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    February 2020
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    • The Well Meaning American Oligarchy Are SO Misunderstood
      Just saw a case of the argument that “the people who have been enriching themselves by fucking everyone else for four decades are misunderstood, they’re just following the incentives, and suggesting that the people killing and impoverishing you are bad is polarizing.” Lovely. Everyone is well-meaning, and it’s all just a misunderstanding. They don’t mean […] […]
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The only good thing to come out of Iowa is the possibility that this money sucking state may resort to primaries from now on. I’m sure the people of Iowa are not to blame for this clusterfuck.

No, no, apparently, that was due to the demands of the Bernie contingent who wanted voters’ intentions to be just as important as delegate count. Because they just know that we all secretly want Bernie and it’s important that we get voters to acknowledge that.

They remind me of cult religions that evangelize. You tell them you’re not interested, you’ve got your own religion. Then they say, “It’s because you didn’t hear the pitch right the first time. Let me explain it to you.” Then they proceed to tell you about their savior again but the pitch doesn’t sound any different than the first thousand times you heard it. You’re still unmoved. Then they try to set up a bible study. They are convinced that if they just say the right words in the right order that you will fall for their guy.

Can I just say that it is disrespectful to keep pushing something on someone who already has their own mind made up?? Ok, it’s disrespectful. And now, the attempt to uncover the hidden Bernie supporters in a caucus where your vote is not secret and takes forever has blown up in their faces.

There ARE no shy Bernie supporters. He’s a niche thing. He will do really well in caucus states and Vermont and New Hampshire. But the rest of us do not want to be converted. And more attempts to convert us are going to be bad for the party that he’s not willing to join.

Pete is a plastic manufactured small town mayor with Silicon Valley money behind him. He won Iowa because Mark Zuckerberg types sifted through their data to find a moderate centrist guy from a farm state to win Iowa. Otherwise, we would have never heard of him. At all. His political experience is even less consequential than Obama’s.

Yeah, I’m not into it guys. Seriously. By the time November rolls around these two will be running neck and neck with Trump. And we can’t have that. We need to win by overwhelming numbers to guarantee that Americans will trust the result.

But back to Iowa. Nice people, retail politics. I hope they switch to a primary and vote sometime in March. It’s time for them to take a load off.

There’s a word for that

I didn’t see the SOTU because I can’t keep my eyes open past 9:00 pm.

Supposedly, Trump’s speech was about the economy and how good it is. That’s what he’s going to run on, the old Bill Clinton strategy, “It’s the economy stupid”. Back then, that meant something different. Clinton ran when we were starting to feel the effects of trickle down economics. Tax cuts made big businesses richer but there were massive layoffs anyway.

This time, there are massive tax cuts and it seems like the good times are rolling but it’s not actually true, is it? I feel like I break even every year but there’s little discretionary income to do much of anything. This after decades of working in a highly technical jobs which I and about 300,000 other STEM professionals no longer have. I can’t remember the last time a prospective employer asked me to describe my research. No, it’s more like, “Can you use Microsoft Office?” Oh yes, you’d be surprised. I try not to be insulted. But that’s what happens when the finance industry takes over R&D. Somebody’s portfolio fattens when thousands of people lose their jobs – permanently.

If you’re a millennial paying off student debt, you will be looking forward to years of indentured servitude. Forget about buying a house, getting married or having kids. It doesn’t matter how good your job is. Student debt collects interest and must be paid. There are investors on the other side of that loan payment doncha know. They’d rather see you in utter despair indefinitely before they take a haircut in order to help the economy. Yes, I DO feel sorry for them. Don’t even go there. That generation will have it significantly harder than ours. They came of age just as their parents lost their livelihoods in the Great Recession that Obama never truly fixed. It *is* tragic.

More of us are waiting for the next shoe to drop and don’t have $400 in the bank to handle an emergency. But this is the great economy we all hear about.

I won’t go into how the 401K has ruined people’s futures but even if it’s true that Trump’s economy isn’t broken (yet), it’s also true that he is benefiting from the fiscal stimulus that Obama dumped into the economy. And yet, the Trump boom, if you can call it that (growth is only 2.3% compared to Clinton’s 3.8%) is sluggish compared to even Obama’s. Now, why is that, given that the gigantic Trump tax cut was supposed to make us all rich beyond our wildest dreams?

Well, it’s because corporations used that money to buy back stocks. They didn’t use it to pay for investments in capital or salaries. When was the last time you got a raise? I haven’t had one in 3 years and it’s not because I can’t use Microsoft Office. (Really, it’s so demotivating that’s no one asks me about my research.)

Trump is equating the rise in the stock market and the boost to people’s 401Ks as being in a good economy. There are a couple things wrong with this picture. First, as anyone who survived the Depression can tell you, what goes up, can come crashing down. Deflation is a real thing. World events and climate changes, like a drought, can change our fortunes in a flash. One day, your 401K is sweet, the next it’s just gone.

That’s why FDR started social security. He had to stimulate the economy and he couldn’t do that if old people lost their savings and didn’t have pensions anymore. They needed money to spend.

What’s going to happen to social security when the Republicans decide they’re never going to pay back the money they borrowed from the trust fund? What if they won’t raise the earning cap to keep Social Security paying to the generation that paid a SURPLUS tax all their working lives? They’ll say that the deficit is too high and the full faith and credit of the US is in jeopardy. That’s what’s coming after the election if Trump and the Republicans maintain their stranglehold on power.

Go ahead, ask your Senator and congressman if they plan to cut social security and Medicare after the election. I dares ya’. Ask them for a simple yes/no answer. Do not accept a convoluted answer. Do not accept “means testing” or cutting disability payments to people who worked all their lives and are really disabled. It’s your money, your deferred benefit and anyone who paid into it, should get their money back. Right? Isn’t that fair?

It won’t matter if it’s not fair to you. They’ll tell you that you should have saved more out of your salary that hasn’t grown in 10 years.

Then there are all the things they will feel they can do with impunity. Everything from mistreating migrant children to screwing women economically and socially, to giving big contracts to their friends for walls that fall over at a strong gust of wind, to ignoring the fate of Puerto Rican American citizens and anyone not white and male, haphazardly conducting foreign policy for personal gain. At some point, even the most committed ditto head is going to start taking notice that things are spiraling out of control.

They’ll wake up eventually to find that Trump left a few bucks on the dresser that they’ve probably already spent after letting him do whatever he wanted the night before.

There’s a word for that.