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Class Warfare, crowd, occupy movement, occupy wall street
The Republican Party's economic agenda is obvious. In the era of democracy and republic, class warfare has never been more transparent. These are not policies cohering by mere random maliciousness, they are deliberate and calculated. The sum is so much more reprehensible than the nefarious parts.

Republicans oppose jobs bills. They make whatever excuses seem expedient at a given moment, but the reality is that they have no interest in helping to create jobs. The Republican agenda depends on a continuing paucity of opportunities. Republicans know that trickle down economics doesn't work, and that making the wealthy wealthier does not motivate them to create jobs. They know that making the wealthy wealthier mostly results in hording in offshore accounts, and obscenely ostentatious self-indulgences. Trickle down isn't just a failed economic theory, it's a red herring.

Republicans know that there are far more people seeking jobs than there are jobs available, but they don't see that as a problem, they see it as a solution. Not only do they not care about the suffering of those who want but cannot find work, they depend on that suffering, and intentionally exacerbate it. That is why they also oppose government spending to benefit the long-term unemployed. Republican antipathy to paying taxes isn't only about avarice, it is about ensuring that there aren't enough public resources available to alleviate those economically suffering.

Republicans like to pretend that their economic cruelty is about not coddling, but it's actually about punishing. Republicans aren't really worried about people being soft, they're actually worried about people not hurting. To Republicans, schadenfreude may be a favorite form of entertainment, but hurting people economically also serves a critical purpose. The more desperate people are to find work, the more likely they will be to accept any work at any wages under any conditions. Kick them while they are down, and try to make them beg. Being able to disparage and demonize them is an added bonus.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

The final piece of the puzzle is the Republican focus on making life more difficult for those who do have work. Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage. They want even the employed to know economic want. Republicans oppose workplace safety regulations, and they want to destroy unions. They want workers completely subject to the whims of management, and unable to quit lousy jobs because there are no good alternatives and there is no social safety net to protect them. Under the Republican agenda, workers have to do what they're told or suffer even worse consequences.

In short, the Republican agenda is to keep people desperate for work, with more people seeking jobs than can find them, with no laws or other forms of assistance or protection for those who can find jobs, and no safety net for those who can't. Lack of opportunity ensures a glutted labor market, which drives down wages, forcing many of even those who do find work to seek more. Exhausting hours, inadequate pay, and broken unions ensure that workers are hungry and tired and incapable of defending themselves.

It could be called a new form of feudalism, but that feudalism actually made necessary more responsibility from the aristocracy toward the peasants and serfs than does unregulated bastard capitalism from owners and management toward labor. It is class warfare. Simple, straightforward, class warfare. For Republicans, poverty, hunger, and unemployment are not tributary outcomes of their economic model, they are deliberate means toward insidious ends. Make people hurt. Make them desperate. They will do what they are told. They will ask for no more than that they be allowed to survive another week.

Or so Republicans hope.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sounds about right. We won't see any elected (25+ / 0-)

    Democrats speaking that kind of truth to the GOP though.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:36:11 AM PST

    •  Um, why not? (0+ / 0-)

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:36:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because Democrats need the 0.1%'s money (6+ / 0-)

        .... to finance their campaigns, as well as a promise of a sweet job in the corporate world if they lose.  So we have a hard-right party and a mostly fake-left party (with a few noble exceptions).

        I think Democrats could do very well in 2014 if they shifted to making Laurence's argument, and nationalized the campaign focusing on raising the minimum wage and reining in the banks.  But since it appears that they won't, and that Democrats in close races will react by pretending to be semi-Republicans, I think they aren't going to do well at all.

        •  Al Franken and Alan Grayson and Elizabeth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Warren seen to be doing pretty well speaking truth to power.  What am I missing?  On the other hand, my experience is with local, well-modulated League of Women Voters forums, not shout-outs with rude Bill O'Reilly.

          ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

          by slowbutsure on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:22:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Combine this strategy with the 3G's (14+ / 0-)

    and you have a nice group of uneducated, ignorant Faux News watchers who become their base, driven with fear and anger to pull the voting booth handle in their favor for decades to come. Time and again the ignorant boobs vote against their best interests, but the fear of their own shadow and The Other running the country and overtaking the world compels them to do so.


    Lawrence, KS - From ashes to immortality

    by MisterOpus1 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:38:52 AM PST

    •  old age (9+ / 0-)

      Old age in competitive individualistic "you are on your own" American capitalism will create a very selfish bitter majority of senior citizens.

