We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Who funds the left?

by Bush Admirer Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 2:48 AM

Surprise! The major source of funding for the left is the 1% of richest Americans. They give more to the Democrats than to the Republicans.

It's an interesting question, and you'll probably be surprised at the answer. The oddest source of the left's money comes from the rich. The really rich. The Washington Times recently reported that the richest 1 percentof Americans give disproportionately more to Democrats than to Republicans. Republicans, on the other hand, get more money from the richest fifthof income earners.

That makes sense, when you think about it. Ted Turner can afford to support high-tax policies because he can fork over half the millions he makes every year and still have enough left over to buy the state of Oregon.

A tax cut makes more sense however, to say a family of four making 0,000, with two kids in college. Both are taxed at the highest bracket, but Ted can afford to be a little more generous in support of the way the government spends your money.

Much of the remainder of the left's financial backing comes from coercion. That is, they take money without asking for it, often from people who would rather not give it to them.

Taxes are the best example. Each time Congress creates a new government program, it gives birth to a fresh litter of Democrats and left wingers. That's because each government program needs to be staffed by people who, naturally, don't want to lose their jobs. So they vote Democrat, the party most likely to continue government programs. And with the exception of certain corporate welfare and farm subsidy programs, the people who benefit from those vote Democrat too, for the same reason.

In most cases, employees of the federal government are required to join the union that represents federal employees, and pay dues. Your taxes fund it all.

That brings me to my second example: unions.

In most states today, most blue-collar jobs are "closed-shop." That means if you want to be an electrician or a carpenter or a welder, you've no choice but to join the union-- and pay dues. A portion of those dues then goes to political efforts-- "get out the vote" drives, for example-- and those efforts almost always benefit the Democrats.

In its famous Beck decision in 1988, the Supreme Court ruled that unions must make the portion of union dues used for political efforts refundable to members. But for eight years, that decision was unenthusiastically enforced by the Clinton administration. Today, unions of course make acquiring such a refund far more trouble than it's worth .

A third, less-known example of leftist coercion is Ralph Nader's nationwide army of Public Interest Group chapters on college campuses across the country. PIRGs are notorious for surreptitiously conning college students into donating one, three, sometimes as many as five dollars to the organization each time they register for classes.

When I was an undergraduate at Indiana University, PIRG representatives came into my fraternity with a petition. They told us they were a "completely apolitical" organization that "represents the interests of college students."

Funny. I was a college student at the time. "Ensuring fair and affordable insurance," "asking the EPA for tougher diesel engine standards" and forcing industries to pay into a pollution cleanup fund-- all taken from the PIRG Web site -- weren't at all causes I would have found to be "in my interest."

The Indiana University chapter also sought to fund itself through a sneaky "reverse check" system, whereby each and every college student on campus automatically donated three dollars to the organization each time he registered for classes unless he specifically sought out the donate box and unchecked it.

PIRG chapters today employ awide variety of shady funding schemes , but very little of the money extracted from college students actually stays on campus. Most of it goes toPIRG's national headquarters, and is then redistributed.

College campuses are also notorious for mandating that students pay "activity fees," which are collected into a general fund, then redistributed, usually by student government representatives, and almost always disproportionately to leftist causes.

Leftists often respond that yes, unions and some colleges often divert mandatory fees to the left, but that corporations are just as guilty when they divert shareholders' money to the right.

Not quite the case. In fact, corporations-- and particularly their philanthropic wings-- unfortunately give copious amounts of money to causes directly in opposition to their interests. Washington D.C.'s Capital Research Center has documented this bizarre trend of self-loathing advocacy for almost 20 years.

This is in part because the philanthropic wings of corporations and corporate foundations are often staffed by people interested in philanthropy, not business. And those people lean disproportionately left.

But it's also because corporations are regular made to feel guilty by shakedown schemes like Jesse Jackson's now-legendary "Wall Street Project," where he threatened big corporations with bad race-based publicity unless they open their checkbooks for his causes.

And even if corporations did give disproportionately to the right, the comparison doesn't hold up. Shareholders are free to invest in companies whose politics are more in line with their own. But if you're a Republican electrician in a state that mandates union membership, your options are simple: Pay the dues demanded of you, or find another line of work.

So to answer our original question, there really isn't a Richard Mellon Scaife of the left. There are a few Ted Turners and Barbara Streisands-- people so rich that they can afford to be generous with your money. But much of the rest of the money that funds leftist causes comes from unwitting autoworkers, from reluctant taxpayers and from the oblivious parents of college students.


It comes from you.

Radley Balko is a writer living in Arlington, Va. He also maintains a weblog at www.theagitator.com .

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 7 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
BA, when you spam us with article pastings, provide direct URLs Admire independent thinking, not Bush Cults Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 3:08 AM
The Washington Times? Kim Whitmyre Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 4:22 AM
Who funds the left? My sweat. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 4:30 AM
Either/Or Mentality The Whole Truth Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 5:51 AM
Double Standard Oversoul Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 4:41 PM
more on left/right Marc Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 6:37 PM
Wrong Impression? Mr.Green Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at 6:50 PM
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy