I'm shocked, shocked that we won't be able to keep warming to 1.5℃. Who could have seen that coming.
Business as usual will result in warming of around 3.4℃. My bet is we'll wind up closer to that than to 1.5℃, due to the fact that shortsighted, ignorant, selfish, greedy people run the world. I don't know if civilization can survive that kind of climate. I guess we'll find out the hard way.
So all those blockbuster Bond movies, as well as 2012 (2009) and Elysium (2013) were actual warnings in which villainous oligarchs want to wipe out the majority of the population and have the remainder enslaved to do their bidding. 🤔
#COP28 #Musk #Bezos #Oligarchy #FossilFuels #PrivateJets #Shell #Exxon #UAE #Dubai #SultanAlJaber #Oil #Energy #Netzero #XR #klima #climate #draught #ForestFires #floods #HeatDeath #ecocide #ExtinctionRebellion #Climatecrisis #JamesBond #2012 #Elysium
Less than a week after #ElonMusk filed his bizarre lawsuit against #MediaMatters for daring to report on the fact that X/#Twitter is displaying ads alongside neo-Nazi garbage, two Republican state Attorneys General are talking about investigating Media Matters.
Talk about #weaponization of government!
Mehdi Hasan is right on target when he calls it #oligarchy. It's a perfect example.
3/3 "Buffett makes no secret of his fondness for monopoly. He repeatedly highlights the key to his personal fortune: finding businesses surrounded by a monopoly moat, keeping competitors at bay. “[W]e think in terms of that moat and the ability to keep its width and its impossibility of being crossed,” Buffett told the annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting in 2000. “We tell our managers we want the moat widened every year.”"
#oligarchy #plutocracy #capitalism #markets https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/special-investigation-the-dirty-secret-behind-warren-buffetts-billions/
2/3 "Buffett’s massive wealth has actually been built: on monopoly power and the unfair advantages it provides. Companies in Buffett’s portfolio have extorted windfall profits, evaded US taxes, and abused customers. In the two specific cases discussed below, in the banking and high-tech industries, Buffett’s investments have prompted federal investigations for anticompetitive or other illegal practices."
#plutocracy #Markets #corruption #oligarchy #capitalism https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/special-investigation-the-dirty-secret-behind-warren-buffetts-billions/
1/3 Warren Buffett and his now deceased partner Charlie Munger were crooks. They used market dominance, monopolies, and rigged markets to make themselves into American plutocrats.
#plutocracy #oligarchy #Markets #capitalism #investing #Omaha #corruption https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/special-investigation-the-dirty-secret-behind-warren-buffetts-billions/
I suspect that if EVERY BILLIONAIRE could be investigated and prosecuted for fraud, tax evasion, environmental assaults, employment law violations, unlawful collusion with foreign governments, and campaign contribution violations…we would no longer be under threat from ANY billionaire or their sleazy organizations.
Fuck them all and the lawyers they ride in on.
The parallels are rather obvious.
Nothing much changes, except the means of propulsion.
All I want for Christmas is a government whose policies don't involve hoping that the predatory corporations that control nearly every aspect of our lives go easy on us.
Unchecked #capitalism quickly devolves into organized crime.
I've been watching a lot of movies from the 30s and 40s lately in which the wealthy class seems to do a lot of horseback riding, skeet shooting, chess playing, tailored dress clothes wearing, sherry drinking, and cigarette/cigar smoking. Not a lot of work going on for those folks.
"Nobody wants to work anymore" is pure projection for the true "loafing class."
"Politicians and civil servants didn’t have the scientific knowledge necessary to understand research-based advice during the COVID-19 pandemic, a public inquiry into the UK government’s response to the crisis has heard."
#ScienceIsDead! #Politicians #Oligarchy #PublicPurse
The influence we supposedly purchased with our votes is outbid by the influence predatory capitalists purchase with their money.
One of government's main responsibilities is to protect citizens; from outside enemies, to be sure, but on a day to day basis the protection most needed is from predators who call themselves capitalists. Instead of providing that protection, government collects its pay and takes its marching orders from them.
Incredibly insightful comments on the current technology landscape by @stephenfry and John Cleese.
We in tech shouldn't be building the next big product, we should be building the next big #coop.
So much calamity and death from one deviant fuck.
The risk of states (countries) failing escalates dramatically over the first 200 years and then levels off.
Those that survive longer are able to reinvent themselves for sustainability.
The United States is currently struggling to reinvent itself...
As either a social justice-oriented democracy or an oligarchy-led authoritarian regime.
The Aussie coal oligarch that wants to dismantle Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains, with the help of their crooked UCP sycophants, is SOOOO GREEDY she’s even screwing over her own children!!!
Australia’s richest “person” has few redeeming qualities, which is how the oligarch disease usually displays.
3/4 I expect fascists to sabotage everything. Liberals though are supposed to be capable of rationality. Instead the brunch crowd wants to be comfortable and have their opinions continuously validated by Washington propaganda. #DemocraticParty #corruption #traitors #Israel #plutocracy #oligarchy #poverty #WorkingClass #MiddleClass
2/4 Instead of building durable coalitions to make a fairer world that defends the enlightenment project, open society, and a sustainable future, they push corporatism and militarism, and sidle up to fascism. #DemocraticParty #traitors #betrayal #plutocracy #liberalism #oligarchy #poverty #WorkingClass #MiddleClass
I will never forgive these effete lunch liberals or the plutocrat's professional servant class for destroying all hope of a better future. We have real problems; climate change, ecological collapse, inequality, and the ascendancy of authoritarianism. 1/4 #betrayal #plutocracy #liberalism #oligarchy #poverty #WorkingClass #MiddleClass https://thewire.in/world/israels-war-on-gaza-affirms-the-collapse-of-liberal-world-order
And beyond this crisis, the #farleft is unprincipled about which #imperialism they will decry. That millions in Ukraine are displaced, 10,000s dead, tens of thousands of children kidnapped doesn’t matter because it’s not the #West or US imperialism. The #left supports a bankrupt dogmatic ideology. It’s as hollow and fake as MAGA #nationalism. That #Assad barrel bombed citizens and hospitals to dust, ignore it. That mafioso #putin in #oligarchy #russia supports the global #farright, ignore it…
#Mastodon continues its solid growth with well over 14 million accounts but almost zero coverage in the corporate news media.
The #propaganda is blinding.
What a great story of the power of #solidarity.
90% of workers in Sweden belong to #LaborUnions.
Tesla won’t sign a collective bargaining agreement with mechanics so dock workers won’t unload Tesla cars, janitors won’t clean Tesla buildings, etc.
#Sweden #Tesla boycott snowballs as more workers join the #strike https://electrek.co/2023/11/17/sweden-tesla-boycott-snowballs-as-more-workers-join-the-strike/
“a moneyed #oligarchy more #despotic and more dangerous to industrial #freedom than anything civilization has ever known”
“Brandeis and many of his contemporaries feared that concentration of economic #power aids the concentration of political #power, and that such private power can itself undermine and overwhelm public government”
“Being concerned about #democracy and #authoritarianism” was “in the background of some of our efforts to make #antitrust big and visible” https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2023/11/how-gilded-age-lawmakers-saved-america-from-plutocracy/
Yes - the #Oligarchy did not take #Hitler serious and lost their factories and houses. If it had not been for communism, i.e. Russia, then the USA would not have rebuilt West Germany and re-armed it in 1952 so - the old established #Oligarchy was and is in the saddle again with their wealth and land holdings. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
The posts reminds of the laughable “personhood” of corporations which gave us Citizens United, but most important is the reminder that great #journalism focuses on reality and how that focus is frequently loathed by #oligarchy
@androcat @lindasgoluppiart @NaturaArtisMagistra
It is not just #FOX NEWS!
It is also us - the voters. See #Pogo! I would also blame the #systems that R in place with the blessing of the #Oligarchy. There are evolved systems which programs all children to the ways of a culture of a tribe / nation that is usually harmful to the citizens well being. Religion?
Does #Democracy get taught as if the lives of the voters depend on it? Why not? Because we don't really live in a democracy??!!
Seeing Nob Hill beginning to be put under "security lockdown" in preparation for the APEC Summit, it is clear if our "political and business leaders" were benevolent they wouldn't have to have a militarized force protect them from the people affected by their decisions
#apec #NobHill #oligarchy #EatTheRich #SanFrancisco #SF #security #PoliceState
Surprise! Billionaires aren’t solving climate change https://heated.world/p/surprise-billionaires-arent-solving
23 Oct 2023
"Fossil fuel companies have spent millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign donations to state lawmakers who sponsored anti-protest laws – which now shield about 60% of US gas and oil operations from protest and civil disobedience, according to a new report from Greenpeace USA.
