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We are checking out what Reddit Democrats are saying about the rigged economy. r/democrats is a surprisingly small subreddit despite its connections to an established political party. If we wish to establish an ethical economy, we must set aside party allegiances and band together against crony capitalists.
That’s the key. We get caught up in fighting battles between each other when corporations and the wealthy slyly profit off our backs.
Read on to learn more about the great discussions democrats on the platform have had about the rigged economy. Also, see what you can do to support the Zero Theft Movement (ZTM) in our fight to protect the many ethical and productive businesses from the corrupt few.
(as of 07/2020)
Although Reddit democrats started this community over a decade ago, the subreddit has failed to gain a massive following. r/democrats intends to attract a partisan following. It serves as a hub where community members can discuss U.S. politics. The about section reads, “We are here to get Democrats elected up and down the ballot.” Not only do Democrats have a place for discussion, but it’s also a community geared towards spurring political action (i.e. voting).
Nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). About 6 to 8 million Americans contract the infection per year. The drug appears on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines and has been on the market since 1953. According to a Financial Times report, pharmaceutical company Nostrum Laboratories increased the price of a bottle of the drug from $474.75 to $2,392. Join the Zero Theft Movement to find out if long-standing antibiotics are experiencing price hikes…
Reddit democrats and the Rigged Economy
The rigged layer of the economy should be a serious concern for the wider public, regardless of if you’re a democrat.
We’ll see the key issues Reddit Democrats have brought up, and add a bit more to the fruitful discussions they have already been having.
Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) & Rashida Tlaib Reveal Corporate Influence
While significant, AOC and Tlaib’s insights into the congress freshman orientation did not receive much attention among democrats. We wonder if this lack of interest has anything to do with Reddit democrats exhibiting strong establishment support. Regardless, we want to highlight this thread because AOC and Tliab share insider information about congress orientations.
In short, the Reddit submission links to an article confirming and expanding on AOC and Tlaib’s tweets. The ‘bipartisan’ orientation in question was co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group (American Enterprise Institute). Furthermore, AOC questioned the backgrounds of the panelists who briefed new congress members on issues.
From @AOC, “Right now Freshman members of Congress are at a ‘Bipartisan’ orientation w/ briefings on issues. Invited panelists offer insights to inform new COngressmembers’ views as they prepare to legislate. # of Corporate CEOs we’ve listened to here: 4. # of Labor leaders: 0.”
As AOC states, the “# of Corporate CEOs we’ve listened to here: 4. # of Labor leaders: 0.”
See the full list of panelists here.
Tlaib quoted a statement Gary Cohen, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, made at the orientation:
From @RashidaTlaib, “Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: ‘You guys are way over your head, you don’t know how the game is played.’ No Gary, YOU don’t know what’s coming – a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits.”
The lack of representation from labor leaders and other public interest advocates speaks to the worryingly biased nature of these orientations. Lobbyists and CEOs get easy and unobstructed access to promote their agenda, their business interests, to new congress members. Significantly, this is the introduction new members of congress get to the legislation process—this supposed ‘game’ played with real American lives and livelihoods.
While you might support the Democratic party, you should know it cosponsors these events. Economic rigging works across party lines. Democrat, Republican, both sides have some bad actors among the good. Never forget that.
How the ZTM Supports Reddit democrats and Other Anti-Corruption Coalitions
Occupy Wall Street cropped up as one of the strong movements against corruption and the U.S. corporatocracy when its followers took over Zuccotti Park. Moneyed interests cannot determine how our lawmakers legislate any longer, and the aforementioned organizations do great work to fight for what we, the public, deserve.
A Time magazine poll 8 years ago found that ~80% agree that the wealth gap has grown too large. In 2020, a RAND Corporation study found that “from 1975 to 2018, the difference between the aggregate taxable income for those below the 90th percentile and the equitable growth counterfactual totals $47 trillion.”
Surprise, surprise, it’s still growing.
One possible reason for this phenomenon is due to low capital gains tax rates.
While someone working for a $500,000 salary must often pay federal, state, and local taxes, an investor who makes $500,000 every year gains pays only 10% to 20% taxes. This is magnified with deferred taxes with schemes such as stock buybacks. They can often keep $400k to $450k after taxes. Now imagine that when dealing with millions or even billions. Is the ‘investor class’ paying as much taxes as they arguably should?
We believe that an ethical economy would not have resulted in such disparity, just as the Kuznets curve suggests. The major reason for economic inequality comes down to the crony capitalists. Those amongst the wealthy and powerful who use their vast resources to win the Pay to Play game and break free markets.
ZTM supports other anti-corruption movements by bringing crowdsource and crowd-approved reports of the theft. Strong evidence provides us with the power we need to create wholesale change. Those in power cannot dismiss us when we have proof of their unethical actions.
CARES Act: Business > People
Per a MarketWatch article, “Forty lobbyists helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid […]” Contrast that with the stimulus checks and the debate on reducing or even eliminating the $600 unemployment benefit, and you start to wonder whether or not relief funds are going to the right parties.
