Exaggerating The Power of Left Wing Democrats (1 Viewer)

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    The Other Liberal

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    There's a lot of talk about the left wing Democrats. Listen to the media and so called progressives and socialists appear to be taking over the party. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are viewed as powerful politicians pushing Democrats too far left with proposals like Single Payer Healthcare and the Green New Deal to fight climate change. The pundits on CNN and in print media like The Washington Post warn of rising socialism and left wing progressivism that alienates most voters especially working class whites Democrats need to win Congress and state houses. Moreover the mainstream media wrongly ties Democrats to controversial activists movements like Black Lives Matter and college students activists. The former calls for defunding local police viewed as racists, while the students fuel a repressive cancel culture. Everyone calls for a move to the center. Even Elizabeth Warren a liberal by any standard is too far left. Never mind the Democrats don't officially endorse such things. Not to mention the issues raised by activists are legitimate and complex.

    It doesn't matter that false charges of left wing extremism among Democrats come from conservatives in the GOP. The media that adopts that narrative, and centrist Democrats use it to their political advantage too. Since the 1980s it has contributed to the rise of a centrist establishment that really controls the Democratic Party. It's not that left leaning Democrats are very powerful. They're just vocal and they stand up for their convictions. They draw a powerful contrast with the right wing GOP and centrist Democrats. Vilifying them and exaggerating their influence prevents Democrats from discussing or advancing a liberal agenda. Centrist Democrats and Conservative Republicans are alike in opposing strongly regulated markets, funding, and expanding safety nets especially health care. They don't want to redistribute wealth and income despite a grossly unequal economy that undermines working people either. If there were a strong liberalism within the party leftist concerns and demands could be translated into needed reforms. In many ways that's what the New Deal did. It's far reaching policy reforms eased the effects of the depression. The New Deal also tamed capitalism and created a welfare state that made life more livable for all. All of this preempts left wing excess. However centrists tend to be skeptical of liberal efforts. Like conservatives they're totally against the left.

    What are the results of this politics ? You get a regressive and reactionary Republican Party that doesn't benefit anybody including millions of working class people who vote for them. These people fall for the scare tactics about socialism or prioritize social issues. Yet nothing is done about their material wellbeing. At the same time Democratic Centrism is only a little better. Too often the center is Republican lite. The left isn't relevant despite their pro working class rhetoric, and liberals are not really in the game. We don't even own up to our name or tradition. Most of us wrongly claim to be progressive. Many others liberals are centrists.
     
    It's simple math. The top 1% is far and away where most of the nation's individual wealth is concentrated. And as another poster mentioned, they've continued to accelerate that wealth accumulation. I'm pretty much a full-on capitalist when it comes to economics, but at some point you've go to say that too much wealth is being concentrated in too few people. The top rate really is too low. Let's suppose 50% of the nation's individual wealth is in the hands of the top 1%, how do it stand to reason that they should be paying 25% of the taxes? Their fair share from the top rate should be somewhere around 40-50% imo. I think it should be a flat 50% for everything over $1 million and 40% for $500k to $1 million. Everything below $500k would continue to be taxed at current rates.

    That would add a significant amount of tax revenues without being too much of a drag on the economy.

    The other issue is there are a lot of tax havens, loopholes and deductions that allow the wealthy to pay a much, much smaller effective rate. If those were all closed or eliminated, those in the top bracket would pay a lot more, and just doing that without raising rates would also net a lot more money to help close the budget deficit, which just stupid massive right now.

    Tweaking one or both sides of that equation needs to happen sooner than later imo.
    Well, you could equally argue; by what right does the state confiscate an increased percentage of an individuals earned money ?

    And the deficit is down to politicians spending more money than they have. It should be THEY that are penalised for doing this, rather than the super-rich ? Otherwise there is no incentive for them NOT to continue spending our grandchildrens wages ? (but I grant you, that's another discussion)
     
    Well, you could equally argue; by what right does the state confiscate an increased percentage of an individuals earned money ?

    And the deficit is down to politicians spending more money than they have. It should be THEY that are penalised for doing this, rather than the super-rich ? Otherwise there is no incentive for them NOT to continue spending our grandchildrens wages ? (but I grant you, that's another discussion)


    That right is called taxes and is established by law...
     
