522 Comments

I first began working in 1962 as a bus boy in a restaurant within walking distance of my home (a couple miles) as I was still only 15 and unable to drive. My wage was $1.25 per hour AND the restaurant provided me with full health care benefits. My next job was a summer job (in 1965) at the local paper mill and the "boss" I don't know if he was the "CEO" but there were about 400 or 500 workers in the mill - most of them supporting a family on the $3.19 wage (at least that was my wage as a summer employee) and, I believe, he made 4 or 5 times the wages of the workers. I took for granted through the 60's and 70's the benefits which seemed to happen with every job I took. I did go to college (mainly to play basketball) and ended up studying Political Science - because it was easier than math) and once out of college I didn't think too much about workers rights because union jobs were prevalent where I grew up and I always seemed to find one. This little bit gives the context of how, during the Reagan years, I - by then busy trying to be a husband and a father - only paid periferally attention to politics - but, I distinctly remember telling anyone who would listen that Ronald Reagan was turning America into a "me" society instead of "we" society. Subsequent to all this I went back to college and became a Middle School teacher and started reading MANY books about "current evernts," politics, and history - mainly American History. In this reading I've read - a couple times - and, I can't remember the books - I believe one was written by Thom Hartman - but, they both said the "foundation" for this corporate treachery (my characterization) came from the so-called "Lewis Powell Memo" to the Chamber of Commerce back in 1972 (I believe). It was during Reagan's time in the White House, based on my memory, that Powell's "Memo" was employed en masse by the corporate "elite" in America - with GE being, likely, the main "instigator." Of course, Powell would subsequently become a Supreme Court Justice and the "tilting" to the right would begin - with the most memerable (to me) examples being "Bush v Gore," "Citizens United," the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, reversal of Roe v Wade, and, most recently the elimination of Affirmative Action at America's Universities. To me, all of this is part of the same issue - the corporate/republican party "partnership" which has turned America into a semi fascist country - with Trump planning to "finish the job." And, we the people being unaware except for people like Dr. Reich. Dr, Reich's books have had a significant effect on my thinking process as I've grown into "old age." And, his book on the "Common Good" may be the most important one he's written. (I donated about 100 of my books to a local books store and, unfortunately, "The Common Good" must have been one of them - so I'm very grateful for the refresher lessons on one of the most important - if not the most - issue of our time. (Although, it's hard for me to consider any issue greater than the Climate Crisis) Bravo to Dr. Reich!

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David, I totally agree with you and my history of jobs is similar, including becoming a teacher. I agree with everything Robert Reich writes and enjoy his “Coffee Klatch” with Heather Lofthouse. However, his focus for solutions currently is the hope that Biden and other Democrats win in the next election. My own view is that after the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, Capitalist dominated and controlled Democracy has reached a tipping point that is leading to its demise as a sustainable form of economics and governance. The vast wealth disparity and control of the government by ultra-wealthy corporations will bury the democratic process and our economy probably sooner than later. Pinning our hopes on one more term of Biden may slow the process, but big money now calls the shots. We need to plan for the future of our children and all future generations NOW. I am impressed with a form of democracy that starts at the grass roots called “Economic Democracy” and “Prout” (Progressive Utilization Theory.”) You can find information of both movements in Wikipedia or ask ChatGBT for concise explanations of both. There are numerous websites including https://proutalliance.org/ We need to start planning for the next government now or we risk what occurred to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union and falling into the hands of oligarchs and authoritarians due to not planning ahead. I am in my 70s, not retired but “repurposed” in focusing on creative solutions for after the fall of capitalism. (BTW there is an excellent book titled “After Capitalism” authored by Maheshvarananda that includes an interview with Noam Chomsky who endorses both Economic Democracy and Prout.)

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Hey Marc, it is comforting to know that there are many of us. After subscribing to Heather Cox Richardsons' Substack when she first announced it, I have come to realize that we have a valuable forum, no matter where we live, to communicate and organize with other intelligent, thoughtful and commited people. A much more solid forum than FB, X and others. I am always impressed by the dialogs started in the comment sections and upon checking out the persons involved, we all seem to follow the same great writers.

The number of insightful comments here alone is very encouraging.

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Hi Ransom, I agree with you completely about having a valuable forum to communicate with other intelligent progressive people.

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Sometimes it's hard to keep up, with all the daily lists of what we have to do just to keep our own lives together. Even though I'm retired, where does all the time go?

Anyway Marc, it is encouraging to hear very intelligent interactions.

Be well. RR

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Thanks for this. Vision problems keep me from reading as much as I did once, but I listen to Chomsky on Alternative Radio. It seems to me that the common good must include looking ahead and breaking out of our familiar thought patterns, rather than just reacting against the Republican agenda.

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We need to be able to walk and chew gum … YES, so much more than one election is needed to head off this move toward Oligarchy.

But that does NOT diminish the importance of this election for keeping the barbarians at bay!

If the Republicans come in with the 2024 election, don’t you think THEY have been planning how they will accomplish THEIR agenda?

We can’t risk giving them that chance. We have to keep the Republican machine out of the White House.

All else matters, but all else will be so much spitting into the wind, if we let them back into the White House. YES, we need to try to retake enough votes in Congress and the Senate to make a difference, too.

And a lot of us talk about the Supreme Court — they’ve already gotten too many arch Right Wingers on there. Don’t give them a chance to put more on.

So, sure, think about how to move our system away from its current configuration that gives too much power to too few people in only two parties.

But don’t throw over this election. Please, please, please, do not lose sight of the importance of THIS election!!!

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"...don’t you think THEY [Republicans] have been planning how they will accomplish THEIR agenda?"

They certainly have, Pat. See: Project 2025, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/conservatives-aim-to-restructure-u-s-government-and-replace-it-with-trumps-vision

Among many other horrific things, they plan to abolish environmental regulations and totally embrace the, "drill, baby, drill!" approach.

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EXACTLY … I’ve seen that. It’s why this is no time to try playing only a long game. It would be good if the Left had a handle on a long game, but they need to respond to the present first — And that means hold the course in Washington, and Vote Blue in ‘24

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I agree that 2024 is the most critical issue, Pat.

BUT....it's essential for the Dems to learn to play a long game. The Rethugs have been doing that since Nixon, getting their members elected to school boards, city councils, and state legislatures. That's how they've gained power. It's how they stacked the Supreme Court and got Roe v. Wade overturned, how they got their tax agenda implemented, and so on.

