Tag Archives: minimum wage

Lies Liberals Tell, Part 3

Lies Liberal Tell, Part 3 of 7

Copyright 2017,2018,2019 Joseph Urban

Lie # 3:  These People Mean Well

Liberals tend to be trusting. No doubt. If you want to cheat someone, find a liberal. So, even when it comes to political opponents liberals tend to think the best of people. We tend to believe that people who have honest disagreements with us nevertheless have the best interests of the nation at heart.

We are wrong. It is a liberal lie we tell ourselves. And because of that lie we are not tough enough in dealing with people who are just plain nasty. The far right understands this weakness much better than we do. Because we think the best of people we accept the nastiness and political criminal class as just folks who have  a different worldview but have essentially the same goals. A better society. We are wrong.

Take a look at our healthcare system. When FDR was president he tried to institute a national health care system that would help all Americans achieve some level  of insurance. He failed. As did Bill Clinton. It was only in the 21st century that the US finally came close to a system that provided some coverage for almost all Americans.

This happened only because for a brief 2 year period the Democrats, liberals and moderate, held slim majorities in Congress and were able to pass a complex Affordable Care Act. Despite being based on the Republican plan in Massachusetts developed by Mitt Romney and despite including a number of GOP ideas, some from the Heritage Foundation, not a single member of the Republican, right wing party voted to pass this law.

The law was not a government “takeover” of healthcare. It was simply an extension of Medicare to poor working families and a clearinghouse in which citizens could compare private health insurance plans in their states. And it provided help for those who, in the past, could not afford decent health insurance. Over 20,000,000 Americans benefited.

What has been the right wing response to this plan. Vote after vote after vote to repeal it. With nothing in place to help the 20,000,000 who would lose insurance for their families. No concern for people with pre-existing conditions who could not get insurance in the past. No concern for the working poor who, because of the conservative Republican Congress refusals to tie minimum wage increases to inflation, are not able to afford basic medical care. The right wing response is not a solution to any problem, it is simply nasty.

Then we have the GOP led state governments. Even though the federal government agreed to pick up the tab for the working poor in states like Georgia and Mississippi so the working poor could get on Medicaid, the state governments refused. They intentionally denied health care to their own citizens. Health care that they could have gotten with no increase in state budgets. Just plain nasty.

Seventeen states, all of them with GOP governors, rejected expanding health care for their own working poor.  Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. In three more states the governor actually wanted to expand Medicaid, but the GOP controlled legislatures rejected their own governor. Those states would be North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. And one state, Louisiana, implemented the plan over the objection of the GOP governor, Bobby Jindal.

So, millions of the working poor and their families still do not have adequate health insurance for no other reason than the governors and legislatures of those states did not like Mr Obama. Nastiness, plain and simple. These are not people on welfare. People gaming the system. These are people working for wages so low they cannot provide their children and families with basic health insurance.

We can look at other areas like raising the minimum wage and see the same mentality.

Liberals have to stop accepting the lie that “these people mean well”. They don’t . These right wing leaders of state governments do not mean well. The majority leader of the Senate does not “mean well”. The so-called “Freedom Caucus” does not “mean well”. They systematically and knowingly keep their own citizens from acquiring basic medical coverage. They reject minimum wage proposals that would give hard working citizens a few more bucks in their pocket. They cut social service funding to those who need birth control or medicine or decent housing or better schools..

The liberal lie that “these people mean well” is naive. We attribute to these folks a level of decency that they have never exhibited. We simply cannot make ourselves believe that these government “leaders” at the state and national level are intentionally nasty. They are . Their actions speak for their intentions.  No matter how they try to rationalize their actions it is clear. They do not care about their fellow citizens. At least not the ones who we identify as the working poor.

It is time for liberals to accept the fact. Many of our fellow citizens are just plain nasty. They do NOT mean well. They do not see themselves as constitutionally responsible for the “common welfare”. They control and use government to feather their own nests and provide for their own economic well being. The working poor be damned.

 

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Filed under Constitution, government, neoconservatives, Politics, Republicans, Society, United States

A Deal at Any Price

Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, has been criticized for flying on charter jets. He spent about $ 60,000 of HHS money on 5 flights in just one weekend.  The one that has gotten the most publicity was his round trip flight from DC to Philly and back. For $25,000. That is about 150 miles each way or 3 hours by car.

Now, this is the same Tom Price who had the best luck in the world when he was on the Senate committee responsible for Health issues. Just by chance, his broker bought him a ton of stocks in a company called Zimmer Biomet. This happened just two weeks after Tom introduced a bill called the HIP act.

Now for those of you with all your appendages intact that may not mean much. But the HIP Act (which should have been called the SLIP Act) deregulated the the hip and knee joint replacement industry. I mean, really, should an artificial limb replacement need regulations? I guess they are warranted for the life (good luck) of the owner!

