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Tax the Rich to Save The United States of America

The idle rich always want more of YOUR money

Every working person in the USA knows that the system is an appalling farce and that they have been getting a raw deal for decades. When I hired into GM to work on the assembly line in 1976, starting pay was about $17 an hour. After 90 days the pay went up and full benefits kicked in. This was before “copays” if you can believe that! Since that time the average price of a gallon of gas has risen from $0.59 to $3, beef prices up 4 times, chicken 3.5 times, rent is astronomical, so it’s clear that the cost of living has increased at least 4 times compared to what is was 45 years ago. Non union starting wages back then was about $8 or $9 an hour. It’s a no brainer to see that wages have not kept up to the cost of surviving in America and it’s time to tax the rich.

I currently live in California, where there are homeless people all over in the hundreds. Rents are high and for many places, the managers demand an income 3x the rent. That means housing is out of reach for many people here. That a huge infrastructure package is badly needed in this country is obvious to average working people who are hard pressed to survive. After 2008 the system turned against workers at the same time productivity was on the rise.

I worked in a metal fabricating shop in Denver in 1974 when the company installed a computerized metal punching machine. Most employees were amazed. Being from Detroit, I thought, oh dog here comes automation! All these years later, human beings are less important to mass manufacturing, I saw an entire line of people replaced by a robotic welding line in 1984. So what happens now? People need an income to live, you can’t just replace them all with robots. What I do know is that the super rich have been the beneficiaries of the increased productivity and profits since at least 2008 and this has now progressed to the point where the income inequality is harming democracy.

This country needs a large infrastructure bill. The corrupt Republicans are demanding no tax increases on their filthy rich masters. The same people who have become cartoonishly wealthy, like Scrooge McDuck diving into his vault of money, are showing complete resistance to paying their share. Now its all digitized but the super rich are out of control with hubris and delusions of grandeur. The best solution to that problem is to tax the hell out of the rich. It’s past time for them to cough up their fair share.

Inequality is causing the breakdown of “polite society”. Who out there really wants to see a violent revolution with Americans wantonly killing off each other due to off the hook conspiracies? Not I. But if you take a look at the big picture, or ‘”writ large” as the trendy people keep saying lately, with climate change, population increases, ignorance and denial of science, on top of conspiracy nut jobs, this country faces some real existential challenges in the coming decade. And a strong infrastructure package is needed to just get this country back on its feet. Because I’m telling you with no reservations that big trouble, violent trouble, is just around the corner if this society doesn’t wise up and become much fairer for the many, and quickly!

There are so many reasons the insurrection crowd has gone off the deep end. Some of them good, some not so good. But economic injustice is right up there at the top. The right always answers calls for raising the minimum wage with claims that prices will rise, so what’s the point of raising wages? This conveniently ignores the fact that the rich have gone from filthy rich to disgustingly unbelievably irrationally beyond all sanity rich while wages have remained stagnant. As if there’s really no correlation between the two things.

It is a lie to claim that you can’t raise wages without raising prices. The problem has been for years that the inheriting and investing class are gobbling up a larger portion of the pie and taking it from the pockets of workers. Go ahead call me a commie. But that’s a load of crap and that fact should be clear to everyone with a brain. Unfortunately, the corporate masters have succeeded in turning a large portion of the population into a bunch of ignorant morons. Advocating for simple fairness in not communism. The situation has to be rectified when the highest of the upper class has unequally benefited from a corrupt system for decades.

The super rich have too much wealth, meaning too much power. This is a danger to democratic government. The oblivious fascist crazies on the right don’t even understand anymore why they are discontented because they are disoriented by all the conspiracy theories. They won’t be pacified until the economic inequality is ameliorated. The solution is to raise taxes on the rich, not only to make up for the past, but because at this point they badly need to be brought under control. Or else it is going to be too late.

The Tyranny of Stupidity

Lock Up These Damn Fools Now!

