211 Comments

All these policies have one thing in common, of course: bully those who can't fight back. Like the majority of federal tax audits directed at the poor people instead of the rich, where most fraud occurs. I wonder if that trend will continue in the new administration? (Yes, that's a rhetorical question.)

THIS is why 74 million people wanted four more years of the most grotesque, disgusting, dishonest & corrupt villain in the history of US politics: because at least he acknowledged the fact that people were getting screwed. He would piss on you and tell you he was pissing on you instead of telling you it's rain. That's why so many people were running around saying, "He tells it like it is!" And that's why so many of us still haven't figured out what's wrong with those 74 million. They're not racists, idiots, or "deplorables," they're just everyday Americans tired of getting screwed by these sneaky little bastards at all levels of government.

All it would take is ONE Democrat to stand up and say something - and follow through with solutions - to win the hearts & minds of those 74 million and then some. Instead we keep reading & hearing about the ancient socialist/centrist dichotomy. You want M4A, GND, trust in government? Then show some leadership in getting rid of these "clever" clowns running around bending poor people over barrels like this. Even the poorest among us know when they're getting screwed - which is every time they turn around.

Turns out a lot of these poor people retain the right to vote.

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One person did “stand up and say something” with the intention of following through (though I wouldn’t call him a Democrat; and he wouldn’t, either, since he’s a registered Independent): Bernie fucking Sanders. And you saw what both the DNC and the RNC did to him. The last thing either party wants is for one person to “win the hearts and minds of those 74 million” that you mentioned. That would mean a unified nation demanding the things that both political parties refuse to provide. Because, you know, their donors....

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I agree with virtually all you assert, but in many ways Bernie was complicit in his own political demise. In the end, he didn't have the guts to roll a hand grenade into the room and supported "incrementalism," i.e. neoliberalism. Some "Our Revolution."

As a Bernie guy, I was relentlessly smeared by lib media people as a "Bro" and a "cultist." Bernie told me to vote for Joe Biden. I didn't. Some "cult."

Bernie said did a lot of great stuff but he ultimately capitulated to the forces he was attempting to disrupt. I think it's time for us to move on and figure out what to do next.

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You were “relentlessly smeared by lib media people”? Really? You, personally, were smeared by the media? If that’s not the case and you’re just referring to what those assholes had to say about Bernie and his supporters (or what they have to say about anything, really) my only response can be,”Who gives a shit?” Who gives a shit what they have to say? I will never, ever understand this whole idea of “I’m voting for Trump because I don’t like the media.” I’m not saying you did vote for trump; I’m saying people who voted for trump because they dislike the media are morons. It’s like saying,”I don’t like olives, so I’m gonna do fifty jumping jacks.” They’re completely unrelated things. I don’t like the media, either. That doesn’t mean that voting for trump is a good idea.

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Voting for olives would be just as effective as voting for anyone at this point in time.

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At the end of the day, Bernie just wound up asking all of us to bend over for Biden, so there's your problem and the reason no mass movement formed around him.

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You must realize that there was a little more involved than the MEDIA SMEAR. That came after all the enjoining and endless litigation, "signifying nothing"! They were so afraid his changes would be a success, they needed the "Golden Shower" media to ban the very thought.

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Whoa there. Bernie got porked-again!- by the same group of thieves he caucuses with, the Democrats. Lay down with dogs and you get fleas.

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Still pretty sure Bernie was a sheep dog from the beginning. He cut a deal with the dems clear back in the 90's in order to keep his train on the track inside the beltway.

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You may want to desist expecting anything from the DNC but more of the same. I have.

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Uh, sure.

The top 20% of US households by income pay 70% of all federal taxes, including payroll taxes. The bottom third of US households "pay" net negative taxes.

Now which party and voting bloc think that "rich" people do not pay enough, and that they should pay more (and for more stuff)? And how is that not a grotesque distortion of the basic ethics of a free society? Do you really think that anything close to a free democracy can survive when a small number pay the bills for everyone else? Didn't somebody warn us about the risk to democracy when people start voting themselves more stuff?

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A lot of us feel that if you own a disproportionately high share of the pie and collect a disproportionately high share of the income, you damn sure ought to be paying a disproportionately higher share of the taxes.

Or are you just fine with Mitt Romney paying 15% of his $200 million income in taxes, and Donald Trump paying virtually zero % of his tens of millions (?) income in taxes while the average nurse or school teacher pays 35 - 40% of their $45,000 income in taxes? Obviously 15% of $200 million ($30 million) is a helluva lot more than 35% of $45,000 ($15,750 - see, I can do math!!), but is that really your idea of fairness?