      Always look to the system and Americans worship at the altar of individualism seldom look to the systemic causes of their downfall.

      95% of the time it is the system for problems and Americans have it backwards and always look 95% to the individuals.

      Besides empires always find ways to self destruct: one common theme with all empires is arrogance and  ignorance and selfishness.

  •  I agree with you totally on this diary (22+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party and the 1% don't want to solve our unemployment problem because high unemployment will reduce wages.

    That's why there isn't action on trade or offshoring service jobs.

    I don't think this makes any sense from a long term point of view. If we have high unemployment, people have less money to buy the products and services business makes.

    •  The GOP is genetically incapable of following... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shawn87, Back In Blue, Dave925

      ... its theology to the logical conclusions.

      Those folks have truly lost their reason.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:08:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  After the great recession (0+ / 0-)

      they found out by accident that they no longer have to rely on US consumers and doubled down. As long as they can still pilfer emerging worldwide markets, it's all good. All they really need domestic wise is servants, cops and fireman--i.e., jobs that can't be outsourced. Nothing will change until insurrection or they can no longer find servants to hire.

  •  The purpose of power is power nt (13+ / 0-)

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:39:28 AM PST

  •  On to Semi-Socialism™ (5+ / 0-)

    End Neo-Feudalism!

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:42:20 AM PST

  •  And let's not forget telling workers, "You have to (11+ / 0-)

    accept lower wages et al. so we can be GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE!" With the very jobs they've sent to India or wherever. Yes, because workers in third-world countries get paid the princely sum of $2 a week, we spoiled, pampered Americans have to stop living above our means, pay the piper, and accept starvation wages. Hey, as long as I can have BEEEEEEER and know every last utterance of the great philosopher Kim Kardashian, I can't complain.

    And now there's trouble in paradise between Tori and Dean! Oh, the humanity!

  •  All employees and small employers, too (15+ / 0-)

    workplace safety is anathema to Republicans, as are the right to sue one's employer for just about any reason, regardless of the egregiousness of the violation. Wage theft is encouraged, as is workplace harassment in myriad forms. Discrimination against anyone from single parents to pregnant women to people of color to those who have the 'wrong' political sensibilities is quite popular with this crew, and of course there's the union busting.

    Republicans also never met a hostile corporate takeover they didn't like, or a corporate giveaway they didn't drool over, or an environmental regulation they could stand, all at the expense of smaller businesses. The winners, it seems, never have enough unfair advantages over the losers, and the losers never get a crumb, regardless of 'work ethic' and steadily increasing productivity.

    Education must suffer as well, because the future must also be made to feel the pain, and an informed populace leads to a demanding populace, and when faced with the choice of an educated workforce that demands a modicum of respect vs a mass of ingorant but desperate peasantry, the republican cabla always chooses  (B).

    I'll bet, in their dark little hearts, they are routing for Putin in the Ukraine right now. Nothing better than watching a juggernaut roll over a baby carriage, amiright?

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:44:49 AM PST

  •  It would be nice (17+ / 0-)

    if Democratic politicians actually came out and used the words "class war" when they spoke of this.
       But then that might upset their wealthy donors.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:46:48 AM PST

    •  Where else can they get the kind of (4+ / 0-)

      money and electoral protection they need to be assured of keeping their positions in the system?
      A sponsored primary opponent is scary. Money from Unions...not so much, these days, money from people...a lot of ours has already been transferred to the already wealthy.

      A slow-motion war is hard to recognize. But it seems to be picking up speed lately. This may very well be a critical time.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:11:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have seen this before. It has ended badly (16+ / 0-)

    for everyone.

    What we need from the Democratic Party is a new Roosevelt. Otherwise, we'll end up with a new Robespierre.

  •  The irony of this (13+ / 0-)

    is that historically, the response to this situation has been violent revolution.  The aristocrats of yesteryear at least knew enough to throw enough table scraps to those beneath to shut them up.

    But when the response of the wealthy is "let them eat cake"... well, we all know how that one ended, and it ain't pretty.  You would think that Republicans would be smart enough not to combine screwing the peasantry with encouraging them to be heavily armed.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:49:02 AM PST

  •  Class warfare also explains the war on SS,Medicare (10+ / 0-)

    Medicaid, disabled, and children:  If there are no government programs to help, most families will do what they have to do.  In desperation, extra jobs are taken near or at minimum wage so that all family members survive. Business wins, workers and families lose.  The cruelty of corporate conservatives not only must be prevented from gaining further power, but we must fight it with enacting our vision of a better life for all.