"Eighteen states including #Montana, #Ohio, #Georgia, #Louisiana, #WestVirginia and the #Dakotas have enacted sweeping anti-protest laws which boost penalties for trespass near so-called critical infrastructure, that make it far riskier for communities to oppose pipelines and other fossil fuel projects that threaten their land, water and the global climate.
"Another four states have enacted narrower versions of the same law, but which could still be exploited to issue trumped-up charges against peaceful protesters. Many were based on a 'model bill' promoted by the industry-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec).
"According to the report, nine of the top 10 companies that lobbied most for anti-protest bills since 2017 are fossil fuel companies, including US companies #ExxonMobil, #KochIndustries and #MarathonPetroleum, as well as Canadian companies #Enbridge and #TCEnergy (#TransCanada).
"In addition, 25 fossil fuel and energy companies have contributed more than $5m to state anti-protest bill sponsors in this timeframe, data from political finance trackers #OpenSecrets and #FollowTheMoney shows."
Still the best president I ever voted for in my books.
Jimmy Carter: U.S. Is “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” https://theintercept.com/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/
Former president Jimmy Carter says the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.”
Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter says, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”
BYPASS SUBSCRIPTION -- https://archive.ph/UWPNs
$10 Trillion in Added US Debt Since 2001 Shows 'Bush and Trump Tax Cuts Broke Our Modern Tax Structure'
"In their blind loyalty to their mega-donors, Republicans' fixation on giant tax cuts for billionaires
The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday released new figures related to the 2023 budget that showed a troubling drop in the nation's tax revenue compared to GDP—a measure which fell to 16.5% despite a growing economy
I updated my profile's description to let everyone know a bit more about me...
Former Journalist📰 and occasional Librarian 📚 living on #Wabanaki land🌄.
#NonBinary :nonbinary_flag: #Queer :QueerCat_Aromantic: #ActuallyAutistic :QueerCatHeart_Autism: Pronouns: They, them, per, person, human.
#Green🌳 #Socialist🤝 Student of #Archaeology 💀 & #History 📜
#NoNukes☢️ Anti-#Oligarchy🎩 #NoWar☮️ #GetMoneyOut💰#HumanRights🕵️♂️ #BLM✊🏿 #IndigenousRights 🌿 #WaterIsLife💧Anti-#Corruption🔍 #ClimateCrisis🌍 #RightToRepair 🪛
Um, my old conspiracy-watching self is getting the heebie-jeebies with this story. Are they planning on making room for #ClimateActivists and #HumanRightsActivists? Especially since standing up for #ClimateJustice and #HumanRights seems to be a crime these days.
Billion-dollar supersize prisons are slated to be built across the U.S. But do they help or hurt public safety?
Bernie Sanders has a new corporate tax plan.
By Tara Golshan Updated Oct 1, 2019
"There are striking pay disparities between those in the C-suites of the biggest companies in the United States and the average workers.
"An average American #CEO at a S&P 500 company earned $14.5 million in 2018, the same year an average worker made $39,888. Over the last decade, CEOs’ average pay has increased by $5.2 million. In ten years, the average American worker’s pay hasn’t even increased by $10,000, according to the AFL-CIO labor federation’s analysis of the federal data.
"A new IPS study found only five S&P 500 firms had CEO-to-worker pay ratios of less than 25 to 1. More shockingly, 49 of the 500 largest publicly traded firms have a median worker pay below the U.S. poverty line for a family of four. The median 2018 CEO pay at these 49 firms is $12.3 million.
"Publicly held companies are required to file their CEO-to-worker pay ratios with the US Securities and Exchange Commission as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
"These filings showed #Walmart paid its CEO 1,076 times more than the median Walmart worker last year — $23.6 million to $21,952. #JeffBezos gets paid 58 times the median #Amazon worker. The CEO of #TheGap makes a staggering 3,566 times what the clothing retailer’s median worker makes. These are the companies that would get hit by Sanders’s Income Inequality Tax. His plan would direct the Treasury to collect CEO-to-worker pay ratio data from privately held companies — and make it public — and also issue regulations around tax avoidance."
by Joseph Zeballos-Roig and Juliana Kaplan
Mar 25, 2022
- Sanders wants to hit all large firms with a 95% windfall tax on their revenue.