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The problem is that Democrats (even Bernie Sanders) campaign on "raising Mitt Romney's taxes," so to speak, but then what they actually do is raise Mitt Romney's pool cleaner's taxes. Someone with his/her own small business who has a high income but who doesn't have any real financial or political power gets taxed as if he's one of the oligarchs gaming the system. In other words, Democrats campaign on taxing capital but actually just tax labor.

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There are many kinds of "fairness". One describes an unbiased application of rules. Another embraces the right of people to keep what they produce. And a third seeks equal outcomes, regardless of prior circumstances.

I happen to believe in the rights and responsibilities, and thus the autonomy, of individuals. I also believe in commitment to society, and the things only a community can support. So, yes, perhaps people with more wealth can pay a larger share than those without, and we can fund expenditures that benefit all.

But when a large portion of community spending is for direct benefits to only some members, the system becomes more about redistribution. I do not consider that fair.

As for actual tax liability numbers, the federal government spent $13,600 per person in 2019. If you paid less than this you were subsidized. How much more do you want?

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If you really believe in "the right of people to keep what they produce," then I'm guessing you are in favor of much, much higher rates of pay for the lowest level employees. Or do you really believe an Amazon employee only adds $14 (median income for Amazon employees) to the wealth of Amazon Corporation for every hour that employee works? If that were so, how did Jeff Bezos' net worth increase by tens of billions of dollars within the past six months? And if you say his stock increased by that amount, then we're back to square one - how? Yes, he did a great job of assembling & managing a large company that does things quite well, but I'm not sure how you think it's fair that he nets all those billions while his employees go without essential things like health care, in the middle of a pandemic. And yet according to your stated logic, Jeff Bezos "earned" those billions and the state has no right to "confiscate" his wealth.

Each Walmart supercenter costs approximately $1 million per year in government benefits to employees who work as many hours as they can but still cannot afford to feed & house their families - or provide them with adequate health care. Many Americans feel that it is the employees who collect benefits who are the problem - and yet for each Walmart supercenter in America, the owners of Walmart are on the receiving end of a $1 million transfer of wealth from the government (taxpayers) to the owners of Walmart. Talk about redistribution of wealth!

Go ahead and tax me at a higher rate - but give me something in return, like a much higher income, guaranteed health care, a college education for me and my children, and government investment in infrastructure, new technology, etc. I'd much rather pay $3,000 a year more in taxes while saving $6,000 per year in insurance premiums and co-pays - and a guarantee that a life-threatening diagnosis won't mean death or financial ruin. Of course these things aren't free - I don't mind paying for them. But I reject the mandate to pay exorbitant profits as part of the package. Others may call it socialism, I call it common sense.

Please review the increase in corporate profits and the wealth of the top 1% of individual wage earners in the US since 1980 and compare those numbers with the inflation-adjusted increases in income for the lowest wage earners. Or, you could simply review the studies that have been done by countless economists over the past decade or so. The facts are abundantly clear: wealth inequality and wage inequality are expanding at an alarming rate. Now study the history of what happens to societies when wealth inequality becomes too great.

Hopefully at the end of your studies you will conclude, as most of the rest of us have, that creating "clever" mathematical and logical arguments to justify screwing workers out of a fair day's pay (and everything else you can screw them out of, since you have a much louder voice in lawmaking than they do) just because you can is grotesquely unfair, ethically absurd, and harmful to the healthy functioning of society.

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I guess you can see whatever reality you like. But ultimately either we are free to exchange things of value as we see fit or somebody assumes a mandate to redistribute wealth, ultimately at gun point.

Do you really think pay should be based on some idealized view of what somebody "deserves"? Should we assess whatever you produce and then vote on what you should receive in compensation (and perhaps not even based on your production but some other vague parameters)?

And how do you think wages connect to prices? Those evil corporate profits are not what you seem to think. Over the past 10 years Walmart has had a net profit of 1.3 to 3.7 %. Even a small increase in wages or benefits would require price increases, and any substantial pay raise would greatly inflate prices. Now maybe you would not mind (you shop at Walmart, right?) but lots of Walmart shoppers just might.

As for rhetoric about wealth inequality, what numbers would you like to use? How about those that account for changes in household size (down), more accurate adjustments for inflation, inclusion of existing after-tax transfers, and including the value of all benefits along with wages? And does it really matter? How about we compare the material standard of living for families at every income level between today and 1980? 1960? 1930? How do American families at each income tier compare in material lifestyle to similar tiers in other countries? Some people like to say that taxes are the price of civilization. Perhaps inequality is also a price, at least for a prosperous civilization.

