Election 2016

What Has Government Done for Lower-Income, Working Americans? Screwed Them, Mostly.

The new documentary Rigged 2016 takes a tough look at the way two-party politics hurts millennials, the working poor, and minorities.


Click above to watch an excerpt from the powerful new documentary Rigged 2016, which explores how the political status quo benefits Republicans, Democrats, and politically connected businesses far more than Americans and America writ large.

Here's more info on the documentary (full disclosure: I appear in it, briefly) and the issues with which it grapples. It deserves a wide audience and will be of particular interest to libertarians (big L and little L) and political independents who have been searching in vain for decades for pols who will create an open, fair, and just political system for all of us.

For those of us who are outside the Republican and Demcoratic parties, there's a different cast to the rigging when it comes to politics. As Nicholas Sarwark, the national chair of the Libertarian Party, told me in a recent interview, crazy and ever-changing ballot-access requirements are explicit hurdles to full participation in elections by diverse political groups. The one thing Dems and Reps can always agree on is that there's no goddamn reason to let more voices on the stage. And as HBO's John Oliver demonstrates, third-party candidates don't get taken seriously by the media even when they have more experience and credibility than major-party candidates. In The Declaration of Independents, Matt Welch and I talked about all the ways in which the political duopoly works to delegitimate and silence new and different perspectives.

With all that as a background, I'd like to point you to a great new hour-long documentary that explores the ways in which ordinary Americans and their concerns are systematically shut out from political discourse. Not right there at the polling place, of course, but much, much further upstream. Focusing on voter fraud and intimidation, both of which are blessedly rare-to-nonexistent, is a diversion from the bigger picture.

Underwritten by Overstock.com's CEO Patrick Byrne and featuring a calvacade of libertarian-leaning commentators such as Matt Kibbe, Glenn Beck, and yours truly (in a brief appearance), Rigged 2016 analyzes why politics and elections never seem to engage the concerns and views of voters and citizens who refuse to identify as either Republican or Democrat. It also gets at why the two major parties are losing members like nobody's business.

Click above to watch the clip and go here to watch the full hour-long documentary. You'll be more-informed for having done so.

NEXT: The USDA's Synthetic Oversight of Organic Food

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  1. Not sure I’d call Beck libertarian-leaning. He has claimed it in the past. But so has Bill Maher,

    1. Depending on the year, beck does seem at least quasi libertarian. I’d put him closer than most in the media.

  2. Video of Hillary’s campaign bus illegally dumping sewage in street near Atlanta:

    1. I guess her cankle gaskets couldn’t hold it in any more.

    2. I wonder how this measures up to the time when the Dave Matthews Band’s bus driver dumped more than 800 pounds of human waste into the Chicago River and on dozens of sightseers in August 2004?

      1. human waste into the Chicago River

        How could they tell it was there??

        1. The river looked cleaner.

      1. What does that mean? Shes a natural! That boy trump needs therapy!

        1. I was in a postal store, and there was a lady who was mailing off her ballot because “Trump is a crazy person” and he’s nuts and is “dangerous for America” and Hillary will save America. Of course this lady was in her mid-60’s at noon on a Tuesday afternoon was still in her pajamas. She spoke in a strange accent, maybe German, or maybe just a fabrication? She spoke like Rain Man, repeating small phrases and affirming her own utterances. She had a tiny happy little dog that she was talking to as well. It took her 5 minutes to complete the retail transaction of buying a stamp, because she couldn’t focus on anything. She talked over people, almost as if they weren’t there.

          She thinks Trump is crazy.

          That’s when I decided to vote for Trump.

  3. Amusing:

    “The Tennessee Aquarium in the United States is home to an electric eel that uses its electrical discharges to post from its own Twitter account. Named Miguel Wattson, the eel’s exhibit is wired to a small computer that sends out a prewritten tweet when it emits electricity at a high enough threshold.”

    In Japan, the used an electric eel to power a Christmas tree:

  4. the working poor

    Fuck this term and fuck anyone who uses it. It reeks of the fallacy of relative deprivation. The fact is that from the perspective of the vast majority of the people on this planet, the lifestyle of the American “working poor” is a state of opulence. Such rhetoric feeds the toxic combination of envy, bitterness, and resentment that has allowed populist demagoguery to recently reappear in the United States.

    1. But, come on, HM. You can’t expect to replace capitalism with socialism without envy, bitterness, and resentment.

      1. “Francisco d’Anconia|10.22.16 @ 1:20PM|#

        But, come on, HM. You can’t expect to replace capitalism with socialism without envy, bitterness, and resentment.”

        What capitalism? What we have in this country is modern day slavery. Want to find out who owns your house? Stop paying taxes. Don’t want to spend the first 4 months of the year paying the Federal Government for your right to work in the good ol’ USA, too bad Fuck you! We’re taking your money.

