MLK Day Flashback: Teacher Refused Award from Paul Ryan, Called Him a ‘Lackey for the 1%’ (WATCH)

paul-ryan-sad-1On this day, as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., you should undoubtedly hear a lot of people talk about how heroic he was for the things he did to usher in a new era of civil rights in this country.

Which is to be expected.  Dr. King was great man, and a true pioneer for civil rights.

However, I do get frustrated a bit when Republicans claim that if Dr. King were alive today he most assuredly would be a Republican.  It’s an absolute joke to really believe that.

But it reminded me of a teacher from a couple of years ago who apparently felt the very same way about Republicans “honoring” Dr. King as I do.

During a presentation two years ago, Al Levie refused to accept an award of congressional recognition from Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan because of the policies that Mr. Ryan supports.

Here’s the video, via Wisconsin Jobs Now:

Instead of taking the award from Ryan, Mr. Levie said to the crowd, “I can’t in good conscience accept this award, as a humanitarian, Paul Ryan stands for everything I don’t believe in.”

Later, Levie explained his protests:

“I would not accept the award from Paul Ryan because Paul Ryan is a lackey for the 1 percent.  Paul Ryan had no business at a Martin Luther King event, it’s totally hypocritical. On the one hand he votes to slash health care, while on the other hand, King dedicated his life and he died for it, for people to have adequate healthcare, to have adequate jobs.  King made it very clear that he was on the side of working people.  Ryan on the other hand, he has absolutely no affinity for the working class and for him to come to an event where somebody of King’s stature was honored is wrong.”

And he’s absolutely right.

Paul Ryan has made a career out of opposing almost every program that helps working Americans.  His stances on social programs are the complete opposite of Dr. King’s and his push to privatize Medicare, which would ultimately end Medicare, is a slap in the face to the tens of millions of Americans who rely on it to maintain their health.

But Paul Ryan represents a lot of what Republicans represent as a whole.  He’s a shill for the richest among us to the detriment of the other 99 percent of Americans.

So when these Republicans “honor” someone like Dr. King, while supporting policies that are in complete contradiction to what he believed in, it’s often hard to keep myself from laughing.

Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a thing, isn’t it?

I just hope more people start taking a stand like Mr. Levie did.  Because I personally feel disgust every time I see these Republicans claim to honor the great Dr. King when so many of the policies they support are complete contradictions to what he lived and ultimately died for.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • thomasbone63

    I have totally respect respect for this teacher. More people should stand up to people who only comfort the 1%.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      yo— my favorite Thomas!!! whats happening!!! hope the new year is prosperous and healthy 4 ya!

      • thomasbone63

        You too.

  • Robert W Crowley

    This man is 100 percent right about Ryan, Ryan is a pure hypocrite.

  • barbaralee12

    I have great respect for this teacher!I wish more people had his guts!

  • Jim Bean

    I’m old enough to remember MLK. MLK would have chastised Al Levie for his sanctimonious, self-promotional, display of self-absorption. He would have pointed out that he (MLK) devoted his life to breaking down barriers, not erecting new ones. He would have pointed out that such displays only provoke more of the animosity that needs to be alleviated. (Conversely, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would have pointed out that the level of animosity must be maintained in order to preserve the perception of discrimination.)

    • Anon

      As usual, you are 100% WRONG. You need to replace Al Levie’s name with Paul Ryan’s in your first sentence, then you would be 100% CORRECT.

      • Jim Bean

        You weren’t there (in MLK’s time). He was a man of high moral character. Neither Ryan or Levie are. Ryan was there in the official capacity to honor MLK. Levie was there in the official capacity to accept the honor. Levie’s actions dishonored MLK.

      • Anon

        Oh yes I was! Again, you are WRONG!

      • Pipercat

        He proves you can bat 1000!

    • Angela Walker

      Wow. Some serious far right fantasies there, Jim. Next you’ll be telling us that Jackson and Sharpton are “race baiters” and all that other crap that’s become so familiar when dealing with Fox News cultists.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        angela– I tototoally HATE white trash regressive scumbag CHRISTIAN tea ( bag) party scum,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but I will say this: I don’t like Sharpton or jesse Jackson as they BOTH do the rightwing “thing” of financially capitalizing upon the lemming stupidity of others.
        FOX “news” should be infested with fire ants and bed bugs

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      well; Im gonna agree with bimbo jimbo as to al Sharpton and jesse Jackson– BOTH of THOSE canards should be on FOX “news” as they BOTH do the rightwing “thang”….. capitalize financially upon the stupidity of those who follow ( exclusively) them.
      now— about paul ( 1% ) ryan and his group of white trash merry men……………… PRAISE JEEEEESUS!!

    • Lisa M. Alter

      I speculate that MLK would not have liked the divisiveness but would also not like Paul Ryan’s political stance.

  • Tony Bartlett

    Oh boy, here we go. The evil 1%. The latest battle cry for the socialist and the class envy promoters. And what is the crime of the top 1%? Well, they are the top 1%. Simple math has it in for them. That’s the way a socialist thinks. Rich people somehow make poor people poor. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they (poor people ) produce nothing or at least nothing that anyone values sufficiently. No, it’s those successful people who cause all the poverty and all the problems. They need to learn how to produce nothing of value like the bottom 1%. Then they will be loved. Then and only then will we be a great nation!

    • Thomas

      You shut your mouth right now. The bottom 50 percent make tacos, tires, sandwiches, light bulbs, and tons of other things i NEED. The top 1% do no actual work, they just have money which they inherited and don’t pay enough of. Nobody is against rich people for being rich. They’re against rich people for not contributing a damn thing and for hoarding money and worshipping it like a deity while others starve.

