Category Archives: Political Parties

Two little-known ways GOP tax bill would make chasm between rich and poor even wider

Daniel Hemel, University of Chicago

The tax bill passed by the Senate in the wee hours of Dec. 2 will – if it becomes law – widen the gap between the rich and the poor at a time when income inequality is already approaching historic heights.

Initially, most U.S. households are likely to experience a modest tax cut under the Senate plan. However by 2027, the average family earning less than US$50,000 would pay about $250 more in taxes under the Senate plan, while the average family earning more than $1 million would experience a tax cut topping $8,000 a year, according to estimates from Congress’s own Joint Committee on Taxation.

Yet even those stark statistics understate the full impact of the Senate bill on long-term inequality in the United States.

In my own research, I examine the relationship between the tax system and inequality. In my view, there are two significant reasons why the bill’s impact will be even more dramatic – and even more regressive – than the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimates suggest.

Painful triggers

First, under a 2010 law known as the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, or PAYGO, the revenue losses resulting from the Senate bill would trigger automatic cuts in federal spending.

The program that would be most affected by the automatic cuts is Medicare, whose budget would be slashed by more than $25 billion a year. Other programs that would experience deep cuts include vocational training for individuals with disabilities, block grants for foster care and Meals on Wheels and federal funding for historically black colleges and universities.

Because lower- and middle-income families rely more heavily on these programs than wealthier Americans, these spending cuts would amplify the regressive consequences of the tax-side changes.

In theory, Congress could forestall these cuts by passing legislation that waives the PAYGO law. But such legislation would require 60 votes to overcome a Senate filibuster, and it is far from clear that the votes in favor of waiver are there.

And in any event, a PAYGO waiver would not change the fact that the tax bill increases the federal deficit by more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Spending cuts to social safety net programs would likely have to come at some point, and when they do, lower- and middle-income families are likely to bear the brunt.

Broadly similar legislation passed by the House last month would trigger automatic cuts as well. Because the House bill violates Senate procedural rules, the final legislation is likely to resemble the Senate’s package more closely than the House’s version.

Apples can help explain how tax bill would worsen inequality.
Magnus Binnerstam/

A long-term impact

The second reason why the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimates understate the full impact of the tax bill on inequality is a subtle but significant change made by the Senate bill that would hit lower- and middle-income families hard over the coming decades. Much of the impact would be felt after 2027, while the committee’s forecasts look only 10 years out.

The rather technical change is a shift in the inflation measure that would be used to determine certain deductions and tax bracket thresholds going forward.

Historically, the federal tax code has used a measure known as the fixed-weight consumer price index to calculate inflation. Fixed-weight CPI measures the change in the price of a fixed basket of goods over time. The Senate bill switches to a measure known as chained CPI, which accounts for the fact that as the prices of some goods rise, consumers shift toward cheaper substitutes.

One example often used to illustrate the difference between fixed-weight and chained CPI involves Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples: If the price of Granny Smith apples rises, consumers will buy fewer of those and more of the Red Delicious variety. Fixed-weight CPI would continue to measure inflation based on Granny Smiths; chained CPI accounts for the fact that consumption patterns have changed.

From a practical perspective, the primary difference between fixed-weight CPI and chained CPI is that the former rises faster than the latter. According to the fixed-weight measure currently used by the federal government, prices have increased by 45.7 percent since 2000. According to chained CPI, the increase was 39.7 percent.

The bottom line: For lower- and middle-income families, switching to chained CPI means that the standard deduction and the value of the earned income tax credit, both of which are indexed to inflation, would be smaller than if the fixed-weight measure had been retained. This effect will become more dramatic with each succeeding decade.

To be sure, switching from fixed-weight to chained CPI saves the federal government money. The Senate bill uses this money to offset the long-term costs of corporate tax cuts. But because the change is so subtle, many Americans will not realize that they are – in effect – being asked to pay from their own pockets to pad corporate profits.

