Archive for middle class

Calling Robin Hood -- Nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham Has Just Returned


Robin Hood

As a boy growing up outside Boston, I had a wild imagination and a lot of heroes. There was cowboy favorite Roy Rogers, future space adventurer, Buck Rogers, but most fun was the legendary outlaw, archer Robin Hood. He and his men (plus Maid Marion) were a band of outlaws who found ways to disrupt the mad rantings and oppressive actions of the evil and despotic Sheriff of Notttingham. Let's face it. Without a really awful foe, there's just not a great hero or heroes. And the meanest of the mean was the Sheriff raiding Sherwood Forest.


With the good king Richard away fighting religious wars on behalf of  his people, the royal brother and evil, calculating Prince John took the reins of England and trampled justice wherever he found it. His pleasure was in sticking it to the masses and stripping them of all of their earthly possessions. And his did it with his man, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The results were catastrophic for all but the rich. That select few thrived while the Sheriff demonstrated villainy at the highest level. This guy stopped at nothing as he represented the top 1% of the richest royals out there.

So much for folklore. Whether there really was a Robin Hood or a Sheriff of Nottingham is debatable. The same could be said for Superman, Mighty Mouse, even Underdog.

Mighty Mouse vs Underdog

To get a taste of what's going on in real life, we have to look at the real Sheriff of Nottingham who comes to us straight out of the the Sherwood forest of Wisconsin . The kings of the rich, the Koch Brothers, have deigned him with the powers of the purse-strings. The Sheriff is merely a puppet and he's doing their bidding. With the new Ryan budget, the GOP kings have unleashed the Sheriff on the US masses.

To provide more riches and power for the super rich, they want to destroy every and all of the people's programs of survival. They wish to cut Medicare, education funding and loans, Social Security, women's rights, Food assistance, and Health Care. In return the rich get tax relief and the poor get worse living conditions. It must sound fair if you're a royal, but most of us aren't.

There is a Robin Hood who is trying to once again split an arrow down the middle to show up the mad and unconscionable Sheriff Paul Ryan. He's Bernie Sanders. And if you want to see his proclamation of war against the evil doers and their merry band of morons, check this out:


Labor union gets help from pastors, students... in Mississippi! "God supports the working man."


labor union brought us

When we think of labor union support, Mississippi doesn't usually come to mind. But it may be time to think again, because a union effort is gaining momentum there.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, labor union workers are finding an ally in the South. The United Automobile Workers are getting help from unusual sources in organizing a Mississippi Nissan plant. The plant employs 5,000.

Nissan management has been pushing their employees harder and harder by speeding up the assembly line, leaving them exhausted and feeling mistreated with no way to stand up for themselves. People are noticing, supporting a "more pleasant place to work" so that workers will feel less pressured, demeaned, and become more productive.

In the words of one longtime employee, now "other people are willing to stand up for you. It takes the fear out of you."

This time, union organizers have help from an unexpected source. Pastors and students across this part of central Mississippi have joined the campaign, championing the workers' cause. From pulpits, at leafleting campaigns outside Nissan dealerships and at auto industry events in Brazil, Geneva and Detroit, these new organizers have a message: God supports the working man. [...]

The UAW is very clearly involved with the pastors' efforts, helping them form the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan...

But for the pastors as well as the workers the organizing drive is not just about union membership. For many, it has become a way to shore up a shrinking middle class. Their campaign, they say, is a modern-day civil rights struggle whose antecedents go back more than 50 years to the days when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, the day after he spoke to striking sanitation workers.

Mississippi's conservative Legislature also has waded into the fray. The House of Representatives earlier this month passed a package of bills that would restrict union organizing, one of which labor leaders say is meant to prohibit pastors and outside groups from protesting with the Nissan workers.

Gee, what a surprise: Conservatives trying to bust labor union efforts. And we know how union members tend to vote come election day, right? (Hint: Democratic.)

African Americans have a history of being more open to unionizing than white workers are, so that may be making the difference here, since most of the plant's work force is African American. It will be an uphill battle, but this is good news. One day, pairing the words "labor union" and Mississippi may not seem so extraordinary.


Destruction Of GOP Talking Points In Real Time


Nikpour, Boykin

Maybe it's because I'm fighting (and barely holding my own) with the flu, but a day in bed with just the TV to keep me warm when I'm chilled and cooled down when I've feverish, did I get a chance to see two unarmed Republican spokespeople hung out to dry yesterday on Jansing and Company. I write and produce television series for a living. I'm pretty sure when I've hit gold. First it was Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, now it's leading Republican strategist, Noelle Nikpour. In both cases, 24 carat gold.

So what I'm about to share with you is a dollop of love. Here's Democratic strategist Keith Boykin totally destroying Noelle Nikpour. This is a totally dismantlement of the Republican arguments that they're not at war with the poor and middle class.

Now just before you watch this, keep in mind the estimated cost of the three month extension of long term unemployment benefits is just under $26B according to Fox Business news. And in case you forgot, the estimated cost of the government shutdown last year was... $26B. I haven't seen the Republicans looking for any offsets to cover their shutdown.  And we got nothing back for that. Here we're going to see $26B put back into the economy -- saving and perhaps even increasing jobs. What's wrong with this picture?

If you think the Republican plan isn't to harm middle and lower class, hold onto your hats and watch this. When you take in this clip, you'll see all the other programs of spending of the GOP's which had no "off-sets."

Enjoy seeing destruction of the GOP's talking points in real time.


Video- President's Weekly Address: Weekly Address: Working Together on Behalf of the American People



Here's Why Republicans Can't Be Elected President


Seal of the President

The Grand Outdated Party. Yes, the familiar GOP.

Just look at them. Decaying echoes of a long time ago. Their hero has been dead for nearly ten years and who last held the reins some 24 years ago. Since then they haven't been able to find anyone to aspire to be. Like Moses, they'll be wandering in the desert for 40 years, the time it'll take for all first hand knowledgeable people of 'the Gipper' to have passed on.

And who was Ronald Reagan? A fair actor, destructive governor, and a criminal president -- Iran Contra and Arms for Hostages, lest you forget. Funny how these grey dinosaurs only remember Ronnie as that doting mannequin who ruled for 8 years. Eight years where our public services eroded as quickly as our infrastructure. Where the lead adviser to the president, was his wife's astrologer, Joan Quigley.

The reason for the rant will be evident shortly. The man who is still the Republican gold standard is a man who they wouldn't even let into the party today. He signed the immigrant amnesty bill. He raised various taxes 11 times. So much for the Grover Norquist pledged Republican.

During the Reagan years, the real glue and backbone in that family was Nancy. And during the last two years of her husband's administration, he wasn't well enough to govern. Nancy ran the show, and a good argument could be made that she actually was the first woman president of the United States.

So when I look at this video, I celebrate the strength of women politicians all over the world. And I lament how the GOP can turn their back half of our population. Actually, if you throw in Blacks, Latinos, Asians, the poor, the elderly, and immigrants, the GOP represents the interests of very few. Continuing in the direction they're going the GOP will become the G-O-N-E.

gone with the wind

The future of both parties is in the video below. This thought provoking piece shows you how out of touch the Republicans really are. Look at all of the perceived GOP contenders for President. Not one woman. Look at the Democrats, two of the three main considerations, Clinton and Warren, are outstanding women.

When you look back 24 years for your last hero, what's that say about your future? Think about it, GOP when you watch the this:

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @Linzack


Proof Senators Listen -- If You Have Money


money talks

With the numerous polls out there on the media today, you can get a pulse of what people are thinking on almost every subject. How accurate they are depends on so many things -- especially the honesty of the people answering the survey. I'm sure the pollsters figure in the goofy answers, a percentage for lying, something else for people giving emotional answers or wanting to seem more tolerant than they really are. There's faked indignation, righteous and moral outrage and just simply stupid people who don't even understand the question.

So what are we to make of pundits and news readers when they say someone's popularity is at it's lowest or that the public favors a certain bill or law?

A lot has to do with where it comes from. Nate Silver was very accurate in the last presidential election predictions. I think he batted a thousand -- for non-sports lovers, that means he got 'em all right. All is a lot. That's like -- everything.

