Government of the rich?

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent rulings, one blocking the sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart, the other striking down the key provision of Arizona's clean election law that was allowing the state to provide matching funds to political candidates, suggest that the court seems to be increasingly inclined to favor the big corporations and the wealthy over and against the vast majority of Americans.

The expected result will increasingly be that the average American workers, especially females, will have no opportunity to be treated fairly in the court system, especially when they work for a large corporation.

It could also mean that the only candidates for any political office in the future will be those whose campaigns have been supported by big corporations and the wealthy, who will expect pay-back for their investments.

It seems to be coming clearer and clearer that this country is becoming a country of "haves" and "have-nots." The majority of the people, increasingly, have less and less, and the few who control most of the country's wealth are increasingly controlling the government branches (including the U.S. justice system).

The Founding Fathers would be turning in their graves if they could see that the country that they founded, with a government of the people and by the people, is increasingly becoming a government of the rich and for the rich.

I don't think that was their intention on July 4, 1776.

Donald LaBranche, Lewiston

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Comments

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

A little realism please

Prior to the existence of the social safety net, women were not allowed to work or own property and the men who did have a job were expected to support their wives, children, parents, probably a maiden aunt or two and a few poor relatives and to tithe 10% of their income to their church. People who have income have always supported those who did not in civilized countries. After WWII women quit their jobs so that soldiers returning from the war would have jobs. There were not enough jobs for everybody then and since then technological inventions have eliminated thousands of jobs. There will never be enough jobs for everyone who wants to work. Countries where people who have money hang on to it and those who are poor starve are called third world and countries where the rich own and control the government are called banana republics and no one wants to live in either. A little common sense and a lot less ideology would go a long way towards solving the problems here.

 's picture

Wealth Redistribution will fail!

Wealth distribution is nothing more than more getting into the wagon while those who who have the money pull it. What will happen? Those pulling are going to say enough and stop. Then all will suffer. Since the beginning of time there are those who work and there are those who will not. No amount of enticing will get the lazy to pull their fair share so let them starve. We have strayed so far for the founding fathers goals that it is unlikely that we will ever be a great nation again.

 's picture

Let them starve?

Let them eat cake.

Wow.

And the ones who "pull the wagon" are "the ones who have the money?"

Wow again. Seems like the heavy lifting is being done by the ones who DON'T have money.

"Since the beginning of time there are those who work and there are those who will not."

The babies refuse to work. The six year olds refuse to work. The twelve year olds refuse to work. Even a lot of the grandmothers, grandfathers, and cancer victims are refusing to work. What a pile of lazy bums.

 's picture

Now you know the lies; here's the facts

From 1942 until 1982, the share of income received by the top 10% wealthiest Americans ran between 32 and 35% i.e. the remaining 90% got 65-68%. 40 years of very little change. From 1982 to now the share received by the top 10% has steadily increased to top 50% as of 2008 and it will be more today. Did people become steadily more lazy from 1982 to now. Hardly. Were the rich less greedy from 1942 to 1981. Certainly not. If not what changed. Not work, not motivation, not skills; what changed were the laws that have allowed corporations to get tax breaks for moving good jobs overseas, that allowed corporations to break strikes; that cut taxes for the rich to the lowest levels since 1945; that deregulated i.e. allowed the rich to defraud all of us. In short political power changed. Working people have bought the lies and distractions (the debt limit debate now) sold by the rich. They have accepted that they are unworthy of just rewards for their work.
Any working person voting for the Republicans or their fellow travellers in the Democratic Party are committing economic suicide.

 's picture

If Obama and his useful

If Obama and his useful idiots, from DC to Dixfield, have their way, we won't have the opportunity to commit suicide, because they are busy committing homicide.

 's picture

faced by facts that really explains what they are really doing

a conservative will always say something meaningless

 's picture

Meaningless?

In the current debt ceiling debate (and I use the term loosely), all that Obama has offered is higher taxes, details unspecified. If he wins (meaning the country loses), more businesses will contract or move off shore, pushing unemployment up more, reducing federal tax receipts - because all federal taxes are paid ultimately by individuals.

What's really meaningless is to pout and moan that the American worker has lost his way, and if he just returns to the liberal, union fold, all will be restored to righteousness and glory. The American worker is much too smart to swallow that fairy-tale again.

 's picture

Wow!

"all that Obama has offered is higher taxes" Absolutely false. Obama has offerred up to 4 times more spending cuts including to Social Security and Medicare than tax spending cuts (loopholes intended to give corporate america something for nothing like the 40 billion in OIl and Gas subsidies done through the tax code). No one God forgive them is even talking about any change in tax rates even though Federal Government is receiving less tax revenues than any time back to the 50's.
"all federal taxes are paid ultimately by individuals." this is a truism. That is a meaningless statement. Some individuals are rich and some poor and many in between and it matters which individuals pay. More so this is based on a ridiculous lie about economics which is that corporations don't pay taxes. Besides being just stupid to be true all corporations must be monopolies that can set prices without regard to supple and demand. Unless they can, taxes come out of profits and therefore from the individual owners of the corporation not the consumers. That matters.
The American worker hasn't lost his way; he has been lead astray by effective propaganda. The blame belongs to the propagandist not the worker. Just as the victim of fraud is the victim.

