(An Oldie, Sept. 2011, But Still True)
By plf515 
Daily Kos

Why would anyone vote Republican? Well, here are 10 reasons.

1. You are a bigot

It's true that not all Republicans are bigots. But if you ARE a bigot, the Republican party will be much more your group than the Democratic party. Remember that there are lots of ways to be a bigot: You could be a racist, a homophobe, an Islamophobe, or lots of other things.

2. You like eating, drinking and breathing poison.

Many Republicans are calling for or voting for shrinking or eliminating agencies that protect us against poison. They seem to think that the corporations will do the right thing, without any pressure from the government. Uh huh. Read The Jungle.  Look at the way Monsanto is hiding facts about Round Up. Look at food safety and outbreaks of E. Coli.  

Corporations exist to make money. They will do so any way they can. The government needs to stop them from doing so in ways that hurt people.

3. You think the rich don't have enough money

The idea that giving more money to rich people (via tax breaks) will help poor people is nonsensical and has been shown wrong time and again in history. Huge tax breaks for the rich (a la George Bush) don't work.

4. You don't support our veterans

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran's Association (IAVA) rates every member of congress on how well they support our veterans.  In the Senate, 9 people got A or A+: All were Democrats. 30 got D or F: 29 Republicans and one Democrat.  More on this

5. You like big deficits

Since the end of WW II the ratio of debt to GDP for the nation has gone down in 9 administrations (3 Republican and 6 Democratic) and up in 7 administrations (6 Republican and 1 Democratic).  The largest increases by this measure were GW Bush's 2nd term; GHW Bush, and Reagan's first term. The largest decreases were the three terms right after the end of WWII (Truman and Eisenhower). The last decrease under a Republican was in Eisenhower's 2nd term
source

6. You don't believe in free speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union is the premier defender of our civil liberties, including the right to free speech.  That's free speech for EVERYONE; from Nazis to Marxists to Fred Phelps to anyone else. They rate politicians, including governors, senators and representatives.  12 people got a 100 rating: All were Democrats. 65 people got a score of less than 10: All were Republicans. Only 6 Democrats got a score under 50 (Joe Donnelly,  Michael Ross, Collin Peterson, Joseph Shuler, Mark Critz and David Boren). Only 2 Republicans got scores over 50 (Olympia Snowe and Mark Kirk)  
Full list

7. You like big government

The Republicans like to claim they are against big government. It's a lie. They only object when government helps people. But they are supporters of the Patriot Act; they want the government to say who you can marry; they want the government to forbid abortion; they want the government to be able to spy on you without restraint. Unfortunately, many Democrats agree with them on some of these, but to find opposition to these big government ideas, you have to look to the Democrats.

8. You want government to hurt people, but not help them

This is really just a summation of some other points.

9. You are greedy, short sighted and rich

You really have to be all three for this to work.

If you're rich but not short-sighted, you know that, in the long run, when there is huge income inequality, it leads to things like stock market crashes and revolution, and everyone loses.  In a revolution, it is often the rich who lose most.

If you're rich but not greedy, you recognize that helping others is a good thing, and that the government assuring that people have a safety net is a good thing as well.

10. You like torture

The Democrats don't exactly shine here, but the Republicans are much worse.  It was, after all, Dick Cheney who bragged in his memoir about being a war criminal. It was Don Rumsfeld who opined that a problem in Abu Ghraib was that they weren't torturing prisoners enough.  And it is mostly Democrats who have objected to torture.

Torture is wrong.  It's also stupid. It doesn't work. People who are tortured will say ANYTHING (true or not) that they think their torturers want to hear.




 
 
 
Historic or horsefeathers?

What should we make of Wal-Mart's decision last week to raise its minimum hourly wage for 500,000 employees? Is this a belated decision to improve the lives of low-paid workers? A white flag to the increasing national labor calls to boost low wages in America?

Perhaps it's an inevitable attempt to remain competitive as the economy gathers steam and workers see more options of where to work. Or is this Wal-Mart blowing smoke, announcing what is in effect a cheap public relations ploy that — for a company approaching a half trillion dollars in annual revenues — won't make much difference?

I'm putting a check mark by "all of the above."

Wal-Mart used to be, hands down, the poster child of low-priced goods and poorly paid workers, or "associates" as the company calls them. But even that brand is fading as consumers find the rise of dollar stores, second-hand thrift stores and the Darwinian pricing of online goods make Walmart store prices seem less rock-bottom than they used to be.

Wal-Mart said Thursday it would raise the base pay for all employees to a minimum of $10 per hour, but only after a yearlong apprenticeship at $9 per hour, or $1.75 above the federal minimum wage.

In the same week, a national survey ranked Walmart last among major retailers in customer satisfaction. Walmart's satisfaction among consumers fell to the lowest level since 2007 on the recent American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

As Tampa Bay Times retail reporter Sean Daly reported Friday, Wal-Mart workers are certainly celebrating a clearly out-of-the norm decision by Wal-Mart management to up the pay of its least-compensated workers. "Everyone at the store is going to be feeling great," Tampa Walmart worker Angelo Escano told Daly, adding that workers often borrow from one another to make it to the next payday.

