Capitalism

America Will Never Be A “Socialist” Country, But We Have “Socialist” Ideas Americans Want To Keep: Social Security, Medicare, Environmental, Labor, Consumer, Health Care, Education, And Civil Rights Laws, All Which Make Capitalism Work Better!

Donald Trump attacked “Socialism” in the State of the Union address, knowing full well that is simply a code word to attack progressive reforms that have become part of the American tradition and system of social justice.

“Socialism” in America is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Environmental Laws, Federal Labor Laws, Federal Consumer Laws, Federal Health Care, Education and Civil Rights Laws.

These laws are the hard, years fought for, efforts of primarily Democrats and some moderate Republicans over the century since Theodore Roosevelt, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even contributions of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and innumerable Senators and Congressmen and state governors who saw these laws as essential for American advancement.

We are a nation of capitalism but with “socialism” mixed in, due to the promotion of such legislation by the Socialist Party of the 20th century, and its leaders, including Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and most Americans support and see the need for the laws we have.

We are not going to go back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, as the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the 1960s, and the Obama era have made our nation better, and the right wing attack on all these reforms will be fought bitterly and defeated!

Donald Trump’s Attack On Truth, Facts, Knowledge Leads To An Alternative History And Science, Detrimental To America And Its Future!

Donald Trump has mounted an attack on truth, facts, knowledge, and in so doing, it has led to an alternative history and science, detrimental to America and its future.

His ignorance on both history and science undermines the future of American education, as we see distortion of both areas of knowledge being advocated as reality, when it is just the opposite. The fact that Betsy DeVos is Secretary of Education only undermines true education in history and science, as well as in other areas of the curriculum.

We also see a large number of Trump supporters in the Republican Party and the conservative movement attacking the nature of, and need for, higher education.

This is all part of a plan to promote ignorance, propaganda, and disdain for educated people, and that kind of trend endangers the long term future of the nation, as other countries surpass us in the competition for educated people to deal with the future of the world economy.

The attack on how American history is taught is an alarm bell, reviving the old focus on only white male accomplishments in government and the economy. We have been enriched by teaching and analyzing about the role of minorities, women, and working people in our American history curriculum, on both the public school and college and university level.

The attack on science promotes Christian doctrine, and denies evolution, climate science, environmental protection as important, instead promoting preposterous theories on the age of the earth, and the concept that there is no need to protect the earth and its natural wonders for the long term future, only focusing on profit and capitalism for the present, and ignoring the long term implications. The fact that Ryan Zinke is our Secretary of the Interior, and Scott Pruitt is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency is tragic in so many dimensions.

The struggle to fight the Donald Trump emphasis on alternative truth, which are simply lies, must be continued, no matter how arduous the battle!

Donald Trump’s War On The Poor And Disabled Unprecedented In Modern American History!

Donald Trump clearly has no conscience, as he is moving ahead in a war on the poor and disabled, unprecedented in American history.

The Native Americans of such areas as the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation of South Dakota; the poverty stricken areas of the major cities; the white working class of states such as West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania that is in desperation due to the decline of coal mining; the rural Southern and Midwest towns that have seen the close of factories and decline of agricultural prosperity; and the growing number of elderly and disabled people of all ages, all of which count on such government programs as Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Supplemental Security Income, now face massive cuts in programs, which these groups cannot afford to lose.

They will be unable to have proper nutrition; will be unable to afford visits to doctors or hospitals except in dire emergencies; and will face living out of cars or in homeless shelters; and doing without basic needs met, including dental care, winter heating and summer air conditioning, and ability to plan to send their children to college. They will have no opportunity to plan for a retirement when they are no longer able to work, particularly those with physical jobs, which will render them in a dire financial position in their twilight years.

But to Donald Trump, what really matters is not these “disposable” people, many of whom will most certainly die before their time due to neglect, but rather the additional wealth that will be gained by the elite wealthy from massive tax cuts at the expense of their fellow Americans, and will cause the moral and ethical decline of American society, as the evil aspects of capitalism will run rampant. Excessive greed and emphasis on profits is the priority over basic humanity!

Right Wing Conspiratorial Hysteria Over Barack Obama Has Been Proved Totally Wrong!

We are now entering the eighth and last year of the Barack Obama Presidency, with a new President to be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

It is in many ways amazing how Obama has survived unprecedented verbal attacks for seven years, and the most threats to his life of any President since Abraham Lincoln.

His Republican opposition has been unrelenting in the promotion of right wing conspiratorial hysteria for the past seven years, and has had no shame in wishing upon him all of the most terrible tragedies and failures, rather than willingness to unite for the public good!

