Tax cuts for the already wealthy do not bring more or better jobs. Just handouts for the well off for being well off.
The bottom 80% move the Earth to generate the riches. We don’t deserve less for the more taxes we pay each year. We don’t deserve stagnant wages for higher productivity since 90.
A 20 percent corporate tax cut isn’t draining the swamp but an expansion of it.
The state of modern drug testing in the workplace has barely improved since Reagan started the trend. I cannot understand why. Failed tests take a toll on the economy . At a least one plant, half of a failures are due to positive marijuana results. I’m pro-marijuana but safe work places especially when working with literal tons of metal are more important. The problem is current testing can’t tell if you are high now or were a month ago (just for thc, other chemicals fade faster). This means workers even in states where it is legal. Workers can’t enjoy the fruits of their labor without fear of being flagged. We can implant a microchip to operate as a credit card but we can’t tell when one last smoked is ridiculous.
Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and better for dealing with long term chronic pain than opiates. We can talk in circles all we want about mental addiction but you can be mentally addicted to any reinforced action and physical addiction that comes from alcohol, opiates, and other drugs has a far greater toll. I’m sure all physically addicted (to which there is no cure just the continuous work of recovery) would trade for a mental addiction (closer to a bad habit and can end). Studies have disproven the gateway theory. To deny the healthiest high on the grounds of tradition is bad policy.
To those who preach sobriety, I would argue without the human desire to get high, we would not have society and civilization as we know it. The history of beer is the history of us. That being said there is virtue in moderation and a balance between states is needed. Theres no reason or need to be high in most jobs. There can be great danger. Your supervisor might be a son of a bitch but he’s the son of a bitch whose job it is to get you back to your wife and kids. He needs better tools.
Perhaps it is a generational gap but we need 21st century solutions today because the century is going to pass us by.
Trump and his family are self described business folks. While their legacy in business is debatable, that they come from the corporate world not political becomes more obvious everyday. We don’t know yet if Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia last year but the Trump family isn’t making it easy for innocence to be considered.
This week Donald Trump Jr. became the center of the Russian storm. After days of having his ever changing story disproven by leaks, he released the emails in question. They did not vindicate him. When asked if he would like information on Clinton gathered by Russia to aid his father, he says he would love it. He brought Kushner and Manafort to the meeting, the Russian lawyer ended up not having anything on Clinton. Leaving us in a situation where we know that the Trump campaign would have colluded but not if they did.
Ignore the discussion of impeachment for a moment. What other implications are there? One is a revelation behind the curtain. Political operators have long been portrayed as ruthless anything goes types in movies but the real political world always had norms and bounds. I’m not saying they are knights of the round table. Yet even the Gore campaign called the FBI when someone leaked Bush’s campaign bible to them. This event shows the business world core of the Trump universe one where damning emails end in a fine and mea culpas but in politics things end differently just ask Abramoff.
The anti-left media keeps yelling Ukraine like its Benghazi (as a waste of time). A low level former staffer is not the same as a high campaign advisor and candidate’s child. Manafort did in fact lobby for pro Russia candidates in Ukraine and was unable to hide it. Whether the decision to remove support for Ukraine in its war against Russian invasion from the GOP platform came from Manafort is unknown. In the end, evidence from a foreign public investigation is not close to the same as a foreign nation stealing documents from a political opponent to aid a candidate. As Watergate taught us having your own countrymen steal documents is damning without foreign involvement.
The emails aren’t a smoking gun for criminal proceedings but they without a doubt bolster Mueller’s investigation. One can only wonder what subpeonas will uncover.
France has long been the highlight of the socialist argument. Now with the party’s largest postwar failure, the limits of the socialist ideology has been shown. They have long heralded the notion of late capitalism, only to be survived by it.
