Pope Francis: Don’t Believe ‘Trickle-Down Theories’

Pope Francis

h/t DSWright on Firedoglake

The most inspiring Pontiff since John Paul II has done it again. Pope Francis has issued a rigorous and comprehensive denunciation of trickle-down economics, the long-discredited theory that the best way to aid poor people is through policies that help the rich get richer.

Called his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) makes clear that Pope Francis regards modern capitalism and the political movement promoting it to be antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.

Among other things, Pope Francis wrote (emphasis added):

54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.

Apostolic exhortations like Evangelii Gaudium are basically calls to carry out existing Church teachings, so in many ways there’s nothing unique about the sentiments expressed in the document. Roman Catholics grew up on stories like Jesus’ admonition that “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:23-26).

UPDATE: How To Use The Pope’s Agenda To Make The World More Equal

How do we ensure that the Pope’s shift in focus to inequality and the well-being of the poor becomes a focus of actual politics and not just a bunch of nice words that make us feel like our philosophical principles got a nod from the Big Guy?

UPDATE: Obama cites Pope Francis to attack income inequality and call for minimum wage increase

“The combined trends of increasing inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream,” Obama said.

  1. #1 by Anonymous on November 27, 2013 - 4:27 pm

    The Catholic Church has been named an international criminal organization, and has been involved in crimes against humanity and genocide. Currently up for these crimes and desperate as the world figures out its crimes.


  2. #2 by cav on November 27, 2013 - 6:06 pm

    “The Pope is a Marxist!” — Rush Limbaugh

  3. #3 by Larry Bergan on November 27, 2013 - 10:27 pm

    The pope seems to be making a dash towards the left:

    What are ya’ gonna do when the flock bolts?

  4. #4 by cav on November 27, 2013 - 10:57 pm

    I’d like to think he’s just playing ‘catch-up’ with that ‘bolted flock’.

  5. #5 by brewski on November 28, 2013 - 5:24 am

    Richard, apparently you didn’t read the entire document. A selective summary from some lefty kid who has never had a real job is a poor substitute.

    Read what the pope says about the “welfare mentality”.

    • #6 by Richard Warnick on November 28, 2013 - 10:50 am

      I did read it. But here’s the context (emphasis added):

      192. Yet we desire even more than this; our dream soars higher. We are not simply talking about ensuring nourishment or a “dignified sustenance” for all people, but also their “general temporal welfare and prosperity”. This means education, access to health care, and above all employment, for it is through free, creative, participatory and mutually supportive labour that human beings express and enhance the dignity of their lives. A just wage enables them to have adequate access to all the other goods which are destined for our common use.

      When Pope Francis mentions “an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality,” he is talking about education, health care, and jobs at a living wage.

      JFK was not a supply-sider and neither is Pope Francis. Right-wing up-is-downism cannot overcome the facts.

  6. #8 by cav on November 28, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    By LUCY MCCALMONT | 11/28/13 1:41 PM EST

    “Jeb Bush slammed President Barack Obama for “closing” the U.S. Embassy in the Vatican, suggesting it’s an attack against Catholics who don’t support Obamacare”.

    What really happened was The Vatican has infiltrated the U.S. Embassy and is planning to take over America and force all its citizens to kneel before the pope.

    • #9 by Richard Warnick on November 29, 2013 - 2:33 am


      Of course, the embassy isn’t really closing. It won’t even downsize any of its personnel and the State Department estimates that the re-location will save $1.4 million a year.

      Another episode of right-wing up-is-downism syndrome.

  7. #10 by brewski on November 29, 2013 - 3:50 am

    The pope wrote in one sentence just for you:

    ” I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism”

    Especially the word “irresponsible”. He was speaking to you.

    • #11 by Richard Warnick on November 29, 2013 - 10:37 am

      I like what he DID propose. Education and health care for all, and just wages for people who have to work for a living. Not to mention the end of “trickle-down” policies.

      • #12 by brewski on November 29, 2013 - 5:00 pm

        I have never heard anyone who was in favor of trickle down. That is like being “pro-abortion”. It is a canard.

