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Wall St. Journal nails it again! Never listen to the their opinion pages unless you want to see billionaires begging.

Wall St. Journal nails it again! Never listen to the their opinion pages unless you want to see billionaires begging.

I've only agreed with three @WSJ opinion pieces in 60 years. Two have come out around the failed Trump presidency. I forget the other one. Just this morning they failed big time again. The WSJ published a hit piece on the Democratic Party and Joe:

Joe Biden and the Slow Death of Liberalism

Democrats are again choosing a moribund ideology bereft of new ideas. Radicalism beckons.



Wherein  complains that Democrats forsook the radicals and chose the candidate with the most likely chance to beat Trump. I guess because if they had chosen Bernie Trump had a better chance of winning?

The slow death he complains about is that Liberalism has 'nothing new' and is 'rehashing old ideas'. 

Like Medicare for All. And he is correct. The Republicans have been able to kill this idea in our checks and balances government for 90 years. That wall of hate is showing cracks, though. See Obama's and Nancy Pelosi's ability to push through the Affordable Care Act that added 20 million Americans to the healthcare system. The Republicans have been trying to dismantle this healthcare system for ten years and failed. It's here to stay. And expansion of the ability of government to meet it's deftly stated needs in the Declaration of Independence (Equality for All, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) continue unabated. The American healthcare system is currently the most expensive system on the planet. It is also one of the most inefficient, cruel and byzantine systems imaginable and delivers the worst results. Claiming to be market driven with no market pricing. Monopolized with no regulation that is meaningful in managing costs. That's about to change. 

Why is the Republican party the failed conglomeration of conspiracy theories and billionaires?

When one party fights to the death to restrict government from fulfilling its first and founding pledge:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

that party slowly loses legitimacy in the eyes of the American people and must resort to raw illiberal power: gerrymandering, voter suppression and identity politics: white supremacy. This Grand Old Party has no legitimacy, so to survive it becomes beholden to the highest bidders, the death merchants, to have any chance to stay in power. The GOP is no longer conservative. It has been taken over by the Tea Party, the "kill government" radicals that want to reinstate feudalism. They have sold their souls to the billionaires and the billionaires have brought the party to heel.

What are the fundamental tenets of today's Republican party? There are two types of tenets, those that support white identity politics and those that support the billionaires. Let's look at each of them in turn. Then we will compare them with what the Democratic Progressive Party is based on. The difference is as clear as night and day. One party is the party of death, the other party celebrates Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The differences couldn't be more stark.

White identity politics is about to fail spectacularly. #BankruptcyOrDeath is not a healthcare policy.

White identity politics. What does this mean? It means supporting the wedge issues of the mainly white upper middle class and dragging the uneducated along with them for the ride. It means punishing minorities and the poor whites themselves to show that nobody deserves a helping hand. I've got mine, so fuck you. What are the white identity wedge issues? Abortion. Faux-Christianity. Guns. Poor people are morally unfit and must be punished and incarcerated. Keeping power. Ensuring that whites get what they want or nobody does. And they've settled on the nobody side of the issues for the last 150 years. It took a Great Depression to instil a safety net. It took a Great Recession to advance universal healthcare. The last thing the Republicans want to admit is that they are a minority in America. They've been in charge forever and resisted every sharing of power with all their might. When my grandmother was old enough to vote she couldn't because white men resisted universal suffrage. Just like they resisted allowing blacks to be citizens. Just like they instituted Jim Crow laws that made apartheid legal in the US. Just as they continue to gerrymander districts to ensure that they have legislative majorities with a minority of the vote. One man one vote is anathema to White Identity Politics and the GOP has embraced WIP.

Who are the most ardent supporters of the GOP? Evangelical Christians. Why have the Republicans embraced the wacky ideas these mostly white religious fanatics have been pushing? Yep, they're white. No other party would even consider these crazy things as viable options, but the GOP is in it for the sheer numbers. They also embrace the Nazis, the fascists, the white supremacists, the rapture enablers, the faux moralists, the supporters of Royalty and the white Russian oligarchs. Is there anything white that the Republicans wouldn't support? Nope. This leads to an incredibly convoluted platform that's really just an amalgamation of hateful spite and intellectual bullshit. 

