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atdnext On September - 27 - 2011

While the corporate media keep obsessing over how “wrong” Shelley Berkley was in saving Nevada’s only kidney transplant facility (it’s a big “scandal” here in Nevada), crying for a “moderate third party” that sounds way too eerily like today’s Democratic Party, and misinterpreting poll numbers in trying to predict election results that are still over a year away, we still often see them ignore the biggest stories staring them in the face.

Here it is… Staring them in the face. No really, it’s right here!

Many on the right were incensed by the exchange. Why? Well, obviously because the guy who asked the question wants higher taxes on the rich and conservatives disagree. But as it turns out, there’s more to it than that — some are arguing that if this individual wants to voluntarily contribute more to the treasury, he should do so, but people like him and Warren Buffett should leave other wealthy people out of it.

It’s worth pausing to appreciate how ridiculous the argument really is. We’re a massive, modern nation with a vast economy. We face real challenges, and they’re not the kind of challenges individuals can hope to resolve on their own — we need cooperative solutions built around shared action.

Making taxes voluntarily — asking for a little more only from those willing to pay a little more — is absurd.

The GOP’s nonsensical talking points notwithstanding, it’s good to see wealthy individuals stepping up and making the case for more tax fairness. I don’t imagine that will persuade congressional Republicans — nothing seems to persuade congressional Republicans — but it’s a sentiment the public benefits from hearing anyway.

But oh noezzz, he was a LIB’RUL!!!! He was from Teh Googlez!!!

No really, that’s all the TEA-nuts have in trying to “refudiate” former Google executive Doug Edwards begging President Obama to raise his taxes in order to invest in the infrastructure we need for more and better jobs for America. And in doing so, they’re sloppily glossing over the glaring fact that Edwards pays less in taxes than the vast majority of the rest of us because the capital gains (investment) tax rate is much lower than middle and lower income tax rates.

This is what scares the radical right. When Americans realize how little the super-rich, especially those super-rich that primarily make a living off the financial markets rather than traditional “jobs”, actually pay in taxes, they will most certainly be more than willing to send “the tax man” in their direction. Improving tax equity by making the rich pay their fair share is incredibly popular among Americans.

Pay close attention to this recent rant by Elizabeth Warren.

Republicans have been crowing for decades about “class warfare”, but they have refused to utter any truth about it. The fact of the matter is that we have indeed seen class warfare in the last forty years, but only the super-rich and largest corporations have been winning this war. Once Americans realize why the rich keep getting richer while they seem stuck in Po’-Town-USA, they may very well redirect their anger in a way that “Tea Party, Inc.” fears the most.

And the media fear this as well. They would prefer that we all believe next year’s election will be another “neck-n-neck horse race” so they can yet again rake in the millions in ad revenue. That’s why we see politics today portrayed as one of those unreal “reality shows” often seen on Bravo or TLC rather than the frustrating growth of inequality and poverty that America’s “class warfare” has truly become. So on that note, I should probably get back to browsing through the headlines to see more obsessing over someone pushing to keep open a kidney transplant center, crying for a mythical “moderate third party”, and misinterpreting even more poll numbers.

(For more of my “fairly unbalanced” rants, check out Nevada Progressive!)

Written by atdnext

Hello. I'm atdnext from Daily Kos... And I also have my own blog at NevadaProgressive.com! I like to take action whenever I can to make this world a better place. I'm quite fiercely progressive, but I also have a pragmatic side. I guess that's why I'm a Democrat. ;-)

11 Responses so far.

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  1. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    Thank you for your own thinking in this.

    I find your comparison of the electoral process to a reality show very telling.

    Scripted, while seeming to be spontaneous.

    Driven by ratings.

    About making a buck.

    Faked.

    Yep. Well done.

  2. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    The Google Executive, Warren Buffet, and others, like those from Patriotic Millionaires (http://www.patrioticmillionaires.org/)should take their inspiration from Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth

    In June of 1899 Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in the world published an essay, an open letter, to the world.

    Carnegie, a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century, wrote “The Gospel Wealth.”

    A man of no small means he was worth between $299 and $374billion in 2011 dollars.

    In the essay, Carnegie described the responsibility of philanthropy by the new upper class of self-made rich.

    He argued that the very rich had to use their money as seed to enrich society in ways that lifted all boats. His reasons for this were not noblesse oblige or the requirement of a citizen’s duty. His argument was that smart philanthropy increased wealth which in turn made life in civilized society better.

    • bito says:

      Ole Andy wasn’t exactly a prince of a fellow on his way up to becoming a “Captain of Industry.” He would build a swimming pool for his workers (to keep them occupied) rather than pay them livable wages, rent them company homes to keep them job scared, used child labor, forced working hours…….His philanthropy came after he made his millions and married a much younger woman who had a belief in social justice.
      True his philanthropy was huge, legendary, and it would be a welcome change to see in this day and age but I don’t expect many of “The Captains having an epiphany soon.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Oh, I do not say he was a prince. His philanthropy was motivated by his belief that wealth had to be devoted to making more wealth. What he objected to was the dissipation of wealth in ways that threw it away. His essay points out that this is clearly the case in the wastrel sons and daughters of the captains of industry BUT he alludes to waste from government as well.I expect he would be very critical of many government programs today. Money wasted because it did not promote production.

