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Trickle Down Economics

We’ve been hearing about trickle down for decades. No matter the problem, no matter the circumstance the right argues that the answer is to concentrate more wealth in the hands of the wealthy. They argue that when the wealthy have money it will trickle down.

Unfortunately, the facts of the last 30 years don’t support our national experiment with trickle down economics.

Conservative

Conservative, as defined by Merriam-Webster means one who supports existing views or institutions. So let's break this definition down and weigh the claims of the modern conservative against it.

Exceptionalism

It’s better to be than to seem.

American exceptionalism is a key theme of the right. America is great simply because we are. Regardless of the facts, regardless of the trends, regardless of what other nations are doing, America is exceptional. What makes America great is greatness. The moment at which we stop manifesting greatness, we can no longer make the claim. Which is better, for America to be great, or for America to think it is great?

Ethics

That which is spoken, to be leveraged rhetorically but not acted upon, but intended to hide one’s actual actions.

Ethics, while not religion, exist in the domain of right and wrong behavior. The right has spent much time and effort over the last few decades trying to convince us that they are the party of religion, they are the party of ethics, they are the party of right moral and ethical conduct. The reality of the right is that they have claimed the ethical ground as a way of framing the debate so that anything from the left starts as being devoid of ethics.

Please Think: The "People’s Candidate" At Odds With The People Again.

Soap And A Good Scrubbing Are Definitely In Order

Our very Grimm Congressman was at it again yesterday, spouting shear nonsense and vitriol among the rhetorical right wing talking points he dutifully delivered. If you are going to speak with such force, it's helpful to have the weight of the facts on your side. Yet again our representative failed to follow this simple rule.

Better Ways To Occupy Our Time

Why We Should Be Doing More Than Police Crackdowns

Much has been made and said about the Occupy movement in the last two months, but not much has been done. Our media and our government have largely feigned ignorance as to the source or cause of the Occupy movement. Increasingly we find a more determined dialog, but the real question is why has it taken so long and why did it have to come to occupation to start the conversation?

Lazy

A Convenient Excuse To Avoid Confronting The Realities Of Modern American Society

Lazy is the insult heaped upon so many other injuries Americans endure on a daily basis. Lazy is the convenient excuse used by the right to belittle those they oppose and to mitigate the guilt of defending the wealthy few. Lazy is the laziest possible approach to solving our problems.

Occupy Wall Street, Act On Your Street

Opportunities To Take Action On The 1%

As much as I support the efforts of the Occupy movement, I firmly believe that we must do more than Occupy, we must Act. Ultimately we will need to do more than express our frustration, we will have to do something about it. We will need to change our government, our elected officials, our communities, and ultimately ourselves.

Bank Transfer Day: A Guide to Moving Your Account

The description and goal of Bank Transfer Day is straightforward: If you currently have checking and savings accounts (deposit accounts) with a big bank, the organizers encourage you to remove all of your funds, close your accounts, and place your money in a new deposit account with a not-for-profit credit union or local bank.

Medicare

The Facts Are Clear, The Rhetoric Is Wrong

The US doesn’t have a Medicare problem, we have a healthcare cost problem. The US “fails to achieve better health outcomes than other countries, and . . . is last on dimensions of access, patient safety, coordination, efficiency, and equity.” When compared to the majority of OECD countries and WHO countries, we are the most privatized, least social medical system in the world, and our nation spends more than any other nation while achieving some of the worst outcomes.

Greed

Good for the haves but abhorrent in the have nots.

It’s interesting to watch the voices on the right point and ridicule all of us lazy Americans who are taking government handouts. If one were to believe the right, it is the greed of the poor and middle class that is killing America.

Welcome to the Republican JobTopia

With Life So Good, Who Needs the American Jobs Act?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal today, "From 2000 to 2010, median income in the U.S. declined 7% after adjusting for inflation, according to Census data. That marks the worst 10-year performance in records going back to 1967." The Walt Street Journal goes on to say that they don't expect incomes to recover until 2021, even then only about 5% will be regained. This announcement comes on top of our 9.1% unemployment with actual unemployment more like 20%. Welcome to the Republican JobTopia.

Social Security

The Sky Is Most Certainly Not Falling

Social Security is one of the most successful programs in American history. It is supported by large majorities of voters regardless of party or political affiliation. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently noted "When [Social Security] was developed, 50 percent of seniors lived in poverty. Today, poverty among seniors is too high, but that number is ten percent. Social Security has done exactly what it was designed to do!"

Please Think: This Isn’t The Kind of Exceptionalism We Need

This installation of please think is focused on how exceptional the modern republican party has become. The party that values exceptionalism has truly become exceptional, exceptionally hypocritical.

The 180 Alert

How The Things Said On The RIght Couldn’t Be Further From The Truth.

It goes without saying that politicians on all sides have a tendency to bend the facts to fit their rhetoric. A little lie here, a little lie there, it’s common knowledge and accepted. There seems to be a new approach that pushes this to the extreme. I’d like to introduce you to the latest right wing weapon I call “the 180.” Increasingly we find our friends on the right saying things that aren’t just lies, but literally are the complete opposite of the truth.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

The Republican Party Has Done Nothing, Nothing, Nothing...And Worse

"Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" it's what House Speaker John Boehner said was the number one issue of the 2010 election. It's the one thing I can confidently say that I agree with John Boehner on, jobs, American jobs are the number one issue facing us as a nation. This fact begs the question, why haven't the Republicans done anything to promote job growth since the 2010 midterm elections? Why if the election was about "jobs, jobs, jobs", have the Republicans done nothing, nothing, nothing?

Worse than nothing, the republican party has actively sought to undermine American jobs, American wages, American workers and the American economy.

Taxes

A Brief History Of The Last 50 Years

There are many ways to look at many issues. Typically we hear how complicated the world is and how complicated the issues are. Taxes however are pretty simple. The right argues that it is our excessive taxation that is the source of America’s problems. Americans are overburdened. We can’t create jobs. We can’t live our lives. We can’t solve the critical problems ahead of us because of taxes.

Is 3% Too Much To Ask?

How Doing So Little Would Help So Many

As the republicans continue to make unrealistic demands in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, and President Obama continues to offer unbelievable concessions to the republicans without putting up much of a fight, I'd like you to consider this number, 3%.

The Supreme Court Made Oil Companies Citizens, But Who Will Make Them Patriots?

We’ve all shouldered the burden of the economic recession. Some of us have faced unemployment of 9 to 20%. Some of us have seen our 401k plans wither. Others have seen their pension plans drained by the economic downturn. Middle class wages have actually decreased by almost $1,000 in real terms over the last decade. But only a select few of us have had to share the burden of over $1 trillion in profits over that same decade.

Class Warfare

Any discussion of fairness seems to trigger voices on the right like Congressman Paul Ryan or Congressman Michael Grimm to invoke “class warfare.” They are on to something, we have been experiencing class warfare for at least the last 40 years, unfortunately for Ryan and Grimm, the data seems to suggest the war has been on the middle class.
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