Why?

Thom plus logo The big question that the media is asking is, "Why?" Why is it that right wing billionaires are funding protests of shelter in place orders in the states? Why is it that Fox News is pushing so hard to reopen the economy? Why are TV doctor pundits on Fox saying that having 2% or 3% of our population die is an acceptable price to pay? Why are these people willing to sacrifice our elders and vulnerable Americans of all ages to get the economy back in shape?

Is it possible that one of the reasons these billionaires are pushing these efforts is because any more stimulus packages will require an increase in taxes on billionaires to pay for them? Could it be that simple and that crass?

-Thom

Comments

avn013's picture
avn013 6 weeks 3 days ago
#1

Maybe, but there could be deeper reasons. It is becoming (somewhat) evident what is essential and what is not, and that we are all in this s**t together where all is not necessarily restricted to USA, but that's too progressive).

Billionaires like T***p want people (99.9% based on your numbers) to go back to "normality", i.e. to work hard to make ends almost meet, so that they remain in debt perpetually, so that they work perpetually, so that they (billionaires) can keep "enjoying" life by satsfying their litle egotistic "vices" (such as paying p**n stars for "innocent" foreplays, or grabbing others by the pubic hair). Andrew Yang said it clearly. We do have the technology, as USA at least, so that each and everyone, i.e. the 100% (including the 0.1%!) can have the basics (what we call poverty line or minimal standard of living) to live. This would give everybody the freedom (in terms of time and effort) to fylly (apologies for the exaggeration) express her/his true self in the short interval we call life. But who listened to AY? Less than 1% of the less than 50%. Perhaps when the next generation reaches its 50th birthday, someone will dig out AYs idea (actually, his idea predates him, from what he said) and perhaps at that time more people will be ready to listen.

The problem of how to distribute the "money" (wealth) generated in a (democratic) society, is underlined by the question of how to distribute the "free" time generated by the technology of this society. Time seems to be more important than money, because while money can buy "time", the converse is not always true or at least not useful as any billionaire can testify at the moment of "expiration" (d***h).

Legend 6 weeks 3 days ago
#2

The Republican Party only cares about the 1%. That is it.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 weeks 2 days ago
#3

These two quotes rhyme:

"...There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me. And on the wall, it said "No Trespassing." But on the other side, it didn't say nothin'. That side was made for you and me. This land is your land. This land is my land..." -- Woody sung by Arlo last year

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men ​[and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” -- Declaration of Independence

"Life" -- the most precious and miraculous "thing" in the universe that religious and scientific explanations -- yes, sorry, even Star Trek, -- continually fail to explain adequately enough to encompass the grand magnificence of it all. And that's totally awesome -- an eternally open-ended question to ponder!

Obviously, the Founders of our core principles and values thought so too since that's the very first word in their perfectly succinct description of our most important principles and moral imperatives as a people: Life, Liberty, Happiness, unalienable Rights. Notice that they also used the purposely amorphous word "Creator" as a direct acknowledgment of an unknowable higher power that each of us is free to contemplate in our own way.

And they formally capitalized the simplest of words that best fit our key values. (They should have also capitalized "equal.") We're supposed to live in a good land amongst a good people. The cycle of Life no matter how one interprets "it" will forever remain the greatest of all mysterious and marvels -- the Happy, most positive source of all energy in our never-ending pursuit to "form a more perfect union." By today's cynical standards, the Founders sounded like overoptimistic idealists.

Life. Your life. My life. Happy.

And that, citizens, is the chip that Trump is asking each American to wager in a pig-ignorant bid to improve his dwindling chances at reelection. He is literally betting your life that he's got this. Any takers?

Trust him. Everything will work out just fine, really, really great, the best in the world ...well, notwithstanding all the extra bodies guaranteed to pile by the thousands if he browbeats enough governors to ease the restrictions and try to reopen their economies too soon without enough testing or medical supplies to fight a predicted second wave of COVID-19. "Facts are stubborn things."

Although no one is sure who the original author is (do-it-yourself links), this old saying often attributed to Socrates or Aristotle rhymes as well with today's continuing pursuit of truth and justice for all: "A scientist's purpose is to discover facts. A philosopher's purpose is to ponder those facts."