    Elizabeth Warren 2016!

    by windwardguy46 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:55:04 AM PST

    •  don't forget the attacks on pensions (8+ / 0-)

      they stole the pensions through their political lackies then turned around and claimed the workers had to sacrifice. Witness Christie having the gall to say the state's kids will suffer because there is no money due to pension obligations. The unmitigated gall, and there is the Brookings Inst ( a liberal think tank??!!) saying we need 401k's for public workers at the same time E Warren and others are pointing out what a fuckin failure those plans are. It makes me wanna scream.....!!!!!!

      •  Even if 401k plans are a failure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, JG in MD

        The calls to cut public pensions will only ever end when private workers have equivalent benefits.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:54:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  they used to have much better ones pal (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JG in MD, millwood

          but you're probably too young to remember. The economic inequality we suffer under is no accident, it is a result of policies begun in 1980. That's the opinion of storied experts with Nobel prizes, not some shithead sitting at a Koch-funded libertarian "think tank" who cooks up inane ideas about the "free market" ( bow, genuflect, bless self )

    •  Also explains oppositions to............... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, windwardguy46

      the ACA and, of course, abortion. Unwanted children and the threat of out-of-reach medical costs just add to the desperation.

      Their goal is to live behind the walls of their secure, gated communities and keep the rest of us fighting for scraps while laboring for them for less than subsistence wages.

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:45:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you had any doubt (4+ / 0-)

    that this is their strategy, just read this. Jaw-dropping in its cluelessness.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:57:05 AM PST

  •  Republicans are truly class warriors. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, Calamity Jean

    Unfortunately most Dems are class collaborators.

  •  Thanks, this is as well-stated as I have ever seen (4+ / 0-)

    Simple, concise, painfully accurate.  A brilliant diary.  I look forward to your future entries.

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Eric Nelson

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:02:46 AM PST

  •  'The Hunger Games' isn't a book or a movie; (5+ / 0-)

    It's a blueprint, the endgame. The only difference between today's Gilded Age and previous ones is the 'bread and circuses' the wealthy are able to wield to keep the masses sedated; heaps of cheap junk and fast-foods, and the 24/7 entertainment brought about by the computer revolution. With immediate and universal access to big screen TVs, computers and the Internet, smart-phones and tablets, people never have to stop being entertained for a moment and have to think for themselves - along with being hypnotized by the most effective propaganda ever created.

    "When does the greed stop, we ask the other side? That's the question and that's the issue." - Senator Ted Kennedy

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:10:20 AM PST

  •  This is neoliberal policy, not solely the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, rocksout

    province of Republicans.  Though the difference between neoliberal Republicans and Democrats is that the Democrats will pretend to empathize before dropping the hammer.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:13:34 AM PST

  •  I'm currently reading about Charles Dickens ... (10+ / 0-)

    ... his times ... the superior, self-satisfied, and blaming opinions of the wealthy toward the poor in his times ... and his fight against the unimaginably horrid and cruel conditions the poor endured in his time.

    The mindset and parallels to modern 1%-worshipping Republicans are exact.  Republicans are those same people, except now.  

    They really do actively want to return us to Dickensian England.  To them, those really were the "good old days."

    •  Dickens himself got a wake up to the conditions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As I recall he wound up working off family debt in a workhouse. It's hard to really consider the reality of debtors prisons and the workhouses these days.

      I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

      by Ceri Cat on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 08:32:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        Dickens "wake up" came early (around age 12, after a comfortable childhood) and is reflected in a life-long body of work. His talent brought him some wealth, but he never forgot what it was like to be poor.

        •  You're right, I must have been half asleep (0+ / 0-)

          when I was reading about it originally.
          It was the 4 youngest children that were imprisoned along with the parents at that time. My mistake, though he was already working at a blacking (boot polish) factory due to his father's inability to pay his school costs as of the year prior. A miserable enough state of affairs, though common back then.

          Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness.
          Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty ought and six, result misery.

          Ah how succinctly he put it.

          I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

          by Ceri Cat on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:51:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I really doubt Republicans are that self-aware. (6+ / 0-)

    It may perhaps be true for a small minority of uber-cynical Republicans diligently and effectively serving their corporate masters. I suspect Phil Gramm is smart enough to know precisely what he was doing when he took a sledgehammer to Glass-Steagel.