Well, it so happens that Zimmer Biomet  is a supplier of….(drum roll)… hip and knee joint replacements. Like I said, when it comes to investments Tom is one lucky guy.

(To be fair, the HIP Act was so bad that even the GOP Congress has not yet taken it up).

But, back to charter flights. This must be a different Tom Price than the Georgia Senator who castigated the Democrats for proposing buying 8 passenger planes. Wasteful. That Tom Price said the US government should not buy any. Zero. Government employees should be flying on commercial flights. Tighten those belts you spendthrifts.

Senator Tom Price meet HHS Secretary Tom Price.

So, some perspective. Perhaps it is worth it to keep Tom flying hither and yon. Keep him out of DC where he can only do more damage. Perhaps his broker has recently bought some stock in the charter plane industry. Gee. I wonder if he wants to deregulate safety inspections on charter planes. It would streamline the industry.

A final note: Tom landed and spent the day in Pennsylvania. Minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $ 7.25 per hour. A full time worker in PA who decided to treat Tom to this round trip airfare would have to work 86 weeks to earn that much. Before taxes.

If he or she started working now and took no vacations they could pay off Tom’s airfare bill by the end of May, 2019. Unless he or she got sick. Because Tom doesn’t believe in the working poor getting coverage under Obamacare. Too costly!

 

 

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/20/hhs-sec-tom-price-once-slammed-congress-private-jets.html

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/tom-price-healthcare-stock-conflicts-233823

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Filed under ACA, Budget, Congress, Economy, GOP, government, healthcare, minimum wage, Obamacare, Politics, workers

May Day 2040

May 1st. May Day. A celebration of the working people of the world. A celebration of worker’s rights. Passing largely unnoticed. A peek into  the future…Here is May Day, 2040.

Little Bobby and Little Suzie: Tell us a story Grandpa. A story.

Grandpa: Well. Today is May Day. So let me tell you about it. Once there was a time when unions and….

Bobby: (interrupting)..what’s a union?

Grandpa: A  union was an organization of working people. They got together to try to get good wages and working conditions and things like that.

Suzie: But isn’t that illegal, Grandpa?

Grand: NOW it is. But then it wasn’t. You see in the Bill of Rights every person had the right to “free association”. That meant that he could form unions. So workers did just that. Back then it wasn’t illegal.

Bobby:  But workers aren’t persons, Grandpa. I learned that in my “America is For Christians” History class.

Grandpa: That is true. But, once upon a time workers WERE considered to be persons. Then the Supreme Court said that corporations were persons. Then another Supreme Court said that ONLY corporations were persons. So that’s why workers are no longer persons.

Suzie: Grandpa. were YOU ever a person?

Grandpa: Oh yes. I was a person for a long time. And I worked as a union member until they were made illegal by President Rand Cruz.  And I paid Social Security…

Bobby: Social what, Grandpa?

Grandpa: Social Security. It was a little bit of money you paid every paycheck and then when you retired you would get some money to live on. But that is all gone now. Many corpora..er..persons…had religious objections to paying any tax. So that ended.

Suzie: What’s “retired”?

Grandpa: Retirement? It used to be that when you were 55 or 60 or 65 you could quit working and just live on pensions and social security. back when people were persons.

Bobby: But grandpa you are almost 90 and you are still working. When will you retire?

Grandpa: No one retires any more, Bobby. It is bad for corporate investment. When they eliminated the minimum wage they eliminated retirement. BUT, in the good old days, people could relax a little as they got older. Those days are gone.

Bobby: But Grandpa, our history teacher told us that only lazy people retire and want money for working. Anyway, she said that only persons have rights, not people.

Grandpa: Well, Bobby, she is right that people are no longer persons under the law. The  Supreme Court has ruled that there are only 3 categories of legal “persons”. No one else has any rights.

Suzie: What are the three categories, Grandpa?

Grandpa: Let me see if I remember. Who now has rights…Corporations, of course…and Born Again Christians…and the third…I remember now…fetuses and embryos. No one else has rights.

(Dad, Bobby and Suzie’s father enters.)

Dad: Okay kids, time to let Grandpa go to bed. He has a 10 hour shift tomorrow.

(Grandpa trudges off to his cot in the basement.)

Suzie: I like Grandpa’s stories.

Dad: Well, honey, remember Grandpa doesn’t always remember things correctly. He was what they used to call a “socialist”. He still thinks that people should be persons. He thinks that ppeople are more important than corporations. But he is old, so, we can humor him.

Bobby: Can we stay up late and watch the hologram?

Dad: Nope, You both need to study. I looked at your test schedule and there is a very important Science test tomorrow. You know what that means, don’t you?

Bobby and Suzie in unison: Memorize Leviticus.

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Filed under economics, May Day, pensions, retire, Social Security, workers