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Guest Post: The Empire's Next Effort To Extract Your Wealth

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Authored by Addison Wiggin via Laissez Faire Club blog,

Since before the tech bust, we’ve been suggesting that while Americans “think” they’re getting richer... they’re actually heading in the other direction. They’re getting poorer.

This proposition has been easier for folks to entertain since housing busted and the financial crisis reversed the “wealth effect” in 2008. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the logic of the American Empire and what you can expect in the year(s) ahead.

“Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive,” economist Paul Craig Roberts observed recently. “The empires succeeded because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance.”

We explored a similar theme in our 2006 book, Empire of Debt. But unlike empires of the past, the American Empire has a logic all its own.

“America’s wars are very expensive,” says Roberts, stating the obvious. “Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars.”

In the big Iraqi oil auction of 2009, for example, even as U.S. helicopters droned overhead, the oil minister gave out zero contracts to American firms. Not one. And we spent at least $3 trillion on war — $2.9 trillion more than Team Bush’s original budget. So much for paying for war with “oil profits.”

Russia was actually the big winner here. So what gives? The American Empire has perverted the Roman mantra “Veni, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered) into the odd imperial slogan, “We came, we saw… we borrowed!”

The results from this turn of phrase are less than desirable. Again Roberts:

Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agribusiness and the Israel lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power. The U.S. Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1%.

 

“That is how the American Empire functions,”

We agree. To grow, the American Empire is always looking to inflate the next bubble. These serial bubbles each have the effect of “extracting” wealth from the citizens — in the form of bigger mortgages, heftier credit card statements and stuffed stock portfolios. The “extracted” money is, over time, passed from the wallets of citizens to the pockets of the well connected.

For confirmation of this assertion we need look no further than the top o’ the 1%, the Oracle of Omaha. Peter Schweizer of Reason reckoned in an exposè published last year on Warren Buffett that this folksy fellow “needed the TARP bailout more than most.”

Let’s run through the numbers. Berkshire Hathaway firms in total received $95 billion in TARP money. Berkshire, you’ll recall, held stock in Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and American Express. Not only did these companies receive TARP funds… they also dipped into the FDIC’s treasury to back their debt. Total bailout: $130 billion. TARP-enabled companies accounted for 30% of the Oracle’s publicly disclosed stock portfolio.

He’s definitely one of the top beneficiaries of the big bank bailout. And to sharpen the sting, he even got a better deal to help ailing Goldman Sachs than our own government. Buffett got a 10% preferred dividend while the Feds got all of 5%. He cleaned up with $500 million a year in dividends. Without the bailout, you can bet many of his stock holdings would have gone near-zero instead.

Contrast that with a blog post from Rosemarie Jackowski, a community activist at Dissident Voice. She’s describes her experiences working with the underclass in a small town in Vermont.

“In Bennington, there are three very distinct classes,” writes Jackowski. “First, there are the ‘fancy people.’ They are the ones who rule and control everything. They are on the boards — the hospital board, the library board, the select board, the school boards. They have the power — even the power over life and death. They, occasionally during a medical crisis in the hospital, make the decision to pull the plug or allow life to go on.”

We hear you. At first, we were prepared to dismiss the piece as another bleeding heart diatribe… but she goes on to describe a theme very familiar to our readers.

Then there is the large group of ordinary citizens. Some are blue-collar workers. Most work hard. Love their families. And have had family in Vermont for generations. They acknowledge the class system in conversation often. They call it the ol’ boys network — cronyism.

The third group consists of those who are in need. Those on the bottom of the economic pile. At the conference, some of the most-impressive comments were made by a poor mother of two disabled children. She talked about the oppressive avalanche of redundant paperwork required to get any tiny benefit. The social services system is designed by nameless, faceless, unelected bureaucrats. It is setup to assure maximum job security to the workers in the system. To a struggling family, it often feels like an attack of the “paper churners.” Being poor is a full-time job.

More and more “ordinary citizens” are faced with the challenge of joining this third group of government dependents… or choosing to join the ranks “nameless, faceless, unelected bureaucrats” just to survive.

Case in point: “In the most recent Census,” writes co-author Samantha Buker in The Little Book of the Shrinking Dollar, “48% of America qualifies as ‘low income.’ There are more Americans living under extreme poverty than have ever been recorded.

“Since 2009, we’ve added another 4 million souls to the category of low income to below the poverty line. That’s 146 million people in America who aren’t consuming much aside from ever-increasing applications for food stamps.”

In November 2008, food stamp applicants topped 30 million for the first time in history. We’re still posting “record highs,” having added over 16 million more names (and counting…) to the food stamp list.

Does this sound like a nation of ripe, robust citizens ready to be drained for the benefit of the national coffers? Au contraire. Sounds like another case in which our Empire will hand out more than it’s taking in.

Again.

In her post, Ms. Jackowski provides a list of 35 ways poverty robs you of your dignity. Here are just a few:

“Poverty means living with shame.”

 

“Poverty means working three jobs and still not ‘making it.’”

 

“Poverty means that you go to work when you are sick. Worse than that, you send your children to school when they are sick.”

 

“Sometimes poverty means that you skip meals so that your children can eat.”

 

“Poverty means that your housing is never secure…”

 

“Poverty means following all of the rules. Then graduating with oppressive student debt so that the president of UVM can be paid $447,000 per year.”

It’s Jackowski’s final mention of extraction - the student debt fiasco - that worries us. This bubble that has already taken flight. Now it’s flying dangerously close to a few pins.

Just like with housing, this is one hell of a bubble. And when it bursts, it’ll invite another crew of crony capitalists to the Beltway, who will soon be lining up for bailouts. I urge you to grip your wallet with both hands and prepare for the worse.

 


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Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:38 | Link to Comment surf0766
surf0766's picture

#INTIMOGATE

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:04 | Link to Comment jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

re-acquire lost skills of self sufficiency and promote a local currency.  money is secondary to productivity. it merely lubricates.  it is NOT wealth.  labor is wealth said john locke.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:17 | Link to Comment The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

The gig will truly be up when they start sourcing the giant "We're number one" fingers from US manufacturers because labor costs have come down enough to make that more economical than sourcing from slave labor in Asia and Mexico.  

Until then, let's party on like we're number one!

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 21:04 | Link to Comment CrashingDollars
CrashingDollars's picture

Then they'll be telling us being number 2 doesn't mean we can't still be number 1

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 22:34 | Link to Comment Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

It's going to be bad.

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 20:01 | Link to Comment MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Not true. Would be nice but wealth can be stored without loss: labour can't be stored because a human must do it, a human needs sleep, gets old and dies.

Wealth doesn't need to die of old age. Wealth doesn't need to be fed constantly. Wealth doesn't require innovation to exist even if it works better combined with innovation in the form of investing.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:40 | Link to Comment observer007
observer007's picture

Gangster State America

There are many signs of gangster state America. One is the collusion between federal authorities and banksters in a criminal conspiracy to rig the markets for gold and silver.

http://homment.com/ie6WS52QcM

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 22:48 | Link to Comment Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

 

“The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”
-Dr Josef Mengele

FORWARD SOVIET!

 

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:41 | Link to Comment Andrew G
Andrew G's picture

Although the Amerikans are poor economically, they are culturally rich

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:46 | Link to Comment McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Yes, no doubt "Honey Boo-Boo" and Jay-Z will be thought of hundreds of years from now the same way we think of Michaelangelo and Mozart today.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:48 | Link to Comment Bollixed
Bollixed's picture

I thnk he was talking about Big Macs and Dominos..

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:49 | Link to Comment McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Then he should have said, "Although the Amerikans are poor economically, they are incredibly fat."

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:00 | Link to Comment Haole
Haole's picture

LOL... Yeah, porn and doughnuts are the new Sistine Chapel and Piano Concerto #21...

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:52 | Link to Comment orez65
orez65's picture

"... they are culturally rich ..."

???????????!!!!!!!!!!!

