Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vichy America


By David Glenn Cox

Were it not all so real it would make a great book; Dan Brown could add another hundred million dollars to his collection. Perhaps he could call it "The Bhagwan Code," while I prefer to think of it as "Vichy America." Our synthetic, middle class, pseudo nazis, protesting for their gun rights or tax rights, a smiling, flag-waving, picture-mugging, minivan-driving collection of the dumbest individuals ever to stand up on two legs.

It's like a sort of reverse evolution where mankind evolves back into a creature that moves on three legs while leaving one hand free to carry the Bible or a cell phone. They are too dumb to even understand the herd mentality, too dumb to know the difference between predator and prey. The gun nuts rally to show off their machismo to each other thinking that they might somehow intimidate the government with their show of force like a baby shaking its rattle at a rattlesnake.

Do the Taliban march through Kandahar to show how tough they are? Do the Greeks wave tea bags and shout, "Don't tread on me"? The herd shouts, "Restore the Constitution!" but they don't have a clue as to what that really means, unaware that the Constitution that they imagine is miles from what they want. The herds are out protesting in favor of the predators and against themselves.

The Walton family fortune is worth some $90 billion and was made primarily on imported goods and exploitive labor practices. The Bush tax cuts saves the Walton family millions of dollars a year in taxes and saves the average worker $240 per year. The right wing government that they want to protect them has eliminated trade tariffs and a tariff is a tax on a foreign good that you don't pay. Are they protesting for an end to the Bush tax cuts yet?

If there is a tariff on bananas you don't pay it unless you buy bananas, and even if you do the cost per banana is miniscule. It is a tax on companies which import bananas into the United States and most of those companies are owned by Americans. Right now the US Congress is mulling over the idea of a value-added tax or a national sales tax. Leaving aside that sales taxes are the most regressive and unfair taxes on the working poor. Look at it this way: they have taken the taxes off the multinational corporations' incomes in the name of free trade, and now, to make up the deficit, they want to put the tax on to you.

I used the example of bananas because I thought it might strike a chord with these knuckle-dragging baboons. Imagine you and I share a toll bridge on the border and I charge a nickel for each person crossing the bridge my way and you charge a nickel for each person crossing your way. Five thousand people cross each day going your way while ten million people cross each day going my way. You earn $250 per day and I earn $50,000 a day.

Free trade argues that if you eliminate that nickel tax more people will want to cross the bridge. That it will create jobs and industry on both sides of the bridge, except the people on my side of the bridge earn $20.00 an hour and the people on your side earn $5 per day. The benefit goes to the guy that owns the banana trees; the loss goes to the workers in the country earning $20.00 per hour. It's true that traffic on the bridge has increased, but since there are no longer any tolls collected, what does it matter?

To me that is a far greater threat to national sovereignty than any of the made up reasons of the gun nuts and teabaggers. Because now they want you to pay the taxes to make up for the lost bridge tolls and even to buy them a new bridge! We live in an America under a two party system, those with money and those without money, and for those without money it's no party.


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