Conservatives Don't Want You To Be Protected From The Greed Of Big Corporations

John Gray in his article from 2004 or earlier, "A Day in the Life of Joe Republican", explains eloquently the attitude of conservatives towards protecting the people from the greed of big corporations.

That meme is still rolling along. Here are a couple of examples of Trump and Pence and the Republicans and the so-called conservatives saying, "hey, we don't need all these these liberal protections of people."

For example, this from Jillian Berman writing for Market Watch, the headline: "House Republicans seek to roll back state laws protecting student loan borrowers:"

"Tucked away on page 464 of a more than 500-page bill that aims to overhaul the higher education and student loan system is a provision that would prevent states from regulating student loan servicers and roll back rules already on the books in some states to monitor those companies...

"What's at stake: Whether the firms have to answer to state regulators looking to enforce consumer protections.

"It comes as part of a controversial bill released earlier this month by the Republican-led House Education Workforce Committee to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the statute governing higher education and student loans. And it has borrower advocates concerned."

The Higher Education Act basically is a preemption bill. The article says:

"Since 2015, states across the country have started creating their own consumer protection laws to regulate servicers, including requirements that the companies don't mislead borrowers and that the firms provide borrowers."

These are the companies that loan money to you or your kids to go to college.

"But once efforts to regulate servicers at the state level gained momentum, the companies began pushing back...

The state laws 'would be effectively null and void' if the House Republican bill becomes law, Rubenstein said. [David Rubenstein, a professor at Washburn University School of Law]"

Jillian Berman writes:

"That's an outcome the student loan industry would likely cheer....

"But consumer advocates say getting rid of these state laws could be a problem."

The state enforcement, of course, much closer to the consumers.

Here's another one. The EPA is doing away with all these rules regulating chemicals. Consider Perfluorooctanoic acid - PFOA. What is PFOA? It's the precursor to Teflon. It's the stuff used in nonstick cookware, food packaging, carpets, hot paper coffee cups, all this kind of stuff.

We started gradually phasing this out in 2003 because we found that it was linked to low birth weight babies. It was eliminated three years ago in 2014 in the United States. And this from the New York Times, Nicholas Bakalar:

"PFOA blood levels peaked in 2007-8, and then declined consistently each year through 2014. PFOA was implicated in 5 percent of low-weight births in 2007-8 and in 0.5 percent in 2013-14.

"The researchers estimate that 118,009 low-weight births could have been prevented from 2003 to 2014, resulting in $13.7 billion in savings."

And not to mention a whole lot more healthy people.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration wants to do away with state and federal laws that say that if you leave a tip at a restaurant, all - or at least some - of that money has to go to your waiter. This from Christine Owens, Sharon Block over at Alternet:

"If the Trump administration has its way, the tip you leave your waiter or waitress could end up in the pocket of the restaurant owner instead of the person who served you.

"This week, Trump's Labor Department proposed rescinding an Obama-era rule that made the logical point that tips are the property of the servers and cannot be taken by the restaurant owner.

"The administration's proposal would allow restaurant owners who pay their wait staff as little as $7.25 per hour to collect all the tips left by patrons and do whatever they want with them - regardless of what diners intended."

Yep, this this deregulation.

Democrats Need To Reclaim the Word Freedom Now

Thom plus logo The big debate among democratic circles is about the word socialism. It really needs to be about the word freedom. Billionaires claim that freedom means no taxes for the billionaires. Industrialists claim that freedom means no regulation for their industries.