        • #13 by Richard Warnick on November 29, 2013 - 6:42 pm

          For an orphan idea supposedly nobody believes in, trickle-down economic theory has a long history. Origins of trickle-down theory:

          1. In an economic slump, some say the government should make efforts to increase the supply (output or production) of an economy. Others argue the opposite: Lack of consumer demand is the root of the problem, and government should encourage consumer demand. Nineteenth-century French economist Jean-Baptiste Say (1767–1832) argued the former. Say’s Law states that the way to economic growth is to boost production, and demand naturally follows. This flew in the face of the belief of the time, which was that a lack of money — and thus lack of demand — caused bad economic times.

          2. Say’s Law was tried in the United States in the 1890s under the name “horse and sparrow theory” (“If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”) Economist John Kenneth Galbraith blamed this theory for the Panic of 1896. Who could have guessed that telling ordinary Americans to eat shit might have bad consequences?

          3. In the 1920s humorist Will Rogers coined the term “trickle-down,” saying, “The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes it would trickle down to the needy.” The Harding and Coolidge administrations both implemented trickle-down theory, passing a series of tax cuts to reduce taxes on the wealthy that helped bring about the Great Depression.

          4. By the time the Depression hit in the 1930s, trickle-down again lost all credibility. John Maynard Keynes argued that there are such things as overproduction and lack of demand, and the key is to increase demand rather than supply. Government should promote consumer demand rather than entrepreneurial production. When people consume more, they create more jobs and production.

          5. However, trickle-down theory is one of those zombie ideas that never die. By the 1970s, right-wingers were again peddling the discredited Say’s Law in a new guise, the Laffer Curve. Arthur Laffer posited that lowering tax rates could, under certain circumstances, lead to more revenue. The Laffer Curve was popularized with policymakers following an afternoon meeting with Ford Administration officials Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in 1974 in which he reportedly sketched the curve on a napkin to illustrate his argument.

          6. Another exhumation of trickle down theory came to be called “supply-side economics.” The term “supply side” was first used by Herbert Stein, a former economic adviser to President Nixon, in 1976. Supply-siders argue that lower marginal tax rates and less regulation will lead to a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices.

          7. Right-wing commentator Jude Wanniski helped popularize trickle-down theory. In 1978, Jude Wanniski published “The Way the World Works,” in which he laid out the central thesis of supply-side economics. Like Say, Wanniski believed that boosting the supply side of the economy rather than the demand side is the way to economic prosperity.

          8. Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, and his administration was the first since the Depression to subscribe to the trickle-down theory. In 1981, President Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), which cut all marginal tax rates dramatically (the top fell from 70 percent to 50 percent). Since then, trickle-down theory has been tied closely to Reagan’s policies, collectively named Reaganomics.

          9. As Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman explained later, when one stripped away the new rhetoric emphasizing across-the-board cuts, the supply-side theory was really new clothes for the unpopular doctrine of the old Republican orthodoxy. “It’s kind of hard to sell ‘trickle down,'” he explained, “so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really ‘trickle down.’ Supply-side is ‘trickle-down’ theory.”

          10. Trickle-down theory was again implemented by the George W. Bush administration, through huge tax cuts for the rich leading to a near-total collapse of the financial sector in 2008. That really ought to have been the last nail in the coffin of trickle-down. President Obama won the support of voters that year by promising to tax the wealthy and ease the tax burden on the lower-income bracket. This campaign promise was not kept, except partially by increasing the top tax bracket.

          • #14 by brewski on November 29, 2013 - 8:54 pm

            Not one of your examples was anyone in favor of trickle down anything. Quite a wasted effort I’d say.

          • #15 by Richard Warnick on November 30, 2013 - 10:08 am

            David Stockman explained that “supply-side” is code for “trickle-down.” I know you can’t have missed that, because we’ve been over this exact same point before.

    • #16 by cav on November 29, 2013 - 12:23 pm

      And I’m sure he meant ‘Pope-ulism’ as well. Shees!

      • #17 by Larry Bergan on November 29, 2013 - 10:57 pm


        Nobody but you could coin a word like that. Keep up the funny!

  8. #18 by Larry Bergan on November 29, 2013 - 10:55 pm

    Supply-side huh? Well, if Republicans are good at anything they’re good at renaming things, and nobody had even heard of Frank – death tax – Luntz at the time. Who knew?

    brewski can’t admit that Republicans actually promote the concept that when the rich do better, everybody does better. I’m sure a great deal of them believe that because it makes THEM feel better and they have installed Rush Limbaugh on the airwaves to tuck them in at night.

    • #19 by brewski on November 30, 2013 - 8:47 am

      “You can’t be pro-employment and anti-employer”

      Paul Tsongas (D) Mass.

      • #20 by Richard Warnick on November 30, 2013 - 10:30 am

        The only source for that alleged quote I can find is this. Do you have another source?

        • #21 by brewski on November 30, 2013 - 4:09 pm


          Starts about 22:00

          “You cannot redistribute wealth that you never created. You cannot be pro-jobs and anti-business at the same time. You cannot love employment and hate employers.”

          Also listen to what he says about intergenerational theft.

          I guess Tsongas must be a Tea Partier and Faux News racists too.

  9. #22 by Larry Bergan on November 29, 2013 - 11:08 pm

    All of the myriad of right-wing talk show hosts are fake populists who promote the agenda of fake populist/”grass-roots organizations. The list of both hosts and organizations is massive and have never been what the larger populace wanted to hear.

    Fake is the operative word here.

  10. #23 by Larry Bergan on November 29, 2013 - 11:14 pm

    If Will Rogers were alive today, he’d have to beg for money to run a podcast and nobody would know who he is.

    • #24 by brewski on November 30, 2013 - 8:45 am

      No, he’d make $25K per hour on the professional speakers’ circuit just like all the other babbling heads.


      • #25 by Larry Bergan on November 30, 2013 - 10:12 am

        I hate to bring this up, but when the oceans are poisoned by ONE plant, we’re in really big trouble.. 🙁

        brewski, (bad boy), we love you, BUT that Maddow site wouldn’t be fake, would it? Didn’t see a mention of MSNBC.

        • #26 by brewski on November 30, 2013 - 9:36 pm

          It is her agent’s site. She is the 1%.

  11. #27 by Larry Bergan on November 29, 2013 - 11:21 pm

    When they coined the name “Think Tanks” they left themselves open:

    Stink Tanks.

  12. #28 by cav on November 30, 2013 - 8:56 am

    In the whole ‘The Pope (or anyone for that matter) sounds like a Marxist’ trope, there’s a really uninformed sense of what that is. The purveyor just looks (and probably is) stupid.

    Marx was a theorist, philosopher, historian. He had some insights about how and why things happen.

    Limbaugh and others who take this tack can be equated with those who would belittle someone because they’re associated with the Rotary Club. Granted some Rotarians are assholes, but that’s not the point at all.

    • #29 by brewski on November 30, 2013 - 9:04 am

      We know that state-ownership of industries doesn’t work. So everything else about Marx doesn’t matter. Having a philosophy that doesn’t work is pointless.

  13. #30 by cav on November 30, 2013 - 9:30 am

    Still missing the point.

    In any event, let’s turn our attention to ‘industry’s’ ownership of the state then.

    Fascism has its dysfunctional side so why not discount it in its entirety as well?

    • #31 by brewski on November 30, 2013 - 9:53 am

      Fascism is statism. Fascism and Marxism are closely related in their elevation of the state over the sovereignty of the individual. Fascism and Marxism both use control over industry for the needs of the state as determined by the “leaders” and not by the free will of individuals. I am quite willing to discount Fascism as I discount Marxism as both being immoral philosophies as well as not working.

      • #32 by Larry Bergan on November 30, 2013 - 10:16 am

        So hippies are to blame?

  14. #33 by Frank Kafka on November 30, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    Hippies are always to blame, and all because they refuse to wash.

    • #34 by Larry Bergan on November 30, 2013 - 2:51 pm

      There weren’t any showers at Woodstock or The Isle of Wight.

  15. #35 by cav on November 30, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    I shower once a week whether I need it or not.

    • #36 by Larry Bergan on November 30, 2013 - 6:44 pm

      Considering the water requirements of the new spy center in Bluffdale, we may all need to go without showering so we can be spied on.

