Friday, September 23, 2016

The President Of Income Inequality

There is no love lost between Dr. Jill Stein and supporters of Hillary Clinton. There also is no love for either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump on the part of the Green Party candidate for President.

Recently, Dr. Stein sat for an interview with Politico's Glenn Thrush, who observed "her contempt has a more cutting quality when she talks about Clinton" than about Trump.  Stein's criticism of  the GOP nominee has a "ho-hum" quality about it as the Green

pointed to his position-hopping on a range of issues, which she cast as erratic rather than calculating — from his fuzzy Iraq positions over the years, to his brief “softening” on immigration last month, to his decision (on the day we spoke) to suddenly renounce birtherism after five years of banging a drumbeat of lies.

It's difficult to determine whether Trump's flip-flop-flip on various issues is in fact due more to being calculating than being erratic, and the truth may lie somewhere in between.  Still, Trump's apparent conversion on Barack Obama's birthplace, followed by the explanation "Well, I just wanted to get on with — I wanted to get on with the campaign. A lot of people were asking me questions,” suggests that he is crazy (or erratic) like a fox..

Trump was against the war in Iraq before he was against it before he was for it, not unlike his enthusaistic support for NATO military action in Libya before he was against it. But that is in the past and the only consistency in his position on immigration is the wall, which never will be built, and on Mexicans, whom he does not like.

Stein believes Trump's shifting positions indicate he "may have a problem with mental health." Yet, there are some issues on which he has been fairly consistent, ones which not coincidentally bear on Trump as wealthy businessman. He has not wavered in his opposition to a federal minimum wage- any federal minimum wage- nor in his antipathy toward unionization. In a radio interview in February he maintained

We've had great support from [union] workers, the people that work, the real workers, but I love the right to work.  I like it better because it is lower. It is better for the people. You are not paying the big fees to the unions. The unions get big fees. A lot of people don't realize they have to pay a lot of fees. I am talking about the workers. They have to pay big fees to the union. I like it because it gives great flexibility to the people. It gives great flexibility to the companies.

Unions by law must negotiate wages and benefits not only for their own members, but also for non-members, who pay reduced fees or none at all.  "Right to work laws" are intended to undermine unions, thereby undermining wages and further shrinking the middle class.

Trump vows to rescind Dodd-Frankhalt all new financial regulations, eliminate most regulations (including food), and opposes the estate tax, as he explained at the Detroit Economic Club in early August.  Rolling Stone reported

"American workers have paid taxes their whole life, they shouldn't be taxed again when they die," Trump said Monday. What Trump calls the "death tax," and what is more widely known as the "estate tax," is worth an estimated $25 billion a year. Doing away with it would only benefit the children of the very wealthy (for individuals, the first $5.45 million are exempt; for couples, the first $10.9 million) — like Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, Tiffany and Barron. (The Los Angeles Times dusted off a good breakdown from 2009 of the pros and cons for the occasion.)

The corporate tax rate currently sits at 35 percent; Trump proposed cutting it to 15 percent Monday. That break would also, presumably, benefit the more than 500 businesses in which Trump claimed a large ownership stake in his financial disclosures last year.

Keith Olbermann observes

The Republican Party has actually nominated for president an irresponsible, unrealistic, naive, petulant, childish, vindictive, prejudiced, bigoted, racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, fascistic, authoritarian, insensitive, erratic, disturbed, irrational, inhuman individual.

Whether disturbed or naive. Trump certainly isn't irrational, notwithstanding Stein's suspicion or Olbermann's comprehensive bill of particulars against the candidate.  Whatever he does on race, immigration, war and peace, gay rights, reinstating torture, or press freedom, there is little doubt Donald Trump will do when it comes to preserving and strengthening the rights and privileges of the ruling class, to which he proudly belongs.

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