Finally, you mention health care and costs. I agree that we have a hot mess in the US, but mostly because we are spending other peoples money (either a government or insurance company benefit). Face it: we cannot all have lifetime health spending that exceeds our lifetime contributions, whether for insurance premiums or taxes. And before you spout that canard about how we spend more per person than those enlightened Euro countries for worse results (debatable), then please tell us why our public education system also spends more per pupil than those same countries for measurably worse outcomes--thus claiming that if we just had socialized or national health care does not at all mean we would be better off.

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"Do you really think pay should be based on some idealized view of what somebody "deserves"?"

Do you really think Bezos and his ilk should decide without negotiation what they pay their employees as they shut down as much free enterprise as possible via cronyism and regulatory capture ?

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Seeing automation is taking over everything. we will need less polluting people.

They tax cars to pay for roads, they should tax parents for having children.

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"... ultimately either we are free to exchange things of value as we see fit or somebody assumes a mandate to redistribute wealth, ultimately at gun point."

Ah, yes - that precious free market!! Where Adam Smith's invisible hand guides all transactions, and where every bit of regulation is deemed obscene! And where a single Amazon employee, denied the right of collective bargaining, is presumed to be on equal terms with Jeff Bezos in terms of setting a fair wage! Sorry - that dog, as they say in rural areas, won't hunt.

As for redistributing wealth at gunpoint, that is the precise definition of taxation - though the business end of the gun, as indicated in this article & in my original comment, is much more likely to be pointed at the poor than at the rich. Nevertheless, either you oppose all taxation and have a strong enough argument to support that opposition, or else you are just fine with "a mandate to redistribute wealth, ultimately at gunpoint."

"Do you really think pay should be based on some idealized view of what somebody "deserves"?"

No, I'm fine with the market determining both price and pay - as long as that market is monitored & regulated to prevent the sort of market manipulation we have now, where Bezos & Co. collect $0.99 for each dollar their product sells for, while the other $0.01 "trickles down" to the worker. I believe in a just market, the worker's share would be significantly higher. (These numbers come from average employee pay as % of revenue per employee and of course do not include other costs.)

I'd happily refute the rest of your points, however it's late, I'm rather tired, and it's clear you are deeply embedded in your position.

I will only leave you with this bewildering economics riddle:

In 1970 GM was the largest employer in the US. The average HS graduate in 1970 could get a job at a local GM factory and earn enough over the next 2 or 3 decades to live a very good life - new home, two cars, 2 or 3 kids, good health care, 2 - 4 weeks vacation every year, and of course send the kids to college. Plus, there was a very good retirement package waiting for that employee.

Today, Walmart is the largest employer in the US. The average Walmart employee does not receive health care benefits, and certainly does not earn enough to do all of the things that the average GM employee could do in the '70's.

So, if wealth disparity is not accelerating, how can we explain this very significant regression?

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Fun fact on the American healthcare system. Japan has the longest average life expectancy, as a nation, in the world-well over 80 for women, something like 79+ for men. That said, American born and raised ethnic Japanese citizens-who presumably are treated in the American healthcare system-have an even higher average life expectancy than ethnic Japanese citizens of Japan!

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When we had unions, the country prospered as workers had a seat at the table, they could bargain for their worth. Now we have no seats because they have been taken by cheap foreign labor. They are the first to complain about wages that they dropped and they can't afford insurance when their families are on WIC, SNAP and federal Housing. The rest of us make just enough money to fall through the cracks like the ACA that penalized workers who couldn't afford ACA for not having insurance and had to pay $700 towards the people who could afford it.

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The 1980? Isn't that when the Mexican incursion started?

Wages are dependent on cheap Supply/Demand. The cheap supply needs more subsidy. You wanted this inundation of cheap workers, now pay for them.

Welfare was first made for women who lost their husbands in war. Now we spend over $700,000,000,000 on Means Tested Welfare eclipsing Military. Why are we subsidizing people to come here when we don't need them? Overpopulation is the MOST detrimental factor in earths pollution problem.

A growing population no longer has any economic benefit:

https://www.marketwatch.com..  

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That's due to the organized effort of the business round table and the Powell memorandum.

Once again we see the elite using whatever means necessary to destroy labor so people cannot rival their power.

No one wanted cheap labor except the corporate fascists.

If not for the elite suppressing wages and organizing of labor we wouldn't need welfare or the military budget we are wasting today.

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The wealth of Bezos, the Walton clan, Zuckerberg,etc. isn’t in cash $$$$, it is in stock valuation. Needless to say, this fluctuates wildly-Zuckerberg lost something like $5 billion in a week earlier this year, which begs the obvious question-how does one extract the cash from the valuation of Facebook or Amazon in a way to make SJW types happy. Simply forcing a sell off of shares every raises several problems. A-Valuation-and tax revenue-will decline with forced sell offs for tax purposes, B-The share of ownership will decline every year with “fair” taxes/sell offs every year, and C-Do you honestly want Nancy Pelosi and the USPS to eventually have large controlling shares in major US corporation? If you are going to talk soak the rich talk, you need to be able to explain your walk in real world practicalities-ie-not red meat campaign trail soundbites.