The Dems have basically been relegated to playing whack-a-mole, which is why each election becomes a crisis. Reich points out how poor a policy it is for businesses to be concerned only with the next quarter's bottom line, and many of us have seen how much damage that mindset causes. How much worse it is to run the country that way!

The Dems have got to get serious about strategizing for 20 years down the road, and put a stop to their crisis-management approach.

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Pat, you are so right, then we have to have candidates we can count on to hold Democratic/American values of human rights, support for all Americans and our Constitution, and the rest. We got a few lately who care little for being Democrats beyond the name: Sinema and Manchin for example. Had they truly been caring Democrats, we would have gotten so much more done to help the people of this nation and beyond. We also need to focus on holding law-breakers to account, you know, the ones who either ignore our Constitution or our laws like antitrust laws and child labor laws. State legislatures, for example seem to simply ignore laws they don't like or make up ones that can be used to hurt vulnerable people they have targeted. They pass laws they know are illegal, but they want them to go to the rogue SC whom they hope will give them a green light to do whatever they want, and the SC conservatives often do. All citizens age 18 and over should be able to vote but states have decided they can stop whole groups of people from voting and our "Supreme" court has gone along with a whole lot of it. We need a blue wave and more but how do we manage it when Republicans have the money and so much of the media?

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But, remember - in the long run... nature bats last (but sadly, doesn't care about who gets hit).

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So right, Hugh! But humans never think of that. Besides, the vast majority of us see nature as an adversary, something to be conquered (indigenous peoples excepted; they're wiser than the rest of us).

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Agreed progwoman. As long as parties rage against each other we don’t notice the true puppet masters who promote the division while siphoning up resources around the globe.

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https://www.alternativeradio.org

FWIW ie nothing. The problem I have with Chomsky is he lives in an ideal world. US policy makers are faced with choices that have have only bad and worse outcomes. US is always the heavy and he does not seem to realize the US has some terrible adversaries.That said, I usually agree with him on his overall outlook. Thanks for the link suggestion. Publicize it.

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Noam Chomsky is 94 years old, and while I agree with you that he might not be a good choice for secretary of state, I do think that too often we do not listen to the left, and it might save us some grief.

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I've put out the alt radio link to my email list. I've read some of his books and watched some videos. I like his https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZnuc-Fv_Tc

I just don't think he is very balanced in his critique of America via a vis other countries. His standard is some unrealistic ideal . FWIW his transformational grammar work is generally believed to be wrong. I took a course on his transformational grammar a long long time ago.

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I'm curious if the focus on Biden winning is because that will fix problems, or if it's because the problems may compound too quickly to be repaired otherwise.

Thinking over "Saving Capitalism," it made sense in 2015 and 2016 to critique corporatist Dems because they were still primarily serving what appeared to be Wall Street. Trump was something of an ugly joke; one might discount him, but surely the powerful would rein him in.

But Trump's presidency suggests something far more pernicious, which if permitted to fester, will make any preparations or plans futile: in the face of fraud-toting armed Fascist inclined public, ones only option is heavier firepower - economics and well-being of country or corporation become secondary to survival. God help us all.

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God's busy in another universe right now. I think it gonna be up to us to help us. We need to focus and forget the haircuts and baubles and claw back the money from the uber rich and help people who live under bridges from thinking that's the home they deserve.

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Find a race at the local level you support you can make a difference in. Volunteer to get students and others registered to vote.

Climate change will be the primary driver for a long time to come.

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I totally think that’s what we are facing …. We DO need to fix problems, and if we don’t have those long-term ideas in our sights, people will NOT constantly stick with the Left as a desperate last ditch necessity. So, at some point, and in some ways, we need to influence the Democratic Party to be less Wall Street and less Military Complex.

But this time around … this Presidential election is critical because if we lose it, the problems may be so compounded that there’s no chance for repair. The Right agenda is to remake our government into something none of us will recognize, or like.

I worried so much since Dubya that we would lose the Supreme Court, and even though Obama was elected. McConnell made that happen anyway. Damn, damn, damn.

We don’t have the luxury of losing another element of our governance that is so monumental. Seeing the Supreme Court go so far right as it has, it just scares the hell out of me that we might let an unchecked Congress and Senate remake the whole enchilada.

Tell me that can’t happen…

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That can happen...and for union workers that’s already happening. Monopolies are allowed, workers have no bargaining power, the media has shattered into a thousand echo chambers, fake news and alternate facts are dis-informing the underserved whose livelihood was shipped overseas where there was no minimum wage and no laws protecting workers or the environment from our brand of aggressive capitalism.

The middle class is shrinking and income and wealth disparity is growing exponentially. I’d say it was inevitable that they would want to stack the Supreme Court with their own well-paid sycophants.

I never seen anything like this blatant, in-your-face dishonesty and disregard for the human suffering it has already caused (citizens died on January 6th) and citizens are being denied the right to vote because the MAGA GOP knows they can’t win without suppressing and misinforming the voters and gerrymandering the districts.

.

Without free and fair elections democracy dies.

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The ultimate test for the supreme court will be when it ultimately decides on Trump's eligibility to appear on the ballot. I believe they'll vote in line with their own self interest and deny him possible ultimate power over them. Failure to do so will effectively place Presidential power above the law and pave the way for fascism.

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That can happen. We've lost the court. The House. The Senate is split. We have an 80 year old Prez as our standard bearer determined to run again. No matter what we do now on climate things are going to be very bad. That locomotive has already left the station. So it's catch up time with a House and Court that seek to block climate action. And you know, there was a time when I thought experience with bad outcomes would change people in their beliefs. We lost over a million people with COVID yet there are tons of people who thought it no big deal. So, I have to think-we could lose a million people to climate change and still the GOP would not change its tune. ("Those deaths attributed to COVID were really due to other causes.....those climate catastrophes were really not because of climate change, just normal climate things that happen") Denialism seems to be stronger than self-preservation. The GOP has erected its own form of Moai statues and they're sticking with them.

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It still makes sense to critique corporatist Dems, DRM. They aren't working for the 99% any more than the Rethugs are. We need to lift up the progressive, Sanders-type Dems, who ARE onboard with helping the working class.

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As long as it keeps us moving forward. It doesn't pay to be much of a purist in politics.

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I'd question the premise that we ARE moving forward...

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It's a fair question whether we are "moving forward" - and from what. It's also a fair question whether critiquing corporatist Dems is helpful,or whether we are better focused on trying to get a few more Sanders/Warren style Dems in the Senate.