Reddit Democrats have rightly called out the CARES Act for supporting big businesses much more than the public. On a different but related thread, one commenter said, “Basically, people who had less are getting more than what they made before. ‘Can’t let the poor know what it’s like to be paid a normal wage!’ say the millionaire and billionaire grifters.” More than ⅔ of people receiving unemployment benefits are ‘making more’ than when they were working, per a University of Chicago study.
If legislators were in the same position as many of these unemployed individuals, what do you think would happen? Why they’d ‘graft’ and potentially expose themselves and their families to the virus than get more money for not working!
From @Veggiefact on Twitter: “isn’t it weird that people living paycheck to paycheck are supposed to have month’s worth of savings for emergencies while billion-dollar corporations are so poorly managed they’re on the brink of bankruptcy after a week of reduced profits.”
The debate, in reality, should have been about the $10 billion in coronavirus aid that went straight into major corporations’ slush funds.
Net Neutrality: the Hottest Post among Reddit democrats
This post regarding net neutrality holds one of the top spots in the subreddit’s history. Reddit Democrats appear to have a lot of interest in the topic, so we thought we should address it.
Net neutrality is the principle that everyone should have free, unrestricted and unobstructed, access to any website and app. Instituting net neutrality regulations prevents providers (e.g. Comcast) from censoring content, traffic throttling, and blocking access to competitors’ products.
According to an article by the great people at RepresentUs, telecom/internet lobbyists convinced then head of the Federal Communications Commission Michael Powell to classify the internet as an ‘information service’ as opposed to a ‘telecommunications service.’ The major difference between the two classifications? Regulation. With the absence of oversight for ‘information services,’ providers have full control over your internet.
Lobbying for telecom providers, moreover, extends to the cost of internet, cable, phone plans, etc. All avenues crony capitalists could be using to steal money from the everyday American. New York University economist Thomas Philipon found internet and phone plans cost double the amount of the offerings in Europe and Asia. His interview with The Verge about poorly competitive markets and consolidation makes us wonder about the part lobbyists and congress played in rigging this market.
Reddit democrats! Battle against Cronies with the ZTM
Reddit democrats have started the necessary discussions about the rigged economy, but now we all need to act.
Regardless of party affiliations, many of our lawmakers could be selling us out. Big corporations could be stealing $2 trillion per year (as high as 10% of our GDP) through crony capitalism. The rigged economy has potentially led to the long-growing economic inequality, suppressed wages, and the elimination of the middle class.
Now, let’s change that together.
We at the Zero Theft Movement, along with our growing community, work together to calculate the best estimate for the monetary costs of corruption in the U.S. Corporate, political, and everything in between.
We have built a safe and independent platform where you and your fellow citizens work together to investigate and debate potentially rigged areas across the economy. You vote on whether (1) theft is or isn’t occurring in a specific area of the economy, and (2) how much is being stolen or possibly saved. Through direct democracy, we can collectively figure out where the rigged areas are and start eliminating them systematically.
The ZTM community knows that many corporations and wealthy individuals act ethically. We are trying to hold the bad actors accountable. The corrupt corporations, lobbyists, and government officials. That way, good people and businesses can safely flourish and enjoy what they’re due.
The public has spoken! See how much the rigged economy is ripping off from you.
Explore the Problem Hierarchy
We have primers on potential problem areas of the economy. Before you start voting, it’s important you get a basic understanding of the issues at hand, so you can be as helpful as possible to other community members. Take a few minutes and come prepared.
Serve your fellow citizens as a citizen investigator
The success of our movement rests in your hands, the leaders willing to dedicate time to conduct investigations into potentially rigged areas of the economy. Lead the movement and help create an ethical economy.
Heroism made easy
Twenty minutes! That’s all the time you need to contribute to our effort. Just review a proposal and vote. Our reports will only gain legitimacy and power with your contributions.
Commitment to nonpartisanship
The rigged layer causes all of us to suffer, regardless of our political allegiances. If we wish to eliminate rigged economy theft, we have to set aside our differences and band together against crony capitalists and corrupt officials.
Beyond Reddit democrats…
An educated public is an empowered public.
We regularly publish educational articles on ZeroTheft.net, just like this one on Reddit democrats. They teach you all about the rigged layer of the economy in short, digestible pieces.
The Zero Theft Movement does not have any interest in partisan politics/competition or attacking/defending one side. We seek to eradicate theft from the U.S economy. In other words, how the wealthy and powerful rig the system to steal money from us, the everyday citizen. We need to collectively fight against crony capitalism in order for us to all profit from an ethical economy.
Terms like ‘steal,’ ‘theft,’ and ‘crime’ will frequently appear throughout the article. Zero Theft will NOT adhere strictly to the legal definitions of these terms (since congress sells out). We have broadly and openly defined terms like ‘steal’ and ‘theft’ to refer to the rigged economy and other debated unethical acts that can cause citizens to lose out on money they deserve to keep.