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The title for this post is taken from a message on a billboard for Manhattan Mini Storage first displayed in in the Tribeca area of NYC earlier this year of this year.  

It's definitely snarky in a vaguely ominous fashion, but I'm not sure the same can be said for our current Masters of the Universe, however.  They own, in whole or part, both political parties in the United States, and the police in most cities are more than willing to do their "dirty business" for them, as the unjustified violence by law enforcement against the Occupy Movement demonstrated.  

And though income inequality continues to worsen, the wealthy and major corporations have stashed trillions of ill-gotten gains overseas safely away from the hands of both marauding members of the proletariat, but also for the clutches of the IRS.

The biggest American corporations are reporting record profits, official data shows. But the companies are not investing their windfalls in business expansion, which would mean jobs. Nor are they paying profits out to shareholders as dividends.

Instead, the biggest companies are putting profits into the corporate equivalent of a mattress. They are hoarding what just a few years ago would have been considered unimaginable pools of cash and buying risk-free securities that can be instantly converted to cash, which together are known in accounting parlance as liquid assets. [...]

My analysis of the latest data from the Federal Reserve, the IRS and corporate reports shows that American businesses last year held almost $7.9 trillion of liquid assets worldwide. [...]

My estimate is conservative. I did not count cash due to American companies from their offshore subsidiaries as accounts receivable because the IRS does not provide fine details on these additional trillions of dollars.

Consider the debate over federal spending. Uncle Sam spent $3.5 trillion in fiscal 2013. Corporations hold liquid assets equal to all the money the federal government spent that year plus 2012 and three months of 2011.  

In short, the rich have the equivalent of their rainy day funds, much of which -  nearly Two Trillion dollars by multinational corporations according to Richard Rubin of Bloomberg - is safely placed in offshore tax havens.  

U.S. multinational companies reported earning 43 percent of their 2008 overseas profits in Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland, more than five times the share of workers and investment they have in those jurisdictions, according to a 2013 Congressional Research Service report.

That report cites academic estimates of the annual revenue loss to the U.S. that ranges from $30 billion to $90 billion.

And this has been going on for years, as Investigative journalist David Cay Johnston's article indicates.  Indeed, since 1994, "liquid assets have grown at about six times sales..."  That's a remarkable statistic.  

You wonder why job growth is so limited in the US?  Why wages for everyone without a Senior Executive Vice President or better as their title has stagnated?  Why the stock market is so high, while people are being laid off right and left, and revenues for bargain retail behemoths, such as Walmart have fallen dramatically?  Because the rich and multinational corporations are not investing this hoard in infrastructure (plants and facilities for manufacturing, for example), research and development, or even distributing much in the way of dividends.  And they sure as heck on not focused on creating jobs - at least not in the United States.  Indeed, quite the contrary:

A wave of layoff announcements over the past week has exposed the reality of the economic “recovery” touted by the Obama administration and governments worldwide. Deep-going job cuts are hitting the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, technology and retail sectors across North America, Europe and Japan.

Despite stagnant revenues, reflecting sluggish economic growth, companies are reporting booming profits. These profit gains are almost entirely due to a relentless assault on jobs, wages and working conditions being carried out by the ruling class.

I see this everyday in my city.  Twenty, thirty and even forty-somethings are working lower paid jobs with less hours. And among the college educated (i.e., those with at least a bachelor's degree), fewer and fewer of them are working in fields related to their college majors.

Venerable consulting firm McKinsey recently published an insightful report on recent college graduates. According to the report, which surveyed almost 5,000 graduates, one-third of respondents stated that college "did not prepare them well for employment." The report's somewhat sobering findings include the fact that four to five times more graduates are working in sectors such as restaurants or retail than would prefer to. While working at a restaurant throughout college is an attractive proposition for many young people, making this line of work a full-time career was certainly not the goal.

This obviously puts the lie to the oft cited conventional wisdom that if you work hard enough and get a college degree, you will ensure yourself a bright financial future.  Unfortunately, despite the rhetoric from the right, which is frequently parroted verbatim by what passes for the mainstream 'liberal' media, the reason that economic opportunities for young people have declined, and that job growth is slow and primarily in sectors paying lower wages and salaries, is not due to the fact that corporations are taxed too much.  While millions of people under 40 struggle with student loan debts approaching astronomical levels, our major corporations, for the most part are wallowing in record profits and record payouts to their senior executives (or in the case of Wall Street, add in investment bankers and hedge fund managers).