What does this cause them to support? RealityTV stars that lie and manufacture truth, because there is no there there. The only universal truth they can agree on is "hate those different than us and punish them." Hate the gays. Hate the Jews. Hate the immigrants. Hate minorities. Hate liberals. Hate other countries. Hate the muslims. Hate other religions. Hate the experts. Hate anyone who doesn't show fealty to our King. Hate anyone who doesn't fall in line with the lies and conspiracy theories. Don't fraternize with the opposition. It's our way or no way. Hate the government. Destroy it when given a chance. Forget compromise. How can you compromise with those who aren't human white Republicans? The vermin need to be punished, incarcerated, held in concentration camps, deported, deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's an evil philosophy. It cherry picks passages from a bronze age book of fairy tales to create a selfish might-makes-right feudal philosophy of what I call speciesism.  They are attempting to create a new species of humans that don't include anyone but their white identity in-group. It really is a #DeathCult and Trump is the perfect leader.

So they embrace the wedge issues: abortion is okay for me, but not for you. Guns are okay for me but not for you. My religion is the truth, yours is evil. You must follow my made up morality. You can't force me to treat everyone equally. The only reason for government is to support my religion and build an armed service to protect me from you and those other foreigners. Anything else the government does must be torn down. There is no room for collective action. It's every man for himself. I'll help my fellow white privileged neighbors in my town, but fuck those assholes in the big city. They're filthy vermin sucking the life blood out of the country and they can just stop pretending to be Americans and go back to their failed countries and die. Most of them revel in this attitude of "owning the libs" because they have no moral basis for their lives, it's just a game they are trying to win. They feel secure in their white privilege so they don't give a shit that others are suffering and need help. The poor and suffering must be in that state through a moral failing, not a systemic abuse from those in power? No way. We're cruel, but not that cruel. There's no racism anymore. Black lives don't matter, everyone's lives matter. It's a story they tell themselves because to admit the truth would be devastating. They say they have no privilege. They have achieved everything through hard work and good morals. They deserve what they have. They are good because they are rich. You are evil because you are poor. How else to justify their policies?

What to do when your White identity is no longer the majority?

The problem is that these policies are only supported by a minority of the population. How can you make a party that stays in power with a minority of the voters? You can't. Unless you cheat. Unless you sell your souls to the highest bidders. So of course, that's what they have done. They've sold their party to the billionaire led resource extraction sectors of the economy. What ideologies does the Republican Party support that white supremacists really don't give a shit about? Low taxes on high incomes & unfettered capitalism. Even the Republican base supports higher marginal tax rates on millionaires & billionaires. But not the Republican Party. Why? Because these millionaires and billionaires finance the party. The members just have to suck it up and give their money away to make the economy more unequal. Rich is good, only Congressman get free money from donors, the unwashed masses have to get their own. 

Unfettered capitalism leads to a whole slew of sins. Markets are the ultimate arbiters of what is moral and right. Monopolies are good. What's good for Exxon is good for the country. Thus the support of coal and other fossil fuels. Never mind that coal kills more people each year than there are workers in the industry. Some billionaire extracts the profits and shares some of those profits as donations with the Republican Party ... so it must be okay. Same for oil. Who cares if it will burn the earth to a crisp? That's tomorrow's problem, today they are paying me to lie about it. Same thing for farmers, tobacco farmers, not farmers actually, but immoral corporations. Cigarettes don't cause cancer, people do. Opioids aren't addictive, people need them to fend off the pain of their failed lives, their lack of meaningful work, their polluted landscapes, their putrid food and their poor healthcare. But so what? The immoral companies give us money, the morally bereft poor don't give congressman anything, except their vote if they can be hoodwinked into it!  Being poor is a sin; it's your fault! We'll support your hate on the others that have caused you to be poor, but we aren't going to do anything about it. Unless you happen to be a large farm conglomerate. Then we can subsidize you, not your workers, to the tune of billions of dollars. And don't forget to donate some small portion of that graft back to us. We'll give you trillions in tax breaks, all we ask is for a measly billion or so in donations.