Most have yet to grapple with the loss of the left and the right. It isn’t hard to understand when viewed within the context of who I refer to as “Marie Antoinette Socialists”: people from the top 20% who went to college and work as “young professionals” (workers who don’t create products as much as “value”. These roles require a strong capitalism to exist). They support hand outs to feel better about their own status. They favor system reform in any area that doesn’t require major change for them. This democratic socialism needs an open market while largely blaming that same market for any imperfection. On the reverse is blue collar workers on gov support whether farm subsides or disability/unemployment. These sons of Jefferson vote against the programs that support them in the name of freedom. They have skills that have real value outside of the market. Things people would need without the existence of dollars. It is foolish for the Gender studies professor to mock their mechanic for not understanding how the world works. They are the modern wolf being held by the ears.
The left and right as relevant terms only continues thanks to hypocrisy of a sort. As more subjects fall off the spectrum, social issue divides become increasingly played up. As the amount of homophobes decreases to the size of the LGBTQ community, the larger middle plays referee between two minorities. This is at some level a distraction from perhaps the largest shift in work since the dawn of agriculture.
The digital revolution will be the end of work as a source of living. Yes even for lawyers despite their smirk otherwise at reading this. Judge Watson has analyzed your interpretation of past court rulings within the framework of all legal thought ever recorded before you finish the sentence. Defendants will want a lawyer who can do the same. Computers are the professional professionals, the most knowledgable experts who don’t need a tie to hide their souls. I don’t mean that as a slight against lawyers but as an argument against those who believe human creatively to be permanently unique. Time makes John Henrys of us all.
Just as the New Deal bought society into the industrial age, we need a new social contract that accounts for the state of the world as it is.
I know many on the left will give this post title an eyeroll but I must speak about the two wars on Christmas: one waged by the secular leftists and the other from Radical Islam. The left has long sought to undermine the separation of church and state by submitting religion to federal control. People must petition Congress for religious exemptions. That is not what this country was founded on. The government does not grant us rights. Our religious institutions Christian or other are not granted passage by Big Government. This is why battles over the building of Mosques disturbs me. It isn’t for the President or the selectmen to decide. We do not have the right to stop peaceful worship if they own the property or at least have legal access. I believe both the the left and the right have assaulted our religious rights.
The war on the Western world from Radical Islam is a clash of civilizations. Christianity and Islam can and do coexist in Western Civilization. Not that there aren’t conflicts between religious groups under liberal order but our values as a society push us towards unity and respect. Radical Islam under its strict literal theology cannot exist within the West. It’s practice goes against all of our values. If the West is defined as uncertain and fluid then Radical Islam is defined by the opposite. The temptation is it promises a known purpose in life. In the West, religion and work (our institutions of purpose) have been under attack by the political elite. The resulting society promotes unlimited freedom by removing dedication and devotion as values. Purpose limits choice. True freedom is being adrift in space without a footing to stand on. People want to have a purpose, at some level we need it. As the work that gave employee’s pride is automated, a pillar of society teeters. We don’t need more stuff to throw away, we need more purpose in our days. I have been told of a notion where freedom from work allows us to achieve higher purposes. I don’t agree with it. An attempt by the left to marginalize people’s lives. Autowork gives more back to the community than art and is no less noble. That’s the problem with the Progressive goal to achieve the end of history. People want to be a part of their lineage, not escape it.
The converts to the radical civilizations (Radical Islam and Neo-Nazis are just the most aggressive) flee the increasingly inhuman West shedding its values without replacing them. Multiculturalism isn’t a value as much as the absence of one. The American Melting Pot wasn’t a place where you kept your way of life as much as subvert your rituals to the American way. You came to America to be American. Immigrants make America great by becoming American. Entangling the threads of their traditions into our quilt. The american ethnicity is multiracial and our DNA is global but at our heart we are all brothers and sisters under and for the Republic and all for which it stands. In reading the Atlantic review of “Silence”, one would assume Art was created outside of religion when until recent history it was a tool of faith. The reviewer believes taking religion seriously is radical. I find that to be belittling to say that the ancient mysteries of religion especially the inevitability of suffering were not a legitimate source of Art. The left has turned tradition radical. Until the liberal order reclaims its history it will be on the losing end of a war they refuse to admit exists.
