Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SAR #11214

They do not see what lies ahead, when Sun has faded and Moon is dead. Gollum.

Some Questions: Did Americans really believe that this day would never come? Do you still actually believe that a gallon of gas costs you what it says at the pump? How long did you think this could last? Osama's dead? Is that gonna help you get a job?

The One Party State: The Democrats, led (if it be leadership to surrender) by President Obama, caved in to Republican extortion without struggle or shame. The same Republican tactics will let them dismantle our social safety nets while Obama explains how it fits his plans. It probably does.

Another View: Is it extortion if the 'victim' wanted the same thing? What if he has been Wall Street's tool all along and “never intended to fight for jobs or justice?” “It is absolutely false that [Obama] did not want these brutal budget cuts and was simply forced -- either by his own strategic "blunders" or the "weakness" of his office -- into accepting them.  The evidence is overwhelming that Obama has long wanted exactly what he got: these severe domestic budget cuts and even ones well beyond these, including Social Security and Medicare, which he is likely to get with the Super-Committee created by this bill.”  See also: Matt Taibbi who notes “They're doing it because they do not represent any actual voters.”

This Just In: Bankers have no shame!

Perspective: With the consumer far in debt and over 12 million without jobs, cutting government spending – especially on things like unemployment insurance and aid to the poor and elderly – does not seem the best way to boost consumption, the bedrock of the US economy. “From the perspective of a rational person, we shouldn’t even be talking about spending cuts at all now” is true, but the rational are no longer to be found in Washington.

Score Card: Winners: Extortion as a political tool, bondholders, Congress which gained a stranglehold over the executive bank), millionaires. Losers: Everybody else.

Hot Time/Old Town: TEPCO admits that radiation at the Fukushima reactors is higher today than at any previous time. Radiation has been measured at an all-time high – which is the highest their devices are able to record. The actual radiation levels could be much higher.

Metastasizing: While protesting against the government's fiscal austerity policies in Spain, the Indignants sent missionaries across Europe, enlisting support. Now protesters from several EU cities are following the Spanish example and joining them in a march on Brussels, to spread their message of people before banks.

Should Elizabeth Warren Run for President? While it would be fun to scare Obama, there is no point in sacrificing a perfectly fine human being to American electoral politics just to demonstrate that there is no left left.

We Have A Winner: The Brevity Award goes to Robert Kuttner for “The Goons of August.”

Wayback Machine: It was massive debt-financed stimulus that pulled the US out of the Great Depression. It was called World War II. The government borrowed immense amounts of money – mostly by having the Fed buy government bonds - and built factories and infrastructure and after the war turned the war industries into consumer industries and gave birth to a growing economy with full employment. I can't understand how cutting government spending is going to do the trick this time.

Short, Unsweet: In Britain, about a year ahead of the US in the austerity stakes, the manufacturing sector continues to fall. It is now down 12.5 points in six months, at a 50.6 reading, suggesting stagnation at best. Nice to know what we've got to look forward to.

Asked. And answered:How can American democracy work if ruthlessness and not voter support becomes the key to power? The question is moot – democracy in America sold out to the highest bidder years ago.

Ransom 101: This was not a victory for the people. The people need jobs, real wages and economic growth. These spending cuts will deliver none of these. Ask for Proof of Life before you pay the ransom. Disaster was not avoided, it was made inevitable.


Anonymous said...

RE: Wayback Machine

Only worked because we blew up most of the other people's factories and ours were untouched. FDR's ultimate way to get us out of the depression was to get half a million American boys killed on top of the additional 75 million deaths around the world.

Gerald Celente says that's where were heading now too. First they bankrupt you then they take you to war.


john patrick said...

Was thinking the same as previous commenter...

Was it massive gov't spending or the fact that we wiped out our competition?

I'm Not POTUS said...

Ummmm....Mr. Duderino,

You gave him the "Brevity Award"????

Either I missed the \sarcasm tag or.... you keep using that word, I don't think you know what it meas.


Inigo "Dude" Montoya

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

The sarcasm is free and to be expected. & I've no idea what it is I don't have an idea about....


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

On the more serious topic: Yeah, killing off the competition is classic capitalism and killing off a lot of the labor pool drives up wages, but the process certainly did away with a lot of potential customers.

Another example of (play theme song) of how wildly over-productive mankind is when lots of low-cost fossil energy is available. Production (given the energy abundance) so outpaces the ability to consume that the process stalls. Back then (and now) the raw materials, the factories, the energy and the workers were all available - but the means of spreading purchasing power to the masses was inadequate to the task.

