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Guest Post: Who Destroyed The Middle Class - Part 3

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Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Who Destroyed The Middle Class - Part 3

This is the 3rd and final chapter of my series about the destruction of the middle class. In Part 1 of this series I addressed where and how the net worth of the middle class was stolen. In Part 2, I focused on the culprits in this grand theft and in Part 3, I will try to figure out why they stole your net worth and what would be required to restore sanity to this world.

Dude, Why Did They Steal My Net Worth?

“I have no problem with people becoming billionaires—if they got there by winning a fair race, if their accomplishments merit it, if they pay their fair share of taxes, and if they don’t corrupt their society. Most of them became wealthy by being well connected and crooked. And they are creating a society in which they can commit hugely damaging economic crimes with impunity, and in which only children of the wealthy have the opportunity to become successful. That’s what I have a problem with. And I think most people agree with me.” Charles FergusonPredator Nation

                       

It is clear to me that a small cabal of politically connected ultra-wealthy psychopaths has purposefully and arrogantly stripped the middle class of their wealth and openly flaunted their complete disregard for the laws and financial regulations meant to enforce a fair playing field. Why did they gut the middle class in their rapacious appetite for riches? Why did the scorpion sting the frog while crossing the river, dooming them both? It was his nature. The same is true for the hubristic modern robber barons latched on the backs of the middle class. Their appetite for ever greater riches will never be mollified. They will always want more. They promise not to destroy the middle class, as that will surely extinguish the last hope for a true economic recovery built upon savings, investment and jobs, but it is their nature to destroy. A card carrying member of the plutocracy and renowned dog lover, Mitt Romney, revealed a truth not normally discussed by those running the show:

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine.”

The data from the Fed report confirms Romney’s assertion. The poorest 20% were the only household segment that saw an increase in their real median income between 2007 and 2010, while the richest 10% saw only a modest 5% decrease in their $200,000 plus, annual incomes. Meanwhile the middle class households experienced a brutal 8% to 9% decline in real income. Table 2 in Part 2 of this article reveals why the poorest 20% were able to increase their income. Transfer payments (unemployment, welfare, food stamps, SSDI) increased from 8.6% of their income in 2007 to 11.1% in 2010. Government transfer payments rose from $1.7 trillion in 2007 to $2.3 trillion today, a 35% increase in five years. I’m sure the bottom 20% are living high on the hog raking in that $13,400 per year. Think about these facts for just a moment. There are 23 million households in this country with a median annual household income of $13,400. That means half make less than that. There are 58 million households that have a median household income of $45,800, with half making less than that.

The reason Mitt Romney isn’t concerned about the very poor is because his only interaction with them is when they cut the lawn at one of his six homes. The truth is the bottom 20% are mostly penned up in our urban ghettos located in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC, LA, Atlanta, Miami, and the hundreds of other decaying metropolitan meccas. They generally kill each other and only get the attention of the top 10% if they dare venture into a white upper class neighborhood. They are the revenue generators for our corporate prison industrial complex – one of our few growth industries. They provide much of the cannon fodder for our military industrial complex. They are kept ignorant and incapable of critical thought by our Department of Education controlled public school system. The welfare state is built upon the foundation of this 20%. It is certainly true that the bottom 30 million households in this country, from an income standpoint, do receive hundreds of billions in entitlement transfers, but Table 2 clearly shows that 80% of their income comes from working. The annual $72 billion cost for the 46 million people on food stamps pales in comparison to the hundreds of billions being dispensed to the Wall Street banks by Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner, and the $1 trillion per year funneled to the corporate arm dealers in the military industrial complex. The Wall Street maggots (i.e. J.P. Morgan) crawl around the decaying welfare corpse, extracting hundreds of millions in fees from the EBT system and the SNAP program as they encourage higher levels of spending.

This is all part of the diversion. Forty five years after the War on Poverty began, there are 49 million Americans living in poverty. That’s a solid good return on the $16 trillion spent so far. It’s on par with the 16 year zero percent real return in the stock market. We have produced a vast underclass of ignorant, uneducated, illiterate, dependent people who have become a huge voting block for the Democratic Party. Politicians, on the left, promise more entitlements to these people in order to get elected. Politicians on the right will not cut the entitlements for fear of being branded as uncaring. The Republicans agree to keep the welfare state growing and the Democrats agree to keep the warfare state growing -bipartisanship in all its glory. And the middle class has been caught in a pincer movement between the free shit entitlement army and the free shit corporate army. The oligarchs have been incredibly effective at using their control of the media, academia and ideological think tanks to keep the middle class ire focused upon the lower classes. While the middle class is fixated on people making $13,400 per year, the ultra-wealthy are bribing politicians to pass laws and create tax loopholes, netting them billions of ill-gotten loot. These specialists at Edward Bernays propaganda techniques were actually able to gain overwhelming support from the middle class for the repeal of estate taxes by rebranding them “death taxes”, even though the estate tax only impacts 15,000 households out of 117 million households in the U.S. The .01% won again.

Household Net Worth Survey of Consumer Finances Federal Reserve 2010

It is easy to understand how the hard working middle class is so easily manipulated by the corporate fascists into believing their decades of descent to a lower and lower standard of living is the result of the lazy good for nothings at the bottom of the food chain sucking on the teat of state with their welfare entitlements. I drive through the neighborhoods of West Philadelphia every day, inhabited by the households with a net worth of $8,500 and annual income of $13,400. They inhabit crumbling hovels worth less than $25,000, along pothole dotted streets strewn with waste, debris and rubbish. More than half the people in this war zone are high school dropouts, over 30% are unemployed, and drug dealing is the primary industry. When a drug dealer becomes too successful and begins to cut into the profits of the “legitimate” oligarch sanctioned drug industry, he is thrown into one of our thriving prisons. Marriage is an unknown concept. The life expectancy of males is far less than 79 years old. But something doesn’t quite make sense. Every hovel has a Direct TV satellite dish. The people shuffling around the streets all have expensive cell phones. There are newer model cars parked on the streets, including a fair number of BMWs, Mercedes, Cadillac Escalades and Volvos. How can this be when their annual income is $13,400 and they have $8,500 to their names?

This is where our friendly neighborhood Wall Street oligarchs enter the picture. These downtrodden people are not bright. They are easily manipulated and scammed. They believe driving an expensive car and appearing successful is the same as being successful. Therefore, they are easily susceptible to being lured into debt. Millions of these people represented the “subprime” mortgage borrowers during the housing bubble. The tremendous auto “sales” being reported by the mainstream media in an effort to boost consumer confidence about an economic recovery, are being driven by subprime auto loans from Ally Financial (85% owned by the U.S. Treasury/you the taxpayer) and the other government back stopped Wall Street banks. This is the beauty of credit. The mega-lenders reap tremendous profits up front, the illusion of economic progress is created, poor people feel rich for a while, and when it all blows up at a future date the middle class taxpayer foots the bill. Real wages for the 99% have been falling for three decades. You make poor people feel wealthy by providing them easy access to vast quantities of cheap debt. I’m a big fan of personal responsibility, but who is the real malignant organism in this relationship? The parasite banker class, like a tick on an old sleepy hound dog, has been blood sucking the poor and middle class for decades. They have peddled the debt, kept the poor enslaved, and have used their useful idiots in the media to convince millions of victims to blame each other through their skillful use of propaganda. They maintain their control by purposely creating crisis, promoting hysteria, and engineering “solutions” that leave them with more power and wealth, while stripping the average citizen of their rights, liberty, freedom and net worth (i.e. Housing Bubble to replace Internet Bubble, Glass-Steagall repeal, Patriot Act, TARP, NDAA, SOPA). Jesse cuts to the heart of the matter, revealing the darker side of our human nature:

“Sometimes when faced with problems that are confusing and troubling it is easier to think what someone tells you to think, particularly something that touches a deep and dark nerve in your nature, rather than carry the burden and ambiguity of struggling with the facts and thinking for yourself.  Repeating a party line is a shorthand way of avoiding real thought.  And the predators are always there to take advantage of it.  They welcome trouble and often foment crisis in order to advance their agendas.”

“Anyone can be misled by a clever person, and no one likes to readily admit that they have been had.  It is a sign of character and maturity to realize this, and admit you were deceived, and to demand change and reform. But some people cannot do this, even when the facts of the deception are revealed.  It seems as though the more incorrect that the truth shows them to be, the louder and more strident they become in shouting down and denying the reality of the situation.   And anyone who denies their perspective becomes ‘the other,’ someone to be feared and hated, shunned and eliminated, one way or the other.”

Until Debt Do Us Part

I sense signs of desperation amongst the plutocracy. Their propaganda machine is sputtering. Their storylines are growing tired. They have fended off the fury of the Tea Party movement by successfully high jacking it and neutralizing their impact under the thumb of the Republican establishment. The oligarchs called out their armed thugs to crush the OWS rage, while using their media mouthpieces to misrepresent the true purpose of the movement – Wall Street greed and criminality with Washington DC collusion. The Savings & Loan Crisis of the late 1980s resulted in 800 bankers being thrown into prison. After the greatest banker heist in history, not one banker has been thrown in jail. Obama and Holder have been neutered by their masters. The power elite openly brandish their glee at avoiding accountability for their crimes. They are desperately attempting to re-inflate the debt bubble, as debt is the lifeblood of these vampire squids. The key piece of their current propaganda campaign is to convince the people they have effectively deleveraged and their continuing austerity efforts are actually detrimental to economic recovery. It’s nothing but a confidence game to keep the Ponzi going. The Ponzi operators want to extract every last dime from the masses before the engineered collapse. The data does not confirm the deleveraging narrative. Total credit market debt in the United States is now at an all-time high and stands at 345% of GDP. In 1977 it stood at 155% of GDP and at 250% in 2000.

Total credit market debt is now $4 trillion higher than it was in 2007, prior to the financial collapse. It has gone up by $1 trillion in the last 12 months. Does this sound like deleveraging? The chart below details the truth the moneyed interests don’t want you to understand. The bastions of capitalism on Wall Street have dumped $3.4 trillion of their toxic debt and $1 trillion of mortgage and credit card debt onto the backs of middle class taxpayers and future unborn generations. They did this under the auspices of saving the economic system. Their sole purpose has been to save themselves from becoming part of the middle class. The transfer of wealth from the quarry (middle class) to the predators (moneyed interests) continues unabated.

The faux journalists in the mainstream media have been pounding the consumer deleveraging mantra. They babble on about the austere masses methodically paying down their debts. It’s a specious lie. The chart below shows that banks have written off $218 billion of credit card debt since 2008. It also shows outstanding revolving debt falling from $1.01 trillion to $819 billion, a $191 billion decrease. For the math challenged, like any Wall Street shill paraded on CNBC, this means consumers have added $27 billion of credit card debt since 2008. Does that sound like deleveraging? Households have also taken on $300 billion of additional student loan debt since 2008, buying into the government sponsored scam to keep the unemployment rate lower by offering the false hope of jobs with useless on-line degrees from the University of Phoenix. Does that sound like deleveraging?

Consumer Credit Card Debt and Charge-off Data (in Billions):

  Outstanding Revolving Consumer   Debt Outstanding Credit Card Debt Qrtly Credit Card Charge-Off   Rate Qrtly Credit Card Charge-Off   in Dollars
Q1 2012 $819.4 $803.0 4.37% $8.8
2011 $864.9 $847.6    
Q4 2011 $864.9 $847.6 4.53% $9.6
Q3 2011 $826.2 $809.7 5.63% $11.4
Q2 2011 $819.2 $802.8 5.58% $11.2
Q1 2011 $810.7 $794.4 6.96% $13.8
2010 $857.4 $840.2   $77.9
Q4 2010 $857.4 $840.2 7.70% $16.2
Q3 2010 $836.0 $819.2 8.55% $17.5
Q2 2010 $847.5 $830.5 10.97% $22.8
Q1 2010 $860.3 $843.1 10.16% $21.4
2009 $921.9 $903.4   $85.6
Q4 2009 $921.9 $903.4 10.12% $22.8
Q3 2009 $922.2 $903.7 10.1% $22.8
Q2 2009 $933.1 $914.4 9.77% $22.3
Q1 2009 $946.1 $927.2 7.62% $17.7
Q4 2008 $1,010.3 $990.1    

(Source: CardHub.com, Federal Reserve)

They only people with the courage to tell it like it is are skeptics and outcasts from polite society inhabited by the power elite – people like Ron Paul, Michael Burry, and deceased critical thinkers like Frank Zappa and George Carlin. In one of his final appearances, Carlin brutally lashed out with a torrent of truth, only spoken by courageous people not worried about the consequences of their blunt honesty:

“Politicians are put there to give you that idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations, and they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State Houses, and the City Halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear. They’ve got you by the balls.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest. You know something, they don’t want people that are smart enough to sit around their kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that, you know what they want?

They want obedient workers, obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. The table is tilted folks, the game is rigged. Nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard working people, white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Because the owners of this country know the truth, it’s called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

Grotesque Casino of Corporate Fascism

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

average-income-americans

“Specifically, over the past 15 years, the global financial system – encouraged by misguided policy and short-sighted monetary interventions – has lost its function of directing scarce capital toward projects that enhance the world’s standard of living. Instead, the financial system has been transformed into a self-serving, grotesque casino that misallocates scarce savings, begs for and encourages speculative bubbles, refuses to restructure bad debt, and demands that the most reckless stewards of capital should be rewarded through bailouts that transfer bad debt from private balance sheets to the public balance sheet. What is central here is that the government policy environment has encouraged this result. This environment includes financial sector deregulation that was coupled with a government backstop, repeated monetary distortions, refusal to restructure bad debt, and a preference for policy cowardice that included bailouts and opaque accounting. Deregulation and lower taxes will not fix this problem, nor will larger stimulus packages.” John Hussman

None of the solutions put forth by Obama or Romney will fix the problems facing the country today. They are two handpicked figureheads representing the same owners. Both political parties are responsible for the grotesque casino that passes for our financial system. These political hacks have been in alternating control of our government system for the last 150 years. They don’t want to come up with real solutions to the problems they created. The owners want obedient slaves, distracted by technology and shallow entertainment, subjugated by debt used to buy things they want but don’t need, believing waging wars in distant lands keeps us safe, and favoring the imprisonment of petty thieves and drug users while the grand thieves run the country and control our currency. Keeping the willfully ignorant masses in the dark and confused is a vital part of the plan. Debt is the ingredient that enriches the issuers and keeps the dupes in check.  Wall Street bankers, Federal Reserve governors, captured financial “experts”, journalists paid by corporations, economists with an ideological agenda and bought off politicians all repeating the same theme with the same unquestioning, strident conviction is a sure sign that we are being played. The never ending series of titanic bailouts of Wall Street did not avert a catastrophic economic collapse. They protected the corporate fascists from experiencing the consequences of their monstrous predatory actions over the last few decades. And it was all done for money. Simple human greed and an insane desire by a few psychotic men to control and manipulate others for their own selfish pleasure is what has turned this country into a corporate fascist state bereft of its soul and original founding principles, as stated by Ron Paul:

“We’re not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we’re moving toward a softer fascism: Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business. So you have the military-industrial complex, you have the medical-industrial complex, you have the financial industry, you have the communications industry. They go to Washington and spend hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s where the control is. I call that a soft form of fascism — something that’s very dangerous.”

The soft form of fascism easily transforms into the hard form as those in control exhibit their supremacy with displays of military potency in our cities (Boston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Chicago), passage of liberty stripping legislation like the Patriot Act and NDAA, along with announcements about thousands of drones patrolling our skies over the next five years. When propaganda begins to lose its effectiveness, brute force is the next step. Whenever I write about the slow methodical disintegration of our once great republic into a dysfunctional banana republic controlled by bankers, mega-corporations and arms dealers; the apologists for the empire scoff and cynically ask for my solutions. I, along with many other rational thinking realists, have proposed solutions, but they don’t have a snowballs chance in Syria of ever even being debated by the existing ruling class. The unholy alliance between bankers, corporate interests and politicians must be broken. These proposals would go a long way towards breaking that alliance:

Political System

  • Since politicians cannot be trusted to exhibit courage or intelligence when it comes to public policy, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution needs to be passed, with a five to ten year      implementation period to ameliorate the pain.
  • Term limits of 6 years for Congressmen and Senators. Serving in Congress should not be a career. It is a duty to the country. The purpose of Congress is to represent the existing generations of      citizens and ensure that future generations have a country that offers opportunity to live a better life than their parents.
  • The entire election process would be scraped. It would be transformed into a 3 month publicly financed election. No money from corporations, unions, or individuals would be allowed. Multiple candidates      would have an opportunity to debate on public TV. The two party domination of our political process must be broken.
  • Corporations are not people. Extreme wealth does not ive someone the right to buy elections. Rich oligarchs operating in the shadows and spending billions on negative advertising is not how a republic should elect their representatives.  Lobbyists, special interests and PACs and would be eliminated from the political process.
  • The President could no longer issue Executive Orders, undercutting the legislative process.
  • Every bill before Congress would immediately be put online. The constituents of every Congressmen and Senator would be allowed to voice their opinion by voting yes or no online.
  • Every bill that is proposed by a Congressman must have a funding mechanism. If the proposal increases costs to the American taxpayer, something else must be cut to pay for the new proposal. This would be unnecessary if a balance budget amendment was passed.
  • No American troops could be committed to war in a foreign country without a full vote of Congress as required by the U.S. Constitution.
  • A cost benefit analysis would be conducted regarding every department and agency in the Federal Government by the GAO. Those failing to meet minimum requirements would be drastically reduced or eliminated.
  • The education of children would be delegated to localities, without Federal mandates. Every child in America would receive vouchers for grade school, high school and college. They could choose any      school to attend – public or private. If the private school cost more than the voucher, the family would pay the difference. Excellent schools would flourish, poor schools would be forced to improve or they would close. Teacher tenure would be eliminated. Teaching excellence would be rewarded.

