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Posts Tagged ‘class warfare’

A few years ago, John McCain brought up the issue of “Class Warfare” while running for President. He accused Barack Obama of espousing economic policies that amounted to class warfare. Perhaps McCain was sensitive to the issue because economic class warfare had been the policy of the previous Republican Presidents Bush and Reagan. Of course their economic policies were never described as class warfare, they simply destroyed the economy in order that the relatively few number of people at the top of the food chain could enjoy an extreme prosperity at the expense of most of the American population. John McCain’s fear was that, as President, Barack Obama would put a stop to these policies.Unfortunately, McCain’s fears were misplaced. Obama has done virtually nothing to change the fundamental economy of the United States.

Class warfare is nothing new. It only takes a brief look at history to realize that almost all warfare is class warfare. Consider, for example, a classic case: the overthrow of the Czar of Russia by the Communists. In the early 20th Century there were two distinct classes in Russia – a ruling noble class that included the Czar (by the way, the word Czar is a corruption of the Roman emperor’s title “Caesar”). The problem in Russia was the economy, i.e. the Czar and his family owned just about all the wealth and the people had very little. The people rose up against the Czar and his family, killed them all, and implemented a completely different economic system based upon an ideal of equality.

If we look further back in time to 1776, the American Revolution was a response to England’s class warfare. The King of England believed he essentially owned America – and he may have been right. After all, weren’t they founded as colonies of England and weren’t all the inhabitants subjects of the King? So what was the problem? It was excessive taxation. The taxes extracted by England from the colonists were a heavy burden and ultimately America rose up in class warfare against the King of England and all the royalty that owned the various colonies in America.

It wasn’t long after the American Revolution that a rebellion against the ruling class began in France; it was the French Revolution and it was a rebellion against the class warfare of the royalty of France. Like the uprising against Russian royalty in the 20th Century, things did not go well for the wealthy people of France.

Recently, we have witnessed the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East. In these uprisings it has always been a case of the poorer people rising up against their wealthy masters. It has been class warfare. From these and many other examples of past wars, including World War II, it can be seen that wars are usually caused by economic iniquity. Wars occur when the divide between the wealthy rulers and the common man becomes too vast, and it is seen that a few people at the top of the economic food chain are prospering mightily on the backs of the general population. It is the story of history and it is instructive to note that John McCain was and is very concerned about an outbreak of class warfare in America. But why? Does he know something most of us don’t? Probably.

One of the things that Senator McCain probably knows very well is that all members of the U.S. Senate and many members of the House of Representatives are multi-millionaires. They are not your typical Americans. Another thing that Senator McCain probably knows very well is that the American economy was deliberately transformed by Republican Presidents Reagan and Bush and a willing Congress. This was aided by the appointment of key people, for example, Alan Greenspan, to work in the key financial sections of the government, such as the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, in order to make the transformation from a country where all men were treated equally to one where the wealthy were treated as a separate, entitled class. Few people know the whole story of the downfall of the U.S. economy and how it was the result of many years of Republican, wealthy family favoring, economic policies. This sad story has been exposed on Public Television – and as a result probably seen by relatively few people. It can be seen here: Frontline.

Frontline revealed that Greenspan and his henchmen virtually destroyed the U.S. economy. Interestingly, Timothy Geithner was part of this group of people that deliberately created an uncontrolled marketplace that was doomed to collapse while it made a few people immensely rich at the expense of the average American. Inexplicably, President Obama chose Timothy Geithner to be his Secretary of the Treasury, i.e. Obama knowingly put the fox in charge of the chicken coop. We are by no means in a stable economy, even though we have avoided a complete meltdown. The wealthy class still rules and the Republican party is playing a dangerous game of chicken right now with the economy, threatening to let the country default on its obligations if any attempt is made to tax the wealthy. It’s class warfare alright, and its being waged by the Republican Party in order to benefit a miniscule minority of extremely wealthy Americans.

Any reasonable person would see that the wealthy class is playing with fire, confident that the under-class will cave in and obey. However, that isn’t true, it has never been true. That is the lesson of history from the American Revolution and even before: economically oppressed people always rise up. Look at the Middle East, look at Greece, look at Africa, look at the history of South America and Latin America. The problem is that the wealthy, upper class Republicans are blinded by their own greed and stupidity. They believe their flawed economic ideas will work, but their ideas are nothing more than pouring gasoline on a fire – you get a big flame for a short time, and then the fire dies out. It may well be that we are facing a major economic implosion because the fundamental problems that led to the previous meltdown have not been corrected. Indeed, except for Greenspan, many of the perpetrators of the meltdown are still in the game.

McCain was wrong about Obama, he is not an advocate of class warfare, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It always does when the wealthy class goes too far. Just look at history.

 

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It’s the “Fair Tax”.  Promoted by Mike Huckabee, a prominent Republican and former candidate for President, the “Fair Tax” is anything but fair.  That, of course, is the beauty of the whole idea.  It’s a classic Republican Party ploy, twisting the meaning of words, deceiving the people, and above all, always seeking to enrich the already wealthy at the expense of the middle class.  The proponents of this tax scheme (a millionaire’s dream) have their own website where they try to justify the idea claiming that this is the only tax we need. They say we can eliminate our income tax, estate tax, capital gains tax, and so forth. Basically we can get rid of all the taxes the wealthy people hate to pay.

