The Nation is entirely devoted to the impact of monopolies on our lives. This post also includes an URGENT ACTION in relation to Rep. Lujan and the DCCC, a last call to join us at the Town Hall today, a reports that there could be movement in relation to gun control.
The Beginning of a Tipping Point? First a host of airlines and car rental companies withdrew NRA discount policies and then Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling automatic rifles and now Walmart has agreed to follow suit. When Walmart is taking this kind of action, something is happening here….what it is ain’t exactly clear (shameless use of Retake Our Democracy’s radio show theme song), but whatever is happening is a very positive turn. We will be examining what we all can do to support and accelerate this momentum.
Below the two calls for action, is a brief report from The Nation on the devastating impact of corporate monopolies on the workforce, the media, telecommunications, agriculture and our retail options. In the end, it is about the corporate takeover of our country and our political systems. And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday and before you do, (check out the Mayoral Voters Guide, click here, and the City Council Voters Guide, click here). But since you can’t vote til Tuesday, please plan to attend Sunday’s Town Hall and send an email to Rep. Lujan, contact info and speaking points, below.
Two Urgent Actions
Town Hall, Sunday, March 4, 2-4pm. Center for Progress and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Rd. Santa Fe, NM. Now that the holidays, the Roundhouse session and (soon) the local election are behind us, we will begin having more regular Town Halls again. Retake leadership will take ten minutes to lay out plans to support progressive Roundhouse and PRC candidates in 2018 and then, with a Democratic Governor and stronger Roundhouse, advocate to turn good ideas into strong bills that become LAW! We have been told many times that our Town Halls are too much of experts and leaders speaking ‘at” you and not enough conversation among ourselves. so we are postponing having candidates speak “at” you so that we can hear from you. We will test a Town Hall model employed in Las Cruces every month for the past 14 years. Each person will get 2 minutes to speak to the very general theme of: How can Retake better advance social, economic, racial and environmental justice in New Mexico? Within that context is a good deal of latitude in which you can speak up and raise your voice. Out of this conversation, we hope to identify some threads that can be woven into a future strategy. Your strategy. Please join us and bring friends. Given the action below, a second related theme on which we’d encourage discussion: How can we get Rep. Lujan to advocate for an unbiased DCCC and to encourage the Democratic Party to more boldly advocate for progressive policies instead of catering to the corporatocracy.
For more on the Town Hall and to RSVP, please click here.
THIS IS A CRITICAL ACTION AND IT WILL TAKE YOU TWO MINUTES TO COMPLETE. Contact Representative Ben Ray Lujan about Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee policies and campaign practices. We have run a series of posts covering the DCCC and its policies and practices that consistently tilt the scales in favor of centrist Democrats. The best way to catch up on all of the issues raised is to use the search function on the website and search for “Lujan.” But if you want to get the gist of it, this link, click here, takes you to a post that includes links six articles. Speaking points are easy: Stop tilting the scale and undermining progressive candidates.
We are in a unique position, as constituents of the Chair of the DCCC, we have an opportunity to pressure Lujan to do the right thing. In your own words, tell him you have his back, that you want him to stop DCCC tilting the scales for centrist candidates, you want him to encourage candidates to speak out on gun control and single payer healthcare, and you want him to ensure that progressive candidates get a fair deal in the primaries. Copy and paste the summary of concerns below into an email and write to Rep. Lujan at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since July, Retake has been covering the DCCC very undemocratic practices under Rep. Ben Ray Lujan’s leadership
- July 23 report on DCCC all too cozy relationship with Wall St and its corporate fundraising practices, click here.
- Aug 15 report on a meeting with Rep. Lujan where he outlined how the DCCC was keeping impartial in identifying House candidates and how the DCCC was stressing small donations over corporate support. Click here to review this report.
- Sept 13 report on how Rep. Lujan fared in terms of his support (or lack of support) of Our Revolutions 8 point People’s Platform. Click here to review that report.
- Feb 4 report on how the DCCC is systematically tilting the scale in dozens of 2018 House races and how the election of centrist Democrats with tight corporate ties leads to a Congress incapable of advancing progressive legislation. Click here.
- A Feb 24 report that focuses on a single race in Houston with the DCCC overtly undermining the campaign of a solid progressive candidate. Click here.
- On March 1, a post about the DCCC undermining single payer healthcare by telling candidates not to discuss it AND by working with a health insurance think tank to generate an alternative to single payer, Medicare Extra for All, a bogus bill that protests pharma and insurers. Click here.
The Monopoly Menace
The entire March 12 issue of The Nation is devoted to the impact of monopolies and how corporations have taken over the economy. The issue begins with an editorial in which we find that the game of Monopoly was developed more than a century ago by Elizabeth Magie. But what has been lost over the past century is that the game originally included two sets of rules. One, the way we all played, everyone starts out with the same $200 and then you basically play capitalism until one baron owns everything and everyone else is destitute. That, sadly, is getting to be life in America.
But Magie included a second set of rules where players could agree to switch to the other set of rules mid-game. Under the new rules, ‘rent’ was not paid to landlords, but was returned to the common pot and the game ended when the person who had the least money at the time the rules changed had doubled his/her money. Magie had hoped that this two-rules format would illustrate the depraved immorality of capitalism and how a more socialist approach benefited all of us. I am not sure when this other set of rules was lost, but it was a sad day. Magi commented in 1906: “In a short time, I hope a very short time, mean and women will discover that they are poor because Carnegie and Rockefeller have more than they know what to do with.”
Today, we find ourselves living in a game of monopoly. From The Nation: “Today, a few corporations once again dominate sectors of our economy. In an interview with The Nation’s George Zornick, Senator Elizabeth Warren points out that two companies sell 70 percent of the beer in the country; four companies produce 85 percent of American beef; and four airlines account for 80 percent of domestic seats. With monopolies squeezing out the competition and underpaying workers, profits are funneled to a tiny elite. It’s no coincidence that the three richest Americans—Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett—are together worthslightly more than the bottom half of the entire US population.”
The article goes on to point out that in 2017 there were more than triple the number of small business closings–7000–than in 2016 leading the Nation to comment that “in many sectors, starting a new business is like playing Monopoly only when all the squares have already been purchased: Everywhere you land, there’s a monopoly making demands.”
Click here to access the entire The Nation issue: Monopoly’s New Rules: How corporate giants rigged the game and took over the economy.
I am working my way through the entire issue and so far have not found a single article not worth a review. As usual, The Nation knocks it out of the park.
Paul & Roxanne
PS….Please vote, but since you can’t vote til Tuesday, how about today you write to Rep. Lujan.