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  1. #1

    Default The Great Wealth Robbery

    Wealth inequity is created whenever an employer lowers his employees’ wages, replaces a full-time worker with several part-timers, busts a union, cuts corners on workplace safety, or pays a lobbyist to change the rules.

    It’s created whenever a job is shipped overseas, and when investments are shifted from job-producing industries to the non-productive financial sector.

    It’s created when GE outsources its manufacturing operation and gets into the banking (read, “gambling with taxpayers’ money”) business. Or when AIG stops insuring risk and starts betting on it.

    And the process isn’t slowing down. In fact, it seems to be accelerating.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/02/16-7



    Striking it Richer:
    The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States
    (Updated with 2011 estimates)
    http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-...comes-2011.pdf

  2. #2

    Default

    Thanks for that. Sincerely.

    I have always marveled at how exactly wrong Ayn Rand was with her definitions of "makers" and "takers." If you swap her definitions of those two terms you get an exact match for the real world. This is clear even at the common sense level where someone turning a wrench to "make" something is never expected to do as well as others positioned to "take" a big share of its value. Those others didn't make the thing at all. It's just simply a big lie much like The Wizard of Oz behind his curtain.

    The Equality Trust

    The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

    TheSpiritLevelDocumentary.com

  3. #3

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    Fortunately, our President promised that he would never adjust the Social security cost of living clause.

    Obama Vowed Never To Cut Social Security Cost-Of-Living Before Chained CPI Move

  4. #4

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    Wealth redistribution has been going on since the start of reaganomics. it just isn't called that when it goes from the poor and working class to the top tier.

  5. #5

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    There are senators and congressmen from both parties across the country that are pushing to bring the outsourceing back to this country and remove the incentives from those companies that recieve them then outsource .

    In Michagan it would be congressman Kildee - Flint we need for the common good put party lines aside and support those who can help stop this.

  6. #6

    Default

    What I can never understand is why some people have such an insatiable greed. Some people have billions of dollars and hunger for billions more, all while others barely scrape by.

    [Note to our uber-conservative partisans: My statement cuts across party lines and is directed at all institutions of power, from Democrats to Republicans, from business to government to churches to charities and all points in between. So you can save your silly little canned anti-Obama response to my post. Obama is as bad as the rest of them, but the rest of them are as bad as Obama. So stuff a sock in it!]
    Last edited by Crumbled_pavement; April-13-13 at 02:59 AM.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crumbled_pavement View Post
    What I can never understand is why some people have such an insatiable greed. Some people have billions of dollars and hunger for billions more, all while others barely scrape by.
    It's good that you don't understand. Neither do I. I think that means you have a conscience. Nothing wrong with that.

  8. #8

    Default

    Sorry Crumbles, Sometimes I cant resist. I really, really am sorry but please include libertarians to your list of evil partisans. You are right of course about the corruption and greed that "cuts across party lines and is directed at all institutions of power, from Democrats to Republicans".
    __________________________________________________ _

    Scrapping the US “Social Safety Net”: Obama Budget Slashes Social Security, Medicare


    The Democratic theme song should be changed from "Happy Days" to "Chain of Fools" and rendered by courtside Supremes.

    "Five long years I thought you were my man
    But I found out I'm just a link in your chain
    You got me where you want me
    I ain't nothing but your fool
    You treated me mean oh you treated me cruel
    Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools"


    It could be the theme song in the sequel movie "Barry Chained" about a suffering sequestered federal plantation owner who can only afford expensive vacations by forcing retired plantation workers to subsist on Ol' Roy. Who says that "poor people — who gave up steak long ago — can’t substitute cheaper goods as easily as the middle class.?"The funny part in the movie is that they thought he promised "hope and change". Had these fools been wearing their hearing aids, they would have heard "hope and chains". Its sort of a comedy about people who vote Democrat thinking them to be oh so different than Republicans.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crumbled_pavement View Post
    What I can never understand is why some people have such an insatiable greed. Some people have billions of dollars and hunger for billions more, all while others barely scrape by....]
    What I find fascinating is that whenever people compulsively hoard anything but wealth (think the stereotypical "cat lady" down the street), no one objects when the state intervenes, despite any property rights involved. (It's for their own health and safety, don't you see?)

    Yet when what they're hoarding is wealth, well, that's a completely different story! Wealth is sacrosanct! We can't have any intervention there, no matter what the consequences!

    So the consequences of hoarding wealth are then allowed to run amok, out of control, like a freight train to hell — to even the point of global financial meltdown. Over and over and over again.

    There seems something conspicuously demented about this incongruity yet it's rarely mentioned.

    Why then do hoarders of wealth get an exclusive pass on this — their particular mental health problem, for which we all ultimately pay?
    Last edited by Jimaz; April-14-13 at 12:05 AM.

  10. #10

    Default

    We've handed over the reins of our civilization to the most insane among us.

    How is that wise?

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oladub View Post
    Fortunately, our President promised that he would never adjust the Social security cost of living clause.
    Social Security did not get a cost of living increase for 2 years under Obama.

  12. #12

    Default

    Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement
    ... Thomas Herndon, a 28-year-old economics grad student at UMass Amherst, just used part of his spring semester to shake the intellectual foundation of the global austerity movement.

    Herndon became instantly famous in nerdy economics circles this week as the lead author of a recent paper, "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff," that took aim at a massively influential study by two Harvard professors named Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. Herndon found some hidden errors in Reinhart and Rogoff's data set, then calmly took the entire study out back and slaughtered it. Herndon's takedown — which first appeared in a Mike Konczal post that crashed its host site with traffic — was an immediate sensation. It was cited by prominent anti-austerians like Paul Krugman, spoken about by incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney, and mentioned on CNBC and several other news outlets as proof that the pro-austerity movement is based, at least in part, on bogus math....

    Herndon, who did his undergraduate study at Evergreen State College, first started looking into Reinhart and Rogoff's work as part of an assignment for an econometrics course that involved replicating the data work behind a well-known study. Herndon chose Reinhart and Rogoff's 2010 paper, "Growth in a Time of Debt," in part, because it has been one of the most politically influential economic papers of the last decade. It claims, among other things, that countries whose debt exceeds 90 percent of their annual GDP experience slower growth than countries with lower debt loads — a figure that has been cited by people like Paul Ryan and Tim Geithner to justify slashing government spending and implementing other austerity measures on struggling economies....

    Herndon pulled up an Excel spreadsheet containing Reinhart's data and quickly spotted something that looked odd.

    "I clicked on cell L51, and saw that they had only averaged rows 30 through 44, instead of rows 30 through 49."

    What Herndon had discovered was that by making a sloppy computing error, Reinhart and Rogoff had forgotten to include a critical piece of data about countries with high debt-to-GDP ratios that would have affected their overall calculations. They had also excluded data from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia — all countries that experienced solid growth during periods of high debt and would thus undercut their thesis that high debt forestalls growth....

    When Herndon and his professors published their study, the reaction was nearly immediate. After Konczal's blog post went viral, Reinhart and Rogoff — who got a fawning New York Times profile when their book was released — were forced to admit their embarrassing error (although they still defended the basic findings of their survey). And today, another UMass Amherst professor, Arindrajit Dube, followed up on Herndon's paper with additional proof that there were serious theoretical and causal problems (as opposed to just sloppy Excel work) in the Reinhart-Rogoff study. Observers have been raising serious questions about what Herndon's work means for the future of austerity politics, and Reinhart and Rogoff's respectability as scholars.

    Herndon says he isn't implying that Reinhart and Rogoff intentionally skewed their data to support a pro-austerity finding, and simply reported the errors....

    With Reinhart and Rogoff's once-authoritative work now under serious question, there's no question that the austerity movement has been dealt a major blow. But Herndon's finding won't likely stop politicians from trying to reduce the deficit. The global march for austerity began before Reinhart and Rogoff's work was published, and will continue as long as there are people who believe that governments can shrink their way to prosperity....
    How embarrassing.

    Well, there you have it. Austerity advocates are headed the way of the global warming deniers, square earthers and the dodo bird. LOL!

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post
    Why then do hoarders of wealth get an exclusive pass on this — their particular mental health problem, for which we all ultimately pay?
    Great post you made there. To answer this particular question though, if you had a hundred cats you'd hold no weight with anyone so no one would care if the cats were taken from you. If you have $100M, you hold great wealth and yield enormous power. You can buy your way out of just about anything.

    "I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    - Jay Gould
    Last edited by Crumbled_pavement; April-24-13 at 05:49 AM.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post
    What I find fascinating is that whenever people compulsively hoard anything but wealth (think the stereotypical "cat lady" down the street), no one objects when the state intervenes, despite any property rights involved. (It's for their own health and safety, don't you see?)

    Yet when what they're hoarding is wealth, well, that's a completely different story! Wealth is sacrosanct! We can't have any intervention there, no matter what the consequences!

    So the consequences of hoarding wealth are then allowed to run amok, out of control, like a freight train to hell — to even the point of global financial meltdown. Over and over and over again.

    There seems something conspicuously demented about this incongruity yet it's rarely mentioned.

    Why then do hoarders of wealth get an exclusive pass on this — their particular mental health problem, for which we all ultimately pay?

    You just reminded me of an old thread...titled something like "Should Money Require a License to Use?" I know I've got it saved around here somewhere, because I re-read it while researching old comments for a collection I'm building. Now I can't find it...but you've got a way with the WayBack Machine!

    But I remember musing about the right to use and abuse money...and what might temper the worst of it.


    Cheers!

  15. #15

    Default

    Found it. I must be getting better at hardcopy filing.

    But we had been talking about gun control and drug legalization, in the early winter of 2006...and someone had gone on about why access to drugs had to be licensed. So I took their exact words to start a thread about the same with money.

    It is not available through the archives, as far as I can tell. I hate that shit, so much of what I search for...that I have hard-copy proof to back up...no longer exists on the internet. Pretty curious for the sheer number of posts I've put up on this board.


    Here it is:


    I was just wondering...if using money should require a license, because most people simply cannot handle it well and others use it as a weapon.