Personally, I watched in horror in 2018 as the Big Blue Wave took hold, BUT the GOP still replaced a couple moderate Dems and McConnell was positioned to stack the Supreme Court. I'm not the biggest fan of Sinema or Manchin, but a weak ally is better than someone who will laugh at gutting women's rights to privacy, or other constitutional norms. My thinking is more aligned with Frederick Douglass's in 1859: our allies are often weak, often racist, often problematic in any number of ways - but we need every last one of them until we have achieved a just society. Are they even allies? Well...sometimes alliances are aspirational rather than actual.

What was Bernie Sanders' biggest legislative achievement before 2021? Has he been able to get far more done since the alliance with Biden? Without even being inside the party?

I look to California as a hopeful illustration - for decades, Dems and GOP played the corporatist game with a handful of crazies and lefties mostly sidelined. BUT the post-2008 California is one in which corporatist Dems and progressive Dems debate one another in good faith - leaving the other side to make up nonsense about perversion or similar nothingness. I'd rather debate Larry Summers than Steve Mnuchin.

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okay--start moving forward. Stop moving backward.

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Religion and politics make an explosive combination, but since Republicans have introduced religion into our politics Democrats cannot afford not to do the same. Christianity used to be about the "common good," but Republicans have turned it into a tool of exclusion, a perversion of itself. It is also a violation of what our Constitution stands for.

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Think we concur about that.Between Jimmy Carter and Raphael Warnock, I would say religionand politics already play a considerable role. More generally, Black women are one of the core pillars of the Democratic party - and that system routinely works through religion.

Republicans built "franchise churches" in California in the 1920s, then exported that together with televised Billy Graham crusades in the 1950s. Strong recommendation for Kevin Kruse's "In God we Trust" - but I think he and Prof Reich are playing notes that harmonize into a picture of suburbia - white flight, a very specific sort of political faith, and power and wealth acting in its own interest. We think of the Bible belt as one geographic space, forgetting exactly how many of its systems launched in CA, then moved to Colorado, Florida, TX, or other states later on.

I wouldn't mind Americans rediscovering the social gospel. On what basis can they distinguish Trump from Ananias in the Book of Acts...and let's tAlk a bit more about sharing food. Are today's Christians so sure they know better than the folks who walked with Jesus in their sacred book? All that to each according to their need stuff is rather different from capitalism...

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Start changing where it begins. Anyone and Everyone has a home base. We can all do a little something to make a huge impact. https://statesproject.org

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I looked at your website, it seems to be a very worthwhile project. One of the things that has been occurring is that the Republicans have become very focused on winning majorities in the different states, counties and towns, and even on the school boards and health departments, so that they can steer local policy to suit their ends.

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THIS is actually how the Right has been structuring it’s long game since the Reagan era — building a party mechanism from towns to state legislatures to Washington, and promoting anti-Washington rhetoric to tear down what Democrats want people to know — that our government is NOT a giant “them” coming after us, but US trying to do right by us. But that’s only if we make it responsive to us. If we gut it, and dismantle it, it will be useless.

I’m not naive enough to think Washington is every one’s new best friend … but our government is supposed to belong to all of us, and it’s supposed to enact a system that benefits the greatest number of us, fairly an even-handedly. Some of us even want us to be fair and even-handed around the world … that would be nice.

It will only be what we make it, though. If we give a damn, we should stay involved.

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We need to destroy the GOP supermajority in Missouri. Takes about the flip of 5 seats in the House. How will this site help me do that ?

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Sep 1, 2023·edited Sep 1, 2023

David Piper ; The "Climate Crisis" is a very important part of the "Common Good"!

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You failed to mention how GE is a mere husk of what it was before Welch screwed it up.

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Another manifestation of the "we" to "me" transition is the so-called parental rights movement in education. The promulgators constantly rant about "my rights," without any concern about responsibility to the community or community welfare, not even caring about their own children's wellbeing. Just "my rights."

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Glen Youngkin just waiting in the wings Carolyn.

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David Piper, thanks for your story. And I love the power of your words, "we" and "me" in the context of our national story.

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Thank you David. My progression was similar to yours'. I also saw it coming back then. G.E. Theater was hosted by a soothing Ronald Reagan over many years and he gained the trust of millions and when he became the voice of right wing business interests, the deal was done. The California governorship was the trial run.

Dr. Reich is one of my heros too.

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The other track that lead to the disaster of 2008 was banking liar's loans and appraisal fraud - Bill Black - How to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Then the oh so smart marketing wall street firms flipped the media to blame the poor people who out smarted and lied to an MBA Wall Street banker - rubbish.

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I agree with you and trump will finish the job, if he gets elected, (please dear God hear our prayers) by firing most federal workers in mass. Shameful what has happened to the working class.

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He can't just up and fire worlers en mass. But with the help of GOP majorities in Congress he could do major damage.I fear the general public has so little understanding of the role of their national government that they could do something stupid, again.

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Reagan, was owned and transformed by GE no less. He owed everything to GE and paid back in spades. Look it up friends. > https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2016/01/ronald-reagans-conservative-conversion-as-spokesman-for-general-electric-during-the-1950s.html

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Agree on all points, David, especially your last one about climate change.

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Fred, I don’t agree that corporations should “be run for the profit of the stockholders...” because if that’s the case, it’s all about money & profits. Most of our current political clashes have to do with the corporate worship of money to the exclusion of all else.

For example, corporations hate regulations. Why? Because they cut into profits. Many regulations

have to do with environmental hazards that make

people sick and/or ruin animal habitats, like dumping toxic waste wherever it’s convenient. It costs money to move and dump toxic waste in designated areas that are usually remote and many corporations don’t think they should have to do that.

That’s just one example of how corporations pursue profits with no consideration for anyone or anything else. Not too long ago there was a train derailment that spewed toxic chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio.

It could have been avoided by updating aging infrastructure and installing advanced technology.

But, it would cost a lot of money. Corporations typically won’t shell out the money until there’s a tragedy or the government forces it.

Another example are hospitals run by corporations.

They are currently in the midst of making drastic changes to patient care. More specifically, hospitals

are touting a new program for acute care patients.

They call it Hospital at Home. The way it works is to send acutely ill patients home to be monitored by

artificial intelligence, (as if AI can magically provide

immediate medical intervention) with periodic visits by home health care nurses, nursing assistants, or physician’s assistants.

Hospital at Home programs want to save even more money by making nurses contract laborers so they don’t have to provide benefits for them. As a registered nurse with acute care experience, I think all of these money-saving changes are a very bad idea. If someone who’s acutely ill takes a turn for the worse, they usually need a team of physicians, nurses with acute care experience and ancillary personnel (x-ray techs, pharmacy techs, respiratory specialists, etc.) immediately available.