And yet, the upper crust in our society seem to believe that they are under attack due to a media generated wave of envy by the undeserving poor, which as we know by now, includes most of the former middle class in this country.  

My college educated son with two degrees lives at home because he can't find a job.  Even among people his age who do work, living with their parents is hardly uncommon.  One in three people between the ages of 18 to 34 live with their parents or their parent-in-law, according to a study commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders.  What is really depressing is the rate of young adults living at home due to increased unemployment.

Around ages 25 to 34, better educated and more experienced young adults typically enter the stage in their lives when they move onto more stable, higher-paying jobs. The ability to find these jobs plays an increasing role in the decision of older young adults to leave parental homes and strike out on their own. In 2012 the share of unemployed in this age group was 14 percent among adults living with parents compared to 6 percent among adults of the same age who left parents’ homes[3]. Rising unemployment rates and ever increasing sense of economic instability during the Great recession forced many young adults to postpone their decision to leave parents’ homes. The shares of unemployed young adults ages 25 to 34 living with parents doubled since 2000, when 7 percent of young adults living with parents were unemployed. The share of unemployed among same age adults living independently was less than 4 percent in 2000.

It should probably come as no surprise, that this astonishing increase in adult children living at home due to unemployment over the last 14 years correlates with the Bush era of tax cuts and deregulation, which primarily benefited the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations.  Yet, when the financial and housing crisis that triggered the so-called "Great Recession" occurred, and unemployment rose, who received the greatest share of the Federal government's largesse?  Wall Street and the financial community.  Though some relief for the banks was needed, one can argue that just as much money, if not more, was required to be spent by the government to spur job growth.

The 2009 Stimulus package of 787 Billion dollars contained roughly $500 Billion of actual spending for infrastructure, unemployment benefits and so forth, with the remainder of about $288 consisting of tax credits and other tax relief for individuals and businesses.  Compare that figure with the cost of federal funds, guarantees and other benefits shoveled into the gaping maw of our largest financial institutions with little or no oversight on what they could do with those monies.

 

Recently, a pair of PhD students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City tried to assess the total size of the Fed’s commitments—not just loans made, but asset purchases as well. The bottom line: a Federal Reserve bailout commitment in excess of $29 trillion.

Now to be sure, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department did not turn over $29 trillion to the Bankers and other eligible financial institutions, but they did allow them to receive nearly interest free loans from the Federal Reserve Bank, as well as monies from the TARP program, which far exceeded anything Mr. or Ms. Average American received as a result of spending under the 2009 Stimulus package.  And this fails also to account for the Automotive industry bailout, which, yes, did save some jobs, but was far more beneficial to the bottom line of GM and Chrysler.  The winners in this battle for Government assistance clearly belong to the eponymous One Percent, and even more to to the .01 Percent of Americans, i.e., those with plenty of money and no inclination to re-invest it in ways that would benefit society at large.  

Unfortunately, not enough elected officials and major figures in the Democratic Party have consistently made the case for a vigorous change to the economic policies our government currently pursues.  That is, few national Democrats vigorously push for policies that would actually lower unemployment and increase the number of better paying jobs. These policies would include, without limitation, greater government spending on major infrastructure (roads, bridges, the electrical grid, renewable energy, etc.), as well as programs for student loan debt relief, improving the hand of labor unions vis-a-vis management, increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.  

Even now, many Democrats are running away from the greatest accomplishment of the Obama administration in terms of its beneficial effects for the 99% - The Affordable Care Act.  While flawed because it did not opt for Medicare for all (i.e., a single payer system) or even provide a "public option to compete with the health insurance industry cartels, it has vastly improved the lives of millions of Americans who now can obtain coverage that provides real benefits should they experience costly illnesses and other medical expenses.  At the same time, not many National Dems have made promoting other parts of a progressive agenda a priority.  Issues such as Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Expanding and increasing Social Security, reining in the out of control Big Banks, and increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans while eliminating subsidies to our largest and most profitable corporations are infrequently brought to the fore when Democrats promote their "brand" and never with the same conviction one feels when Republicans promote their agenda.  