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The stock market is and has for the most part always been just insider trading or "cronyism". Why should we keep Rockefeller like tactics in place ?

The only reason is that the people on top are organized and the people on the bottom are no longer allowed to organize freely.

The labor movement got crushed by organized oligarchs that own the political system and control the economic and foreign policy.

Why do you want eugenics freaks like Gates and the Rockefeller's controlling society ?

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" the right of people to keep what they produce"

if only it were that simple.

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"But when a large portion of community spending is for direct benefits to only some members, the system becomes more about redistribution. I do not consider that fair."

Yet you really don't even care why certain members need direct benefits in the first place. Maybe the redistribution upwards is the real problem and the end result is the need for direct benefits to the folks who had their jobs off shored to support higher profit to the share holder class.

If you believe in rights and responsibilities then those that chose to abandon their community or country to seek lower labor costs should get the difference "taxed" by the "community" that defends and bankrolls them to begin with. People that don't actually produce should get a smaller cut of the pie but that should include trust fund babies that don't produce as well. The standard should carry across the board.

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And those "SOME MEMBERS" and out growing the tax contributing population.

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I like it when you try to change the subject to avoid answering a question. It's like you're a really bad high school debate team member who is convinced that they don't need to study to win the debate and could care less if they were on the right side of the subject matter or not.

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(in 2013 it was $13,000,000 and he should have paid at least 30%. That would leave him enough for milk and bread!)

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«The top 20% of US households by income pay 70% of all federal taxes, including payroll taxes.»

That's not "federal taxes", it "federal *income* taxes", and then other federal taxes and local taxes, especially sales taxes, are highly regressive. The net result is that overall taxation runs at around 30% of income for almost the entire income range, except that the top 0.1% pay a lot less than 30%, and the bottom 10% a bit more than 30%. That 20-70% factoid is just very conveniently misleading.

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Science, I think Thomas' point was more of a focus on many of the most vulnerable constantly getting squeezed by the system. And moreover, how many American's are sick of the chicanery by the political elites. Love or hate him, Trump's support is a signal from 74 MM Americans that this shit doesn't work for many of us. BTW, I'm not a Trump supporter, or Biden for that matter. I was actually praying they both would lose.

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Yes, Trump serves as both a lightning rod and a litmus test. But, to over-simplify, some "vulnerables" (and their advocates) want a system that essentially leaves them alone. Others want a highly regimental system that supplies desired provisions.

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That’s a huge problem with our political system in and of itself-an absolute inability or refusal of many, many citizens to coherently state policy outcomes that would leave them satisfied. Some of this is due to neuroses, some of if it due to George Carlin’s classic line “Think about how stupid the average person is-and then think about the fact that 50% are dumber than them!!!!”.

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Who controls the majority of the economic growth ? How about using some context with your 1980's bankster talking points next time ?

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What's your point?

And you seem to confuse facts with rhetoric.

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What's your problem with critical thinking ? If you control all the new economic growth then you should pay the majority of the taxes. If you quadruple your share of wealth and capture the government via bribery, you should pay for it somehow. If your goal is to destroy the safety net for the rest of society, you should pay for that too.

Do I need to draw a picture for you ?

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And now we are down to middle school "debate".

Perhaps your tin foil hat is too tight.

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That happened with your OP. Why would you try to pin that on me ?

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Trump is/was a horrible president, but no way he was “the most grotesque, disgusting, dishonest & corrupt villain in the history of US politics.”

Please.

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The Apparatchik will have theirs. Don't expect change coming from the party that thrives in this environment.

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Its a party dependent on feeding identity politics and divisiveness. The “new” Democrats and media spent every minute of every day of the last 4yrs blaming Bozo for being divisive (and everything else including weather) while they are no less guilty. Trump is and always has been an ego-maniac BUT transparently so. And too politically and socially retarded to realize that good intentions are nothing with bad messaging. The other party? A Gaslighting, destructive force with an agenda of “isms” and “phobias” and mass cynicism galvanized a huge voting block of guilt, judgement and hatred. The brainwashed critical SJWs bought into it and here we are with a Constitution and republic hanging in the balance.

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Which Party are you speaking of again ? So funny how people still fall for the good cop bad cop routine. "Is this the end of the _____ party ? Everyone will now vote for the ____ party instead and get the exact same results. Rinse and repeat.

