It’s Your Economy, Stupid GOPr

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

I’ve had it. I’m fed up with the attacks on the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress about the economy when the problem is and has been the GOP.

The same GOP which has steadfastly encouraged Americans to avoid vaccines and boosters, reject wearing masks, ignore the need for social distancing and better ventilation to prevent the ongoing spread of COVID, ultimately weakening the country’s workforce and reducing the number of healthy workers.

The same GOP which has persistently supported Putin’s demoralization and destabilization of this country, even though they knew Trump was an asset — we haven’t forgotten Kevin McCarthy’s blurting it out back in 2016 and the rest of the GOP congressional caucus continuing their omertà — ultimately encouraging Putin to attack Ukraine setting economic sanctions in motion.

Now there are GOP candidates who are running not only on the worst of Trumpism, expressing naked racism, misogyny, other forms of xenophobia, but running on just plain stupidity about the economy.

I swear I could publish a post at least once a week cataloguing so much fresh stupid.

Today’s idiot is a GOP senate candidate, Blake Masters, who has already distinguished himself within the last week with a racist remark aimed at Black Americans.

Masters decided today he wanted it his way:

Sir, this is a McDonald’s.

Masters has no fucking clue why there aren’t enough fast food workers to take orders, as if COVID didn’t kill more than a million Americans causing a cascade of job losses due to long COVID, difficulty finding and keeping safe daycare for children and eldercare, scared off older employees who’d rather tough it out on their Social Security than risk getting sick, made transportation more challenging because the used car market is tight and parts and labor for repairs equally tight, public transport shared with maskless riders, so on.

And last but not least, fast food workers’ wages have not kept up with the increase in rent driven upward by speculation.

That’s why you’re looking at a goddamned self-operated kiosk, Masters.

Not to mention potential employees don’t want to take the risk on an employer which can’t be bothered to post wages or the number of available openings.

Applicants need to know before they even bother to apply because the average rent in Marana, AZ on a 1-bedroom apartment is $1542 a month. A worker needs in excess of $15/hour at 40 hours a week to make the rent — not including any other expenses like food or clothing or water or electricity or health insurance — and fast food jobs aren’t 40 hours a week because the companies want to avoid paying unemployment benefits.

The remaining fast food restaurant workers are moving into other industries because they can’t afford the irregular, too few hours combined with the lack of benefits, the crappy management, and the chronic mistreatment by customers on top of exposure on the regular to COVID.

But go ahead and expose your gross ignorance, Masters, punching down on the people who can least afford the time to rebut your whining.

The people who should rebut Masters’ whining are the Arizona corporations which do business in or rely on automation and robotics — businesses which will replace the crappy jobs fast food workers can’t afford, while improving the Arizona economy with better paid design and manufacturing jobs.

Like these companies, to name a few: Stanley Black & Decker, Nogales AZ; Caterpillar, Tuscon AZ; Lucid Motors and IPE Aerospace, Tempe AZ.

I hope Arizonans are smart enough not to fall for Blake Masters’ ignorant Trumpiness. If he hasn’t already figure out how stupid he is (being a potential victim of Dunning-Kruger), he may inflict some wretched stupidity on Arizona and the rest of the nation.

Seriously, can Arizonans trust him not to lick the kiosk display?

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52 replies
    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      I think that tweet should be the least of his concerns considering this vile garbage:

      “We do have a gun violence problem in this country, and it’s gang violence, It’s gangs. It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other. Very often, you know, Black people, frankly. And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about that.”

      • Rayne says:

        Oh, I find that open racism so much more offensive, but let’s face it — many Americans have been conditioned to believe a lot of he said whether they’re openly racist themselves or they believe the crap about gang violence or about Chicago and St. Louis (which to a large degree are all dog whistles to the closeted racist).

        And Lori goddamned Lightfoot makes Democrats look like shit because she’s got issues, including a gross inability to understand the Constitution.

        Meanwhile, the GOP and its sponsor the NRA are pumping all kinds of fuel into the situation by ensuring gun sales are unrestrained in neighboring Indiana knowing the guns cross into Illinois and cause problems in Chicago. They know this but it’s already taken too many words for the GOP’s lizard-brained base to realize they’re the fucking problem Masters is trying to hide.

      • Spencer Dawkins says:

        I’m a lifelong Democrat. I wish someone would ask these clowns, “following up on what you just said, WHY don’t Democrats want to help Black people stop shooting each other?”

        (“… and please use small words. We’ll wait”)

        • Rayne says:

          Nah. You walk right into their frame with that follow-up. The question should be: What will the GOP offer to help Chicagoans stop shooting each other?

          Then let them repeat the racism and the emphasis on more guns with fewer controls. The next follow-up should be: That’s been tried before and it hasn’t worked; what will make it work this time?

          Rinse, repeat. They will continue to double down on their racism and their failed gun policies ad infinitum.

          • Nostradoofus says:

            Yep, that’s smart: hand the GOP a proven bullhorn and let them run with it…ad infinitum.

            After all, that’s worked out so well these past 30 or 40 years…in fact, it’s worked out so well that this L-I-B-E-R-A-L had to summon up a great deal of effort just to roll over in bed and fill out my mail-in ballot so that it’d make it into the box on time. That’s the enthusiasm ‘kitchen table issues’ create…when it’s democracy which is actually on the line.

            The Democrats have 2 elections left to make good: these elections are not sufficient in and of themselves but they are necessary. Lose one or the other–nevermind both–and you can kiss your fucking ass goodbye. That’s where Democrats have placed themselves and there’s nothing you can do about that beyond alerting a worthless media.

            So stop punching down on the Left–recall the stunt you pulled on Mehdi Hasan in March–and start actually doing something besides working your mouth. It doesn’t get the job done…as we saw in 2016.

            • bmaz says:

              Hey now, they aren’t getting much of anything done on kitchen table issues either! And, yes, the Republicans are a lot of the problem, but still the Dems come off as feckless.

  1. Ken_L says:

    Trump Republicans also want us to believe there are half a million smart, energetic, courageous vets sitting at home just waiting for the chance to apply for dead-end jobs as glorified hall monitors in the nation’s schools. The tragedy is that tens of millions of Americans listen to freaks like Lindsey Graham spew their nonsense and nod along in furious agreement.

    • Rayne says:

      Just what we need: a bunch of people who weren’t treated appropriately for PTSD during and after their military service armed with military-grade weapons in public schools.

  2. Rugger9 says:

    The historical rate of inflation is 4 % when one looks for a representative amount of time. What we have seen is (especially starting with Bill Clinton) that the inflation rate has been ridiculously low (usually less than 2 %) but that was also a wage stagnation issue. So, when the courtier press ties to bash Biden about the worst inflation in 40 years, remember also that if one hits the lottery and goes for a lump sum, that is the rate used to assess the time value of the payments over 26 or 30 years (depending upon the game) back to the present day. It’s wonky but also factual.

    The courtier press needs a horse race for clickbait, and they feel they need ‘access’ to the GQP for bothsides reporting and therefore they bash the Ds even though the GQP is uninterested in providing any real policy solutions at all. Let’s not forget KS, that libertarion conservative paradise of low taxes and low services under Brownback which worked so well that the schools closed in April because they ran out of money. The MSM won’t report that because the GQP threatens the press with blowing off interviews.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The other thing to consider when assessing the state of the economy is the proportion of inflation due to sheer corporate greed and gouging. IIRC Krugman pointed this out, and the ‘captains of industry’ are usually conservative (unless batcrap like Musk and Thiel) and they’ll look out for the party that will look the other way when bad things are being done. Long ago, the manipulation of the energy supply was one reason Gray Davis got recalled.