I don’t know how to make corporate CEOs care about anything other than making money. I suspect

it will take a fundamental change of our culture.

Currently the oil & gas industry is slowly destroying

life on earth and apparently no one in the industry

seems to care. Republicans don’t care either. They and republicans fight tooth and nail against any attempt to rein in the industry, even now that it’s

obvious what CO2 emissions do to our environment.

One thing is for sure--we cannot allow the corporate worship of money to continue as it is now because

it will destroy us...all of us.

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What I was trying to say is there has to be a happy

medium. Corporations have to make a profit, but if

profits are all they care about they tend to endanger

innocent lives. Corporations have a duty to not endanger people on the way to being profitable,

but many of them don’t see it that way...which is why we must have regulations.

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Robert Reich's definition!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XTJNy_OrjE

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Excellent video; clear description. Thank you, Professor!

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Tim Baldwin, thank you for the link!

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Did you watch the video? What's your response to it? Do you agree or disagree? If all you can do is attack others, you are not worth bothering with.

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Why are you afraid to watch a video that challenges your preconceived notions? Interacting with ideas that we might not like and disagree with is part of the learning process and helps keep you from being trapped in a "bubble". I am sure you realize that not everything on Google is accurate!

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Sep 1, 2023·edited Sep 1, 2023

I believe I used the phrase "semi-fascist" which, based on books I've read goes back to Mussolini in Iraly when corporations and government were in "partnership." My memory might be a bit foggy (I'm getting up there) but, it's been obvious to me for years the major obstacle to our government working "from the bottom up middle out" - using Biden's words, has been the "partnership" between the republican party and the corporate elite in our country who've been robbing the taxpayers of TRILLIONS since the days of Reagan. As I said, it led to this right wing Supreme Court majority, Iraq (I don't think I included all this in my post), the financial crisis of 2008, the "Tea Party," and ultimately Trump. To me, we are on the precipice of being degraded into a full blown fascist state unless the voters rise up (hopefully led by young Americans) and vote these republicans into the History books - I believe Trump's place will be right next to Benedict Arnold. I hope that makes my point more clear - thanks for the question. (After reading a few more of your comments, I see you're a right wing troll. I wish we lived close to each other - I'd love to have breakfast with to better understand how you've arrived at your thinking - if your thinking)

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Sep 1, 2023·edited Sep 1, 2023

I am going to get my wife to order a few of these shirts for me. However, around here they may shorten my life expectancy somewhat.

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I wish people would not demonize the name Karen

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I know a good Karen, and it does hurt her feelings when her name is bashed.

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There are a lot of us “good” Karens 🤗

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I think most Karen's are good (caring)

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Actual people named Karen, yes.

I have a hard time with that word as an insult, too.

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Or Ken. 😒

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And you are a code for rectal-cranial inversion.

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No disagreement here, but the point is not made complete without mentioning that the Chicago School of Economics and Ronald Reagan deserve blame for the creation of Jack Welsh. Without deregulation (Government is the problem) and the mindset of Milton Friedman and Company this would not have happened. The latest battle on this front is now between the pharmaceutical companies and Medicare under the direction of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The drug giants are screaming because their profits will go down and they won't be able to find/develop new drugs. Well, they seldom find new drugs, the government and small ambitious medical research companies do that. The big boys just buy them out, or get a monopoly contract from the government, and mass produce the drug. I have zero sympathy for their argument, which Robert Reich has just torn to shreds.

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Wish I could "like" this 1000 times. NO ONE in the mass media seems to be bringing this to the public's attention. Mostly, we the taxpayers essentially pay for the research and development of new drugs through various entities, and big pharma swoops in and grabs the rights for pennies compared to their profits, and then proceed to gouge the public and the government (still essentially the public's money).

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The mass media, or Breaking News, is now largely corporate-owned and equally part of the problem. ABC news in particular is so scripted, David saying "now" and "here" and "tonight" twenty times in every broadcast, that it turns my stomach--no news, anymore, only headlines between commercials. No solid analyses, only "How do you feel?" "How does this storm destruction make you feel?"

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ABSOLUTELY — every time I hear that giant fib, that “they need to recoup their research costs,” I could SCREAM. We put up the money in grants {every researcher knows they are going to write for grants to fund their labs!!!}. And the government is the biggest funder of research in actual grants and through all kinds of tax jiggering …

Was a time when, if you accomplished something with a government grant {read “our tax money”}, you owed us some benefit from that!

Egad!!!

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And look at how they spend their money - not on research but on TV ads - you can’t even watch the news w/o seeing dozens of ads for drugs with unpronounceable names! Just glad to see the first list of 10 drugs on Medicare list!

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Check out today's edition of The Lever on Big Pharma, which uses tax dollars (and only ours) to create and/or develop new drugs and then whines because it can't charge US consumers much more than they can charge in other nations.

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The pharmaceutical industry is corrupt because republicans have repeatedly refused to rein them in. Why do republicans refuse to rein them in--because

they get big campaign donations from big pharma. And that’s the money we know about. What we don’t know is how much dark money is laundered through

PACs, because PAC money is anonymous.

The arrangement between republicans and corporations is clear, it’s a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” situation with us regular folk footing the bill for their mutual admiration. President Biden is making some headway, but legally there’s only so much he can do.

Congress can do a lot more than Biden. They can pass legislation that, for example, allows only limited mark-ups to the cost of medications to, let’s say 3 times the cost to manufacture it, or whatever Congress thinks is reasonable. But for obvious reasons republicans won’t vote for any legislation that limits profits on any industry or business sector.

As Pat O’Brien noted, a large portion of their research costs are paid for with our American tax dollars for meds they sell all over the world, yet they have the nerve to charge Americans far more than what people in other countries pay for the exact same medications, packaged the exact same way.

Our only recourse is to elect enough Dems to make them the majority in both the senate and the house. If we also have a Dem President, we can turn a lot of things around; the cost of medications, Citizens United that gave rise to dark money & PACs, and we

can pass legislation to eliminate all private campaign

donations, including money from hostile foreign

nations like Russia & SA.

It’s already illegal to accept foreign money donations, but proving where money came from isn’t always easy, especially when the fec is unable to do its job because republican fec officials refuse to cooperate. Money is at the root of all of our political problems. If we remove private money campaign donations as an incentive for politicians to lie and

protect corporations at the expense of their constituents, we can turn this country around so it is governed by and for the people again instead of corporations.

