Need to Heed #3

When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

Washington DC can drive corruption into any man’s heart it seems. As lobbying efforts grow more complex it can become impossible to determine where candidates really stand. However, even when candidates like President-Elect Joe Biden have sworn to cut social security in the past and has told lobbyists that fundamentally, “nothing would change.” Yet camp Bernie was still in total shock to see him appoint nothing but corporate individuals from Lyft, Amazon, and Air B’n’B. The big lesson here, when someone tells you who they are, believe them. Maybe if we would have believed that Biden and the other Corporate Dems really hated Bernie like they said they did we would have been prepared on Super Tuesday. Why do we constantly get got by this group? We assume they care about the people of this country the same as us. When in reality they hate us and only seek and serve power and the powerful. How long will we let Republican candidates run the democratic party? 

Need to Heed #2

The Four-second rule.

Have you ever been in a heated discussion where neither side is listening? Both sides think up their next talking point as the other is speaking. Chris Voss, the FBI’s top hostage negotiator, calls this the dueling schizophrenics, both parties speaking to themselves in their own heads, without listening. These conversations are what our divided nation looks like at the most micro level, the inability to communicate with each other and show respect. All it takes is the person we are conversating with to mention one point of view that helps us identify them as “the enemy” according to our source of news. Challenge yourself every time you communicate to really listen and care about what others have to say. Anger isn’t the only thing to inhibit listening, it can be excitement as well, we think “oh boy, what they just said leads so beautifully into what I am about to say!” then you proceed to interrupt and vomit all over them. How do you stop yourself? Try using the Four-Second Rule! Originally from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie suggests that once someone seems to finish a thought or stop talking you pause for 4 seconds before speaking. This will seem like an eternity, but it is extremely powerful. Try asking someone how their day was and wait four seconds after they say “Good”, they will elaborate every time,” well there was this really annoying moment at work, then I had a good call with a client we were worried about”. This one habit will unlock sensitive political conversations and ease tensions. When someone feels listened to instead of attacked, they will be open and honest. Most shockingly, you will find that people don’t buy into extreme beliefs 100%. For example, a conservative thinks you are about to attack them so they preemptively throw out a “Pelosi and Democrats are so corrupt and owned by china!” ….. four-second rule…. “ Well look I know Trump has done plenty of bad things as well I just don’t see the Democrats doing anything to help.” Now that they tamped down their own rhetoric you can ask a targeted question, “haven’t done anything to help?”. 

What to expect from TAR in 2021

After three months of writing, we are looking forward to what 2021 holds. As a Progressive organization, it is so important to make use of all the time between elections. While this might be the presidential off-season, right now is when the strength of a campaign or movement is built. Just like pro sports those who excel during the season put in the most work during the offseason. Our goal throughout has been to become the hangout or destination for the supporters of the Sanders campaign, while also serving to expose Corporate Democrats. While our founding has been exclusively text-based we are excited to build upon our foundation with content to suit everyone’s preferences. We are excited to be adding two new forms of content to supplement our written pieces.

2.)  Audio Book Style recordings for all Articles! 

Starting after the new year we are excited to offer an audio version of all articles! For those who prefer audiobooks, we are recording all past articles to have at the click of a button!

1.) Podcast!

Now that we have laid a decent foundation of topics we are going to release in-depth conversations elaborating upon each topic! Make sure to get the full story on each article as we will go in-depth on books, movies, and speeches that have influenced us! 

Written Content

Following the New Year, we will continue to cover the topics we enjoy most. However, will be doing so with more consistent but less frequent posting. 

From a topics perspective, these are a few of the intensely critical topics we will continue to cover, in no particular order-

The value of morals based politics

The opposition Progressives face from Corporate Democrats

The inherent Americaness of Progressive Ideals

The dangers and effects of Inequality

The Struggles of small business and Entrepreneurs 

The hypocrisy of the media

The global threat of social media

The destructive power of monopolies



Progressive Political Tactics Vol. #1 – Leveraging Sales Tactics

Watching the democratic primaries since 2015 Progressives have seen hopes dashed before their eyes, over and over and over again. While there are a million different reasons for our losses, the media blacking us out, a smaller movement than we thought, the list goes on. One thing we can unanimously agree on is that the group we are up against definitely out gamed us. They knew and used the system, and to no fault of our own many of us were new to politics. It is now long past due to all brush up on our tool kit, we need to be sharp to keep the Sanders coalition from fracturing. Primarily we need to have the ability to talk confidently about our candidates and learn how to make their case. Sadly being the most caring group with the most morals leads us to be bulldozed by Corporate Elite Democrats that will do anything to keep power. We don’t have to be nasty, we just have to work harder. We know how badly people need Medicare for All, we just can’t sell it. If Corporate Dems can sell an agendaless party to the country, getting buy-in for real solutions should be simple!

Here are three simple lessons from sales to ease tension and have open conversations with anyone. 

1.)It’s all about listening, not speaking! 

The common misconception about sales and salespeople is that the person who talks the loudest and the fastest would make the best salesperson. The truth is the opposite, the best salespeople are those who are genuinely curious and ask great questions. When the questions are being answered they listen intently. See it is the opposite of human nature to buy from a pushy person. It robs your freedom of thought and choice, making us want to buck like a wild Broncho. It is also very rude. However, most people have plenty of reasons why they could benefit from supporting your side, but they must come to that conclusion on their own. You cannot actually control/persuade people of anything. With great questions and an open and pleasant attitude, they can reach their own conclusions. 

2.) Find a pain point and determine the consequence.

When selling a brand new product that is a never before seen solution, you face some very tough challenges compared to established products like the Democratic party. The toughest challenge is finding a pain point. For example, every American hates their insurance but they are unaware that it is a problem. We’ve never had a reason to think there was an alternative. If someone knocks government-run health care, respond with a question, “Do you like your health insurance?” “Have you or your family ever had a bad experience with the healthcare system?” They will then think about the pain of the reduction in their paycheck. That pain becomes real when you know there is an alternative. Switching would put $1200/month in your pocket, here is the consequence. “What difference would $1200/month make for your household?”

3.) Whoever controls their emotions wins! 

Ok, the goal isn’t ultimately about anyone losing, this is a negotiating lesson. Perhaps the most valuable sales to life lesson is learning to control your emotions. Many people who end up buying from you and being long term partners started the conversations with you completely uninterested. Every time you lose your cool on someone and return the favor, they will never work with you, this requires having more emotional control. This is a golden rule in debates as we saw with people like Biden getting flustered into gaffe after gaffe, whereas someone like Mayor Pete was slicker than Clark Grizwolds non-choleric-silicon-based kitchen lubricant. Pete was unflappable on that stage and danced his way out of every attack with a smirk. Talking politics requires emotional control, people will say things that really press your buttons. We have all been on both sides of flipping out in a conversation, you feel like an immature jerk and immediately regret it. Remember you will never regret taking the high road! 

Socialism is Already Here, Just Not for You.

Many arguments have been made on our capitalist, market-based economy being somewhat natural. Or at least that our economy will naturally thrive through competition and Supply and Demand so long as it is not tampered with by the Government. On the flip side of the coin, this argument implies that socialism/communism is entirely unnatural, ultimately robbing all motivation of each individual. The classic argument comes to mind “you think people are gonna get off their butts with more handouts!” Conservatives do a good job here bringing this into simple logic if the reward of hard work is given without hard work, why would people ever work hard? This is precisely where Robert Reich begins his book, Saving Capitalism for the Many, Not the Few. Reich invites you to imagine that you are out at sea and find an undiscovered island, with a population of indigenous peoples who have never been contacted by the outside world. Would they have a capitalist society due to the laws of competition and supply and demand? NO! These so-called natural laws aren’t laws at all, this is just a system where the government makes all the rules for the market. It is entirely arbitrary! We made up the whole thing! Well not us, but the wealthy who can afford to lobby the government. Breaking this fundamental misunderstanding of the system is crucial to the general publics’ ability to get a fair shake. 

