Friday Cephalopod: Why are some cephalopods so clever? » « Now we begin the unseemly gloating Fox News has been having the nightmares again Women! In shades of light brown! Invading congress! With plans! They might have made Rupert Murdoch cry with their rude talk of child and health care and education and the environment and stuff. Share this:PrintEmailShare on TumblrTweet Friday Cephalopod: Why are some cephalopods so clever? » « Now we begin the unseemly gloating
On one level we can laugh at Fox News losing their shit over the idea of government addressing the needs of its (non rich) people, on the other hand it’s kind of scary that out of all the new Democrat’s in the house they chose to only feature WOC in their little graphic – which is obviously a dog whistle to its racist and sexist viewers.
Heaven forbid that Fox would acknowledge that these proposals are popular amongst most working people from all walks of life. Even popular amongst many who are quite well off. Instead they have to be portrayed as coming from the ‘other’.
Some news for Fox News: POC/WOC are not the other. They are members of your neighborhood and now members of the house. Get used to it.
Faux Noise has yet to recognize that they are the “other”.
If those ideas are radical, I guess I’m… what’s a word for “more radical than radical”?
Didn’t they have a pundit who was terrified by how close she’d come to being tricked into thinking her children deserved healthcare and education? Whew, at least they won’t get fooled again!
Nothing scares conservatives more than women of color with a little political power. What women of color with a little political power represent is that white men may eventually have to earn their way of life through merit, hard work, and personal responsibility rather than get it by default because everyone else has systemically been excluded from having it.
I have often wondered what the Washington Establishment, let alone Fox News, makes of a visit by the Canadian Minister of Defence, Harjit Sajjan who actually wears something like a turban.
“Radical” “new” ideas:
Free college; done here in California for nearly 100 years, until Reagan cut education funding when he was governor.
Universal healthcare; done for the past 70+ years in several countries, providing better health outcomes for lower cost than the US pays. Proposed by Truman for the USA in 1945.
Abolish ICE; which was only created in 2003 and has been protested since before it was set up.
Green New Deal; which follows 30+ years of recommendations from climate scientists about the extent of what must be done to address climate change and is based on the original 1930s New Deal.
But “Fox blatantly lies about history to defend white-supremacist kleptocracy” is not new either…
White people, not just white men.
My Latina mother also had things to say about men of color.
Akira MacKenzie says
On the internet, I’ve been facing the usual litany of “THERE AINT NO SUCH THING AS FREE HEALTH CARE/EDUCATION” from the usual knuckleheads who think that a government that takes care of it’s people will have to first bankrupt itself and/or it’s “over-taxed” citizens.
Of course, we’re not suppose to want to be “taken care of.” Real American Freedom (TM) is stoically living in your backwoods tar-paper shack with your your Bible, your AR-15, and your cousin-wife and quiverful of inbred brats. That is until the Great Trickle-Down comes and they can move to Billionaires Row and reap the benefits of an unrestrained market.
What irks the crap out of me is we are already paying out WAY more than enough money to pay for all of this. We’d just have to….
…..cut military spending. Yep, I went there. I expect the internet will blow up now.
kestrel – I’m a military spouse, and I agree with you. The military budget is outrageous, and only serves to line the pockets of the businesses that provide equipment and the lobbyists/congress-critters who support them.
Don’t even get me started on the “privatization” of so many on-base services that used to be run by and for the military members that now are outrageously expensive and provide great profits to those private companies who have moved onto our military installations!
Instead, that budget needs to first provide decent pay to the enlisted and provide services that were promised to our veterans.
Then, it needs to provide funds to invest heavily in cybersecurity, which seems to me to be a much greater threat to this nation than say, invasion by women and children seeking asylum.
I’m sure that we could slash the military budget and do the right things, if we could only stop doing the wrong things.
Hi doc .this might appeal to you on many levels.
Bugger ,lets try that again.
Can’t post it ,some clever people thought it was a jolly jape you paint giant spiders (complete with shadows ) below the space needle in Seattle .
Yes, we can laugh, but the malign effect Murdoch has had on western democracies over the last 40 years is no joke. One man has warped the media, and politics, and culture, to suit his own economic interests and to fit his own nasty mind.