      Note also that these corporate titans have set up their supply chains to be vulnerable to precisely this kind of disruption, with low cost single source suppliers overseas. So, Biden’s left holding the bag for several poor corporate decisions.

      As for the politics, Lawrence O’Donnell made a point that as set up now the Uvalde investigation won’t be reporting for almost another six months, conveniently after Governor Abbott faces the voters.

      This continues a long line of deception and coverup by GQP types, like DeSantis in FL (among many others) hiding COVID-19 deaths as a policy, even back before Nixon’s ‘secret plan’ to end the Vietnam War. The latter turned out to be a quid pro quo with the RVN to shut down the peace talks until after the election. Let’s also remember Ronald Reagan’s success in getting the Iranians to keep the hostages until after the 1980 election to take down Carter. It’s how the GQP rolls and no quarter is owed the GQP by the Ds even if there was once a Tip-n-Ronnie myth.

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      Exactly! Maybe the Fed should have raised rates, or stopped the QE juice during the economic expansion before COVID. We’re all paying for their bad choices now.

      • Carolyn says:

        That’s right. Powell caved to Trump’s demand to juice the economy and reversed course. Hopefully the mother-fucker will lose again if and when he runs again.

  3. P J Evans says:

    Last I looked, the president doesn’t have control of prices at any level of the economy. So they’re definitely blaming the wrong people.
    ($6.50 for a burger sounds pretty much in line with what I pay at the market for fresh sandwiches and burritos – it went up to $6 last month, after having been $5 for several months. The burritos are large, so it’s a deal.)

    • Rayne says:

      Unfortunately the average American has a tenuous grasp on how the economy works let alone how government works. Not helping when an entire media ecosphere has ensured they stay that way, supported by other disinfo propaganda in the wild.

      Last week when fueling my vehicle I found a sticker on the gas pump consisting of a 2″ photo of Biden and a tagline which said the gas price increase was Biden’s.

  4. rattlemullet says:

    You sound like you expect republicans to have critical thinking skills. You will be, sadly, always angry. These folks still have both feet in the cave, no disrespect toward Neanderthals, at least they did set both feet out of the cave to expand their education and learning skills. The Putin network (Fox News) not only lies every day but works very hard to dumb them down to the ground to be knuckle draggers. It will get much worse before it gets any better from a voting electorate perspective.

  5. wetzel says:

    My feeling is there should first of all be a general refusal to debate any GOP candidate who is unwilling to go on the record as opposing seditious obstruction of Congress. There was an organized conspiracy employing extra-constitutional, violent means to overthrow the lawful transfer of power.

    I think before any Democrat agrees to debate a Republican, the Republican ought to be made to say they oppose seditious conspiracy. They left the plane of lawful debate and tried to overthrow the government. This is the season of nos accusens. Now it is established there was seditious conspiracy involving ‘secret’ meetings and false slates of electors? If that’s so, then Congressman Manbearpig, what about the people in your own state who participated? Do you support seditious conspiracy against the United States?

    I also think for Democratic propaganda we need a monster scapegoat for the Democratic messaging for the high inflation and grocery prices, and that should be Vladimir Putin. It should be in all the ads all the time. Put the inflation, the gas and the groceries on Putin. It has the benefit of being a true accusation. And Putin needs to be pinned on the GOP, which also has the benefit of being a true accusation. After the GOP changes their name to the New Whigs, the Democrats can ‘pivot’ as Chuck Todd would say, and we can pretend to start listening to their horseshit again.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, hell no, that is ridiculous. First off, the Dem would look like a chickenshit. Every opportunity to confront these deniers and blow them up publicly should be taken. Come on man.

      • wetzel says:

        You are right. It is what they would do. Paint us outside the latitude of acceptance. What do I know? I have learned helplessness. I am old enough to remember Carter. I am declaring emergency. It is a temptation, but how do you debate a scientific totalitarian?

