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How Hypocrites in High Places Have Contributed to the Riots in the Streets

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/21/how-hypocrites-high-places-have-contributed-riots-streets

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If one would read the nonsense posted by the resident Ludwig Van Mises cultists and those that belive the “Chicago School of Economics” akin to a high and holy church , their doctrine not to be questioned, these riots are naught more than “wealth envy” and these people should all be on their knees in gratitude praying to the High Gods of the Pantheon of Mammom like Bezos and Buffet and Gates and thanking them that through their benevolence that the minions are allowed their existence.

In their world nothing that is good can come from anywhere but the 1 percent. This stuff is not new. It has been going on throughout History. Here in North Americas west Coast our First Nations peoples recognized how wealth inequality could destroy a society. Their answer to this was things like the Potlatch Ceremony where wealth redistributed.

The “Good Christians” representing the Church suggested this a godless act and had the ceremonies made illegal.

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Talk about entitled thinking.

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I dunno–seems to me this piece accepts the framing that what’s happening in American cities filled with protesters being attacked by police is “rioting” and “violence” on the part of protesters. But the vast majority of protesters are not violent, and the few that are are mostly doing property damage? Is that violence? Some define it as such, I don’t. When I first read Derrick Jensen’s assertion that “violence by those lower on the social and economic scale against those higher is always deplored and punished; violence by those higher in power and status against those lower is not even recognized as violence” I thought he was exaggerating. But I keep seeing this. Most of the actual, physical violence against human bodies happening in these “riots” is done by police. But that doesn’t count, does it? Even the property damage is done to an unknown degree by agents provocateur–we’ll never know what percentage.

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In 2018, the NYC Police department had to pay out $230,000,000 as a result of police misconduct.

The 3rd precinct in Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s murderers basically ran amok as a government-sanctioned vigilante squad, paid out more than $2,000,000 over 10 years.

And in terms of violence, let’s remember that the War on Drugs is essentially a way to warehouse buyers and a sellers of a commodity who have agreed to terms. A non-violent, victimless crime. Yes, gangs are involved – because we monetize and criminalize a public health issue. And actual violent crime decreased by 50% from 1990 to 2018, while ever-more-militarized police filled our prisons with petty dealers and addicts.

As I read in an excellent Harper’s article this month by NYC public defender, Sergio De La Pava:

“So if the police are here to keep us safe, but we keep getting safer and safer regardless of their conduct, then modern policing, with its characteristic overwhelming show of force, begins to look like a cure in search of a disease.”

George Floyd died over $20. And that’s what a black life is worth to the po-po in the 3rd precinct.

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Many of the “riots” reported by the media are orchestrated by the right wing per Goebbels play book, first manifested when Hitler loyalists burned the Reichstag and blamed it on the communists.

Adding insult to injury, faux noise and other right wing media report riots where none exist.

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The Rand Corporation report, “Trends in Income 1975 to 2018” says on page 27 that $50,000 was the average income for full-time year-round prime age workers, and it could have been $92,000 in 2018. See page 27, Table 2b. Hard to believe. It shows that in 45 years since 1975 those incomes have grown by 19% (from $42,000 to $50,000), and they could have grown to $90,000, or 114%. That’s a multiple of 2.14 times (2.14 times 42,000 = 90,000). The BEA (dot) gov site, Table 2.1, shows that “disposable income” per capita grew, 1975 to 2018, by a multiple of 2.25 times. (from $18,869 to $44,553 in inflation adjusted dollars). So ------- if wage income had grown at the rate of the economic growth, the $50,000 income of today would be worth about $92,000. Who stole the money? This is not new knowledge, I read James Cypher’s article in Dollar and Sense magazine in 2011, he states that nearly $2 trillion were “purloined” in 2009 from workers. And besides income being greater, it stands to reason that household savings (net worth) also would be – about $400,000 more for every household in the lower 90%. That would be a different and better world! When will the news break forth? We can obviously do something about it. And consider this, the average household income is $150,000, but unfortunately the median is below $68,703, the info in last week’s release from the USCensus. Half of Americans live with incomes not even half of the average. And as a second thought, the Americorp agency that employed maybe 75,000 young Americans in service work at a very low wage income, about $17,000 a year with full benefits, was formerly shut down by Trump on March 11, 2020, just two days before he issued a National Emergency declaration for Covid-19. Ironic. We could use those AmeriCorp people to work as contact tracer workers to monitor and Covid epidemic. The shutdown had been in the works since 2017, and it’s a done deal. I read a little about the Corporation for National and Community Service, which contains Americorp, Senior Corp, Peace Corp and some others. " 41% of AmeriCorps members went on to receive a 4-year college degree within three years of entering AmeriCorps.[[21]] - a Wikipedia quote. It was started in 1990 under G H W Bush in his 1,000 Points of Light volunteer program. The Americorp had an alumni web page with testimonials about how their workers turned their lives around, very inspiring. Maybe we can get it back, soon. Thanks again, Paul B.