Today we have more mega monopolies than at any time in history. Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook have grown to proportions never seen in human history, not to mention the power they wield controlling the flow of information. See the government decides typically breaks up companies when they are using their size to snub out competition entirely. See the market-based argument is that companies that big with that many resources can innovate at a breakneck pace due to their resources so it is good for everyone. That would be great if it was the case. However, Google spends more money on buying small companies and suing companies they can’t buy for patent violations than they do on research and development. Google’s purchase of Motorola is a perfect example, they did so to obtain patents from the company, then lawyers can go out and sue anyone who is a potential competitor for patent violations. Facebook is even more savage, Zuckerberg is famous for a path he walks behind their HQ with upcoming companies. This is where their dream will die. Zuckerberg then tells them you are going to sell to me or you are going to war with me. Vine is perhaps the most famous occurrence, at the drop of a hat they were able to kill Vine nearly overnight. When the CEO of Snapchat turned down his $3 Billion offer to sell, Zuckerberg went and immediately purchased Instagram to take him out. To this day FB has been adapting Instagram to take Snapchat users, like the story feature, and it is working, the value of Snap Chat has been dropping ever since.  

While those are the more obvious ways the game is rigged unnaturally, large corporations really thrive in areas the average joe can’t access or comprehend. Companies like Comcast and AT&T spend their resources constantly lobbying to change contractual law. Unless you are a lawyer, it is likely you would never notice. Even if you are a lawyer, you could never out lobby two massive corporations. See these companies have lobbied to make it legal for them to write things into contracts that had previously been illegal. If you are a customer of any of these large ISP’s(Internet Service Providers) 20-30 years ago when they were phone companies they were legally liable to provide a certain standard of service. You sign a contract and promise to pay for X number of months and they agree to provide some amount of service. Both parties are legally obligated to something. Today these companies have lobbied to change contract law completely in their favor. They now have the ability to write in a contract that upon signing you agree to forfeit any and all potential legal action against the company and will accept their arbitration in the event you want to pursue legal action. In laymen’s terms, we have all given up the right to ever take action against Comcast. No matter what they agree to or how bad the service is they are not liable. They don’t have to provide any level of quality. What is the result of this duopoly? America has the most expensive internet in the world, some of the worst public access, and we are not even in the top 10 countries when it comes to internet speed. If we were to disguise the name of these companies and describe this scenario, you would likely guess this was a business owned by a Russian oligarch.

Wait a minute that sounds like our healthcare system!?

Perhaps there is a pattern here! In America, drug companies have perfected the art of snubbing out competitors. We currently pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. No, we are not getting better drugs, the exact same drugs we take available in Canada at a fraction of what we pay. Why? Because our Government has changed the rules to favor the Drugmakers and not the people who need medicine to survive, like insulin. See our system kills the competitors to these Big Pharma companies through complex laws. First, in Europe, it is illegal for any Drugmaker to ever advertise. In America, once cigarettes were banned for TV ads, guess who bought all their spots!? Big Pharma, so go ahead and add that cost to our medicine. In most of the world for every drug made, there is a generic alternative available at a fraction of the cost. In America, companies are allowed to own patents on drugs enabling them to sue generic brands. Then once the patent is about to run out our legal system allows them to simply change the shape or color of the pill and renew the patent. This allows companies to pick the price they want for potentially decades. 

The moral of the story, this isn’t even a capitalist system. Not in any way. These companies are not competing, they are ruling. The rules of the game have been picked by them to ensure their financial longevity. Socialism is here, just not for you.

5 Books every Bernie Sander’s Supporter Must Read…

Fancy yourself a Progressive? It can be difficult to find helpful literature to learn more about the ideas and policies of Bernie Sanders. This is an odd list in that it isn’t entirely Political or Economic non-fiction, there are biographies and some fiction. While understanding the reasoning and logic behind the policies is certainly the first step, learning from Bernie’s grit, attitude and character is the only way we can achieve his vision in the future. Here are TAR’s five books that every Bernie supporter must read! 

5.) Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders

TL;DR- Hear it from the man himself. Extremely dry but information-dense, you’ll be a Jedi next time politics is mentioned with friends. 

Straight from the horse’s mouth. Controversial figures like Bernie tend to be hard to find accurate information on. You’ve never heard a full Bernie speech on a tv network. Non-fanatics beware, this is dictionary dry if you don’t love data and policy. However, if you are sick of being defenseless when people trash Bernie’s ideas you have to pick this up. This book is like a Jedi getting a lightsaber, Bernie breaks down every single policy. Most importantly he explains how bad the current system is leaving no other option but “radical” change. 

