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Wall Street is upset. Sure, they were handed a trillion dollars. Sure, their industry was pulled from the toilet, propped up, dried off, and allowed to return to its never-ending party. Sure, they're looking forward to what may be the biggest bonus year ever while the rest of us are dealing with a little thing called a recession. But hey, they are upset that people have been talking mean about them. They don't like that. They don't like that so much that they're pouring record levels of money into Republican campaigns, just to make sure that Democrats get the point.

After all, being "too big to fail" means never having to say you're sorry.  Heck, it means never having to face up to the fact that you failed at all. It certainly means that guys wearing Alexander Amosu suits don't have to say thank you to the people digging ditches, flipping burgers, or sweating out a stint of unemployment. You know, the people who chipped in so that the Wall Streeters could keep their jobs. Being too big to fail means being able to go on pretending that you're a tough, take care of yourself, fiscal conservative and that this little bump never happened. It certainly means that you don't have to be the least bit contrite, or demonstrate any sense of either guilt or gratitude.

And I absolutely agree. They don't. There's only one thing I want from these guys -- I want to tax the holy crap out of them.

I'm not suggesting this because it would be satisfying (though it would), but because it would be a good thing to do. The right thing to do. Not just to start repairing the hole these guys drove through the federal budget, but good for the whole economy. Even good for Wall Street.

Over the last four decades, we've become a nation where the Laffer Curve is hardwired in our brains. A nation that believes in always carrots, never sticks. Republicans have pushed the idea that reducing taxes is an universally effective way of growing the economy. No matter what the problem, there's bound to be a tax cut to solve it.

The problem is, that's nonsense. Always has been nonsense. Continues to be nonsense. The truth is that cutting taxes is the least efficient way of addressing economic issues.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this year analyzed the short-term effects of 11 policy options and found that extending the tax cuts would be the least effective way to spur the economy and reduce unemployment. The report added that tax cuts for high earners would have the smallest "bang for the buck," because wealthy Americans were more likely to save their money than spend it.

Not only is extending the Bush tax cut an unfathomably stupid idea, the tax cuts that President Obama has proposed for business? Also a bad idea.

Corporate lobbyists have been seeking these tax cuts, because corporations are investing in automated equipment and software. These investments are designed to boost profits by permanently replacing workers and cutting payrolls. The tax cuts Obama is proposing would, therefore, make such investments all the more profitable.

Get that? The exact tax cuts Obama is proposing would make it easier for businesses to permanantly get rid of employees. Not only that...

Obama's whopping proposed corporate tax cuts help legitimize the supply-side dogma that the economy's biggest obstacle to growth is the cost of capital, rather than the plight of ordinary working people.

Tax cuts are not the solution. In fact (if you're a conservative you may need to sit down for this) tax cuts are the problem.

The current structure of our tax system exerts so little incentive on wealthy individuals and corporations to do anything with their wealth other than roll in it, that we've gestated a nation peppered with Smaugs, each of them perched atop their private hordes and ready to defend every jeweled goblet. The amount of wealth held by the top 1% of individuals is at record levels. The amount of money that corporations are sitting on is at record levels. So tell me, how will reducing taxes so they can made another Scooge McDuck dive into the gold pool help things? The inequality that now exists is harmful in multiple ways, but we're still nodding along with the same nonsense that put us in this spot.

The idea that sending money to the wealthy is helpful was once recognized as idiocy even inside the Republican Party. George Bush -- sans 'W' -- knew "voodoo economics" when he saw it. But along with the sanctification of Ronald Reagan we seem to have absorbed this conservative fairy tale so throughly that leaders both 'left' (at least what passes for left in Washington) and right can recite it in their sleep: if you start taxing someone so much because he's wealthy, he'll stop trying to make more money.

You know what? I believe that idea. I also believe that's a very, very good thing.

When someone is looking for a spot to park the third Ferrari, allowing them to take home more of their money should be the least of our concerns. In periods when there were higher taxes (including top rates that exceeded 90%) the incentive was there for CEOs and company owners to stop padding their own paychecks and turn more of the funds back to expanding their companies and rewarding their employees. That incentive is long gone.

By reducing the top tax rate we have driven a philosophy of short term profit, disregard for product quality, mistreatment of employees, and disdain for community relationships. We have directly rewarded the worst possible behavior. There's not one shred of evidence low top tax rates have ever been beneficial, and there's every indicator that they have proven a long term disaster.

The low tax rates on the wealthy are directly responsible for the rapid concentration of wealth, the stagnation of the median income, and the decline of the middle class. It's not something mysterious. It's not something that's being inflicted on us. It's something we are doing to ourselves.

The problem is that we've forgotten something -- you can't run a country on carrots alone. Every situation can't be addressed by giving someone a prize. Sometimes you have to reach for a stick. When the nation was founded, Washington and Hamilton were faced with deficits at the federal level and a group of states on the brink of bankruptcy. Their reaction was not "gee, maybe we give wealthy planters more money and hope they use it to buy extra wigs and waistcoats." Instead, they raised both taxes and tariffs. We seem to have forgotten that such an option even exists.

In the case of Wall Street in 2008, there was little choice but to rescue these "captains of industry" from their own sinking ships. They don't have to be grateful, but we aren't required to be stupid. If we don't start structuring our tax system in such a way that some of the gold gets dragged out of the hoards, we'll soon find ourselves in an even bigger dilemma -- one that we won't be able to repair, no matter how many working class people cough up.

In the meantime, how about trying one of the ideas to stimulate the economy that wasn't rated worst on the list. If you want to increase employment, hire people. Government jobs are no less real, no less honorable, and no less necessary than those created by private industry. No matter what Republicans may say.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  To Try Those Ideas You'd Have to Be Some Kind of (34+ / 0-)

    liberal.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:03:12 AM PDT

    •  this is reich's continued service economy error (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vicky, beltane, happymisanthropy, annieli

      He does not understand why manufacturing is important to the economy and he does not ever let an opportunity for ignorantly wailing about the administration to pass him by.

      •  he's particularly gutless on off-shoring work nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, happymisanthropy

        "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

        by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:37:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We get it. He's on your "DoublePlusUngood list" (5+ / 0-)

        along with most liberals.

        "The financial system is broken. We can use that term in late 2008, and I think it's fair to still use the term unfortunately." Paul Volker, 9/23/2010

        by JesseCW on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:37:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he's on double secret probation with the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, divineorder

          rise of Liz Warren

          "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

          by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:39:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's hilarious (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vicky, arlene, dotsright

          that Summers who has been focused on income inequality for the last decade is still a neoliberal in the book of self-proclaimed "progressives", while Reich who was earning a living explaining that manufacturing jobs are passe before he found his current  gig as an Obama slammer in the right wing media, has had his role as champion of NAFTA disappeared from history.

          •  Based on results (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc

            (moderate/conservative/neorad policies)since Reagan, in this country, he is correct.

            Mfg jobs have just about gone the way of horse drawn canal barges for many workers. My 59 year old brother is one.

            Need a linkie for this here podna:  

            ....Summers....focused on income inequality for the last decade

            Oh that's right, you don' do links.

            But go ahead and denigrate anyone who would dare disagree with some folks defense of their dear leader.

            •  Summers has been focused on income inequality? (13+ / 0-)

              Sure he has.  He's been focused on <b?increasing it</strong>, from his days as Treasury secretary when he pushed through the end of Glass Steagall on.  

              The assertion that Larry Summers is a fierce advocate of reducing income inequality is one of the stupidest things I've ever read on Daily Kos, even from that poster.

              •  facts are facts (0+ / 0-)

                I'm sorry if you think they are stupid. Try google, or read my last diary.

                •  Talk is cheap (6+ / 0-)

                  I don't give a shit what Larry Summers says when he's not in a position of power.  That's about as relevant as what Barack Obama promised on the campaign trail.  I care about what Summers did (and does) when he's in power, which is a very different picture than your cherry-picked diary would paint.  

                  Don't listen to what they say.  Watch what they do.  Surely even you've figured that one out by now.

                  •  so we've gone from (0+ / 0-)

                    The assertion that Larry Summers is a fierce advocate of reducing income inequality is one of the stupidest things I've ever read on Daily Kos, even from that poster.

                    to,

                    "whoops, uhm, he didn't really mean it."

                    Smooth.

                  •  I read citizen k's last diary and followed a link (5+ / 0-)

                    to a Larry Summers report where he does in fact say all the right things including calling income inequality a problem. Then I thought back to Bush's famous line "I'm a uniter not a divider."

                    When we look at the results of economic policy decisions up to now I have to wonder how long we have to wait before we see a reversal of the growing income gap.

                    It's sort of like waiting for trickle down or tax cuts to produce results. They are not working and I can't see how doing things the same way for 30 years will suddenly start producing a different result.

                    So, it's a fact that Larry Summers talks real purdy but he and his advice have yet to produce results for millions of citizens looking for work let alone a fair share of the pie.

                       

                    Unapologetically pro-citizen. Not anti-corporation just very pro-citizen.

                    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:08:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the fact remains (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream

                      that the budget presented by the President, as with his previous budget, is a lot smarter about wealth inequality and manufacturing than anything you will read by Robert NAFTA Reich. And Reich's dishonest slamming of that budget, although it may help him in his quest to follow Stephanopolous to a nice media gig, is totally off the point. If you want to encourage manufacturing, especially green manufacturing, then increasing taxes on oil and decreasing taxes for investments in new equipment is exactly the way to go.
                      And if you want to discourage financial engineering, the proposal to close the hedge fund managers tax loophole is exactly on point. Reich is working overtime to prevent the public from becoming aware of what Obama is really proposing because he is and always has been a hack and people who are naive enough to buy his pablum should be embarrassed to call themselves progressives.

                      •  did the guy kick your dog once, or something? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Dallasdoc, happymisanthropy

                        You sure do seem to have some sort of personal hard-on for him.

                        It's kind of silly.

                      •  Well, I'm not a Reich fan. (3+ / 0-)

                        Unemployment and underemployment are significant critical components of The Economy not the set of statistics that allows anyone to say that the Great Recession ended in June 2009.

                        I didn't expect things to improve quickly but I expected to see real improvement in the employment numbers. Obama warning us that we will be stuck with high numbers for some time does not excuse the fact that they are too high.

                        I tell myself often that he couldn't do anything even if he wanted to. I just have this nagging feeling that the administration is not doing as much as it could to bring down the under/unemployment numbers like taxing the crap out of the people who made the most when money was being created out of thin air. A nagging feeling is a terrible way to form an opinion but in the absence of good numbers it's what I have.  

                        It's not as simple as taxing the rich; it's taxing those who made wheelbarrows of money from us and then asked us to bail them out when they hit bad times. They are sitting on billions of dollars now. "They" = financial sector.  Get it into the economy so that we don't have to loose our homes, rely on food stamps and paltry unemployment checks or worse exhaust all resources and have nothing.

                        These guys are supposed to be the best and brightest and I can see that Obama is the smartest guy in any room he enters. No doubt the state of the economy we care about is immeasurably better than if Republicans were still in charge but our economy as in the American citizen "our", doesn't seem to be heading in the right direction as much as it seems to be treading water, barely.        

                        I'm helping to elect Democrats and I'll vote for Democrats but I don't feel bad about telling them I think they could do better and then asking them to do better.

                        Unapologetically pro-citizen. Not anti-corporation just very pro-citizen.

                        by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 01:16:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Manufacturing base is a matter of priorities (6+ / 0-)

              Why for example do we build our Nuclear Carriers, Sub and Missile Cruisers here instead of India or China? Surely, it would be cheaper to have lower wage employees build them in places that have lower safety and environmental standards.

              But we've decided that because of a host of National Security considerations it is better to pay the premium.

              I worked almost ten years for the only place that builds Nuclear Carriers on the planet. I was a machinist, and my skill set was not really much different than that of an auto maker or a pre-fabricated home assembler. The only difference was that there was a political decision made that that particular manufacturing should never leave our shores.

              "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

              by Egalitare on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:16:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  snort (0+ / 0-)

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              I'm just not ready to sign up behind DLC outsource heroes if they claim to be left wing critics of the administration in the media.

            •  The jobs did not 'go' anywhere. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AaronInSanDiego, opinionated, behan

              What seems to have happened is that de-regulation had an unanticipated consequence.  It turns out that most of the regulation which was dismantled had served to protect monopoly positions and conditions for the various industries.  The expectation was that by removing the "protective" shield and "letting" competitors into the field, the older firms would be motivated to innovate and strive for excellence.  This expectation proved unfounded.  When protected monopolies were denied their protection, they merely looked for alternatives to secure their monopoly position by either wiping the new entrants out or acquiring the most profitable.  That was what all the restructuring and consolidation and downsizing was about during the eighties and nineties.
              The next challenge to monopolies that arrived on the scene was the stockholder interest in actually acting on their ownership.  The response to that was stock manipulation, more consolidation and then a new kind of privatization.  Where the first wave of privatization involved the transfer of public enterprise to private corporations, where it is less subject to public inspection and interference, the most recent wave involves private corporations being bought out and turned into small businesses -- i.e. enterprises with a few owners, like the Koch Brothers, of major industrial and commercial enterprises.  To protect their personal liability, they still masquerade as corporations and register in the most lenient states (Delaware seems content to collect an annual franchise fee, which covers 25% of its entire state budget, in exchange for letting corporations do what they want).

              What's to be done?  Private corporations which engage in interstate or international enterprise need to be chartered by the national public corporation.  Comity precludes the individual states from exercising jurisdiction or supervision over activities that occur elsewhere.
              Just as marriages registered in one state are to be recognized in other state, a corporation authorized by one state is entitled to be recognized in all others.  But, a corporations are, at best, artificial persons, and not entitled to same rights as natural persons, unless we are foolish enough to let them get away with claiming as much.

              I know hardly anything about corporations.  But it seems that states have a robust regime covering insurance companies and the federal government does charter some banks.  Which accounts for the recent bank reform legislation.

              It seems that because there are/were no clear enforcement mechanisms (like revoking a charter), efforts to gain compliance with public policy had to be based on bribes.  That is, in exchange for being socially responsible, corporations demanded special considerations (tax abatement, subsidies, loans, infra-structure improvements) and that's the origin of the welfare for corporations culture.  In the eighties and nineties they played states and municipalities off against each other to see from whom they could extort the most.

              In short, the private corporations were privileged.  And, it seems the conservatives are right about one thing, but not in the way they present it.  Privileges, not human rights, morph into entitlements.  Humans are not only entitled to begin with, but when their rights are satisfied, they are moved to give something back.  Not so the privileged persons, natural or artificial.  Privilege gets converted into an entitlement and then, when the expectations of privilege are no longer met, entitlement morphs further into resentment and wrath at having been denied.

              Those who clamour for human rights have modest expectations: subsistence and peace of mind.  The privileged are never satisfied.  Perhaps because privilege is addictive.  Anyway, when greed and envy and wrath come into play, the demands for more never end.

              It seems ironic, but our pissant punitive pols in the party of 'no' are going to have to learn the meaning of NO.  No more tax cuts; no more bribes; no more guaranteed revenues; no more free land; no more free trade; no free lunch for the private corps.

              The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

              by hannah on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:07:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Could you make this a diary, hannah (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                opinionated

                When I come upon such lengthy posts in a diary, I tend to read the first few lines and pass on. I suspect there might be others who do the same.

                "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

                by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:27:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Diaries don't get read either. The economy (0+ / 0-)

                  is not a sexy topic.  
                  That's OK.  Even the most cogent argument has to be received at least three times before it registers.  The brain is a very conservative organ.  The default is to go with the already known.  So, it takes a while for new ideas to take hold.
                  We're trying to reverse a four-decade course.

                  Believe it or not, there have been improvements.  We are now to the point where there are viable energy alternatives and nature doesn't have to be used as a toilet.  Some industries are just not toilet trained yet.

                  The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

                  by hannah on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:54:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  you have to flip this around . . . (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AaronInSanDiego

                t turns out that most of the regulation which was dismantled had served to protect monopoly positions and conditions for the various industries.  The expectation was that by removing the "protective" shield and "letting" competitors into the field, the older firms would be motivated to innovate and strive for excellence.  This expectation proved unfounded.  When protected monopolies were denied their protection, they merely looked for alternatives to secure their monopoly position by either wiping the new entrants out or acquiring the most profitable.  That was what all the restructuring and consolidation and downsizing was about during the eighties and nineties.

                The loss of monopoly happened first--most notably when the Japanese economically invaded the US in the early 80's. The US responded with protectionist trade policies such as tariffs and import quotas--which the Japanese got around simply by building their factories here in the US (where they remain today). The US also responded by taking all the chains off American corporations and allowing them to run amok so they could "compete"--and the American corporations responded by taking lots of checks from Uncle Sam, saying "thanks", and then moving all their factories to China.

                So it was not deregulation that led to loss of monopoly--it was the loss of monopoly that led to the deregulation.

                As for national regulation of corporations, that is already dead. The corporations are multi-national---they are richer, larger and more powerful than any nation can control, including the US.

                If we want to beat the multinationals, we too MUST become interrational.  No solution thaqt is based simply on a national government, can work.  All will fail (just as they already have).

            •  Manufacturing jobs are actuallly (0+ / 0-)

              picking up in west-central Wisconsin.

              "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

              by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:28:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Thom Hartmann often makes a relevant point (20+ / 0-)

        He speaks as a small business owner -- because he's started several.  If taxes are low, he points out, business owners take lots of money out of their businesses because it's the rational thing for them to do.  They keep that money, for the most part, and there's nothing to stop them doing it.

        If taxes are much higher, then it's far less rational for business owners to take money out of the business, because a lot of it goes to the government.  Much more rational for owners to reinvest in the business and grow that business, because that's in the owner's long-term interest.  This is also in the economy's interest, because investing in that business grows the economy and spreads wealth around.

        The economic populist argument is that rich fucks are greedy and that it's bad for the economy, so we should tax away a lot of their wealth for everybody else's good.  It's a powerful argument that the Democrats have generally not made, because they don't want to make their Wall Street friends cry.  But the economic argument Hartmann personalizes is a much more direct rebuttal of the Laffer curve lie, and should be used more by economists as well as politicians.

        •  Spot on. Hartmann has talked about htis several (7+ / 0-)

          times on his shows.  A very smart man who understands, and has the keen sense to put the pieces of the history puzzle in place to see the larger picture.  

          Very astute post regarding Hartmann, and more people should listen to his show and give thought on the subjects that he covers.  

          "I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean I love the country but I can't stand the scene." - Leonard Cohen (Democracy)

          by LamontCranston on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:33:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As the peon cog (5+ / 0-)

          at a "small" business (1 owner, $100 ML Revenue) who does their financials every month I can tell you that they make sure they pay no income taxes on the profit.  They take it all out at the end of the year as personal income and then find loopholes to not pay taxes on that.  The way they do this is to reinvest only as much profit back in the business as needed because they don't want to pay business taxes.  They pay as much of it out as they can for year end bonuses to Officers and employees which they themselves are not taxed on.  Kind of okay for me (since I get a small slice) but it doesn't grow the business.  This is the 'pass through' that Keith Olbermann was talking about.  

          This particular business doesn't have much to invest in other than software and possibly a bigger sales force (one or two guys), so the tax cut on capital investment doesn't do much.  But many other businesses do have capital investments that they have probably put off.  Newer software would be likely to increase productivity - doesn't create jobs.  Newer equipment would probably increase productivity - doesn't create jobs.  It would create some jobs in the supply chain but considering that most of our manufacturing and even software development are done in other countries I am not very optimistic that this will do a lot.

          Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

          by whoknu on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:00:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Help me out. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc

          I read somewhwere that raising capital gains taxes would especially motivate paople to reinvest in their businesses. But I'm not sure how the details work.

          When I canvass or call I always use these economic arguments. The facts behind the appearances. These are what people are in most need of and the old slogans don't work anymore.

          "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

          by hoplite9 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:28:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What can businesses do with profits? (5+ / 0-)

            They can reinvest them in the business, or they can pay them out to the owners.  If they're reinvested they're not profits, on the books, but they grow the business.  If they're paid out the profits look higher, which raises the stock price, but reinvestment is reduced and the business eventually hollows out.  That's what's been happening in America, as a matter of fact.

            If we increased capital gains and dividend taxes it would not decrease investment in businesses, but rather increase that investment.  Businesses would be forced to actually grow in order to raise stock prices, rather than just pay out more to their owners.

            •  capital gains is trickier (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hoplite9

              dividend and interest tax rates (and income rates for LLCs and S-corps) work exactly as you're saying.

              Since capital gains is a tax on the growth of the company, I can't see how increasing capital gains encourages the growth.

              I do support increasing capital gains rate to the same as income tax for fairness and also to discourage pets.com speculation and bubbles, but that's a different argument.

            •  What are the incentives (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc

              for growing the business, when the increased business will also be taxed at a higher rate?

              I think I just came up with the answer while typing the question. In order for them to make more money under higher taxes they would need higher pre-tax income. Hence business investment.

              Going to work now. Will read answer this evening.

              "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

              by hoplite9 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:25:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  manufacturing is not any more inherently (4+ / 0-)

        "good" or "high-wage" or "important" than any other sector of the economy.  It was only high-wage in the US because we had powerful unions in the manufacturing sector that MADE it high-wage.  In the absence of those unions, manufacturing is no more inherently high-wage or "better jobs" than McDonalds is --just look at the manufacturing jobs in China, which are universally shit jobs.

        The whole idea that "manufacturing is central to a good economy" is outdated and wrong.  "Manufacturing" has become the new "farming" -- it was once the central part of the economy and employed the largest number of people, but now is just a tiny minority of the population and has been replaced by larger sectors.  Just as we can now produce agrarian products with a small number of people where once we required a majority of the population, we can now produce manufactured goods with a small number of people where once we required a majority of the population.  And soon the same thing will happen in the service sector--automation and technical advances will replace most service sector workers.

        And as that happens, the "jobs crisis" will become permanent, with no solution.

        And as before, in response, we will see the inevitable resurgence of a massive welfare state.

        The entire "conservative" agenda (whether embraced by the Bushites or by the Clintonites) is inevitably dead, no matter WHAT we or they do. We will inevitably see a massive increase in government, funded by large tax increases, to fund a huge intervention in the "free market"--all to deal with the social effects of a permanent structural jobs crisis. It has simply become an inescapable social necessity.

        •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

          My opinion, based on nothing more than my observations of the world, education, and business experience, is that our "efficiencies" brought about by technology will result in a more or less permanent structural unemployment.  There are simply too many people in the world for the current economic model to sustain itself.

          We need radical new ideas.  I am coming up short in that regard, however.

          "The bass player is always right"

          by BigOkie on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:10:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what we will need is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigOkie, BYw

            a social and economic system that is NOT based upon the income from wage jobs.

            Such a system was proposed over 150 years ago . . . . and has been called "radical" ever since.

            ;)

          •  BTW, there are not "too many people in (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, ferg, flitedocnm, TimmyB

            the world for the current economic model to sustain itself".  Global GDP is currently enough to give every man, woman and child on the planet some $12,000 in economic resources every year--$48,000 a year for a typical family of four.

            The only reason they don't get it (and most in the world instead live on $300 a year or less) is because the rich fucks at the top get it all.

            The problem is NOT that we don't have enough resources to go around--the problem is that a tiny handful of obscenely rich keep all the resources, and the rest of the world fights over the leftover crumbs.

            There would seem to be a rather obvious solution to that problem . . . .

            •  That leaves us to haggle over the numbers (0+ / 0-)

              I don't question your figures at all or the ideas you are talking about.  I would only add that the income level everyone would receive may or may not be "adequate" depending on any number of factors, including the efficiencies of distribution.  Continued growth of the population, however, means this resource share can only go in one direction.  Unless one happens to believe that resources are unlimited, which I do not.

              "The bass player is always right"

              by BigOkie on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:26:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I simply point out two things: (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ferg, TimmyB
                1.  Equitably dividing the global GDP would result in a huge increase in standard of living for nearly all the world's population---and a huge decrease in standard of living for a very tiny handful of rich fucks at the top.

                and

                1. Population growth invariably stops once a basic level of economic security is reached (the "demographic transition"), so the best way to STOP global population growth is to lift most of the world out of grinding poverty.
          •  By a force of necessity... (0+ / 0-)

            I wonder if the extra human effort will be needed to clean up the planet.
            We are still aggressively depleting the planet of resources, and polluting it rapidly.
            It seems as if we're on the verge of a global breakdown; the climate, the incredibly stressed oceans, increasingly polluted environment (anything from actual major factory pollution to minutia like prescription drugs in the waterways), etc, etc.
            It seems that once the catastrophic events start to unfold, we'll drop everything we're doing, and we'll have to focus on cleanup - at that point, it'll be a matter of survival.
            Think the BP spill, and all hands on deck approach, but globally.

        •  Disagree. Evidence: Germany. Their economy is (9+ / 0-)

          surging. Along with China, they lead the world in exports. Workers are paid fairly and treated well. They have a strong and growing middle class. They are NOT a third world country. And their economy is based on manufacturing, not "finance", which is simply wealth transfer to the very wealthy from everyone else.

          Manufacturing is more than a guy holding a screwdriver and a hammer, although machines will never completely replace all humans even on that front. There is engineering and design, quality control, purchasing, sales, customer relations, marketing, accounting and likely a whole lot of other jobs I'm omitting.