How can this morally bankrupt system be fixed?

It really is a morally bankrupt system. And it won't be fixed until the party finance system is changed. Which is why it's important to support HR#1, the bill to fix this dark money, hidden finance system that takes away the votes of Americans and substitutes it with the donations of billionaires. But that's another blog post for another day. That's why the "billionaire tears" campaign of Elizabeth Warren was so powerful (raise marginal tax rates on the rich so they pay their fair share and tax all property, not just housing.) Even Republican voters can see the sense of this proposal. She would make an excellent VP. She would grab the suburban women's vote out from under the Republican hate mongering subservient culture and deliver it to the Democrats. It would be a landslide. 

Why does the Wall St. Journal care about this stuff?

This leads us into refuting the main point of the heinous hit piece in the WSJ claiming that Joe Biden has no platform and is just rehashing old failed Democratic policies. First remember that the WSJ is an immoral corporation. It is run by a foreign billionaire. The same one that runs Fox News. Whereas on Fox News they just spew conspiracy theories and hate on the out groups, the WSJ must actually report facts about corporations, not about what they do or the harm they cause but about the money they are or are not making. They limit the bullshit and hate spewing to the their editorial pages and their think pieces. It's all from the same script though. They need to paint the Democratic progressive agenda as communism. They have no choice. They want unfettered capitalism. They want monopolies. It's the American dream! I may grow up to be a big corporation that can spew my costs upon the unwashed masses and extract billions! And I want the government to help me extract what's rightfully mine from those stupid Americans. It's harsh capitalism for the masses and government socialism for the corporations. 

Old, failed policies? Nope, regardless of which party Americans are in, it's the policies they want!  That's what scares the WSJ: Americans want Universal Healthcare.

What are these old, failed policies that Democrats have been pushing? Universal healthcare has been a long standing plank in the Democratic platform. Starting with FDR and the New Deal. He could only get Medicare for the aged passed, unemployment insurance and welfare for the poor. And that took a Great Depression. Harry Truman tried to extend it and failed. JFK tried to extend it and failed. Lyndon Johnson, the master politician of the ages, managed to pass the civil rights act and the war on poverty, greatly expanding the safety net and finally putting to rest the question of separate but equal. Clinton tried to improve health care, but lost by one bribed vote. Obama and Pelosi managed to pass the Affordable Care Act by one vote. In addition to providing subsidized health care it also expanded Medicare for the poor to the states. Joe is doubling down on this policy. Joe is proposing to lower the age for Medicare to 60, the exact opposite direction that the Republican Party is screaming for. The majority of the Democratic Party wants a public option but is afraid of the Medicare for All option implemented in the rest of the world because it would be hard to satisfy all the special interests (even though the current system is still the most expensive and least effective system in the developed world.) The Republicans can always pitch a change as scary and make up reasons for people to hate it. The Democrats will settle for moving the needle forward every cycle until, poof!, Medicare for All is actually here. 

Regardless of which party they are in, Americans want billionaires to pay their fair share. 

What's another of the old, failed policies the Democrats are pushing? Having billionaires pay their fair share. Higher marginal tax rates. Taxes on all property, not just housing. This scares the hell out of billionaires, so the WSJ must absolutely throw every dirty trick and bullshit argument against it. It's a matter of life and luxury. However, if you want to minimize middle class taxes, you must maximize billionaire wealth extraction. The middle class is all for this, the billionaires have been waging class warfare on the poor for aeons. The poor have nothing more to be extracted, so the billionaires have moved onto the middle class and the middle class sees it plainly and clearly. They saw the billionaires command the Republican party and defy 80% of the American people to pass their last tax scam. They pretended to give the middle class tax breaks - but those breaks expire in a few years. The billionaire tax breaks and the taxes on corporations are permanent, until the Democrats can get control of the Senate. Then poof! the maximum resource extraction will begin. 