        I did not know about his wife and will spend some time looking into that piece of information. It would confirm some of what I know about his work in philanthropy.

        Bottom line. I think he makes an argument that one of the motivations for philanthropy of the kind he promotes is selfishness and avarice. How about that!?

        As Warren Buffet has said: It puzzles him that so many of his fellow mega millionaires and billionaires have not figured out that if the middle or bottom of the socio economic pyramid upon which upper class is perched collapse….WE ALL GO DOWN.

        Carnegie would agree.

  3. cyrano1 says:

    Love your article!! And we’re again preaching to the choir! There are tons of media watchdogs out there and the media doesn’t appear to respond to pressure from any of them (us). We need more of us

    http://www.dmoz.org/News/Media/Watchdogs/

    I subscribe to a lot of them and frequently send emails/comments to many MSM outlets since I realize, as most of us do, that our corporate media controls our destiny as a country.

    Why would this excellent video of Elizabeth Warren be relegated only to viral U-Tube communication, shared primarily among like-minded people who don’t need convincing? (over 500 thousand hits so far) Our MSM blocks out rational educated voices who speak the truth -- particularly those like Warren who are very skilled in reaching the minds of average Americans.

    HOW DO WE FIGHT BACK?? We’re shut out and locked into our own echo chamber.

  4. Caru says:

    This shows how the tea-partiers fundamentally misunderstand taxes.

    Shocker, I know.

  5. atdnext, thanks for this article and the videos within it. When I used to post on HP I saw this argument way too many times, “some are arguing that if this individual wants to voluntarily contribute more to the treasury, he should do so, but people like him and Warren Buffett should leave other wealthy people out of it.”

    How stupid is that? And what really gets me is that those posters at HP who made this ridiculous argument were not in any way among the wealthiest in America. I doubt that even a few of them were even close to being wealthy. This is a big problem because ordinary, middle class Americans are jumping on the corporate bandwagon as if they would ever stand a chance of being in “the big club,” of extremely wealthy Americans.

    The GOP and especially the tea party are very good at getting people to vote against their best interests. It’s a very unhealthy phenomena for America and Americans in general.

    P.S. I just love Elizabeth Warren!

    • atdnext says:

      The GOP and especially the tea party are very good at getting people to vote against their best interests. It’s a very unhealthy phenomena for America and Americans in general.

      And how disgusting is that! I know people around here who seem to crave economic populism, then turn around and praise Joe Arpaio for attacking more Latino communities or quote another stupid thing Glenn Beck said. Again, the media prefer it this way. “If it bleeds, it leads”… And boy, are we seeing blood and guts spilled everywhere as a result of the latest “Culture Wars”! Besides, poking around too much at economic inequality leads to some ugly facts about the giant corporate conglomerates that own the vast majority of our media today.

  6. AdLib says:

    America has been betrayed by much of the press. Thomas Jefferson would be in cardiac arrest right now, he and other Founders having envisioned the press as being the unofficial fourth branch of government. It was thought by them to be a safety net, if all the other branches failed the people, the press would ultimately protect them.

    The rise and dominance of corporations, into all areas was unforeseen by The Founders. If it hadn’t been, they would have made it clear that corporations were not people nor should have the unfettered freedom to control vital aspects of our democracy, especially the press.

    A corporately owned press is a disqualified press. A corporation has only one responsibility, to make money for its shareholders. The press used to have one responsibility, serve the public welfare by informing them. Now that has been usurped and although some journalists work hard to uphold the principles of their profession, the majority of “the product” that is sold to consumers by news corporations is preprocessed to attract the most business.

    We have indeed been betrayed by a corporate society that lets the Foxes buy and operate the hen houses.

    • atdnext says:

      America has been betrayed by much of the press. Thomas Jefferson would be in cardiac arrest right now, he and other Founders having envisioned the press as being the unofficial fourth branch of government. It was thought by them to be a safety net, if all the other branches failed the people, the press would ultimately protect them.

      I keep remembering those initial polls done right after the Iraq invasion in 2003. While most Americans believed Saddam Hussein really had “weapons of mass distruction” pointed right at us (thanks, Judy Miller), the rest of the world was aghast at what our country was doing. I remember American favorability plummeting from France to Japan to Brazil, and everywhere inbetween, precisely because their media actually bothered to report what was actually happening in Iraq while ours kept obsessing over how “macho” George W. Bush looked in his fighter pilot costume.

      It’s not like our media have changed their ways since then. I’m just amazed that at least a large chunk of Americans seemed to have wizened up since 2003. I guess it’s just become too hard to avoid noticing how worthless the “infotainment” has really become.


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