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Mon Mar 21, 2016, 10:32 AM

Class Warfare

Good morning, DU Community!

One of the more interesting distinctions that I notice on DU:GDP is the manner in which the supporters of each of our two Democratic candidates perceive issues involving “class warfare” as influencing their choices. Now, let’s identify a working definition of “class warfare,” before we continue this discussion, okay?

We’ll go with the old Sociology 101 definition: “class warfare” can be understood as the tensions that exist in a society, between competing groups with different socioeconomic interests. A few years ago,, for example, there was the Occupy Movement, which focused on the very real differences between two groups -- the 99% and the 1%. The Occupy Movement was intent upon informing Americans of a reality that few elected representatives in Washington, DC, openly addressed: that the 1% had been engaging in class warfare against the 99% for decades.

The Occupy Movement was similar in spirit to what Martin Luther King, Jr., was planning in late 1967 - 68: a “Poor People’s Campaign,” in Washington, DC. More, King’s planned campaign was similar to the movement from the 1890s, known as “Coxey’s Army,” which attempted to highlight the elite’s class warfare against the majority of citizens of this country. And, of course, there was the labor movement’s struggle to form unions, to protect the working class from the cruelties of the 1%.

In the context of the 2016 Democratic primary, it is accurate to say that the central focus of the Sanders campaign is to defend the 99% from the attacks of the 1%. This obviously requires an awareness of the class warfare that is damaging the quality of life in America for the vast majority of people -- and hence, confronting the extreme corruption of our political process, where Wall Street controls most elected officials from both the Democratic and republican parties. Hence, Bernie’s campaign is funded exclusively by citizens’ contributions.

The Clinton campaign also has raised a significant amount of money from “average” American’s contributions. However, unlike Bernie’s campaign, Hillary’s has accepted millions from the Wall Street elites, who happen to be engaged in the class warfare against the majority of the nation’s population.

From the Sanders campaign’s viewpoint, those Wall Street contributions to the Clinton campaign are significant. More, Hillary herself has taken extremely large “speaking fees” for her meetings with Wall Street., and the Clinton Foundation likewise is funded by the elite in this country, and some rather unattractive foreign interests.

What’s not clear is what positions that Hillary, her top campaign people, and her grass roots supporters take on class warfare. Obviously, those currently making a good income are comfortable with the current economic realities. They are not working two part-time jobs for low wages. But certainly, a significant portion of her supporters are dealing with many of the same financial pressures as the rest of us.

The Sanders campaign isn’t advocating taking revenge against all wealthy people. Rather, we are demanding an equal playing field. To establish a level playing field, we will eventually need to work in unity with people from every socioeconomic class in the country. But before we can do that, we need to increase the unity among the targets of the 1%’s class warfare. I think it is fair to say that this is among the reasons why many progressives find the thought of voting for Hillary distasteful, although perhaps necessary, if she is our party’s nominee.

I will not pretend to know what is the thinking of those targets of the elite’s class warfare, who are supporting Clinton at this time. I’d be curious to learn.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Arrow 82 replies Author Time Post
Reply Class Warfare (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2016 OP
DanTex Mar 2016 #1
Gregorian Mar 2016 #3
DanTex Mar 2016 #4
Gregorian Mar 2016 #9
DanTex Mar 2016 #10
Gregorian Mar 2016 #11
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #16
H2O Man Mar 2016 #17
DanTex Mar 2016 #29
marions ghost Mar 2016 #60
antigop Mar 2016 #61
Armstead Mar 2016 #74
bobthedrummer Mar 2016 #23
H2O Man Mar 2016 #24
Gregorian Mar 2016 #30
marions ghost Mar 2016 #58
Gregorian Mar 2016 #72
marions ghost Mar 2016 #73
Gregorian Mar 2016 #76
mmonk Mar 2016 #7
DanTex Mar 2016 #8
Armstead Mar 2016 #75
H2O Man Mar 2016 #12
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #18
H2O Man Mar 2016 #20
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #21
H2O Man Mar 2016 #22
BillZBubb Mar 2016 #31
DanTex Mar 2016 #33
Major Hogwash Mar 2016 #45
antigop Mar 2016 #62
JonLeibowitz Mar 2016 #77
DanTex Mar 2016 #78
JonLeibowitz Mar 2016 #79
Scuba Mar 2016 #2
H2O Man Mar 2016 #13
Dem2 Mar 2016 #5
H2O Man Mar 2016 #14
Jefferson23 Mar 2016 #6
H2O Man Mar 2016 #15
Jefferson23 Mar 2016 #28
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #19
Jefferson23 Mar 2016 #27
BillZBubb Mar 2016 #32
mmonk Mar 2016 #25
H2O Man Mar 2016 #26
mmonk Mar 2016 #35
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #34
H2O Man Mar 2016 #47
Ghost Dog Mar 2016 #80
mmonk Mar 2016 #36
H2O Man Mar 2016 #48
mmonk Mar 2016 #37
H2O Man Mar 2016 #49
sadoldgirl Mar 2016 #38
H2O Man Mar 2016 #50
mmonk Mar 2016 #66
anotherproletariat Mar 2016 #39
H2O Man Mar 2016 #51
sadoldgirl Mar 2016 #40
H2O Man Mar 2016 #52
Ghost Dog Mar 2016 #81
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #41
Brother_Love Mar 2016 #42
H2O Man Mar 2016 #53
mrdmk Mar 2016 #43
H2O Man Mar 2016 #54
Impedimentus Mar 2016 #44
H2O Man Mar 2016 #55
Samantha Mar 2016 #46
H2O Man Mar 2016 #63
malthaussen Mar 2016 #70
EndElectoral Mar 2016 #56
H2O Man Mar 2016 #64
me b zola Mar 2016 #57
H2O Man Mar 2016 #65
mmonk Mar 2016 #67
pdsimdars Mar 2016 #59
mmonk Mar 2016 #68
Uncle Joe Mar 2016 #69
malthaussen Mar 2016 #71
2banon Mar 2016 #82

