When capitalism fails...a job should still be a right

It’s easier to get into Harvard than Wal-Mart. During the 2014 admissions process, Harvard University accepted 5.9% of freshmen who applied to that school. And Ivy-League rival Yale University accepted 6.3% of freshmen who applied. While those numbers are pretty low, there’s one number that’s a lot lower: Wal-Mart’s hiring rate. It's twice as hard to get a job at Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the US, and a company that rakes in nearly $1.8 million in profit every hour, than it is to get into Harvard.

As NBC Washington pointed out, when Wal-Mart came to the nation’s capital last year, the corporate behemoth received over 23,000 applications to fill the 600 jobs in its District of Columbia stores. Do the math and that translates to a hiring rate of just 2.6%. When a corporation that makes tens of billions in profits every year is hiring fewer people than Harvard University is accepting students, you know there’s a jobs problem in America. It’s time for that to change.

In his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944, FDR proposed his “Second Bill of Rights,” also known as “The Economic Bill of Rights.” One of the rights he proposed was - quite literally, just like the "right to free speech" - that every American should have the right to a job. Roosevelt said that every American should have, “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation,” and, “The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.”

Roosevelt was so passionate about Americans having the right to a good, well-paying job, that he proposed amending the Constitution to include that right - right along the right to own guns and the right to a trial by jury. He understood that when capitalism fails to put Americans to work during times of economic downturn, it’s the government’s responsibility to step in and hire Americans. And FDR proved it worked, because that’s exactly what he did in the 1930’s with his New Deal policies and programs.

Under the New Deal, the Public Works Administration was one of many agencies he created. The PWA provided funding for infrastructure projects across the country, from government buildings and airports to hospitals and bridges. From 1933 to 1935 alone, the PAW spent over $3.3 billion in today’s dollars on over 34,000 projects, and thus put hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans to work.

The PWA was just one of the many ways that Roosevelt used our government to help put Americans back to work - a process that rebuilt the economy. But Roosevelt wasn’t the only president to spend billions putting Americans to work. Under President Eisenhower, the Interstate Highway System was born. From the birth of the program to today, construction costs have been estimated at around $489 billion in today’s dollars. Like the PWA, the Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System has put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work over the years.

When JFK came to Washington, he championed the creation of NASA, so that America could compete with the like of Russia when it came to sending men to the moon and exploring space. As of 2012, NASA employed around 18,000 people, not including the tens of thousands of contractor jobs that NASA has created. Even Reagan spent billions putting Americans to work.

Thanks to his proposed “Strategic Defense Initiative” otherwise known as “Star Wars,” over $538 billion in today’s dollars was spent on defense projects in 1987 alone, projects which directly and indirectly employed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Most recently, George W. Bush did it by spending hundreds of billions on defense contractors for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

None of these guys called it a "right to work," and, in fact, they all pretended they weren't doing it. But even Republicans know that FDR was right. That's why they've worked so hard for six years in Congress to prevent President Obama from hiring Americans. They know it will work, it will fix the economy, and anything that might do that while he's president is something they've sworn to block.

The bottom-line is that every American should have the right to a good-paying job that lets them provide for themselves and their families. And we know that increased government spending puts Americans to work. It’s been tried and proven over and over again, by both Democrats and Republicans.

So, when capitalism fails, and Americans can’t find jobs in times of economic downturns and during times of high employment, our government needs to step up and create good jobs that put Americans back to work. And, when unemployment levels dip and the economy turns around, the government can dial back on the jobs, and let the private sector take over again.

It’s time to put Americans back to work, and make the right to a decent-paying job a reality.

Comments

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#1

And since the US has supported Al Qaeda as proxy fighters against regimes they didn't like, a number of times, maybe certain higher up leaders should be special renditioned to GITMO for some special torture treatments themselves. What hypocrisy!!! Right now, the US is conspiring with Saudi Arabia to send anti-aircraft missiles to Al Qaeda in Syria! Al Qaeda, who have cut off heads of Christians in Syria who wouldn't convert, on the spot, to Islam.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 35 weeks ago
#2

Kend - I hope you are smart enough to know that the debt is just a big neon sign that the right wing uses. The debt that effects the economy is the debt/GDP ratio. The US is not the largest in the world. In addition, the repugs (mainly Pete Pederson) when trying to slam our debt/GDP ration, funded a big study by Reinhart-Rogoff to show how a country with a ratio greater than 90% always suffered. A graduate student at UMass Amherst, after many tries forced Reinhart and Rogoff to provide the spreadsheets to support their thesis. The spreadsheets cherry picked the data, and, when that was not enough, they modified it.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 35 weeks ago
#3

Marc, that's just what the temp agencies do. They short everybody's paycheck and pocket the difference. Usually it's a game run by the payroll guy and the dispatcher or the onsite supervisor or, better yet, somebody in the client's office. They also overcharge clients putting fictitious workers' names on the billing invoice. When you try to straighten out your check they tell you you got to go straighten it out with the client and the client sends you back to the temp agency about it who sends you back to the client who sends you back to the agency until you give up.

I worked at one place (temp agency) that was owned and staffed by off duty Cook County cops and Chicago police officers who often wore their guns and badges in the dispatch offices. When you complained about your check they accused you of a crime implying that they stole your wages but you might be the one to go to jail if you don't shut up.

