now we know that Republicans will take control of the
Senate. So what can we expect ? In my
opinion, they will do nothing of constructive value.
The economy is unfair,
unstable, and unsustainable. 85 of the richest people own as
much as 3.5 billion of the poorest people. Janet
Yellen reported that “The lower half of households by wealth held
just 3 percent of wealth in 1989 and only 1 percent in 2013. To put
that in perspective, ... the average net worth of the lower half of the
distribution, representing 62 million households, was $11,000 in 2013.
About one-fourth of these families reported zero wealth or negative net
worth, and a significant fraction of those said they were "underwater"
on their home mortgages, owing more than the value of the home. This
$11,000 average is 50 percent lower than the average wealth of the
lower half of families in 1989, adjusted for inflation.”
Republicans deny income inequality is a problem, and actually
exacerbate it: refuse to raise the minimum wage which has
lost much of its value over the years, oppose unions, refuse to cap
consumer lending interest at 36%, profit on student loans and make sure
they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, but they fight to keep tax
breaks for the wealthiest and cheer for further corporate concentration. (Studies show that Congress responds to the
wealthy and that the US is now an oligarchy.) They want to privatize
our public institutions including Social Security, welfare, schools and
the Post Office so that they can profit. They have attempted to roll
back the ACA many times even though many thousands of people are
benefiting from it. 17,000 people could die
because they live in States that refused Medicaid expansion. These are
policies that destroy the middle (working) class and effectively put
large numbers of people in debt servitude.
Here's what we could do if we addressed the
problems: we would tax speculation much more severely than actual hard
work and that would improve economic stability. We would restore the
graduated income tax to levels under the Eisenhower administration,
strengthen the inheritance tax so that the children of the wealthy
don't have it too easy, and vigorously pursue anti-trust because too
much concentration destroys competition and produces oligarchs. That
would lessen the possibility that we produce another aristocracy, and
damp down inequality. Large disparities in income are
bad for democracy,
bad for the general
welfare, bad for the economy.
They lead to social pathologies,
inequity in the Courts,
destroy domestic tranquility, suppress economic activity, and because
we have ignored it, we experienced yet another economic collapse.
Republicans oppose sensible regulation of the financial sector.
It is not just that Citizens United allowed floods of cash into our elections. Our elections are so bad that
"A few days
before the November 2004 election, Jimmy Carter
was asked what would happen if, instead of flying to Zambia or
Venezuela or East Timor, his widely respected international
election-monitoring team was invited to turn its attention to the
United States. His answer was stunningly blunt. Not only would the
voting system be regarded as a failure, he said, but the shortcomings
were so egregious the Carter Center would never agree to monitor an
election there in the first place...The American political system
wouldn't measure up to any sort of international standards, for several
reasons." From the first page of "Steal
this Vote" by Andrew
Gumbel (Winner of the Project Censored Award.)
in many States acted to suppress minority voters.
We would get
out of elections so that our government is
not for sale, but the Bush
legacy on the Supreme
Court has ruled that corporations are people whose only motivation
is profit, that money is speech, and that unlimited cash on elections
is not corrupting. The 'justices' are the same partisan hacks that
selected Bush and
his wrecking crew. There is a high barrier to counter that: we need a
Constitutional amendment to roll back Citizens United,
a restoration of the voting rights act because racism is still with us,
range voting (rank the candidates) so that third parties can no longer
be spoilers, restoration of voting rights for prisoners who have served
their time (a stealth way to limit minority voting), and a removal of partisans from election administration as
an approach to minimizing gerrymandering.
reached unsustainable levels, but, again exacerbating the problem,
Republicans insist that birth control be limited severely. Republicans
also refused to support equal pay for women, voted down the CEDAW
(Convention to End Discrimination Against Women), and, unlike other
developed countries, provide no paid maternity leave for new mothers.
fret about the deficit, be aware that the US has embarked on a program
to rebuild the nuclear
arsenal, a trillion dollar program over the next 10 years. It has
negative value. The best we can hope for is that these weapons will
never be used, and that they can be safely stored for long periods. If
they ARE used, they will have unlimited destructive potential. Therefor
they are not 'goods', they are 'bads' and should be deducted from GNP,
not added. We could forgive all student debt for about that same amount
and we would not add to the US killing machine. Richard Nixon, on his
last day in office, commented that he could destroy millions of people
with the touch of a button. So we know that these weapons are not
compatible with democracy, are at odds with international agreements
that we have signed, and have the capacity to destroy the planet.
Damage to the climate is
slowly destroying the ecology. CO2 levels are at record highs and will
remain that way for 100s of years. Oceans are acidifying. Methane is
being released at alarming rates from melting permafrost. Glaciers are
melting threatening fresh water supplies for billions of people.
Species are rapidly going extinct. Republicans, seemingly waging a war on science
are in denial
and refuse any attempt
to mitigate the damage. Although NASA scientist James Hanson has said
that the Keystone XL pipeline is 'game over for the planet',
Republicans are anxious to build it and drill more intensely for fossil fuels.
Expect mass migration. Republicans will want
secure borders to keep 'them' out.
“During the last winter, the high Arctic
winter temperatures and pressures have displaced the normal freezing
Arctic Air south into Canada and the United States producing never
before seen, freezing winter storms and massive power failures. When
the Arctic ice cap finally melts towards the end of next year, the
Arctic sea will be aggressively heated by the sun and the Gulf Stream.
The cold Arctic air will then be confined to the Greenland Ice cap and
the hot globally warmed Arctic air with its methane will flow south to
the United States to further heat up the Gulf Stream, setting up an
anticlockwise circulation around Greenland. Under these circumstances
Great Britain and Europe must expect even more catastrophic storm
systems, hurricane force winds and massive flooding after the end of
next year due to a further acceleration in the energy transport of the
Gulf Stream. If this process continues unchecked the mean temperature
of the atmosphere will rise a further 8 degrees centigrade and we will
be facing global deglaciation, a more than 200 feet rise in sea level
rise and a major terminal extinction event by the 2050's.” Malcolm
Peter Light – Earth Scientist
Our planet is an accidental space ship. The
only one. Destruction of habitability of the planet looks assured
because Republicans think saving it is not cost effective. That is
for the next generations.
How The GOP Bought, Rigged, Stole and Lynched the 2014 Election: