Inglorious Bastardization: The GOP’s Plan to Keep the Rich Rich and You Poor

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As a political system and ideology, Libertarianism, and its requisite laissez faire capitalism, is the ultimate expression of class war that pits a few wealthy elite against the masses in a struggle to accrue and control all the wealth in a society. In a sense, Libertarianism has as its basis the concept of survival of the fittest where fitness is measured by wealth and privilege unimpeded by ethical or moral standards necessary in a free society where every citizen has equal opportunities to prosper and fulfill Thomas Jefferson’s “immortal declaration” that “all men are created equal with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Over the past months, Vice President Joe Biden has oft-repeated that “this is not your father’s Republican party,” but he is remiss to inform audiences what many political observers have believed for some time now that the Republican Party has transformed into a libertarian bastardization of conservatism that explains nearly every policy and agenda the right has pursued for nearly three decades.

Republicans are wont to claim they are not waging class warfare on behalf of the wealthy that controls the lion’s share of wealth in this country and, instead, assail President Obama and Democrats as warriors against the so-called “job creators” with unfair taxation and burdensome regulations. It is true that the GOP historically opposes taxes and regulations, but until recently, they understood that at some juncture, to maintain a semblance of equality, it was morally and ethically right to acquiesce to Democratic belief in shared sacrifice and community conscience. It is time for all Americans to acknowledge that this new Republican Party believes that the masses exist to enrich the wealthy and that the GOP as an institution are engaging in a new civil war Fox News calls, “the makers versus the takers.”

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If the makers and takers term sounds familiar, it is the Paul Ryan term he used in a speech to the Heritage Foundation in October 2011, and it is the theme of the Ayn Rand novel libertarians, and now Republicans, are using as an economic and political agenda in their drive to transfer the wealth of the nation to a select few. For the uninitiated, in Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, she expressed her disgust for average Americans and adoration of capitalists by purporting America needed to rid itself of anyone receiving government assistance from Social Security, Medicare, unemployment compensation, or any social safety net she asserted plagues and constrains “makers,” or what Republicans call “job creators.”

In the past 9 months, Republicans have floated the notion that it is high time the poor and middle class help the beleaguered wealthiest 1% by paying higher taxes to enrich “job creators” that are under an extreme burden of the weight of the “takers. In Ayn Rand’s novel, she portrayed the wealthy as demigods upon whom the burden of civilization rests and like Representative Paul Ryan’s vernacular, it is the “makers” from whom the rest are only “takers.” For example, Willard Romney proposes raising taxes on the poor 60%, Eric Cantor suggests broadening the (tax) base in a way that lowers the rates for job creators who are overly burdened with high taxes,” and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the tax code needs restructuring to make it fairer to the wealthiest Americans. One of Romney’s supporters and a former Bain Capital partner, Edward Conrad, went a step farther and said the problem with America’s economy is not that income inequality is too wide, but that it is not wide enough.

In the Libertarian philosophy, there are no regulations and no government highway system, public schools, retirement, minimum wage, or unemployment benefits in a dog-eat-dog privatized world where the wealthy control all aspects of society, and if Americans are unable to pay fees to the rich, they cannot pass on private roads, attend private schools, and are forced to work for whatever industrialists are willing to pay resulting in a less than meager existence. It is Depression-era America without labor laws, Social Security, Medicare, public police and fire protection or public assistance in case of illness or injury. It is laissez faire capitalism at its best that gives any business the right to discriminate against race, religion, or sexual preference, and although it suits the wealthy, it is the bane of a society of shared responsibility and sacrifice as well as the end of America’s storied equal opportunities for all citizens.

In the Fox News commentary titled “America’s Coming Civil War — Makers vs. Takers,” the contention is that “we’re a house divided again and another civil war is coming, with the 2012 election as its Gettysburg, pitting public employee unions, left-leaning intelligentsia, and millions of Americans dependent on government from Medicaid and Social Security to college loans and corporate bailouts against those who create wealth, America’s private sector-the very ones targeted by President Obama.” However, the article fails to mention that programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and guaranteed college loans are funded by the taxpayers, and in the case of Social Security and Medicare, the trusts are funded entirely by employee contributions throughout their entire working lives. Still, Republicans are frantic to privatize those programs and turn over trillions of dollars of employee contributions to Wall Street and investors to squander in the next economic meltdown caused by deregulation Republicans are desperate to enact by repealing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. It is the ultimate robbery of Americans’ retirement and old-age healthcare to hand over to the wealthy that Republicans now claim require the poor and middle class to unburden by paying higher taxes.

