If elected, who will Donald tRUMP blame when he fails to bring back the jobs and “Make America Great Again”?

One of the foundations of Donald Trump’s allegations that he is the only candidate for president that can make “American Great Again” is to bring back the jobs lost to China and Mexico.

But, the AP reported on November 2, 2016, Why Robots, not trade, are behind so many factory job losses.  “Despite the Republican presidential nominee’s charge that ‘we don’t make anything anymore,’ manufacturing is still flourishing in America. Problem is, factories don’t need as many people as they used to because machines now do so much of the work.

“America has lost more than 7 million factory jobs since manufacturing employment peaked in 1979. Yet American factory production, minus raw materials and some other costs, more than doubled over the same span to $1.91 trillion last year, according to the Commerce Department …”

In addition, ABC News reports some facts that Donald Trump doesn’t want his followers, known as the deplorables, to know, “A study at Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research last year found that trade accounted for 13 percent of America’s lost factory jobs. The vast majority of lost jobs — 88 percent — were taken by robots and other homegrown factors that reduce factories’ need for human labor.”

“We’re making more with fewer people,” says Howard Shatz, a senior economist at Rand Corporation think tank.

In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that another 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution, combined with other socio-economic and demographic changes, will transform labour markets in the next five years, leading to a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies.”

Too bad this information wasn’t reported earlier. With the election on November 8, tomorrow, it’s too late to attempt to teach the “deplorables”, who earned that title, the truth, that their psycho, narcissistic, bully, fraudulent crook of a candidate, who was born with a gold spoon in his mouth and bailed out of repeated failures more than once by his wealthy/powerful daddy, either doesn’t know what he is talking about or his promise to bring those jobs back that didn’t go to China or Mexico is just another one of his endless, serial lies.

What will  tRUJMP shout from his stage when the jobs don’t come back? The answer is easy because we have 70 years of tRUMP’s life to show us what he has always done. He will not admit he failed. He will lie repeatedly and blame it on Congress, the US Supreme Court, and anyone else he can smear

The tragedy is that many of his deplorable followers will willingly swallow those lies whole and roar the vengeance of the mob.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

on-sale-october-november-2016

Where to Buy

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Hostile Corporate Takeover of Democracy

Between 1969 and 2014, the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded 46 times to 75 Laureates, and Milton Friedman was only one of those 75 award winners, so why has he been crowned, even in death, as the godfather of modern American economics—is it because he said greed was good and the other winners didn’t?

Milton Freedom gave the greed of the 1% legitimacy with his Noble Prize in Economics in 1976 with his claim that greed is good. Then President Reagan—arguably America’s Mao for the 1%—launched his U.S. Cultural Revolution to privatize government and the public sector (in China between 1949 – 1976, Mao was the enemy of the 1% and about a million were tried by the people and executed).

Forbes reported, “Ronald Reagan was elected in the US in 1980 with his message that government is “the problem”. In the UK, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. These leaders preached “economic freedom” (translation: greed is good) and urged a focus on making money as “the solution”. As the Michael Douglas character in the 1987 movie, Wall Street, pithily summarized the philosophy, greed was now good.

The results: starting at zero in 1979, the share of income of the top 1% after taxes grew by almost 150% by 2007, and the share of income for the top 20% grew by almost 30%, but for the rest of us—the other 80%, we saw a decline in the share of our income by as much as –30%. … Wall Street’s profits increased 720%, the unemployment rate grew by 102% and Americans’ home equity dropped by –35%. … Payroll tax revenue increased from 10% in 1950 to more than 40% by 2007, but the share of corporate taxes went from about 28% to less than 10%. – WordPress.com

Can this hostile takeover of the U.S. democracy be reversed?

