Who is the audience?
May 7, 2014 by Thomas Wictor
Alanis Morissette has recorded “Today” for independent congressional candidate Marianne Williamson. Who is the audience?
Have you ever heard more loathsome tripe in your life? It’s fitting, since Williamson is a cheesy self-help entrepreneur who knows nothing about politics. Given that she’s not a politician, this isn’t a political post. It’s a post about rampant mediocrity.
Marianne is going to “revive the Constitution”? What does that mean? Marianne? Hello?
Beginning in the 1980s however, a fundamental shift took place: the American government itself, instead of working to broaden the economic franchise of the majority of Americans, began instead to broaden the economic franchise of a very small minority of Americans, usually at the expense of the majority.
This minority — called in today’s nomenclature The One Percent — has become the recipient of extraordinary government largess. From huge corporate subsidies, to tax breaks for the very wealthy, to deregulation of even the most fundamental economic protections (such as Glass-Steagall, which established a firewall between investment and commercial banking), to greater and greater permission given to moneyed interests to flood our political system, to the proverbial “revolving door” practice between corporate and government leaders, American social and economic policy has acted like a vacuum cleaner, taking the majority of our nation’s economic resources and sucking them into the hands of a very few.
Why would a huge multi-national corporation — with no particular allegiance to the American worker given that it is after all a global institution — feel any remorse about closing an American factory and relocating it in another country? Or fighting an increase in the minimum wage? Or cutting the health benefits of its workers? Or fighting fair labor practices? Or fighting labor itself? And the list goes on.
Where to begin?
The first sentence is a complete lie. Look at the tax rates from 1979. How is a “very small minority” having its “economic franchise broadened”? The rich had their taxes raised dramatically in 2013.
The US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Is that Williamson’s definition of “extraordinary government largess”? As for the the “very wealthy,” the top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of federal income taxes and 50 percent of state and local taxes. The wealthy get a break on capital gains, and you’d better be glad they do. Otherwise they wouldn’t risk their wealth, and states like California—which depend on taxation of the wealthy for their generous welfare programs—would go belly up.
While the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999, the Volcker Rule of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act essentially reinstates Glass-Steagall by preventing banks from engaging in the speculative behavior that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Williamson is talking about a problem that’s already been addressed.
Moneyed interests flood our political system because that’s politics. Whether it’s money from unions or the dreaded Koch brothers—who rank fifty-ninth on the list of top political donors—all politicians take it. Marianne Williamson herself takes boatloads of money from special interests.
By the way, I hear the Koch brothers mentioned all the time in the context of subverting democracy. During the same time period that they gave $18 million, their Democratic opponents who outspent them gave a total of $699 million. Nobody’s bitching about that. Why not? Won’t $699 million subvert democracy a hell of a lot more than $18 million?
Our “social and economic policy” doesn’t take “the majority of our nation’s economic resources” and put them in the hands of a very few. What happens is that the very wealthy earn their money. They create capital by starting or successfully running companies. The taxes levied on the middle class were voted for by the middle class. Since they’re uninformed, they sliced their own jugulars. The money taken from the middle class goes to the lower classes, not the wealthy. Rich people don’t get free stuff. They pay for it.
And American corporations move overseas to avoid the punitive taxes here. When you hear that some corporation paid no American taxes, it’s because they made all their earnings in other countries. The reason corporations fight raising the minimum wage is because wages are determined by the cost of doing business. If every worker in a fast-food joint earned enough to raise a family, each burger would cost $60. Either that or the chain would go bankrupt.
Don’t bitch about corporations not paying for health care. Again, the voters elected and re-elected a president whose signature legislation makes it impossible for companies to offer health insurance, so beginning in 2015, everyone who’s insured through their employers will lose their insurance. It’s not the fault of corporations. They simply don’t make enough money to pay for what the new law demands. Look at their pre-tax profit margins.
Before it even pays taxes, the most profitable industry has to put 84 percent of its earnings back into the company just to exist.
From Marianne Williamson’s Website.
I have long been a staunch supporter of universal health care in the United States, whether privately or publicly administered. Every industrialized Western nation has it, and so should we. My preference would be a single-payer system.
I’ve lived in five nations with a single-payer system. Here’s how they do it: two-tiered health care. Those of you want want free health care will get the Third World treatment I got in Venezuela, the Netherlands, Britain, Norway, and Japan; and the one percenters like Marianne Williamson will have private health care that they pay for out of pocket. Try and discover her net worth. I couldn’t. It has to be in the hundreds of millions.
Good for her. I’m a fan of capitalism.
She’s an even bigger fan of capitalism than I am. But capitalism for her, not for you. Like so many other obscenely wealthy entertainers and politicians, she wants to control you—lock, stock, and barrel.
Maybe you think a self-help guru is smarter than you are, so you need her to make decisions for you. She has no clue about me.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Speak for yourself, sweetheart. My entire life has been a journey toward the light. I’m the exact opposite of you, so don’t include me in your “we.”
Besides, Alanis herself knows the score. At 2:09 in the “Today” video, she starts making a jacking-off motion as she sings your praises. Talk about the mother of all Freudian slips. Or maybe—given the absolutely dismal quality of the song—she’s actually an operative of a Williamson opponent.
I’ll vote for any politician who chooses this as his or her campaign song.
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