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 10:36 AM

1. Hillary is the better candidate on income inequality and economic issues generally.

Bernie might have claimed that mantle until he embraced the fantasy economic projections including sustained GDP growth at 5.3%. Hillary intends to raise the minimum wage, increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and make large investments in clean energy jobs. She also has been a staunch ally of unions her entire career, which is why most unions are backing her and not Bernie.

It's beyond me how anyone could describe that as class warfare by the 1% against the 99%.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 11:08 AM

3. I don't know how to put this politely.

I don't know how to help. I could point out that he is asking for $15/hr versus her $12. If you ask for $15 you'll most likely end up with $12. If you ask for $12, well... One candidate has been totally consistent to for decades, in helping workers. The other has essentially taken away from workers.

Why not spend some time listening to Noam Chomsky. Isn't he trustworthy enough? He spells it all out. Listen to Richard Wolff. He's very clear about which candidate is healthy, and which is unhealthy. It takes effort. I put years into researching who to listen to and what they have to say. I think the truth isn't what you think it is.

I also think the problem is trusting someone who has a proven track record of being untrustworthy.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 11:40 AM

4. That was polite.

Yes, he's for $15. I disagree that asking for $15 would necessarily end up with a better number than $12. The flip side is that by asking for $15, which is higher than even many liberal economists think is sustainable nationwide, might kill the whole idea before it even got started.

Of course, the $12 that Clinton is for is a huge increase from the status quo, and would represent the highest minimum wage ever, after adjusting for inflation. And this is one of many examples of how the OP's argument, that Clinton is in favor of class warfare of the rich against the poor, is absurd. Sure, you can argue that $15 is a better number, or a better negotiation point, but that doesn't come anywhere near to justifying the accusation that she's against the working class.

It's also absurd to suggest that Hillary has "essentially taken away from workers." In addition to wanting to raise the minimum wage and increase taxes on the wealthy, she's been a strong supporter of organized labor, for example pushing for the Employee Free Choice Act as Senator and now again as presidential candidate. And, like I said, most unions in the country are supporting her. I think they know a thing or two about who stands with workers.

Thanks for the listening and reading recommendations, but I assure you that I am also very well informed on these issues. In my last post I mentioned Bernie's claim that his policies would create a decade of 5.3% GDP growth. We haven't had 10-year average growth that high at anytime since WW2, and that's during a period during which the demographic trends were much more favorable. Likewise, his estimates of health care savings under single payer have been widely panned by experts by being grossly optimistic. In fact, his even released numbers claiming he would save more on prescription drugs than the total amount spent on drugs in the US. When this was pointed out, he changed the number to something slightly lower, but still well outside the realm of possibility.

Bernie is bring up important issues that need to be discussed more. But when it comes to actual policies, Hillary is the stronger candidate.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 01:44 PM

9. I tend to look at the bigger picture.

It's one of my faults and yet one of my strengths. I don't spend much time on details. But I do pay attention to bigger pictures, and to philosophies.

I think it's true that $12/hour is an increase that would be meaningful. We've already shown that $15/hr is not exhibiting problems in the places where it is now the standard. But assuming we ended up with $10/hr, it doesn't seem so significant. What I've seen is that very much like the article that came out condemning Bernie's economic plan, economists are also affected by politics. 170 progressive economists signed together to support Bernie's plans. Then a group came out against it, except that they were found to be fraudulent. Even the economists have to be weeded out for the truth.