And right wing radio and Fox News Channel has been totally despicable in encouraging right wing lunatics, and inciting them to create a constant stress and threat on the 44th President of the United States.  They would not be happy until he was either forced from office or dead from an assassin, and there is still clear concern that our President faces endless threats at a time when the Secret Service has been found wanting, and in need of drastic updating, reform, and new leadership!

For any American to have believed the conspiracy theories and gloom and doom loaded on Barack Obama, it is instructive to look back at some of what has been predicted and has NOT happened!

  1. Barack Obama will cancel the elections of 2016 and rule by martial law, and put his enemies into FEMA camps.  This is totally laughable!
  2. Barack Obama will take everyone’s guns away.  Yeh, sure, instead we have more guns and gun ownership than ever before, and more deaths from guns than automobile accidents!
  3. Barack Obama will destroy the American economy, with the highest gas prices ever, dramatic increase in unemployment and inflation, the collapse of the stock market, and the promotion of the end of the capitalist system. Instead we have 5 percent unemployment, doubling of the stock market, low inflation, and capitalism is alive and well, thank you!
  4. Barack Obama is a Muslim who will advance the cause of the Muslim jihadists, and allow the downfall of Christianity in America. Yeh, sure, instead we have more Muslims killed by Obama’s drone usage than under George W. Bush, and Osama bin Laden was killed!
  5. Barack Obama will destroy the oil and coal industries in his  mad quest to promote the “phony” issue of climate change. Yeh, sure, the energy industries are making record profits!
  6. Barack Obama will destroy heterosexual America by his promotion of gay rights, same sex marriage, and transgender rights.  Laughable, but heterosexual marriage divorces are up, and more Americans have broken marriages than the total number of same sex marriages!
  7. Barack Obama will take away the civil liberties and civil rights of Americans through government snooping on the private lives of Americans. Yeh, sure, as the NSA is limited in its ability to fight terrorism by government restrictions put upon them!
  8. Barack Obama will undermine law and order in this country through promotion of the agenda of extremist African Americans demands.  Yeh, sure, the idea that Obama is a black radical because he speaks up about growing number of police killings of unarmed black men is laughable!
  9. Barack Obama will destroy the nation through open borders immigration of people from Mexico and Central America.  Yeh, sure, as Obama has had more deportations of illegal immigrants than under George W. Bush!
  10. Barack Obama will undermine the nation of Israel and refuse to support the security of that nation.  Yeh, sure, as Obama provided the IRON DOME system and has given Israel more foreign aid than any President of the United States before him!
  11. Barack Obama will promote the expansion and aggression of the Russians under Vladimir Putin.  Yeh, sure that is why Putin embraces Donald Trump, and has actually cooperated with the American government on Middle East issues, and knows NATO is working to protect Ukraine, due to the tough stand of Obama!
  12. Barack Obama will promote a one world government led by the United Nations.  This is totally ridiculous, not even worth commenting on, as totally delusional!

It is time for the ill informed and uneducated population of America to stop their ignorance, learn the truth, and start to show appreciation of the historic nature of Barack Obama in the Presidency, and to wish him well in his final year in the White House.  His ranking in history for his accomplishments, his dignity, his class, his compassion, his common sense, and his courage in the face of adversity will make him appreciated in the future in a way appropriate for his performance in office!

Predatory Capitalism: The Pharmaceutical, Petroleum, Automobile, Banking And Other Industries Create A New “Gilded Age”!

Recent news about many industries make it clear that we are living through a new “Gilded Age”, following the original predatory capitalism of the “Robber Barons” of the late 19th century, followed by the abusive practices of the Ronald Reagan era, predated by the Richard Nixon administration.

Now we have the pharmaceutical industry holding hostages of the sick, disabled, and elderly, with the price of medication going sky high, as with the despicable young hedge fund billionaire who raised a price 5,000 percent until social media forced him, finally, to drop the price increase.

We have the petroleum industry, which does not give a damn about pollution damage, as in the British Petroleum oil spill in 2010, which will damage the long term environmental future in the Gulf of Mexico.  And now oil companies want to drill for oil in Alaska, the worst possible outcome, as we should learn from their mistakes, which have been many over the years.

And we also have Volkswagen having purposely avoided meeting the emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, which should lead to billions in assessment, but also put corporate leaders in prison.  And the General Motors scandal on faulty ignition switches, which caused many deaths and many injuries, should also  lead to prison time and major fines to punish that automobile company.

The banking industry continues exploiting homeowners and their mortgages, and has no conscience in their practices, and their leaders come to Capitol Hill and are worshiped by many members of Congress, when instead, they should be facing prison time for their illegal and unethical business practices.

