Economic absurdities that
Democrats must expose:

...because it's wrong to penalize success and hard work.

...therefore, we should eliminate the capital gains tax.

...After all, they came from, and understand, business.

...even though it is based on pitting the worlds' workers against each other.

...union bosses are only out for themselves.

...and the more the rich have, the more will trickle down to everyone else.

...Democrats are communists, or at least, socialists at heart. when we tax wealthy investors, we lose jobs. investors, not workers, create wealth. we should give them all the tax breaks possible.

...Democrats just want to tax and spend today.

General Issues:

...check out this 2-minute video.

...It's a mountain, and a terrible defense of globalization.

...for those of Indonesia, Mexico, China and India.

...and how not to do it again.

...and the "crisis" is just a ploy by those who want to destroy it.

...Republicans' most important propaganda technique.

...and get the media on your side

This Site

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Feel free to download this material for personal, not-for-profit, use. If you duplicate it for others, attribute it to Charles M. Kelly, and with a link to this site. Print copies are still available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and used copies are widely available on the internet.

There are many valid ways to improve a society. Some emphasize personal action: caring for the sick, teaching values to children, volunteer work, conserving energy, donating to charity, and so on. These are important, but they pale in comparison to getting the right persons into political office, especially at the federal level—because the federal level affects what happens at the state and local levels.

If national labor laws are biased against unions, it’s almost impossible to organize workers, as the “right-to-work” states have amply demonstrated. When an individual buys and drives a compact car, he pollutes the air less, but his impact is overwhelmed by the fleets of SUVs that our national and state laws allow and even encourage. Private donations to charity certainly help the poor and are necessary, but as the great depression proved, in a real economic crunch private charity will last for a few months at best.

The basis for meaningful change—the change that allows further positive changes to occur—is an informed, politically active public that votes the right people into office in the first place. So,

  1. As a general rule, and barring unusual circumstances, never, ever, vote for a Republican, anywhere, for anything—even for the proverbial dogcatcher. All the Republicans voted against the 1993 Deficit Reduction legislation. Misguided voters who thought they were voting for moderate Republicans in the past several elections actually, in effect, gave more power to their anti-worker right-wing Congressional leaders.

    Qualification: I know an exceptional Republican—who once was a Chicago politician—who I would vote for every time. But, again, barring similar unusual considerations, the general rule applies.

  2. Vote for a conservative Democrat only if there are no other realistic choices, and if a non-vote would result in a win for a Republican.

  3. In the primaries, pick a traditional, liberal Roosevelt/Truman-style Democrat who has a realistic chance of winning over a conservative Democrat.

  4. Always vote for a progressive populist, independent or Democrat, if one is available who has a realistic chance of winning. Unfortunately, not many independents fit this description. (Maybe the present economic downturn and its accompanying problems will encourage more Democrats to remember what their party used to stand for, and why. Until they do, just hold your nose and make sure we take back America from the Republicans.)


Progressive Populist Democrats

It’s easy to identify the progressive populists who believe in the kind of liberal Roosevelt/Truman-style democratic capitalism that we had from the 1930s to the ’80s. Progressive populists:

  • Support a progressive income tax (higher taxes for those who have benefited most from the sacrifices that governmental policies have forced upon working Americans)—versus those who want to reduce inheritance, capital gains, and real estate taxes for the wealthy.

  • Support a reduction in regressive taxes, such as sales and social security taxes—versus those who support flat taxes and increases in sales taxes, which hit low- and middle-income citizens the hardest.

  • Support laws that protect the rights of workers to collectively negotiate for wages and humane working conditions through their organized unions—versus those who use their power to destroy unions and decent working conditions.

  • Believe that world trade can be truly free only when it is managed. That is, businesses with high moral standards—those who respect workers, the environment and the public—must be protected from unprincipled competitors, and be able to compete on a level playing field.

  • Work to improve relations between cultural subgroups—versus those who use code words and divisive rhetoric to drive wedges between them. Progressive populists are interested in justice and in improving conditions for all Americans. This is what separates them from some of the so-called populists who want to demagogue their way into political power.

  • Work to improve the environment—rather than corporate bottom-lines—so our descendants will be able to survive beyond the next 20 years.

  • Recognize that it is always cheaper and more efficient to prevent our nation’s problems from growing than to ignore them until it is too late to take effective action. Progressive populists believe that proactive problem solving is preferable, and ultimately more cost effective for the taxpayer, than cutting taxes for the wealthy.
In other words, progressive populists actually believe in government. They recognize that no private organization has as its charter the obligation to solve social problems—only our democratically elected government does.


Now Is the Time

The revered guru of modern corporate philosophy, Milton Friedman, posed and answered his famous question: “So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer is, no they do not.” This is one of the most frequently quoted justifications for greed that today’s corporate executives cite.

Face it. Unless there is a profit in it, corporate executives not only feel no responsibility for how their actions and decisions affect average Americans or their local communities—they sanctimoniously claim a moral superiority for holding such selfish values.

An effective government—with honest not-paid-for politicians—is our only defense against corporate executives who have no moral standards for the treatment of workers or the general public.

So, prepare to participate in political discussions and to influence the ways other people vote by reading the news pages of The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Barron’s and Business Week. Their news reports are fairly accurate and can’t help revealing what corporate America and our right-wing politicians are doing to workers at all levels. Read their editorial pages and opinion pieces for entertainment only; they are so violently anti-worker, anti-government, anti-tax-on-the-rich, and pro-corporation, it’s hard to see how anyone can take them seriously. (Don’t support these conservative publications by actually buying them; they’re in most libraries and the Journal can be found lying around almost anywhere.)

The recommendations about voting may seem a bit dogmatic and extreme. Not at all. Conservative politicians have made such inroads into the American psyche that they’ve become outrageously over-confident. They don’t even try to disguise their pro-business, anti-worker biases any more.

As the materials throughout this web site demonstrate, their behaviors have become blatant to the point of recklessness, and they’ve done almost irreparable harm, not only to working-class Americans, but also to one of the greatest economies ever developed in history.

The voting public needs to send a message. Now.