Monday, August 15, 2011

SAr #11227

Political leadership requires the inability to admit error.

Rainyday: The first thing that governments do when faced with social problems is to curb citizen's freedoms.

All the Way from A to B: Wal-Mart, with sales at US locations open over a year falling 2.6%, says that the lack of sales is due to a lack of customer traffic in their stores – which they did not seem to connect to the outside world. To Wal-Mart there is no outside world..

Silver Lining: Instead of bemoaning the passing of the American Empire, consider these: What good has being the world's policeman done for Americans? If you count all the costs, in money and in lives, has it been worth it?

Bait and Switch: Texas utility bills have a small surcharge on them, the proceeds from which are supposed to go to a fund that helps the poor pay their utility bills. Supposed to being the sticking point, the Republican controlled legislature keeps stealing from the fund to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Point of View: Strange that the right doesn't recognize themselves in London's rioters – looters are capitalist without regulation.

Short Version: Long term performance data show that nearly all mutual funds perform worse than the minimum-fee market index funds. On average, you can't beat the average, and if you are paying fees for someone to be average, you'll be earning less than average. Another instance where Wall Street's expertise is in emptying your wallet into their pockets.

Enigma/Nutshell: Three things to remember about Rick Perry are: He is a politician. He has been governor of Texas for 10 years. When in doubt, see #1 and #2.

The Spoils: In an attempt to save their native environment, the people of Nigeria's Ogoniland kicked Shell out in 1993. Twenty years later the mangrove swamps they call home are still inundated by a thick carpet of crude that Shell left behind. Shell has, by the way, received approval to explore for petroleum off-shore in the Arctic.

Ouch: In the US, 81% of all stocks are owned by the top 10% and 91% by the top 20%. Why 80% of the population should care about the stock market is a mystery.

Paralysis: Wall Street keeps transferring the nation's income from the workers to the owners. The owners will not invest in new factories, nor even fully staff the existing ones, because they have no customers. Unlike Jacob's ladder, every rung leads lower. In Marx's terms: the continuing redistribution of income from labor to capital, from wages to profits, makes the problem of inadequate aggregate demand even worse. Capitalism, unregulated, consumes itself.

Principles: The primary concern of free-market capitalists is whether the US and European governments have both the will and the wherewithal to save their asses one more time.

The Enemy: The USDA says that there are 5 fast food places for every grocery store in the US and that 23 million Americans live in low income areas with no “ready access” to grocery stores.

Just Say No: Dictator wannabe Rick Santorum says there should be no abortions. None. No exceptions. Rape? Nope, "one act of violence is enough." Incest? Nope, "that child is an innocent victim." No, Mr. Santorum thinks that having suffered the violence of rape or incest, the women - or young girl, more likely - should be then forced to suffer the trauma of unwanted pregnancy and forced motherhood.

Part-time President: Rick Perry wants to become president so he can do away with the job, promising to make the federal government "as inconsequential in your lives as I can". Imagine how much better off we would be if there were no constraints on Wall Street's greed and chicanery... and no government bailouts for banks... and no unemployment insurance... and certainly we should stop taxing people to support a large military... He thinks global climate change is "all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight." He ought to visit Texas.

Passing the Buck: Ron Paul claims that governments exist to protect “all life,” and that because “we cannot play God and make those decisions”, those God wants to be raped must bear the children. Ditto with incest. Ditto with those God wants to be born only to live brief lives of agony. Thus the government in banning all abortion is doing Gods will. Everything else the government does, according to Mr. Paul, is the work of the devil.

Porn O'Graph: Mirrored images.


tulsatime said...

POV- I saw this sat evening and was going to quip about it. The feral reactions to modern capitalism invite so many old testament quotes.

I see we have read some of the same glad tidings about Gov Good Hair. I get the creeps thinking about another texan as president.

kwark said...

RE All the Way from A to B: Years ago, when the information superhighway was going to be the savior of decent jobs in America, I recall a comment by one of the skeptics of the day "what's Wal-Mart going to do when Average Joe can't afford to shop there anymore?" Looks like Wal-Mart (and the rest of us) will find out.

OSR said...

Ouch-Let's see here the NYSE and NASDAQ market caps sum to about $12T, give or take a trillion. The ICI reports stock mutual funds holding $6T. The Fed's estimates roughly correlate with ICI's. Yet, I read the same thing from an entirely different source recently. Somebody is pissing on our legs and calling it rain.