    I'm thinking it begs regulation.

    We have to be consistent with our rule of law.

    Clearly, some people are addicted to this substance, and for their personal safety and security (so they don't continue as burdens to society) we need to eliminate their personal access to another enabler of deep joy and happiness that just HAPPENS to be seriously abused by a few.


    December 30, 2006...smack in the middle of that weird period when I was having those lucid dreams about the Tesla stuff...when things began disappearing off the board. When Lowell allowed google to become the archive and search agent.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gannon View Post
    ... someone had gone on about why access to drugs had to be licensed. So I took their exact words to start a thread about the same with money....
    I was just wondering...if using money should require a license, because most people simply cannot handle it well and others use it as a weapon.

    I'm thinking it begs regulation.

    We have to be consistent with our rule of law.

    Clearly, some people are addicted to this substance, and for their personal safety and security (so they don't continue as burdens to society) we need to eliminate their personal access to another enabler of deep joy and happiness that just HAPPENS to be seriously abused by a few.
    December 30, 2006...smack in the middle of that weird period when I was having those lucid dreams about the Tesla stuff...when things began disappearing off the board. When Lowell allowed google to become the archive and search agent.
    Whoa. That was almost exactly one year before the Great Recession began. Prescient.

  17. #17

    Default

    Thanks for posting that Jimaz -- that's fascinating. Steven Colbert spent quite a bit of time talking about this last night, and then had Thomas Herndon on as a guest to discuss it.

    While at work I can't access the websites to get a link, but most likely you can view it at comedycentral.com or colbertnation.com.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Downtown Lady View Post
    Thanks for posting that Jimaz -- that's fascinating. Steven Colbert spent quite a bit of time talking about this last night, and then had Thomas Herndon on as a guest to discuss it.

    While at work I can't access the websites to get a link, but most likely you can view it at comedycentral.com or colbertnation.com.
    Well, thank you right back because I would have missed Steven Colbert's piece if you hadn't mentioned it. And here it is:
    Last edited by Jimaz; April-24-13 at 08:35 PM.

  19. #19

    Default

    Great -- thanks for the links Jimaz!

  20. #20

    Default

    No US President has promoted austerity since the great Calvin Coolidge. Gerhard Schroeder brought a measure of austerity to Germany. He was booted out of office as a result but at least Germany was left leaner and more able to handle the European recession. Southern Europe, by contrast, did not take its medicine and introduce austerity in a timely manner. What is presently referred to as austerity is more akin to bankruptcy in southern Europe. Bums are not 'austere'. They are broke. Austerity assumes choices, bankruptcy doesn't. Giving F-16's and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt while cutting the Meals on Wheels program and blaming it on the sequester has to do with priorities rather than austerity.

  21. #21

    Default

    Yep, what's up with this?

    Quote Originally Posted by oladub View Post
    Giving F-16's and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt while cutting the Meals on Wheels program and blaming it on the sequester has to do with priorities rather than austerity.

  22. #22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post
    Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement

    ...

    How embarrassing.

    Well, there you have it. Austerity advocates are headed the way of the global warming deniers, square earthers and the dodo bird. LOL!
    Herndon says he isn't implying that Reinhart and Rogoff intentionally skewed their data to support a pro-austerity finding, and simply reported the errors....
    That "unintentionality" is starting to crack under scrutiny:
    Caller: Austerity Study Authors Benefited From Pete Peterson

    Pete Peterson's Fingerprints All Over That Bogus Economic Study

  23. #23

    Default

    Regarding secured vs. earned wealth:

    The central scandal is this:

    The capitalist system defends secured but unearned wealth over earned but unsecured wealth then complains that any unsecured wealth must have been necessarily unearned — even if it was, in fact, earned.

    This is the central lie that capitalists use to legitimize their theft of others' earnings.

    In short: "I got mine. Go get yours. If I can afford to defeat your earnest efforts to do so, that's your problem, not mine."

    What a bunch of shameless deadbeats.
    Last edited by Jimaz; May-27-13 at 12:41 AM.

  24. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post
    Regarding secured vs. earned wealth:

    The central scandal is this:

    The capitalist system defends secured but unearned wealth over earned but unsecured wealth then complains that any unsecured wealth must have been necessarily unearned — even if it was, in fact, earned.

    This is the central lie that capitalists use to legitimize their theft of others' earnings.

    In short: "I got mine. Go get yours. If I can afford to defeat your earnest efforts to do so, that's your problem, not mine."

    What a bunch of shameless deadbeats.
    Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Floyd Mayweather, the highest paid athlete at $90m last year, are all Obama supporters. They are extreme beneficiaries of capitalism paid handsomely for their talents. Where do they fall into your spectrum of earned wealth vs. secured wealth?

  25. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crumbled_pavement View Post
    What I can never understand is why some people have such an insatiable greed. Some people have billions of dollars and hunger for billions more, all while others barely scrape by.
    There is something to be said for this Forbes article on the psychological profile of some CEO's or why some psychopaths make great CEO's. Thom Hartmann also discusses this phenomenon at length on some of his rants http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffberc...ke-great-ceos/

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