The Republican propaganda machine has shifted the makers vs. takers meme from just the American people to public labor unions and American’s retirement accounts to engender support from unbelievably stupid Americans who cannot realize they will be victims of a libertarian agenda. It is also disingenuous, at best, to claim the extremely wealthy and private sector corporations are unduly burdened when corporate profits are at an all-time high at the same time wages hit an all-time low. One of the reasons corporate profits are at record levels is because fewer Americans are working than any time in the past three decades, and they are working longer hours with increased productivity, and for less wages that impedes economic growth. All the while, the constant refrain of libertarian Republicans is that companies are suffering from “too much regulation” and “too many taxes” and so it warrants a war of the makers against the takers.

Vice President Biden was right; this “is not your father’s Republican Party,” it is a libertarian party. The drive to privatize all areas of the government and promise by Willard Romney to eliminate entire departments portends a nation of peasants barely existing to enrich a few wealthy families. There will be no security in old-age, decent jobs, healthcare, mandatory minimum wage, public schools or consumer and labor protections and the idea of clean water will be a privilege reserved for the wealthy.  Willard Romney is on record saying he will cut education, police and fire fighters, and dismantle union representation that is responsible for keeping workplaces safe and a semi-decent prevailing wage. The coming libertarian America may please Ayn Rand acolytes like Paul Ryan, but for all but the wealthy, it is a return to Depression-era America with mass hunger, 90% unemployment, and abject despair and it will be the result of the coming civil war of the cash-rich makers against the rest of the population that made the wealthy rich with their toil, sweat, and eventually, their retirement, healthcare, and life-savings.

 

 

10 Replies to “Inglorious Bastardization: The GOP’s Plan to Keep the Rich Rich and You Poor”

  1. They’ve got the donkey before the carrot here: The ‘makers’ are the people who MAKE the goods (and provide the services) The ‘takers’ are the ones who make nothing, share nothing, and own everything. Social security was Ayn Rand’s main source of income in the decade before she died, by the way…………

  2. Ayn Rand founded her philosophy on her adulation of a child-murderer, William Hickman, who kidnapped a twelve-year-old girl and sawed her in half, and her contempt for both the murdered child and those who demanded justice on her behalf. The former she saw as a real Übermensch, untainted by empathy, conscience, or human community, and the latter as vile communitarians with no originality. I am unaware of whether this vulva dentata ever had children, but the heirs of her spirit are too numerous and powerful for the safety of the human race.

  3. I would add that the worship of vicious people is currently called hybristophilia, and those afflicted with it are hybristophiles.

  4. This reminded me of one of the rants I got from my young-earth creationist neighbors. The guy was almost screaming at me about living off of his money… didn’t want me to get a Pell Grant or anything. He then stomped off before I could tell him that most of what I had was either student loans which I had to pay back, or a significant Fellowship which he didn’t pay for.

    I wish there was some way we could put a cold stop to all of the propaganda being directed at them, and start getting truth into their view. It’ll piss them off, but maybe they’ll finally realize that they’ve been lied to for years.

  5. You know, Bob, with such neighbors, you yourself could use a dog. A hunting dog raised with cats will protect them, and they like all the same things (snooping, hunting, and a certain humor). A chow raised with cats thinks she is one, but those don’t take our climate well. Either way, you’ll get less garbage from the garbage.

  6. This is a frightening likeness to the lunatics of 1930’s Fascist Europe. Franco, Mussolini and Hitler ain’t got nothin on these crazies.

  7. The truth is that Hitler and Mussolini both promised their workers an assured, if humble, place in the hierarchy, and had enough sense to understand that if you pulled stones out of the foundation to build a penthouse, the whole thing would collapse. Of course, to them, conquered peoples and outgroups were the dirt on which their foundations stood. One day, that didn’t work too well, either.

  8. No, Ayn Rand didn’t have any children, not by her husband Frank O’Connor nor her scorned lover Nathaniel Branden. In fact, none of her “Collective” did, except her eventual heir Leonard Peikoff. Seems raising children somehow violates the integrity of Randroids’ sacred egos…

  9. Rand denounced Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler as collectivists little different from Stalin himself. Her American followers are extreme “Rugged Individualists” relying on a different Social Darwinist tradition, that of the Robber Barons derived from Calvinism. In fact, it was the Robber Barons she specifically aimed her philosophy toward.

    So the future American tyranny won’t be that of, say, right-wing militias devoted to identity politics. It’ll be that of the richest men with the biggest egos — who will promptly proceed to stab each other in the back and undermine their own system in the sacred name of Ambition…

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