A Universal Basic Income Would Only Have to Tax the Rich

A major mental hurdle that average or low income people have to overcome is the panicky idea that they would be taxed to finance a universal basic income. It’s the fear of: “Oh, no, I – a hard worker – will have to pay for lazy welfare queens.” However, a properly done UBI would do the exact opposite, unlike our welfare system. Properly done it would confiscate the obscene wealth in assets kept at the top of our country’s wealth pyramid (where the bottom 80% of people own less than 7% of the nation) and distribute the dividends to us all — as citizen dividends instead of privileged billionaire dividends. It’s our country. Our economy. The dividends of our prosperous economy should be our dividends (not the exclusive privilege of the rich) and create financial security for us all.

The following interview video talks about this:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Matt Bruenig Talks about His Viral Article on Universal Basic Income”)

Note: A UBI is not exclusive to a federal job guarantee or other helpful measures that will be discussed here tomorrow (don’t miss it!). It’s not either or. Just like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, FDR’s job creation, the G.I. Bill, and other programs worked best together, so will new measures we can take.

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Thanks. Only together can we change the world. 🙂

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The Seductive and Destructive Power of Debt

A hallmark of our dark current times is debt. More and more people are drowning in debt while banks get bailed out and bankster CEOs ride into the sunset with huge bonuses even after crashing the world economy. People often think that a system of credit and debt is the latest in economic developments, but in reality debt has a long and interesting history which explains why our almost religious worship of debt can lead to dreadful human suffering.

You have the option of listening to the following 1 hour and 21 minutes-long talk by David Graeber or read my short 598-word summary below:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: »David Graeber: “DEBT: The First 5,000 Years” | Talks at Google«)

Summary: Debt started, and is apparently inborn in us, as a way of social cohesion. Example: I gave you, my neighbor, a cow. So, some day, you help me build a new barn. Another neighbor gave me a bunch of chicken to start my chicken coup, and next year, when he has had a bad harvest, I give him and his hungry family several sacks of potatoes…  Continue reading

The Moneycrats’ Myth of Self-Reliance

Our lords have spread among us a myth of self-reliance. Americans are supposed to be self-reliant as part of their culture. So self-reliant they never ask for help. So self-reliant we never denounce grand theft by the 1%. When we have been mugged, we are supposed to stand up on our broken legs, dust ourselves off, and say: “It’s all right. I am self-reliant. I need nothing from anybody, not even my own things back that were just stolen from me (like one’s home, one’s job, one’s career opportunity, one’s pension funds, one’s health insurance, one’s social security…). This creed, promulgated by the 1%, is – of course – easily believed by the 1% themselves. It’s much more agreeable to see oneself as a strong, self-reliant success than a thug.  Continue reading

Video Weekend 10-21-2017 – Part B: The Root of the Problem

We all know that our economy is a mess and that the money-royalty, whom I like to call our robber billionaires, has bought our politicians and thereby our government which therefore colludes with them to squeeze the rest of us further and further out of a livable life so the rich can become richer and richer at the expense of us becoming poorer and poorer.

It’s nothing new. If it was new to you, watching and reading this week’s series on this topic should have brought you up to speed. I recommend you share the posts from the week that is now ending with everybody you know who is still unclear.

But what good is all that muck-raking unless we dig down to the root of the problem? Well, you may be surprised. After a week of sharing the work of more or less well-known personalities with you, today – in order to take you to the root of the problem – I will share with you an article and video from someone much less known, plus another video which might seem to come out of left field because it isn’t about humans but nevertheless shows us a way out of our man-made set of problems.

I hope you’re exited, because this is gonna be good.  Continue reading

Video Weekend 10-21-2017 (6 Videos)

This week’s series about our economic rigging and its collusion with politics comes to an end in the first segment of today’s Part A of this Video Weekend. The second segment has some mixed videos on recent events, and the third segment ends with a special rant and interview. Tomorrow, in Part B as a proper response to so much wrong and misery presented all week, I plan to share an analysis of the deepest roots of our trouble and a light at the end of the tunnel, a glimpse at a chance for our nation and humanity to crawl out of its trap, oddly enough spearheaded by human cousins. Well, let’s get started:

 

Segment 1: The Finale of the Rigged-Economy-Week

 

I. The Face of our Engineered Poverty: The End of the Rope

I have quite a bit in common with… Without further ado:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Line: Poverty in America – Officially Licensed Version”)

Have you shed any tears watching? I hope you have. It’s proof of your humanity — and/or indication that you have experienced some of this yourself and are therefore recruitable for change.