      • Tony Bartlett

        Really? If you can get rich by producing nothing then why aren’t the poor people who produce nothing rich? “They just have money that they inherited and don’t pay enough of”? This is exactly the kind of thinking that keeps people in the chains of poverty. Perfect example of the flawed socialist mindset! You hate them because they have what you want.

      • Pipercat

        Interesting concept. This would suggest the 1% build their own houses, cars, computers, produce their own food, luxury items, fix their plumbing, prepare their vitals before seeing the doctor, produce their own electricity, etc. They sure are multitalented and resourceful!

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        they own “genies” and have the stuff materialize out of thin air.
        those multi talented “JOB CREATORS”

      • Tony Bartlett

        No they have wealth and many people and many companies do things on their behalf in exchange for some of their wealth. That’s in the real world though. I’m not sure which world you are living out your fantasy in.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        not particularly bright; are you?

      • Tony Bartlett

        That is not an argument for or against anything. That is a personal attack. Based on your pointless attack I can conclude that you are probably not an educated person who knows how to hold an intelligent conversation or make coherent arguments in favor of what you believe in.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        any time U wish to wager against me in a state certified IQ test let me know–
        NOTE: in supreme sarcasm I replied to you: and YOU THOUGHT I WAS SERIOUS??????

        ” not particularly bright ; are you”?

      • Tony Bartlett

        Why would they build their own when there are people who will do it for them in exchange for some of their money? You are living in a fantasy world. We actually live in the real world in case you haven’t noticed.

      • Pipercat

        I’m sorry, you forget your own argument. Your thesis is that poor people create nothing, rich people create everything. You’re just pivoting now.

      • Tony Bartlett

        No that is your misinterpretation of my argument. I can simplify it for you: Wealthy people contribute more to society than people who are less wealthy. You guys go after the 1% when the real problem is with able-bodied people who do not live up to their potential and therefore do not contribute their “fair share” Many consume more than they produce. I’m not hating anybody I’m just speaking factually. Any one could wake up tomorrow and be poor from just bad luck or other tragedies. I feel for them but it doesn’t change the fact that they don’t contribute as much to society as wealthy people do. So I say embrace the wealthy and the 1%. If they weren’t here someone else would have to pay all those taxes. Then again, someone would always be in the top 1% and you left wingers would demonize them no matter what.

      • Pipercat

        Here’s your red herring on the subject. Forgive the quote mine, but sometimes it becomes necessary:

        “Rich people somehow make poor people poor. It has absolutely nothing to
        do with the fact that they (poor people ) produce nothing or at least
        nothing that anyone values sufficiently.”

        This automatically assumes that all “poor people” are sitting around doing and contributing nothing; meanwhile, the wealthy are being busy little bees producing everything. Hence, my first critique. Moreover, your last response is not speaking factually, it’s speaking fallaciously. The points made are irrelevant because your logic is flawed and creates a straw man built upon unsubstantiated assumptions regarding unrelated real world events.

      • Tony Bartlett

        Ok just because you put something I write in quotes doesn’t validate what you say it assumes. I said what I said not, what you said. It is your flawed assumption that is well, flawed. I’m just defining, in my own way, what poverty is. If you are poor you are not producing anything that anyone values sufficiently. If that was not a fact, they wouldn’t be poor. I know you’ve been conditioned to assume that conservatives are just evil selfish people. It’s not true. We simply have different ideas about how to solve societal issues. Someone being rich does not make you poor. Simple. No need to twist my words into something else. Now your last two sentences just say I’m wrong without providing any arguments to support your claim. The last one looks like you are really forcing some bigger words in so you sound smart. Maybe you are smart but it doesn’t cover up the fact that you don’t make any arguments to support your opinion that I am wrong. I have compassion for the poor. I’m gonna tell them why they are poor and how to escape poverty. I’m not going to tell them they are poor because of the 1%. You are poor because you don’t produce anything that is sufficient valued by others. That’s what they really need to know, not that it’s someone else’s fault. You are basically telling people that they can’t solve their own problem. It’s a great way to get votes but it really only helps the politicians who sell it.

      • Pipercat

        Word vomit all you want, but words in the quote are yours. That is the red herring you are using to validate your fallacious and unsubstantiated assertion. It’s up to you prove your assertion factually and logically, not for me to disprove it. That’s called Hitchen’s razor. You are not defining poverty in your own way, you are creating a hasty generalization on two levels. I have made no other assertion other than to challenge your logic or lack thereof. I’m sorry you cannot see the problems with your logic. Your arguments are baseless because they are fallacious. This means they are illogical and draw unsubstantiated conclusions.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        he graduated top 1% of the class leaning at FOX “news” diatribe,,,,,,
        classical avoidance of the topic,,,,,,,,,spin spin spin ( pivot!!)

      • Tony Bartlett

        Hey let’s dissect your flawed thinking a bit more…

        “The bottom 50% makes tacos, …”
        No they don’t, they work for a company that produces those things. If they were capable they would open their own company. They aren’t capable and/or they are not willing or able to take the risk required to create a business.

        “The top 1% do no actual work”
        That should be everyone’s goal. To produce enough wealth to sustain themselves. A lot of people call that retirement. …and remember that all wealth creation is taxed. Inherited wealth is wealth has been taxed and taxed and taxed! Don’t hate. Appreciate!

        “Nobody is against rich people”
        As long as they give you their hard earned wealth, right?

        “They’re against the rich people for not contributing..”
        Let’s see how much YOU or anyone else has paid in taxes or charity vs. “rich” people. The people who only consume, who produce nothing of value and contribute absolutely nothing to society. Those are the people who are not paying their “fair” share! Once you create wealth and pay taxes on it you should be free to do whatever you want to with it. You want it? Go out and earn it!

