Billionaires won't be happy until America becomes Greece...

Billionaires don’t need a social safety net, so they’re using the right-wing spin machine to destroy it.

Back in December of 2013, Republicans gave Americans a really nasty Christmas present: they cut off long-term unemployment insurance for 1.3 million people. The party of Scrooge left Americans high and dry in the cold, and unable to provide for their families during what’s supposed to be one of the most joyous times of the year.

Republicans blocked the extension of unemployment insurance in December of 2013 because they said it would encourage Americans to find a job and get back to work. The fact that there were no jobs to find didn’t really matter to them.

Fast-forward to today, and the right-wing is claiming a big victory. The right-wing spin machine is using a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research to claim that leaving millions of Americans without unemployment insurance actually helped job growth in 2014. The NBER paper says that, “The analysis based on this simple inference implies that the cut in benefits in 2014 can explain nearly all of the observed aggregate employment growth in 2014.”

Naturally, the right-wing spin machine is taking the paper’s findings and running with them. An article in the conservative Washington Examiner about the paper reads in part, “The study gives ammo to conservatives who argue that welfare benefits for able-bodied adults encourage people to live off government handouts instead of seeking work.”

And, a piece over at The Wall Street Journal reads, “Since the states with the highest unemployment were targeted with the most federal benefits, the extra benefits harmed the people and regions that suffered the worst of the recession and weak recovery. Had Mr. Obama done the opposite, the stimulus might have recognized that people prefer the dignity of a job to claiming a government stipend for not having one. Both individuals and the larger economy would have been healthier.”

This ridiculous meme that cutting unemployment insurance helps create job growth has been repeated over and over again on right-wing talk radio, in right-wing papers, on Fox So-Called News, and even on The Big Picture. But here’s the thing. It’s completely bogus.

What the right-wing spin machine isn’t telling you is that the paper by the NBER is highly flawed, relies on bad numbers, and confuses correlation with causation. The Roosevelt Institute found that the paper failed to back up many of the claims it made about employer dynamics. The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that a similar study conducted with more reliable and accurate numbers came up with the exact opposite conclusion.

And even the paper’s co-author, Kurt Mitman, rejected the conclusion that unemployment insurance makes people lazy. Mitman told The Washington Post that, “People who are out of work are always out looking for jobs, whether or not they're getting unemployment insurance.”

The fact is that cutting unemployment insurance doesn’t help people find jobs and doesn’t provide a boost to the economy. It’s actually the opposite.

As the Economic Policy Institute points out, unemployment insurance is, “among the most effective forms of economic stimulus.” When unemployed people get the unemployment benefits from the fund they paid into their whole lives, they use that money to buy things - and that is what stimulates the economy.

Of course, the right-wing spin machine doesn’t care about any of that. All conservative pundits care about is latching on to anything, whether it’s accurate or not, that backs up the lies that support their oligarchs. And unfortunately, the right-wing spin machine in our country is incredibly effective and efficient, and has taken over most of our media and political dialogue.

The right-wing spin machine will lie about anything, if it means those lies will help right-wing lawmakers slash benefits, eat away at the social safety net, and throw working-class Americans out into the cold. And, behind the right-wing spin machine are America’s billionaires and wealthy elite.

Billionaires don’t need a social safety net, and don’t care if working-class Americans are thrown onto the streets to starve. If anything, doing that provides them with cheaper and more desperate labor. More importantly, the billionaires don’t want their not-so-hard earned money going to help others.

Bottom-line, America’s billionaires don’t want working-class Americans, or as they like to say, the “riff raff”, to be anything but so terrified they'll take any kind of crap wages the big corporations offer them.

So, they fund right-wing websites, they fund right-wing blogs and newspapers, they fund right-wing talk radio, and they fund right-wing TV, all so they can make sure their message of “screw the working-class, screw the social safety net” is heard loud and clear by their Conservative lapdogs in Congress.

Comments

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 34 weeks ago
#1

The "right-wing" spin machine is so effective because there are so many clueless, racist Americans who buy into it. Let us not forget this short; but, very revealing piece by Bill Maher.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWcVSRXDpTY

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 5 years 34 weeks ago
#2

The repugnicans and billionaires need to take a lesson from structural engineers:

If you destroy the foundation, the bulding will collapse. They just don't realize how dependant they are on us "low life scum". (McCain has lit the match...the fires of revolution have started.)

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 34 weeks ago
#3

No wonder Mississippi is the poorest state. It's also the stupidest. That dumb-ass cracker who says he's willing to starve for his "moral beliefs" oughta go right ahead and do that, and remove himself from the gene pool. We don't need another generation of those yahoos voting Republican, that's for damn sure! - AIW

liz banker 5 years 34 weeks ago
#4

There you go again, Thom, "Back in December of 2013, Republicans gave Americans a really nasty Christmas present: they cut off long-term unemployment insurance for 1.3 million people. The party of Scrooge left Americans high and dry in the cold, and unable to provide for their families during what’s supposed to be one of the most joyous times of the year. "

is there not a disconnect between voters and the Republican Party. Where were the Democrat Georgia voters last November, huh, Thom??? Did they vote, did they vote in droves......or they prefer to be unemployed, homeless, improvished? Or, perhaps, their thinking is--as long as it's not their job being outsourced or impacted, why should Joe 6-pack care?

"Republican Senate candidate David Perdue defeated Democrat Michelle Nunn in the race for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. ..During the last few months of the campaign, Democrats sought to portray Perdue as a Mitt Romney-type Republican by drawing attention to comments made years ago in which he admitted spending most of his career outsourcing jobs. Rather than renouncing them, Perdue said he was "proud" of the work he did outsourcing jobs as an executive with Pillowtex Corp., a failed textile manufacturer." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/04/david-perdue-wins-georgia-senate-race_n_5839128.html

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 5 years 34 weeks ago
#5

Reply to #4: Anyone like Perdue who claims he's "proud" of outsourcing jobs would have to be a psychopath.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 34 weeks ago
#6

Thom says....." The right-wing spin machine will lie about anything, if it means those lies will help the right-wing lawmakers slash beneifits, eat away at the social safety net, and throw working class Americans out into the cold. And, behind the right-wing spin machine are America's billionaires and wealthy elite."

Thomas Paine said in 1787...." An insinuation, which a man who makes it does not believe himself, is equal to lying. It is the cowardice of lying. it unites the barest part of that vice with the meanest of all others. An open liar is a thief in his profession, but an insinuating liar is a thief skulking in the night."

The right-wing spin machine is clearly made up of of the insinuating/cowardice of lying type, all for the Koch Almighty Dollar! ..... low life scum skulking in the night!

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#7

The social safety net is an attempt to make up for workers' criminal undercompensation, their getting a grossly short share of the profits. It's returning to the workers a small part of what was stolen from them adding insult to injury to a most outrageous degree.

Kend's picture
Kend 5 years 34 weeks ago
#8

It works both ways Marc. Ever watch Watters World on fox. The scary thing is the people he interviews are mostly in University.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 5 years 34 weeks ago
#9
Quote Mark J. Saulys:The social safety net is an attempt to make up for workers' criminal undercompensation, their getting a grossly short share of the profits. It's returning to the workers a small part of what was stolen from them adding insult to injury to a most outrageous degree.

Mark J Saulys ~ It could also be equally argued that Social Security, Disability Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid are also public compensation for that which should naturally be privately compensated. If we are going to state the truth, let's state the whole truth, don't you agree?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 5 years 34 weeks ago
#10

Oh, we'll become Greece all right!

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#11
Quote D'AnneMarc:

Quote Mark J. Saulys:The social safety net is an attempt to make up for workers' criminal undercompensation, their getting a grossly short share of the profits. It's returning to the workers a small part of what was stolen from them adding insult to injury to a most outrageous degree.

Mark J Saulys ~ It could also be equally argued that Social Security, Disability Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid are also public compensation for that which should naturally be privately compensated. If we are going to state the truth, let's state the whole truth, don't you agree?

I think they are just compensation but proper as they are other than being too meager. Private compensation wouldn't be as cost effective and wouldn't yield some other benefits in those areas.

Much of the safety net is grossly too meager and then stigmatized as "charity". Outrageous insult to injury.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#12

The reports on unemployment are ridiculous. Unemployment is because of a shortage of jobs not a shortage of workers. Adding more people to the group of active job seekers - presuming Republican analysis is correct - doesn't create jobs but compounds the problem of unemployment. I thought the Republicans said the rogue billionaires are the "job creators", now they're saying the unemployed are creating their own jobs, presumably, because the economic recovery continued after unemployment insurance was cut off for millions of people. If Republicans want to reduce the number of people on unemployment insurance they should offer people jobs, the rules of unemployment insurance say you get cut off if you refuse work.

What they really want is to cut people off instead because in some sick, twisted sense UI, food stamps and other parts of the safety net compete with wages. IOW, if more people are more desperate then the more employers can get away without compensating their workers decently.

PFNELKAK 5 years 34 weeks ago
#13

liz--
with the corp. owning the tv stations, the constant daily bombardment of lies by republicans, gives one a feeling of "don't try, you've lost". The 2014 elections was 2nd lowest in U.S. history, 36.3%. Georgia-- 38.2%
Didn't find percentages of dems vs. repubs.
Obama's agenda didn't help and dems not having one. Well, ????? Need some new parties with bold leaders.

reader69's picture
reader69 5 years 34 weeks ago
#14

DAnneMarcDAnneMarc

DAnneMarc (comment #9)

What "whole truth" ? You just literally repeated what Mark originally observed: that public compensation attempts to make up for what the private compensation refuses to do.

"...naturally be privately compensated." If private compensation is "natural", then why doesn't it happen -- ever ? It's because private compensation "naturally" seeks to compensate as little as the compensator can get away with, an amount that is inadequate to pay for a person's basic needs, after that person has just spent his/her working day in the service of creating private profit for the "compensator".

PFNELKAK 5 years 34 weeks ago
#15

liz--
I should have added that evil is in control. And that "the time is at hand" Rev. 22:10. There is no more time. JESUS is coming. Read rev. chap. 21 & 22, the last chaps. of the bible.
When HE comes, will HE find faith on the earth? Luke 18: 1-27

Uncle Geo's picture
Uncle Geo 5 years 34 weeks ago
#16

"National Bureau of Economic Research" sounds like some government agency or an august institution with some claim to legitimacy. It's important to understand that this is not the case.

From Source Watch:

Between 1985 and 2001, the organization received $9,963,301 in 73 grants from only four foundations:

Ahh...all rich conservative donors trying to maintain the fiction that the tragic failure of trickle down was not responsible for the Great Recession (or the Great Depression for that matter). Beware: for forty years they've also seeded universities with big grants and hordes of economics professors, most of whom, big surprise, teach supply side economics.

Conservatives, over many decades, set up countless propaganda outfits with legitimate sounding names (ex: Greening Earth Society "CO2 is good!") to produce "research" that supports their positions (if not the facts) which they then wave around to "prove" they're right.

I should try this on my wife at 4am: "Dear, now research by the "National Institute for Responsible Husbands" says that staying out all night drinking has been shown to strengthen parenting skills and improve liver function ".

And Liz, "Where were the Democrat Georgia voters..." should be "Where were the Democratic Georgia voters". It's like saying "Where were the Republic voters" -obviously grammatically incorrect. I'm not playing grammar police however -I'm calling out you and other conservatives who used this childish trick to diminish your opponent.

It just makes the rest of what you say lose any credibility.

You're welcome.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#17

Liz, your post is completely illogical. We always said low turnout and general voter dissatisfaction would harm Democrats in a midterm.

In a two party duopoly one is faced with a choice of the frying pan or the fire. I almost voted Republican this last time, my House Rep. is a Democrat who is a sponsor of TPP. Fortunately there was a Green Party candidate - and the Democrat was not going to lose.

Hell of a choice, eh? Gotta vote against the Democrat but gotta hope to Hell he doesn't lose.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#18

Kend! Are you believing anything you hear on Fox news? Don't you know they're only henchmen on a hatchet job?

You should believe the people from the university, if Fox is trying to make them look bad it's because Fox is afraid of them - so they're probably right.

Now I wanna see you reply to my post and try to defend Fox News.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#19
Quote Mark Saulys:

I think they are just compensation but proper as they are other than being too meager.

I should use punctuation, should read, "I think they are just compensation - but proper as they are (other than being too meager)."

Quote Mark Saulys:

Private compensation wouldn't be as cost effective and wouldn't yield some other benefits in those areas.

Much of the safety net is grossly too meager and then stigmatized as "charity". Outrageous insult to injury.

Welfare is returning to the worker a small part of what was stolen from them and then stigmatizing it as "charity", what an outrage!

dianhow 5 years 34 weeks ago
#20

voters do NOT care about much except Gays Guns & Abortion Thats why they vote for anti middle class pro wealth GOP again and again

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#21

The day before yesterday on The Big Picture Liv Ullman said that the Republicans create Republican voters by causing people to prosper and changing their vested interest into "monied interests" and Democrats create Democratic voters by getting people on welfare and making them welfare dependant, typical conservative, big business shill bullshit artistry.

What really happens is that Democrats create voters for Republicans and Republicans create voters for Democrats. Pat Brown, former Governor of California in the early '60s, and current Governor Jerry Brown's father, wrote in his book about Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan the Political Chameleon, that he wrote when Ronald Reagan was running for Governor of California, that the Democratic Party was a victim of its own success. It ended the Great Depression, created the great blue collar middle class. It made college acessible to most everyone so that the next, subsequent generations became not only middle class but upper middle class - if not upper class, hence the great yuppie "overclass" of the '80s - and created a fabulous prosperity where a middle class living standard could be taken for granted.

So what then happens when people start making money? Their vested interests change, they start buying stock and voting Republican. They simply have more invested in upper class concerns. (Saul Alinsky interestingly described how the poor Chicago stock yards laborers he organized suddenly started talking like Republicans when they succeeded in their campaigns and won a better deal and gained a modest middle class income.)

Republicans, on the other hand, conversely create voters for the Democrats by impoverishing people - and making them welfare dependent.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 5 years 34 weeks ago
#22
Quote dianhow:

voters do NOT care about much except Gays Guns & Abortion Thats why they vote for anti middle class pro wealth GOP again and again

dianhow, voters care about other things but the Republican strategy is to create division and foment hate and animosity, to inflame blinding, unreasoning passionate feelings to drown out other concerns, so that people would vote against somebody else rather than for themselves.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 34 weeks ago
#23

I'm sorry! America is becoming like a disease

All over the World!!!!!

And somehow it's doing this knowingly!

My goodness!!!

If it's not taking war to those it seems fit and selling weapons to it's emenies (???) And, it's friends too!!!

Then it's selling food products that contain known carcinogens and mass produced processed food containing elements that enhance cancer, diabetes, heart falure, stroke etc., etc

Knowingly!!

Even gum contains a known brain toxin aspartame... associated with preservation of dead body parts in a fluid named formaldehyde

In UK people are begining to follow this mindless BS on TV using their mind dead zone 600 channels produced in brain dead america ... and

Sadly getting fatter by filling belly with the poison processed food produced by bigcorp in innocence... thinking it's all okay because its'on the TV

Do we love each other as humans???

I guess not... very, very, very sad:

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 5 years 33 weeks ago
#24

I believe the model that US elites are looking for is Mexico.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 33 weeks ago
#25

Mark J S -- RE#22 Thanks for the insight into how each party creates voters for the other parties. Unfortunately, the repugs have figured out to keep the voters, who they have created for the dems, from voting.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 5 years 33 weeks ago
#26

Mark -- That was comment #21 not #22

Trump has told us how he and the Republicans plan to steal this election: can we stop him and save our republic?

Thom plus logo Donald Trump became president by exploiting a loophole called the Electoral College. The majority of Americans did not want him or vote for him as president, but he's there anyway.

Now he's planning on using a different loophole, the 12th Amendment, to hang onto power.
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