Thursday, March 31, 2011

"OF THE 1%, BY THE 1%, FOR THE 1%"

A great article in Vanity Fair by Joseph E. Stiglitz that articulates simply and clearly what a lot of us have been thinking.

39 comments:

Miles said...

Stiglitz nails it. VF's editor has something to say about it too:


Editor's Letter

Lally said...

Thanks for the link Miles, a great addendum to the article.

JIm said...

Stiglitz, identifies the problem but misses the solution. Do we tax the rich in to oblivion or until they avoid or leave or do we lower and broaden the tax base so as to reinvigorate the economy. Rich folks are leaving high tax states like NY and going to lower tax states. The same options are available internationally.

Lally said...

Once again the commenter above obviously didn't read the article or if he did, didn't understand it. Par for the course.

-K- said...

Thanks for posting this, Michael. To me, the surprsing thing about it was that it's in Vanity Fair, a magazine that, altho I suscribe to it, I have very mixed feelings about. One of my problems with it is that it perpetuates the mindset whose result is so much of what the article describes as the problem, which is greed (and, ironically, vanity.)

Lally said...

I hear you, and maybe not so ironic after all considering the source of that title: "Vanity Fair."

harryn said...

Getting back to Jim's comment; the wealthy have the luxury of moving anywhere they'd like to. To enjoy the adulation of their peers and benefits of their wealth for whatever philanthropy and entrepreneurial ventures they engage in - the USA is most convenient - unless of course you've earned the savvy and sophistication to be an international jet-setter. But those are things money doesn't buy ...
The fact is, if high profit is what your after - there are plenty of burgeoning economies around the globe. What we don't want to see in America is a return to days of old to remain competitive with third world markets.
So it is true that some of the profit seeking wealthy will exploit what they can for high dividends, but it is also in their national interest to sacrifice some of that profit in ethical conscience - and not to use it as a manipulative ploy to control politics and legislation. Besides, who among that 1% echelon is being denied anything of consequence. No one ever went to their grave regretting generosity - even if its fair taxes ...

JIm said...

Stiglitz is just pushing redistribution of wealth, socialism or Obamanomics. I would be for it if it worked, but history and current news is replete with failed governments that redistribute wealth. America's strength has been free enterprise and the belief that anyone can rise to unimagined wealth through hard work and imaginiation. Democrats, socialists and Obama are attempting to end the American Dream. They may well succeed. We are at a tipping point and may well follow Rome and Britain into impotence because of out of control government spending and debt.

stiglitz
"The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late."

JIm said...

Gallup's employment numbers differ from government's numbers. This is the worst recovery since Hoover/FDR.



"Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment Rate at 10.0% in MarchUnderemployment falls to 19.3% from 19.9% at the end of Februaryby Dennis Jacobe, Chief EconomistPRINCETON, NJ -- Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, was 10.0% in March -- down from 10.2% in mid-March and 10.3% at the end of February, but above the 9.8% at the end of January. U.S. unemployment was 10.4% at the end of March a year,,,"

harryn said...

better to keep the plebs "squirmishing" among themselves ... keeps their attention off the real slight-of-hand ...

JIm said...

Paul,
Do you have a head ache? You look deranged in the picture. I hope it is just a head ache.

Robert Z. said...

you're too cowardly to put your picture up here. Taking pot shots but not having the huevos or decency to put your own picture up - another example of hypocrisy and double standard.

JIm said...

I may one of these days, when I figure out the computer. With the rapidity of the deletions, it probably would rarely be visable anyway. Besides I am working on my eighteen year old body and my hulk poses. I look forward to showing the Alley world my ripling muscles.

Anonymous said...

I'm of to my week-end snipe hunt.

as soon as I can afford snipe bait I just might catch one

nothing like a plump snipe in every pot to feed the poor!

Lally said...