The ConversationRather than addressing the problem of rising income inequality, the Senate bill manages to speed up that trend while covering its own tracks.

Daniel Hemel, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago

11-Page Memo Proposes Using National Guard To Round Up Immigrants

Homeland Security proposed mass deportations in 11 states in a memo leaked through the Associated Press yesterday, while the Trump administration claims it was rejected as an ‘early draft’

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said there was “no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants” despite the leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security reaching the media. DHS staffers had said on Thursday that they were told by colleagues in two DHS departments that the proposal was still being considered as recently as Feb. 10. The memo gives insight into what the Trump administration is attempting as part of President Trump’s promise to stop illegal immigration in the United States.

Congressmen on both sides of the aisle have been critical of the White House after Donald Trump’s executive orders regarding illegal immigration in late January and this memo did not do anything to quell the outrage both in congress and from the public. “Regardless of the White House’s response, this document is an absolutely accurate description of the disturbing mindset that pervades the Trump administration when it comes to our nation’s immigrants,” said U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said the National Guard did not have the resources to carry out such a task, while two other Republican governors, Gary Herbert  of Utah and Brian Sandoval of Nevada, condemned the proposal as “unconstitutional” and “an inappropriate use of guard resources”, respectively. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) called the immigration efforts of the White House “offensive”, saying it’s “inability to manage its own message and policy” was causing chaos.

Spicer’s comments are being called out as a lie by critics of the Trump administration throughout the press and social media with the recognition of Trump’s campaign promise to end illegal immigration by any means necessary, even using terms such as “round up” when being interviewed by 60 Minutes in 2015, saying

“We’re rounding ’em up in a very humane way, in a very nice way. And they’re going to be happy because they want to be legalized. And, by the way, I know it doesn’t sound nice. But not everything is nice.”

The Associate Press said they reached out to Spicer before releasing the document, but had not heard back from him until after the document had been released and caused an uproar.

This wouldn’t be the first time the National Guard was used to enforce immigration law, but would have been the first time it was used so broadly. If implemented, the impact could have been significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.


ACLU Has Filed Lawsuit Challenging Executive Order on Refugees

President Trump’s executive order banning Muslims and refugees from terrorist prone Middle Eastern nations is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union

The National Legal Director of the ACLU, David Cole, tweeted this morning that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s executive order barring refugees from middle eastern countries to enter the United States.

The move comes after a sweeping ban on all Muslims from countries known to have problems with Islamic extremists dubbed terrorists in the Middle East, including Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen among others, was issued by President Trump via executive order in the first few days on office. Other executive orders included backing out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, removing funding from NGOs who offer abortions in foreign countries, and discontinuing Obama’s government employment program which helped to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the past few years. Trump also issue an executive order to start moving funding into building a wall on the southern border of the United States between itself and Mexico, issuing a 20% tariff Mexican imports which the American people would be liable for.

All but the cancellation of the U.S.’s role in the TPP have set off a firestorm of negative criticism from the Democratic party and liberal media outlets who viewed the TPP as bad for American workers and the rest of Trump’s executive orders as extensions of supposed Republican xenophobia and racism. Most liberals argue that immigration is the very fabric of Americanism and that Donald Trump’s actions set a poor standard of what actually makes America great.

Trump’s decision comes after a year and a half of focusing on immigration during his campaign for presidency and has been well received by the so-called “alt-right” branch of the Republican party. However, such measures were never fully explained throughout the his campaign and executive orders alone cannot fully get the job done, so many analysts have their doubts about whether or not anything will last beyond Trump’s first few months of presidency.


Media Conducts Major ‘Booed’ Smear Campaign Against Bernie Sanders

Despite there being no actual sources, an array of mainstream media falsely reported that House Democrats ‘booed’ Bernie Sanders in a close-door meeting the other day.

Once again, a massive smear against Bernie Sanders has occurred in the mainstream political news with no actual citation for the claim that presidential hopeful was ‘booed’ at a House Democrat meeting in Washington.