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The party with all the agendas, racebating, mandates, spygateing. The party that spent all it's time accusing, investigating, keeping a line of "Court Witnesses" ready for any occasion, instead of legislating. In short, the party that had a 4 years long tantrum that made the press a lot of money and soaked the US people.

What would that party do if this happens to them the next 4 years. They will have no room to complain as they, themselves, set the new precedent.

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The other funding arm of the uniparty fits your description perfectly. Once again, it's a big club and you ain't in it. Nor can you vote your way out of it by rewarding the other funding arm a chance to further the agenda by lowering expectations even further.

Bait and switch still works like a charm as long as everyone gets stuck on blaming powerless useful idiots pretending to be legislators, executive branch staff or (not so)supreme court puppets.

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Rinse and Repeat!

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Well doneThomas

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I’m no fundamentalist by any stretch, but in the Bible there is the concept of “jubilee”, a forgiveness of public debts every seventh year or so. Burdening poor people with bs fines does no one any good, least of all the cops who have to waste their time serving warrants on this debt. The War on Drugs is a fiscal vacuum cleaner for local municipalities.

Personally, if someone is a convicted thief or a minor kiddie creeper, judges should give them the option of having something like “I like to steal” or “Keep kids away from me” tattooed on their forehead for a set amount of time-and then removed at government expense.

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but won't somebody please think of the profitable carceral state

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«but in the Bible there is the concept of “jubilee”, a forgiveness of public debts every seventh year or so»

I am amazed that you used the qualifier "public" for "debts", because that is indeed the correct description of ancient middle eastern practice.

More precisely it was usually the forgiveness of indentures from tax arrears owed by citizens, often to tax-farming foreign traders who had purchased tax invoices for those arrears from the government.

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Please tell me why that person needs to be a Democrat. They have a proud tradition of lying to America.

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I never thought it was this bad, but they finally “came for me”.

I was pulled over on a Monday afternoon going for a hike and 2 cops claimed I “looked” intoxicated while driving— despite no moving violations. First, they said my registration was expired (it doesn’t expire until June ‘21) , then they said I was going too slow in a 45 (speed limit is 35), and then finally they said I was blinking too much while driving. They arrested me on spot and held me at the station for 3-4 hours. Fortunately, my tests and breathalyzer came back with nothing and I even went to an ER upon release for immediate tests of my own. All negative.

This will be dismissed and my lawyer (which will put me out $3500 for retainer) is going to go after the cops for a wrongful stop, but I will still have court fees though it will not go to trial.

If I could not afford the lawyer it would’ve been a DUI on my record, license suspended, and thousands in fines. All for driving on a Monday afternoon.

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«If I could not afford the lawyer» property owning taxpayers in that area would have enjoyed lower taxes (and policemen higher salaries) thanks to those «thousands in fines», and that is what matters.

Property owning voters really, really hate higher property taxes, and they really, really want their local services to be "sponsored" by someone else, if that can be arranged, and too bad for the someone elses.

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Jesus but you ARE on about property owners, aren't you?

You keep trying to shoehorn this in every response, and I beg you to take a good look at the whole picture. Since when do city commissioners REALLY work for the voters who are mere "property owners"?

They dance for much larger sums than the majority of the group you're raving on about could ever afford.

Stop acting as though "property owners" are the root of this or are even fucking AWARE it happens.

It's the fault of councilors, mayors, chiefs, etc. It's a system that operates like Ouroboros; eating it's tail and growing the whole time.

It's all just too much.

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I had no idea what to make of that comment tbh It was funny because it hit my inbox the day I bought a home. “So, am I an evil property owner to some people now?” Lol

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Where was this?

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Phoenix, AZ

It’s a common story here.

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I've had generally positive experiences with AZ DPS and in fact wish there were more of them around to enforce moving violations. I fear for my life every time I have to navigate I-10, I-17 and 202 in and around PHX.

Phoenix and Tucson PD are, as you note, a different story. They enjoy fucking with you.

A movie suggestion to blow off some steam: Clint Eastwood's 1977 "The Gauntlet." In the denouement he fights the entire Phoenix PD with an improvisedly-uparmored Greyhound bus.

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It's not just the little people. I got pulled over for having an uncovered load in my pickup on the way to the dump--not having a tarp over brown leaf bags below the top of the pickup bed. Instead of a ticket and fine, I received a court summons. Went to court to pay the fine AND $256 court fee for the privilege of taking the morning off, and sitting in a seat waiting for my chance to stand in front of a judge. This is all about bankrupt, poorly managed cities and states extracting money any way they can from anybody they can. Dirty city managers and complicit police forces.

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haha. Like Florida charging open container for having empty beer cans in the pickup bed. hahahaha 400 counts!

