Why Conservatives’ Old Divide-and-Conquer Strategy — Setting Working Class Against the Poor — Is Backfiring

  • submit to reddit

This post first appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.

For almost forty years Republicans have pursued a divide-and-conquer strategy intended to convince working-class whites that the poor were their enemies.

The big news is it’s starting to backfire.

Ronald Reagan gives a televised address from the Oval Office in July 1981.

Republicans told the working class that its hard-earned tax dollars were being siphoned off to pay for “welfare queens” (as Ronald Reagan decorously dubbed a black single woman on welfare) and other nefarious loafers. The poor were “them” — lazy, dependent on government handouts and overwhelmingly black — in sharp contrast to “us,” who were working ever harder, proudly independent (even sending wives and mothers to work, in order to prop up family incomes dragged down by shrinking male paychecks) and white.

It was a cunning strategy designed to split the broad Democratic coalition that had supported the New Deal and Great Society, by using the cleavers of racial prejudice and economic anxiety. It also conveniently fueled resentment of government taxes and spending.

The strategy also served to distract attention from the real cause of the working class’s shrinking paychecks — corporations that were busily busting unions, outsourcing abroad and replacing jobs with automated equipment and, subsequently, computers and robotics.

But the divide-and-conquer strategy is no longer convincing because the dividing line between poor and middle class has all but disappeared. “They” are fast becoming “us.”

Poverty is now a condition that almost anyone can fall into. In the first two years of this recovery, according to new report from Census Bureau, about one in three Americans dropped into poverty for at least two to six months.

Three decades of flattening wages and declining economic security have taken a broader toll. Nearly 55 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 have experienced at least a year in poverty or near poverty (below 150 percent of the poverty line). Half of all American children have at some point during their childhoods relied on food stamps.

Fifty years ago, when Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” most of the nation’s chronically poor had little or no connection to the labor force, while most working-class Americans had full-time jobs.

This distinction has broken down as well. Now a significant percentage of the poor are working but not earning enough to get themselves and their families out of poverty. And a growing portion of the middle class finds themselves in the same place — often in part-time or temporary positions, or in contract work.

Economic insecurity is endemic. Working-class whites who used to be cushioned against the vagaries of the market are now fully exposed to them. Trade unions that once bargained on behalf of employees and protected their contractual rights have withered. Informal expectations of lifelong employment with a single company are gone. Company loyalty has become a bad joke.

Financial markets are now calling the shots — forcing companies to suddenly uproot, sell out to other companies, transfer whole divisions abroad, liquidate unprofitable units, or adopt new software that suddenly renders old skills obsolete.

Because money moves at the speed of an electronic impulse while human beings move at the speed of human beings, the humans — most of them hourly workers but many white collar as well — have been getting shafted.

This means sudden and unexpected poverty has become a real possibility for almost everyone these days. And there’s little margin of safety. With the real median household income continuing to drop, 65 percent of working families are living from paycheck to paycheck.

Race is no longer a dividing line, either. According to Census Bureau numbers, two-thirds of those below the poverty line at any given point identify themselves as white.

This new face of poverty — a face that’s both poor, near-poor and precarious working middle, and that’s simultaneously black, Latino and white  — renders the old Republican divide-and-conquer strategy obsolete. Most people are now on the same losing side of the divide. Since the start of the recovery, 95 percent of the economy’s gains have gone to the top 1 percent.

Which means Republican opposition to extended unemployment insurance, food stamps, jobs programs and a higher minimum wage pose a real danger of backfiring on the GOP.

Just look at North Carolina, a bellwether state, where Democratic Senator Kay Hagan, up for re-election, is doing well by attacking Republicans back home as “irresponsible and cold-hearted” for slashing unemployment benefits and social services. The state Democratic Party is highlighting her Republican opponent’s “long record of demeaning statements against those struggling to make ends meet.”  (Thom Tillis, state speaker of the House, had spoken of the need  “to divide and conquer” people on public assistance, and called criticisms of the cuts as “whining coming from losers.”)

The new economy has been especially harsh for the bottom two-thirds of Americans. It’s not hard to imagine a new political coalition of America’s poor and working middle class, bent not only on repairing the nation’s frayed safety nets but also on getting a fair share of the economies’ gains.

Robert B. Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at UC-Berkeley and former secretary of labor under the Clinton administration. His new film, Inequality for All, opened in September.
  • submit to reddit

BillMoyers.com encourages conversation and debate around issues, events and ideas related to content on Moyers & Company and the BillMoyers.com website.

  • The editorial staff reserves the right to take down comments it deems inappropriate.
  • Profanity, personal attacks, hate speech, off-topic posts, advertisements and spam will not be tolerated.
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements, impersonate someone else, break the law, or condone or encourage unlawful activity.

If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.

We need your help with this. If you feel a post is not in line with the comment policy, please flag it so that we can take a look. Comments and questions about our policy are welcome. Please send an email to info@moyersmedia.com

Find out more about BillMoyers.com's privacy policy and terms of service.

  • JonThomas

    Robert, I can only hope that your supposition is correct. I live in a very poor, mostly white area of Appalachia.

    According to a recently posted census-based poverty map… http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2014/01/05/poverty-map/ …my county has a 21.5% poverty rate, and the census tract which contains my neighborhood falls in at 31.6%.

    The problem is that the ‘divide and conquer strategy’ seems to be alive and well in areas much like my own. The problem is multi-fold, including the ‘not-so-advanced’ educational system, church based social structures, and clever marketing of values-oriented politics riding hand-in-hand with conservative, wealthy interest politics.

    Republicans are still basking in the success of making the middle class believe their propaganda, even in the face of so much evidence to the contrary.

    All, that said, I think you make a good case, and I hope that such optimistic insight is not without fruition.

    Now, if only people can progress towards thinking for themselves so that the democrat party can also get out of the way. Although I understand the concept that people can, and should demand changes, and that increased numbers of people demanding such change can self-fulfill the prophesy, the 2 party ridiculousness has to stop.

    The power elite has too much control over the system. As long as ideas like ‘Jobs,’ and fed policy, are so unquestionedly (yes, ‘unquestionedly’, I’m verbally lazy today… still suffering the lingering results of a nasty, NASTY cold.) accepted as political goals, unfortunately NO CHANGE WILL HAPPEN. Gilded cages are still cages. Fighting over the color of the bars is a waste of time!

    Fine, help create an atmosphere where employment is more abundant and time::wages is more rewarding, but as long as human progress is defined in financial terms (such as GNP) by the international corporate power structure, forget it, the average person will get little more than rice instead-of millet tossed into their cages.

    Is it a stepping stone in progress? I don’t know, maybe. But real reform cannot happen as long as the power structure stays in place. It’s congruent to the American Revolutionaries fighting for a name and status change from ‘colonies’ to ‘protectorate.’

    My cynicism aside… great article as always, let’s hope you are right!

  • Anonymous

    Robert, I would expect someone with an Ivy League background and prestigious degrees to do a little bit better research . . . especially being a professor. That thing you made up about Ronald Reagan was entertaining, but not true. That name came from the Chicago Tribune. Your characterization of conservatives is equally inaccurate. Conservatives tend to want to invest in jobs programs rather than assistance programs because they believe assistance programs tend to keep poor people poor. You strike me as much more of a dishonest politician than an academic.

  • JonThomas

    You know… I had a few critiques for Mr. Reich, but yours are not simply your own opinions. You slander and misconstrue his words. Your attempt to discredit him is shameful.

    Here are 2 articles showing that his “RESEARCH” is spot on!…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Taylor

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_queen

    It is a shame that people who might otherwise have good ideas invalidate everything they, themselves say because of trying to spread disinformation.

    Now, you say it came from the Chicago tribune, okay… instead of hearsay accusations meant to defame the well respected Professor Reich, let’s see the documentation for your assertion and we’ll call it even… otherwise, every word you wrote is unqualified.

    Actually, since your post contains factual inaccuracies, it would not be out of line for the moderator to remove both your comment and this response of mine.

    On a subjective level, I think he characterized the conservative viewpoint, as it’s perceived away from the right wing water cooler, quite well.

    Assistance programs do not “keep poor people poor.” Low wage service industry jobs accomplish that feat.

    Meanwhile, the right-wing ‘job creator’s’ corporate subsidies (handouts and bailouts for example, along with tax havens, and incentives) are distributed from the government to the investors and upper managements through dividends, capital gains tax breaks, and bonuses.

    Assistance programs simply keep people from staving and out of the weather.

    Jesus himself, offered an example, when he gave the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan.’ When a person found themselves in a tight spot, the Samaritan gave immediate assistance, found him shelter, and made sure every living expense was covered for the victim. The Samaritan did so out of his own pocket. Quite a principle for any conservative to want to follow, don’t you think?

    Further, when Jesus himself was responsible for people finding themselves in a place where they could not find food, Jesus made sure they were fed. So, if the government trade deals, such as NAFTA are responsible for a ‘job vacuum,’ and the so-called job creators who backed those treaties which helped send good jobs over-seas, there-by creating a low wage, low-volume employment environment here, then they too should follow the principles set by Jesus and gladly accept the assistance programs which Government provides quite effectively.

    Job programs themselves are not a ‘Conservative Only’ idea. ‘Jobs programs’ come from any ideology, but without worker power structures, such as unions, and constitutionally-backed government regulations, such as living wages, those efforts are useless in their falsely stated goals to lift people out of poverty.

    There are lots of ‘Jobs’ to be done in a republic which allows slavery or serfdom, but not one of those ‘Jobs’ will lift one slave/serf out of poverty!

    Btw… I would have chosen to be a bit less staunch toward your position if you would have at least searched the term ‘welfare queen’ before calling Mr. Reich’s reputation into question. Your attempt seems to have been to discredit, not to converse, debate, or simply offer a differing opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Thomas,
    I am much harder on academics than I am on the average internet user. I want to applaud your efforts to add value to the discussion, but wikipedia is not the place I would rely on for research. And if you do use it, please read it first. The link you posted to welfare queen also attributes the origin of the term to the Chicago Tribune. Additionally, the welfare queen Reagan berated was white. If wikipedia is good enough for you, there is your link, it’s all already there. You make a lot of good points. I am hard on Robert Reich because he is intentionally being misleading. I appreciate your earnest response.

