Aug 21, 2023·edited Aug 21, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

“Rich men north of Richmond”?

You mean rich men with names like Koch, Uihlein, Ricketts, Ellison, Mercer and Musk, who’ve been using their billions to subvert, buy and wrest control of the government and country from the not-so-rich men, women and children north, south, east and west of Richmond whose stake in the running, possession and direction of this nation is their inalienable birthright?

THOSE rich men?

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Aug 21, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Your points on this matter may very well be what leads to the downfall of this nation. The GOP lies only resonate because the Dems refuse to speak the truth. When they do, they are crushed by their "peers." Now, we can look to blame the "system," campaign finance issues, the power of elites and all that, but what about courage? What about individuals who stand for more than their reelection?

One of my only political heroes is "Fighting Bob" La Follette, who showed that people will respond if you call out the real corruption. Sure, you will be attacked, maligned...you will have the forces of billionaires come down on you. But THAT is what it truly means to be a public servant in this collapsing empire, not being another idealistic cog who thinks they are the missing spoke to the steering wheel of this Titanic of a Democratic party.

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When I was 22 my husband and I bought our first house. Today, I have grandkids in their 30s living with me because they can't afford an apartment with both of them working. The things that were done as explained here are the reasons why. And I'm not the only one with a multi-generation household. It's pretty common these days.

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This article explains the anger of those who are turning to Christian white nationalism because they are justly upset at the way the wealthy elites have used the government to tilt the scales to favor policies that allow them to accumulate 90% of all new wealth.

So, we have people like me, who in the last 20 years or so, have used their time to actually understand why the policies that started with Ronald Wilson Reagan and have been pushed mostly by the Republican Party (although the Democrats are partially to blame too) and why we must somehow make our voices heard.

“Wokeism”, immigrants, unions, and the demise of our education system, including, but not limited to, affordable higher education are not to blame. Massive wealth inequality is.

We need to shout these reasons loud enough so that voters know what the major problem is and to support only the people that also are willing to address this at the national level. I normally would say that we need to vote blue only but that is not enough. We also need to get this message to the people so more of us are informed, and yes awake (woke) to this major issue.

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A few years back there was a UN delegation the went to several parts of the United States,places like skid row in Los Angeles,poor mostly black places in rural Alabama,and West Virginia.What they found was astounding.There are people that live in one of the richest countries on Earth,that live on like $5 a day. They have little if any real job prospects,poor healthcare options that are really far away(when I was growing up in rural SW Virginia a specialist could be an hours drive away.)and little if any real help getting houses or water supplies or sewage systems fixed or improved.

These are the true forgotten people,that no one cares about.These right wing crybabies would be the last ones to consider helping these people out of the deepest poverty.

And it isn't their faults,society likes to point fingers and slather on blame to these people,but if you haven't lived in it or saw it for yourself,you also wouldn't know how easy it is to say the people should try harder or move someplace else.Things that may not be as simple as you think.It wouldn't have taken only a day to be mired in poverty,and wouldn't take only a day to fix it.

Not sure where the article was but could have been in the Atlantic or Mother Jones.There are a few other good sources of stories like this.

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Richard Wolff and Peter Turchin also do a good job of explaining what happened, and why inequality has grown to this disgusting degree. Thanks Professor Reich for slugging away at the lies every day.

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To summarize your thoughts Mr. Reich, the top 1/10 of 1% are the whales and the rest of us are the KRILL!

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This is truly sad. It is lack of education versus propaganda put out by the GOP, Billionaires and Oligarchs to keep the status quo of & who to blame for their poverty. They have not a clue. Billionaires are destroying the planet and it is not a north versus south thing!

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Democrats won't tell the economic truth about what’s happened and place the blame squarely where it’s deserved because, ever since Clinton changed the party from the party of the working and middle classes to a neo-liberal party of the rich, they have relied on donations from the rich. Biden is trying to take the party back to the party of the working and middle classes, but he doesn't dare push too hard because too many Democratic politicians and donors are still neo-liberal and they'll do their best to shaft him like they shafted Bernie if he pushes too hard.

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Crying into his beer. Lamenting why I ain't got something better by blaming those that do.

Dick Cheney and Bush and republicans cut federal funding to public voc/tech training because lobbies wanted to direct these type people looking to gain skills to for profit private training programs. They did cut funding and as result welding, electronics and other programs were hurt or dropped .

Instead of building opportunities to help displaced people , they cut funding to good programs .

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Aug 21, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

All Biden needs to do to win back the poor vote is raise the national minimum wage. It would also help shore up the SS and Medicare trust funds.

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This singer is a co-opted stooge unaware that he's doing the work of the elites that he so criticizes in his song.

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Forgive me Robert Reich, but I had to do it :)

To Tell The Truth

by Katrina Haney

In a land of greed and growing divide,

Where wealth is concentrated on one side,

The Congressional Budget Office reveals,

The staggering truth that our nation conceals.

From '89 to '19, a span of 30 years,

The distribution of wealth brought forth our fears,

The top 10% now hold the lion's share,

While the bottom half struggles, burdened with despair.

A mere 2% of total wealth they possess,

While negative net worth engulfs the rest,

The policies enacted, decisions made,

Have deepened the chasm, our nation's trade.

Opening borders, imports flooding in,

Deregulating Wall Street, a gamble with our kin,

Tax cuts for the wealthy, corporations on top,

Unions bashed, workers left to drop.

Private equity swooping, companies laid bare,

Workers fired, assets sold, it's simply not fair,

Mergers and acquisitions, big corps in control,

Leaving little room for others to enroll.

Banks bailed out, homeowners left in strife,

Profits prioritized over rebuilding life,

Higher education privatized, debt on students' backs,

These policies have left us in relentless tracks.

The wealthy elites, with their power and sway,

Have shaped the rules and had their say,

Donations to politicians, both left and right,

Ensured their interests took flight.

But let us not be fooled by populist tales,

Blaming the marginalized, as their rhetoric pales,

It's the rich who have leveraged their wealth for gain,

Changing the game, causing others pain.

While Democrats advocate for equity and change,

They tread lightly, reluctant to rearrange,

Higher taxes on the wealthy, labor laws to empower,

Rolling back the structural changes, they cower.

They shy away from placing blame where it belongs,

Afraid of confronting the wealthy throngs,

But if they don't speak the truth, loud and clear,

Republican lies will fill the void, we should fear.

So let us demand economic truth be told,

Hold the wealthy accountable, they are uncontrolled,

For the soul of this nation, we must arise,

And dismantle the system that perpetuates these lies.

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All true. But Democrats would be much more convincing if they were vocally supporting unions, calling for universal health care, reproductive autonomy, emergency climate change actions, as well as repealing the 2nd Amendment which was birthed in racism & has caused guns to ne the #1 cause of death for all American children.

Most Democrats are actually only mildly more palatable versions of Republicans. Both are primarily allied to capitalism and its oligarchs whose money funds American politics and allegiances.

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Excellent piece

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Thank you for writing about this powerful song. Oliver may be white and possibly Christian but he doesn’t bring it up in the song and I don’t see the song deals with identity politics.

Your discussion of the growing disparity of wealth in this country is very important. When the song says “Your dollar ain’t shit and it’s taxed to no end” he’s not only discussing the inequity in the tax code but inflation. Asset inflation (not measured very well by the CPI) rewards those that store their wealth in assets and punishes those that store it in cash (or who are in debt). This has been a big problem since Nixon took us of the gold standard. I’m glad you mentioned Sanders and how the party squashed his campaign for recognizing economic elites.

The song also talks about welfare, health, mental health and suicide. We have an epidemic of diabetes and obesity in the county. Whether food stamps should fund sugared soda is a question that could be brought up. I believe RFK Jr. has. We obviously want to protects public health, but it seems we don’t want a “nanny state” when it comes to taking profits from big pharma, big food and big agriculture.

While right-wing reactionaries like Margorie Taylor Green like the song this doesn't mean it should be dismissed as a right-wing anthem. The media has made a big deal about the song being appropriated by the right but why should ‘nt it be a song for everyone who is disenfranchised. The friend of your enemy is not necessarily your enemy. It’s like saying RFK Jr is a bad guy because he accepts funds from the Heritage Foundation. It ‘s a logical fallacy.

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