Honey, I’m home

For too many decades, our culture and our politics have been dominated by fear.

We like to be afraid.  We adore roller coasters and slasher flicks.  We welcome any form of television that instills fear and we love our serial killers, rapists and murderers.  Count on us to be enthralled by the sick and sadistic.  Watch us embrace the macabre.   As zeitgeist, there’s nothing new here.

This is different.

Perhaps the most disturbing manifestation of an insidious and overt effort to make us afraid of terrorists, viruses gone pandemic and various minorities is the modern American fear of it’s wealthiest.  Certain well funded political movements would have us believe that if we don’t afford the ridiculously wealthy obscene tax breaks, egregious exemptions and impossible to justify advantages, they will somehow forsake us and prevent any possibility for even modest prosperity for what is now the working poor.

Somehow, we’re all in.  Somehow so many of us buy this crap.

“The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans now have a larger share of total income than they ever have in records going back nearly a century — an even larger amount than during the Roaring Twenties, the last time the US saw such similar disparities in wealth………..an updated study (PDF) from University of California-Berkeley economist Emanuel Saez shows that, in 2007, the wealth disparity grew to its highest number on record, based on US tax data going back to 1917.  According to Saez’s study, which Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman drew attention to at his New York Times blog, the top 10 percent of earners in America now receive nearly 50 percent of all the income earned in the United States, a higher percentage than they did during the 1920s.  -Raw Story

Rampant capitalism and they call me a socialist.  Wealth like this simply does not occur organically, you know, from smarts and hard work.  Read it all:  http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/15/concentration-of-wealth-in-hands-of-rich/

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008 — the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004. There were 43.6 million people in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase.

Meanwhile, the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, while the percentage increased from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent over the same period.  -US Census Bureau

One in seven of us now live in poverty as citizens of the wealthiest nation in the history of humankind.  Something is very wrong.

See, the rich have never given a mad fuck about the middle class or the poor.  This is history and history repeats itself.  No break they’ve ever been afforded has ever translated to a break for the everyman.  Never has and never will, yet stupid mouth breathing “activists” (tea party ignorants and lockstep Republicans) are absolutely convinced, despite damning recent history to the absolute contrary, that it’s not only saved us from tyranny and preserved the constitution but that they’ve always benefitted from the rich getting richer and if you don’t believe they will again, Jesus is not your savior and you’re a goddamned communist who wants pedophiles to run free and wish lazy minorities didn’t have to work.

For what it’s worth, these folks are the most afraid and it’s because they are spectacularly dumb and woefully gullible.

Don’t fear the brown man.  Don’t fear the reaper.  Fear the greedy white man.

Historically, there has always been a quantity of lamentable deference for the rich in any society.  They’ve always somehow been able to command a modicum of respect from the masses and it is perhaps because the average holds hope to become one of them someday.  A rather notorious and painfully hopeless vanity on the part of the great unwashed.  This despite a consistent effort to exploit any advantage over the average worker to heap more on their pile of filthy lucre.  Still, it’s always been there.

Yet this is new.  It’s alarmingly sudden that so many of us are so complicit.  That so many of us are anxiously willing to vote against our own best interests because we find ourselves in a shadow that we can’t see, hear or smell, but that they keep telling and describing everyday.  They, the media, are relentless in reminding us that if we keep fucking around and disrespecting the fat fucks that deserve our worship and respect, they, the ridiculously wealthy, will gleefully drive all that we know into a ditch and we’ll be at the mercy of homeless shelters and soup lines while our hearts dare to beat over and over.  The thing is this; we continue to let them get away with such Machiavellian machinations, it’s exactly what we’ll get because it’s exactly what THEY want.

If you listen to the Republicans, it is exactly what they’d have you believe.  And it is bullshit.

They don’t care.  They ARE NOT Americans.  They are chronically avaricious citizens of whatever country they can exploit the most.  To them, loyalty is only a word understood in the context of self.  Theirselves.  Themselves.  Yet so many Americans clamor to support and defend them.  Why?  Because they’ve been indoctrinated with a fear of them.  Not all wealthy people are bad.  Not all Republicans are racist.  But if you’re racist, you’re probably a Republican and if you’re wealthy, it’s a least likely you’re a greedy bastard.  Most of us aren’t concerned with copious wealth.  We’re otherwise directed.  Family, friends, love and respect are the things we pursue.

