The Millionaire Party

Monopoly Man

Tonight on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show Prof. Dorian Warren of Columbia University (citing the book White Collar Government by Nicholas Carnes) wondered aloud what it would be like if the millionaires formed their own political party, a party representing just 3 percent of Americans.

  • The Millionaire Party would already occupy the White House.
  • They would control the House of Representatives.
  • They would have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
  • And the Millionaires would have a 5-4 Supreme Court majority.

While there is no such thing as the Millionaire Party, does it matter that the wealthiest Americans set the tax rates for the wealthy, that white-collar professionals choose the minimum wage for blue-collar workers, and that people who have always had health insurance decide whether or not to help those without? Could be.

See videos …

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on April 17, 2014 - 12:33 am

    When I was about 14 years old, I was taking my Monopoly game over to a friends house, when a micro blast of wind took the game right out of my hands and the Monopoly money was flying all over the street. I was running all over the place trying to make something of my adolescent disaster.

    I never liked the game anyway.

    The first person who got Boardwalk, Park Place and Marvin Gardens couldn’t lose. To keep the game going, they would make loans that couldn’t be payed off. Eventually we all got bored as hell and went home.

    Am I the only one who experienced this waste of time?

  2. #2 by brewski on April 17, 2014 - 8:26 pm

    Richard must be getting some commission for every MSNBC link he posts. Getting a little bit obsessive, dontcha think?

    • #3 by Richard Warnick on April 17, 2014 - 9:47 pm

      MSNBC divided the segment into three videos. The last one, which contains Prof. Warren’s comment, wouldn’t make sense without the previous two.

  3. #4 by Larry Bergan on April 17, 2014 - 8:39 pm

    brewski:

    Richard may have wanted to post those videos because they are fascinating and illuminating. Did you miss the point of the videos?

    Do you think a tiny fraction of our population should control ALL policy? Why did you want democracy to die?

    • #5 by brewski on April 18, 2014 - 7:59 am

      Richard’s videos are about as fascinating and illuminating as a Debbie Wasserman-Schultz campaign ad.

  4. #6 by Larry Bergan on April 17, 2014 - 8:45 pm

    Paul Krugman speaking at the “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” forum at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York on April 16, 2014.

    Krugman was one of two Noble Prize winners in the field of economics who showed up to support French economist Thomas Piketty’s book on “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”

    It’s only 11 minutes long. Lend an ear:

    • #7 by brewski on April 18, 2014 - 7:58 am

      I did watch this Krugman video. He says that inequality is increasing. He does not say why. He does not say what to do about it. He does not say if trying to fix it might be worse than not trying to fix it, IOW, is the cure worse than the disease. He basically doesn’t say much at all. All he is good at is being a polemic.

      • #8 by Richard Warnick on April 18, 2014 - 10:55 am

        If you have Netflix, iTunes or another service, watch “Inequality For All.” That will answer your questions. Robert Reich offers six suggestions on what to do:

        • Raise the minimum wage
        • Support unions
        • Invest in education
        • Reform Wall Street
        • Fix the unequal tax system
        • Get big money out of politics

        Extreme inequality (i.e. what we have now) leads to economic instability (e.g. Bush’s Great Recession and the next one that’s coming). It’s not good for anyone, not even the 1 Percent. So the cure is much better than mass unemployment, stock market crashes, and recessions.

        • #9 by brewski on April 18, 2014 - 1:40 pm

          I’ll take your list one by one:

          Raise the minimum wage – causes unemployment among the least skilled.

          Support unions – so that all of America can look like Detroit.

          Invest in education – We already spend more than almost all other countries. We just spend it badly. Money is not the problem,

          Reform Wall Street – Tell that to Barack “Goldman Sachs” Obama

          Fix the unequal tax system – you mean 47% of people paying no income tax at all isn’t enough?

          Get big money out of politics – tell that to the teachers’ unions.

          The rest is crap. Reich has no idea what he is talking about and he is a liar. The only thing he has gotten right was when he said Obama is undermining democracy. Nailed it.

          • #10 by Richard Warnick on April 18, 2014 - 2:01 pm

            You are a master of right-wing talking points. But I see no reason to trade having an American middle class for a bunch of talking points. Inequality has gone too far.

