June 13, 2011
The post’s title is the headline of a NYTimes article today. In case you are wondering why the reign of the Bankers and Rentiers seems so secure. The President and the Congress seem as one on this point. No change you can believe in.
Alas, poor suckling public servants, sometimes there are more pigs than teats!
April 11, 2011
All money, all the time. As Gore Vidal remarked, there is only one political party in the USA, the party of money. And now, as we edge towards complete plutocracy, we have a ‘visionary’ president acting as a ‘bridge’ between the ‘two parties.’ That’s the reactionary Republicans, and the Democrats, who have become the left-wing of the reactionary Republicans.
Reform of the financial bad-actors? Pretty much dead. Health care reform? An incremental fix to a jury-rigged system that works badly except for the insurance companies who make piles off of it. Budget? Cut, cut, cut…but don’t raise taxes on the wealthy and the corporations. They are already high enough, at least on paper. Nobody pays those rates, though. Wasn’t it Leona Helmsley who said, “Taxes are for little people?”
And those plutocrats, they are not ashamed to hold out their hand for me, after all, they paid for it! What are all those campaign contributions for? They squeeze mega-bucks out of the most vulnerable and least affluent sectors of the economy with credit card flim flam, mortgage flim flam, and every other trick in the book. And they skim mega-billions off of the economy through financial speculation. How would they do this if there were no economy? The economy that they ransack is the collective production of all citizens, but they game the system for themselves. And they, through the Tea Party surrogates, call for Big Government to get off the backs of the citizens. How convenient.
Not much good news out there.
December 23, 2010
What a wonderful quote from the New York Times article on the boom-bust cycle in Nevada.
Robert A. Fielden, an architect and urban planner in Henderson, said the state has been particularly hurt by real estate speculators who flipped property for profit and then just walked. Reflecting the despair that can be heard in the voices of even Nevada’s biggest boosters, he said:
“We have never faced anything like this before – What we are living with now is, we let the free market reign without any controls at all. We talk about the United States being built on capitalism. But this wasn’t capitalism. This was greed.”
November 18, 2010
In the old movie of Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities, Basil Rathbone plays a decadent and amoral nobleman who runs down children in the street with his carriage. The urban proles grumble -The Terror erupts.
The NYTimes reports today on a case from China that seems right out of Hollywood – some themes are eternal. A drunken man runs down and kills a young woman skating in the street. He informs the police that he is the son of a powerful local official. The case is hushed up, but in today’s world of the Internet, the story gets out anyway, and his declaration is scornfully directed at the elite.
China is ruled by a corrupt and ruthless class, strata, clique…whatever, and the millions of ordinary men and women are just finding their voice. See here for more posts on China’s dilemmas, and ours.
November 11, 2010
[One indisputable benefit of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations has been to put this graph into the mainstream of public discussion, at least a little bit. Note: 11/21/11]
You will never see this graph in any presentation by a Democratic or Republican political candidate. I wonder why?
September 18, 2010
In 18th century landscape architecture, a folly is a whimsical, usually ornamental building often in a rather outlandish style set in a garden. The British were particularly fond of them.
In an earlier post, I remarked on a different sort of folly related to the rebuilding of the WTC site. Today, the business columnist in the NYTimes, Joe Nocera, has an excellent analysis of the absurdity underlying the Freedom Tower now rising at the site. All this in a town and country that prides itself on hard-headed economic analysis in the context of the free market. I wonder how the local Tea Party members will feel if they have to pay more to cross the bridges in order to foot the bill for this folly.
A view of the behemoth rising outside my office window:
October 24, 2009
More on the theme of Paul Krugman going off the deep end after serving the country so well. In a recent blog post of his, he weighs in on the lastest kerfluffle about climate change. The guys who wrote the best-seller, Freakonomics, have a new book out with a chapter that is somewhat critical of the so-called consenus on human civilization causing the planet to get warmer. He delivers himself of this ghastly howler, emphasis mine:
…not only that they didn’t check out the global cooling stuff, the stuff about solar panels, and all the other errors people have been pointing out, but that they didn’t even look into the debate sufficiently to realize what company they were placing themselves in.
No, it’s not his placing of the preposition at the end of the sentence that has my blood boiling. It’s the idea that the way science should be done is by checking out who’s on what side of the controversy, and then joining the right team. That’s politics, and people who can’t tell the difference shouldn’t be writing about this issue.
And by the way, I am trying to still admire Krug a little, but it’s getting hard.
“Feet of Clay,” by the way, comes from the Old Testament (Dan.2:31-32).