Great Articles found on the Newsfeeds for the Middle Class & Rural Economy…& other segments of American society who generally aren’t benefiting so much despite this highly-acclaimed economy.  Welcome to Part 3, our weekly look at the economy with our selected song at the bottom.  Now that we’ve cut these Part 3 posts down to once a week, I’m finding way too many good articles from the newsfeeds throughout the week to fit in just one section.  Plus we have a limit on the number of outbound links we can post, so some of the article titles you’d need to look up yourself if you’d like to read.  So check out this journey below which ventures into the middle class, billionaires, capitalism, socialism, income inequality, the rural economy, manufacturing sectors, tax cuts, tax returns, health care, deficits, entitlements, millennials, immigration, approval ratings & nicknames.  So there’s a wealth of information & knowledge here in Part 3!

 

The Data Says it’s a Strong Economy, the Reality on the Ground Says Otherwise:

As the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it’s unconscionable such a large portion of workers can’t even make a livable wage.  The way the global capitalist system has evolved, the middle class is under assault as the oligopolistic power players have systematically stifled their earning power & living standards.  Modern-day capitalism can’t be treated as static, it must adapt, adjust & be reinvented to the reality & circumstances.  Doing nothing will only make our problems worse.  It’s going to take a lot of hard work & great ideas in restoring the American Dream, to where hard work & not just large stock portfolios can earn a good living.  We’ll succeed by actually acting on good ideas & moving forward one step at a time.  The enormous challenges are brought out in these excerpts from middle-class-revolution-western-order:

If the Yellow Vest movement heralds something to come, the U.S. looks more and more a likely stage for Act Two. Raised on the promise of the American dream and upward mobility, the American middle class has shrunk by nearly 10 percent since 1971. It has become disillusioned—with only 37 percent of Americans expecting their children to be better off financially—as well as more bitter and desperate. Supporters of Western democracy must ask ourselves how we got here, and what can be done. First, the cold, hard truths behind middle-class frustration, fear and outrage: From 1973 to 2017, as the U.S. economy grew and productivity rose by a staggering 77 percent, average compensation grew a mere 12.4 percent. During the last 20 years, the three primary burdens borne by American households—rent, healthcare, and tuition—have risen significantly faster than the median household income. Meanwhile, wealth and power have become consolidated. Between 1979 and 2013, average incomes for the richest 19 percent rose by 70 percent. For the top 1 percent, income grew by 192 percent. This compares with 42 percent growth for the bottom 80 percent of households. Remarkably, Western societies’ upper and upper-middle classes often understand this consolidation as the inevitable result of a meritocracy, of a system that rewards the most deserving. But that hasn’t eased their impulse to enjoy policy that keeps the gates to upper-classdom virtually unscalable. For decades the wealthiest have lobbied for tax breaks for investor sand property owners, perpetuating wealth among the wealthiest.

 

The result is an exclusive and self-sustaining system that has increasingly favored the richest segments of Western nations, at the expense of the majority. If the opportunity-hoarding of the wealthiest has helped hollow out the middle class, the rise of big tech and the digital age’s unprecedented advances have accelerated its shrinking. Somewhere along the way, as digital innovation increasingly captured our attention, the evolution of the tech industry’s capacity to build and guard their monopolies escaped notice. Collecting data on users’ habits enabled tech giants to perfect their products accordingly. And long unchecked by antitrust laws, tech behemoths maximize profits while employing fewer and fewer people—Netflix, for example, with 137 million subscribers, is worth more than Disney, but has only 5,400 employees. Disney employs more than 200,000. At the same time, the age of automation and artificial intelligence will likely push middle-class workers into lower-income occupations as it replaces jobs involving more complex skills like logic and algebra, while leaving open low-skilled jobs.  The promise of further innovation, then, likely promises to fuel middle-class frustration. To the extent that the capitalist free market ever worked as advertised, it was always dependent upon the popularly shared conviction that it was working. Appeased by a somewhat smaller piece of prosperity, the middle class would be, in theory, impervious to the revolutionary fervor of lower classes. 

 

We Must Strive for More Shared Growth

As we see an increasing percentage of our nation’s wealth going to the very top, an excellent analysis is presented inside everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-economy, which discusses how stagnant wages, job insecurity, widening inequality, and mounting wealth at the top are the result of political choices. The system is rigged and must be un-rigged.  The more we learn of the widening wage/wealth gaps, the more we realize the system really is rigged so political/corporate leadership can shamelessly perpetuate/engage in crony capitalism to benefit themselves.  The current situation, the debate we need to be having, & the challenges we face are accurately summed up inside new-form-american-capitalism-2020-democrats-socialism

This congressional questioning was quite enlightening: one-exchange-during-congressional-hearing-laid-bare-ceo-employee-pay-disparity.  Some billionaires who are being honest admit the tax rates on their fortunes should be taxed at higher levels: american-billionaires-call-for-upgrades-to-capitalism-starting-with-higher-taxes-on-themselves.  If you saw 60 Minutes from last Sunday, there was an outstanding segment with Ray Dalio.  He exposes the reality of our economic condition which needs to become ingrained in the minds of American politicians & their citizens, since understanding our core problems is the first step towards fixing them as seen in excerpts to ray-dalio-says-the-economy-poses-an-existential-threat-for-the-us:

 

Also joining the conversation: hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio. Dalio is the founder and co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates, the Connecticut firm with $160 billion in assets under management. On “60 Minutes” Sunday night and in a LinkedIn post published Thursday, he deemed current levels of inequality a “national emergency” and called for a reformation of capitalism. “I think the American dream is lost,” he said on the CBS broadcast. In his LinkedIn essay, he wrote that the “income/wealth/opportunity gap and its manifestations pose existential threats to the US because these conditions weaken the US economically, threaten to bring about painful and counterproductive domestic conflict, and undermine the United States’ strength relative to that of its global competitors.” Dalio used data to show there are essentially two Americas, where the top 40% is doing significantly better than the lower 60% and the nature of accrued wealth and educational opportunities for the majority of Americans is keeping them trapped in poverty.

 

In his LinkedIn essay, Dalio said that while the inequality in the country is benefiting the wealthiest Americans as much as it ever has, the economy as a whole is losing in the long run. He explained it’s resulted in fewer people being able to participate in the economy as both consumers and workers, as well as political tensions he’s afraid will tear the country apart. “I believe that, as a principle, if there is a very big gap in the economic conditions of people who share a budget and there is an economic downturn, there is a high risk of bad conflict,” he wrote. He said that as he sees it, the populist uprisings in the US are resulting in a push toward either socialism or the status quo of capitalism as it’s practiced, and he thinks that both would weaken the country. Instead, he called for several actions for reform, including increasing taxes on the wealthy and coordinating fiscal and economic policy.

 

“The most important thing to watch as populism develops is how conflict is handled — whether the opposing forces can coexist to make progress or whether they increasingly ‘go to war’ to block and hurt each other and cause gridlock,” he wrote. “In the worst cases, this conflict causes economic problems (e.g., via paralyzing strikes and demonstrations) and can even lead to moves from democratic leadership to autocratic leadership as happened in a number of countries in the 1930s.” On “60 Minutes,” he said that he figures there’s a “60-40, 65-35” chance that the way we as a society respond to our economic state will “be done badly,” but it’s worth pushing for the less likely but more productive alternative. He wrote on LinkedIn that there has to be some level of bipartisan support for economic reform going forward, even while recognizing that polarization is intense: “There need to be powerful forces from the top of the country that proclaim the income/wealth/opportunity gap to be a national emergency and take on the responsibility for reengineering the system so that it works better.” For Dalio, America’s leadership either takes on inequality as a national emergency and figures out how to reduce it, or the country’s days as a superpower are over.

 

Stamping Out Crony Capitalism should be done by Fixing Capitalism, not through Socialism

Let me make myself clear, free-market capitalism is the ideal, whereas crony capitalism run by oligarchs for their own benefit is exploitative.  The American economy is much different these days, with roughly half the working population falling further & further behind, along with our political & corporate leadership largely washing their hands of doing their responsibilities in addressing the issue.  We’re more & more seeing an economic caste system based on entitlement over merit: Our-economic-system-depends-on-your-path-to-mediocrity.  As the frustration boils over with no end (or ideas) in sight, can we blame the working class for having an increasingly more favorable view of socialism? 

 

Many of the more far-left progressive ideas do come dangerously close to falling into a socialist wheelhouse, which if implemented could negatively impact who America is fundamentally.  I’ve always been more a center-right conservative, which I genuinely fear some of those progressive ideas being proposed could permanently harm the great American drive & work ethic that has always defined us, with an ever-expanding safety net fostering an entitlement mentality.  That’s why I keep warning we must fix capitalism before we lose it.  We need to get serious about thinking outside the box & putting several bold new ideas on the table: new-jobs-for-a-new-economy

 

My commentaries also keep harping on what a terrible job Trump & the GOP are doing in fixing capitalism for so much of the working middle class.  They’re resting on their laurels with a foolish tax cut & little else.  There’s no mistaking the middle class is being battered & hollowed out, with a deeper dive into the numbers concluding it’s even worse than authorities are letting on: when-middle-class-isnt.  Way too many millennials are finding entering the middle class is practically unattainable as seen inside millennials-are-falling-out-of-the-american-middle-class.  Struggling to get an economic foothold & facing a bleak future, it’s not surprising socialism would look more appealing to these young adults & other generations of Americans as explained in excerpts pulled from capitalism-needs-improvements-win-millennials-socialism:

 

It’s no longer a given that anything labeled “socialist” will be immediately rejected as the next of kin to communism and the Soviet Union. As voters in their 20s or 30s might respond, Soviet so what? Capitalism’s defenders are going to have to make an actual case for capitalism — and make capitalism better while they’re at it. Over the past decade, there has been a steep decline in the percentage of Americans who see a free-market economy as the optimal way to organize economic life, from 80% to 60%. A 2016 poll found that only  42% of millennials support capitalism. As Ezra Klein writes in Vox, “In American politics, and particularly in the Democratic Party, the primacy of capitalism is, for the first time in ages, an open question.” And why wouldn’t it be?

 

If you grew up in the greed-is-good ‘80s or before and find the polling numbers shocking, place yourself in young adults’ shoes for a minute and think about how things look from their vantage point. You’ll see an economic and social system that is making the rich richer and the powerful more powerful while leaving the rest to struggle against ever higher obstacles. Yes, unemployment is low. But many toil in poorly paid jobs that barely keep them fed, clothed and sheltered. Even a home is beyond the means of  some working poor. Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest — this was a battle cry of the labor movement in its early years. If only. For many Americans today, the breakdown is more like 10-12 hours labor, two hours commuting, three or four hours of parenting and a TV show, then six or seven hours of sleep. Thank goodness for weekends.

 

“We believe in the American dream,” President Donald Trump says, “not the socialist nightmare.” Those are conversation stoppers, not real arguments, and unconvincing at that. For one, more and more people gladly wear the label. Sticks and stones might break their bones, but calling them socialist will never hurt them. Two, dismissing a serious policy idea as “socialist” without explaining how, and what you mean exactly, does not even remotely resemble the kind of serious debate we need to have with society at a crucial inflection point.

 

Opponents of progressive politicians and proposals might think they can get by with their lazy reliance on playing the “socialist” card. It won’t work. They will have to get specific if they aim to do more than rile up their already-riled-up conservative base: How are the progressive plans deficient? How is their own approach better? If you are going to invoke capitalism’s superiority, you’re going to have to account for some of the ways it has been falling down on the job: its role in climate change, for instance, and the reality of new generations finding the system failing them. No, you can’t blame the latter on the up-and-comers being lazy. Because they’re not.

 

A case for capitalism can certainly be made. Some of those making it are Democratic presidential contenders, Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren among them. They are worth listening to because they are talking not only about capitalism’s selling points but also about the flaws and excesses in the system, and how these can be tempered for the sake of a capitalism that serves more people better. Capitalism has worked wonders as a means of raising standards of living around the world. But there are cracks in its facade, and its champions are going to have to repair them, not paper them over. Conjuring the Red Menace is not enough.