        I am against the people who REALLY don’t contribute. Not the rich who contribute much in taxes and charity. I am against those able bodied worthless people who consume much and contribute nothing! That’s where the REAL problem is!

      • nvelardi

        Amen Tony Bartlett. These people will never understand. Socialists indeed, they will always find a way to blame somebody else for their shortcomings. There are plenty examples of poor people becoming well off, my parents included. It’s called hard work and determination. The world needs poor people however. People that will be satisfied doing nothing more in life but making tacos and whatever else. No matter what there will always be poor people in the world, nothing will change that. This is their choice. AND IT IS A CHOICE!!

      • Anon

        Oh gee, I bet you got rich off the sweat of your parents backs then, not your own. You typical, smug, arrogant spoiled little brat. Who in their right mind is going to make a CHOICE TO BE POOR? Moron.

      • Anon

        Then, what about the people who go to college, worked hard to get their degree, and they cannot find a job in their field, so they resort to working two jobs because the pay is so low, because they have to start paying back student loans, (because mom & dad are just hard-working middle class folks and couldn’t pay for their kids college tuition), and they can barely get by every month no matter how many hours they work??? What about those people? There are always going to be some lazy moochers who work the system, but the majority of the people that are really struggling to get by work just as hard as you, many of them much harder than you or your rich relatives. Stop the judging and hating and thinking everyone is jealous of the rich. That is not true. The middle class in America just want enough to make ends meet, and take a vacation once a year, and buy a new car when they need to. That isn’t asking for much, and yet I know many that cannot even come close to doing those things and they are people working their tails off everyday. What do you say to them, Mr./Ms wealthy advocate?

      • Tony Bartlett

        If i’m Mr. wealthy advocate then what are you? Mr. Poverty advocate? I don’t apologize. I think it’s much better to be wealthy than it is to be poor. We should want people to become wealthy and independent not impoverished and dependent. I think most wealthy people are more productive and contribute more to society than poor people. I want poor people to become wealthy people. I want poor people to be productive. I want rich people to be encouraged to put their wealth to work rather than putting it on the sidelines. Every wealthy person isn’t born rich. There are great rags to stories playing out every day but if you hang out on websites like this too much you won’t hear about them. I am an advocate of people. Socialism destroys the human spirit. Capitalism isn’t perfect but it is the best system and it has done more to help more people escape poverty than any other system in the history of mankind. You want to blame rich people for poverty? They are paying most of the taxes that pay for all the government and social programs. You should love rich people and honor their contributions.

      • Anon

        Of course, typical conservative avoided my questions. I am an advocate for the MIDDLE CLASS, genius!!! Remember them? THEY are the MAJORITY of this country. They have been paying for those government and social programs you think only the wealthy are paying for. You need to listen to the MIDDLE CLASS talk about their lives in the last 7-8 years. Their incomes have been stagnant, or for some even less, the last 8 or more years. The MIDDLE CLASS is who I am talking about and you know it. You rich people don’t want to hear about how they have been screwed over. You completely avoided even mentioning the MIDDLE CLASS who have been working harder than anyone during this recession. The rich have been getting huge tax breaks for decades now and it is time for those to stop. You made money in America and it is time for you to hire back employees who were laid off, and to pay your employees better, and give back better benefits that have been taken away, all the while you have gotten wealthier. It’s time to bring all manufacturing jobs back to America, instead of having everything produced in foreign countries where the laborers are paid dirt per hour. It is so wrong that tax breaks have been given to these employers who ship jobs overseas. Why is there such huge income inequality in the United States? Because the middle class is vanishing and the wealthy do not give a damn about them, because most wealthy people only give a damn about themselves and their money. Such a disgusting lot, most of these wealthy types. The MIDDLE CLASS have worked hard their whole lives and they feel like they have been given a raw deal, because they have. The GOP wants to reduce Social Security, and Medicare, and a lot of these MIDDLE CLASS people will only have that, and maybe a mediocre pension to live on after they retire, and it is not fair that they now have to worry and will be struggling to get by in retirement. The wealthy people don’t get it. Hell, they don’t even want to talk about it because they know it it true. Get over yourself, Tony Bartlett. You couldn’t hold a candle to men like my Dad, and my siblings and spouse. They are the workers of America who should be hailed and honored, not the greedy wealthy with their sense of entitlement!

      • YoungWisdom

        Not capable or not having it handed to us ? There is a difference , wealth will never make you smarter then an average person , your ignorance makes you even dumber, Because im sure we all would if we could , you didnt earn nothing , you sustained your parents wealth you f*ckin Prick, So your basically against yourself? The able bodied hardworking 9-5 people are worthless? So what’re you ? Im 20 years old , no college , and i know more then you , maybe you can manage stuff or renovate , but you’d never be able to build from the ground up , if you lost all your money you’d really have nothing , id rather be “poor” smart and happy , you 1 % can enjoy your fake lives , we dont need money to feel rich

      • Tony Bartlett

        I’ll ignore the ignorant name calling. If you were educated you would have learned that name calling is not argument and it mostly reveals that you don’t have one (an argument that is). You admit that you are not educated so I’ve been warned.

        Look, it isn’t about education or even how smart you are. Your ability to produce wealth really comes down to these 3 questions:

        1. What can you do?
        2. How many people need or value what you do to the extent they are willing to pay for it
        3. How many people can do what you do as well as you do it.

        The answer to 1 can be anything but the answer to 2 should be a large number and the answer to 3 should be a small number.
        For example: Michael Jordan played basketball. Lot’s of people are willing to pay money to see great basketball. Few if any can play like Jordan therefore Jordan is very rich.