          The world is still going to make a lot of stuff. If we as a country have decided that we're not in the business of making stuff any more but simply moving money around, then we will have no middle class, and we will become an increasingly authoritarian, if not fascist, state that exists only to defend and protect the wealthy.

          Sorry, I don't buy this:

          The whole idea that "manufacturing is central to a good economy" is outdated and wrong.

          "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

          by flitedocnm on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:20:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TimmyB

          100%

          "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

          by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:22:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Most every empire eventually focuses on (4+ / 0-)

          managing finances - usually from profits, materials, etc. from far-flung "colonies" or whatever the modern equivalent is - that becomes their primary "business". Then they need more military and more military investments to keep those far-flung outposts secure for their own purposes.

          In the meantime they import more and more of what they need for actually daily living, including food. When "barbarians" began to challenge those boundaries and/or the inhabitants themselves begin to rebel, the government focuses increasing assets on the military.

          When the empire finally "falls" or simply shrinks, they are often left witihout basics they need because they no longer produce or even have the infrastructure to produce those needed products and/or services.

          And that's often when they abandon practical rationality for irrational religious fundamentalism. It's one of the "stages" in the death of empires.  

          "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

          by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this is true, but (0+ / 0-)

            it is also happening now to non-empires.  Japan and China, for instance, are buying huge tracts of arable farmland all around the world--for their own consumption.  In essence, they are outsourcing their food supply by relocating their domestic food production overseas.

            And many other nations are of course doing this in the industrial sphere as well, and, increasingly, in the service sector.

            What this will lead to is an empire of a different sort--a unified global empire.  Inevitably, all these nations will require some method of regulating and controlling this huge international flow of food and manufactured materials, and this means, inevitably, an international political structure.  "World government". Rome will no longer unify and "civilize" the Mediterranean basin--it will unify the entire planet.

            Of course, like Rome, it will do this in its own interests. But once established, that structure can be democratized and turned to OUR interests, just as the Roman Empire was.

            •  Rome became *more* democratic? (0+ / 0-)

              Okay, it's heavily distorted and spun premises like this that often times have you coming across as some salesman peddling some suspect wares . . . or a tin-eared ideologue.

              Either way, I do appreciate that you have finally taken the trouble to articulate your ideology: a union of global capital and global political power as the fiat rulers of a new world order spreading justice and equality like post-industrial Alexanders, Genghis Kahns and Napoleons, flattening the world as Friedman intended right?

              The first problem with this rosy sounding idea is the incredibly consistent historical observation that concentrated and growing power almost, always tends to become more corrupt, unresponsive and unaccountable from the subjects of that power. The obvious reason for this is that the distance affords the rulers a greater deal of safety from the victims of their decisions and therefore a greater motivation to promote self-aggrandizing yet damaging polices over more humanist ones. Concentrating power internationally will very likely make both international capital and intentional governments more undemocratic and more insulated from democratizing influences.

              Secondly, humans being the tribal creatures that they are, will resist the notion of being lumped together by some distant power, and by 'resist', I mean go to war, and by 'go to war' I mean fight with every ounce of blood and cunning at their disposal. The past fifty years have witnessed more political partition than unification. Even with the trade unions, frictions persist and expand, and emerging powers chafe at being restricted by the established powers. The tensions grow to the point that the emerging powers are allowed to contiune their quasi-mercantilist polices at the expense of the working populations in the existing powers, the governments of which embrace authoritarianism in an attempt to maintain social order. That doesn't exactly strike a reasonably objective observer as democratizing events.

              Even the historical darlings listed above were often as much bloodthirsty despots more as they were liberators and internationalists. Thank goodness they didn't have nuclear weapons back then.

              Finally, given the lack of sound character and judgment demonstrated by our international elites in dealing with various conflicts and resource allocation issues in any direction other than upward, it is rather hard to see how these feckless robber-barons of post-industrial international capital have the right character and judgment to act as enlightened rulers with a mind to improve working conditions for all or permitting democratic forces to heavily influence government. Quite the opposite, in fact as the global oligarchs have increasingly turned to authoritarian, kleptomaniac regimes as their political darlings.

              Until your offer some scintilla of real proof that your theory has some logically workable, empirical, falsifiable mechanism for giving power to demonstrably feckless, arrogant, anti-democratic corporate entities and shadow governments will lead to increased democratization, and not something out of a Paul Verhoeven movie, then your theory remains, at best, logically unsound.

              Every politician in America is sounding like that mayor in Jaws. -global citizen

              by James Kresnik on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:41:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Bull Shit on Many Levels (4+ / 0-)

          Sorry, but there cannot be a smaller and smaller number of manufacturing jobs due to automation  and a larger and larger number of Chinese working in manufacturing at the same time.  Its either one or the other.

          If, as you claim, American manufacturing jobs were actually being lost as a result of improvements in automation, then there would not be a manufacturing boom in China.  Simply put, why on Earth would a Chinese worker be needed to do a job that is being done by a robot in an American factory?

          Answer: Chinese workers are not needed to do jobs lost to automation.  "Lost to automation" by definifion means a machine is doing the job.      

          Manufacturing jobs in the USA have been shipped overseas, where the work is done by low wage semi-slaves living under totalitarian governments.  This results in lower costs, which means higher corporate profits for the corporations owners.

          You are also completely wrong about wages.  Wages are driven by supply and demand.  The more skill needed for a job, the lower the supply of workers.  McDonalds' success is based in part on its being able to figure out a way to cook hamburgers that did not require experienced short order cooks.  Almost anyone can become a McDonalds employee.  It is a low skilled job, with a high supply of possible workers, so it pays low wages.  

          On the other hand, a medical doctor is a high skilled, high pay job.  It takes many more years of schooling and training to become a medical doctor than it takes to become a McDonalds employee.  

          In the middle, we have manufacturing jobs. Don't kid yourself, these jobs are not so easy to learn as a McDonalds' job.  Go try to run a lathe or CNC machine without any training if you don't believe me.  Higher skill meant lower supply.  Also, there used to be a high demand for blue collar manufacturing jobs in this country.  Those two things, lower supply and higher demand, helped lead to higher wages.

          Skilled blue collar jobs also led to higher wages because of unions.  If you held a blue collar job which took a long time to learn and become good at, you could not be easily replaced if you went on strike.        

          On another note, but also concerning your poo-pooing of manufacturing jobs, try fighting a major war if you can't make stuff.  During the U.S. Civil War, the side that had the largest manufacturing base won.  WWI, same thing.  WWII, same thing.  If you can't make tanks, planes, ships, missles, ect., once you lose or shoot one off, they are gone for good, never to be replaced.  Good luck fighting a war if you can't make what you need to continue fighting.      

           

          •  it is both, in both places (0+ / 0-)

            the manufacturing sector is shrinking everywhere. Just as the agrarian sector shrunk before. And for exactly the same reasons.

            It will shrink in China too, for exactly the same reason (and keep in mind that for all its foreign factories, China is still basically an agrarian society).

            After all, businesses are not in business to give us good-paying jobs.  To business owners, workers are an EXPENSE, and what they want most of all is to cut expenses (by eliminating jobs).

            We no longer live in a manufacturing-based economy, just as we no longer live in am agrarian-based economy (not too long ago, by the way, it was a nation's AGRICULTURAL power that determined who won wars, by determining who could put the bigger army in the field for the longest time). In nearly every nation, even the industrial giants like Japan and Germany, manufacturing accounts for around one-third of their workforce and one-third of their GDP. The manufacturing-economy has been dead for a long time now. You defend something that simply does not exist any more.

            And soon we will not live in a service-based economy either.  Those jobs (expenses) are being steadily eliminated too.

            •  Truely Absurd (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              citizen k, rlharry, happymisanthropy

              If you are going to make stuff up, at least make is semi-believabe.

              First, manufacturing is not shrinking in China.  Its growing.

              Second, agricultural power rarely, if ever,   determined who won a war.  Name a single war won because of agricultural power.  I can't think of one.
              Rome defeated Egypt, which was the great agricultural power of its day.  In the U.S Civil War, the SOUTH was the great agricultural power, and they lost.

              Armies in ancient times lived off what they stole from the enemy population, so if you had a huge supply of food you were more likely to be attacked.  See Atila the Hun, Alexander the Great, the Mongols, ect.

              After ancient times, agriculture had little to do with who won.  And if the historical record were different, it still does not matter because modern war most certainly is not won by agricultural power.  Such a claim is false.  

              Concerning the number of people working in manufacturing, no one ever claimed that everyone needed to work in manufacturing.  There is a difference between more people and everyone.  We need a larger percentage of Americans making the things we use and need.  That would result in a higher living standard here in the USA.  .    

              •  (sigh) a reading lesson (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                opinionated

                You:

                First, manufacturing is not shrinking in China.  Its growing.

                Me:

                It will shrink in China too, for exactly the same reason (and keep in mind that for all its foreign factories, China is still basically an agrarian society).

                Please learn to read.

                Second, agricultural power rarely, if ever,   determined who won a war.  Name a single war won because of agricultural power.  I can't think of one.

                Harold lost to William the Conquerer entirely because his entire army had to leave to go work their fields.

                Rome had the agrarian power of her empire behind her when eh conquered Ehypt--and ironically Egypt then became the breadbasket for Rome which finally allowed her to support a fulltime professional army (which she could not do before, Roman soldiers being made up largely of farmers)--a fulltime army with which she conquered the known world. One of the reasons Carthage lost the Punic Wars is because she did not have Rome's agrarian resources and could not afford to keep most of her labor force in the field as an army for an extended time--something that Rome COULD do.

                You:

                After ancient times, agriculture had little to do with who won.

                Me:

                not too long ago, by the way, it was a nation's AGRICULTURAL power that determined who won wars, by determining who could put the bigger army in the field for the longest time

                I assumed you were bright enough to understand that this was referring to pre-industrial times, when the agrarian sector was the most important part of the economy.  I apologize for assuming you were that bright.

                And if the historical record were different, it still does not matter because modern war most certainly is not won by agricultural power.  Such a claim is false.

                Indeed, and such a claim was, uh, not made.  If you are going to make shit up, at least do a good job of it.  (shrug)

                We need a larger percentage of Americans making the things we use and need.  That would result in a higher living standard here in the USA

                Doubtful--after all, the Japanese have had their own car manufacturing plants here for three decades now, and the standard of living for those auto workers is LOWER than it was in Detroit back in the 60's and 70's.

                See, it's not the "manufacturing job" per se that gives a higher standard of living (after all, China has lots of brand-new manufacturing jobs, and they all work for shit). It was the powerful LABOR UNIONS in those industries that gave a high standard of living--and those powerful labor unions are gone.

                But of course you are currently getting your wish---many industries ARE relocating here--but not because they are such wonderful high-paying jobs.  Quite the opposite--many German, British and Japanese companies are locating their plants here because we are now a non-union low-wage few-regulation Third World economy---all of those manufacturing jobs have a lower standard of living than they would in Germany, England or Jpaan, and all of them are lower standard of living than they were in the US in the 60s and 70s.

                Your hypothesis is simply wrong. The manufacturing jobs that have been coming back to America are NOT giving us a higher standard of living---indeed the only reason they are moving here in the first place is because of our LOWER standard of living. Bosses do not move factories to places where they have to pay their workers MORE--they move them to places where they have to pay their workers LESS. (shrug)

                If we want a higher standard of living, we need to unionize and FIGHT for it (again). That's the only reason we had it before, and it's the only way we'll get it again.

                And that is just as true for a McDonald's job as it is for a Mitsubishi job.

                •  You make excellent points, Lenny (0+ / 0-)

                  but your self-rightouesness demeans the conversation.

                  "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

                  by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 12:21:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Rebuttal---With an "I'm Sorry" for being a Shit (0+ / 0-)

                  I see.  First, the fact that China's manufacturing capacity is currently growing has no impact on your ability to see into the future, and proclaim that China's manufacturing base will shrink.

                  Really, do you think the China's leaders are so stupid as to ship jobs overseas when those jobs are badly needed for its huge population, just so that capitalists can  make extra money?  I doubt it.  But, if that's what you predict, then ok.

                  Concerning Harold's loss during the Norman invasion, if this were actually an example of an agricultural power winning a war based on its agricultural power, then you would need to show that the Norman invaders were a greater agricultural power that the English.  Sadly, they were not, so your example fails.  The Normans were actually raiders from Norway who settled in France.  Not quite the herdsmen and farmers your example needs.    

                  Concerning non-U.S cars "manufactured" here, the parts are made shipped here to be put together.  While these factories are in anti-union "right to work" states, I'm willing to bet that the employees make much, much more than those working at the local McDonalds.  This fact shoots down your assertion that manufacturing jobs don't increase wages.  

