Friday, July 23, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Consider: in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation's total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America's total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income reconcentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total.
-- Robert Reich in Unjust Spoils, The Nation, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Republicans are feeling good about the midterms — so good that they’ve started saying what they really think. This week the party’s Senate leadership stopped pretending that it cares about deficits, stating explicitly that while we can’t afford to aid the unemployed or prevent mass layoffs of schoolteachers, cost is literally no object when it comes to tax cuts for the affluent.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The Americans and the Japanese decided to engage in a competitive boat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance. On the big day the Japanese won by a mile.
The American team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found, so a consulting firm was hired to investigate the problem and recommend corrective action.
The consultant's finding: The Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering; the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering.
After a year of study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the American team's management structure was completely reorganized.
The new structure: four steering managers, three area steering managers, and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.
The next year, the Japanese won by two miles!
Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the managers a bonus for discovering the problem.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
A Catholic priest in Australia has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in jail for sex attacks on 25 children over nearly two decades.
John Sidney Denham, 67, pleaded guilty to a range of charges relating to attacks on boys at schools in New South Wales between 1968 and 1986.
The judge said his actions "contributed to a culture of fear and depravity".
Friday, July 09, 2010
|From Acerbic Politics|
But if we do deny citizenship to non-English speaking people, does that mean that Arnold Schwarzenegger has to leave the country? Or is there some degree of lack-of-fluency which we can accept? And what about people who go out in public with misspelled words on their protest signs? Must they forsake their citizenship?
So that is my opinion as I waded into this brief video that is a week or two old...
So you see, it looks to me like the investors and market traders have it wrong. They want government to stop spending - to cut unemployment, to stop works projects, to deny aid to states and local governments and maybe even, some of them, to reduce the military. Their point, best as I can tell is to have millions more people out of work and hungry so that they will take jobs paying minimum wage - not just to freeze personal income levels in the U.S., but to actually lower them so that we can hire as cheaply here as they do in China.
There's some logic to that - it might add more jobs to our economy - but the jobs will only pay subsistence wages. The demand for other goods - things like personal entertainment, new cars, decent clothes, etc. will decline. Business will fall off. I can't see how their plan helps them in the long run.
I just think that conservatives like Santelli are batshit crazy.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) recently sobbed that Democrats are:
... snuffing out the America that I grew up in.
And today Greg Sargent at The Plum Line took a closer look at the Golden Age of Boehner's youth:
- The Republican Party platform of 1956 called for "broadened coverage in unemployment insurance" and "better health protection for all our people." It vowed to "continue vigorously to support the United Nations."
It pledged support for "progressive programs" to expand workers' rights. It vowed an immigration policy that ensured that America would remain a "haven for oppresssed peoples."
- The Republican Party platform of 1960 hailed the GOP's success in extending unemployment insurance. The GOP counted as an achievement its efforts to raise the Federal minimum wage.
The platform hailed expanded Social Security coverage and pledged an aggressive Federal effort to help those struggling with health care costs (in those pre-Medicare days, the primary focus was on the elderly). It pledged to continue robust Federal intervention to preserve the environment.
To (liberally) paraphrase Ronald Reagan, John Boehner and today's GOP didn't leave the Republican Party, they hijacked it.