Elect candidates that don’t bow to Big Biz.

Taxes have been lobbied down for Big Biz with no regard for the long term consequences. Our elected have allowed it. America needs to elect candidates who don’t buy in to this racket.

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When business faces a genuine tax liability, the choice is to either use dollars to reinvest in the business or to pay taxes. It makes good business sense to choose to spend on facilities, equipment, supplies, and even wages and benefits because this is not shareholder money, it is tax money, redirected to improve American productivity.

But for too many big businesses tax liability has become a myth, theoretically “high” but performing “low” by industrialized world standards. Loopholes, subsidies, and low rates reduce the incentive to spend internally. Our power grid is failing, our internet is the slowest in the developed world, and placing new stores or factories takes local incentives – to name a few consequences.

And many businesses that cannot lobby their way out of taxes are hit as hard as wage earners in this out-of-balance scheme.

Without taxes in the equation, improvements in the means of production, a long term strategy, are at shareholder expense rather than taxpayer expense. And we all know about what is important to the few shareholders-that-matter on Wall Street: short term gain.

The Two Faces of Hawk Talk

Situations in Europe would have us revisit the debate, “Democracy v Stability” as we consider our role in international affairs. Today I am asking, “what kind of stability?”

‘American leadership through the threat of force’ is consistent with a ‘maintenance of the status quo’ notion of stability, but currently fails any sustainability test. The very same who believe America should be ever ready to flex muscle do not support any viable means to fund their intentions.

These Hawks appear happy to spend tax dollars but reluctant to ask those who fund their campaigns to pay taxes. So, while top private and corporate earners have far more skin in the game than most, they pay proportionately less into the kitty than a kindergarden teacher.

In compensation for these opposing values, Hawks embrace austerity to justify the abuse of American warriors: enlistment promises are broken; the wounded are brought home and then left behind; and funds are found for new war planes but not for hand sanitizer for the remotely deployed. By now we should all know that austerity is a costume worn by too many at the masquerade ball we call American politics today.

As long as Hawks burden breadwinners and protect cake eaters The People must resist their chest-beating racketeering.

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Image thanks to rapgenius.com

End Money in Politics

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End Money in Politics: </$>                      (JKL)

The failed experiment to create sustainable prosperity by cutting taxes to corporations and shareholders.

Record profits and record poverty in the same country are evidence of a broken economic system. In America, the evidence that today’s poverty is born of the Great Recession is indisputable. The gossip that it is due to an epidemic of laziness is ludicrous. And still, our Congress considers a budget that mocks the needs of recession victims and continues toinsure profit to those that caused it.  Now is the time to look to big money makers for tax revenue.
la-oe-zimmerman-congress-history-20131016-001Image caption: Omayra Hernadez holds a sign reading, “Hey Congress Do Your Job” as she and others gather in front of the Florida office of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) to protest against the partial government shutdown. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Economic Freedom Zones are an Orwellian Joke

Economic Freedom Zones are to business development as the Clear Skies Initiative was to environmental protection: an Orwellian joke.

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I believe Detroit has a revenue problem as much or more than a spending problem, so I see adding even more tax cuts and reducing “payroll tax” (code for Social Security and Medicare) to existing subsidies, tax exemptions and tax cuts is counter productive. In fact, it is like inviting piranha to lunch. The feeding frenzy will only last as long as there is food on the table.

Economic Freedom Zones are an extension of the philosophy that short term concessions to business can result in long term and sustainable improvement in the economic condition of the community. In my 25 years in economic development work, I have not seen this to be as useful as hoped.

Concessions become expectations, and sunsetting of concessions often result in the closing of opportunistic business only interested in program benefits. Public investment in these projects is often not even a break even situation, let alone a sustained value. The smartypants gaming of these opportunities is the dark side of capitalism.

The cases I have seen where economic incentives have paid off  usually involve smaller, more local businesses that have a stake in the long term success and economic viability of the community. The Economic Freedom Zone idea as it is now described is just shark bait.

This retired small business owner thinks Obamacare is a step in the right direction

This retired small business owner thinks Obamacare is good for America. We get told every day that we are now a part of the new global economy, but our competition is from companies in countries with some form of health care for all. For the rest of the first world, health care is a social expense, while for us it is a business expense.

