What I would love to see as well is world wealth distribution. I’m willing to be that would make most people sick.
|WSJ Income Category||WSJ Income||US Census Income Category For Comparison||US Census Median Income||How far off were they?||Fun Fact|
|Single parent, 2 children (Woman shown)||$260,000||Family Household, female householder, no husband present||$33,637||773%||In 2006 (before the economic crisis) only 1.93% of all households had annual incomes exceeding $250,000|
|Single Person (Woman shown)||$230,000||Non Family Households: Female Householder||$25,492||902%||Even if we were being more generous and used the figure for “Women with earnings: full time, year-round workers,” we’d still only be at $37,118.|
|Married couple, 4 children||$650,000||Family Households, married couple||$74,130||877%|
|Retired Couple||$180,000||Age of Householder: 65+||$33,118||544%|
On average, the WSJ was off by 774%.
- 2011 Census report: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States
- Wikipedia: Household Income in the United States
Information credit: Shaggorama (reddit)
Dear Mr. Romney,
The American people kindly request that you release your tax returns to the public so we can see just what kind of person you really are. There is absolutely no reason why would be keeping these returns private aside from concealing the fact that you have not paid your fair share.
We already know that you have failed to accurately file returns in the past, yet you want us to trust you when you say that your tax returns are accurate. How can we trust that you will accurately uphold fair tax standards when you yourself have not followed these rules in the past? Many of us are aware that existing tax codes allow large corporations such as GE, Verizon and others to pay effectively 0% OR LESS (yes, profiting from taxes) in recent years due to the large loopholes that exist due to crony capitalism. How can we trust you to fix this type of unfairness in the tax code should you gain the presidency.
The truth is, we can’t. The American tax code, especially in the corporate sector, is broken. I personally pay an effective ~30% tax on my earnings, and I guarantee you didn’t pay that percentage of you your exorbitant income last year (proof). Is this considered “fair” to you?
So I urge you, Mr. Romney, to release your taxes to the public so we can see how you really feel about our tax code. Until then, I will base my opinions of you on these assumptions:
-You do not care about the interests and well-being of the lower and middle class.
-You agree with the ability of large corporations and the wealthiest of Americans to pay extremely low rates of income tax.
-You will not do anything to help ease the increasing wealth disparity in America.
For those who have read this blog in the past, sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I’m planning on writing some new posts starting today and keeping up with the blog more now that I have some more free time
So you should all know by now that Osama Bin Laden has been shot and killed during a special operation last night in Pakistan. His whereabouts have been known by a select few in the US military for a while now, and last night the CIA finally pulled the trigger and sent in a team of SEALs to find him and take him out. President Obama officially announced the news last night in a late night broadcast to America, which was a great speech until the last 2 lines when he went all “god,god,god,USA,god” on everyone. But I digress.
Since word of his death has surfaced, Americans have been rejoicing and cheering about how great it is that he is dead. “USA! USA! USA!” they cheer, which is certainly unifying for the people, but to me it seems to be getting a little bit…morbid. Yes, Osama bin Laden was responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people, and yes, killing him was absolutely justified, but some of the comments I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter lately make us Americans seem more like brutes than anything else.
I won’t lie to you, I was extremely happy and relieved when I first heard the news. Americans have been waiting to hear about the final capture or killing of this one man for almost 10 years now. Yet my short moment of comfort in hearing about it was quickly followed by the realization that this means practically nothing in the long run. Be honest, do you really think this will stop more terrorist organizations from forming? Do you really think Osama Bin Laden was so special that he cannot be replaced by some other crazy individual somewhere else in the world? The answer is no, there really was nothing special about Osama Bin Laden.
Regardless, I am quite happy that this giant hide-and-seek match has finally ended and we can stop throwing senseless amounts of money at it. I sincerely hope that all of our troops will be sent home now that our primary target has been eliminated. But do you think that’s actually going to happen? Yeah… me neither.
Recently there has been a push in from conservatives in politics to change our national motto to one a little more religious. (example) History buffs will tell you that “E Pluribus Unum”, Latin for “out of many; one” is actually the national motto, but these religious zealots will try and tell you otherwise. In the example posted above, Rep. Forbes thinks we need to “reaffirm” (in actuality: change) our national motto as “In God We Trust” because he wants it to be displayed in public buildings and schools. I think he forgot about the ~12% of America that doesn’t trust in god, simply because we do not believe one exists. I think he also forgot that what he is trying to do is unconstitutional…
Revisionism is rampant in modern politics, and a perfect example of this is when you hear a politician spouting that “this nation was founded as a Christian nation!”
Well…no, it wasn’t. See below.
1) What about our money? - For those who have not done the research, the words “In God We Trust” were first put on coins starting in 1864 and did not appear on dollar bills until 1955, when President Eisenhower signed a bill into law requiring such. So during the first ~100 years of this country’s existence, our money said no such thing.
2) What about the Pledge of Allegiance? – In 1954, President Eisenhower CHANGED the pledge to add “under God”. This wasn’t the first edit of the original pledge, however. The original read:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
“One nation indivisible” has a much better ring to it if you ask me.
3) Weren’t the founding fathers Christians? – Well, some were, but many were not. Thomas Jefferson, for example, was an atheist, and many others were Deists. Regardless of their personal religious affiliations, they all shared a common goal which was to create a secular nation, mostly because they had all just left a nation which was hardly secular, and they realized that it was a bad idea to create a state religion.
So from these 3 examples, we can see that America was, in actuality not founded as a Christian nation, and was instead founded upon the notion that no law would be made respecting an establishment of religion. Funny, I think I’ve seen that somewhere before…
Regardless, politicians that feel they need to establish that this nation is religious need to realize that we do not all feel the same way, and that changing rules to respect religion is unconstitutional. I personally am quite tired of seeing “In God We Trust” on my money, having to skip over “under God” in the pledge, and just generally having religion stuffed down my throat everywhere I go. I am a US citizen, part of the “we”, and I do not “trust in god”, your argument is invalid. End of story.
This political cartoon relates well to my last post about the happenings in Wisconsin and similar situations popping up all around the country.
As many of you know, I live in Madison, WI which has been the epicenter of a major political protest thanks to our new governor, Scott Walker. At the heart of the debate is a bill designed to severely diminish the collective bargaining rights of state employees. He wants to cut their pay, reduce their ability to collect dues and spend them, and force a vote to keep the union active every year. All these things combined will surely mean that state unions will succumb to employer pressure and be shut down when the vote to do so comes around one year. In addition, the bill will effectively double the health care premiums of all state employees. He claims it will save the state a bunch of money and will help fix the $137 million deficit we currently have. However, it becomes obvious that this not the actual reason for this union-killing effort once you read into the details.
Scott Walker, as this article’s title implies, is merely a puppet for the interests of billionaire corporate giants, the Koch brothers. They donated over $100,000 through various ways to Walker’s campaign, making him clearly in debt to them with his legislation. Their “astroturf” movements like Americans for Prosperity and The Reason Foundation have been against public-sector unions for a long time. Walker is merely doing what these people are telling him to to, which is not in the best interest of any middle class, public sector employed person.
So with this bill in motion, the stage was set for some craziness to go down in Madison, the state capital. People started organizing in the town square and in the halls of the capitol building. Teachers in Madison called out sick a majority of last week in order to protest the legislation and to join the masses at the capitol. Best of all, all of the Democrat legislators have fled the state in order to prevent quorum, effectively not allowing a vote on it until they return. Walker has tried to make the state police bring them back to force a vote, but since they are beyond state borders, they can’t do anything In response to these protests, the Tea Party (also largely funded by the Koch brothers) has been organizing counter-protests, and will be busing in these people this weekend to show support for the bill.
So what do I think? I think Scott Walker needs to go. Within the first month of his installment as Governor, he spent $140 million on his corporate buddies who financed his campaign and then blamed it on public employees. He gave back an $810 million grant from the federal government to build a high-speed rail system in the state. He is doing just what his corporate sponsors tell him to do, and this does not ever benefit the working and middle class.
If there’s one thing in politics that I wish I could wrap my head around but simply can’t is why monetary lobbying is legal. After all, the definition of bribery is “the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage”, and I would certainly say that these days, lobbying does just that.
This country was founded upon the principal that politicians are elected by the people, and for the people. We all get a vote, and our vote counts as a measure of who we think most accurately represents what we stand for. In a system without lobbying, this would be the case, and without monetary incentives from corporations to do things, politicians would certainly be more inclined to vote along what they campaigned on. It seems to me like lobbying is the cause of so many issues in Washington, and without it, the people would actually be represented properly.
The citizens of this country and in democracies all around the world are not being represented accurately due the massive influx of money being pumped into policy decisions. A great, recent example of this would be the impending Comcast/NBC Universal merger in which 87% of the politicians supporting the merger have received money from Comcast. How is this legal? Most people of this country are smart enough to know that approving this merger would be a huge problem, but their voices are not being heard over the thousands, if not millions of dollars, being put in the pockets of politicians.
If there is one thing I wish I could change about politics right now, this would be it. I think this one simple change would change the entire system for the better, and quickly! What do you think?