Economic Policy

  • The first thing to be done is to abolish the Federal Reserve. It is owned by and operated for the benefit of the biggest banks in the world. Its sole purpose has been to enrich the few at the expense of the many through its insidious use of inflation and debt issuance. It has been around for less than 100 years and has debased the USD by 96%. The U.S. Treasury has the authority to issue the currency of the country. It did so from 1789 until 1913.
  • The 2nd thing to do would be to reinstitute the Glass-Steagall Act because Wall Street cannot be trusted to manage their risk properly. This would separate true banking activities from the high risk gambling that brought the economic system to its knees. Privatizing the profits and socializing the losses is unacceptable.
  • The FASB would be directed to make all banks and financial corporations value their assets at their true market value. This would reveal the mega Wall Street banks and corporations like GE to be insolvent. An orderly bankruptcy of all insolvent financial firms involving the sell-off of their legitimate assets to well-run risk adverse banks that didn’t screw up would ensue. Bondholders and stockholders would realize their losses for awful investment decisions. The economic system would be purged of its bad debt.
  • The currency of the US would be backed by hard assets. A basket of gold, silver, platinum, uranium, and some other limited hard commodities would back the USD. If politicians attempted to spend too much, the price of this basket would reflect their inflationary schemes immediately.
  • The 16th Amendment would be repealed and the income tax would be scraped. It would be replaced with a national consumption tax. The more you consume, the more taxes you pay. Wages, savings and investment would be untaxed. The tax code is the source for much of politicians’ power. Its demise would further reduce Washington DC control over our lives.
  • A downsizing of the US Military from $1 trillion to $500 billion annually would be initiated through the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Japan and hundreds of other bases throughout the world. Policing the world is bankrupting the empire.
  • All corporate, farm, education, and social engineering subsidies would be eliminated. All Federal employees would have their pay slashed by 10% and the workforce would be reduced by 20% over 5 years. Federal health benefits and pension benefits would be set at average private industry levels.
  • The Social Security System would be completely overhauled. Anyone 50 or older would get exactly what they were promised. The age for collecting SS would be gradually raised to 72 over the next 15 years. Those between 25 and 50 would be given the option to opt out of SS. They would be given their contributions to invest as they see fit if they opt out. Anyone entering the workforce today would not pay in or receive any benefits. The wage limit for SS would be eliminated and the tax rate would be reduced from 6.2% to 3%.
  • The Medicare system is unsustainable. It would be converted from a government program to private market based program. The Federal mandates, rules and regulations would be eliminated. Senior citizens would be given healthcare vouchers which they would be free to use with any insurance company or doctor based on price and quality. Insurance companies would compete for business on a national basis. Doctors would compete for business. The GAO would have their budget doubled and they would audit Medicare fraud & Medicaid fraud and prosecute the criminals without impunity.
  • The healthcare bill would be repealed. Insurance companies would be allowed to compete with each other on a national basis. Tort reform would be implemented so that doctors could do their jobs without fear of being destroyed by slimy personal injury lawyers. Doctors would need to post their costs for various procedures. Price and quality would drive the healthcare market.
  • The entitlement state would be dismantled. The criteria for collecting welfare, SSDI, food stamps and unemployment benefits would be made much stricter. Unemployed people collecting government payments would be required to clean up parks, volunteer at community charity organizations, pick up trash along highways, fix and paint houses in their neighborhoods and generally keep busy in a productive manner for society.
  • A free market method for stabilizing the housing market would be for banks to voluntarily reduce the mortgage balances of underwater homeowners in exchange for a PAR (Property Appreciation Right). The homeowner would agree to pay off the PAR to the Treasury (and administered through the IRS) out of future price appreciation on the existing home or subsequent property. The homeowner would be excluded from taking on any home equity loans or executing any “cash out” refinancing until the PAR was satisfied. The maximum PAR obligation accepted by the Treasury would be based on the value of the home and the income of the homeowner.

I’m sure there are many more solutions which non-captured, intelligent, reasonable citizens could put forth to save this country. None of these ideas would be acceptable to the country’s owners. They would reduce their wealth and power. What these oligarchs do not realize is that we are in the midst of a Fourth Turning. Those who experienced the last one have died off. The existing social order will be swept away. It is likely to be violent and bloody. Good people and bad people will die. When the Crisis reaches its climax we will have the opportunity to implement good solutions. There is also the distinct possibility that our increasingly ignorant populace will turn to a messianic psychopath that promises them renewed glory. Decades of delusional decisions will lead to a future that will not be orderly or controllable.

 

 “The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustained growth and recovery. If the suffering becomes great enough, change will inevitably come, but it may not be orderly or as controllable as the moneyed interests often like to think.” – Jesse

Parts 1 & 2 can be accessed here:

PART 1

PART 2

 


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Tue, 06/26/2012 - 17:58 | Link to Comment BBullionaire
BBullionaire's picture

The middle squeezed by the lower class and the Plutocracy  is just a re-hash of Charles Hugh Smiths work Survival+ from 2009.(chapter 12 is called the Sqeezed Middle- Nothing original here)

Excellent book with many far deeper insights

 http://bulletsbeansandbullion.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 17:56 | Link to Comment crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

removed

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 17:57 | Link to Comment Gimp
Gimp's picture

Recommend reading Chris Hedges book - Empire of Illusion

Thought provoking, disturbing with no political slant

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 17:59 | Link to Comment A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

"I did it. I chopped down the middle class, with my own little axe"

-Alan Greenspan-

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:00 | Link to Comment suckerfishzilla
suckerfishzilla's picture

Nobody forced the middle class to keep buying the goods that we used to manufacture right here. 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:02 | Link to Comment joao
joao's picture

Why is everyone spending so much time aksing the same question?

 

The middle class dissapeared the moment the middle man was pushed out of the equation. people have been demanding lower prices and squeezing out the middle men and what you end up with is huge conglomerates and concentration of wealth. The final straw for family and medium sized businesses is the huge bureaucracy and taxation that was put in place to make sure the conglomerates squeezed everyone off the chart.

 

there is no mistery here

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:20 | Link to Comment strangeglove
strangeglove's picture

Right you are! No mystery! End the Fed!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:27 | Link to Comment chet
chet's picture

That is a good insight.  I would just point out that the middle man is alive and well on Wall Street, taking his %.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 22:43 | Link to Comment mtomato2
mtomato2's picture

Interesting, indeed.  Wal-Mart:  A few getting filthy rich, while several million get minimum wage.  Not that there is anything wrong with that. But where in the model does the middle class fit in?  Except, as the CONSUMER, I mean...

How many other retail establishments run the exact same model?   Where is the middle class, indeed?

In debt.

I think I just figured everything out.  Good night.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:06 | Link to Comment ifishivote
ifishivote's picture

Gubbermint Irony

Your U.S. Government Irony for Sunday June 24, 2012.

The SNAP/Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of

Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals

and food stamps ever.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of

the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed The Animals." This is because

the animals may grow dependent on handouts and not learn to take care of

themselves.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:46 | Link to Comment The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Where's the irony?  Animals don't have a vote ... at least not yet.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:14 | Link to Comment moonstears
moonstears's picture

"Animals don't have a vote ..." Not even in Chicago, where deceased humans evidently DO vote? Which btw means their city water must be what Ponce de Leon was looking for. Crazy world we live in, I'd a thought for sure a living animal vs a dead human would be able to...ahh, never mind.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:10 | Link to Comment malek
malek's picture

A good article, just get rid of the gasping "half the group is even lower than their median" lines.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:15 | Link to Comment 847328_3527
847328_3527's picture

Who's gonna buy all those houses? ....................Over 12, 000,000 in shadow inventory alone?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:57 | Link to Comment CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

The NAR said the immigrants are gonna buy all those vacant houses.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:16 | Link to Comment billwilson
billwilson's picture

"We have produced a vast underclass of ignorant, uneducated, illiterate, dependent people who have become a huge voting block" ... for the Republican Party.  Study after study shows Repuiblican voters to be the least informed and the most swayed by emotional rather than logical arguments. It is poor whites, voting against their own inetrests, that keep the GOP in the game.  