  • Mel A Justed

    Reich captures the reasons behind our rising anxieties well: globalization and the rest. The trouble is, the chances that the electorate will recognize the true cause and move toward a sound solution are vanishingly small.
    More likely, the electorate will be told by the media that which is easy to digest while still playing into the hands of the elite.
    Go ahead and raise the minimum wage. It will have no effect on the wage differential between the US and competing nations. The elites will continue to push jobs offshore and bring in H1B workers. Increase money directed toward food stamps; this is largely paid for by the middle class taxpayer, not elites. Same with housing support, education programs, and the rest. The middle class will hold the bag because the elites will whine that they can’t possibly create jobs if they have to also pay taxes. And we will continue to cave because this seems so obvious it need not even be mentioned.

  • JonThomas

    Thank you for your gracious reply. I do agree with your view towards holding ‘academics’ to a higher standard.

    I disagree though that the wiki articles are not sufficient to show Mr. Reich was well within bounds to make the brief and accurate statement he made. He did not state that Pres. Reagan coined the term, but rather simply applied the term to a woman during his 1976 Presidential Campaign.

    As an opinionated person, I could pleasurably add more, but you were more gracious than I…so, with my thanks, I’ll leave it there.

  • Justin King

    You would think that pragmatic thought such as this would have more carry-over, but confirmation bias is rampant in a non-focus, multi-tasking world of the thoroughly propagandized.
    Call it what you will : oligarchy, kleptocracy, plutocracy, oligopoly, crony capitalism.
    People on every tangent of the political circle are quickly losing faith, and the petrodollar/ reserve currency is in BIG TROUBLE.

    A good new book by James Turk : The Money Bubble.

  • Anonymous

    The hard-earned tax dollars of working class have long been siphoned off to pay for welfare queens, but those “welfare queens” are most significantly men who wear Armani Suits and Rolex watches. The are men who spend their days in corporate board room on the top floors of the country’s office buildings and they head corporations that dip deeply, day and night into the country’s tax dollars and borrowed dollars to pull out tax preferences, subsidies and grants that make their lavish life styles possible.

    No doubt there are instances of people cheating the government for extra food stamps that they don’t qualify for even a few people still collecting the Social Security checks meant for their long-dead parents but we can be sure that the money lost in this way is dwarfed to insignificance by the schemes of the banker and oil billionaires.

  • Anonymous

    “The hard-earned tax dollars of working class have long been siphoned off
    to pay for welfare queens, but those “welfare queens” are most
    significantly men who wear Armani Suits and Rolex watches”

    Yes, and they wear cowboy hats on the weekends, and belong to their ill-ly named “sportsmans” clubs and think all the publicly owned land out west is for their use and their use alone and the wildlife, they do not like, is theirs to kill. A most amoral and unethical group of arrogant and entitled pricks.

  • Anonymous

    I get to feeling frustrated when things as obvious as the tone and substance of this essay need to be pointed out this far into the game. Some of us have been annoying our friends with this topic for decades. I was born in ’52 and had some perspective when Reagan’s Devil Tongue converted from selling soap to sowing selfishness. I guess it’s better late than never. The most frustrating part is that most of the jerks who voted for him are dead and can’t hear us all yelling, “We told you so!!!”

  • http://www.sophiapolis.net/breakthrough/bcs/ Bill Graham

    It seems that only death levels the playing field and brings equality to all.

  • Jack Jackson

    To sum up how the Middle has fallen, compute this simple analogy comparing average income to GDP for 1963 and 2013…
    $4,396:$654B :: ?:$15.7T.

  • Anonymous

    Another reason for failure is that the people are getting smarter and recognizing lies when they see them.
    The real WELFARE QUEENS are corporations that get tax free rides, yet make billions in profit like Big Oil and GE!
    Also Politicians that sell themselves to corporations to turn tricks in congress.
    Also Fast Food Joints who pay slave wages. And most despised of all, WALMART.. The 6 Waltons, who have holdings of $145 BILLION, yet pay poverty wages so the Taxpayers end up subsidizing their payroll.
    You would have to search a long time to find that poor woman who gets fat on welfare by having more babies.

  • Jim Bullard

    I’m old enough to remember the optimistic articles in magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics lauding the coming age when technology would relieve humanity of most drudge work and give us enormous amounts of leisure to enjoy the fruits of technological advance. Unfortunately the authors of those articles did not foresee that the new leisure would be called ‘unemployment’ and all the rewards of technology would go to the owner class.

  • Anonymous

    Spoken by a true Repubucant. Please show me any jobs bills they have introduced. ANY No what the Teabagpubs did was to prevent jobs to crash the economy in efforts to blame Obomba.

  • Anonymous

    One of the things that angered me was the abuse of black women by Reagan and citizens accepted that. Way too many still accept it while saying racism is dead.

  • Me

    Biggest Welfare Queen in the state of Washington, BOEING, threatened to move entire company out of state if they did not get a multibillion dollar tax cut for 10 years, as well as forced union workers to accept a pay cut and loss of benefits if they wanted to keep their jobs. Wonder what kind of pay cut upper management and the CEO took……

  • manhands

    I wish I could believe this, but as I walk the hallways of my workplace, I hear my colleagues vilify those on food stamps on a weekly basis. Their slanderous comments about people that they don’t even know always sadden me.

  • Miguel Dominguez

    According to the constant research I have to do as a blogger, wikipedia tends to be very accurate. I always need to cross reference its info with other sites, and so far, I’ve never been misinformed by it.

  • Miguel Dominguez

    You’re definitely a tea bagger

  • Kamal Shariff

    Well stated. I love these posts because you folks, most of you anyway, know you stuff. Keep up the good work!

  • NotARedneck

    Tea Baggers are terrified that the core RepubliCON support from racists, bigots, fundamentalist imbeciles and rural welfare queens will eventually come to the realization that they’ve been lied to. Then, the massive funding they get from tax evaders and those who game the system on their behalf, will not be enough to regularly get their corrupt, incompetent politicians elected.

  • NotARedneck

    True. There is as much racism and bigotry in the US as there was in the civil rights era but these scum are more sophisticated now. Furthermore, right wing criminal fundamentalist imbecile religion has moved out of the south and spread across the country. They are undermining the economy in every community now days.

  • Wildfawn

    All the facts about where we are are correct, but I’m afraid the positive commentary on people’s attitudes and beliefs is a bit overoptimistic. Years of brainwashing and convincing people that they’re better than someone else simply because of their financial position isn’t that easy to switch off. Years of the corporations and super-rich entrenching a system that supports them–and puts them in power–are also not that easy to overcome, even if the majority of Americans’ attitudes do change. The law is now on the side of the top class and it won’t be that easy for the 99% to wrest control out of their hands.

  • Anonymous

    Not if they do away with all estate taxes!

  • Matt Tack

    Well the left has that divide and conquer thing down to a science. It’ll take years for the right to figure it out to that degree. One piece of advice to the right is to learn to lie better another tactic the left has down.

  • Anonymous

    I like the word scum.

  • Muldfeld

    It always amazes me that Robert Reich refuses to group corporate Democrats into this Republican category victimizing the poor; they were, of course, led by his former boss, Bill Clinton, the ultimate pusher of the Washington Consensus abroad, which destroyed many third world economies. It’s the main reason I don’t trust Mr. Reich much.

  • Anonymous

    “Divide and conquer” is being used to pit generations against each other, as well. From the “smarmy” Uncle Sam” ads encouraging young people not to sign up for health insurance to Pete Peterson’s “The Can Kicks Back” AstroTurf campaign, millennials are now being pitted against baby boomers and seniors. Witness the new genre of you tube videos showing this “battle”.

  • http://www.jlist.com Peter Payne

    Basically, Americans are optimistic, we all thing our ship will come in, or to put it in 21st century terms, that our dot-com will go public. Which it will for some (it did for me), so I hate the defeatist attitude on the left, though I am not naive to think that everyone can do this.

    Basically the right gets the poor to support lower taxes against the day that their own ship comes in.

  • Terry Cooper

    The business class has been engaged in a guerilla warfare against labor for decades. See the memo written by Supreme Court Justice, Lewis Powell for the Chamber of Commerce in 1971. Business has followed this memo as an outline of how to gain more governmental influence, money, and power over the 99%.

  • Terry Cooper

    It’s a fact that both parties are part of the problem, and have been in collusion with Big Business in undermining 99% of us. If you notice, some of the worst policies enacted have rolled seamlessly from one administration to the next. i.e. NAFTA. In order for big business to gain the degree of control and power they currently enjoy it has necessitated long range planning, and therefore, necessitated the buying of political real estate on both sides of the aisle. It is naïve to assume otherwise.

  • Terry Cooper

    One thing the right doesn’t have to concern itself with in your case, Matt tack: You are so attached to your/their beliefs that you will never bother to question yourself or them.

  • Terry Cooper

    Wresting the control away from the 1% regardless of the difficulty is better done sooner than later. If the 1% fails to see the error of their ways, then at some point it will result in more economic and maybe even social chaos. This type of thing seems to be a recurring theme throughout history. is there a way to cure this kind of disease once and for all?

  • Wildfawn

    The Left vs. Right battle is another divide and conquer strategy. While we’re arguing that one, the 1% is taking the cake and running away with it. Basically, we Americans need to figure out that we’re all Americans and we may have individual opinions on how to do things, but our basic needs are all the same. The politicians are all bought and paid for. Our laws are all made in favor of the 1%. Divided we fall, united we stand.

  • Terry Cooper

    There are cures for the Pope disease in N.C.

  • Terry Cooper

    They don’t yet realize that they too are being pushed ever closer to the cliff by the very people they support, but all of us are regardless of which side we support. This time the elite have successfully bought up political real estate on both sides of the aisle in order to ensure their ongoing success. Only a hard left politically will help to peacefully offset the damages that have been done… maybe.

  • Anonymous

    The Legislature approved extending tax incentives worth more than $8 billion for Boeing until 2040. Hmm. The article doesn’t mention a CEO or upper crust pay cut…

  • Anonymous

    Those deregulations have continued, all the way through the Obama era.

