AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US
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Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: Big Business's Tax Code Strategy

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: Big Business's Tax Code Strategy | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it

Today's New York Times article titled "Major Companies Push the Limits of a Tax Break" strikes me as a microcosm of the challenges with the federal tax code.

It also reveals something else. It's a marketing strategy called FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt - and it's being used by the rich and powerful to protect tax codes which benefit them by making the rest of us afraid to support efforts to change or eliminate those tax loopholes.

The article describes a 90-year old tax code modification supposedly meant to be helpful to farmers and small businesses. When discussing tax codes as "helpful" it's important to always remember that that help comes with a price tag. That "help" means that the government isn't taxing a transaction. That, of course, means less tax revenues into the federal treasury and, like it or not, we will not see our federal debt lowered and our federal budget come closer to balance unless both sides of the ledger - expenses AND revenues - are tackled.

Don't get me wrong. I don't oppose every tax code meant to help businesses, especially small businesses. What I vehemently oppose is what seems to have happened here. It appears from this article that this incentive originally intended to benefit farmers and small businesses was eventually expanded and perverted into something that the likes of JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and GE may have abused.

How does that happen and why aren't we capable of doing something about it?

Perhaps this is one possible answer.

Whenever the topic turns to the economy, business, and taxation, we seem to allow the rich and powerful to control the discussion and to set the framework for what to do next. We allow the to do this by employing a strategy those of us in the sales and marketing profession know as FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Here's how it works.

We allow them to manipulate and control us by controlling the discussion mostly through fear and with heavy doses of uncertainty and doubt. Too many of us are easily (and to some degree, justifiably) frightened by the threat of the loss of the most basic thing needed to survive in a modern society; namely and for starters, a job which pays enough (but not always enough) just for food and shelter.

The things that used to signal the arrival into the middle class - higher education, vacations, and even a little free time to pursue interests outside of two or three part-time jobs - are now available and affordable to fewer and fewer people. All this at a time when taxes are at historic lows, regulation on businesses of all types has been progressively shredded over the last 30 years, the wealth gap is wider than it's been since the Gilded Age, and the federal debt keeps ballooning.

When it comes to taxes, the rich and powerful use FUD to make the same argument they always make: the beneficial tax treatment of these "...asset exchanges spur investment and help create jobs." They frame the discussion about raising taxes and doing away with loopholes by saying that if they are taken away there will be less investment and fewer jobs. My response to that argument is pretty consistently this: if that's true then why is unemployment still just under 8% and why isn't the economy growing faster? You rich and powerful people are getting what you want and it's still not enough?

This is overly simplistic, I know, but I still believe it's a valid stance to take in this argument. It's still a legitimate way to tear down and take back the framing they want to use when it comes to the tax code. If tax breaks like this are so great, then why are we in the terrible state we're in and why aren't the rich and powerful investing more into a recovery? 

And when it comes to changing the tax code as a means for helping to reverse the federal government's mounting debt, the discussion must be first and foremost about the sort of code changes like this one that benefit GE and Wells Fargo long before even thinking about code changes such as eliminating mortgage interest deductions.

It's far past the time to end the corporate welfare system. That must begin with changes to the corporate tax codes. They must pay more, not less. Corporations have already proven they'll adapt and, besides, how much more is left for them to outsource overseas? They've refused to do anything except hold us all hostage through fear of job loss while they sit atop record-setting profits.

It's time to call their bluff.

One of the greatest challenges we face for reversing tax codes that benefit only the strong, the wealthy, and the powerful is our ability and willingness to call them out on their FUD strategy and to tell them that, "We're mad as hell and..."Well, you know the rest.

More than that, our elected officials need to know they can't use FUD on us either. If they have the courage to stand up to big money and the power elite, then they need to know that we will stand with them. We need more people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who seem to actually care about the middle class enough to stand up to Wall Street, big corporations, and the infinitesimally small number of wealthy people in America who already have rigged the system far too long and far too much to their advantage.

The wealthy aren't doing anything much to help the rest of us, so why should we keep kowtowing to them and their interests? Let's close tax loopholes that benefit large and wealthy corporations. It's a better place to start than with my home mortgage interest deduction.

Click here to find your Congressional Representative and tell him/her what you think. It's the only way they'll know.

Click here to learn more about and to get involved with Coffee Party USA and the work they're doing to restore our democracy.


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AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US
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Rescooped by Monica S Mcfeeters from Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
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Use of Broadband Linked to Greater Levels of Civic Engagement | Brian Whiacre & Jacob Manlove | Daily Yonder

Use of Broadband Linked to Greater Levels of Civic Engagement | Brian Whiacre & Jacob Manlove | Daily Yonder | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Rural folks know that interacting with neighbors, voting in local elections, and participating in community organizations is important. Having a broadband connection has certainly made some parts of rural life much easier. But, does broadband make it easier – or harder – for rural citizens to be civically involved? Our new study tries to answer these questions, and also looks at what specific aspect of broadband is most important for civic engagement.

To understand the relationship between civic engagement and broadband, we used publicly available data on each. The Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey from 2011 includes 19 measures of civic engagement for its nearly 50,000 respondents. These included activities such as voting in local elections, joining a civic organization, having dinner with family or friends, or trusting people in the neighborhood. We generated aggregate scores for each measure for the non-metropolitan residents in each state, and then compared them to the levels of broadband in those same rural areas at the same point in time (2011). We wanted to know, in particular, if being active locally was more related with measures of broadband adoption, access, or community anchor institutions.

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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New paper outlines ways of reducing impacts of pollution, climate change, noise and crime

New paper outlines ways of reducing impacts of pollution, climate change, noise and crime | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A new study from Washington University in St. Louis suggests eight interventions that will help create healthier and more sustainable cities of the future, built to reduce the negative impacts of pollution, climate change

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Aaron's Army

Aaron's Army | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
At a memorial for Aaron Swartz in San Francisco tonight at Internet Archive (live video stream here), Carl Malamud spoke about the late activist and developer. Aaron was part of an army of citizens…
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We should remember HG Wells for his social predictions, not just his scientific ones

We should remember HG Wells for his social predictions, not just his scientific ones | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Many of HG Wells's futuristic prophecies have come true, but the one on which his heart was most set – the establishment of a world state – remains unfulfilled.

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MN: Kandiyohi County moves forward with broadband grant plans with CTC | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Kandiyohi County moves forward with broadband grant plans with CTC | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it

According to Willmar Radio…

"Kandiyohi County is going ahead with plans to apply for a five million dollar grant to expand high speed internet in underserved or un-served areas of the county. County Commissioner Harlan Madsen says they are seeking a grant through the State of Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband fund, and if they get it, Madsen says the county will borrow 5 million dollars to match it…

…Consolidated Telephone Company of Baxter-Brainerd will use the 10 million dollars to install high-speed internet to around 1700 homes in an area north of Willmar, in the Lake Florida-Norway Lake region..."


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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The Trump Files: Donald and Melania's Creepy, Sex-Filled Interview With Howard Stern | Mother Jones

The Trump Files: Donald and Melania's Creepy, Sex-Filled Interview With Howard Stern | Mother Jones | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
"She is actually naked. It's a thing of beauty."
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
An example to model for your future and your children....The difference between Bill Clinton and Donald is that Bill didn't dump Hillary and breed with mistresses and make A string of wives rich from divorces.... Now if Americans or the world could get a good settlement when Trump leaves office like those wives it might be worth putting him in office....but Americans would be eating his dust after he moves out and stuck with footing by his bills and protecting him for the rest of his life... If you really think Trump should be your president play all his Stern interviews to your 6 year old...that is the model you are selecting for that 6 year old.
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Bridge Case Culprit Says Christie and Ex-Aides Used Port Authority as ‘Goody Bag’ - NYTimes.com

Bridge Case Culprit Says Christie and Ex-Aides Used Port Authority as ‘Goody Bag’ - NYTimes.com | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
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Opinion: Give communities of color a voice in reshaping education

Opinion: Give communities of color a voice in reshaping education | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
For the first time in our nation's history, the majority of students in public schools are students of color. But in most places, communities of color still have little meaningful say in how their states manage and resource education.
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Federal Bill Seeks First Native American Land Grab in 100 Years

Federal Bill Seeks First Native American Land Grab in 100 Years | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
A bill entered from Utah Republican congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz seeks to take Ute tribal lands and hand them over to oil and mining companies.

Via Demarcio Washington
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Donald Trump Jr. inadvertently encourages America to scoop up refugees by the handful

Donald Trump Jr. inadvertently encourages America to scoop up refugees by the handful | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Trump's tweet vastly misrepresents any threat posed by refugees from Syria.
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
Great read!!! The odds are far better someone will be killed in a car wreck so there for we should not let any cars into our state.... Or allow any drunks in our state or anyone that ever dosed off while driving or anyone that smokes. We should close all swimming areas and only take showers too. The odds of Americans dying from those preventable events are far, far better than dying in a terrorist attack by a refugee.
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Chemical Weapons Watchdog Continues Hunt for Syria’s Elusive Nerve Agent

Chemical Weapons Watchdog Continues Hunt for Syria’s Elusive Nerve Agent | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Chemical Weapons Watchdog Continues Hunt for Syria’s Elusive Nerve Agent « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas

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Charts: Why You're in Deep Trouble If You Can't Afford a Lawyer | Mother Jones

Charts: Why You're in Deep Trouble If You Can't Afford a Lawyer | Mother Jones | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Fifty years after the groundbreaking "Gideon" ruling, public defenders are overworked, underpaid—and America's poor are paying the price.
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The Secretive Group Helping Conservatives Strip Away the Power of American Cities

The Secretive Group Helping Conservatives Strip Away the Power of American Cities | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
In May 2011, Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker approved Senate Bill 23, which prohibited the state’s municipalities from enacting paid sick lea
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This is a longer, more in depth article but is definitely worth everyone's time to read to become aware of the developing situation.
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U.S. Labor Department launches review of all Wells Fargo complaints | Reuters