How many other places, organizations or polls have that kind of clairvoyance? Well, really not many, if any. Luck has a lot to do with it. But if you take luck out of the equation, and use proven fact, what you get are graphs and charts. They're far more reliable than polls because they measure what's really happened. It's after the fact number crunching.

Cenk Uygur broadcast a report on The Young Turks showing statistically how senators voted in the recent sessions of the 107th through the 111th (we're in the 113th currently) congress voted. Then those votes are compared those with wishes of their constituents during that time. Kind of a facts meets the polls hybrid kind of research.

The results are quite interesting. For instance, how often do the senators really listen to their constituents? Always? Sometimes? Never?

Well, now there's some proof and it might come as a shocking. What if I told you senators during these five sessions voted 100%* of the time with their constituents wishes?  You'd be right. See, I said you'd be shocked.

Oh, if you were wondering about that little asterisk next to the 100%. That asterisks means, if you were wealthy. The  numbers vary if you weren't in the upper 2%. The rich as we like to call them. Middle class people fared less positively, and it ranges down to 0% if you were poor. No asterisk needed for that. Pure zero.

Take a look and it'll all become much clearer. But what it boils down to is this-- if you have money, you got your desired vote. If you were poor, fuggedaboudit. You got bubkis.

Maybe this behavior explains why 60% of polling respondents to NBC News want to fire the entire Congress and start anew. But, taking into considering of the facts in the video above, that would mean that nobody would lose their seat as the rich are getting exactly what they want. They'll just buy the elections is necessary -- are you listening Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson?

Next election, think about it. Maybe a clean sweep wouldn't be so bad. A "Dump the Chump" vote might just be the cure for what ails ya! All of ya!


"Poof goes the middle class"


middle class out of vogue

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Poof goes the middle class," Opinion, Oct. 23

Thanks to Doyle McManus for his timely review of Tyler Cowen's book, "Average Is Over." The trends crippling the middle class that Cowen writes about have been in the making since the 1970s. It took the Great Recession to finally bring this research the recognition it deserves.

Americans today instinctively know that something is wrong, thus the high percentage who tell pollsters the country is going in the wrong direction. But I think few understand that their economic world has changed forever.

What is really needed now is a rebuilding of the middle-class labor force to educate and train (or retrain) workers for well-paying, non-exportable jobs such as nursing, plumbing and high-tech manufacturing. The German labor model may be worth exploring. In Germany, government, private business and labor unions collaborate in a nationwide apprentice training system.

Unfortunately, most U.S. politicians are stuck with the bromides of the past. Someone needs to tell Americans that the world economy has changed and they need to change with it. However, they are going to need lots of help; otherwise, "poof goes the middle class."

Carl Martz



We shouldn't forget that this country's once sizable middle class emerged under uniquely favorable circumstances.

Not long after World War II, our newfound affluence — which gave rise to the middle class — overshadowed that of other developed countries, where war had wreaked industrial devastation. In addition, our wealthier citizens were taxed heavily, which funded massive government investment in public infrastructure, thereby spurring prosperity for all.

These huge advantages eventually eroded as our economic competitors regained their industrial footing. Outsourcing, automation and tax cuts decimated our middle-class jobs.

Sustaining a middle class seems a lost cause. We're left with the challenge of downsizing cherished but unrealistic expectations. As McManus suggests, that wouldn't be easy even if Washington weren't so dysfunctional.

The middle-class dream was nice while it lasted.

Betty Turner

Sherman Oaks


McManus paints a sobering picture of the future of the United States if current trends continue, pointing out that increasing inequality "leads to lower economic growth, more poverty, more fragile families and, as a result, less happiness."

More important, great inequality poses a threat to the ideals and foundations of our democratic system.

A year before he died, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." We have been here before.

Theodore Roosevelt warned us 113 years ago that "ruin in its worst form is inevitable if our national life brings us nothing better than swollen fortunes for the few and the triumph in both politics and business of a sordid and selfish materialism."

We made the reforms necessary then for the country to prosper; we should do so again.

Jonathan Hubbell