 

II. The Invisible Victims

One way our rigged system has survived and done so well is by our habit of turning a blind eye to those who suffer the most. The ill fate of the poor is mostly known only to them. Few documentaries exist, and filling the gap in everybody else’s knowledge won’t happen in a single day. Still, for a start, here is a second telling documentary.

One aspect of poverty is not being able to afford proper housing, and – as usual – we not only have a situation of an entire section of the public being of low means (and being blamed for it on top of that), but of being not helped, only allegedly helped, discriminated against, price-gouged, cheated, and held in poverty and obscurity, with the rest of us lookin elsewhere. What a surprise we have coming when we find ourselves pushed out of the shrinking middle class and suddenly find ourselves in this dark underworld we never bothered to acknowledge or take a look at because looking below us might make us feel guilty and scared.

ZIP Code is Destiny – Housing is disappearing for Americans:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The American dream is turned into poverty. Documentary 2017”)

 

III. Gods or Demons?

To top it off and complete the picture, an inside view of the 1% (not so much of their dark deeds which have already been exposed, but their lives and attitudes):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The One Percent”)

I wonder if a rare rich boy like this will ever move past making an Emmy-nominated confession and actually do something about the evil doings of his inherited business empire, or – better yet – not only do that but also work on changing the hellish course of our world? As it happens, Johnson & Johnson is still listed among the corporations that employ prison labor! Prison labor is a modern day form of slavery in the United States (and elsewhere, especially Asia). Inmates, often imprisoned without trial and on drummed-up or rather meaningless charges, work for $1.15 or less for a full day of work! This is not only an inhuman practice in itself but also takes away properly paid job opportunities from the labor makrket outside these slave-prisons.

 

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Segment 2: The Political Establishment & State Machinery Continue their Evil Romp Unabated

So as not to fall completely behind on current events, here are some recent current event videos not to be missed:

 

IV. Meet our upside-down justice system:

Remember our Monday video telling of how the state machinery of pre-Nazi Germany helped bring the Nazis to power by actively opposing the working people’s unions, parties, and activists while at the same time promoting and shielding from prosecution and punishment many murderous fascists? We just had an eerily similar case in the U.S. — an outrageous, sad, and horrible mockery of justice and the law by none other than a judge and our police:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “VICTIM Of Beating In Charlottesville Charged With Assault”)

 

V. The “Democratic” Party Unvervingly Committed to Evil Corporatism

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Corporate Democrats Purge Bernie Backers From DNC”)

 

Segment 3: Patriotism, Nationalis, War Machine, and POTUS

VI. To finish, a bit of fun with Jesse Ventura:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “WATJ 5: Paid Patriotism, the NFL & Dennis Kucinich”)

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Attack by the 1%: The Heist

Here is the fourth installment of this week’s series about our rigged economy. It is another well-made documentary, less than 30 minutes this time (phew!) serving up lots of data. It shines a light on many aspects of the dire schemes brought to bear against us. Below the clip follows my commentary addressing a central question raised in this film.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Heist: A Who Done It On The Economy “)

The documentary makers ask how were “they” be able to pull this off right before our eyes, meaning: how were the the robber billionaires and their thugs able to disown and subjugate all of us, thereby causing widespread poverty but little resistance or even public awareness of their heist? To this I wish to reply that the system in which we grew up, and therefor are used to, has always been about a few dominating and ripping off the many. So the heist was just an acceleration of what we were used to and accepting of.  Continue reading

America’s Unsung Hero

To the younger among us who perhaps have never heard of this man, I want to introduce a great beacon of light in America who has been smeared very thoroughly out of the public consciousness. We owe him things like the Freedom of Information Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Clean Water Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (safety standards for motor vehicles and road traffic safety). In his lifelong fight for the people he evidently has saved thousands upon thousands of lives, and without him we would have a far worse America (if you can imagine that) than we have now. This most amazing of American activists is none other than Ralph Nader.

By the early 1970s Nader had become a household name, and suggestions arose that he should run for president. Yet, when he finally agreed to run for president in 2000 because his public interest groups could no longer get hearings in Bill Clinton’s Washington, our establishment smeared, defamed, (and even sued!) him so massively that I fear many of the younger folks, especially the millennials on whom many of our hopes now rest, have never heard of him. And many of us who still know of him may see him in the false light of those smears propagated across the corporate media. The “Democratic” Party arm of our duopoly branded him as the “spoiler” who gave us the Bush-Cheney regime (something Jeb Bush’s Florida election fraud, the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional halting of the Florida vote recount, and Al Gore’s own lame campaign and refusal to challenge the election fraud are far more responsible for than any of the third-party or independent candidates who ran for president that year), just as they have been trying to smear Bernie Sanders since last year for allegedly giving us Trump. (my latest Video Weekend post has more on this)