Well, one thing is sure: There were no moral philosophers worth a crap on the Republican side of the Senate during the impeachment trial, They had their big chance -- no, their duty! -- to yank this psychopathic bastard off the stage before he did any real damage even worse than the real damage he had already done. With solid evidence already on record of major malfeasance in the Mueller report, Trump's "illustrious dunderheads" still had a clear and simple, albeit hard, moral choice even though they refused to ponder any more relevant facts or witnesses for the Ukraine case:

Two buttons. Yea or Nay?

Whoops.

Legend 6 weeks 2 days ago
#4

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Trump says the protestors are great people. The Boston Globe Obituary section is 16 pages. Governors call Trump delusional. The push is to open the Government. Market is crashing again and Trump is at the helm. Somedays it is not worth getting up and reading the headlines. I think That I will watch cartoons.

Legend 6 weeks 2 days ago
#5

Thom is going to shutdown the comments section because of all of the Trolls.

Barry Hughes's picture
Barry Hughes 6 weeks 2 days ago
#6

Funny that for most of 20th century the top tax rate was between 70% and 90%. There were still millionaires and billionaires. But, there was also money for revenue sharing, for infrastructure, for health care (as most hospitals were owned by cities). CEOs made “only” 20 times more than their janitors. A starting veteran baseball player on a World Series championship team I know of in the late 1960s made $16,000. In today’s dollars, that’s about $160,000. Yet a comparable player today is paid $16 MILLION and his tax rate is minuscule by comparison. Elvis Presley’s tax bracket was 92% and he still lived like a king.

Want to take the country “back” to being “great” again? The policies support the actions. Let’s go “back” to being a manufacturing base, back to relative CEO pay, back to The Fairness Doctrine, back to pensions being untouchable corporate liabilities, back to graduated progressive income tax, back to Federal revenue sharing and state taxes funding 80% of public college tuition.

Trickle down NEVER works. Trickle UP works. Every fall stores hire thousands if not millions of employees. Why? Because corporations or CEOs got another tax break? No! Because the average American spends $800 or $1,000 on gifts and decorations. Trickle UP. 70% of the economy is driven by consumer spending. CEOs don’t “create jobs.” CEOs approve the hiring of workers to produce goods and services based on increased consumer spending.

Want to take the country “back”? Bring back the policies that created the greatness.

avn013's picture
avn013 6 weeks 2 days ago
#7

How come the rest 99% vote enough Republicans to control the senate and/or the house? How come T***p got just 1% less in the popular vote?

We are all in this together, right?

Legend 6 weeks 1 day ago
#8

If I understand your quetion. Fox News.

SueN's picture
SueN 6 weeks 1 day ago
#9

Sorry, I've been rather busy lately.

Wildhorse99's picture
Wildhorse99 6 weeks 8 hours ago
#10

Thom, May you have a safe and enriching Earth Day (Unci Maka, Grandmother Earth). In response to your question, “Why?”, I wish to offer my own observation and ideas.

Richard called in to your show on Tuesday morning at around 10:50 a.m. MDT and added some wonderful insight as to your own on this issue. We have thought about this before, and I would like to share with you, a couple of excerpts from our book “Warrior Is”, which you have featured on your Book Club in 2018 and thereafter. It is a novel about our great grandfather’s life story, Mato Niyanpi/Saved By Bear (2017).

In our book "Warrior Is", we wrote of the corruption of the government and certain politicians of the day in the 1800s, but it still rings true for many in politics today, as well....

"When corrupt politicians in a corrupt government realize that what they desire to do, is in fact, illegal, their lack of shame and conscience allows them to just rewrite the law through legislation or court decision, to make conduct that was once illegal, now legal. When a human being lacks a humane conscience to the extent that they will do anything to anyone in pursuit of the goal of getting more money or wealth, then nothing matters to that person anymore except the goal of obtaining more money and wealth. That goal, now, actually becomes, their conscience. When the conscience to do what is right, just, humane or compassionate, disappears, so does the ability to feel shame. If a person loses the ability to feel shame or shamefulness, for committing shameful acts, then the conscience also dies the same death within that person. There may be no meaningful or moral road back from that dark pit."
Warrior Is (2017), Chapter 11: Call To Believe, p. 341-42.