Maybe, because more people vote during presidential elections so we should expect that to happen again in 2016, and I think the GOP has shot itself in the foot with its first majority in both Houses of Congress in more than 70 years by using that as a false mandate to come out against Social Security (75% of both Republicans and Democrats endorsed a plan to fix Social Security—not destroy it.  – The Christian Science Monitor), Medicare (Over half of Americans support single-payer health care, Improved Medicare for All – Medicare for  All), public pensions (Seventy-one percent oppose reducing pension benefits that are currently being paid to already-retired public employees, while 27 percent favor a reduction in benefits to these retirees. Fifty-three percent of Americans oppose reducing current public employees’ future pension benefits, while 44 percent favor reducing the pension benefits of current government employees who have not yet retired – Reason.com), public schools (47 percent of the public gave their local public schools a grade of “A” or “B,” while 18 percent gave them a “D” or “F.” – Brookings.edu), teachers (70% of Americans trusted grade school teachers – Gallup), etc.

The GOP is even going after veterans’ benefits and the Veterans Administration to continue the spread of the privatization movement there too. Concerned Veterans for America (always the use of misleading titles for these organizations) is calling for the Veterans Health Administration — the wing of the VA that oversees health care — to be turned into an “independent, government-chartered nonprofit corporation.” – Stripes.com

What about the growth of private, for-profit prisons?

Global Research asked if “The Prison Industry in the United States was Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?”

Private security guards have outnumbered police officers since the 1980s, predating the heightened concern about security brought on by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. What is new is that police forces, including the Durham Police Department here in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, are increasingly turning to private companies for help. Moreover, private-sector security is expanding into spheres — complex criminal investigations and patrols of downtown districts and residential neighborhoods — that used to be the province of law enforcement agencies alone. – Washington Post.com

The only way the Democrats cannot win back enough seats in at least the Senate and/or Congress and take the majority back from the GOP during the 2016 election season is if the party refuses to return to their Progressive grass roots that supported the 99% for decades starting with President Wilson.

But if both parties continue to be led by the 1%, then we might see another low voter turnout like we saw in 2014 (the lowest voter turnout in more than seven decades).

Back to Milton Friedman, who, even in death, is still the economic-greed-is-good-god of the 1%.  After Friedman’s death in 2006, Keynesian Nobel laureate Paul Krugman (who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for 2008) wrote that Friedman “slipped all too easily into claiming both that markets always work and that only markets work. It’s extremely hard to find cases in which Friedman acknowledged the possibility that markets could go wrong, or that government intervention could serve a useful purpose.”

And in her book The Shock Doctrine, author Naomi Klein criticized Friedman’s economic liberalism, identifying it with the principles that guided the economic restructuring that followed the military coups in countries such as Chile and Indonesia. Klein is an award-winning journalist who is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics.  If Klein is right, the hostile takeover of America’s republic and democracy by the 1% will continue until most U.S. citizens have lost many of the freedoms they take for granted.

To read more about the threat from within to the U.S. republic and its democracy, I suggest clicking Paul Horton: Common Core = Corporate Control. One pull quote from that post:

“The idea that the Common Core Standards are the product of a democratic process is simply misrepresentation of fact—a big lie that GMMB, our education secretary, Bill Gates, Pearson Education, and the Fordham Institute propagate. What many rightfully be called corporate-education reform has bypassed the democratic process.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal . His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Propaganda War against Labor Unioins—Viewed As Single Page

Over on Writer Beat.com, I left a few comments for a post bashing labor unions, because I’m pro-union and proud of it, and I don’t care if the union is public or private. I was born into a family that lived in poverty with parents struggling to make ends meet working for poverty wages until my father joined a labor union with help from my godfather. After my dad joined the union, our lifestyle improved dramatically and my family joined the middle class. As a public school teacher, I also belonged to a union, and I know for a fact that without that union’s support, I would have been fired when I put the interests of my students first over high stakes tests and corporate education reform.

There is a lot of misinformation by the writer of the Writer Beat post bashing unions. For instance, he claimed that when Scott Walker became governor of Wisconsin and limited the freedom of the labor unions, the teachers got a raise—but that’s FALSE, because how does cutting nearly $2.6 billion from public education equal a raise? Instead of a raise, 1,446 teachers lost their jobs and a similar slaughter took place the year before. – wisdems.org

The Writer Beat Post also claimed that what happened in Wisconsin when Scott Walker won the election for governor was proof that national public polls are wrong about the public supporting public employee unions—Gallup conducts an annual poll to see if the public approves or disapproves of labor unions, and since 1936, the majority has approved of labor unions even though labor unions only represents about 14% of the country’s workforce. In August 2014, Gallup reported that 53% of Americans approved of labor unions versus 38% that disapproved, and 10% that had no opinion.

Although support for labor unions has declined from 72% in 1936 to 53%, it helps to be aware that for decades there has been an ongoing propaganda war in the media that has consistently attacked both public and private sector labor unions.

Source Watch.org reports that a right-wing political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) founded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, supported the election of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin when AFP purchased $700,000 worth of television ads in that state in addition to spending almost $3 million on TV ads in 2012.

Republic Report.org “broke down the figures for the last election and found that Koch groups alone spent more than double the combined political spending for the top ten unions combined.”

It’s also no secret that one of the wealthiest families on the planet are strongly anti-union—the Walton family. You may learn more from a report in The Nation that said, “Always Low Wages: Meet the Billionaires Who Run Walmart.”

In fact, the Waltons have gone as far as to close Walmart stores where the employees voted to bring in a labor union.” – Zero Hedge.com

What is the result of Walmart workers having no union? Forbes reports, “Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing …” Walmart provides 1.4 million jobs. The fast food industry, another non-union sector that often pays poverty wages (over half of all fast food workers are on government assistance—$7 billion annually Kitchenette & Poverty nation), employees almost 4 million.

If you are interesting in a detailed report on What’s Happening in Wisconsin Explained, click this link to Mother Jones.com. As for Scott Walker’s popularity in Wisconsin: in the last election, he won with 1.259 (53% of the vote) million votes versus 1.114 million (almost half of the 4.4 million eligible voters in the state actually voted)—it wasn’t a landslide.

Another argument on Writer Beat.com was that the unions must go because they are corrupt, but there was no mention of corruption in the private sector or the government. To be fair, if one must go for corruption, they all must go.

In the private sector, Transparency.org reports, “Hefty fines, damaged reputations and jail sentences – recent scandals prove that corruption in business doesn’t always bring profits. Yet bribery persists. Almost a fifth of executives surveyed by Ernst & Young claimed to have lost business to a competitor who paid bribes. More than a third felt corruption was getting worse.

“Corruption distorts markets and creates unfair competition. Companies often pay bribes or rig bids to win public procurement contracts. Many companies hide corrupt acts behind secret subsidiaries and partnerships. Or they seek to influence political decision-making illicitly. Others exploit tax laws, construct cartels or abuse legal loopholes. Private companies have huge influence in many public spheres. These are often crucial – from energy to healthcare.”

As for corruption in the government, Transparency.org says, “At the federal level, the recently completed 2014 midterm elections confirmed the ever-increasing role that wealthy individuals, corporations, and organizations play in financing political campaigns. Much of this money if funneled through and to various groups that are not obligated to publically report the sources of their funding, thereby making it impossible for the public to know who is financing various campaigns. While political corruption is a problem in all countries, it is notable that many of the countries that score higher than the US on the CPI impose donation and/or expenditure limits on political campaigns.”

The Fiscal Times.com asks, “Lying, Cheating, Stealing: How Corrupt is America? Corruption is as American as apple pie, or so it would seem. A casual survey of the political and corporate landscape in recent weeks alone provides a troubling reminder that corruption is endemic to our way of life …”

I think it also helps to take a look at the numbers to see just how many Americans belong to labor unions and if those numbers are enough to affect the economy to the degree the millionaire and billionaire oligarchs and their puppets and pet politicians like Scott Walker claim.

The Bureau of Labor Statics at the U.S. Department of Labor reports (BLS) that there are about 148.3 million civilians employed in the United States, and the BLS says that public-sector workers only had a union membership rate of 35.7 percent—more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers at 6.6 percent.