 

Capitalism/Socialism Debate born out of Extreme Wealth Extremes

Inside SOCIALISM-IN-THE-USA? the GOP seems to have a distorted definition of socialism.  That party is just playing with semantics as a political ploy, since it’s hard for them to justify their own policy proposals.  So the GOP strategy is to pin the socialist tag on Dems & keep trying to get away with basically doing nothing.  The capitalism vs. socialism debate is also engaged in these excerpts from u-s-capitalism-the-key-2020-battleground:

Back in January, an Axios/Survey Monkey poll showed that — maybe for the first time ever — a plurality of Americans believe our economic system is rigged to favor the rich. Nearly 70% of respondents said they would be “excited” to support a candidate wanting to fix the system, a position taken by 90% of Democrats and 49% of Republicans. Just last month, a Harris Poll given to Axios found that Generation Z views the word “socialism” more favorably than previous generations and is more likely to embrace socialistic policies. That represents a significant shift in the American psyche. This partially explain the forces in play in the Democratic party today. A reckoning with the extreme wealth inequality that pervades the richest country in the world appears now inevitable.

 

It’s true, wealth extremes in the United States are at absurd, untenable levels. Three men — Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett —own as much wealth as the poorest 50% of all Americans. The richest 1% own more than half of stocks. And yet, this nation would do well to ensure that capitalism itself does not become an unfortunate and unnecessary casualty in this rhetorical war against Trumpism. Trump, meanwhile, has no plans to renounce capitalism — or, it seems, even address some of its most egregious economic extremes. It is probably fair to say that he doesn’t even “get” these concerns. Capitalism, as it has been practiced in the United States, certainly needs a makeover. Anger and resentment towards the super-wealthy have been bubbling up for a long time. But it remains a very open question as to whether this day of reckoning will be forthcoming anytime soon. Those in the United States tempted to sock it to the mega-rich can certainly argue that they are well-intentioned and good-hearted about the reasons for doing so. At the same time, they should be clear-minded that overhauling the economic engine that has sustained U.S. prosperity for many decades in too radical a fashion is a dangerous thing.

 

Stagnation or Decline in 80% of the Country?

The rural economy, including small towns & agricultural/industrial regions, have been in decline for a long time.  We not only need smart/new/bold/innovative approaches to address income inequality, but also tackle this escalating geographic inequality.  When inside this article its-time-to-get-serious-about-helping-americas-struggling-regions it starts by saying between 2007 and 2017, 80 percent of U.S. counties experienced declines in their working-age demographic, we’ve got a serious issue here.  That indicates the rosy economic stats are skewed with the growth going mostly to selective metropolitan areas, while most of the country is bogged down by economic stagnation or decline.  At least even Trump realizes the importance of broadband & 5G technology for the rural economy just for starters.  Here comes a wave of political ads from the DNC highlighting the Trump failures/broken promises for the rural economy in small towns & other struggling communities across the land: 2020-election/dnc-launches-hyper-local-2020-effort-shadow-trump-trail.

 

Rubin chimes in on this subject of the declining rural economy inside heres-an-issue-democrats-should-jump, where the economic gains keep going to the urban centers.  I’ve mentioned several times in our Part 3’s the past few months about the closing of the gigantic GM Lordstown plant about an hour from my hometown, which is devastating for an area near Youngstown which had already been economically depressed by 4 decades of steel plant closings & the varied/numerous types of businesses supporting/dependent on those factory jobs.  And for 4 decades political leadership on both sides of the aisle have done an abysmal job of trying to protect our industrial base.  Posted here is the first half to the article how-to-prevent-the-next-lordstown which emphasizes we must act on good ideas, since it’s practically criminal for the ongoing decline of the manufacturing/rural economy to just be swept under the rug:

 