The United States has turned into the largest tax haven in the world. If the billionaires want to keep that status they are going to have to pay their fair share of the tax burden. When was the growth in productivity and the economy the highest? It's directly correlated to the marginal tax rate on the rich. The more the government takes the harder the billionaires have to work to support their luxuries. And they respond well to financial incentives. There have been several theoretical papers that have pegged the maximum extraction marginal tax rate to be between 70 % and 85 %. The current effective rate is below 25 %. This will change. And corporations aren't people, corporations are immoral slow artificial intelligences out to maximize their profit. They can respond to the higher marginal tax rates, and they already do with financial shenanigans that have nothing to do with real capital and investment and everything to do with tax avoidance. So nobody has any love lost for the corporate tax rate on the Democratic side. 

 The billionaires have been winning the class war for the last fifty years. The inequality is beyond anything seen since the Great Depression. This current Great Decimation will put an end to that. If they want to stay in the United States and be protected by Americans, the billionaire class is going to pay. And they aren't going to dictate the laws anymore either, it's going to be a negotiation. One man, one vote. Donations are public knowledge. Lying and conspiracy theories will be evident to all. This is the point of HR#1 (another blog post on another day.) And all of the Democrats have signed on. Things are going to change. 

Sharing the burden of an educated society leads to high productivity and a growing economy.

What else do the Democrats want to change? They want the millennials and generation X and Z out of the debt that the billionaires and their parents should have covered (like the boomers covered the GI bills) but haven't. There is no reason that education shouldn't be a public good with shared costs through taxation of everyone as they reap the shared benefit of an educated population. You can't run the world with a bunch of high school dropouts, no matter how hard you try. You need a well educated body politic. The Republicans hate this because it makes it harder to bullshit their voters. If the voters can't understand logical arguments, they're much easier to fool. Trump loves the uneducated because they believe his bullshit, even as it changes minute to minute. When you don't exercise your reasoning ability you lose it. So it's for the good of society that we support universal education with shared costs. The more productive economy will gladly pay for their kids' educations in the future, There's no reason that the younger generation has to pay for their own education and their kids' education. That's just rich old white people being selfish again. Taking from their parents and making their children pay for themselves. It's a selfish policy and it will end.

Inequality is a bad idea.

The other "old, tired and failed" policy is that all men are created equal. No discrimination on the basis of sex, race, gender, orientation, religion, immigration status, or political party. It's going to be a fair fight all around. No gerrymandering. No voter suppression. No illiberal democracy. No fascism. No favoritism. No inequality. The laws will respect the people's will not the billionaires pocket books. This is HR#1 which eliminates the purchasing of politicians and the corruption of money. This will be the hardest change for the Republican Party to accept, if not for money, gerrymandering and voter suppression they will never have a majority with their current platform again. They will change or they will be relegated to the dustbin of history. 

What other progressive ideas do the Democrats support?

What else does the Democratic Party stand for? Higher minimum wage. Paid health leave and parental leave. Subsidized pre-school and day care. Taking care of the earth (which means ending fossil fuel subsidies and carbon emissions.) Continued expansion of civil rights (all men are created equal.)  Gun control - no you can't have weapons of war in your house. Ending cruel and unusual punishments. Right to privacy, including decriminalization of drugs and reparations for past incarcerations. Women in control of their own bodies, subsidized birth control and abortions. And finally the support of these rights to the world. Cooperating with democratic regimes and undermining autocratic regimes. 

The differences couldn't be more stark. One party fundamentally supports the American exceptionalism, the other party is bought and sold by a small group of oligarchs. The battle will be fierce, it will be long, but it will be won.

 Thanks for reading,
 -DrMike














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