CNN reported “roughly a dozen members booed him inside the room” according to “three Democrats who attended the meeting”, yet doesn’t name who reported this.

They go on to say that House Democrats, Rep Steny Hoyer told reporters he was sitting in the front row during the meeting with Sanders and didn’t hear anyone booing, and that Rep Gerry Connolly tweeted “Bernie was respectfully received by Caucus. Some disagreements, yes, but a friendly venue” and “Sanders was reflective and thoughtful in responses. Expressions of disagreement are NOT booing.”

Despite this, other “news” outlets are also spreading the lie.

Politico wrote, “Some Democrats booed Sanders” while not reporting who or how many.

The L.A. Times said “boos erupted” despite having no sources for this claim.

The Washington Post also claimed booing without any sources.

When using simple critical thinking skills, one can easily deduce that no booing actually occurred since nobody is saying who did the booing and nobody is giving their name to the press besides two people who said there was no booing. (Three, if you count Sanders himself).

FBI Director Says No Criminal Charges Against Hillary Clinton

Just hours before Hillary Clinton’s first joint campaign appearance with President Obama, FBI director James B. Comey stated that he does not recommend criminal charges against the former Secretary of State.

Despite calling Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for classified emails “extremely careless”, Comey said today that he does not recommend filing criminal charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Comey said that an ordinary government official could have faced at least an administrative sanction. He also said there was no evidence that she or her lawyers had intentionally deleted or withheld any emails.

The FBI questioned Clinton on Saturday, only a couple days after it was reported that former president Bill Clinton had held a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch who is responsible for the government’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Lynch later said she would take the FBI’s lead on whether or not to prosecute Hillary.

Hillary had denied that her husband’s meeting with Lynch had anything to do with the email investigation, but critics are extremely skeptical. Not only has Hillary withheld transcripts from speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs, but she even withheld roughly 50,000 pages of emails that she claimed were personal and had nothing to do with work, according to the New York Times.

WATCH: Here’s What Bernie Really Said On MSNBC This Morning

Once again, MSNBC pretends that Bernie Sanders is done with his campaign, twisting what he said out of context in order to spread disinformation and urge him to concede (Hint: he’s not conceding before July 25th).

If you didn’t think a “reputable” news source like MSNBC could stoop to the level of Fox News this year, you’re naive.

This entire presidential election season has been riddled with a media blackout against Bernie Sanders of unprecedented proportion, blowing the minds of millennials and re-igniting the call to revolution by Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who believe in his message that crony capitalism and an eroding middle class has got to stop. Between ridiculously large super PACs and a hidden agenda predetermined since at least early 2015, when superdelegates were polled to the tune of almost 100% of them pledging for Hillary Clinton before the race even started, it’s obvious that the mainstream media has been bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign.

That’s why, when asked if he would vote for Hillary Clinton in November to defeat Trump and Bernie Sanders gave a hypothetical “yes” to the newscasters at MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, I was not shocked to see the channel immediately post “BREAKING NEWS — SANDERS: ‘YES’ I’LL VOTE FOR HILLARY CLINTON” at the bottom of the screen. This is the sort of sound bite they’ve been foaming at the mouth for since long before the California primary and, in their minds, they finally got it.

What did he actually say? In the video below, you can see he was clearly talking about voting for her to beat Donald Trump, not because he wants her as president. He clearly goes on to explain his stance in detail, even saying,

“My job is to fight for the strongest possible platform in the Democratic convention and, as we speak, in St. Louis that is going on right now. And that means a platform that represents working people, that stands up to Big Money interests. I don’t want to parse words. What I am trying to do right now is to make sure that the Democratic Party becomes a party that represents working people, not Wall Street, that is prepared to have an agenda speaks to the need of creating millions of jobs, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, dealing with climate change, dealing with pay equity.”