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Currently the government is not collecting enough in taxes to support both social services, infrastructure, and the military, so naturally the military budget gets increased while infrastructure and social services face cuts. Had the average income for full-time year-round prime age workers been $92,000 this year the government would be collecting considerably more from taxes that could be applied to social services and infrastructure. Had the rate of taxation on high incomes remained as high as it was back in 1980 the government would have even more cash available to work with. However, the government rather than adequately taxing the rich to get the cash needed (and to prevent the dangerous accumualtion of wealth in a few hands) continues to borrow from the wealthy the money needed to finance its operations, thus as we repay these loans with our taxes we further contribute to the wealth of the few.

The Sam Pizzigati article “Remembering Ike, Our Unexpected Egaltarian” (~https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/09/21/remembering-ike-our-unexpected-egalitarian/) would be a good companion piece to this CommonDreams article. Pizzigati points out that Ike chose not to reduce the taxation of the rich. From the article:

Some Trump supporters claim to find the criticisms of Trump boring and predictable. Actually though these very criticisms may be the only thing of interest about Trump. I see great variety and nuance in them and prefer the stripe characterized by annihilating laughter-- the very thing that Trump fears most.

To quote Carrie’s mom, “They’re all going to laugh at you.”

Trump and millions of Americans-- a minority let’s hope-- reveal a dearth of passionate good humor.

Wenn der Fuhrer sagt dis ist der Meister Race, ve vill all go crappola right in der Fuhrer’s face.

He has said it and at least those with a sense of humor will.

Sincerely, Bottle or John Escher (I go by both names)

Good, I read the Pizzigati article. He works at Inequality (dot) org.

Thank YOU! If it’s Yuppies in Chinese child-slave shop pink fracked-orlon Resistance™ hats, driving around in Audi Q7s to brunch… it’s a protest, march or rally. When we’re hit with experimental LRAD and microwave cannons, tortured with tasers, flash-bangs, “less than lethal” metal tubes, partially embedded in neoprene “rubber” bullets, doused with pepper gas, 5X normal, bopped with lead packed taser tip PR-24, 36 horse mounted or lines of motorcycle cops, ramming riot fences into us in Times Square, grabbed off Pittsburgh’s streets into unmarked cars, for protesting fracking in 2009… we were RIOTING and assaulting law enforcement? Imagine what’s happening now: ~15% increase in COVID with newly homeless, jobless, malnourished, evicted citizens with NO healthcare… who BOTH candidates accuse or “looting” & “rioting” and our K Street trolls blame for being victims?

~https://theintercept.com/2020/09/22/anarchist-jurisdictions-portland-new-york-seattle/

~https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ep435n/gig-economy-company-launches-uber-but-for-evicting-people

~https://fair.org/home/the-court-has-refused-to-fashion-concrete-legal-standards-about-the-rights-of-protesters/

~https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/22/jnap-s22.html (who needs company thugs, cops or militia?)

~https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/goldman-sachs-ex-ceo-lloyd-blankfein-might-vote-trump-sanders-2020-2-1028927812#