There are 22 million public sector workers in cities, counties, states and the federal government (only 2.7 million work for the feds or 12%—the lowest figure since 1966), and within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (41.9 percent), which included employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters. That means in 2014, 7.2 million employees in the public sector belonged to unions and 14.8 million did not.

BLS also reports that of the 126.3 million private sector workers, only 7.4 million belonged to labor unions meaning almost 119 million didn’t belong to a union—sixteen times the number of workers that belong to unions.

What’s interesting is that the BLS reported, “Earnings In 2014, among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $970, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $763.”

Explain how less than 6% of the private sector work force earning about $200 more a week is responsible for any increase in unemployment or real estate prices.

What about other union benefits. The AFL-CIO reports 88 percent of workers in unions participate in pension plans versus 49 percent of nonunion workers. Seventy-seven percent of union workers have guaranteed pensions, compared with 17 percent of nonunion workers. Roughly 84 percent of workers in unions have paid sick leave compared with 62 percent of nonunion workers.

Stop and imagine what life would be like for most Americans if all workers belonged to labor unions, and then answer this: Who benefits when workers are earning $200 less a month—the workers, bosses or billionaires?

Let me help you with the answer: There are 536 billionaires (0.00016% of the population) in America; 9.63 million (3%) with a net worth of $1 million or more leaving more than 138 million (almost 44% of the population) working Americans with a net worth that’s less than $1 million who rely on that weekly or monthly pay check. Note: About 23% of the population is children and 14.5% are over the age of 65.

Let’s put that another way: There are almost 123 million households in the United States. In 2010, the poverty threshold was $22,314 for a family of four.

In 2013, 12.7% (15.6 million) of households earned under $15,000; 22.3% (27.4 million) earn $15,000 – $24.999; 20.4% (25 million) earn $25,000 – $34.999; 13.6% (17.7 million) earn $25,000 – $49,999; 17.6% (21.6 million) earn $50,000 – $75,999; 11.9% (14.6 million) earn $75,000-$99,999; 12.4% ($15.2 million) earn $100,000 – $149,999; 5.3% (6.5 million) earn $150,000 – $199,999, and 4.8% (5.9 million) earn $200,000 and over. – census.gov (2013)

In addition, Mother Jones.com reported that the top 0.01% (12,300) families in the United States earn almost $25 million each on average annually compared to $29,840 for the bottom 90% (110.7 million families).

In conclusion, the evidence strongly suggests that there are NOT enough union workers in the United States to be a factor that would lead to higher unemployment rates or real estate values just because they get paid a few hundred more a month on average—no matter what the millionaires or billionaire oligarchs claim through their puppets, politicians and propaganda. Don’t forget, union workers earn more and have better benefits, because they have someone fighting for them—evidence that unions are doing their job.

Food for thought: In 1900, before there were strong labor unions and the Robber Barons ruled over most of America with corporate monopolies, 40% of Americans lived in poverty. And what about countries that have high labor union membership—for instance, three countries with the highest labor union membership in the world: Sweden and Denmark with 95% union membership and Finland with 85% membership. What do these countries have in common?

The answer: Sweden, Denmark and Finland all made the world’s 10 happiest countries list (the U.S. isn’t on this list) , according to this year’s World Happiness Report, that looks at earnings, living standards, employment, mental health and family stability. The report surveyed 158 countries

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

 

A few men with the power of gods and a lot less jobs for the rest of us

MIT Technology Review reports, “Oxford researchers say that 45 percent of America’s occupations will be automated within the next 20 years.”

And hear what even Bill Gates, the infamous billionaire who is out to destroy public education in the United States, has to say: “Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses … it’s progressing. …  Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set. …  20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model.” Business Insider

It isn’t government we should fear. We should fear whoever creates and controls the manufacturing behind the next step in nanotech, the memristor. With the creation of the memristor a few men are moving one step closer to holding the power of gods.

CNN.com reported the next step beyond the transistor and said it would revolutionize electronics. But it might also lead to a revolution that would go far beyond electronics when combined with cloning and DNA manipulation. The memristor might lead to a lifeform that would be the property of corporations and/or wealthy individuals—a slave that requires no pay, medical or retirement—programmable and equal to or smarter than humans.

Imagine what profit driven corporations ruled over by billionaire oligarchs, who want to control a world in their own images, will be able to do with this combined technology. For instance, billionaire oligarchs like the Koch brothers, the Walton family and Bill Gates, who are already attempting to control our lives with the technology of today.

In fact, who controls the manufacturing behind the memristor might end up controlling the world and with the memristor, the rest of us would be replaceable by those billionaires who already think like gods.

Let me ask you this question—if you had a choice, who would you vote for to rule the world—a government guided by the Bill of Rights that was written to protect the people from their own government or billionaire oligarchs and corporations that don’t answer to the Bill of Rights?

At this point, you might be thinking who would be foolish enough to trust Bill Gates, the Waltons and/or the Koch brothers over an elected government, and I will tell you that there are millions of people out there who have been fooled to already trust them and are more than willing to put their fate in the hands of the few who answer to no one.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His fourth book is The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova, and Don wants to discover what it’s like to be loved by only one woman. His problem is that he was raised by his grandparents to become a Lothario, who loves and then leaves women for the next conquest, and as he approaches 40, he is facing a crisis.

His grandfather and then younger brother have been viciously murdered, and Don is the prime suspect. As he struggles to stay out of jail and end his life of serial seductions and find one woman to love, he’s discovering it isn’t easy to kick an old habit, and his mother isn’t helping by quoting scripture every chance she gets in an attempt to change her son’s lifestyle of sin for one of piety.

Complete Kindle e-book Cover on February 18 Flattened

Lloyd Lofthouse also worked as a maître d’ in a nightclub called the Red Onion for a few years. A romantic at heart, in his award winning novels, he tests true love in difficult situations and the challenges of keeping that love alive. My Splendid Concubine, his first novel, is an epic love story that teaches acceptance and respect for other people and their cultures. Running with the Enemy, his second novel is a love story that will either cost the characters their lives or will complete each other’s hearts. Lloyd Lofthouse lives with his family in California’s San Francisco Bay area.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

An example of a Financial World run by Milton Friedman Economic Thinking by looking at the Hunger Games

In Milton Friedman’s world, profits are god—more important than an end to poverty, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To Milton Friedman thinking, the only way to end poverty is for the top 1% to earn more than the bottom 99%, and to see that those earnings for the 1% continue to increase while the net worth of the 99% continues to shrink.

And here’s a perfect example of how this thinking works: The Hunger Games franchise.

The latest Hunger Games film, Mockingjay  – Part 1,  came out on November 21, and the next day, Saturday, I read a major media financial news piece about  how this film was a loser, because it didn’t earn more money its first weekend than the previous Hunger Games film, Catching Fire.  Before I reached the end of this piece, it mentioned how the stock prices had dropped for the production company behind the film due to this horrible opening. IMDb.com

Now for a dose of reality—production costs for all three films compared to the total box office to the date of this post:

The Hunger Games cost $78 million to produce, but total global box office earnings reached $692.3 million its first 168 days.

Did this film lose money, and what was the profit margin?

Catching Fire cost $130 million, but total global box office earnings reached $864.9 million in its first 133 days

Did this film lose money, and what was the profit margin?

Mockingjay – Part 1 cost $125 million, but total global box office earnings reached $480 million in 10 days.

Did this film lose money, and what was the profit margin?

Does Mockingjay – Part 1 look like a loser to you? It does to anyone who worships at the altar of Milton Friedman, because profits must always show an improvement over the last quarter. There is no room for DOWN. There is only room for UP.


To Milton Freedom, Greed is god, but what does the Bible say about Greed?

That is what Milton Friedman economic thinking looks like—if you worship at Milton Friedman’s altar of GREED, you worship wealth acquisition anyway you can get it even if those methods cause the extinction of homo sapiens by destroying the earth’s environment.

For instance, the Tea Party movement, funded by the devout Catholic, professed libertarian Koch brothers, is not interested in facts, truth or reality. The Tea Party was born on a platform of lower taxes and less spending ONLY after Obama—an African-American—was elected president, who is, surprise, surprise, a Milton Friedman neo-liberal.

