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View Diary: Vanity Fair Must-Read: “The 1 Percent’s Problem,” by Joseph Stiglitz (222 comments)

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  •  Quite a few of the boomer and older (31+ / 0-)

    generations here are behind Obama, with the understanding the changes that need to be made will require a real revolution - preferably as non violent as possible.

    There is too much power held by the banksters, corps and 1 %, that includes significant legislative and judicial capture, to be overturned by the government without a BIG, Sustained populist movement to force the elected ones to do our bidding instead of their handlers/feeders.

    The breadth and depth of changes necessary freak out everyone, even those that advocate for the most effective.

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Thu May 31, 2012 at 04:05:53 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I Support Obama (23+ / 0-)

      But I'm painfully aware that this is not enough, or is not a strong enough position.

      I've "supported" this president through nearly four years of personal and economic devastation, much of which is the direct result of government inaction on the current financial and economic crisis.

      I know that he doesn't control Congress. At the same time, he did not do enough to help out people like me -- and in fact did damage by howling at us to "retrain for the jobs of the future" and for scolding Congress about deficits when in fact the remedy for the country's problems was more spending.

      So -- what now? I vote for Obama and "hope" for a better future some day? The one percent are far more aggressive about achieving their goals.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Thu May 31, 2012 at 04:14:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amazing to learn that he's had all this time... (19+ / 0-)

        on his hands to attend one meeting after another, week after week, reading the life stories of individual bad guys on the other side of the planet but he doesn't seem to have bothered spending more than a few hours (at best) playing hardball to get you and me the help we both so desperately need from a Congress we both know would respond (to some degree) to serious electoral and legislative arm-twisting.

      •  What will happen if Obama wins? (9+ / 0-)

        I honestly don't know. Will the president feel free to take a turn to the left now that he doesn't have to worry about another election? Or will he keep moving to the right? We know what Romney will do, but Obama? Hard to say. Not very encouraged though.

        •  Hard to say? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Predictive inference doesn't work for you?

          My other car is a pair of boots.

          by FutureNow on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:08:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Gee, I think it's pretty clear. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TimmyB, shaharazade, FutureNow
        •  Using the Past to Predict the Future (6+ / 0-)

          I'd say we can expect more of the same, which includes trying to pass his much loved "Grand Bargain" where he tries yet again to slash Social Security and Medicare in exchange for some minor tax increases.


          •  I think we'll face the Grand Bargain in the lame (4+ / 0-)

            duck session of Congress where getting rid of the Obama/Bush tax cuts (Obama's name IS on the legislation) will get tied to SS cuts under the name of 'reform'. More of the shared sacrifice stuff with the elderly and poor losing critical money and help while the very wealthy may have to have shorter yachts (or maybe not).

            One of Obama's point man idiots in the attack on Social Security, Alan "SS recipients are greedy geezers" Simpson has agreed to debate some young people over SS.

            Challenging the real greedy geezer

            by digby

            I have always loathed Alan Simpson going all the way back to the 80s. His pro-choice and LGBT rights record always gave him cover as a "moderate" and everyone enjoys his colorful language. But he's a hardcore fiscal conservative who thinks that everyone can make it in America by just pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. Like he did. Of course he had a teensy bit of help from his daddy, former Governor and Senator Milward L. Simpson.

            He also doesn't know what he's talking about and never has. His folksy speech masks his ignorance but the Villagers are so enthralled by it that they never pin him down on the details. So someone else has stepped up to do it:

            It's nice to see young people challenging the hideous generational taunts that the Pete Peterson acolytes all throw around. They understand very well that we all rise and fall together. Apparently the only thing these elderly millionaires want to do before they shuffle off their mortal coils is wreck that compact.

            It looks like the real greedy geezer has accepted the challenge. This should be fun.

            Keep in mind this is the guy Obama keeps appointing to Cat Food Commissions which never issued the 'report' that Obama continually references (Pelosi too).
            These young people will eat his lunch on facts and he will undoubtedly come up with another classic insult or two, or more.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Thu May 31, 2012 at 04:46:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Obama left Bankruptcy Joe Biden in charge (11+ / 0-)

        of negotiating with Congress. What a surprise they threw everyone in economic danger under a bus at the first chance they could.  We're just bargaining chips to be traded for a pat on the head from the bankers.

        With Bankruptcy Joe watching the congressional store, I'm surprised we're not in a debtor's prison already.

        •  Let's be honest here. Any given president can not (6+ / 0-)

          stand up to the Forces of Corruption™ pulling the stings in Washington DC.

          If FDR himself were alive and in office, the Forces of Corruption would still be able to walk in to the Oval Office and say that he had better do this or that, or else -- thanks to the corrupt Supreme Court of the United States-- they're going to spend billions of dollars destroying every Democrat they can in Congress.

          It's that bad and there's no populist/communist/progressive movement among the people to nullify the threat this time around. At least not yet.

          Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

          by Pescadero Bill on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:54:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't have much hope. Obama is (14+ / 0-)

        not going to do it by himself, even with both houses. He said so during the election. The 1% has too much power.

        Do you remember that the reason the team decided to go forward rather than prosecute BushCo was the possibility of a coup?

        The one percent are far more aggressive about achieving their goals.
        I doubt you understand the half of that.

        The 1% own too many Dems as well as pubs.

        It is pretty much up to We the People to get in the streets in enough force to overwhelm the police, and what ever force they try to use to contain the masses.

        I'm not sure enough Americans have the will to commit their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to save the country.

        My hope right now is that Wisconsin blows out the Walker cohort and gets their state government back. The example of activism the people in that state have set is as good as anyone could want. Walker being charged and convicted would be a worthy denoument.

        So -- what now? I vote for Obama and "hope" for a better future some day?
        How realistic is your concept of a better future? Neither the world or America can continue as we have been. Resources are disappearing, climate change will destroy many more. Significant population loss is very likely.

        Bottom line, hoping will not bring you the recovery of this country you seem to think should have been possible by now. It probably isn't possible at all. Are you paying attention to the JPMorgan Chase developments?

        If you think Obama has been wasting time on what he has been doing, I at least respect him for doing something, not just hoping.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Thu May 31, 2012 at 07:41:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I respect him, too. (6+ / 0-)

          The ship of state doesn't turn on a dime, and too often Congress has been less than helpful.

          Obama said in 2008, "I'm not asking you to believe in my ability to bring about change in Washington.  I'm asking you to believe in yours."

          It was never about just him.  We have to be willing to work our tails off, and he never promised us anything else.

          "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

          by JBL55 on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:39:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How do we know there was a threat of a coup? (17+ / 0-)

          We are asked to take some unnamed source's word for it. What if the "coup" was just an excuse to try and save some face when it became apparent that no justice was at hand for Bush and company? Since the first week after his election it has been one slap in the face after another for those of us on the left. You don't want our ideas, you dismiss us as not important then do not ask for my money, my time, my shoe leather or my vote.

          The CIA did not force Geitner down our throat. Or Summers, Emmanuel, Daley etc. The CIA did not ask a republican to be Sec of Treasury. The CIA did not invite a homophobe to deliver the invocation at the inauguration. And the MIC were not the ones who banned any discussion of single payer.

          We know that the best way to solve our economic problems would be a return to New Deal type regulations. But our leaders seem to believe in the same neo-liberal Wall Street nonsense that got us into this mess. There is little difference between supply side trickle down theory and the mentality of saving the banks at the expense of the consumer and wait for the magic confidence fairy to cast a spell reawakening the heroic job creators and saving the day. Its like a cross between a Disney Fairy tale and an episode of Ren and Stimpy.

          •  We Have To Make Up Shit Because the Truth Hurts (4+ / 0-)

            too much.

            There wasn't some CIA conspiracy to get Obama to move to the right.  Obama did exactly want he wanted to do.  He's a conservative dem who fooled millions into thinking he was something that he was not.          

          •   in back room deal with PhRMA Obama (4+ / 0-)

            kept drug prices high.

            It was first reported back in 2009 that the Obama administration cut a deal with the PhRMA to break specific campaign promises he made about health care reform in exchange for PhRMA spending money to politically support the bill. Thanks to some newly revealed emails via Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner we now have more details of how the deal was made.
            Nancy DeParle, then director of the White House Office of Health Reform, wrote the following email to PhRMA’s chief lobbyist on June 3, 2009: “Yes – I pushed this to everyone (Messina, Rahm) is in Egypt with POTUS but Phil Schrillo, Dana Singlser and I made decision, based on how constructive you guys have been, to oppose importation on this bill.”

            That September, top PhRMA lobbyist Bryant Hall reported to his coworkers in an email that he “had a good call w Messina,” and wrote: “Confidential: WH is working on some very explicit language on importation to kill it in health care reform. This has to stay quiet.”