        Now let’s take the burger flipper. He flips burger. Lots of people will pay money for burgers but the problem is that anyone (that’s like billions of people) can flip burgers. Therefore he is poor. See how it works?

        Now a liberal will say pay the burger flipper $15 an hour but a conservative will tell him to look at the three questions and solve the problem with his own direct action. I know which one will lead to success and which will lead to failure. Do you?

        Ask yourself those three questions and if you don’t like your answers do something to change them.

        I am a Black man grew up in a poor neighborhood on the South side of Chicago. I never made any excuses for myself. I escaped poverty by knowing how to navigate those three questions. No trust fund, no government program. You could learn a lot from someone like me but you would rather write us off as “evil rich people,” call us names and claim to be smarter than us. Ok, but then don’t complain about being poor. It’s not the 1% fault, it’s your fault!

        Show me an able bodied poor person and I will show you someone who hasn’t figured out the right answers for the three questions or they are just lazy or maybe they are just starting out and have yet to figure out how to make it. You are young so I hope that you are just starting out and you don’t really understand how capitalism works or how terribly destructive socialism is to the human spirit.

        If you don’t learn anything else. Know that people who have more than you or different opinions than yours are not evil and hateful or that other thing you called me. The whole 1% thing is just a political ploy for unsophisticated people. It works like this: Let’s attack the 1% they have more than everyone else so let’s play on jealousy and envy and have potentially 99% of the people on our side. Brilliant political strategy but you have to pretty ignorant to fall for it. The real privileged class is the ruling class. Want to get rich with other people’s wealth without producing anything? Become a politician.

    • Lisa M. Alter

      You say socialist like it is a bad thing. Nothing wrong with working hard and earning money for it. Unfortunately, the current 1%, by and large, have not done this. A few have, notably Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom give quite generously despite whatever flaws they otherwise have. But most of the 1% inherited it. Some of them (Mitt Romney) chose to take their money and become vulture capitalists. Others (the Walton clan) have chosen to treat their workers like commodities, privatizing gains and socializing losses. Did these people “cause” poverty? No. Poverty has been and likely always will be. But many of the policies they support, notably supply-side economic theory, has made poverty more extreme. Please see the writings of James Galbraith for support.

      • Tony Bartlett

        So you are against inheritance? You think you should give all your wealth to the government when you die? If you really think the “poverty” in the US is extreme you need to get out more. Travel to some other countries and see what real poverty is. There are millions of people in the world who would die to live like the poorest person in America. Poverty isn’t more extreme we just have more people willing to accept life at the lowest rung of the ladder. We’ve actually made it much more comfortable and much more palatable. The same way our government makes holding on to your wealth more desirable than taking a risk and investing it.

      • Lisa M. Alter

        No, I am not against inheritance. But those that inherited their money did nothing to earn it. I have seen poverty in other countries; that is not the issue. Plenty of people are dying in the U.S. because of the poverty here so I believe that you are quite incorrect; people elsewhere don’t want to live like them. They want the chance at the “American Dream”, a chance that is MUCH more difficult to achieve than it once was. Further, your statement about holding wealth vs. investing is simply ridiculous. Putting money into a bank is investing. The purchase of stock is investing. Even the purchase of the lowest-paying bond is investing. Purchase of gold, jewelry, art, homes, etc. is investing (albeit of a slightly different character). Only the equivalent of holding cash in a mattress is not investing and I don’t believe those with capital have made that choice very often.

      • Tony Bartlett

        So what’s your point? People are bad or selfish if they inherit money. The wealth has already been taxed and someone at some point worked hard and/or took risks to produce it so what do you want? Why do you care? If you could leave your descendants wealth, would you? Many businesses are hoarding cash because of lack of business opportunity, government overregulation and uncertainty in the US and the global economy. Just google businesses hoarding cash if you don’t believe me. Note that cash in business accounting is not specifically limited to the cash you have in your pocket, in a safe, or under a mattress. Cash in a bank account in a bank account is considered cash not an investment instrument like bonds or other assets that cannot be quickly or easily converted to cash.

      • Lisa M. Alter

        My point is that in your initial post you imply that the 1% are successful. It takes no skill to be born to rich parents. I do not consider the mere possession of large amounts of money to be success. That someone else took risks or earned the money is irrelevant.
        Why do I care? Because there are people, perhaps you are one, that seem to think the mere possession of money is success and somehow conveys worth. This is simply sad.
        I strongly disagree with your statement that businesses are hoarding cash because of lack of opportunity and over-regulation. The economy of the U.S. is uncertain; the failure of businesses to invest is helping make it so. Googling the topic as you suggest leads to a number of articles stating this. This includes Forbes, Money, and a number of publications with liberal bias that I shall not name. So no, I don’t believe you because the evidence suggests otherwise. While businesses may perceive of the amount of regulation as “over-regulation”, many fine economic minds disagree. Even the behaviorist Paul Krugman has spoken in support of some level of regulation.
        Further, you indicate in your original post that “(poor people ) produce nothing or at least nothing that anyone values sufficiently.” This statement is simply and patently false. Many people, poor and otherwise, are employees laboring with someone’s capital. To imply that this makes the goods and services they produce “nothing” or “nothing that anyone values sufficiently” is not a well-considered idea. For if you only value the capital and don’t value the labor, the food will never been grown or cooked, homes will never be built, and you will wallow in filth because your home is never cleaned. Is it neurosurgery? No. But more people need food than neurosurgeons. I may not value all skills equally, but I value the people that perform them. If you do not, that is your choice.
        For the record, Mr. Bartlett, I am a certified accountant; I am well aware of the business definition of “cash”. Consider that there is selfishness everywhere. There is charity everywhere, too. Some of those that inherit their wealth use it to build fine businesses that help the economy. Some of them are (in my opinion) air bandits. Some of the poor are too. There is something often discussed during ethics training for attorneys – in public law and criminal law in particular. It is the concept that poor people often make bad choices. What is rarely noted, however, is that the poor have fewer choices in general, and sometimes all of the options are bad. Blaming them will not help. What may help is considering how to give them better options.

