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Krugman: What Is Conservatism?

August 26,2015
krugman gop madness

Few can capture a concept so well as Paul Krugman. In his blog “Conscience Of A Liberal” Krugman captures concisely what conservatism is today:

The Reactionary Soul
Frank Bruni marvels at polls indicating that Donald Trump, with his multiple marriages and casinos, is the preferred candidate among Republican evangelicals. Others are shocked to see a crude mercantilist make so much headway in the alleged party of free markets. What happened to conservative principles?

Actually, nothing — because those alleged principles were never real. Conservative religiosity, conservative faith in markets, were never about living a godly life or letting the invisible hand promote entrepreneurship. Instead, it was all as Corey Robin describes it: Conservatism is

a reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace.

It’s really about who’s boss, and making sure that the man in charge stays boss. Trump is admired for putting women and workers in their place, and it doesn’t matter if he covets his neighbor’s wife or demands trade wars.

The point is that Trump isn’t a diversion, he’s a revelation, bringing the real motivations of the movement out into the open.

Sunday Funday: Summer’s Over

could these guys pass the quiz today?

could these guys pass the quiz today?

In case you were sleeping in the warmth of the summer sun, summer ended abruptly last week. Kids went back to school, it got cooler and the corn is turning into that golden autumn color. September must be right around the corner. As always at this time of year, a man’s thoughts turn to college football. After perusing this year’s predictions for Iowa and Iowa State it looks like it may be a good year for Iowa’s football fans to turn their eyes toward Cedar Falls. But optimism burns brightly in the hearts of Iowa’s football fans so bring on those Buckeyes and let us at them!

Were you paying attention?

1) Some folks may have started the week out by jumping out their first story window after the Dow slid over how many points Monday morning?

2) Ten years ago yesterday what major hurricane hit New Orleans?

3) Scott Walker, Republican Presidential candidate, called on Pres. Obama to cancel a meeting with who over the stock market fall?

4) Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush sent out a mailer in which his picture had what odd feature?

5) Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack, endorsed what Democratic presidential candidate?

6) Megyn Kelly returned from vacation and was immediately met with a twitter barrage from what current notable?

7) Tragedy in Virginia where a reporter and cameraman were murdered live on TV by a what?

8) Room for one more? What prominent person keeps inching toward a possible presidential run?

9) Candidate Donald Trump’s threat to deport children of foreigners born on US soil could affect how many children?

10) A municipal judge in what city has ordered that all arrest warrants issued before 2015 be withdrawn?

11) Maybe it was all the presidential candidates that came through? What event announced a new record attendance this year?

12) September 1, 1939 what began?

13) MSNBC took another step back from its liberalism as it announced the end of whose show next week?

14) At an event in Las Vegas last week, President Obama announce that he was ready to “take on” who?

15) What former GOP presidential candidate and televangelist claimed the stock market downturn was due to divine retribution on what organization?

16) “ Get out of my country!” A fan of Donald Trump was videoed saying that to what journalist from Univision after the journalist had an incident with Trump in Dubuque?

17) What baseball analyst has been suspended by ESPN after a series of anti-Muslim tweets?

18) On August 24th, the family of what teenager murdered in Money, Miss. for allegedly whistling at a white woman in 1955 held events on the 60th anniversary of his death?

19) Republicans squealed loudly when Hillary Clinton compared them to what on women’s issues?

20) Defying a court order a county clerk in Kentucky continues to refuse to issue what from her office?

It’s hard to do a post based around politics these days without invoking the name of a certain current Republican candidate. I failed also.

Answers:

1) 1,000

2) Katrina. If you missed this wake up!

3) the president of China claiming he was the reason for the stock slide

4) his left hand was that of a black man (see below)

5) Hillary Clinton

6) Trump

7) a former colleague and disgruntled employee of the station

8) VP Joe Biden

9) 4.5 million children

10) Ferguson, Mo.