        Maybe we should turn Gingrich’s old GOPAC vocabulary around like captured thermobaric artillery, his list from Language as a Mechanism of Control for cognitive priming. We could have workshops and train Democrats always to describe the GOP with ‘decay, failure (fail), collapse(ing), deeper, crisis, urgent(cy), destructive, destroy, sick, pathetic, lie, radical, traitors, etc.’ and to describe Democrats always positive action words like ‘share, change, opportunity, legacy, challenge, control, truth, moral, courage, reform, prosperity, crusade, movement.’ If we stuck to the plan, it could produce cognitive restructuring no matter the current functional basis of attitudes.

        We also have a bot gap, I think. We need more bots. From 2016 on, the GOP and other state actors have understood how to turn Reddit karma and Twitter likes into a Skinner box. If I am paranoid, we should still have our own bots doing this. We should use bots to deliver social isolation online to conservatives as a form of punishment stimulus.

        We also need a constant drum-beat from Democratic media. We can show bizarre, criminal and vicious behavior on the part of militia weirdos. Evangelical, Christian kidnapper episodes on Youtube from out of scary hinterlands.

        What is the view of humanity upon which the politics of the current GOP are premised? This is a fascist style of propaganda politics. How do you debate somebody where truth and fiction are immaterial to their will to power?

        My point is that with the coup attempt, corruption and entanglement with Putin led them to overplay their hand, and now there is widespread criminal culpability for sedition. Let the law run its course, but having the long arm of the law implicating top echelons of the opposing party ought to be like the wind at your back. I just don’t understand why Democrats don’t see the efficacy of their situation. I hate to sun on everyone’s parade.

          • wetzel says:

            Forgive me. I’m a bad writer, so I am bad at explaining what I mean. It’s not the kind of thing a person has practice talking about, when the opposing party has become fascistic. It makes a person sound like a zealot or that they are seeing devils. What I meant in my comment is that we cannot reciprocate their propaganda. You cannot debate fascists. We don’t have the scripts, norms and schemas for it. We don’t see people where there is no reality but power. We would never do that style of politics, but I think all those things are happening to us from the other direction.

            Reality does not matter if you can socially construct it through propaganda. The GOP has chosen fascism, and you can’t debate fascists. They left the plane of law and chose violence. Truth and fiction are not different within a propaganda mindset, so what is there to debate? It is a mistake to pretend it is a normal election season. The extra-constitutionality of the Jan 6 coup has put things outside the framework of law and so it is a crisis until it is settled.

              • wetzel says:

                It is reductive. I don’t really understand. My claims hare hard to justify. It think it is hard to tell when your own society becomes fascist. There are trait signifiers, though, like Umberto Eco described in his famous essay Ur-Fascism, and America has been flirting with these for a long time. It would make you feel uncomfortable at the Stone Mountain Laser Show.

                Trump would openly muse about the Insurrection Act. Watch someone like Vladimir Putin from the apartment bombings before the 2nd Chechen War onward. The fascist understands how terroristic violence creates a new social reality. The phenomenology of fascism is that it does not feel like a choice, so this has to be dealt with in a clear-minded way despite the inhumanity of these people being difficult to accommodate. That’s just my opinion.

                I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts. Democrats simply have to win the next three or four elections to save civilization. I think it is a fair inference at least that many in the GOP have accommodated to the mindset of fascist and seditious criminals. How can you debate someone where everything is propaganda, even violence like hangings in the square. Maybe this is my own overly reductive imagination, but nobody seems to play out how Trump had planned to keep the government he had seized. Were we just going to have the next election?

                  • wetzel says:

                    Appreciate your honesty. I guess I’ll just put on my turtle suit, my tin foil hat, and head down to the QuickTrip. I need to work on my arguments for a while.

  6. Spencer Dawkins says:

    “Seriously, can Arizonans trust him not to lick the kiosk display?”

    No. No, we cannot.

    Rayne, thank you for your second “that’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more” post this week. I’m just about equally frustrated by a political cult who would rather assign blame (to someone who has nothing to do with whatever they’re irritated about) than to try to change anything.