This is no worker windfall.

The company's average full-time wage will be $13 an hour, up from $12.85 — a 15-cent-per-hour gain. That translates to a $1.20 gain per day, $6 per week and $312 a year. Part-timers will get $10, up from $9.48, a bigger pay hike but for fewer hours.

Even Walmart department managers will get a bump to at least $13 an hour this summer and at least $15 an hour early next year.

This is good news for many, given how Wal-Mart is (at least) the fourth-biggest private employer in the Tampa Bay region. The bottom line is Wal-Mart is giving raises to a good chunk of 12,000 area employees.

But one thing is certain. Wal-Mart never would have contemplated a wage hike if the U.S. economy had not started gathering strength.

When Tampa Bay's unemployment rate topped 10 percent, folks held on to any job they had and were glad to have it. Now Tampa Bay's jobless rate has dropped to 5.5 percent, a signal that businesses are looking to hire and workers are more motivated to seek better-paying opportunities.

Wal-Mart, notorious for high turnover among its vast base of workers, hopes a wage hike will help keep more employees. In 2014, turnover in retail generally averaged about 66 percent for part-time hourly sales associates and 27 percent for full-time workers with benefits, according to the Hay Group consulting firm.

This is the same Wal-Mart ridiculed after one of its stores in Canton, Ohio, held a food drive that asked employees to donate items to fellow associates.

Retail industry observers say that, given its sheer clout, Wal-Mart's action will ripple across other store chains.

"Target will feel the pressure to respond," Burt Flickinger, managing director at New York's Strategic Resource Group, told Bloomberg News. "It's a competitive market for workers." Target pays its cashiers $7.42 to $10.09.

Struggling retailers like Sears will now feel even more pressure to hire and keep workers. And fast-food chains, recently facing a series of protests seeking $15-an-hour pay, will certainly be rethinking their options.

Some businesses already have opted to raise their wages. Stores like the Gap and Ikea recently chose to set hourly wages at or above $9. On the higher end, Costco's pay scale is known to be close to $20 an hour, no doubt a strong contributor to Costco ranking tops in the ACSI ranking among specialty retail stores.

It's not just retailers. St. Petersburg recently agreed to set a $12.50-per-hour minimum wage for city workers, with an eventual goal of $15 per hour. And financial service giant Aetna last month said it will boost the pay of its lowest-paid workers to $16 an hour.

The investor world treated Wal-Mart's wage move with skepticism.

Barclays analysts on Friday downgraded the company to "equal weight" from "overweight" and lowered its price target to $85 from $90.

"Like many other global companies, we faced significant headwinds from currency exchange rate fluctuations, so I'm pleased that we delivered fiscal year revenue of $486 billion," Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon said in reporting earnings.

"But, we're not satisfied," he added.

Wage bump or not, I doubt if Wal-Mart's bottom-rung workers are either.

For a Wal-Mart employee earning $9 per hour, it would take more than 1,360 years to make the $25.6 million in compensation CEO McMillon received in 2014.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com. Follow @venturetampabay.


10 reasons why Wal-Mart still matters

1. The 1.2 million jobs Wal-Mart provides in the United States alone roughly equals the number of employed folks in the entire Tampa Bay metro area. Worldwide, Wal-Mart employs 2.2 million.

2. Its market value of $269 billion dwarfs the combined value of every publicly traded company in the Tampa Bay area.

3. It remains the largest retailer on the planet, the largest private employer in the United States.

4. In the grocery business, it is second only in market share to Publix in the state of Florida.

5. Among the 10 richest U.S. billionaires, four are related to Wal-Mart's founding Walton family.

6. In Hernando County, it's the biggest private employer.

7. In Pasco County, it's the fourth-biggest private employer.

8. In Hillsborough County, it's the fourth-biggest private employer.

9. In Pinellas County, it's the fourth-biggest private employer.

10. In the entire Tampa Bay area, it's the fourth-largest private employer, and probably rising.


Will long awaited wage bump by Walmart really make a difference? 02/20/15 [Last modified: Friday, February 20, 2015 5:12pm] 
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© 2015 Tampa Bay Times
 
 
Ian Reifowitz
Daily Kos member
                   When working people elect Republicans, they get screwed.

First, some data. In the recent midterm elections, a study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that white working-class voters—defined as those lacking a college degree, and whose jobs paid an hourly wage—voted for the Republican over the Democrat for Congress by a whopping margin of 61 percent to 26 percent.Got that? Good. Also, the "vast majority" of recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit—and remember, that credit only goes to people who earn enough money that, without it, they'd be paying income taxes—are white, according to data collected by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Finally, the 2009 Obama stimulus package expanded the Child Tax Credit to make more working class families eligible. We don't have exact data on the racial composition of those who benefited from the expansion, but given that about half of families in poverty are white, we can extrapolate that somewhere around half of beneficiaries are white.