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«This is all about bankrupt, poorly managed cities and states extracting money any way they can from anybody they can. Dirty city managers and complicit police forces.»

40 years of reaganism have taught property owners that their taxes are always wasted by the government, and that it is best if the cost of running government services is paid for by someone else. Why not? Some quotes that agree with both of us:

Bloomberg: "more than three-quarters of the residents of Ferguson had warrants outstanding for their arrest, most for such things as unpaid parking tickets or unmowed lawns. Because those fines made up a significant chunk of the city’s operating budget, there was institutional pressure to issue as many citations as possible and to make the fines costly. The police, in other words, were acting as the enforcement arm of a shakedown operation."

BusinessInsider: "the city of Sherwood, with a population of about 30,000 people, generated some $12 million over the past five years through the system, [ ... ] One of the plaintiffs in the suit filed in federal court in Arkansas wrote a check for $28.93 in 2011 that was returned for insufficient funds. The woman was arrested seven times as a result of the returned check"

CTVNews: "The city says Montreal police handed out fewer tickets this summer, and it wants the police union to pay up. Even before the city filed its official grievance, the police union said it had received an email indicating City Hall was taking steps with the Labour Relations Board. The city claims there's been a drastic drop in the number of tickets given out since June, but hasn’t provided any numbers to back up their claims. It has filed a grievance with the board in hopes of recovering the money it says has been lost. For its part, the union, which has admitted in the past that police officers are given ticket quotas, said officers were never instructed to hand out fewer tickets."

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Yo Matt, I was pulled over in Washington State about a year ago for "swerveing while driving." I'm a white guy and was under the impression that I had the "complexion for the protection" (as a non white buddy used to always tell me) but I was mistaken. I was accused of driving under the influence. So I said give me the breathalyzer- I passed. But they still took me to the nearest hospital for a blood test. They got a fast track ok from some judge and took blood against my will ,obviously, and then took me to jail. I got bailed out and the charges were then dropped. This all massively sucked and I was pissed but it wasn't over. About 4 months later I got a bill from the hospital for about 600 for the blood test that came back clean. There was no legal option but for me to pay it. I never knew the state can falsely accuse you, take your blood, take you to jail and then charge you for it. The police state is real and it's big, nasty and growing. And that's why I shoot you 5 a month. Thanks dog...

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Why do you hate middle class property owning taxpayers? Do you think that they enjoy having their property taxes increased to pay for blood tests for moochers like you? :-)

The point here is very simple: low property taxes trump every other consideration. So screw-everybody-else, screw-everybody-else. It's called "reaganism".

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Lol I almost thought you were serious. I am a tax paying property owning citizen and get triggered when I hear or see in print "property tax."

Yeah fun fact Regan raised taxes and spent more than every administration before him combined. They use political figured of different parties to neutralize the base- like Regan did with the right as he spent and taxed.

Cheers

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This reads like civil forfeiture, except for people who didn't have anything to seize in the first place. Each of these things enrage me and make me wonder if the world will ever get any better. I have to remind myself that with time, it seems to, even if things aren't yet what they should be.

Between the law-and-order types who worship power, and the burn-it-all-down types that want to abolish the police, this kind of reasoned yet impassioned focus on the true wonkish solutions to these problems has immense value, and I feel proud that my subscription money promotes this kind of work. Thank you, and have a safe holiday.

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It's been quite a while since the justice system was actually interested in justice. Police want arrests, prosecutors want convictions, government wants money, and lawyers want to be paid.

Aside from the horrendous examples stated above from the criminal justice system, from a civil perspective the party with the deeper pockets wins by default. Which includes businesses, where a big business is free to violate a contract with a small business.

There have been many solutions proposed, but until the members of the legal profession are ready to reform the system, it won't happen. Don't hold your breath.

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It has a name, Kleptocracy.

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It is a system , just not a justice system. I guess it should be renamed something like the crooked system or the heavily leaning towards the government system

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The US has more attorneys, I'm led to believe, than the entire rest of the world. Someone has to keep them funded.

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No doubt-most attorneys aren’t there to prove innocence (“something” likely happened), they are there to negotiate the best possible outcome of an already messed up situation.

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You forgot “for-profit prisons need to get paid.”

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Agreed with one exception: i would argue that cops Do not WANT to make arrests. Ask any one of them - they would rather it wasnt necessary but It is their job to do so when needed. Almost none want the paperwork and hassle of low-level offenses. It is the towns/cities pressuring brass to bring in those numbers.

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MOST cops don't. There is a fair sized minority that like the power that comes with the badge and abuse it and people. It is the failure to get rid of these people (blue wall and union contracts) that give police the reputation they have in many communities. Policing for profit doesn't help, either.