Gee, go away from the computers for the evening and come back to find a riot goin' on. The poor rihgtwinger thinks that this great country of ours is gonna go down the tubes because of Obama and the Dems! It has been going down the tubes since Reagan busted the traffic controllers union as the first move in a sustained rightwing attack on working people (while perfecting a propaganda machine that blamed it all on "welfare queens" etc.) and created a before Reagan unknown since the Great Depression class of "the homeless"—a term that wasn't even used before Reagan because no one in "America" ever saw any kind of homeless other than what was then called "bums—old winos etc. But once Reagan was elected entire families suddenly were living in their cars and real income became stagnant and then starting going down while the rich got richer and continued to until Clinton got a little more out of them and balanced the budget and decreased the size of the federal government, both of which Reagan promised to do but did the opposite, but then Bush/Cheney came in and made Reagan look like a socialist in comparison by letting the corporations write the laws and allowing them to pay no taxes and increasing the share of wealth for the wealthiest one percent thus the title of this post and the article it refers to, et--endlessly-cetera. The USA is not number one in almost anything except the number of people in jail (more than anywhere else in the world) and the size of our military. In every other category where we were often number one when I was a kid and the wealthy paid huge taxes and unions were supported and collective bargaining was the law of the land for labor and capital, but ever since Reagan and the rightwingers came in and began to dismantle what made "America" great, we've been going down hill until some of our stats rival those of third world countries, especially in the distribution of wealth, the point in the article. Notice the rightwinger doesn't address those points or almost any other factual point in the article just more smoke and mirrors.

JIm said...

Homelessness increased dramatically because new rights were conferred on the mentally ill making it more difficult to hold them in mental institutions. That occurred with a Democrat Party controlled congress.

Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming to a balance budget by Newt and the first Republican controlled congress in forty years.

Unions in private industry had a place in making America great. But they have also made America non competitive in many industries. The ill informed can rail that it was the evil corporations and rich or they can recognise that economic miracle that was exclusive to America spread to many other parts of the world including China, India and Southeast Asia. It is not so much that the US standard of living (except in Obama's anemic recovery) has fallen, but that parts of the world have begun to catch up. Lally, read the NYTimes, Thos Freidman et al. Get a clue.

To repeat the 1% nonsense. Yes Stiglitz identified a problem, but the solution for America is to makes us more competitive, by cutting government expenses and the costs of doing business in the US, thus expanding and growing the problem. Business and the rich are mobile and go where conditions are favorable.

Robert Z. said...

You have a truly hateful attitude Jim. You're the one who needs to get a major clue. Perhaps when you are confronted with your own motality or profound misfortune will you, if you are lucky, wake up to reality and not this propagandistic nonsense world you live in inside your head.

Lally said...

More misinformation and lies. China and tons of other countries are now ahead of us because instead of cutting funding for education and infrastructure and healthcsare etc. they are increasing it and have been while we suffer the "benefits" of the righwing Reagonomics idea of "trickle down" jive, where we were all supposed to somehow be better off if we made the rich richer because then we'd get their crumbs and be happy. Murdoch's News Corp which owns Fox News etc. paid no taxes last year, along with many other corporations favored by the right, including oil corporations. So corporate taxes ain't the problem. "American" corporations are doing just fine, it's the rest of us that are suffering thanks to rightwing policis and those Democrats who think they can compromise with them and be compromised with back. It's not an accident that all these Republican governors are trying to end discredit the idea of collective bargaining, the right doesn't go in for bargaining or compromising or anything short of their full control of not just the government and its policies but of the public discourse etc. Which is why the resident rightwingnut on this blog can't stop spouting rightwing propaganda anytime the rest of us want to have a reasonable discussion of what we agree or don't agree on about what's happening the the USA and the world. God bless America, North South and Central.

JIm said...

Lally,
I love it when you talk economics, like "Trickle Down Jive". You are wonderfully dismissive, almost like you know something.

Robert,
I suspect you Lally and myself are of an age that we constantly are confronted with our mortality. As for the hatefull crap, possibly you could give an example of my being hateful. I have plenty of examples of liberal hatefulness.

OK, Robert you go first, since you brought it up and I will match you hatefulness for hatefulness.

Robert Z. said...

Jim,

All your barbs and name calling for one (Jimma, Obamanomics, Victory Mosque); your disdain for the realities of the working class and less advantaged, how you tritely say that they have equal opportunity, which is a load of crap. It's too bad for you, and unfortunate that many of your ilk exist. Like that dangerous self serving jerk in Florida who burned the Quaran for his own publicity.

JIm said...

Robert,
So now people of my ilk; hard working folks, who believe in the US Constitution and limited government should not have a right to exist. How would you handle the elimination? You know there have been accusations that Obama and his followers really want to subvert the constitution and turn America into a tyranny of the left. Based on your rant, there may be truth to conservative fears.

A "victory mosque" is concept in the 1400 year intermittent war of Islam with non Muslims. Witness the Blue Mosque, formerly St Sophia (I believe, could be St Helen) and Cordoba in Spain and of course the Temple Mount. And how come your selective rage at a Quran burning. How about rage at murdering muslims who beheaded UN workers and burn Christian Churches in the Middle East.

Robert Z. said...

So you think burning the Quran was smart, right, mindful and justified? You think saying and doing things that will knowingly cause an effect is good?

Lally said...

Okay, I'm gonna drop out of this thread and probably delete the rightwinger for a while. But just one example—in the hundreds I've given since he made himself a permanent fixture here years ago—of his misinformation and lying etc. The topic of homelessness and why it was a result of Reagan's policies. There is some truth that Democrats worked to make it more difficult for people to be institutionalized against their will, because conservative influenced policies made it too easy to institutionalize artists and other creative types who didn't fit the norm or did drugs or whatever as "crazy" and lock them up for long stretches if not sometimes forever, as well as parents institutionalizing children who were rebellious etc. I worked in the nearest mental institution from where the rightwinger and I grew up, after I got out of the service, and it was worse than those places were depicted in the movies at the time. My first day there I ran into a guy I knew from my neighborhood who got picked up for joyriding and ended up at Overbrook because he told the police doctor he didn't believe in God! I looked it up in his records when he told me and confronted the doctor in charge, but was rebuffed and warned, and when I continued to stand up for patients it was pointed out to me which patients had once worked there! So I moved on. So thank God the Democrats changed those old policies. But the deal they struck and the law they passed had a provision that those with true mental illnesses who could take care of themselves if mildly supervised would live in community homes for the mentally disabled and others who might be capable of being totally independent were supposed to go to halfway houses first to adjust to living independently in the outside world, but Reagan cut the funding for all that (much the way Bush/Cheney pushed "No Child Left Behind" but then didn't fund it) so most of those people ended up homeless. But the families and working people who were never in institutions of any kind who ended up homeless under Reagan were there not because of changes in the ways mental patients were handled, but because under Reagan regulations were eliminated that mandated affordable housing and unions were busted and corporations were given more power and less oversight to cut benefits and lower wages and taxes were cut for the wealthy but payroll taxes went up and other taxes that effected working people went up and the debt grew and the economy sucked most of the Reagan years for most of us who weren't wealthy ala Bush/Cheney etc. THERE WERE NO HOMELESS FAMILIES LIVING IN CARS WHO ACTUALLY WORKED BUT COULDN'T AFFORD RENT BEFORE REAGAN but once his policies started being enacted homeless families became a common sight most places in this country. I know because I researched it for a TV show I was supposed to write during the Reagan years but the studio felt it wasn't worth the investment because they figured it was only a temporary phenomenon that would be gone soon (after Reagan) and so didn't warrant the investment because it would be short lived. But unfortunately, a lot of the damage done by Reagan's policies lived well after him and became even worse under Bush/Cheney until leading to the worst economic crisis the world has seen since The Great Depression.
Obviously the rightwinger and most of his fellow rightwingers are not going to waver from their ideological position and can cite all the rightwing think tanks and position papers and media mouthpieces forever to defend themselves because those places are financed by some of that 1% this post's link is all about. Partial truths and mistruths only go so far though, especially when they're coupled with outright lies, but they unfortunately can convince a lot of people who fall for the divde and conquer tactics that have worked so well for the right.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JIm said...

Lally, You are such a lame intellectual coward.

Lally said...

I'll leave that one as an example of what he's always asking his critics to produce, evidence that he does what his critics accuse him of and he so obviously and repetitively does and then gets all righteous when accused of it. In this instance it's what he accuses Liberals of and says he never does: "name-calling"—which he constantly resorts to when he doesn't get his way and I delete his most distorted falsehoods and abusive name-calling. Typical bully behavior. I have certainly been a coward at times in my life, but I doubt anyone who has ever really known me for any length of time would deny I have also been courageous and even recklessly so and almost always in defense of the rights of others, for which I've been shot at, jailed, physically attacked, threatened with violence and death, etc. And if I am an intellectual, I'm sure at times I've been "lame" in the way I demonstrated that or expressed whatever intellectualism I possess, but also, I'm sure there are people who have actually read my work or heard me speak who would testify to my being an honest antidote to lame intellectualism. But if I had to pick someone who truly represented cowardice and lameness as an "intellectual"—after Rush and Beck et. al., the rightewinger who did the name-calling above would be a prime candidate, except, as he has demonstrated time and time again, he's no intellectual at all, just a ditto head who parrots the latest line of the rightwing propaganda machine.

JIm said...

Lally,
When I make an accusation, I am specific. You make an accusastion like racist, liar, purveyor of misinformation without specifics. You are dishonest. Let me repeat that. YOU ARE DISHONESt!!!!

JIm said...

Lally,
I forgot to mention that your deletions are a sign of your dishonesty.

Robert Z. said...

Please be specific and cite specific example of how deletions signify dishonestly. Specific examples and precise reasoning please, practice what you preach.

harryn said...

Wow ...
In response to your previous snipe Jim.
Effectively, I do have a headache - and if the image looks deranged, then the drawing accurately represents the confusion and frustration of being engaged with this epidemic of low-minded vitriol from right wing conservatives.
In summary, your opinion seems to be less of an issue than your flood of inaccuracies, mean-spiritedness, and tone - all prevailing characteristics of short-sighted ignorance that is unsuitable for 21st century leadership.
Kudos to Lally for producing one of the longest streams of comments based on one sentence ...

JIm said...

Paul,
Please give us an example of any and all of my inaccuracies ignorance and mean spiritness. If you mean rightous anger at being repeatedly called a liar, right on!

Lally said...

Once again, leave the computer for a short while (or overnight) and the rightist hothead displays his continuing inability to understand simple logic and reasoning, as well as every past post by myself and others that give ample proof of his continuing participation in the rightwing spread of misinformation, misdirection, misrepresentation and outright lies. Just take a look at his latest comment on my latest post with the usual name calling of Obama (i.e. "socialist"). We all know (and many of feel dismayed and disappointed by) the reality that Obama is far from a "socialist" or even at times a "liberal." He has shown through actions and policies that his mainly a pragmatist. The rightwinger (who I have restrained from calling any other name but that for most of my responses to him, when there are so many epithets I could throw that would not only be accurate but well earned) will most likely once again respond that because Obama and the Congress bailed out some U.S, car companies he and they are therefor "socialists"—but if they were then they would not only have invested some of our tax dollars in saving one of the most important industries in our country that provides not just a lot of jobs but decent paying ones for the most part, they would also be controlling those companies, in other words those automakers would be state controlled and the state would be taking the profits from it and doing what they wanted with it and there would be no stocks issued etc. etc. etc. But we all know that it was just a "bailout"—the same thing Republicans have initiated and supported throughout our history (remember Chrysler?). Notice he always avoids saying that the bailout obviously worked and not only helped save an economy destroyed by rightwing Republicans (bush/Cheney) but kept the USA "competitive" in the ways he's always lamenting that the policies of Obama and the Dems doesn't. So there's several lies and misinformation I've cited. But let's end with this: Obama and the Dems were legally elected to represent the interests of the country and until they are unelected that's the duty, unless of course you insist that elections be based on what the Constitution originally called for, then naturally Obama would not only not been elected he wouldn't have the right to vote himself because he isn't "white," nor would his wife and daughters for the sam reasons and also because They're female, etc. etc. et-infinitum-cetera.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JIm said...

Lally, I assume you now recognise that Carter bailed out Chrysler. Don't you just feel stupid sometimes???

Lally's sage coment on Chrysler
"But we all know that it was just a "bailout"—the same thing Republicans have initiated and supported throughout our history (remember Chrysler?)"

Lally said...

The During the debate over the Chrysler "baliout" Republicans pushed for a different form than Carter and the Democrats came up with. Carter and many Dems created a way to do it that would not open the door to giant corporate tax loopholes that would lead to corporations paying no taxes, while many Republicans pushed for the kind of thing that became common under Reagan and more so under Bush/Cheney, loopholes that allow giant corporations to pay no taxes and even get giant rebates (the one in the news now is GE which paid no taxes and got 3.5 billion or so rebate anyway! but Murdoch's company, the parent of FOX, has had the same no taxes record and giant rebates but notice the mainstream media doesn't run that story because of the influence of the right and fear of their attacks given their massive financial backers etc.).

Lally said...

PS And yes there were Republicans who were against any help for Chrysler and foretold of a great drain on the budget if the Democratic version passed, which it did, and ended up saving hundreds of thousands of jobs as well as one of the major industries in "America" and paid back the government an additional 350 Millions above what was loaned, so the taxpayers made an enormous profit, as they already have on the bailout for GM under Obama.

JIm said...

Thank you Michael.

Miles said...

Stiglitz is on Democracy Now April 7th:

http://www.democracynow.org/