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Susan, I agree with most of what you've written, but Republicans are not the only ones to take big pharma money-- Democrats do too. Laws need to be passed nullifying bad SC decisions like Citizens United which basically made bribery of lawmakers legal.

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I learned the insidiousness of their reach when a friend attended an "executive MBA" course at an Ivy institution. It was a shameless indoctrination into corporate BS, and she did not live to see how the supposed virtue of the market was going to create a more unjust economy. When I argued against it, she simply replied that smarter people than we were were convinced otherwise. Because John Roberts is physically fit and has good table manners does not mean he knows what is best for our society.

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and one way to get more Dems is to get more young people to vote. So work to get them registered and to vote.

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Here's the link:

https://www.levernews.com/pharma-giant-threatens-to-delay-drugs-over-new-price-controls/

And the thing is, it's a European company (Swiss) Roche/ Genentech.

"A Swiss pharmaceutical company announced this month that it could slow-walk bringing a potentially life-saving drug to market — in order to reduce the time that it could be subject to President Joe Biden’s recently enacted federal price regulations.

Those comments were made by the CEO of Genentech, whose parent company, Roche, has reaped as much as $10 billion from Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, seeing its net income go up by an average of more than 50 percent, while its spending on research and development has increased by just 25 percent.

Pharmaceutical giants like Roche are earning huge sums of money on record-breaking price increases, reporting historic profits — and yet they’re launching an all-out legal, media, and lobbying assault against the modest drug pricing restrictions implemented by Biden..."

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WE Americans subsidize pharmaceutical costs for the rest of the world. https://www.levernews.com/big-pharmas-american-con/

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You’re right Rebecca, the pharmaceutical industry is corrupt. The healthcare industry is well on its way to being corrupt too.

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Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post has written several columns critiquing the mainstream media.

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In 1976 Friedman even received the Noble price for his deregulation theory and he served not only as an advisor to Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan but also the Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher whom both reactivated his theory. It is also called the Anglo American model ( i.e. neo liberalism), which is considered as the set off of the Rhineland model, which is more a stakeholder's oriented approach and lately gaining ground again in the countries from where it originated like Germany, The Netherland Belgium, Italy and the Scandinavian countries. It shows a more civilized attitude than most other Western countries in my view.

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If I remember correctly, ‘round about the time things fell apart in 2008, Friedman said, Ooops, he might have been wrong about that deregulation/free-market malarky. That was him admitting he was wrong, yeah? One of those characters did …

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Recession isn’t necessarily the last word … Need more info to say “the experiment” is going broke … Also, Europe has grouped itself together in the EU, but looking at the MOST so-called “socialist” countries like the Scandinavian ones, they are not going broke. Not so’s I can find out … Do you have other information???

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I've never had much respect for the economics profession in America, not it's public face anyway. With some exceptions.I'm just gonna say it. That Samuelson textbook in the 70's was ludicrous.

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Read the book THE MAN WHO BROKE CAPITALISM, by David Gelles.

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An American friend could not comprehend it when I told him about my experience of public transportation in Europe - that even small outlying communities were usually very well-served by bus, train or both. He said that this “isn’t practical because it isn’t profitable” - and that it “only raises the cost of real estate in those areas and drives out many of the locals, so in the end, doesn’t benefit those of lower income.”

He is completely operating from the US corporate “for profit” model without any idea that many societies embrace human values and build infrastructure, labor laws, healthcare, etc around these values. I know a Belgian supermarket chain logistics manager for instance who says the unions are important partners in maintaining a healthy business. Doctors are readily available for top quality healthcare at very low fees or for free under the various forms of national health insurance in the EU. Higher education tuition costs about 1,500E per year in Belgium, so every student has access. These systems create a healthier society than one based solely on profits - and yet, the US press is quick to report on the disastrous UK NHS, while ignoring the excellent systems in place in most of the developed world.

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It's complicated. In the US most workers aren't "employees" in the classic sense. Gig workers Part time workers. "Commission" workers. Independent contractors.

There should also be a way to know what per centage of "employees" of a company are shareholders or "stakeholders." Also, a huge percentage of corporate wealth is controlled by state entities like employee retirement funds.

Some states, which charter corporations, have the "good" in mind. I.E. New Mexico. https://hed.nm.gov/free-college-for-new-mexico

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Gig workers and independent contractors are stakeholders, but they are often exploited under the shareholder-first model.

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Ha ha !!! The British NHS being destroyed daily by the likes of the US oligarchs who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. I'm betting as an ex-UK citizen who left after Thatcher destroyed the place that the Uk beats the US into the toilet !!!

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When we discuss NHS with our British friends, we tend to compare misery stories. One story that our British friends don't tell, however, is that a trip to the doctor can put you on the road to bankruptcy. Seems to be a uniquely American thing.

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Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan -- an unholy marriage that continues to plague both countries.

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He misses out on how affordable and ubiquitous transportation facilitates low-cost travel for labor to reach jobs, people to access resources, good to be shipped where they’re needed, and … Oh, I can think of a million ways this is not going to “gentrify,” but is going to “lift all boats.” Just adding transportation is not a be-all-and-end-all, of course. But you talk about how their entire systems are structured to expand the common good.

Oy, how do we educate our masses, who have been indoctrinated with this idea of The Rugged Individual and the {apocryphal} Free Market?

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Outstanding post, Judy! BRAVO! Big Corp always mouths the lie that the benefits you mention---efficient public transportation, low-cost healthcare, etc.---are too expensive, but they completely dismiss the advantages of a healthy, mobile work force. Incredibly short-sighted of them.

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I am surprised the famous and profoundly influential Dodge v. Ford case (Michigan, 1919) was not included in this posting. Although the real motivations of the case involve protecting a monopoly and squeezing out certain board members, the short version is that Henry Ford wanted to pay more in wages instead of shareholder dividends, and when he was sued the court ruled that he no right to do that! This has been cited precedent in case after case across the nation, establishing that companies are not legally allowed to do anything that does not maximize near-term shareholder value. This is the foundation of the house that Jack Welch built. As Prof Reich described so well, Welch made it into an aggressive mission, and as he described, today's CEOs *could* effect a counter-mission. But, as variously quoted and attributed, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." (Upton Sinclair?)

All economies are regulated to benefit someone. No markets are truly free. People have other than economic needs, so a system optimized for economics alone can never be optimal for people. What we are missing is a set of widely shared, strong cultural values along the lines of being decent human beings and not assholes. Protecting the planet itself, sharing astoundingly abundant wealth with the people who actually do the work, healthcare and education for all so we approximate a level playing field premised in human decency and compassion -- none of these things would be even slightly controversial if we were not collectively a very ill society.