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I gotta credit to the Nashville PD-back before the covid hit the Nashville city council was proposing some kind of Airbnb regulation/crackdown/hospitality industry sponsored squeeze and a rep for the Nashville PD straight up said “Don’t expect us to enforce this. We have more important things to do than act as your social gestapo, against property owners who aren’t doing anything’s no wrong”. It’s rare to see that level of forthright common sense coming out from a police department to a city council, in a major city.

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You're right one should never generalize. But it doesn't always come down to individual choice if they're assigned quotas, even if the quotas are supposedly unofficial.

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They should bring back dueling as a means to settle disputes.

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This story is almost as old as the country. The "Sundown Laws" found you guilty of being black after dark. It was a way of recruiting free labor for the work houses and work farms. Just another way to keep slavery as a business model.

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And to keep those on top on top. The slave master's biggest fear is ending up being a slave since they know first hand how little the slave's life really matters.

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Mentioning the Ferguson, Missouri, incident where Darren Wilson was found not guilty of wrong doing in the shooting of very large drug-crazed Black kid who tried to steal his weapon and then charged him isn't necessary for this story about Iowa.

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See comment from JN above at about 1:40.

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We can agree that the government is the problem, not the solution. Yet everyone seems to want to fix the kleptocratic system. How can we fix what we do not control? The only solution is to bring it down.

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I sort of agree with you. The government is the problem and YET...WE are the government - we continuously elect some of the most corrupt amoral humans we can find and then WE KEEP THEM THERE year after year. Why are WE THE PEOPLE not screaming and demanding term limits? Why are WE not pushing and pushing for tax reform (why the 10% flat tax went nowhere i will never understand) Why arent WE forcing limits on the revolving door? First reason: every plot needs a foil. We all need something to blame - but blame does not = accountability. So i wrinkle my forehead and stare with a look of incredulity every time someone says “burn it down,” because they never seem to explain what the replacement would be and how it will be more fair less corrupt and more of what a REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT is supposed to be.

I advocate TAX REBELLION and short term consumer boycotts by sector with clear succinct goals and demands. But guess what? That TAKES WORK -EFFORT. PARTICIPATION.

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I think it's just too confusing for us to have a chance of dealing with it. The issues are too complex and too far away and most of the people who say they have answers are systematic liars. I advocate bringing most of the decisions to local levels of representative government in the hope that we will have enough direct knowledge of local issues, and enough direct communication with interested parties, to make informed decisions.

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Government is benign. The people that own the government are the problem. Can we let the Ronny Ray gun BS die now please.

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The US Federal Government is Evil. The Devils who own it will not give it up. Kill it.

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We the People, put them there. This happened to us on a town level. Police setting up a road block with the excuse of checking seat belts. One New Years Eve coming back from Virginia, 2AM a road block one and 1/2 hours long hoping to catch some DUIs that made insurance companies rich ($10,000 MORE in insurance over 3 years.

We the People made them behave themselves and demanded NO MORE ROAD BLOCKS. It worked.

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I think that's the play and the perfect excuse for world government and a world currency. It seems to me that the world government will be in no way democratic or representative. Back to feudalism but this time no privacy and no ability to redress any grievances. We'll be dependent upon the grace of the trust fund baby idiots.

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I think the US is far too big for representative government to work, and world government would obviously be even worse. For the voters to have any chance of knowing about the issues we need to empower local governments.

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At this point I agree, but let's not forget the intentional misinformation and indoctrination that made it impossible for representative government to work.

With today's technology we have no need to work as many hours, we would be able to spend time being parents and citizens, and we would have no need to compete for resources.

The problem with using local government is ending up with 50 K-streets instead of just one in DC.

The only solution is doing away with the concept of there being an elite among us. Our language was stolen long ago by leaders who were too lazy to go about the work of informing the people of what the real issues were. Us not knowing what the issues are allows the elite to position themselves first in line with the solution and therefore preserve their status, and especially as of late, the profit that goes along with it.

There are advantages of not having competing currencies and governments. I just don't trust the thugs and thieves that are pushing it to not construct a system the ensures no one can cheat but them.

Who could trust these people after the last 40 years of mass murder and fraud at our expense ?

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It's got to be stopped.

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All fines raised by a state should be issued as a rebate to income/ property tax payers.

Take out all incentive for government to issue fines other than to improve law and order.

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More incentive to fine the piss out of everyone including the people it is supposed to help......

