6 New STL Images!

Sorry that it’s a day late (capitalism is killing me), but here are 6 new propaganda images for spreading revolution wherever one sees fit.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/TUomKrYbsYCMEWC59

5 New STL Images!

Five new pics for propaganda use (a day late). Thanks!!!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/TUomKrYbsYCMEWC59

5 New STL Images!

Five new pics for propaganda. Sorry for my late post!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/TUomKrYbsYCMEWC59

NYT: Many Top Corps Paying 0% Taxes Driving Some to Far Left Organization

We want what the people want:

Mr. Robertson, the carpet cleaner, has his own idea: nationalizing the companies. “I think forcing them to pay higher alone is inefficient,” he said, “and taxation alone is inefficient.”

www.nytimes.com/2019/04/29/us/politics/democrats-taxes-2020.html

The Notre Dame Fire and The Return of Indulgences

When Martin Luther legendarily nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the All Saints Church in 1517, the Reformation ignited Europe for centuries. But what was Luther’s main grievance with the Church? The selling of indulgences by the Church, or certifications sold to nobles in return for less time in purgatory for past sins.

Now we can see the same dynamic occurring in Europe today: Billionaires are donating hundreds of millions of euros to rebuild the fire ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in an effort to appease a population of Yellow Vests and their supporters. They are using their money for so-called unity. But they are saving so much by not paying taxes, year-after-year, that it makes these “gifts” not gifts at all. The country has been in flames over inequality and the rich come swooping in for Notre Dame when, if they paid taxes, the French government could rebuild it themselves?

No, don’t let them fool you: the 1% is not some kind of great philanthropic class: that money came from us and would be returned to us if they ever paid their taxes owed to the people.

Must read!:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/world/europe/yellow-vest-notre-dame-fire-donations.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Proposed Tax On Million Dollar Living Spaces Serving As Second Home

“For properties valued between $5 million and $6 million, a 0.5 percent surcharge would be added on the value over $5 million. Fees and a higher surcharge would apply to homes that sold for more than $6 million, topping out at a $370,000 fee and a 4 percent surcharge for homes valued at more than $25 million.”

This would be huge in NYC where so many high end living spaces remain empty for they are just investments.

Would be great for a subway system revamp, and any leftover for remedying the housing crisis there.

www.nytimes.com/2019/03/11/nyregion/mta-subways-pied-a-terre-tax.html

Warren For President?

Elizabeth_Warren_Nov_2_2012Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent.

Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and later worked on the implementation of the bureau as a special assistant to the president) has the left-wing of the left-wing of the Democratic party dreaming of a Presidential run. A site has even popped up at ready4warren.com stating “Run, Warren, Run!”

But Warren has stated, over and over, that she will not run be running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, telling the Boston Globe “I am not running for president. Do you want to put an exclamation point at the end of that?” She is currently only serving as speaker at rallies for Dem candidates such as Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant. That’s all.

But it’s like the NYT wrote,

Progressives like Mrs. Clinton (and think she can win.) But they love Ms. Warren (even if they are not sure she can.)

I agree with the NYT’s observation. I see Warren as the Dem’s Ron Paul or Ted Cruz: a favorite of the fervent base, but not a viable candidate for November ’16. But if Warren could just move the dialogue a little bit to the left, just maybe Hillary will move a little to the left. And I believe, if presented in a balanced way, voters will be drawn to what Warren is espousing in some measure. For example:

A 6/16/2014 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Survey states:

Voters still regard Wall Street and big banks as “bad actors.” A 64 percent majority believes “the stock market is rigged for insiders and people who know how to manipulate the system.” Another 55 percent majority believes “Wall Street and big banks hurt everyday Americans by pouring money into ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes rather than real business and investments.” Therefore, not surprisingly, most financial institutions generate huge negatives among voters.

Those results are indicative that Americans still hold a grudge against Wall Street and the 1%. So if Warren’s critical stance against large financial institutions can find its way into the spotlight, in any amount, we could really get something going here.

 

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Minimum Wage Is Just Unfair

kshama-sawant-seattle-minimum-wage-victoryI’ve been reading about the minimum-wage increase to $15.00-an-hour in Seattle lately and the most important point made on the issue that I have read is in an op-ed by Will Hutton in The Guardian.

The campaigners had two important replies to the charges that this would make Seattle’s fast food, catering and hotel industries uneconomic. The first was that living on the old minimum wage of $9.10 (£5.41) an hour was scarcely possible; families depended on food stamps, homes were dark and the cheapest of presents for kids was simply unaffordable. Compare that with the profits of the corporations and pay of the fast food bosses: the CEO of McDonald’s is paid more than $9m (£5.3m). Maybe they could be paid less and their workers a fraction more?

The problem with living in the United States in an economic sense is the financial disparity. If you read Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, the numbers are vertiginous (a term Piketty often uses.) The difference between the national income of the top decile (10%), not to mention the top centile (1%) of the population, and the rest of us is simply sickening.

The powers that be want us to think about whether if we believe a low-wage, working citizen deserves that $15.00 an hour. Do they work hard enough? Did they work hard enough in High School? Do they? Did they?