  • Terry Cooper

    The media certainly isn’t helping any of us, but, in many cases they are only preaching to the choir. It is when people realize that they too are only one or two steps away from being pushed into poverty themselves that might begin to resent, rightfully, the BS that they are being told, and begin to act in their own best interests.

  • Terry Cooper

    Very well put KH, and so obvious in its simplicity. Thanks!

  • Terry Cooper

    The Republicans are the gatekeepers of protecting the wealthy from increased taxes on the surface. However, the Dems d very little to force the issue of increasing taxes on them either. Grover Norquist and everybody who has signed his pledge should be tried for treason. This pledge came into being during the Reagan years. Reagan had Alzheimers and I would think that every policy decision her touched should be highly suspect at best.

  • Peter O

    Chomsky sees the democrats and republicans as simply two factions of one party – the Business Party. I think he’s right.

  • Terry Cooper

    Bigtopia: Then why aren’t conservatives making any effort whatsoever in investing in jobs, etc.? Is it because their real reason for the so-called “job investment” is actually only a bottom line investment that can and will be made in outsourcing jobs rather then creating new jobs here? So, it’s a matter of finding cheap labor. In the case of the U.S. it’s been a matter of breaking the back of labor in order depress wages, increase hours/productivity, in order to give the elite a shot at a bigger payoff in profits. Now, they are wanting to make use of the Immigration Reform Bill, underwritten by the National Chamber of Commerce in furtherance of enhancing the power and profit of the 1%. Unfortunately, real people with real needs and real hopes are going to be hurt if this bill passes.

  • Michael Rappaport

    Yes, but in reality 99 percent of people out there have no ship that could ever come in, except for the Flying Dutchman that is winning the lottery. And what is far worse is that another reason the 1 percent get away with it is the feeling too many people have of “respecting their betters.”

  • Michael Rappaport

    There is no “left” in this country anymore, at least not when it comes to power. Clinton and Obama are no farther to the left than Eisenhower in the ’50s or Nixon in the ’70s.

  • Anonymous

    What a crock. I’ve never once heard a Republican say that the poor were my enemy.

  • DrTeeth

    I agree with Robert Reich on many things, but I believe his optimism is misplaced. My experience in my middle class to affluent region is that people who have lost jobs or job security (that’s most of us) continue to place the blame in all the wrong places. While they may talk less about welfare queens, they still seem to believe they’re a bigger problem than Wall Street and the banks. They also lump public employees like teachers, police and firemen in the same category as welfare recipients because they still receive some of the benefits the rest of us have lost. As things get worse I see more resentment aimed in more directions (except UP for some strange reason) rather than any understanding that we are circling the drain together.

  • Diana Reichardt

    Obviously you haven’t been paying attention.

  • Loretto Taylor

    I’m very curious as to why “the working class” and “the poor” are usually referred to as though they are two different groups of people. Through my entire adult life (I turned 18 in 1985, during Reagan’s presidency) the majority of the working people I knew were poor and nearly all of the poor people I have known worked. I remember co-workers who worked full-time being on food stamps, and encouraging me to apply, I qualified. Fortunately, I didn’t have kids and lived in a studio apartment with utilities included, so I could get by on minimum wage, but that was more than twenty years ago and minimum wage now doesn’t buy what it did then.

  • Jo Clark

    Oh, you have the balls to call Professor Reich “dishonest” while spewing your bagger filth? The only jobs conservatives want to invest in have been in places like China, India, Mexico. How utterly blind can you be to ignore the last 40 years of watching the non-1% sink into the pit while the wealthy get richer? Good god, man, the evidence is overwhelming.

    “Since the start of the recovery, 95 percent of the economy’s gains have gone to the top 1 percent.”

    Which part of that don’t you comprehend?

  • OscarJones

    so ‘welfare queen’ was a compliment ?

  • Anonymous

    They don’t come out and say it for the most part, but what you need to pay attention to, is not what they say, but what they do…And they have done nothing but treat the poor and the working man as scum.

  • OscarJones

    for your ship to come in others must sink.
    Typical 1% attitude which the Brits call the “I’m all right Jack” syndrome that says because you do well everyone can.
    It’s a big lie like the one that says anyone can become president which in reality means 300 million Yanks can all be president for 4 years.

  • OscarJones

    what are you talking about ?
    Clinton and Obama are to the right of the Eisenhower Republicans.

  • Mother Nature

    i am your age and have a similar take on this. At least the “working class” as a demographic is now being talked about! Up until as recently as perhaps 2 years ago, it seemed ‘working class” were dirty words… everyone was either rich, middle class, or a welfare bum. This country’s proletariat has no identity, and no concept of “the proletariat.” They just don’t even know what the word means. Any mention of something like it is quickly labeled socialist or communist and denigrated. Whoever controls the language here has controlled perceptions of reality. With more and more people jumping online and learning about the conditions that make slaves out of them and where they honestly stem from, the less the corporate hydra beast control this dialogue.

    The sooner people figure it out, the better…

  • Anonymous

    $105,531

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ obbop

    The class war continues but the many propaganda systems still continue to convince many folks that as things are is correct and proper.

    Love it or leave it.

  • Justin King

    Left Sausalito for Sydney in ’87 after Ray-Gun was re-elected.
    That was the beginning of the end, and when the electorate lost it’s collective frame of reference.

  • Justin King

    They don’t even understand it, let alone memorize it.

  • Justin King

    The democrats are disparate, whereas the Republicans are now divided & desperate.

  • Justin King

    Seems like Reagan’s form of alzheimers has now spread throughout rural America.
    Murdoch-Ailes will certainly go down in INFAMY for their outrageous manipulation and propaganda that they call “news”.
    O’Reilly constantly opines on subjects he knows very little about, and he is #1 on cable news.
    Go figure.

  • Anonymous

    I am not, nor will I ever be a Republican. I gladly hold all liars to account equally. Don’t make me defend them.

  • Anonymous

    He is dishonest, just as you can’t honestly think that conservatives only want to invest in jobs in China, India, and Mexico. That’s the type of dishonesty I am talking about. However, it’s different when someone like you says it and someone in a high academic position says it. I don’t disagree that 95% of the economy’s gains went to the top 1%, and am probably just as disturbed by it.

  • Anonymous

    You are definitely mistaken.

  • Anonymous

    You, sir, are not a professor and have a different standard for accuracy. It’s probably fine for your blog. However, I would invite you to google “edit wars” to gain a perspective on how accurate or inaccurate wikipedia can be.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Miller, what is it that conservatives desire? Do you agree with Robert Reich’s characterization that conservatives are driven against social programs due to racial prejudice? As you can probably tell, I reject it. I believe the reason the approval rating of our elected representatives is so low directly relates to their inability to work together and their inability to tell the truth. As an academic, I want Robert Reich to tell the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Conservatives see social welfare programs as giving a fish for a day and jobs programs as teaching to fish. You can see examples of this in conservative states, like Texas, where their unemployment agency, the Texas Workforce Commission, uses a portion of its funds to give to tech companies to train unemployed workers in technical jobs, like software development. It’s paid training, candidates get about $15 and hour, and they get a job, which takes them off the unemployment rolls, and qualifies them for jobs that could theoretically put them back in the middle class. As far as giving money to those who already have more than they know what to do with, that’s a trick that transcends the political spectrum and seems to be in every politician’s playbook.

  • 111372

    just as Howard Beale learned in the movie Network……”it’s just one big business.” Blinded by our love of labor saving devices, we have forgotten the laborers who have lost their livelihoods as a result.

  • Notorious

    The welfare that government needs to end is welfare for the rich, and/or corporate welfare!!!

    The 2% can retire on the welfare $$$ stolen from us every year by all the political prostitutes in Congress, who sell themselves to all the lobbying weasels sniffing around the Capital, looking for those political whores with a price $$$!!!

    End all grants, subsidies, and tax breaks, funded by taxpayer $$$, especially to companies that don’t respect their employees enough to pay them a “LIVING WAGE”!!!

    End all handouts to greedy corporations, farmers/agro-farmers, and/or any other businesses that are PROFITABLE!!! The welfare they receive is to help them get their businesses started & running…once they’re PROFITABLE, welfare ends!!! None of them should be making business decisions which depend on any type of grants/subsidies once they’ve broken a profit!!!

    The 2% are not entitled to OUR $$$!!!

    Remove the cap on S.S. so the wealthy pay their share into the system!!! Having been so fortunate in this country, it’s their duty/responsability to give back to society, and make the world a better place, or face their demise down the road in the near future!!!

    Either government stops feeding taxpayer $$$ to these insatiable/parasitical/useless meat sacs in the 2%, or the 98% will have to take “LAW” into its own hands against the pimps & whores destroying this country & the world with “Socio-Economic Genocide” on a global scale!!!

    So far, they haven’t had the intelligence to think about the consequences, stemming from their non-stop, accumulating actions!!! The law won’t be able to protect them from “Nature’s Laws”, the first of them being the “LAW OF SURVIVAL”!!!

  • Chris Allen

    Very well said! But you left out the fear factor: on the one side, they’re obsessed with their supposed “superiority”—moral, class, racial, etc.—and on the other side they’re full of inflated fears that if “their” people aren’t running things, they themselves will go to Hell in a handbasket.

  • Anonymous

    I love Robert Reich!

    >>Company loyalty has become a bad joke.<<

    Yes and so is finding employees who know anything about merchandise where they work, and so is customer service. This new business model serves nobody except the CEOs of the corporations that, as noted, buy out other companies.

    He did not mention this but here we have corporations buying up any affordable housing so that people who could get into houses can't– they are owned by hedge funds.

    I figure this whole thing is going to blow up at some point… rather surprised it has not already (in other countries it has).

  • Thommy Berlin

    The worm HAS turned. The zeitgeist HAS changed. The so called ‘conservative revolution’ IS dying, and now we must begin the long hard work of returning the better angels of science and humanity to our government and returning the responsibility of governing to US.

  • joecool

    Career politicians are the problem. Both sides have them. They all use power to get more power. Nothing will improve until we get rid of ALL of them!

  • Anonymous

    I pay attention. Which is why I don’t weave giant tapestries of fantasy with imaginary thread about people’s motives and intent.

