The Citibank memo and the GOP attacks on American voting rights | Street Jazz

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Citibank memo and the GOP attacks on American voting rights

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 11:23 AM

“ . . . intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us . . .” - H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

Well, all in all it wasn’t a bad day for liberals yesterday, and thuggish GOP efforts to restrict same-day voter registration in Maine were thwarted by the voters - so that just leaves how many other states to battle now?

Since the Republican sweep to power in 2010, they have done their level best to make sure that they stay in power, so that they can continue to do their work as the handmaidens of the most wealthy and powerful in this country.

But not through the tiresome old-fashioned way of winning the hearts and minds of the the American people, by fashioning their arguments in such a way that folks sit up and cry out, “Of course! They’re right! These are the only people we can trust with our nation’s future! Ellie Mae, wake up the kids, we’re all going down to register to vote.”

Ah well, voting. That’s so yesterday. Like Will and Grace, or thinking of your waistline before you order a thickburger from Hardees.

No, the marionettes in the GOP - and the folks who so gleefully pull their strings - have hit upon another way to ensure that America remains safe in the hands of corporate control for the next . . . well, till we collapse, I suppose.

This whole voting thing. It’s all sort of inconvenient, isn’t it? I mean, it takes valuable time out of your day, when you could be working, or shopping at the mall. And quite honestly, between you and me and that sleazy guy at the end of the bar, maybe some people don’t need to be voting.

You know the ones. The people we need to take this country back from.

Fortunately, our friends in the GOP have thought of ways to deal with this, in the sense that they are finding ways to to restrict the way in which people can find their way to vote, and require ever more bizarre requirements in order to register.

A leaked Citibank memo spoke of the fears (among others things) that a”plutonomy” might have in the coming years.

We see the biggest threat to plutonomy as coming from a rise in political demands to reduce income inequality, spread the wealth more evenly, and challenge forces such as globalization which have benefited profit and wealth growth.


The political process is the greatest threat to plutonomy. We don’t see it as a threat today in most countries. But we are alert to changes here.

And my favorite paragraph:

Our whole plutonomy thesis is based on the idea that the rich will keep getting richer. This thesis is not without its risks. For example, a policy error leading to asset deflation, would likely damage plutonomy. Furthermore, the rising wealth gap between the rich and poor will probably at some point lead to a political backlash. Whilst the rich are getting a greater share of the wealth, and the poor a lesser share, political enfrachisement remains as was — one person, one vote (in the plutonomies). At some point it is likely that labor will fight back against the rising profit share of the rich and there will be a political backlash against the rising wealth of the rich. This could be felt through higher taxation on the rich (or indirectly though higher corporate taxes/regulation) or through trying to protect indigenous (home-grow)] laborers, in a push-back on globalization — either anti-mmigration, or protectionism. We don’t see this happening yet, though there are signs of rising political tensions. However we are keeping a close eye on developments.

One man, one vote.

Well, this can be inconvenient.

Especially if a bunch of those voters suddenly stop voting against their own economic self-interest, and begin to notice just what it is that their elected officials are reading, the works of a woman who makes The Adventures of Tom Swift look like great literature.

Under the battle cry of “Voter fraud!” we have legislators scurrying across the country, as if somehow armies of “community organizers” are busy falsifying forms and have thwarted the will of the American people. This is a myth, and the political cads who keep talking and writing about it know it all too well.

But if we can restrict people from even registering to vote?

Oh, the beauty of it. Passports. Driver’s licenses. Birth certificates. Bank accounts.

Bank accounts? Don’t be a paranoid ass, Drake, you may be snarling. Well, not so fast!

In Wisconsin, a woman was denied the opportunity to vote because her bank account did not have enough “activity.”

Bills which would not allow university students to vote in the towns in which they attend schools.

You figure out who is targeted by these bills.

You know, maybe we could herd all of these people together in special communities, where they could all spend miserable lives together. I’m sure they’d be happy, and decent people wouldn’t have to bother with them.


New Hampshire: Vote free or die

Oh, New Hampshire! House Speaker Bill O’Brien said this in support of a bill which would have prevented students from voting in the communities they go to school in:

“They go into these general elections, they’ll have same day registrations, which are the kids coming out of the schools . . .”

He went on to claim that they don’t have “life experience,” and they just vote their feelings - as opposed to, I suppose, Bill O’Brien.

Yes, I know, they can go and kill (and be killed) for their country and still not be worthy enough to vote in a town in this guy’s opinion. Also, actually, there is the fact that they are in school - not high school, but college, and are improving their minds.

While many - perhaps most with “life experience” have also done the same - there are an awful lot of really ignorant “grown ups” out there, with no common sense at all who vote. Some even serve in state legislatures.


Quote of the Day

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right. - Laurens Van Der Post

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