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:33 | Link to Comment ifishivote
ifishivote's picture

I can't stop laughing. You do realize that blacks make up a huge part of the democrat voter base. Its the liberal teachers union that are making sure that kids remain uneducated.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:04 | Link to Comment PlinyTheElder
PlinyTheElder's picture

I too can't stop laughing. Blacks account for 12.6% of the population.. thats not a huge part of anything. Let me do some math for you - 100 - 12.6 = 87.4. That means 87.4% of the US population is not black, want nothing to do with blacks, love scapegoating blacks and pay no attention to black voters. Ergo, politicians pay no attention to black votes either.

what was your point? oh yes! the mythical black man who is statisitically insiginificant as a voting block none the less wields HUGE political leverage on democrats. You're a genius.

 

 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:10 | Link to Comment mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Considering that almost all of them vote democrat and democrats are approximately 50% of the population, that would make them 25%. More than union workers.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 03:07 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

That is quite some computation. US citizen type.

Let's explain US citizenism as it works. Because US citizens are often forgetful of their own ways.

To vote, you need to be eligible to vote. You have to be of a certain age.

You must have civil rights, meaning they should not be stripped from you through conviction.

And last, you've got to vote.

Once all these requirements are applied to the considered population segment, well, only US citizen maths give the previous computation.

But hey, US citizens are the ones who came up with the idea of infinite growth in a limited environment. So, why not after not?

Nothing is impossible to US citizens as long as a third party sponsor them in their ravings.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 11:41 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

 

But hey, US citizens are the ones who came up with the idea of infinite growth in a limited environment.

Quite an accusation coming from a member of the chronically overpopulated, rabbit-breeding Chinese citizenism horde, who are currently blobbing-up the world's resources (mainly to build unneeded, centrally-planned ghost cities) at an unprecedented rate.

Look at the (lead-contaminated) wok calling the kettle black!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:08 | Link to Comment ifishivote
ifishivote's picture

12% is insignificant when it comes to voting? Are you kidding. They all voted for Obama. If those 12% do not vote for Obama will he win? NOT A CHANCE IN HELL

 

How many black people can honestly say that their lives are better 4 years later?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:17 | Link to Comment Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

While the middle and lower classes squabble, the wealthy will concentrate ever-more wealth. 

It's one piece of the Biflation puzzle that's baffling everyone, including economists and cebtral bankers: wealth concentrated into a few hands raises prices almost as much as when the same money is spread out thin over a large population. 

Concentrated wealth also tends to mean fewer jobs and lower salaries. 

Call it "Neo-Feudalism", the concept and results are the same: small, corrupt, incestuous elite class with control over most of the economy and political system with a large impoverished underclass with no hope of advancement

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:25 | Link to Comment midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

...wealth concentrated into a few hands raises prices almost as much as when the same money is spread out thin over a large population.

Very true in some ways. Not so much in others. The 1% can only eat so many steaks, no matter how well they are prepared. On the other hand they do consume much more fuel and other raw materials per capita than the rest of us. Also they make outsized commodity bets forcing the 99% to pay more.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:45 | Link to Comment Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

the key is : it's not just consumption that governs prices. Oil products were very expensive when JD Rockefeller had a monopoly. And there are other ways that the same effect can take hold, such as control over rules, middle-men, credit, etc 

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 03:08 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Call it "Neo-Feudalism",

__________________

Feudalism is what US citizens call previous orders. The label covers so many different regimes.

Why bother?

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 11:48 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

"Delightful" is what Chinese Citizenism citizens call ubiquitous nightsoil stench. 

The lable covers so many different shat-upon Chinese roadsides, and other environmental insults.

Why bother?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:43 | Link to Comment CosmicDebris
CosmicDebris's picture

George...wish you never left us. Same to you Frank. I'm obviously a fan. Jim, I can tell you are a huge Carlin fan. I could not tell the difference between your narrative voices. Stiil, I thought it was a good article, all previous Jim Quinn history (which until reading this article, i knew nothing about) aside. Thanks.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:45 | Link to Comment my puppy for prez
my puppy for prez's picture

Estate taxes don't only affect the wealthy...they make it almost impossible to pass a small family farm down to the next generation.

Famiy farms are NOT "estates"...they are some brave soul's livelihood!  

 

estate and property taxes ensure that one is simply a permanent renter from the IRS.  That's criminal!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:49 | Link to Comment The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

How can we continue to create mega-donor mega-farm corporations if it is too easy for the little guys to hang on and pass the property down to family so they can continue to compete with them?

The estate tax is yet another tool for people like Warren Buffet to strip assets from the rest of us through Berkshires stable of estate planning and asset buying subsidiaries.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:08 | Link to Comment mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Jeez, how many family farms are there that actually make a profit except by selling the land to build houses on? I lived on one. A couple machinery repairs could wipe out total profits for the year. Most of them are just pretending to be farms to get lower real estate taxes. A profitable farmer whose kid was interested in taking it over !RARE! could just sell it to him cheap before he died. Most farmers are working for less than minimum wage. The government would be doing the kids a favor forcing them to do something else.

 

 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:54 | Link to Comment Currency is Debt
Currency is Debt's picture

It is easy for the few to unite

It is harder for the many to unite 

If the many ever were to unite the force would uncontrollable for anyone seeking to stand in the way 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 18:58 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Mittens Zombie or Baroke Soinsane Obummer.

Obummzombie for President!

The politicians don't care; they are in the pockets of the banks.

Ron Paul is the only one who makes sense and has been consistent and he is portrayed as a crazy old man.

No Middle Class = Collapse of Rome, but not many people bother to look back versus gaze bovinely into the Glass Onion.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 23:56 | Link to Comment WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

>>>>>>>>>Ron Paul is the only one who makes sense and has been consistent and he is portrayed as a crazy old man.

As is Nader.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:02 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I have no idea what Romney thinks he's talking about because the 1% wealthy are fucking doomed.

In 15 years we won't be talking about these pukes except in the past-tense, and every sentence will end in "...the stupid bastards."

And it doesn't have to be the oppressed proles going about it either. Does anyone think the US political elite class is going to hold back when the only money left in the world is in the hands of these fabled 1%-ers? Hell no. They'll "vote" those terrified fuckers straight into bankruptcy and a gulag, just like the Red Army did in Russia in the 1920s. The 1% aren't the future of American Fascism soft or otherwise, it's the political class that will carry that torch and they will carry it as happily as Mussolini ever did on his best day.

Watch for it. We're already cheering for the wrong bunch. Watch for it, and learn something about the will to power.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:04 | Link to Comment luna_man
luna_man's picture

 

 

"Who Destroyed The Middle Class"

 

U & Me (Baby Boomers)!...I didn't get my "posse" to contact ur "posse", when it was time to go to WAR!  When ALL those manufacturing jobs, were headed out of "dodge"!!

Yeah, we were doctor's, lawyer's and engineer's...Living LARGE!!

"THE MIDDLE CLASS"...What we gonna do now??

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:32 | Link to Comment luna_man
luna_man's picture

 

 

Is too late?  You heard it before...Misery, loves, company!

LET'S GET THE CRIMINALS!...

 

MY MAIN MAN, is doing his part!...INFO, ALL THE TIME!!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:21 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

Everyone I know is going to college for a living. I don't know what this guy is talking about.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:38 | Link to Comment Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Voters have, do, and will continue to perform economic suicide thru their utter lack of interest in economic issues.  I guarantee you more people in this country know who the Kardashians are than Ben Bernanke. Ben's actions affect them every single day of their lives, and they don't even know nor care. No sympathy here.  Imagine if a C-Span hearing on the Fed had the same ratings of Jersey Shore.  I know....stop laughing.

The Repubs push the "commies, gun grabbers and/or homo's are coming!" agenda whilst setting up a system for the 1% to steal at liberty

The Dems push the "I'm for the little guy, pro-union" meme all the while back-dooring their own constituents with unfettered illegal immigration (destroying wages, workforce regulations, and causing massive strain on public services) for votes, plus buying votes with "compassionate" welfare payments so voters can breed.  This of course destroys the middle class just as much as their Repub counterparts because the tax base continually erodes at the same time demand for services increase.  You pay more for less, as you are now witnessing in your communities.

You voted for it. You asked for it.  Now you live with it. 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:46 | Link to Comment Dakota Thunder
Dakota Thunder's picture

How about letting everyone keep what they earn?

 

 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:55 | Link to Comment Xrated
Xrated's picture

Look at Montel Williams harking 30% interest prepaid credit cards on TV.