Still with me? Okay. Now check this out, from a New York Times article about a deal in the works that centers around making corporate tax cuts permanent:

The emerging tax legislation would make permanent 10 provisions, including an expanded research and development tax credit, which businesses and the Obama administration have wanted to make permanent for years; a measure allowing small businesses to deduct virtually any investment; the deduction for state and local sales taxes; the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college costs; deductions for employer-provided mass transit; and four different breaks for corporate and charitable giving.Smaller measures already passed by the Senate Finance Committee, from tax breaks for car-racing tracks to benefits for racehorse owners, would be extended for one year and retroactively renewed for the current tax year.

[snip] Left off were the two tax breaks valued most by liberal Democrats: a permanently expanded earned-income credit and a child tax credit for the working poor. Friday night, Republican negotiators announced they would exclude those measures as payback for the president’s executive order on immigration, saying a surge of newly legalized workers would claim the credit, tax aides from both parties said.

It's worth noting that the deal would also mean the expiration, in 2017, of tax credits that support the development of wind power because, oh noes, the oil and gas industry thinks they are unfair. Doesn't the oil and gas industry receive billions in tax breaks? Er, well, hey, look over there!The absurd hypocrisy of that aside, think for a second about how Republicans understand payback. President Obama does something Republicans don't like on immigration, and their idea of payback is to stick it to working-class Americans who have kids, most of whom—when we are talking about whites—just voted to make them the majority party in both the House and the Senate. At this point, the only thing standing in the way of the loss of those tax breaks for working Americans is President Obama. Oops.

I guess the lesson of the story is: be careful who you vote for. A better lesson of the story is: Republicans are boot-licking corporate sycophants who hate working families.


 
 
Image From My Collection (Bill)
bySemDem

So... did we all forget this happened?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered deep cuts Thursday to programs that serve tens of thousands of residents with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities.
Though a range of state services face cuts from this year's Legislature, the governor invoked his emergency powers to order the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to immediately roll back payments to group homes and social workers by 15 percent — an amount providers say could put them out of business and threaten their clients' safety.

The cuts went into effect immediately.  No provider was given notice.  As the article says they learned from the headline the next morning.


I remember the picture of the young disabled child that accompanied the story.  She depended on the aides for basic tasks, like eating and bathing.  The workers made minimum wage working around the clock--their pay literally couldn't be cut any less.  No health insurance, no sick leave, no retirement, but tons and tons of love and patience.  Florida's budget for the disabled was already at the bottom in the nation, but it wasn't enough for Rick Scott.  He  kicked them to the curb like his rescue puppy.


Rick Scott didn't show an ounce of heart or soul.  After all, disabled kids could be dumped into adult nursing homes.  Which they were.  Pam Bondi would defend it.  Evil.  


Oh... and in case you think he just hates disabled, helpless children, that's not true. He showed that he hated disabled, helpless seniors that year as well.

Did he at least save any money?  Nope.  Their small budget was cut by a whopping 15%, which was only a few million.  But Rick Scott combined this with 1.3 Billion in cuts to education.  (This was, mind you, after he swore he wouldn't cut education, but as usual, no one calls him on this.)  At least, you would think, that would go a long way helping somebody in Florida.  


And it did.  


2.5 BILLION IN TAX BREAKS FOR BIG, POWERFUL, WELL-CONNECTED CORPORATIONS.  


Rick Scott's donors and friends weren't the only ones to cash in.  So did Rick Scott.  


Remember in 2010, when Rick Scott spent $75 million to get the governorship?  Remember in 2013 when he introduced a state law that allowed elected officials to keep assets in a so-called "blind trust" instead of disclosing investments as required by Florida's Constitution?  There is a reason Rick Scott failed to disclose how much he has made the past few years.  He is now the wealthiest governor in history, raking in almost half a billion dollars: and "forgetting" to claim $340 million of it.


This original post was quite long documenting and linking travesty after travesty, and each time Rick Scott has profited off of our misery.  But you know what, I'm TIRED OF IT! This post is ONE FREAKING EXAMPLE out of many.  


I remember the outrage when it happened.  Now it's never mentioned.  NONE of these are. My state party is treating me to the same tired Medicaid scandal as back in 2010, even though Rick Scott's Medicaid privatization district scheme makes that scandal look like a Sunday drive.  Rick Scott isn't just a horrible politician, he is a  horrible person.  Lest you think that I would say that about any GOP governor, I wouldn't--and haven't.  I didn't say that about "JEB" (John Ellis Bush) or Tom Corbett or Rick Perry or whathaveyou.  But I will say that about Rick Scott.


When the hell did this state become an abused spouse that tries to convince itself things weren't so bad?


You know what Florida, THIS IS AN INTERVENTION!  Kick him out, or we're through here.





ORIGINALLY POSTED TO SEMDEM ON TUE OCT 21, 2014 AT 06:31 AM PDT.