But what concerns me is not just NAFTA, and repealing of Glass-Steagall. But how Hillary has embraced the TPP. This is the big picture part. I cannot find a single source that honestly argues that the TPP would benefit workers in America. Imagine employees in this country being forced to compete against people making half a dollar per hour. This is the very line of thinking that began with the Clintons in order to sustain the income inequality we're experiencing now. What do people think was in the minds of the Clintons when NAFTA was enacted? Do people really think they had workers in their hearts? Quite the opposite.

Now look at Bernie. Every single thing he has done in the last 50 years has been to fight for workers. That's what Martin King Jr. was doing. That is how he died. He was with garbagemen when he died.

If I had more time I would dig deeper, and reply with more examples, because they are out there. Bernie gives quite a few in his speeches. I strongly suggest listening carefully to what he says in his rallies, because it's based on history.

These candidates are essentially opposite sides of a coin. One is heads, the other tails. It's that polar. I don't know if you can see that.

Open your horizons. Look at the bigger picture. Who makes millions off of banks, versus who is working for the people. Bernie is not rich. Hillary is rich. That alone speaks volumes, although not necessarily. What is obvious to me may not be to others, so I have tried a little to share my thoughts.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 02:16 PM

10. As do I.

This is part of the reason why I don't think the 12/15 thing matters. I'm also confident that if Hillary was for 10 and Bernie was for 12, then the same people would be saying that 12 is great, whereas if it was 15/18, then they would be saying that 15 is selling out the working class and only 18 is acceptable. It's true that $15 works in some parts of the country with higher wages and higher costs of living, but that is not evidence that it will work everywhere. Economic conditions vary. But in the end both want to raise it. And raise it a lot.

As far as your calling the economists who critiques Bernie's economic projections "fraudulent", I doubt very much that you would say this if you actually read any of the analyses. Here's a paper by Christina and David Romer, who are among the most highly respected progressive economists in the nation. And while Sanders did collect a lot of signatures (some of whom were not actually economists), the consensus among most liberal economists, not just Romer and Romer, but Alan Kreuger, Paul Krugman, etc. is that his numbers don't come close to adding up. But even without going into the detail that Romer did, the fact that a decade of 5.3% growth has never happened since WW2, even without the demographic drag of an aging population, should pretty much tell you how dissociated from reality this all is. For comparison, GOP candidates routinely get mocked for projecting GOP growth rates in the range of over 4%. Bernie is going a full percent higher.

Regarding TPP: here my big picture tells me that the effects of trade agreements have been grossly exaggerated by both sides of the debate. People attribute the hollowing out of the middle class and of manufacturing to NAFTA even though it began two decades before NAFTA went into effect. It's a complicated problem, and Bernie is offering crude and simplistic solutions. Basically, protectionism. So what is he going to do about the jobs being lost to automation? Heavily tax goods that are made by robots?

I get that there are differences between the two candidates, but calling them opposite sides of the coin is an extreme exaggeration. Even on free trade, where there is perhaps the largest difference, you wouldn't know it from reading about her on DU, but Hillary actually has a mixed record on FTAs, for some against others.

But on other issues: unions, minimum wage, climate change, choice, taxes on the wealthy, immigration, they are on the same side. You'd argue that Bernie pushes harder, whereas I'd argue that Hillary pushes more intelligently, but either one would push in the right direction.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 03:22 PM

11. I just want to leave one thing to think about..

You make good arguments in favor of Hillary. I approach this from a different perspective though. I do not approve of free trade. It may not sound like much, but fair trade is geared towards the workers, while free trade is geared towards the corporations. Small difference, with big consequences of difference.

But here is the overwhelming and troubling problem I don't hear being addressed by the Clinton campaign, that is being discussed as a central mantra by the Sanders campaign. According to Gar Alperovitz, we don't have an economic problem. This economy produces $200,000 for every family of four right now, in the midst of recession/stagnation. This is also addressed by Bernie whenever he says this is the richest nation in the history of the world, but you wouldn't know it because most of that is going to the 1%. You could cut that $200k in half, work a 20 hour week, and be making $100k per year! It is not an economic problem, but a political problem. Hillary does not address this. However, it is central to Bernie's campaign, and his efforts for nearly 50 years. And at least the last 30 continuous years of service.

So what we're talking about here is what kind of culture we want to live in. Do we want to scramble like slaves, earning money for the 1%, or do we want a compassionate society that affords people the luxury of simply being alive and human?

I think you're a bit lukewarm when it comes to heeding the warning signs coming from Clinton. She is not struggling to help workers. However, it is abundantly clear that Bernie Sanders has, and is, working only for the people.