  • Wayne F.

    They don’t say, point blank, “the poor are your enemy”. They take the more subtle approach, such as telling you that the poor are lazy and are freeloading on the taxpayers dime. This is exactly why we have become such a divided people for so long. Too many of us fail to grasp the subtext of what Republicans say about those they consider lesser than themselves.

  • Anonymous

    OK Not a Republican and I feel the same as far as holding all liars accountable. So are you gonna answer the the Question?

  • Beverly Fuqua

    Sadly, a lot of poor whites, even those that are themselves dependent on the government, still see the divide as us and them. Blacks are getting a hand-out, they are just getting what they deserve. It’s an unbelievable mindset, but one I hear expressed often.

  • Betty Eyer

    because the middle class is sinking into the poor class to become one big serf class?

  • Rhea B. Mike

    We need to re-evaluate the world of work for the U.S. All jobs left in the country should be analyzed and assessed for income potential, staying power, capacity for growth and potential to be “off shored”. The value of service occupations should be increased as any job worth having or needed should pay a living wage. Business owners whining about not finding applicant with the skill they feel necessary should feel and act on the responsibility to fund training within their organization or pay some one else to do it. The declines in incomes from employment from my perspective are due to the following: corporate welfare, ALEC,Right to Work Laws, Republican Legislatures and Governors, Union busting and consistently paying women less than men. We must confront the issues related to youth unemployment and race before it is too late. Maybe the job creators that are well established that pay only minimum wages should be charged a “Tax or Premium” based on the services required by their employees, a novel idea.

  • James Luidl

    We live in a country that has accumulated the greatest amount of wealth in the history of the world, by far. Why there is poverty and a government debt is ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    Justice Dept. and Gov’t are too concerned with Snowden and propping up wars and Fast n’ Furious than to worry about these sorts of traitors.

  • Anonymous

    USA = The best politicians money can buy.

  • Anonymous

    The unkindest cut of all has been the right’s thorough denigration of building a society of mutual welfare (like Japan) or sharing (like Jesus) as Marxism, but Marx, the USSR and Red China came AFTER the concept of sharing and communism.

    The attack has been wide-sweeping and deadly (Viet Nam, almost all of Central and South America) and now it’s come to roost in the US: The working-man and working-woman have been priced out of the market. They cannot afford to live in this country with any form of stability. Their supporters are labeled as commies by people with little understanding of history and worse off, by a christian right that does not understand the teachings of Jesus.

  • Anonymous

    Again, another unkind cut from the right:

    Jimmy Carter is, quite literally, a hero. Where do we hear praise of JC and his cohort for jumping into a melting down nuclear reactor to repair it with their very own hands to spare Canada from a nuclear disaster?

    How many wars did Jimmy Carter provoke? How many did he avoid?

    Jimmy Carter was a VERY dangerous man to the Military-Industrial profit complex and needed to be ousted and his reputation smeared. “Mission Accomplished!”

  • Anonymous

    The sad part is that by the time the US gets to Clinton and Obama, “democrat” has little to do with the “democrat” of Mr. Carter, but rather, right-of-middle.

    Jimmy Carter got the US OUT of foreign entanglements whereas both Obama and Clinton had the smart bombs (Tomahawks cost $1million/launch and kill indiscriminately) dropping left and right.

    Democrat doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

  • Tom in U City

    Not a novel idea these days but one which needs to build its constituency,

    Recipients of any government benefits should be required to identify their employers and how many hours they worked for the employers during the benefit period. The state and federal governments should then collect reimbursement for these fees from the irresponsible employers along with a percentage as a service fee. This should provide an incentive for the employers to pay a living wage in order to avoid the service fees.

  • Tom in U City

    Why have not more labor unions been organized? If all the fast food workers in a city joined one union, could not the restaurants all be pressured to pay the same, more sufficient wage?

    How often have we heard Information Technology and Data Processing professionals complain about being expected to work uncompensated overtime? Again, a metropolitan area union seems an obvious response now that there are so many thousands of these non-managerial, white collar employees in every city.

  • Rhea B. Mike

    1099′s for each government benefit could be sent to the employer to cover their employee’s use of services and the employers could be forced to pay for their poor or inadequate wages.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent article. I only hope that it is completely true and the conservatives don’t have more nefarious skulduggery prepared to counter this failure of strategy.

  • donna

    When ever a republican says “THEY,” who do you imagine they are talking about?

    ” there are 47 percent who are with him, who are
    dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who
    believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who
    believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to
    you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give
    it to them. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of
    Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t
    connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I
    mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to
    worry about THOSE PEOPLE—I’ll never convince them that they should take
    personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

    Pull your head out of the sand!

  • donna

    Newt talking about his grandchildren? I think not!

    “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of
    working and have nobody around them who works,” the former House speaker
    said at a campaign event at the Nationwide Insurance offices. “So they
    literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of
    staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me
    cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”

  • donna

    “Let’s get one thing straight. You are behind the counter because you
    have to work for minimum wage. I’m on this side asking to see the good
    jewelry because I make considerably more.” — Former Secretary of State
    Condoleezza Rice, who reportedly said this to a clerk in a jewelry shop.

  • donna

    Warren Buffett

    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”–

  • Ron

    One problem is that the Republicans continue to redistrict in their favor and to do everything they can to disenfranchise women and the poor.

  • Susan

    The new economy has been especially harsh for the bottom two-thirds of Americans.

    Um, that’s most of us. It’s not us and them. It’s us and us and them.

  • Anonymous

    Racism, plain and simple. Remember Nixon’s Southern Strategy ? It worked and continues to.

  • Justin King

    Co-ops can work very well under the correct management.

    Everybody owns a small percentage, therefore have skin in the game and a reason to work for optimum output and have pride in workmanship
    ————— completely lacking now with a great majority of companies.

  • DavidW

    Ownership of an economic venture that generates revenue translates into political and economic power. Unions are not enough to hold those in power at bay. Ownership in the form of Cooperative enterprises where the owners are the shoppers, users, or workers of a company providing products and/or services should be the next step in our economic development.

    The potential for more fairness and justice should be enough for more people to take a look and think about integrating Co-ops into their lives. Food Co-ops are a good model to look at and to emulate in other business sectors so that a bulwark can be build that can hold back the ravages of greed in concentrated bits of our population, the one percent.

    Imagine the workers are the owners, would a factory be moved overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor, when it would mean the end of the owner’s jobs? Would a grocery sell out to the next bidder when it would mean the change of loss of a place where your community gets decent food?

    Think and then act.

  • NotARedneck

    You have very poor reading comprehension. Perhaps you are just wilfully blind but the the facts about the RepubliCON’s race bating strategy should be obvious to all.

    Incidentally, I have found the children of right wing trash to be the laziest there are. Of course, they expect everyone else to make up for this deficiency by working for as little as possible.

  • Justin King

    Wrote a blurb about co-ops below at the EXACT same time that you did.

  • NotARedneck

    “There is no “left” in this country anymore,”

    Quite true. There are real conservatives and right wing criminal/racist trash.

  • DavidW

    Ah, but who would do the evaluating? The one percent?

    We can be our own job creators by forming associations and enterprises called Cooperatives. One person, one vote. Democratic control. Economic participation. Why rely on the one percent to be our job creators?

    Look into the Food Co-op model as an example to emulate and expand into other business sectors. Owned by the shoppers, focused on products, services for the local community without a top line priority of excessive shareholder value so that those in charge can extract wealth from it.

    Let’s not put our faith with those who have the economic and therefore political power to do what’s right. We need to band together and do it ourselves with worker and consumer owned cooperative enterprise to take back the control of the wealth we create everyday in our own communities. To stop the re-distribution of wealth and the corresponding power it comes with we must keep more of our own wealth and not let it be extracted from our currency transactions by those with the economic might who abuse their power of the purse.

  • DavidW

    I concur, worker and consumer owned cooperative enterprises can help us to regain a balance in our economy current weighted in favor toward the one percent. We need more economic power for the rest of us so that we can take back our political power.

  • DavidW

    Thanks for the head’s up. I agree, We as people need to take back our economy with more cooperative ownership. Increase that sector of our business economy to deprive the one percent a portion of the capital that makes them so “powerful.”

    Keep wealth extraction out of our communities, or at least slow it and build our own economic engines. One of the best places to learn this model is to get familiar with your local food Co-op to figure out how it works and then figure a way to apply it to another business enterprise.

    It won’t be easy, but we have to give it a try. Or they’ll continue to divide and conquer.

  • Warren Taylor

    Go into the corner and sit quietly; the grownups are speaking.

  • Wildfawn

    It’s called “greed” and “power hunger”. I guess it’s hardwired into humanity–as you say it’s a recurring theme throughout history.

  • Wildfawn

    I was openmouthed to hear my uncle and aunt, who are rabidly anti-Obama and anti-welfare, happily announcing that my other uncle didn’t have to pay a penny for extensive in-home care and hospice for 9 months. All was paid for by the government. They were tickled pink. Seems that if I get something, it’s deserved, but if someone else gets something, they’re just hangers-on.