- Under the plan, #Amazon would have paid $28.6 billion in 2021.
- Its reach goes far beyond the #OilAndGasIndustry.
- Deemed a "temporary emergency measure," the tax would only be in place from 2022 to 2024. The levy would bring in $400 billion in just one year.
Sanders: "We cannot allow #BigOil companies and other large, profitable corporations to continue to use the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the specter of #inflation to make o#bscene profits by price gouging #Americans at the gas pump, the grocery store, or any other sector of our economy."
New levy would mean up to 75% taxation on corporate profits
Tax would only apply for the next three years, as crises abate
By Laura Davison
March 25, 2022
April 9, 2015
BURLINGTON, Vt., April 9 – "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Senate Budget Committee ranking member, today issued the following statement on new data showing the extent to which some American companies are avoiding taxes:
"'I applaud Citizens for Tax Justice for releasing new data today revealing the unfairness of our tax system and the fact that a number of the biggest and most well-known corporations in America continue to pay little or nothing in taxes.
"'At a time when we have massive #wealth and income #inequality, and when #corporate profits are soaring, it is an outrage that many large, profitable corporations not only paid nothing in federal income taxes last year, but actually received a rebate from the IRS last year.
"'Instead of balancing the budget on the backs of the #elderly, the #children, the sick and the #poor, as the Republicans in Congress have proposed, we need a tax system that demands that large, profitable corporations and the wealthy start paying their fair share in taxes. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming months to make certain that happens.'
Top Ten Corporate Tax Dodgers from Citizens for Tax Justice’s Report
1. Not only did media giant #TimeWarner pay nothing in federal income taxes last year, it received a rebate of $26 million from the IRS even though it made $4.3 billion in U.S. profits.
2. #CBS made $1.8 billion in U.S. profits last year, but instead of paying federal income taxes it received a rebate from the IRS of $235 million.
3. #Xerox made $629 million in U.S. profits in 2014, but received a tax rebate of $16 million from the IRS.
4. #Prudential Financial made $3.5 billion in U.S. profits last year, but instead of paying federal income taxes, it received a tax rebate of $106 million from the IRS.
5. The toy maker #Mattel made $268 million in profits last year, but received a tax rebate of $46 million from the IRS.
6. #Priceline.com not only paid nothing in federal income taxes last year, it received a tax rebate of $9 million, even though it made $73 million in profits last year
7. #PacificGasAndElectric not only paid nothing in federal income taxes last year, it received a tax rebate of $84 million from the IRS even though it made $1.8 billion last year.
8. Wireless technology maker #Qualcomm made $3.2 billion in U.S. profits last year, but instead of paying federal income taxes, it received a refund from the I.R.S. of $98 million.
9. #GeneralElectric made over $5.8 billion in profits in the U.S. last year, but paid just 0.9 percent of that amount — less than one percent — in federal income taxes.
10. #Jetblue Airways made $615 million in U.S. profits last year, but paid just 0.4 percent of that amount — less than half of one percent — in federal income taxes.
By Andrew Emett -
January 30, 2016
"Targeting the top-10 corporate tax dodgers, Sen. Bernie Sanders pledged on Friday to close loopholes that allow these large corporations to exploit offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. Last year, Fortune 500 companies reportedly held over $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to evade paying U.S. taxes.
"'Three major profitable corporations not only pay nothing in federal income taxes, they actually got a rebate from the IRS,' Sanders told a town meeting in a student center at Iowa Wesleyan University.
"The presidential candidate informed his supporters that #GeneralElectric, #Boeing, and #Verizon paid no federal income taxes between 2008 and 2013. During that period, these three companies amassed more than $102 billion in combined profits, yet they received over $4.1 billion in income tax rebates from the IRS.
"In 2012, GE stashed $108 billion in offshore tax havens and would have had to pay $37.8 billion if the loopholes were closed. Receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds from the IRS, Boeing and Verizon regularly outsource their jobs to China and other low-wage countries while hiding their profits in tax havens.
"Although #BankOfAmerica received a bailout of more than $1.3 trillion from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, the bank hid $17.2 billion in offshore tax havens in 2012. Receiving a $2.5 trillion bailout during the financial crisis, #Citigroup stashed $42.6 billion offshore to avoid paying taxes in 2012.