This is a philosophical crossroads for the soul of our country. 8 years of the Clintons gave this voter enough information to know better than give them control again. We can and must do better.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:02 PM

16. You guys talk very politely with each other and I am very happy to see both of your capacity for

reasons and logic. Thank you.

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #16)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:03 PM

17. +1

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:42 PM

29. Never heard of Gar Alperovitz, but that's an interesting argument.

Here's my take on that. First, the $200K figure is a bit misleading. It seems to be based on per capita GDP, which is about $50K, and so if a typical household is 4 people, then that would come to $200K of GDP per each household. Although a typical household is more like 2.5 people, it would actually come to $125K.

On top of that, not all GDP is household income. Some of it is business investment, some of it is government spending on things like roads and wars. About 2/3rds is consumer spending, so that would bring is to roughly $80K per household per year. I googled and found on Wiki that in the US, the average household income is $72K per year, so not so far off.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States#Mean_vs._median_household_income

The median household income, according to that same study, is $52K per year, or about $20K lower than the average. So, if we could redistribute the money, basically
1) The median family would earn $20K more, or roughly 40% more per year than they do now.
2) There would be no more poverty or wealth, everyone would have a decent life.

And that's great, but there's a big difference between $72K and $200K. Also, redistributing it is not just a political problem, it is very much an economic one. If you redistributed it fully, you would be breaking down the capitalist incentives in place that keep people working and producing that GDP. And I'm not trying to say that the super-rich all deserve their money because they work so hard. But I am trying to say that a lot of people, if they were guaranteed $70k per year no matter what they did, wouldn't work very hard.

But that's an extreme example. What we could do is simply impose more progressive taxation and redistribution. How much? That's unclear, but certainly significantly more than now. Right now the top 1% earn about 18% of all household income. In the 60s it was only about 9%. So if you could redistribute that extra 9% to everyone else, then you could basically give the whole country a 10% raise, courtesy of the 1%.

So yeah, there's plenty of room there, and it's definitely a huge problem that needs to be addressed. But I strongly disagree that either Clinton doesn't care or isn't aware of this. In fact, inequality is one of the major topics that the kinds of liberal economists that have supported her and critiqued Bernie's figures are writing about. And have been writing about for a while. And her economic proposals, which include increasing the minimum wage and raising taxes on the wealthy, indicate that she's got the message.

Another thing that needs to be pointed out. Bernie says that we are the richest country in the world, but it doesn't feel like it. That may be true, but we still feel pretty darn rich compared to other countries. According to a different study, we rank number 6 in median income (at least among the countries studied, which include most of Europe), both by individual and by household. Yes, we could do better, but it's not like our middle class is much worse than the rest of the first world. On the contrary, numerically we are doing pretty well.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_household_income
Moreover, we're not actually the wealthiest country in the world, at least not per capita. The highest per capita GDP is Qatar. We are number 10.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Anyway, I get what Bernie's tapping into, and I agree. What I don't agree is that everything is horrible and if we don't get Bernie it's the end of the world, and there is a lot of that kind of rhetoric going around.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:59 AM

60. So well said.

This is a turning point. The soul of the country, everything we stand for--is on the line.

"do we want a compassionate society that affords people the luxury of simply being alive and human?"

That is the crux of it all. Otherwise we are slaves, pitted against each other, for the benefit of our masters.

The perpetuation of the status quo, represented by Hillary Clinton, is NOT what America needs now. No matter how much lip service you want to give to Hillary's "good intentions"--it will be too little, too late.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #60)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 10:15 AM

61. +1000 nt

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #60)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 03:24 PM

74. Yes totally

 

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:15 PM

23. BCCI, Iran Contra relevance: UAE, Saudi, Pakistan, money and Bush family (ProSense 10-7-06 DU)

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x2870996

That's but one example from a broader vista, Gregorian, and from history in this post-Snowden, Manning, WikiLeaks, etc epoch.

Class warfare=maintain the globalist 1% by any and all means, doesn't it?

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #23)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:16 PM

24. Exactly.

Thank you!

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #23)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:43 PM

30. Not to mention negative interest rates.

Amazing old thread. It really does lay it all wide open. In the middle, BLM said- it really is a blueprint for global fascism and perpetual war.

Sadly the Clintons are a part of the group that is mentioned in that thread. It has everything to do with money and the protection of that money.

Thanks for sharing that.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:44 AM

58. I would add read economist Robert Reich

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #58)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 03:18 PM

72. You know what's cool.

Both of those links are purple.

Thanks! Any economist who can draw cartoons gets my appreciation.

Here's to a good super Tuesday two!

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #72)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 03:21 PM

73. Love his cartoons

getting down to basics.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #73)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 03:58 PM

76. Here's a few things of interest.

Richard Wolff does talks that go on youtube and this other website-

I think this was an outstanding talk, if I recall. There's a bit of intro stuff. I remember amazing things happen around the 20 minute mark. If this is your thing, you might like it. I can't believe I ever got into this stuff.

http://www.democracyatwork.info/eu_good_for_profits_bad_for_society?utm_campaign=030315_gdprofit&utm_medium=email&utm_source=democracyatwork

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Response to DanTex (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 12:12 PM

7. If that were true, I'd be for her. But my family is still smarting

from 2008 when what was generally done between President Bill Clinton, Sen. Phil Gramm and the CEO of Citigroup. Enough is enough.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 12:15 PM

8. Interesting, so you don't think W had anything to do with the 2008 crash?

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Response to DanTex (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 03:25 PM

75. Bill Clinton started the job....Bush carried it on

 

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Response to DanTex (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 03:27 PM

12. Thanks, DanTex.

I appreciate that you responded to this OP. While I do not agree with you -- and only know of you from reading some of your other pro-Hillary contributions here -- I think you are a good and sincere person.

If you ever travel to upstate New York, look me up. I'd enjoy talking with you about social-political issues. Not to try to change your mind, but rather, to take some time to expose you to some ideas that you couldn't have been exposed to before. Sincere offer.

Keep on fighting the Good Fight!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:03 PM

18. From what I read, this is informative and beneficial. Very refreshing. Thank you.

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:06 PM

20. Right!

Proof positive that DUers are capable of civil, meaningful discourse.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #20)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:08 PM

21. Your big heart really helps too!

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #21)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:08 PM

22. Thank you!

And your's, as well.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:44 PM

31. What a load of hogwash. Hillary's support of trade deals has helped gut the middle class.

That also has helped DESTROY the union movement in America. Unions leaders are backing her because they bet she will be the winner and half a loaf, to them, is better than none. But half a loaf only leads to slower starvation, not good health.

Her support of deregulation, the bankruptcy bill, and "welfare reform" have wreaked havoc on the lives of the poor and lower middle classes.

If we have the misfortune to get president Clinton II, we are in for continued stagnation of wages at the bottom and continued expansion of income at the top.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #31)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:58 PM

33. Hillary's been for some trade deals and against others. But the effects of trade deals have

been exaggerated, both by proponents and critics. The losses by the middle class began two decades before NAFTA, trying to pin it on trade deals just doesn't match the facts.

As far as unions, she's always been a staunch supporter, and she was a strong proponent of the employee free choice act, both as senator and also now as candidate. I'm glad you have such little confidence in unions that you think they are leading their membership on the road to slow starvation -- this sounds indistinguishable from right-wing anti-union rhetoric about how union bosses don't care about their members. As for me, I side with the unions, which in turn side with Hillary.

Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton, but to the extent that you blame her for his administration, you must also give her credit for his accomplishments. He raised the top income tax rate, and presided over the longest period of economic expansion since WW2, during which 20 million jobs were created, median income grew, and poverty decreased. So, yeah, let's have some more of that.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #31)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 02:23 AM

45. She said "TPP is the gold standard".

I don't think she knows what the phrase "gold standard" means.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #31)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 10:19 AM

62. HRC also supported an increase in h-1b visas.

I have personally witnessed the loss of jobs in the computer industry to h-1b visaholders.

There is no shortage of STEM workers in the US. That is a myth the corporations want people to believe.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 04:00 PM

77. You don't "embrace fantasy economic projections"

They are the result of the standard model given the inputs as prescribed. If the 5.3% number is off, then the problem is with the economic models that everybody uses, but I haven't seen a critique of the 5.3% number based on that and not the economic model.

Granted, I am not saying that 5.3% growth is achievable (likely not); I just haven't seen an intellectually honest argument. I'm sure one can be made since all models are wrong in some way or another.

Galbraith makes the point better I think: http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/ResponsetoCEA.pdf

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Response to JonLeibowitz (Reply #77)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 04:09 PM

78. There isn't one "standard economic model". There are assumptions and estimates that one

builds into economic projections. The way that Paul Ryan gets his fantasy projections is the same way that Bernie got to his: bake in a lot of unrealistic assumptions.

And yes, there are critiques that are not based on the 5.3% number itself. For example, the one below by Christina and David Romer. However, even without the detail, simply pointing to the 5.3% number as fantasy is not intellectually dishonest, because anyone who is familiar with macroeconomics and how such models work understands that you don't get an outlandish result like that without putting garbage in.

https://evaluationoffriedman.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/romer-and-romer-evaluation-of-friedman1.pdf

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Response to DanTex (Reply #78)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 04:12 PM

79. Thank you for the link. This looks to be a good read. Exactly what I was looking for.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 10:37 AM

2. K&R for another worthwhile OP from H2O Man.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 03:27 PM

13. Thank you, Scuba!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 11:48 AM

5. "The Sanders campaign isn’t advocating taking revenge against all wealthy people"

No, he isn't.