Your mentioning wage theft brought back memories I just had to go on about. It is, however, a very prevalent problem in certain sectors of the economy and although many very respectable client firms of temp agencies (Marshal Field, Chicago Sun Times, Aramark Services, etc.) were involved in it I'm still surprised to hear McDonald's engages in it. No doubt Walmart does as well.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 35 weeks ago
#4

Anthony, I'm sorry your life`was so hard but even though misery might love company I would like to not make it hard for folks. I don't think having a job or higher education should be exclusive clubs. I think everyone should have a job and a college degree if they're willing to earn their pay and their degree.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 35 weeks ago
#5

Mark Saulys ~ Yes, McDonald's did engage in that practice 30 years ago. Whether or not they still do I have no idea. However, since the minimum wage has been raised several times in that time period; and, menu prices have been almost stagnant it would shock and amaze me if those practices weren't still in effect today. I'll never forget once being shorted over 5 hours on one two week check. 5 hours at McDonalds is an eternity of labor. Frankly, I'm not surprised to hear about temp agencies; and, I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear about Walmart conducting the same immoral practices. I'm so glad that part of my life is behind me; although, my heart truly goes out to anyone who is falling victim to such practices. I feel quite fortunate that I eventually found honest employers. For that reason I am uniquely indebted to them.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#6

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Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#7

Palin, I plead guilty for voting for Obama. Twice. But I never felt as enthusiastic about Obama as I do about Sanders. Not even close. Early in Obama's first campaign, I picked up on three warning signs from him that I have shared here several times already. At the risk of being redundant, I'll repeat them again: (1) That Obama intended to escalate the war in Afghanistan; (2) that Obama favors nuclear power; and (3) that Obama flunked Project Vote Smart's political courage test by showing an unwillingness to expose his congressional voting record to public scrutiny. These signs had me hesitate over supporting Obama from the very start. But with alternatives like McCain and Romney I felt trapped, so I voted for Obama anyway, despite these serious reservations. His pretty speeches never moved me all that much. Since Obama won the presidency I've found him to be a great deal worse than I had feared, and now view him as little more than a con man.

I've picked up on no such signs from Bernie to indicate that he would cater to corporatists or war mongers. He's all about the working class and single payer and upward mobility for everyone, slashing the Pentagon budget and de-throning the oligarchs. And that's good enough for me.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Palin, but my guess is that whatever you heard or read about Obama in those early days (the 2008 campaign) were from mainstream sources like TV. I stopped relying on TV a long time ago.

Hope is dead, Palin? Not in my realm of reality. I know I can sound very cynical on this forum, but I refuse to accept that hope is dead. The fascists would love for us to all believe there's no hope, that there's no point in even trying anymore. Call me a sucker, then. I've been called much worse in my life.

Diplomacy no longer an option, says Kerry? Screw Kerry. He's part of the problem, not the solution. As a young Vietnam vet Kerry seemed pretty cool, but that was decades ago. Kerry is just another oligarch now, a rich old man who has long since sold out to the devil.

Look Palin, you don't have to convince me how messed up things are. History shows they've been as bad or worse before. With the war mongers beating their drums yet again, maybe we'll have World War Three. Maybe we'll all be dead before 2016. Maybe this, maybe that, maybe maybe maybe. But give up hope?! Never. Not until I take my last breath, Palin. It keeps me getting out of bed every morning. I'll not let you or anyone convince me that hope is dead. - Aliceinwonderland

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 35 weeks ago
#8

SHFabian -- Do you think the US has surplus population? Speaking of liberals in the US, liberals like Thom are not terrified of what to do with the excess population. He offers numerous solutions.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 35 weeks ago
#9

AIW -- I think your view of the pattern is way too optimistic. Western civilization has been around for 7000 years. As Thom has pointed out, only during that 500 years have we not been under autocratic rule. I propose that the cycle you describe only happens during that 500 years. The 6500 years include things like the dark ages with no such cycles.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 35 weeks ago
#10

Elioflight -- So you agree with conservatives, that we should practice austerity. However, as Thom points out, austerity never works.

Viscerally, I understand your feeling. Am I the only person who when they heard the parable of the "talents" was depressed? Christ what do you mean that keeping my wealth in a safe place is a bad thing.

Investing (or as the right wing calls it, spending) in our country has been shown demonstratively effective. We are now getting a 60% return on our investment. Warren Buffet gets 13%. FDR got 200-300%.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 35 weeks ago
#11

Mark S -- I like what you say. You are performing a very difficult task. The task of explaining what the phrase "race to the bottom" or "death spiral" means.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 35 weeks ago
#12

Dan -- I also want the t-shirts ELIZABETH WARREN FOR PRESIDENT and ALAN GRAYSON for president. Alan is so much more forceful than Bernie.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#13
Quote AIW:I've picked up on no such signs from Bernie to indicate that he would cater to corporatists or war mongers. He's all about the working class and single payer and upward mobility for everyone, slashing the Pentagon budget and de-throning the oligarchs. And that's good enough for me.

So, I guess you don't believe any of what this guy says about Bernie.

Quote counterpunch:today, a socialist he is not. Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

Sanders is the darling of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the right-wing Likud government of Israel. He has done everything within his power to keep the myth of Islamic terrorism alive. He never questions the U.S. government’s unconditional support of Israeli acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. It is as though these are nonevents."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/30/the-myth-of-bernie-sanders/

You may be correct...this guy may be full of it...I don't know...maybe he's a right wing shill or a shill from the Democrats who doesn't want to see a Socialist as President. Neither the Dems nor the Repugs would think too kindly about Bernie Sanders upsetting the apple cart. I'd love to see the apple cart upset. Because things won't change for the better until it is.

Quote AIW:Obama flunked Project Vote Smart's political courage test by showing an unwillingness to expose his congressional voting record to public scrutiny.

I wonder if Bernie's congressional voting record is open to the public? If it is, then the claims of this CounterPunch article could be refuted. Anyone can win the hearts and minds of the people using rhetoric they want to hear. But, what about their voting record?

Quote AIW:I'll not let you or anyone convince me that hope is dead.
Well, losing hope might be the only thing going for us. When you lose hope, you either cower like a whipped dog or you stand up and fight...not by using rigged political tools like the ballot box...you go way beyond that. When the masses really, really get riled up and go after the fascist bastards that have caused all the trouble...that's when things will change. Until then, if you keep playing THEIR game, nothing will change.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#14

Thank you, AIW. Your remarks led me to this:
https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27110/bernie-sanders

There's a lot to peruse here. It'll take some time to go through it all...but so far...He voted against the NDAA of 2013 and other things I'd approve of. Although I see he voted Yea for the NDAA of 2014. hmmmm...and McCain vote Nay on that one...hummmmm...

here's another one...
Authorizes the Use of Funds for the Transfer or Release of Guantanamo Detainees to the United States-S Amdt 2175
Sanders: Nay
McCain: Yay

Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act- S1003
Sanders: Nay
McCain: Yay

Prohibits the Payment of the Premium for an Insurance Policy For Tobacco-S Amdt 923
Sanders: Yay
McCain: Co-sponsor

These are just a few...there are many...and in each bill there may be specific reasons that one might vote yay or nay....aside from the actual name of the bill.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#15
Quote dissidentvoice.org: In the 1980s, as Burlington's mayor, Sanders mounted a challenge to the Democrats and Republicans, maintaining a consistent anti-imperialist position in solidarity with the Nicaraguan Revolution and trying to implement pro-worker policies.

But that was long ago. Now Sanders is independent in name only -- he in fact supports the Democratic Party.

As his long-time antagonist and now ally, Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, said on the NBC's Meet the Press, 'He is basically a liberal Democrat, and he is a Democrat at that -- he runs as an Independent because he doesn't like the structure and money that gets involved... The bottom line is that Bernie Sanders votes with the Democrats 98 percent of the time.' Ironically, that's more often than most Democrats vote with the Democrats.

Sanders' voting record is also not so very left wing; one study found that 38 other congressional representatives had a more progressive voting record.

Sanders' relationship to the Democrats has been developing for many years. In 1992, he supported Bill Clinton as a 'lesser evil,' though he later abandoned this impolite phrase to unapologetically endorse Democrats for the White House ever since.
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For veteran Sanders watchers, this capitulation to the corporate Democrats and their apparatchiks is nothing new. He has made it one of his missions to agitate against voting for Ralph Nader, the Green Party and, in some cases, Vermont's Progressive Party.
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Despite his own claims, Sanders has not been an antiwar leader. Ever since he won election to the House, he has taken either equivocal positions on U.S. wars or outright supported them. His hawkish positions -- especially his decision to support Bill Clinton's 1999 Kosovo War -- drove one of his key advisers, Jeremy Brecher, to resign from his staff. Brecher wrote in his resignation letter, 'Is there a moral limit to the military violence you are willing to participate in or support?'

So outraged were peace activists over Sanders' support of the Kosovo War that they occupied his office in 1999. Sanders had them arrested. Under the Bush regime, Sanders' militarism has only grown worse. While he called for alternative approaches to the war on Afghanistan, he failed to join the sole Democrat, Barbara Lee, to vote against Congress' resolution that gave George Bush a blank check to launch war on any country he deemed connected to the September 11 attacks.

Ever since, he has voted for appropriations bills to fund the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, despite their horrific toll on the occupied peoples as well as U.S. soldiers.

Sanders has been critical of the war on Iraq, but he has supported pro-war measures -- such as a March 21, 2003, resolution stating, 'Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the nation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.'
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This summer, Sanders voted for House Resolution 921, which gave full support to Israel's murderous war on Lebanon. He also voted for HR 4681 that imposed sanctions on the Palestinian Authority with the aim of removing the democratically elected Hamas government.

In response, longtime War Resisters League leader, David McReynolds sent a public letter to Sanders, stating, 'Because of your vote of support for the Israeli actions, I would hope any friends and contacts of mine would not send you funds, nor give you their votes.' Indeed, Sanders has consistently defended Israel through its worst crimes against Palestinians and Arabs. Unsurprisingly, some Sanders staffers have also worked with the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) -- including David Sirota, now a Democratic Party strategist, and Sanders' former communications director Joel Barkin.
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Sanders' support for the Democrats confounds his position. After all, it was the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton that passed NAFTA, established the WTO, cut the big deals with China and imposed some of the worst IMF structural adjustments programs on developing countries.

Ominously, Sanders' economic nationalism has led him to look for allies among Republican right-wingers like Lou Dobbs and Patrick Buchanan, who see China as a rival to U.S. power and are looking for political justification for a new Cold War.
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In cooperating with right-wing populists, Sanders reinforces American nationalism and its attendant racism toward immigrants. Such ideas are an impediment to workers forging solidarity against both American empire and the corporations' divide-and-conquer strategy to drive wages down inside the US and around the globe.
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http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov06/Smith15.htm
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These select quotes were some of many more about Bernie Sanders.

Ashley Smith is a correspondent for Socialist Worker. This article first appeared on the Socialist Worker web site: http://socialistworker.org. Thanks to Alan Maass.

If you think that Thom Hartmann is a shill for the Democrat Party...you might also wonder if Bernie Sanders is not also... and that they may be working together just to get you to vote for the Democrats once more. They may not want you to consider voting Green. Bernie Sanders, if he even runs, will likely run on the Democrat ticket. And I don't think that is very likely. But, if they can get you herded into their corner... once more getting you to vote for the least evil candidate...then the rigged game will go on...and on.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 35 weeks ago
#16
Quote Palindromedary:What hypocrisy!!! Right now, the US is conspiring with Saudi Arabia to send anti-aircraft missiles to Al Qaeda in Syria! Al Qaeda, who have cut off heads of Christians in Syria who wouldn't convert, on the spot, to Islam.

Palindromedary ~ Well said! Now put two and two together. What does that say about the "Moral Majority" of Christians who now control our government? Remember, their founder was Rev. Jerry Falwell--as in Fall Well. This hypocritical Cabal is perfectly playing the role of the fallen angels of the Apocalypse... Don't you think? Perhaps that is why they seem dead set on bringing about the Apocalypse. Let's be real for a minute. There simply are better ways to make money over there than using our vast war machine and risking mutual annihilation... Don't you think? Who will profit from a nuclear war? No one, that who... Unless, war is the actual goal; and, money is the means to obtain it... Don't you think?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 35 weeks ago
#17
Quote Palindromedary:These are just a few...there are many...and in each bill there may be specific reasons that one might vote yay or nay....aside from the actual name of the bill.