 's picture

Wow is right.

Businesses treat income tax as another cost of doing business - they factor it into the prices they charge for goods or services. Oh, they file returns and send checks (except for GE, of course, which has more loopholes than oil/gas ever dreamed of), but their customers really pay the tab, all the way down the line until it reaches you and me in the form of higher prices for everything we consume. If customers refuse to buy, businesses contract, first by shedding employees who won't be needed in a smaller operation.

Obama has offered nothing except standard scare tactics. He's using this kabuki theater to try to get reelected so he can spend four years working on his gold game. There's the fraud.

I agree that it's too bad no one is talking about changing the income tax rate to what it should be - zero.

 's picture

Does this country need an economics and civics 101 class

They can factor it in all they want, but unless they are a monopoly and have pricing power in the market they can not charge the price they want. Prices are still determined in a free market by supply, demand, and speculation not the idle musings of executives.
Zero income tax???? "Gold game"?????? ah the comfort of fantasy.

 's picture

The country got along pretty

The country got along pretty well for more than a century without an income tax. Ever since the progressives rammed it down our throats a century ago, it's been just a tool for social tinkering, wasting the country's wealth.

As I said, when a business starts losing customers because their prices are too high, it reduces prices. To make up the difference, it reduces production and/or gets rid of employees, who stop paying income tax and start receiving welfare. Increasing taxes on business results in lowering taxes collected by government. You must have been asleep in economics class when that lesson was presented.

 's picture

Oh my! a real answer.

A. the income tax was not "rammed down our throats by progressive". It was overwhelmingly adopted as all Constitutional Amendments must be.
B. Social tinkering (temperance, anti-slavery, prison reform, individual improvement, seeking social perfection, anti-drug, anti-divorce, etc) as you call it is an outgrowth of the Second Great Awakening (Christian) which transformed American society from secular, enlightenment to christian world view. The social tinkering as you call it was and is a conservative, religious movement to improve society through the application of religious values to social practice. It does not waste wealth unless wealth is your only value. But its anything but liberal. Michelle Bachmann is the current poster child for social tinkering. But then you mean only that portion of social tinkering that you oppose and that costs money not all social tinkering.
c. That's so oversimplified. It ignores so much that its hardly worth refuting. Increased taxes do not necessarily increase prices (only can if the business is a monopoly). Just for beginners increased taxes might be offset by increased productivity or reduced taxes elsewher or by changes in other costs. When prices goes down businesses may increase production not reduce it to increase income at lower margins. We could go on and on. But the real world has answered these questions. Bill Clinton increased taxes significantly (Republicans said the largest tax increase in US History and it was going to bring about a major recession. What really happenned. Highest post WWII economic growth on record. 22 million jobs added. US budget balanced. US deficit and debt reduced (perfect so-called Reganomics result. Reagan also increased taxes with same result). George Bush cut taxes in 2001 and 2003. Said that they were the largest tax cuts in history, promised an explosion of economic growth and jobs. What really happenned. Worst economic growth post WWII. Negative job growth. Explosion of US deficit and debt. But I won't say that either was the result of the tax policy adopted by those administrations. Fact is tax policy has very little if anything to do with economic activity or jobs when marginal tax rates are under 50% which was true under both adminitrations. Tax policy if targetted properly designed and implement can have an impact on a business, an industry, or a limited subset of the economy but rarely for the economy as a whole.
Tax policy has more to do with the debt, borrowing, credit stability and we are seeing now that low tax revenues (16% of GNP while we spend at 25% of GDP) are a serious threat to National existence.

 's picture

By the letters.

(A) And like Prohibition, it should be overwhelmingly repealed.
(B) One person's social tinkering is another's enlightenment.
(C) It may be simple, but it's also true.

I agree that the public schools should teach economics and civics. Both subjects were marginalized as irrelevant back in the 60s. Of course, bringing them back today would present a huge problem. Who would teach them? The crop we have has been soaked for a couple generations in liberal socialist koolaid. But the effort would be worthwhile if even one kid could learn to filter out and dismiss Albrecht nonsense.

 's picture

the rub

Since you dismiss the well established facts, it shows why you can't hold a conversation and why you have no answers. And "liberal socialist koolaid" merely confirms that you won't talk because you know you are wrong. I've read all your right-wing fantasies. I grew up on Randian hate, oversimplification, and ignorance.
You miss the point as always - its your side that is doing the social tinkering not mine.

 's picture

Rub the magic lamp.

That's the only solution your side has for anything. You may not like my opinions, but at least I respond. You just shuck and jive, tell me I'm wrong, and you're going to take your toys and go home. Go already.