"Faced with over 1,000 lawsuits accusing the company of selling Zoloft while secretly aware it could cause malformed hearts in newborns, #Pfizer operates subsidiaries in 151 tax havens. As the world’s largest drug manufacturer, Pfizer officially holds $74 billion in profits #offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
"Although the CEOs of #Honeywell, #Merck, and #Corning have retirement accounts worth millions of dollars, these heartless tycoons want to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70 while making significant cuts to Social Security. Sanders also mentioned that despite the fact that Federal Express receives $1 billion each year from the U.S. Postal Service, #FedEx was awarded a $135 million tax refund from the IRS in 2011.
"'In America today we are losing $100 billion in revenue every single year because large corporations are stashing their profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens,' Sanders asserted.
"According to a report last year from U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Education Fund and Citizens for Tax Justice, nearly 75% of Fortune 500 companies have tucked away $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. In 2014, at least 358 of these massive corporations maintained 7,622 tax haven subsidiaries throughout Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and other havens.
If elected president, Sanders plans to close these tax loopholes in order to create and maintain at least 13 million jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, water systems, railways, and airports. On Friday, Sanders announced his plan to crack down on corporate tax dodgers by closing loopholes allowing U.S. corporations to avoid paying federal income taxes by setting up a post office box in a tax-haven country, artificially inflating foreign tax credits, and using offshore subsidiaries to evade taxes.
"Sanders vowed to eliminate tax breaks for #BigOil, gas, and coal companies, which would result in saving more than $135 billion over the next decade. He also promised to prevent companies from avoiding taxes by corporate inversions. By acquiring or merging with a smaller foreign business, many U.S. corporations have evaded paying taxes by claiming the new company is foreign, when in reality little to no personnel or operations have moved offshore."
January 2021: Trump's #Billionaire Enablers: The 63 Billionaires Worth $243 Billion Who Bankrolled Trumps Re-Election Bid
"IPS found that as of January 8, 2021, these 63 billionaire #Trump Victory Fund donors have combined wealth of $243.7 billion dollars (using real-time estimates from Wealth-X and Forbes). This is more than the wealth of the bottom half of all U.S. households combined, an estimated 159 million people.
"The top ten billionaire donors to the Trump Victory Fund, with combined wealth of $82.6 billion, are:
- #Gas pipeline magnate Kelcy Lee Warren, worth $2.9 billion, gave eight donations totaling $2,248,906.
- Retired CEO of #Marvel Entertainment, Isaac Perlmutter, is worth $5.8 billion and donated $1,871,200.
- Telecommunications mogul Kenny Troutt, worth $1.5 billion, donated $1,849,000.
- Biotech investor Robert Duggan, worth $2.6 billion, donated $1,638,200 to the Trump Victory Fund. In the final days of the campaign, Duggan gave $4.6 million to various Trump campaign groups, according to Forbes.
- #Casino magnate Steve Wynn, worth $3 billion, contributed over $1,523,500.
- Casino owner, Phillip Gene Ruffin, worth $2.3 billion, donated $1,375,000.
- Owner of #ABCSupply, the giant home supplier, Diane Hendricks $8 billion (Forbes), donated $1,175,000.
- Casino megadonor #SheldonAdelson, and his wife Miriam Adelson, worth over $35.9 billion (Forbes), contributed $1.16 million, along with massive donations to other Republican PACs and candidates.
- #Texas #Banker Daniel Andrew Beal, worth $7.5 billion, gave $1,161,200.
- Software entrepreneur David Duffield, worth $13.3 billion, donated $1,151,600.
Other notable billionaires to the Trump Victory Fund include:
- #Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, worth $20.9 billion, who gave $355,000.
- #JohnsonAndJohnson heir Robert Wood Johnson IV, worth $2.5 billion, contributed $575,000.
- Hedge fund manager John Paulson, worth $4.2 billion, donated $831,372.
- Heir to the cosmetic fortune, Ronald Steven #Lauder, worth $5.2 billion, gave $100,000."
Not news, but a reasonably comprehensive overview of the problem. As always, it comes down to the greed of fossil fuel companies.
