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  1. Guest Commentary: What’s a plutocrat?

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    March 5, 2011 by wcobserver

    By George Dean Patterson What’s a plutocrat? Surely, not a cross between a Democrat and Mickey Mouse’s best friend, Pluto the dog. A yellow dog democrat?  No, plutocrats are more nefarious and much richer. Ancient Greek mythology has Pluto as the powerful lord of the underworld, a realm of spirits, but the meaning has changed; now the underworld is synonymous with organized crime. So, a plutocrat is associated with organized crime? In a manner of speaking, yes. By definition a plutocrat is one who exercises political power by virtue of wealth, and a plutocracy is a form of government controlled by the wealthy. Sound familiar? We working people still get to vote, but the candidates are pre-selected for their pledge to return a certain fealty before the plutocrats agree to bankroll their enormous campaign expenses. The plutocracy has always been with us, but since the conservative plutocrats have retaken the Supreme Court, working people have been placed at an even greater disadvantage. The Citizens United decision advanced the radical idea that human rights be extended to corporate entities, specifically the first amendment right of free speech. This ruling has pulled out all the stops on the power of corporations to …

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  2. Politician’s Gift to the Big Boys

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    March 3, 2011 by wcobserver

    The legislators at the general assembly have passed a few bills that are aimed at helping the ones  most in need of help in this economy – the “have- nots.”  One is to raise the sales tax exemption on used cars  from $2,500 to $5,000. This will provide some real cash-in–the-pocket- now relief for working people. The House passed bills aimed at reducing sales tax on groceries a half cent and exempting low-income parents with two or more kids from state income tax.  But in some sort of distorted logic they felt they also needed to give a $44 million break to “haves,” by repealing the state capital gains tax on Arkansas properties and investments. That’s what some might call a tax break for the rich; something this country has plenty of. Perhaps they were still thinking about the discredited “trickle down theory.”  Giving tax breaks to the wealthiest citizens has not been shown to increase the economic condition for the average working family. It generally just results in making the rich richer. Which means they will have more power.  Which means it will be easier to convince  state legislators to give them more tax breaks. Which makes them richer. …

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