General Motors first broke ground in Lordstown, Ohio, 55 years ago, and the factory was once considered the most modern GM plant in the country. Thanks to a combination of business decisions by the company, tariffs implemented by the Trump administration, and a general dearth of innovative thinking, the Lordstown Assembly is now set to close for good in January 2020. From its first car, the Chevy Impala, to what now appears will be its last, the Chevy Cruze, the plant was known for its adaptability to ever-changing consumer demand. But with the announcement that GM is cutting 14,000 jobs across North America, including shuttering its Lordstown operations, adaptation has given way to extinction. The ecological analogy is useful in more ways than one. The Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum have cost Ford and GM about $1 billion each. In any commercial ecosystem, when you raise the cost of inputs—a factory’s food source—the population declines. Automakers, meanwhile, are looking ahead to trends in self-driving and electric vehicles. Yet rather than fostering that next stage in evolution, blunt trade restrictions and threats to revoke subsidies are the economic equivalent of wildlife conservation, treating the U.S. automotive sector as if it were an endangered species.

 

Public policy isn’t the only source of blame for the Lordstown closure, but it clearly hasn’t helped. Simply put, Washington, D.C., needs creative  policies to encourage genuine economic development. On the right, a laissez-faire ideology prefers to blame unions or even praise job losses as the efficient result of global competition rather than admit there might be a place for government. And on the left, the concerns of an urban and highly educated professional class have displaced the interests of blue collar workers. Both sides, in practice if not in theory, treat the decline of America’s manufacturing base as the inevitable price of progress. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right framework, ordinary workers can benefit from change rather than suffer from it. That’s the principle behind the Struggling Regions Initiative, launched this week by the Niskanen Center with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. By exploring new models for supporting beleaguered economies in Ohio and throughout the country, the initiative aims both to avoid the ugly side of industrial policy and to identify policies that can actually work. It’s not Washington’s responsibility to micromanage local economies or to pick winners and losers. Yet no one can deny that national policymaking has ripple effects throughout the country. The Struggling Regions Initiative is premised on identifying realistic ways—from trade agreements to the structure of the tax code—to strengthen and diversify America’s industrial economy, and in a way that promotes economic growth and dynamism.

 

The Tax Scam

In all our Part 3 sections for over a year, we’ve commented heavily on the folly of the Trump tax cuts.  Below is more evidence.  Since we’re going past our allotment of live links, you could search for the articles by doing a copy/paste of the titles under my brief comments:

 

Only 17% think the Trump tax cuts lowered taxes for themselves, while a higher percentage believe they now pay more in taxes:

usatoday/trump-tax-cut-only-17-americans-think-theyll-pay-less-now

 

Another article about that 17% poll:

dailykos/Trump-s-tax-scam-still-unpopular-with-few-seeing-their-promised-tax-cut

 

Some are finding out the hard way their taxes actually went up:

alternet/new-mother-in-distress-when-she-learns-how-badly-the-gop-tax-plan-hurt-her-family-i-called-my-husband-crying

 

Part of the tax scam was to structure it so people thought their taxes went down last year by lowering paycheck withholdings, but now they’re seeing their refunds have shrunk or disappeared.  And it was especially quite an unpleasant surprise to the 8 million Americans who got refunds last year & owe the IRS this year:

alternet/the-republican-tax-scam-isnt-done-screwing-you

 

The incredibly shrinking tax refunds…

nymag/heres-why-your-tax-refund-is-lower-in-2019-trump-economy-tax-cuts-2020

 

The prez lied to many Americans (no surprise there):

thinkprogress/10-million-american-families-saw-tax-increases-under-trump-tax-cut

 

Dems do have a much better tax plan:

washingtonpost/the-democrats-new-tax-plan-is-their-clearest-most-efficient-blueprint-yet

 

GOP politicos are well aware of the growing wealth gaps, but are basically ignoring the issue.  So to deflect, they shout out socialists to describe their opposition as the only card they have left to play:

thehill/political-editor-says-gop-dems-are-aware-of-wealth-gap

 

Trump tax cuts are socialism for big banks & corporations:

rawstory/truth-lurking-behind-gops-frantic-fear-mongering-socialism

 

So America has already been overrun by socialism…for the rich!:

alternet/robert-reich-america-is-now-a-hotbed-of-socialism-for-the-rich

 

When the tax cuts should have been structured to benefit small business, instead of added revenues they got higher accounting fees to try sorting out all the confusion:

thehill/this-tax-season-for-small-business-disappointing-refunds 

 