11) The Iowa State Fair. Maybe keeping kids out of school helped also?

12) World War II with the invasion of Poland by Germany

13) Al Sharpton’s

14) the crazies

15) Pat Robertson. Yes, he really ran for president and had a big following

16) Jorge Ramos of Univision

17) Curt Schilling. Schilling’s political leanings have long been known

18) Emmett Till

19) terrorists

20) marriage licenses to gay people

jeb's black hand

Poverty Vultures

waitresses are often harrassed and humialted  by customers and make extremely low wages

waitresses are often harrassed and humialted by customers and make extremely low wages

Out of sight of the eyes of anything resembling reporters the poverty industries in the USA are cranking along in high gear. Most of these are protected from any harm by Republicans from the county courthouse through the state house and on up to the Congress. Within the halls of power Republicans do all they can to stop anything that can to make those that are down stay down. From blocking minimum wage raises to busting unions to cutting food stamp, unemployment insurance or using line item veto to cut donations to food pantries, Republicans really kick people when they are down

The kind of vultures that make up the poverty industry include folks like predatory lenders, temporary hiring agencies, rent-to-own shops and employers that pay starvation wages or steal wages while their CEOs and upper management receive compensation in the millions. There wouldn’t be a poverty industry without politicians that make it all legal and acceptable.

Poverty is debilitating in so many ways. Yet our politicians have legalized preying on the poor. They have not only made it legal, but by keeping wages low, allowing atmospheric interest rates, loosening wage and hour laws, tightening bankruptcy laws and making poverty a crime, politicians have made the poverty industry very profitable.

With those profits come the legalized bribes that are known as campaign contributions. Donald Trump said it himself during that Republican debate – he gives politicians campaign contributions so he can get a favor from them when he needs one. It is business. So to keep the favors coming those in the poverty industry are sure to lay out the campaign contributions.

The concept of an industry devoted to profiting off the misfortune of others and thus dedicated to keep those misfortunate in poverty or near poverty came to me while I was discussing the proposed Johnson County minimum wage. One aspect I had not seen discussed much were wages for tipped employees, specifically the waitresses and waiters in restaurants. Iowa allows them to get paid an incredibly generous $4.35/hour – other states surrounding Iowa pay as low as $2.13, a wage set in 1991. How would that be handled under the Johnson County proposal? The answer is that tipped employees would get the same proportionate wage they do now – which is 60% of federal minimum, I believe. Thus they would still be way underpaid.

Why? Mostly because of the power of the NRA. No, not that NRA, but the National Restaurant Association and its state affiliates. Through intense lobbying and well placed campaign contributions they have been able to keep the wages at their member businesses well below the poverty line for decades. Surely this NRA is liable for as much misery as the more well known NRA, they just don’t get the publicity because their victims don’t die in spectacular and horrible ways. http://www.prwatch.org/news/2014/04/12444/nra-political-spending

That got me to thinking and it dawned on me that there are many businesses that specialize in preying on the poor. They make big money doing it and have in recent years become some of the biggest lobbyists in congress and in the state houses. Industries like the “pay day” loan industry. Where once usury (or excessive interest rates) were once illegal, now the sky seems to be the limit. Here is a short excerpt from a diary on dailykos about this industry:

When I looked up the annual percentage rate (APR) for Cash Net.com I was absolutely shocked!

A $600 loan would end up costing you $951.57. A 388.93 percent APR—I thought the 35.99 percent APR I paid some twenty years ago was bad. Of course it could be worse: According to the disclaimer on their website, the interest rate could be as high as 449 percent.

If this is not predatory lending, I don’t know what is. Cash Net is not the only company to do this. Money Mutual, endorsed by Montel Williams, states on its website that the typical representative APR range is somewhere between 261 percent and 1,304 percent for a 14-day loan.

What are some other businesses that make a killing off the misfortunate? How about temporary employment agencies? These folk get a cut of the person’s wages and offer no benefits. How about those “rent to own” businesses where products often cost triple or quadruple what it would in a regular business.