Palindromedary ~ Stop it! This is ridiculous! You yourself have admitted that you've never listened to the segments on Thom's show with Bernie Sanders. Perhaps you are completely unaware that every Friday for YEARS no he has been a guest on Thom's show. Thom spends a large part of that show letting callers ask Bernie anything they want. Instead of posting a lot of unsubstantiated, one-sided hearsay, why don't you just wait till tomorrow and call the show? I'm sure Thom would love to let you state your mind and give Bernie a chance to respond in front of us all. Then simply post those responses on this blog tomorrow. It is that kind of openness that we all appreciate about Bernie.

In all the years I have heard Bernie speak on this show--sometimes with his back against the wall--I have never had the same feelings of dread that came about whenever I've heard most Republicans speak for 15 minutes or more. Quite frankly Bernie has been very candid about his voting record. When bills like the ones you've mentioned come through often they have added legislation that is more provocative than the bill itself. You cannot judge a man without hearing his reasoning to why he voted a certain way. So far all the reasonings I have heard from Bernie concerning his record stand the support of both Thom and myself.

In all the time I've participated in this blog it has been the general consensus over most people here that Bernie Sanders would be the ideal choice for President. That sentiment has been expressed hundreds of times by many of us. Yet not once have you ever uttered an objection till now. Now, when he announces his candidacy. Before, when he said he wasn't interested you said nothing. I'm curious my friend, why would you wait till now to raise a fuss? Are you simply playing the Devil's advocate? Or, are you pretending to be a Corporate Shill?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 35 weeks ago
#18
Quote chuckle8:Dan -- I also want the t-shirts ELIZABETH WARREN FOR PRESIDENT and ALAN GRAYSON for president. Alan is so much more forceful than Bernie.

chuckle8 ~ So true! In fact, you can add Dennis Kucinich and Bobby Kennedy Jr. to that list as well; however, I'm happy to take what I can get; and, what I got is the first candidate who I wished would run to actually run since Teddy Kennedy started to run in '76 and Bobby Kennedy Sr. in '68. You're not going to rain on this parade, I promise you.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#19

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Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#20

DAnneMarc: "Are you simply playing the Devil's advocate?"
Well...Yes and no...I have heard Bernie speak from time to time on the Thom Hartmann show and I have always really liked what he has said. And I was tending to like the idea that he could be President. But, then I read these things, some even from socialists that have been paying much closer attention than I have about what Bernie is likely to do in the future based upon what he has done in the past...how he has voted.

In light of the fact that Obama has obviously pulled a big one over on us...twice now...it might be a good idea to start hashing these things out right now. The closer we get to 2014, the more these things will get hammered into our brains by someone who opposes Bernie Sanders. I don't oppose Bernie Sanders...I have always liked him and what he has said. But as we have learned with Obama...we just may be fooling ourselves...once again.

Maybe, instead of just listening to Bernie Sanders all the time, you should start reading some of the things that has been said about him. Analyze it...is it true or not?

The author of that article in Counter Punch, The Myth Of Bernie Sanders, was Thomas H. Naylor who died about a year or so ago at the age of 76. He was behind a group that wanted to secede Vermont from the Union because they felt that the US was going down and wouldn't recover and they didn't want to sink with the ship. He was also a target of the Southern Poverty Law Center for what they believed was for racism. Don't know if that was true or not..his dad sure was though from what I've read.

Problem is, in this country, and others as well...like Canada..you have to walk on pins and needles not to be accused of some sort of racism...especially if you say anything sensitive concerning Israel. Doesn't seem to matter if you are directing your remarks only towards Zionists (and not Jews in general), doesn't seem to matter that your views are also largely believed by large Jewish groups in Israel or world-wide. If you speak out against Zionism, the politically correct dogs like AIPAC will go after you. And AIPAC is a very powerful Israeli lobby that has it's hooks in a lot of politicians...who make the laws...like the recent "hate speech" laws. Is freedom of speech dying?

There is a big difference between using blatant hate speech and name calling from expressing your views about something that you find is going on that you find abhorrent like the apartheid that the Zionists in Israel is waging against the Palestinians. We nipped it in the bud in South Africa...after a long hard fight. But will we be able to do the same with Israel especially when Zionists have our law-making politicians shutting us all up?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#21

Palin, thanks for digging that up. By the way though, what is the NDAA? The "National Defense Authorization Act"? (Damn acronyms!) Anyway Palin, without knowing for sure what the acronym means, or anything about the "act" (or whatever it is), I can't respond or offer any feedback.

As for the next one, what is "-S Amdt 2175?" You say it's about the "use of funds for the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees to the United States". Again, I need more details. Knowing what I know about Bernie, I have to assume he had good reason to vote "Nay" on that one. But I need much more detailed information to form an opinion on it.

Regarding the so-called "Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act", if Sanders voted "Nay" and McCain voted "Yay", that makes me suspicious of this one. The plutocrats are always sticking misleading names & titles on their organizations and "acts". Who is it protecting; the students or the banks?

The last one confuses me. What does it mean? "Payment of the Premium for an Insurance Policy For Tobacco" could mean insurance for tobacco companies, or it could mean for tobacco users. Again, too vague. I need much more information.

I just checked Project Vote Smart's most recent Voter's Defense Manual, the 2012 edition. And to my dismay, Bernie Sanders flunked the political courage test, along with a majority of his colleagues! And I find this very disappointing. I also find it baffling. Why on earth would any public official not want his voting record on public policy made public, unless he had something to hide?! I really wish I could confront Bernie about this, because it is a huge turn-off as well as a bright red flag.

I have a lot more information about Bernie that I want to share from this Voter's Defense Manual, but I've gotta break for dinner now. I'll get back to it later with another post.

In the meantime, I want to encourage our blog buddies to support Project Vote Smart, if you can fit it into your budget. This organization does great work that enables all voters to make informed choices, regardless of political affiliation or preference. Very empowering!

I'll be back a little later, to continue from where this leaves off. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#22

Aliceinwonderland: I am very sorry for not giving the full name to that acronym...I usually try to do so but slipped this time. Yes, you are right it does mean Nation Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

I think the -S Amdt means -Senate Amendment...just my guess. As to the details of any of these that I posted...you can click on that bill and it shows what is in it. As I think I mentioned before...despite the name of the bill...there could be certain clauses or stipulations within the bill that may be a good reason to accept or reject it. I have not had time to read through more than a few.