It's revealing to learn how you grew up. It explains much of your current rancid bitterness.

 's picture

If the Founding Fathers are

If the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves, it's because of today's increasing desire to dispense justice by majority rule. If "the vast majority of Americans" believe, say, Casey Anthony is guilty and should ride the lightning, well plug in Old Sparkie and throw out the unanimous verdict.

With regard to Wal-Mart, the suit alleged that each and every one of 1.5 million female employees was a victim of sex discrimination. It was stupid from beginning to end and SCOTUS was very right to tell them to get lost.

The Arizona law was equally stupid in that, if one candidate received public funds, every other candidate would as well. It that's "fair", then don't give anybody anything and save some tax money. If a candidate can't raise money privately, that's a pretty good indication that his policies don't meet the views of "the vast majority". Aside from that, what would happen if one of those other candidates was from, say, the American Nazi Party?

There are plenty of issues that really make the Founders spin. These are not among them.

 's picture

So much for belief in the Constitution

Its one man one vote or the theory that each citizen has an equal opportunity to influence governmental decisions. The SCOTUS decision was simple one dollar one vote or the theory that that rich should rule.

 's picture

If you had ever read that

If you had ever read that document, you would know that we have a republic, not a democracy. We influence decisions of the federal government by voting for president and congress-critters. Your theory of national referenda is absurd and cannot be found anywhere in the Constitution. Liberals trot this out whenever the votes don't go their way. Other times, to them the document is irrelevant.

As an individual, you have the right to believe your one-dollar-one-vote corollary - that right is actually in the Constitution. You can also believe the sun revolves around the earth which is as flat as a pancake - and it wouldn't surprise me a bit to learn that you do.

 's picture

engage a conservative in a thoughful discussion

impossible. I mentioned no "national referenda" so I'm not surprised its not in the constitution. Nor did I mention democracy. One dollar one vote is not in the constitution. Maybe you are reading the Soviet Constitution its much closer to the tea party's. One-man one vote is a SCOTUS decision based on as it should the Constitution. Not surprised that Conservatives don't believe in one-man one vote as it is the basis for republicanism and was debated throughly during the Constitutiona Convention.
Its amazing conservatives only find in the Constitution what they want to find and ignore all the other stuff the Founders included but isn't to the liking of so-called conservative (fact is they aren't conservatives. They are radical and anti-Constitutional. And mad as hell that you can't find property, capitalism, individualism, or a whole host of 20th century "isms" in the Constitution.

 's picture

Nor can you find the

Nor can you find the slightest justification for the liberal doctrine: The government must do everything for everybody. You may now bleat about the "general welfare" clause.

One-man one vote is a SCOTUS decision based on as it should the Constitution. That's hard to parse. Are you bragging or complaining? You started this by asserting the decision was OK because it's supported by the Constitution. Would you mind citing a clause?

A national referendum is where eligible voters nationwide vote a question up or down. That is, individuals affect the decision, performing an end-run around the "republic" structure in the interest of "democracy". This is the perversion we enjoy here in Maine, when the party out of power throws a tantrum.

 's picture

National Referendum

1. as I said I never mentioned any such thing.
2. No such thing exists. There is not National referendum. Therefore, I don't know why you keep bringing it up.
3. Maine does have a state referendum process. Last used by the Republicans to defeaat tax reform. As you say a perversion used by the party out of power to through a tantrum. I oppose the state referendum process as now defined. I would radically reform it, but as long as it exists I'll use it.
4. I have no problem whatsoever finding ample justification for the liberal doctrine which by the way has nothing to do with "government must do everything for everybody" which is a conservative straw man. The "general welfare" clause is not something to bleat about. Its the second of two Constitutional responsibilities of the Congress. Nothing could be more important (of course you can't accept that since you oppose the Constitution). The origins of the Constitution was the failure of the Second Congress to fund/supply the continential army and the Shays rebellion in the winter of 1787 which align to those two responsibilities.
5. In fact, Felix Frankfurther (Roosevelt's appointee to the SCOTUS) created the theory of judicial restraint and judicial liberalism. Again, liberalism has nothing to do with government doing everything for everybody a doctrine that is the inherent property of any legislative body that is unconstrainted by checks and balances. A conservative legislature will do everything for everybody. A moderate legislature will do everything for everybody. A liberal legislature will do everything for everybody and that is America's experience. People like to keep their jobs and their power so unconstrained they will try to make everyone happy.

 's picture

You brought it up.

So much for belief in the Constitution
By Jonathan Albrecht, verified user — Tue, 07/12/2011 - 13:06
Its one man one vote or the theory that each citizen has an equal opportunity to influence governmental decisions.

If you don't want comments on your gibberish, keep your gibberish to yourself.

 's picture

I give up

As Obama is learning (I hope) in the debt limits talks you need two sides that accept a common language. Radical "conservatives" have nothing to say to America.

 's picture

As the rest of the country is learning ...

... (I sincerely hope) the radical "liberals" have nothing to say to anyone.

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