For Progressives, Here Are Some Inconvenient Truths

In This story, I explore three myths that Democrats keep telling themselves and the American people


Right now the mainstream media is bombarding America with a lot of what they call news, which is really just opinion. So let’s start the New Year with some straight talk and reality:

Uncontrolled immigration does lower real wages in America and elsewhere.

There is no economist (except maybe the much-discredited Paul Krugman), who will tell you anything different. It is an economic certainty that if you flood an economy with low skilled workers that lower wage citizens who are already there will suffer economically through less opportunity and lower wages. It just works that way.

Now you will hear defenders of open immigration policy try to explain that there is a labor shortage for jobs that no one else wants and that Americans won’t do. Well, think of it this way: maybe Americans don’t want to do those jobs at that wage. It’s time that the agriculture industry and others (construction) who employ folks at basically slave wages - pay up and pay the real labor costs for American workers.

I am not talking about a mandatory minimum wage increase; I’m talking about a market wage paid for those offering their services. Period.

Oh, but prices of goods might rise you say? O.K. let employers pay the true cost of labor in America and workers receive those wages. Or let’s stop pretending (progressives) that you’re morally superior to everyone else and just tell everyone you want lower prices for goods and are willing to sacrifice your less fortunate fellow citizens.

coup attempt, But, don’t forget that by looking the other way on illegal immigration, you are creating overcrowded classrooms and straining an already overburdened health care system and other community resources. That is a huge cost to American society, one that greatly outweighs any possible increase in the price of everyday goods.

The real crazy people are the Left who refuse to accept reality, not Donald Trump.

Sure, the President has a terrible Twitter habit and he’s not very presidential about it. But hey, look in the mirror folks. I’ve never seen more insensitive rudeness than I’ve seen from all of you who are so upset about Trump’s win in 2016. Hell, just go online and try to give an opinion that isn’t progressive. Progressives feel like they can say anything to anyone. Well, they have that right, but it’s just rude.

And it works both ways- people on the right that can call people names like “libtard,” are equally nasty jerks. I’d like to see some real conversation on issues from everyone rather than the flying insults we see on social media. We could all take a break from Twitter anyway!

But, I think that there’s something more nefarious going on here. Since the day after Trump’s election, the Left led by their elected officials, Hollywood, and CNN have been screaming, “resist!” This was followed by the infamous “pussy hats” march on Washington and the Russian collusion charges. Now we have the Wolff book that is a very thinly veiled hatchet job that is fueling talk of invoking the 25th Amendment that allows a President who is mentally incapacitated to be removed from office.

Molly Hemmingway, a writer I really admire has the appropriate name for this latest incarnation of Progressive resistance - a coup attempt. It sure is, and it’s despicable and I said so early in 2016.

Listen, I’ve witnessed this craziness from the Left my whole life. It happens whenever a Republican is elected President.

I’ll never forget the picture on National Lampoon of Richard Nixon sitting on a toilet with his pants around his ankles, a cigarette dangling from his lips. The title of the article: The Coronation of King Dick.

How about Ronald Reagan? He was stupid and senile and crazy according to the Left - you can look it up. I almost choked laughing while the same journalists that sneered their distaste every time they mentioned Reagan’s name, lauded him at his funeral.

Then, there was George W. Bush, a “dumb” guy, a “cowboy” with Daddy issues.

Funnily enough, the only Republican president in my lifetime who never got this treatment was George H.W. Bush. But I guess he was saved from the usual ridicule because he broke a campaign promise and raised taxes (read his lips…). He was good enough to do that and also lose to Bill Clinton so he got a rare pass from the Left.

So, there always seems to be massive hysteria on the Left when a Republican is President. Why should we listen to you now Progressives?

The stock market’s rapid rise and the economy’s performance is not due to Barack Obama’s policies.

In fact, President Obama’s policies and his Democrat congressional henchman tied business up with red tape, squandered a billion dollar “stimulus” and shackled businesses with Obamacare mandates which decreased workers’ hours and stunted job growth.

The Republicans, with virtually no help from Democrats, passed a tax bill that included a massive cut in corporate taxes that will be an incredible multiplier for our economy for the foreseeable future. By going from one of the highest tax rates in the world to one of the lowest, there will be a massive shift of capital to the U.S.

