Trump to double down on trickle-down

I keep seeing the word “elites” in articles about politics, and also hearing it from Donald Trump and his supporters. Who are these elites and why do we call them that? Because they have more money and power than we do? Does that make them smarter or better than any of us? Isn’t Donald Trump one of these elites? (You know, those elites who have the power to grab strange women by the pussy.)

Google defines elite as “a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities.” The elite Wikipedia page says: “In political and sociological theory for a small group of powerful people that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege or political power in a society.”

The “elites” have made a mess of politics, so maybe we should stop calling them “elite.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/29/everyone-hates-the-elites-even-the-elites/

The greatest bogeymen of the moment are the shadowy, yet weirdly ubiquitous “elites.” (Or perhaps they come a close second to Muslim migrants.) If you listen to the political conversation on either side of the pond, it’s these elites who are the problem. The establishment in Washington and their media cronies, claims Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, have colluded to make America not that great anymore…

Donald Trump spins a pretty similar story. In a speech Tuesday, he hailed the outcome of Britain’s E.U. referendum. “Our friends in Britain recently voted to take back control of their economy, politics and borders,” he said… Trump projected the same narrative onto the United States at the event in Pennsylvania. He bemoaned “a wave of globalization” that gutted the American middle class, sent jobs overseas and brought immigrants, and then he let loose at the custodians of the status quo…

The “elites” have become a stand-in for the prevailing international system. And for right-wing populists, they provide the easiest punching bag…

But that still doesn’t get at the most searing irony of the Brexit movement. It’s championed by elites themselves, funded by billionaires, and intimately connected to influential media. The comparison to the Trump campaign, the latest career move of a business mogul and reality television star, seems pretty clear…

A campaign characterized by airy promises and a consistent dismissal of the concerns of experts and pundits now is struggling over what to do next. Some of its main figures have visions of a deregulated, privatized state, while the bulk of its voters want something altogether different — a return to a world with fewer foreigners, more jobs and the revitalization of their forgotten communities.

“The idealists want pure sovereignty; the hedge funds want deregulation; the voters voted for the welfare state,” writes Applebaum. None of this adds up… They now admit that they have no plan for Brexit…

I don’t know why Trump supporters think that closing our borders will help bring back middle-class jobs. The immigrants who take middle-class jobs are not from Mexico. And we’ve already seen that when jobs do come back, the pay and benefits are a lot less. I guess you could blame this on immigrants who take jobs for less money, or you could blame it on the corporations who pay employees less money for the same work.

http://www.alternet.org/story/151999/meet_the_global_financial_elites_controlling_$46_trillion_in_wealth

In 2010 a dozen major companies, including GE, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, and Fed Ex paid US tax rates between -0.7% and -9.2%. Production, employment, profits, and taxes have all been outsourced…

“Leaders of Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth, WellPoint and Aetna received nearly $200 million in compensation in 2009, according to a report, while the companies sought rate increases as high as 39%…

As health insurance companies admitted, they have been reaping windfall profits because people with health insurance plans still cannot afford to go to the doctors and have stopped going unless it is an absolute emergency… 75 percent of the medical bankruptcies filed are from people who have health insurance…

We don’t need to dismantle Obamacare. We need to get rid of the insurance companies — the middle-managers that take a cut of every one of our healthcare dollars, and for what? When did drug prices begin to significantly rise? After Prescription Benefit Managers (PBMs) came into existence.

Back to Trump supporters… Why would anyone think that getting rid of immigrants and bad trade policies would make a difference in how corporations are allowed to treat their employees and customers?

Why would anyone think that Trump could create better jobs? Because all of the jobs he’s created are so great? People selling steaks over the phone. Trump University. A couple of golf courses. How many employees work for Ivanka selling jewelry?

I’m getting to my point, I swear. Republican majorities are getting ready to take us back to the era of Reaganomics, not that we ever left it. Trickle-down economics, which guarantees that all of the profits and benefits go to the “elites” at UnitedHealth, GE, and FedEx. Because the middle-class employees at these corporations are not seeing any benefits trickle down.

http://www.governing.com/topics/elections/gov-trump-states-election-legislatures-governors.html

Republicans in many states are now free to pursue their agendas on taxes, labor and social policies without Democrats standing in the way.

My comment:

“…states that were already under Republican control will have to step up their game when it comes to matters such as lowering tax rates, if they want to stay competitive with their neighbors.” This is called a race to the bottom. Both Republicans and Democrats in New Mexico have approved tax cuts for years. Maybe other Republican governors can ask Governor Martinez how that failed economic theory has worked out for her. The same failed economic theory that Trump will double down on for the whole country. Maybe we can ask a failed casino owner how that will work out.

The main difference between federal and state governing is that federal law says it’s illegal to discriminate, while state lawmakers are always looking for ways to get away with it. The only bright spot right now is that states are no longer getting away with discriminating against a plant.

#DearCDC

#DearCDC: Do you think the people who’ve been hurt by your opioid “guidelines” are the ones who voted for Trump?

What do I see? Come to the park with me…

New Mexico does a great job of taking care of its parks.

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There are plenty of places in the state to enjoy the outdoors.

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On a Monday morning, this park was deserted. But you can usually see walkers and bikers on the paths.

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At first, I didn’t know what this was. Looked like the devil to me, but I guess after Trump’s win, I’m seeing the devil everywhere. You have to admit that the animal does not look happy.

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But it’s really just a couple of bunny rabbits.

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Now the bunny looks irritated.

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And now they’re two bunnies in love.

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#NoMoreTrash

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What did these keys open?

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A weed to brighten your day.

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Exercise equipment at a park. Great idea. Do you think anyone uses it?

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When political correctness is a necessary and welcome sight.

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I found this sign across from the park. I guess whoever put it up is too depressed to take it down.

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We’re supposed to get our first freeze tonight. I’m ready for some Lipton soup. 🙂