    But I think the overwhelming majority of Republican politicians sincerely believe they are in the right. That coddling citizens with 'luxuries' like unemployment insurance, food stamps and health care somehow weakens their moral fiber.

    Inside the Fox News/Wingnut welfare bubble of conservative ideology, it's a pure article of faith that the social safety net is evil, the devil's work, because it encourages idleness.

    There is a consistent strain of vicious, mean-spirited, smug and sanctimonious righteousness dating right back to the Puritans that regards anything but suffering as somehow immoral or suspect. And today's Republicans believe it to their marrow.

    My own teabagger Congressman genuinely believes that making others (especially if they are poor, or minorities) suffer is somehow virtuous. His latest e-mail rant is about trying to use Federal power to block Gov. Cuomo from educating prison inmates. He hits all the bullshit racist and law 'n order talking points along the way, but the core of his argument is that we need to make sure prisoners suffer more, make sure they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting a job after serving out their sentence.

    What an asshole.

  •  The original English settlers of the mid-Atlantic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, a2nite, Eric Nelson

    coast and the Deep South were intent upon establishing clusters of aristocratic, feudal kingdoms. Common good, democracy and freedom were concepts to violently oppose.

    We are the heirs to this legacy - we are to a large degree, merely serfs, indentured servants and slaves.

    For a truly eye-opening read on this, I've added a link, here:
    American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by militant quaker on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:41:00 AM PST

  •  So the age of "compassionate conservatism" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, JeffW, Eric Nelson

    is dead? snark

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:44:25 AM PST

  •  The Republican lament can be easily (8+ / 0-)

    fixed:  An all out concerted effort of Congress to approve President Obama's countless proposals to repair our infrastructure.

    By "fixed," it means over a million people put back to work in many fields, not only construction.  It means less food stamps, less on Medicaid, and voila!

    It means more revenue in our Tresury's coffers.

    It is too easy, it is too common sense, it is too America all for one and one for all, it is too democratic.

  •  George Orwell On Income Inequality And War (1984) (7+ / 0-)

      The primary aim of modern warfare... is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods.....when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations
    But eliminating poverty would be a good thing right? What's the problem?  
       ...But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction--indeed, in some sense was the destruction--of a hierarchical society....wealth would confer no distinction... the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:50:35 AM PST

  •  Taking Over the Country nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:54:07 AM PST

  •  Iron Law of Wages (4+ / 0-)

    What the Republicans are doing is simply putting into practice what David Ricardo argued back in the 19th century.  He put forward the "Iron Law of Wages:"  that over time, the wage level would fall to that of subsistence.  This is case of what party sees as a bug to be fixed; the other sees as a feature.

  •  Grapes of Wrath (2014) (9+ / 0-)

    Excellent post, Laurence. I agree completely, and I have felt the same for a long time.

    Newly elected President Obama faced the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and took what steps he could to get the recovery started -- and found himself blocked at every turn. The stimulus was fine as far as it went, though Republicans to this day peddle the lie that "the stimulus didn't create any jobs." But it didn't go far enough; double the amount would have been a lot better. Still, in the teeth of Republican opposition, it was quite an achievement to get even the modest stimulus that eventually passed.

    The Republican mantra at the time was "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs," and they claimed to be focused like a laser on that one goal. Obama and the Democrats proposed legislation that would actually create jobs, but with a Republican majority in the House and unprecedented use of the filibuster in the Senate, nothing constructive could be passed.

    It was a revelation to me when I made an earnest effort to read all I could about Republican plans for recovery: What were Republican proposals to alleviate Americans' pain? I found that their plans consisted of two elements:

    1. Tax breaks for corporations and the rich.
    2. Slashing regulations on business.

    That's it; that's all. Number 1, double down on trickle-down; Number 2, stop choking businesses with red tape by allowing them to evade oversight of pollution, workplace safety, union and employment rules. (In fact the laser was somewhat diffused with Republican pursuit of Abortion, Abortion, Abortion and Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.)

    With the Dow rapidly recovering and moving toward all-time highs, it became obvious to me that the Republicans DID NOT SEE THE ECONOMIC PLIGHT OF AVERAGE AMERICANS AS A PROBLEM. In fact, for the Republicans' wealthy base, things have never been better. What, me worry?

    Here's the Republican philosophy in a nutshell: The poor have too much money and the rich don't have enough.