At the very least it seems obviously harmful to the economy not to insure that the consumer has the means to consume. We tried borrowing from the future and that worked for a while, but the future ain't what it used to be. The owners' best interests would be better served if the serfs were allowed some purchasing power not dependent on their grandchildren's potential income.


Anonymous said...

One thing I notice from a lot of liberals today is how quickly they proclaim that democracy can't work... when they lose a political fight.

Their definition of democracy (and government) "working" is "The left wins." The moment the left does not win, democracy is ruinous.

This is not new. One critical difference between a classical liberal (of which "conservatives" are one strain) and a leftist is a respect for the process, the procedure, of democracy.

Leftists do not have any great regard for the process of voting, or for securing the consent of the governed. What they care about almost entirely is outcome -- if democracy can produce the outcomes they wish, then hooray for democracy; if it results in outcomes they oppose, then perhaps we need to look at another system, because the other side extorted their victory, using terrorist methods (otherwise known as adhering to principle and sticking to campaign promises).

The electorate will weigh in next November.


Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

"Leftists do not have any great regard for the process of voting, or for securing the consent of the governed." I rather thought democracy was majority rule, not rule by extortion, threat of economic disaster, or even requiring 60% of the vote to carry the day.
I'm also against single-party 'democracy', which is what have.

Unknown said...

I have more disdain for the Republican Pied Pipers luring children (all teapartiers and most non-wealthy Republican voters) to the magical and deadly wheel of cheese.

It goes beyond the imagination that 49% of voters regularly vote against their best interest.... just in case they hit the powerball or are drafted into the NFL and are pushed into a tax bracket where their vote would actually help them.

30 years ago, the Republicans promised jobs in exchange for huge tax cuts for the rich. Well the rich got their tax cut, but nothing has ever trickled down in the form of jobs.

Time to reverse that error. If the rich won't provide jobs, then tax them hard and the government can create jobs.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Nice to hear from the choir now and then. Don't miss practice!


Anonymous said...

1. The US isn't a democracy, it's a representative democracy, also known as a democratic republic.

2. The filibuster cuts both ways. And the Senate hasn't produced a budget in more 820 days even though it only takes 51 votes. I'm sure that is also the EVIIL Republicans fault as well.

3. Drewbert, I wasn't aware that you know what is in everyone's best interest. That attitude is pervasive among politicians of all stripes, but particularly among liberals.

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.

The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.


4. From http://goo.gl/XcNwY

Our messy political system is working exactly the way our Founders intended it to.

To the extent House members were the most intransigent during the process—a matter of opinion, in any case—they were meant to be. The House of Representatives is the "popular branch," as described in The Federalist Papers, and was intended to "have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people." Many people, especially those who elected tea party candidates last November, passionately believe that the federal government has gone off the rails. They think that Washington has been spending like a drunken sailor since President Obama took office, and that this profligacy must end.

By contrast, the Framers conceived the Senate as a body of graybeards (or, at the very least, as modestly mature individuals who have reached the age of 30). It was meant to represent the interests of the states and to serve as a check on "the impulse of sudden and violent passions," or the danger of "factious leaders" offering "intemperate and pernicious resolutions" that might in time characterize the lower house. If the Senate has been less willing than the House to call an immediate halt to federal borrowing and to seek a more gradual return to fiscal responsibility, this too is exactly what it is supposed to do.


Unknown said...

Bill - I never claimed to know what is in everyone's best interest in everything, however some things I do know.

The nation's infrastructure is crumbling due to lack of funding. The gas tax hasn't been raised in over a decade and a half and it isn't pegged to the number of miles driven, but to the number of gallons consumed. It is in everyone's best interest to have a robust national highway system. Unless you're looking to toll every last mile of it (which restricts trade and drives traffic to the side streets) you must raise taxes to pay for it.

It is also not in anyone's best interest to continue our operations in Iraq or Afghanistan (if it ever was), right there is a huge savings for this country. $80 billion a year to chase 4,000 people?

It is not in anyone's best interest to unbalance the budget so the wealthiest 10% can get a break on their taxes. There may be an immediate gratification for those few, but in the end we all pay much higher taxes than we need to just to support interest payments. If there was actual revenue increases from tax cuts, then there might be an argument there, but we have 30 years of that NOT WORKING.