    Well, you could equally argue; by what right does the state confiscate an increased percentage of an individuals earned money ?

    And the deficit is down to politicians spending more money than they have. It should be THEY that are penalised for doing this, rather than the super-rich ? Otherwise there is no incentive for them NOT to continue spending our grandchildrens wages ? (but I grant you, that's another discussion)

    That is another discussion indeed. And it's not confiscating. Governments are not for profit entities that can be run efficiently or properly without some form of taxation.

    The question in my mind is from a societal standpoint, are we ok with a system where an extremely large percentage of personal net worth is highly concentrated among the very few? I mean, I like the concepts of individualism, freedom and personal responsibility in a capitalist society, but I also believe the tradeoff for having this is there needs to be progressive taxation in order for the government in a capitalist society to help those who are unable to participate fully in the economy, whether it's a disability, poor economic conditions, single parent, or other barriers to work. The programs most want or need costs money and there's no easy way around that.

    The government regardless whether federal, state or local, has to be something of a social safety net for those who are unable to fully take care of themselves or their families for whatever reason. There's no shame in that.

    In order to meet the needs of the social net, those with means should contribute enough of a share that allows the social net to not only exist, but work well enough that people relying on those services to not just survive, but do so with a reasonable level of dignity. I've been on both ends of the spectrum, and we as a society can do better imo.

    And you may not realize it, but the top tax rates are at near historic lows here in the US. Finding the right balance between what rate is enough to support the government and not so much that it contracts the economy is easier said than done, but I believe there is plenty of room to increase taxes for the top rate back closer to historic norms without creating too much drag on the economy.

    The super wealthy have been consolidating that wealth for a long time and they're currently making more than ever, so they're in an good position to give a little more. And, they most certainly can afford it unless they're being stupid with their money. And really, most didn't get where they are by mismanaging money. So they'll be alright.
     
    That is another discussion indeed. And it's not confiscating. Governments are not for profit entities that can be run efficiently or properly without some form of taxation.

    The question in my mind is from a societal standpoint, are we ok with a system where an extremely large percentage of personal net worth is highly concentrated among the very few? I mean, I like the concepts of individualism, freedom and personal responsibility in a capitalist society, but I also believe the tradeoff for having this is there needs to be progressive taxation in order for the government in a capitalist society to help those who are unable to participate fully in the economy, whether it's a disability, poor economic conditions, single parent, or other barriers to work. The programs most want or need costs money and there's no easy way around that.

    The government regardless whether federal, state or local, has to be something of a social safety net for those who are unable to fully take care of themselves or their families for whatever reason. There's no shame in that.

    In order to meet the needs of the social net, those with means should contribute enough of a share that allows the social net to not only exist, but work well enough that people relying on those services to not just survive, but do so with a reasonable level of dignity. I've been on both ends of the spectrum, and we as a society can do better imo.

    And you may not realize it, but the top tax rates are at near historic lows here in the US. Finding the right balance between what rate is enough to support the government and not so much that it contracts the economy is easier said than done, but I believe there is plenty of room to increase taxes for the top rate back closer to historic norms without creating too much drag on the economy.

    The super wealthy have been consolidating that wealth for a long time and they're currently making more than ever, so they're in an good position to give a little more. And, they most certainly can afford it unless they're being stupid with their money. And really, most didn't get where they are by mismanaging money. So they'll be alright.
    Unless someone made their fortune by planting money trees from money acorns they grafted themselves, then they did not make their money ‘individually’
    They either made their money off of govt loans/tax credits, the labor of citizens or societal collaboration
    This ‘private citizen’s hard earned money’ is the big lie of capitalism
    Society allowed for that wealth and it should be repaid to society to keep it properly functioning
     
    Unless someone made their fortune by planting money trees from money acorns they grafted themselves, then they did not make their money ‘individually’
    They either made their money off of govt loans/tax credits, the labor of citizens or societal collaboration
    This ‘private citizen’s hard earned money’ is the big lie of capitalism
    Society allowed for that wealth and it should be repaid to society to keep it properly functioning