Think that your plastic is being recycled? Think again. | MIT Technology Review https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/10/12/1081129/plastic-recycling-climate-change-microplastics/
A year ago, I retained a tiny shred of sympathy for professional Birdsite users who asserted that the pressure to abandon ship amounted to blind privilege.
That tiny shred of sympathy is gone daddy gone and replaced with disgust.
If, over the past 12 months, you haven't found a way to make your business model work without being complicit in society's descent into fascism, then you are the one guilty of blind privilege.
The Ugly Truth: American Society’s Disposable Attitude Toward #Aging
The media and advertising sectors are dominated by a small group of extremely wealthy persons, and they maintain a fixation on youth and beauty. This fixation harms people’s self-esteem and mental health and encourages a disposable attitude toward aging. The #oligarchy establishes an impossible standard by continually bombarding us with pictures of young perfection, which leads to the devaluation....
#Jimmycarter said this in 2015
On the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program:
" Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”
We All Live in a Company Town Now. The Labor Movement Can Lead the Way Out.
Beneath the surface is a more malignant driver of this crisis: the speculative private market, which has concentrated its grip over real estate to such an extent that virtually every American lives in a company town now.
Unions from all sectors need to wage campaigns for housing policies that break the vise grip of real-estate elites.
Automakers Are Investing in Stock Buybacks Instead of Workers and Electric Vehicles
Big Three executives are claiming that UAW demands, including a just green transition, are too expensive. This is an obvious misdirection: the real sap on company finances is the billions of dollars in stock buybacks and executive compensation.
For profit #medicalinsurance makes more money when they deny you care because it reduces their expenses.
They literally make more money when you die earlier since you are cheaper to care for.
Think about it.
A World of Slaves:
Most Americans haven’t seen what’s coming.
Nancy MacLean notes that when the #Kochs’ control of the GOP kicked into high gear after the financial crisis of 2007-08, many were so stunned by the “shock-and-awe” tactics of #shutting #down government, #destroying #labor unions, and #rolling #back #services that meet citizens’ basic necessities that few realized that many leading the charge had been trained in economics at Virginia institutions, especially George Mason University.
Wasn’t it just a new, particularly vicious wave of partisan politics?
MacLean convincingly illustrates that it was something far more disturbing.
MacLean is not the only scholar to sound the alarm that the country is experiencing a #hostile #takeover that is well on its way to radically, and perhaps permanently, altering the society.
Peter #Temin, former head of the MIT economics department, INET grantee, and author of "The Vanishing Middle Class", as well as economist Gordon #Lafer of the University of Oregon and author of "The One Percent Solution", have provided eye-opening analyses of where America is headed and why.
MacLean adds another dimension to this dystopian big picture, acquainting us with what has been overlooked in the capitalist right wing’s playbook.
She observes, for example, that many liberals have missed the point of strategies like #privatization.
Efforts to “reform” #public #education and #Social #Security are not just about a preference for the private sector over the public sector, she argues. You can wrap your head around those, even if you don’t agree.
Instead, MacLean contends, the goal of these strategies is to radically alter power relations, #weakening pro-public forces and #enhancing the #lobbying #power and commitment of the corporations that take over public services and resources, thus advancing the plans to #dismantle #democracy and make way for a return to #oligarchy.
The majority will be held captive so that the wealthy can finally be free to do as they please, no matter how destructive.
MacLean argues that despite the rhetoric of Virginia school acolytes, shrinking big government is not really the point.
The #oligarchs require a government with tremendous new powers so that they can bypass the will of the people.
This, as MacLean points out, requires greatly #expanding #police #powers “to control the resultant popular anger.”
The spreading use of pre-emption by GOP-controlled state legislatures to suppress local progressive victories such as living wage ordinances is another example of the right’s #aggressive use of #state #power.
MacLean notes that in #Flint, Michigan, Americans got a taste of what the emerging oligarchy will look like — it tastes like #poisoned #water. There, the Koch-funded Mackinac Center pushed for legislation that would allow the governor to take control of communities facing emergency and put unelected managers in charge.
In Flint, one such manager switched the city’s water supply to a polluted river, but the Mackinac Center’s lobbyists ensured that the law was fortified by protections against lawsuits that poisoned inhabitants might bring. Tens of thousands of children were exposed to #lead, a substance known to cause serious health problems including brain damage.
