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  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   2 hours 56 min ago

    deepspace: Mild (moderate)disagreement.

    Lincoln was a republican. During most (all?) of Eisenhower’s presidency the top marginal tax rate was around 92%. There have been republican who have called for a balanced budget as a matter of principle. However, others have authorized extremely expensive actions overseas, which have cost the average USA-ians quality of life (those who returned alive and those who stayed behind but ended up taking care of those who returned) , total loss of life, and a few trillions of debt (for generations to come) for unspecified pseudo-patriotism. The kind of pseudo-patriotism that allows me to send my neighbours’ child at the other side of the planet to fight, while I invest in companies such as B & root (any resemblance to Brown and Root “purely” coincidental). One can find also so-called Democrats who have made a difference in their lives by advocating change for the “masses”.

    I fully agree that greed is a common trait in our collective psyche, and each one of us has displayed it in various degrees at least once. (For example the occasional gluttony for chocolate of ice-cream. Persistent excessive smokers who gave up (for good) the habit). I will agree that “unfettered greed” alone is responsible for all the ills, if “unfettered” is used in such a philosophical way that it is unlimited (completely unrestricted) so that it encompasses all vices and excludes all virtues. (“virtually all ills”, is pretty close to “all ills” therefore requiring the minor correction to “virtually completely unrestricted”).

    Greed as a vice is accompanied by others such as “self-indulgence” or the quality of “uncharitable”, but also by virtues like ascetiscism, moderation or the quality of generous. Human thought has been evolving “slowly” (for us maybe, but “rapidly” in geological references of time (how long from a trilobite to something resembling homo erectus?) and possibly “painfully” (learning more from mistakes (trial and error) than serendipity (getting it “right” the first time). If USA is nowadays the peak (in the path of time) of western “civilization” (whatever that means) (according to scoptic Ghandi some decades ago, it (western “civilization”) sounded like a (potentially) good idea to him) (I think it was a line from the movie, and possibly not from his real life), her success (USAs) has been based (my subjective opinion) on the two “opposites” of “democracy” (“we are all in this(s**t) together”, “one for all”, “ask what you can do for your country”, camaderie feeling) and “capitalism” (“run for your life”, “all for one”, ask what your country can do for you”, feeling of atomic (personal) freedom). It has been the harmonic interplay between these two “poles” that made a group of humans (it could have been any other country, it just happened first on USA soil) progress much faster than the others. I think that nowadays we are reaching the point where the art of politics is to find every time the “proper” balance. Who said that political “solutions” are absolute and remain the same in time without evolving? “One size fits all (times)?”

    I speculate that this model of balancing “democracy” and “capitalism” evolves much much slower than the its interpretation at a specific period (and geography) of human (global) history. I shall thankfully be reminded that my interpretations are subjective, while I keep the right (?) to believe in an objective reality. (Is this belief subjective or objective?)

    ventila: I find your short anser much more elegant than mine (even though accidentally repeated, it is much more shorter than mine. Much more elegant. Thanks).

  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   16 hours 14 min ago

    And still, no media queries about our bio-warfare labs. Given this country's history 0f exprimenting with unwhitting subjects( Tuskegee), seems a fitting subject for a COV-19 inquiry.

  • Will Forcing Kids and Teachers Back to School Be Trump's Waterloo?   1 day 17 hours ago

    A test of wills?! Facepalm.

    Notice that Trump is not pressuring charter and private schools to conduct in-person classes (nor any of the now-taxpayer-funded, radical Christianist madrassas), which cater to his rich buddies, who presumably share his fascistic inclinations and who no doubt get tested at every turn with plenty of room for group social-distancing, if not for one-on-one private tutoring. Republicans can bet their white-privileged fat-asses that the well-to-do and the well-connected won't be taking the same insane chances with their lives that are expected of the unwashed masses.

    Nope, he's browbeating only public schools and threatening to cut their funding (here and here) if they refuse to participate in his pandemic genocide, in his self-defeating gambit to "re-open" the economy, in his crass bid for re-election -- ever more remote with each passing day that voters witness his absolute unfitness to serve in a position of public trust.

    BTW, low-paid teachers don't want to return to the crowded public classrooms because they don't want to die or to infect their families. Duh.

    Trump and his mealymouthed spokespeople are either too stupid or too venal to realize that the only way the economy will recover is to get the pandemic under control through a nationwide, "guvmunt-run" program, which means armies of "guvmunt-paid" workers to conduct extensive testing and contact tracing and the surveillance necessary to isolate and quarantine -- you know, like most of the rest of the world has already figured out long ago. Only in "Meeerkkka" are we led by feces-flinging monkeys, who are more concerned with protecting statues honoring traitors than with hundreds of thousands of dead Americans due to Trump's criminal dereliction of duty.

    In addition to a national testing program, since Trump the Orange is so fond of his kingly rule by decree, he should issue an executive order that requires face masks nationwide and another one that bans large indoor gatherings (or bunched-up outdoor crowds), such as political rallies -- that is if he was serious about governing a nation during a crisis and he actually cared about the health of the people his duty is to protect.

    ...If he cared about anyone other than himself.

  • Will Forcing Kids and Teachers Back to School Be Trump's Waterloo?   2 days 19 hours ago

    Hopefully, Thom, you understand that the public school system is controlled by each individual state and it will be up to them to decide when and how to open the public schools. Now, this may be a great opportunity for the charter and private schools if the public school teachers' unions decide to go on strike against heading back to the classrooms.

    It should be an interesting test of wills.

  • Will Forcing Kids and Teachers Back to School Be Trump's Waterloo?   3 days 6 hours ago

    Nothing will happen. The governors will do what they want. Schools will open in a limited capacity. (Nothing to do with Trump.) It will be problematic, and Trump will be able to say "I told you so" with impunity.

  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   3 days 12 hours ago

    Woops! sorry

  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   3 days 12 hours ago

    # 1poster asked; "When does the greed stop?"

    Answer; When "we the people" re-regulate. So, don't hold your breath.

    The oligarchs have "bought and paid for" the majority of both parties, and this upcoming election can't change much, unless there's a hugh responce by the electorate.

    We'll see..

  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   3 days 12 hours ago

    # 1poster asked; "When does the greed stop?"

    Answer; When "we the people" re-regulate. So, don't hold your breath.

    The oligarchs have "bought and paid for" the majority of both parties, and this upcoming election can't change much, unless there's a hugh responce by the electorate.

    We'll see..

  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   3 days 12 hours ago

    # 1poster asked; "When does the greed stop?"

    Answer; When "we the people" re-regulate. So, don't hold your breath.

    The oligarchs have "bought and paid for" the majority of both parties, and this upcoming election can't change much, unless there's a hugh responce by the electorate.

    We'll see..

  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   3 days 12 hours ago

    # 1poster asked; "When does the greed stop?"

    Answer; When "we the people" re-regulate. So, don't hold your breath.

    The oligarchs have "bought and paid for" the majority of both parties, and this upcoming election can't change much, unless there's a hugh responce by the electorate.

    We'll see..

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   3 days 14 hours ago

    Edward Dodson: Kudos.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   3 days 16 hours ago

    vetinla: I agree if we all have the same total income.

    A 10% tax rate on an annual $13,000 total income will bring the person below the poverty line. On $130,000,000 it is simply tickling the person. The former income needs much less police protection than the latter. In the next generation the offsprings following the inhertance laws of taday, who will have had a significantly different starting line, will get a different financial boost. Run this algorithm for a couple of generations and social coherence is likely to deteriorate.

    Andrew Youngs' proposal of UBI (aka freedom dividend), an idea much older than Andrew, which has been applied selectively in Alaska for the last few decades, is a right step for fixing the problem at the low end: what is our acceptable minimum standard of living for each and everyone fellow citizen under current technological advances? At the other end the question is: what is the tax rate for our fellow citizens whose annual income has exceeded expectations given our current technological advances? The obvious answer is the excess income (not the total) should be taxed at a rate below 100%. For example 94%.Tax rate for the part of the total income which is the UBI should be zero 0%. For the next brackets it should be what IRS thinks are reasonable tax rates and should becthe same for all independent of total income. Pissible exceptons should be well justified by court decisions.

  • Will Forcing Kids and Teachers Back to School Be Trump's Waterloo?   3 days 17 hours ago

    , Thom, I heard the former Secretary of Education under Obama, on Rachel Maddox show, say that trump does not have the power or authority to demand that schools reopen across the country. I think most people do not want harm to their children and teachers surely have some say in this. Please stop catastrophizing, if that is a word. I really much prefer your intelligent and reasoned discussions and arguments, leaving out the shouting. Love you, stay well.

