Archives for posts with tag: inequity

Over and over again, we get these wake-up calls. Over and over again, America listens for a little while, and then goes back to its usual state of willful ignorance. Rinse and repeat. STUPID.

It’s not like we haven’t seen this before: people are oppressed for so long and in so many ways, they can’t take it any more and lash out in blind rage. Baltimore today, Ferguson yesterday, and running back through history: Watts, Little Rock, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, all the way back to ancient Rome and its predecessors. An insular ruling class oppresses the masses, and eventually the masses revolt.

And there are always those who TELL the ruling class what is going on, pleading with them, exhorting them to change the arc of history, to learn from history, to not repeat the mistakes of history. So it was, and so it is. For example, here are the words of Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos:

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage, and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle-class and working-class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US to third-world dictatorships, like China and others; plunged tens of millions of good, hardworking Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil-rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

Pretty clear, isn’t he? America can (and should) listen to him, wake up and take action. But no, America will probably just roll over, smack the s*** out of the snooze button on the alarm, and go back to sleep. Eventually, the wake-up call will be so loud, it can’t be ignored any longer.

By then, it’ll be too late. America will finally wake up, only to find out that it died in its sleep.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

As Mr. Blunt and Cranky noted in Monday’s post, there are cases coming up before the Supremes Tuesday and Wednesday regarding “Gay Marriage” (one of the more inane bits of phrasing of the modern era, but ah well). They are being fought on the grounds of human rights, equal protection, Constitutional minutiae, and other such legal-beagle considerations. This writer would like to focus on one ill-reported aspect: taxation.

Inequality of taxation is one reason our nation was founded in the first place (Google “Boston Tea Party” if you’re clueless), and Americans are usually pretty sensitive to any sort of IRS overreach. But somehow, the fact that gay folk get taxed at an absurd rate has flown under the radar, what with all the Culture War B.S. cluttering up the Zeitgeist.

Gay folk cannot file taxes as “married”, even if they legally are. They have to pay taxes that we straights do not (check out Evie Windsor and her 1/3 million-dollar tax bill for just one example). Because of irrational, unconstitutional restrictions, they often have to pay more for taxes on insurance products, financial transactions and a host of other items.

Call this what it is: the Gay Tax. You can’t be taxed for the color of your skin, your gender, your religion, or indeed much of anything but your economic status. But you can be (and will be) taxed for being part of the LGBT community. And that, fellow citizens, is a monstrous, unfair, discriminatory, unconstitutional abuse of power. Indeed, to coin a phrase, it is “taxation without representation”.

Here are some links for those who won’t take some random cranky codger’s word for it: http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2007/12/pdf/domestic_partners.pdf

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2012/04/17/11451/unequal-taxation-and-undue-burdens-for-lgbt-families/

Mr. B & C

In Mr. Blunt and Cranky’s experience, real victims rarely play the victim card. He has friends and family members who suffer from MS, cancer, paralysis, poverty, you name it: and nary a one of them asks for pity or to have slack cut for them. No, these folks tough it out and deal as best they can. Admirable.

So when people like Mitt and Ann Romney whine about people being mean to them, it does not ring true: yes, she deals with horrible illnesses and he gets a lot of crap flung at him. But any objective observer would note that it is a helluva lot easier to deal with such problems when you have hundreds of millions of dollars than it is when all you have is Medicare and Social Security. Or even less.

When the leaders of Hamas and their antagonists both whine about the other guy beating them up on the playground and taking their lunch money, it does not ring true: because both sides are killing innocent bystanders as they petulantly bomb the s*** out of each other. Both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples have been horribly victimized over the years; and their leaders should recognize that self-evident fact and work together to ameliorate the horrific suffering of their people instead of pointing fingers at the “other side” and throwing the victim card ad nauseum.

Many other examples exist, and have done so for eons: American Christians who, though they are a majority, claim to be victimized by all sorts of phantom bogeymen; the Iranian President who exports terrorists and claims to be the victim of numerous Satanic shadowy international terrorist cabals; the wealthy who complain about taxation while paying the lowest rates in nearly a century; so many people who sit atop millions of genuine victims whilst falsely claiming to be victims themselves.

In fact, these faux victims are themselves victimizing other people. And that is truly revolting.

Mr. B & C

Yes, Mr. Blunt and Cranky is mixquoting Orwell’s Animal Farm. And even though the analogy might not seem apt on the surface, it is a good fit when you dig a bit deeper.

Our corporations have, over recent decades, amassed wealth and rights that are far above those of the citizens of the United States. They can avoid taxation, regulation, and prosecution.

The average American can avoid none of these. We bear an ever- increasing burden while our benefits are reduced. Our lawmakers spend their time pleasing their corporate paymasters and turn a deaf ear to our protests and petitions.

The idea of corporate personhood has been  so distorted as to be unrecognizeable. As politics has become monetized, those with more money have become “more equal” than those of us with less.

One does not need a degree in history to see where our society is going to wind up. Whenever wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of the few,and the lives of the masses become desperate, revolutionary movements form and nations fall apart.

Tomorrow: what will happen if our institutions don’t get a clue.

Mr. B & C