It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
There is a difference between ideology and party politics. The former is concerned with issues. The latter is concerned with blind loyalty.
Political parties do not bind themselves to an ideology, but rather focus on winning elections.
You probably have been told that the Supreme Court is a mixture of conservative and liberal Justices, something like this small table, showing the “attitude” (fundamental belief) of each Justice.
In reality, The Supreme Court acts like the 3rd segment of the legislative branch.
Like a politician, each justice clings to the party that nominated him (her).
In short, the Supreme Court is ruled by politics, not by law and not by ideology.
The Justices make new law in the same way the Senate and House do: On the basis of political expedience. Each Justice interprets (twists) the words of the Constitution to fulfill political allegiance, even resorting to the claim that some of the Constitution’s words are completely meaningless.
The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution reads, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
It is difficult to argue that the framers intentionally included the bolded words, knowing they were to have no meaning.
Yet, our most famous, self-described “originalist” judge, Antonin Scalia, who prided himself on following the exact, plain-word meaning of the Constitution, argued exactly that.
He said the words, “well-regulated militia” had no meaning whatsoever — that they were an introduction like “Ahem,” a kind of legal throat clearing.
Republicans claim to be “conservatives,” but they are not. A real conservative wishes to conserve the past or at least the present. That desire is not what defines today’s Republicans.
Some de facto elements of today’s Republicanism are:
1. Pro-life, pro-death penalty, anti-birth control, pro-religion, pro-gun. There is an ideological disconnect between pro-life and pro-death penalty and pro-religion.
If your religion believes the killing of fetuses is murder, why would you favor the mass distribution of murder machines and the killing of prisoners?
And if you oppose abortion, why would you oppose the birth control that would reduce the demand for abortions?
These are not conservative positions. They are not ideological positions. They are Republican political positions.
For instance, the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion by a 7-2 vote. Six of the seven justices in the majority were Republican appointees.
The State of Massachusetts passed a health care reform law in 2006. Governor Mitt Romney was a Republican. The law became known as “Romneycare.” Clearly, politics, not conservative ideology, was responsible for the subsequent Republican hatred of Obamacare, which was a virtual clone of Romneycare.
2. Pro-Christian, anti-nonChristian, anti-black, anti-brown, pro-white, anti-immigrant. Many Republicans would deny having these beliefs, but whether or not stated overtly, the evidence is in the voting.
One only can wonder how a follower of Christ’s teachings can vote against the well-being of blacks, browns, and immigrants.
3. Anti-Jew, pro-Israel. Another head-scratcher. Christ was born, lived, and died a Jew, and was, in fact, a rabbi.
Being anti-Jew, but pro-Israel can be justified (if justification even is possible) only if anti-Muslim feelings are greater than anti-Jew feelings –“the enemy of my enemy” idea.
4. Anti-big government, pro-big business, anti-gay marriage, pro-“strict law and order.” The anti-big government people believe the government is too intrusive and burdensome on our lives, while inexplicably believing big business is not intrusive or burdensome.
The same anti-government people believe the government should intrude forcefully on the lives of gay people, and on individuals accused of street crime.
4. Pro-military spending, anti-social spending, anti-deficit spending, anti-science, anti-arts. “Anti-science” manifests itself with climate change denial and evolution denial.
“Anti-deficit” always gives way to “pro-military.”
What is the commonality of the above? They are not conservatism. They do not express a conservative ideology. Some do not “conserve” anything, some are mutually nonsensical, and some merely are bigotry.
There is but one commonality: They all are today’s Republican political positions.
Imagine this scenario:
You are a renter who is suing your landlord. A plain reading of the law favors your position, but you know the judge was appointed by a powerful politician, who also is a landlord. Thus, the judge has a personal bias favoring landlords.
Statistics show that in the vast majority of tenant vs. landlord cases to appear before the judge, he rules in favor of the landlord, no matter what a plain English interpretation of the law says.
That is not ideology. The judge’s decision is based on politics.
I have just described to you, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Today’s Supreme Court is composed of nine Justices, of whom four repeatedly lean politically Republican (Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, Samual Alito, and John Roberts) four repeatedly lean Democratic (Elena Kagen, Sonia Sotomayer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer) with one being a “swing vote,” but with a Republican tilt (Anthony Kennedy).
Each of the judges is being influenced by some notion, not included in the law or the case itself. This unity is what one would expect of a political party, not of a group of impartial judges.
All of the so-called “conservative” judges are, in fact, Republican, not conservative, judges.
Similarly, all “progressive” judges were appointed by Democrats though the Democratic party is not truly progressive. President Obama, with his cuts to social programs and his massive number of immigrant deportations, mashed a large dollop of Republican belief into his progressivism.
But the left-wing of the Supreme Court is quite reliably Democratic.
The current Republicans, now being the “party of the rich,” consistently vote to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest. This is not a conservative position; it merely is the current political position of the Republican party.
The poor are more likely to be killed by guns and the pro-death penalty, more likely to be blocked by anti-gay marriage laws, far more likely to be punished by anti-poverty rulings, housing discrimination, the loss of medical care, and bigotry.
A Supreme Court that repeatedly favors the rich and opposes the poor, acts like Republican “politicians in black robes.”
But, consider the four “progressive” Justices. What unites them?
The contemporary common political conception of progressivism in the culture of the Western world emerged from the vast social changes brought about by industrialization in the Western world in the late 19th century.
Progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor; minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with monopolistic corporations; and intense and often violent conflict between workers and capitalists, thus claiming that measures were needed to address these problems.
While Republicans (faux conservatives) wish to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest, Democrats (faux progressives) claim to wish to narrow the Gap. In reality, both sides are pro-Gap widening; the Republicans merely more so.
America has two parties: The strong Gap-wideners, and the weaker Gap-wideners.
In Summary: The Republicans are not ideologically conservative, and the Democrats are not ideologically progressive. They are political.
Similarly, Supreme Court bloc voting is not the result of ideology but rather, of party affiliation.
Is America better for having a Supreme Court that favors the Republican lean toward the rich, or would a Supreme Court that favors the Democratic lean toward the middle and the poor be better?
Whatever your answer, you should know that in the Supreme Court, the law often is ignored and ideology often is forgotten. But politics never are either.
The Republicans are not conservative. The Democrats are not liberal. The Supreme Court is not ideological.
It’s all party politics for the nine politicians in black robes.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.