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HOW MODERN MONEY WORKS — Economist Alan Nasser presents a slashing indictment of the vicious nature of finance capitalism; The Bio-Social Facts of American Capitalism: David Price excavates the racist anthropology of Earnest Hooten and his government allies; Is Zero-Tolerance Policing Worth More Chokehold Deaths? Martha Rosenberg and Robert Wilbur assay the deadly legacy of the Broken Windows theory of criminology; Gaming the White Man’s Money: Louis Proyect offers a short history of tribal casinos; Death by Incarceration: Troy Thomas reports from inside prison on the cruelty of life without parole sentences. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on how the murder of Michael Brown got lost in the media coverage; JoAnn Wypijewski on class warfare from Martinsburg to Ferguson; Mike Whitney on the coming stock market crash; Chris Floyd on DC’s Insane Clown Posse; Lee Ballinger on the warped nostalgia for the Alamo; and Nathaniel St. Clair on “Boyhood.”
Crooked Politics

The Wrong Party

by WILLIAM O'CONNOR

I slammed my empty Jameson’s glass and screamed.

“All politicians are crooks.”

A giant pounded the mahogany bar.

“Screw you.”

I said meekly, “You a politician?”

“No a crook.”

“Sorry.”

 * * *

Politicians have rammed it up my keister for six decades.

When candidates say they want to make a difference, spread your cheeks and bite hard. It only hurts the first few hundred times. Forget campaign promises.

In an age of derivatives, double speak, and deception, Mencken’s. “uninformed many electing the corrupt few” can count on one thing. Corporations cheat the people to pay Congress, so they count on legislative support.

Both parties peddle their ass to the highest bidders, so conceptually, Reagan was right. Government is the problem.

Republicans build blunders and bullshit into National Policy.

* * *

Before WW II, FDR initiated the Lend Lease Act.

Republicans opposed it.

Right wing isolationists even lobbied against America’s involvement in Hitler’s war, but FDR realized that if we didn’t fight Germany then, with allies, we’d have to fight him later alone.

After WW II, George Marshall architected Europe’s bailout. Conservatives cried,

“European welfare.”

Republicans labeled Eisenhower’s former boss a communist.

Dead wrong.

Marshall was our most cerebral and, many say, our greatest general. Bailing out Europe saved Italy, Greece and Spain from turning communist.

Now?

Republican Paul Wolfowitz said the Iraq war would pay for itself.

Republicans Bush and Cheney said Iraq would welcome us with open arms.

The Republican Heritage Foundation predicted the Bush Tax Cuts would pay down the Federal Debt by fiscal year 2010.

Wrong on foreign policy.

Wrong on economics.

Wrong about global warming.

Wrong that public and civic investment is socialism. Wrong that privatization is cheaper than public management — check out Fed Ex — $13 to mail a letter.

Republicans, not government, are the problem.

* * *

The party that gave us the depression, deregulation and two useless wars keeps shoveling bullshit against an ever-deepening tide.

When time proves them wrong, they simply spew more:

Teachers, firefighters, and policemen created our economic problems.

Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam Hussein had an alliance with Al Queda.

Iraqis blew up the World Trade Center.

We must increase military spending beyond the rest of the world combined.

We shouldn’t invest in schools and higher education.

We must divert funding from renewable energy.

We don’t need financial regulation.

We should let oil companies police themselves.

Homosexuality is a choice.

If gay marriage becomes legal, people will marry animals.

We need to regulate women’s vaginas.

Our government can’t do great things.

And the most egregious and fatuous: increasing taxes of the rich won’t decrease the deficit.

Huh?

* * *

Wrong about corporate personhood.

Wrong about birth control.

Wrong about Fox News being fair and balanced.

Wrong about job creators.

Wrong about our economic history.

Wrong to dismantle worker’s unions.

Wrong to cut public sector jobs in a recession.

Wrong to force teach creationism.

Wrong to tax investment less than labor.

Wrong to call social security an entitlement.

* * *

The great communicator, (of bullshit?) Ronald Reagan, affably promised his disciples,

“Tax cuts for the rich will trickle down and help the poor.”

The economics major from Eureka College — total enrollment 250 – professed that the poor, who depend on scraps from the tables of the rich, would be better served if only we gave the rich bigger portions.

I’ve only taken two basic university economics classes, but two things are undeniable.

Both the Reagan and Bush era tax cuts led to larger deficits and long-term decline in growth, and deregulating any industry too much can lead to disaster.

If Republicans don’t know the truth they’re idiots. If they know the truth but call it lies, they’re crooks.

* * *

Clinton raised taxes and created 22 million jobs.

Bush lowered them and created a massive deficit, engineered a stock market collapse and teetered us on a depression.

We’ve had Bush’s tax cuts for 14 years now. Where are the fucken jobs?

* * *

Read Adam Smith on Capitalism.

A graduated tax is necessary, because then the only way rich people (land owners as he called them) can make more money is to reinvest their capital.

Although counterintuitive, a progressive tax is the very engine of capitalism.

In the ‘50s to protect Lucille Ball from Eisenhower’s 92 percent tax rate, her husband, Desi Arnaz, started Desilu and created 1000s of jobs.

Republicans haven’t missed the obvious evidence. To appease their money masters, they ignore it

* * *

 Smith insisted, “Tradesmen have to be paid a fair wage.”

Wages have been flat vs. GDP since Reagan.

Smith said, “The system cannot allow favor to be bought.”

We have K Street.

“The system cannot allow money to be taken out.”

We have Swiss and Cayman banks.

The bastardized form of capitalism force-fed us by corporations, media moguls and complicit lawmakers, doesn’t vaguely resemble what Smith described in “Wealth of Nations.”

 * * *

Republicans rile about “socialist” Obama, yet oil companies write our energy policy, investment banks write our fiscal policy and insurance companies write our health care policy.

When you have government working with, and currying favor with, big business, that’s not socialism, and privatizing profits and socializing losses is certainly not capitalism.

When government caters to and bolsters profits for the rich, we have at best oligarchy, at worst fascism.

* * *

A half-century ago, Steinbeck said,

“Someone has to re-inspect our system and soon. We can’t expect to raise our children to be good and honorable men when the city, the state, the government, the corporations all offer higher rewards for chicanery and deceit than probity and truth. On all levels it is rigged.”

Today, it’s worse, intolerable, and I’ve had enough.

One percent of our greedy inhabitants corral one third of our nation’s wealth. Inhabitants, not citizens, because “Citizen” implies a sense of shared responsibility.

In fact, they are worse than inhabitants.

These parasites, both Democrats and Republicans, live on the toil and sweat of a rapidly growing permanent underclass and, like lice, won’t be removed easily.

Our Congress has a 9 percent approval rate and a 91 percent re-election rate?

Stop the insanity.

 * * *

Take to the streets. Start scores of recalls. Organize a third, or even fourth, political party.

It’s a class war, and we can only win it if we fight back. Wisconsin was only the beginning.

Take back our airwaves and then our government.

The U.S. is only one of two industrialized countries without a labor party.

Why?

Fight organized greed with organized labor.

A worker has a right to a decent wage, decent working conditions and a right to age at the same rate as his employer.

* * *

Repeal Citizens United. Deprive corporations of their tit. Stop corporate and government welfare. Vote instead for schools, jobs and healthcare.

Drive the moneylenders from the temple of our Republic.

In Nov. 2014, send this useless craven Congress to the unemployment line.

William O’Connor is a Vietnam veteran, former Bronx firefighter and pub and restaurant owner. He is a stand-up comic and a UF journalism graduate.  O’Connor has a weekly column that can be found on-line entitled, “Confessions of a New York Bookie.” He can be reached at: Oconnor.WilliamP@gmail.com