      Wouldn’t want to be working in the smell section.

  16. #37 by JBT on November 30, 2013 - 7:25 pm

    The Utah State Liquor Stores seem to be doing quite well in spite of the claim that “state-ownership of industries doesn’t work”. Maybe we live in a Mormon/Marxist state, or maybe it could be called a Marxmon or Mormist one.

    • #38 by brewski on November 30, 2013 - 7:57 pm

      Please tell me you aren’t that stupid. Please please tell me that was a joke.

  17. #39 by JBT on December 1, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    What part of state ownership of liquor stores don’t you get Brewski?

    • #40 by brewski on December 1, 2013 - 6:54 pm

      What part of an incredibly inefficient organization that would be wiped clean from the face of the earth if it wasn’t protected by the state enforced monopoly which makes it a criminal offense to compete with them?

      You are stupid and inarticulate.

      • #41 by JBT on December 1, 2013 - 9:28 pm

        Utah State Liquor Stores do work. They provide a service, generate tax revenue, and produce a generous profit for state coffers. This fact refutes your statement that “state ownership of industries doesn’t work”. In a Marxist state there would be no competition with state run industries as well so that is not the issue. The issue is whether or not they work. Only those who are losing an argument need to resort to ad hominem attacks.

        Please reread the first sentence of your last response very carefully and see if “inarticulate” and “stupid” are accusations you really want to hurl at others.

        • #42 by brewski on December 2, 2013 - 9:01 am

          Those were not ad hominem attacks as I had clearly showed how inane your point is.

          Here are the facts:
          1. DABC provides lousy selection, lousy locations, lousy hours, lousy customer service at ridiculously high prices.

          2. They only exist since it is a criminal offense to compete with them.

          3. Anyone who has ever lived in any other state knows how lousy the DABC is compared to private businesses competing with each other.

          4. Any “business” can make a profit if it has at their disposal the State police force arresting and throwing in jail your competition.

          So yes, you are stupid and inarticulate.

    • #44 by Larry Bergan on December 6, 2013 - 4:42 am

      Bagley came out to a Howard Dean meeting. I said, “you must love your job” he , of course said he did.

      He has earned that.

      I just got the meaning of the cartoon, about four days late. 🙂

      Something about squares. OK! I’m slow!

  18. #45 by JBT on December 2, 2013 - 9:39 am

    Your statement “We know that state-ownership of industries doesn’t work.” is on it’s face untrue.
    That is an absolute, all encompassing statement that you have no way of supporting. “We” implies that you know the thoughts of everyone else on earth. That in itself is patently false. “State ownership of industries doesn’t work, is another absolute claim that can be easily rebuffed with a single example. I gave you such an example of a state owned industry that works quite well in Utah. Then you have attempted to cloud the issue with claims that liquor stores in states where they are not state owned and operated are superior in service, prices, selection, and hours. That was not the premise of your original statement. You did not say that state owned industries do not work as well as or as efficiently as those competing for customers in private enterprise. I may have agreed with you had you said that, but you did not.

    Intelligent and articulate people say exactly what they mean, and mean what they say. They do not make sweeping, absolute statements that are indefensible and then turn themselves into pretzels trying to defend what they said while getting pissed off and hurling epithets at their interlocutor.

    Another way to say this Brewski is in “web wars” the first one to get pissed off looses. That makes me the winner in this discussion. Thank you for adding to my entertainment. Will be trolling you again sometime.

    P.S. if you ever get tired of hearing all those crazy voices in your head, stop watching Fox News. Ciao.

  19. #46 by brewski on December 2, 2013 - 9:51 am

    You failed the modified Godwin’s Law by mentioning Fox News which gives me a win by default. Thank you for making it easy.

    So if your sole point that “not working” and “working very badly” are not precisely the same, then you can pat yourself on the back.

    You may also want to tell your friends in Cuba and North Korea that everything there is going really well. By banning innovation, growth and entrepreneurship, and by jailing competitors, everything there is going just fine.

  20. #47 by Frank Kafka on December 2, 2013 - 12:06 pm

    Hey.. the itccs.org says it all. The catholic church is an international criminal organization. The claims are real, the evidence damning and irrefutable.