Employers in low wage industries also take a pound of flesh from their employees through practices such as having folks work off the clock and through forcing their employees to wait by a phone in case they get called in while not being paid. Blogforiowa had a post on this earlier this week featuring the thought of former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

Then as if things weren’t bad enough, poverty often leads to jail when fines or fees can’t be paid. This also helps to fill the pockets of the profitized prison system, yet another beneficiary of the poverty industry.

Unless a major correction is made, the future will be even more bleak. Over 50% of the country’s school age children now live in low income households. Iowa fairs only slightly better than the US as a whole with a rate of 42%. Most people understand that coming from a low income household is a strike against doing well in school.

All in all this is truly a sad state of affairs. Especially in a nation that claims to live by Christian principles.

Katrina: Failure That Defines The Republican Party

Hurricane Katrina survivors wait to be evacuated from the Superdome in New Orleans

Almost unbelievably, George W. Bush visited New Orleans yesterday. This was the scene of his second biggest crime, the first being the illegal invasion of a sovereign country. Ten years after he and his administration spectacularly failed the city and the country Bush had the chutzpah to return as if he were a hero. Unmitigated gall.

Katrina should have been an eye opening moment for the USA. It should have been the moment that the years of the Republican Party’s undermining of the true role of government was exposed as the the ugly pussed up sore that it is. Here was an administration given the reins of a government that at one time had the put together an agency capable of handling major catastrophes and they destroyed it. In the process they destroyed and damaged hundreds of thousands of lives. And then they had the gall to blame any and all others rather than taking the blame they so rightly deserved.

Katrina was only the most glaring of the many glaring problems caused by a party whose mantra is to destroy government and an administration that went about that task with an almost whimsical glee. The sight of George W. Bush smirking while soldiers died in Iraq or citizens drowned in New Orleans or families saw their life savings and jobs lost due to horrible fiscal mismanagement is a picture that still evokes feelings of dread among the populace.

The only real effort the Bush administration made during the Katrina crisis was to push the blame for their failures off to other levels of government. They were of course aided in this effort by corporate media headed by the Republican Propaganda Network aka Fox News. People died, people lived in squalor, people lost all their possessions while Michael Brown preened and Michael Chertoff showed off his incompetence.

The Bush Administration was the culmination of decades of the Republican Party’s concerted effort to make government appear weak and dysfunctional as they sought to make everything in this country dependent on for profit business. Our government is of, by and for the people. It is the legitimate purpose of government to provide leadership in times of national disasters. We as a citizens have directed our government to do so over the decades. Whether the disaster is a natural disaster or a man made financial disaster we have set the government up as the group that must lead us to restore us to living conditions.

During the most recent Republican administration we saw disasters in Iraq, New Orleans and the financial crisis. Two of those were made by the administration the other a natural disaster that was so batched by the administration so as to compound the damage manifold times. Katrina should have been such a glaring example of incompetence along with the financial disaster and an unnecessary war that the party responsible for all that in most other countries they would be hard pressed to rally ant followers again.

Barack Obama was elected to clean up the messes left by the Bush administration. Steady leadership is finally after nearly seven years pulling the country from the absolute disaster of the Bush years. During Hurricane Sandy, the Obama administration showed that they had repaired FEMA and it acted with competence in restoring the areas affected. Even such a hard core anti-Obama critic such as Chris Christie had to admit this was much better. Slowly we have removed soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. Slowly our economy is returning to a strong economy, despite Republican efforts to crash it once more.

The government is us, folks. It is rightly charged with restoring life to some normalcy after major disasters that are way beyond the capability of private businesses. It is us acting together through the agencies our representatives created for such times. Government is us creating plans to handle future disasters.

What a democratic government should never be is a group of oligarchs creating disasters (wars, financial crises) so they or their friends can profit from them. A democratic government should never be disinterested in times of natural disasters. A democratic government should anticipate potential disasters and have plans in place to meet those disasters.