One way, maybe, to get a better idea of whether Bernie's vote was "good" or "evil" is if you consider the Democrat vote or sponsors of the bill to be "good" and the Republicans sponsors to be "evil" then just click on the bill and look toward the bottom to see who the sponsors and cosponsors are. In S1003 -the Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act was sponsored and cosponsored by all Republicans.....therefore "evil" and Bernie voted against it..."Yay!!!" Anyway, that's the easy way but how do you know if the Democrats are always "good" and never "evil"?

AIW...I think you have really given us an important tool to use here. Of course, not everyone is going to go to such extremes. A really extreme extreme would be to click on the "full bill" and read that. I don't even think Congress Critters do that ..they have lots of very intelligent Pages (Aides) to do that for them.

I just downloaded the Voter's Self Defense Manual 2012 edition. Yup! There he is, Bernie Sanders, page 31. It say's "No political courage" and Spineless Obama on page 9. And guess what?!!! Jill Stein is the only Presidential candidate that has balls. (pardon the pun)! Her rating is: "Has political courage". Way to go Jill Stein! Oops! I guess I missed one at the bottom... Virgil Goode has balls and "Has political courage" too! Way to go Virgil Goode!

Wow! Amazing! I just went through all of the Senators and almost all of them "Have no political courage" only a very few "Have Political Courage" and they are either Women or a few Republicans (more than Democrats but not much more)..there are a couple of Democrats. I think it is time to do a really big house (and senate) cleaning. Get honest people in there who are afraid of their voting records being public. What are they really afraid of?? Maybe that they are really not representing the people..they represent the few wealthy powers and not the majority of people in this country.

By the way, here's the link to the Voter's Self Defense Manual-2012:
http://votesmart.org/static/pdf/2012/2012_VSDM.pdf

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#23

Okay… back again, folks, with my 2012 Voter's Defense Manual! I think it's safe to assume that a majority of you have been making do without this important tool, so I'll share the info on Bernie.

I'll start with interest group ratings, which ought to be pretty revealing. This manual lists seventeen such groups. From each of these groups, a senator can be scored anything from zero (meaning zero support for a group's agenda) to one hundred, or 100%. Bernie got perfect scores with five of these groups: NARAL Pro-Choice America, NAACP, The National Education Association, the Alliance for Retired Americans and the League of Conservation Voters. He scored 93% with the ACLU, 89% with the AFL-CIO, and 82% with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Bernie's lower scores include 60% with the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, 22% with National Federation of Independent Business, 16% with the National Taxpayers Union, 14% with National Journal - Conservative on Foreign Policy, 14% with the Family Research Council, 13% with Gun Owners of America, and zero with the following: National Right To Life Committee, Citizens Against Government Waste, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Next are listed Bernie's positions on legislative amendments classified as "key votes", which means they portray where each senator stands on certain issues that have received national media attention, are easy for voters to understand and have been inquired about a lot on the Voter's Research Hotline.

Bernie voted "Yes" on the following:

*Budget, Spending & Taxes: Minimum Tax Rate for High-Income Taxpayers; vote to invoke cloture on a bill requiring taxpayers with over a million dollars' annual income to pay a minimum tax rate of 30%. (Failed to pass, 51-45)

*Civil Liberties & Civil Rights: Prohibits Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Trial - Vote to adopt an amendment prohibiting the armed forces of the United States from detaining a U.S. citizen without trial during wartime (Rejected 45-55)

*Defense: Repeals Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq - Vote to adopt an amendment that repeals the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq, effective no earlier than January 1, 2012 (Rejected 30-67)

*Energy: Amends Energy-Related Tax Credits - Vote to invoke cloture on a bill that establishes tax credits for renewable energy and repeals certain tax credits for oil companies (Failed to pass 51-47)

*Labor: American Jobs Act of 2011 - Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a bill that establishes programs designed to increase employment in the United States (Rejected 50-49)

*Trade: Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Act of 2011 - Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the Dept. of the Treasury to identify "fundamentally misaligned" currencies and specifies the actions to be taken in response to the misalignment of foreign currencies (Passed 63-35)

I find it interesting that all but one bill Bernie voted in favor of failed to pass. This guy's had his work cut out for him!

So now I'll list the amendments Bernie voted against:

*Budget, Spending & Taxes: Budget Control Act of 2011 - Vote to concur with House amendments and pass a bill that raises the national debt limit and establishes discretionary spending limits. (Passed 74-26)

*Budget, Spending & Taxes: Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Hatch bill) - Vote to pass a joint resolution that submits a constitutional amendment to the state legislatures that prohibits the federal government from spending money in excess of its revenue, beginning five fiscal years after the amendment is ratified (Rejected 47-53)

*Budget, Spending & Taxes: Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Extension - Vote to adopt a conference report that extends the temporary payroll tax holiday, extends the emergency unemployment compensation program, increases retirement contributions for federal employees, and requires the Federal Communications Commission to auction certain federally-owned broadband spectra. Conference Report Vote, Adopted 60-36

*Congressional & Legislative Affairs: Prohibits Consideration of Bills Containing Earmarks - Vote to adopt an amendment that prohibits Congress from considering any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that includes earmarks (Rejected 40-59)

*Energy: Approving the Keystone XL Pipeline Project - Vote to adopt an amendment that exempts the Keystone Pipeline Project from further executive approval and authorizes the State of Nebraska to modify existing route plans through the state. (Rejected 56-42)

*Foreign Aid & Policy: Sale of F-16 Aircraft to Taiwan - Vote to adopt an amendment requiring the president to sell at least 66 F-16 C/D fighter aircraft to Taiwan (Rejected 48-48)

*Health: Repealing the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act in its entirety as well as all health care-related provisions of the Health Care & Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Failed 47-51)

*National Security: Patriot Act Extension - vote to concur with House amendments and adopt additional amendments to a bill that extends the expiration date of the USA PATRIOT Act from May 27, 2011 to June 1, 2015 (Passed 72-23)

*Technology & Communications: Disapproval of FCC Regulation of Internet & Broadband Industry - Vote on a motion to proceed on a joint resolution that prohibits Federal Communications Commission rules regulating the Internet & broadband industry practices from taking effect (Failed 46-52)

*Trade: Trade Promotion Agreement with Columbia - Vote to pass a bill that improves and implements the United States-Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2012 (Passed 66-33)

*Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration Act of 2012 - Vote to adopt a conference report that appropriates funds for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for fiscal years 2012 through 2015 (Passed 75-20)

So there you have it, my friends! I hope this helps. I would have appreciated more detailed info on some of these, but it's a lot better than nothing. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#24

Palin, your apology is accepted.

