Inequality: How Bad Can It Be?

There has been a lot written, said and thought about inequality in this country, especially with this last election….the populist resurgent has come on the heels of the inequality in the US.

Both Right and Left emphasizes it at every turn…..but is it as bad as they claim it is?

The answer is yes it is and believe it or not kt is worse than you think….

The more the ultra-rich prosper, the less they’re burdened with taxes, the greater the benefits for society as a whole. If you’re familiar with Republican economic theory of the past 40 years, you’ve probably heard this line of reasoning. In fact, just the opposite is true

Take it from the world’s third richest man, Warren Buffett, who recently noted that between 1982 and 2017, “the wealth of the 400 [richest people in America] increased 29-fold—from $93 billion to $2.7 trillion—while many millions of hardworking citizens remained stuck on an economic treadmill. During this period, the tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward.”

The reality is the United States is now home to some of the worst income inequality in the developed world, and thanks to the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this wealth gap will grow exponentially wider.

Few want to believe the tale of the tape… inequality continues to grow and as it grows so will the outrage…..eventually that outrage will effect the results of elections….and that outrage will fuel the programs that address the inequality.

But can that outrage eliminate inequality?

I think it can but unfortunately not in my lifetime…..hopefully my granddaughter can see an end to the inequality.


Here A Tariff, There A Tariff

The word of the week….both this week and last is….TARIFF.

And as I always do I will look into the history of this country to explain the term of the week…….

The year was 1930 and the Congress enacted the Smoot-Hawley Act.

Okay what the Hell was the Smoot-Hawley Act?

The Smoot-Hawley Act is the Tariff Act of 1930. It increased 900 import tariffs by an average of 40 to 48 percent. Most economists blame it for worsening the Great Depression. That means it also contributed to the start of World War II.

In June 1930, Smoot-Hawley raised already-high U.S. tariffs on foreign agricultural imports. The purpose was to support U.S. farmers who had been ravaged by the Dust Bowl.

Rather than helping, it raised food prices for Americans who were already suffering from the Depression. It also compelled other countries to retaliate with their own tariffs. That forced global trade down by 65 percent.

Smoot-Hawley showed how dangerous trade protectionism is for the global economy. Since then, world leaders advocate free trade agreements that promote increased trade for all participants.

Our president has decided that he likes the idea of imposing tariffs on steel ans aluminum….and no matter which party one aspires to there is few that see any good coming from tariffs (my favorite part of this is to listen to a lying bitch thumping the cheap drum to the positive works that these things will do).

“Trade wars are good,” tweeted U.S. President Donald Trump, “and easy to win.”

And just like that, we’re back in the thick of it: Trump, looking to Make America Great Again, has threatened to use section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum, suggesting it’s a matter of U.S. national security. That would have a heavy impact on Canada, as it is the number-one supplier of both steel and aluminum to the United States. Of course, those proposed levies may just be more bluster for the ongoing NAFTA negotiations; indeed, Trump has said that a “new and fair” NAFTA deal would prompt the U.S. to consider an exemption.

But several things indicate things could be serious, including the Dow’s initial slump in reaction and many Republicans’ frenzied opposition to the decision. More worrying, even, is the fact that it’s entirely consistent with the rhetoric Trump campaigned on—namely, getting blue-collar workers in distressed industries back on the job with protectionist measures.

Some think that it will cost jobs……With economists warning of a potential 146,000 American jobs lost due to the proposed tariffs, Business Insider reveals the US states that could be hit hardest, including Louisiana, Connecticut, and Missouri.

There are some that think that this is just a tactic the president is using to keep the Rust Belt in his sphere of influence and that he will roll everything he has said back……an election ploy for the mid-terms.

We can hope that is his play but some of us do not think he is that clever.

I will do something that my Right wing brethren seldom do…..To be fair…..there is some positive news about the tariff thing…..

US Steel Corp says it will soon restart a blast furnace in Illinois that has been cold for over two years thanks to the 25% tariff on imported steel announced by President Trump last week, Politico reports. US Steel President David Burritt blames “unending waves of unfairly traded steel products” arriving in the US for the poor fortunes of steel workers in Granite City. He believes the planned tariff will turn that around. Restarting the blast furnace at Granite City Works will take up to four months. And while some believe Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum will be political winners, many experts are predicting harm to the US economy.

Finally…… Noah Smith at Bloomberg writes the tariffs could be a “self-inflicted wound” for Trump. He says tariffs typically don’t end up improving American industries. Rather they prevent industries from figuring out how to keep pace with global competitors, may lead to their products being seen as shoddy, and might hurt US manufacturers.

Has the GOP become an anti free trade party?

What say you?

Step Right Up!

Let the meddling begin.

It is a prove fact the the Russian meddled in our 2016 election…..I do not care at this point who won the goddamn thing only that a foreign entity was brazen and emboldened enough to actually get into our process and fuck around.

Now that we know that these pricks did what they did it is time for the US and its intel agencies to find a way to stop this from ever happening again…..right?

Boy would you be wrong in that thinking……

The New York Times is out with an attention-grabbing statistic related to the government’s effort to fight Russian interference in US elections: The State Department has been allocated $120 million to counter foreign meddling but has not spent a single dollar of that sum. The story chalks it up in part to President Trump’s unwillingness to confront Moscow on the issue, as well as Rex Tillerson’s apparent skepticism that the money would do any good. “If it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that,” Tillerson told Fox News last month. One tangible result of the ambivalence: None of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center, whose job it is to deter Moscow’s propaganda, speaks Russian.

“There are now thousands of former Russian journalists who have been exiled or fired who are doing counter-Russian stuff in exile who could help,” says Richard Stengel, who had oversight of the center under former President Obama. Congress directed the Pentagon in late 2016 to make $60 million available for the State Department’s efforts, but Tillerson did not act in time to use it. Another $60 million was allotted for the following fiscal year, and after five months of deliberation, Tillerson has requested $40 million of that. The department should get the money around April. Meanwhile, a poll by Axios finds that most Americans don’t think the Trump administration will stop foreign interference in the 2018 midterms.


What part of the attack on our process warrants NO money being spent to see that it never happens again?

How much more will Congress accept?  How much more leeway will Russia be given by this Congress and this president?

Maybe Tillerson is going to use that money to re-decorate his office and build a new “safe room” when the president yells at him.

This president is pathetic…..this Congress is pathetic…….This State Department is beyond pathetic and feeble.

Maybe it is time to make cyber-security a priority……or not……or is this just more about the soft spot that Trump has for his Russian buddies?



That dreaded disorder the afflicts so many of our service men and women…..well okay but this PTSD means “Peace Through Strength Doctrine”.

Trump has been pushing this slogan for over a year….it goes well with his con job of “Make America Great Again”…….but that is all it is…..a slogan and a racket…….

Donald Trump has embraced the popular “peace through strength” doctrine (PTSD) with his characteristic panache:

“I’m going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody – absolutely nobody – is gonna to mess with us,” Trump says. On other occasions he’s said similar things: “We want to defer, avoid and prevent conflict through our unquestioned military strength” (same link) and, a year ago, “Nobody is going to mess with us. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history.”

I will acknowledge that the PTSD has surface appeal. Why not show the world the United States is so awesomely powerful that no one in his right mind would even think to get on its wrong side? It seems to make sense in a practical sort of way.

Make war to preserve the peace……another silly slogan.

Like I say slogans to try and get the approval of the people….make them think there is a threat and they then will accept massive spending on weapons and ordinance that we do not need for their protection.


Arming Teachers?

Let’s see one idea floated by the NRA or was it Trump or who the Hell was it?  Is to arm teachers…in other words put guns in classrooms…..what moron thinks this is a good idea?

President Trump has proposed a pay rise for teachers—armed ones, that is. The president said Thursday that arming teachers would make schools “hardened targets,” and teachers who undergo weapons training and carry guns should get a bonus, CNN reports. “These people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns—it may be 10% or may be 40%. And what I’d recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus,” he said. The president slammed gun-free zones, saying they were like “ice cream” to killers. “They see that as such a beautiful target,” he said. “They live for gun-free zones.” More:

  • Teachers’ union responds. American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten said union members aren’t interested in Trump’s proposal. “Teachers don’t want to be armed,” he said. “We want to teach. We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharp shooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15.”
  • NRA “reeled Trump back in.” Democrats accused Trump of parroting the ideas of the gun lobby, the New York Times reports. “Not surprised the NRA reeled President Trump back in,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Just amazed at how fast it happened.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: “No police officer, no educator of any note is advocating that what we need is more weapons on school campuses rather than fewer.”
  • Shooter drills are “very negative.” The president said school shooting drills were tough on kids and they’re not something he wants to talk to his son about. “Active shooter drills is a very negative thing, I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “I think that’s a very negative thing to be talking about.” The Hill reports that White House spokesman Raj Shah later said Trump sees active shooter drills as a “bad brand” and thinks they should have a less frightening name, like “safety drills.”
  • Bucking the NRA. Trump’s critics accuse him of being too cozy with the NRA, though some of his proposed policies put him directly at odds with the group, the AP reports. The president says he supports banning people under 21 from buying semi-automatic weapons, and he believes the NRA will eventually support the plan. “Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue – I hope!” he tweeted Thursday.
  • Listening phase. Aides say Trump, who met with attorneys general Thursday as well as state leaders, is still in the “listening phase” amid calls for action after the Parkland shooting, the Washington Post reports. The White House says, however, says proposals to ban semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 are not being considered.
  • “Fake News.” Trump returned to an old theme Thursday following a Fox report on CNN’s emotional town hall meeting in Florida Wednesday night, where Sen. Marco Rubio and an NRA spokeswoman were jeered by a crowd that included school shooting survivors. “School shooting survivor says he quit @CNN Town Hall after refusing scripted question,” Trump tweeted. “Just like so much of CNN, Fake News. That’s why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse.”
  • “One of the greatest people I have ever known.” The AP reports that a funeral was held Thursday for Aaron Feis, the football coach killed while shielding students during the Parkland shooting. Joe LaGuardia, who went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with Feis, called him “one of the greatest people I have ever known.”

(Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says he was “devastated” to discover that the armed resource officer assigned to the school stayed outside instead of trying to stop the shooter.)

I was trying to put this in words that were not filled with expletives…was having a hard time at that attempt….and then I read a good op-ed on this very subject…..

After the most recent school shooting, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year old gunman was charged with killing 17 people, debate flows freely, yet again, on how to best prevent these tragedies from ever happening. Anyone with a heart can surely agree this is the overall goal. The morning after the shooting, NC State Representative Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus County) stated that he wants to work with police to train and allow teachers to carry guns in attempt to limit the death and destruction caused during a school shooting.

“We have to get over this useless hysteria about guns and allow school personnel to have a chance to defend their lives and those of their students,” Pittman said during a meeting of the Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee, as reported by the News & Observer.

Well said… would be asking teachers to do more than teach….we would be asking our teachers to become armed body guards….they do not teach that course at university and how much more in their paychecks to do so?

In short a lame ass idea.


The Final Countdown!

I wish I were speaking of some rock song from the 80’s….that would be great….the song sucked but to talk about it would be great….because come 23 April net neutrality will end.

The Federal Communications Commission has ordered net neutrality to end on April 23, the agency formally announced Thursday in the Federal Register.

The commission voted 3-2 in December to overturn Obama-era rules preventing internet service providers, or ISPs, from treating certain content differently. The change will allow ISPs to block, slow down, or charge more for certain content as they see fit. That means consumers could notice a difference in how they experience sites like Netflix and Facebook, compared with websites of smaller companies.

The FCC adopted rules to preserve net neutrality in February 2015. Overturning them means the government will stop regulating internet service as a utility, like phone service.

The commission said in the Federal Register that it considers its decision a return “to the light-touch regulatory scheme that enabled the internet to develop and thrive for nearly two decades.”


Many of us bloggers fought ans supported for neutrality and yet this president decided that his buddies in big business were important than the rest of America….but that should not surprise you he has never put the American people first.

There is one glimmer of hope though……

Congress now has 60 legislative working days to reverse the FCC decision under the Congressional Review Act. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in December he would work with 43 mostly Democratic senators on the effort, which is considered a long shot.

“Without strong net neutrality rules, entrepreneurs, inventors, small businesses, activists and all those who rely on a free and open internet will be at the mercy of big broadband companies that can block websites, slow down traffic and charge websites fees in order to increase their profits,” Markey said in a statement following the FCC vote.

Alternatively, elected officials could re-establish net neutrality through legislation at the state or federal level. State attorneys general and other groups may challenge the order in court. Some, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, have already announced plans to do so.


Like I said a glimmer….I am not holding my breath and neither should you.


Closing Thought–19Feb18

I have been called an apologist by some of my right wing brethren….still not sure why….but that aside anything I write about Fearless Leader and these same brethren make excuses for the actions of their bromance, Trump…..does that not make them the apologist?

Moving on…….

Pres. Trump has lied tooth and nail to his supporters and they take it without the lube to make it less painful…..

What am I talking about?

Lots like the companies that announced the big bonuses after the signing of the new tax cut bill…..AT&T, Comcast, et al fired workers just before Christmas….for one example…..

Others?  Certainly!

Trump is all about American workers right?

Trump’s hotels and resorts are not hiring Americans to fill their seasonal job vacancies, despite his rhetoric about “America first.” Since he was inaugurated, none of the seasonal jobs at his resorts have been filled by Americans.

Vox reports that in an analysis of filings that the Trump Organization made with the U.S. Department of Labor between 2016 to 2017, only one American worker was hired — in August 2016 — for the 144 open positions for servers, cooks, housekeepers, and bartenders.

The remaining 143 positions were taken by foreign guest workers who were granted H-2B visas.

Most of the jobs included in the survey were at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida resort where he has spent a majority of his weekends since he took office. Also included were the Trump National Golf Clubs in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and Jupiter, Florida.

Apparently putting American workers first does not apply to his properties.

There is more…..

The Trump 2019 budget craps on factory workers …remember them?

President Donald Trump has promised that dying American industries and factory towns will come “roaring back” under his presidency. But if his budget proposal for 2019 is any sign, his administration won’t do much to make that happen.

In the budget plan released Monday, the Trump White House proposed slashing more than $300 million in spending on some of the few federal programs meant to boost manufacturing in distressed communities — the same industrial towns in decline that turned out heavily for Trump. The White House had proposed the same thing last year, though Congress kept most of the funding in place for 2018.

Trump’s administration wants to end key economic development programs run by the Department of Commerce. The budget calls for the Commerce Department to completely eliminate the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which, among other things, provides grants to help American manufacturers compete with global competitors. The administration also wants to do away with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which helps funds manufacturing innovation centers in every state and Puerto Rico.

Just a couple of example of what a lying piece of fecal matter this president is…..I will leave it there and await the excuses from his supporters with the built in knee pads.

Time to go and wait for the attacks and insults….after all that is what this bromance does… I expect them to follow suit.