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Huh? As you so often accuse the media, your righteous outrage in the Mathes cases seems in service of the story you want to tell, not the facts. Had the state dismissed the case on the merits, charging costs to Mathes would indeed have been outrageous. But that’s not what you describe happened. She was guilty. And presumably because it was a first offense, and a minor one at that, the state cut her a break by dismissing the case, presumably in return for her agreeing to pay certain costs. And while it’s good copy to say she’d be better off with a conviction, that’s nonsense. For once straddled with the stigma of a criminal conviction, her job prospects, her housing choices (kiss public housing goodbye), and all sorts of other adverse collateral consequences would follow. Be outraged about the dog barking and unmowed lawn tickets, not a deal that spared Mathes a forever diminished life.

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“She was sent multiple bills: $40 for “court reporter fees,” $100 for “filing and docketing fees,” and $1,815.28 in “indigent defense fee recoupment,” i.e. counsel fees.”

Nevertheless, there is the logical contradiction of declaring a defendant to be legally ‘Indigent,’ then charging him or her with costs that, by definition, cannot be paid.

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Yeah, what this guy said. I 100 percent agree. I'd work a second job for a year, or longer, not to have a criminal record.

If you can't pay the fine, don't do the crime.

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You both seem to be missing the point of the Mathes story. Mathes was charged with a single count of possession, which probably means having a small amount of marijuana - something that is now legal in a handful of states and likely to be passed in many more soon (if not federally). Mathes didn't rob a corner store. The issue with the fees is that you can end up in jail for not paying them on time. And getting a second job is not always the answer; just an ignorant "pull up your bootstraps" response when full time minimum wage jobs won't get you above the poverty line.

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If you can't pay the fine, don't do the crime»

Why not have capital punishment for every crime, from dog barking, unmown lawns, jaywalking or littering or submitting padded expense claims onwards? That was the approach of Draco in Athens and some early chinese rulers.

If you don't want to lose your life, don't do the crime.

It can also be as simple as that.

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Hyperbole detected.

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Did you get charged with the crime you committed or one they made up ?

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Congratulations, you've been acquitted! That'll be $2850.57 -- credit card or cash? Taxation by another name.

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They will charge you extra for the credit card payment.

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It is getting so hard not to have contempt for my country. Granted, the people in these stories (my wife calls them New York Times feature people) are rarely sympathetic. They fall into these traps after an endless series of bad and stupid decisions. But nonetheless the Law is endlessly an ass and cops are generally bad enough without turning them into the IRS with guns.

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Money is how the system determines who goes to jail, stays in jail, ends up in prison.

It's a very complex racket. Just imagine how many unsuccessful anger management classes have been court ordered.

we should all be pacifist Quakers by now.

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founding

This and civil asset forfeiture are serious issues.

However, I also think officer Wilson was publicly lynched by the media. There are still people who believe officer Wilson was in the wrong. He was not. Any attempt at an apology was half-hearted and then focused on the DOJ findings mentioned by Mr. Taibbi. Here is one of those half-hearted apologies. It does make one thing clear, the blame rests with Michael Brown. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/03/16/lesson-learned-from-the-shooting-of-michael-brown/

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Yes. When all the evidence had been sussed out and examined it was clear that the officer did in fact act accordingly in this case.

Not to say that black folks haven't been set loose into general with the rest of the slaves and been treated awfully... but in this case Brown made a series of very bad choices that got him gunned down.

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It's hard to believe folks behave like this. Why doesn't Pelosi's DNC as the representative of the poor make an issue of this? Or is it not widespread enough to be worthy of attention, like election fraud. Oh right, class issues are just too declasse for them. Besides, this could seque into question about what the money folks donated to BLM was used for.

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA This had me rolling on the floor. Good comedy here.

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How come Mitch McConnel doesn't do something ?

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Probably because the Republics don't pretend to care about the poor and claim them as their constituency. Their religious wing is supposed to take care of that, no?

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So if you know both are pretending to solve the problem, what's the problem ?

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I suppose you missed the clip of Pelosi balling out Wolf Blitzer screaming that the Democrats represent the poor. The dems are hypocrites, the republicans, not so much on this issue. Get it now?

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What does that have to do with anything ? We're all hypocrites to some extent. How is the repub's feeding the children of the poor to the pedophiles in the church any less problematic ?

It's the exact same bullshit in two different flavors.

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LOL Whataboutism. So tell me, did you vote for Biden?

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It's not at all funny that when you mention this type of fleecing being foisted among inner city and poor people, not one fucking smug eyebrow is raised by my friends and family that voted for Biden and the war machine he represents. Turns out it was only hip to call out racist policies as long as you were hating Drumpf.

Read also: Mentioning China's actual concentration camps, slave labor, Biden's racist bullshit, Harris' long record of fucking over poor people she imprisoned and KEPT there for labor contracts, the Republicans' compliance and the whole machine running on misery.

Nope, they'll tell you they are part of some "resistance" as they help pass out flyers for the New Death Star.

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