You've got to be fucking kidding!

Our public schools spew out a bunch of indoctrinated liberal shit heads.

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 06:22 | Link to Comment Andrew G
Andrew G's picture

I was fucking kiddiing you idiots!

WTF, the ZHers are getting so stupid not to smell sarcasm without sppelling it out? Must be the junk food...

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:54 | Link to Comment Jumbotron
Thu, 05/16/2013 - 22:05 | Link to Comment Clowns on Acid
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Compared to whom....?

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:53 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
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''The military-security complex, Wall Street, agribusiness and the Israel lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power.''

 

What is this Israeli lobby PC Roberts speaks of? Can we get more info on this?

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:24 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

The Israeli Lobby we’ve come to discover has its fingers around the throat of the American government; and that’s not such a small thing, for it involves the economy, the foreign policy advances and every domestic issue that affects all Americans, from health care to the Internal Revenue Service – to the Federal Reserve System and the ownership of the currency.

In other words, the Israeli Lobby at this point in history for America is every single darn thing you can imagine.

Jews DO control the media | The Times of Israel | by Manny Friedman

July 1, 2012

We Jews are a funny breed. We love to brag about every Jewish actor. Sometimes we even pretend an actor is Jewish just because we like him enough that we think he deserves to be on our team. We brag about Jewish authors, Jewish politicians, Jewish directors. Every time someone mentions any movie or book or piece of art, we inevitably say something like, “Did you know that he was Jewish?” That’s just how we roll.

We’re a driven group, and not just in regards to the art world. We have, for example, AIPAC, which  was essentially constructed just to drive agenda in Washington DC. And it succeeds admirably. And we brag about it. Again, it’s just what we do.

But the funny part is when any anti-Semite or anti-Israel person starts to spout stuff like, “The Jews control the media!” and “The Jews control Washington!”

Suddenly we’re up in arms. We create huge campaigns to take these people down. We do what we can to put them out of work. We publish articles. We’ve created entire organizations that exist just to tell everyone that the Jews don’t control nothin’. No, we don’t control the media, we don’t have any more sway in DC than anyone else. No, no, no, we swear: We’re just like everybody else!

Does anyone else (who’s not a bigot) see the irony of this?

Let’s be honest with ourselves, here, fellow Jews. We do control the media. We’ve got so many dudes up in the executive offices in all the big movie production companies it’s almost obscene. Just about every movie or TV show, whether it be “Tropic Thunder” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is rife with actors, directors, and writers who are Jewish. Did you know that all eight major film studios are run by Jews?

But that’s not all. We also control the ads that go on those TV shows.

And let’s not forget AIPAC, every anti-Semite’s favorite punching bag. We’re talking an organization that’s practically the equivalent of the Elders of Zion. I’ll never forget when I was involved in Israeli advocacy in college and being at one of the many AIPAC conventions. A man literally stood in front of us and told us that their whole goal was to only work with top-50 school graduate students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government. Here I am, an idealistic little kid that goes to a bottom 50 school (ASU) who wants to do some grassroots advocacy, and these guys are literally talking about infiltrating the government. Intense.

Now, I know what everyone will say. That everyone tries to lobby. Every minority group and every majority group. That every group has some successful actors and directors. But that’s a far call from saying that we run Hollywood and Madison Avenue. That the Mel Gibsons of the world are right in saying we’re deliberately using our power to take over the world. That we’ve got some crazy conspiracy going down.

Okay. Fine. So some of that is kooky talk.

But let’s look at it a bit deeper.

Maybe it’s true: everyone lobbies. Maybe it’s true there are actors of every ethnicity out there. But come on. We’re the ones who are bragging about this stuff all the time. Can’t we admit that we’re incredibly successful? Can’t we say it to the world?

I’ll give my theory for why Jews don’t want to talk about their control of the media.

First of all, as much as Jews like to admit that so many of them are successful, and that so many of them have accomplished so much, they hate to admit that it has to do with they’re being Jewish. Maybe they’ll admit that it has something to do with the Jewish experience. But how many Jews will admit that there is something inherently a part of every single one of them that helps them to accomplish amazing things?