A few Democrats have shown they support progressive causes, I'll grant you that, but not enough for the average low information and/or discouraged voter to see much of a difference between the two parties.  In a cases like this year, elections are decided more often based on the popularity of the President and individual candidates, than by a referendum on the competing and sharply delineated differences between the two parties' vision for the future.  And to be honest, there isn't much of a consistent vision by Democrats.  

The Republicans vision, on the other hand, is pretty clear:  Lower taxes, cut spending (except on the military), repeal 'Obamacare,' and protect Real Americans' inalienable rights to God (the Christian one), Guns and Getting Big Guvmint off their back.  Even these little hissy fits by our oligarchs about an epidemic of "wealth envy" are just part of the continual campaign by the GOP to gin up support for whatever the rich want.  One more victimization card the right wing plays.  Despite the billboard slogan I used as the title to this blog post, we, collectively as a nation, are not anywhere close to a revolution from the left.  The failure of the Occupy Movement - thanks in no small part to the national Democrats refusal to acknowledge them, much less promise solutions for their legitimate grievances - told us all we need to know about the likelihood of an American Spring.

Indeed, I'd argue the reverse is more likely, so long as the Democrats continue to campaign as the party of "vote for us because we aren't as mean and nasty as those GOP People."  Unless, the Democrats make this election one between a progressive vision for our country and the one Republicans have been running on  since Ronald Reagan took office, they will lose seats in the Senate and they will not regain a majority in the House.  The Republican base will turn out this Fall.  But will enough people turn out for Democrats, especially young people?   What are Democrats offering them that will make not only a short term improvement in their lives but will also give them hope for their futures?  

I don't believe most people turn out to vote in an off year election simply because a party claims it is the lesser of two evils.  Dems need to energize those voters, make them into believers in the Democratic Party's cause, not put them to sleep with endless bable about deficits and debt relief or other debates in which young people are not invested.  All that will do is make them feel their vote is worthless, regardless of the R or D beside the name on the ballot.

The longer the Democratic Party, as a whole, is content to waffle on the fundamental issues of our times, the less likely they are to convince the young voters they need to win elections to show up at the polls.  Ask yourself what does the Democratic Party stand for? Then ask yourself if the principles and policies they propose offer any hope to the great mass of voters that electing Dems will make a positive difference in their lives?  Right now, I believe most voters would answer that last question "no," and that would include many people who will make the effort to vote and pull the switch in November for the Democratic ticket.

As for our modern day Aristocrats?  I think they're safe, and they know it, regardless of what happens on election day this year or in 2016, or in future elections after that for as far as they can see.  And that to me is the saddest thing about our country's current political scene.

Originally posted to Steven D on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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  •  Tip Jar (293+ / 0-)
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    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:26:31 AM PDT

  •  Love the title! (34+ / 0-)

    Well done!  Clearly democratic candidates in 2014 must campaign on the positive power of the ACA to provide at least a little help to the middle class.

    The 'shift' is hitting the fan.

    by sydneyluv on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:41:30 AM PDT

  •  If something cannot go on forever - it won't. (43+ / 0-)

    There will, sooner or later, be a day of reckoning.  Oligarchies bear the seeds of their own destruction.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:45:33 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately, many cite that truism (21+ / 0-)

      as an excuse for never solving problems, because clearly they will go away on their own once it's no longer possible for them to continue.

      What happens when the cannot-be-sustained becomes the was-not-sustained falls in the category of "No one could have foreseen."

      •  What happens then is hard to predict but history (9+ / 0-)

        isn't encouraging.

        Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

        by River Rover on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:43:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, some people seeing and doing something (10+ / 0-)

        about such problems is part of what ultimately solves them. I believe that our current economic system will ultimately fail on its own, and then be open to reform, but there are things people can do to to make that happen faster and hopefully less catastrophically. But even if not, it will happen.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:10:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, bad idea to wait (7+ / 0-)

        When such systems collapse due to their own top-heavy nature, everything below gets crushed.

      •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus

        that's an excuse for never solving problems. Being aware of this truism makes it harder for these oligarchical collectivists globally to claim 'inevitability' and pass this intolerable 'world as we find it' off as the natural order of the universe.

        The latest want to rule the world assholes like the dude from Goldman Sachs said always proclaim that they are doing god's work and that they are the inevitable new order. They aren't as they have gone too far as they always do when they have no restraints imposed on their power.

        They won't go away until people globally use their inalienable power. The consent to be governed is an important factor and at what point do 'we the people' withdraw our consent. When enough people get to a point where they can no longer not see what is going on it becomes possible to foresee a world where this outcome is not inevitable or the world as we find it it is intolerable.

        It then becomes possible to stop these viscous global Visigoths and take back the power that has always been used to keep them in check. Globalism is a two way street. Politics and history are not static. Nothing about this power grab by the greedy too bigs  is inevitable.

        Who could have foreseen? Anyone who's not afraid to get their head out of the sand and look at what Axelrod calls 'the world as we find it'. The world that is being created by the dark wet dreams of power and greed. It can be changed by people as human progress is part of history. The concepts of democracy and our inalienable rights human and civil can and are foreseen they are what stops these want to rule the world assholes over and over.  Knowing they are not inevitable or that their power is unsustainable is empowering to people. The seeds of their destruction are sowed by getting over fearing them.  

    •  I see you're an optimist. (9+ / 0-)

      ;-)

      Marx was an optimist.

      by psnyder on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:48:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not without an organized opposition (6+ / 0-)

      Who would that be?  Who would organize it?  Why would the hegemony of capital tolerate such a thorn?  It would be scorned, beaten, marginalized, ridiculed, and disappear from the body politic every bit as quickly as Occupy did.  

      Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:45:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If and when democracy turns to tyranny, those with (0+ / 0-)

        rifles will still get to vote.

        Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

        by River Rover on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:53:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So why are we disarming ourselves? (nt) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          River Rover

          ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
          My Blog
          My wife's woodblock prints

          by maxomai on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:44:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i'm not. n/t (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maxomai, oceanview, JesseCW

            Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

            by River Rover on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:11:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Because the pen is mightier than the sword? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            River Rover

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:22:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Cause those that beat their swords into plowshares (0+ / 0-)

              end up plowing for those who don't.  I am free, not because of government but in spite of it. In the end the responsibility for maintaining my freedom lies with me alone.

              Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

              by River Rover on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:02:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  With all do respect but you have that backwards (6+ / 0-)

                Our government of 'We the People' is not the problem. The problem we have today is the villainization of our form of government by the very people that are working to takeover our commons and are trying to turn us all into wage slaves. Personally, I believe that it is impossible to be free by yourself...that doesn't sound freedom at all. Cooperation and community is really what the ideal of America is all about.

                Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                by RMForbes on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:34:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're right we owe each other certain obligations (0+ / 0-)

                   No freedom is absolute.  

                  As to myself alone being responsible for my own freedom I truly hope it doesn't come to that.  In the event that armed resistance became necessary I would cooperate with others in that effort. I expect should that grim prospect be realized there will be a variety of groups self-organizing.

                  I'll wait till then though, I'm not much of a joiner, and all the "militia" types I have ever met were flakes and fools.

                   

                  Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

                  by River Rover on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:58:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I was in no way suggesting freedom would come (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mkor7, unfangus

                    through joining a local paramilitary group of gun nuts. I have nothing against guns but they don't really secure any freedoms. I've always felt truly free when I didn't have to carry a gun and not when I did in war. In my experience, guns actually make people in a free society less free. Freedom for me would be a community where guns were not carried by anyone including the local police.

                    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                    by RMForbes on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:55:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That would be a nice world but firearms can't be (0+ / 0-)

                      uninvented.  If we ever hope to change the world I fear we are going have to be willing to to do things and have thing done to us that would best be discussed in another place and  another time.
                      No guns do not secure freedom, that is done by rule of law, but when that fails then the resulting tyranny has to be destroyed and that is best done by weaponry in the hands of free people skilled in it's use.

                      Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

                      by River Rover on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:45:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What tyranny is that? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        unfangus, River Rover

                        The only tyranny I see is being perpetrated by the transnational corporations and their lackeys in our government. That can be fixed only at the ballot box, guns won't fix anything at all. This whole idea that we all need to arm so that we can protect ourselves from our own government makes no sense at all. It only makes the gun manufactures wealthier and the situation worse than it needs to be.  

                        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                        by RMForbes on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:31:48 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The trans national corporations and their lackeys, (0+ / 0-)

                          combined with the MIC form the framework of a pretty effective tyranny.  All that remains for them to do declare a state of national emergency and indefinitely suspend what is left of constitutional government.  

                          The government no longer trusts the people and that lack of trust is being returned with interest.

                           "This whole idea that we all need to arm so that we can protect ourselves from our own government makes no sense at all."  
                          It makes sense when you consider that the government is no longer ours.

                          We won't change this in the voting booth.  

                          The powers arrayed against the common citizens no longer respect or respond to the will of the people.  They must be re-taught the idea of liberty.  It will be a hard lesson.

                          Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

                          by River Rover on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:05:14 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Even if the plutocrats do as you envision and (0+ / 0-)

                            use a national emergency to suspend our Constitution, an armed insurrection would be far less effective to end the tyranny than a non-violent political response. Guns are just not the answer to affect real and positive political change. Thousands of non-violent protestors in the streets beat guns any day.

                            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                            by RMForbes on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:50:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  With the advent of "total information awareness " (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RMForbes

                            the formation of a peaceful resistance movement will be virtually impossible. Without secure communications it would doomed from birth.  Leaders would be compromised, false flags waved, and the rank and file infiltrated to the extent that no one could trust any one else. Ask Occupy about this.
                            The oligarchs will not give up power voluntarily.  

                            As Mao said "political power flows from the barrel of a gun".

                            I wish this were not so, but when rule of law is abandoned, force is all that is left for either side.  

                            We disagree on much, You and I, but I suspect we both agree in hoping that you are right and I am wrong.

                            Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

                            by River Rover on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:16:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  The French Monarchy was BROKE !! (5+ / 0-)

      And they were mismanaging and losing a war.

      And some members of the urban middle class were actually starving and prostituting their daughters in order to eat.

      And their Empire was shrinking in size and profitability.

      But most importantly:  the Mob had more muskets and sharp pointy things than the civil police and the home guard military combined.

      Our civil police have ... OHMIGOD technology ... and things are not quite "that bad" for even the "worst off" among us.

      And besides, the United States has always attracted large numbers of immigrants for whom, no matter what OUR shortcomings and injustices might have been --- they were still preferable to what was going on "back home."

      So ... I don't share your confidence "this can't go on forever" if it is supposed to suggest "a better future" as opposed to the other historical phenomenon:  "Total Collapse of a Civilization".

      Compared to THAT ...  people can put up with a LOT !!

      •  And even back then (0+ / 0-)

        Tyrants like Robespierre and Napoleon were able to manipulate and subdue those mobs and bend them to their will. Every single revolution has followed this path, except perhaps ours, which wasn't a true revolution anyway but more of a colonial uprising. And, in the end, what happened in these other revolution happened in ours, only it took a bit longer.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:13:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well ... England's "Glorious Revolution" (0+ / 0-)

          is one example I can think of that doesn't follow the French model ...

          If what you're saying is that following every period of revolutionary chaos some new form of order is imposed ... sometimes from the top, sometimes from the bottom, sometimes from the Outside  ... yeah, OK

          But "So what?"

          •  No (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, isabelle hayes, maryabein

            I was saying, I thought obviously, that generally that order is at best only a bit better than the one it replaced, but not nearly as good as it needed to be. One can't discount the many great reforms that Napoleon instituted, but he was clearly a dictator and imperialist and needed to go.

            As for the English Civil War, it was long, bloody and resulted in a monarchial restoration, albeit constitutionally limited, but it wasn't until 200 years later that most commoners were able to begin to enjoy its political fruits.

            Sadly, reform appears to be very time-dependent and unfolds very slowly. Periods of great advances invariably result in revanchist reactions. Unfortunately, the opposite isn't always as true, or else we'd have gotten rid of these cons long ago and be well into a new progressive era.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:12:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Our mobs have small arms completely the equal (5+ / 0-)

        of those in the hands of our civil law enforcement.

        But they're not bringing them out yet.

        I know people who were middle class a few years ago who are now turning tricks to keep their children housed and fed.