They didn’t even bother to spin those bullet points negatively; they are counting on their base to react from hate toward others (gee, who might these others be?), rather than their own wellbeing.
ck, the Irate Lump says
I’ve got to hand it to Ocasio-Cortez: She’s damn good at this. Maybe better than any other Democrat in office today. She baits Fox into trying to insult her, and then uses it as a springboard to expound on her own ideas where many other Democrats would’ve run away seeking the elusive centre.
slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says
She is a very clever woman. Most politicians would respond against what Fux is implying and then get mired in muck.
She jumped right onto their words literally, as being exactly what she’s fighting for, and flips the implication back on them, implying Fux now has to explain why these are not good services to provide. Avoided getting drowned in discussion of the cost of these services (that almost all governments provide).
WMDKitty -- Survivor says
A link to the image itself.
And accompanying text:
I swear racism is a tool used to get poor and middle class people to vote against their own best interests.
@Kestrel Or raise taxes.
Akira MacKenzie says
How about we cut the military AND raise taxes?
These folks are way too idealistic and unrealistic. Vested interests will destroy them.
We can do free education for all levels up to high school, but college is asking too much. How will we put students into debt hell? And should I ask about who will worry about the text publishers? They have a thankless task with low pay. The student loan and textbook publishers are unsung heroes in this morality tale. And while we are at it what disrespectful student would question letting professors getting choice parking perks and not parking off campus?
We need ICE to prevent foreigners from taking our previous advanced healthcare and the spotlight from hardworking homegrown terrorists. Just as textbook publishers provide wares to inconsiderate kids our health insurance industry is working hard to keep people from being a health crisis away from bankruptcy. #unsungheroes
But seriously as much as free college and healthcare appeals to me how are we to pay for it given the distaste for progressively just taxation and the debt burden we have already bequeathed to future generations? Gutting the military won’t get us close and may have unintended consequences.
I’m for more open borders, free education, and single payer healthcare but it would take a huge philosophical shift in the political system to get there. I share the values of Ocasio-Cortez et al but can’t realistically see us getting close. Ever. Call it jaded cynicism.
And green reform is DOA as long as the name Koch reigns supreme. Get real. We are literally toasted. It’s gonna get much hotter.
The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says
The biggest issue facing us is climate change, but it will never be possible to deal with it as long as the rich control the discourse. Therefore the #1 task the Democrats should have been addressing for the last several decades is wealth inequality.
We need a Federal Maximum Wage. Any income over $1 million — actually much higher than what would actually be “fair”; 10 times the median individual income is still only in the low six digits — should be taxed at 100%. Not only would it suddenly cut off the supply of unearned cash to billionaires at the knees, it would also remove much of the incentive for corporations to underpay regular workers, because suddenly there would be no point in overpaying your executives or issuing huge bonuses to rich stockbrokers. This would have to be accompanied by a reworking of the 501c3 laws to make murky personal charitable foundations cease being tax-exempt and some pretty severe laws regarding foreign investment. Tricky, but nevertheless possible.
But nothing like that will happen. The slim margin of difference, largely rhetorical, between our two parties, vanishes when the wealth of the very rich is threatened. I predicted that House Democrats would hold a press conference on the 7th and announce that they were going to work with the Republicans and how wonderful bipartisanship is, and the only thing I got wrong is that Pelosi was already doing that on the 6th.
… lower the military budget and tax the rich. Anyone’s ability to make significantly more money than the plebs should be not only taxed, but taxed to whatever degree (80%, 90%, 99%) needed to ensure those basic needs are met, until moving to a socialist or anarchist system.
Realistically I would be happy to see what revenue gains we would get at a 50% top marginal on income as it was under Reagan I. Reagan II got extremely low. Capital gains should go to 40% if not 50%. Those rates are not achievable under the current political regime. And at what point above those rates do we get diminishing returns? And at what point does redistribution become retribution or resentfully punitive? And at what point do those with the means somehow vote with their feet and move themselves to a country with a more favorable tax climate in a comparative race to the bottom?
Russia has a 13% income tax rate, but they have VAT (which seems regressive) and oil revenue since those interests are held to an extent by the state (Gazprom and Rosneft). Maybe we should nationalize our oil and natural gas for revenue purposes. That would go over well in the Lone Star state. Don’t mess with Texas!
The same Galt’s gulch problem exists for environmental regulation.
We really must consider the optics here. I recall watching a city council meeting on tv some years ago when a tiny local option sales tax was being considered. A Cuban guy with a distorted sense of proportion compared such a socialistic travesty to the oppressive Castro regime his family had fled. Such is the nature of Republican rhetoric. So my wishing for significantly higher income and capital gains taxation puts me in legion with Stalin and Mao. We won’t mention my nationalizing oil and gas Chavismo.
