Author Archives: Bob Lord

Can the Next Congress Chase Down America’s Runaway Wealth?

The last Congress ensured that America’s wealth will concentrate ever more rapidly at the very top — unless the next one does something about it.

[Distributed via OtherWords]

The next Congress faces a stunning array of challenges — on health care, gun policy, climate change, you name it. One crucial challenge starved of attention, however, is what I call runaway inter-generational wealth.

That’s where the wealth of a country’s richest families snowballs from one generation to the next, unconstrained by living expenses or taxes, causing an ever-increasing share of national wealth to concentrate at the top. America has experienced this problem for decades now, and last year’s tax act is certain to make it worse.

For the first time since the estate tax was enacted a century ago, rich American couples can pass $22 million to their children entirely free of federal taxes. Currently, over 150,000 American households hold that much or more wealth.

That will lock in runaway inter-generational wealth. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Stacey Abrams

Dear Representative Abrams:

I wholeheartedly support your candidacy. Your election would be great for Georgia, and great for America. No candidate to my knowledge ever has faced a more blatant, corrupt case of vote rigging than you have. Your fight against the most despicable of Republican vote suppression tactics has been an inspiration to millions, including this Arizonan.

But should you fall short in the “official” vote count next Tuesday, please, please don’t get pressured into making a sappy concession speech or, worse yet, calling your crooked opponent to concede.

Eighteen years ago, Al Gore made a catastrophic mistake by conceding a stolen election. I hope you’re not faced with the same decision, but, if you are, please don’t repeat his mistake.

Instead, make an election stolen through vote suppression be the occasion that galvanizes a backlash.  Declare yourself the leader of the resistance movement, and don’t relent until future elections are made safe from corrupt Republican vote rigging.

Seems to me that the treatment you’ve received as a political candidate is no more fair than the treatment Rosa Parks received as a bus passenger. I hope if required to you stand as strong as she did. So far, you certainly have.

One last thing: I’ve suggested you spark a massive resistance movement against vote suppression if you’re not named the winner next week. You might consider sparking that resistance even if you are.

Sincerely,

Bob Lord

On the Hands of America’s President, the Blood of 11 American Jews

Bristle at the bluntness of the title of this post if you wish. But the chain of causation is clear.

I could never make the case as eloquently as others have, so I’ll quote them here.

First, Julia Ioffe, in How much responsibility does Trump bear for the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh?, brings her own experience as a Jewish immigrant from Russia and the victim of vicious attacks from Trump’s rabid supporters to bear on the hate-inspired massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue:

After I published a profile of Trump’s third wife, Melania, that displeased her — and his supporters — the alt-right deluged me with anti-Semitic insults and imagery, culminating in clear death threats— such as an image of a Jew being shot execution-style or people ordering coffins in my name. When Trump was asked to condemn these attacks by his supporters, he said, “I don’t have a message” for them.

Culpability is a tricky thing, and politicians, especially of the demagogic variety, know this very well. Continue reading

Men: We’ve Heard About Assaults. Speak Up About Them.

Distributed via OtherWords

Women who report assault deserve to hear that we believe them, and that we can back them up — because we’ve heard the other side.

The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation imbroglio shined a bright light on a terrible misconception: that the #MeToo movement is somehow about destroying the careers of powerful men.

Again and again, Kavanaugh and his defenders complained that the allegations were “ruining his life” or “his good name.” (Never mind whether he deserves it.)

This sort of entitlement completely erases survivors of assault. #MeToo is about those women, previously silent, speaking out so that America’s shameful tolerance of sexual assault ends.

Even worse, some Republicans appear willing to accept Kavanaugh even if the allegations brought by Christine Blasey Ford and others are true. To them, it’s unfair that something Kavanaugh did as a 17 year-old boy should impact his career 36 years later.

This is nothing less than open tolerance of sexual assault. To me, that’s unacceptable.

I suspect millions of men share my view. And we need to speak up — especially those of us who got a glimpse inside the world Brett Kavanaugh grew up in. Continue reading

Reality Calls: Kyrsten Sinema May Be the Most Important Vote You Ever Cast

I was hoping a miracle would save me from writing this post.

I so wanted Deedra Abboud to pull off a stunning upset, even though I knew it couldn’t happen.

But reality has arrived. Kyrsten Sinema is the nominee for U.S. Senate of the Democratic Party.

And as soon as I receive my ballot in the mail in October, I’ll be connecting that broken bar next to her name. It’ll be painful. I’ll undoubtedly throw up a little in the back of my mouth as I do it. But there will be no hesitation on my part. Sanity demands no less.

And if you want to maximize our chance of avoiding disaster, you’ll be joining me. Continue reading