4.)Island and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

TL;DR While most people have heard of the dystopian Brave New World, it tends to overshadow Huxley’s masterpiece about a “perfect” society. This book is a crucial exercise in opening your mind to the way the world could be. 

Ok go ahead and get the conspiracy theory comments out of the way here. If you haven’t read Huxley, he is one of the greatest writers of all time from a prose, entertainment perspective. This is wild considering these are two of the greatest philosophical works ever created. Island is first because it will exercise your ability to think big and reimagine society. It is the opposite of the dystopian Brave New World, centering around a “perfect” society. 

 The plot centers around an Island named Pala, which is nearly impossible to reach due to ocean currents but sits upon the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. Strangely enough, Pala is also home to the happiest longest living humans on earth. The main character, a cynical journalist named Will Farnaby is hired to attempt to get to Pala and do the bidding of an Oilman. 

Upon his arrival he is stunned to meet people who are shockingly authentic and honest, essentially calling out his BS and negativity. Farnaby’s mission is to win over the new king’s mother, who is not a native of Pala. Farnaby and the outsider mother hit it off as fellow cynics. All the while a nearby dictatorship is threatening to invade Pala to take its oil. Will Farnaby navigates his own selfish ambitions of a future paycheck with the acceptance and love from the people of Pala, knowing that he was sent by an Oilman. 

Brave New World is much more well known with reviews abounding. However, Huxley’s main critique of capitalism is worth noting. If you live under a rock the book is about a dystopian future(that is very similar to the present) where instead of the Government ruling with force, they give people as many drugs as they want and give them simple jobs. An opening scene really sums up one of the best messages. They breed humans in a lab and raise them to adhere to society. In one room babies and let out to crawl and play with a room full of books and plants. They are having a great time exploring when all of a sudden blaring sirens and flashing lights erupt, leaving the babies horrified. A visitor asks the main scientist, “I know we don’t want people to read because if they like reading they will stay home and not consume anything, but don’t we want people to like plants so that they will consume transportation resources to get there?” The main scientist replies “Yes, at first we thought that as well, but once people grew to love nature they would stay out there and consume less and less. Now we make them hate plants but love country activities like dirt bikes and golf consuming more than ever.” 

Essentially, the things we love are what perpetuates an “unfair” capitalist system. There is a one-percenter getting a large cut of everything you buy. 

3.)A Traitor to His Class by HW Brands.

TL;DR – Are you mired in thoughts that even if Bernie won he couldn’t get anything done? Grab any FDR resource you can. Not only will it give you some hope, but it is also important to see the tactics used against the greatest President of all time.

It was really tough to not make this number 1. Honestly, the only thing stopping it is list continuity and the fact that it is extremely long. While many might not read this one, take this into account and watch anything you can on FDR. The Roosevelt series, an awesome Doc by Ken Burns, was on Netflix recently which is an excellent intro to what the man did, and why he was so informative to Bernie’s life.

You likely gathered this by the title that FDR did not grow up poor like Bernie. Yep FDR was a 1%er. So what turned this high achieving Richy rich into the most progressive pro-worker president in American history? Well, while he always leaned that direction it is safe to say the experience of losing the use of his legs late in life created the FDR that built so much of America we know today.  See FDR grew up not only wealthy but also handsome and very active. He loved playing sports and early on was being groomed for a Presidential run. Once he was viewed as handicapped the party was not so keen on him anymore, plus he lacked the confidence himself being overcome with self-doubt. Until he ran for Governor of New York during the Great Depression, becoming the most popular Governor in the country. 

What is perhaps makes FDR so relevant to Bernie is that the media hated FDR more than any politician in history. Yet despite the hatred of all of the wealthy elites, he enjoyed record-breaking popularity with voters. If we wish to succeed we must study FDR’s playbook, the wealthy have been obsessing over his impact and aggressively dismantling it for decades. 

2.)Saving Capitalism by Robert Reich

TL;DR – Reich lays out exactly how modern-day mega-monopolies like Amazon and Google spend all of their resource rigging the system away from true market competition. From contract law to the tax code, the system is aligned entirely against workers and consumers. Super powerful info in this book that is a little less dry than Bernie. 