This country has been heading in a dangerous direction for a while now. Since Ronnie Rayguns if you ask me. That direction is one of barreling headlong towards a stupendous level of national ignorance. But it has swiftly accelerated, and those who paid attention in physics class are aware that acceleration is a case of exponential growth. Which fact causes me to think that we are running out of time to fix things. America is suffering from the Tyranny of Stupidity and if we don’t act decisively we will be washed away by an irresistible tsunami of stupid.

There was a time not too long ago to remember that public schools provided a pretty good education. I remember because I attended one. My high school was rated second best public school in the country the year I graduated. Yet within four years the quality had plummeted and the school had taken on a semi-prison atmosphere. I used to walk through the woods behind our family church which would emerge onto the school athletic field. About 3 years later the whole field was fenced off and security guards were on full-time duty.

When I attended, the school offered vocational training classes, including electronics for the nascent geeks, soon to rule the digital world. The standard English Humanities curriculum divided the week into English, Art and Music classes that were equivalent to college humanities courses. I know because when I started college I was years ahead of the other students. After I graduated in 1971, the quality of public school education in general deteriorated pretty rapidly.

By the time my kids were in school, the situation was more of warehousing children to study government mandated tests instead of anything remotely approaching intelligent discourse between teachers and students. The goal had become training the kids to pass the test so the school’s funding wouldn’t be reduced. I took my son out of school and home schooled him for two years because he used a word (hegemon) in classroom discussion that the teacher didn’t understand. He was expelled from class until he was willing to apologize to the teacher for not admitting he was wrong. My son’s school was dealing with a parent who had boycotted gym class in mid-sixties middle school because the gym teacher roughed me up—he didn’t like me much—but he liked me much less after they forced him to apologize to me. So I wasn’t about to tell my son he should apologize for being more well-read than his teacher.

Now we live in a country where somewhere around 25-30% believe just about anything they are told by their favorite celebrites, or social media sites. Critical thinking, the structure or history of the country, Civics or government are for the most part ignored. So now a good proportion of citizens have little basis to make sound judgments or to study events or assertions with skepticism. I realize the majority of folks out there pay little attention to politics except close to election time. But it does no good to pay attention at all if you have no information or critical abilities to make informed judgments.

Thank Dog for psychologists Dunning and Kruger because if they hadn’t developed their eponymous Effect, someone would have had to do it. This country is suffering from a mass endemic outbreak of that Effect due to the epidemic of ignorance which has lead to the present Tyranny of Stupidity. The majority of people sincerely believe they are more intelligent than the average. The even distribution of intelligence among the population according to the Intelligence Bell Curve clearly refutes that idea.

Which all results in our current predicament. Nothing gets accomplished because a large enough portion of the population have received a purposefully poor education, enough to perform some repetitive task. Or even better, a morally bankrupt service for the kleptocracy. It was bad enough when most people believed that anything one saw on TV had to be true. Now the gift of unlimited communication and knowledge that is the Internet has been corrupted into the world’s most dangerous propaganda machine. The mostly ignorant people who uncritically believe everything they follow on line have made this gridlocked society possible. Too many are not equipped to make intelligent judgments about societal issues that have enormous impact on people’s lives and welfare.

Any rational, informed person cannot help but wonder what the hell is going on. Every day brings new facts about the amazing level of corruption in the past few years and the abandoning of all standards. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when your opinion has no basis in reality and is just frigging ludicrous by any normal standards of decency and sanity, that is an opinion that should carry no weight. Informed opinions are the only type that matter. We are in the midst of a fight over whether or not observable reality will prevail over fascist lies. This is dead serious and I don’t know how to effectively convey that to that 25-30% who seem oblivious and unsusceptible to factual reality. Ignorance may be mitigated but the Tyranny of Stupidity is nearly impossible to subdue.

Push Them Into the Downward Spiral

Doom Loop of History for Donald

I’m beginning to sense a change in the air, and I get that same old sick feeling it’s not a change for the better. It seems increasingly likely the Dems are nearing the end of their post-election burst of activity, the ooze of the swamp is bogging them down to a halt. Like a nausea-inducing recurrence of deja vu, I sense the return of the Democratic Impotence Time Loop. That’s bound to touch a few nerves but I’m beyond caring because I’ve seen this happen so many times before.