        You want constitutional rights? Well we’ll just make sure the only place you can get a job is with a Mega Corp and then we’ll let them walk all over you. All the while giving them special tax cuts and protectionism to ensure they stay in power. Afterall they’re ‘Too big to fail.’

        We’ll scream ‘free trade!’ with brutal dictators and communist countries and then have the balls to claim that your labor just isn’t cheap enough compared to sweat shops in bangladesh!

        1. Well we’ll just make sure the only place you can get a job is with a Mega Corp

          OK, how exactly do those shadowy figures make that happen?

    2. “…the toxic combination of envy, bitterness, and resentment that has allowed populist demagoguery to recently reappear in the United States.”

      It is more than the cause of recent populism. That is the bread and butter of the Democratic party. They have been stoking the politics of envy for as long as I can remember and I have never seen it as bad as it is now.

    3. When Thatcher accused the socialists of wanting the poor to be poorer if it meant the rich would be less rich, a lot of people probably said “hell yes”. It seems to be a deeply ingrained aspect of human nature for many, that they compare themselves most to those around them.

  5. Far more important than ballot access are statist laws and regulations which make it so damned hard for the poor and unskilled to help themselves — minimum wage laws, occupational licensing, zoning, business licensing and permits, fees and fines which pile up and turn into warrants.

    The nanny state is the biggest enemy of everyone, but it disproportionately hurts most those its proponents claim to be helping. This is no accident. It is intentional, designed to keep the chattering classes alarmed and upset and under control. The cronies who get blamed put up with it because they know the reality behind the scenes means they only lose some of their ill-gotten gains, most of which come from government intervention on their behalf by the same laws and regulations which hurt the poor so much.

    1. It’s depressing to ponder the large number of people whose livelihoods depend on interfering in the business of others.

      Most laws are not meant to protect lives and property. They are meant to stifle competition from the unconnected and bully the unpopular.

      1. Fortunately, you’ve got a government job so you’re ok.

        1. You got him good! I bet he drives on roads in a car built by a union!

          1. I’m told frequently that I’ a hypocrite for typing out messages as a libertarian socialist on an IPhone made by the Apple Corporation. I’m just saying, such analysis can cut both ways.

            1. Libertarian socialist. Someone doesnt know what words mean.

              I cant help but laugh.

              1. Oh come on, Suthenboy, didn’t you know it’s really libertarian to be in favor of the government stealing from some what they earned to give to others who didn’t earn it? Isn’t that part of the NAP?

              2. Au contraire. Words mean precisely what the Party wants them to mean. The American Socialist believes himself to be both libertarian and socialist because he has mastered Orwellian doublethink, which is what makes him an American Socialist. Unlike ordinary libertarians, American Socialist fully groks the full meaning of freedom is slavery, and he’s internalized it in his mind. His mastery of doublethink also explains why he cannot express a political or philosophical thought on a libertarian board without sounding like an incoherent lunatic.

            2. “libertarian socialist”

              This is typically known as an oxymoron and the believer in such non-sense can be described in full with the latter part.

            3. I just call you a racist.

        2. C’mon Rainman. Wow us with some more of your Pool Boy Algebra.

          1. Do you really think this is a proper place to discuss the difference between normality, molality, and molarity; soldier boy. Do GIs get paid every week, biweekly or twice a month?

            1. I get paid on the 1st and 15th. A whopping 1.4k per month of take-home pay in exchange for working 60 hours a week. Yes sir, I’m living in the lap of luxury.

              Govt: either you pay into it or you take from it

              Now whose idea was that?

              1. I hear ya comrade. After paying the mortgage, for retirement, taxes (in CA), day care, and health insurance I basically got nothing and have to ask the wife for handouts. Maybe we should concentrate on the plight of working stiffs like you and me and less on the wonderful things that Twitter and Snapchat executives have brought us.

                1. Glad to hear you finally got around to paying your mortgage.

                2. How proud your wife must be.

                  It sounds like this whole socialism thing is the way you deal with your own immasculation.

                  Maybe you start your own day care center.

                  1. The median income for a chemical engineer is around 75K, with a range from 52K to 120K.

                    My earlier observation concerning both the fallacy of relative deprivation and the psycho-politics of ‘envy, bitterness, and resentment’ has been empirically confirmed.

                    1. I worked as a process engineer for about 3 yrs. I made around 60k before taxes. It was more than enough for a single guy and certainly should cover a married couple with a child. Especially if the wife also works.

                      Unless you’re really terrible with money that is. But we all know socialists are famous for their impeccable personal finances. Why, just look at Karl Marx or Bernie Sanders.

                      Marx was fond of highly seasoned dishes, smoked fish, caviare, pickled cucumbers, “none of which are good for liver patients”; he also liked wine and liqueurs, and smoked an enormous amount, “and since he had no money, it was usually bad-quality cigars”.

                      Bernie Sanders’ net worth is affected by $25,002 to $65,000 in credit card debt. Sanders lists two Visa Card debts, one from $10,001 to $15,000 and the other from $15,001 to $50,000. Sanders must keep up with his payments, because the interest rate on the first card is only 8.5% and the second is 10.25%.

                  2. Dude, people who pay mortgages and save for retirement are not socialists. AmSoc lives in his mums basement like Tony.

                3. Local, state, and federal governments spend around $iT a year; $50K per household. Is it any wonder you can’t make ends meet?

                  Considering there are roughly 2 working people for every non-working people, that’s a lot of money going to waste.

                4. “After paying the mortgage”

                  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!!!

  6. Poor and minorities vote overwhelmingly for democrats so they have a party. The fantasy that there is a secret libertarian majority among the poor who wouldn’t keep voting for stupid is shit isn’t going anywhere.

    Poor people make stupid decisions at the voting booth just like they do in life, that’s why they’re poor.

  7. A laudable, hard-working women to be sure. What would make her life worse would be to mandate her health care through a single payer system, make sure that the Costs of her schooling were taken care of by the government, enact a minimum wage so that she makes– at a minimum– $15/HR, and ensure that she still has Social Security benefits so that she doesn’t have to take care of pre-teenagers into her 90s. All of those things would be bad because hedge fund managers might have to pay a pittance more in taxes.

    1. a pittance more in taxes

      How would the latter cover the expenses of the former? Show your work.
      And then when we have “working poor” after that, what’s the next ‘basic human right’? Housing, then food? Does anybody have any responsibility anymore?

    2. “…costs taken care of by government…”

      Someone still doesnt know what words mean.

      1. We can print more!!!

        1. Mint a $1T coin?

          1. We should make 20 and get out of debt.

            1. I was just thinking about that. Someone here once described Krugtard as the incoherent court jester for the left, an apt description.

              An economist that doesnt know what money is.

              1. I love Krugman. Every time he opens his yap, you can almost hear the tinkling of the bells at the ends of his floppy hat.

                The key to happiness at least for me, is to be entertained by stupidity. Then the world becomes full of jesters who prance and caper for your amusement.

                1. “Every time he opens his yap, you can almost hear the tinkling of the bells at the ends of his floppy hat.”


                2. The problem is that most of the prancing jesters are in congress and other high positions of power and they’re successfully conspiring to rob the public of their wealth.

                3. +1 Praise of Folly

    3. All of those things would be bad because hedge fund managers might have to pay a pittance more in taxes.

      Because they’re just nothing left to cut with a government that spends $4 trillion a year.

    4. Why should anybody pay a dime more in taxes when the Army just lost $6.5 trillion?

    5. “minimum wage so that she makes– at a minimum– $15/HR”

      Look, a socialist who doesn’t understand economics 101. Shocking is it not?

      1. I almost replied to that, but what is the point? I don’t know if they really believe that or if they are being dishonest. I guess it doesnt matter either way.

        1. They want to believe it, because there is no amount of your money they can have the government steal for them that will ever be enough. I mean there’s no limit. Even if it requires a 100% tax rate, they know you’ll just keep working to give to them. It’s just sloth and greed, mixed with some degree of ignorance and naivete.

          We’re all in this together, so give me your stuff! /progderp

          1. Leftists never define what they mean by “fair share”. At least Samuel Gompers was honest enough to just say “more” of this and that.

            1. Leftists never define what they mean by “fair share”.

              Sure they do…

              All of it!

          2. “It’s just sloth and greed”

            I was reading a short bio of Karl Marx not long ago. I did not know before what a worthless sack of shit the guy was. I mean, the guy wasn’t worth the bullet it would take to put him down. He was always in debt, never paid what he owed, sponged off of family all his life, rejoiced when his uncle died because he got some inheritance, squandered every penny that came his way – even his mother-in-law’s life savings and never produced a single thing of value in his life.

            I suppose I should not have been as surprised as I was to find out how much like his followers he was. Of course the socialists of today idolize and base their world view on a grifter.

            1. Your problem is you don’t recognize your better when one is presented to you. A little re-education might fix that, and if not, a bullet will surely stifle your inconvenient non-conformity.

    6. pay a pittance more in taxes.

      And here we have the real problem with socialism. It’s not, as Margaret Thatcher said, the problem of running out of other people’s money, but of socialists being in denial about “peak other people’s money.”

  8. Haven’t we dispensed with the shrinking middle class canard?

    1. Only among those who choose to deal with the world of facts and not the world of FEELZ!

  9. “Focusing on voter fraud and intimidation, both of which are blessedly rare-to-nonexistent, is a diversion from the bigger picture”. Not according to Mr. Creamer.
    Is O’Keefe a criminal just like Snowden, or somebody who tapes the police? Huh, Nick?

    1. That never happened. If it had I am sure Reason would be all over it.

      1. They don’t have time, Trump is Hitler.

        1. He is just another one of the elite. That’s why the rest of them are shitting purple circles around themselves at the prospect of him winning this election.

  10. Would you buy a Genpet? This is an elaborate site – an “art installation” of some sort – but pretty damn interesting.

    1. That’s kinda creepy. I am not sure it qualifies as art.

      1. It’s cute and creepy. But who cares? I just want my own army of fembot servants. Some hurry up and get on that project, just take my money, please.

        1. It’s a Planned Parenthood spinoff.

        2. Meh, robots never seem to work out. Make them clever enough to do anything useful and they start talking about their emotional needs. There is a reason why orphans are the traditional servants of plutocrats.

  11. OT; I know that old madonna’s recent comments have been discussed… I was just thinking that since hillary stands a good chance of being elected (whether one wants it or not…) I think someone should start a campaign to hold madonna to her promise… requiring video evidence of course. I personally wouldn’t need to watch it… well maybe just the last bit, the 25 millionth beta dick being shoved down her gullet.

    1. That’s a particularity specific fetish.

      1. By my basic mathing that would keep her busy for about 35 years.. allowing a few hours sleep between shifts…

  12. Oh.. I have more…

    1. I know. It’s kind of a prerequisite around these parts.

  13. Hillary Clinton heals the lame, the blind, and the lepers.

    1. And she’s going to do all of that by starting more wars, spending us into oblivion, and raising taxes in a lame attempt to pay for it all.

      1. But the millions of unskilled Third Worlders she plans to keep importing will pay for it! Just think of all the new surveillance jobs we’ll need to watch all the new Muslim refugees! Multiplier effect!

        1. She is going to be a disaster on a scale that Obumbles can only dream of.

  14. What Has Government Done for Lower-Income, Working Americans? Screwed Them, Mostly.

    You mean flooding the country with low-skilled labor and welfare recipients hasn’t helped lower-Income, working Americans? Raising rents with increased demand for housing hasn’t helped? Increased traffic hasn’t helped? More crowded classrooms and emergency rooms haven’t helped? It’s a mystery!

    1. I watched part of the clip and wondered how this related to libertarianism and liberty. Gluch the woman at the focus of the clip sounded like a whiny, theiving prog, spouting off the typical prog talking points and demanding that the government provide for HER.

      So I looked her up and sure enough she’s a Democrat.

      1. Yeah, you didn’t notice her complaining about the regulations and paperwork required for her child-care business. Honey, if you aren’t making enough money – you probably aren’t charging enough for the service.

    1. “You know that first of all I’m going to denounce the utilization of this intrusion by Wikipedia through Russia,” Jackson Lee said.

      It would be funny if not so sad and costly.

  15. The reality is EVERYBODY who is not above a certain “independence” is getting screwed.

    Anecdotal, but I’m going to go with it. A boss that I had a few years back was rich. I mean “basketball court in the basement, piano in the foyer (the foyer large enough my entire middle class house could fit inside), buy an (albeit small) shopping mall for his wife to have something to do” kind of rich. One “sick season” some creeping crud was going around the office – the kind that sticks with you for three weeks. We all had it. The Boss started to get it. He went to his doctor, got a jab in the ass, and was right as rain the next day. It was clear he had access to something the rest of great unwashed didn’t have. I suppose it COULD have been something different, but it had all the same symptoms. This is just ONE story of the access he had to a market place the rest of us were being herded AWAY from.

    1. cont-

      The upshot is, from the upper middle class on down, we’re being shoved into one, big shitty medical market place of rote, mechanical “care”. This is also true of such things as long term care, which is – at least where I live – outrageously expensive and largely staffed with carny folk. My mother in law had Alzheimers, my father in law – a middle-middle class engineer – had to put her in a home. The HEAD in charge looked like she was on meth. THE WHOLE MARKETPLACE is broken due to socialism. It’s EVERYWHERE. So, sure, the poor bear the brunt of it. But it’s affecting us all. And once everything is shifted to means-tested, the only difference is the middle class will get tapped out of their savings in three years and join the heap of everyone else.

      1. Oh yeah, but I’m sure the Carbon Tax will fix it.

      2. we’re being shoved into one, big shitty medical market place of rote, mechanical “care”

        This country needs medical services to follow the standard set by our educational endeavors!


  16. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  17. I did not believe that..

  18. Clinton campaign chairman called Sanders a ‘doofus’


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