Facebook’s announcement of an experimental partnership between third party fact checkers: Snopes, PolitiFact, the AP, ABC news, and factcheck.org. Where people request certain links to be factchecked and if they are and found to be false or misleading a warning without reasons behind the warning will pop up before the article opens. Many people on the left and right are wary of this development. For many conservatives, a third of the fact checkers (AP and ABC news excluded) have a liberal bias. For many on the left, this is an expansion of corporate control of media trying to take away their “truth”.
Facebook has the legal right to control its platform that it lets us use. I do think that it can be worrisome to think that there will be blind faith in the warning. I think that this is an opportunity for us all to challenge our dogmas. We all could use a hand in expanding our worldviews and many times that hand needs to come from the opposition. Not saying we are all wrong all the time, but we need to be fluid in our responses. Adapt to the situation at hand not the one in the mind. I think that this experiment is a good step forward and should be expanded to include more viewpoints. We need some radical changes but those changes aren’t possible without agreement and I am speaking about Climate Change. It truly is a bipartisan problem that will alter every human’s life. In the age of Elon Musk, no one can question the possibilities in renewable energy that could occur. I believe we need to support if not with funds than beneficial regulations that aid his innovations while improving the quality of life for his labor. We need to use Capitalism to challenge ourselves for real innovation rather than use our money for novelty add ons. We need the hoarded wealth to be reinvested into the American Dream. None of which is possible without dialogue. If fact checking and discussions not in comments but in researched detail can engage us with each other than it is worth trying. Facebook as a form of communication and a company must respect their power. I think this is a step towards a better social media environment in the age of bullshit heralded by Trump and Putin.
-E. C. Fiori
Identity politics has always existed. White Supremacy is perhaps the oldest modern form. In all forms it relies on tribal dogma to create a world view. This world view does not always conform to the world. In an piece for NPR, Tasneem Raja writes “why it’s never been more important to continue talking — and arguing, and complaining, and venting — about identity in America. To continue interrogating whiteness as a construct, even as we discuss the economic woes of many white Americans. To continue asking why so many of our superheroes are white and male, even as we push to better understand the defeat and humiliation felt by many flesh-and-blood white men in our country.” Superheroes aren’t real. Movies and television aren’t real. The media wastes an incredible amount of time watching other media and reporting on what the media tells them. No wonder we built our own echo chambers, the mirror that was journalism has become a fun house. There are serious deep seated economic ills that affect all Americans that creates a fear of the other. While diverse entertainment options are important. Everyone should be able to share their voice. Art is not as important as economic stability. Few liberals argue that many of the goals of identity politics aren’t noble, but the tactics are ineffective at best. As television moves from viewership numbers to subscriber totals, the actual viewership of any given program matters less. Thus the explosion of perspectives on pay or SVOD entertainment. These shows at their peak with the rare exception have a twentieth of the viewership of the classic model flagship CBS. If content can shape the viewership than the viewership matters. Identity politics by dividing citizens based on birth features encourages white nationalism. If being matters then Whiteness matters. If what was pop culture is white culture then the Whiteness of it matters too. In a country that is still majority white for the next three decades and depending on immigration changes longer, that demographic has power.
The average American white male was the loser of globalism. The Trump supporter is similar to a study on rats as written in the New York Times, “The best verified animal model of depression consists of social defeat. A dominant rat is placed in a cage with a younger, stronger rat from another group. When the dominant rat is defeated, several features emerge. The defeated rat is reclusive, hyper-vigilant, avoidant, and shows an incapacity to experience pleasure.” The Obama coalition was a moment for a future America. A moment of change. The now reviled and then reviled as well white American male was an important piece of the coalition, the Midwestern firewall. The professional class has always been dominant; the working class had their fiefdoms maybe not to the charm of a New Yorker but a loving community home to the residents. That has been stolen and the working class re-dominated. The recession recover deepened the destruction of their middle class world of the last thirty years. Longer than many of the preachers of Identity have been living. 2016 will be remembered as the year that Americans first had the chance to elect a government focused on all citizens but both Trump and Clinton relied on identity. Trump did the math and Clinton expected shame to continue to hold the peace. The basket of deplorables comment probably ended her campaign. Trump did a barebone dog whistle to be sure but Clinton attacked the one group she needed because of identity politics. Being a first isn’t an enough, a campaign is more than a self- esteem booster. That last part is intended to the Trump voters and the chaos they chose as well.
