This Is Not Who We Are
Actually, this is exactly who we are. We fled Europe as religious zealots, then stole the land from people who lived here. Then we built our wealth on the backs of slaves. Our racism and stupid religious thinking are driving us into the ditch.
Roughly 73% of Americans believe in angels. About 25% of our fellow citizens (who vote) think the sun revolves around the Earth. 68% of Republicans think the election was rigged. We may not manufacture much in this country anymore, but we are sure damn good at producing dumb thinking. Critical thinking… oh no. The Kardashians and celebrity worship… oh yes.
Most people in this country believe that god had sex with a human who then had a baby “immaculately” who then was crucified, rose from the dead, flew back up to heaven and is keeping track of your sins. All this in preparation for a great judgment day. And we wonder why Trumps’ lies about the election being stolen are so widely believed.
I get tired of hearing what an asshole, jackoff, and scumbag Trump is. And his enablers. I don’t blame Trump. I don’t blame his religiously fanatical followers. Then who is to blame? Pause… Drum roll…… the tax code.
We also have been told that giving the super wealthy more and more tax breaks is good because of “trickle down.” By the way, Bob, (who just lost his minimum wage job) how’s that working for you? Since Reagan: union busting; stagnant wages; jobs shipped to lower wage countries. Education decimated. Homes lost in 2008. Healthcare “insurance” so bad it drains everyone’s meager savings.
As for those delusional 30-something men smashing in the doors of the capital – just a guess… their 401Ks and their stock portfolios are nonexistent. They probably are not enrolled in next falls’ first year law class at Yale. Just a guess. The economy has been screwing the white working class for the last 50 years. Then we call them deplorables from the fly-over states. Those people last week weren’t interested in a coup. They didn’t have plans to install a new government – much less run one. They are just enraged and want to smash things up… including taking a shit in the capital. What we get when people feel hopeless.
So what we don’t hear about is how little taxes the super wealthy pay. Or that we have 630 billionaires in this county who can do whatever the hell they want with their money – like launch private rocket ships, or buy islands in the Pacific. Meanwhile, education, healthcare, and infrastructure, are falling apart – while the 800-pound gorilla: global warming – is ignored. Homelessness. Public housing and transportation – tragedies. Drug addiction. Suicide.
The American Dream has become: “Get all you can. Screw everyone else.” The stock market is booming. Wonder how that helps the homeless? Until we confront income inequality we will be guaranteed class warfare. Whether it is rioting over BLM or smashing into state and federal capitals, people are PISSED OFF. If people continue to feel hopeless and disrespected, eventually they will swarm over the barricades and burn it down.
Vaccines? Easy for Christ sake. Willy Brown nailed it in Sunday’s Chronicle. We did it with Polio. The Army. The National Guard. In all grade schools. People line up and get the shot. No money. No waiting. Just fucking do it! All it takes is money and political will. “Oh, oh, does that mean that Elon Musk won’t have money to shoot off his rockets?” Your damn right it does. And one more thing. Masks are mandatory. Just like seatbelts and not smoking in public spaces. No mask? You get a $100 fine.
We are losing a 9/11 or a Pearl Harbor, or 10 jumbo jets every day, and no one seems to give shit. Of course we all know that Public Health is silly – or maybe even a commie plot. Bunch of eggheads.
We must invest in our people again… and that means redistribution of the wealth thru much much higher taxes on the super wealthy – nationwide. No more moving to low tax states. If we don’t… trust me… the hopeless are going to burn it down. Just like they broke through the barricades in the capital, the 1%’s gated communities won’t be able to hold them back.
14 thoughts on “This Is Not Who We Are”
I enjoy reading your posts!
Whew, Rick. You’ve nailed it here (as you often do.) Everyone in the U.S. has been shafted, except the few super rich. “Reasonable people” have been bellyaching about “the 1%” for a few decades now, and no one has done anything to address it. Of course people are mad. They clothe it in “white supremacy” because they are not too bright and therefore susceptible to being brainwashed, but they — and all the rest of us — are being left out. I’m mad too! I don’t want to smash windows in the Capitol, but I have to say, I am at a loss about anything I CAN do to make real change. Money OUT of politics! Redistribution of wealth through dramatic tax changes and laws governing wages and CEO compensation. For starters. Think we’ll get that from Biden? When hell freezes over! HA! This IS who we are. Right on!
Great editorial Rick! Thanks.
Way to go, Rick! Susan, too.
The tax code is probably the most concrete representation of inequality that has thrived since the 1970s (and before). Sadly, but not surprisingly, trickle-down Reaganomics were a sham and none of the 1980s ‘tax breaks’ reached the middle class–or beyond. If one recognizes that the Republicans have controlled the WH for 24 of the last 36 years one can see that the ‘greed is good’ theme and WIIFM has divided and impoverished the people of this Country. The fact that Trump supporters, and Republicans in general, thought avoiding paying taxes was ‘smart’ is as disgusting as it is false. We have a long way to go before folks act like E Pluribus Unum.
As Gloria said, “you nailed it!” Very well written, too. I would love to see you publish this more widely. I think it could easily qualify as an opinion piece in one of our local “liberal rags.”
You definitely nailed it! Very well written, too. I would love to see you publish this more widely. I think it could easily qualify as an opinion piece in one of our local “liberal rags.”
Sorry about the duplicate. I realized it wasn’t Gloria that said it, but was Susan.
I think part of the solution to this is to not have Congress be occupied by rich people. Wealthy people seldom have the understanding of what life is really like in America for the 99%. Why not have Senate and House salaries be whatever the minimum wage is? We could build dormitories for them to live in, and give them meal tickets for the Congressional cafeteria. I think that would limit the number of people running for office to those who want to be public servants.
Lots of truth here.
We aren’t living in the Country that we THINK we are living in.
Yes, the maldistribution of wealth is a fundamental problem and probably helped, along with evidence-lacking bellyaching about the Nov. 3 presidential election, fuel the events of Jan. 6.
But Trump and his enablers are also responsible. Trump and his enablers made maldistribution of wealth worse. Trump did nothing to give hope to the 30-somethings that he stoked to defile the Capitol while he ran back into the White House. Trump and his enablers, with their rejection of science and complete administrative incompetence, have been deliberately ignoring COVID-19 and so have been literally or economically killing 30-somethings and the rest of us like flies.
Perhaps worst of all, Trump and his enablers have made normal among many 30-somethings and many others, including many right-wing lawyers and PhD’s with 401(k)s, the dangerous illogic that facts are irrelevant, that the mere allegation of something without any factual basis makes the something true, As such Trump has also been a dangerous promoter of religious nonsense. a far better promoter of that than of his own corrupt brand.
Trump made the tax situation even worse by further lowering taxes for the rich. That’s what needs to get fixed in order to do all the rest to be a more equatable, sustainable economy. But does he also hold responsibility for Jan 6? Oh, yeah.
Great article Rick. My thoughts exactly.