When you and Richard were talking on April 21, 2020, the topic of the insurgence of the astroturf billionaire funded “protests” occurring here and there under the guise of restarting the economy, Thom was searching for potential reasons why the rightwing billionaire class is funding and promoting these dangerous gathering involving confederate flags, Nazi symbols, assault rifles, and heavy trump paraphernalia. Again, if I may, would like to point out how we portrayed the historical context of how the “other” can be seen as expendable, and as to why there has always been an internalized cultural fear by white society of the encroachment of the “others” into a more strong presence in the world of white privilege and white dominion of all facets of society. In our book “Warrior Is”, in Chapter 10: Strong Heart, we wrote: “A false belief became widespread among the army brass and their ranks of enlisted men during the time of the Indian conflicts in the west: the notion that if US soldiers or other white citizens were ever captured alive and imprisoned by the Indians, they would be subjected to horrific, grotesque, and inhumane torture and mutilation of their bodies and minds. The army taught its soldiers to fear this thing from the Lakota and Cheyenne, in order to provoke a sense of loyalty among the troops, partly in an attempt to cut down on desertion. Of course, the notion of the Lakota capturing white soldiers and torturing them was false and fabricated. Nevertheless, it did create a real fear among the ranks, causing them to view the Lakota as evil, inhuman, disposable, and killable….It was, of course, just a made-up tale that the military leaders could leverage so as to more effectively control the minds of the enlisted men. A fearful soldier is more easily manipulated into doing as he is told. Soldiers can be convinced to kill at will if they view their enemy as evil and less than human. …In reality, it was the European societies, in medieval times and the 1800s, that utilized human torture and mutilation as a means of battle, a method of warfare, in order to gain the psychological advantage and ensure conquest of weak or more vulnerable peoples or societies……The white soldiers knew how the whites and white society had come to treat the Lakota once the Lakota were captured or confronted by the whites. And they feared that if the roles were reversed, they would be treated just as badly by the Indians as the whites had treated the nonwhites throughout time…… The whites’ fear of scalping, mutilation, and torture by the Lakota was unfounded for the most part. As already mentioned, that fear was instigated by the propaganda of the white military leaders to instill a serviceable mind control over their own troops so that the soldiers would try to avoid capture or desertion at all costs. The US military used this propaganda tool as a means of psychological projection to invoke the fear in the troops, as to what the Indians would do to them if given the chance. The propaganda was easy to incorporate by the military and its European influence of warfare, because they themselves have used it. The corruption or deception of any nation’s military, to merely serve the desires and goals of a misguided or destructive leadership, would always be a threat to the Circle of Life. A military and the human beings that make up that military, deserve better. They deserve to be told the truth as to what they stand for and why they fight or kill. Many times, if the truth were to be known, a soldier may look deep within his heart and spirit , and decide to put down his weapon. The real concern was not that the Lakota would torture or scalp the whites. It was that if the nonwhites ever gained the advantage over the whites, the nonwhites would treat the whites as bad as the whites had treated the nonwhites. The whites knew how they had treated the nonwhites over whom they had gained control, so they feared their methods would be used against them. The whites seemingly always treated the nonwhites badly, and many times horribly, so the fear that their own tactics would be turned against them was a legitimate one in their minds. It gave them an incentive never to allow themselves to lose control over the nonwhites, including the Lakota, because if they did, they feared that they would be treated just as poorly. Again, the whites feared that the roles would be reversed. However, white society’s fear was based upon the false notion that other, nonwhite societies would behave as badly as they did toward others. “ Warrior Is”, by Harley L. Zephier and Robin L. Zephier (2017), Chapter 10: Strong Heart, p. 311-13. #warrioris #greasygrasswarriors #scarleg #matoniyanpi #grandmotherearth #uncimaka #whitestonepony #hoksilawanbli #sungilasapa #greatracearoundblackhills #peaceunitytolerancelove #savedbybear

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