Will The Supreme Court Defund the Democrats?

By Lowell Ponte

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

This will be a central issue this week as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether a government worker can be compelled to pay money to a public employee union. Although not strictly union dues, the “agency” fees required by such unions typically range from 50 percent to 100 percent of union dues.

WeUnions-630In 1977, the high court’s Abood decision allowed such coercive exactions on the assumption that unions acted primarily as collective bargaining agents for government workers and served their interests. But since the policies of any government employee union inevitably influence government policy, these unions are inevitably also political.

Today, moreover, as the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger notes, these “unions have become political parties” promoting their own far-ranging leftward ideological agendas to enlarge government and advance specific political causes, such as giving the right to vote to felons. Union members now provide both money and shock troops to the partisan Left.

Most would agree that compelling a citizen to pay a hefty hunk of his or her wages to any political party would violate that person’s rights of free speech and freedom of association. The very point of civil service reform more than a century ago was to remove government jobs from the corrupt old political “spoils” system, named after the saying “To the winner go the spoils,” through which activists in either winning party were given government jobs to reward their partisan loyalty.

When public workers are forced to pay unions that have used their coerced money to become the biggest funders of Democratic Party candidates, this violates their rights and corrupts our democratic republic. A National Science Foundation-funded General Social Survey found that 32 percent of unionized government workers identify as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents. But at least 90 percent of all public employee union political contributions are given to Democrats.

Such de facto taxation of workers is all the more cynical because it funds a private union monopoly intertwined with a public government monopoly. The Progressive politicians empower public unions, then divvy up the money that fat cat union bosses have squeezed from workers. Workers who should serve the public equally are exploited by unions to fund mostly one political party.

The politicians use such union money to get reelected, and then renew union power and move to make unionized government even larger. And unlike the private sector, where companies bargain to keep their own profits, in government the unions often have helped elect the very politicians who now sit across the bargaining table – politicians usually more than happy to give away to the unions dollars not earned by government but simply coerced from taxpayers.

The workers lose, and so do taxpayers who pay the cost of ever-bigger, more corrupt government. We get “the best government money can buy,” thanks to Leftist campaigns lavishly funded with what in a free society would be defined as stolen money.

The leftist press is terrified that this week’s court case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 – perhaps the most important landmark case in decades – could put at risk nearly two-thirds of public union campaign money ($166 Million in 2016) that the four biggest public employee unions give the lion’s share of to Democratic candidates. Could Democrats win without this extorted union money advantage? Perhaps not.

After World War II, more than a third of U.S. workers were union members. Today only about 6.5 percent of private sector workers are unionized. By contrast, federal, state and local governments are typically 36 percent unionized.

But, as Craig R. Smith and I discussed in our book The Great Withdrawal, even in “Progressive” Wisconsin unionized workers “given a chance by a new law to leave their union without penalty, have been quitting in huge numbers” of nearly 50 percent. Two states that were key to President Trump’s 2016 victory – Michigan and Wisconsin – over the past six years adopted “right to work” laws that had at least partially ended compulsory payments to government unions. Workers now have a “right to work” in 28 of 50 states.

Public employee union extortion almost ended in 2016, but the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia removed a conservative vote from the Supreme Court and ended the case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association in a 4-4 tie vote. President Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch replaced Scalia with another conservative. Progressives are right to fear that the court ruling expected by June will take away much of their money and power by freeing their members.
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To schedule an interview with Lowell Ponte, a veteran think tank futurist, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a free copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net

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It’s Time to Disarm Certain Mentally Ill People

By Lowell Ponte

In the wake of the Florida school gunman’s killing of at least 17 victims, it is time we took violent mental illness seriously. It is time to crack down on those sick people who have threatened to attack or kill conservative office holders and President Donald Trump.
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Before we talk of further limits on Second Amendment constitutional citizen rights to keep and bear arms, we ought to be willing to disarm those who have openly exceeded the First Amendment by expressing their wish to shoot or otherwise violently attack those who hold different political views. They are shouting “Fire!” and sparking fires in a crowded theater.

It can no longer be treated as mere theatrics or a publicity stunt when singer Madonna tells a crowd in the wake of Mr. Trump’s election that she has thought “an awful lot” about “blowing up the White House.” Or when Johnny Depp declares that “maybe it’s about time” that another “actor assassinated a president,” as in John Wilkes Booth’s 1865 murder of President Abraham Lincoln.