      • Sam

        Well said, Lisa M. Alter.

    • surfjac

      do you know what rich people were when they were taxed at 90% in the fifties?
      Rich

      • Tony Bartlett

        The tax code was completely different in the 50s. You don’t think anyone would actually pay 90% of their income in taxes do you?

    • surfjac

      The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay has increased 1,000 percent
      since 1950, according to data from Bloomberg. Today Fortune 500 CEOs
      make 204 times regular workers on average, Bloomberg found. The ratio is
      up from 120-to-1 in 2000, 42-to-1 in 1980 and 20-to-1 in 1950. It is estimated that currently the ratio is 350 to 1.
      To me, this is the covenant between employer and employee that is broken. I defy a ceo to do the job of one of his engineers or maintenance people as well as that individual. A ceo may be good at what he does, that ceo-ing thing, but alone, he’s worth nothing.

      • Tony Bartlett

        The real question is why do the CEOs make what they make? Why do the people below them make what they make? I know, greed right? Wrong. It comes down to three simple questions:

        1. What do you do?
        2. How many people are willing to pay for what you do?
        3. How many people can do what you do as well as you do it?

        These are the relevant questions. Who cares what other job a CEO can do? How does that play into what someone earns? It means absolutely nothing. It’s just unproductive, mindless class envy.

        This gap is caused by the lack of power employees have vs the employers. Today we have many workers competing for few jobs. What we need is many employers competing for fewer available employees. Once you realize that this is the problem you will see the government interference in the market is what is contributing to the current imbalance of power between employers and employees.

      • Lisa M. Alter

        A textbook response. However, a review of CEO pay around the globe demonstrates that your three questions are not all that is relevant in the real world. Why? Because 1) very few people can do what I can do, 2) people are willing to pay for it, and 3) I am VERY good at what I do. Yet I am grossly underemployed. You ignore a host of factors that have much more to do with hiring decisions than any rational theories of business behavior. That you can speak of “class envy” makes me wonder if you are not from the U.S. The rest of your post is another textbook argument from the business establishment.

      • surfjac

        Which is to say we need more better paying jobs. The economy is moving along just fine for the wealthy; it’s going nowhere for everyone else. SO, either jobs are created or salaries go up. Create jobs and now the job pool shrinks forcing employers to pay more to keep valuable employees. Create jobs and there’s more money flowing through the economy.

  • Adam of Portland

    Nicely played, teach!

  • JustTheFactsMa’am

    I’m sure his skin was crawling just with Ryan being on the stage with him, but you KNOW that had to feel good to snub that smug hypocrite.

  • Orialis Colon Jr

    Black folks learn your own history democratic party was in with the kkk, as for the teacher what a bunch of nonsense Democrats all about tolerances you sure showed the world that. Also how is it wrong to cut health care or anything for that matter its absurd for taxpayers to keep footing the bill

    • Anon

      And I suppose you would call the Republicans tolerant? What a joke. What’s absurd is tax breaks and corporate tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations!!! Now who do you think, Mr. Colon, Jr. supports those???????? The taxpayer! Get the facts about who needs help in the country, and it isn’t the wealthy. Sheeeeesh, ignorance is so rampant in this country.

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Yes very tolerant, okay let me put it this way if you make 100 and pay 50 percent in tax less or more than a guy who makes 1000 and hired 8 guys 100 each and makes 200 so you still want to tax him/her more. The only way for libs to shut up about it is to do 40 percent across the board tax per person making income, also some facts for you if no one did support these companies im sure china will and that means bye bye jobs why don’t you ask yourself are these company American owned point is Bill Clinton made it that way with the free trade act

      • Darkthunder

        And why would it be wrong to tax EVERYONE equally? I’m not in favor of taxing the rich more than the poor. But should the rich not pay EQUAL taxes to the poor, in the very least?

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        so your ok with someone who made millions to give 1000 in taxes equal to the middle class and the poor gets money back

      • Darkthunder

        In Sweden, we have a flat income tax rate of 33%, regardless of if you make 20000 or 500’000 (Swedish Krona as currency).

        And yes, i’d be perfectly fine if gazillionaire making 1’000’000 dollars per month, had to pay an equal amount of taxes compared to a worker making 3000 dollars per month. 33% flat tax (for example), would be 333’333 for the millionaire, and 1000 for the worker.

        Personally, i’d like to see less of a gap between the “top 1%” and the “other 99%” in terms of income, but I do think both groups should pay equal taxes. If you are unemployed, naturally you’d pay 0% taxes, since you have no income at all.

      • Lisa M. Alter

        I’d love to hear more about how the Swedish flat tax works. The U.S. system has so many competing equities (aka loopholes) written into the system that a flat tax would not be equitable with the remainder of the Code in place.

        I have read speculation that the U.S., being considerably more diverse than Sweden, has a population and culture that is less uniform. Thus, culturally, we as a nation have problems with “the other”, whoever we perceive “the other” to be, possibly getting a better deal than us. Your thoughts?