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"All economies are regulated to benefit someone." Reich's theme for his course, "Wealth and Poverty." Your comment is going into my folder. "--none of these things would be even slightly controversial if we were not collectively a very ill society."

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One should always ask why Ford wanted to increase wages. It was largely to defeat unionization. Pay just enough so the workers won't unionize.

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Right, plus he wanted to preserve his monopoly, and oust the Dodge brothers. He wasn't being a pure and great humanitarian. It remains that the effect was to codify in case law that corporations have no duty greater than making near-term income for shareholders.

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Ford also realized that you can't sell cars if workers don't earn enough to buy one.

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Right. I think he even said that anyone working on the assembly line should be able to buy one, even while he didn’t say out loud that he was primarily interested in quashing unionization and defending his monopoly.

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Oh yes you are quite right. I once lost a job because the boss asked me what to do about the growing threat of unionizing at crown cork and seal. I told him give employees what they want. Isn’t that the point of a union? Getting better pay and benefits? The company didn’t take my advice and the workers unionized.

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Bennett Barouch, "collectively very ill" indeed!

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I know a woman whose father worked as a common laborer at Ford back near its start. The man hurt himself on the job and Ford came by his house with a gift.

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Thank you for a very clear explanation of the effects of a statement made by my Business Law professor sometime around 1976-1979. He said, and I quote, “the number one responsibility of a business is to maximize stockholder value”. It struck me as not quite right then, and over 40 years later, you have very clearly outlined the effects of that nefarious statement. Thank you.

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I don't think your professor was wrong. In a capitalist economy, it is the goal of business to maximize profits.

However, it is the job of GOVERNMENT to be the check on those companies. This is where WE have failed. WE ARE GOVERNMENT. It is government who should be the watchdog; government should keep these companies in check and it is government who should be making rules and regulations that say if you hire an employee, it is a two-way contract: you have obligations to them as they have obligations to you. We think of Government as an entity, but it's not: it's us. We elect people to represent us, and if we so desire, we run.

But we elected Reagan when he said, "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." Why? Because it's easier to blame the boogeyman named "Government" than to acknowledge that we have failed. American success is a participation event, not a spectator sport.

We have failed. We have ALL bought into the "Greed is Good" mantra to some degree. We figure, "My one little thing isn't gonna make a difference," but it does. When we oppose fracking & support wind turbines, but we still drive our Hummer or SUV; when the cashier gives us an extra $10 in our change and we stay silent and take it, but then complain of "theft causing price increases;" when a group calls for a boycott of something, we emotionally support it, but if we need the item, we buy it because "one little purchase isn't going to matter," but it does.

I remember in the late 60s, early 70s, my mom refusing to buy grapes and lettuce in MASSACHUSETTS because Cesar Chavez in CALIFORNIA was asking Americans to boycott these products to help farm workers get basic human rights and working conditions. When was the last time was a serious boycott called for and when did you truly boycott something to make it better for others, not just yourself?

When a product is created; it grows until it's big enough to be noticed by a major corporation who buys it (or squashes it); then we complain that we have mega-corporations who own everything. Kraft (now Kraft Heinz) owns over 200 brands! That's nothing - Nestle' owns over 2,000 brands. That's 2,000 people who had a product / business and sold out to Nestle (or sold out to someone who sold out to Nestle). They are not even food companies, they are investment conglomerates - Nestle is a publicly owned multinational food processing conglomerate; Kraft Heinz is majority-owned by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital. If you own a 401K, you probably own a piece of it - The Vanguard Group holds about 5% of it.

Americans supported Reagan like they support Trump - Reagan carried 44 states in 1980 and 49 states in 1984 - as the country sank, Reagan claimed it was "Morning in America," and people bought it because he made them feel good despite losing their homes, their jobs, paying 14% mortgage & 18% car loan interest rates. He blamed "Government" while he expanded it and lived off of it. Trump blames the "Deep State," but that means he's attacking the 2.7 million people who carry out the functions of the federal government - those who implement the laws we pass; those who make sure rules are adhered to and applications are filed and approved. Reagan / Trump / Reaganites / ReTrumplicans are calling for those positions to be dismantled. Who does that benefit? Do you dump poisons from your factory into the waterways where your children swim? Do you hire 12yr-old undocumented immigrants to clean slaughter room and package meat in unsanitary packing conditions?

Chances are the answer is no, but do you work for that factory or do you buy the packaged meat? We all need to be more aware of OUR OWN FOOTPRINTS, and we need to call out the corporate evils AND the governmental representatives who protect them (are you listening, GOP, SCOTUS?)

Sorry if I'm rambling, I guess I'm more frustrated at this stuff than I let on! LOL!

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Thanks for the ramble. I tire of people who focus their ire on the big bad CEOs. We all let this happen. Bit by bit. Year after year, Wealth compounding for investors year after year.

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You are so right. I worked for RBS in UK leaving 2005 to become an entrepreneur. Working to build good businesses basing a fair distribution and employee ownership at the centre is hard hard hard! All sectors are now dominated by a handful of players with vast war chests and massive tax breaks. Why the plutocrats can’t see the pitchforks coming is a mystery to me but they didn’t in France or Russia either.

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Money, wealth, has a way of blinding people. OTOH, "poverty consciousness" is no good.

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I’m genuinely interested to know what you mean by poverty consciousness?

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We face something as a conundrum as a Capitalist society. Money runs EVERYTHING. "It takes money to make money" is VERY true. Being from a household worth $100,000 or less, and all you can do is barely hang on. Come from a household worth 100 million dollars or more and you can do most anything you want. And what the people in the latter category want to do is make **more** money. "Share the wealth" is nowhere to be found in their philosophy. And what they have found is that it is easier to accumulate more wealth by NOT sharing the wealth. In fact, it works better if the vast majority of people have their incomes held down by forces above them and out of their control. (Government and political Parties for instance.) Less money for the Little People means more money for the already Wealthy.

With money being their primary motivation in Life, the Wealthy have not the least inclination to diminish their current wealth or constrain their ability to amass more wealth. Their idea of "spending wisely" is investing in politicians: "donate" a million dollars in "campaign contributions" and odds are the Return On Investment will be $10 million in tax cuts and tax loopholes. Or more. Or MUCH more.

Sure, you can point at exceptions to the rule, billionaire philanthropists that are shelling out millions on (some of) We The People. But for every one of them there's a thousand milking We The People for all We're worth.