          • #11 by brewski on April 18, 2014 - 2:51 pm

            No right wingism and no talking points at all. Just data and facts.

            Thanks for sharing your feelings.

          • #12 by Richard Warnick on April 19, 2014 - 11:47 am

            So your position amounts to doing nothing to solve the inequality problem, and just letting our whole economic system fail like it did in the early 1930s?

          • #13 by brewski on April 19, 2014 - 3:24 pm

            No. Not what I said now was it?

          • #14 by Richard Warnick on April 19, 2014 - 3:35 pm

            Read what I wrote. I didn’t say you said it, I said your position amounts to doing nothing and letting our top-heavy economy topple due to extreme inequality.

            If Willard Romney’s 47 percent don’t have enough income to pay federal income tax (they pay lots of other taxes BTW), that’s a problem. It tells us that too much capital is concentrated in the financial sector as opposed to the “real” economy where the American middle class lives.

            Wall Street is the tail that wags the dog. That’s not good. Do we need another lesson like 2008?

          • #15 by brewski on April 19, 2014 - 6:50 pm

            Amounts to?

            No. I said what I said and Krugman said what he said. All he spewed were polemics. Nothing else.

        • #16 by brewski on April 18, 2014 - 1:41 pm

          BTW, Krugman didn’t say any of those things, he just threw around polemics.

  5. #17 by brewski on April 18, 2014 - 9:37 am

    Larry,
    You want to see an enlightening and fascinating video? Watch this one. It shows you the hate and bigotry of Democrats and the love of actual people.
    http://www.abc3340.com/story/25206765/trans-racial-adoption-rally-in-montgomery

  6. #18 by Richard Warnick on April 18, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    Thom Hartmann:

    There’s nothing “normal” about having a middle class. Inequality is the default option. Capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. Creating a middle class is always a choice, and by embracing Reaganomics and cutting taxes on the rich, we decided back in 1980 not to have a middle class within a generation or two.

  7. #19 by Larry Bergan on April 18, 2014 - 9:18 pm

    brewski:

    So you’re only giving Krugman 11 minutes to explain how he would fix inequality. That’s funny, because in the segment just before his, he actually interrupted Joseph Stiglitz’s ten minute presentation to stop him from trying to explain something that would take much longer. Stiglitz laughed, along with everybody else on the panel and agreed with him.

    If you want to see Krugman expand on his ideas, you might try watching this:

  8. #20 by Larry Bergan on April 18, 2014 - 9:26 pm

    If Krugman’s observations about what he calls a new, “super inequality”, never seen before in this country doesn’t disturb you, then you might as well watch “Family Feud”.

    I thought Krugman’s observations about being ruled by Gordon Gekko’s children was pretty good, myself.

  9. #21 by Richard Warnick on April 19, 2014 - 9:57 pm

    The polemics are coming from you, brewski. If you want to say something, why not explain what you think we need to do to solve the problem of extreme inequality.

    • #22 by Richard Warnick on April 20, 2014 - 11:36 am

      Since brewski has fallen silent, I’ll answer the question myself. Here is the right-wing proposal, presented by Rep. Paul Ryan on April Fool’s Day:

      Ryan’s “alternative” to the status quo is taking Americans back to the harsh days before there were any programs to help unemployed, elderly, sick, and other people in need.

      Ryan envisions turning Medicare into a privatized “WeDon’tCare” program. He wants to outright pull the plug on the new health care law that just extended coverage to millions of people, replacing it with, uh, nothing.

      The Wisconsin Republican’s budget scheme also slashes job training, education, infrastructure repairs, medical research, public broadcasting, the arts, and pretty much anything else that regular people need.

      Still, he claims that he’s “helping” — in an ideological, Republicany way. For example, Ryan explains that whacking food stamps “empowers recipients to get off the aid rolls and back on the payrolls.”

      What payrolls, you ask? That’s not my problem, says the guy drawing $174,000 a year and a gold package of benefits from the government he pretends to despise.

      Yeah, let ‘em eat right-wing ideology.