Those tax cuts have a lot more hugely profitable corporations paying ZERO taxes!:

dailykos/Twice-as-money-companies-to-pay-zero-taxes-for-2018-due-to-Trump-s-tax-gift-to-the-rich-and-powerful

huffpost/60-biggest-companies-paid-no-taxes-under-trump-tax-law

 

Here is the most unfair tax of all in our current economic structure, the huge taxation we all pay to the major corporations.  The biggest problem with our economy is not just stagnant wages suppressing the financial security of the working class, but it’s stagnant wages in conjunction with an artificially propped-up cost of living designed so the big corporate entities can keep raking in enormous profits:

dailykos/The-hidden-tax-Average-Americans-pay-a-tax-of-74-that-they-don-t-know-about-and-isn-t-in-the-media  

 

Those in the gig economy not only struggle to earn decent pay, but it also opens up tax complications: 

nytimes/tax-day-side-hustle

 

By failing to turn over Trump’s tax returns upon congressional request, Trump’s Treasury Dept. may have broken the law:

thedailybeast/heres-the-law-that-requires-steven-mnuchin-to-turn-over-trumps-taxes-or-lose-his-office-and-go-to-prison

 

The public does want his returns released:

slate/trump-tax-returns-voters-polls-show-americans-want-them

 

Congress giving him 10 days to turn over his tax returns:

washingtonpost/house-democrats-give-irs-hard-deadline-april-turn-over-trump-tax-returns-say-administrations-concerns-lack-merit

slate/trump-tax-returns-irs-new-deadline-april-23

time/richard-neal-trump-tax-returns

alternet/democrats-will-need-a-solid-reason-to-get-trumps-tax-returns-its-a-good-thing-they-have-one

 

And they’re pursuing his financial records:

washingtonpost/house-democrats-to-subpoena-accounting-firm-for-trumps-financial-records

thinkprogress/house-democrats-double-down-on-investigations-into-trumps-finances

 

Health Care

Just like with the link titles on taxes, I’ve got brief comments here above these healthcare titles, which you could look up any articles you’d like to see:

 

A key issue where we need bipartisan consensus on (& just aren’t getting it) involves fixing health care.  The GOP still can’t produce a viable replacement for Obamacare, so if the ACA is struck down in court, the GOP will be in huge trouble over the angry backlash:

thehill/opinion/healthcare/the-time-to-solve-americas-health-care-crisis-is-way-overdue  

 

As things stand, employer coverage is only getting more problematic & costly, which is why the burden is destined to someday shift to the government:

axios/employers-health-care-costs-medicare-crisis-baby-boomers

 

We need to get started in fixing health care:

usatoday/medicare-for-all-longterm-dream-start-fixing-health-care-now

thehill/gop-senator-issues-stark-warning-to-republicans-on-health-care

 

Most every other developed country in the world has figured out their version of this, while doing it far more affordably than America’s current hodgepodge system:

thehill/congress-blog/healthcare/only-medicare-for-all-will-end-the-greed-of-for-profit

 

The GOP goes out of their way to protect the enormous profits for Big Pharma:

buzzfeednews/paulmcleod/republicans-warn-drug-companies-oversight-investigation

 

With the buffoon brigade in Congress (those idiots in the Freedom Caucus), they’re working in cahoots with the big drug companies to protect their huge profits & keep our drug prices the highest in the world:

salon/jim-jordan-mark-meadows-warn-big-pharma-execs-not-to-cooperate-with-drug-price-probe

 

And yes, overall our healthcare costs are by far the highest in the world:

usatoday/countries-that-spend-the-most-on-public-health

 

The Chasing Life episodes with Dr. Sanjay Gupta that is debuting on CNN will show examples of good/interesting ideas for better health throughout the world:

cnn/shows/chasing-life

 

Short Bits

This is definitely headed in the wrong direction:

thehill.com/policy/finance/us-deficit-soars-to-691-billion-expected-to-top-1-trillion-this-year

 

An important point I keep bringing up, it’s not only wages which are failing to keep up, but the cost-of-living relative to wages are making most family’s budgets much tighter:

newsmax/personal-finance/middle-class-incomes-cost

 

More signs of middle-class woes:

axios.com/upper-middle-class-families-taking-more-loans

 

We keep ignoring it, but something needs done about entitlements:

msn.com/en-us/money/markets/greenspan-says-economy-will-slow-under-growing-entitlements

 

The entitlements supporting retirements, it’s not only the funding for Medicare & Social Security that’s in trouble, but also this:

newsmax/personal-finance/corporate-pension-shortfall-gap

 

White men under duress from unmatched expectations:

usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/04/13/suicide-rates-prevention-white-men-american-dream

 

Millennials have generally gotten the short end of the stick, so looking ahead with robotics taking over, their job displacement can become more pronounced & economic insecurity more dire:

axios.com/millennials-jobs-robots-gig-economy

 

Here’s a disturbing article on the boy crisis:

usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/04/07/males-risk-boy-crisis-identity-america-future-addiction-suicide

 

Both sides should avoid being stubbornly locked into entrenched tribal ideologies, looking instead at issues based on what’s best for the country as a whole as opposed to party:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/politics-isnt-a-sport-thinking-so-is-dangerous

thehill.com/opinion/campaign/a-radical-centrist-platform-for-2020

 

Dems could blow next year’s election by going too far left, so they should avoid going out on the radical fringes like many in the GOP did with the tea party, perhaps the most extremist & nihilistic political movement in our nation’s modern history:

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/11/democrats-beware-path-tea-party

 

Guess which party most slobbers over the oligarchs?:

huffpost.com/entry/oversight-hearing-republicans-praise-wall-street

 

The Vengeful President, Real Classy:

Yes, we do have a problem at the southern border, & yes we do need comprehensive immigration reform.  But the president’s way of handling all this smacks of petty vindictiveness by using the migrant issue as a weapon against political opponents & red meat to rile up his base.  This idea of busing migrants to sanctuary cities & dumping them off is beyond crazy, plus is also probably illegal, but the prez has just confirmed such actions are actually under consideration.  This internal spat over legalities may have been a key reason why DHS secretary Nielsen got forced out, while the prez even encouraged his border chief to go ahead & break the law.  You could Google search any of these titles to articles where psychopaths Trump & Stephen Miller hatched this plot to exact their revenge, while excerpts from Rubin are below the last title:

 

businessinsider/white-house-plan-to-free-immigrants-at-sanctuary-cities-nancy-pelosi-san-francisco

thedailybeast/trump-told-then-cbp-head-kevin-mcaleenan-hed-pardon-him-if-he-illegally-blocked-migrants-from-entering-us-cnn

theguardian/trump-unleashed-stephen-miller-immigrants

vanityfair/donald-trump-migrant-sanctuary-city-plan

yahoo/trump-aides-considered-releasing-detained

esquire/trump-administration-immigrants-sanctuary-cities-ice

nymag/trump-sanctuary-cities-plan-migrant-crisis-democrats-govern-by-sabotage

theatlantic/a-clear-cut-take-care-violation

vox/trump-send-sanctuary-cities-illegal-immigrants

motherjones/new-government-data-shows-trump-wanted-to-close-the-wrong-border

dailykos/Trump-decides-to-embrace-his-effort-to-hurt-people-by-shipping-refugees-to-sanctuary-cities

washingtonpost/trump-says-administration-giving-strong-consideration-to-releasing-immigrant-detainees-in-sanctuary-cities

washingtonpost/white-house-wanted-send-migrants-cities-with-lot-immigrants

washingtonpost/trumps-immigration-policies-have-been-a-failure-neither-he-nor-democrats-have-much-of-a-solution-to-the-current-problem

washingtonpost/new-low-trump-tried-use-migrants-canon-fodder-against-democrats:

If you find it hard to imagine the mind-set of someone who would do such a thing, remember that Trump has consistently dehumanized migrants — calling them “animals,” describing their asylum efforts as an “infestation,” claiming there are terrorists in their midst and generally characterizing them as “very bad” people. It’s then not so surprising that he would try to weaponize migrants against his political enemies, whom he refers to as “treasonous.” Frank Sharry, who heads the progressive, pro-immigration group America’s Voice, tells me, “It’s despicable, cynical, desperate and cruel. Trump and [senior adviser Stephen] Miller see immigrants as less than human, Democrats as un-American, and democracy as a zero-sum blood sport.”