The ADL chairman, Abe Foxman, was interviewed in a great article about the subject and he said that he “would prefer people say that many executives in the industry ‘happen to be Jewish.’” This just about sums up the party line.

The truth is, the anti-Semites got it right. We Jews have something planted in each one of us that makes us completely different from every group in the world. We’re talking about a group of people that just got put in death camps, endured pogroms, their whole families decimated. And then they came to America, the one place that ever really let them have as much power as they wanted, and suddenly they’re taking over. Please don’t tell me that any other group in the world has ever done that. Only the Jews. And we’ve done it before. That’s why the Jews were enslaved in Egypt. We were too successful. Go look at the Torah — it’s right there. And we did it in Germany too.

This ability to succeed, this inner drive, comes not from the years of education or any other sort of conditional factors, but because of the inner spark within each Jew.

Now, the reason groups like the ADL and AIPAC hate admitting this is because, first of all, they are secular organizations. Their whole agenda is to prove that every Jew is the same as every other person in the world. I cannot imagine a more outlandish agenda. No, we’re different. We’re special.

Of course, people hate when anyone says this. They assume that if you’re saying that Jews are special, it somehow implies that they’re better.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what the word “better” even means. What I do know is that being special simply means a person has a responsibility to do good.

I think that’s the real reason most Jews are so afraid to admit that there’s something inherently powerful and good about them. Not because they’re afraid of being special. But because they’re afraid of being responsible. It means that they’re suddenly culpable when they create dirty TV shows that sully the spiritual atmosphere of the world. It means that things can’t just be created for the sake of amusement or fun or even “art.”

Suddenly, we can’t screw up the world.

The interesting thing is that Jews have done so much for the world in so many other ways. They’ve moved forward civil rights; they’ve helped save lives in Darfur, Haiti and just about everywhere else.

But that’s not enough. Fixing the world physically is only half the battle.

Our larger battle, the harder battle, is elevating the world spiritually. And this is what the people that fight with every inch of their soul to prove that Jews are just the same as everyone else are afraid of. It means that we can no longer just “express ourselves.” We’ll have to start thinking about the things we create and the way we act. It means we’ll have to start working together. It means we’ll have to hold one other, and ourselves, to a higher standard.

The time has come, though. We no longer have to change our names. We no longer have to blend in like chameleons. We own a whole freaking country.

Instead, we can be proud of who we are, and simultaneously aware of our huge responsibility — and opportunity.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jews-do-control-the-media/

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:49 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Good stuff brother JR........keep on rocking in a free speech world!

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 21:58 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

according to swiss law, the author of the article must be fined and imprisoned

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 22:50 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

Discrimination implies taking action against another race. And if that’s true, in the United States Jewish groups could be guilty of discrimination when they only hire people of their own race, as Manny says here is done in Hollywood and the media, while banning the hiring of other races. In some ways that’s the complaint that many people have in America: that the critical positions in the government, particularly in the financial departments, are being held by Jews who consistently only hire other Jews.

As Manny said: A man [from AIPAC] literally stood in front of us and told us that their whole goal was to only work with top-50 [Jewish] school graduate students because they would eventually be the people making changes in the government.”

Continues Manny: “and these guys are literally talking about infiltrating the government. Intense.”

If this is not discrimination of the highest order in a country that initially was founded on individual freedom and equal opportunity and based on a Christian belief system, then what is  it?

Let’s hope Swiss law is not so discriminatory as to accuse us of what they, the Jews, do.  

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

dup.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:51 | Link to Comment bill1102inf
bill1102inf's picture

Americans got 'incredibly rich' via the inflation route prior to the tech bubble and right up to 2008 (housing). The VAST MAJORITY of 'rich' in America, made/make their money in real estate. Real estate that 70 years ago was worth a pitiful fraction of what it is even today.