So how does this work? We create a national sales tax – like the European Value Added Tax – and tax everything that is sold.  The theory is that when the billionaires buy their mansions and their yachts they will get socked with a massive tax while you will only pay a small tax because you are only being taxed on your pathetically small purchases of milk and eggs and such.  Sounds good, doesn’t it? It does at first until you realize that everybody eats food and the billionaire probably doesn’t eat any more pancakes than you do. However, you and the billionaire will pay the same tax on the food you eat.  Same with the tax on clothing, heat, gasoline, medical care, you name it. You will be taxed every time you turn around and so will the billionaire.  And that is what the billionaire wants.  As for the billionaire’s mansion and yacht – he already owns his mansion and yacht – there’s no tax for him there.

The wealthy man can play this game all day long and not feel a thing but you, who can hardly save a dime because you need to use everything you make just to pay your living expenses will now be taxed on every single financial transaction you make. Is that fair?  Is it fair that the fat cat millionaires will pay zero income tax? Is it fair that he will pay zero capital gains tax on all the money he makes on his stock investments?  Is it fair that the wealthy can pass on their accumulated wealth to their heirs, even it is $100 billion and pay absolutely no tax so that fortunes can stay in a particular family forever and never be taxed? What these people want is a return to feudal society where his lordship owns all the land and the money and never pays tax, except for the few things he buys in the marketplace, while you pay the entire burden of the cost of the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Social Security, and every other government department and expense based upon a nasty little tax on every single thing you ever buy.

And they, the Republicans, call this a “Fair Tax”.  And they have gullible, innocent people who are suckered into their handwaving, deceptive arguments. And one of the leaders is Mike Huckabee.  Mike Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister.  Think about that for a minute.  A so-called Christian minister promoting a tax scheme that would cause unbearable suffering for the poor and middle class, but would greatly enrich the wealthiest people in the United States.

It isn’t a fair tax.  It is the unfairest tax you could possibly imagine.  It is a trick and a fraud that is meant to dupe the unsophisticated American voter into voting for legislation that would shift almost all the tax burden onto the lower class.  It is the “class warfare” that John McCain likes to talk about, except he only talks about “class warfare” when the wealthy have to pay their fair share by paying income tax, estate tax, and capital gains tax.

Don’t be fooled, the “Fair Tax” is a phony gimmick that would shift the vast burden of taxes to those who can least afford to pay.  As John McCain might say: it’s class warfare.

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There are some financial experts who say that we are standing on the brink of a precipice.  Nouriel Roubini, a New York University Economics professor, who predicted the current economic meltdown, says that “things are going to be awful for everyday people” in 2009. There are several other experts who agree with him.  Mr. Roubini attributes the economic disaster to the bursting of a credit bubble – not a housing bubble. I would add that the continuation of the disaster is due to the abject failure of the Bush government to take effective action to prevent or mitigate the collapse of our, and the world’s, economy.  The question we should ask is why? Why hasn’t the Bush government taken decisive action? One might say that perhaps George Bush is an indecisive man, but if we reflect only for a moment on his actions in Iraq we will quickly see that he can be very decisive.  So why hasn’t there been any decisive action taken to prevent the collapse of our economy? Why is it that the only action taken by the Bush administration was to protect the investment banks?

Remember when Barack Obama and John McCain were campaigning against each other and John McCain stated that raising the tax rate to what it was under President Clinton for people who make more that $250,000 was class warfare? Today there is anger in Congress that the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds are not being used to combat the rising tide of mortgage foreclosures. Fed Chairman Bernanke predicts that 2.25 million homes will be foreclosed upon this year and the U.S. government is doing nothing to prevent it, even though the TARP was supposed to be used to alleviate the problem. My question is this: When a government that is run by the wealthy elite of America stands by and does nothing, refuses to help even when money has been made available to help the middle class and the poor, isn’t that class warfare?

It seems clearer than ever that our country is divided into two groups: the wealthy elite (the Elect?) who favor Hoover/Bush economics and the great mass of ordinary people who favor Roosevelt/Obama economics.  The question is this: who will prevail? It seems that Mr. Roubini and many others believe the Hoover/Bush group will prevail because otherwise they would be more optimistic about the economy for the next several years.  They might be right. Even as I write, legislation to provide a relatively puny bailout for the auto industry has been stalled by the House Republicans, the representatives of the wealthy elite, who are instead calling for the auto industry to file for bankruptcy. The fact that millions of ordinary Americans will promptly lose their jobs is apparently of no concern to them.

Here’s a question: is this just a difference of opinion on economic theory or is it something else? Could it be that it is really a difference of opinion about the purpose of government? Clearly this government acted urgently to save the wealthy elite owners of the banks, yet they drag their feet when it comes to saving the ordinary man.  Does anyone else see the long shadow of John Calvin standing over our Congress? Save the wealthy Elect, but when it comes to Katrina or Detroit, Asians caught in a tsunami or an earthquake, or Africans dying of starvation – well, just let them die. After all, if God has already decided who shall be saved and who shall be damned why should these wealthy Senators and Congressmen feel guilty? It’s not their fault is it?  The members of our Republican Theocracy has already saved themselves and their fortunes, and now they are about to strike against the poor once again.

My questions for the Republican Party is this: remember when that most famous Republican of all, Abraham Lincoln, said that America was a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”? So what was that all about? Was he some kind of pinko socialist or communist or what?  What sort of mental gymnastics do you do to somehow claim that you are the party of Lincoln when you are, in fact, the party of the wealthy elite (Elect) and you stand against everything Lincoln stood for?  It is obvious that if he were alive today Abraham Lincoln would be a Democrat. Today’s Republican Party is nothing more than the failed party of Herbert Hoover and George Bush.

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