The GOP has manufactured them to deflect our attention from the real crisis
I’d like to point out how companies like Walmart are being subsidized by our taxes. They don’t pay a living wage so what they do is instruct new employees how to file for food stamps etc.
Walmart is no mom and pop company. They are on the Fortune Five Hundred list. By not paying their workers a living wage they are forcing their employees to have to get government subsidies to make ends meet. Who pays for those benefits? It’s certainly not the 1% who enjoy trumps tax cuts and plenty of loopholes.
I have no problem with feeding the needy but I resent subsidizing rich corporations like Walmart. Not only are they cheating taxpayers they are also denying their employees of the dignity of supporting their families.
May I applaud you for your narrative, and if I could suggest one more "false crisis" I see repeated all too frequently: Failing schools. I am an educator, and it pains me to hear this refrain. Can schools do better? Of course. But to label schools as "failing" is an inaccurate over-reach.
Without any crisis to point to, Republicans would have nothing to talk about at all. They’ve done nothing for the middle class for a quarter century. That’s because their secret mantra, “Move all the money to us!” requires redirecting any revenue they can towards tax cuts for their rich donors.
But that’s only one arrow in their quiver. The others are deregulation, underfunding the IRS so they only have manpower to go after the tiny fish, and keeping all the subsidies to multinationals intact.
From this point forward I will refer to the Republican Party as the FreeDumb Party!
(You have the freedom to be dumb)
They portray themselves as the party of Freedom as they slowly take our Freedoms away. First they overturned a 50 year precedent, Roe v Wade. Once a woman becomes pregnant the state government decides the outcome!
If you are a member of the LBGTQ they want to control who you can love and who you can marry. That should be none of their business!
They continue to hold the country hostage by not agreeing to raise the debt ceiling that of which they created the majority of the debt. They are playing with people’s lives!
“All five of these so-called crises have been manufactured by the GOP. They’re entirely made up.
“Why? To deflect attention from the near record share of the nation’s income and wealth now going to the richest Americans.”
There’s another reason for these crises, and it’s at least as old as politics. We saw it in the late 1940s and ‘50s with McCarthyism, and today with the above, plus immigration: declare a fake crisis and then claim to be the only ones with the wisdom, the morality, the strength to solve the crisis. “Just give us the power,” they say. “Give us the power and we will make the nation whole and good and pure. Just give us the power.”
And what do they do when handed that power? Their first order of business is to limit the rights of anyone they think might threaten that power, and the second is to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations, who then respond in kind by, in the short term, pouring contributions into the politicians’ campaign coffers, and, in the long term, when they retire, handing out lucrative consultancies, lobbying jobs, seats on corporate boards and deals with conservative publishers to write books no one will ever read.
So, it’s certainly not about principle, or even party but MONEY. Always money. Just give us the power.
Thoughts on your “Five fake crises” piece, Professor Reich:
1) “Woke” - (glad to know I’m not the only one who still cannot understand the meaning/symbolism of this expression.)
2) “Trans People” - There are no indications that there is any iota of “danger” from gay/Tran individuals. They seemingly “live and let live!”
3) “Critical Race Theory” must be taught in order to not only make the folks who go out and harm others simply because of the color of their skin or their foreign accent but to protect the individuals who are singled out by the bigoted… plain and simple.
4) “Couch Potatoes.” - one word: R I D I C U L O U S - - - UNLESS it’s clearly a scammer who is lazy has somehow infiltrated the system. The rich need to pay taxes to assist the incredibly poor, plain and simple.
5) “Out of control Government spending” — on this I know you are correct and there is nothing for me to add since methinks much of this challenge began when the more forthright and admired Republican Party of yore turned into the travesty it is today.
Your words hit the mark; you have voiced so many of our similar thoughts, and for this I thank you, Sir.
My best as ever,
Anne in MD 🌻🙏
Thank You Mr. Reich for the Memorial Day rehash of all the despicable attempts by our FPOTUS to turn his lickspittle poltroons against the true Patriots of the U.S. And I listened to you intently when you were on the Mehdi Hasan Show = excellent!
Memorial Day is the day each and every year when we remember those who gave their lives to protect our Country and our Democracy.
It was the perfect time to reiterate Trump’s futile efforts to prevaricate daily to the American people in hopes of becoming An American Dictator!
Well said, Prof. Reich. I had thought when saw your drawing, that it revealed what my grandmother called the "gobbledy-gook" language that was designed to confuse readers or listeners so they might think they were being told something real. I think she saw what some of these loud voices are trying use, to drown out or hide the real, important stuff. Thank you for your clear words, and humorous observations to help us see and understand what's really happening in our nation. You may be through teaching formal classes, but you are continuing to do very important work, showing and speaking out important truths.