  • Mikeguru

    When I hear the R Politicians talk about approving an extension of Unemployment Insurance but there has to be an “Offset” of revenue, in other words a “takeaway” from some other safety net, the nets we pay for in our taxes. No mention is made, we need Tax Reform to plug the loopholes that allow the Rich man to pay little or no taxes. The Politicians in Congress, the 91% who do not listen to us, continue to cater to the ‘Money” of the 1% that Lobbyists slither in the Halls of Congress with bags of Money bribing our Congressmen.
    We need to give the Politicians that want “Offsets” some facts that we need to shift the tax burden evenly as today, the 1% pay little or no taxes, the Corporate Executives, Wall Street, Bankers, Insurance Companies, and Billionaires.
    Let me give you an example on how our tax laws favor the Rich man.
    Mitt Romney released his tax returns in 2010, he paid an effective tax rate of 13.9%. He admits over 10 years, he averaged a 13% tax rate.
    Let’s do some numbers:
    Say Mitt reports $100 million income, his taxes are $13 million
    1000 families that collectively report $100 million income and their taxes are $46.4 million.
    Details of Taxes of 1000 families
    Each family grosses $120,000 and pays $14,880 in Social Security Taxes (12.4%)
    add in Medicare Taxes $3,480 (2.9%) , and Federal Taxes on $100,000 is $28,000.
    Total taxes for a family earning $120,000 – $46,360.
    $46,360 times 1000 families with $100 million taxable income pay $46.4 million.
    Mitt with $100 million taxable income pays $13 million.
    Do you think this is Fair? The difference is outrageous. Mitt with the same income as 1000 families pays about one third the 1000 families pay.
    Corporate Executives are paid 90% in stock schemes taxed at 15%. Corporations have an effective tax rate that is 13%, Hedge Funds, anything attached to stocks taxed at Capital Gains rates, 15 to 20%. The job creators baloney (in the last decade over 60,000 manufacturing plants in the USA were Offshored). They created jobs alright, in China, Vietnam, Brazil, Russia, India, and Bangladesh.
    I am not picking on Mitt, except his tax returns are public, but when 1000 families earning collectively $100 million Income paying $46.4 million in taxes verses Mitt Romney and his like paying $13 million in taxes, something is wrong.
    Instead of Cutting Safety Nets, we need to close the Tax Loopholes of the likes of Mitt Romney and remove the Sweetheart 13% tax rate of Mitt Romney, up to what we pay, 46%. There would be no need for “Offset” from Safety Nets to extend the Unemployment insurance to those who are seeking a job, with three people applying for every one job opening.
    Vote wisely in 2014 and 2016.

  • Anonymous

    There is nothing more divisive than a liberal engaged in class warfare as a political tactic, the spurring on of racial unrest where no racism is indicated, the fragmenting human beings into sub-classifications, the intentional expansion of dependency upon government for the purpose of maintaining political power, etc. etc.

    Divide and conquer? Liberals do this all the time. Take a society and sub-divide it according to race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual identity, and sexual preference. Liberals are addicted to the politics of divisiveness not simply in the party of their opposition, but in society itself. Liberalism is advanced on the perpetuation of victim classification.

    Reich, you are a joke and an ideologue. If society was actually harmonious and fair, you’d still scream that everything wasn’t fair.

    hint: equal opportunity is not the same thing as forced equal outcome (i.e. socialism, quota systems)

  • JonThomas

    Your angry rant leaves the reader thinking that your are a troll with no substantial point to your comment.

    I would like to offer you a chance to make as rational an argument as Prof. Reich has so eloquently made. In that spirit, please offer an actual example (as Mr Reich did) of where so-called ‘liberals’ (as a group) not only divided, but ‘conquered.’

    I was trying to place your view into context, but all I could come up with as examples were woman’s rights issues, youth issues, and minorities’ issues. This is not dividing and conquering, this is giving groups the right to exist and providing them the tools they need to thrive in society as a whole.

    Which policies are you pointing to when you say: “How have your policies, for instance, HELPED the black family? Why is it that no liberal ever wants to answer ANY of these questions?”

    Do you mean like the end of slavery? That was quite ‘liberal’ for it’s time. The end of Jim Crow? Voting Rights? Anti-discrimination? Which of those policies would you like to undo so that the “black family” can go back and flourish under the previous oppression?

    And I just love your ‘hint.’

    Can you give details of what you see as ‘equal opportunity?’ Also, perhaps you would even give examples of what you label as.. “forced equal outcome (i.e. socialism, quota systems,)” and tie it to something that Mr. Reich has proposed. It’s one thing to just say things, it’s another to provide substantiated evidence of your claims.

    You seem to ask for debate, yet you only offered allusions. It makes you look bad, and confirms the left’s opinion (right or wrong) of the right.

    All that bad image aside, perhaps the worst of all your statements is the 2nd to last. Have you not been watching the news? Did you not see where more than 300,000 people do not have drinking water in W. Virginia because of a lack of “big government and hyper-regulation?”

    Maybe it’s just a case of bad timing. If you had just waited a week, I’m sure the so-called liberal media will have moved on and used it’s propaganda tactics to make the people forget. THEN you can proceed to fool people into believing that citizen’s are better off without government agencies. You could even divide the intelligent out, who know you are schilling for business interests, and conquer those whose work values make them prey to your insidious attempts to make more low-wage serfs.

  • Jack Hammer

    Love it or leave it? Never heard anything to match the stupidity of that idea.

  • Jack Hammer

    Funny, I have. Not in so many words, but they (many against their own self interest) continue to vote for rich KOCHsuckers that want to throw out the rule book now that the playing field is titled in favor of the 1%.

  • Jack Hammer

    Hey Troll, there are billy goats trying to cross your bridge. You gonna let that happen? Better to tend to your bridge than enter a battle of wits, especially since you are unarmed.
    With all of the replies to your comment, you would think you would have something more to say, but in true Teatard fashion, you attempt to insult the intelligence of people because they aren’t brainwashed..,like you. I’m sure if you could refute their assertions you would, but because you can’t, you stoop to the insults.

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ obbop

    Really? My written utterance is the epitome of stupidity you have encountered? You must have led an extremely sheltered life!!!

  • SteveNSac

    I second that.

  • Jack Hammer

    It isn’t the first time I’ve heard that phrase, I don’t attribute it’s stupidity to you. I love my country. That’s why throughout my my 54 years I have donated my time and talents to: Meals On Wheels, Habitat For Humanity, The Natural Guard, Klanwatch, etc… I abhor the social injustice of the inequality that exist so I see it as my duty to get involved fighting it. That’s because I love my country and wouldn’t care to live anywhere else and therefore should strive to make things better no matter how great or small my contribution may be. Will I save the world? Nah, and anyway, Bono (from U2) beat me to it.
    As for my “extremely sheltered life”, I have struggled as I have moved back and forth across the poverty line, been homeless, been addicted to drugs, a victim of more than one violent crime (wanna’ see my gunshot wounds?). I have been married, divorced. married again, am a father and a grandfather. I have traveled the country playing music. I have been unemployed since 2008, but haven’t taken a dime of unemployment. Instead, I hire myself out as casual labor doing back breaking labor such as moving furniture, unloading produce trucks at the farmers market, and just about any labor job that pays. Would you characterize that as a sheltered life?

  • SteveNSac

    You can only keep the lid on a pressure cooker just so long till it bursts. But talk is cheap and most seem satisfied hoping for someone else to take the lead. That’s exactly the place the elitists want us to be.
    It’s a sad state of affairs that there is no one on the horizon in either party that has that kind of chutzpah to make those who are draining us dry accountable. Either they start playing fair or if they refuse, nationalize them, freeze all their offshore assets and fine the hell out of them. .Christy might have what it takes if he can get out the jam he’s now and Hillary could certainly scare the tar out of anyone who opposes her. Well, 2016 may seem like a long way off, but it isn’t really. There is always hope for a new and better tomorrow. When hope is all we have, need we ask for more?

  • http://obbop.wordpress.com/ obbop

    Augustus Owsley followed you but settled farther north. He died in a car wreck in 2011.

  • Justin King

    Turned-on, tuned-in, and dropped-out.

  • Anonymous

    Did you actually read this article or merely come on here to spew your tired right wing crap Ayn Rand orgasm that anyone with any inkling of reality can see through? Get your head out of your FOXhole.

  • Anonymous

    Curious about your remarks about racism, given that KKK was formed and populated by democrats, and more republicans voted for the civil rights acts of the 1960s than did democrats.

    Classic liberalism and modern liberalism are 2 different species.

  • Anonymous

    Opportunity involves stripping away of obstacles towards autonomy, entrepreneurship and personal achievement. It involves created a level playing field. It doesn’t permit giving advantage to ANYONE; nor does it strip away any advantage that anyone has either through ability, association, luck, financial backing or other circumstance.

    It doesn’t involve taking from one to give to another. At least not to the level that we are experiencing. It doesn’t involve tying the legs of one runner just to make him lose the ground he’s achieved in life — especially when he’s not in a race with the other people running.

    It’s entirely possible that one’s wealth doesn’t inhibit others from acquiring their own. It isn’t a zero sum game.

    That said, I’m not a purist. I believe that a safety net is in order and is very reasonable. But we’ve gone well beyond a mere safety net. Our welfare state perpetuates poverty.

  • catonine

    Dixiecrats are closer to republican than liberal values, didn’t you know?

  • http://about.me/mikelince Mike Lince

    I remember when Reagan gave us the song and dance about welfare queens. The Republican mantra at the time was trickle-down economics. Nobody wanted to support a welfare queen and nobody had a clue about what ‘trickle down’ meant. Now we know it means wage earners fight for whatever scraps are left after corporate executives skim whatever they can off the top.

    What amazes me these days is that Republicans talk the same way thinking we still don’t know what they are saying. They have been getting away with talking down to the American public for so long that they now do so with impunity and with straight faces. What used to be back room insider talk is now broadcast daily on FOX for all to witness.

    I would like to think we have wised up – that the crap we’ve been fed for 40 years just doesn’t play anymore. We already know they lie through their teeth. We have already seen the transparency of the Ryan Budget, the only budget the House has been able to produce under a GOP majority. We have seen the antics of Tea Party RWJS’s like Ted Cruz cripple our government. It is time to end the shameful abuse of power and rewriting of legislation in favor of plutocrats, the gerrymandering of voting districts, the appointment of Republican judges, the limiting of voter access to the polls, and the continued attack on women’s rights.

    We need to vote these lying, thieving puppets out of office before this country we have loved, fought for, and have often needlessly died for is beyond our reach. The United States is still a great country. We have not lost it yet. Vote down a Republican! Y

  • Gene Warneke

    Mr. Reich, be careful not to underestimate the ability of people with means to exploit the ignorance and gullibility of any body politic, especially when it comes to racism and religious intolerance. These two things alone often trump any experience one may have with poverty. History is rife with examples.

  • Gene Warneke

    More and more of us are getting tired of the misinformation and lies from the far right.

  • Stewart Moore

    The only problem I see is that the Democrats are owned by multinational corporate CEO’S just like the Republican Senate.

  • Stewart Moore

    Both parties are owned by multinational corporate CEO’S that demand more immigrants to force your wages down and keep you afraid of your.

