STOP Framing "us"

How a select few of "them" are Framing all of "us"

Archive for the tag “job cremators”

David Cay Johnston sheds light on two critical “frames” conservatives use to manipulate us: Government “Picking winners and losers” and a “Transfer of wealth.”

David Cay Johnston wrote an article entitled, “Taxed by the boss” where he discussed the implications of the more than 2,700 companies in the Unites States that are keeping the state income taxes they are collecting from hundreds of thousands of workers for themselves.  So, in case you were wondering why states are laying off teachers, firefighters, and police officers, among other drastic cuts to social services that affect millions of people’s lives throughout the country, look no further than the corporate socialism taking place, as pointed out by David Cay Johnston.

To make matter worse, big banks and businesses like Goldman Sachs, J.P Morgan, and Mitt Romney’s former company Bain Capital, are enriching themselves by a process known as “job piracy”, where one state diverts taxes in order to lure an employer from another state to relocate if they promise to create jobs.  The problem is that no jobs are ever created.  Instead, the money is transferred in an upward direction from workers to the corporate bosses in the top 1%, as indicated in the report by the taxpayer watchdog organization, Good Jobs First.  This report also discovered that “deals cut with states over the past two decades diverted $5.5 billion from public purposes to private gain.”  Talk about a transfer of wealth!!

Big businesses are getting away with diverting the taxes they collect from workers to enrich themselves because radical right-wing Governors like Chris Christie, who tops the list, has personally transferred a whopping $251.2 million from average workers to those in the “privileged sector”, who believe they are entitled to it!  No wonder why Chris Christie was being groomed for a spot in the Whitehouse.  He has done the most to enrich the privileged few at the expense of everyone else.  David Cay Johnston calculates that this transfer of wealth amounts to $80 per household in corporate welfare average families are spending to subsidize shareholders of the big banks and large corporations in the United States.

According to David Cay Johnston, “these deals typify corporate socialism, in which business gains are privatized and costs socialized. They also mean that Government picks winners and losers, interfering with competitive markets.” So, it turns out that radical right-wing Governors, in support of an ideology that advocates corporate socialism, are actively “picking winners and losers” (big business is always the winner) which amounts to a “transfer of wealth” from all of us (ie, workers) to a select few of them in the privileged sector (ie, CEO’s and shareholders).

Those of us who watch Fox news or listen to Glenn Beck, or some other radical right-wing talk show host are being framed to believe that Government is “picking winners and losers” in an attempt to benefit lazy people on welfare programs, which serves to create a society of dependency on Government.  Following this logic, believers of this frame are further inclined to believe that a “transfer of wealth” is occurring from the so-called successful people in the top 1% to those who are lazy and don’t want to work hard in order to carry out a socialistic agenda.

The problem with this logic and the rest of the radical right-wing frames is that the opposite of what they say is true!  In this case, Socialism is alive and well in America, as indicated by the Good Jobs First report and David Cay Johnston’s take on this issue.  However, the problem is that it’s only being applied to the top 1% instead of being used to benefit all of us!

The irony here is that the fear of socialism is being used to scare people away from supporting policies and programs that will benefit us all.  A prime example is the current ‘Budget for All being introduced by the progressive caucus in the House of Representatives.  This budget is more in line with our nation’s moral values, and will benefit all of us, as well as help prevent the abuses of power that lead to examples of corporate socialism mentioned above.

As expected, Allen West (R-FL), a conservative member of the tea party, initiated the latest socialism scare by telling people in a town hall recently that there are approximately 80 representatives in the House that are members of the communist party.  Although communism and socialism are not the same, they are used interchangeably as if they were in order to increase the fear effect, I presume, so people will not vote for it!

Unfortunately, if we continue to believe the conservative “frames”, we will never know the benefits that other nations currently enjoy, such as living longer, happier and healthier lives, not to mention being better educated, less stressed, depressed and anxious, as well as having the safety and security of knowing our family members will be taken care of if they get sick, or become disabled for any reason.  All of these benefits are not fantasy, but reflect the reality of countries that adopt moral budget priorities, and implement a system based on socialism for all, not a select few.

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Vice President Joe Biden discusses the ‘vision’ of the modern day Republican Party or what he calls supporting the “privileged sector.”

In reference to the political strategy of obstruction and division the modern day Republican Party uses to divide this country, Vice President Joe Biden had this to say recently, “these guys, I don’t think their bad guys, but I think they really believe, they really believe as strongly as we do in the direction they want to take the country…”  He goes on to describe their vision of America by saying that they are not even trying to hide or pretend anymore about what they stand for.  He says, “Not only in their rhetoric, but their actions, how they vote, what they propose, what their budget is, it’s a stark, stark, stark, stark contrast, even a stark contrast of the traditional Republican party of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s…”

“The big difference between us and them, I think, can be distilled to a phrase, the difference between us and them is, we are strongly supportive of the private sector, they are supportive of the “privileged sector…”

For a visual of what happens when we support the “privileged sector”, take a look at the following chart.  It reflects the analyses offered by Economist Paul Krugman regarding what really happens when we enact Republican budget and tax policies.  Paul Krugman notes, “Because of movement conservative political dominance, taxes on the rich have fallen, and the holes in the safety net have gotten bigger, even as inequality has soared. And the rise of movement conservatism is also at the heart of the bitter partisanship that characterizes politics today.”

