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On Government. We Haven't Learned.

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Democratic Donkey & Republican Elephant - Caricatures
Democratic Donkey & Republican Elephant - Caricatures
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There are two types of government: one that serves the people, and the other extracts wealth from them. In the US this neatly characterizes the two political parties and is a fairly accurate interpretation of left and right.

Republicans put the US in the second, right wing category. Some of their scams are in plain sight. They cut taxes for the wealthy by adding to public debt. They deregulate allowing the financial sector to go out of control. When the banks get in trouble, government bails them out. This is lemon socialism: bailouts for the wealthy when they get in trouble, but nothing for people.

To pay for lost tax revenue, Rs cut health care, social security, Medicare, welfare programs, public employee benefits. They cut higher education and profit from student debt.

Republicans minimize the expense of government services such as welfare, sell off (privatize) public assets, bust unions, and give themselves tax cuts at public expense. They would also repeal healthcare for millions to save money for their tax cuts. Long run they have produced extreme inequality and brought on a fascist government.

They privatize (sell off public assets): schools, prisons, public lands, and crumbling infrastructure. They impose religious views on women s rights, deregulate for-profit schools while keeping them white.

The Supreme Court has defined much of the policy that has brought on corporate rule, allowed big dark money into elections, suppressed unions, rolled back the Voting Rights Act, and of course Republicans have further packed the Court with ideologues that will no doubt further enable right-wing government.

Fox News, supermarket tabloids and other right-wing propaganda outlets enlist the religious right and racists to keep a wealthy minority in control.

Institutional forces including government, market, religion, and others ramp up income inequality weakening democracy. Historically as inequality rises, which it naturally does, authoritarianism usually emerges and stamps out democracy.

Republicans are mostly concerned about money and protecting their wealth. Their racist, anti-immigrant attitudes and fortress mentality should not surprise anyone since they represent billionaires. They are deficit hawks when not in office. Otherwise they claim tax cuts, paid from taxpayer debt, will bring prosperity, but mostly for themselves. Changing the withholding table made the Trump Tax cuts look positive for a lot of people, but refunds disappeared at tax time, and actual tax benefit will expire for most people.

Lobbyists, well funded from Citizens United, allow fossil fuel polluters to deny global warming, pharma to keep drug prices high, health care to remain a corporate feeding frenzy, Banks get bailed out when risky trades fail which makes a volatile business cycle an opportunity to make money. Deregulation of the financial sector can be a technique to blow up the economy. Special interests rule.

These all redistribute upward, sink the middle class, and make government unresponsive to people.

Republicans claim they want smaller government, but they are always willing to lavish resources on the military. They do not recognize that for decades military action has failed to serve any purpose except to reward war profiteers. The war economy is an economic bubble which needs to be carefully deflated. Congress has all but ceded war power to the President. We have a forever war.

What Republicans actually mean by smaller government is that they would cut social programs, and currently they are attempting to cut bargaining rights and compensation of public employees including pensions. They do not want women to have rights over their own body.

¨In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.¨ Gilens and Page

The working class has been getting squeezed for decades, it is collapsing, and there appears to be no end to it. Government responds to the wealthy, not the people.

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Robert Vogel is a retired IT worker and Free Software advocate living in Connecticut and unhappy with Republicans in government. He maintains a website at

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