Republicans have failed miserably when their have control of the government, usually making disasters much worse through incompetence and indifference.

Democrats since Franklin Roosevelt have been at the forefront of planning for disasters with agencies like FEMA under Jimmy Carter, Social Security under FDR, Medicare and Medicaid under LBJ, The ACA under President Obama, the FDIC under FDR and many, many more. Americans now expect their government to be competent in the face of disaster. They expect a comprehensive response that is co-ordinated and that will restore life to as close to what it was as possible. In short, the government is us and should act like we do if faced with a disaster.

It really says something about the Republican Party that their leading candidate for president is a rich man whose main point is to threaten to cause an unmitigated humanitarian disaster. It really says something about the Republican Party that none of the other candidates have the guts to step forward and call out this plan for the humanitarian disaster it will cause. And once more it says a lot about the Republican Party that 30 % or more of their party is ready to follow this man into creating one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of recent years.

Republican priorities

Republican priorities

Looking To Donate Some Money?

Got a few extra coins in your pocket and you want to get some mileage out of you donation? Here are some groups you may not have heard of that could use some help cause they are doing good work

local radio now

First, locally in Iowa City, we will soon have a new low power FM radio station, KICI 105.3 FM. It will be locally owned with a bunch of locally originated programming. Local radio is a concept that mostly disappeared from the radio dial. Fund raising has just started and you can get in on the ground floor right here. In this case you will be able to see your dollars actually go to work.

From a Cedar Rapids Gazette article a couple of months back:
Holly Hart, who has 30 years of experience in the radio industry, most recently at KSUI/WSUI, said discussions are underway to potentially attach that transmitter to existing infrastructure on top of Old Brick Church and Community Center at 26 E. Market St. Hart said approval from a cellphone company will be needed to proceed, and if it is not granted, officials will build their own tower.

First, officials say they will need to raise between $15,000 and $20,000 to pay for the engineering and equipment necessary to get 105.3 FM on the air. A fundraising page was established earlier this week on gofundme.com.

Hart said programming still is coming together, but added that she hopes to have a structured format with a mix of original local content, national programming and music.

“I didn’t want to play into the old stereotype of community radio which has polka music one hour, French news the next, cooking show the third hour, but have something that’s actually like a real format because people who listen to radio, they listen to format,” Hart said.

Second: Free Speech TV.
fstv-logo_1_0Free Speech TV is the lonely liberal corner in the crap fest that is cable and satellite TV. Featuring shows such as simulcasts of Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann’s radio shows and Mike Pappantonio’s “Ring of Fire” and documentaries. FSTV is totally dependent on donations from viewers. FSTV can be seen on DISH channel 9415, Direct TV channel 348 and on some cable company stations. FSTV is also carried live online at www.freespeech.org. Donation information can be viewed there also.

rolling jubilee
Next is a group named Rolling Jubilee. Rolling Jubilee takes money from donations and the buys debt at auction for pennies on a dollar. This is what debt collectors do also. But where debt collectors pursue and badger debtors to get what money they can, Rolling Jubilee then abolishes the debt. Truly a great concept!. Read more on Rolling Jubilee here.

RIP medical debtFinally another group very similar to Rolling Jubilee is RIP Medical Debt. This group was founded by a couple of former debt collectors who now buy up medical debt to then forgive it. Considering how crushing and unexpected medical can be, RIP Medical Debt has been a godsend for many. Their home page is here. This will lead you to their donation page.

ALEC Chosen As Iowa’s New House Speaker

A Legislator for Every Corp.

A Legislator for Every Corp.

Oops – that is, former ALEC chair Linda Upmeyer chosen as new Iowa House Speaker. But they are pretty much interchangeable.  She and ALEC founding father Terry Branstad will make a formidable team that will work hard for corporations, privatization of public services, and more.