Notice that when we enact policies that favor the “privileged sector”, such as less regulation and lower taxes on the super-wealthy, look what happens.  These ‘Tea-party’ policies of less regulation, limited Government, and lower taxes on the so called, “job creators” not only led to the “great depression” in 1930, but also led to our current depression that began in 2008, which nearly led to a global financial meltdown.  Both of these periods are marked by vast poverty, needless suffering, and terrible economic conditions resulting from unnecessarily high levels of income inequality.

In contrast, the period in the middle of this chart from around 1940 to 1980, reflects a period in our nation’s history when we increased Governmental regulations on the “job cremators”, preventing them from killing American jobs, when we imposed higher taxes on the super-wealthy members of the “privileged sector”, making sure they participated in our Democracy, as opposed to their preferred method of ruling from above, and when we allowed the average working American to participate in the profits they helped generate in both the private as well as public sectors.

In reference to Presidential candidates of the modern day Republican party, Vice President Biden had this to say, “I think it’s more than about obstructionism for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, I think they actually believe what they are saying.  When they say, let Detroit go bankrupt, let foreclosures happen, poor people have no habit of work, Barrack Obama is the food stamp president.  I think it’s not just political theatre, I think they are committed to it.”  He’s right!  They really believe what they are saying because it’s necessary in order to continue the status quo of income inequality, which coincidentally, further enriches the “privileged sector” at the expense of everyone else.

The “frames” used by Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other radical right wing conservatives are designed to focus our attention on those receiving food stamps, as opposed to the extremely wealthy, who are gaming the system to benefit the upper class members of the “privileged sector.”  What Vice President Biden was trying to express, I believe, is that the private sector has been replaced by the “privileged sector”, and that he is in favor of going back to a time period in this country when the tax and regulatory policies that led to the creation of a thriving middle class were firmly in place.  Policies that promoted income equality, as opposed to high levels of income inequality that we will surely experience under the direction and leadership of the modern day Republican party.  After all, as pointed out by Vice President Biden, the modern day Republican Party is no longer hiding the fact that they are in favor of the “privileged sector.”

Watch Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions tag team President Obama’s Budget proposal in a well-coordinated effort to “frame” the public.

Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Jeff Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee engaged in a tag team effort to “frame” President Obama for the their party’s failed budget and tax policies, as well as attempt to use framing to convince the American people to vote against their self-interest.

Paul Ryan kicked off this tag team effort with this framing attempt.

“Let me just say this…

we know we have a fiscal crisis in this country,

we know we have a debt crisis in this country,

we know its threatening our way of life, its threatening our economy and

we know we need to do something about it,

Everybody, whether your right or left, knows the sooner you tackle these problems in America the better off everyone is. “

Notice the immediate use and pairing of the words “we know” with fearful “debt crisis” rhetoric.  This type of framing is straight out of Frank “The Liar” Luntz’s playbook, and is designed to make us think what this intentional framing effect wants us to think, which is that everybody knows we have a debt crisis.

In the first three minutes of Paul Ryan’s remarks, he mentioned the language of this “debt crisis” frame numerous times in order to firmly plant this idea in our heads.  Just like in advertising, frames must be repeated several times in order to have an effect.

Here is some of the additional language he used to evoke the “debt crisis” frame.

“He (President Obama) punted on the deficit and the debt”,

“Crushing burden of debt that is coming our way”

“We all have to remember that today’s big deficits mean tomorrows high taxes”

“You can see that we have a title wave of debt”

“The presidents budget doubles the debt in 5 years, and triples it in 10 years”

The effectiveness of using frames to stir up our emotions is a very powerful motivator, as Frank Luntz has discovered while pushing our buttons (pun intended) in his aptly named “dial sessions.”  Frank Luntz uses the information gained in his focus groups, or “dial sessions” against us in the form of deceptive language designed to not only convince us of a false reality, but to anger us enough to do something about it!

What people don’t realize is that their anger is being directed in the wrong place! 

The reason we have a large deficit is primarily due to an unsustainable military budget, and tax cuts for the super-wealthy.  Together, these top two priorities of the George Orwell Party (GOP) backed by Paul Ryan and Jeff Sessions, are significantly increasing our national debt and deficit by transferring wealth from average American citizens to super-wealthy members of the “privileged sector” who believe they are entitled to it!

However, when combined with a half-truth, such as the fact that we do have a high deficit, the language used by Paul Ryan to evoke the “debt crisis” frame has the added power of convincing conservatives and tea-party folks, and possibly independent voters that we need to focus on budget and tax policies that fit the frame (ie, reduced spending for all of “us”, and more tax cuts for “them”).  After all, the frame tells us that we must cut spending since we have a “debt crisis”, and we must give tax cuts to the “job cremators” in order to stimulate the economy.

This is what we have been framed to believe!

The “tax & spend” Liberal frame was Jeff Sessions’s contribution to this tag team effort, and is designed to convince the American people that President Obama and Liberal Democrats are to blame for the current level of debt and deficit we face as a nation.  Nice try!

Since it is becoming painfully clear that the GOP is now the George Orwell Party, let’s take a look at what Paul Ryan’s initial comments really mean.

we know (our insistence on tax cuts for the wealthy and massive military and war spending) led to a fiscal crisis in this country,

we know (our current debt was mostly caused by these 2 priorities),

we know (these budget and tax policies) are threatening our way of life, and threatening our economy and

we know we need to do something about it,

Everybody, whether your right or left, knows the sooner you tackle these problems in America the better off everyone is.

Now it makes sense!

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