We all know Robert Reich, he is all over Facebook with cute little videos. And I will admit I have seen him occasionally fall in line with the regular corporate Dems on culture issues. However what makes Saving Capitalism so powerful is not only his extensive background in economics, he also served in the Clinton administration. That might seem like a bad thing until you actually see him out there constantly explaining why Bernie is not only morally right but also economically proposing the best agenda. Perhaps Reich’s familiarity with the Corporate Dems is what enables him to explain precisely why they are so wrong on economic policy. For the record, it has long been said Reich was often ignored by Clinton whose staff and advisors were taking often times the opposite position. 

Saving Capitalism is a deceptive title, especially for this list, but it is actually making a brilliant point. Reich makes the argument that large corporations and the wealthy have tilted the system so far in their favor by changing laws and regulations they are on the verge of breaking our market economy. His point is that, in a certain sense, this is not even a capitalist system in the first place. He points to companies like Comcast lobbying to change contract law. Meaning that when you sign a contract for their service they can now include in the fine print that you forfeit the right to take any legal action against the company and will accept the results of arbitration they provide. Meaning they can not live up to any part of the contract, provide the worst service imaginable to all of their customers just to boost the bottom line, and the customers have to accept it. Why do we accept it, because the alternative is AT&T, which lobbies with Comcast for the same laws. All the while Comcast and AT&T refuse to compete against EPB of Chattanooga. EPB has the highest customer satisfaction in the country and was the first provider in America to provide GB Fiber internet. So why don’t you have EPB? Comcast has been using them since their inception and has successfully gotten the government to block EPB from expansion. Why? All because they are funded by the taxpayers of Chattanooga. This beckons the big question from Reich, who is really stopping progress here? 

1.)The People, No. A Brief History of Anti-Populism by Thomas Frank

TL;DR- Courting college-educated elites has been the downfall of democrats. Frank explains how the current trend is leading to the Democrats being the party of rich elites as opposed to the party of FDR that fought for workers. Frank makes the case that Populism or anti-elitism has always been the most powerful tool in American politics. If the Democrats don’t make drastic changes they risk being on the wrong end of the most powerful political weapon in America. 

What really puts this book at the top of the list is its relevance. Because this is a list of the proper “tools” of a Bernie supporter this book takes spot numero uno. If you read this title and went “eww populist are racist!” you need to order this book immediately. That very reaction is what led to Frank writing the book. Hailing from Kansas Frank is a historian who has written about the history of the original populist party that started in Kansas. Knowing the real story he was shocked to see Democrats using the word populist as a term for the boogie man and anyone who is racist, oh yeah, and somehow they used it slander, Bernie Sanders. However as Frank demonstrates, the elites will always demonize regular people and as they have done since the beginning, except now the roles are reversed, the Dems are the elites and the Republicans are now wielding the most powerful tool in American politics, anti-elitism.  

The book starts with the original people’s party of Kansas who attempted to form a party of western farmers, black and white southern farmers, and industrial workers of the city. While their success was limited, most of their ideas became a reality in America through none other than FDR. The Peoples part eventually became the populist party and went on to have one of their candidates run for president on the Democratic ticket, William Jennings Bryant. WJB was the first politician ever to self fund a campaign. He was also the first politician to actually travel around the country to stump, solidifying him as one with the people. WJB ended up being outspent by the largest margin in American history. 

The book continues to show how the Democrats dominated politically after the great depression by becoming the party of the people that were against the media and the wealthy elites. It represented workers and unions, sticking it to the boss. This domination continues until Richard Nixon with the help of Pat Buchanan stole the Democrat’s thunder as they were starting to sell out and work for elites. See Nixon, while working for millionaires, started using populist rhetoric, speaking to the forgotten, underrepresented population. Thus began the shift of working people to the republican party. 

Pat Buchanan went on perfecting his message of anti-elitism, seeing its effectiveness with real voters. Perhaps you know where this story ends…. Buchanan seeks a third party run in 2000, only to be run out of the race when Donald Trump claims he is also running third party. Next thing we know, Trump takes Buchanan’s whole entire script straight to the white house. Guess who guessed that Trump would flip the midwest? Pat Buchanan!