It is long past time for a major increase in government regulation and intervention to make all corporations accountable, and force them to change their practices, which include horrible exploitation of their work force, as well as consumers.

A new Progressive Era, that promoted by Theodore Roosevelt, needs to develop, along with expansion of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, along with the reforms under Barack Obama.

But to do so, the right wing Republican party , which stands in the way of regulating capitalism appropriately, must be defeated for the Presidency, as well as Congress.  And only a future Democratic President can make judicial appointments to insure the long range future of regulation and intervention of the corporate world!

Pope Francis: A Gift To The World And Supporter Of Progressive Causes Shared With Barack Obama!

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, and will be here for six days, traveling to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

It is clear that Pope Francis is a gift to the world and a supporter of progressive causes that he often shares with President Barack Obama!

This Pope is, clearly, the best Pope in the sense of promoting reform, since the time of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis has made enemies among conservative Catholics and evangelical right wing Christians, who do not pursue the true message of Jesus Christ, the promotion of the poor and the disabled and the sick.

Pope Francis has condemned predatory capitalism which has no concern as to its effect on the poor.

Pope Francis has spoken up on climate change and global warming, infuriating those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party who only think about profits, and reject science.

Pope Francis has attacked the growing income inequality in the world, a dangerous disease that threatens global stability.

Pope Francis has worked to resolve problems in the Catholic Church, and to have a more open mind on divorce, abortion, gay rights, and other controversial social issues, while not wholly backing all of these cultural changes.  But he has demonstrated greater tolerance of differences and opened up a sense of change, which is desperately needed in the Catholic Church, if it is to grow and prosper in the long term.

Pope Francis has engaged in bringing about the restoration of a relationship between the United States and Cuba, something long overdue.

Pope Francis has worked to help Syrian refugees, and generally to encourage immigration reform around the world, as to reject immigrants is against the American historical tradition, and worldwide would be the growth of another Holocaust, as Jews and other refugees suffered in the Second World War.

Pope Francis is a transformational Pope who, hopefully, will have a long range effect on the Catholic Church and the world.

Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is hoped that he will win it, as he richly deserves it!

September 2015–A Month Of Federal Budget Deadline, Pope Francis Visit, Iran Agreement Debate For Congress!

When Congress gets back from its summer recess after Labor Day, it faces, along with President Barack Obama, a very challenging and significant month of major events.

The budget deadline is coming on September 30, and as usual, the Republicans in Congress are threatening yet again to shut down the government, with the issue of funding of Planned Parenthood being the major stumbling block, along with fights to cut “safety net” programs and promote yet more tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy.

Pope Francis, certainly the best Pope in his progressive vision since Pope John XXIII (1958-1963), will be visiting the United States and speaking before a joint session of Congress. He will deliver a message that progressives will love, including concern for the poor; acceptance of change in the Catholic Church on many conservative doctrines, including an open mind on gays and lesbians and divorce; condemnation of unbridled capitalism; and advocacy of the need for action on climate change and the environment in general. The Republican controlled Congress will be uncomfortable over his message, but it will boost the Obama agenda and legacy.

Also, the bitter battle over the Iran nuclear deal is extremely divisive, with American Jews divided; Democrats divided; and Republicans in unison against the deal, and advocating military force against Iran. All that Obama needs to sustain the agreement is one third plus one of the votes in one or both houses. That seems assured now in the House of Representatives with the assistance of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, but in the Senate, it will be more difficult, since future likely Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has come out against the agreement. But as long as at least one house cannot override the veto, the President will triumph.

So a month of “fireworks” is assured, and who knows what else will occur, particularly with the 2016 Presidential race in full swing, and already highly controversial!

Theodore Roosevelt And Gifford Pinchot Turning Over In Their Graves At Republican Party War On National Parks And Other Environmental Concerns!

The Republican Party a century ago had leaders who cared about the environment, and promoted conservation as a basic national policy.

Governor and later Senator Robert LaFollette, Sr. of Wisconsin; Senator George Norris of Nebraska; US Forestry Service Director and later Governor of Pennsylvania Gifford Pinchot; and President Theodore Roosevelt, all of them progressive Republicans in domestic affairs, made the promotion of national and state parks and monuments a priority. They set a standard for Democrats who followed their lead, including Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama, who just announced three new national park designations in California, Nevada, and Texas. Obama has added 260 million acres and 19 national monuments in office, making him one of the great leaders on that endeavor. We should also mention Republican President Richard Nixon, who despite many faults and shortcomings, did enough to be rated number two among Presidents on the environment, by a conservation group.

