What can rich Americans do to help our country?

level playing field

Several of the tenets of the Pro American Party are aimed at leveling the playing field for all Americans, especially the poor.   In this respect, those with great wealth have been asked to contribute more so that we can change the basic structure of our society.   This change is necessary to allow us, as a country, to create a ‘floor’ below which no Americans can fall.  It is our belief that this change of structure will do more than just help the poor.  It will also help the rich, especially those with long-term views of the needs of society.

The current economic structure is, and has been, increasing the wealth of the 1% at the expense of the rest of us.   As this gap continues to grow it will undoubtedly cause an increase in tensions between the haves and have nots.   Sooner or later, if history can serve as a guide, this will cause a call to arms.

However, this need not be so.

poor is richIt is our belief that the huge majority of Americans are, and would be content, living a life without wealth.   Once basic needs are met most of us turn to other concerns.   The constant pursuit of wealth is not a goal for the great majority of us.   Likewise, having to worry about the motives of everyone we meet is a strain and drain on our quality of life that most of us are happy we can avoid.  Many of us are content to allow the rich to continue their endless pursuit of more wealth, while we pursue a higher quality of life that is not dependent on wealth.

Still, there is a way for the rich to help the country.   Although there are many avenues that could be pursued in this regard, in this article we will focus on non-profits.

rich ceoOne of the biggest disgraces of many non-profits is that the CEOs enrich themselves at the expense of those they are supposed to be serving.   Perhaps many of these CEOs are simply at that point in their lives in which making money for themselves is more important than the cause they are supposedly leading.   In any case, this is an area in which those who have already made their millions or billions can make a positive impact on the lives of ordinary Americans.   And at the same time find a way to give back to their country in a meaningful way, one that establishes for them a reputation for caring…a way to leave a lasting legacy.

leadershipOur suggestion is that those who want to leave a positive impact and lasting legacy lead the non-profit of their choice without compensation.  This would be a selfless act that would allow more of the monies raised by the non-profit to go towards the use for which it was originally intended.  Please do not read into this suggestion as meaning that only the rich can show leadership…no such claim is being made.  Instead the status of being ‘rich’ simply allows a person to work without compensation if they so choose.  Those who choose to take such a path might find new meaning and purpose in their own lives, one that is not measured by the size of its paycheck.

Perhaps it is pie in the sky, but over the long term our hope is that such a change would cause all Americans of means to choose to find a way to make a difference that improves life for all.

 

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Why Do Republicans Lie About Cause and Effect?

lou barlettaI’m watching Rep Lou Barletta (R) PA lie to the American public.   He is on CNN trying to drum up support for building a wall.   Barletta is a Trump supporter and he is explaining to Wolf Blitzer that illegal immigration is the cause for low wages in America.   The annoying thing is that many will believe him, and with that belief they will feel justified to hate immigrants in general and Mexicans in particular.   It is sad, but important to acknowledge that this is a continuing theme of the Republican party…and it only leads to false information and increased prejudice.

the wallSo now there are two issues to address.   The first is to really examine the effect of Mexican labor in the U.S., whether legal or not, and the second is to critically examine why wages are depressed.

A complete examination of the work most Mexicans have shows they are largely in jobs that Americans simply can’t do or don’t want.   These include farm work and animal processing.   Both are backbreaking jobs and according to a recent interview of a Georgia farmer, not a single American has lasted for more than one day working on his farm in the last decade.   Others are drawn to restaurant, landscaping, house cleaning and child caring work.   In these instances average Americans are begging for such a workforce because it allows them to focus their efforts and money elsewhere.   Imagine if Mexican child care givers charged $20 an hour…who could afford to go to work?   There are two other areas, construction and textile manufacturing, that are legitimate areas of contention.   In both cases Americans are available to work, but the owners of the businesses…Americans… choose Mexicans because of their work ethic and because they work cheaper.   This does not make the cost of a house cheaper, but it does allow the contractor to pocket more money.

illegal immigrationIn the big picture it is important to know that illegal immigrants take an estimated 2 to 3 percent of all U.S. jobs and if we limit our search to only the construction and manufacturing trades that estimate is less than 1 percent.   Certainly not worth all the hoopla if we take prejudice out of the equation.

The second issue to examine is why U.S. wages are depressed.   There is no legitimate disagreement here.   Wages are depressed because U.S. companies are moving out of our country in record numbers.  They find cheap labor abroad and leave Americans out  of work without remorse.    Even Americans with jobs are worried because many employers successfully threaten workers by telling them that asking for a raise will result in their moving their business overseas as well.