But let me turn that argument on it’s ear: does the CEO at McDonald’s actually earn $9 million dollars a year? What about the Wall Street CEO’s who make $150 million or $180 million in a year? Do they deserve that? Do they work hard enough? I’m sure they get a lot more vacation hours than the people at the bottom of the ladder, with better healthcare and all the perks they could desire.

It’s an issue of fairness and the minimum wage does not provide some of our hardest workers basic human dignity.

 

 

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The Poor Are More Generous Than Wealthy Folks: What This Means – Part Two

Continued from part one here

Which brings us to one last element that should be addressed here: what does this mean for the believers of the failed theory of trickle-down economics?  The rich having the bulk of the money and wealth is a good thing for the believers of this ridiculous theory because everything will trickle on down to the lower classes and everybody will be living in a utopia.  Except it hasn’t and the inequality only continues to get worse.  But the argument always goes further by saying if the rich had to pay less taxes, they would give more money to charity and that would make its way down.  Also not true as the article states:

Of the 50 largest individual gifts to public charities in 2012, 34 went to educational institutions, the vast majority of them colleges and universities, like Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley, that cater to the nation’s and the world’s elite. Museums and arts organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art received nine of these major gifts, with the remaining donations spread among medical facilities and fashionable charities like the Central Park Conservancy. Not a single one of them went to a social-service organization or to a charity that principally serves the poor and the dispossessed.

Yep. They are laughing at you, not with you.

In other words, when given the chance to give away their money, the wealthy are doing it in a way that only breeds more inequality by giving it to institutions that do not actually help the poor.

We claim to be a Christian nation and some even argue we should have a Christian government.  But the way we would do that is by actually taking care of the poor and making sure they have the resources they need to truly pull themselves up, such as a livable minimum wage, better childcare programs, and better access to a college education.

And it is clear by the actions of the wealthy in how they donate their money these needed changes will not happen by talk of cutting social spending (or foreign aid, because that’s not what Jesus would do, is it?).  The government is also at fault by not providing assistance on a level truly needed by the poor. But it is very capable of doing just that and we should be pushing for improvements in this area.

We can claim all we want to be a nation shaped and driven by Christ.  But our actions do not reflect that and every call for a cut to the poor is a scream of hypocrisy by the alleged followers of Jesus.

The Poor Are More Generous Than Wealthy Folks: What This Means – Part One

An article on the Atlantic’s site this week is summed up in one simple line: “The wealthiest Americans donate 1.3 percent of their income; the poorest, 3.2 percent.”  The percentage difference is relatively small but certainly significant enough to warrant examination and the implications growing out of this are rather interesting when considering these facts along with some typical debate points.

Three key factors should be addressed:

  • Why is there such a difference?
  • What does this mean in relation to how the U.S. government gives in foreign aid?
  • What does this mean in relation to social policy and economic arguments?

    Know how the Bible says the rich man gets into heaven? Not this way.

Two of the key reasons for the difference are pointed out in the article.  The first is no surprise: the rich are greedy and prefer to hold on to more of their money.  But the second reason is a little more significant and should be considered further: economic segregation.  From the article:

Notably, though, when both groups were exposed to a sympathy-eliciting video on child poverty, the compassion of the wealthier group began to rise, and the groups’ willingness to help others became almost identical…greater exposure to and identification with the challenges of meeting basic needs may create “higher empathy” among lower-income donors…researchers analyzed giving habits across all American ZIP codes. Consistent with previous studies, they found that less affluent ZIP codes gave relatively more.

The fact that ZIP codes can determine how generous an area can be is a big part of many problems arising in political debates.  For example, many people on the right (usually wealthy pundits and politicians) make the argument social services aren’t needed and the poor just need to pick themselves up by their own boot straps.  This argument sounds reasonable until you realize the rich likely have no idea what the poor are truly up against in their areas of town and in their personal lives since they generally spend little to no time in poorer areas.

The reality is they do not see the conditions and do not understand the obstacles as our cities become more and more segregated along economic lines.  And if they do not get this part of the debate, what does their argument even mean other than useless rhetoric?  What are they backing this “boots straps” idea up with?  The answer is: nothing, other than their own experiences which does not typically mimic that of the poor given the lack of economic mobility in the U.S.

Another argument that rages on, especially now as the government looks for ways to shrink the budget, is foreign aid.  The wealthy giving less than the poor in terms of percent given is similar to the reality the U.S. gives less than many other countries around the world as a percent in foreign aid.  Whether it’s calculated with percent of GDP or GNI, the United States gives fives times or more less than the most generous countries around the world.

An analogy should be used when showing this difference.  Pretend you have two people who go to church each week, Patriot Jesus and Actual Jesus.  Actual Jesus brings home $100 a week and gives $10 to the church (the usual expectation of Christians in terms of percentage, by the way).  Patriot brings home $1000 a week and gives $20.  Who is more generous?  The guy who gives ten percent of what he makes or the guy who gives two percent?  The answer should be obvious.

Guess which one the United States is in this scenario.