    •  there's a 3rd...cut govt and screw the govt worker (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      privatize everything, schools, prisons, you name it. and make money off the spoils. Fees for schools. Fees for managing you SS when privatized. Fees for this, fees for that. instead of taxes you will pay fees that will go to entities who DO NOT have to tell you where the money goes ( Charter schools repeatedly trot out the "private " line when questioned why a director, like Eva Moskowitz, can make half a mil while using public schools rent free. But thank God DiBlasio told her to stuff it )

  •  Cut Backs and low raises (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Eric Nelson

    While Executives triple their wages, they are not even trying to hide it anymore.

    Here is a link to my company:

    They have also cut our benefits back to the bare minimum...

    In a lot of ways I am just becoming so discouraged I just want to give up...What's worse, I have to kiss the ass of these Executives and play dumb, "Yes low raises and more work are good for the Company"

  •  Our local PBS station has been running (4+ / 0-)

    the documentary about the Triangle Fire several times yesterday on one of their digital stations. I watched it again, and was angry and in tears, again!

    The police who beat the women when they were on strike had to sort through their bodies and personal effects. It was harrowing work, as their were hourly shift changes for that duty. The people who became disenchanted with workers who held out for the union rather than concessions could see the fire from their comfortable, even opulent homes.

    How short human memory is, even with reminders like this documentary!

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:20:44 PM PST

  •  And if I might add (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Eric Nelson, Ohkwai

    Republicans (and Democrats) pass minimum sentences, zero tolerance, and other laws. They felonize non-violent crimes.  They stop and frisk because OMG, NINE0NE0NE!! That make's their for-profit-prisons more profitable.  It creates desperate people who would not otherwise  be desperate looking to work for ANY wage. It guarantees that more and more of us will have records that preclude us from getting a job at any wage.  Gotta keep those prisons full, gotta keep those probationers paying, if you don't this for-profit thing will FAIL and it will look like CERTAIN SOCIETAL functions are better if NOT CONTROLLED BY MARKET FORCES.

    If you don't get this, it simply means that you still have savings you believe are in tact.  OK, you're only one divorce away, one heart attack away, one job-loss away, one unintended pregnancy away... is hard to walk a mile in someone else's moccasins.

    And, just to quell the all-caps dissenters out there, all-caps works better for me than bold or italic when I want to emphasize something.  Is a personal preference, that's all.

    If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

    by nancyjones on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:39:16 PM PST

  •  In my mind, the Dems are every bit as culpable (0+ / 0-)

    for the demise of the middle class as are the Cons. Both Clinton and Obama have unnecessarily raised taxes on the middle class and have refused to take responsibility for maintaining full employment and thus real median income wage growth.

    And even worse both are responsible for the largest decreases in the deficit in history. Terrible policy. Why would anyone think its a good idea for the Govt to extract more financial wealth through taxation than it adds through spending is beyond me. We can't run out of dollars people, its not called fiat money for nothing.

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

    by Auburn Parks on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:53:20 PM PST

  •  you've got it partially right... (3+ / 0-)

    ...but the more holistic picture is this: Republicans simply want to get massive amounts of money from the wealthiest elites...and to do so, they have committed themselves to having one constituency and one constituency only: millionaires and billionaires. That's it. Everything else, including your analysis fits right into that.

    Prostitute yourself to the filthy rich...and then purchase your way to power in order to do their bidding. That is the true Republican Party platform.

  •  Don't forget the earned income tax credit scam (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Eric Nelson, Ohkwai

    The Republicans also love the earned income tax credit. This little scam allows companies like McDonald's and Walmart to pay a non-living wage while having the taxpayer subsidize the corporation by transferring taxpayer dollars directly to the under payed workers.

    GOP is gearing up to attack a higher minimum wage by proposing that we keep the current minimum wage and make up the difference with an earned income tax credit...

  •  GOP Corporate Plantations (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Eric Nelson, Laurence Lewis

    A Few VERY wealthy Owners and a Few well off mid level

    Everyone else is just Hired help that can be fired at a
    moments notice for whatever reason.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:07:00 PM PST

  •  GOP.."they depend on that suffering, and.. (4+ / 0-)

    ..exacerbate it."

    Yes & yes.