      • #23 by brewski on April 20, 2014 - 6:54 pm

        My observation had nothing to do with Paul Ryan, or Robert Reich. My point was that Krugman’s entire diatribe was basically that inequality is rising, ergo, conservatives are evil. He offered no causal analysis, at all, nor any solutions, at all. Period. Hard to understand?

  10. #24 by Larry Bergan on April 20, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Paul Ryan is a legend.

    A veritable fart that will live in infamy.

  11. #26 by Larry Bergan on April 24, 2014 - 7:14 pm

    brewski:

    I was less then excited about the meeting of the billionaire kids myself, but I heard about it on a left wing-site.

    Were you angry when Bush got caught with “the haves”, asking for donations?

    • #27 by brewski on April 24, 2014 - 8:44 pm

      Larry, show me where Bush had such an event in the White House.

    • #28 by Larry Bergan on April 24, 2014 - 9:28 pm

      Honestly brewski:

      you’re not bringing the Lincoln bedroom into this. are you?

      I wouldn’t care if the meeting took place in the Lincoln bedroom or a motel 6. Nobody should have a billion dollars, let alone, inherit it. It’s trashy.

      • #29 by brewski on April 25, 2014 - 2:06 am

        If is so trashy then why is Obama making such a huge effort to court and woo these trashy underserving people?

      • #30 by Larry Bergan on April 25, 2014 - 7:32 pm

        Nobody knows what went on in that meeting brewski. Maybe Obama was trying to convince them of a way to spend their money that would help our society.

        At least they weren’t there to give Sheldon Adelson a blow job.

        I still don’t think it’s possible for anybody to earn a billion dollars. There is some serious swindling going on there. The thought of people inheriting that much money is sickening to me. Honest money is the only thing that should be passed down. Even Bill Gates agrees that inheritance taxes are a necessity.

        • #31 by brewski on April 27, 2014 - 11:23 pm

          Bill Gates is a convicted monopolist who will likely not pay any death taxes. I am not interested in what he has to say.

          The point is not whether or not someone should be allowed to have a billion dollars or not. The much bigger point is should you be able to decide for someone else what they can and cannot have. I don’t know why you are sickened. It doesn’t affect you. What sickens me is other people telling me or telling other people how they should live. That is sickening.

        • #32 by Larry Bergan on April 29, 2014 - 8:01 pm

          brewski:

          Get yourself together.

          What, EXACTLY, is a “convicted monopolist” in the 21st century?

          Name one.

          While you’re at it; name a bank executive who spent a day in jail for laundering illegal drug money.

          Everything is legal unless you’re poor. You know that because you’re not stupid. Why do you say stupid things?

  12. #33 by brewski on April 30, 2014 - 8:13 am

  13. #36 by Larry Bergan on April 30, 2014 - 5:57 pm

    Brewski:

    I’m no fan of Bill Gates, but his statement about only leaving his poor – put upon – children 10 million, plus his coming out in favors of a transition tax on the stock market warm me up to him a little.

    It’s crazy, but I did a post here called “An Open Letter To Bill Gates Concerning Voting Machines” almost 7 years ago that was number one on Google for about 5 years and has never left the top page. Today it is at number two.

    Personally, I think my letter is pretty good.

    Never got a reply from Bill. :(

    Try it. Type in (an open letter to bill gates) without quotation marks at Google. Do it before the internet slows down for OneUtah and speeds up for Bill Gates.

  14. #37 by Larry Bergan on May 3, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    brewski must have sailed off the edge of the earth.

    • #38 by brewski on May 3, 2014 - 7:37 pm

      OU won’t let me post my reply to this.

    • #39 by Larry Bergan on May 4, 2014 - 5:54 pm

      I’m sorry brewski. I don’t usually go into the administration dashboard, but I’d love to see your reply. I’ll check on it for the next few days.

      I didn’t see anything that I could release today, but I had to delete a crapload of spam about Viagra, Nike… You name it!

  15. #40 by brewski on May 6, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    The party of the multi-billion dollar transnational corporate plutocrats:

    “Twenty-nine of the 30 Dow Jones (INDU) Industrial Average index companies have given money or in-kind support to projects branded by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, according to a review of Clinton Foundation and U.S. State Department reports.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-06/dow-jones-companies-invest-in-clinton-with-one-holdout.html

    • #41 by Larry Bergan on May 6, 2014 - 10:01 pm

      I thought you said OneUtah wouldn’t let you comment, brewski.