 

What is sad is that none of the young people today will ever get to enjoy inflation like our parents/grand parents did.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:58 | Link to Comment Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

Oh, I think the youg people today are being given plenty of opportunity to "enjoy inflation". Tuition to attend The University of Michigan is $52,000 a year.

 

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:19 | Link to Comment The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

If you aren't smart enough to figure out in advance what a shitty deal that is, then you deserve to be condemned to debt serfdom.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 21:19 | Link to Comment noless
noless's picture

Information no one needs to know/rant:

I remember vividly calling my mother my freshman year at a state university, trying for any reasoned advice as to why i was there, i couldn't fathom how the sociology class i was taking was so timid in answering questions, why the "small group" sessions were over run with ideologues and brainless idiots. The required reading was basic shit that id mostly read in my early to mid teens, granted i was most likely unduly expressive.

(for an understanding of demographics and survey techniques, we polled the class for family income, i was the sole outlier excluded from the data on the bottom end, that was one of the main points that brought it home for me).

Her only advice; "just study what you like."

Bitch, i want to make Jewellery and draw pointless abstract portraits, that is horrible advice. So i dropped out after a year and payed my shit off.

I'm not an artist, but don't believe i could have made it anyway in this town(or anywhere really), my only consolation prize is that at least i get to work with my hands and get payed for it, even if it's killing me.

Maybe someday I'll be in a financial position and mental space that would allow me to actually pursue what i enjoy, but i doubt it.

But hey, at least manufacturing is rebounding right? I really should think about getting into stocks.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:52 | Link to Comment Rusty Shorts
Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:54 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

Many are the sacred principles of America’s Founders that have fallen under the iron curtain of American Empire. And today marks the anniversary of one of those loses – habeas corpus.

The hacktivist group Anonymous has announced it is calling for 3 days of protests to mark today as the 100th day of the hunger strike of Guantanamo prisoners.

At least some can hear the silent scream contained within the walls of Guantanamo Bay prison, out of hearing and sight in Cuba, where 166 prisoners have been kept for eleven and a half years and 90 percent of not even charged with a crime.

But few Americans know that the scream, the knell they refuse to hear, is the death knell for their own freedom, for once you concede to the cancellation of judicial protections for ‘other people,’ it is just a matter of time before the cancellation is extended to include you.

In fact, says the founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation: “The writ of habeas corpus is actually the lynchpin of a free society. 

“ Take away this great writ and all other rights — such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, gun ownership, due process, trial by jury, and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures and cruel and unusual punishments — become meaningless,” says Jacob Hornberger.

Russia Today reports one of those screams in Hunger games: Critical health fears as Gitmo strike marks Day 100:

 “I scare myself when I look in the mirror. Let them kill us as we have nothing to lose. We died when Obama indefinitely detained us.  Respect us or kill us. It is your choice. The US must take off its mask and kill us.” – Faiz al-Kandari

RT reports the results: “Five critical, 30 force-fed, 102 to 130 taking part.”

RT says: “Three days without food is the time needed for a human body to start consuming fat and muscle protein, losing its mass…

“Those not eating for two weeks are often so weak they cannot stand or walk, and their heart rate drops...  After three weeks of hunger the lack of vitamins in one’s body poses a serious risk of cognitive impairment, vision loss and motor skills damage- impairing their mobility and ability to process simple bodily functions….

“The US Department of Defense has said the military will not let Guantanamo prisoners ‘commit suicide by starving themselves to death,’ and those showing signs of life-threatening conditions have been forcibly fed by means of enteral tubes…

 “While international rights groups have long been calling to stop this extremely invasive and highly controversial practice, with the UN condemning it as “torture,” the US responded to the current hunger strike by sending 40 nurses to assist with force-feeding.

“I can’t imagine they understood what they are being asked to do for their country. I don’t think they knew how horrific it would be. I hope some of them have the courage to say no,” [lawyer and US army captain Jason] Wright, who traveled on the same plane as the nurses, has said.

