Capitalism Needs Inequality

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45 made some of the (self-reported) biggest tax cuts since Reagan, cuts that only really reach the financial elite who will sit on that money, never putting it back into our economy and letting it sit in offshore accounts. He’ll cite Reagan as his inspiration, but quickly forgets how much Reagan raised taxes to make up for the problems arising from those cuts. Or how it was picked up by the middle and lower classes. Trickle down never worked, but the upper class got all the gain.

As a result, people, public servants, are now doing things based on what they’ll get out of it. Take a look at people like Manafort, who “played ball” and was getting support from the Trump admin while sitting in jail. Meanwhile, Trump’s fixer now has his family in hiding after threats from Giuliani and Trump. Cohen refused to “play ball” after he was already sentenced and lied under oath.

Why was John Ratcliffe so vocal during the Mueller hearing? It has a little something to do with why Trump nominated him for Director of National Intelligence shortly after the Mueller testimony. It’s a job Ratcliffe wanted.

Even the recent comments he’s making about Baltimore are because an otherwise unknown political consultant, on Fox News, asked people to send them video and pictures from the worst parts of Baltimore. Then they offered their own commentary, which Trump parroted because it helped in his attack on Cummings. These attacks come as Cummings is opening investigations against Trump’s administration. The consultant posted their elation on Twitter. And why wouldn’t they be excited? A man with the world’s attention on him constantly just promoted your work. Sounds like career prospects because it is.

Trump also asks political servants, who one would assume are not hourly but salaried employees, to work beyond their means. Trump no doubt is used to asking people to do whatever he wants or needs them to do and, most important to him, having it done. Reading through the Mueller report, Trump was not shy about asking other people to do questionable things. Several people, including Comey in public statements, told him his requests were inappropriate. But still, he forced the same requests on people.

Leaders of large corporations see a benefit in Trump’s tax plan. Amazon, Wal-Mart, the CEO from T-Mobile just held a conference with Trump and had reserved many spaces in one of Trump’s hotels. A bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars, all that Trump personally benefits from, to maybe incentivize certain international prospects, or oppose certain legislature, so that companies like T-Mobile have fewer tax restrictions. Or none, if they trend like Amazon.

Meanwhile, those jobs the tax incentives promised never showed. AT&T cut jobs. Amazon cut jobs. Pfizer, General Motors, Kleenex, Comcast, Harley Davidson, Citibank…all these companies benefitted from the 2017 tax cuts, all of them laid off employees after. Some as many as 5,000 for “restructuring”.

If the money isn’t benefitting the company, especially in terms of paying its employees (livable) wages, then where is it going? Into the pockets of the people at the top.

Of course Trump is in on this. He didn’t get to where he was, even losing as much as he has with dozens of TERRIBLE investments (you can’t lose what you don’t have, right?), without having some of what his reputation led others to believe about him. His own father a real estate mogul, with a history of racist practices in and out of the business world, Donnie follows suit. They even had a lawsuit filed against them for racist housing practices.

And you know Trump. He likes an easy target.

In a system where People of Color were already taken advantage of, in a state where Malcom X stated segregation was worse than in the south, Trump was in a business that catered well to white citizens, people typically in more affluent neighborhoods. People of Color were “afforded” housing in sections that were often not given the resources white neighborhoods were.

So according to Trump, he’s not racist. He provided housing for People of Color. He may have even employed a person here or there who wasn’t European. But the problem is escalated when it comes to immigrants.

The “us vs. them” mentality is easy for racists, because it’s visual. The idea being, if you’re a white person, and you see a person who is not white, you immediately know they’re not in your camp. If they don’t speak English, then they’re definitely not from here (funny how Beto O’Rourke never caught any flak from that). In both cases, People of Color are easy to jail.

Systematic racism helped establish our criminal justice system. And the criminal justice system continues to perpetuate that same systematic racism right back. People of color are four times more likely to face criminal charges that would otherwise be overlooked if they were white. The University of Cincinnati discovered that, if you place criminals of varying levels of crimes separately, the recidivism rate drops significantly. That’s because if you put a non-violent offender with drug paraphernalia charges in with an offender incarcerated for assault with a deadly weapon, one will act aggressively towards the other. This means the non-violent offender has to learn the social setting of prison, and the activities that are often criminal, in order to survive such an environment.

In other words, due to the social circumstances within a correctional setting, putting a pacifist in prison means expecting a criminal to come out. And the cycle just continues.

But now we’ve got jails with little to no oversight, multiple reports of no adequate food, tin foil blankets, and threats of their sentence restarting from poorly trained officers if detainees request to see a doctor.

Oh, and they took children from their parents.

US citizens pay almost $800 a day, per person, in these camps. The cost of allowing immigrants into the country provides an economic boost of, according to the George W. Bush Institute,

0.2 to 0.4 percent — it still amounts to $36 to $72 billion per year.