Now Progressives, I know you hate big corporations and all they stand for. Fair enough, some companies are blind to any humanity at all. But they do create the jobs we need and capital expenditures and stock prices that our retirement accounts crave.

And one more thing, the tax bill incorporated (pun intended) small businesses through its provisions for all types of corporations - even pass-throughs to individual entrepreneurs. And small businesses actually employ the highest percentage of working Americans. Poor people do not create jobs and we can’t wish it so.

The answer for Progressives and their Democrat legislators is work on some real policy and stop wasting time on the Trump bashing.

The last I looked, every red/blue map of America is filled with a sea of red and very few islands of blue. In fact, never has there been so little local and state level representation by Democrats since the Civil War.

I know, I know: “wait ‘til November 2018!” Here’s my prediction: If Democrats don’t get working on producing a vision that Americans like in 2018, and some serious policy proposals, there will be even more screaming following the midterms. After all, as James Carville so eloquently said: “It’s the economy stupid.”

Jon Saltzman is the Publisher and Senior Editor of Political Storm

Interesting points, Jon.

I'd like to inject some additional angles.

1.) (A) IMMIGRATION AND LOW WAGES: Low-skill immigrants do indeed threaten the livelihoods of low-skilled born-here people, and as you point out we should improve our society by increasing the lowest wages. I also agree that minimum wage laws are very limited in their positive effect. I'd say a more effective measure in industries that specialize in paying slave wages by employing primarily undocumented immigrants since they have them over the barrel would be to investigate and prosecute such employers. Better then minimum wage laws would be things like a universal basic income and/or federal job guarantee that would either boost the income of underpaid workers (much like we already do with food stamps for Walmart "associates") or by giving our lowest skill workers the opportunity to say no to unacceptable exploitative job offers. (B) Sure, adding more kids to schools causes more overcrowding (as do the massive school budget cuts we have seen since the Wall Street highest known as the Great Recession). But then, we have an inverting age pyramid, and the many new kids help with that and can thus be seen as an investment in our future. (C) Our economy has tanked so much that a few years ago it was reported that the net flow of people across the Mexican border had REVERSED. There were more fleeing the U.S. than entering. If this is still the case, I can't say.

On the whole, though, to me the issue of immigration is so multifaceted and more or less balanced between costs and benefits that I see no reason to lift it to the high position it has in our official policy priorities other than tho distract from much more important issues our oligarchy wishes to remain off the table. In their own way, both the GOP and "Democratic" Party use the issue to capture votes. It's a gimmick, and it's said that thousands of individual lives and families are being ground to bits over this politicking. Our famous melting pot is boiling over like so much else these days, much to our shame. I think we should stop committing atrocities against people like those who were brought here as children and now about to be banished from the only home nation they have ever known, cast out and turned into unwanted immigrants in the nations their parents came from, and possibly even made stateless. At the same time, we should stop acting as if immigration were one of our top issues.

2.) THE CRAZY LEFT: What's really crazy about the left is that those who consider themselves non-left have drunk the neoliberal Kool-Aid that "Democrats," neoliberals, liberals, and progressives are all synonymous. In reality, there is a war raging on the left (and pseudo-left), much like on the right between traditional conservatives, and the bloc of the religious right and alt-right hater-conservatives -- only more heated. Neoliberals (a.k.a. bribed corporatists) have taken over the leadership of the "Democratic" party and, in an effort to maintain a large voting bloc, have co-opted and blocked the progressive movement painting themselves as progressive leaders and calling for that quasi-religious Trump resistance and spreading that Russiagate propaganda. What non-progressives believe to be progressives are in reality faux-progressives. Real progressives (as far as the label can be defined with any authority... and it's always a big question who is that authority)... real progressives don't oppose Trump and his supporters nearly as much as they oppose neoliberals (including the Clinton Clan), social justice warrior milquetoast liberals, and basically the whole "Democratic" Party's management tier. They are not the ones in the Resistance movement against Trump. They are trying to resist and fight a corrupt corporatist machine that is controlling the "Democratic" Party and so many of its habitual supporters. In fact, no small number of progressives voted for Trump, and real progressives have more in common with some Trump supporters than with neoliberals or even traditional liberals.