Look for Republicans to continue to cut school funds, bust unions, defund public services and push guns – guns on campus maybe? Guns on campus is the new market the NRA and ALEC want to exploit.

Next session will be a long session for anyone who believes that we band together in a government to solve mutual problems for the good of the whole.

Alec

Sunday Funday – House On Fire Edition

hey, kids - almost time for those delicious school lunches again

hey, kids – almost time for those delicious school lunches again

{name of month}, 2015 was the hottest {name of month} on record. This is a headline we have seen seven times so far this year. Pretty sure we can expect to see it five more times this year. The west is on fire like never before and land is sinking in California as aquifers are drained.

But the climate deniers, or better stated the oil company puppets, seem to be concentrated in the Republican Party at the highest echelons of government and continually block any action to halt this trend. They also block anything that will help mitigate it like moving to solar and wind power.

I always wonder if Venus was like the earth before Republicans were put in charge?

Were you paying attention?

1) The bulls are in the game at Pamplona this year. How many kills have they scored on the humans so far?

2) With school starting at the state’s universities tomorrow, what contagious childhood disease is having a small outbreak at the U of Iowa?

3) Which venue at the Iowa State fair has been lousy with politicians and reporters all week?

4) US Troops are being deployed and Canada is loaning us personnel to fight what?

5) Former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle was back on TV this week. Why?

6) The NLRB said what group at a university had no right to join a union?

7) Mitch McConnell conceded that he did not have the votes to stop what?

8) The generic name is filbanserin. The brand name name is Addyi. The FDA approved this medication this week and most people call it “female “ what?

9) Kristen Freist and Shaye Haver this week became the first two women to do what?

10) Republican presidential candidate John Kasich recommended that what be removed from school buildings?

11) The Dow Jones average had a major drop last week. Wall Streeters labelled this a what?

12) August 28, 1963. Hot and miserable but that didn’t stop people from assembling in what city to march for civil rights for all?

13) OK – why are the gas prices going up according to the industry?

14) What Iowa city had one employer announce a 400 person cut in employees while another employer announced they would be adding 500 new employees?

15) Not just a football factory anymore. Scientists at Ohio State U. grew what nearly complete human organ in a lab setting?

16) Jimmy Carter at a press conference to announce his cancer status, said “I would like to see the last ____________ die before I do.” What does Carter want to see exterminated?

17) What scion of a well known Christian family was back in the news when it was revealed he had an Ashley Madison account?

18) Missouri has a problem with male legislators sexually harassing female interns. What did the legislators propose to fix this problem?

19) The price of a barrel of crude oil dipped below what barrier for the first time in 6.5 years Friday?

20) In a hearing on company policies on employees and dodging taxes, the Brazilian senate grilled officials from what company?

When will some five star reporter ask Hillary Clinton about Bernie Sanders hair? Why is it always the other way around?

Answers:

1) 10 last count I saw.

2) mumps

3) the Des Moines register’s soap box

4) western wild fires

5) He was arrested on child porn charges

6) football players – they are not university employees the NLRB said.

7) The Iran deal

8) viagra

9) pass the Army Rangers school

10) teachers’ lounges. He said that is where teachers’ share job complaints and join unions.

11) a correction

12) Washington DC – they heard the “I Have A Dream” speech

13) equipment malfunctions at a refinery near Chicago caused tight supplies

14) Denison

15) a brain

16) guinea worm. Read about it here

17) Josh Duggar

18) a dress code for the interns. Yep you read that right. It is the interns fault

19) $40/ barrel

20) McDonald’s – witnesses have been brought in from around the world

Teachers, please stay out of the Teachers’ Lounge. Thank you

Iowa Republicans Thumb Their Noses At Iowans

Three fine examples of Republican leaders in Iowa and what they really think of the average Iowan.

First is not an elected official, but WHO radio personality Jan Mickelson whose program is essentially Republican propaganda.

attribution: earlG at democraticunderground http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017287592

attribution: earlG at democraticunderground
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017287592

Second we have a story about a Grassley appearance in Clarinda with a very insightful comment by a reader:

From the story:
Regarding the economy, you would think that the area’s struggling agriculture would be a major concern for Grassley’s audiences.

“Surprisingly, that’s not coming up,” he said. “And, you’d expect that come up when you’re losing a dollar for every bushel of corn you grow. I think it comes up through trade issues. But, people aren’t saying you’ve got to do something to get corn back up to seven-and-a-half dollars, because they probably realize you’d be better off making five dollars for six dollars on a bushel of corn, rather than seven or eight dollars.”

The senator says the recent fluctuation in commodities demonstrates the need for free trade agreements.

The comment:
Tom Klemesrud · Retired Hollywood editor at Self Employed Investor
Senator Grassley, when you were down to Palm Beach, Florida weeks ago at that swank hotel at the $10,400 a plate dinner that Marco Rubio arranged for you, (in return for showing him around at the Iowa State fair yesterday), did the people in Clarinda seem concerned about why Cuban-Americans are giving you all that money?

I’ll bet it has something to do with you opposing the normalization of trade with Cuba that so many Iowa farmers wants to have happen. Don’t you, Senator Grassley, consider this a betrayal of the farmers’ interests?

Third from our friends at Progress Iowa a story about Governor Branstad working hard to make his mansion more luxurious after cutting school funds and other monies for public services. Hey, Terry, how about sharing the pain a little? You know, we are all in this together?

Join us on Tuesday, August 25th to protest Governor Terry Branstad installing a reflecting pool at the Governor’s mansion while cutting education and mental health services!

While the Governor was vetoing money for K-12 education, mental health institutes, and our universities, he was busy raising money behind the scenes for a private foundation to put in and restore a reflecting pool at his Terrace Hill mansion.

Those are Branstad’s shameful priorities — a reflecting pool at his mansion, not Iowa’s public services.

On Tuesday, August 25th there will be a public meeting at 9:00 AM held at the Terrace Hill gift shop, where Iowans can give input about the pool. Will you join us?

Our request is simple: every dollar the Governor has raised should be put toward restoring his harmful vetoes — not his new pool.

If you agree that schools and mental health services are more important than a pool at the Governor’s mansion, sign here and join us on Tuesday.

Thanks for all you do,
Matt Sinovic
Progress Iowa

How Will Trump Deport Millions?

This is Making America Great Again?

immigrant contribution chart

Since many of the liberal persuasion like to think things through. Monday’s revelation of the Donald Trump “emigration” plan for undocumented workers and now their families offered us a real chance to noodle on the logistics of moving somewhere between 10 and 20 million people in a big lump. Plus there would be ancillary consequences that Trump hasn’t spoken of that will come up as “unadvertised features.”

This is actually quite an interesting exercise, one that has only been attempted a couple times as far as I know. Both that I can think of were during WWII and on a smaller scale than Trump’s proposal. There is a similarity in that a scapegoat population that was blamed for the nation’s ills were being targeted without any factual data. One was the US moving Japanese to camps and the other was of course Germany moving Jewish people to concentration camps. For one thing those are both pretty lousy company to be keeping. But the fact that such a proposal is so horrendous won’t stop Trump, so today let’s just discuss the how.

First question is just where the heck are taking these people? Contrary to popular opinion not all of the future deportees hail from Mexico. Many come from other central American countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Some come from South America countries such as Venezuela and there are also folks from European countries such as Ireland, Poland and others. Is the plan just to take them to the Texas – Mexico border and dump them?

If that is the plan, then the fence best be built first and it better be very impenetrable. Once again we can look back in history to Germany for some insight. when the Berlin Wall was a simple brick and barb wire fence folks broke through at some regularity. Once it evolved into a two wall system with a large sand area between the two wall escapes slowed way down. They also had to encircle Berlin. Will we need to encircle the whole country, Alaska and Hawaii? Not sure the True Value carries that much cement.

Now to the questions of actually gathering and deployment. Since it is unlikely that folks will voluntarily turn themselves in for deportation. rounding up the scapegoat population will be problem one. Not even going to venture a guess how that will be done. But I will guess that it will take a large force of people who will probably be poorly trained and make huge mistakes.

As the victims are rounded up, they will need to be held some where. Current jails won’t hold enough. Building huge holding buildings seems shortsighted since their use should end after a few years. Looks like abandoned military camps and private warehouses need to be put into service. This also will call for a large force of workers to run the holding areas.

As we develop the scenario we can see that many current workers will be removed forcibly from the workforce as they are detained and held for removal. There will also be many more workers needed to find and hold the targeted group. Unless we find more workers to fill the labor pool then the price of labor will rise. This should make corporations really upset. Perhaps Trump should suspend Social Security until the undocumented problem is solved, thus forcing the elderly out of retirement. This labor shortage would be an unadvertised feature.

Now we get to actually moving the targeted population. It took Germany some 7 years to move 6 million people. The German were quite efficient, so we can use that as a gauge. What means of transport will we use? Let’s assume that the Texas – Mexico border is the chosen location. I will suggest here that trains and buses be the transport of choice so no planes get hijacked. Remember we will need several security guards for every bus or rail car. Thus another hit to the labor force. Plus we will need more drivers and mechanics and other support personnel.

How many can we move on one train or bus? I have no idea, but just for the sake of argument let’s say we can get 2,000 on a train. That is assuming we give them seats and bathroom access. If we move them in crammed freight cars like the Germans did that number could grow, but there may be some courts that have a problem with that. So 20,000,000 at 2,000 per train would mean 20,000 trains. Just for the sake of argument let’s say we could move 10 trains per day, then that would take 2,000 days or about 6 years. Remember that most railroads are tied up moving oil right now, so where do we find the extra capacity? If we use buses at @ 100 per bus then it would take 20 buses to replace a train. Do we have the capacity?

Before we start sending folks to Mexico, we will need to stop the workers who live in Mexico and work in the US who cross daily. Not sure how many, but somehow they will need to be replaced or the businesses moved. That border must be tight as a drum long before we start the deportations.

Another consideration, or maybe not if you are Trump, is what the receiving countries are to do with a huge influx of families that will need food and housing. Trump will probably say that they should have thought of that when they started sending their people over in the first place. He is a little short on humanitarian genes.

Even at a very cursory look, shipping 20 million people out of the US is not an easy task. It will also be fraught with unanticipated problems and probably be met with great resistance. You also may have noted throughout that there will be a huge effect on the labor pool within the US. There will be a huge number of jobs created identifying, holding and transporting the targeted population. There may also be jobs possibly created in building both the wall itself and perhaps train cars and buses, maybe holding areas also.

Thus the labor pool will get tight. This means wages will likely rise and unions may once again be able to get a foothold in industry. A couple of ways of dealing with this would be to increase the labor pool. Newt Gingrich wanted to end child labor laws a few years ago. A tight labor market could give impetus to that. Ending Social Security or at least profitizing has been a Republican dream for 80 years. This may be the spur that could get that really moving.

And if we look once again into the past we see that corporations have dealt with tight labor markets before. One of their preferred solutions has been to bring in workers from poorer countries as undocumented workers. They have been able to get away with this through bribery to the corrupt politicians and police that allow it to happen. They have yet to pay any price for this. All they would need is a small hole in that fence……….

The Former CEO Of Young And Rubicam Is Afraid.

corporate ownership in few hands

corporate ownership in few hands

By Greg from Vermont – Daily Kos member

reprinted from dailykos diary section

Quick intro: Found this Thursday while reading dailykos. It puts today’s situation in perspective with similar historical situations.