                  Concerning unions, you seem to have no knowledge of trade or "craft" unions, and how they came to be in the U.S.  While all sectors of the economy should be unionised, when workers can easily be replaced, it is more difficult.                  
                       
                  However, you are correct that I've been a shit to you.  I'm sorry and I appologize.  I will try to be a better person in the future.    

    •  too much carrot juice makes us look like Boehner (8+ / 0-)

      n/t

      "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

      by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:00:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They ought to audit that Scrooge McDuck guy. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigOkie, rlharry, El Tomaso, annieli

    For all we know, he's right up there with the Koch brothers financing Cecil the Seasick Tea Serpent.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:04:31 AM PDT

  •  Don't piss these guys off....They're holding (8+ / 0-)
    Christmas hostage.....<snark>
  •  This country won't be on the right track... (11+ / 0-)

    ...until banker jokes are as common as lawyer jokes.

    The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

    by Bush Bites on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:06:39 AM PDT

  •  For the top 1% a healthy middle class is a buffer (8+ / 0-)

    against losing everything.

    "The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture" -- Thomas Jefferson

    by tommurphy on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:07:17 AM PDT

  •  Dems should have torn them down.... (12+ / 0-)

    ...when they had the chance.

    Reminds me of the scorpion and frog story, with the Dems being the frog and Wall Street being the scorpion.

    The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

    by Bush Bites on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:11:45 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely SPOT ON. (24+ / 0-)

    The idea that our top marginal tax rate (35%) kicks in at around $373,000 is absurd.

    We need a more progressive rate at 1 million, at 2 million, at 5 million, at 10 million, at 20 million, at 50 million, etc.

    Higher marginal rates on the top dollars spurs investment, spurs hiring and spurs philanthropy because the "payback" for keeping the cash becomes smaller when the government is taking a much bigger bite.

    When CEOs went from making 1-3 million to making 20-50 million, the only thing that changed was the price of the house at [insert exclusive community here], which went from %million to 25 million...

    Oh, and the private jet industry is doing better.

    Every fiscal problem we face, including health care, can be traced right to this issue - stagnant wages, sinking middle class, obscene hoarding of wealth (kudos on the Smaug reference!).

    Great post.

    •  it's not only not spot on it's bull (0+ / 0-)

      Reich conveniently forgets that the budget, for example, proposed

      Oil companies would lose $39 billion in tax breaks and the budget would raise $24 billion over the next decade by closing a loophole for certain investment managers.

    •  I've had success (14+ / 0-)

      putting it like this.
      FACT: In 2001 & 2003 the GOP-Bushies passed the current set of tax cuts (famously expiring this Dec. 31), heavily tilted toward the top of the financial pyramid. The latest experiment and implementation of supply side/laffer curve/Stockmanomics of the TRICKLE DOWN idea: Un-tax the wealthy and they will invest it to increase economic activity which will benefit everybody.

      FACT: According to the US Dept of Labor (who is in charge of tracking these things) total NET NEW private jobs created during the 8 years of the Bush mal-administration: 0! Zip! Zilch! Nada!--as in "Nada single one!!!"
      (Contrast 22 mil. NET New during the prior 8 years)

      Conclusion: Giving massive tax cuts to the rich did not create ONE SINGLE JOB. THEREFORE, repealing (or letting expire) these same massive tax cuts to the rich will mean the LOSS of NOT ONE SINGLE JOB.

      Neo-cons, Faux Noise watchers and Tea Baggers I have used this on ALWAYS want to change the subject after I lay it on them.

      Feel free to apply as needed.

      Shalom.

      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:00:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Again, the French and other (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, Vicky

      European Social Dmocracies (Germany at this moment, especially) are succeeding in forming societies that are much better off in terms of the welfare of the people, the social safety net, fair wages and great benefits for the workers, universal health care that is excellent, etc.

      The US has been left in the dust in this regard, due to the control that Corporatists aligned now with major media sources (FoxNews) that constantly distort facts and lie and decieve the public.

      Pitiful situation.

  •  Incentivism makes sense only in stable, yet (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, JeffW, El Tomaso, divineorder

    dynamic markets in situation that mimics perfect competition, which implies regulatory coordination, not control and definitely not a freedom that condones Rovean kleptocracy in the political process. Taxes are only an instrument and perhaps only a minor carrot-like "extra" like banking's marketing deals for investment products. Banking's equivalent of auto dealer undercoating. Laffer/Phillips curving is based on questionable math and only more technocratic market regulation for financial products and money will ensure wealth objectives and equity.

    Over the last four decades, we've become a nation where the Laffer Curve is hardwired in our brains. A nation that believes in always carrots, never sticks. Republicans have pushed the idea that reducing taxes is an universally effective way of growing the economy. No matter what the problem, there's bound to be a tax cut to solve it.

    "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

    by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:13:34 AM PDT

  •  Eat the rich (6+ / 0-)

    EOM

    Afghanistan - Come for the lithium and stay for the opium.

    by BOHICA on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:15:03 AM PDT

  •  Super post! (12+ / 0-)

    Tax cuts are not the solution. In fact (if you're a conservative you may need to sit down for this) tax cuts are the problem.

    Why try to cure something with the poison that caused the problem in the first place?

  •  Of course you're right, but I'd take it a step (10+ / 0-)

    further. I've come to believe that even Obama's proposed middle class tax cut is a bad idea. For the life of me, I can't see how anyone can seriously think that tax rates at the end of the Clinton presidency were too high. (Remember the booming economy of the Clinton years?) Offering a middle class tax break now as a gesture which is supposed to somehow help stabilize mainstreet America only supports conservative propaganda.

    I realize that many middle class families are hurting (as a result of Wall Street and corporate greed and voodoo Reaganomics). But the way to truly help the middle class lies elsewhere, not in some bogus tax-cut fantasy-solution

    I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by Blue Knight on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:15:52 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps you are right. Robert Reich, (4+ / 0-)

      says no amount of stimulus will work, that we must raise back the dead and dying middle class  

      Ultimately, even if fiscal and monetary policy weren’t deadlocked, we’d still face the same conundrum. Say the White House and Ben Bernanke got everything they wanted to boost the economy. At some point these boosts would have to end. The economy would have to be able to run on its own.

      But it can’t run on its own because consumers have reached the end of their ropes.

      After three decades of flat wages during which almost all the gains of growth have gone to the very top, the middle class no longer has the buying power to keep the economy going. It can’t send more spouses into paid work, can’t work more hours, can’t borrow any more. All the coping mechanisms are exhausted.

      Anyone who thinks China will get us out of this fix and make up for the shortfall in demand is blind to reality.

      So what’s the answer? Reorganizing the economy to make sure the vast middle class has a larger share of its benefits. Remaking the basic bargain linking pay to per-capita productivity.

      OTOH, I cannot bring myself to get excited about going back to the 'good old days' of excessive consumerism crap buying and hummers and so forth... We need a transformation. I know, let it begin with me...

      •  a zombie middle class, while a noble growth goal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        must be accompanied by aggressive wealth redistribution. The Bush crime family has made us Banana Republicans ready for insurrection sans Tea.

        that we must raise back the dead and dying middle class  

        "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

        by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:33:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Volker basically agrees with him. NT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vicky, divineorder

        "The financial system is broken. We can use that term in late 2008, and I think it's fair to still use the term unfortunately." Paul Volker, 9/23/2010

        by JesseCW on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:43:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Says its broken. Volker recently told the Fed (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vicky, sherlyle, JesseCW, eXtina

          Paul Volcker Slams 'Broken' Financial System, Banks, Regulators

          His critique Thursday didn't stop with investment banks, according to the WSJ. Central banks, he said, became "maybe a little too infatuated with their own skills and authority."

          A problem with regulation, he said, is that it relies on human judgment. He also bemoaned regulators' lack of perceived authority, saying that a financier might tell a regulator, "We know more about banking and finance than you do, get out of my hair."

          As Bloomberg reported, Volcker said the mortgage system is "absolutely broken," and is the most pressing problem in the current economic situation. "It's going to take a long time to repair the basic disequilibrium in the economy," he added.

      •  We need an attitude adjustment (5+ / 0-)

        The upper class needs to stop believing that life is about money, and the middle class needs to stop believing that life is about buying stuff.

        A robust economy is based on a strong lower- and middle-class with buying and saving power and an equally strong manufacturing base that provides said buying and saving power.  Otherwise you end up with what we have now:  A service-based economy where the base is living on crumbs and the top is getting more and more top-heavy every day.  This cannot last.  

        The best instrument for management of the economy?  Tax policy.  And as for the attitude adjustment I mentioned?  Rotsa ruck wid dat........

        Liberal = We're all in this together
        Conservative = Every man for himself
        Who you gonna call?

      •  Stimulus will work in the short run, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rlharry, happymisanthropy

        but progressive taxation and less emphasis on Wall Street is really the only way out of this mess.

        Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

        by shpilk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:52:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is NO nation-based solution (0+ / 0-)

          That is the harsh reality of living in a global economy.

          Progressive taxation?  It worked in the past because the elite couldn't do anything about it--they had to grit their teeth and pay (well,l at least the ones who didn't get enough tax breaks and credits to not pay any taxes at all--like our current corporados).

          But now they CAN do something--they can pack up their entire business and move it to Somalia or Timbuktu, where they can still participate in the world economy and don't have to pay a nickel of our progressive taxes.

          The economic elite are global now. What this or that nation does, is no longer of any concern to them.

          •  Tit for tat (0+ / 0-)

            Sure, they can move to Somalia. Then you deny that company any and all access to your markets.
            Let's see how long they make it there.

            At that point, somebody still here will see a giant need, will accept the new terms and still get pretty wealthy doing it. Not obscenely wealthy, but pretty damn wealthy.

            I say we call their bluff. Just like Limbaugh didn't move to Costa Rica, these people won't leave either.

            Wealth doesn't mean shit if you have to live in fear for your life every day (which they would in Somalia).

      •  no one is listening to Robert Reich (0+ / 0-)
    •  In 100% agreement n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      If I show my support and enthusiasm for positive change, I create an environment that enables the change to be made even better.

      by Richard Cranium on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:03:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The anti-religionists may flame me for this (7+ / 0-)

    but this piece just happens to coincide spot on with a great sermon I heard last night on today's gospel reading

    Luke 16:19-31 (New International Version)

    The Rich Man and Lazarus
    19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
    22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell,[a] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

    25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

    27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

    29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

    30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

    31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:18:47 AM PDT

  •  from tax.com (14+ / 0-)

    So How Did the Bush Tax Cuts Work Out for the Economy?

    The 2008 income tax data are now in, so we can assess the fulfillment of the Republican promise that tax cuts would produce widespread prosperity by looking at all the years of the George W. Bush presidency.

    Just as they did in 2000, the Republicans are running this year on an economic platform of tax cuts, especially making the tax cuts permanent for the richest among us. So how did the tax cuts work out? My analysis of the new data, with all figures in 2008 dollars:

    Total income was $2.74 trillion less during the eight Bush years than if incomes had stayed at 2000 levels.

    Afghanistan - Come for the lithium and stay for the opium.

    by BOHICA on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:19:18 AM PDT

  •  Amen. Amen. Amen. A thousand times Amen. EOM (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, El Tomaso, Ezekial 23 20

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain

    by redux on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:22:07 AM PDT

  •  Good Idea! Unless, of course, (9+ / 0-)

    you hate people. Specifically, Americans, and more specifically, Americans who work for you.

    Do not underestimate the sheer visceral hatred the wealthy have for anyone and everyone, starting with themselves. My students among the most priveleged are the most unhappy, most drug addicted, most self-abusive and angry people I know. They mirror their parents. Their wealth has made them... sick.

    These Republican/Libertarians may be the purest expression of a political party based on Louis 16th Values since 1789. The "Let Them Eat Cake" party. And we KNOW how that turned out.  

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:22:15 AM PDT

  •  Very well said.... (11+ / 0-)

    My only observation would be that we should not be calling this economic downturn a recession.

    Rather, it is my opinion that the first decade of the 21st. century has marked the beginning of a fundamentally new social system in our country.

    We are rapidly returning to a system...whatever one wishes to call it... of a small ruling aristocracy of "haves" and a very large majority of "have nots"

    Witness the percentage of our children who go to college as vs. those of other western  countries.

    Witness how our manufacturing jobs have migrated to China,et. al...Ross Perot was essentially correct in his giant sucking sound statement, except that the recipient of our manufacturing job base was primarily China.

    Witness our tone deaf, rapacious career politicians who have caused the above.  Yes, as much as I admire Bill Clinton and I did vote for him.  It has been decades since I have voted for a Republican, Bill Clinton, via NAFTA, violated the good working people of our country by shipping their jobs overseas.

    I could go on, but most of you know the score as well as I do.

    I will continue to vote for and support Dems, but I no longer have much faith that the working people of our country stand much of a chance for more than day to day/paycheck to paycheck/unemployment check to unemployment check survival.