Plenty of dumbasses out there,  chances are they are typical democrats. Rental's of  Section 8 properties are a can’t miss.

Stay one step ahead of the game, and let Obama make the

guaranteed rent payment.

I had a shitty condo I wanted $900 a month, Hud told me $600 tops, told them to drop dead, they gave me $875 a month. Life is Good.

 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 19:57 | Link to Comment SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

CITIZENS UNDER ATTACK

by SwingForce 4/1/2011

You need to realize that everything Obama, Geithner, & Bernanke do, they do for The

Banksters. Many people have lost homes. Many more are paying inflated rates on inflated

properties which the banks refuse to refinance. Savers are getting lousy rates on CDs,

but are charged 10%-24% on a credit card. From the top of the credit menu board to the

bottom, The Banksters have FREE REIN to suck as much blood out of the middle class as

they possibly can. It’s a criminal plan that TARP was paid for by The Taxpayers to save

the banks from extinction, only for them to revive and viciously attack the hands that feed

them. Henry Paulson should be charged with Treason for using The Taxpayers' Money

to re-arm The Banks of Mass Destruction. Everybody is a victim, even the homeowner

without a mortgage, his equity is dropping in its entirety; he's losing more than the

guy with a mortgage. Condos sit empty because banks don’t want to pay association’s

maintenance fees, while those fees rise for the rest of unit-owners to make up the shortfall.

The Banking Cartel is waging a war against every American Citizen, and it won’t be happy

until every savings account is drained, every homeowner is broke & evicted, every credit

card holder is “paying” 24.9% + $88/ mo. in overlimit and late fees, and every house is in

their possession. Even the foreclosure process is financially draining for the owner, with

insurance and electric payments continuing until property is taken out of owners’ name,

an average of 2-3 years. (Upon repossession, the bank doesn’t book the loss until resale,

artificially covering-up insolvency issues). Wake up people, its not us against each other,

its Us vs. The Banksters who run their operation with impunity.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:08 | Link to Comment Dr. Kananga
Dr. Kananga's picture

The only statement I take issue with is this:

"We have produced a vast underclass of ignorant, uneducated, illiterate, dependent people who have become a huge voting block for the Democratic Party."

They are also a huge voting block for the Republican Party. They only differ in their style of dependency. Neither party has a lock on the stupid vote, IMHO--otherwise the strategy of divide and conquer wouldn't work.

I keep hoping that one of these days people are going to look around and realize that when it comes to the things that genuinely affect all of us, we are all on the same page--but it's not likely to happen if we never get around to having that conversation. As long as we think that 'it's those other guys that are holding us back' we'll never move forward.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:10 | Link to Comment SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Quinn, this is your best writing EVER. You truly are on fire.  I'm gonna read it again.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:10 | Link to Comment CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

I'm just snickering to myself here about Quinn's proposals for fixing America.  6 year terms for Congress, lobbying bans, eliminating subsidies, etc.  Does Quinn really think that career politicians will vote for an amendment that kicks them out of office?  Does Quinn think the lobbyists won't work overtime to make sure lobbying isn't banned?  Does Quinn really think that the entities that receive subsidies are just going to give them up without a fight?  Is Quinn hopelessly naive or just dangerously optimistic?  Pardon the philosophical bent of this post...it's the scotch talking.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 22:08 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

Frankly, I think Quinn does believe these things. The politicians serve at the pleasure of the people and history has shown that displeasure with ones leaders can become so intense that those leaders would like nothing better than to step down. Quinn believes his solutions will work and so do I. I happened to have read world history; people are not that different.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:13 | Link to Comment El
El's picture

I agree with all of your recommendations, with the exception of tort reform. Doctors, like the rest of us, should be held accountable for their bad acts. If I accidentally run over you with my car and you end up brain damaged and unable to ever again obtain gainful employment, I shouldn't be allowed to just say, "oops, hey...sorry about that!" A doctor should not be allowed to, either.

Yeah, yeah...everyone hates the slimy lawyers...until they need one.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:42 | Link to Comment Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

I hate 'em even when I need one.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 15:24 | Link to Comment El
El's picture

LOL... fair enough.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:20 | Link to Comment toncuz
toncuz's picture

Does ONE of the geniuses here have a clue who destroyed the middle class? Quinn is on target about 90% of the time. Not bad, but never mentions that the US Congress has been around 50-50 Republican to Democrats the last 25 years. EXCEPT...the Republicans are 100% CONSERVATIVE corporate owned Neo-Fascists and the Democrats are about 35% corporate shill...who VOTE with Republicans. DO THE MATH!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a 65% to 70%...CONSERVATIVE Congress the last 25 years...giving America its fastest decline. Who started the great scam? Our greatest con-artist criminal President...Ronald Reagan and his criminal "conservative" movement...The Heritagte Foundation, The CATO Intstitute, The American Enterpise Institute...to today with the current Fox "News" and clones...all the corporate lap-dogs representing the "conservative" movement...which in any other country would simply be called, the "Fascist Party".

They are the frauds who told you that deregulation was good because businessmen would regulate themselves and have your best interest at heart. They were the con-artists who told you that the "rich" were the "job creators" instead of the true and only job creators...the working class consumer with a LIVING WAGE who saves enough to start a small business. Don't ask why as union membership fell from 40% to 10% how American wages are the same AS TWENTY YEARS ago while the average corporate executive's wages have QUINTUPLED. That's LARCENY by right-wing central planners.

Not to mention the "conservative" welfare machine...the Faith Based Initiative that forces all US taxpayers to fund their churches...completely unconstitutional. Their oil subsidies...their farm subsidies...their "privatization" scams like private prisons that cost American taxpayers $200 per day per prisoner while their lobbies write the laws to keep their prisons full. Government taxes pay for your schools. PROFIT buys some PIG his yacht and mansion and is the worst TAX of all.

NOTHING is new here. Read up on how the corporations took over Italy in 1922 with Mussolini as their puppet. See Germany 1933...with Krupp Steel and IG Farben backing Hitler (with their dream of unlimited WAR PROFITS) until even they could not control him. Conservatism destroying a republic is nothing new. Don't even think of blaming PROGRESSIVES...who gave you a living wage and CREATED America's middle class...and haven't had the majority in Congress for TWENTY FIVE years.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:03 | Link to Comment malek
malek's picture

Yes!!! No matter how you look at it, it always turns out democrats are the better people. I sure about it, because they say so themselves and the majority of the media agree!!!1!!!!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:23 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Wow, all that typing on a belief that politics matter.

Politics is the distraction.

"Progressives", hand-in-hand with "Conservatives" have worked to make politics and voting meaningless other than it's value to distract sheeple.

The banks and corporations are your government, hand-in-hand with the oppressive "Progressive" machinery of government.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 20:34 | Link to Comment MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

This post makes a lot of good points with suggestions and solutions.  What I look at are the "tools" that they use, math and algorithms and it is done so gradually and as whole all of us are naive and self included with some of this.  This why I wrote my series called "The Attack of the Killer Algorithms" and I was surpised the other day to actually see it being searched on Google that way.  We can make any changes without "re-tooling" the whole process and it's all the stuff that runs in the background that you can't see, touch, or feel and that's why it such a tough battle.  Shoot Congress can't even see it nor understand it with maybe a couple isolated members but they're not talking. 

I wrote today abou the SEC looking into big data and we know they are behind the 8 ball there, so take a look at the analytics and algorithms that Reuters is using to allow trading on "emotions"and compare the levels of algorithms and formuals if you would.  It's scary and Reuters is not the only one, they all do it. 

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2012/06/sec-playing-catch-up-with.html

In fact we are deluged with stuff in the press about how great social networkikng is and there's benefis as I use some of it like Twitter as that's my newsreader but think of this when you put that information out there, someone's mining it and make millions or billions.  It is what it is. There's good stuff out there too but the amount of flawed data is on the rise.  If you read the link above, all the links contained within are my prior posts on the topics.  It's the data game. 

”Hey dude let’s crunch some numbers and see if we can come up with some analytics to sell”

I started the Attack Series back in October of 2011 and sadly it keeps going with real life examples as to how some of this takes place and how the middle class has become a bunch 'of "data chasers" to fix the flawed data out there that denies either money or care. Until someone approaches this area and one suggestion I had was to excise tax the data sellers, i.e. Walgreens made just short of $800 million in 2010 selling data only, so that's an attention getter to show you how big the potential pool is to license and impose an excise tax and this is why corporate profits are at record levels.  Why would they build a factor and hire employees when they can hire a few geeks, write some algorithms and mine and sell data?  We have an inbalance of tangibles versus intangibles.  

