Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Justice For... Just Some? (Happy Election Day 2017)


 Justice for... just some? Why not all? This week we're looking at how the 99% is being treated by the corrupt system that cares little for our economic or physical/mental health. Bern Notice debunks that popular myth of the Reagan era. "The Rational National" tells us how difficult the battle for universal health care was in Canada and how it could come about in the U.S. 

But first, it's Election Day and if you haven't already voted early, please get to the polls as soon as you can. Yeah, 2016 looked like this meme, but that's no reason for you not to turn out and vote in this "off year" for important issues on your state ballot and to decide local elections. Remember to vote your conscience. You're not stuck with just establishment candidates--vote third party or write in a name of a candidate you feel is worthy. We can't live in fear of the status quo forever. Let's take our democracy back!

by Bern Notice
Trickle-down economics. Reagan’s legacy, and the economic model espoused by the Republican Party. It is defined as:
A theory that financial benefits given to big business will in turn pass down to smaller businesses and consumers.
How much of the trickle have you felt from the enhanced prosperity of big business owners? For the vast majority of Americans, it has been very little. To demonstrate why, It is important to define another term so that we understand the point in its entirety.
Profit Margin:  The difference between the cost of buying or making something and the price at which it is sold.
The argument that money will trickle down fails in a case like McDonald’s. McDonald’s has had pretty good profit margins over the past 5+ years. At its lowest margin during that period, it was 36.94%. Currently, McDonalds profit margin is at its peak, at 48.96%. As of March, 2016 the profit margin was at 39.19%. Meaning, that at their lowest point, McDonald’s made 36.94% more capital than they spent.
The CEO of McDonalds, Steve Easterbrook brought in an income of $15.4 million last year, according to The Chicago Tribune. To be fair, please note his base salary is $1.3 million. Some of the rest was made from stock options. However, he received a performance bonus of $4.6 million
Income inequality
While the top 1% has flourished since the 1980’s under trickle down economics, the rest of the country has been stagnant. How will additional tax breaks to the top 1% help the rest of America prosper?
Now let’s look at the workers. According to Glassdoor, the average wage for a McDonald’s cashier is $8.60 per hour. A shift manager averages $10.41 per hour. Bear in mind that from their salaries, they have to pay for medical and other benefits if they need them, which further reduces take home salary. If you’re a sole bread-winner with a family, would you be able to afford benefits and save for retirement with those salaries?
I’m reasonably sure that some people may say “Those jobs aren’t meant for people supporting a family.” That may be true for years past, but after the recession and so many high paying jobs being sent overseas for cheaper labor, the pool of eligible workers has expanded. These same individuals are looking to put food on their table via an honest living. As a result, now you see increasing numbers of older adults working in these positions to try to stay afloat.
All the while McDonald is making their annual average 36 – 38% profits while keeping pay rates relatively stagnant. And again, if the argument is that the costs increased for doing business, remember we’re talking profit margins, not profits. So they still made 35% more than they spent. So while their spending on everything else has increased with the cost of inflation, their spending on their employees’ salary has not.
Meanwhile McDonalds and similar businesses get tax breaks for stock options given to executives as compensation, and then list them as an expense when filing taxes. Yet they do this while paying their employees as little as possible.
Now let’s look at the after effects. The cost of everything from gasoline to food and utilities has gone up and your salary hasn’t. You no longer have disposable income for luxuries. You are spending what you have on necessities. You may pass on going out to eat or getting a gadget that you need to make your life easier.
As spending decreases, profits for corporations and shareholders decrease. As a result, the corporation will lay off workers, thus adding to the pool of individuals who are unable to buy your product. Then the cycle starts all over again. It’s basic supply and demand. All the while, the CEO of that company will get a fat bonus for “increasing efficiency.”
Micky D's Replacement
If this cycle is allowed to continue, the only people who will have money will be the super wealthy business owner. Then you will have serfdom and feudalism. It’s obvious when you think the cycle through. The only way you don’t see it is if you completely ignore the facts.
At the end of the day, this model is inherently flawed because of one simple factor… human greed. If you offer someone a million dollars, and it is not stipulated that they have to share it with other people, most people would keep it and spend it on themselves. It’s just human nature.
With that being said, it may make more sense to offer tax breaks to people who make 100K or less, and new start up businesses than it does to grant further tax breaks for large well established businesses and multi-millionaires. Those who work paycheck to paycheck are the consumer. They are more likely to spend most of what they make than those who have tons of money.
Small start-up & Mom and Pop businesses are similar. The small businesses as they grow are also more likely to hire more people, thus adding more consumers to the market. As they grow they will invest in their infrastructure to expand and become the new big business, and offer consumers more options through genuine competition.
Make no mistake; I have no problem with businesses, shareholders and corporations making profits. CEO’s have to bear a lot of responsibility, and are likely the first to go when a business goes south. So they should be able to make more than the people they are responsible for employing. Shareholders should also be able to reap profits from smart investment strategies.
With that being said, economics can’t just serve the supply side. There must also be a demand. Most of the demand comes from the consumers who are the employees who work on the ground level of business. Until working class citizens’ salaries are able to keep up with the cost of inflation, they will not have disposable income. There is will be little to no demand. Then there will be practically no chance for upward mobility. Trickle-down economics has failed the working class citizen, and it’s time for people take their heads out of the sand and recognize that.

BIO: Bern Notice is making a difference by speaking out on issues that affect the 99%. Support him and his Seeing Through the B.S. blog and leave a comment thanking him for his invaluable service.

A must-watch video for all Americans, a Canadian gives us a history lesson into how difficult it was to fight for and establish universal health care in his country. We can learn a lot from our friends north of the border.