I agree, it's pretty safe to assume that anything with Republican support has got to be evil. However it's not quite so cut-and-dry with the Democrats, who are not as uniformly "good" as the Republicans are "evil".

I really am convinced that Bernie Sanders is representing the people, not the parasitic 1%. This makes it extremely baffling that he would flunk the political courage test. Oh what I would give to have a five-minute conversation with him, on just that one topic! (SIGH) - AIW

P.S. Thanks for those links, PD. I'll check 'em out later… After what I just posted, I'm pretty burnt out. Done my civic duty for the day!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#25

Marc, having just read your post addressed to PD (#65), I can't resist a word or two in Palin's defense. In light of how Obama conned his base, getting them fired up over "change we can believe in" (which turned out to be anything but), I think it's healthy to subject even the most virtuous public officials to a certain amount of scrutiny. If Bernie is what he says he is, and is truly sincere about representing The People and not The Plutocrats, then Bernie will come through that scrutiny smelling like roses. I wouldn't begrudge Palin's skepticism, in light of the betrayal we've so recently endured. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#26

Wow! Aliceinwonderland! You're a real dynamo...excellent work! Thanks! Yes, given what you have shown, Bernie Sanders appears to be just what everyone says he is. I guess I need to spend more time watching and listening to Bernie on Thom's Friday shows.

I still can't get over how fantastic that web site is and that manual they put out.

One thing I noticed when comparing Bernie Sanders with two Democrats, Ron Wyden and Barbara Lee (both "Has Political Courage) is that with a very few vote differences..they are virtually identical...and the political interests are all virtually identical as well.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#27

BL-BARBARA LEE RW- RON WYDEN BS-BERNIE SANDERS

KEY VOTES

B R B
L W S

N Y N 1. Budget, Spending and Taxes (S 365)
N Y Y 2. Budget, Spending and Taxes (S 2230)
N N N 3. Budget, Spending and Taxes (S J Res 10)
N Y N 4. Budget, Spending and Taxes (HR 3630)
Y Y Y 5. Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
(S Amdt 1126 to S 1867)
Y N N 6. Congressional and Legislative Affairs
(S Amdt 1472 to S 2038)
N Y Y 7. Defense (S Amdt 1064 to S 1867)
N Y Y 8. Energy (S 2204)
N N N 9. Energy (S Amdt 1537 to S 1813)
N N N 10. Foreign Aid and Policy
(S Amdt 634 to HR 2832)
N N N 11. Health (S Amdt 13 to S 223)
N Y Y 12. Labor (S 1660)
N N N 13. National Security (S 990)
N N N 14. Technology and Communications (S J Res 6)
N Y Y 15. Trade (HR 3078)
N Y Y 16. Trade (S 1619)
N Y N 17. Transportation (HR 658)

INTEREST GROUP RATINGS

100 100 100 1) NARAL Pro-Choice America
0 0 0 2) National Right to Life Committee
2 5 0 3) Citizens Against Government Waste
18 11 16 4) National Taxpayers Union
0 44 22 5) National Federation of Independent Business
94 93 93 6) American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
100 100 100 7) NAACP
100 100 100 8) National Education Association (NEA)
100 100 100 9) League of Conservation Voters
0 24 14 10) National Journal - Conservative on Foreign Policy
25 0 13 11) Gun Owners of America
0 14 0 12) Federation for American Immigration Reform
100 79 89 13) AFL-CIO
100 100 100 14) Alliance for Retired Americans
10 0 14 15) Family Research Council
20 80 60 16) Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
94 91 82 17) Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Well, that didn't come out as well as I had hoped display-wise.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#28

Palin, I just clicked on that link in your post #45. And having read "The Myth of Bernie Sanders", I'm more than a little skeptical. Mr. Naylor claims Bernie "backs all of President Obama's nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen…" Really?! I don't think so. I've listened to those "Brunch With Bernie" segments on Thom's show too many times to believe that accusation has any merit. Bernie's always lamenting over the lives and resources wasted on needless wars. He complains at great length about the Pentagon's bloated budget, at the expense of desperately needed social services and infrastructure and so on. When Bernie talks about supporting the troops, it doesn't mean the same thing as McCain means by uttering those words. When Bernie talks about supporting our troops, he means we have to provide the resources and the care they need after returning home from those wars, including mental health services for PTSD and for all the psycho-emotional damage suffered from combat-related trauma. Regardless of how we feel about the wars, we owe our veterans that much. If Bernie had the power to end all those wars "posthaste", he would most certainly have done so.

And Bernie "thinks drones are cool"? And is an Islamophobe? REALLY? I've heard and read no evidence of that. He happens to be a lot more focused on our problems here than on the Israeli-Palistinian conflict. To interpret this to mean he never questions the U.S. government's "unconditional support" of Israeli genocide, or considers them "nonevents", is taking quite a leap.

I'll admit, it doesn't thrill me to learn of Bernie having anything to do with the likes of Sandia National Laboratories, who has ties to Lockheed Martin and a track record of manufacturing weapons. However it isn't weapons production for which Bernie intends to enlist their talents; it's projects having to do with renewable energy he's interested in, and energy efficiency. Things like electric grids.