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        What about per person tax 5000 a year if you earned any income that is fair than any percent

      • Lisa M. Alter

        Problem is that the guy (sexist) that makes 1000 (unit unspecified) but paid out 800 at 100 each to the eight buys (sexist) he hired so he only has 200 left. The difference between 100 and 200 is minimal. It’s the difference between 100 and 1,000,000 that is the problem. Yes, Bill Clinton enacted policies like a moderate Republican. Study taxes before proposing that a flat tax is in any way fair. I have. It isn’t.

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        You are very sexist only bringing women down

      • melloe

        And of course, you forget that when the tax rate over a million bucks was 980%, we had a middle class and low unemployment. Even at 39%, unemployment was low, and everyone gained. But the rich now have an effective tax rate of about 15%, those who pay any taxes. Did you guys quit school at the thrid grade?

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      hey f*ckface—- how about the scumbag white trash regressives who demand RELIGION in politics and have those terrrrrific ” trickle down” economics ( SEE: Reagan / bush 1 /bush 2) which totally screwed Americas middle class…..
      we wont mention the silly lil’ IRAQ war which your rightwing trash levied upon the TAXPAYERS…. and THAT worked out sooooo well!

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Lol is the love of god taboo for you and where does it say religion can’t be in politics lol but think you’re missing a few presidents like Bill Clinton and obama yes yes we should not have been in Iraq. Yes that is why we had a tax cut under bush

      • Anon

        Based on your replies I think you are missing a few brain chips. Typical redneck Republican = Total Ignorance. Go watch some more Fox News and Duck Dynasty.

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Okay

      • Darkthunder

        “Where does it say religion can’t be in politics”

        Forget about “Separation of Church and State” ? Dumbass.

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Where in the constitution does it say that “separation of church and state” DUMBASS

      • white trash religious teaparty

        look up what Thomas Jefferson said as he contemplated the writing(s) of our constitution
        the supreme court ( 1879; 1947) also echoed that as an ” authoritative declaration”…….read what justice hugo black ( 1947) said,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, then get your smarmy UN educated ass back at me…..
        thou be mega-uber DUMBASS

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        ……..all I see is Said this Said that, where is the law ? also want to point out read the first amendment carefully and message me if you found anything out

      • white trash religious teaparty

        sounds like U don’t WANT TO LEARN that principle as colloquially stated by a FOUNDING FATHER— also: John Adams –in the treaty with Tripoli– which is CLEARLY written ( by adams; another FOUNDING FATHER) saying “the GOVT of the united states is NOT–in ANY sense–founded on the Christian religion”…………………………………… so please ‘read ’em and WEEP’
        I do notice that you–as all regressive trash– didn’t comment upon the historical perspective(s) I mentioned as THAT would diminish your non sequitur “argument”

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        so where is the law?

      • white trash religious teaparty

        law? U mean like abortion is LAW and the ACA ( obamacare) is law? is that what U mean and are asking?? lemme know

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        yes the law where is it

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        also what to add since you added obamacare anyone who has religion don’t have to comply with giving out any birth control plan or pills, Once again Ill as you to read the first amendment carefully

      • white trash religious teaparty

        wow— so hows ur take upon the texas scum BIG govt TRYING to keep a long dead woman alive so a baby ( all physically screwed up) can be “born” even as its against family wishes? BIG GOVT/ mandating atavistic morals/ who pays??? funny how the scum christian rightwingers vanished in THIS debacle

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        but yes the LAW

      • white trash religious teaparty

        hey dwarf— I have NO PROBLEM with GOD: I have a PROBLEM with scumbags who follow all of the small dicked loser religions on this planet.
        especially here in America the bogus phony christians

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        You Sir are a racist, I need not waste my time on scum like you

      • white trash religious teaparty

        nope– I hate all equally: especially shitbags who “think” some long dead sheepherder/ carpenter is GOD

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        actually he is not GOD he is the SON OF GOD. shitbag with a side of nuts for you

      • white trash religious teaparty

        wrong again; O gerbil droppings—————ask any CHRISTIAN———– the CHRISTIANS proclaim JEEEESUS to be GOD- the catholics claim he is son of GOD. Wanna try to look even MORE stupid?? U f*cking imbecile— read before U spout—-
        NOTE : we are ALL “children ” of GOD– GOD has NO grandchildren————–

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        racist bigot Christians recognise Jesus as the Son of God who was sent to save mankind from death and sin

      • white trash religious teaparty

        hey concrete skull———— (A) it is spelled RECOGNIZE (b) Christians CLAIM that if YOU ( and I) do NOT accept CHRIST as GOD you( and I) will never go to heaven; hence we travel one-way to hell.
        seems CHRIST didn’t do a real good job based upon history and how humans treat humans
        maybe its like republican “trickle down ” economics::: jes’ neeeeeeeds more TIME???

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        so that is what it is about you don’t believe in GOD so you are going to HELL and pissed off
        to bad for you

      • white trash religious teaparty

        it is spelled TOO bad,,,,,,
        ,,,,and Ive already been to hell.
        heaven has flatchested chics,,,,,,,,,,,,,
        hell has the sluts with big natural chics and much warmer climate
        ===================================
        I didn’t say I don’t believe in god–im agnostic—I don’t believe in VOODOO ( religion) as low IQ inbred lemmings such as U do

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        moron

      • white trash religious teaparty

        now THATS the reply I was digging for———typical of small dicked losers who get CRUSHED with facts,,,,wherapon they simply roll their eyes!!
        the audience is applauding your FOX “news” training!!

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        why hate something that spews love

      • white trash religious teaparty

        religion spewes love???
        Hmmmmm————– that LOVE has destroyed /crippled/ tortured / starved/ conquered mankind since mankind invented it
        LOVE????? U “gotsta” be kidding!!

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        so what is doing now that you hate ?

      • white trash religious teaparty

        fucking up government with atavistic VOODOO and superstition,,,,, screwing people and taking money
        GOD yes!!! religion??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOo

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        and you need to refresh your history lesson who started what and ended what 😕 figure it out
        it is not one day a man with faith wake up and say well time to destroy conquer and take no no no like I said do some research and fined out why the crusades started

      • white trash religious teaparty

        you really need to work on English syntax and spelling

      • jamie

        So….what exactly is “GOD” seeing as how all of these “…small dicked loser religions…,” have all got it wrong, including the atheist, but you know right? Agnostic.. let me guess, you just like all the other delusional believers out there have talked to God right? That must be how you know…. please tell me the secret of the universe all-mighty narcissistic one

      • white trash religious teaparty

        sorry schmuckface,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, inasmuch as I have read the bible/the tao/ the bhagavad gita/varieties of religious experience ( very tough 2 read); conversations with god——-
        as well as MANY other spiritual( and religious) writings. My conclusion? GOD cannot be defined- which means even IF “GOD” spoke with me I wouldn’t know. Seems alopecial crybaby Jamie should catch up in HIS readings ( education) B4 Jamie opens his idiotic mouth again
        AGNOSTIC means ” doesn’t know” ( and in my case doesn’t care)

      • jamie

        I am perfectly aware of the meaning of agnostic. It does not seem you do however, after all, in your own words an agnostic is someone who doesn’t care, yet for someone who is a not caring agnostic, you white trash religious party sure do leave a LOT of comments about it (too many for someone who isn’t supposed to care in my opinion). You see smart ass, you can not claim to be something, and then act the complete opposite. That is called being a hypocrite. And btw, no different than the hate you are spewing about.

      • jamie

        p.s. your conclusion is that god doesn’t exist. Claiming you don’t know is like still believing santa brings you and all the other little children of the world presents on Christmas

      • white trash religious teaparty

        I love limited IQ cretins scuh as thee telling me what I believe based upon YOUR inability to decipher. I never claimed GOD doesn’t exist———- I claim vehemently that GOD isn’t able to be defined by the wannabe “scholars” of ALL religions. NOTE: modern-day scumbag Christians “think” some long dead jew sheepherding carpenter is GOD—-
        no wonder comedy is so important!!
        ===============================

        please try to understand: I can see u are limited intellectually

      • jamie

        Ha, you are comical in your attempt to insult other people (being as enviously intelligent as you are, you must be aware that your excessive use of insults -in all your threads, not just this one– is a sign of a lack of education). I am secure enough in myself and my ideologies that I do not need to go around insulting (stupid Christians, or stupid agnostics) in order to make myself feel better. See you must understand that I know you suffer from some sort of social disorder, that or you are just very insecure about yourself that you feel the need to insult other people to bring yourself up. Really? I guess in your case too high of an IQ is just as bad as too low of one as you claim I
        possess.

        As for your replies to me, I simply brought all of your
        evidence to its logical conclusion for you when I said your conclusion is that God doesn’t exist, I was not implying that YOU do/don’t think it exist. It is
        purely ignorance to say you don’t believe God doesn’t exist, rather you just can’t define God with our limited (mortal) understanding so you just chalk it
        up to not knowing (That is the equivalent to saying you can’t prove if Santa really exist, so rather than concluding with all the evidence that points to
        the fact that St. Nick doesn’t travel around the world in a night dropping down fire places to bring presents to all the children of the world, I just say I
        don’t know if he does or doesn’t- this way I don’t really have to give any support to my conclusion I can just be childish and turn the conversation to
        insulting others b/c that makes me feel better about myself).

        However, while we are on the subject, what gives you any reason to believe a God (excluding
        Pantheism) exist? God can be defined, humans made up the word and the idea of god, and there are a plethora of qualities these deities are said to hold, so therefore, yes, God can be defined.. So, WTRTP, the only difference between an agnostic and an atheist, is the atheist is secure enough in themselves to accept mortality, where the agnostic leave the hope that God will prove itself
        to you someday.

        (p.s) I feel very much the same way you do about many of the views you post, only I don’t find it necessary to insult the people. It is very much a sign of weakness and hiding of some undesirable quality about yourself that you do not want your peers to see, just like bullies.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        I will attempt to summarize as youre evidently stung by iconoclastic verbosity.
        GOD simply IS: which extrapolates into GOD being ALL—–
        if so; u are correct!! I joyfully ( and accurately) profess to have limited understanding. Your claim to have immortal ( see: bovaristic) “understanding” is jovial and lachrymose at the same time. Better still? U admonish me for insulting the maggots on here; yet your thinly veiled aspersions at me are all2easy2spot. BEST? your continual bavardage of MY “insecurity” which is simply a transposition of thine.
        accept mortalilty? not accepting mortality?
        keep kidding yourself. I don’t fear death; nor do I fear muscle fatigue from athletics or do I fear the pro’s and con’s of investment risk- its all part of the game of life
        There is nothing more ignorant than idiots who dangle the carrot of “life after life/death” to attempt to control others. The CONCEPT of a human -defined “GOD” is indeed limited whereas GOD– the true order of that which IS,,,,,,, remains unmitigated……
        Religious crutches for all of U—
        my agnosticism remains as the truly ONLY openness. I have no noose around my neck.
        strut yours pompously

      • white trash religious teaparty

        hey kreskin,,,I do not CARE about “GOD” as “GOD” cannot be defined by carbon units placed here upon this 3rd rock from the sun–
        I do care about how ALL religions— and in THIS COUNTRY the dominant bullshit religion is lying cherry-picked christianity– have throughout history caused the MOST problems weathered by mankind.
        my concern is scumbag CHRISTIAN trash who –as pseudo-elitists– “claim” that only THEY are going to some eternal Shangri-La; and they smugly complain the loudest when OTHER religions attempt to practice within the CONSTITUTIONALLY insulated country you and I inhabit
        anything else your alopecial self needs to read here?