  • Will Forcing Kids and Teachers Back to School Be Trump's Waterloo?   3 days 18 hours ago

    “But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”

    --Sinclain Levis, It Can't Happen Here

  • Will Forcing Kids and Teachers Back to School Be Trump's Waterloo?   3 days 18 hours ago

    I agree, people get it with their kids. When he threatens to withhold school money unless they put them at risk it will be impossible to ignore the implications. Mr. T. is sounding more and more like Hitler in the bunker, ordering Germany to go down with him. In 1945 most of his officers ignored that level of madness, and perhaps history will repeat itself here.

  • Will Forcing Kids and Teachers Back to School Be Trump's Waterloo?   3 days 18 hours ago

    Stealing God's children away from their families, caging them like animals in inhumane conditions indefinitely, and then destroying the records of their relatives was not outrageous enough to cause Trump's political enablers to pay a price with their base, who gleefully cheered them on -- USA, USA, USA!

    The fiery-eyed hypocrites who loudly proclaim "God and Country" as their raison d'être continually violate the core teachings of not only their nation's basic principals -- Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, -- but also the admonishments of their own Saviour: Luke 17:2 - It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

    The wickedness of the impeached Donald John Trump and the subhuman creatures with whom he surrounds himself knows no bounds. A staggering death toll, ravaging destruction, and the godless violation of innocents will be their enduring legacy.

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   3 days 19 hours ago

    I would be content if we ALL paid the same percentage in federal taxes based on TOTAL income. Period., full stop...

  • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have To Get Billionaires and Money Out Of Politics   3 days 20 hours ago

    Biden will have perhaps the most difficult job of any president before him, cleaning up the near-hopeless mess left by four years of radical Republican fascism, even worse than the widespread disorder after eight years of the Cheney-Bush, economy-busting war regime that Obama had to face.

    But in the relentless barrage of Trumpian lunacy dominating the headlines ad nauseam, let us not fail to keep our eye on the gravest danger facing all of us at this late date, magnitudes worse than any other:

    "When does the greed stop?"

    Billionaires exemplify that one trait all too common in the collective psyche of humanity -- the unfettered greed that is ultimately responsible for virtually all the ills of civilization, and that is on track to kill not only the two hundred thousand-plus in Trump's Un-united States of America by this election day but the potentially hundreds of millions! by the future election days (if any) of our children, grandchildren, and their children.

    According to all the scientific data available to this generation of Homo sapiens, it seems that our very survival, and likely that of most other species clinging desperately to Mother Earth, primarily depends on the evolution of human thought in the aggregate and a deep understanding of why our inner dilemma of selfishness and greed is universally destructive in every possible way -- so that we can end it altogether as a guiding force in society.

  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   4 days 1 hour ago

    Thom Hartmann: Back in 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ru7mYEippY, “Giri and Gimu - Where Money REALLY Came From” your explanation about where money came from is IMO most probably true, at least as a concept. I think that if I replace money with tax then what you said appears to be an excellent interpretation of why taxes exist: Tax is imposed on a transaction (between 2 or more members of a society), so that the society as a whole has enough resources to protect and support these transactions (by making sure that the field is level, that infrastructure exists to facilitate the two parties of the transaction fulfill the exchange as smoothly as possible). However, this seems to be just an opinion, which I share fully, but I would like some hard-core proof for it. You know a lot of people, why can't you convince a true economist to listen to you long enough to be convinced and give us the hard core data that support this point of view. (The justification of this opinion with giri and gimmu is a joke for someone who understands these words. Actually, I learned the word giri by example while in Japan, but I had also the advantage that in my mother tongue this word exists. English on the other hand lacks this word. Potlatch is something completely different. Giri is not an obligation and has little to do with exchange of gifts. For example during Christmas a lot of people exchange gifts but they may have or may not have giri. I can not say much about gimmu, because I was not taught it by example (sure is a giri related to parents, but exactly what is another story). And Japanese (at least most of them) consider nijou a nobler form of giri. So, nihou, gimmu giri. All of them translated as “obligation”, “duty” in some ethical or “higher form” sense in English. But, all of them are not translatable in English and other languages (but there should be exceptions (Chinese? Korean? Are my guesses).