We have before us the issue of the Bush tax cuts that were passed via reconciliation and therefore had to expire or be voted on to extend within ten years because of their profoundly deleterious affect on the deficit.  Some trillion dollars or so that along with the unjustified wars we’ve been fighting for near a decade represent more than enough money for us to put every American to work on infrastructure while not losing a teacher, a fireman or a policeman and provide health care for us all. The answer to this glaringly explicit canard is to allow the cuts to the wealthy to return to Clinton era levels where we were left with an actual surplus and job creation was seven times what the Bush policies produced and keep the rest for those of us that need a break and just can’t seem to get one.  Do the math.  It’s a walk in the park.

Yet it’s still up for debate.  The polls are pretty solid but Democrats, in true sackless fashion aren’t willing to force a vote before the midterm elections.  The biggest reason we’re here is Democrats lack the courage of their convictions and Republicans are full to bursting with vulgar nonsense to fit any size.  Democratic leaders spend their time at home changing their adult diapers and availing themselves of tissue while Republicans wake up to wipe or wash away the copious disgusting discharge from Viagra abuse.  Democrats run around in panties soiled by Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or Pat Boone mastering ceremonies at the latest Tea Party clusterfuck while Republicans bump, rub or charge anything they oppose or fear with priapismic dicks and purple blue balls.

And we all lose.  Over and over.  It’s magically delicious!  Maddeningly ridiculous.

But we are complicit.  We ARE afraid.  Fear is a formidable force multiplier and it works both ways.  We have become stupid while the stupid are on the march. We fear the rich while the stupid embrace them.  We fear the rich because our own vanity allows us to wish to be them.  We fear the rich because we’ve allowed them to become very scary.  It is our fault in so many ways and on so many levels.

“I turned around and she said
“Why do you always end up down at Nick’s Cafe?”
I said “I don’t know, the wind just kind of pushed me this way.”
She said “Hang the rich.”  -Robbie Robertson “Somewhere Down The Crazy River”

So hang the rich or let us eat cake?

Naw.  Maybe, but what if we just let them be rich and agree to stop helping them be richer because they’re already rich?  Checks and balances.  You can’t check the rich unless you have a middle class and America’s middle class is starting to fossilize.

I’m not necessarily a Democrat and as sexist as it sounds, the Democratic flag has vagina on it, and I relate to mine own organ so……….

FDR once met with a group of activists who sought his support for bold legislation. He listened to their arguments for some time and then said, “You’ve convinced me. Now go out and make me do it.” -Huffingtonpost.com

Drinks for my friends.

9 Responses to “Honey, I’m home”

  • You can’t go home again. And there is no such place as America anymore anyhow. Still I do remember life 10 years ago, before Dumbywa…, before gas eight drippled in price. Americans could still believe in the struggle, they were able to borrow money from banks, to buy houses, own designer dogs with out guilt, and we created industry & buisnesses, for the world to envy. I was able to afford to see a Physician, every once in a while. We were able to define ourselves by our dreams not our possesions. The streams they did crackle, a sweet sounding music, the sky did sprinkle a fresh spring rain. Grand old trees in the forest we brought our children to see. Ocean breezes wiped sorrow from our face, the sun kissed us brightly every morning at eight. All life seems grey now, they drive these monster SuV,s we once would mock to death, their children breath toxic fumes, what can we expect for the future now? You tell me.

  • You sir, are 100% correct. Absolutely goddamn right. I published this blog link on my Facebook.

  • As always, Michael, a riveting and compelling OPED on the state of the States… the irony in this little tidbit is that the Jesus of the bible was much like us. He was a rebel against the wealth machine… looked out for the poor, hung out with society’s undesirables, attempted to change the course of humanity on behalf of the impoverished, sick, disabled, destitute…but even then, in biblical story, the wealthy elite disinformed the public and like the Zeitgeist you mentioned here, incited the public to a mob rule mentality with lies and deceit to “crucify” an innocent man, a noble thought, a progressive deed/act… whatever the course of our direction today, it is as you say the same as it always was. There is no “allegiance” to anyone country or its countrymen.

    There is, however, allegiance to wealth, corporate greed, corruption, power, control…and yes, even murder. Money truly is the “root of all evil” … rather, lack thereof. Threaten to strip all of a man’s worldly possessions, push him into a corner and see what happens…yeah, he strikes. I guess it’s human nature, but it’s not the right type of humane behavior. Those are the ones called to the “tea party” of nonsense…the mob rule, the misguided fools ready to charge into battle for “fear of losing their worldly possessions”. Then there’s us…our work is truly cut out for us.

    Love your work, Michael…keep it coming.

  • Easy Fix:

    0% tax, except for:
    Income, Spending, Estate @ $500k+: 100% tax apportioned to states.

  • Easy Fix:

    Low/Middle-Income, & All Investments, Savings, Retirement, Medical, Charity: 0% tax.
    High Income, Spending, Estate @ $500k+: 100% tax apportioned to states.

  • Scott Henderson:

    Many valid points articulately made! Excellent blog post comrade!

  • Nick Lento:

    Well said all round Michael. Though of course, there’s much more to it.

    The “rich and powerful” of this era have access to technologies for “communications” that were unheard of in the past. They no longer need whips and chains to keep “order” among the riffraff.

    They now have all manner of PR operations using psychographic methodologies/focus groups, polling and media manipulation/meme placement techniques that manage to get much of the “lower 90%” to actually *identify* with their oppressors! After all, this is “America, where anyone who works hard can “make it”! Look at the entertainment media and the way so many poor, working/middle class folks are addicted to following the lives of the “rich and famous” as they nurture the fantasy that they too will one day “be somebody”.

    What makes this process all the more insidious is that it is *not* a conscious conspiracy put into motion by brilliant evil geniuses……but rather the cumulative effects of millions of self serving rich folk just looking to hold on to what they already have and to get more and more. As if “at the end of the day….there “can be only one” rich person left standing that “owns” everything! Of course what I’m describing is pathologically delusional…..but that’s the operative dynamic.

    Meanwhile, the politics and economics of fear and terror continue to fuel the war machines and the speculative markets that account for much if not most of the actual “income”.

    Perhaps the absolute height of assoholic arrogance is voiced by those who call for a TOTAL elimination of the capital gains tax as from their point of view that money was already taxed once upon a time when it was “earned” income. So only people who actually work in the production of goods and services should pay taxes and those who make money off of money should pay nothing at all! And they are SERIOUS!

    In a sane and awakened political culture what the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats are trying to do would be laughed off the stage. Sadly too many of us have become unsane and deadly drowsy…not to mention disgusted, discouraged and disillusioned. *THAT* is what the opposition desires most, is a divided and defeated electorate/citizenry that has essentially given up on the attainment of economic/moral justice and is simply trying to play the dog eat dog game for scraps.

    All of the statistics that you quoted won’t/don’t penetrate the benumbed and confused “consciousness” of the screwed over 90% as their limited attention is diverted by media pablum, bread and circuses….and all manner of “crises” like the “war on terror” and/or the latest “headlines” in the 24 hour “news” cycle.

    Unfortunately for the would be “masters of the universe” this is likely the last century in which this kind of thing can be pulled off as the global/biospheric consequences are inexorable and they can’t be bullshitted/deceived/distracted away. They are, of course, in denial; but the fact remains that the current trajectory is utterly unsustainable and the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and climatology can’t be fooled by propaganda.

    The solution to all of this! That’s the challenge before all decent loving humane beings! 😉

  • GaryMac:

    Get rid of the obscene language and i’d be glad to post. I agree with u in most part, but tell me why here in Tn. on your page is there an ad for a rebublican candidate(Diane Black)????

    • Michael Douglass:

      My language isn’t obscene. Why would I even entertain the notion of censoring myself for you, someone I don’t know, have never heard of and have no reason to give a mad fuck about? Get over it. If you had a clue you’d understand that I have no more control over the ad content here than Rachel Maddow or Keith Olberman do there. Sheezus.

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