Additionally, we were fortunate to have such outstanding Secretaries of the Interior as Harold Ickes under FDR; Stewart Udall under JFK and LBJ; Walter Hickel under Nixon; Cecil Andrus under Carter; and Bruce Babbitt under Clinton to emphasize the importance of the environment in all of its manifestations.

But the Republican Party of present times is anti conservation, anti environment, fights the concept of global warming and climate change, and has allowed itself to come under the influences of wealthy energy interests that would love to mine uranium in the Grand Canyon; destroy native American and paleontological sites; and conduct fracking for natural gas, despite the vast dangers to health and safety, including water pollution and greatly increased earthquake activity, as in Oklahoma, for instance. The Koch Brothers have had a particularly deleterious effect on the issue of the environment. And Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is the worst possible enemy of the environmental movement in Congress, and is head, by seniority, of the Senate committee that deals with the subject.

The failure to see the importance of preserving our natural treasures is mind boggling, and those groups involved in promoting the environment know they have a massive challenge to keep what was given to us, and until the 20th century, was being gutted by rapacious capitalists in the oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and lumber industries who only saw, and still see, only the almighty profit motive, including lack of concern for danger to wildlife!

In 2015, What Does It Mean To Be Middle Class?

Just about everyone likes to say they are part of the vast “middle class” in America, whether they are really poor, working class, struggling middle class, upper middle class, or wealthy, as it is the “in” thing to be!

The vast middle class concept developed in the years after World War II, when millions of Americans moved to the suburbs, more Americans went to college, and the idea of “conspicuous consumption” became part of the “American dream.”

That dream has vanished for tens of millions, including many who live in the suburbs, many of which are deteriorating, and with property values often down, and many in bankruptcy or near bankruptcy.

Many college graduates now are working in minimum wage or near such income jobs, far removed from their earlier expectations, and tens of millions live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings for retirement; do not have adequate or any health care; cannot afford to take vacations that educate and enlighten them and their children; have very few benefits of any kind at work since labor unions, which created the middle class to a great extent, have declined rapidly since the time of Ronald Reagan; and have no expectation that life will get better anytime soon.

This rapidly declining middle class includes millions of minority population, both African American and Latino; but also untold many millions more who are white and thought that by their race alone, they had an advantage, but no longer the case.

Banks and corporations have caused a great deal of this growing poverty in the former middle class, both from their abuse of their work force, but also from encouraging materialism and greed on the part of people who cannot pay for what they desire, but get suckered into signing on the dotted line of their credit cards and mortgages, automobiles and boats, second homes, and more personal acquisitions than they ever need, but are seen as essential to leave the image to others that they are “well to do,” when that is precisely what they are not.

Capitalism is looked at as the promoter of wealth, when for most Americans, it has made them slaves for the truly wealthy, the billionaires, and the super multimillionaires!

133rd Anniversary Of FDR’s Birth: A Celebration Of Our Greatest President Since Abraham Lincoln!

Today, January 30, is the 133rd anniversary of the birth of our 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, our greatest President since Abraham Lincoln.

It is impossible to imagine America in 2015 without realizing the significance and impact of FDR, who led us through the worse moments of the Great Depression, and the most total war we have ever engaged in, the Second World War!

FDR’s New Deal still affects 320 million Americans every day of their lives in so many ways, and yet, there are right wing forces in the conservative movement, the Republican Party, the Tea Party Movement, and conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, which would wish to revert to the way the national government was before 1933, and therefore, wiping out Social Security, labor rights, environmental protection, corporate and bank regulations, and so many government agencies and institutions that have become part of our daily lives.

The New Deal of FDR was not perfect in every detail, but it saved capitalism; it saved democracy at a time when many looked to the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy as models; it gave the American people faith in their government and hopes for the long term future, and a sense of self dignity, an intangible factor.

FDR encouraged, inspired, motivated, and united average Americans, that their government was concerned about their welfare, and repudiated the power and influence of the elite wealthy, who therefore hated FDR with a passion, and plotted much of the time how to overthrow his Presidency by insidious means. FDR was under constant threat from internal demagogues, as well as foreign totalitarian forces for the 12 years and 39 days that he occupied the White House.

FDR’s death 70 years ago this coming April 12 was a tragedy of massive proportions, and most Americans could not recall any earlier President when he died before the Second World War ended several months later.

NO matter what sustained attacks the right wing has launched against FDR and his legacy, and recognizing he was not perfect, FDR remains our greatest President after Abraham Lincoln, and this is a day to celebrate his birthday!