That's the problem with these labels. Everybody understands them differently. Few people bother to check the historic origins and sensible meanings of these labels. They just buy into the latest warping of these labels and thus open themselves up to be controlled from above where the label warping originates. We have had both the Republican and "Democratic" Parties taken over by operatives who work for the 1% and their corporations, lobbyists, political consultants, and such. Progressives currently have no major party to represent them. And even online discussion places that call themselves progressive are frequently staked out by neoliberals (hint, hint) making sure that progressive ideas are kept out of these places; and they work hard to give progressivism a bad name (for example by pinning Trump Resistance and Russiagate on progressives in the eyes of people unfamiliar with the actual progressive movement). Real progressives basically form the true left. They are associated with the historic workers movement and New Deal. Their main aim is to wrench quasi-royal power away from the 1% and restore a functioning democracy and fair economy that works for everyone. They are the bottom answering the class war from the top. This is why I suspect that progressives can even be found among habitual supporters of the GOP, except that they are not aware they are essentially progressive. Libertarians are often half progressive (and half regressive).

I think the craziness can be best resolved by realizing that (A) our political movements are not represented by the Twin Party Tyranny which works for a plutocratic oligarchy and merely scams and steers voters, and (B) that the real struggle in America isn't between Red and Blue, Republican and "Democrat," or Conservative and Liberal, but between corruption and decency, between the top and the bottom.

This is why I avoid using these labels. I prefer to write about issues, so we can all come to the table and discuss them, not fearing being in the wrong camp. This is also why I prefer party identification over these labels, since the party platforms are pretty clear in contrast to the ever changing and ever-misrepresented political position labels. When I absolutely need labels, I use expressions like corporatist or pro-people, to have clarity about the beneficiaries. The only one of these questionable labels I use with some regularity is the label "neoliberal" because it is clearly understood by all progressives as the big enemy, the corporatist force which took their mid-20th century party from them.

As to hysteria when a Republican is President... well let's not forget about the hysteria on the "right" when Obama was president... Oh he's a Muslim! Oh, he wasn't born American! Oh, he is a commie!... A President who shielded from prosecution the banksters and Wall Street predators who crashed our economy while enriching themselves with criminal fraud, that President was a communist, or "left", or "progressive"? What's crazier than claiming that? The game is played on both sides. It's all part of the Repocratic-Dempublican Twin Party Tyranny's "good cop/bad cop" routine with which we are controlled from the top.

So, please, everybody who sees themselves as standing outside the progressive corner, please stop accusing progressives of the things done by neoliberal stooges as part of their strategy to suppress progressives. Real progressives hate the Russiagate propaganda and Resist Trump diversion. They are not part of it. We just hear their true voices so rarely because they are powerfully silenced and neoliberal impersonators jump on the stage misrepresenting them. It's not that much different of how the Republican Party was taken over and warped by big money. After all, the GOP started out as the anti-slaver party of Abraham Lincoln, and conservatives used to be the cautionary adults in the room for a while, as they were gradually being transitioned into a tool for the 1%, just like it happened to the "Democratic" Party after its New Deal hiatus forced upon it by true progressives pressuring it from the outside originally.

We need such outside pressure again. So, let us no longer be duped by the Duopoly's and corporate media's false narratives.

To finish: The American public, and even the best intentioned cool-headed writers among us, all too easily end up in shouting matches over the promoted political labels, thus keeping ourselves from discussions of substance. This is what the smearing, tainting, and warping of these labels was designed for. Every time we drop these labels, I find we discover a lot more points of agreement than we thought possible in our wildest dreams.

I'll leave my comments at that, Jon, since they already reached big article length. I wonder if we should invent a way of stringing articles together as each other's comments whenever comments get so long, just like video bloggers produce responses to each other...

Great response Dirk and I think a great example of how dialogue could be if people take a step back from their ideological defense mechanisms and actually talk about the issue(s) at hand. I'll bring your suggestion up with the tech folks at The Maven.