Not Redistribution of Wealth! Oh No!

We need to help middle class workers prepare for new jobs.
We need this kind of shot-in-the-arm free community college program that the
President is recommending and that he talked about in his State of the Union
address and that infrastructure stuff and child care. But we have learned all too much about “pay for-s” over the past six
years.
 “That’s impossible.”
say the Republicans, “How will we pay for it?”
So then President Obama rolls out his tax plan. And it’s a
doozie – an in-your-face Grover Norquist, No-Tax-Increase-Pledge doozie! And I
am smiling a big smile even though I know it won’t fly. I also think that if we
say it enough and own it enough it could all happen. We could have lower taxes
for the middle class and we could raise the taxes on corporations and the
wealthy. We are the people. It is our government. We are the 99%. They are the
1%.
“That’s ‘redistribution of wealth,” say the Republicans as
if ‘redistribution of wealth’ is a mortal sin; as if it rings the ‘communism’
alarm bells in the heads and hearts of all sane capitalists.
Why should such obvious fear-mongering and name-calling
bother us? This is not the days of Joseph McCarthy’s Un-American Activities
regime which set out to ruin many successful Americans by painting them ‘red’
for ‘communist’. Americans have no wish to turn over all their property and
money to the state and start a communist revolution in America.
What is clear to most middle class Americans is that we,
however suspicious, were sort of uneducated on the wiles of politicians, and so
we let these powerful and wealthy people create a set of rules about taxation
and profit which sent most of America’s money to a few greedy,
financially-savvy rip-off artists and that now that these people – these 1% – have
all this money they are damned if they will let us rewrite the rules so that
some of this profit stays with the middle class, and some of it funds the
activities of our federal, state, and local governments in order to provide
ourselves with the services and resources we need to keep America great.
Are we frightened of
a label that was once considered a ‘politically dangerous’ one? Do we really
believe that these people deserve all the monies that have accrued to them?
They don’t employ us anymore, they don’t need us anymore. They want to be
Americans in name only and pay nothing for the privilege.
We did not force our corporations out of America through
middle class greed as these folks would have you believe. I will keep saying
this until we all accept it. Globalization was inevitable. There was always
going to be a moment when our corporations moved into less-developed nations.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Once communism proved inferior as an economic system –
at least the brands of communism that have been tried so far – it was just a
matter of time before these communist countries loosened up. It was only a
matter of time before business men’s eyes got bigger and bigger as they thought
of all the potential buyers living in developing nations, how cheap labor would
be, and how easy it would be to operate in countries with no environmental
rules.
There is nothing the American worker could have done to
stop this stampede. Stop letting the 1% blame the 99% for things they had no
control over. Stop letting some simple words, said with a sort of implied
sneer; words like ‘redistribution of wealth’; stop us from changing the way we
tax wealth in America.

There could be backlash, unforeseen outcomes. Going up
against people who are rich and powerful is not without consequences, but if we
are already headed towards a serfdom of low wages and life-long toil, I think
we should risk it. Raising taxes is cheaper, less disruptive, and less costly
in terms of human lives than going through a revolution which is often how
wealth gets redistributed. This is not a threat. This is, however, a
historically accurate observation.
By Nancy Brisson

Glenn Beck is an Idiot

I have to call this article “Glenn Beck is an idiot”
because if I call it “Glenn Beck and Collectivism” no one will read it. See,
you’re probably ready to tune out right now. Well you are an individual and
that is your right.
Last night I saw Glenn Beck in a clip on MSNBC going
on and on about Collectivism. I doubt many Americans sit around bemoaning
encroaching Collectivism. Most Americans have no idea what he is going on
about. They are not interested that Beck is trying to make a connection between
Communism and Democrats (by using a Communist buzzword), and, for some reason,
coffee. He was holding a bag of coffee in each hand and I guess one was a
mundane coffee purchased by people with little taste – just your ordinary coffee
produced by good old American corporations. In the other hand was a truly
unique bag of coffee, chosen by a discerning individual, probably imported
(isn’t all coffee imported) and not processed or packaged in America.
His point, I think, is that the Democrats want all
Americans to drink that same meh coffee so that no one will be unequal to
anyone else, and that Democrats would do away with all the gourmet brands, in
others words they would do away with our individualism (I am beginning to think
this little talk he is having with American has nothing to do with collectivism
vs. individualism but is more than likely about the issue of income inequality
or as Republicans like to call it “the redistribution of wealth”.)
Is he against Democrats, who as far as I know have
made no laws about what coffee Americans have to drink? Is he arguing against
American coffee processors and packagers (which would certainly be odd; a
Republican against corporations)? He certainly needs to do a far better job
with the examples he chooses to explain Collectivism to Americans if his goal
is to get us to bother to pay attention to this twaddle and if he really wants
to back up this argument that Democrats are turning American, the land of
rugged individualism, into a collective of cloned comrades.
I remember a time when each American small village,
large town or city in America had its own personality, its own flavor, and lots
of thriving small businesses. Now all our towns and cities look basically the
same except for a few natural features or landmark institutions that are
difficult to undo. Every town has that strip of fast food sellers, Walmarts,
Targets, etc. and if it is a larger town or city it has more than one of these
strips. And, almost every one of these towns has a town center with lots of
dusty plate glass windows and empty storefronts.

Beck and the Republicans like to blame this
transformation to sameness in America on overregulation by Democrats, but I
blame it on a tax structure that helps Big Business and the wealthy thrive. If,
as I expect, Collectivism is a code word to suggest that Americans who want a
more equitable distribution of wealth are actually Communists and are
destroying American Democracy and our cult of the individual then we should be
very insulted that Glenn Beck and his cohorts think a little name-calling will
get us to back down from calling attention to the disappearing middle class and
those responsible for its disappearance. It looks to me like corporations are
far more responsible for killing individualism than any policies ever supported
by Democrats.
By Nancy Brisson