Libertarian economist Tyler #Cowen has provided an economic #justification for this kind of #brutality, stating that where it is difficult to get clean water, private companies should take over and make people pay for it. “This includes giving them the right to cut off people who don’t—or can’t—pay their bills,” he explains.
To many this sounds grotesquely #inhumane, but it is a way of thinking that has deep roots in America.
In "Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative" (2005), Buchanan considers the charge of #heartlessness made against the kind of classic liberal that he took himself to be.
MacLean interprets his discussion to mean that people who “failed to foresee and save money for their future needs” are to be treated, as Buchanan put it, “as #subordinate members of the species, akin to…#animals who are dependent.’”
Do you have your education, health care, and retirement personally funded against all possible exigencies?
Then that means #you.
Toward the pinnacle of hypocrisy:
Boeing moved its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Virginia last May and the company now strongly encourages a return-to-office over remote work.
Yet, the CEO and CFO are rarely spotted on site.
CEO David Calhoun commutes by *private jet* to the Virginia HQ from his two homes - "one on the waterfront by New Hampshire's Lake Sunapee and the other in a gated South Carolina resort community."
And here's the kicker: CFO Brian West also hasn't relocated to the Virginia — "but Boeing has recently opened a small office 5 minutes away from his home in Connecticut."
"Get your ass to the office" for thee, but George Jetson commute from resort locations for me.
Uproot your home and family to our new HQ for thee, but open a bespoke office location especially for me.
The unconscionable wealth of racist troll Elon Musk
Elon Musk, $269.3 billion USD net worth 2023-09-11 up $17.9B; #1 in world
If Musk spent $1 million/day:
* $269,000,000,000 / ($1,000,000/day) = 269,000 days
* 269,000 days / (365.25 days/year) = 736.481 years
Bernie Sanders to UAW Rally: “We Refuse to Live in an Oligarchy”
“every worker, white collar, blue collar, in between, has got to stand with the UAW in your struggle for justice”
The fight you are waging here is not just about decent wages and working conditions and pensions in the automobile industry. It is a fight to take on corporate greed and to tell the people on top, this country belongs to all of us, not just a few
@JamesGleick They're not failing at their job. You just don't understand what their job is. It's not to inform the people in an unbiased manner. That hasn't been their job since the oligarchs bought MSM. Their job is to advance the pro-fascist agenda of the oligarchs, and they're doing great at it (great at helping evil). #notall journalists, of course, just the ones who have a national platform or work for MSM.
The issues of corruption, worker rights and market concentration can't - and shouldn't - be teased apart. They're three facets of the same fight - the fight against #oligarchy. Rarely do those issues come together more clearly than in the delicious petard-hoisting of #DaveClark, formerly the archvillain of #Amazon, and now the victim of its bullying.
Billionaires, existential risk from
Elon Musk Is a Threat to Democracy
How the owner of Tesla and Space X became a state within a state
Elon Musk Shut Off Starlink to Stop a Ukrainian Attack
* Elon Musk personally foiled 2022 Ukrainian attack on Russia
* cut off Starlink internet service near Crimean coast
How am I in this war? Musk biography details billionaire’s Ukraine dilemma
I read it. I think the author nailed it with how do you get buy in from the #SilentMajority and the #Oligarchy. The #Oligarchy believes that if we change the present economic system we will get another #GreatDepression - but only worse. And how do you get #China and India and Russia to buy into the equivalent of a MArshal Plan for the planet when China has said they compete with the West for power and prestige. It could be done but hasn't in 30+ years.
The GOP is a shambles, unable to nominate anyone electable
The big story coming out of the 2024 election might be the end of American democracy. That’s because the man already twice impeached and under indictment for trying to overturn the last presidential election is becoming even more extreme in promoting violence and sowing distrust in government.
How Musk, Thiel, Zuckerberg, and Andreessen—Four Billionaire Techno-Oligarchs—Are Creating an Alternate, Autocratic Reality
Four very powerful billionaires—Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Marc Andreessen—are creating a world where “nothing is true and all is spectacle.” If we are to inquire how we got to a place of radical income inequality, post-truth reality, and the looming potential for a second American Civil War, we need look no further..
"To paraphrase political writer Thomas Frank, ‘every culture war in recent history has been a stealth class war.’ If the political and oligarch classes lived in the same country that the rest of us do, they would know this. But class divisions define the ‘American’ experience. A different class means a different experience."