    I’d be semi-OK living in a world where a president was given enough power to fix the current problems with our economy(*), but I’m pretty sure these guys would not. And expecting us to shut down Russia’s participation in the world economy, especially as a provider of energy products and food, while nothing changes in the US economy is just stupid.

    * I lived through Nixon’s Executive Order 11615 in 1971, and we’ve learned a lot since then.

    • bmaz says:

      I’d like to note that I have used an identical McDonalds ordering kiosk in Gila Bend, which is to the northwest of the Marana location, on the way to San Diego. Been in there several times, and there are always humans at the counter and the drive through, but they back up. You can walk right up to the kiosk and it works intuitively, fine and quickly. Masters is apparently both incompetent and lying.

      • Rayne says:

        LOL could have saved yourself some time and said, “Masters is apparently both incompetent and lying.”

        Want to bet he has no problem ordering from Amazon on his cell phone? I dare any AZ journalist to ask if he has any problems using his Pornhub account.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, this cluck is a high tech venture capital guru and graduate of Stanford Law. And he can’t use the fucking McDs kiosk??

          Adding, as an extra bonus, the kiosk automatically offers you any coupons currently available, which, of course, they do not do at the counter or drive through.

          • Rayne says:

            I kind of wish a teenager would deliver the coup de grace with a demonstration. “Here, old man, let me show you how the app is used.”

            The really stupid part is that the app is more or less what the crew member behind the counter was using. Masters should be asking why a burger costs $6.50 when they’ve removed the warm bodies behind the counter but noooo.

              • Rayne says:

                Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take a photo of the kiosk at the McD’s-Merana with the warm bodies at the counter in the background.

                Masters needs to be nipped in the bud before he gets any bigger aspirations.

  7. Bobster33 says:

    Biden has a the ability to do a lot by executive action. That action can change the narrative. Biden can cancel a ton of student debt, reschedule marijuana, enforce the Sherman Antitrust act for a number of bad corporate entities, etc. All of these have not only a big political punch but also significantly affect people’s finances. An aggressive executive action campaign with one major action per month can do a lot to boost the Democrats chances of winning seats in November.

    • Rayne says:

      Let’s try a though exercise on just one of these items. Game out what happens if Biden cancels “a ton of student debt.” Be specific.

  8. Al Ostello says:

    ‘my toast got burned this morning, thanks a lot joe biden!’ — uneducated gop fools

    LOL

  9. klynn says:

    BM is lost.

    I thought the kiosks mirrored McD’s phone app ordering for contactless orders that McD’s developed because of covid? Sigh.

  10. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne. Republicans complain, blame, complain, blame, complain, blame. They live on a loop. No solutions. Everyone else is the problem.

  11. Opiwan says:

    So, to recap, a Republican capitalist has a problem with automation via tech adoption that takes non-value-added steps out of the ordering and fulfillment process and reduces labor costs, even though his party’s philosophy is aligned with wanting to squeeze every cent out of every operation possible in an endless quest to make “shareholders” their next billion. It’s like they have financial or professional incentive to be disingenuous, or something…

    *insert eye roll here*

    • Rayne says:

      Yeah. Be careful or you’ll strain your eye muscles. The hypocrisy is completely bonkers.

  12. Leoghann says:

    Blake Masters is an unfortunate hybrid of KD Vance, Charlie Kirk, and a 10-year-old boy. His Stanford education be damned, he worked for Peter Thiel throughout his twenties, mostly as a fanboi, and still thinks Thiel is God.

    Fortunately, he doesn’t have very good stage presence. He also doesn’t have the ability to answer thoughtful questions about the economic plans he has, or, actually, about much of anything.

    Maybe it’s because I’m the only person around here besides bmaz who calls Arizona home, but I noticed one issue with that tweet that no one else has pointed out. That’s not him at the kiosk in that picture.

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