If you look at the Facebook IPO, we had the ultimate Attack of the Killer Algorithms and look where that's going.  It's getting harder to get code accurate code as complexities increase and the data from one source touches so many others, i.e. home mortgages for one big example.. they did it with math and algorithms, so again I come back to the root tools here that is used. Here's the main page with 35 examples of every day algorithm parameters that are either flawed, take your money, or deny care.  The one about the Facebook is in there towards the end so you can read that one.

http://ducknetweb.blogspot.com/2012/02/attack-of-killer-algorithmsdigest...

Long and short of all of this is we have a technological battle ground here and the folks at the top are the figureheads for sure as they have no hands on abilities here but most have had their money for a long time and buy the technologists to create bigger corporate profits.  Again good article but we need to start inflitrating their algorithmic tools chests soon as that's the only way to get any action at all, otherwise it just keeps going sadly and we get to keep listening to the rhetoric that pretty much means very little as the servers turn 24/7.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:11 | Link to Comment AU5K
AU5K's picture

What would liberals do without a victim class?

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 07:51 | Link to Comment flattrader
flattrader's picture

And what would consrvatives do without someone to prey upon?

(Hopefully, turn on each other.)

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:20 | Link to Comment China
China's picture

China, thank you thank you thank you. We buy gold. You Americans buy Chineese trinkets. Thank you so much from the bottom of our communist hearts. Please keep gold low. We buy buy buy. You sell and bag pants.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 00:47 | Link to Comment newengland
newengland's picture

China, land of serfs and Politburo.

You hate each other. That's why your most able people flee West.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:22 | Link to Comment Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

Who siad the middle class got destroyed? The middle class in the private sector are victims of the war on the private sector. However, many people in the public sector, who used to be lower middle class are now millionaires, thanks to bloated retirement packages and double or triple dipping. Consider the value of an $80,000 a year pension at age 55. Some retired professors in the UC system are retired on over $200,000 a year in perpetuity. (They were careful to have their pensions indexed to real measures of inflation rather than the phoney CPI index.). The miilionaire next door - the firefighter? the police officer? the teacher? the school lunch box nazi?

If someone cames over to dinner and talks about the death of the middle class, check your jewellery box before they leave.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:43 | Link to Comment Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Unemployed people collecting government payments would be required to clean up parks, volunteer at community charity organizations, pick up trash along highways, fix and paint houses in their neighborhoods and generally keep busy in a productive manner for society.

 

You know they have jobs for this, right?

Oh, they were taken my illegals, I forgot.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 21:52 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

In the world of information concerning the economic crisis we are experiencing, honest observers like you, Jim, face a sea of lies. Their stuff is propaganda; your stuff is self-explanatory information.

All of the government lies, all of the spin from the national and foreign press, from MarketWatch to Krugman, is no match for your facts that go right to the heart. All of the power elite’s hype doesn’t get down to the truth. It hasn’t happened. America and Europe aren’t fixed. The hype is just background noise that keeps changing, every day.

Everybody knows that America’s one-party political platforms are zero documents – meaningless – that the candidates are going to throw them out immediately upon nomination. Everybody now knows that to contact “their elected” officials has no effect.

At the center of America’s problem is the exclusive ownership and secret use by the International Establishment, aka the self-proclaimed NWO, of her currency to control the economy and the country…

What’s needed are a few well-chosen explanations of what’s going on that shed light on these “hubristic modern robber barons latched on the backs of the middle class” – who’s doing what and why. Well, you’ve done it. You’ve spilled the beans on their plot to destroy the U.S. Hence, the accelerating mistrust in government policy which is the vehicle that the robber cartel is using to drive the economy to the wall.

Thanks.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 22:47 | Link to Comment Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

 

 

Who destroyed the middle class?  The Middle Class voters.

Buying into the great left/right divide they supported politicians they knew were captured but that didn't matter as long as their guy was a member of their party and winning is all that matters.

What a fuck story and its still happening.   Partisans will go to the polls simply to advocate for their team and the beat goes on.

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong.

Only it wasn't God Mr. Carlin.  It was the American (Rah! Rah! Rah!) Dreamers squandering away paradise while cheering on their team thinking the owners actually cared about them.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 23:28 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

It’s not true that the middle class voters destroyed the middle class.

The mechanism of socialism is to take from the producers and spread this wealth. In America this has been greatly enhanced by a wave of immigration from Mexico – legal and illegal – to vote Democrat, along with unionized public sector employees, and be rewarded with the estates of the middle class. Public employees get a huge boost from the welfare voters; they both  - along with the robber barons - are fed by the producers.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 06:38 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Hail to the republicans by then. Forget about US citizen propaganda about political factions being the same, their nostalgia of being a rewarded member of a political faction shows much too often to grant credibility to their words.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 00:42 | Link to Comment newengland
newengland's picture

There has never been a time in US history when so few served in the military among the political class while sending so many of our own into foreign war.

The political class are our enemy, for their money grubbing ways. They serve Wall St, not Main St.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 01:39 | Link to Comment Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

Well said. You get an e-mail from Nigeria promising you $2 million dollars if you open a bank account and deposit $10,000. Guess what - you can kiss the $10,000 goodbye.P.T, Barnum is famous for saying "There is a sucker born every minute". However, perhaps his most profound saying was "You can't cheat an honest man".

The middle class voters who voted for "Hope and Change" all had one thing in common - they were looking fro something for nothing. Needless to say, they not only ended up with nothing, but substantially less than they had 4 years ago. Many of those who though they were going to get a tax cut that someone else was going to pay for got exactly that - laid off,  unemployment insurance, food stamps - not exactly John Kerry's yacht.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 22:54 | Link to Comment Lord Koos
Tue, 06/26/2012 - 23:18 | Link to Comment msjimmied
msjimmied's picture

Like I said, it's good to draw the road map of where we want to go in the future. If you don't make a decision, the decision will be made for you, and you wouldn't have any control over the outcome. Ask the folks in Egypt. Let's get right down to business.

The schools. What has been very disturbing is the push towards private schools that are the equivalent of madrassas for Christians. That's how private schools are being presented by the hard right. That is what they want. Do we really need to be teaching kids the Loch Ness monster exists, just to prove Darwin false? Is there any guarantee that the schools that will sprout up will be any better than Phoenix University for elementary schools? How much damage did the teaching to tests do, that the last administration foisted on us? How about the constant cuts to budgets? The unions did themselves and our kids no favors with their strong arm tactics, but the truth be told, most teachers are underpaid and overworked, the good ones at any rate. There needs to be an easier path to weed them out when the teachers do not teach. We need to stop having the mullahs in Texas decide on what goes into textbooks. That decision  should come from a far reaching council of academics who sees the trends, and what is required. Not some church ladies from Houston. A national standard/curriculum that is constantly updated, much like the real world that is constantly in flux is what is needed. How else do we know where a child stands, some benchmarks are necessary, learning to adjust to changes keeps everyone moving forward. I am not sure the vouchers are necessary. I fear the proliferation of the same types of schools that are luring young adults into sub-par education for profit. We already have a pretty comprehensive network of schools. Make that work. Don't just throw it out because we've allowed the "leaders" to muddy up the stream.

Heathcare. Most of the doctor visits are for pretty minor stuff and monitoring of chronic conditions. It doesn't matter who pays, the costs are exorbitant for the most rudimentary check ups. Last annual check up for my youngest was $395. It was done by a nurse practioner and no tests were ordered, all it was, was a look see. He's as healthy as a horse. Blue Cross paid 285 for it, I paid 110. 15 minutes of time. 30 minutes reading month old magazines. Great building. Nice furniture. 4 nurses behind the desk shuffling papers. Stop with the vouchers business again. The industry and the prices are bloated beyond belief. Doesn't the price comparisons between the U.S. and the rest of the world for different procedures already tell the story? Look at the job listings, 40% of current jobs are for the medical industry. You give the old people vouchers and that will be the greatest mistake of all. It's like asking people to hand over their SS money to the bankers. What a state supported pipeline! Make primary care really affordable, socialize it even, then watch the ER and hospitals have their load significantly reduced. All you would need is major medical insurance. You have a sliding scale primary preventive health system, and if you want, and can afford it, there is always a Harley Street in your town. 

SS. That's a tough one. There should be some program in place so that people put money aside for old age. I don't know if doing away with it altogether is a good idea. There should be a way to keep that money in a true lock box! Need more thought on this.

Good list though, great beginnings for a discussion. 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 23:37 | Link to Comment toncuz
toncuz's picture

Conservative's one and only idea..."trickle down".

Which has never worked in 25 years....like tax cuts to the pigs of society.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 00:38 | Link to Comment newengland
newengland's picture

toncuz,

Idiot of no use to man nor beast; just a political toy with your cliche.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 23:42 | Link to Comment toncuz
toncuz's picture

The only real welfare in America is called CORPORATE WELFARE.