      That being said, I find the article disturbing. I never wanted Hilary for president. I think we’ve had enough Republican Democrats in office. Richard’s post doesn’t differentiate between the parties in relation to the plutocrats. Why do you act like it does?

      • #42 by brewski on May 7, 2014 - 4:03 am

        Or course the article is disturbing. That is the point. You are being conned to believe that the Democrats care about you when all they care about it themselves and they will lie to you to get you to vote for them. You’ve been conned.

        I said that OU deleted some of my posts. Not all of them.

        • #43 by Richard Warnick on May 7, 2014 - 10:17 am

          The Dems are the “lesser evil” corporatist party. They don’t try to hide that, it’s their brand.

          • #44 by brewski on May 8, 2014 - 10:55 am

            They are not the lesser evil if their entire 2012 campaign was based on the myth that their opponent was the candidate for corporations and they themselves were not.

          • #45 by Richard Warnick on May 8, 2014 - 11:35 am

            Got an example of President Obama attacking corporations during the 2012 campaign? I know the right-wing believes Obama is a socialist, but that’s not based in reality. He cut taxes for corporations.

          • #46 by brewski on May 8, 2014 - 11:43 am

            He attacked Romney for being a corporatist implying that he was not.

          • #47 by brewski on May 8, 2014 - 11:44 am

            Show me the corporate tax cuts to which you refer.

          • #48 by Richard Warnick on May 8, 2014 - 1:10 pm

            President Obama has never used the word “corporatist” in public as far as I know. Got a quote?

            Obama Keeps Renewing A Corporate Tax Deal That Adds Billions To The National Debt

            Obama Offers to Cut Corporate Tax Rate to 28%

          • #49 by brewski on May 9, 2014 - 1:14 pm

            The 28% corporate tax rate Obama proposed would increase revenues according to the OMB. So no “corporate tax cut” has ever been proposed.

            You lie.

          • #50 by Richard Warnick on May 9, 2014 - 2:12 pm

            You’re ignoring accelerated depreciation, which most certainly was a huge tax cut for corporations. The proposed 28 percent rate would have been a cut compared to the current rate of 35 percent.

          • #51 by brewski on May 9, 2014 - 4:13 pm

            I am not ignoring anything. I read the presidents proposal in its entirety and it lowers the rate to 28% and generates an increase in revenues by closing various other tax expenditures and preferences including depreciation. You are factually wrong.

          • #52 by Richard Warnick on May 10, 2014 - 2:58 pm

            Yes, you are ignoring accelerated depreciation, aka “bonus depreciation.”

            Over the past two years, business owners could deduct as much as $500,000 from their taxable income in the first year on up to $2 million of equipment purchased, and add on an enhanced 50% bonus depreciation.

            David Zion, a tax and accounting analyst at ISI Group, said that accelerated depreciation provided an aggregate cash flow boost to S&P 500 companies of about $79 billion in 2011.

            Bonus depreciation is “expensive, has a spotty track record as a stimulus and it’s lapsed in the past,” Mr. Zion noted. Last year, the Congressional Research Service published a report saying the perk “had no more than a minor effect” on business investment.

            It’s trickle-down theory (dubbed “voodoo economics” by one Republican President). Making the rich richer, and hoping somehow that will benefit the “real” economy the rest of us live in.

            WSJ: With Tax Break, Corporate Rate Is Lowest in Decades

          • #53 by brewski on May 10, 2014 - 9:37 pm

            Why do you say I am ignoring it when I am not. I do this stuff for a living and I know exactly what bonus depreciation is. It was part of Obama’s ARRA 2009. You know, the stimulus bill you lefties loved so much except it wasn’t big enough.

          • #54 by Richard Warnick on May 11, 2014 - 8:58 am

            As a regular reader of this blog, you know I didn’t like the ARRA. Too much of it was tax cuts, demanded by the same Republicans who refused to vote for the law!

            The worst part of the ARRA was it prohibited the federal government from hiring anyone with ARRA funds. So much for “jobs-jobs-jobs.”

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