Connect with us

Uncategorized

89-8: New Year, Same Old Congress…

Published

on

This Morning the Senate passed a compromise bill two hours after the deadline for the “fiscal cliff” bipartisan bill was to take effect.

The vote was 89-8 an even wider margin bipartisan margin than the bill it replaces. Only 3 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted against the measure that will now go to the house.

With such an overwhelming imprimatur from both sides of the aisle in the Senate, it is impossible that this bill will fail in the house. Every member of the tea party caucus may oppose it, speak against it, and can argue the case for responsibility to no avail.  There will be plenty of votes on both sides of the aisle to pass this deal.

That we are passing 100+ page bills that nobody has read at 2 AM on New Years day is bad.

That we are raising more taxes on small business at a $41 in tax increases not counting all the Obamacare taxes that are now kicking in, for each dollar of spending cuts, is worse.

But the thing that really bothers me beyond both is this:  We have problems, problems that requires courage to solve. It took a lot of pain and effort to achieve what had previously been done and as Veronique de Rugy tells us it wasn’t much:

The alleged brutality of the cuts is one of the biggest myth of 2012. For the most part, the sequestration “cuts” aren’t really cuts at all. According to the Congressional Budget Office, discretionary spending would grow from $1.047 trillion to $1.234 trillion without sequestration. With the sequestration cuts in place, it will instead grow from $1.047 to $1.147 trillion. Medicare, which also faces cuts in the sequestration process, follows a similar trend. That means that going through with sequestration is just the beginning. It won’t make a dent in the size of our debt, and more cuts will be needed in the future.Yet both sides oppose fulfilling the deal they agreed upon.

and now even that has been undone.

Without controlling spending we are heading toward disaster. As de Rugy points out above, the sequestration cuts….were not cuts and a whole lot more was needed beyond sequestration to get us out of the hole we’re in and now we aren’t event going to do that.

Amazingly despite the date this was done by a cold sober senate and will be passed by a cold sober house to the cheers of the media that will celebrate the cowardice of a nation and its elected leaders.

Marco Rubio, one of the few votes against said it well:

“I ran, just two years ago, on the idea that I wanted to be part of solving the long-term problems this country faces. Time and again, we’re given choices here that don’t involve that.”

“The real fiscal cliff is still there,” he said. “We’ll be back here again. In March, we’ll have a showdown like this all over again.”

And what will happen then?  Will the GOP grow a spine?  Will the democrats learn to count?  I wouldn’t bet on it.  If we can’t make the tough calls when left & right have the fear of God, or at least the voters in them how will we do it otherwise?

As I’ve said many times we always get the government we deserve, but I really thought we deserved better.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There

Published

on

The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.

These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by 

wealth3

… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of  rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry

wealth1

In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.

wealth4

But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…

CONTINUE READING HERE:

The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:

Published

on

By

Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:

The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.

logoBlack

Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.

Continue Reading

Trending