Bonus* Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

This is added as a bonus, however, we truly believe the very thing that makes Bernie so successful, his grit and determination, are exactly what we as supporters are lacking. This book is one of the best ever for motivation and mental health. We are in for a long ride here, we need to be mentally strong. 

The Most Eye Opening 10 Minutes Of Your Life | David Goggins – YouTube

What Progressives Can Learn From Trump.

During the Trump era, neoliberals have found their calling card and a second wind. Their most popular plan is that they aren’t Trump. Their climate policy is going to do more than Trump. Their healthcare plan is that Trump won’t be able to take away the ACA. Their COVID plan is to stop Trump from tweeting. It’s a Neoliberal dream, collecting donor checks and never having to actually legislate or govern. There are two ways to react to Donald Trump if you are not a conservative, complete hatred/anger/shock/disgust or you have taken the time to study and think about what Trump has exposed in Washington. If you remember the 2015 primary battle, Trump was originally opposed by all media, especially Fox. Unlike Bernie, Trump was able to somehow flank the media with their own supporters, forcing them to cave. If we truly seek to change this country, why would we not try to study the biggest outsider and chaos agent of the last 30 years.

All the Neoliberal apologists have already started heading for the exit at this point, no wait they would never click something about what we can learn from Trump. Let’s continue. There are three areas of study around Trump that we can gleam value from- his open corruption with politics, the corruption of the ultra wealthy, and his relationship with the media.

Remember when Saudia Arabia murdered journalist Jamal Khoshoggi back in 2018? Trump commented that it would be “foolish” to stop selling the Crown Prince weapons. When Trump said this, everyone’s jaws hit the floor, and the media went bezerk. Yet what is so fascinating is that President Obama sold billions and billions of weapons to a similarly corrupt regime in Saudi Arabia. This is what makes Trump interesting, his appeal is that he says the quiet part out loud. Should we sell guns that allow the Saudis to kill innocents and create a famine in Yemen? Obviously not from a moral perspective but we all know what is going on, we want the money! Trump is the first President to openly admit corruption. Think about his response to paying no taxes, “That makes me smart!”, and if you think Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama aren’t gaming the system in similar ways you’re fooling yourself. This is the first major lesson progressives can learn from Trump- the veil of innocence in Washington has been ripped back, both parties are in the same corrupt, self-enriching bed. If you refuse to see your own parties guilt and corruption you are exactly the same as the hard headed Trump supporter you hate. Obama has literally been galavanting around with Billionaires and landing massive production deals. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take the same Big Pharma and Wall Street donations as Donald Trump. Don’t let Trump’s shenanigans distract you from the circus of greed and corruption he has opened to the public.

While there is significant overlap here with the corruption Trump revealed within the government, he also pulled back the veil on the power of the ultra wealthy. Oh yeah and remember that lizard-man billionaire Michael Bloomberg who spent $100 million running, just for fun? These men showed us what the life of a Billionaire is like, from private jets and golden toilets to having affairs with pornstars. With Bloomberg we got an up close look at the scale of their wealth, his little $100 Million campaign experiment didn’t even cost 1% of his total wealth. To bring this to scale 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. So $100 Million to Mike Bloomberg’s $55.5 Billion would be the equivalent of $10 to most Americans. Really let that sink in, $10. Even if you had $100k in savings it would still only be $1000 to you. People like Bloomberg- Bezos, Buffett, Zuckerberg, Koch, Adelson, Soros any single one of them has enough wealth to end homelessness, or completely control the government through political donations. Fascinating to think of all the problems they could end with the click of a button, instead they are using their war chest to rig the tax codes and regulations to ensure they become even wealthier. This economy is like a pie, a very big pie, the bigger one slice gets the smaller all other slices become, and 1% of the population has half and the other 99% of us are left fighting over the other half. Trump is really the poster child of phony, late-stage capitalism- He inherited all of his money through a tax scheme that cheated the system, he has never produced, created, or built anything, just been a celebrity that can sell just his name to actual creators, the laws of the market never apply as he goes bankrupt time and time again with no consequence, all the while leveraging massive government tax breaks. Look at the stock market, the holy ground of capitalism, the fed is now completely propping up the market by injecting large sums of money to artificially increase the price.  At the end of the day Trump has shown us that the ultra wealthy are the real socialist, never bound to the competition based market while constantly using and merging with the government. 