            As a result of Obama betraying his campaign promise on drug importation both government spending and individual spending on prescription drugs will remain artificially high. At the time the CBO found the amendment would have saved the government $19.4 billion and consumers roughly $100 billion over the next decade.
            (emphasis mine)

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:06:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  My understanding was they were afraid (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            katiec, Kestrel228, Tom Taaffe

            of a coup, don't remember that the report included threats. I have no problem with the fear.

            The CIA is not the 1%. Connections? Yeah, that is why I call it the Military Industrial Congressional Financial Corporate Intelligence plus The Family complex. Truth in labeling helps expose the breadth and depth of the problem. The specific contacts? A few are likely known.

            What we know and what could be done are quite out of alignment. See JBL55's comment above. Dems have been playing along to stay in the game for a long time. See: Bill Clinton.  What was discussed at the secret meeting between Obama and Hillary at the home of Sen Feinstein (?) in the summer of '08? (Uh, no, I don't buy the Bilderberg theory.) Maybe, who would be appointed to Treasury, etc?

            The 1% power control of DC has been an issue for around 150 years, at a minimum. No president, with the most compliant Congress, can seriously overcome it with out a big populist uprising, sustained for years. It's the only way it has been beaten back over the years. The control only lasts for a few decades before they start slowly dismantling it.

            It is your choice where to put your money, time, shoe leather and votes. If it is ows, excellent. A local congressional race, great. Just don't expect adequate change if you are not committing something constructive to bring it about.

            This isn't just because politicians failed us for decades. So did the media. And American voters.

            One of my favorite Gandalf pearls of wisdom was in Elrond's house in the Fellowship of The Rings. The debate over what to do with The Ring had gone to how the actions would affect Middle Earth in the Future. Gandalf's counsel was there was no way to keep evil from returning, that those who lived at any time when it reappeared were responsible for fighting that situation to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, too many folks who should have been staying on top of this were watching TV.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Thu May 31, 2012 at 05:57:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dear Ginny... (0+ / 0-)

              I get your point I think. I volunteed for my local party for 20 years. I phone banked, walked precincts, folded literature, raised money. I sat on the Central Committee at the township and county level. I lived in a county so Republican that FDR never carried the county. And I met Barrack Obama when he was a state senator in Illinois. I lived at the time in suburban Chicago, DuPage County to be specific. And we Democrats were a lonely voice in the Wilderness. I managed the county parties booth at the county fair and met many people and flew the flag of our party.

              At this point, since I now live in suburban Orlando the only guy that gets my money and my effort is Alan Greyson. MY argument is that Obama is not as boxed in as we would like to believe. When FDR was president he was seen as a fighter for people and fought many losing battles with the supreme court, Democrats like Huey Long and Republicans. He was vilified in the press and yet was seen as continuing the fight . That gave people hope. Hope that they had a champion who would not stop fighting. That may not be an acurate discription of what he really did but the impression stuck.

              Obama as not seen as fighting for the people who are hurting. Whether he is or is not actually fight for the little guy is less important to the country's psyche than the impression of fighting. He is seen by most people as aloof, he is seen by Republicans as weak, and he is seen by many Democrats as unwilling to fight for the principles that we believed he believed in when we elected him.

              Because he did not even attempt to discuss single payer and he traded away the public option and refused Medicare for all he alienated those Dems for whom health care was a key issue. Because he would not agree to an investigation of Bush and Co he alienated the civil rights and peace advocates. By being seen as too conciliatory towards homophobes he alienated the LGBT community. And so on.

              And so we are disappointed. And Republicans do very well in years of poor turnout. But if the President and OFA and the DCCC and the DNC et al want something from me they had better show that as a party they are concerned about the issues that matter to me. Like peace and justice including economic justice. And respect for the constitution, all of it. And if I do not see that I will only support those causes and candidates that I believe in.

              Your reference  to Gandalf is on target. But we need to remember that only the hobbits were able to eliminate the evil of the Ring. The mighty and powerful and important were helpless in the face of evil. And so it is today.

              •  The hobbits most definitely did not do it (0+ / 0-)

                without the help of the mighty, powerful, and a whole bunch of other residents of Middle Earth.

                Yes, there are many perspectives of Obama. Some are due to him and his staff, some to the media, some are the variations that occur because we all perceive things differently.