  • Andy Vangel

    President Obama is the king of class warfare, He preaches EQUALITY for all, and by God he is going to do everything in his power to make it so. He has a pen and a phone!

  • John Miklos

    You can’t divide people when they’re all backed into the same corner.

  • Anonymous

    It seems that people, like anything else, can only be squeezed so tight before the containments begins to fail. And, in the process, what were separate elements begin to mix together in new and surprising ways. In this I find great cause for hope

  • JonThomas

    ‘My’ remarks about ‘racism’ were in direct response to the statement you made in your original comment above… You said:

    “How have your policies, for instance, HELPED the black family?”

    Please don’t be so obtuse as to try to put the impetus on me when your comments are publicly on display.

    Sorry, but your premise of attaching racist ideas and actions to political parties from different eras of history is not a fruitful exercise. Any understanding of political history negates the political party labels attached to different time periods.

    A conservative, by definition, typically enjoys maintaining the status quo. The Republicans of the Civil War era were SO radical as to want to end slavery, that their precocious ideas brought about the bloodiest war in U.S. history.

    It would be a HUGE stretch for anyone to classify any self-describing Republican of today as “radical”.

    Even within a given time period one person who identifies as Republican may be staunchly, and proudly, racist. Yet, another Republican may be inclusive to the extreme. Same is true of Democrats.

    These truths are as evident as your last statement concerning Classic Liberalism and Modern, or (Neo)Liberalism.

    I’m not sure of the accuracy of your statement about more ‘Republicans voting for civil rights.’ You haven’t done so thus far, but once again I will ask you to provide evidence of that claim, especially since it was a Democratic Administration which championed ‘Civil Rights.’ I shall not be holding my breath.

  • JonThomas

    Under pure circumstances, I agree that some of your comments arguably have merit. Well, at least I won’t argue them in this forum.

    However, I would point out that just as you are concerned about the state of the ‘safety net,’ and it’s impact on this nation’s future, myself, and many of us here commenting are more concerned with the crony capitalism infecting the workings of Government.

    So egregious is the effect of monied interests on politics, that we see politicians every day bending over backwards to appease their financial backers. A congress person must spend more of their time currying favor than actually accomplishing the purpose of Government.

    Same is true of Presidential candidates. They say what they need in order to be elected, then once in office, they get their advice from the very rich, and those involved in corporate leadership.

    The playing field cannot be ‘leveled’ (as you say,) as long as this paradigm exists. So, I do understand your ideological concerns about autonomy, but let’s not be naive. Maybe the ignorant, or those who want to believe that the power class has the working man’s interests in mind, could use a little smoke blown up their backsides, but you know as well as I that the vast majority of people who post on this site know better.

  • JonThomas

    Lol, yeah, I always forget that about Mr. Obama. I suppose that I need to tune in to more training from Mr. Murdoch’s mental conditioning machine. :-P

  • DavidW

    “The more we own, the less power they will have.” We should take this mantra as one of the people and not one that one per-centers whisper to themselves when they get up in the morning.

  • Cathy Fricke

    Social justice it is what my church teaches and it is what Juese taught about in the Bible. So blame all of your knowledge on that.

  • Marjorie Picard

    There is indeed class warfare. It’s the war against the poor and working class.

  • Andy Vangel

    You must be a Communist. Good for you!

  • Steven Georgio

    hey

  • Joshua LeTrole

    We voted in Obama for change. We didn’t get anything for it. In fact, things became even better for Wall Street, and much, much, much worse for Americans who have to work for a living. Obama, the Democrats and the Republicans all hate ordinary Americans, and want some of us around only to be their low wage slaves, their debt payers, the mortgage holders, their student debt payers. Everyone else, pretty clearly can go and die. That’s the policy of the democrat and republican parties and their masters on Wall Street and in Israel. Look at how Obama squirms to do Israel’s biding. How Kerry licks at their feet. There is no United States of America. We’re the Serfs in Chains to Wall Street/Israel.

    Look at the NSA situation where Obama says, we’re a Big Brother police state; get used to it.

    As one commentator put it: Seems Obama is only proposing minor “reforms” to the NSA that will keep all programs as is. With some toothless changes to the FISA courts.

    The US snub to Germany (and the EU, not including traitorious UK) demands action.

    America is refusing to enter a bilateral no-spy agreement with Germany and has declined to rule out bugging the calls of German political leaders in the immediate future, according to reports in the German media.
    A request for access to what is assumed to be a surveillance centre in the top floor of the US embassy next to Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate has also been rejected. The German government has told the Obama administration it would consider such a “nest of spies” a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
    “Nest of spies” is the correct term to refer to this spy center in the middle of Berlin. Security would imply that the embassy should be moved. Can’t have a US spy center like this, located across the road from the Reichstag building (that whole area is the administrative heart of the German government). When I visited Berlin it always struck me how the US got its own embassy on such a prime location, a relic of the Cold War no doubt.

    Maybe it should be moved to East Berlin (I assume there are some old Stasi buildings that could be converted into the US embassy). Or maybe move the embassy to the Red Light District, where they can work alongside all the other whores.

  • http://about.me/mikelince Mike Lince

    Your comments about Obama would fit perfectly in an article about Obama. This article is not. Disappointment with Obama’s leadership or lack thereof does not equate to an endorsement for Republicans.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, unfortunately there are at least 2 definitions of “social justice.”

    One entailing “charity.” The other entailing government confiscation of money for the purposes of redistribution.

    Christ said nothing that would lead one to believe he was for the latter. It is force seizure, and there is NOTHING charitable about it.

    Christ said, “sell your things and come with me.” Hardly advice from a socialist. It seems he recognized the right of a person to maintain profits from selling stuff.

    Charity? I’m ALL for charity.

  • Steven

    I’m not sure if and how the republican parties supposed divide and conquer tactic varies much from the tactics of any political operative. Clearly, Mr. Reich is doing the same thing when he writes an article under the guise of informing, when the true intent is to declare an enemy, put a face on them, and rally intellectually naive voters against them. I not sure I even believe an intelligent man like Mr Reich thinks that working class white resentment is not organic in origin, (based on feelings of always being the red headed stepchild, forever passed over politically in favor of both the poor and the rich) but rather that they are just mindlessly being manipulated against the poor by a party in search of votes. This however, is of no matter as he immediately moves away from his initial charge, focusing instead on his true purpose, to align both working class whites (why infuse race anyway, why not just working class) and poor, firmly against the republican party. The strategy he and the democratic party in general has long used to accomplish this, is to perpetuate the false illusion that with the exception of the gullible middle class, all republicans are rich…and that only republicans are rich. The direction of the article is not defined by what he puts in it, which for the most part is true, but by what he omits, and of course he knows that. He opens, like all good propaganda pieces by speaking of the evil, union busting, outsourcing, job replacing corporations, but never mentions that in today’s corporate world, ownership and upper management of a company is as likely to be run by left leaning liberal democrats as by any right wing conservative. One need only look to where the campaign contributions of these corporations are going to realize this. Would they really feed a political party bent on destroying them? The same goes for the stock market and banking, are these only the denizens of the right, I hardly think so. In the world Reich perpetuates every broker is the Hollywood image of a Gordan Gecko…NONE… are the liberal democrats who feign for a world of fiscal equality,all the while traveling home to their mansions in the suburbs of Connecticut. Mr. Reich is also quick to point out that under the current economic recovery (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that term) 95% of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, yet fails to mention that the current democratic administration, has for past 5 years, dumped 80 billion dollars a month into the markets and kept interest rates hovering around zero. Who is supposed to get rich with disastrous, unfair policies like these? the wealthy stockholders? or the poor and middle class? who have no stock, and now whose dollars have been further devalued… not rocket science. Reich, briefly touches the subject of a changing technical workforce, but again omits of one of the biggest corporate messes…the democratic, government run education system and it’s spinoff the government run student loan business…now the most profitable business in the country. A system whose stated intent, to educate the youth, preparing them for careers in the marketplace, has become a ruse to further a political agenda and keep teachers and educators employed. Convincing students to stay in school as much as eight years, taking out loans they can’t repay(Further bankrupting the have nots), and having academia encouraging them to study courses in social justice and other such claptrap, will assuredly keep tenured professors employed, and give kids great conversational skills when at the bar after they’ve finished their shift waiting tables….BUT, will do nothing to prepare them for employment in the country or world in the 21st century. If Mr Reich or any on this link would like to debate the social and philosophical differences between the parties…have at it…I’m fairly moderate and you’d be surprised at all we agree upon. Most of politics in the 20th century however, is about power and money, and I’ve made a point of following it (the money). I’ve seen the compassionate liberal politician vote purely to preserve their personal economic interest (think Pelosi and Starkist tuna), I’ve watched as 8 out of ten of the wealthiest zip codes in the country vote overwhelmingly democratic and unlike political ideologues I’m aware that Income disparity has very little to do with political affiliation. So please, the next time your in Greenwich, Connecticut or any neighborhood like it, go up up to the biggest house you can find and ring the doorbell…be sure to bring along your petition for economic equality, and when a democratic gazillionaire answers the door, I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to sign it…They might even give you a hundred thousand dollar contribution for the cause, that is of course as long as you agree not to blow their cover.

  • michelle

    we are no longer their golden goose. corporate America can now be found in countries ALL over the world today. as other world economies prosper from American corporation employment in their countries these companies create new markets to sell their products in no longer needed just the goose it is a WORLD economy Corporate America NO longer needs us to be their consumers so they do not care about the US economy

  • Janice

    I definitely get this article. FINALLY, someone has written the obvious. EVERYONE is in the same boat. Unemployment is quite an equalizer. The visuals have shifted and suddenly no one is shiftless, lazy & there are few boot straps available. When everyone’s job has been outsourced, replaced by technology or HB Visa immigrants/the undocumented…who do we blame? Workers never saw it coming even as sector after sector was impacted. Thousands (if not millions) of Americans are one job away from poverty & homelessness. A decent job, work, employment is all that separates “us from them”. How many years or decades will it take before every community becomes blighted, devastated, drug infested and crime ridden?

    That’s the unspoken fear of the newly long term unemployed and discarded.
    It’s no longer black or white. It’s not even Dems Vs. Repubs. The crushing dilemma is discovering who/what “stole our cheese” & what to do about it. Everything else is just noise.