It is hard to remember now after years of pro-trump Fox News, but when the President first launched his campaign Fox News vehemently opposed him. Remember his epic showdown with Megyn Kelly when he suggested that she was on her period when she attacked him? How was he able to turn the tides on them? This is perhaps the most critical lesson that the progessive left needs to learn from Trump. Obviously we can’t replicate Trump’s behaviors, but we need to replicate his results, or else we will get crushed every time under the foot of the media. When Joe Biden and Barack Obama were able to get every candidate except Elizabeth Warren to drop out of the race and endorse him, Biden received $100 Million dollars worth of free air time. When Joe Biden won South Carolina by a similar margin that Bernie had just beat him by in Nevada, he received 4 times the amount of positive coverage as Bernie. How did Trump fair at this media game? Well, during his first run he garnered over $2 Billion dollars of free coverage. Yep, the media’s inability to stop talking about him more than likely gave him the presidency, not to mention having a bigger twitter following than Fox, CNN, & MSNBC combined. He got through to their customer base, something Bernie was never able to do with suburban whites, the media kept him locked out. It is possible the media learned a valuable lesson after losing to Trump, their power lies in the ability to limit what information is available, not persuading people. Their greatest tool is silencing a person or cause, if you never show anything Trump does and occasionally show embarrassing moments or just never have Bernie Sanders on a show again. There is what you know you don’t know, what you know you know, and then the things you do not know, that you don’t know them. Things you don’t even think to ask the question about. This is where the media places people like Bernie Sanders and his policies. If the progressive left or any outsider right wing group wants to succeed we must have a counter balance to the media like Trump if we ever wish to have power.

Understanding the American Tax Code #2

Income vs Capital Gains

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles

In part one we discussed how America’s marginal tax code works, and the most common incorrect assumptions American’s make about the tax code. Check it out here if you missed it. Now that we understand basic income tax, let’s move on to Capital Gains and how wealthy people who understand the tax code can pay a smaller percentage of taxes than you and your plumber. 

For math’s sake let’s say you make $500,000 and Warren Buffett(can’t seem to stop using him) makes $500,000, he will pay a maximum of $100,000 in capital gains taxes while you will pay $149,457 in income taxes. Check out part one for this how to calculate this. 

Now let’s bring this down to reality, Warren Buffett can make that with one mouse click selling a stock. A doctor or surgeon might earn a large salary like that, but is still clocking in many hours of actual life saving work. 

How does this happen, why would a doctor have to pay more taxes than a stock trader? Capital Gains. Capital Gains are any profit made from the sale of an asset, like property, stocks and bonds. Side note: You probably noticed, your average working man or woman doesn’t have any of those. The extraordinarily wealthy do not earn income. They put all of their money into assets that rise in value, like land, and sell them later for more money and pay a lower tax rate. 

Wealthy people don’t make large salaries, they operate in the realm of assets and capital. They are paid in stock options. They buy and sell property, and when they die their fortune goes untaxed into the hands of their children, staying out of the system. 

How could this be? Well, wealthy individuals started lobbying to change the tax code and they succeeded with the Bush Tax cuts. It is really a brilliant strategy, they know the tax code is convoluted and hard to understand, a perfect place to change the laws for your benefit. We know today that companies like Intuit spend massive amounts of money lobbying to stop efforts to simplify the tax code. This forces people to file with TurboTax, they then criminally charge you to file taxes after committing to the government that the service is free. Do you ever wonder why ideas like Ted Cruz’s simple tax postcard don’t happen? 

Need to Heed

Welcome to a new series called Need to Heed, a running list of lessons we all Need to Heed. We all have little nuggets of wisdom, personal taglines we find ourselves repeating for years. In the south there is an old saying for everything. Expect these proverbs to be traditional and nontraditional, and expanding across all topics. The nature of TAR is to educate and inform the whole American person, which is why our first Need to Heed is from Bruce Lee –

“If you put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work, and into your life. There are no limits, there are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond.”