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Response to Dem2 (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 03:33 PM

14. Thank you, Dem2.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 11:57 AM

6. If you're not politically aware of her policy choices and the consequences they have caused

that is one thing..not everyone is a political news junkie. If you know about her
connections to the corporate world and her foreign policies and continue to
support her in the primaries that leaves the question for me..why?

Who benefited, who did not...this is where I have to admit when I read
support for her here it falls apart. There are few examples of analysis
to support Hillary's choices. Some read as if she was forced to vote
as she does..she must take the money, that's how DC works, blah blah.

It is disheartening but a reality, neo-liberalism has its backers and
it has caused great harm to millions of people. Where did the ideas
originate from? I believe the answer in part, neo-liberalism was spawned
from a corrupt political system, the Clinton's went to the right after
the Reagan era..they showed no courage, there was no call for a grassroots
approach to begin fighting back against all the harm Reagan caused.

I find the Clinton's demonstrably cynical people and I hope we do not
lose this opportunity to end their approach to governing.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 03:53 PM

15. Right.

It is simply not possible to have an aggressive militaristic foreign policy, and have social justice domestically. There may be instances where a given politician changes his/her mind on issues such as marriage equality -- once it is "safe" to do so -- but in too many other areas, Hillary's foreign policy results in inequality at home.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:38 PM

28. Undeniable, yes. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:04 PM

19. I do agree with your points.

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #19)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:37 PM

27. Thank you..so much at stake. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:46 PM

32. Well said, Mr. Jefferson!

The Clinton's cynicism is unmistakable only with their money grubbing ambition.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:21 PM

25. Thanks for the thread and here is a generalized response from me.

I've been away much of the day. If the thread is still going a little later, I will do better. Take care.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #25)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 04:25 PM

26. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #26)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 05:56 PM

35. Income inequality is an important cog of change or revolution.

The fact they all come out and fight us on specious claims rather than address the issue is the dead give away.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 05:23 PM

34. This topic has been on my mind for a long time but rarely I discuss it with people around me because

there are not much awareness about it --- people often do not see themselves belonging to a class, they often seem to feel that they are free from it. Or some people are so oppressed that they feel they cannot do anything about it, they don't want to talk about it.

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #34)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:12 AM

47. Right. I think

that there are two primary factors in play.The first is that people have conformed to an authoritarian model of social structure. That is an unfortunately common feature of patriarchal society.

The second feature is social novocaine: the bright lights, loud music, laughter, strong drinks, electronic gadgets, etc, that numb people from their daily existence, and may it all too easy for the 1% to capitalize on their being unconscious.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #47)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 05:33 PM

80. Oh, excellent brief description of the social novocaine. n/t

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 06:53 PM

36. How to create a bubble economy through deregulation

and get bailed out while millions suffer.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #36)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:12 AM

48. Very good!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 07:17 PM

37. Worth your time if you haven't seen it. I saw it all collapsing in 2007

but couldn't quite see the culprit since cdo's were rated AAA by the rating agencies. So I bought diamond puts against my portfolio but didn't know where to put the puts in different sectors of my portfolio. You see, lies and fraud make it hard to see the whole picture (you see, the rating agencies were basically paid to lie to investors which is fraud). Therefore, I am morally and politically opposed to the Republican Party and the Third Way Democrats. You can make up any disparaging thing against me and fool others. But it can never change what I know or live through.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #37)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:13 AM

49. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 07:45 PM

38. As far as I understand from history

both Roosevelts were able to stop a class war revolution.

As much as I would love to see Bernie succeed, I doubt
that anyone at this point is able to do the same. At this
point people have learned to live with debt due to the
introduction of credit cards, which was a stroke of genius
for the banks and other institutions.

Once we get another crash the attitude of the electorate
may change. I think it will come within 2 years, and by
that time we may see 2 different paths:

1) Yes, a class war revolution, especially if there would
be some younger leaders to guide it.

2) People will give up totally, because the power of
the police state has become too overwhelming.

BTW Dodd/Frank is mostly a sham, and will not
stop another crash,imo.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #38)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:19 AM

50. Interesting points.

Thank you.

