If Democrats are the default leaders of the resistance and our only legislative protection from preventing President Trump from suspending all elections, appointing himself King, and pardoning the crimes he commits, then we should at least demand they fire their Communications Director who thought Papa John's Pizza has a slogan that "people could really get behind."
If they keep this slogan, Democrats will continue to lose further ground in the Senate, especially if Republicans are able to find politically-safe territory by opposing Trump's vulgar language, while simultaneously upholding his populist policies. The lesson to be learned from Hillary Clinton's electoral loss cannot simply be "anti-Trump" and it certainly can't be "A Better Deal: Better Skills, Better Jobs, Better Wages"" #ShittyPizza #ShittyDeal
Democrats need to oppose the unbelievably shitty status-quo and do so in a way that builds a diverse and inclusive coalition.
And there is a common universal fact that Democratic leadership has been missing: 99% of us have been losing wealth, power, and job protections while the 0.01% richest people in this country have seen an enormous increase in theirs. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast.
In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 22 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 11 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
This inequality is not just hitting voters who lean Democratic, it impacts the Republican voters who went for Trump too. If Democrats are looking for a populist message that can fit on a bumper sticker, defeat the Republicans in 2018, and seriously tackle some of American's biggest problems, then repeat after me: "TAX. THE. RICH."
Not only is it smart politics, but in this case, it's necessary to save our economy.
"It a slogan that fits on a bumper stick, a t-shirt, and a freakin fitbit — millennials are going to go crazy for this shit." - John Danger Kelly
During the past three decades, compensation for CEOs grew 127 times faster than it did for workers. Since 1950, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio has increased 1,000 percent, and that is not a typo. CEOs used to earn 30 times the median wage; now they rake in 500 times. Yet no company that I know of has eliminated its senior managers, outsourced them to China, or automated their jobs. Instead, we now have more CEOs and senior executives than ever before. So, too, for financial services workers and technology workers. These folks earn multiples of the median wage, yet we somehow have more and more of them.
The divide between the rich and the poor is growing and the middle class continues to shrink, and many newly poor Americans are looking for someone to blame. Democrats need to realize that they will quickly become extinct if they don't find an enemy to blame for America's woes and luckily the rich are already responsible for most of our economic problems.
The ironic part of income inequality is that is self-defeating and negatively impacts not only the poor and the middle-class, but the rich too. The biggest lie the Republican party continues to tell is that the rich are the job creators, when it reality it has always been the middle-class consumer.
Henry Ford famously raised his workers wages to at-the-time an eye staggering $5 a day so that they could afford to buy his cars, and that lesson still applies today. The fastest-growing city in America? Seattle, which was the first city in America to implement a $15 minimum wage which now receives a 74% approval rating within the city while also enjoying robust 4% GDP growth rate while the nation struggles along at a meager 1.2% growth rate.
Democrats are ignoring the basic truth of market-based capitalism: If workers have more money, businesses have more customers. Which makes middle-class consumers, not rich businesspeople, the true job creators. Which means a thriving middle class is the source of American prosperity, not a consequence of it. The middle class creates rich people, not the other way around.
Democrats would be smart to energize this economic populist message and run with it, especially in a time where more Americans have been more separated from the rich than ever before.
Democrats should not be afraid to demonize the rich. They are going to be fine. And in the process, they will make voters realize that there are way, way more of us than there are of them and that WE THE PEOPLE can vote to take their money away. We have that power, it is written in the Constitution. Congress has the ability to levy taxes, and we should target the uber-rich among us whose bank accounts due nothing for the economy but collect commas and dust.
Rich People Do Fucking Nothing For the Economy
Billionaires like Bill Gates make over 500,000 times the average American's salary, but they do not buy 500,000 the amount of goods and services. He doesn't buy 500,000 times the amount of shirts, or cars, or houses or groceries and cannot consume on the level that 500,000 Americans can. Bill Gates' merely money sits in an excel spreadsheet being under-utilized and separated from the American economy entirely.
Americans in poverty on the other hand are regularly forced to spend more than 100% of their annual yearly income and while being forced further into debt. The simple truth is that living paycheck to paycheck is not only incredibly dangerous for a person's economic and mental stability, but it does little to nothing to benefit the rest of the economy.
If a worker earns $7.25 an hour, which is now the national minimum wage, what proportion of that person’s income do you think ends up in the cash registers of local small businesses? Hardly any. That person is paying rent, ideally going out to get subsistence groceries at Safeway, and, if really lucky, has a bus pass. But he/she’s not going out to eat at restaurants. Not browsing for new clothes. Not buying flowers on Mother’s Day.
By pushing for economic populist ideas such as free college, universal healthcare, raising the minimum wage, low-income housing, and food stamps, Democrats can find a common rallying point and an easy answer of how to pay for it— Tax. The.Rich.
It's fit on a bumper stick and millennials are going to go crazy for it.
Name your problem in American politics and it can be solved by taxing the rich.
Child poverty? Inexcusable and fixable by taxing the rich and providing world class education, universal free lunch programs, teacher training, early childcare, and universal healthcare coverage — at the cost of Donald Trump and his buddies. Medical debt? Immoral and can be solved by taxing the rich and removing insurance companies away from the equation. Climate Change? Apocalyptic and fixable by taxing the rich and putting a tax on carbon and pollution while putting a U.S. military-sized investment in renewable technologies.
The middle class is smaller than it has been since the Great Depression and Democrats are acting that the only thing Americans care about are Trump's tweets. They should realize how risky that plan is because Trump isn't on the ballot in 2018 and if they fall flat on their face and give Republicans a supermajority (not an unreal possibility given the difficult map and low turnout during midterm elections), then those Democratic voters who stayed home.... might join the party with the pitchforks because this level of inequality is unsustainable and history screams that revolution is what is coming next.