Many people feel it’s unfair criticism of the Democrats, who they believe are doing everything they can in the face of united opposition from the Republicans. What I see is a divided country that cannot afford to go through another cycle of the Impotence Time Loop. Over and over, the Repubs have acted in short-sighted, opportunistic, self-dealing fashion while stirring up their very victims. And each cycle is a continuation of the downward spiral to fascism.

Many of the poorly educated or slow-witted who have been left behind by the corporatocracy have been manipulated by the right into believing all sorts of fantastical nonsense. It took two generations to de educate the masses, who now have little historic or common sense context with which to make judgments about their reality. It’s much easier to feed people ridiculous conspiracies if they have little basic knowledge of history science logic or physics. When I returned to school in the 90s I was shocked by how few (mostly younger) classmates could read a novel or text book and make any kind of sense of what they had just read. That type of person is easy to fool.
Now we are stuck cohabiting the country with fact-averse looney tunes who couldn’t critically think their way out of a paper bag. I have seen and spoken to so many people in the last decade who ostensibly went through the education system but who have no knowledge about basic things such as, The Earth is round, the Moon affects tides, there is only one human race, etc. Don’t expect comprehension of concepts like logical fallacies, or how everything in nature is interconnected. All they know is, I read it on the internet so it must be true. Or Trump wouldn’t lie to me, he told me so!

Republicans are a pack of power hungry unscrupulous authoritarian traitorous weasels. They will cheat lie and steal to get what they desire, which is absolute power over the rest of us. The Democrats, sadly restrained by their precious ethics, morals, principles, are incapable of withstanding the soulless fascist actions of the Republicans, who want permanent power at any cost. The Democrats continue to wring their hands and commiserate about their inability to unite in a LIFE or DEATH effort to stop the republicans. We CANNOT afford to go through another cycle of the downward spiral of the Democratic Impotence Time Loop. THE TRAITORS HAVE TO BE STOPPED. Their will be no further cycles after this next one if the traitors are enabled to regain control. Although the Dems cannot muster the willpower to answer the call of history AND patriotism, it is of existential importance that they go against their polite proclivities and stop the cycle now!

Timothy Snyder, Levin Professor of History at Yale and author of On Tyranny, writes in his June 6 article,

“The scenario then goes like this. The Republicans win back the House and Senate in 2022, in part thanks to voter suppression. The Republican candidate in 2024 loses the popular vote by several million and the electoral vote by the margin of a few states. State legislatures, claiming fraud, alter the electoral count vote. The House and Senate accept that altered count. The losing candidate becomes the president. We no longer have “democratically elected government.” And people are angry.”

The article is well worth reading, and so obvious if you’re paying attention. I find the fact disturbing that every day more evidence of Trump’s utter unfitness as a Human Being is revealed, yet he has millions of devoted cult followers as well as the entire Republican leadership. If Dem leadership can’t get their contrarian members on board the cruise to save democracy, they will be beyond sorry. Trump and his crooks have been gaming the system as SOP for years and their fondest desire is to bring down the limits that constrain them from all-out pillage. First, the Democrats need to act now to save democracy. Then they need to raise taxes on the ultra rich and corporations, which have become far too powerful and have been getting a free ride from working people and lack of meaningful regulation. This ain’t no fooling around these criminals must be stopped now.

If You Enjoy This Cartoon, please click on the Coffee Cup icon

18-year-old illustration for Detroit newspaper

I started this cartoon because I have 40 years experience creating graphics/art on a daily basis and I wanted to do something that’s actually worth the time it takes to produce. A lot of people would react by thinking, “How can a cartoon be a worthwhile expenditure of time?” I’m not trying to do a content-free strip that exists to market products or a super hero fantasy. There are literally thousands of journalists/bloggers/writers on the internet who can put together a good essay on news events, and that’s fine. For me to add another weekly essay to the pile, I have to ask myself, does it make any difference? A weekly political one-panel? There are more political cartoonists than publications to publish them, so that would be a wasted effort. But perhaps a cartoon about the insurrectionists in our midst, to my way of thinking, is a better vehicle to discuss and expose the utter insanity and gullibility of anti-science, low-information, easily fooled racist Q anon conspiracy nuts.

It’s really hard to take these crazies seriously, which means it’s natural to mistake their knee-jerk violent reactions to anything outside of their limited expectations as a harmless one-time aberration. But the ossified Senate will do nothing to improve matters and if they had their wishes January 6 will enter the history books as a day of excitable tourists. I want this cartoon to be a weekly reminder that the violent nutcases are polishing their weapons, bitterly complaining about their “lost rights” and planning their next move. When asked by Facebook to make a statement of my purpose in starting a fundraiser, I wrote, “To be able to continue my weekly political cartoon that is committed to constantly taking the January 6 Capitol Insurrectionists to task and reminding every good American that there are traitors in our midst who must either be brought to enlightenment or neutralized in some non violent fashion.”

Old-timey Republican Fascist John Ashcroft bitch slapped

I have recently lost my little side income that I need to make ends meet. I could go work part time in some huge warehouse or drive my old car into the ground making deliveries. But I think my time is better spent exposing the ridiculousness of what has been happening.

People killing over SKIN COLOR?? WTF?? It’s beyond my comprehension how many folks get caught up in that insanity. Religious zealots ready to kill over the delusion that atheists or the competition (other religions) are taking away their freedom. People get it together we have REAL problems to deal with. An ever evolving pandemic, which is a preview of what’s to come. A looming global warming catastrophe that most real experts feel it’s past time to avoid. Not really a cheery thought that you feel fortunate you will probably escape that horror because you’ll be dead before then. When 25% of the country is bedazzled by the constant beat of lies Lies LIES every day from traitorous “leaders” and many are armed and prone to violence? I have been telling people since the 80s that this country is on the wrong path. Devoted to quick get rich schemes with no thought to the consequences to younger generations. So I think that by posting my weekly comic designed to show the absurdity of the present circumstances and additional commentary and art, I’m making a better contribution than part time working for Bezos.

So PLEASE consider making a donation to someone who had their best job ever taken away in 1993 by the BUSH FAMILY. Then again I was negatively impacted by the BUSH 2008 economic meltdown and my employment situation became untenable. Since then the majority of employers have considered me to be an old fart liability and I’ve been scrounging for dollars ever since.

I figure if people are willing to give to whatever weird proposals offered up on Kickstarter etc. then why not donate a buck for an overworked underpaid artist? At least you’ll be getting a weekly comic! Keep progressive art alive!! Thanks have a great day!

Progressive Artist Needs Work to Survive

I’ll Be Posting Previous work here and on my KO-FI Page

Good morning, here is page 16 of my weekly comic On The Fence. I’ve been semi-retired for the last couple years and I would love to continue this every week as an avocation, yet with the recent loss of my side income, I’ve added a KO-FI icon to my website,

Producing a weekly comic takes a lot of effort but I’m committed to telling this story because I see moronic, clownish, ignorant yet dangerous lunatics trying to bring down democracy. I don’t think that for me to talk or write essays about it will change or enlighten any additional “minds” out there but a cartoon just might possibly get through some amazingly thick numbskulls.

The roadblock to this is I need a little income to make ends meet. I hesitate to take on a part time job because I really only need a few hours a week. To avoid giving over my weekly schedule to a for-profit company, I’m soliciting donations in the hope I can continue to put out this comic and build my site to add more art, more comics, videos and a store for books and other items.  

I’m also open to taking illustration commissions. I’m going to be posting past art examples on my KO-FI page this week. Caricatures, children’s book illustrations, portraits, cartoons, etc. I’ve worked as an artist/designer/editor over the years for General Motors, Blue Cross, newspapers, magazines, book publishers and many other clients. I’d rather be working on such projects than asking for donations, but at this point I don’t want to get stuck working 3-4 days a week so that I can continue with the cartoon and other projects. At the weekly comic is in Webtoons format, much better for mobile devices. If you believe in supporting art please consider a small donation by clicking on the coffee cup icon.