Last night, I watched a film titled "Peace Officer." It focused on the #2 issue you raised:

http://www.peaceofficerfilm.com/

The film was released a year ago. It's important, and I urge everyone to watch it.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #38)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 11:43 AM

66. Correct on both the Roosevelts stopping class war and Dodd Frank.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 07:48 PM

39. The problem with Bernie's platform is that it doesn't take into consideration...

 

...the current political realities. Hillary approached her campaign as politicians have been doing for years. Modern presidential candidates need big money donors and lots of corporate investment. So, she went about setting up a traditional campaign, not thinking that it would ever be an issue because it hadn’t in the past. Finding herself defending what was expected of her caught her by surprise. No one anticipated an old, frumpy, socialist to gain much traction. However, I think she would probably do it all over, because the bigger threat is the repub nominee, and against the GOP, she needs all the weapons she can accumulate.

Bernie’s approach is great…but it can’t happen overnight, or be expected to. in a climate where corporate campaign donations are still the norm. As long as some candidates are still funded this way, the playing field will not be level. The anti-Citizens United movement needs to hope that the new member of the Supreme Court is on our side, and once seated, need to bring a case addressing this issue. Then a candidate like Bernie has a better chance at his revolution against class warfare.

Granted, I’m a Hillary supporter, but I just don’t see how she can be faulted for playing by the rules as they now stand. If you are in a war, and know your biggest opponent will have tanks, while all you have is guns…you are surely going to try and get some tanks.

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Response to anotherproletariat (Reply #39)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:26 AM

51. Thank you!

I appreciate your input. And, of course, I both agree and disagree with some of your points. However, I respect the manner in which you make them .....you prove that rational thought can lead to interesting conversations -- even on DU:GDP.

One area of partial disagreement is the idea of playing by the established rules. Because our "rules" for politics are so corrupt, I think we would be mistaken to submit entirely to them. I'd note that, for example, the duties of the US President, as defined by the Constitution, were laid out by the Founding Fathers well before the concept of political parties came into being. Thus, we would do well to look for other rules -- say, Amendment 1, which is by no coincidence central to the revolution that Bernie advocates.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 07:56 PM

40. I forgot about two items:

It is not the fight of the 99%. That is an overstatement.
About 10 - 12 % feel very good about their situation, but
yes, that is still a minority.

The other part comes in with Climate Change, which will
cause tremendous upsets (even without wars) due to
needed yet dwindling resources.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #40)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:36 AM

52. Solid points.

Regarding climate change: as much as I disliked him and his presidency, I remember when Bush the Elder was looking at the destruction of the environment. He called for a private meeting -- never reported in the mainstream media -- with some representatives from the Onondaga Nation. And I remember that he told Chief Waterman's sister, a Clan Mother, that he was hesitant to speak frankly with the American public, because he believed it would cause a panic.

Mikhail Gorbachev would also invite Paul's sister to the USSR, after their huge environmental disaster, to discuss environmental realities.

It's not that the 1% don't know. They do. But they are unwilling to speak openly and honestly with the rest of the country. People should consider why that is, and focus upon the implications.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #52)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 05:56 PM

81. Thankyou for this. On climate change our elites know and are making plans they are not sharing

with the people. Implications:

1. They do not want people to panic;
2. They do not want us to know or reflect upon their options or their plans;
3. They do not want people, collectively, to make and execute plans of their own.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 08:42 PM

41. kick

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2016, 11:18 PM

42. Recommended.

 

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Response to Brother_Love (Reply #42)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:36 AM

53. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 01:25 AM

43. K & R

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Response to mrdmk (Reply #43)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:36 AM

54. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 01:34 AM

44. The class war is over, the 0.01% won and the rest of us are the losers.

We have become economic slaves and many of us don't even know it. If Bernie's revolution fails the oligarchs will bleed us dry until there is not even the appearance of democracy left in a once great nation. This is the most important election since 1932, it will determine the fate of future generations. Wake up America - your enslavement is almost complete.

FEEL THE BERN - 2016

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Response to Impedimentus (Reply #44)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:37 AM

55. Well said.

Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 03:56 AM

46. I love this opinion piece, H2O Man

A really nice read this early in the morning (3:23 am).

The most fascinating fact about this particular election to me is that Bernie Sanders identifies income inequality causation occurring as a result of the top one percent usurping 99 percent of all new income, and the top one-tenth of that one percent owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That very disparity is one of the direct causes of the shrinking middle class and the growth of poverty in this Country.

The salient focus of this contest between Clinton and Sanders for me is the fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton are in the top one-tenth of that one percent. In other words, they are among the top targets Sanders pinpoints as a huge part of the problem. No one discusses this latter point in election debates. Yet there the elephant in the debate room sits.

What rational person actually thinks that if elected Hillary Clinton will seek to change the formula which has so enriched Bill's, Chelsea's and her lives to establish a fairer distribution of income and wealth to the middle and poor classes of people in this Country?