The welfare that feeds poor people is one half of one percent of GDP.

Corporate welfare through bailouts and everything else conservatives and Republicans have bamboozled their braindead voter base with (all caused originally by THEIR DEREGULATION) now runs in the trillions.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 00:26 | Link to Comment MoneyMagician
MoneyMagician's picture

Well this economy is run by government, & for the government. Politicians don't care about spending tax payer money. They only care about getting elected. That's the moral hazard of democracy. The welfare class wants more stuff, politicians pay corporations to do the means, to achieve the ends. Politicians only care about one thing, what other government programs they can initiate so they give peeps entitlements. Corporate lobbyist love government programs, the ones that benefit from them at least. For example, Federal Housing Authority has it's corporate lobbyist who support the FHA, why not, they are getting paid by the tax payer to make easy profits from low income home owners. Politicians don't really care about the money they spend, it ain't theres. Would you believe that politicians who overwatch the FHA look to these corporate lobbyist who are only interested in making money as consultants. Talk about moral hazards. They don't care. Who pays the bill, & is liable for all the losses, the tax payer of course. Government is like fascism is a off shoot of socialism, that's basically what it is, even more so a democracy. You got bureaucrats who like to spend other people's money, it ain't theres, so logically, a self ambitious bureaucrat will use the money to give people goodies, corporations included. Government picks the winners, and losers, removes competition distorting the economy. Punishes the people who done the right things, & rewards the people who made poor decisions. Fiscal, even monetary policy reflects this. It's the survival of the unfittest, until well, we all fall off the cliff. FHA bureaucrats say the American Dream is home ownership, makes one wonder why we had a housing bubble. US government, congressman especially influence the economy, they engineer it, not because of what's best course of action,. but because they are career panderers. Poliiticians are neither responsible, or the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer. They just know how to pander, that's what they do.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 00:36 | Link to Comment newengland
newengland's picture

Invoke the 10th Amendment, the sovereign right of states.

Stop whining. Start doing.

End the Fed.

All this academic claptrap is useless.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 01:09 | Link to Comment billsykes
billsykes's picture

I don't buy that average income chart- 78 thousand people in the entire usa population 330 million make over 1m a yr?

or just 7.5m that make 100-200k?

it just seems low.

 

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 01:30 | Link to Comment Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

EXHIBIT A:  Rangel and Hatch just both won their respective primaries. Please tell me again...."who is responsible for the decline of the middle class"?  

It wouldn't be the voters, would it?

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 01:32 | Link to Comment denny69
denny69's picture

What left or what's left of the 'left'?

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 03:30 | Link to Comment dcb
dcb's picture

a consumption tax serves the interest of the rich greatly, they save the highest % of their money, the poor use it to buy the good of life. I wish people understood this. such advice doesn't go along with the messasge

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 04:59 | Link to Comment Lebensphilosoph
Lebensphilosoph's picture

“We’re not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we’re moving toward a softer fascism ...

Hitler was not a Fascist but a National Socialist, and we are not moving toward Facsism: we already have a corporate oligarchy supported by an ochlocratic mob.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 05:37 | Link to Comment Lebensphilosoph
Lebensphilosoph's picture

So tell us Ron Paul what exactly what distinguishes Fascism without radical nationalism, social conservatism, old-fashioned dictatorship, anti-egalitarianism, at least some racialism etc. from corporatism, and why you insist on the fallacious use of the word if not for mere rhetorical effect.

While I'm at it, how does any one of you reconcile globalism, multiculturalism, antiracism, egalitarianism, and extreme social liberalism with Fascism? Please tell me.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 06:33 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

how does any one of you reconcile globalism, multiculturalism, antiracism, egalitarianism, and extreme social liberalism with Fascism? Please tell me.

_____________________

The very same way US citizens reconcile US citizenism with truth, justice and liberty. By claiming they support them when instrumentalizing them to further their best US citizen interests.

You're welcome. Was quite easy to answer.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 11:52 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

 

how does any one of you reconcile globalism, multiculturalism, antiracism, egalitarianism, and extreme social liberalism with Fascism? Please tell me.

The very same way that Chinese Citizenism citizens reconcile wildly hypocritical Chinese Citizenism with progress, ethics and democratic rights.  By claiming they support them while engaging in the monoextrememum unicity of hyperbolic self-denial in the face of their conquering, exploitation and genocide in Tibet, their constant warmongering against the peaceful independent Republic of Taiwan, their unprecedented levels of environmental destruction and toxification, their #1 position as world's leader in the blobbing-up of natural resources, their rabbit-breeding overpopulation, and their blind and kneejerk apologies for the  crimes of their sociopathic and criminal ruling elite, who do not even make a pretense (as in the United States) of being a manipulative dictatorial cabal with total unaccountability to their own captive subjects.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 05:49 | Link to Comment Venerability
Venerability's picture

I believe Larry Kudlow single-handedly destroyed the Middle Class. (Although Arthur Laffer helped, too.)

The above was facetious.

Actually, the entire question should NOT APPLY in the United States.

The United States is supposed to be 100 percent "Middle Class" - 100 percent Bourgeois - the first entirely aspiring consumer-driven society.

We became the Beacon to the World on that basis.

We offered an alternative to the perpetual class conflict of the Empires which had caused so much strife in the world, while avoiding the stagnation of the newer Communist societies.

So what did the Kudlows and Laffers and others of their ilk come up with? A push to transform the United States into the postmodern Evil Empire, obliterating the very principles that made us great in the first place. 

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 06:10 | Link to Comment headless blogger
headless blogger's picture

Not everyone looks at the U.S. as being "great". Maybe you should re-read history from a different perspective than the one you got in school.

It looks like the U.S. has been evil for some time now. It is NOT just the poor who are stupid in America; for gods sake, look at George Bush, a guy that made it to the White House. That says a lot about the nations overall intelligence.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 06:36 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

We offered an alternative to the perpetual class conflict of the Empires which had caused so much strife in the world,

____________________________

A solution to the perpetual class conflict of the Empires? That is what US citizens have provided?

Huh, do you know that nobles warred among themselves?

If something, US citizenism institutionalized the perpetual class conflict as US citizenism is all about class warfare.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 11:50 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

With the ubiquity of Middle Kingdom roadside shitting, Chinese Citizenism is all about ass warfare --- and they are winning by a mile.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 08:29 | Link to Comment Lebensphilosoph
Lebensphilosoph's picture

We offered an alternative to the perpetual class conflict of the Empires which had caused so much strife in the world, while avoiding the stagnation of the newer Communist societies.

 

What perpetual class conflict? The idea itself is a Marxist fabrication with no basis in history.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 08:39 | Link to Comment Lebensphilosoph
Lebensphilosoph's picture

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4062/4449101481_58b541d40f_o.jpg

American 'culture'. American citizenism.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 20:21 | Link to Comment Venerability
Venerability's picture

I should have gotten 200 thumbs up on my comment, not the automatic By Rote Script from a bunch of Koch Bots. (And by the way, as a Centrist, Big Tent Republican, the crazy Moveon.Org Bots hate me just as much.)

I've been correct on this issue for fifteen years now, and much of the pain the Markets - and the US - and the World has suffered the past few decades would not have been suffered if more leaders, especially in the media and finance, had been brave enough to move towards the Center - politically and MORALLY.

We in the US forgot what made us Great in the first place.

We embraced the Extremes and shattered our Social Contract.

It has now come back to haunt us.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 06:02 | Link to Comment headless blogger
headless blogger's picture

The reason many of the "ignorant", "uneducated" poor have nice cars and cell phones is because they have thriving black market and under-the-table jobs (they are actually producing "value", that the author of this article obviously does not). They aren't so "lazy" as this arrogant article suggests (and shows the Author's ignorance).They are also doing more in "Dissent" of government by continuing to use government money while working under the table...This will help bankrupt the nation quicker...FORCING the middle class idiots to change. More of these "ignorant and lazy" poor hit the streets in protests than the middle class do.

The real stupid idiots in the US? The Middle Classes!! These are people that willingly walk thru TSA scanners at airports while allowing their children to be fondled. Middle Class people are the ones who think that people who are economically within the middle class brackets are all educated, smart, and ambitious, not realizing that in the U.S. many uneducated people make dam good money. U.S. Middle classes, since according to the author of this article are smarter and more ambitious than their lazy ignorant poor counterparts, fail to hold any of the plutocrats responsible for national looting. The middle classes REALLY think they are going to end up rich someday, one reason they do not do anything to the criminals running everything.