    I hope that our career politicians prove me wrong and start doing things like changing our tariffs to level the economic playing field for American manufactured goods, but I'm not holding my breath.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:23:15 AM PDT

    •  Valid points, all, Tomaso (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, sherlyle, El Tomaso

      Perot, however, was indeed correct regarding that giant sucking sound.  Our manufacturing base did indeed move to Mexico with the "maquiladora" phenomenon of the late '90s.  The early 2000s, however, did see the shift of manufacturing from Mexico to Asia, particularly China, and the border areas between Mexico and the U.S. now sport many ghost towns as a result.  Shame on us.....

      Liberal = We're all in this together
      Conservative = Every man for himself
      Who you gonna call?

      •  and now China is hearing the sucking sound, too (5+ / 0-)

        Since Chinese workers have lately begun striking (STRIKING!!!) for better pay and conditions, the corporados are already beginning the process of leaving China for the next new low-wage haven---Cambodia.

        That process will simply repeat itself until the corporados have gone through the entire planet, one country at a time.

        •  You are so correct. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated, rlharry, Vicky, Oye Sancho

          Multi-national corporations are truly calling the tunes in Washington; and indeed, all over the world.

          As long as they are allowed to buy the politicians, then American citizens will be living with a delusion of the electorate wielding power, while the reality will remain that multi-national corporations are running our country, setting the national agenda, etc.

          I wonder at those who support the above...and there are plenty who do at their own unknowing expense.

          As long as there are those gullible enough to believe in the "magic" of the totally free marketplace, a market place with absolutely no rules, we will never have true economic or social justice in our country or in the world.  My example of a totally free market would be the Sudan.  My sports analogy would be seeing a football game with no rules and no referees.

          After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

          by El Tomaso on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:04:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          El Tomaso

          100%.  Its called pilfering humanity.

          "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

          by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:26:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  as for tariffs . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vicky, El Tomaso, happymisanthropy

      the corporados have already made that impossible--the WTO already has veto power, literally, over any nation's action that limits "free trade"--such as tariffs.  And the TWO is unelected, acts in secret, and its decisions are unappealable.

      The supra-national corporados have already made it impossible for a nation--ANY nation, including ours--to assert its "national interest" against those of the international corporations. No national government, not even the big bad USA, has the power to stand against them and win.

      So national policies are now utterly irrelevant.

      If we want to have any hope whatever of matching the corporados, we MUST become international too, just like they are.

    •  the serfs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, rlharry, El Tomaso

      of times long ago only had to work about 3 months for their 'nobles' or land owners, the other 9 months they had to their own.  Today, us serfs spend all 12 months just trying to keep afloat in the living standard we strive for and even that doesn't suffice.

      "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:47:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  America, Inc. by M. Mintz and J. Cohen, 1973 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Tomaso

      primary points:

      --large corporations now own and operate the United States

      --government power is now a derivative of corporate power

      --we have reached an economic-political transition point: 51 of the world's largest 100 political-economic units are now (this is in 1973!!) multinational corporations rather than nation-states

      my own observation - the political and economic institutions were covered as separate institutions in intro sociology textbooks for decades - increasingly they are being covered as a single institution - the political economy or something like that

      "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

      by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:08:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed, and what is happening now is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        El Tomaso

        a repeat of what happened at the national level (in the US, Japan, Germany, UK and elsewhere) but this time at a GLOBAL scale instead of a mere national scale.

        It is now the ENTIRE PLANETARY ECONOMY, rather than just the nation, that is dominated by the multinationals. And just as national governments are based on economic power, so too are international ones---which is why the multinational corporations have already begun to set up an international political structure that safeguards its interests--of which the WTO is the most visible part.

        We are about to repeat the economic and political history of the 20th century--but at the international level this time.

  •  For the tiny minority at the top (7+ / 0-)

    A nation that believes in always carrots, never sticks.

    That's true as to the tiny minority at the top.  But balance has been maintained for the past 30 years by limiting the other 95% us to sticks and no carrots.

    American business is about maximizing shareholder value. You basically don't want workers. ~Allen Sinai

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:23:33 AM PDT

  •  to all the tax-cutters in both parties . . . . (14+ / 0-)

    Thanks to 30 years of everyone at the top not paying their share, my local libraries are closed three days a week, several local parks are now shut down, and the local bus service is raising fares 20% and cutting service routes.

    So thanks for nothing.

    •  somehow reich forgot to mention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlharry

      all the closing of tax loopholes in the budget proposal.

      •  Somehow you forgot to mention that (0+ / 0-)

        he's not talking about the overall budget.

        Keep arguing that automation that replaces workers is great thing to encourage in a jobs crisis, though.

        "The financial system is broken. We can use that term in late 2008, and I think it's fair to still use the term unfortunately." Paul Volker, 9/23/2010

        by JesseCW on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:54:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  whether it's a "great thing" or not, it's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Justanothernyer

          the reality.  Automation WILL replace most of us, whether we like it or not.  Just as it has already replaced most of us in the farming sector and the manufacturing sector, it will now replace most of us in the service sector too. A "jobs crisis" is now a permanent feature of a market economy--and that should not be surprising, since to the business owners, employees are EXPENSES, not "people", and the aim of any business owner is to CUT EXPENSES (i.e., eliminate jobs).

          So what we need to be talking about is how to insure that people can still survive in a world where income is based on jobs but where there are not enough jobs for everyone.

          What we will see, inevitably, whether both parties like it or not, will be the massive resurgance of the welfare state. It has simply become a necessity.

          The Repug free-market no-taxes agenda is already dead, no matter what we (or they) do. There is simply no way to avoid it.

          •  Absolutely correct, Lenny (0+ / 0-)

            Automation is great.  It relieves the physical stress of work on people and reduces the physical risk to people as well.  On the other hand, it reduces the number of jobs available to people, and therefore reduces the number of people who can afford the products produced by the new automated processes.  Hooray for automation!!  

            The key to it all, I suppose, is, as you mention, the new welfare state, where the new profits from automation are used to provide for those whose livelihood has been eliminated by it.  I'm sure the capitalist class will enthusiastically embrace that concept.  Rotsa ruck wid dat.......

            Liberal = We're all in this together
            Conservative = Every man for himself
            Who you gonna call?

            •  a story about Henry Ford (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              opinionated, Calamity Jean

              perhaps apocryphal:

              One day, Henry Ford was taking UAW President Walter Reuther on a tour of an experimental Ford plant, in which automated robots had replaced all the workers.  As they walk along amidst all the whirring robotic arms, Ford turned to Reuther and triumphantly asked, "Well, Walter, how do you intend to get these robots to go out on strike?"  And Reuther shot back, "Well, Henry, how do YOU intend to get these robots to buy cars?"

              That is indeed the fatal contradictory flaw in the entire capitalist system--the one that will inevitably kill it and replace it with a social system that is NOT based on job income.

        •  right because inefficient obsolete (0+ / 0-)

          factories that only compete by reducing wages are a better idea.

    •  I do a fair amount of genealogical research (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated

      and increasingly county courthouses are only allowing citizens to use the local courthouse for such research one or two days a week -- because they are cutting staff so drastically.

      "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

      by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:15:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  people seem not to understand that if (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated, rlharry

        we want government services, we have to PAY for them.

        I don't mind paying taxes for government services.  I do mind paying taxes for corporate bailouts and unnecessary wars halfway around the world--but alas there's not much I can do about that at the moment . . .

        But what really annoys me are the selfish greedy rich bastards in the top 10% who don't want to pay their fair share.

  •  who knew that constant commercialsiam and greed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TampaCPA, JeffW, divineorder

    could have created this type need in the top tiers of U.S.society?

    Who could have guessed?

  •  In the University I studied Finance, (4+ / 0-)

    when what I should have studied was Campaign Finance.

  •  Robert Reich is reliably wrong on every issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky

    and this is no exception

    investments in plant and equipment are important for the economy. Obama is attempting to divert investment from the worthless "service economy" that Reich has been championing for years into manufacturing. That's because Obama knows more about the economy than Reich, not hard since Reich seems to know nothing about anything.

    •  liberal policy wonks kowtowed to DLC economic (7+ / 0-)

      policies that brought us the recent crisis.

      "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

      by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:35:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If there is a DLC economist in this discussion (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vicky, Benintn

        it's Reich, who has been touting the service economy for decades and explaining that we don't need manufacturing. He's also not a particularly honest debater since he forgets, for example

        Oil companies would lose $39 billion in tax breaks and the budget would raise $24 billion over the next decade by closing a loophole for certain investment managers.

        •  Riddle me this, though... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          How are we going to compete in the manufacturing economy against nations like China that have no labor regs and basically enslave their people?

          15 million voters in 39 days. Sign up at OFA today.

          by Benintn on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:47:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  by automation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annieli

            and by encouraging the union movement in China.

          •  it's still about product markets trade agreements (0+ / 0-)

            and a smarter US industrial policy

            "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

            by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:55:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  our entire approach is wrong (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vicky, annieli

              Here in the US all of us, both left and right, approach economic trouble as a NATIONAL problem, to be solved on a NATIONAL level.

              It's not.

              We are a global economy, based on supra-national entities who answer to no government, and who are larger, richer and more powerful than ANY national government--including ours.

              There simply is no longer any such thing as a "national" economy, and any attempt to protect or defend one through any "national policy" or "national movement", is a lost cause.  It simply no longer exists.

              The economy is international; the economic power is international. And we will not ever be able to equal that economic power (much less change it) until we, too, become international.

              •  true dat, but the only start to a policy is (0+ / 0-)

                national law unless you've got a trilateral commission in your pocket

                "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

                by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:16:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  along with the buildup of international economic (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Vicky

                  power must inevitably follow the buildup of international POLITICAL power---just as the "nation" has become irrelevant economically and is replaced by international economic structures, so too has the "nation-state" become irrelevant politically, and will inevitably be replaced by international political structures--and the corporados have already begun that process.

                  The corproados have already built international political structures,--the WTO, the IMF.  These are based on the UN, which is itself the seeds of an international political structure.  The current problem with it is that it is utterly undemocratic (it was designed that way) and is dominated by the handful of rich nations--which is precisely why the rich nations will utilize the UN framework as the basis for their new international political order.

                  But the poor nations (and poor people) of the world are now no longer powerless. We have the ability to force the UN to democratize, by degrees, and turn it into a real international government. It is, in essence, the very same process we have ALREADY done to democratize national governments, but this time we must repeat it on an INTERNATIONAL scale instead.

                  Just as we once fought for national democracy, now we must fight for international democracy.

                  Yes, it will be a very long and very difficult process. But it must be done.

          •  easy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            Force the companies in China (or anywhere else) to grant labor regs and equalize the pay.

            If we are paid X, and China is paid one-tenth X, then we have a choice----either we:

            1.  Lower our wages to match theirs, or
            1.  Raise their wages to match ours.

            Which do you prefer?

            In the 80's, when all the outsourcing first began as the global economy went international, we still had some of the largest and richest labor unions in the world.  We had the resources to tell all the American corporations, "if you open a Ford plant in China, you better damn well make sure that the Chinese workers there are getting paid the same wage for the same job as we are---and if you don't, we will follow you everywhere you go and ORGANIZE THOSE WORKERS to make sure they do".

            Instead, the American unions forgot the meaning of the words "solidarity" (and "whipsawing"), and treated the foreign workers as their enemies.

            Now we are paying the price.

            The solution, however, remains the same----unions now must be organized on a COMPANY basis rather than a geographical basis.  Every Ford worker in the company must be covered by the same contract under the same union with the same wage scale for EVERYBODY, no matter WHERE they are----if you do job A, then you get paid X, whether you are in Tennessee or Tibet or Timbuktu.

            The corporations are multi-national.  We must be, too.

          •  by (0+ / 0-)

            enforcing fair trade laws.  However, we don't have any fair trade laws therefore the US manufacturing sector swirls in circles in the globalist toilet.

            "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

            by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:29:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "fair trade laws" are already a dead solution (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vicky

              The multinational corporados have already made it impossible for any nation--including the big bad USA--to assert its "national interests" against the multinationals.  The WTO already has veto power, literally, over any "fair trade law" by any nation, including ours, that acts to "restrain free trade".  And the WTO makes its decisions in secret, by unelected officials, who cannot be appealed.

              The entire notion of a "national economy" or a "national trade policy", is dead as a mackerel. The multinational corporations are larger, richer and more powerful than any national government--including ours.  "National economies" no longer exist, and "national governments" are no longer relevant.  They are quaint relics of the 20th century.

          •  By tariffing the hell out of products from China (0+ / 0-)

            Free trade is no holy grail; it’s only good for a country if it can sell more cheaply than another nation.
            Why we haven’t protected our economy from the products made in China is because our corporations are making windfall profits manufacturing there, and then giving us a trade deficit that is destroying or treasury and the value of the dollar.

            Corporate America is partners with Red China in raping the American middle classed and destroying America’s industrial base. We ought to sent those greedy leaches to live in China and raise a tariff so large they can’t sell here, practically overnight new industry will grow up here to service the American Market which although credit feed now is still the largest single market in the world.

            Corporate America doesn’t give a good damned what they do to this country, and they are too stupid to see when they are finisher raping this economy and wrecking this country there will be no American Military might to protect them and their plants from Red China and other third world peoples.

            It is time to take our government back end "Globalism" and rebuild and protect our domestic industry and thus economy. People like Robert Reich are the bondservants of the Plutarchs destroying our economy. Anything that Reich has to say is wrong because it in interest of the Plutarchs he serves and not the American People.  

            Roosevelt saved American capitalism (corporate America) by laying the ground work that allowed the growth a middle class capable of consuming industry’s products and building in regulations and agencies to protect the people from predatory corporations. I don’t think we ought to save them this time because they have proven ungrateful, tyrannical and treasonous.  

            Myself I prefer a Democratically run well regulated economy and industry to Corporate Socialism (Fascism) where about four percent of the population have all the money and control the government and the rest of the population live in abject banana republic poverty. Never doubt it that is exactly where we are headed.  I favor ANY action short of unmusical murder that will stop these Fascists, at this point it is them or us and they are playing a zero sum game, therefore we need to do the same thing and our numbers are hundreds of thousands greater. Any time we decide we can end their ugly reign Now I don’t advocate killing them but I think they would make a lovely class of sanitation engineers.

            The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

            by Bobjack23 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:51:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  impossible (0+ / 0-)

              The WTO (which the US did more than anyone to set up) now has direct veto power (literally) over any action taken by any government (including ours) that acts in "restraint of free trade"--and that includes tariffs.

              And the WTO acts in secret through unelected officials whose decisions cannot be appealed.

              The "American nationalism" that you are so in love with, is now utterly irrelevant. Our "national interests" simply don't matter to the multinationals, any more than the "national interests" of any other country does.  Indeed, the WTO and the rest of the multinational economic structure was set up specifically so no "nation" CAN stand against the multinationals.

              The "nation-state" is dead.  The corporados killed it. Time to move beyond it.

              If we are to have any hope at all of taking on the multinationals, we MUST become international and supranational too, just like they are. Any attempts to fight them further on purely national-based grounds, will continue to fail.  The corporados will just stomp us all into the mud, one nation at a time.  No nation is strong enough to fight them--not even the big bad USA.

              The nation-based world you are defending, no longer exists.  (shrug)

              •  To hell with that and the WTO (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                opinionated

                The WTO is a BS organization that violates our national sovereignty that came with the Constitution. The WTO was formed by the people who are raiding our economy from corporate boardrooms.

                Show me their army.

                They can't enforce a damned thing. They have no real power unless we cede it to them.

                (double shrug)

                I say we can tell the WTO to go piss up a rope and I'm in favor of doing just that. Giving away our national sovereignty was unconstitutional if was not within Bill Clinton's or any Presidents power to do so nor did the power belong to the Senate, ergo and we are not bound by it and agreements to the WTO that limits our sovereignty.

                No nation is strong enough to fight them--not even the big bad USA.

                That the nation state is dead is fiction that is only true if we agree to that.

                I’d be glad to test that theory tomorrow.

                The"corporado's" have no army and they are not bullet proof.

                I say it is them who would not survive a real contest of wills.

                Moreover I think they should not survive as they are modern tyrants and a threat to every democratic government in the world and of course are not democratic themselves.

                This world is not a Robert Heinlein novel nor was it ever meant or agreed to be one. What you have is an opinion that would not stand a test of muscle and will.

                Basically you say we should fight these thieves and despoilers on the illegimate ground they created behind the backs of the world’s democracies, no thank you. I say lets put it to a vote with a test military muscle. It would be over in about a month or less. We are that big and bad relatively speaking and it is time to show it!

                Hell they have only done what they have done behind our power, it is time to jerk that power away from them and us it on them if they make trouble about it. Like I say they would make a good class of janitors and ought to be made so as penalty for their thieving crimes.

                The WTO is something only if this nation State says so.  What is running out of time is Globalism and most first world nation states are probably about now ready to agree to that. I love to test the WTO’s supposed power...without this nation state it does not exist.

                (A couple more shrugs)

                The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                by Bobjack23 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:16:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They aleady are enforcing their will (0+ / 0-)

                  It is happening all over the world. Including in the U.S. Our own states, counties, cities, municipalities that are in violation of THEIR laws have to PAY them!!

                  I don't have access to the data and examples at the moment, but could find that info.

                  "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

                  by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:39:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Like I said, only so long as we agree to (0+ / 0-)

                    If we tell them go to hell they have no real power to enforce rules or fines. If we get our government back from the corporate crooks there is not a way in hell the WTO can enforce their will if that government does not cooperate.

                    The WTO treaties are as unconstitutional as they can be therefore they are null and void the minute our government says so.  Let the WTO try and enforce them if our government stands against them...they cannot. Our illegitimate bought out and completely undermined phoney democracy is the only power they have here. If we recapture that government the Globalists are done, WTO and all.  Globalism and the WTO is not in the best interest of 95% of American people and more and more of them are seeing that with every passing day...it’s just a matter of time until the scales of justice get rebalanced here, peaceably I hope, but if not any other way is alright with me as this tyranny of corporations over our citizens that has ruined OUR democracy cannot be allowed to continue whatever it takes.

                    Let the WTO make one serious ruling that hurts our corporate Oligarchs and you'd soon see just how much power it has. We only have the WTO screwing us over because the Multinationals mostly based here set it up for their benefit. To my mind that is unjust, illegal and treasonous. I am far from alone in thinking that there are serious powers within this nation getting fed up with the current state of affairs and the population will support them any time that they want and get ready to change things inside or outside the law that is now wielded by illegitimate an power through graft, corruption and outright bribery.

                    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                    by Bobjack23 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:58:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  easy to say . . . (0+ / 0-)

                  Not so easy to do.

                  No nation, not even the mighty US of A, can stand alone against the power of the multinationals.

                  The neocons tried, and failed miserably.

                  You're welcome to try again if you like.  You won't do any better.

                  •  Someone has really messed up your head Lenny... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...The Globalist, Neo-Cons and Neo-Liberals all work for and with and for the Multinationals, they are of a set piece. All together it’s a plutocracy of worldwide proportions and it’s the biggest scam yet in world history.

                    I don't have to do a damned thing Lenny boy the whole business is so poorly concaved and badly excruciated that it is going to implode of its own ignorance, outrageous greed and complete mismanagement of a complex world it does not understand.

                    The Globalists will be destroyed by the ill and social chaos have and are creating daily. It’s too damned bad they are hurting so many others with their greed and stupidity but I guess there is no help for it when one is dealing with megalomaniacal morons with more power than they know how to handle.

                    The only thing Globalism is creating is chaos, and worldwide economic and ecological turmoil. These people are megalomaniacs, completely certifiable...they ought to be caged up for their own and others good before they get themselves and many other killed.

                    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                    by Bobjack23 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:36:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Reich is mostly correct (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          Manufacturing is not inherently any more high-wage than any other industry---it was only high-wage in the US because we had a strong union movement in manufacturing that MADE it high-wage.  In areas where there is no strong union movement (such as China) manufacturing jobs are low-wage bad-condition shit jobs, just like service-sector McDonalds jobs are here.

          The low-wage shit-job service sector could be transformed into high-wage good-condition jobs in the very same way that manufacturing jobs were---with a strong union movement.

          Alas for us, however, the economy is now global and international, while the union movement is not. And as long as the union movement (and progressivism in general) attempts to fight on solely a national basis, we will continue to lose--the multi-nationals will stomp us into the ground one nation at a time.

          They are international.  We must be too, if we are to have any hope of equalling them.

        •  I don't agree with you entirely, citizen (0+ / 0-)

          but it is very dangerous for any society today when they abandon industry AND when they abandon agriculture. Mutinationalism and globalism are important movements whose time has come -- but to engage in them without maintaining one's own self-sufficiency is foolish, foolish, foolish.

          "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

          by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:17:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  but the end of self-sufficiency can be a good (0+ / 0-)

            thing IF it leads to a unified global political and economic structure.  Think of the US--it doesn't matter if California is self-sufficient in raisins and New Hampshire isn't--there's a cooperative structure that allows them to share their products without rancor, within the greater framework.

            If the same thing can happen between the US and Somalia, say, then I view that as a good thing.

            And indeed that it exactly the direction we are heading in, thanks to the corporados (who, I think, don't fully understand the effects of what they are doing).  We are moving more and more towards a unified global economy and, along with it, a unified global political structure.  A world government, in which national interests simply don't matter anymore.

            I view that as a good thing.

            Of course, I am not an "American nationalist", and I have no interest in promoting ANY nation's interests above those of humanity as a whole.

            Which makes me a very small minority.

            But, unfortunately for the American nationalists, the economic power is against them.

            •  I doubt that is ever going to happen (0+ / 0-)

              in this world. It's is ideal, certainly. But unlikely to happen. There will always be tribal, agricultural, industrial, and service-based societies. And they each have their own types of perspectives. And are not going to agree.

              We also need to keep in mind that regressions WILL occur. The U.S. regressed in terms of worldview after 9/11 just like an individual faced with a major catastrophe will regress to survival-mode.

              Our looming climate crises could lead to regression back to hunting-and-gathering! As could nuclear warfare.

              We always need to balance our rights and our responsibilities -- our need for self-sufficiency with our contributions to the larger wholes of which we are a part.

              "Statistics are people with the tears washed away." Sociologist Ruth Sidel

              by Vicky on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:30:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think it COULDN'T happen previously (0+ / 0-)

                The basis for a global structure simply wasn't there.

                Now, however, it is.  We are, in the truest sense, a global world now.  Economically, for sure---nobody anywhere is "self-sufficient" anymore. All of us, everywhere, are utterly dependent upon others for virtually everything we have. Even the food we eat comes from somewhere else.

                And as the process of "Coca-colonization" progresses, we will turn into a global culture and global society as well.

                Global government, follows inevitably.

    •  the manufacturing sector is not what it was (5+ / 0-)

      nor does it need to be.  In early human hisotry, most people were farmers, because farming was so inefficient that it took hue amounts of resources to produce enough for everyone.  Today, farmers make up less than ten percent of our population, and that ten percent produces enough to feed everybody.

      The same is happening with manufacturing. Manufacturing used to take up a majority of our population, because it was so inefficient that it required that many people to produce everything for us.  Now, that is no longer true--manufacturing, like farming, requires only a tiny part of our population--which is able to produce enough for everyone.

      Once manufacturing (like farming) required only a small portion of our population, the majority of us became service-sector. And the very same thing is already happening to the service sector as to farming and manufacturing--automation and technical advances mean that the same amount of work can be done by continually fewer and fewer people, and as the sector becomes more efficient, the number of people employed in that sector goes down. Soon, the service sector, like manufacturing and farming, will require only a small part of the population to produce even more than it does now.

      What that also means, though, is that "employment" itself will become less and less necessary to the economy. As the economy becomes more and more efficient, "workers" become less and less necessary--leading to greater and greater "normal" unemployment.

      And THAT is a challenge that capitalism cannot meet. In an economy where everyone's necessities of life are utterly dependent upon job income, it is fatal (both metaphorically and physically) to have a large proportion of the population permanently jobless--and that is exactly what will happen.

      That leaves two choices--either a permanent large mass of unemployed, who will be forced to do what they must in order to survive, or a complete revamping of the economic system to insure that the necessaries of life go to people whether they have job income or not.

      We have, as a society, already socialized (though nor democratized) the entire production process.  What we will be forced to do in the near future, though, is socialize the DISTRIBUTION process as well, to find the most effective way to get economic goods to people WITHOUT basing it on job income.

  •  Speaking of carrot juice (5+ / 0-)

    Someone needs to get he orange man's appearance on Fox News up. He was talking about accountability while at the same time not taking a position on anything he could later be held accoutable for. He dodged what the would cut, he dodged how he would voye if only the middle class tax cuts were in play, he dodged a permanent bam on earmarks. He looked like a fool on Fox News.

    Some people have short memories

    by lenzy1000 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:40:28 AM PDT

  •  Shameless self-promotion... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    Read my $%%&^ blog, Kos!

    It's actually related to this topic of taxes and carrot juice.

    15 million voters in 39 days. Sign up at OFA today.

    by Benintn on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:44:04 AM PDT

  •  That thing the rest of us are dealing with... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ezekial 23 20

    it's not a recession, because the "recession" ended last year....

    The big problem with the "great recession" meme is that it invites us to look on the current clusterf*** as merely a "recession" which we might therefore expect to run the course of cyclical recessions, which it is not and therefore is not going to follow the usual course.  Not sure what to call it, though, that doesn't involve obscenities...