I was in France recently and while I travelled I read “Abundance, a novel of Marie Antoinette” by Sena Jeter Naslund, (Harper Perennial, 2007). It was a great read and provided great context for understanding the French revolution. This book was still fresh in my mind when I read “Capitalists, Arise: We Need to Deal With Income Inequality” by Peter Georgescu in the New York Times of August 7, 2015. This OpEd contribution has been widely discussed because of Mr. Georgescu’s opener:

“I’m scared. The billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones is scared. My friend Ken Langone, a founder of the Home Depot, is scared. So are many other chief executives. Not of Al Qaeda, or the vicious Islamic State or some other evolving radical group from the Middle East, Africa or Asia. We are afraid where income inequality will lead.”

America’s Oligarchs have good reason to be afraid, and history has more than enough examples of what happens when too few take too much at the expense of so many. The advent of the French revolution is one such example. The reign of Louis the 16th began with an overhang of debt inherited from his father and grandfather. The French monarchy had spent enormous sums in an endless cycle of wars against the Hapsburgs in the Netherlands and Spain, as well as the English. At the same time, the First Estate (the Church) and the Second Estate (the Nobility) were largely exempted from taxes, despite controlling most of the nation’s wealth. Unable to change that fact, the King resorted to selling titles to the wealthy few that could afford them, exempting even more wealth from taxation. Having spent huge sums aiding in the American Revolution, the crown simply did not have the resources to respond when a few bad harvests lead to widespread food shortages in 1788-1789. The government of the time was too slow to react, and while the need to raise taxes on the wealthy and to institute reforms was discussed, the Aristocracy proved unwilling to give up their prerogatives. In the end, they ended up giving up their heads.

America today has inherited a large debt caused by an endless cycle of wars in southwest Asia (ed. note: and the middle east) and widespread military commitments around the globe. We spend almost a trillion dollars a year on war preparations, actual war, and on the debt service for previous wars. Meanwhile our wealthiest citizens are able to avoid most of their tax obligations through a complex maze of tax preferences and exemptions. The same can be said for a number of obviously profitable Churches as well. Our modern “nobility” is fighting tooth and claw to avoid changes to the tax system, and still insists this grows the economy despite 30 years of evidence to the contrary. Mr. Georgescu claims to understand this, although his solution includes additional tax preferences to incent business leaders to start raising wages.

According to FeedingAmerica.org, In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. In 2013, 14 percent of households (17.5 million households) were food insecure. In 2013, 6 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security. Climate change in conjunction with agricultural policy is likely to raise the cost of food while reducing the availability of food. Sustained drought exacerbates this situation. At the same time, Republicans in Congress and in various statehouses are doing all they can to dismantle the system of government support intended to mitigate these food stresses. Why? To provide additional tax relief to the few thousand families who already reap most of the benefits of our economy.

It is clear that the Republicans and their sponsors understand the risks underlying what they are doing. Otherwise, why spend so much energy trying to prevent the poor from voting? You may brand me a conspiracy nut, but I think the militarization of American police forces and the widespread surveilance of all American citizens are a hedge against the inevitable backlash against plutocratic policies. So long as government repression of the populace focuses on minorities and foreigners, this strategy may work. Louis the 16th managed to put down the first bread riots by force of arms. But modern America is different in significant ways. We are the most heavily armed civilian population in world history. We now have a generation of Americans who have been raised in a culture that distains civic virtue and whose grievances are constantly stimulated for political effect and profit. These are not side effects, but central projects of the modern Republican Party.

Mr. Georgescu and his friends are right to be afraid. Unless something big changes, the trajectory we are on will lead to “social unrest” as he describes it. When a candidate like Bernie Sanders can fill a 27,000 seat arena to capacity, it starts to be clear that more than a few Americans have had enough and want that change. It is naive of America’s super rich to think they can fully control this process. The harder they try to maintain the status quo, the more likely it is that Americans will be forced to turn to extra-political means. If that happens the battle lines will not be drawn between Liberals and Conservatives, such distinctions being too abstract. It will be the poor versus the rich, and in this case, the numbers favor the poor.