    Hannah has two comments that dig into this type of behavior/attitude/even belief:

    People who are into exerting and exacting power, which, under our system, is supposed to be dispersed over the whole population, do not perceive themselves as power crazed or political. I expect that's because, in their self-centered delusion, they perceive themselves as entitled to exercise power. The Republican party has, it seems, become the home of the power-addled.When Christie says "I govern," he's obviously ignoring that the people govern and he's just a hireling.
    And this:
    Some humans are into power and power, to be felt, has to hurt. Indeed, the quantity of power is directly related to the quantity of hurt. The more people hurt, the more important the powerful feel.

    I don't think most people who aren't into power understand that. They simply don't think and react that way. But I think that in Dubya's case, when bad news arrived it accounted for that smirk. It was the smirk he was at pains to hide in that classroom in 2001. He knew he was on camera. The Klieg lights were on. He knew what they meant. He even knew what they were called. In his last interview for ABC around Thanksgiving in 2008, he made reference to the Klieg lights and how they were difficult to take. In 2005, he had McCain's birthday cake to account for the smirk. It was Barbara who pointed out that the "disadvantaged" were better off in the Superdome than their normal homes.

     "Disadvantaged" is a word that refers to an intentional act, like "deprived." To be disadvantaged is not a matter of fortune. Some agency has been consciously at work to take away some asset.

    You may not think African Americans have any asset of which they can be deprived. But, think about it.

     Despite centuries of deprivation and assault, they continue to thrive, to be creative, to excel in sports and in the arts, even when they're given only half a chance.

    What good are social advantages, if the disadvantaged continue to rise to the top? In simply surviving and thriving African Americans call into question the values by which the ruling elite live.

    What would they [the elite] do if they weren't allowed to get away with stealing and cheating?

    If you're angry, it's because the system is so blatantly unfair.

    Not only is the thievery and cheating dismissed, but the perps are fêted and the argument that they're setting a bad example doesn't have any effect.
    The reason it doesn't is because bullies are just bullies -- no external prompt required. Some, the more verbally adept, talk themselves out of retribution; the most aggressive end up in prison or dead. They're abusers. Maybe, as we become more alert to abuse, we can call a halt sooner. That, I think, is our only hope.

    Thx Laurence Lewis


    For Republicans, poverty, hunger, and unemployment are not tributary outcomes of their economic model, they are deliberate means toward insidious ends. Make people hurt. Make them desperate. They will do what they are told. They will ask for no more than that they be allowed to survive another week.

      - LL exactly as the "masters of the universe" believe. A top down triangular hierarchy of power - back to feudal system where landed elite owned and controlled everything with no public space (no commons)

    And just to add one more thing:

    Bill Maher exposes the mewling hypocrisy of the one percenters and their persecution complex

    Egberto Willies has a Dairy with a partial transcript and links documenting the statements made by these spoiled rich assholes  

  •  "I welcome their hatred." (3+ / 0-)


    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. ~ expatjourno

    by ezdidit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:06:41 PM PST

  •  The GOP is willng to sacrifice our (8+ / 0-)

    infrastructure, the education of our children, and our leadership in basic research simply in order to amass more money than they can ever possibly spend. Indeed, the planet itself takes second place to their unquenchable greed.

    They believe that it is better that the Koch brothers get richer than it is to address climate change. It is more important that the coal barons prosper than that hundreds of thousands have fresh water. Flood half of Florida? Too bad. Lay waste to all the world's seaports? Why not, if it makes them richer. Watch as billions starve to death?

    We must stop them. I don't know how, but stop them we must before they ruin the only planet we have.

    Too soon old, too late smart (-7.25, -6.21)

    by Tim DeLaney on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:11:41 PM PST

  •  It's simple (5+ / 0-)

    It's about power and privilege. Conservatives approach the world as a zero sum game. For them to win, someone else has to lose. When someone else wins, it means they've lost something. As far as they're concerned, class warfare is self defense.

    When a conservative sees the sun go down, he or she tells themself they knew it was too good to last, because they know darkness is the natural condition of mankind.

    When a liberal sees the sun go down, he or she waits calmly for the stars to come out, and marvels at how beautiful the universe can be, day or night.

    And sometimes it can be downright spectacular!

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

    by xaxnar on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:13:25 PM PST

  •  Absent noblesse oblige, they are monsters. (0+ / 0-)

    They must be stopped.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House. ~ expatjourno

    by ezdidit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:46:01 PM PST

  •  I am sympathetic, but skeptical (0+ / 0-)

    For your argument is the mirror image of the one that the Right uses to vilify the Left. Each argument 'succeeds' in its appeal to moral defamation of the opponent: the other side is wrong because they are evil.  Each professes to read into the soul of the accused - a power that I, for my part, have apparently not yet developed.  There is no purchase here for any difference of opinion.