    Your todays’ comment seems to imply that tax should be imposed on something that does NOT involve a transaction. I strongly disagree. This is a “legal” way for governments to steal money and property. Is is only a step from charging us for breathing (we already have to pay for water, a place to sleep, a place to pee, and for survival food, which are contrary to the spirit of any society. Of course, nowadays humans have matured enough that only is some places people still die from thirst and lack of food). This “legal way” has been applied for years, and as you rightly write has deteriorated in more suffering for those below the “millionaire” status. On the other hand going back to the “republican” “standard” of taxing annual incomes over few millions with a rate of 95% (individuals, companies) is the right way to go. This means that IRS has the means to check and enforce these rates. Billionaires who do not like this deal should have the option to take their money bin and go wherever they please for ~10 years (to be ostracised), while their assets non-monetary assets within USA territory are frozedn for the same amount of time, in case the come back (with whatever is left of their bin). Despite our decline in democratical values, the deterioration of politics, indifference of voters, indifference in active participation in the “common things” I still believe that USA is one of the top places to live, because (from my experience) most people at least have several of their fundamental rights respected (especially if they are not black or other minority). Where the billionaires may go? Putin’s Russia is doing well and could do with some money bins, especially these days that oil price is down and there is military (expensive as we know from Afghanistan and other “excursions in the neighborhood). Xi’s China, has made a lot of progress towards capitalism, but still has a long way to democratize its communism. And for those who love the everyday excitement, there is Libya, Syria etc. As for Europe, well I wonder how much tax they will be paying there and what their fringe benefits will be. But that’s not my problem.

    ‘Back in 2011……. "I don't want to be a rich man in a poor country."’

    Hmm. I may believe the story if a link with the interview is posted. Although, I will agree with the “conclusion” (Trevor Noah, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtahuPcsNVM, “Thomas Piketty - Why Capitalism Must Be Reformed | The Daily Social Distancing Show”), I think the story is made up. Why a German? Why not a Norwegian? Because they have monarchy? Why not a Swiss then? Switzerland ahs been a democracy for as along as she existed, and the tax evasion rate is lower than that of Germany.

  • The Washington Post Reveals Cracks in Healthcare   4 days 6 hours ago

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  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   4 days 7 hours ago

    Yes, it is true in part rationalized by their campaign to "Starve the Beast," as if their tax cheating is appropriate since all government is bad. THE REAL PROBLEM HERE IS THAT PEOPLE ARE BAD, and that just cannot be denied. The Pollyanna who sings cumbaya, is seen as just as big an idiot in the minds of the poor whites. Therefore, the paradigm against government, is partly true, which is why the poor white dolts vote against their own interests. The real problem here is that the fascists use bits of truth and hammer them into the heads of those who are rightly mad, but just do not know who to turn to, so they listen to their preachers and so-called conservatives, as they see the kind of debauchery that the liberal media brings them daily. They see intellectuals as the tool of Satan, and the may be have a point since Democrats have been complicit, up to now. Let's not forget that Clinton signed lots of deregulation, particularly the Banksters. And although Obama sure looked the part and gave a good speech, he brought back the same banksters who caused the Great Recession. At the top of both parties are just a bunch of lying lawyers who are akin to tag team wrestlers who are two cheeks on the same arse, the America of you and me that gave us this current witches brew.

  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   4 days 10 hours ago

    This is my favorite story Thom tells; he always knows true wisdom when he hears it.

    The Libertarians magical thinking, and the Conservative's inability to grasp nuance makes it improbable they will ever understand. They get the hardship when it lands on their doorstep. It is how their brains function, literally. It has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence or education, and that's the mistake many people from the left make.

    Apathy is our true enemy. If you can teach one young person today that politics affects everything they do every day of their life, you will have made progress. By the looks of the of the youth in the streets, we are making progress and history. I hate the sacrifice, but love those young, old, and in-between who want to reclaim our humanity. TAG-YOU'RE IT!

  • Blowing the lid off the billionaires' big con - and its deadly link to the coronavirus pandemic   4 days 11 hours ago

    People are more agitated because of the pandemic. They don't trust the government's effort. nugenix

  • It's Time To Tax Money Bins!   4 days 17 hours ago

    People with property already pay property tax. This is aimed at people who hold their wealth in other forms who don't currently pay tax on it.

  • Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?   5 days 2 hours ago

    I want to tell you about best service who helps you to write your essay https://buyessay.net/

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