When Libertarian Gary Johnson proclaimed that Americans should not get their Social Security until age 72, he was actually condemning many to death before receiving any of their “earned benefits.”
That’s because the average life expectancy of a Black male in the U.S. is 68 years, meaning death four years before Gary would grant retirement security. While the average life expectancy for men in general is 76.9 years, men in the middle and lower income levels die five years sooner, or at 71.9. With a 72 retirement age, most men would die before that first Social Security check.
As an aside, male life expectancy in this country, where we work so long and hard, is ranked 32d in the world, behind such places as Costa Rica, Chile, Greece, Slovenia and Korea, as well as most members of the EU. We did tie with Cuba – for what that’s worth.
David Barton, another Johnson/Tea Party type, personified the big business view of “make them work till they die” philosophy, as demonstrated in the following clip of a Cenk Uygur report on an interview by evangelist Kenneth Copeland.
Barton is a weird study of a religious enthusiast mixing faith with politics. His writings on American history and his interpretations of events show a hugely Christian-centered eye with blinders on actual teachings.
Wallbuilders, a group founded by Barton, promotes his ideas, that include: the Bible opposes not only retirement, but also the minimum wage, progressive taxation, capital gains taxes, the estate tax, and unions. One of the backers of this group has been the $50 million Thirteen Foundation, founded by Farris Wilks and wife Joann. Other beneficiaries of this Wilks organization include:
- $2,242,857 – Media Revolution Ministries (Online for Life)
- $2,114,100 – American Majority Inc
- $1,526,125 – State Policy Networks
- $1,400,000 – Focus on the Family –
- $1,309,775 – Franklin Center for Gov. and Public Integrity
- $1,275,000 – Life Dynamics Inc.
- $1.000,000 – Liberty Counsel
- $700,000 – Heritage Foundation
- $530,000 – Family Research Council
- $310,000 – Texas Right to Life Committee Education Fund
- $250,000 – Texas Home School Coalition
- $197,000 – Heartbeat International
American Majority, the Franklin Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the State Policy Networks are supported by both the Wilks and the Koch brothers’ political network. The Kochs push for attacks on public employees and their unions, plus privatizing public resources for private profit, including highways, prisons and public education.
- The Franklin Center is allied to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which formulates new laws for privatization and corporate welfare schemes.
- American Majority trains and supports the Tea Party activist networks.
- The Heritage Foundation opposes Social Security and Medicare.
- The State Policy Network “think tanks” work at the state level with ALEC.
Farris and his brother, Dan, hit the big time, when they were in on the ground floor with fracking, the controversial natural gas drilling technique that uses injected chemicals. In 2002, the Wilks brothers created Frac Tech, which produced equipment used in fracking, or in industry talk, “well stimulation services.”
In May 2011, Dan and Farris sold Frac Tech to investors, led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, for $3.5 billion. This helped the boys make the 2011 Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans – estimated net worth of $1.4 billion each. The pair then went on a land-buying spree out West, amassing huge holdings in Idaho, Texas, Kansas, and Colorado, plus more than 276,000 acres in Montana (430 square miles).
Like George Soros on the far left, the right-wing rich have a plethora of think tanks and front groups. A few politicians, like Gary Johnson, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, carry their water – even if it’s contaminated by fracking juice and the acid excesses of furtive billionaires.