  •  The Irish Potato Famine (4+ / 0-)

    While there was famine in Ireland, and some were apparently reduced to cannibalism (on the dead), Ireland was a net exporter of food.

    •  Indeed. And I think that is a good analogy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I suspect the those among the elite who did well by the famine were perfectly able to justify their wealth, and the peasants' poverty, by the standards of Victorian morality - which is not so different from the social Darwinism now in vogue in the US today. The elite of any nation will tend to be self-serving - as will we all - especially when unchecked by the voice and the power of another.  

      But we live in a democracy, while the Irish did not.  The scales will never fall from the eyes of the Kochs by any action of yours or mine.  But it is not they who need convincing: it is the great mass of the electorate who continue to vote for the Right.  The "average Republican voter" identifies now with the arguments of his economic and political masters: he believes his liberty is curtailed by the government, and that is why he is struggling economically. He believes welfare is a system that steals his hard earned money to give to lazy cheaters.  He believes "government regulation" is killing prosperity, rather than saving his life from the built-in malfeasance of the profit motive.

      It is no surprise that an average voter might feel this way: for that is what he has been taught to believe for over thirty years now - or for 70 years, if you want to take it back to Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" and Rand's "Fountainhead".  The Democratic Party dropped the economic ball in the 1970s and ceded the ground to the Republicans, and they have crafted from it the agenda and the political language that still governs this land.

      Our job is to make the counterargument, to reframe the story, to remake the language.  Our job is to recall what our party has forgotten: that there were good reasons for erecting a system of social democracy in the US (as in England, France, Germany, etc).  Our job is to patiently explain, and then explain again: No, it is the concentration of private power in the hands of a tiny elite that is the source of our gravest ills, and so we need a redistributive tax and regulatory system that penalizes excessive profit taking and pays ALL working people a LIVING wage. Our job is to engage with the other, our presumed enemy, as we would have them engage with us - as thoughtful, dignified human beings deserving of respect - because that is the basis of our creed: to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

      The process has already begun; but it has only just begun. It is too early for despair.

  •  T&R'd, bookmarked for 2014 organizing edu. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Thanks for putting this out there, Lawrence!

    Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. —Nelson Mandela

    by kaliope on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:43:58 AM PST

  •  Thanks for saying it so succinctly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    I would add that the NSA surveillance system with the local and federal law enforcement "fusion centers" that classify domestic civil disobedience actions as "terrorist threats" demonstrate one side's readiness to escalate the class war.

    NYC now has 1000s of cameras tied into a central operations center that they call the Domain Awareness System. Cops on the street can access an integrated database of city, county, state and federal records related to "threats" tracked in the system. Occupy marches probably won't play out the same way next time; the point will be to disperse before they gain any meaningful size.

  •  There's more to this than hating on individuals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    The Republicans despise unions, which are one major ticket into a secure middle class.  So they try to intimidate the labor agencies (NLRB, NMB) that administer private sector labor relations in this country, block labor law reform, and do all they can to encourage anti-union behavior among employers and others.  Witness the recent UAW electoral defeat in Tennessee, exacerbated by elected officials' threats to harm VW's business if the union prevailed.  The stagnant rate of upward mobility in this country could be reversed with a strong labor movement, but as long as workers continue to vote against their own self-interest at the polls and at the worksite, and as long as Republicans exploit this phenomenon and Democrats betray labor after soliciting their votes and support, we will see workers harmed and the 1% flourish.

    "The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love."

    by Budlawman on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:55:28 AM PST

  •  I've only been saying this for about ten years now (0+ / 0-)

    It's about time someone else twigged to this.

  •  And can we use the correct terms, please? (0+ / 0-)

    They are not "Republicans": they're "CORPORATISTS".

    "Democrats" that serve the people (and the odd republican) are "POPULISTS".

    "Democrats" that are employed by corporations are "republicans in drag", or CORPORATISTS. (Yes, Obama is  CORPORATIST, given how he sold us out to the insurance industry)

    Can we PLEASE call it like it is, instead of the screwed-up "doublespeak" the Corporatists keep using to confuse everyone?