                FDR did not face the same power or media that Obama is, and the economic situation was much worse by the time he got to office.

                This is our essential difference.

                MY argument is that Obama is not as boxed in as we would like to believe.
                I do not like believing that, at all. Those of us who do base it on a combination of many years of participation, observation, and paying attention to many informed perspectives.

                Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama by Eric Alterman doesn't absolve Obama of making mistakes. That comes under "To err is human." Especially walking into a job that nothing can prepare you for, that was a far bigger and fresher mess than many presidents started with.

                I graduated from nursing school 35 years ago. I haven't had health care since 1/09. (I have multiple significant diagnoses.) If anyone should be upset with how Obama fought health care, it would be me. I'm still very mad at Hilary for screwing it up in the 90's, because it made Obama's problems much worse than Clinton's.

                 I also know how totally fucked up the system is. IF enough physicians had really gotten behind the better options, Obama might have had a chance.  Again, with out a lot of loud, visible public support, his options are how to get something through without losing too much from the battle. To the extent that nurses were out there, too few and we are one of the most powerless professions in the country.

                I do think too many of our politicians are not willing to try things they could pull off because they have been so overwhelmed by the GOP since the 80s. And by Democrats.

                I describe myself as a Dukakis Democrat because that was the year I really got active. By that time I was more than a little peeved at the way Dems criticize their candidates. For a long time it has been all about how lousy our candidates had been. Gee, that's sure a smart way to attract really strong candidates to run.  

                Not to say that reasonable and constructive criticism can't be made. The problem has been the levels of ridicule and disgust, all too often based on irrational or inaccurate assumptions, frequently started by the GOP.

                There is nothing more I want than to find out this situation is not going to be as difficult as I think, that we cannot accomplish as much as most are hoping for. My conviction is better to fight as though it is that bad, than to blow the limited time window we have.

                What I totally appreciate is that you are working to get Alan Grayson back in Congress. He is very likely to be one of the key players getting DC functional again. IF I get a job before the last of my savings is spent, I plan on sending any spare nickles and dimes to his battle.

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 06:02:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  When/where/how was there a suggestion of a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sydneyluv, efraker

          possible coup?  I missed this....

          •  There (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Was a story a while back that Rahm feared a coup if they prosecuted torturers.  But the more telling piece of  that story was that it would have tied their hands politically when they wanted to do healthcare.  With what we got, I don't think it was a fair trade.  My insurance is still unacceptable and the rule of law is a joke.

            ‎"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." --Frederick Douglass

            by Nada Lemming on Thu May 31, 2012 at 08:07:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bush, Obama & Banks: according to Barney Frank (8+ / 0-)

        Paulson had offered the incoming Obama team bank write downs of mortgages.  Obama refused.

        For more, see naked capitalism.

        •  Here it is (15+ / 0-)
          Here’s Barney Frank, in an exit interview recently in New York Magazine, revealing unwittingly that Obama during the transition rejected a Bush administration concession to write down mortgages.  Here’s what Barney said.


          The mortgage crisis was worsened this past time because critical decisions were made during the transition between Bush and Obama. We voted the TARP out. The TARP was basically being administered by Hank Paulson as the last man home in a lame duck, and I was disappointed. I tried to get them to use the TARP to put some leverage on the banks to do more about mortgages, and Paulson at first resisted that, he just wanted to get the money out. And after he got the first chunk of money out, he would have had to ask for a second chunk, he said, all right, I’ll tell you what, I’ll ask for that second chunk and I’ll use some of that as leverage on mortgages, but I’m not going to do that unless Obama asks for it.  This is now December, so we tried to get the Obama people to ask him and they wouldn’t do it.
          This is consistent with other accounts.  There were policy debates within Obama’s economic team about what to do about the mortgage crisis.  The choices were to create some sort of legal entity to write down mortgage debt or to allow the write-down of mortgage debt through a massive wave of foreclosures over the next four to six years.  He choice the latter.  That choice was part of what led to roughly $7 trillion of middle class wealth gone, with financial assets for the elites re-inflated.
    •  i dream of a prague spring for the usa, i.e: (10+ / 0-)

      a landslide for bho, and that the dems dominate in congress

      despite whatever this potus has done that i am queasy about, i believe he'll keep the trajectory going in the direction of an equitable society

      we'll have to work as many years as the repubs did to get us to this point, to have anything like a democracy with state-supported social safety net for all in the foreseeable future;

      there's no future for the human race without this

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