So Bernie identifies the problem as he sees it, and part of the problem is standing there on the debate platform along side him purloining planks of his platform. Is that not surreal? Obviously, her political cronies know she is saying what she believes she should say to get elected, but if she does in fact prevail, she will take office and do whatever she wants. But voters who support her actually buy what she is selling. What logical explanation is there for that? And additionally, do they not see the elephant?

Sam

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Response to Samantha (Reply #46)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 11:06 AM

63. Well said.

In an election cycle where a large percentage of citizens want real change from the establishment's manner of doing things, it's curious to see how many place their faith in establishment figures. It's not as surprising that republicans identify Donald Trump as "anti-establishment," for as a species, they have shown the approximate capacity for insight as fungus or mold. But with Democrats, one tends to expect a bit more.

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Response to Samantha (Reply #46)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 02:19 PM

70. Possibly because historically, presidential candidates tend to be rich.

Very few presidents or candidates for the office can claim to be members of the actual body politic, so one tends not to consider it a significant point. Coupled with the deep sense of deference existing in many American voters, this would tend more in the direction of despising Mr Sanders for his insolence rather than doubting Mrs Clinton because she sleeps on mink sheets. Indeed, I expect there are even one or two who are critical of Mr Sanders for not having done better for himself in years of service at the public trough.

There is still an abiding notion in the U.S., even though contrary to all rational experience, that a) one gets what one deserves, and b) one who has a lot is better than one who does not, and certainly better than one's peers. We elect leaders, so they say, which immediately implies subordination and due deference. Naturally, we want that deference to go to someone who deserves it, so we ignore reasons to the contrary and make up reasons to defend it.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:37 AM

56. Not many wars I can get behind, but this is one I'd sign off on.

I imagine there'd be a lot of Republican CO's on this one and a few wealthy Democrats as well.

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Response to EndElectoral (Reply #56)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 11:06 AM

64. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:40 AM

57. I remember the Reagan years when downsizing was all the rage

Employees had to absorb the work-load of others which meant that the only way to keep your job was to do the work of 2-3 workers.

This "higher productivity" was nothing more than the redistribution of wealth, wealth flowing from the middle class to the 1%.

When we fight back they call it class warfare. But we didn't begin the war, we are simply trying to survive the war that was declared on us decades ago.


Thank you for the post, H2O Man.

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Response to me b zola (Reply #57)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 11:07 AM

65. Exactly.

Thank you.

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Response to me b zola (Reply #57)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 11:50 AM

67. Yep.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 11:57 AM

68. The bottom line of the Republican/Third Way belief system

is that economies always works top down so everything must be routed through the top. The fatal flaw in that type of political economics is the principle of demand is left out. It will always be a house of cards.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 02:18 PM

69. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, H2O Man.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 02:39 PM

71. Let's get real, a level playing field is impossible.

The playing field can be more level than it is, but there is no way to ensure that all players can start from an equal place. How would one account for genetic differences, after all? You're a boxer, you know that 100-lb contestants do not engage against those weighing 200 lbs, even though the rules of the ring establish a "level playing field." (Incidentally, I hate all such analogies, but I'll indulge it for the nonce)

To be perfectly frank, whenever I hear anyone -- even Mr Sanders -- maunder on about the rich paying their "fair share" of taxes, I want to barf. I don't want the rich to pay a "fair share," I want them to pay a bloody horking great unfair share. If a billionaire pays 90% in taxes, he still has more money than I will ever see in my lifetime. Excuse me if I don't cry real tears because he has to part with an "unfair" share of the pelf, which has almost certainly been acquired on the backs of my class peers and by the most "unfair" means possible. I understand the political need -- one is risking political suicide by even breathing the words "tax increase," which is possibly one reason why the supporters of Mr Sanders tend to be so disingenuous about it. But certain cliches -- "hard-working Americans" is another. So what about the Americans who don't work hard? (All of Congress, for starters) It's a thing I have always found inexplicable: if everyone works their asses off, why are there so many assholes around? "Hard-working Americans" gets you 60-hour weeks, no vacations, and authorization to sneer at European countries where the work week is more like 36 hours. I guess they don't work very hard, then.

Well, pardon the rant. We need to seriously re-work our understanding of class warfare and class identity in America (the supposedly classless society). Even Mr Sanders does not go far enough in this direction, but at least he is willing to take baby steps.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 09:06 PM

82. Kickin' & a Recken'

 



The Sanders campaign isn’t advocating taking revenge against all wealthy people. Rather, we are demanding an equal playing field. To establish a level playing field, we will eventually need to work in unity with people from every socioeconomic class in the country. But before we can do that, we need to increase the unity among the targets of the 1%’s class warfare. I think it is fair to say that this is among the reasons why many progressives find the thought of voting for Hillary distasteful, although perhaps necessary, if she is our party’s nominee.


Great post H2O Man!

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