  • Chris Bellomy

    The “black single woman” was white. She was also a murderer.

  • Anonymous

    TL;DR

  • Eric A. Karno

    Robert Reich, right as usual.

  • goducks58

    Thank you, Denton for taking the time to refute such a ridiculous post by Steven. Well reasoned response to such a failure of thought. So many assumptions based on a false narrative. I especially loved the “I’m really a moderate” meme.

  • David L. Allison

    Beware the right wing trolls whose comments begin exactly the same. They have received their marching orders and are marching into disaster like the lemming trolls that they are. By the way, nice article Dr. Reich..

  • Anonymous

    I doubt they do….they’re not known for strategic thinking in a crisis. They just keep plodding on doing what Frank Luntz tells them to say along with Faux news. Not exactly an original thinker in the bunch, just twisted up perverts.

  • Anonymous

    I know they threatened the Whole Foods employees with termination if they tried to unionize. They want to disband the Post Office simply because it’s the LAST huge union in the country. They got rid of the Garment Workers Union, the largest union in its day by sending all the clothing manufacturing to China and Taiwan….thank you St. Ronny for that bit of nonsense, BEFORE you busted up the air traffic controllers and closed the mental health facilities…..what a guy!

  • rose maryawn

    my Aunty Julia got silver Volkswagen Beetle
    Convertible by working parttime off of a home computer… Look At This
    B­u­z­z­3­2­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Pehr Smith

    If you still think both parties are the same you are a republican.

  • JJ042804

    Senator Warren and Senator Sanders are working for the People, not the Corporations. Their action speaks for them.

  • http://www.hudsonwritings.com/ VL Hudson

    The divide-and-conquer tactics he describes may be true; however, I think he’s remiss in not pointing out the complicit role of democrats in the outsourcing of jobs (NAFTA). While there’s a difference in the extent to which Republicans and Democrats want to go towards “helping” the people, both work primarily toward the benefit of the monied that actually control the government purse strings (lobbyists, corporations, military industrial complex, etc) .

  • http://sitting-online.com/ Richard ‘Zagdul’ Magnano

    I have grown rather bored with our media forcing the need to pick a side in this year’s war on “_____”.

    Our media has sold this ticket to us by deliberately picking a side. Then, selling us an illusion of a utopian world where there is an endless supply of jobs which will keep up with our ever growing population and advancements in technology that continually remove humans from the equation. I’m tired of the illusion of America The Great™ being described to me by people with comfortable jobs they never need worry about losing. These media heads, political analysts and social experts, part of a class who participate in an echo chamber of regurgitated half truths, all the while a great portion of our country slips into a 3rd world state.

    I apologize for my rant, but with all the debate in the world can the people such as yourself who have such an amazing grasp of the English language and are capable of articulating so well, please change the meta. The idea that we need to pick a side on every issue has thrust our soceity into this perpetual debate that won’t end until we implode.

  • Anonymous

    Good old NAFTA. If Clinton had just vetoed it, he would have had his veto over-ridden, but, at least today he could have said that he vetoed NAFTA. How many free trade bills did GW sign? Thirty different free trade bills. Reagan signed WTO and the first US/Canada free trade bill too. Obama has even signed a free trade bill or two.

    Do you know how many jobs were lost in the Mexican agricultural industry as a result of NAFTA? Several million. Their low-technology agriculture just could not compete with with factory farms, which forced another huge surge of illegal immigrants our way too, but that was part of the Republican plan for NAFTA, which was bury Mexico’s farmers and then turn them into desperate illegals willing to work for way less than the average American worker.

    Obviously most of our other industries can’t compete with near slave-level workers in China, India, Mexico, and in the Philippines, among other places, nor can we compete against countries that do not have or do not enforce any environmental protection laws, worker health or safety laws, nor any tax laws either. Free trade was all part of a Republican/robber baron plan to kill off our labor unions and take back any and all alleged middle-class economic security once and for all.

    I’ll agree with Robert though, as the whole Republican divide and conquer strategy is turning into a rich Republican against most everyone else strategy, with a few remaining fringe ultra-conservative Tea Party wingnuts and devout Southern Christians increasingly the only far fringe right less than wealthy voters remaining, who are becoming more shrill and aggressive by the day.

    The heavy-handed, defeatist, and standoffish antics of Boehner, Cantor, Cruz, and Paul Ryan have only divided the Republican Party into two distinct camps, one far to the fringe with the other more middle of the road, while also strengthening the hand of Democrats and progressives. How about Bernie Sanders in 2016? Maybe Hillary can be his Vice-President?

  • Anonymous

    Yes Jesus did say sell your things and come with me, but you forget the 2nd part of that. It was give the money to the poor. He wasn’t for people keeping the profits.
    Oh and who pays 50% in taxes? The highest tax rate is 35% for the rich and that is not the effective tax rate. The effective tax rate is 14% for the rich. The effective tax rate for the middle class is 24%, for the poor it is 18%, for corporations it is 11%. That is the tax rate. No one pays 50%.
    Skip Moreland

  • Jen

    That’s your loss. Lazy/Ordinary. Short enough for ya?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, and when services are cut enough, they will finally wake up to that fact when their “little Suzy” needs help and can’t get it.

  • tiredliberal

    Well, if you are talking about Trucker Mark, his posting is a lot more interesting than yours. Short vs. long is not the criteria I use to decide if something is worth reading.

  • Anonymous

    Bernie and Elizabeth Warren please.

  • Kelly Cowan

    The ”angry politician” model always manipulates the real, imagined, and insidiously seeded frustrations of the electorate. They always appeal to prejudice, cultivate every fissure of disunity, and play upon the fears and vanities of the people, inciting them to turn on their fellow citizens. They claim government doesn’t work, while actively working to insure that it doesn’t. They claim to be in favor of the ”free market”, while they carry water for, and vote in favor of, monopoly and vested interest. They claim to be super-patriots, while they work to destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. This is how the Neo Confederate Insurrectionist Tea Party was created.

  • Anonymous

    when you’re right, you’re right…or in this case Reich!

  • Anonymous

    You can show these statistics to conservatives, and they won’t believe it…it’s always “the other,” whether it’s women, or minorities, or immigrants that are responsible for the problems. This is rooted in their base racism and sexism, and will not be altered by facts.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with his assumption that it’s not working…people still vote against their own best interests when they vote out of fear. And their fear is much more basic than that which can be addressed by facts and education.

  • Anonymous

    However, he didn’t have to sign it, did he? Clinton was very much a corporate servant while president, as is Obama. All the more disappointing with Obama, with his “hope and change” platform, that was just as insidious in drawing in voters as a platform of fear.

  • Anonymous

    Glass Stegall

  • Anonymous

    There was rioting outside the meeting of the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999, largely due to passage of NAFTA. You will notice that even when the democrats had in majority in both houses, and a democratic president, it was not repealed, and that’s because politicians are all financed by and work for corporations. I stopped long ago believing that there are many of them that owe allegiance to the citizenry, with the exception of Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

  • Gary Harryman

    Makes perfect sense to me. One problem – Mr Reich spent 865 words explaining something that Republican wordsmiths will counter with a clever 2 word sound bite. Democrats never learn how the system works – facts don’t matter. George Lakoff explains it much better than I can. Youtube – “Retaking Political Discourse.”

  • Anonymous

    Read some books and develop a wider perspective, then.

  • Anonymous

    You must sign in to down-vote this post.

  • Joseph Newman

    Predatory politics of Republicans used “Race” to divide working Americans to support a politic contrary to the true interests of Blue Collar America

  • Anonymous

    Well I have advocated Bernie and Ms Warren for 2016 previously, but I could almost see having Bill Clinton back in the White House again too, and even over at the Naval Observatory wouldn’t be that bad either. Imagine one of the wingnuts living there!

  • Rick

    Facts do matter. Just not as much as one would hope.

  • Rick

    I don’t think they’re cowering to the right. I think that the party leadership is dominated by people beholden to moneyed interests. They call themselves “centrists” but really they’re conservatives, at least on economic issues.

  • http://functionalculture.blogspot.com Constructive_Feedback

    @Joseph Newman:
    As a Black male (said for informational purposes only) – I find it interesting that you and Bill Moyers and Robert Reich point to REPUBLIC use of “Dog Whistle Politics” – when, if you listen to ‘Black-Wing Grievance And Political Opportunism Talk Radio” many of the host/provocateurs talk blatantly about “Black Seats Of Power”.
    In Chicago they speak in terms of “Black Wards”, “White Wards” and “Hispanic Wards” – upon redistricting time “The Blacks” and “The Hispanic” negotiate to maximize their respective representation. The fact that ALL of the wards in Chicago are Democrat makes this uninteresting to Mr Moyers and like minded White liberals.
    The flaw in the original article and most of the posts here is that while you practice “Keep Your Enemy On Trial” research – you can’t bring yourself to note the essential manipulation and violation of confidence of the “minorities” who you cast as victims of right wing dog whistles.
    In as much as ALL of the prime cities on the recent “Brookings Institute – Income Inequality Cities” have municipal administrations totally dominated by Progressives – it seems that many of you all are loathed to make note of three important facts:
    1) The promised upward thrust by “Voting For Your Salvation” -as promoted by progressive hero Bayard Rustin has failed. Despite being the establishment power in these places there is an active attempt at (what I call) Establishment Power Repudiation – rejecting the notion that the progressives have enough local power that they should be held accountable for the failed institutions within
    2) The ability to use SOVEREIGN DEBT of the USA to pay for the distribution of “Social Justice” (single payer health care, etc) is NOT evidence that the collection of individuals who were previously shut out from care have been developed and now possess ORGANIC COMPETENCIES – to provide these services within their own communities – this after the schools, for example, prepared them for this role
    3) The greatest evidence of the corrupting draw of ALL POLITICS (left and right) is that even when it is proven that the “New Establishment Power” that has won popular appeal among those who are ultimately failed per the condition of their community – the POWER stripped away from the people is shown by the fact that many are loathed to STOP VOTING for that which cannot be cured by building up government power, but instead limit themselves to voting what IS the proper role of the government – and then getting violently angry at the confidence men who later come around and attempt to promise them a quid pro quo fix for a community level problem IF they “vote for their salvation”.

