The Restoration of Individual Rights–My Platform Continued

When I talk about the restoration of individual rights, I’m not talking just about a return to habeas corpus, a rededication to the Constitutional principles upon which this country was founded, and an end to torture and show trials, but I also mean that we need to be rededicated to privileging the individual over the corporation.

Take, for instance, taxes.

I love a good fight over whose hard-earned tax dollars are being wasted on what and how it’s unfair that rich people should have to pay so much, blah blah blah.

But who is a legal person who’s all the time getting tax incentives?

Not me and you.

I mean, when was the last time Nashville offered you money to keep you from leaving the city?

We argue about Uncle Sam in our wallets, but why aren’t we insisting Uncle Sam get a firmer grasp on the money in corporate coffers?  If corporations are legal persons, why aren’t they paying taxes like legal persons?

But it’s not just that.  It’s that we are at the whim of corporations who blow off our mountain tops, pollute our air and water, and negotiate deals with local governments to look the other way.   Erin Brockovich aside, most of us can’t sue our way into getting these corporations to do right by us.  We need the government to step in and monitor this stuff and to impose consequences in ways that we, as individuals, cannot.

Clearly, this ties in with my other two platform… platforms?  Ha, I suck as a politician.  But I would like to see a party be a party of the people and not be in service to corporate interests.

The Charts


Here’s what I’ve been thinking about and I’m going to tell you up front that I’m not quite sure what to make of it.  But it’s this chart.

If you look at the top crudely drawn line, you’ll see what’s been kind of my understanding of income distribution in this country.  I assumed that there was a large bubble of abject poverty, then a smaller number of people who were poor but not that poor, who were working to make their way up the income ladder and that at each step of the income ladder, there was a slightly larger population, with the largest population being the middle class and the rich.

And, I guess if pressed, I would have been willing to revise my understanding of rich people down closer to the number of abject poor people.

But the point is that I believed that there were always a few more people who were doing a little better than the people below them.  That was kind of my understanding of things.

That’s not what the data shows.  You can make your own chart in Excel and see.

Instead, what we have is basically a pyramid, with each level containing fewer people than the one before it until you hit about $100,000.

I honestly don’t know what to make of that.

But it raises some questions for me.  One is, on a graph like that, where do you locate the middle class?  Yes, there are a lot of people who are making between $100,000 and $250,000, but they’re way over there on the right side.  Can you have a middle on the far end?  If “middle” is where most people fall, does that put the actual middle class in poverty?  According to .gov, our mean income as a society is $67,000 a year, but the amount of households pulling that down is just over two million.  Out of 110 million households, that seems like barely any.

If each level is smaller than the one below it, what does that really say for class or even income mobility?

I don’t know.  I feel like I’m looking at something profound here but I don’t quite know how to wrap my brain around it.

Why I Hate My Phone

So, all yesterday I was laughing about how Mack’s friend was all “Mack’s not just lactose intolerant; he’s lactose bigoted,” because I swear, people, you have never met a man less happy with milk products than our friend Mack.

I’m almost certain his personal hell will be having to spend eternity in a hot tub full of queso with Republicans made of cheese, while really hot women offer to spread butter cream frosting on themselves so he can lick it off, and his only refreshment is ice cold milk and Oreo cookies.

And that idea of him being lactose bigoted, while probably not as funny to you, was so funny to me that I was giggling every time I saw a commercial for milk or cheese or even cows.

So, you know that, when he called, I was going to give him hell about being a lactose bigot but instead I answer the phone and I’m all “Hello!  Hello!” and nothing.  I’m all “Hello?” and finally, he’s “Hello” and then there’s a sound like a giant iron dog scraping his ass along some barbed wire carpet and that’s the end of that phone conversation.

Friday, I was sitting on the couch working on my afghan and my dad calls and says, “So, where’ve you been all day?” and I’m all “Right here.” And he says, “Well, I’ve tried to call you four times.”  Those four times aren’t even on my phone, let alone did the damn thing not ring.

AND after spending a Thanksgiving being thunked and poked and prodded by bratty people, I put a huge make-up bruise on my arm and took a picture of it and sent it to said bratty people in order to illustrate the dangers of continually flicking someone as delicate as me, and the damn phone was all like “Okay, sent.”

And it didn’t.

But you know what really sucks sweaty balls?

When I was perusing through the archives here in order to find that post of me and my mom dancing, I found a post talking about when I bought this phone, just last year.

Well, paint my nails and call me a lady, but what the fuck?  I have a two year contract on this phone and it’s practically useless after only a year.

That really just burns me.