“Meanwhile, many of the detainees have been ready to die for their dignity, as they have no hope for release…”

http://rt.com/usa/guantanamo-hunger-strike-100-health-270/

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:25 | Link to Comment no2foreclosures
no2foreclosures's picture

Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

Hope there is a Hell deep enough for all those responsible or just following orders.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:59 | Link to Comment Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"RT says: “Three days without food is the time needed for a human body to start consuming fat and muscle protein, losing its mass…

“Those not eating for two weeks are often so weak they cannot stand or walk, and their heart rate drops...  After three weeks of hunger the lack of vitamins in one’s body poses a serious risk of cognitive impairment, vision loss and motor skills damage- impairing their mobility and ability to process simple bodily functions…."

This part is bullshit. It is possible to fast for 30 days, 40 days or longer and no harm done. I have fasted for 22 days with no preparation and without getting sick or even feeling hungry. In fact the fast cured a disease that baffled my doctor and at least 2 specialists. This is far from a record.

The rest of it I agree with. I can't believe that in the whole US, congress, the senate, there is not one person with the guts to stand up against this despotism.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 23:21 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

RT is reporting on information taken from a study on mass hunger strikes published by the California Correctional Health Care Services. Whatever, for most of these Guantanamo prisoners, it looks as if they are in dire straits, mentally and physically at the end of their ropes.

Guantanamo Bay prison is a killing field and these men have been singled out for Congress's and Obama's ghastly mission of isolation and torture. It is reminiscent of the U.S.S.R.'s Solovki islands - the haunted ground known as "the mother of the gullag," as Solzhenitsyn put it, singled out for their isolation, a place where hundreds of thousands of innocent "enemies of the revolution" were shot, starved and tortured in the 1920s and 1930s.

Stalin's death factory of interrogation: solitary confinement, places where people were tortured for thinking the wrong thing -- worse than "death row" as is said of Guantanamo.

Feroz Abbasi, who was released from Guantanamo without charges described how he was psychologically tortured by the Guantanamo guards.

For some reason on the same night Iraq was bombed in March 2003, I was moved into isolation, solitary confinement, and I was there for two years. Six months of which were without sunlight.”

Writes RT: "Hunger strikers who have been force-fed describe it as the final humiliation. There are three stages to the pain, firstly there is the sensation of a tube being forced past their sinuses into their throat, which causes their eyes to water, then an intense burning and gagging sensation as it goes down the throat and finally when the tube enters the stomach there is a strong urge to vomit. When the tube has delivered the ‘food’, it triggers the most painful sensation of all: the return of hunger.."

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:06 | Link to Comment toady
toady's picture

Didn't Obama close gitmo?

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 00:35 | Link to Comment Tom Servo
Tom Servo's picture

Day 1 of the regime, 2009, right after he repealed the Patriot Act and got us out of NAFTA and GAAT....

 

YES WE CAN!

 

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:38 | Link to Comment Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Not carrying weapons openly.
Not wearing uniform, and or distinguishing hat,armband , etc.
No chain of command.
Hiding amongst civilians.
Not signatory to Genevu Convention.

No rights for you!

Shoot them.( humainly )

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:59 | Link to Comment Jim B
Jim B's picture

 

Most of our poor are rich by the standards of most countries, but putting that aside, the system has been completely corrupted with 2 standards of justice.  One for the serfs and  one for the elites!

 

Where is Jon Corzine? 

 

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:12 | Link to Comment Umh
Umh's picture

Everything will drag on. Really drag on so slowly that one day a obituary will obviate the trial.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment noless
noless's picture

What good is there in being a rich slave? You still must submit, have no real authority over your endeavors, believe what is given even when not in accord with reality, and obey the whims of the possibly sadistic above you, not to mention the taunts and derision from those "below" you.

I would rather give up my petty luxuries.

Feel free to ask whether i have a computer, then some bullshit about migrant farm workers, insecurity is insecurity.

If being a rich poor American means the necessity of car ownership because of the bifurcation of jobs/home by increasingly ridiculous zoning regulations and income disparity housing vouchers, then sure, but you're missing a few metrics.