And now some more examples of how justice for the rich is at the expense of ordinary Americans. Support these causes with your time and resources. We're all in this together!
 From the Green Party of Pennsylvania:

It's been over six months since the special election in Philadelphia that saw widespread voter intimidation and election fraud. The people of the 197th have been waiting for any sign that justice will be served and their votes will be counted.

Today, the Pennsylvania Attorney General finally began filing charges. Four election workers at the Esperanza Health Center polling place were charged with election fraud.

Please donate  to our continued efforts to bring have a new election for the people of Philadelphia's 197th district.

And this is just the beginning. Reports of fraud happened not just at Esperanza but at over 20 other polling locations--and the scheme goes must deeper than the workers at the polling places. We look forward to further developments with Attorney General Shapiro's investigation.

We are also waiting to hear back about our federal court case regarding these election fraud charges. Democrats and Pennsylvania election officials brought forth a motion to dismiss in September. At the hearing our lawyers asked point blank--who is responsible for this election?

At best, this was a systemic failure of our election system and someone has to be constitutionally or legally responsible. At worst, this was an intentional scheme for widespread election fraud and those who organized it behinds the scenes must be held accountable for their criminal acts.

I need help to continue to pay my lawyers fees and office rent. I am continuing to fight for the people of the 197th district through all the delay tactics, the smoke and mirrors, that the corrupt officials are trying to pull. But my team and I need your help.

Click here to chip in $27 or whatever you can afford so that we can continue to pursue our court case and organize in our neighborhood.

If the court case precedes, there is precedent that Philadelphians could get a new, fairly-conducted election. That is what we and our lawyer are demanding and that's my team and I are organizing for in our neighborhood. If there's a new election, we will win because it will not be stolen again.


Thank you for your continued support.


Cheri Honkala
Candidate for State Representative
Former Green Party VP Candidate

P.S. Recently the Green Party gained it's first State Representative in Maine! If we win a new election in Pennsylvania's 197th, I hope to be the second! Please donate $27 or any amount you can today to help build this Green momentum through 2018.


Stand up to defend the right to peaceful protest.
Take Action
CALL 213-335-2077 NOW and tell your member of Congress that standing up for the right to clean water is peaceful protest, not terrorism.

Last year, thousands of people around the world raised their voices to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. They stood in solidarity with Indigenous leaders and Water Protectors, who were fighting for clean water — and their right to make decisions about what happens on their land. The movement has spread, and local communities everywhere, inspired by Standing Rock, are building a groundswell of change across the U.S. and Canada to stop pipelines from being built.

Now 84 members of Congress — including your representative — have signed a letter suggesting that the brave people standing up to the big oil companies could be considered “terrorists.”1 They’re trying to criminalize free speech with a term intended to scare — and we need you to help speak out against them.

Call your representative now at 213-335-2077 to let them know you believe that peaceful protest is essential, and ask them to rescind their support of this fear-mongering letter. We have to show the oil and gas industry that strategies like this, which they hope will silence us, will backfire instead. When we work together, we’re stronger.

It’s no surprise that so many members of Congress would prefer to treat people fighting for their homes and the planet like criminals.2 Big Oil has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to guarantee Congressional support on its endless quest to turn a profit at any cost. The powerful movement inspired by Standing Rock scares them, and labeling the people around the country fighting for change as “terrorists” is easier than standing up to their corporate donors.

That’s why we need your help. We have to tell Congress that it’s unacceptable to put the greed of Big Oil above our basic rights: to protect our communities and precious water resources and to speak out against those that threaten them. Please call your members of Congress today at 213-335-2077 to let them know that corporate polluters don’t run our country.

Thank you for standing with us,

Diana Best
Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace USA

[1] https://buck.house.gov/sites/buck.house.gov/files/wysiwyg_uploaded/Protecting%20Energy%20Infrastructure.pdf.
[2] https://thinkprogress.org/criminalize-pipeline-resistance-sessions-40828c2cb1e6/

The details are out―and (surprise) the Republican tax plan is not tax “reform.” It’s a massive tax cut mostly for the richest 1% and wealthy corporations. It will result in deep cuts to healthcare, education and other critical services we all rely on.
Paul Ryan and his fellow Republicans are trying to ram this sucker through the House before Thanksgiving. They figure if they move fast, and keep the American people in the dark, they can get it done. 

This is an absolutely critical time to take action to help us succeed in stopping this monstrosity. Phone calls are the single most important action you can take to stop it. There is no time to waste. If we block the bill in the House―which we can do with your help―our opponents are in deep trouble.
Call your U.S. Representative right now and tell them to OPPOSE the Republican tax plan:

Here’s a suggested call script:

My name is _______. I live in TOWN, STATE and I’m a constituent of the Representative’s.
I want Representative [NAME] to OPPOSE the House tax plan that delivers huge tax cuts to the richest 1% and wealthy corporations, funded by slashing Medicare, Medicaid and education. It’s wrong to give special tax breaks to the wealthy and powerful at the expense of working families.
Not only does this tax plan cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%―padding the pockets of CEO’s and shareholders―it’s also a job killer. By slashing the tax rate on foreign profits, the plan will encourage corporations to outsource jobs and shift profits offshore. 

Call your representative today to demand a tax system and an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. 

Thank you,
Craig Johnson
Digital Director
Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund


  1. It looks like voter apathy/learned helplessness was at work again yesterday, with polling numbers in the 30-40% range. Ohio voted against Issue 2, which would have capped pharmaceutical prices, by 80% against - another victory for Big Pharma. Once again they trotted out that old tired lie about the measure 'causing higher taxes.' Even so, the Green Party made significant strides in gaining public awareness. We will overcome the 1%.

    1. That's the spirit! We can't quit fighting the 1%. Big Pharma won't always be able to prevent changes in our health care for the better... We've just gotta keep at it.


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