Trump signature collectionIt is interesting to note that while candidate Trump rails against the practice of outsourcing jobs, businessman Trump does it all the time.   It was recently revealed that his signature clothing line uses workers in the poorest countries on earth…paying worker 30 cents an hour in Bangladesh.   This is the nature of the problem; even the filthy rich are willing to screw the average Joe…why settle for 10 billion when you can go for 11 billion?

So back to Representative Barletta.   If he truly wants to raise wages for average Americans he needs to restrict the ability of companies to outsource their jobs.   If he needs help with this all he needs to do is read our earlier posts on the tenets of the Pro American Party…we have created a blueprint for him to follow.

Our next post will examine the positive role rich Americans could play if they were only willing. 

 

Why We Won’t See the Democratic Party Split This November

senator grahamRecently I listened to Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina, express concern that Democrats will split their party between moderates and progressives.   His concern is that this would result in total gridlock in the Congress.   Not that we don’t have gridlock now, but the problem Graham discusses will not happen.

Why?   Because Democrats believe that government has a true function in society, and that is to improve the lives of its citizens.

tea partyGraham was referencing the splintering of the Republican Party with the advent of the Tea Party.  The primary difference is that Tea Party members are likely to believe in a very limited role for government.    That is why they are willing to shut the government down…it suits their agenda.

Democrats, including the moderate and progressive wings of the party, believe that government needs to function to protect our most vulnerable citizens.   Neither wing has the luxury of being so obstinate that they can do nothing.  Their belief in the role of government requires them to compromise, especially if the result improves the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.trump finger in air biting lip

There is also an external motivator.  The Donald.

 

I’m Voting for Trump…Here’s Why

trump thumbs upDonald Trump is a hero to all of us middle-aged white men.    We have had tough lives and didn’t get the fair shake we deserved.   The Donald is expressing my rage and disgust with the way things are going in our country.   He isn’t afraid to speak out.   Here are some examples:

On Capital Punishment

“I hate seeing this country go to hell. We’re laughed at by the rest of the world. In order to bring law and order back into our cities, we need the death penalty and authority given back to the police. I got fifteen thousand positive letters on the death-penalty ad. I got ten negative or slightly negative ones.”   He goes to say that capital punishment is a deterrent, and I don’t care that research says otherwise.

trump obamaOn Obama and Baltimore:  “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”   I really like the fact that he included the race of our president…otherwise people wouldn’t know.

On estimating his own self-worth

“‘Who the f— knows? I mean, really, who knows how much the Japs will pay for Manhattan property these days?”    In a conversation just moments before this quote he said he was worth over 8 billion dollars.    Of course this kind of forgetfulness explains a lot.

On love

Ivanka trump“I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”  Have you seen her, don’t let the father/daughter thing get in the way!

On the number of Representatives in the House

“Well, I don’t want to answer your questions because this isn’t a history class…You could get some stiff that knows every one of those answers but is incapable of governing.”   Someone was really picking on him with this ‘gotcha’ question.   The last time I saw something this bad was when someone asked Sarah Palin the names of the magazines she read.

On hiring working mothers

“She’s not giving me 100%. She’s giving me 84%, and 16% is going towards taking care of children.”    So you can see that he has a reason to badmouth women.

trump finger in air biting lipOn his party affiliation

Several years ago Trump considered for running for president.  Here’s what he said:

“Well, if I ever ran for office, I’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican — and that’s not because I’d be more liberal, because I’m conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.”

Since then, thank God, he has converted himself into a true conservative.

On pretending, during a phone interview, of being someone else

trump mask“That wasn’t me.  I don’t know what you’re talking about.”   So now we have those pesky forensic recording experts lying to us.   Figures.

So as you can see, Trump is my guy.   Say whatever you want, he can do whatever he wants.

All you haters can hate…and don’t forget, now he needs our money!   $200 buys you a ticket to own of his events.  Get two.

 

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Challenge For America

NOTE: This post was written by one of our readers who wishes to remain anonymous.

sword-of-damoclesThe sword of Damocles is hanging over every American household, suspended by a hair, and is ready to fall.

The only good choice they have is to correct the problems they face as a result of past bad choices or suffer grievous consequences.  But Americans are confused and cannot agree on what to do for the nation or anything else.  One of their problems is that they are divided because their main two political parties represent different constituencies, values and interests.

This disunion creates many conflicts and upheavals that prevent the nation from going forward successfully for any extended period.  As soon as the unprivileged achieved some security through a program like Obama Medical Care, the privileged classes proceed to weaken it.  As a result of this constant confrontation, there is little genuine fraternity and their congressional representatives cannot unite for the common good.

Presently, the country is divided evenly into so-called conservative Red States and liberal or progressive Blue States.  Spread out through these two blocks are independent voters whose votes often decide the winner of a national election.

tug of warFew Americans like extremes of the left or the right. They prefer a government which represents the happy middle. At least that’s what they say.  Because they don’t practice what they preach, not many presidents have been able to unite the country, except in cases of national emergency.  As a result most Americans are divided by political partisanship, class egoism, and other evils that keep them constantly frustrated.

This is bad, especially during a political campaign because they don’t see each other as fellow human beings, but as rivals and competitors.

In theory Americans pay lip service to many ideas, but they tend to vote for those who share their political opinions, religious beliefs, and economic situation.  As a result, the two parties are always struggling for power and unable to create and maintain a just balance between conservative and liberal tendencies.  America desperately needs enlightened leaders to restore a just balance between the factions so they don’t become immobilized.  If government institutions become inflexible, America will fail as a democracy and eventually become a repressive fascist oligarchy.

What would happen after that is difficult to predict, for it would depend primarily on the behavior of the haves and have-nots.  All we know is that presently 20% of Americans own about 85% of all the wealth in the nation, leaving very little for the rest to enjoy.  If this inequality is not corrected soon by Congress, those who suffer deprivation may someday become desperate enough to retaliate against their oppressors.

A French styled revolution is out of place in America. But one never knows what a disgruntled individual may say or do.  People who are cornered and have no one to guide them to normalcy often feel compelled to become their own avengers and resort to guns and violence.  Every year the media reports cases in which workers unjustly dismissed sought revenge by killing competing workers or their bosses.

Personal revenge is often the court of last resort for people who cannot get justice where they live through normal channels due to racism or other existing problems.  This unhappy scenario wouldn’t happen if voters elected moderate politicians willing to give every citizen his due. But many people are not willing to be fair. As a result, millions go hungry in this rich country on a regular basis.

Some super rich campaign against the federal government and refuse to share the sacrifices and benefits that democracy entails with average Americans.  Others think that their wealth makes them superior to other citizens and they use their money to bribe crooked politicians to get special treatment.  This has produced a de facto government (led by lobbyists), not envisaged by the Founders, that regularly bribes venal members of Congress.

democracy not equal capitalism.jpgSince democracy is based on majority rule, and capitalism is not, the U.S. has two antagonistic governments and cannot please them both.  The elected members of congress constitute the legal de jure government, by right and title, and wealthy capitalists the de facto government, by the use of bribe money.  As already pointed out, this competition has already been won by rich capitalists, the poor be damned.

Millions of average citizens own only the clothes on their backs and a few gadgets bought on the installment plan.  And the big question is, how long can such inequality continue unabated before the people draw a line in the sand and level the economic playing field? More importantly, how long can the rich and the poor classes go in contradictory directions without undermining  the stability of the nation?

The present inequality is creating two Americas, and this is the reason that Republicans and Democrats don’t get along in the Congress of the United States.  If both parties represented the silent middle class majority, as intended by the Founders, they could easily compromise for the common good. But they don’t.

Something has to change, but can it be done without resorting to violence? The Founding Fathers did it, but present politicians are not as smart or dedicated as they were.  This is the big problem that living Americans must solve. Are we smart enough to do it, or have we become too greedy and selfish for our own good?  If we succeed, we will leave a bright, prosperous country to our loved ones; if we fail, we will only leave behind unfinished wars and a pile of debris and ashes.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH DEMOCRACY TODAY?

As we just stated, the growing gap between the rich and the middle class in America is threatening the foundations of our democracy. Today the top one percent of Americans have almost all the money.  This has given them the power to sponsor their stooges into positions of power in Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court. As a result, although we still have the trappings of a democracy, we have a government of, by, and for the super wealthy.