    While I think there's a good amount of inherited wealth out there, there is a good amount of new money coming into individuals who were entrepreneurs who came up with new and useful ideas and innovations. To that extent, there is that individualism. But sure, none of that occurs in a vacuum. Certainly, no one gets rich on their own, but usually someone is they guy who births a vision for an industry and/or idea, works hard to see it come to fruition and is rewarded for that effort. Sometimes that vision becomes something entirely different over time. Certainly, companies like Walmart, Microsoft, Amazon and such were started in basements and garages before becoming the next big thing. Their success wasn't an accident, and having visionaries in their founders is a key part of that.

    I don't think 'private citizen's hard earned money' is a big lie. It was hard earned in a lot of cases. Certainly some were in the right place in the right time, but that only happens if they make the most of those opportunities. So while no one does it on their own, leaders carry weight, and that's why they get paid.

    How much they should get paid and benefit off of their contributions can certainly be debated. I think wealthy individuals and companies need to contribute more, but I'm not enough of an expert to know where the line is at what income bracket.
     
    I don't think 'private citizen's hard earned money' is a big lie. It was hard earned in a lot of cases. Certainly some were in the right place in the right time, but that only happens if they make the most of those opportunities. So while no one does it on their own, leaders carry weight, and that's why they get paid.
    " So forget all that rhetoric about how America is great because of people like you and me and Steve Jobs. You know the truth even if you won’t admit it: If any of us had been born in Somalia or the Congo, all we’d be is some guy standing barefoot next to a dirt road selling fruit. It’s not that Somalia and Congo don’t have good entrepreneurs. It’s just that the best ones are selling their wares off crates by the side of the road because that’s all their customers can afford.

    So why not talk about a different kind of New Deal for the American people, one that could appeal to the right as well as left—to libertarians as well as liberals? First, I’d ask my Republican friends to get real about reducing the size of government. Yes, yes and yes, you guys are all correct: The federal government is too big in some ways. But no way can you cut government substantially, not the way things are now. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush each had eight years to do it, and they failed miserably."

    As to who this gentleman is:

    "Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht."

    This is where he said it:
     
    " So forget all that rhetoric about how America is great because of people like you and me and Steve Jobs. You know the truth even if you won’t admit it: If any of us had been born in Somalia or the Congo, all we’d be is some guy standing barefoot next to a dirt road selling fruit. It’s not that Somalia and Congo don’t have good entrepreneurs. It’s just that the best ones are selling their wares off crates by the side of the road because that’s all their customers can afford.

    So why not talk about a different kind of New Deal for the American people, one that could appeal to the right as well as left—to libertarians as well as liberals? First, I’d ask my Republican friends to get real about reducing the size of government. Yes, yes and yes, you guys are all correct: The federal government is too big in some ways. But no way can you cut government substantially, not the way things are now. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush each had eight years to do it, and they failed miserably."

    As to who this gentleman is:

    "Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht."

    This is where he said it:
    Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet the store on it
    The entire apparatus of the US economy + govt backers is built on thwarting horded wealth redistribution
    We just had a president who was considered a populist whose entire career was built on fake money and who spent his entire candidacy fleecing his populace by putting them against each other
    Biden will put out very moderate economic policies and the Rs and corporate media will scream SOCIALISM and ‘22 will be a referendum on economic myopia (is there any reason to no suspect a ‘tea party’ reboot just with less racism?)
     
    I would submit the racism is the point. They’re not doing anything with less racism. It will ultimately be their undoing (i hope).
     
    Biden will put out very moderate economic policies and the Rs and corporate media will scream SOCIALISM and ‘22 will be a referendum on economic myopia (is there any reason to no suspect a ‘tea party’ reboot just with less BLATANT racism?)
    ftfy

    QAnon is the new Tea Party. It's getting weird in the GOP.
     
    I would submit the racism is the point. They’re not doing anything with less racism. It will ultimately be their undoing (i hope).
    But they won't say it out loud. It's just understood at this point in the Party of Trump. We're going to see a real divide in politics in the GOP when Trump starts with his approved list of primary challengers.
     

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