"Bernie Sanders loves to rail against Corporate America, Wall Street and the super-rich," says Mr. Naylor, "but has nothing to show for it". If Mr. Naylor bothered to check that Voter's Defense Manual, he would see that Bernie is vastly outnumbered by the fascists in Congress. If I recall, there are about five hundred seats in Congress; Bernie occupies just one of those. So how is he going to "constrain their power and influence" all by himself?

This is what I hate about so many on the left. It's all or nothing. No candidate is ever good enough. And I am sick of it. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 35 weeks ago
#29
Quote Aliceinwonderland:If Bernie is what he says he is, and is truly sincere about representing The People and not The Plutocrats, then Bernie will come through that scrutiny smelling like roses. I wouldn't begrudge Palin's skepticism, in light of the betrayal we've so recently endured. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland ~ Point well taken; and, much thanks for all your research!

Palindromedary ~ My apologies!

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 35 weeks ago
#30

I used to have a lot of respect for Bernie Sanders, especially since he spoke out on US poverty. He rather abruptly jumped on the Middle Class Only bandwagon. When a pol specifies that he/she "stands with the middle class," I stop listening.We need people in office who stand for the People, not just the better off.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#31

Branski, I think perhaps you are misunderstanding Senator Sanders. He is not simply shilling for the "better off". The point is, many middle class people are falling out of the middle class and into poverty. Senator Sanders is pointing that out, along with the source of the problem and what can be done about it. When Bernie refers to the middle class, it is upward mobility he is really talking about, which includes giving poor folks a ladder out of poverty. The more members of a society that are middle class, neither rich nor poor, the more stable the society is, which is something that ultimately, benefits everyone. - AIW

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 35 weeks ago
#32

You're right, Alice. It's not middle class supremecism it's about growing the middle class. Let's drag some one percenters down here with us while we're at it.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 35 weeks ago
#33

Mark- Great idea! Count me in. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 35 weeks ago
#34

DAnneMarc: No problem..that's what these forums are all about...often challenging one another in order to wring out some consensus on ideas. All though some of us are unbending in some matters, there are other, more important matters that, by challenging one another, gets us all to think more about them. Perhaps some will change their minds on some issues, perhaps not. At least if certain things are put on the table now, they might not come as a surprise later. No one else is ever perfect to any one of us and neither is Bernie Sanders; but, Bernie Sanders seems to come very close to being perfect in my mind. If Bernie Sanders does decide to go through with a run for the Presidency, we will be hearing all kinds of propaganda from his detractors. It is best to be prepared for that.

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 8 years 34 weeks ago
#35

Thom Hartmann is not facing reality. Instead he wants the nation to shift in the opposite direction of technological progress through invention and innovation which creates tectonics shits in the technologies of production. He wishes for the fulfilment of FDR's proposed “Second Bill of Rights,” also known as “The Economic Bill of Rights.” Hartmann states that "one of the rights he proposed was - quite literally, just like the "right to free speech"––that every American should have the right to a job." FDR proposed this in an era when the production of products and services was still relatively labor intensive and technological advancement was not anywhere near of the level it is today.

What Hartmann should be advocating is universal ownership of productive capital assets and the guarantee that EVERY child, woman and man has the equal opportunity to acquire individual ownership in FUTURE wealth-creating, income-generating productive capital with the earnings of capital. Using insured capital credit financing mechanism will enable EVERY citizen to accumulate over time a viable dividend-bearing diversified portfolio of stock in the nation's companies that are growing the economy, and become less dependent on a job and on social insurance programs. This will in turn create significant "customers with money" to create sustainable demand for an affluent, environmental-responsible growth economy in which general affluence will be achievable for EVERY citizen.

Currently non-property-owning Americans are left to acquire, as best as they can, with their earnings as labor workers. This is fundamentally hard to do and limiting. Thus, the most important economic right Americans need and should demand is the effective right to acquire capital with the earnings of capital. Note, though, millions of Americans own diluted stock value through the “speculative stock market exchanges,” purchased with their earnings as labor workers, their stock holdings are relatively miniscule, as are their dividend payments compared to the top 10 percent of capital owners.

A National Right To Capital Ownership Bill that restores the American dream should be advocated by the progressive movement, which addresses the reality of Americans facing job opportunity deterioration and devaluation due to tectonic shifts in the technologies of production and global competitive pressures.

There is a solution, which will result in double-digit economic growth and significant job opportunities, and simultaneously broaden private, individual ownership so that EVERY American's income significantly grows over time, providing the means to support themselves and their families with an affluent lifestyle. The JUST Third Way Master Plan for America's future is published at http://foreconomicjustice.org/?p=5797, http://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/the-just-third-way-basic-pr..., http://www.cesj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/jtw-graphicoverview-2013.pdf and http://www.cesj.org/resources/articles-index/the-just-third-way-a-new-vi....

See two references to the proposed Capital Homestead Act, the centerpiece of legislation of The JUST Third Way at http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-a-p... and http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-sum....

For more on how to accomplish necessary structural reform, see "Financing Economic Growth With 'FUTURE SAVINGS': Solutions To Protect America From Economic Decline" at http://www.nationofchange.org/financing-future-economic-growth-future-savings-solutions-protect-america-economic-decline-137450624 and "The Income Solution To Slow Private Sector Job Growth" at http://www.nationofchange.org/income-solution-slow-private-sector-job-growth-1378041490.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#36

gary r -- Nothing in your blog indicates any detailed policy. Why would I waste my time to go to the links you give? You do realize that half the population has an IQ under 100.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 34 weeks ago
#37

Chuck, how much detail do you want?! I think Gary's ideas have merit. This is a very different world from the one FDR lived in. The policies of yesteryear might not be as effective today. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#38

AIW -- This world we live in now seems very much like the 1920's. What do you think is so different? The detail I would want is how does the janitor become invested in the capital of the US? A brief description of the law that would make that happen.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 34 weeks ago
#39