@20 Thanks for that ,didn’t notice they were Harvestmen ,they don’t bother me much .
According to that Max Keiser bloke the arms industry are cock a hoop because the Democrats have taken control of the house ,whatever that is .
Akira MacKenzie says
hemidactylus @ 28
We really must consider the optics here.
THAT attitude is the reason why we don’t have any real power. The American Left is so obsessed with “the ends not justifying the means” that you’ve sacrificed the ends in the name of process and public relations. Perhaps it’s time we do things “The Chicago Way” (i.e. “He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue…”) and start fighting back harder than our enemies (yes, they are our enemies) rather than worrying whether or not we looked “nice” as they walked all over us. Time is running out.
And don’t start whining about “othering,” “tribalism,” “dehumanizing,” “escalating rhetoric” and the possibility of another Civil War. Boo-fucking-hoo! The stakes (e.g. climate change, income inequality, erosion of church/state separation, increased racism/sexism/homophobia, corporate power, etc) are too high at this point to start caring about the redneck trash and upper class bastards who are screwing up the world.
“We need a Federal Maximum Wage. Any income over $1 million”
I’d make it more flexible.
‘The maximum wage is x times your lowest-paid employee and y times your average, whichever is lower. All income above this threshold will be taxed at 100%. All subcontracted staff are considered to be employees for the purposes of this law. Any overseas staff are calculated at the following rates:’
I would peg it at 10 times, but I’ve seen arguments for a Max. wage at 25 times.
In a single step this would address wealth inequality, the working conditions of contractors, encourage jobs to remain in the US and improve the lives of international employees/ contractors.
You want to be fabulously weathy? OK, that’s fine, but you have to pay your employees fairly for their labour.
Kip T.W. says
I like the idea a lot, but my first reaction was that this will be a bonanza for lawyers as they find some way to argue that their client is legally an end table and thus blargh.
I still like the idea, though. Not quite a golden rule, but let’s try it.
32 Kip T.W.
Absolutely, the law would have to be written in such a way as to capture as many loopholes as physically possible. The articles defining terms would be longer than most laws, I fear.
Akira MacKenzie says
Interesting… I’d be interested to know just how much X and Y would equal?
Voidhawk – your proposal #31 is also very utilitarian since there is a declining utility with increasing wealth. The second million does’y provide as much benefit as the first million. If it is as they say “just a means a means of keeping score”, then someone can have your umpteen million pre-tax salary for salary for bragging purposes – they just don’t get to keep it. The only downside is your proposal leaves much less money available for buying politicians and unethical academics. Won’t someone think of the think tanks.
MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says
I would also add in stuff related to office renovations to limit the use of company funds to splurge on ridiculously expensive office furniture while the plebs get cheap wheelie chairs that barely roll. Want an executive bathroom with marble toilets with gold-plated seats and hardware – it’s your asshole, let it pay for that stuff.
I’ve seen proposals of 25x above lowest paid, and 10x above average, but that isn’t set in stone. The exact amount isn’t what I want to debate, but the principle behind it.
Except that multi-millionaires pay a fortune to tax rationalisation accountants, if they truly didn’t care, then they wouldn’t bother. If the cap was set at 25 times the lowest paid employee, then I think that it would be a bragging right to say that you earned, say, two million a year because you can afford to pay your employees a minimum of $80k a year, certainly compared to Bob down the road who earns only $1.5m and can only afford to pay his employees $60k/y
In principle I’d agree with you, but that would be ludicrously difficult to enforce. A max wage cap would need transparent accounts, but is in theory relatively straightforward.
Akira MacKenzie says
As wonderful an idea this is, it’s doomed from the get go. As greedy as Republicans are, Democrats (yes, even the “liberal” ones) love their money too.
Ed Seedhouse says
My take is that as long as we suffer under the illusion that government sovereign in it’s own currency must tax to spend there is no real hope for a progressive agenda. I don’t, alas, see this illusion going away any time soon.
consciousness razor says
But it would already need to take some account of the value of all sorts of benefits packages, stock options and so forth, right? It shouldn’t just be counting the number of dollars written on your paycheck. That wouldn’t mean all that much, especially if there’s no nationalized healthcare system, so employers were still in the business of paying for things like that. (Paying it to some at the top of the pile, but not necessarily everybody…. Or some get much less coverage, no vision/dental, no reproductive healthcare, or whatever — you know how it goes.)
Besides, companies obviously do need to record expenses anyway. I don’t get why it would be any harder to track the cost of a gold-plated toilet in your office suite, let’s say, compared anything else.
There are much less tangible benefits to consider of course, which aren’t monetized in any sense although people do value them. That seems like a reasonable and fairly realistic place to draw the line. The fact that I like my work as a musician (when it’s not too stressful), that some people occasionally appreciate my compositions/arrangements, that I have a significant amount of autonomy and flexibility regarding when/where/how I do that work — well, that’s not stuff I know how to value in dollars, but it is part of what makes it valuable and meaningful to me. And the fact that performers get more exposure to the public than writers (meaning an easier time finding new opportunities), get to travel all of the time (although I don’t like traveling), and so forth, well that’s something else, that might put go in the “minus” column for many people…. I can make sensible comparisons about it, like I just did, but again there’s no reliable way to establish exactly how much that is supposed to be worth in dollars. When it comes to things like that, as long as it’s about as fair as can be, I just accept that there are pros and cons to different types of work. That’s just how it goes, because we don’t all do the same thing. But if the deal was that they got gold toilets and I didn’t, that would be another story. Personally, I’d still want a normal toilet, but it definitely costs something in dollars, which I could use to pay the bills.
Attack of the women of color!!! Oh noes!!!
The term for the military boosters is “Death Merchant”.
Maybe I’m being clueless, but I’m not sure what the hell that means. Could you explain?
ck, the Irate Lump says
Akira MacKenzie wrote:
As tiered as the cliche as is, “Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” isn’t false. From a political standpoint, throwing it against the wall of the Republican senate and presidency can still serve a purpose for future elections.
ck, the Irate Lump says
It’s from Modern Monetary Theory. It’s a different way to look at spending and taxation that basically says that spending create currency and taxation removes/destroys currency. A sovereign government with its own fiat currency can (theoretically) issue as much money as it wants to cover its expenses (limited only by natural resources, population, etc), and therefore doesn’t really need taxes to pay for its programs. Taxation, in this context, then becomes about controlling inflation rather than funding.
Needless to say, it’s a rather controversial position, especially for those who want to use the debt and deficits to limit government spending.
Ed Seedhouse says
Maybe I’m being clueless, but I’m not sure what the hell that means.
It’s fine to be clueless if you are willing to learn from clues. The essential point to grasp (in my opinion of course) is that money is not actually wealth, but rather the measure of wealth. All states running a “modern” form of money create that money out of virtually nothing and at no significant cause.
(The “modern” in “Modern Money Theory” might mislead you since it refers to virtually all state run money systems for the last few thousand years.)
Today the vast majority of “money” in use is actually just entries in computer spreadsheets.
This is hard for many to grasp because (in my opinion) they are carefully taught the opposite. Once you realize you have been lied to about what money is and how it works you enter a world where financial considerations are not a limitation of governments. Physical resources and knowledge are the limitations, and they are perfectly real ones. Finance are not.
I can recommend reading Stephanie Kelton, who by the way was the financial adviser for the Bernie Sanders and a leading MMT theorist.
ck, the Irate Lump says
The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) wrote:
Nancy Pelosi isn’t Chuck Schumer. She’s actually good at her job (Republicans wouldn’t hate her so much if she wasn’t), and despite talking about bipartisanship, she’s also capable of taking a stand for things. I suspect she knows full well that she will not be able to accomplish much in this session and is simply setting the tone that can be used in 2020. This is in stark contrast to Schumer’s bipartisanship which seems to consist of cowering in fear of being branded as being too extreme, giving the Senate Republicans everything they ask for with little to nothing in return, and helping his party lose senate seats.
It seems that Republicans and centrist Democrats are actually trying to oust Pelosi to prevent progressive Democrats from taking positions on important committees: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/16/pelosi-speaker-progressives-congress-998595 I would encourage people not to fall for the anti-Pelosi rhetoric.
The biggest criticism I really have for Pelosi is that she, like the entire rest of her party, should’ve spent far more time and effort recruiting and training their successors rather than holding onto power late into their 70s and early to mid 80s. Representation matters, and that includes age-related representation, and this is one area where the Republicans are actually doing better than the Democrats (although these midterms helped on that front).
Thanks, ck and Ed.
She said “Just pay for it”.
That’s the part they hate so much.