Framing 2020 – Winner and Losers

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Partial Transcript of the PodCast

Episode 6 – Winners an Losers

You have to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.

– Abraham Lincoln

{6A} The Great Swindle Continues

{6B}Masquerading in Conservative Garb

{6C} What Counts as a Subsidy, as Entitlement?

“You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

— William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)

The Mint Act of 1792 defined a “unit of value” for our new nation. It was to be known as the dollar. From that day forward, a debate was raging between the bankers and the farmers. The bankers were focused upon global trade and preferred a gold standard that could only be modified by international agreement. The high threshold that must be attained to even participate in the gold trade, made a bi-metal standard that included both gold and silver, more appealing to the farmers.

William McKinley bet on the bankers while William Jennings Bryan vested his presidential ambitions with the farmers.  McKinley won the election on November 3, 1896.

The Horse and Sparrow Theory of Economics holds that, if you feed the horse all the oats it wants, the sparrows can subsist on the undigested oats that are to be found in the dung piles along the road. Since this theory was advanced in the 1890s, a number of efforts have been made to disguise a clear condescension and disgust, the most privileged among us hold, for We the People.

Today, the same theory has undergone some name changes to make it a bit more, if you’ll excuse the expression,  palatable. Leaky, trickle-down, supply-side, and Reaganomics are among the names floated to make such unmitigated selfishness less offensive to the masses. In the Introduction to this series of podcasts, we highlighted the fact that a few inheritors, skimmers, and hoarders of wealth have routinely thwarted the will of the many through a variety of political sophistries, 

Our Constitution advances the principle that our first duty is to advocate for the highest and best interests of “We the people” as we labor to “build a more perfect union.” I have argued that the oligarchy is the enemy of democracy as it always aims to wrest control from the demos, “we the people,” and instead vest it with the rich, “they the few.”

In the United States, the federal minimum wage has been stalled, since July 24, 2009, at seven dollars and twenty five cents per hour, or about fifteen thousand dollars per year for full time employment. Over the same decade, the average CEO pay at S&P 500 companies increased over five-hundred thousand dollars per year to an average of fifteen million dollars annually. This one thousand to one income disparity ratio is the best evidence that ongoing class warfare was long ago thrust upon us.

In light of the current global pandemic, billionaires now object to a six-hundred dollar weekly unemployment compensation boost that is the equivalent to a fifteen dollar hourly rate. This rate is equivalent to the starting wage at Amazon and Target. Critics of a proposed fifteen dollar per hour minimum wage argue that it would be a “job killer.” They are notably silent as to whether the service of a CEO is worth one thousand workers at the current minimum wage or about five hundred at the proposed minimum wage.

The oligarchy’s playbook for maintaining such incoherency hasn’t changed, as the primary trifecta always consists of the control of media together with the covert bribery of public officials for their surreptitious manipulation of otherwise free markets. They do this while also feigning reverence for the free market system. Over the past decade, about 600 billionaires have controlled the information flow through media to 320 million people. During the same period, fledgling democracies have been sacrificed for political expediency by the most self-serving.

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