Last Saturday, I gave everybody a small taste of Ralf Nader, but he merits way more attention. Here, then, is a magnificent speech of his well worth watching:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Ralph Nader on inequality in the United States “)

Continue reading

Video Weekend 8-05-2017 (6 Videos): Lee Camp, Noam Chomsky, Richard Wolff, Chris Hedges, and Someone I’d Rather Not Mention

Noam Chomsky gives a good account on how social isolation and predatory/parasitic selfishness (euphemistically presented as individuality), when adopted as an alternative to social awareness and appreciation of civilization, causes havoc among us and has given us our current mess:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Noam Chomsky Destroys Libertarianism”)

 

I find that Lee Camp is often better in his rants than his Redacted Tonight show. In this one, he debunks the neoliberal “Democrats’” latest effort to scam us and the political monopoly formed by our party duopoly:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Democrats Try to Rebrand Their Corruption: QUICK TAKE”)

 

Dug up from over a year ago, worth watching again or not to have missed, a great rant by Lee Camp (except for his repeating the common mistake of equating free market with capitalism when, in reality, capitalism is a force which ensures that only the biggest (the richest) bullies are free, free to subjugate everyone else). Our “free” market and “free” country are free only for the rich. The best kinds of slaves don’t know they are slaves:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “[92] Truth About The Drug War, Hillary’s Emails Are Being Censored, You Are Not Free & more “)

 

The current state of our kleptocracy, Henry Wallace, neoliberal philosophy is a form of extremism, and 2008 is coming again:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Dr. Richard Wolff – Is the Global Financial Crisis Close?”)

 

I admit to great reluctance sharing the next video. I cannot stand Stefan Molyneux’s arrogance, nor his ill-conceived stance that government must be abolished without anything to replace it. He is, of course, right that, currently, our government is being abused by our human parasites and predators as a tool against us, and also in proposing that government will always be at risk of being usurped and subverted this way by these “human farmers,” as he calls them. For reasons of attitudinal blindness or possible self-serving motivations, as someone who lives comfortably high in our dungheap society, he refuses to see or admit that these same “human farmers” would continue to exploit and oppress us even more unhindered if there were no government around, and that government – as a force which we, the people, can control if we act smartly enough – is the one major force we can bring to bear against these “human farmers.” Molyneux does, however, very nicely present the enslavement of human beings by other human beings, especially the dire fact that the most efficient form of slavery is the kind which gives the slaves the illusion that they are free and a limited range of choices within which to become more productive. Mentality and perception are indeed the key to our injustice machine of a society, and Molyneux description of us unprivileged working class folks as our oligarchs’ “livestock” is really fitting. I find they really do treat and regard us like livestock. Still, while Molyneux’s analysis is worth mulling over, his conclusion is anything but. (I guess, Molyneux is probably a star among the alt-right and/or Ayn Rand style libertarians.) So, I recommend this video (which apparently has had over 6 million views!) with a grain of salt. Please do not let yourself be deluded into its conclusion that eliminating government without something to replace it with as a guardian against the human predators and parasites among us is the course to take. I would also advise against watching more of his videos. The ones I have come across in the past were all… what’s a good word for that… uhm… let’s say beyond the pale.

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The Story of Your Enslavement”)

So, I hope you took the grain of salt before watching this video (at least its conclusion).

 

Chris Hedges was moving as always:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Chris Hedges Best Speech In 2017”)

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The Lords of the Flies (Umair Haque on Medium)

I came across an article I want to share around because it fits right in with the things I have been saying, namely that our lives are being ruled by bullies in a system they have set up to oppress and exploit us, all the while distorting what human lives and our countries should be about. The article bears the title: The Lords of the Flies

Quotes:

My American friend Tucker stays late every night at his highly professional job every night and arrives early every morning. He’s not paid for it. He’s just expected to do it. I ask him, as someone who studies management and leadership, who tells him to. No one, he says. The expectation is just there. Lingering in the air, like an unspoken threat.”  Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Betrayal (RP)

I know the feeling. Life is bad enough, especially in a world as rigged by people against each other as ours is. And publishing every day about the insane garbage the establishment dumps on us is not exactly spending quality time. So, lately I often think about slowing down, especially since my small reach hardly warrants all the time I invest. Steven D Grumbine is someone who also works hard at this. Luckily, he has a little more reach and his Patreon account is working, so perhaps he no longer needs to hold down some dumb bread-and-butter job in addition to researching and broadcasting about our mess and ways out of it (or at least not for much longer if you add to it).

I have wanted for a long time to showcase one of his videos. Today, I finally get around to it. This particular video is quite short (because it is truncated), but very passionate and fitting pretty well into my latest string of themes:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Let’s talk about betrayal”)

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