…or “Yes Virginia, There IS a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” and Lee Fang from ThinkProgress got the memo.
If you want to gaze into the future of the America Republicans are trying to create, take a gander down South to Mexico. Mexico is an Oligarchy where the wealthiest 10% have an income 24.6 times that of the poorest 10%.
In America, the numbers are heading in that direction.
Hope Yen wrote in the Huffington Post “The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4 percent of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4 percent earned by those below the poverty line, according to newly released census figures. That ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.”
The Reaganomics Republican class war against the once-too-uppity-middle-class slipped more than 1 in 7 into the ranks of the working-age poor approaching the 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty that expanded the federal government’s role in social welfare programs from education to health care.
The difference between when Lyndon Johnson put government to work as a force of good improving people’s lives, and now, is that Johnson did not have a deregulated corporate-owned media blaring pro-corporate, anti-worker, anti-government propaganda from sea to shining sea… and the power of unlimited money (thanks to the right wing SCOTUS “Citizen’s United” decision that transformed competition to political office from elections to auctions won for the highest bidding corporation.)
Higher inequality rates are associated with dysfunctional economies and accompanied by dysfunctional political systems.
If we look at the last 30 years of the Reaganomics Republican class war against the middle class, it’s clear that the Republican party’s agenda has been to concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands, disempower the working people to devalue the price of labor and solidify the power of the rich by making the government of the United States and appendage to the affairs of billionaires.
The Right Wing activist Robert’s Supreme Court ruling “Citizen’s United” has been one very effective tool in this destruction of the American Middle Class, allowing the rich to kick unfettered amounts of money to in campaigns to promote candidates that will protect the business right to do whatever they want in the pursuit of profit, whether it be pollute the environment, cut corners in worker safety and consumer standards or the myriad other ways corporations tell the rest of us “screw you.”
In economic jargon, we are currently in a period known as the “Great Divergence”, which simply means that wealth is redistributed – UP. “During the 20th century, the United States experienced two major trends in income distribution. The first, termed the “Great Compression” by economists Claudia Goldin of Harvard and Robert Margo of Boston University, was egalitarian.* From 1940 to 1973, incomes became more equal. The share taken by the very richest Americans (i.e., the top 1 percent and the top 0.1 percent) shrank. The second trend, termed the “Great Divergence” by economist Paul Krugman of Princeton (and the New York Times op-ed page), was inegalitarian. From 1979 to the present, incomes have become less equal. The share taken by the very richest Americans increased.” Check out the slideshow here.
The “Great Divergence” is, simply put… the class war against the working people of America. This war against us was not an accident… and neither are the tactics the economic royalists are currently engaged in to permanently transform the late-great-American Middle Class into compliant Serfs.
For the past two years, ThinkProgress researcher Lee Fang has been digging into the nefarious activities of the greed-centered, trust-fund babies known as the Koch Brothers, reporting on their funding of the tea parties, the depth of their astroturfing, and their family’s history of right-wing radicalism.
The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer also published a lengthy article about the “Kochtapus”… born into wealth… spending their inherited fortune ensuring that the iron-heel of corporate greed stays firmly on the neck of the pool of exploitable cheap labor they incessantly work to cultivate and maintain. Mother Nature herself doesn’t fare well with the Kochtapus, as they grease the palms of their Republican operatives in government and target the dumb sheeple with well-funded misinformation propaganda campaigns to ensure that corporations can pollute and destroy the environment we are forced to share with these greed-centered ghouls without pesky government requiring them to limit their destruction. In order to “alter the direction of America,” the oil family has been “giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups.”
What Lee Fang uncovered was “In 2006, Koch Industries owner Charles Koch revealed to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore that he coordinates the funding of the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other anti-government efforts through a twice annual meeting of wealthy right-wing donors. He also confided to Moore, who is funded through several of Koch’s ventures, that his true goal is to strengthen the “culture of prosperity” by eliminating “90%” of all laws and government regulations. Although it is difficult to quantify the exact amount Koch alone has funneled to right-wing fronts, some studies have pointed toward $50 million he has given alone to anti-environmental groups.”
Oligarchy is a form of government where power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, or military control and Plutonomy refers to a society where the majority of the wealth is controlled by an ever-shrinking minority. Those are the exact types of societies that Republican policies are MEANT to create.
Don’t take my word for it… what does the Bible say? “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” The so-called “Reagan revolution” systematically decimated the middle class, dismantled regulation meant to tamp down the greed-centered frenzy that created the FIRST Republican Great Depression, manipulated civil and racial anxieties by persuading the American working class to buy into social divisveness, corporate tax exemption and identify with those creating the new “gilded age”.
So we live in the fruits of the “Reagan Revolution.” Struggling again with what FDR called “the old enemies of peace… business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionism, war profiteering….” Who STILL “consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.”