These manufactured crises divert the public's attention from real, debilitating, destabilizing crises that Republicans, corporations & billionaires are largely responsible for: climate chaos/environmental destruction/ecosystem collapse/mass extinction, wealth & power disparity/economic injustice, inadequate & costly healthcare; the rise of corporatism & fascism & concomitant loss of democracy...
I agree with you, Dr. Reich.
However, until corporate media starts broadcasting the excellent points you've detailed, the two party duopoly-especially republicans-will continue their lies and scapegoating and very loud silences.
While Biden does occasionally address the nation, he does so far too infrequently. When was the last time he held a press conference?
The Democrats must address the issues you've raised often and forcefully because corporate media won't and republicans are running roughshod, especially in red states.
People's lives are at risk.
While these made-up crises make our blood boil, in order to make any changes to the current system, we need to understand the voting public...you know, the ones that voted for these scumbags in the first place. I was talking to a friend who doesn't agree with the direction that the Republican lawmakers have been taking, and yet she voted for Republicans. She agrees that our social safetynet needs to be beefed up and protected. And yet, she tells me that she does not agree to raising minimum wage. The reason, she says, is simple. She worked hard to be where she is now (minimum wage + some), and she doesn't want others that didn't work hard to earn what she earns before putting in their time. She knows what she says is not "politically correct," but that's why she will vote Republican. There are many societal problems that we need to work on, and I think we agree that we need to have big ideas and big changes to solve those problems. What we lack, and this is what Republicans have seized on, is knowing how to communicate to a voter...an everyday American that gets up in the morning, grabs coffee, puts in 10-12 hours of work if lucky enough to have a "full" time job, comes home tired...just to put food on the table. We need to communicate better. We need to let them understand that we're on their side.
Right on target, Robert Reich! It was heartening to hear Ali Velshi point out to new MSNBC commentator former Ohio Governor, John Kasich, that the "inflation" Mr. Kasich was going on about was caused by the very wealthy minority's inflated profits accompanied by tax breaks and subsidies. John Kasich was aggressively interrupting and talking over the program host,; at one point throwing up his hands and exclaiming that Ali Velshi was repeating talking points often made by a Democrat former labor secretary! (He who must not be named?). Of course, anybody who knows anything, knows exactly who may have pointed out these inconvenient facts! To think that this clueless mope had been previously pushed as an antidote to tfg, because he was so moderate and 'safe', as a Republican alternative ! Mr. Kasich also said that the rich are paying 40% of their income in taxes! It seems like many billionaires don't pay much ; and some pay nothing!
Sadly those of us who are aware of what the Republicons are doing, toil on trying desperately to keep this ship upright. It is the younger ones in school who face the real challenge as their knowledge is being retarded by what they are allowed to learn. How are they supposed to know about our history?
When the term "woke" started to be bandied about, I mentally defined it to be "newly awoken awareness." To be White in America and to _finally_ recognize just how awfully American Whites have treated every other race for _centuries_. To recognize that despite decades of Affirmative Action, racism was **still** alive and kicking and reemerging from the shadows where it lingered for a decade or so. In short, to _finally_ recognize that America is NOT as perfect as advertised. Nor that it was ever as great as the MAGA crowd seem to think it was. Naturally, being "woke" means that you've had a peek behind the curtain to see just how badly We The People have been manipulated for practically forever -- which makes woke-ness a direct threat to the manipulators and their minions in Congress. And if there is one thing the GOP has mastered, it is to twist and warp language to best further their cause. [Remember how the Affordable Care Act meant that Healthcare would be administered by "death panels"? That was GOP-speak for "We don't like this new fangled idea."]
how about a T-shirts that reads something like this
WOKE = kind, informed, tolerant (more terms?)
WOKE is a badge of honor
WOKE means I VOTE
WOKE means I'M AWAKE
Thank you for your ever informative newsletter Robert Reich. From France
p.s. we could use a whole lot more education on Wokisme here in France.
HEY THERE, EVERYONE!!! ARE YOU CLAPPING FOR MR. REICH'S SHARING THE OUTRAGEOUS NOISE THE GOP HAS BEEN MANUFACTURING ( MEANING LIES), SO THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE REST OF US JUST COUNT THE DAYS BETWEEN RECEIVING OUR SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS OR DESPERATELY TOO SMALL PAYCHECKS. WE POOR TYPE PEOPLE TRYING TO SAVE EVEN $50-$100 EVERY MONTH TO BUILD A SMALL AMOUNT OF $$$ FOR UNANTICIPATED NEEDS IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. THANK YOU, MR. REICH. BUT... JUST ABOUT WHOMEVER ONE VOTES FOR THESE DAYS IS ALWAYS A DICEY CHOICE. THE RICH GET RICHER. AND THE REST OF US ONLY HEAR LIES.