have been subject to a tax of $117,000 (52%).

              Of course, since there were those deductions and loopholes, those high-income taxpayers paid less than that. But...the situation was still better overall than it is now, where the TOP bracket is betwen 29 - 35% (much less for capital gains...ridiculous).

  •  It's All in the Messaging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I agree with you. I couldn't put that in a comment, so I put it in a diary.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  •  Big Picture (3+ / 0-)

    The largest problem I SEE, and by no means does that make it fact is...
    People believe they will make the 1% . I see it and hear it daily. I work in an industry heavily unionized and seemingly evenly split between democrat / liberal and Republican / conservative. Reality has much to do with it.
    Many believe in my age bracket ( I'm 41) they will someday be rich. YES , THEY REALLY DO ! At say 40, if the best money you've made to this point is 110 in a year, working a ridiculous amount of overtime, and you still believe you will make it rich, then there is no talking to you.
    I see a divide in military service as well . Guys who were in the Navy and Marines seem to lean liberal , except the very few. Guys who were in the Army seem to lean conservative and the Air Force seems to be evenly split . There are no official polls, no studies - this is an observation I have learned at work with thousands of people. YES, I do talk to plenty of people - I am not using any scientific method, just simple conversations .

    People who never served really do believe they can be rich some day . This is a sweeping generalization from observations . EDUCATION as to how our economy is divided is something that needs to be addressed . If, at 40 to 45, you are not making a few million or so a year , your ship has passed . You will not invent the next Cabbage Patch Doll, Hula Hoop or Pet Rock - your time to make your impression is over .
    If you, as an individual make between 100 and 150 K a year and /or as a family you make under 300K then, the way the money is separated YOU ARE IN FACT POOR. Sure, you own a house and you make your vehicle lease payments on time - but your poor !
    If 95% of the wealth is controlled by 1% of the people in this country, then by simple math even I can understand, you are by level of income POOR !
    Maybe your not real world poor, but your American Poor. GET OVER YOUR PRIDE, accept your lot and understand your spot - YOUR POOR !
    95 % of the wealth is controlled by 1%, and the remaining 5% isn't spread evenly amongst the rest - 2% of that wealth is controlled by another 5% . That leaves 3% of the wealth in this country spread out over 94% of the population.

    You may believe your middle class because the median income is 27K and you make more than double that -your not. The middle class , according to a real breakdown of wealth separation Professional Athletes and entertainers are the middle class.
    I know, pride won't allow you to accept that.

    Pride and delusion is what keeps change from happening. People always have an inflated opinion of themselves, including me. I think this is some grand revelation , but it isn't.

    you can't remain neutral on a moving train

    by rmfcjr on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 03:53:44 AM PST

  •  When did loans replaces taxes? (0+ / 0-)

    What a nice deal for the rich.  Lend us the money, instead of paying it in taxes.

    There was a reason the highest tax bracket was, what, 90% ? in the years after WW2.

    And looking back, that was the time of great prosperity for America.

    Now we borrow instead of tax, and only the rich are getting ahead.

    Soon they will be the kings of a trash heap.

    Some victory.

    Blood or treasure - they MUST pay.

    It's time for the pitchforks and torches! Guillotines are way too complicated.

    by No one gets out alive on Tue Mar 02, 2010 at 06:37:46 AM PST

  •  Reality check... (0+ / 0-)

    ...what, exactly do we do with the money we take from the rich?  Give it to the government?  For what purpose?  Because they do such a good of managing our money?  

    Yes, we need to address our horrendous problem with wealth, or income, inequality - but the solution is to create jobs.  And please, this is not temporary works programs, but real jobs in real companies.

    Sure, tax on the wealthy should go up, but lets move beyond our desire to punish those who have wealth to having a dialogue about how  we make our country richer by building people up, not tearing others down.

    •  To invest in our country (0+ / 0-)

      We use the money to invest in our country - infrastructure, health care, education, food and drug safety, clean air and water, security, regulation, auditing, and energy independence.  To encourage small businesses, our best job generator. Also to relieve the burden on the middle class whose income have gone no where even as productivity has gone through the roof.

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