 

The only remotely similar instance in which political operatives attempted to use public resources to punish political enemies was Bridgegate, in which multiple aides to former New Jersey governor Chris Christie were convicted of crimes, including “misappropriation of funds,” in connection with the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in retaliation against Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich, who had refused to endorse Christie’s reelection bid. In both cases, government resources were deployed for political revenge, possibly putting residents at risk and certainly inconveniencing them. In Bridgegate, the weapons of choice were traffic cones; for the Trump crowd, it was human beings.

 

By any standard, it was an abomination and evidence that this crowd serves its own political ends, not the American people. A congressional investigator, according to The Post, claims that “it was basically an idea that Miller wanted that nobody else wanted to carry out. What happened here is that Stephen Miller called people at ICE, said if they’re going to cut funding, you’ve got to make sure you’re releasing people in Pelosi’s district and other congressional districts.” Miller must be subpoenaed as well. If accurate, there should be a bipartisan demand for his resignation. And then the question will remain: What did Trump know, and when did he know it?

 

Trump & Fox Love Repeating Each Other’s Lies

 
The prez tweated out a screenshot seen on Lou Dobb’s show on Fox Business, where they cited a poll showing Trump’s approval rating at 55%.  Problem was, in that poll his approval rating was only 43%.  Apparently, the 55% was taken from that same poll which was the figure showing how many had an unfavorable impression of Trump.  Don’t these nudniks even bother to fact-check their own numbers?  If they can lie about something painting the prez in a more favorable light, they’re quick to do so.  Of course, the number of blatant lies we’re getting from Trump & his state-run TV keeps skyrocketing.  Please feel free to search for these articles if you wish:
 
vox/trump-lou-dobbs-approval-rating-bad-tweet
 
usatoday/trump-celebrates-poll-number-fox-business-got-very-wrong
 
nymag/trump-touts-55-approval-from-poll-that-found-43-approval
 
esquire/donald-trump-poll-fox-news-lou-dobbs
 
huffpost/lou-dobbs-donald-trump-retraction-oops
 
newshounds/lou_dobbs_suspended_fired_spreading_fake_news_trump_approval
 
dailykos/Our-Idiot-President-Episode-3-523-The-Dobbs-Trump-Human-Centipede

Name-Calling

He’s not some fledgling blog writer punching up, but is President of the United States whose job it is to be leader of all the people.  An important component of a president’s role is to be a unifying force for the betterment of every American, not a divisive figure who relishes in punching down & tagging others with silly/insulting nicknames.  Trump always delights in giving opponents such nicknames, as reports this week had him calling the chair of the House Judiciary Committee fat Jerry, while the outgoing chief of the Secret Service was called Dumbo as Trump made fun of his large ears: trump-secret-service-chief-randolph-alles-dumbo-ears & also see cant-allow-trump-away-getWe can also count on the prez giving childish nicknames to any serious candidates for the Dem nomination such as the dig Pocahontas.

As president he should avoid punching down like that, but as Americans calling out Trump’s many improprieties we can return the favor.  I’ve often referred to Trump as a liar, con man, narcissist, jackass & jerk, since that’s exactly who he is.  But in racking my brain to come up with an appropriate nickname for Trump, how does this one sound to you?…Maggot Brain!  This is a song that has been played on popular Cleveland rock stations at a designated time every Saturday night for more than 4 decades!  One of the greatest guitar solos of all time, it will be heard again tonight at 11:49 PM on WNCX-FM 98.5: last.fm/music/Funkadelic/_/Maggot+Brain/+wiki.  It’s a very unique song which tends to grow on people the more they hear it.  I wanted to play the studio version as heard on the radio, so please disregard the creepy album cover & just enjoy the music:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1NW57lk5fY

 

 

 

 

Preview YouTube video Maggot Brain