In addition to the immigration surplus, immigrants grease the wheels of the labor market by flowing into industries and areas where there is a relative need for workers — where bottlenecks or shortages might otherwise damp growth.

As Trump has learned, having business prospects and his own staff stay in his hotels, it’s a money making prospect. And it’s one he knows to milk.

He’s already established the “us vs. them” relationship with Hispanic and Latino citizens, so it was easy to arrest them at the border. It was easy to deny them basic rights, like a lawyer, because people believed Trump when he said they were “rapists.”

And wouldn’t you know it, Jeff Sessions also tried to restrict what could be claimed for asylum. This was blocked by a judge.

The fact of the matter is, all of this is a byproduct of capitalism. Capitalism succeeds ultimately by having a poorer class.

The United States was founded by land and slave owning, affluent, white men. They benefitted from a work force they didn’t have to pay. And, when the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery (something, it should be noted, that was not ratified by every state in the nation until 2013), they were given reparations for their loss of “property”.

The laws that were established, in later years, to attempt to give women, people of color, minorities, the same rights as white men were all undercut by laws specifically targeted at the population that needed these laws.

African American men make up more than 1/3 of the prison population, a number that is shrinking. Why is that important? Because, depending on the state, that might mean they can’t vote upon release. In places like Florida, a swing state that was the cause of an uproar in in 2000 election, there are over 1.6 million disenfranchised voters. And 23.3% of black voters cannot vote because of disenfranchisement.

Oh, and roughly one out of every 6.5 residents in Florida lives in poverty. Hate crimes also escalated 102% between 2013 and 2017, with a 33% jump in 2016 alone.

Some might say, if it’s so bad there, why don’t they leave? Poverty doesn’t provide a lot of options or opportunity. Much like in abusive relationships, someone may be reluctant to leave a partner because they have no means of providing for themselves.

Likewise, leaving the country, forget one’s city or state, is a costly affair. Legitimately! The United states, not only raised it’s fee 422% to renounce your citizenship, but it is more than twenty times more expensive than other high expense nations.

And in a nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, a number that is actually at a 20 year low, it’s done because 1) it keeps minority populations from being able to vote, and 2) there’s money to be made.

If not for the amount of money that is made each day, private prisons being used to hold inmates for less than a state or government run corrections facility. With $150 per person, per day, it’s no wonder they’re a valuable resource to the country. They also report less on inmate populations or how their budget is spent.

This is also why inmates in federal prison often receive more citations for violating rules. When things like that happen, inmates’ sentences are lengthened. As a result, people will serve longer sentences in private prisons than they would in a government run facility.

More money in, fewer rights out.

So, of course, Trump met with private prison owners, who were reported to make large gains with Trump’s immigration plan.

To summarize, Trump made money by having it handed to him by his father, who was so racist, Arlo Guthrie wrote a song about him. Donald then continued racist practices along with his father in their business, which landed them with a lawsuit for violating the rights of African Americans looking to buy real estate or rent from them.

In 1989, Trump took out a full page ad in the New York Times and several other papers, costing him $85,000, asking for a return of the death penalty. The reason? Five men, wrongfully accused of raping and attempting to murder a white woman in Central Park, were on trial. And they were black. Coerced without a lawyer, four of the five signed confessions out of fear. Though the convictions were ultimately overturned, Trump still believes they are guilty.

Trump spends years advocating that the United States’ first black President, Barack Obama, is pulling “the greatest scam in American politics” because he believes him to not be a US citizen.

Our 45th President then ran his campaign on racist tropes. “Make America Great Again,” much like Hitler’s “Make Germany Great Again”. Mexican’s are sending over no one but their criminals. In 2018, Trump was warning about a caravan headed towards the Mexican-American border. Surprisingly, after the election, the caravan seemed to have disappeared.

In the last month, Trump told four congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from. All but one had been born in the United States, Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia but is a citizen as of 2000.

Trump spends almost every weekend at Maralago, forcing any agents with him to take out rooms in his hotel, costing the American taxpayers money, and benefitting him.

Want to know an explanation behind Trump’s behavior? Capitalism. His eagerness to use whatever dirt he can to undermine another person? Capitalism. Even his lies? Capitalism!

The objective reality that he has taken more vacation days than any President is staggering, and a symptom of his greed stemming from Capitalism. And his first term isn’t even over yet.

Trump has benefitted from racism, because having a minority meant he stood to make money. His father abused this information in his practices, giving him enough wealth to allow his children to do their paper route in limos, and to never have to do any real work.

Yes, Trump is very much a symptom of the greater illness. So let’s remember to vote in a cure in 2020.

MA Theology, BA Music. Author of “What Happens After Life?”. Mental health advocate with PTSD