If "rich" is just the government subsidized credit pump to idiots, then yes, but there are real people out there.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:56 | Link to Comment Supernova Born
Supernova Born's picture

Au contraire, indeed.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 18:59 | Link to Comment Darth Raider
Darth Raider's picture

"OBEN-Wan has taught you well."

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:09 | Link to Comment seek
seek's picture

The educational system really is a pretty big wealth threat. Remember the public part of the system is generally funded through property taxes, which can be made both large and inescapable. Pay close attention to bond issues in your school district, they may end up being sponsored (by stealth) by banking or construction interests, and have very unfavorable terms. This happened in my own district and the malfeasance was genuniely criminal, and while some school officials resigned as a result, no one was prosecuted.

Elsewhere in my state, a bit of the reverse has happened in some areas, however. In those regions a large and generally middle-class Mormon constituency has supported changes to the property taxes that put most of the increased burden of taxes on non-resident owner homes (basically rentals and vacation homes), and said owners generally either aren't able to vote or are too small a block, so in this rare instance the better-off are getting hosed. Property taxes are inherently evil, but at least in these instances the empowered class isn't successful in pillaging the working class.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:02 | Link to Comment Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

I wouldn't say that. It looks to me like the people with the power are taking advantage of the people without power. It may be that in your opinion tenants and vacation home owners are "rich". If you knew the facts it might surprise you to find out many of the middle class Mormons are richer than their victims. And if they keep using their power this way, will end up richer and richer until they are just another 1%.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:51 | Link to Comment seek
seek's picture

As I said, I'm no fan of property taxes, but I think this approach is protective in the sense that I strongly suspect districts where this practice exists would be passed over by the bond-driven bank/construction mafia.

The ideal would, of course, be zero property taxes and no stealth bond issues that are all profit to the banks and no value to the schools.

In this particular instance, there is little doubt there was a huge disparity, as all the surrounding districts to the one where the vote took place actually receive state balancing payments (in AZ, there's a mechanism for a portion of specific school taxes from high-property-value districts to be shared with low-property-value districts, so you don't end up with too much differential in school funding across districts. The differential still exists due to donations in the high value districts, however.) Given that you had a relatively prosperous (and expensive) school made that way by developers as a selling point for the area, it doesn't seem unreasonable that when property values collapsed they put the costs on those that made the district that way. Property taxes suck in general, at least they were apportioned more appropriately than I experenced in my own fraud-addled district.

The key point on both sides of this is that property taxes are a pretty dangerous weapon in the wealth confiscation game, and the administrators of the public education system are in bed with banksters and construction interests, and all of them are more than happy to saddle property owners with insane levels of debt. Be on guard for seemingly innocent school bond elections.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 21:54 | Link to Comment noless
noless's picture

I absolutely loved the wording on some of the past and recent bond levies over on my end, completely obfuscatory.

They all passed of course, for the children.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:11 | Link to Comment Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture

"One for the serfs and one for the elites!"

Only they think they are elite ! And you I guess.

I think ....they are the scum that rides atop the sewage treatment plant tanks.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:14 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Well looky looky .... Sarah Ingram the woman in charge of the tax-exempt organizations office in the IRS when they were targeting Tea party people ( not the fall guy) is now the director of The Affordable Care Act.

http://abcnews.go.com/politics/t/blogEntry?id=19197239&ref=http%3A%2F%2F...

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 08:01 | Link to Comment drdolittle
drdolittle's picture

Yeah, kinda all up in your grill

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:21 | Link to Comment Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

I sometimes wonder about if poverty is created or abused.

If they make it easier for people not to work, (with more benefits than working), rather than get a low paying job.  Well what do you think they will do?

Do people chose poverty to avert getting a job and stress?  There is something to be said to have the Government pay for everything for you.  Housing, Food, medical Care, clothing, enery, and all of your other needs.  You have no needs that the Government does not supply.  They may not be rich but they need for nothing.

Today poverty is like being Middle Class without working.  Who would not like that. 