The middle class sometimes own small businesses and pay their employees minimum wage, forcing their poor workers to seek aid from government. The middle class in the U.S. are stupid; ask them questions on the economy, the wars, and current political figures around the globe, and they are clueless, believing they are EXCEPTIONAL.Middle classes are supposedly the educated class that supposedly makes tyranny less possible? Well, they failed on that one too, and they support the wars and the constitution trashing, especially since they largely remain complicitly silent.

I'm sorry, but the middle class is going to get exactly what it has dished out to the rest of the world. Pity them, but do not feel sorry for them.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 07:13 | Link to Comment janus
janus's picture

Mr. Quinn,

janus was moved.  we are in just such a turning.  i don't know how much i should say at this point...but, in the end, why the fuck not: faceberg is up over 3% as we speak, the quiet period will end with buy recommends..the din of demonic cackling sears the soul with a pain of knowing, like a violent tooth-ache; every single goddam thing is a contrived and overwraught fraud, everybody's got skin in it, everybody wants to see it sustained forever in the ether of lies and high-frutose-unicorns.  candy-coated crap-sandwich, i say.  so, my friend, you're asking the majority to yeild to a truth that will cost them the great lie -- the new religion.  you're asking america to abandon its very god -- that'd be Mammon.  they will not freely do it.

what's that ole saying, 'when the people discover that they can legislate new money...'  well, whatever it was, it wasn't as true then as it is today.  boy, have they!  i mean, the great 'capitalists' are nothing but welfare queens...but it doesn't stop there -- it's top to fuckin bottom.  and it's not like i wish for the future that now seems set; it's just that i recognize it...and i want all who would to position themselves as best they can.  a new world is truly upon us...all things are floating in a suspended state of doubt.  new ideas will be listened to.  but, unfortunately, not by the masses that you and many other well-meaning individuals of ideas are petitioning.  they are, for the most part, too goddam stupid.  and, i agree with you, it is not really their own fault.  but, ultimately, it is their fault.  we all have a responsibility to the Truth that lives inside us.

the masses will, at least at first, seek out those most confidently promising a return to the way things were...we all know they ain't ever coming back...the shit is spacklin the mutha fuckin fan, bitchez.  it's the perfect shit-storm, in fact.  but, all the while, the powerful will be listening to very new ideas.  the powerful and the young will be the first to incline their ears -- it has always been such, and so it will always be.  whether or not they have been virtuous and how many of them will be charged is, to me, almost beside the point.  there will be no going forward without some measure of support from some component of tptb.  i know this is an uncomfortable truth, but a truth it nevertheless is.  

my message is clear and unambiguous: DEMOCRACY IS DEAD.  and i sincerely intend to do my part in its spectacular demise; and it is my sense that that part will be, let us say, meaningful.

democracy, because of its endemic 'qualities' is incapable of fundamental correction, much less containment.  it can only reinforce the existing order because it is an inflexible and linear construct...it cannot even turn, much less change course.  it exists by satisfying the demands of its constituent parts, which have become (and always, in such political arrangements, necessarily become) nothing but parasitic ticks, sucking the blood from an ever diminishing bank of contributors.

it's like an ole preacher i used to listen to used to say, 'you cannot multiply wealth if you keep dividing it.'  i tend to agree.

we are at just such an inflection point, not only in markets, but in the entire political/social order.  not only is it true that this charade is unsustainable, but the understanding that existing mechanisms are incapable of even confronting the magnitude of this mega-collapse is become fairly pervasive.  and yet we stand mute and helpless.  that is because democracy has conditioned the collective mind to expect answers of collective decision-making; and to preach this folly as if it were gospel truth.  we are no doubt religious in our estimations of democracy.  do you not suspect that there is a reason democracies of the past have failed?  if they were always perfect in their philosophical conception; specifically, that the people are basically rational and would not make an irrational decision because the collective impulse to check irrationality would, if reason holds, suspend all measures that may do it ill.  well, history is a less generous judge of mankind and his faculty for rational thought -- ESPECIALLY when such faculty is dilluted among the countless millions.

real and dynamic change always comes from a highly concentrated core.  there truly is no other way.  this is but a point along an ever spiraling cycle.  the next iteration of american goverment will be radically different; no matter the form it takes.  so, america, you can have a committee of corporate ceos runnin the show, or you get a single individual -- the choice is truly that simple.  it will be fascism by committee-based fiat or a dictator.  well, really, you already have the former...it's just slowly fermenting.

yes, this is a war of ideas; but janus thinks the good-hearted have been waging it on the wrong battlefield.  'the people' as they are today, truly have no idea.  not only about what's best for them; they just have no idea at all.  there is ubiquitious doubt in the minds of power...they are afraid and are scroungin about for something new.  moreover, there are cracks forming in their coalitions.  there are ever more losers among them than winners.  

the only thing that threatens kingdoms is the king's abuse of his aristocracy.  well, i think many of the nobles are just as weary as we.  i say, as many as will come over are welcome.  we will, at a certain point, know where everyone stands.

yes, my middle class life was destroyed.  had the boat, golf memberships, etc. etc.

what has janus been up to of late?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMZHrXtPUUc

but, really, i'm happier than i've been in such a long time.  knowing where you stand in life really concentrates the mind.  

i am just following a Truth-so-powerful that comes from somewhere deep inside.  it's not just me; there is something going on in the world -- but, sadly, only for certain people:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Zcb4WqOMw&feature=related

and, again, it seems like there is a massive war on the way...so fuckin horrific.  it's the natural result of competing democracies...when they run out of answers they question, 'why not war?'  right, krugman?

okay, i found this the other day, and i intend to use it alot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jUkW5wY2M8

MARK IT ZERO (HEDGE)!,

janus

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 07:34 | Link to Comment MeetTozter
MeetTozter's picture

Funny that the mighty Quinn's solution let's the predators & thieves keep all their guerdon.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 07:59 | Link to Comment Lazane
Lazane's picture

 While Edward Bernays and Uncle Sigmund may have created the monster on the table, it was those mega rich movers and shakers, tptb who jolted the monster to life and gave it the world too hunt and terrorize. Prepare, for the end of the Bernays Freudian monster in near.  

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 09:11 | Link to Comment Mpizzie
Mpizzie's picture

The oligarchs called out their armed thugs to crush the OWS rage, while using their media mouthpieces to misrepresent the true purpose of the movement – Wall Street greed and criminality with Washington DC collusion.

TPTB didn't have to do it - OWS did it.  Did this guy go to the OWS protests?  

I like these articles, but this whole love-affair with OWS has to stop.

He must have mised all the ones I went to.  They were not about Wall Street greed and the criminality with Washington DC collusion.  They were about being against Wall St greed....and against rich people, hating or self-hating white people, destroying capitalists of any stripe, hurting anything that had LLC or Inc after it's name, hating imperialists, being pro-animal rights, wanting more welfare entitlements, wanting higher spending to fund entitlements, setting up commune's, more government spending, crazy demands and ridiculous platforms that would never work in a free society without enlarging the government to a point of explosion (not that a bunch of 20's and 30's aged socialists care), loving Obama, saying Obama was a victim, pro-abortion, pro-homeless and homeless bill of rights...and so on.

Armed thugs didn't crush OWS in Atlanta - OWS crushed itself with it's insane behavior, alienating the Tea Party people who tried to help, saying one thing to Republicans and doing another when they had the chance, assaulting police officers responding to crimes, destroying and trashing a public park, shouting down anyone who mic-checked about The Fed, aggressively rooting out non-communists, and generally ruining any good will they had from the community.

In their waning days they finally did a march on The Feds and some of the banks - at the beginning they stayed in one place, had their People's Assembly, and tried to create some dream of socialism.

And this was repeated nationally because I travel for work and went to every city I could to observe it.

If OWS had had a leader - if it had had direction - it may have been successful.  It is the very antithesis of a popular movement because it wasn't popular.  



Wed, 06/27/2012 - 10:00 | Link to Comment dunce
dunce's picture

The phrase"bankrupting the empire" seem to have a contradiction. "empire" is an extensive political area that goes beyond natiopnal borders such as the british empire.  We excercised political influence over sovereign countries with our military presence at great cost and mostly with mutual benefit in the past, but lately we are finding that not waging  war without unconditional surenders at the end is, if not a losing game, is accepting a stalemate and a continueing drain on the national treasury. Our only successes at nation building are Germany and Japan. In those cases we helped but the key to their success was really the character of the people in those countries. South korea was half a success that left the north a festering running sore on the face of the world.

Thu, 06/28/2012 - 20:55 | Link to Comment toncuz
toncuz's picture

 

Simple solution..."The Single Tax"...tax ASSETS...not INCOME

Let the producers florish...let the pig hoarders / speculators go back to real work.

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