I played that game as a small business owner, but the deck was stacked against me. I was charged 200% of the rate for a large business, giving advantage to my larger competitors let alone off shore interests.

I never minded paying taxes: they were predictable and I could plan for them. But insurance inflation was out of control and killing many of us in the small business community. While bigger businesses were dropping coverage levels in order to leverage profit, we, the real employers of America, were dropping coverage to stay alive. In 2008 GM pointed to this flaw in our global logic and was summarily gob smacked. Like GM or not, they were right.

Now, the imperfect beginnings of a solution that serves employee and employer is before us. “Back to the drawing board” is political-speak for “bury it alive”. We can spend all day nit picking the small stuff while the elected who are beholden to BIG campaign contributors pull strings to neglect the many and profit the few.

I, for one, believe in American Ingenuity: that we should launch the project to create a yet unseen but soon to be envied strategy to ensure access to health care for Americans, and bloom as an economy within our borders and in the world. No guts, no glory. If you agree, contact your congressional delegation now.

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Hoody for Trayvon, Orange for Women

Today my avatar sports a hoody for Trayvon and is colored orange for women. These two issues are VERY related.

As a woman I know that if a stranger stalked me in his SUV, got out and approached me (with or without a gun) I would run. If he caught me I would fight with everything I had. And, if he shot and killed me he would be innocent in Florida. Yet not so long ago a Florida woman fired a warning shot at her abusive husband and got 20 years. This is not a good example of justice but it is the law.

The law is just whatever the lawmakers make it.

As citizens we need to make the connection between things like gerrymandering, big campaign funders, and the fact that the monied elite draft, distribute, and lobby for law that supports their business strategies.

“Shoot first ask questions later” laws were brought to state legislatures in 2005 by ALEC and its benefactors. In this case, the NRA and its benefactors.

Manipulating the law to sell weapons and ammo is no different than manipulating the law to sell ambulatory surgical center services. Both came from the same place, as did voter suppression strategies. It may not make sense on the surface, it may not even be ethical or moral, but it is legal and it is profitable.

One giant leap for plutocracy… for now. We will #FreeTheElected from the control of big business campaign funders and stop this fashionable trend of law for profit.

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No Choice is Just a Beginning

The march to end a woman’s right to decide when and if she will give birth is just the tip of the iceberg. It is just one more example of the divide and conquer strategy in the march to total plutocracy (the new fascism). Ironically, some seem willing to tolerate this trend to get what they want, not admitting that in so doing they are signing on for “the full meal deal”.

Current events are dominated by smarty pants political gamers that seem to find every backhanded way to obtain their objectives. They are despicable but predictable. Money-in-Politics is winning the day, and both major parties play the game.

Just so you have some idea of what the “full meal deal looks like, here is a Cliff Notes-esq version of what is in store for us if we do not put a stick in the spokes of campaign finance system that is inherently corrupt.

  • No abortion. No birth control. No sex education. No women’s rights from the moment of conception until birth (assuming she does not die). After that everyone is on their own.
  • Only the economically deserving will vote. Voting won’t matter much because gerrymandering will have rendered the chosen politicians invincible.
  • Our air, water, energy sources, and food supply will become nothing more than vectors for cash. Everything will be industrialized until it collapses. 
  • No public school. No public prisons. No public anything, especially no public employees. (I am really not looking forward to privatized police departments.)
  • No unions. No collective bargaining. No employee rights. No minimum wage.
  • Guns everywhere. Everywhere.
  • No social safety net. No Social Security (The predator market will have consumed the privatized version to the point of meaninglessness.) The poor, disabled, etc will be dead or in some other privatized institution at taxpayer expense.
  •  Darwinian economics will prevail. Only the monied will thrive. The laws of the land will support the rich getting richer because the rich will control the political process and, besides, they believe their wealth indicates a divine right to rule.
  • The Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, will be stripped of anything that resembles a socio-economic evolution toward the framers’ vision of what America could be. Instead we will live in a state of economic stewardship controlled by the few, and at the peril of the many. Our gratitude will be expected.

I am not Nostradamus, I am just someone who keeps up with the Congress and State Legislatures across the land. We must put an end to money-in-politics now, before it is too late for America. #FreeTheElected from the domination of campaign funders.

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