No one who follows the Tea Party movement blindly will mention, discuss or admit that three GOP presidents since 1945, are responsible for 62% of the federal National Debt of $17.9 Trillion: Presidents Reagan and the two Bushes, and it was Reagan who ushered in the era of Milton Friedman economics that is a major force behind the corporate war on the public schools in the United States.

There have been 12 presidents since 1945 starting with Truman.

The federal National Debt this morning hit about $17.9 Trillion, and $10.64 Trillion of that debt came from those three GOP presidents thanks to Milton Friedman’s insane theory of greed-based economics.

By the way, the Koch brothers are also funding the propaganda campaign to deny that Global Warming is caused by carbon emissions. Guess what the foundation of their great wealth is based on?

oil

And don’t expect anyone who worships at Milton Friedman’s altar of greed to mention the country that reduced global poverty  by 90 percent in the last 30 years—Communist China.


Milton Friedman thinking leads to Disaster Capitalism

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Meltdown

I do not know when it started,
The religious meltdown
Where I lost my faith
And my family blew away with the wind.

Maybe it started after the death of our family gatherings.
Where grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers and cousins
Drove hundreds of miles to sit around the sagging
Table with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy
Along with pies:
Pecan, pumpkin, apple, mincemeat
And my dad’s favorite, a moist lemon cake
With snowy powdered sugar dusting the top.

On Thanksgiving, my dad and brother-in-law
Competed to see who could eat the most
As football games on TV filled my sister’s house with screaming fans.

It could have been after we stopped celebrating Christmas.
When I was ten and Mike was five,
We huddled behind the closed hallway door along with his younger sisters
Waiting for Santa to leave so we could rush the tree and rip into packages
Squealing with delight at what was discovered.

Then again, maybe it was when Easter expired
And that chocolate bunny
Stopped laying those eggs we once hunted in the grass.

Those fun family moments started to fade
At the same time Disneyland arrived,
Television became king,
Fast food replaced home cooking
And Ringo beat his drums on the Ed Sullivan Show
Introducing an epidemic of obesity along with video games and YouTube.

The free love movement and the pill did not help.
Everyone off doing their thing smoking dope, dropping acid,
Becoming an individual,
Listening to harsh music,
Protesting Vietnam,
Spitting on uniforms
Before going off to occupy a therapist’s couch
Looking for someone else to blame for their mistakes
While buying shrink-wrapped fun
And quivering in fear of HIV/AIDS
Soon followed by the next popular media-induced paranoia.

It seems as if my country, the land I was born in and fought for,
Is driving down a one-way street shouting drive-by hate,
Narcissistic me, me, me
While real families grow weeds.

For decades, I have been hunting for what was lost
Traveling the world looking for that ghost family
That may only exist in my imagination
When the laughter did not come from foul-mouthed comedians
And shock jocks.

Sometimes, in the early mornings, after I exercise,
Surrounded by the humming silence
While everyone else is sleeping
I open my mind to God
Asking if He were created to forgive man’s sins.
He answers.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Crazy-is-Normal-a-classroom-expose-200x300

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

What does a scorpion and a frog have to do with the blame-game focused on China, the public schools or Obama?

I agree that when it comes to Obama’s Race to the Top and Common Core war on U.S. public education, he is a wrecking ball—with help from Bill Gates (net worth $76 billion), the two most infamous Koch brothers (net worth $41.9 billion each) and the Waltons (family net worth $152 billion), and a few other billionaire oligarchs—who want to give U.S. children to profit-hungry corporations and lower-paid, temporary and less-skilled teachers in addition to higher paid CEO’s and Charter school managers.

But, I can’t agree that China and/or Obama are the problem when it comes to the economy, unemployment or the loss of middle class jobs, because U.S. corporations have been earning record profits for years, and many of the lost middle class jobs have nothing to do with President Obama’s economic policies and everything to do with the same power hungry, greedy corporate capitalists who are drooling over the $1 Trillion in annual state taxes/fees that supports the U.S. public schools.