How much more obvious does this class warfare have to be before We The People rise up in Our hundreds of millions to win the war?

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Not just class warfare. Management and ownership have conflicts.

I.E. Big companies would benefit from Medicare for All because they could omit healthcare as a contingent liability.

If the collateral source rule in litigation were eliminated, ALL insurance premiums, Medicare Part B, workers' compensation, liability, would drop.

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This is why we need to eliminate the ability to leave your millions to your kin; the tax loopholes allowing for "trusts" to be passed tax-free from one generation to the next, need to be eliminated. A child from an advantaged family already received such a head start with better schools, better food, exposure to more worldly experiences, etc., do they really need $100 million to boot? Let's limit inheritances to $1 million per person, and let the rest go back to fuel society - providing no/low interest business loans, lower interest rates for mortgages, provide Pell Grants/scholarships, subsidize health insurance payments, etc.

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Take this reasoning a bit further: Would you consider it fair for lower income families to NOT be allowed to pass on their estates to their family heirs? Theoretically, a person's estate has already been "paid for" by having paid their "fair" (ha!) share of taxes. As such, requiring estate taxes is tantamount to double taxation. As much as I dislike the idea of already-wealthy people being made even wealthier by inheriting their parents' estates, it falls under the category of "what's sauce (good) for the goose is sauce (good) for the gander".

The problem is NOT that estates get passed on to heirs untaxed. The problem is those estates were never taxed _properly_ -- that is to say, **enough** --before inheritance was an issue. And the reason it was NOT taxed sufficiently is the same reason the Wealthy CAN evade estate taxes.

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I think the entire tax system should be modified, but I'm thinking of it more like your excessive wealth dies with you (like your right to privacy does).

I didn't say not to allow anything to be passed on - I say limit it to like $1 Million per person. If you don't want it to go to the government, then take your millions and give it to everyone you know - $1 Million at a time: each of your children, every nephew, niece, neighbor, the chauffeur's kids - anything to dilute it. If you accept that the wealthy have helped create a system that did not tax them properly, why would you think it's okay to continue on with that impropriety generationally?

Please don't buy into the "Joe the Plumber" brainwashing - that it's not fair because you hope you'll be worth enough someday to leave your kids a bunch of money, but the truth is, most people aren't prepared when they get old, and they're not leaving much. The fact is 73% of Americans die in debt. The average debt is $62,000.

Creditors are paid first from the deceased person’s assets, if any.

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Sep 2, 2023·edited Sep 2, 2023

Again, you're applying a double-standard. This time, think of it as a percentage of a person's wealth. If you suggest that a billionaire be allowed to only pass on $1 million per heir, that would be limiting him to pass on only less than .01% of his wealth. Now do the same to people with estates less than $100,000: How would you react to being told that of your $100,000, you would be allowed to pass on only $10?

What you are advocating is literally legalized theft: "Taking from the rich, and giving it to The People." But that is a VERY dangerous slippery slope. It would empower lawmakers to rationalize TAKING money from literally EVERYONE (who aren't themselves of course). But it's a speculation that ain't never gonna happen. The ONLY people that could make such laws are "Our" legislators -- and most of them are on the payrolls of the Wealthy. And in point of fact, over half of "Our" legislators are themselves Wealthy.

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You mean you like the slippery slope we've been on the past 40 years ?

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Who said anything about "like"? Besides, what We have been experiencing is far, far from being a slippery slope. More like legislative highway robbery. Sucking wealth, deliberately and with forethought, from all not-Wealthy and giving much of it to themselves and their cronies.

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I am not applying a double standard; I set a monetary limit. It's not my fault if some people surpass that limit. It's like on tax filings; you can deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes paid. Some people will never hit that amount, and some surpass it. Is that unfair that some people can't deduct all their property taxes paid?

The mistake you're making is you're applying a proportional standard, which very little in life is that. Does a person who makes $25,000/yr pay $1 for a roll or toilet paper, someone making $100,000 pay $4/roll and someone who makes $1Million pay $40/roll? No, we live in a regressive economy, and poorer people pay proportionately more as a part of their wealth than rich people.

The "fees" that the GOP love to use instead of taxes are all regressive - low-income earners don't pay less for their driver's licenses than more affluent people; we have a progressive tax rate, in theory, but with the deductions, allowances, exemptions / write-offs, the 37% bracket end up paying far less percentage-wise, and although "Corporations are people" according to the Supreme Court, Corporations can write off so many more things than the little guy can that they often pay nothing in tax.

Setting a random dollar limit is not a double standard; it's done all the time in tax code, but with this, it doesn't favor the wealthy like most of the others, so people want to cry foul.

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What you are doing is just the flip side of what "They" have been doing: targeting the classes that aren't "Them". The numbers you suggest aren't just meant to force them to pay their fair share; it's meant to reduce them to being Little People like Us within three or four generations. Do the math: If the current batch of elderly Wealthy are not permitted to pass down the LARGE majority of their wealth to their families, and then when their heirs die and aren't allowed to pass on the LARGE majority of their wealth, and then when _their_ kids dies, what will those elderly children of the once Wealthy have left to pass on to their kids? Next to nothing, compared to what great-grandpa took for granted.

Congratulations: you just wiped out America's Upper Class. Those that stayed in America, that is. Because if ever something so draconian were to be put in place, America's Wealthy would take all those hundreds of billions of dollars you want to redistribute and move to a less Communist nation that thinks it's okay to take from the Rich, because in the opinions of the not-Wealthy, the Wealthy have too much -- and that's just not fair! And when they go, you can be certain that they WILL make certain to shut down all of the businesses that they owned and operated, putting tens of millions of not-Wealthy out of their jobs.

But as I said before: ain't never gonna happen. Unless you have some kind of irresistible leverage on the legislators that are on the Wealthy's payroll, it is patently IMPOSSIBLE to create the legislation that legalizes taking from the Rich. Any conjectures that any of Us can come up with as to how We Make It Happen falls into the realms of Fantasy and Wishful Thinking.

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Double taxation sounds like a good idea.

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How can you not be paying attention???? There was a pandemic with supply chain issues still being felt. There is record climate change -- record storms and forest fires -- impacting lives, manufacturing and the flow of goods. The heat dome has also made it difficult for oil refineries to operate at full capacity. The news just this week was that drought around the Panama canal has already caused backups of ships carrying goods that normally pass through the canal. What will that mean? Higher prices for these goods!! If you think Joe Biden is the cause of our inflation then you should move to another country because you couldn't be more misinformed. Shame on you for posting misinformation.

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I have no clue what point you're trying to make...

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🙄 He was TRYING to give you and D. Soloman a compliment.

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I blame most of it on OPEC/Saudi/Russia, and your hero the A-hole that forced low production thus higher oil prices when he was in power. Long term oil prices caused a ripple, later a snowball effect.

Despite what you say, Biden has reduced the RATE of inflation by all measures. The other day I gave you the facts, based by charts and graphs contained in the Krugman article.

Actually, I probably pay more in tax than you make.

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If you believe for one second that inflation is the result of oil prices alone you should do some more research. Trump never took the foot off the gas and forced the Fed to lower rates in '18 when the Economy /markets could have used a little pullback. Monetary policy (QE) continued to be the offence and then Biden continued the madness upon his election. There were clear signs of inflationary pressures in the markets by mid '20 and they were all but ignored. FYI ? The Fed hitting the pavement hard with QT will slow the RATE of inflation , it's inevitable. When you are facing almost double digits inflation rates and one manages to slow the RATE ? You aren't throwing a ticker tape parade in New York for this minor victory.

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Oil prices started it. Biden asked Congress for authority to end the real culprits, price fixing and price gouging, but Republicans have refused.

Companies used oil prices as the basis to add on costs without any value.

Some states. like California have sued to try to recoup damages.

IMHO the Fed is snowed by speculators (like you?) who want higher rates. When rates rise, the value of most commodities follow.

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Keystone would produce NO domestic oil, and the rest is pure propaganda.

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Are you saying Joe Biden is responsible for corporate gluttony?

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I grew up in a factory town in the 1960’s. Life was great and so was the health care. By the time I finished college in 1975 all the factories had move south to cheaper labor with no thought of the people left behind. You are so right that these types of communities, which were totally democratic, have become places where people are left to try and make ends meet. They will turn to anyone who says they can make things better for them even if there is no plan to do so. The solution is simple for the wealthiest country in the world and I hope the current administration keeps pushing us in direction of strengthening the middle class.

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A masterpiece!

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Actions to maximize shareholder value can end up minimizing shareholder value! The rest of the GE story is an example of this:

The actions of Jack Welch (CEO from 1981 to 2001) and Jeff Immelt (CEO from 2001 to 2017) ended up destroying GE, probably the most powerful and best run company in the world prior to Welch. Both CEOs concentrated on short term profits and risky ventures at the expense of long term profitability. To save the company and restore profitability to the shareholders, it has been broken up into three separate companies: GE Aerospace, GE HealthCare and GE Vernova. See https://physicsworld.com/a/the-demise-of-an-electronics-giant-the-men-who-killed-general-electric/#:~:text=Formerly%20one%20of%20the%20most,GE%20HealthCare%20and%20GE%20Vernova. for more detail.

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Bravo! This should be included as a mandatory course for all school kids. I'm so sick of these business schools that worship Welch and still continue to spit out endless and useless "business" grads.

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Actually most B-schools these days teach all about ESG investing and stakeholder capitalism. Problems of going for short term gains are as RR notes, embedded in the system.

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I am a free-lance publisher and a few years ago edited a book called "Fat Cats Don't Hunt" the first chapter of which focused on GE as the poster child of how, starting with the CEO just before Neutron Jack Welch, the shift to the shareholder primacy doctrine away from the stakeholder primacy doctrine destroyed the corporate culture that was, which took care of its employees and, by default, its customers. And how his lieutenants passed over to replace him went on to nearly destroy other corporate entities by infecting them with the same virus. About three months after we released the book, GE was booted from the New York Stock Exchange. Time for a return to Peter Drucker who maintained that the purpose of business was to create good in the universe, so to speak.

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I'm not sure I understand how the economy works, but I am a human being, so I operate from a "people first" platform as best I can. The first time I heard the phrase "maximize shareholder value," instinctively, I knew we were heading towards a cliff at breakneck speed with no apparent way to stop this runaway train. If life isn't all about loving and supporting one another -- and life just becomes a game of who can outsmart the other -- then I really don't want anything to do with it. "Maximize shareholder value" implies that there will always be winners and losers. In my lifetime, it has come to mean money over people. Unless this mentality changes, we will never have real prosperity or real peace. How much money do you really need to live a happy life? In my case, not much and I'm okay with that, if it means my neighbor can house, clothe, and feed her children. Thanks, Mr. Reich, for this post which confirmed my worst fears.

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I love your post, Anne. You simply and concisely state what our priorities should be.

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I remember the “Reganomics” 80’s with the promise of the trickle down effect that I’ve never felt a drop of. They were convincing.

Then in 2000 George Bush saying, “outsourcing was good for the economy.” Whose economy. Soon after his announcement my sisters Abbott Laboratories job, a plant of 900 people, moved to Guatemala. But before Abbotts move, Eaton Corporation, right across the road employing 800 people moved department but department to warez mexico.

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I too, remember Reaganomics. TJ, but I saw it as menacing, I never once thought that the excess money would "trickle down like the rains from heaven". I was right in the 1980'g and am vindicated now. Money doesn't trickle down, it gushes up, gaining speed and more money on its way.

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The only thing that trickled down was colored yellow.

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founding

The mind blowing thing for me is the way in which moneyed interests have persuaded the same people they have robbed to be the most fervent supporters of continued hollowing out of American communities. The people moving jobs overseas are the same people financing the demagogue politicians. The politicians who work to secure more and more advantages for the wealthy and corporations are the same politicians who are promising to represent the interests of people in these distressed communities. They use cultural issues to separate people from their economic interests! We have got to get rid of Citizens United and we have got to get criminals out of powerful political offices!

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I am more grateful to you, Prof Reich, with nearly every post you produce. Your breadth of knowledge, perspective, and skillful communication are each rare, and certainly in combination in one person. For the zillionth time, thank you.

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founding

Right on! There is little common good in American Corporations. It's just money. That approach leads to fascism because the common folks who have been relegated to surfs see no future.

When the allies settled WWII, they forced Germany to have a representative from labor on all corporations' boards to help assure the common good. As you implied, Robert, Common Good is essential for a stable democratic society.

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founding

That's right Fred. There is no such thing as a putative Socialist Utopia. That's simply a construct by the conservatives to mischaracterize liberal ideas. Common good is a government and society that works to provide a decent life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for everyone, not just the rich. Feudalism, which the conservative Aristocratic Overlords (the ultra rich, the heads of the big corporations and the politically powerful) are trying to install in America to obtain complete control and destroy democracy sure isn't for the common good.

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