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Think you forgot a few on your “TRICKLE DOWN” Bill Clinton and Obama yes yes bush sucks and the most important thing of all where does it say politics must be religion base as a matter of fact what about spertation of church and state?

      • Last Resort

        Fact: Bill Clinton perpetuated trickle down AND fucked the country even more with his baby, NAFTA. He is also the reason main stream media is so monopolized to day due to his acceptance of the Telecommunications Act.

    • Smooth

      You are truly blind! Why aren’t you pissed off at the trillions of dollars thrown into Iraq & Afghanistan? Stop being a shill for the GOP!

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Bush sucks along with Obama should never have been in Iraq but still found the WMD in Syria also did you forget 911

      • Darkthunder

        The Iraq War is “Vietnam 2.0”. Americans refuse to admit as such. And it was Governor Bush who got your country into that mess. Who got you out of it? President Obama!

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        If we are out way are Americans still dying

      • Darkthunder

        Are American dying in Iraq? or do you mean Afghanistan? Then again, alot of Americans aren’t very knowledgeable on their geography, perhaps you think Afghanistan = Iraq?

      • white trash religious teaparty

        your writing “skills” are made more non erudite by your infantile spelling

      • Lisa M. Alter

        No WMD’s, silly.

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Why not look it up

      • white trash religious teaparty

        NOT in Iraq—————
        look it up and stop sucking the penis of FOX “news”

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        you keep pointing that out not in Iraq let me help you out yes NO WMDs was found in Iraq because It was shipped to Syria

      • white trash religious teaparty

        ohhhhhhh yeah,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, that fabulism courtesy of FOX “news”— why would IRAQ ship out WMDS– and HOW would they as the UN and America were LOOKING for them???
        ooooo I forgot– they were smarter than the republican administration at the time

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        first Syria does not have the capability to make chemical weapons, if you saying without a doubt that Iraq didn’t give the Syrians weapons then who did? would it be the U S

      • white trash religious teaparty

        of course!!!! and why did NOT BUSH and his clan show these existed? because they didn’t—- of COURSE!!! saddam is going to send his bitter enemy nice weapons of destruction,,,, send his ENEMY weapons????
        keep watching FOX news

      • white trash religious teaparty

        hey dirtbag————- we found Z.E.R.O. “wmd’s” in Iraq— ZEEEEE-RO! 9/11 was not anything to do with Iraq/ saddam,,,,, it was Osama bin ladin
        history not ur strong suit? try praying,,,,,,,,,,,,, that intrinsic form of BEGGING seems to help our planet

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        WMDS was moved to Syria from Iraq hence forth Iraq had WMDS.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        nope– never found; never seen,,, never existed. you now show the same idiotic belief system of white trash Christian scum who “believe ” the earth is about 6000 yrs old
        congrads!! ,,,,,FOX “news” has a nice regressive show waiting for U to host

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        so their was no red lined that was crossed in Syria so the president speech on Syria chemical weapon never happen damn how long have I been dreaming

        also how is that church out of state law your looking for going ?

      • white trash religious teaparty

        your “English” syntax is deplorable…..
        religion is for un-intelligent lemmings

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        so how is finding church out of state going ?

      • white trash religious teaparty

        that makes a ton of sense—- as all of thy oligophrenial “posts” do

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        Guess it’s not going to well

      • white trash religious teaparty

        wanna try again? ur “post” is not done well ( syntax)

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        copy paste nice

      • white trash religious teaparty

        nope— im not certain why/how U get THAT non sequitur bavardage but I can assure U that religious lemmings such as YOU need to show me ONE SIMPLE MIRACLE—-ONE—-ONE!!!
        ,,,,,,lets see YOUR dead jewish GOD( and his cronies) cure an amputee………..
        until that happens I remain totally certain that NO religion is that of ANY GOD

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        blah blah blah Atheist

      • white trash religious teaparty

        im agnostic————atheists are as erroneous as believers
        try to learn the difference
        ========================
        and call me when YOUR fake voodoo GOD does that miracle,,,until then keep crying and giving your money to churches

      • jamie

        Wow, some of the things you say offer a bit of promise, but then you also say some pretty ignorant shit which washes away all the good points you make.

        Are you aware of what polytheism is? and that it has been around thousands of years before the delusional story of the bible?

      • white trash religious teaparty

        does it seem I care about what some inept cretin “thinks” of MY view towards religion(s)?
        NOTE: delusional story of bible highly accurate

    • Last Resort

      False – The racists who ran the KKK division of the Dems were expelled to the Pubes during Wilson’s reign of embarrassment. Thusly the parties were both KKK and racist. Just the pubes are more so, now – thanks to the growth of the pest nest.

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        so what republican was in the KKK?

      • Last Resort

        Google is your friend

      • Orialis Colon Jr

        It says that the democrats was in the KKK

  • seraphimblade

    Now that’s what I call teaching.

    Well done, Mr. Levie, well done indeed.

  • DStambaugh

    I’m not sure what leader in this country could give the award because true good leaders are few

  • white trash religious teaparty

    is anyone else enjoying the now fast-moving success of the ACA ??? proof? FOX “news” isn’t crying as much— now they are back to Benghazi and iran getting sanctions lifted

  • John Moody

    I love how the guy in the back says “Its for the kids!!” I applaud you Mr. Levie for standing up FOR those kids!!