Yes, the problem is when everyone decides to be dependent on the Government and not work.  But, who cares as most of those Dependent on the Government think that day will never come and they will get their check forever.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:06 | Link to Comment Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

The way you talk you would think they have a choice. Do you know how many millions of factories and other jobs have gone overseas in the last 30 years? Where are these people supposed to find jobs? I challenge you to find a job so shitty and low paid that there isn't a line waiting to fill it. Usually 50, 100 or more applications for every job. Do you know why so many waitress jobs and Walmart  clerk jobs are held by people with university degrees? Because those are the good jobs that you have to qualify for. You don't want to know what the bad jobs are like.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:52 | Link to Comment Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

One word. Roofing.
Think hand pick coal mining type physical labor. Plus heights, and falling. Also fairly...discomforting.
On the plus side you meet people from all over the world, and just teased from prison.
Steady work if you dont mind humping 70lbs shingle buned up a 40 foot laser , step on to a aluminium pick( plank ) then a good push up step to the roof and up to ..wherever. In the winter, say 15degrees, or Sumner, say 90 plus
degrees.
Kitchens, drive truck, health aids.
I've never lacked for work, good pay, yes. Work never.

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 19:48 | Link to Comment reader2010
reader2010's picture

RIP

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 21:49 | Link to Comment malek
malek's picture

Funny the medical-sickcare complex didn't make it onto the list...

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 02:08 | Link to Comment cape_royds
cape_royds's picture

The USA Empire does indeed extract wealth from the rest of the world. The USA does indeed receive tribute.

Question: USA gets oil from Saudi Arabia, which is a real and valuable good, and in exchange the USA gives them...what?

Answer: Figments of Ben Bernanke's imagination, which can be produced at will.

Follow-up Question: Why on Earth would anybody in Saudi Arabia agree to such a ludicrously unfair trade?

Answer: Because if they refuse to accept Ben's lavatory leavings, the USA will do "regime change" shortly afterwards. e.g. Iraq and Libya, which were the latest two countries to try to sell oil for anything other than USD.

The US Empire runs constant, massive, trade and current account deficits. That's because they're not a hard currency empire. A hard currency empire gets tribute and rent earnings in actual flow of hard money to the imperial core.

But a soft currency empire doesn't do it that way. Instead, the soft currency empire "borrows" from its subjects. And borrows, and borrows, and borrows. And pays back, if at all, with money worth a fraction of the real value initially lent.

That's extraction. That's tribute. That's empire. And it does depend on real violence, and the threat of violence, with "examples" being made of any who dare defy it.

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 02:29 | Link to Comment boeing747
boeing747's picture

That's why I gonna send my son away from this country.

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 02:34 | Link to Comment dunce
dunce's picture

The movie "The Mouse That Roared" was a comedy , but every good joke has an element of truth in it. We have continued to pour billions into the countries we bested in war, made a regime change, left them much richer and better off, made a clumsy exit and failed to put them on the road to being civilized. The Iraqis are still blowing each other up and the Afghans actually taxed our foreign aid to the tune of over a billion dollars, even more was just plain stolen to arm the taliban to kill our troops with the help of obama's rules of engagement and so called troop training where when they complete the course they shoot their instructors.

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 04:09 | Link to Comment Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

“Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agribusiness and the Israel lobby...."

Don't forget the banks, which rule them all.

Fri, 05/17/2013 - 08:03 | Link to Comment 22winmag
22winmag's picture

The part about Bennington, VT and the "fancy people" is so true. In cities it's people sleeping on the sidewalk in the shadows of glass towers, and it's been that way for decades. In small town America, class division is suddenly becoming more obvious just in the last few years.

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 19:59 | Link to Comment MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

“Poverty means following all of the rules. Then graduating with oppressive student debt so that the president of UVM can be paid $447,000 per year.”

And yet there is no rule saying you must be in debt. Powerful suggestions exist, like boosting your credit rating if you use debt, and claiming that the best jobs are for those with degrees. It's not good, just common.

If only people realized that rules written by overlords & slave-masters should be ignored or broken... some realize this early in life, some do not.

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