  • Suzanne

    Right on. Stop buying ANYTHING not made in America!!!

  • larryg

    GOP “trickle down economy” only works during a significant growing economy. It was based on a myth that the rich would hire more employees. In a receding economy the rich keep their money and employees are fired. Oops bad idea. I am from Mississippi and I know what it is like to be poor and live on the government dime. I also understand the black experience as a white who lived through those times. The city where I live has between 85% to 90% black. The GOP is not responding to the expanding problems of the 85% of America. They seem to be in favor of a two class nation. If you live in the lower class poor, you should die “human rights violation much” because you are Un-American. Perhaps a earnings cap on individuals earnings would be a better way to resolve the the class system problem that the GOP seems to want. Their position is Un-American and the GOP should be treated that way. End subsidies to keep afloat marginal businesses that should fail and increase their profits to the detriment of all tax paying Americans. Move a portion of the subsidies into the Public help system, it would significantly lower the need for high tax rates and still be able to help the poor. 85% of Americans are having their “human rights” destroyed. I thought America was against this type of actions. GOP: money can’t buy you love, actions do.

  • Samantha30090 .

    Do tell? Can you copy and paste the web address that will substantiate the existence of such a riot and post it here? I’m sure we’d have all heard about it unless that “riot” was an isolated incident. If it was an isolated incident, then you would not have heard a CRY FROM THE MASSES.

    Please do copy and paste links to documentation showing more than a single “riot” occurred and that objection was voiced BY THE MASSES, but Democrats just looked the other way. You can’t, because there were no massive riots and there was no cry from the masses.

    Finally, during the 90′s there was not a Democratic majority in either house or senate. Now, you know why so much snakish legislation came out of the 90′s … just as now, we have a Democratic president and senate … but it just takes that one house of snakes to prevent meaningful legislation from occurring,

    Finally, unless you’ve been living on Mars, you would know of the grand standing that has been going on between Democrats and Republicans since the Bohner occupation. Democrats fighting to keep benefits for the elderly, the unemployed, food stamps for children, then you have Republicans fighting right against them. Plenty of documentation on that. All you have to do is go back through political archives unless you’re too biased to read the differences … then you are too biased to the point of being blind. That … is how glaring the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

  • Samantha30090 .

    Excellent response, larryg.

  • larryg

    Thank you!

  • http://www.hudsonwritings.com/ VL Hudson

    “indeed, ALL, of the legislation passed for the American citizen is legislated by Democrats.” – you seem as ignorant as your post reads. A Republican freed the slaves, and JFK was AGAINST civil rights and INITIALLY did nothing, despite being asked (until it became a political plus for him). You, dear, need to take some history and reading comprehension courses – then, you’ll understand why you sound ridiculous citing the Democrats as the “one hope the middle class has for maintaining security”. The hope is in the people…not a party.

  • http://www.hudsonwritings.com/ VL Hudson

    Are you Samantha 30090? You both posted the identical thing: so, as I said to her… “indeed, ALL, of the legislation passed for the American citizen is legislated by Democrats.” – you seem as ignorant as your post reads. A Republican freed the slaves, and JFK was AGAINST civil rights and INITIALLY did nothing, despite being asked (until it became a political plus for him). You, dear, need to take some history and reading comprehension courses – then, you’ll understand why you sound ridiculous citing the Democrats as the “one hope the middle class has for maintaining security”. The hope is in the people…not a party.

  • http://www.hudsonwritings.com/ VL Hudson

    You didn’t mention the TPP??? And Hillary for VP??? Please. That woman can’t even be honest about her husband and his philandering… so…

  • Samantha30090 .

    But, I suppose it’s much easier to call people stupid and tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about, then maybe they’ll run away and allow you to continue spewing your illiterate BS, right, VL?

    As for Republicans “freeing slaves”, we all learned in our college history and political science classes that the “New Republican Party” was very different from today’s Republican Party.

    Obviously so with their very liberal advocation of freeing the slaves! That just would not happen with today’s bunch of apathetic Republicans … this is a liberal democratic ideology and every educated person knows this. Two completely different Republican Parties separated by 150 years, VL.

    Additionally, you either don’t know or you’re just making it all up about JFK and Civil Rights.

    The Civil Rights legislation was already underway under Kennedy and in the months prior to his assassination. for instance,on June 11, 1963, President Kennedy met with with congress leaders to discuss his Civil Rights legislation with the Republican leaders, Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen and Senate Minority Leader Mike Mansfeild who both expressed support of JFK’s Civil Rights legislation) except for provisions guaranteeing equal access to public accommodations.)

    That same evening of June 11, 1963,JFK DISCUSSED HIS CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION DURING A TELEVISED ADDRESS TO THE NATION (June 11, 1963). I’m sure if you go to youtube, you can probably find that national address.

    Kennedy’s persistence for Civil Rights led to several Republican Congressmen drafting a compromise bill to be considered. On June 19, the president sent his bill to Congress as it was originally written, saying legislative action was “imperative”.[8][9]

    The president’s bill went first to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Emmanuel Celler, **A DEMOCRAT FROM NEW YORK**.

    After a series of hearings on the bill, Celler’s committee strengthened the act, adding provisions to ban racial discrimination in employment, providing greater protection to black voters, eliminating segregation in all publicly owned facilities (not just schools), and strengthening the anti-segregation clauses regarding public facilities such as lunch counters. They also added authorization for the Attorney General to file lawsuits to protect individuals against the deprivation of any rights secured by the Constitution or U.S. law. In essence, this was the controversial “Title III” that had been removed from the 1957 and 1960 Acts. Civil rights organizations pressed hard for this provision because it could be used to protect peaceful protesters and black voters from police brutality and suppression of free speech rights.

    Kennedy called the congressional leaders to the White House in late October, 1963 to line up the necessary votes in the House for passage … and we all know what happened shortly thereafter. Within the next few weeks, Kennedy was assassinated and the legislation FINALLY CAME TO FRUITION UNDER LBJ.

    So, now we can all see that JKF did the lion’s share of the work on the bill and LBJ sewed it all up.

    So much for your knowledge of American History and Political Science, VL … you display NO knowledge, at all, VL.

  • Samantha30090 .

    I suppose it’s much easier to call people stupid and tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about, then maybe they’ll run away and allow you to continue spewing your illiterate BS, right, VL?

    As for Republicans “freeing slaves”, we all learned in our college history and political science classes that the “New Republican Party” was very different from today’s Republican Party.

    Obviously so with their very liberal advocation of freeing the slaves! That just would not happen with today’s bunch of apathetic Republicans … this is a liberal democratic ideology and every educated person knows this. Two completely different Republican Parties separated by 150 years, VL.

    Additionally, you either don’t know or you’re just making it all up about JFK and Civil Rights.

    The Civil Rights legislation was already underway under Kennedy and in the months prior to his assassination. for instance,on June 11, 1963, President Kennedy met with with congress leaders to discuss his Civil Rights legislation with the Republican leaders, Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen and Senate Minority Leader Mike Mansfeild who both expressed support of JFK’s Civil Rights legislation) except for provisions guaranteeing equal access to public accommodations.)

    That same evening of June 11, 1963,JFK DISCUSSED HIS CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION DURING A TELEVISED ADDRESS TO THE NATION (June 11, 1963). I’m sure if you go to youtube, you can probably find that national address.

    Kennedy’s persistence for Civil Rights led to several Republican Congressmen drafting a compromise bill to be considered. On June 19, the president sent his bill to Congress as it was originally written, saying legislative action was “imperative”.[8][9]

    The president’s bill went first to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Emmanuel Celler, **A DEMOCRAT FROM NEW YORK**.

    After a series of hearings on the bill, Celler’s committee strengthened the act, adding provisions to ban racial discrimination in employment, providing greater protection to black voters, eliminating segregation in all publicly owned facilities (not just schools), and strengthening the anti-segregation clauses regarding public facilities such as lunch counters. They also added authorization for the Attorney General to file lawsuits to protect individuals against the deprivation of any rights secured by the Constitution or U.S. law. In essence, this was the controversial “Title III” that had been removed from the 1957 and 1960 Acts. Civil rights organizations pressed hard for this provision because it could be used to protect peaceful protesters and black voters from police brutality and suppression of free speech rights.

    Kennedy called the congressional leaders to the White House in late October, 1963 to line up the necessary votes in the House for passage … and we all know what happened shortly thereafter. Within the next few weeks, Kennedy was assassinated and the legislation FINALLY CAME TO FRUITION UNDER LBJ.

    So, now we can all see that JKF did the lion’s share of the work on the bill and LBJ sewed it all up.

    So much for your knowledge of American History and Political Science, VL … you display NO knowledge, at all, VL.

  • Anonymous

    Well Samantha, maybe you were asleep in 1999, because I remember the riots well. If you try using Google for “1999 WTO Riots,” or “1999 Seattle Riots,” you will get all the info you need, as I don’t believe they allow posting links here. I find it of interest that Washington is a VERY liberal state, with Seattle being the most liberal area. Yet, they weren’t afraid to use force to put down the riots in the name of the economic elite. Again, there was a super-majority of Democrats in 2008, and NOTHING was done to protect the poor or middle class. Please understand, I am a very liberal democrat, but I believe our party has also sold out to the corporations, just paying lip service to keep us voting for them.

  • http://www.hudsonwritings.com/ VL Hudson

    Samantha/Katherine: seems as if you merely want an argument, and I’ve not the time or concern to do so about something as inane as an online comment to an article. You hurl accusations (say I’ve called you “stupid” – claiming I use the word “so freely”, when a simple page search shows the word appears 4 times: all yours (my use of it here now adds to that number, making it 5 times; still, I never called you that) and rant about everything except the point: Dems/Repubs = 2 sides of the same coin. Putting one’s faith in a “party” rather than oneself (the people, collectively) means giving all power to politicians, instead of to the people whom they’ve promised to serve. My statement said you “seem as ignorant as your post” with direct reference to your mantra of “Republican blame, shame and recrimination and praise as you hail Democrats, the saviors”.