Monthly Archives: September 2016

Like a lot of unionists, like all materialists, I’m not really so crazy about the Democrats nor the Republicans. So why not vote Green Party?


After all, they’re a progressive party on environmental issues and environmental issues really matter. Since I don’t know much of anything about their candidates, I don’t know anything bad — and the 2016 campaign is smearing both of the major party candidates terribly.

It’s not because, not exactly because, the Green Party took enough votes away from Al Gore in Florida to make George Bush president. It’s not exactly because Texas Greens took half a million dollars under the table from the  Republicans in 2010. By the way, I ran across a good old friend the other day who didn’t even believe it, or maybe he couldn’t remember back that far, so I had to look up a bunch of references for him. I’ll put them down below.

So What’s My Problem?

More than anything else, my whole purpose in doing this blog is to get people to think through their strategy for progressive change. What’s your theory?

My theory is that the entire progressive battle can be boiled down to employers against employees. The employers are what’s holding us back, and the employees are what’s impelling us forward. It’s a matter of choosing sides and sticking with it.

Voting for the Green Party in 2016 is not going to help the employee side. If it means anything at all in this awful two-party system we’re straddled with, it means some help for the wrong side.

People are confused because they don’t know the difference between the American two-party (ugh) system and the parliamentary systems of Europe and other countries. In those other countries. one votes for the party that one loves, and that party gets offices roughly in proportion to the votes they get. In the American system, that isn’t what happens. One of the two parties takes power; the other loses out. Everybody that votes their heart (or their stomach or their endocrine glands) instead of their brain has, at best, wasted their time and everybody else’s. Actually, it’s worse than that.

You’re a leader, even when you don’t want to be. Please realize that whatever you decide is going to affect others. We’re all listening to one another. People are listening to you.So — think!


  1. We’re in a two party system
  2. One, just one, of those two parties is going to take the critical offices
  3. Other people are watching what you do and are influenced by it
  4. Therefore, the right vote is the vote that will advance your theory of progressive change

As I’ve said before in this blog, it isn’t the candidates and it isn’t the parties that matter. It’s the progressive movement. It’s the workers.

–Gene Lantz

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Some old articles about how the Republicans financed the Greens in Texas

Texas Democrats take Green Party to court over ballot funding

Judge blocks Green Party candidates from Texas ballot

  • By WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News

Published: 25 June 2010 06:33 AM

Updated: 26 November 2010 02:41 PM

A state judge blocked Green Party candidates from Texas’ general election ballot Thursday, ruling that illegal corporate money was used in a Republican attempt to put them there to benefit Gov. Rick Perry.

District Judge John Dietz said he expected his injunction would be stayed by a higher court.

He issued the injunction after a day of testimony in Austin that implicated a former top Perry aide in efforts to field Green Party candidates in November.

The Green Party’s efforts to get its candidates on the ballot for the 2010 elections was challenged when it was revealed that the Green Party’s petition drive had been funded by corporate interests linked to Republican operatives.[1] Republican operatives linked to the reelection campaign of Governor Rick Perry helped to fund the signature drive for ballot access.[2][3] A court challenge resulted in the Green Party candidates being allowed to remain on the ballot, and the near 92,000 signatures gathered in support of the Green Party from registered Texas voters were validated.[4][5]

GOP ties bind Green Party candidates in Texas case


Published 5:30 am, Tuesday, June 29, 2010 

AUSTIN — Even if allegations about an illegal petition drive are true, knocking Green Party candidates off the November general election ballot before they can be proven imposes “a death penalty,” lawyers for the party argued Monday in a written appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.

The party has until Friday to certify its candidates for the fall election, but a judge last Friday ordered it not to proceed because of an “unauthorized illegal contribution” by a corporation with Republican links.

“This case matters because voters should have an alternative to entrenched career politicians. Despite the signatures of over 90,000 Texans, entrenched career politicians and their lawyers want to deny voters the right to choose in November,” said David Rogers, one of the Green Party lawyers.

A GOP front group — with help from Texas Republicans — raised $532,500 in anonymous contributions to help the Green Party get enough signatures to make the ballot. Democrats assume the liberal Green Party gubernatorial candidate, Deb Shafto, would siphon votes from Democrat Bill White and help GOP incumbent Rick Perry.


Why has inflation been so low in the past few years?


If interest rates are near zero, and they have been for some years, doesn’t that mean that corporations can borrow pretty much all the money they want? Since the lenders only keep a small “reserve” of what they lend, wouldn’t all this borrowing result in a big increase in the total supply of money?

If we have more or less the same things to buy, and there’s a lot more money floating around, wouldn’t that mean high inflation?

The Money Supply Is Increasing

The Federal Reserve publishes their estimate of the total amount of money in the U.S. They call it “M2” and it includes everything, bank accounts as  well as currency. In July of 2011 it was $9,232.6 trillion, or $9,232,600,000,000. At the end of June 2013, it was $10598.4 trillion. That’s an increase of $1,365.8 trillion in 2 years. I didn’t pick the years, they were just the first ones I found. Probably, the money supply increased a lot more in the 2007-2009 recession period, so the change would be even more dramatic than this recent 15% increase.

That’s Monetary Policy

The operations of the federal reserve are usually made to sound pretty dark and unfathomable, but essentially all they do is increase the money supply in hard times. They have a number of ways to do it, but it’s still just about all they do. I don’t think they can even constrict the money supply — they can just make it grow faster or slower.

Fiscal policy is actually a lot more important. That’s government spending. If the people running the American government had really wanted to get out of the 2006 recession quickly, they would have turned on the spigots of government spending. They didn’t because they didn’t want to. That left the entire problem up to the Federal Reserve and the expansion of the money supply. They fell to their task mightily.

They lowered interest rates to near zero so that businesses could basically get all the money they might want. They started “buying” treasury bonds with money they basically manufactured. Trillions of dollars went into the economy and the goods and services didn’t actually change that much. If something was worth $10 when there were $5 trillion in the economy, it makes sense that its price would inflate to $20 when the money supply doubled. But it didn’t.

So, why no inflation?

Money Has to Move

The velocity of money is how fast it moves through the economy. If it doesn’t move through the economy, it has practically no effect on prices. If the government gives trillions of dollars to fat cats who just sit on it, store it in overseas accounts, or just use it to buy back their own stock, which is what they did, prices don’t change much.

If the government had fought the recession with fiscal policy, inflation would likely have been more of a problem. If the government had hired some of the many unemployed to fix some of the infrastructure, teach the children, or prepare for the future, the new money would have gone into wages — and those wages would have been quickly spent. More money and more velocity at the same time would have resolved the recession more quickly, but there would have been more inflation.

So, the short answer to “why no inflation?” is that the new trillions of dollars went to very wealthy people who just kept it.

Why is Economics so Dark and Illogical?

In olden days, a “philosopher” was someone who generalized from a great deal of knowledge. Today, we divide up all knowledge into various “disciplines” with geniuses in one field completely ignorant of any other field. We divided politics from economics for Heaven knows what reason, and neither one of them makes any sense without the other. The Polysci grads don’t know beans about economics and the Econ grads don’t know politics.

The Polysci profs snow everybody with statistics because they don’t really want anybody to know their arcane secrets. The Econ profs do the same thing. My friend Jorge Rieger compared them to the secretive priests of old, and it’s a pretty good comparison. If you’re interested in a simpler explanation of economics, click here for the Little School.

–Gene Lantz

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I’m completely optimistic in believing that fundamental change will come to world societies. Further, I believe it will happen before the present rulers destroy us and the planet. It’s because I realize that I’m not any smarter than others, and I’m not stupid. So they’re not stupid either, so we’ll get together and win some day.

Once I was sure that we will be victorious, I began to speculate as to how our victory might come about.

I think there are basically three versions:


  1. People will gather their torches and pitchforks and force the misleaders out
  2. We’ll elect better and better candidates until we actually have a set of good ones
  3. We’ll carry out a worldwide general strike

Torches and Pitchforks

Probably the idea of some kind of violent overthrow of the existing powers is the oldest scenario. It sounds the easiest and the fastest. It’s also the most dangerous, because it’s easy to start thinking that the rest of the world’s villagers only need some kind of a “spark,” — one heroic act of an individual or small group — and then they’ll grab their weapons.

So they try one ultraleftist act of terrorism after another, hoping to get the right “spark.” But it never happens and they just get a lot of people killed or jailed.

Electing Our Way to Power

When President Obama was elected, some people thought we had done all we had to do. He would take care of the rest. Other people thought electing Obama was good and that he could take us part way, then we’d elect somebody even better the next time. In the course of a few elections, we would end up with Judges, Legislators, and Administrators who would save us.

I imagine they felt the same way in 1931 when they elected Franklin Roosevelt. Maybe also in 1859 when Abraham Lincoln took the White House. George Washington?

I think it’s the most popular idea because one doesn’t really have to do much besides vote and a little bit, maybe, of phone banking or neighborhood canvassing. No risk in any of that, and it’s not too hard. If it doesn’t work, then they’ve still earned the right to gripe about everything until the next election.

Stopping the Economy Until We Get What We Want

The idea of a worldwide general strike isn’t as un-historical as it might sound. Workers actually tried it, with considerable success, in 1886. Railroad workers practically shut the nation down in 1877. They might have won their strike if the soldiers hadn’t started killing them. There have been successful city-wide general strikes in several cities, including Seattle and even Houston!

The Industrial Workers of the World was once a big organization that terrified the bosses. Their idea was to organize all workers at their worksites — in every industry — and then shut down the economy. Hundreds of them were deported, arrested, or killed in the bosses’ backlash.

I don’t want to pretend to know more than they did, but they might have done better if they had gone in for organizing communities, civil rights organizations, church groups, and other kinds of affinity groups instead of just workers at worksites. They might also have done better if they hadn’t been so hell-bent on not participating in politics and not forming alliances with other progressives.

The downside of this “stop the economy” idea is that a substantial number of workers and working families would have to be organized. There would have to be unions in critical work places, plus community groups and a lot of other kinds of organizations. And they’d have to work toward co-ordination with the others. It would take political work as well as organizing. That’s a tremendous amount of hard work.

The upside to all that hard work is that leadership would develop. Leadership would also be tested along the way, and we’d end up with the kind of leaders who could actually run a new, better society. Neither of the other two scenarios has that advantage.

What’s the Catch?

There are players on the other side.

It’s easy to think that everybody wants social progress just because we do and almost everybody we know does. But we don’t hang around with the Koch brothers, do we? We don’t hold memberships in the National Chamber of Commerce or the National Association of Manufacturers or the National Right to Work Committee. We’re not listed in the Forbes 500, but other people are, and they don’t want change just as much as we do want it.

If we were to grab our pitchforks, they’d grab their bombs and drones.

If we were to elect good candidates, they’d pour billions into electing bad ones.

The wealthy people clinging to the status quo know what they’re doing. Do we?