We are a broken people divided. The New York Times has an op-ed about not going easy on the failures of men. Especially taking aim at the concept as men as the breadwinner and that being the sole responsibility. While I agree that men and woman should do portional housework based on earnings level. The problem is not just that men do less housework or are selfish about the tasks. It is that the stay at home dad is an undesired solution. Here is an interesting Dear Sugar on the subject. Women are more likely to cheat and divorce as the breadwinner. This dissonance is tearing apart our families. We cannot just shame a better tomorrow. So much of the strife and divisions center on money and for some luxury. I think if the pay ratio dropped from the average of 204: 1 CEO to worker to 50:1 at every company, we would see an American renaissance. I think that it would aid the race and gender and sexuality pay gap and earnings gap. I think it would ease the financial burden on families and save marriages. It would rise up all peoples and exclude no American from the better tomorrow. New divisions will not heal the old ones. Shame is not persuasion.
We are not entering a new gilded age but fully immersed. The last thirty years wrought a rise in decadence. Under the guise of meritocracy, we have seen our paychecks slashed and the cost of living skyrocket. Those with more today outpace their historical counterparts reveled in a modern PC Divine Right, the claim their wealth is solely from years of effort. Ignoring the disparity in effort needed between children from the various classes to achieve a middle class life. The rich have negative effort, the middle need focus, but the poor must climb Olympus and force the Gods to kneel. It is more than unfair: it is unsustainable.
I say this today because Trump has nominated Andrew Puzder, Carl Jr. or Hardee himself to be secretary of labor. Puzder blames the ACA for a “restaurant recession” saying premium hikes eroded the middle class budget for dining out. He ignored 30 years of wage stagnation that truly destroyed the middle class budget. This “restaurant recession” has been coming for years. It is similar to many libertarian claims that taxes are the main culprit of lower paychecks. We know that to be false historically. From the first gilded age we learned mass wealth inequality creates poverty. Anyone can see that the taxes taken would not benefit more in the pocket than the shared services it buys like police or fire. These few public services are the only safety net for much of the population that ensures life and liberty. Libertarians never ask why so few need so much. They are robotic in their desires. I think the founders would have found them to be despicable for selling out their citizens for luxury. We need some regulation of Greed to have a functional republic. The crash and boom cycles caused by deregulation supports the need for a long view. None of us is an island and that’s what the libertarian ideology requires us to be. The tide will continue to rise as we re-legalized Greed.
Passivity and Apathy are more or less the same in my view. To be active is to care. I think with the ease of digital we accept a more passive role in exchange for the luxuries attached. We all know where the iPhone comes from but we all have one. We compromised ourselves for our own 12 pieces of silver. Trump is the president we deserve.
Social media, home of outrage culture is a passive space. The natural state of any platform is stories being brought directly to you via the newsfeed. We like, a pre-generated response. We share in a defined limited scope that encourages platform over communication. It bleeds into our other shared public spaces, the dearth of communication.
Another passivity draining our society is passive capitalism. Institutional investments in funds like Vanguard are both the dream and doo of the American middle class. They act as monopolies by diversifying stock by owning stakes in all major competitors in an industry. While good for us the investor it encourages higher prices for us the customer and lower wages for us the employee. They are a form trust, the.kind that makes you think of Roosevelt Theodore not Franklin Delano. They would still be cheap in fees and steady in returns if they only diversified across industries, but never within. Of course, another problem is these passive investors are not passive in their ownership in fulfilling their duty to maximize the benefits for their clients. Changing the marketplace focus.
Passivity has a home in politics, which includes the game of reducing your opponent’s turnout. We incentivize apathy in a sense. I see the great middle that exists in our polarized landscape being phased out the voices who don’t comment but who are active in their communities for rapid placeless chatter as proposals come out and debate answers designed to represent the fringe. We can no longer expect to always see an honorable person on the ticket. With work and organization, it can be done but offline. Otherwise each convention platform more sloganized and radical than the last until no one is interested what the king and his court have to say.