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:45:02 AM PDT

  •  Whiny bankers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, eXtina

    I don't wish them actual harm, but it would be good for the country if they thought of Ceausescu's fate once a day. Might give them an incentive to reform.

    The only newscaster on Fox that you can trust is Kent Brockman.

    by Van Buren on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:45:26 AM PDT

  •  Thank you! The propaganda has (9+ / 0-)

    succeded.  For thirty years, we've been fed a load of crap.  Only completely manipulated data supports the tax cut BS.  And as long as money is allowed to control our elections, we'll keep getting nothing but propaganda.  Thanks, Mark.  

    Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." -- Patti Smith

    by followyourbliss on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:47:37 AM PDT

  •  The Rich Are Pigs (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry but I don't even consider them the slightest bit human. If that hurts anyone's feelings then I'll further hurt those feeling by categorically stating that I don't give a shit.

    •  Eat the Rich. Emeril Lagasse says"Pork fat rules" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Lone Apple

      n/t

      "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni), AND........."I don't vote for a Teabagger God"

      by annieli on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:07:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thr problem is, there are wealthy people... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vicky

      ...who do have a conscience.

      We can't judge a person's character by the content of their portfolio. But we can make a reasonable, mathematic assessment of the influence that the balance of wealth and taxation have on our society, and not be afraid of the conclusion we reach.

      Admittedly there is always a tendency to defend whatever you become, to identify with the group. But there are very wealthy people doing very beneficial things for the world. The obvious example that comes to mind is Warren Buffett. He has lit and carried a torch for our side of the taxation question. The flip side is people who started poor, working for the common good, but in that pursuit became familiar enough with wealth and its comfort that they changed for the worse. Charlie Rangel, perhaps?

      Short version: Money doesn't stink, people do.

      I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

      by labradog on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:20:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right on the money!! (5+ / 0-)
    Yeah, pun fully intended.  The idea that cutting taxes on the wealthy stimulates the economy is absurd.  A perfect example:  A rich guy gets a big tax cut.  He goes out and spends a couple hundred million on fine art.  You know, Rembrandt, Picasso, that kind of stuff.  He takes it home and hangs it on the wall.  So there's a couple hundred million just sitting there.  Nobody gets a job because of it, nobody can take that money and lend it to a small business, it just sits there.  So much for stimulating the economy.  

    One of the great failures of our government these days is the failure to structure tax policy with an eye toward the common good.  Shameful.  

    Don't worry, though.  As soon as those Jaguars and Ferraris start losing their transmissions to the monster pot-holes left unrepaired because of shrinking municipal budgets they'll get the picture.  Then they'll start throwing billions and billions into the Everybody Fund and everything'll be fine.  

    No, really, I'm serious.  Trust me.

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

    •  Or... (0+ / 0-)

      rich guy gets a tax cut and buys an 1890 townhouse in my neighborhood for $2.3M, then hires guys to restore it over the next couple of years, throwing down another $400K. Or buys that Ferrari, drives into a pothole and then hires a mechanic to fix it. While it's being fixed, he can afford to eat at the fancy restaurant down the street that employs as a waitress the college girl whose paying her tuition and the line cook who's hoping for an audition in a new play.

      BTW, this isn't even the rich guy with "a couple hundred million" to buy a painting. It's just the local investment banker with a $500K income and the itch to spend it on stuff. More power to him.

  •  Mark, you nailed the problem in your (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, rlharry, surfdog, eXtina

    first paragraph:

    "...they're pouring record levels of money into Republican campaigns, just to make sure that Democrats get the point."

    Until the laws on contributions to politicians change there will be no changes in Washington. Any cash donation, however small or large, is a bribe.

  •  Ergo vote Democrat? (0+ / 0-)

    For the elite there are no material problems, only PR problems. Time for a new elite.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:09:16 AM PDT

  •  America's golden age of the good life for all... (4+ / 0-)

    ...was, as is touted by left and right alike, the 1950s and 1960s. When all was economically right with our world, families could thrive, and we enjoyed living in clean towns, with good schools, and one income was enough to achieve this and retire on.

    That golden age took place with top marginal rates at 70%-90%, and with capital gains rates as high as 36.5%

    Our well regulated capitalist and adequately taxed  economy became a goose that produced such a regular supply of golden eggs that certain members of the wealthiest class were willing to jam both fists and a billion-dollar lobbying industry up the goose's backside to grab more. The goose, as a result, isn't doing so fucking well.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:10:07 AM PDT

  •  Revolutions in the US over tea and taxes (0+ / 0-)

    has been that way, may be it will be again?

    Why isn't the march to Washington on 10/02/10 about taxes? Can they bring all their sticks? Throwing the tea(party) in the dumpster and drown them in their donors carrot juice.

    I mean it's all about the money anyhow, better make the revolution all over the taxes and the money, because anything else seems to fail.

    Still looking out for the definitive slogan for the marchers on 10/02/10.

  •  Jon Stewart summed it up the best... (14+ / 0-)

    When "reporting" on the president's town hall on CNBC and the Wall street guy complained that his cohorts felt like they were being beat up with a stick like a pinata. Asked when will it stop.

    Stewart's reply, "WHEN THE CANDY COMES OUT!!!!!"

    "Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal" -- Logical Song -- Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

    by Over50Lib on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:14:05 AM PDT

  •  Amen. nt (0+ / 0-)

    If you feel insulted by anything I've said, find out if it was intentional. I'll let you know if you ask.

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:16:24 AM PDT

  •  yup (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, rlharry, Ezekial 23 20, DRo

    My sentiments exactly.

    I want to tax the holy crap out of them.

    I haven't worked in 3 years and 4 months, so forgive me if my empathies do not lie with Wall Street banksters who robbed us blind and continue to do so.

    Wall Street is upset

    Talking mean is actually too kind for these empowered titans of the world (thank you SCOTUS).

  •  I like carrots (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Oye Sancho, maryabein

    preferably dug strait outta the ground and then rinsed with water. But I especially like this:

    There's only one thing I want from these guys -- I want to tax the holy crap out of them.

    Hizell yeahz!!!

  •  Oh and one more big 'FUCK YOU' by Wall Street (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, rlharry, Ezekial 23 20
    They're getting their bonuses early, just in case the Bush tax cuts for the very rich expire.

    Just another 'Fuck You' to everyone else who bailed out their dumb asses.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:26:31 AM PDT

  •  More voodoo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    "Government jobs are no less real, no less honorable, and no less necessary than those created by private industry."

    This is screwy. Beyond the necessary (somebody has to be hired to ignore the ringing phones and to transfer you to the wrong dept.), government jobs create no productive wealth because they, you know, don't actually produce anything. They non-productively transfer wealth from the pockets of the taxed to the pocket of the government worker. The whole hope is that the pockets of the taxed keep filling. Any tax policy (any economy) that doesn't concentrate on the filling-up part is eventually doomed.

  •  let's give everyone a tax cut (0+ / 0-)

    Mr. Sumner is right of course, but I think talks about this in the wrong way.  The president seems to want to give everyone a tax cut.  Rates would increase for those making >$250K/yr but even they get the cuts on what they make that's <$250K/yr.  The only argument is about having an extraordinary low rate for those at the very top.  Why isn't the case stated this way?  Why are we talking about it as the "stick" not carrot, when it's a lower tax?   <br>And yes, focus on jobs.  State how many (most?) pay more in Social Security and Medicare than income tax, and these are taxes only on workers.  

    •  Let's not. (0+ / 0-)

      Unless by 'tax cut' for the rich, you mean 'tax increase'.

      The times America does well are when the wealthiest pay more.

      As we've seen over the last 40 years, giving them 'tax cuts' makes the economy sink ever downward.

      If you feel insulted by anything I've said, find out if it was intentional. I'll let you know if you ask.

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:24:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  even you don't understand (0+ / 0-)

        and that's terribly disappointing,  My point is this: cutting taxes for the first $250K  of income IS a cut for everybody (or at least everybody that pays anything).  But nobody calls it that!  Even if you make $500K you get the lower rate on your first $250; i.e., you get the same cut as someone making $250K.  You just don't get MORE.  Republicans are not holding middle-class cuts hostage to cuts for the wealthy/ultra-wealthy, rather they hold middle-class cuts hostage to the lack of BIGGER cuts for the wealthy.  They insist the cut for a $1M/yr income must be even BIGGER than dems propose.  Why don't people state it this way.  THAT drives me crazy

  •  I love the title of this diary (0+ / 0-)

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:43:02 AM PDT

  •  Frack tax cuts that don't do (0+ / 0-)
    any good if you don't pay taxes.
  •  Mike Pence was on MTP (4+ / 0-)

    this morning - attempting to spew this same bullshit that tax cuts for the rich = prosperity.  It is pure bull.  Economic analysis that is not funded by right wing think tanks, invariably shows that a progressive tax policy similar to that of the pre-Reagan years, makes for economic growth.  It is clear that fairer wages, sensible benefits, respect for the employee, the reduction of outlandish management and CEO compensation all contribute to a healthier and more prosperous society.

    As an older American, I am so very sad that somehow this grand lie was sold to our people.  It is a tragedy.  Corporatist vultures, starting under Reagan and taken to the extreme under GWB, hijacked the output of the American worker and took it to their banks.  They truly sucked the life blood out of the American people.

    And Pence and the GOP are trying to fuck the American middle/working class and the poor once again!

  •  No excuse for Obama to extend the cuts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, eXtina

    The cuts will not be extended unless Obama signs a bill to do so.  This should be the number one point we all understand.

  •  Are Repubs Idiots...or are they LIARS...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ezekial 23 20

    Refutation confirms bias !

    And instead of advocacy and constituent education, Dems say almost nothing ...unless complicit media accedes to a fair hearing. And how often does that happen?

    And when it does, media emerges and says, "You're both wrong!"

  •  Amen and Hallelujah! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, rlharry, Vicky, maryabein, eXtina

    I've explained this to a number of truly liberal friends. Mostly they are lower-information voters who don't follow politics as much as most here at DKos. Their reaction?

    In almost every case, they say (generalized & paraphrased): "But that's such a negative way to view our situation. We can't really be at such a major clash of ideologies."

    I'm beginning to think there is a Liberal mindset that "requires" a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). Personally, I've seen that mindset carry smart people into ruin simply through an unwillingness to consider negatives, risk and worst-case scenarios. Many times, I have been told "You're so negative" because I insist on considering negatives attached to a course of action.

    PMA may distort the Liberal real world as deeply as Christianist, Right-wing ideology distorts their real world. PMA may be The Liberal Disease.

    Well, our situation ... CAN be that bad, it IS that bad ... and if Liberals don't pull their heads out of their asses and DO something about it we're in for a couple of very tough generations.

    Political Correctness Police: may your puckered, disapproving lips forever cover your donuts.

    by FeloniousMonk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:53:23 AM PDT

    •  It's either the Positive Mental Attitude (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, FeloniousMonk

      mantra that is generated or the "crazies" that are
      running for office that is supposed to "goose" us into
      working for the Democrats.  Example:  we are supposed to
      work our tails off to keep those evil Republicans from
      privatizing our social security, while the cat food
      commission will be delivering cuts to social security
      in the lame duck session.  I wonder how the PMA is going
      to work out after that?

    •  I happen (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, rlharry, FeloniousMonk

      to agree totally with that assessment.  I have seen it repeatedly by various individuals on this site.  I can only assume they were so traumatized by the horror of the bush administration and the republicans, rightfully so as it is, that they lost focus on what is actually reasonable, sustainable and doable.  Then the republican insanity feeds into this vicious psycho-political circle.

      "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 09:00:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We can't even (4+ / 0-)

    get a Democratic Congress to get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, something they campaigned on, something they screamed from the rooftops about for the last 8-10 years.

    After reading Orzsag's Op-Ed from a few weeks ago, how do we know that there is full support in the administration for ditching the Bush tax cuts?

    So, while it sounds good to do more things to tax the wealthiest, it looks like we're being thoroughly screwed by Congress and possibly even some in the administration.

    It's mind blowing.  Even with Democrats standing to lose the House, there is a substantial number of Democrats wanting to hold on to those tax cuts for the wealthiest few.  The constituents who would benefit from those cuts can't be more than a few percent of the voters in their districts.  Apparently, the party doesn't have much leverage over them, or they don't care too much about holding onto their seats.  Or maybe they're getting a mixed message.  One would think that the party could tell these Bush tax cut lovers that if they don't vote to renew the cuts for the middle class only, they will receive no help from the party, no money and no support for their reelection.  One would think they'd be getting these ultimatums.  But are they?  This is the time when the Dem leadership should have the strongest rein on the caucus.  But it looks like they don't.

    Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Sen. race for Huffington Post's "Eyes and Ears 2010" project

    by joanneleon on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:56:24 AM PDT

  •  Minor disagreement... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, PJEvans, Ezekial 23 20

    ...and it isn't really a disagreement, as such. More of a suggestion of how an effective tax cut or at least shift of tax burden could help. And it isn't my idea. It is Robert Reich's idea:

    Remove (or at least raise) the cap on FICA taxes, and cut them for the lowest income levels.

    This would give an immediate benefit to the "working poor." To families that are either not or are just barely making ends meet. It's giving money to people who not just want to spend it, but need to spend it. To people who are choosing not to get medical care, to people who want to buy better food, more clothes, pay their rent, keep their home, maybe even buy a car.

    Such a tax cut would almost immediately have an impact on economic activity and it would make life genuinely and measurably better for the people who receive it.

    But who lobbies for the poor? They don't have any money...

  •  Well aren't you a piece of work R$ch$e R$ch (0+ / 0-)

    Living in denial with all that money is insanity.
    Your insanity is showing!

  •  Two radical ideas for the economy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Vicky, Ezekial 23 20
    1. Raise the minimum wage. That's the quickest way to get money in the hands of people who will turn around and spend it, boosting consumption and creating demand for more goods and services - and jobs. There's been negative pressure on wages for decades. We have to start reversing that trend somewhere.
    1. Lower the age at which people can collect full Social Security and remove the cap on income taxed to fund Social Security - right now anything above about $105,000 is not taxed, if I recall correctly. This will help keep Social Security stable (not that there's a problem yet despite what the Rightwing claims), it will give many people economic security at a time in life when they are most vulnerable so they can start spending again, and it will open up jobs as young people move up to fill those jobs left by retirees.

    Now unlike Republicans, I'm not going to claim this will be easy to do.  It will take some adjustments in attitudes, huge fights in Congress, and will face the united wrath of the entire right wing echo machine and the big money behind it. But it's still time to start raising these ideas because it is necessary if for no better reason than to shove the Overton Window back to where it reflects views that actually benefit most Americans, not just the few at the top.

    How hard is it to push that message after all, when the alternative flatly proclaims Americans will have to work harder for less, and work until they die so that Billionaires can keep their taxes low. When they start screaming that it will cost jobs and hurt the economy, the response should be easy. Where are the jobs and how strong is the economy after decades of rewarding the rich for just being rich?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:07:35 AM PDT

    •  raising OUR minimum age won't help much (0+ / 0-)

      The corporados will just move even more jobs to places like China or Cambodia where they can pay workers two cups of rice a day and we can't compete.

      What WILL help, though, is raising the minimum wage THERE. When people in China or Cambodia are paid the same as we are, then there's no longer any incentive for American businesses to move there.

      The alternative, of course, is to lower OUR wages to match THEIRS, which also removes the incentive . . .

      Which do we prefer?

      •  Actually, it's already happening (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rlharry

        In a skewed way.The Chinese have been allowing strikes at factories owned by foreign companies. State-owned ones are still very much under control. At a guess, this is China's way of squeezing out foreign competition once they've assimilated the technology and keeping their competitive advantage.

        But hey, if American businesses want to ship more work overseas, fine. How about a Value Added Tax on imported goods, or a carbon tax for shipping those same goods all the way across the Pacific when they could be made here?

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 12:15:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  alas, problems abound . . . (0+ / 0-)

          The Chinese have been allowing strikes at factories owned by foreign companies. State-owned ones are still very much under control.

          And the corporados are already responding--they are making plans to move out of China to the new low-wage havens in Cambodia and Vietnam.

          They will repeat that process, one nation at a time, until they have gone through the entire planet.

          At a guess, this is China's way of squeezing out foreign competition once they've assimilated the technology and keeping their competitive advantage.

          I think this is very true--I've always believed that China's "New Economic Policy" was just a way to industrialize China and let the foreigners pay for it.

          But hey, if American businesses want to ship more work overseas, fine. How about a Value Added Tax on imported goods, or a carbon tax for shipping those same goods all the way across the Pacific when they could be made here?

          We tried that on the Japanese--it failed when the Japanese took the simple step of relocating their car factories here.  It didn't do much good for us, though, since Mistubishi workers in Tennessee get paid lots less than Mitsubishi workers in Japan do---and also lots less than Ford workers did in Detroit.

          Indeed, a number of German and British companies are also locating factories here--not simply because it's closer to their largest market, but because the US is not a non-union low-wage few-regulations Third World economy. Ironically, they are moving here for the same reasons we moved to Mexico and then China.

          That alas is the problem with trying to fight multinational interests with a national government---they control the entire chessboard--the US government only controls a couple squares.

          They can evade or avoid us anytime they want--and we can't do anything about it.

          The only way to fight effectively on a global chessboard is to become global too, just like the corporados already are.

          •  arrggh typo (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            opinionated

            Indeed, a number of German and British companies are also locating factories here--not simply because it's closer to their largest market, but because the US is not a non-union low-wage few-regulations Third World economy.

            That, of course, should have read, "the US is now a non-union low-wage few-regulations Third World economy."

        •  you forget too . . . (0+ / 0-)

          . How about a Value Added Tax on imported goods, or a carbon tax for shipping those same goods

          that today we all live under the WTO, which has veto power over any act by any national government (including ours) that does anything in "restraint of free trade"--and the WTO is unelected, acts in secret, and cannot be appealed.

          The days when national governments could protect their corporados with trade barriers and tariffs, are over--firstly because there are no "national" corporations anymore, and second because the corporados have killed the ability for national governments to set trade policies.  WTO does that now.

          •  Well.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            opinionated

            How many of those WTO regulations were written by people who turned around and got jobs with the multi-national corporations for rigging the game in their favor? It's one of the great under reported scandals of our time - and one reason why our economy is a wreck.

            ...the WTO is unelected, acts in secret, and cannot be appealed.

            That's prima-facie evidence that the WTO is anti-democratic, and needs to be reformatted. Ain't gonna happen though as long as corporations call the shots.

            In any case, the all-powerful WTO is routinely ignored by China. The leaders of China demonstrate that rules are for little people- and countries without a  clue.

            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

            by xaxnar on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 01:00:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  indeed (0+ / 0-)

              That's prima-facie evidence that the WTO is anti-democratic, and needs to be reformatted. Ain't gonna happen though as long as corporations call the shots.

              That was rather the intention, I think.  

              Alas, since the corporados made it, they are the only ones who can change it.  And they have no such intention. Until they are forced.

              In any case, the all-powerful WTO is routinely ignored by China. The leaders of China demonstrate that rules are for little people- and countries without a  clue.

              Nay nay nay---China has been giving in, and bent over backwards kissing ass to get into the WTO.  China knows where the money is.

              As for thumbing one's nose at WTO, it can't be done, at least not for very long.  No country on this planet--not the US, not China, not anybody--is strong enough to stand economically against the entire rest of the corporate world. "National interests" are meaningless now--no nation is powerful enough to enforce its "national interests" against the multinational corporados.

  •  Fantasizing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, TampaCPA, eXtina

    about setting the top marginal tax rate to the same number as the age for collecting full Social Security.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:20:02 AM PDT

  •  Top Diary (0+ / 0-)

    going in the nomination list

  •  There was an INFURIATING story (7+ / 0-)

    on This American Life this week. It's part of the "Crybaby" segment.

    Adam Davidson went to a Wall Street bar to talk to investment bank employees about The Wall Street Bailout.

    What he found was utter denial that these clueless, arrogant, immoral suits owe their jobs to the American Taxpayer.

    It was simply stunning to hear them deny, evade, deflect, and talk around the question. The consensus seemed to be, "well, the government had to do something... but it didn't save MY job".

    One guy came right out and said it. "I survived the crisis because I'm smarter than most people. I know I'm smarter than the average person because I make X million dollars a year."

    Davidson said that one banker thought that it was time for some "self reflection". But no one thought that they owed anyone an apology, much less a "thank you".

    These people live on another planet.

    Tax the crap out of them.

    Politicians who promise LESS government only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:26:11 AM PDT

  •  tobin tax. (0+ / 0-)

    that would do a lot.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:32:20 AM PDT

  •  the aptly named Laffer curve is a nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    concept but has no data to support it in reality.

    No taxes means no infrastructure means no wealth creation.

    And by infrastructure I also include the socail programs that keep people from falling into poverty and without health care.

  •  The Problem is Liberals Are Not Outspoken... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    ... on taxes.

    More op-eds and blogposts need to be written with titles like 'Raise Taxes on Rich by 50%'

    Instead all you see are titles like 'What's wrong with Income' and somewhere in the piece there is a defense of the idea of getting back to the historically low taxes in the Clinton era.

    Why are democrats so afraid of everything?

  •  you had me up until recession. (0+ / 0-)

    We've not been in a recession for a year.

  •  Taxes are easy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner, eXtina

    unfortunately tax politics are impossible.  Clinton proved that a marginal rate a bit above 40% is sufficient to rein in deficits.  Presidents between FDR and Eisenhower proved that marginal taxes around 90% when coupled with an intelligent code will insure not only small deficits but sustained prosperity.  A high margin rate is needed to put teeth in a tax code that offers tax relief for investing in America and paying American workers which in turn generates more wealth for everyone and more taxes.  Unfortunately personal greed and stupidity stop us from using these proven tax policies to fix our current problems.  

    •  Progressive taxation was abandonded by (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Sumner, eXtina

      Reagan. Even Nixon believed the rich should pay more in taxes than the middle class.

      The top tax tier in Nixon's time was 70%.

      The reason Wall Street has become the primary force of the economy over the last 30 years is because so much money has been injected into speculation - we've been shoveling trillions at the rich for decades.

      Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

      by shpilk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:43:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent piece, Mark (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, La Gitane

    Very well done!

    This is what chump Change looks like.

    by Wamsutta on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:21:44 AM PDT

  •  Wall Street has been handed many trillions of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    dollars since the Reagan tax cuts. These additional funds have bloated Wall Street into the gas giant it is today.

    The ratio of speculation to actual constructive use of money is core problem of our economy, and the number one reason for the income disparity and lack of movement.

    Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

    by shpilk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 10:41:14 AM PDT

  •  No One Rich Nor Poor in America (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner, La Gitane
    You're just not a master of the universe, so you cannot possibly understand money. If you were, you'd know that nobody's rich in America, unless they've got $10-30 million. And the millions of Americans at the $22:year family of 4 poverty line aren't poor.

    The main articles by the capitalist pig to which I just linked are disgusting enough:

    So by his definition, one isn't "rich" until one is worth a minimum of $30 million. He also published a chart I would call "liquid" net worth (cash on hand or readily available), and the bare minimum liquid to be considered "rich" by Dennis was $2 million.

    I think those are pretty accurate figures, actually. $30 million overall and $2 million liquid sounds about right. The guys making a quarter mil a year and struggling to keep the lights on would probably agree.

    I realize that no one wants to be poor. I also realize that government has a vested interest in keeping people poor, and creates dis-incentives to people bettering their lot in life.

     but you really have to read the comments to want to burn these fatcats on a bonfire:

    $250,000 in income is the Obama standard for being "rich".

    If you have 10 million dollars, you should be able to earn 2.5% per year on that amount and thus earn 250k in income per year. Therefore, I think 10 million is the minimum needed to actually be considered rich.

    First of all, the official poverty line for a family of four was $22,000 this year. I really have no way to judge, but that seems awfully high to me. (article's author)

    Can we start up a Soylent Green factory so these losers have an actual purpose??

    LOL@Soylent Green

    Who would eat that shit if they knew it was made out of welfare queens??? (article's author)

    Personally I say no taxes but if there has to be taxes let those commie douchebags soros or buffett (who advocate higher taxes for the "lower rich") pay 90% of their wealth.

    Every one of these banksters is the biggest welfare queen in history, after their entire industry got bailed out for destroying the economy and life savings of most Americans. They hate "entitlements", but their entire careers are entitlements they'll defend to the (your) death.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:04:26 PM PDT

    •  Disgusting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo

      So at the same time they're saying "$22k sounds like a lot" they're also saying that "you need $10m to be considered rich."

      so what happens in between 22k and 10m?  Unbelievable.

      And I agree - banksters and gov't contractors are the ones truly sucking at the gov't tit.  Who puts more of a dent in the budget?  Someone on welfare who gets $800/mo or some contractor whose only client is the gov't and who rakes in tens of millions a year for doing worthless bullshit?

      grrrrr....

      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

      by La Gitane on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:17:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a big proponent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner

    of higher taxes to rein in outrageous salaries.  If the CEO is only making 80x their employees, instead of 300x, that money will still go somewhere.

    It could go to better salaries, more employees, lower prices, more buildings, better facilities.  I think that's actually a bigger benefit than the actual revenue that would be generated from the higher taxes.

    Bravo - great diary!

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:19:54 PM PDT

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