Saturday, August 23, 2014

SAR #14233

Humans are very clever animals, but animals nonetheless.

First Causes: “...the most inhumane thing of all, the inhumane thing that happened before the rage began to rise, and before the backlash began to build, and before the cameras and television lights, and before the tear gas and the stun grenades and the chants and the prayers. I keep coming back to the one image that was there before the international event began, before it became a television show and a symbol in flames and something beyond what it was in the first place. I keep coming back to one simple moment, one ghastly fact. One image, from which all the other images have flowed. They left the body in the street. Dictators leave bodies in the street. Warlords leave bodies in the street. A police officer shot Michael Brown to death. And they left his body in the street. For four hours.”

Long Time Coming: Suddenly there's a spate of articles pointing out the austerity inspired recovery in the eurozone is actually a depression, possibly worse that the Great Depression, and that the leadership continues to do exactly the wrong things, guaranteeing things'll get a lot worse before the revolt arrives. 
Roots of Inequality: Inequality in America is greatly a result of the long term effects of race and slavery – and wealth is the least of the inequalities. 
Long/Short: Here's a long article on 'Why the Middle Class Doesn't buy the Recovery'. Save yourself some time: The middle class doesn't buy the recovery because it hasn't seen the recovery. Their incomes are lower now than before the recovery started, which is a neat trick, done with smoke and mirrors. In total, adjusted for inflation, Americans are worse off than they were 14 years ago. 
First Person, Plural: Think what this story would be like if you were black, young, unemployed.

Flim vs Flam: The BofA $17 billion 'settlement' follows the pattern set by previously pardoned miscreants. While $10 billion of it is cash, that will result in a $4 billion tax write-off for the bank, and the odds are that much of the $7 billion in 'consumer relief' will be in the form of tax-reducing write-offs also. And, as previously, no one goes to jail, no one loses any bonus money for “misleading investors about the quality of loans” it was selling. That is, for committing serial securities fraud for years. Beats robbing convenience stores. 
Easy One: Why are most economists more enthusiastic about 'free trade' than the general public? Because they have not lost their jobs or been forced to take a cut in pay. Besides, the theory conforms to their religion. 
Damper: One of the reasons that the number of new claims for unemployment is falling has nothing to do with a decline in the number of people losing jobs. For various reasons, a growing percentage of those who have lost their jobs simply do not go sign up for unemployment benefits. Either out of hope, or despair.

Porn O'Graph: Lackin' Traction.

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