ORGANIZED it is, and the People have been neutralized. In France, knowing their strength and value, the People take to the streets when the powers of organized money assault them economically. Then again, the class war struggle is embedded in the French DNA. In the United States, we’ve been lulled to sleep with fairy tales about the American Dream… and the American meritocracy. The truth about the fact that the United States is now the LEAST upwardly mobile of all the industrialized nations gets overlooked on the evening news, replaced by stories of celebrity scandals. Our history is short and the corporate-run media doesn’t want us thinking about the fact that in the last three decades, we’ve become a vastly more unequal society.
So, like a French Revolution in REVERSE, the American People take to the streets to protect the tax rates of the billionaires who have turned the American Dream into an impossible one and rally to the causes of corporations who force our fellow citizens into bankruptcy for committing the crime of getting sick.
Lee Fang wrote, “While the Koch brothers — each worth over $21.5 billion — have certainly underwritten much of the right, their hidden coordination with other big business money has gone largely unnoticed. ThinkProgress has obtained a memo outlining the details of the last Koch gathering held in June of this year. The memo, along with an attendee list of about 210 people, shows the titans of industry — from health insurance companies, oil executives, Wall Street investors, and real estate tycoons — working together with conservative journalists and Republican operatives to plan the 2010 election, as well as ongoing conservative efforts through 2012. According to the memo, David Chavern, the number two at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Fox News hate-talker Glenn Beck also met with these representatives of the corporate elite. In an election season with the most undisclosed secret corporate giving since the Watergate-era, the memo sheds light on the symbiotic relationship between extremely profitable, multi-billion dollar corporations and much of the conservative infrastructure. The memo describes the prospective corporate donors as “investors,” and it makes clear that many of the Republican operatives managing shadowy, undisclosed fronts running attack ads against Democrats were involved in the Koch’s election-planning event:
– Corporate “investors” at the Koch meeting included businesses with a strong profit motive in rolling back President Obama’s enacted reforms. Several companies impacted by health reform, including Allan Hubbard of A & E Industries, a manufacturer of medical devices and Judson Green, a board member of health insurance conglomerate Aon, were present at the meeting. Other businessmen at the meeting, like Omaha Burger King franchiser Mike Simmonds, are owners of fast food stores which have fought efforts to provide health insurance to their employees. Many corporate attendees of the meeting represent the financial industry impacted by Wall Street reform. For instance, attendee Bill Cooper is the CEO of TCF Financial, a corporation involved in the mortgage banking industry. Cooper recently filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Wall Street reform. Other financial industry players in the meeting hail from firms ranging from Bank of America, JLM Investment, Allied Capital Corp, AMG National Trust, the Blackstone Group and Citadel Investment. Annie Dickerson, a representative of Paul Singer, a powerful hedge fund manager who also gives tens of millions to Republican causes, was present. In addition, Koch Industries itself has a hedge fund and other financial derivative products in its portfolio of interests, which include oil pipelines, coal shipping, asphalt, refineries, consumer goods, timber, ranching, and chemicals.
– Corporate “investors” at the Koch meeting included businesses with a strong profit motive in preventing progressive reforms promised by President Obama. Several executives at the meeting have an incentive to stop Democrats and President Obama from addressing climate change and enacting clean energy reform. The meeting included oil executives from Aspect Energy, Murfin Drilling, Anschutz Company, GeoPark Holdings, Smoky Oil, and several members of Koch’s various subsidiaries. The meeting documents explicitly state that funding efforts to curb “climate change alarmism” were discussed.
– Fred Malek, Karl Rove’s top fundraiser for his $56 million attack ad campaign against Democrats, attended the meeting, along with leaders of other secret attack groups. Heather Higgins, who leads the Independent Women’s Forum, a shadowy group that has spent millions of dollars in attack ads on health reform, attended the meeting. So did Gretchen Hamel, a former Bush flak who now runs an attack ad group called “Public Notice,” which denounces spending programs.
– Participants collaborated with infamous consultants who specialize in generating fake grassroots movements, as well as experts on how corporations should take advantage of Citizens United. One session, about how to “mobilize citizens for November,” involved a discussion with Republican strategists Tim Phillips and Sean Noble, anti-union leader Mark Mix, and longtime Koch operative Karl Crow. Phillips — a veteran astroturf lobbyist who previously managed a deceptive grassroots lobbying campaign to help the Hong Kong-based Tan family maintain their forced abortion sweatshops in the Mariana Islands — now leads the day-to-day operations of Americans for Prosperity, the group ThinkProgress first reported to have helped organize many of the initial Tea Party rallies against Obama. Americans for Prosperity, founded and financed by David Koch, has a field team of over 80 campaign staffers spread out around the country, and additionally plans to spend $45 million dollars worth of attack ads against Democrats. Shortly before the planning meeting, Crow authored a campaign finance memo explaining that because of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, he advised specifically that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 501(c)(6) and Americans for Prosperity’s 501(c)(4) can “now use general treasury funds to produce communications materials opposing or supporting specific candidates” and corporations can aggressively pressure their employees to vote a certain way.”
Just like Limbaugh said… some people are just born to be slaves.
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