    Anyone shilling anything in a papal robe isn’t doing anyone any favors. Considering that marxist doctrine got millions of people murdered in a domestic and international ideological struggle, today’s filthy pope spewing marxism is hardly surprising,

  21. #48 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 9:57 am

    Can’t make this stuff up. Tea party activist Jonathon Moseley: “Jesus was a capitalist.”

    • #49 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 10:53 am

      You have successfully quoted someone no one has ever heard of.

      Jesus was certainly not an Authoritarian Stadt-ist like you. He was constantly fighting against both the Roman Stadt-ist imperial authority as well as the Jewish Priest Temple Industrial Complex. So you will find little support for your Authoritian Stadt-ist feelings in the words of Jesus.

      It seems that your knowledge of math, economics and finance are on about the same level as your knowledge of Jesus.

      • #50 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 11:19 am

        Michael Moore nailed the absurdity of “capitalist Jesus” in “Capitalism: A Love Story” (2009).

        • #51 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 11:29 am

          As usual, you are confusing capitalism with materialism, greed and selfishness. They are not related.

          • #52 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 12:02 pm

            Imagining capitalism without materialism, greed and selfishness is just as absurd as imagining “capitalist Jesus.”

          • #53 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 12:09 pm

            No it isn’t.

            But in your incorrect twisted conception of it I am sure this seems so to you.

            You might want to remember this one:

            “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

          • #54 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 12:40 pm

            Because materialism, greed, and selfishness are antithetical to Christianity.

            “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.”
            — Matthew 6:28

          • #55 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 1:24 pm

            As I just said, materialism selfishness and greed are not related to capitalism.

            No where does the bible say anything against private property, trade and economic liberty. It does say a lot about envy and hypocrisy.

            You’ve lost on this one.

          • #56 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 1:50 pm

            “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
            – Matthew 19:24

          • #57 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 2:08 pm


            “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

          • #58 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 2:31 pm

            “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
            — Matthew 6:24

            Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
            — Hebrews 13:5

            “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
            — 1 Timothy 6:9-10

            “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
            — Matthew 6:19-21

            “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
            — 1 Corinthians 13:13

            I can do this all day.

  22. #59 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    Gospel of selfishness pervades American Christianity

    The fact that conservatism causes obnoxious Christian piety in American culture is most obvious when looking at some of the theological developments that have accrued since the philosophers of selfishness decided to use Christianity as their cover story. The “prosperity gospel” that has developed in recent years is a classic example.

    The prosperity gospel teaches, to be blunt, that you can tell how much God favors you by how rich you are. While some on the Christian right reject this idea as a tad crude, it’s still wildly popular and its adherents, like Oral Roberts, are some of the major architects and organizers for the Christian right. It’s a perfect example of how conservative ideology leads to pious Christianity. People want to believe that the rich are better than everyone else and the poor don’t deserve squat, so they find a way to blame God for it rather than own their own greed and selfishness.

    Of course, Pope Francis has called bullshit on these people, and boy are they angry about it!

    • #60 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 1:27 pm

      If you want to criticize current culture then you will be right. But your statements about what Jesus taught are dead wrong.

      • #61 by Richard Warnick on December 3, 2013 - 2:33 pm

        Wrong how? Christianity is antithetical to capitalism. Everybody knows this.

        • #62 by cav on December 3, 2013 - 5:01 pm

          And an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of keyboards just typed a Shakespeare Sonnet.

          Lloyd Blankfein, “This country does a great job of creating wealth, but not a great [job] of distributing it.”

        • #63 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 8:01 pm

          False. Entirely false. Obviously false. In every way false.

  23. #64 by cav on December 3, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    Marx was Jesus incarnate.

  24. #65 by cav on December 3, 2013 - 5:15 pm

    too good not to share…Please, see God.

    The Bad Professor’s Beltway Decoder
    A Lexicon of Washington Media
    (please feel free to share and pass on at will)

    access: exchanged for integrity (see civility)
    adult: (see responsible)
    average income: a figure used for lying about how most people live
    all options are on the table: preparing to do something hideously destructive
    articulate: can form a grammatically coherent English sentence at least 31% of the time
    austerity: stealing from the poor, old, and sick to compensate the rich for their own folly
    balance: giving equal time to absurd and/or bogus claims without further investigation; tilting rightward
    Beltway Consensus: platitudes congenial to the plutocracy
    bipartisan: right-leaning
    bold: vicious
    business-friendly: corporate brogue-licking
    capitalism: the only economic system compatible with plutoc-(ahem)democracy; will endure until Judgment Day or planetary ecological collapse, whichever comes first
    challenging business as usual: extra shameless groveling to the plutocracy
    civility: subservience
    clean energy: unmonopolizable and cheap once installed, therefore held to be too costly and forever inadequate to meet “the world’s energy needs”
    clean coal: an imaginary technology, similar to a Star Trek warp drive, discussed for marketing purposes
    climate change skeptic: well-paid liar
    competition, global: requires the beggary of the great majority of the human species
    controversial: bigoted
    courageous: stunningly cruel and stupid
    Dana Millbank: chief well-paid liar at WaPo
    David Broder: deceased former chief well-paid liar at WaPo
    deeply religious: fanatically repressive
    democracy: regular elections involving a right-wing party and an extreme-right-wing party–and no others
    distinguished: has worn through many pairs of knee-pads at corporate thrones
    editorial independence: putting your finger on the scales before corporate tells you to
    energetic: frothing
    energy independence: like “God” and “America,” a traditional ritual invocation meant to legitimize the despoliation of common air, land and water by oil, gas, and coal companies
    economic growth: profit growth, at any and every cost; planetary life shrinkage
    entitlement: money earned by workers and partly paid back to them when they get old and/or sick; something that working-class people are not really entitled to after all
    flexible labor markets: low-paid, terrorized workforce
    fiscal conservative: financial fellator of the rich
    foresight: greed
    game-changer: actually changes nothing but team logos
    God: a) a polite fiction, like the common good, to be invoked in speeches; b) the will of the financial markets
    illegal immigrant: worker who follows the free flow of corporate capital across borders
    independent voter: ignorant knee-jerker, or human sea-slug
    intellectual: polysyllabic bullshitting
    infrastructure: stuff America can’t afford any more because that wouldn’t leave the rich quite enough
    investment incentives: government bribes to corporations with taxpayer money
    Israel: sincerely committed to a two-state solution as long as Americans are looking
    issues: topics identified and bracketed as safe for anodyne pseudo-debate
    journalist: stenographer to the powerful
    left-leaning: halfway sane
    libertarian: stands for the liberty of capital (and the enslavement of workers)
    markets, the: casinos for the rich that we subsidize
    military: sacred
    moderate: slightly less reactionary
    national defense: imperialist aggression
    national interest, the: corporate interest, the
    Palestinians: (see workers)
    petroleum: the eternal golden elixir of God and the fount of civilization
    philanthropy: patting us on the head after kicking us in the stomach
    plainspoken: monosyllabic bullshitting
    political talk-show pundit: well-paid liar
    populism: corporate-funded demagoguery
    private: go-o-o-od
    private campaign finance: legalized bribery
    private health insurance: protection racket
    privatization: looting followed by abolition
    pro-life: anti-female sexuality, anti-child
    protest (100-1,000 white reactionaries): important, game-changing (see bold)
    protest (1,000-100,000 unionists, students, women, and/or people of color): yawn (see workers)
    public education reform: (see privatization)
    public: ba-a-a-ad
    racially tinged: racist
    realistic: conformist
    right-leaning: fascist
    responsible: sadistic
    science: class of stories assigned to cub reporters
    serious: heartless
    shared sacrifice: we get the sacrifice, the wealthy get more shares
    social conservative: misogynist homophobic hypocrite
    sound fiscal policy: regressive taxation
    special-interest groups: unions, public-service nonprofits, ordinary working people
    spending: what the government should not do, except on the military
    talking points: genetically engineered viral falsehoods
    Tea Party activists: white people high on manipulated fear and selfishness
    urbane: smarmy
    unions: obstructions to economic looting, therefore “obsolete” and “blinkered”
    visionary: myopic
    way out in left field: anywhere left of center-right
    well-informed: (see talking points)
    workers: a disposable commodity, not unlike toilet paper and to be similarly treated

  25. #66 by brewski on December 3, 2013 - 8:02 pm

    I am in moderation.

    • #67 by Nathan Erkkila on December 5, 2013 - 7:12 pm

      Deleted due to spam

      • #68 by brewski on December 6, 2013 - 10:03 am

        what spam?

        • #69 by cav on December 6, 2013 - 10:32 am

          Perhaps it was something of which you were ‘quite certain’, and that the perspectives of everyone else were “Wrong”.

          That said, the supposed views of Madame Warren, may, like those of our president, be the simple projections of a desirous population. If they were what we hoped they were, there would be no place in any serious discussion for them no matter how courageous we may assume them to be. Simply not in the cards as the money, media, momentum are all with those who are busy accumulating the few remaining scraps.

        • #70 by Nathan Erkkila on December 6, 2013 - 5:59 pm

          Posting a link to a product for sale is considered spam. A proper way to source a book is to give the name and the page of the information. Not posting a link to buy a book and expect us to purchase it.

          Honestly, I was about to blacklist you had I not noticed your name.

          • #71 by cav on December 6, 2013 - 7:10 pm

            Whoring a book in this most capitalist of societies – especially at the time of almost obligatory gifting, ought not to provoke such an authoritarian reaction. “Deleted due to spam” indeed. It’s like Rand Paul or Rick Santorum sniveling about having to sign up for the common persons healthcare initiatives.

            That said, I’m going to insist you pick up a piece of my art (it’s really reasonably priced) and give it to someone for Christmas. There’ll be hell to pay if you don’t.

            That goes for you too.

          • #72 by Nathan Erkkila on December 6, 2013 - 7:15 pm

            Like George Carlin once said “Bend over so I can jam it in just a little further”

          • #73 by cav on December 7, 2013 - 8:59 am

            Don’t we all wish George Carlin had been a science or marketing major?

            Ps. this nesting of comments really borks the threads.

  26. #74 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2013 - 12:13 pm

    Rush Limbaugh and Fox Host Stuart Varney lash out at Pope Francis’s remarks on income inequality (VIDEO).

  27. #75 by Richard Warnick on December 4, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    UPDATE: Obama cites Pope Francis to attack income inequality and call for minimum wage increase

    “The combined trends of increasing inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream,” Obama said.

  28. #76 by brewski on December 4, 2013 - 6:05 pm

    I am still in moderation.

  29. #77 by cav on December 6, 2013 - 10:26 am


  30. #78 by brewski on December 6, 2013 - 11:01 am

    Good to know we have a new rationale for censorship by the Authoritarians. Thank you for the clarification.

  31. #79 by cav on December 6, 2013 - 7:05 pm


  32. #80 by cav on December 7, 2013 - 8:57 am


  33. #81 by Richard Warnick on December 26, 2013 - 10:10 pm

    Pope’s ‘liberal’ views on capitalism freaking out conservative Catholics in Congress

    “The guy is from Argentina, they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina,” [Rep. Paul] Ryan said. “They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system.”

  34. #82 by brewski on December 30, 2013 - 6:28 pm

    Suggesting that people read books is not spam. They can check it out at the library for all I care. But again, the real insight is not my suggesting that people read a book or not. The real insight is in the repeated revelation of the Authoritarian Censor instincts of all Lefties. In my whole life I keep encountering the same instinct of Leftism and that is to squash free speech and to censor. In my high school some lefty parents tried to get Shakespeare banned. In college there was nothing from lefties but speech codes. In my career at the Los Angeles Times the lefties on the staff were always trying to get fired anyone who didn’t follow their jack-booted orthodoxy. And on OneUtah it is always the Lefties to delete. There is something in Lefty DNA which compels you to Censor Censor Censor. Statism Statism Statism. You people are scary and dangerous. The one thing which makes me feel safe is how willing you are to reveal yourselves for what you are and what your real intentions are. I am confident you Statist Authoritarian Censors will be seen for what you are and remain irrelevant.

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