Chuck, that seems a fair enough question. What's different is that, as Gary points out, labor is less in demand than in past decades, due to job outsourcing and automation. All the cards are stacked on the employer's side of the table, giving business owners and higher-ups way too much power over people's lives and destinies. Were Gary's ideas to be implemented, one's survival need not be so contingent on the job market. It would also eliminate the issue of what to do for those who can't work, an issue that has never been satisfactorily resolved; particularly for those younger than retirement age. I happen to believe one's right to life and life's most basic necessities should not be dependent upon one's employability, or status in the job market. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#40

AIW -- Before raygun, didn't welfare take care of one's right to life and life's most basic necessities? At least, LBJ was working towards that goal. I believe the tax structure of 30's, 40's etc to raygun would put a suffiecient number of cards back in the workers hand; that is, tariffs, 96% top tax rate, Buy American Act of 1936 etc. If you, like I, want the 1% begging for our help we could also throw in eVerify. The tax structure and regulations of FDR and LBJ had the 1% so scared that they came up with the Powell memo. What I am saying is that we have a proven policy, so why come up with something new.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 34 weeks ago
#41

Chuck, neither Gary nor I are talking about welfare. We're talking about a stable, permanent, guaranteed income whether a person works or not; no social worker to have to answer to, no paperwork, no strings, no qualification except citizenship.

If I understand him correctly, Gary is advocating a piece of equity given every U.S. citizen at birth, to be invested and allowed to grow until each child reaches maturity. Everyone owning a piece of the pie.

I think your point about Buy American and tariffs is a good one. But it still doesn't resolve the problems posed by automation. I'm not convinced that returning to old policies like these, or even the old tax code, would solve such problems completely. Like Gary says, in their quest to cut labor costs, various companies have turned to automation, which inevitably translates to fewer workers hired.

I'm not advocating that we scrap old policies that have served us well. However I question whether they address every single obstacle workers are facing now, in the 21st Century. - Aliceinwonderland

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#42

AIW -- Other than the conotation, I do not see the difference between welfare and a stable, permanent, guaranteed income whether a person works or not. We should deal with automation they way we always have until the Taft-Hartley Act. That is, have strong labor unions to say what the length of the work week will be.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#43

AIW -- I should mention the only problem I see with strong labor unions is that "Mother Earth" does not have a seat at the table.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 34 weeks ago
#44

"chuckle8" says: "I do not see the difference between welfare and a stable, permanent, guaranteed income whether a person works or not." Really, Chuck? Here's the difference I see: no social worker to answer to, not having one's eligibility constantly scrutinized and challenged; no harassment, no bureaucracy, no stigma, no bull crap. Everybody gets a roof, utilities, food and health care... Period. Requirements for eligibility: (1) being a member of the human species and (2) U.S. citizenship. Big, big difference. Prior to now, there have been no such protections or guarantees for any but the idle rich.

Like at least some participants here, Chuck, I happen to view such protections as something which should be a given, in any society that is truly civilized. Discarding people, leaving them to face the elements on their own, is simply wrong. I don't care how lazy or dysfunctional they are. It's wrong. Being discarded is a death sentence to the discardee. While I don't like or admire laziness any more than you do (or even any conservative), I don't believe it should justify a death sentence. There is no place for homelessness in a civilized world. We can't discard other human beings like pieces of trash without losing some of our own humanity.

Why am I saying all this, you might ask. Because welfare sucks. Welfare is a lousy solution. What's more, it is only temporary relief, and skimpy relief at that. And it is an ordeal. Been there, done that... not recently, thank god. But even decades later, I vividly recall the experience. It is a disheartening, demeaning, tedious, stressful ordeal. The stigma attached to it doesn't help. Nothing would please me more than to see welfare become obsolete; not from screwing the poor, mind you, but from eliminating any need for it.

I've no doubt that among the various people who wind up reading this post, some heads are gonna explode. Sorry 'bout that. But no one will ever convince me that a wealthy country like the good ole USA can't afford something like this, because it is bull crap. Look at the trillions squandered on illegitimate wars, bank bailouts, corporate subsidies and tax breaks for the rich! The hell we can't afford it. Lump all that together and we'd have more than enough to pay for the basic necessities of life guaranteed every man, woman and child in this country. Just a matter of priorities; who's steering the boat, and what his-or-her priorities are. - Aliceinwonderland

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#45

AIW -- Thanks for the reply. I do not disagree with anything you said. I need for you to point out the real world part for me. I was just sitting in my ivory tower looking at the mathematical models of the economy. Those mathematical models have a hard time coming up with a metric for things like harassment etc.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#46

AIW -- That ivory tower was figurative. I have only had 2 courses in economics.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 34 weeks ago
#47

Chuck says "Those mathematical models have a hard time coming up with a metric for things like harassment etc." …. HUH? I'm not getting your point. Is this in response to something in particular that I said? If so, I'd like to know what it is.

Anyway Chuck, the so-called "real world" is, in reality, an artificial one. The only world I know to be "real" is the natural world, of which we may be a part but lost touch with eons ago. And I reject any notion of our status quo having the remotest resemblance to what constitutes "real".

One more thing. Please spare me the old "Ivory Tower" platitudes. When someone disagrees with me on topics like this, I often will hear words like "Ivory Tower" and "Utopia" injected into the dialogue. With all due respect, Chuck, it comes across very patronizing. Anytime those words start popping up, it's generally my cue to end the discussion. - Alice I.W.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 34 weeks ago
#48

AIW -- It is patronizing when I say you are in an ivory tower, but when I say I am in an ivory tower it is self-deprecating. Do you not agree?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 34 weeks ago
#49

Chuck, sorry if I misunderstood. Parts of your post did not seem clear to me, not enough to really get your point. I may have misinterpreted. If you could try explaining those thoughts to me again, maybe we can reach a better understanding, if not 100% lockstep agreement. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 33 weeks ago
#50

AIW -- I was thanking you for pointing out to me the difference between welfare and a minimum guranteed income. Being an engineer, it is probably in my DNA that no one can understand me. That is probably why so many technical writers were employed during the aerospace boom. My excuse for not understanding the pain of welfare was I was only looking at the contribution to the aggregate demand. That number cannot experience all the things that are wrong with welfare that you explained so well.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall