Saturday, April 9, 2011

Class Warfare

Dear Madame L,

I didn't vote for my current representative in Congress from my district, but at least I hoped he would keep his promise of working on creating jobs. 

But all I see him and all the other Republicans in Congress doing right now is raising taxes on poor people and the middle class while lowering taxes on rich people and corporations, trying to destroy unions, reducing Medicare and Medicaid programs, threatening Social Security, and enjoying the best medical insurance program available in the country while saying they'll destroy Obama's medical insurance program. 

Meanwhile, some big corporations don't even pay taxes, and Obama, whom I used to admire, has given the head of General Electric a job in his government (head of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness). I guess I didn't see this item on NBC News because GE owns NBC.

What the heck?

Please Throw Me a Line

Dear Drowning,

Madame L is no politician, nor is she an economist, but she does read her daily newspaper, and she must admit that she's as worried as you are about what's happening in Washington.
Madame L hopes you will read this article by E.J. Dionne Jr. about the budget goals of current far-right politicians. It's an antidote for what you may have been hearing on some TV news channels.

Then, for an antidote to despair you may feel, read this counter-intuitive solution to at least one of these problems, by economist Robert J. Samuelson.

All that Madame L can offer on the political front is that you write to all three of your members of Congress. They'll write back, and even if it appears that they didn't really read your letter or message, because all they send you is a list of reasons for why they're going to keep voting the way they've been voting, the fact is that they're keeping track of the numbers. 

There are a number of websites where you can track issues and congressional responses.

Madame L knows this is just a start, and she hopes you will take it beyond this, becoming involved in any way you can, to ensure that our country remains (or goes back to being) the bastion of liberty, equality, and justice that she imagines it used to be.

Good luck,

Madame L


AskTheGeologist said...

First of all, those aren't "TV News Channels". The most egregious is a thin and cynical opinion site, frequently propagating hugely false lies and provably false numbers to support self-serving opinions. This un-named but foxy corporation is paid by its advertisers to sell their product: to convince people who rarely read or think to be angry at another group... mainly by calling them names like "socialist". There are a fringe of racists out there that they just LOVE to pander to. (Case in point: who would possibly want to attack a new federal agency charged only with protecting consumers from rapist banks?)

Second, please keep in mind that government and business, at least since the 1980's are pretty much merged: they are one and the same. Some people back in the late 1970's figured out a FAR better and safer investment than stocks.

Third, keep in mind the #1 business rule: the Law of Supply and Demand. Thanks to an ultra-conservative Supreme Court, Corporations are equal to YOU, Dear Reader. The only problem is that they have vast wealth that they can pour into politicians' electoral war chests. For them, it's TAX-DEDUCTIBLE investment, and it generally pays off very handsomely - 10:1 to 1,000:1 (Case in point: the Gigantroid General Electric Corporation paid ZERO TAXES, and hired almost no one over the past two years. Now, let me ask: did YOU pay taxes? You chump. You didn't invest enough in your lawmakers! Why do you suppose GE could LEGALLY get away with zero taxes? Because laws were written to LET them. Who wrote those laws?

Fourth: if you are a politician - and you just love the perks that come with it, and you don't mind making "just a little" rotten sausage - who do YOU work for? Do you work for that concerned citizen who writes letters? Or do you work for the Corporation that pays you HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars. Who REALLY counts in the Law of Supply and Demand?

I wish I had a solution for this, other than requiring every citizen to watch more than one news source.

But if you didn't even VOTE in the last election, then your instructions are to take a heavy black felt marker and write "CHUMP" on your forehead.

A final comment: Alexis de Toqueville of France, writing about the new American nation he had just visited in the late 18th Century, commented that it seemed like a pretty good thing to him...
But he predicted it would fall apart exactly when people started voting money to themselves. In effect, it would become a giant Ponzi scheme. So if "Don't raise my taxes but keep my expanding Medicare" sounds familiar to you, then take a large felt marker, this time in red, and write an "!" after the word "CHUMP".

Sorry. It's just so hard to watch this happening to the America I love.

Josie and Wayne said...

Dear Madame L,
I very much enjoy your blog and learn so much from it, but I would like to make one suggestion. Don't use pink words on a blue background. It makes my eyes go a little wacky.