U.S. Labor Department launches review of all Wells Fargo complaints | Reuters | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
U.S. Labor Department Secretary Thomas Perez on Monday pledged to conduct a "top-to-bottom" review of all cases, complaints and other alleged violations that the department has received concerning Wells Fargo (WFC.N) in recent years.
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* * NOWHERE TO HIDE * * Ashley’s “Normal” Education? Part 1

* * NOWHERE TO HIDE * * Ashley’s “Normal” Education?  Part 1 | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
How much do you know about the impacts of developmental trauma? Got 60 seconds?
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Clinton-Trump Race Narrows on Doorstep of Debates

Clinton-Trump Race Narrows on Doorstep of Debates | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
The race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has narrowed.
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Monitoring poverty from space | Laura Ralston | Brookings Institution

Monitoring poverty from space | Laura Ralston | Brookings Institution | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it

How often do policymakers have to decide where to concentrate poverty-alleviation programs based on limited data? For example, where to roll out cash transfer programs aiming to reach the most vulnerable or chronically poor. New methods are emerging on how to measure poverty, consumption expenditure, and asset wealth from high-resolution satellite imagery that may be able to provide systematic and objective-based measures on where these households are more likely to be found when other data is not available.

World Bank researchers Jonathon Hersh and David Newhouse together with Ryan Engstrom from George Washington University have been exploring how features—such as buildings, roads, and cars—derived from high spatial resolution satellite images can be helpful in predicting spatial variation in poverty
in Sri Lanka. Simultaneously a consortium of researchers at Stanford have also been working on the problem using data on the African countries of Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and Rwanda. They recently published their results in Science
.
How do they do it?


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Edward Snowden Who Really Rules The United States ✪ Blow Your Mind ✪

✪ Blow Your Mind ✪ Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/Blow-your-mind-516778118511033/ Edward Snowden's Asylum in Russia and He still alive ""Den
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Hillary Clinton for President - NYTimes.com

Hillary Clinton for President - NYTimes.com | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Monica S Mcfeeters's insight:
This is an interesting argument for a reason to vote for Hillary if you still need one to consider.
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A ferocious assault on Aleppo suggests the U.S. may be wrong on Syria

A ferocious assault on Aleppo suggests the U.S. may be wrong on Syria | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Obama and Kerry say there is no military solution to the war. Russia and Syria think there is.
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BREAKING: Trump Announces Plan To Gut Education, Eliminate 490,000 Teacher Jobs (DETAILS)

BREAKING: Trump Announces Plan To Gut Education, Eliminate 490,000 Teacher Jobs (DETAILS) | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Oh great. Donald Trump’s education plan for the Department of Education would obliterate 490,000 teacher jobs, according to the think tank, Center for American Progress Action Fund [CAPAF].
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375 Top Scientists Warn Us Not To Vote For Trump

375 Top Scientists Warn Us Not To Vote For Trump | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Stephen Hawking is among those who say the GOP nominee could prove disastrous for the planet.
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Scott Walker, the John Doe files and how corporate cash influences American politics

Scott Walker, the John Doe files and how corporate cash influences American politics | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Leaked court documents from ‘John Doe investigation’ in Wisconsin lay bare pervasive influence of corporate cash on modern US elections
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MA: Question 2 opponents slam $100G gift | Jack Encarnacao & Hillary Chabot | Boston Herald

MA: Question 2 opponents slam $100G gift | Jack Encarnacao & Hillary Chabot | Boston Herald | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it

Venture capitalist Paul Sagan, chairman of the state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, donated $100,000 to the committee pushing a ballot question to expand charter schools in Massachusetts — prompting questions about his ability to be impartial on future charter school applications.

Sagan made the hefty donation Aug. 10 to the Campaign for Fair Access to Quality Public Schools, which is pushing for a yes vote on Question 2 in November to allow up to 12 new charters every year in the state. The board Sagan chairs votes on which charter schools are allowed to open.

Sagan told the Herald yesterday he believes his contribution was “completely appropriate.”

“It was disclosed to the Commonwealth under the State’s ethics guidelines. It was made using my personal funds,” Sagan said in a statement. “I am a dedicated supporter of all of our public schools: district, including those under turnaround plans, and charters. Further, I believe my personal view on the ballot question in no way impedes my ability to execute my duties as the Chairman of the Board of Elementary and Secondary to Education in a fair and appropriate manner.”

But Steve Crawford, spokesman for the campaign to defeat Question 2, which is largely funded by teachers unions, called Sagan’s gift “an unheard of amount of money for an appointed education official” to spend to influence an education-related ballot question.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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EXCLUSIVE: Trump didn't get post-9/11 funds for helping people

EXCLUSIVE: Trump didn't get post-9/11 funds for helping people | AUSTERITY & OPPRESSION SUPPORTERS  VS THE PROGRESSION Of The REST OF US | Scoop.it
Donald Trump’s 9/11 cleanup effort was more about sweeping up cash than helping New Yorkers.
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