    •  Political activist (0+ / 0-)

      I was very active, in numerous positions in the Democratic party from 1963 to1991.  During those years, it was always noted that the Republicans represented the rich, while the Democrats represented everyone.  It's hard to believe that the same applies today.  Democrats are the party of the people. Republicans are the party  of the dollar. It's hard to fathom that 1% OF THE POPULATION CAN HAVE A STRANGLE HOLD ON THE REST OF US. We MUST return to a Democratic majority in the House.

  •  Oneday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there will be a bounty on republicans.

  •  They're Ruthless (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans in Congress have had an agenda since President Obama was elected to his first term, that agenda being to deny anything and everything that would improve the economy and/or benefit Americans in need because that would improve the chances of Democratic politicians running for reelection. They are simply trying to improve their election odds while ignoring the needs of their nation. It's hatred at its finest. Hopefully, they will suffer huge losses in the upcoming elections for years to come. One thing is certain; they are not patriots in any sense of the word.

  •  Third World Plutocracy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    ONE of the main things I remember from my Labor Relations class in college is my professor explaining how management will employ policies to keep employees on edge, distrustful of each other, in order to keep them from organizing together for better pay, benefits and equal, fair consideration for promotion. I have seen it at work in many of my jobs. And I see it in how the gop and tea-baggers play their supporters. Through lies, deception, manipulation and misrepresentation they are able to keep the members of their party and tea-baggers in line and voting for them. Propaganda heavy on fear, uncertainty, insecurity, tinged with racism and blatant perversions of religion keeps their followers fired up just enough that they can't see they are actively working against their own best interest. I just don't get it. Maybe the nation will have to devolve into a Third World plutocracy for these people to finally rise against their masters.

  •  Sadly.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    this analysis is spot on.  It's pretty clear what the "final objective" is.  However, it's equally clear from the lessons of history how this ends.  Usually it's bloody, and without exception the little guys come out on top.  They get tired of eating cake.

  •  Resources (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    is the reason for engineering structural unemployment.

    Finally someone figured it out.


  •   recession and housing collapse part of a plan? (0+ / 0-)

    Just suppose you were part of a party that wanted to take control of a country for economic and moral reasons. The first thing that you would do is cripple you opponents ability to raise money and fight back. It is possible that the wall street crisis was not a accident at all.

  •  priority (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    I think, we should focus first with the basic needs and problem like poverty, health, unemployment and economic system.

  •  The GOTP are not there to support constituents (0+ / 0-)

    The GOTP exist to perpetuate their own jobs (which they do very poorly or not at all). They also exist to repay their pimps - the 1% who own them. They don't give a sh!t about real Americans. In the ninth circle of hell, may the GOTP burn in agonizing eternity.

  •  Two things: (0+ / 0-)

    First, the cartoon at top: It is class warfare only when we fight back. Otherwise it's mere slaughter.

    Second, in “The Battle for Reagan’s Soul,” published in the Wall Street Journal on May 16, 1980, Irving Kristol wrote:
     "… And what if the traditionalist conservatives are right and a Kemp-Roth tax cut, without corresponding cuts in expenditures, also leaves us with a fiscal problem? The neo-conservative is willing to leave those problems to be coped with by liberal interregnums. He wants to shape the future, and will leave it up to his opponents to tidy up afterwards."  

    Except that this time these bastards won't let us "tidy up afterwards."  

    Wotta buncha assholes.

  •  Win and then loose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Warren Buffet admitted there is class warfare and then went on to say his class is winning. Yeah, but there are more of the working class than the elitist class and we are angry. That makes us far more dangerous to them than they can ever imagine.

  •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    I've been saying, "They have us right where they want us" for about 25 years.  The greatest frustration is that so many who do not see they're voting for people who delight in harming them are on their side.  And it is incredibly frustrating talking to these people in an attempt to dissuade them, which I suspect you know.

  •  The New Guilded Age (0+ / 0-)

    What you attribute to Republicans is really an attribute of the crony capitalists that own large parts of both political parties.

    In his article Guilded Once More, Krugman writes:

    One of the distinctive features of the modern American right has been nostalgia for the late 19th century, with its minimal taxation, absence of regulation and reliance on faith-based charity rather than government social programs. Conservatives from Milton Friedman to Grover Norquist have portrayed the Gilded Age as a golden age, dismissing talk of the era’s injustice and cruelty as a left-wing myth.  

    Well, in at least one respect, everything old is new again. Income inequality — which began rising at the same time that modern conservatism began gaining political power — is now fully back to Gilded Age levels.

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