And even after saying this, they STILL pressured him for an answer to whether or not he would be officially conceding. He answered in his well-recognized firm and asserted political stance with,

“Why would I want to do that when I want to fight to make sure we have the best platform that we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can. The goal of our campaign was to transform this nation.”

The sad part is that any loyal fans of the news station tuning in without their volume up wouldn’t have heard Sanders go on to explain how, right now, the importance should be on turning the Democratic Party in a party that actually represents the people.

What’s worse is that the newscasters asked if he thought the “disunity” within the party would put Hillary at a disadvantage against Donald Trump in the general election. The REAL ISSUE here is within the Senator’s answer to the question, an issue they really don’t seem to care much about,

“You talk about ‘disunity’, I’m talking about involving the American people in the political process and wanting to have a government and a party that represents all of us. When you have disunity, what we’re talking about is kids can’t afford to go to college, or leaving college $50,000 in debt, people dying because they don’t get to a doctor when they should. Talk about disunity is the fact that we have 47 million people living in poverty.”

WATCH: Get the context for Bernie’s conversation about fixing the DNC, restoring the middle class, and the negative effects of corporate globalization in the video below:

The newscasters have a hard time moving on from Bernie’s answer, and that’s because they don’t want to talk about what he’s talking about. All they care about is ratings, and that’s because they make more money than the average working class American. This attitude from the mainstream media makes Bernie’s very presence only that much more defiant and strengthens his platform. They are giving him a medium in which to reach a very large audience, something they’ve barely done over the course of the 2016 primary season.

Lars Beniger
Lars is a freelance journalist, part-time activist, copywriter and technical writer residing in the Manhattan, New York area. For 7 years, Lars has reported on current events, political spars, technology and environmental issues.

Trump and Clinton victorious is proof US voting system broken

Having outlasted all his opponents, Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton is closing in on locking up the Democratic nomination.

Clinton and Trump may have won primaries, but are they really representative of what the American people want? In fact, as we will show, it is John Kasich and Bernie Sanders who are first in the nation’s esteem. Trump and Clinton come last.

So how has it come to this? The media has played a big role, of course, but that Trump versus Clinton will almost surely be the choice this November is the result of the totally absurd method of election used in the primaries: majority voting.

This is a strong statement. But as mathematicians who have spent the last dozen years studying voting systems, we are going to show you why it’s justified and how this problem can be fixed.

The problem with majority voting

With majority voting (MV), voters tick the name of one candidate, at most, and the numbers of ticks determine the winner and the order of finish. It’s a system that is used across the U.S. (and in many other nations) to elect presidents as well as senators, representatives and governors.

But it has often failed to elect the candidate preferred by the majority.

In 2000, for example, George W. Bush was elected president because of Ralph Nader’s candidacy. In the contested state of Florida, Bush had 2,912,790 votes, Al Gore 2,912,253 (a mere 537 fewer) and Nader 97,488. There is little doubt that the large majority of those who voted for Nader, and so preferred him to the others, much preferred Gore to Bush. Had they been able to express this preference, Gore would have been elected with 291 Electoral College votes to Bush’s 246. Similar dysfunctions have also occurred in France.

Imagine how different the U.S. and the world might be today if Gore had won.

The 2016 primaries

A quick glance at the U.S. presidential primaries and caucuses held on or before March 1 shows that when Trump was the “winner,” he typically garnered some 40 percent of the votes. However, nothing in that result factors in the opinions of the 60 percent of voters who cast ballots for someone else.

Eight of the many GOP presidential contenders.
Jim Young/Reuters

As Trump is a particularly divisive candidate, it is safe to suppose that most – or at least many – of them strongly opposed him. The media, however, focused on the person who got the largest number of votes – which means Trump. On the Democratic side of the ledger, the media similarly poured its attention on Hillary Clinton, ignoring Bernie Sanders until widespread enthusiastic support forced a change.

The source of the problem

An election is nothing but an invented device that measures the electorate’s support of the candidates, ranks them according to their support and declares the winner to be the first in the ranking.

The fact is that majority voting does this very badly.

With MV, voters cannot express their opinions on all candidates. Instead, each voter is limited to backing just one candidate, to the exclusion of all others in the running.

Bush defeated Gore because Nader voters were unable to weigh in on the other two. Moreover, as we argue further on, majority voting can go wrong even when there are just two candidates.

The point is that it is essential for voters to be able to express the nuances of their opinions.

What is to be done? Use majority judgment

Majority judgment (MJ) is a new method of election that we specifically designed to avoid the pitfalls of the traditional methods.

MJ asks voters to express their opinions much more accurately than simply voting for one candidate. The ballot offers a spectrum of choices and charges voters with a solemn task:

To be the President of the United States of America, having taken into account all relevant considerations, I judge that this candidate as president would be a: Great President | Good President | Average President | Poor President | Terrible President

To see exactly how MJ ranks the candidates, let’s look at specific numbers.

We were lucky to find on the web that the above question was actually posed in a March Pew Research Center poll of 1,787 registered voters of all political stripes. (It should be noted that neither the respondents nor the pollsters were aware that the answers could be the basis for a method of election.) The Pew poll also included the option of answering “Never Heard Of” which here is interpreted as worse than “Terrible” since it amounts to the voter saying the candidate doesn’t exist.

As is clear in the table below, people’s opinions are much more detailed than can be expressed with majority voting. Note in particular the relatively high percentages of voters who believe Clinton and especially Trump would make terrible presidents (Pew reports that Trump’s “Terrible” score increased by 6 percent since January.)

Using majority judgment to calculate the ranked order of the candidates from these evaluations or grades is straightforward. Start from each end of the spectrum and add percentages until a majority of voters’ opinions are included.

Taking John Kasich as an example, 5 percent believe he is “Great,” 5+28=33 percent that he is “Good” or better, and 33+39=72 percent (a majority) that he is “Average” or better. Looked at from the other end, 9 percent “Never Heard” of him, 9+7=16 percent believe he is “Terrible” or worse, 16+13=29 percent that he is “Poor” or worse, and 29+39= 68 percent (a majority) that he is “Average” or worse.

Governor Kasich on the presidential campaign trail.
Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA

Both calculations end on majorities for “Average,” so Kasich’s majority-grade is “Average President.” (Mathematically, the calculations from both directions for a given candidate will always reach majorities at the same grade.)

Similarly calculated, Sanders, Clinton and Cruz all have the same majority-grade, “Average President.” Trump’s is “Poor President,” ranking him last.

To determine the MJ ranking among the four who all are rated “Average,” two more calculations are necessary.

The first looks at the percentage of voters who rate a candidate more highly than his or her majority-grade, the second at the percentage who rate the candidate lower than his or her majority-grade. This delivers a number called the “gauge.” Think of it as a scale where in some cases the majority grade leans more heavily toward a higher ranking and in others more heavily toward a lower ranking.

In Kasich’s case, 5+28=33 percent evaluated him higher than “Average,” and 13+7+9=29 percent rated him below “Average.” Because the larger share is on the positive side, his gauge is +33 percent. For Sanders, 36 percent evaluated him above and 39 percent below his majority-grade. With the larger share on the negative side, his gauge is -39 percent.

A candidate is ranked above another when his or her majority-grade is better or, if both have the same majority-grade, according to their gauges (see below). This rule is the logical result of majorities deciding on candidates’ grades instead of the usual rule that ranks candidates by the numbers of votes they get.

When voters are able to express their evaluations of every candidate – the good and the bad – the results are turned upside-down from those with majority voting.

According to majority judgment, the front-runners in the collective opinion are actually Kasich and Sanders. Clinton and Trump are the trailers. From this perspective the dominant media gave far too much attention to the true trailers and far too little to the true leaders.

Tellingly, MJ also shows society’s relatively low esteem for politicians. All five candidates are evaluated as “Average” presidents or worse, and none as “Good” presidents or better.

Majority voting’s failure with two candidates

But, you may object, how can majority voting on just two candidates go wrong? This seems to go against everything you learned since grade school where you raised your hand for or against a classroom choice.

The reason MV can go wrong even with only two candidates is because it does not obtain sufficient information about a voter’s intensity of support.

Take, as an example, the choice between Clinton and Trump, whose evaluations in the Pew poll are given in the first table above.

Lining up their grades from highest to lowest, every one of Clinton’s is either above or the same as Trump’s. Eleven percent, for example, believe Clinton would make a “Great” president to 10 percent for Trump. Trump’s percentages lead Clinton’s only for the Terrible’s and Never Heard Of’s. Given these opinions, in other words, it’s clear that any decent voting method must rank Clinton above Trump.

However, majority voting could fail to do so.

To see why, suppose the “ballots” of the Pew poll were in a pile. Each could be looked at separately. Some would rate Clinton “Average” and Trump “Poor,” some would rate her “Good” and him “Great,” others would assign them any of the 36 possible couples of grades. We can, therefore, find the percentage of occurrence of every couple of grades assigned to Trump and Clinton.

We do not have access to the Pew poll “ballots.” However, one could come up with many different scenarios where the individual ballot percentages are in exact agreement with the overall grades each received in the first table.

Among the various scenarios possible, we have chosen one that could, in theory, be the true one. Indeed, you can check for yourself that it does assign the candidates the grades each received: reading from left to right, Clinton, for example, had 10+12=22 percent “Good,” 16+4=20 percent “Average,” and so on; and the same holds for Trump.

So what does this hypothetical distribution of the ballots concerning the two tell us?

The first column on the left says 10 percent of the voters rated Clinton “Good” and Trump “Great.” In a majority vote they would go for Trump. And moving to the tenth column, 4 percent rated Clinton “Poor” and Trump “Terrible.” In a majority vote this group would opt for Clinton. And so on.

If you add up the votes in each of these 11 columns, Trump receives the votes of the people whose opinions are reflected in four columns: 10+16+12+15=53 percent; Clinton is backed by the voters with the opinions of columns with 33 percent support; and 14 percent are undecided. Even if the undecided all voted for Clinton, Trump would carry the day.

This shows that majority voting can give a very wrong result: a triumphant victory for Trump when Clinton’s grades are consistently above his!

A bird’s-eye view

Voting has been the subject of intense mathematical research since 1950, when the economist Kenneth Arrow published his famous “impossibility theorem,” one of the two major contributions for which he was awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize.

Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794) was a French philosopher and mathematician.

This theorem showed that if voters have to rank candidates – to say, in other words, who comes first, second and so forth – there will inevitably be one of two major potential failures. Either there may be no clear winner at all, the so-called “Condorcet paradox” occurs, or what has come to be called the “Arrow paradox” may occur.

The Arrow paradox is familiar to Americans because of what happened in the 2000 election. Bush beat Gore because Nader was in the running. Had Nader not run, Gore would have won. Surely, it is absurd for the choice between two candidates to depend on whether or not some minor candidate is on the ballot!

Majority judgment resolves the conundrum of Arrow’s theorem: neither the Condorcet nor the Arrow paradox can occur. It does so because voters are asked for more accurate information, to evaluate candidates rather than to rank them.

MJ’s rules, based on the majority principle, meet the basic democratic goals of voting systems. With it:

  • Voters are able to express themselves more fully, so the results depend on much more information than a single vote.
  • The process of voting has proven to be natural, easy and quick: we all know about grading from school (as the Pew poll implicitly realized).
  • Candidates with similar political profiles can run without impinging on each other’s chances: a voter can give high (or low) evaluations to all.
  • The candidate who is evaluated best by the majority wins.
  • MJ is the most difficult system to manipulate: blocs of voters who exaggerate the grades they give beyond their true opinions can only have a limited influence on the results.
  • By asking more of voters, by showing more respect for their opinions, participation is encouraged. Even a voter who evaluates all candidates identically (e.g., all are “Terrible”) has an effect on the outcome.
  • Final grades – majority-grades – enable candidates and the public to understand where each stands in the eyes of the electorate.
  • If the majority decides that no candidate is judged an “Average President” or better, the results of the election may be rescinded, and a new slate of candidates demanded.
  • It is a practical method that has been tested in elections and used many times (for judging prize-winners, wines, job applicants, etc.). It has also been formally proposed as a way to reform the French presidential election system.

Reform now

It should come as no surprise that in answer to a recent Pew poll’s question “Do you think the primaries have been a good way of determining who the best qualified nominees are or not?” only 35 percent of respondents said yes.

Democracies everywhere are suffering. Voters protest. Citizens don’t vote. Support for the political extremes are increasing. One of the underlying causes, we argue, is majority voting as it is now practiced, and its influence on the media.

Misled by the results of primaries and polls, the media concentrates its attention on candidates who seem to be the leaders, but who are often far from being deemed acceptable by a majority of the electorate. Majority judgment would correct these failings.

The Conversation

Michel Balinski, Applied mathematician and mathematical economist, “Directeur de recherche de classe exceptionnelle” (emeritus) of the C.N.R.S., École Polytechnique – Université Paris Saclay and Rida Laraki, Directeur de recherche CNRS au LAMSADE, Professeur à l’École polytechnique, Université Paris Dauphine – PSL

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

WATCH: Bill Maher Shows His True Colors, Calls Bernie’s Plan ‘Santaism’

Bill Maher proved he pretended to be a Bernie Sanders supporter for the past few months when he called Bernie’s brand of socialism ‘Santaism’, saying Hillary won “fair and square”

I don’t watch Bill Maher all that often, mostly because he’s an all out dickhead and that’s funny sometimes but other times he just makes me angry because he’s wrong but smugly acts like he’s right. This was one of those times.

After saying Hillary Clinton won the candidacy “fair and square”, Maher started the last portion of his ‘New Rules’ segment by stating “Even though Bernie didn’t win the nomination, he’s already won the future.” Yet, he went on to say that Bernie Sander’s plan was not socialism but “Santaism”, saying millennials have “gotten a little too used to getting shit for free.”

The problem with all of this, of course, is that Hillary did not officially win the nomination, yet, for starters. But more importantly, it’s not Bernie’s followers that want things for free, it’s Bernie’s plan itself that taxes the wealthy heavily in order to help the poor. It’s not “Santaism”, it’s more like “Robin-Hoodism”, and it actually makes sense, considering most of the developed world is already doing it.

We all know why Maher thinks this: because he’s a multi-millionaire that doesn’t want to share his money.

Watch the segment below:

Lars Beniger
Lars is a freelance journalist, part-time activist, copywriter and technical writer residing in the Manhattan, New York area. For 7 years, Lars has reported on current events, political spars, technology and environmental issues.

WATCH: Lee Camp Says This Election Fraud Lawsuit Could Actually Save Us

An official lawsuit that is being filed against the DNC regarding the discrepancy with exit polls versus electronic voting machine tallies has now morphed into including the cancellation of exit polls for California and New Jersey shortly before the primaries were held last Tuesday.

If you haven’t already noticed, there has been quite the outrage from the Bernie Sanders campaign and supporters regarding voter disenfranchisement and election fraud. For instance, California is in the midst of its own debacle over why so many voters had their party affiliation switched or were removed from registration altogether.

On RT America’s Redacted Tonight, featuring comedian and social commentator Lee Camp, author and professor of political science Bob Fitrakis and lawyer Cliff Arnebeck from the Institute for american democracy and election integrity were featured in a video showing Arnebeck’s assertion that they have enough evidence that Hillary Clinton benefited from election fraud that they will be filing an official lawsuit against her campaign for election fraud and racketeering.

Cliff Arnebeck is the chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of Common Cause Ohio and a national co-chair and attorney for the Alliance of Democracy, which gives him a bit more push than just your random Bernie Sanders activist from the millennial generation.

Watch the video below for Lee Camp’s take on how voters can take action against voter fraud this year:

Lars Beniger
Lars is a freelance journalist, part-time activist, copywriter and technical writer residing in the Manhattan, New York area. For 7 years, Lars has reported on current events, political spars, technology and environmental issues.

Is America On It’s Way To A Second Civil War?

With the rise of both Trump and Sanders from almost opposite ends of the political spectrum, and Hillary’s FBI indictement looming around the corner, the general election is not going to be a pretty sight for anyone hoping for positive change in 2017.

There are multiple ways a civil war could break out. Racial groups against each other or against the system. Impoverished groups against the system. People within the system abandoning ship. People within the system using their power to attempt to silence the oppressed. Oligarchs against each other or even oppressed groups against each other. The recipe for any civil war, however, is civil unrest, and America currently has quite a bit and growing.

If Hillary wins the Democratic nonimation, calls for her indictment will only increase and Bernie supporters will be protesting even more than they already have. If Bernie wins, it’ll be a democratic socialist vs. a fascist dictator, the harshest political battle we’ve seen in American politics to date.

If Trump wins, mass protests will become more than a regular occurance. In 2003, when George W. Bush wanted to invade Iraq, the largest pre-war anti-war protest in U.S. history occurred. Despite calls for his impeachment after it was clear that weapons of mass destruction did not exist in Iraq, Bush won the presidency for a second term and protests continued, but he had one thing going for him: he wasn’t a racist bigot.

Race relations are sweltering these days, especially at Trump rallies. If people are shocked at the actions of both Trump supporters and protestors thus far, they may not be ready for what is about to happen over the next few months. Aside from race issues, Trump rallies also feature a fascist overtone of suppressing media, arresting reporters, and he even declared back in February that, if elected, newspapers will “have problems”. While the media has been deregulated and given more freedom to sell airtime and content real estate, the freedom to say whatever they want may be in serious danger from a Trump regime.

If ever there were a reason for a nutcase like Lee Harvey Oswald or John Wilkes Boothe to take matters into their own hands, this election season is rife with them. Opponents of Bernie Sanders are generally opponents of socialism and falsely view his policy as dictatorial and damaging to the economy — after all, they argue, if we pay too much in taxes we won’t be able to afford to spend any money on goods and services. If you also factor in his anti-war stance, neo-conservatives hell-bent on continuing the occupation of the Middle East aren’t going to enjoy his policy of pulling back military intervention and closing bases around the world. The worst issue Sanders faces from opponents, however, is fighting against the 1%. The 1% has every reason to want to assassinate the man and it’s not too far-fetched to imagine them at least attempting to pull it off.

A Hillary presidency means a whole lot of war. If elected, she’s going to increase military spending on Middle Eastern conflicts, making new free trade deals that enslave people around the world, and making no real advances in solving domestic problems for U.S. citizens living in poverty, and she definitely is not going to do much about the mass incarceration of african and latino americans, especially since she makes money off of it. This gives her opponents much reason to protest, but it’ll be benign in comparison to Sanders and Trump presidencies. However, avoiding an FBI indictment, her corruption is going to spawn more mass protests and people are not going to enjoy their daily lives being disturbed by them. In this way, things won’t be too much better than a Trump presidency.

All in all, we don’t have a bright future ahead of us. It’s going to be at least a year of serious problems and mass protests. We’re only seeing the beginning now…

Lars Beniger
Lars is a freelance journalist, part-time activist, copywriter and technical writer residing in the Manhattan, New York area. For 7 years, Lars has reported on current events, political spars, technology and environmental issues.