The only thing that keeps America from becoming completely fascist is the fact that corporate interests are motivated by profit rather than ideas. They don’t like democracy,  but they are afraid to challenge it head on, for fear of unleashing a general uprising and losing control. They know that if they precipitate another Great Depression as they did in 1929, millions of Americans would be forced to roam the streets looking for food in garbage cans.   This might cause a strong popular leader, not as nice as FDR was in the 1930’s, to come along, confiscate their ill-gotten assets, and pass laws to curtail their power permanently.

quote by Boies PenroseFor this reason, most corporate leaders with a scintilla of intelligence think it is easier to deal with greedy, pliable politicians who lust for money, power, or influence. Although few modern politicians will admit to you that they are, as some Robber Barons used to call them. “Mere field agents entrusted with the handling of Congress for the benefit of business interests,” their nineteenth century counterparts were more honest. In 1896, Republican Senator Boies Penrose of Pennsylvania publicly admitted it. “I believe in the division of labor,” said he. “You send us to Congress: we pass laws which make you money… and out of your profits, you further contribute to our campaign funds to send us back to pass more laws to enable you to make more money.”

The sword of Damocles is hanging over every American household, who will save us?

 

 

Capitalism Sucks for Everyone Except Capitalists

koch brothersCapitalism is an economic, social and political system where private individuals control a country’s trade and business.   Capitalism flourishes because it celebrates the worst of the human condition: greed, self-interest and ego.  It also recognizes the advantages of competition and market forces.   This leads to a great tension between what is good for the capitalist and what is good for everyone else and the country.

In the United States this tension has resolved in favor of the capitalist time and again.  Money talks.  As a result of the capitalist wanting to maximize profits for themselves, we get poor wages and often are forced to work in unsafe conditions; all while they plunder the land and resources of our country and pollute our air, land and water.

Average-American-Family-InfographicOf late, when workers try to organize or ask for a wage increase, the capitalist threatens to move their operations to another country.   In fact, hundreds of U.S. companies have moved, simply to maximize profit for themselves, all the while putting Americans out of work.   Clearly, what is good for the capitalist is not good for the country or its workforce.

So how is this resolved?

Socialism is not the answer, because giving the government control of business is a losing proposition.  Instead, we need to examine what socialism is trying to accomplish for workers, and find a way to protect our country and its workers within our democratic values.

This is where the tenets of the Pro American Party shine. They create stability and security in a system that currently has neither.   They also create an economic floor for workers that allow them the dignity of working and paying their own way in our society.   In so doing it creates the forces required to make business work in a way that is in the best interests of our country.    Importantly in this regard, it also protects businesses from unfair competition from abroad.  In short, the PAP protects workers, increases economic security, protects U.S. business and serves to unite the country.

I encourage you to read all 12 tenets that have been discussed to date, but in the meantime, here are some highlights of how the Pro American Party resolves the tension between the capitalist and the country.

employ Americans.jpgTenet #1 – Requires businesses who sell their products or services to Americans to employ Americans.  It also provides for a very low tax rate for those companies that comply, while punishing companies that do not.

Tenet #2 – Abolishes welfare, but creates guaranteed jobs at a fair wage. Abolishes corporate welfare, but reduces corporate taxes.  By guaranteeing a minimum wage of $12 an hour, it forces business to match that rate or be unable to attract workers.

Tenet #3 – Endorses the scientific method as a fair way to determine facts.   As per our constitution, does not endorse religion, but allows our citizens to believe in whatever God they choose.

Tenet #4 – Creates in-country production requirements for all products deemed to have a connection to national security.  This will bring manufacturing back to our country.

scalesTenet #5 – Establishes a requirement for a balanced budget and revises the tax system.  Changes the way budgets are established.

Tenet #6 – Ensures our military will remain the best in the world.

service to countryTenet #7 – Creates a requirement for all Americans to give 2 years of service to their country after graduating high school or reaching the age of 18.  There are many ways to complete this service requirement.  Once this service requirement is complete the recipient will be eligible for up to 2 years of free college or trade school education.  Those who complete their 2 years of education with at least a C average are then eligible for an additional two years of college without cost.

Tenet #8 – Requires the title of all laws passed by Congress to truly reflect their impact.   Creates a non-partisan group to evaluate all laws and to publish their findings prior to a law being enacted.

Tenet #9 – Creates a yearly survey of all businesses and determines the educational, vocational and other skill requirements of businesses and broadcasts that information to all school districts in the country.

Tenet #10 – Punishes businesses that pollute our environment.  Creates a fund, paid by business, to correct pollution problems.

Soldiers w RiflesTenet #11 – Protects our military veterans and their physical and emotional health.  Provides a higher hourly wage for all veterans…for the rest of their lives.  Provides additional death payments for the spouses/families of veterans who die in the line of duty.

Tenet #12 – Eliminates high crime/high unemployment areas by bringing together business and government resources.