We should no longer tolerate the likes of comedian Kathy Griffin holding up what looks like the bloody severed head of President Trump, or late night host Stephen Colbert, to boost his ratings, depicting the head of White House conservative Stephen Miller impaled on a spike, as in the days of King Henry VIII.

Americans should not approve when New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park depicts the assassination of an actor who looks like Mr. Trump. Nor should we ignore videos by Snoop Dogg or Marilyn Manson in which these singers shoot a character made to resemble our duly-elected president.

These are more than shooting off one’s mouth. These are “how to” hate guides that get broadcast to millions of impressionable young people such as the mentally-unbalanced Florida shooter, potentially motivating them to imitate the anti-conservative violence so stylishly portrayed.

We need to rethink what it means when comic Larry Wilmore jokes that he wants to take “the pillow they used to kill Scalia” and use it to cut off Donald Trump’s “oxygen.” We need to take it seriously when singer Bette Midler tweets “Where’s Rand Paul’s neighbor when we need him?” referring to a neighbor who violently assaulted the Kentucky Republican Senator.

We need to remember that a socialist Bernie Sanders supporter stalked and opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers, severely wounding and nearly killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. This ideological leftist fanatic might have killed all his targets but was thwarted because Scalise had an armed security detail.

Leftist views favoring coercion and government theft are inherently a form of mental illness. When combined with the emotional advocacy of mindless hate and violence, those drunk on this toxic alchemy should be prohibited from possessing firearms themselves, and should be forbidden from employing any armed “bodyguards” to carry out their wishes.

Unwilling to accept the rejection of their views by voters’ ballots, these leftists now seem eager to remove Mr. Trump and other Republicans with bullets from the violent environment they conjure. If denied the power to rule America, they aim to ruin it by making media voodoo dolls of Republicans and sticking pins in them.

The Left is “normalizing” violence in our society. Any rational person would see that this is anti-democratic, nation-destroying lunacy that threatens to start to a new civil war.

We have seen the “mad” in the minds of those like singer Madonna. We can no longer wink at such violent insanity. America needs to disarm the Looney Left.
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To schedule an interview with Lowell Ponte, a veteran think tank futurist, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a free copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net

Courting Female Votes

By Lowell Ponte

With President Donald Trump’s approval rising in recent polls, and with Democrat prospects for the November elections sinking, it is obvious why the Leftist media is suddenly trying to polarize America’s largest bloc of voters – women.

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Last Sunday, ABC’s “This Week” mobilized a hate fest condemning the President and Chief of Staff General John Kelly for not acting instantly to fire White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, accused of domestic violence by two former wives.

Despite the current scandal, one of Porter’s ex-wives days ago told the U.K. Daily Mail: “I don’t want to be married to him….But I definitely want him in the White House and the position he is in. I think his integrity and ability to do his job is impeccable.”

Porter – a Harvard graduate, Rhodes Scholar, and former Mormon missionary – worked for Senators Rob Portman (Ohio) and Mike Lee (Utah), and as Chief of Staff for Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah) before coming to the Trump White House. Only near Trump did lightning strike him.

“This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos, former hatchet man for Democratic President Bill Clinton, defended his man accused of violent rape. But that was a different time, before the rise of today’s hyper-partisan media and #MeToo post-feminist radicalism, heard on ABC’s Sunday show.

Some radicals have gone beyond seeking equality for men and women and instead now, like “gender racists,” want to “overthrow the patriarchy,” to create a new society dominated by women. And some, like former Chief Strategist in the Trump White House Steve Bannon, think this will happen.

“The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history….Women are gonna take charge of society,” Bannon is quoted as saying by Bloomberg journalist Joshua Green.

“And they couldn’t juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He is the patriarch….It’s even more powerful than populism. It’s deeper. It’s primal. It’s elemental….It’ll never be the same going forward.”

America is already being “un-man-ed,” as Craig R. Smith and I explain in our book The Great Withdrawal. Roughly one in five working-age males is not working. Eight years ago women passed men in total American employment; held 51.4 percent of managerial and professional jobs; and were earning 60 percent of college bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“In a stark reversal,” wrote Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men: And The Rise of Women, “men are now more likely than women to hold only a high-school diploma.” And as managers, women may have more of the skills a post-industrial enterprise needs: social intelligence, open communication, the ability to sit still and focus.

More than forty percent of women are unmarried. More than forty percent are the primary breadwinners in their families, and millions are coupled to Uncle Sam, who brings home the bacon in homes where Government Assumes the Role of Spouse (GARS, as bureaucrats call it).

Brawn in past ages was the key to battlefield and factory success, but good-paying factory jobs have greatly diminished in our post-industrial age, and push-button high tech fights our wars. Millions of men now earn less than women. At the same time, male sperm count has fallen by 60 percent, and America’s fertility rate is too low to replenish our population. A majority of white women voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but single women dependent on government as their provider are inclined to vote for Democrats.

The masculinity behind both patriarchy and patriotism is being replaced by infantilized pajama-boy Leftists. But would matriarchy be better? Or would it become merely a “patriarchal” hierarchy run by women, an artifact that lasts only a brief interval before the Artificial Intelligence robots replace humankind, male and female?
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To schedule an interview with Lowell Ponte, a veteran think tank futurist, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a free copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net

The Progressive Future: Money For Nothing

by Lowell Ponte

In 2012 the City of Stockton in California’s Central Valley declared bankruptcy. Now, six years later, it is about to become the first American city to experiment with “universal basic income,” simply giving people money for nothing, no questions asked.
UBI
This is the next great liberal utopian scheme: give everybody a guaranteed income from the government whether they need it or not, as Craig R. Smith and I document in our book Money, Morality & The Machine. While President Donald Trump is trying to make jobs easier to get, the Left aims to make working unnecessary. When families become hooked on free lifelong income of, say, $1,300 every month, Progressives believe a majority will vote for Democrats forever to keep the free cash coming.

Stockton, of course, does not have the nearly $2 Billion needed to pay each of its 320,000 residents even $500 a month for 18 months. Its ambitious young Mayor Michael Tubbs, 27, a Democrat and former intern in President Barack Obama’s White House, has been offered a $1.2 Million private grant to fund such an income for at most 133 families, who will be studied to see how it changes them.

Roughly a quarter of Stockton residents have incomes below the poverty line in this 13th largest city in California (and 63rd largest city in the United States). Forbes has ranked Stockton, based on crime rates, the 8th “most dangerous” city in America.

Mayor Tubbs calls Stockton “ground zero” for the economic problems that affect many of our cities. He believes people have a “right” to an economic floor below which they cannot fall, and he compares what he favors to the oil fund that each year sends a check to every Alaskan.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., advocated a guaranteed income, as does veteran radical labor leader Andy Stern in his 2016 book Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild The American Dream. Surprisingly, Republican President Richard Nixon and libertarian Nobel-laureate economist Milton Friedman also favored it.

Such guaranteed income would be cheaper than today’s means-tested welfare state, argues American Enterprise Institute analyst Charles Murray. Up to 81 cents of every dollar government spends on the poor never reaches the poor, says Murray; it is devoured by the welfare bureaucracy, which uses the poor to justify their own hefty incomes.

Directly giving everybody, rich or poor, a guaranteed income would eliminate these welfare middlemen…much as is done with Social Security, up to 85 percent of whose payments to those unable to retire are taxed and clawed back by government. When Social Security began, its benefits were not taxed – but politicians are too greedy to let people have untaxed money.

Experiments with universal basic income have been tried from Finland to Kenya. It will be “necessary” in the near future, says Tesla founder Elon Musk, as high tech and robots leave millions unemployed. The European Union proposes funding pay for non-working humans by declaring robots “electronic persons” so they can be heavily taxed.

Stockton Mayor Tubbs’ 18-month experiment will give temporary low pay to a handful of poor families, not create a substantial “universal” basic income that pays, and hence has support from, everybody. But it will study some basic questions. Will giving people what they used to have to earn destroy their work ethic? Will people use it to buy food and opportunity, or booze and California’s recently legalized recreational marijuana?

Will beneficiaries become more free, or freeloaders? What happens to society when the productive pay crushing taxes to subsidize free bread and circuses for the unproductive? Is money-for-nothing the door to a bright utopian future, or a trap door to personal dependency and national bankruptcy? We should consider this now, before Progressives perpetuate their power by imposing this new, universal welfare state on all of us.
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To schedule an interview with Lowell Ponte, contact: Sandy Frazier at 516-735-5468 or email sandy@mystic-art.com.

For a free copy of Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte’s latest book, Money, Morality & The Machine, contact: David Bradshaw at 602-918-3296 or email him at ideaman@myideafactory.net