In fact, it should be obvious to anyone who isn’t an ignorant fool, that the corporate agenda is profits and more wealth for those at the top.

How much wealth?

Mother Jones.com reports that the top 3.17 million Americans control 34.6% of American’s net worth while the bottom 285.3 million share 26.9% of that net worth.

To make sense of those numbers, according to the Federal Reserve, the net worth of all Americans totaled $123.8 trillion or 723% of GDP as of the first quarter of 2014. Translated, that means the wealthiest 3.16 million Americans are worth about $42.8 Trillion—or divided equally , $13.5 million each—while the rest of us are worth about $33.3 trillion or—divided equally—about $116.7 thousand each.  That means the wealthiest 3.15 million are worth 115.6 x more than the rest of us. And, let’s not forget that almost 50-million Americans, including 1 in 4 children, live in poverty, and millions of adults who live in poverty work for poverty wages for corporations like Walmart—for instance, to boost profits.

Did you know that Walmart teaches its workers how to apply for an estimated $6.5 billion in annual food stamps or $65 billion every ten years.

In addition, Mother Jones says, the annual income of the top 0.01% is about $24-million compared to an average of $29.8 thousand for the other 99.99% of Americans. … Wall Street profits have soared 720% while the unemployment rate for working class Americans climbed 102% and home equity dropped 35%.

And, if you really think everything sold in the U.S. is made in China taking away jobs for Americans, think again.

The Manufacturing Institute.org reports: “A common misconception is making the rounds: that domestic manufacturing is vanishing. This misperception is based on consumers’ daily observation of foreign-made products visible on store shelves and the media’s focus on the loss of jobs in the sector. But the facts do not support this pessimistic view. Manufacturing in the United States remains vital and important to the U.S. economy and is globally competitive. … Not only is manufacturing large, its industrial output has risen steadily over time. Over the last ten years ending in 2008, manufacturing value added has increased 22 percent.”

Did you get that? The value of manufacturing in the U.S. increase 22-percent over a recent ten-year period, while 8-million Americans, who worked in that sector, lost their jobs in the last 5 years.

In, Can smart machines take your jobs? Middle Class jobs increasingly being replaced by technology, The New York Daily News.com reported, “In the United States, half of the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession paid middle-class wages, and the numbers are even grimmer in the 17 European countries that use the euro as their currency. A total of 7.6 million midpay jobs disappeared in those countries from January 2008 through last June.”

The New York Daily News continued: Those jobs are being replaced in many cases by machines and software that can do the same work better and cheaper. “Everything that humans can do a machine can do,” says Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University in Houston.

In conclusion, before you blame President Obama or China for lost jobs and high unemployment, look closer at America’s capitalist billionaire oligarchs, corporate CEO’s and Wall Street.

Do we really want to return to the pre-progressive era of no labor unions, small government and the Robber Barons of 1900 when 40% of Americans lived in poverty with an unemployment rate of about 5%.

Using the two percentages in the previous paragraph, how many  Americans do you think had  jobs back then and worked for poverty wages?—an era when women had no rights and children, as young as five, who lived in poverty, could easily be sold into servitude to factories and coal mines, a form of slavery that included child prostitution.

In fact, who suffered most during the Great Depression that ran from 1929 to 1939?

Historical Statistics and Analysis on Unemployment, Poverty, Urbanization, etc., in the United States reveals that by 1933, the unemployment rate had rocketed from the 1900 5% rate to 24.9%, but the poverty rate was still stuck at about 40%.

What does that reveal—that most of the workers who lost their jobs during the Great Depression were already living in poverty and working for poverty wages, and they went from next to nothing to zero, from barely starving to starving and homeless, and most of these working Americans were willing to work long hours for almost nothing to survive.

Before you believe anything the 21st century want-to-be Robber Barons claim through their media propaganda to fool you, remember this:  “A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature.”

For the 21st Century Robber Barons, greed and the exercise of power is their nature, and they will destroy our country and our civilization to achieve their goals.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”