        Things are, at the present, a lot worse than many realize.

      •  "Apres nous, le deluge" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, AoT, ricklewsive

        Didn't Louis the Fifteenth famously say that? (Translation: "After us, the shit hits the fan.")

        And that was the situation for his successor, who lost his head along with so many others.

        So they DID see what was coming, some of them anyway.

        •  the 14th... the sun king... it still took a while (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinazina

          the next king and his gang strung it along for a lot longer than Louis XIV could have imagined ... but it was still inevitable as he foresaw... sort of like the USA today as the overconfident looters keep pushing for more of the same with a mix of the greedy deluded and the knowing cynics who know how to grab more strategically before it all goes wrong...
          But this time around there is a difference... the .01% learned how not to have a situation that would automatically lead to a new New Deal and enable an FDR...

          And that is, avoid the worst of a total collapse and still cart off most of the wealth that is grabbable... AND head off the blowback by ginning up a right wing faux populist fervor to soak up and redirect a lot of the anger and helplessness.. enough to keep them misdirected and misinformed so that they vote for enablers of the klepto class who set up their movement in the first place.

          But even so there are game changers in the mix with society and technology and knowledge evolving too... the worms may turn in a whole new way... eventually... unless the deferred collapse gets stubbornly and greedily extended so stupidly far that the fall ends up being fast and hard with a long recovery from a far deeper bottom... not a good time and place to fix things without a lot of collateral damage as things sort themselves out...

          Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

          by IreGyre on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:35:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  We've never had a ruling class with the tools (10+ / 0-)

      this one has available.

      •  People will have to learn to cut their electronic (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xavior Breff, ricklewsive, prfb

        apron strings to accomplish much of anything. Otherwise thanks to the NSA, the government will know what we want to do before we do--no matter what that is, good bad, or other.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:11:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the thing (6+ / 0-)

      History shows that most of the time, the oligarchs win. I'm afraid that's what happening here, and that the end result is an underclass about ten times the size of what we have now, kept in check by police and the military.

      I have ideas about how we can reverse course, but they're politically incorrect.

      ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
      My Blog
      My wife's woodblock prints

      by maxomai on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:43:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The players come and go, but the system stays in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, isabelle hayes, unfangus, IreGyre

      place. Been reading an inventory of the civic strife all through the Northern Hemisphere during the 17th Century. Horrible global weather combined with mismanagement at the root, or exacerbating trouble.

      In Europe especially, in place after place, when describing why this or revolt or war happened there's always a sentence about "The burden of war and taxes fell on the peasants, as the Aristocrats were exempt from taxes, and desired to gain..."

      Same thing now. The Aristocrats wear a mask we call Corporation, but they are every bit above us as they ever were.


      Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

      by Jim P on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:46:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The survival of the human race... (0+ / 0-)

      However, is in the balance.  

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:32:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sigh, I'm never getting out of this hole. (6+ / 0-)

    They Killed Will? Those Bastards!

    by blueoregon on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:47:02 AM PDT

  •  This is brilliant. Thanks for your work. n/t (7+ / 0-)

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by ricklewsive on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:58:03 AM PDT

  •  All the while I was reading this (11+ / 0-)

    All I could think of was any Democrat running for office this year should be told by every audience that they need to forget the boomers in the audience. They need to speak directly to  the Millennials and Xers in the audience, and if the those youngsters are not pleased by what they hear, then they don't get the job.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by ricklewsive on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:01:50 PM PDT

  •  Back in 1895 (17+ / 0-)

    Jay Gould said he could hire half the working class to kill the other half.

    Still true ?

    They can have my "promote the general welfare" when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

    by greatferm on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:04:18 PM PDT

  •  Dollars are figments of the imagination. (6+ / 0-)

    So are the symbols we use to record our words and ideas. Are we discombobulated by the fact that the Library of Congress has all the books full of words published in the last couple hundred years? How many times a symbol is used is irrelevant to how many times it can be used again. Ditto for dollars, certified symbols of value. That their issuance is being artificially restricted is a matter that's different from the fact that the symbol is worthless unless used, just as our script is worthless unless we write.
    That 30% of the U.S. adult population is functionally illiterate is a significant problem. But, it has nothing to do with the essence of script.
    We need to maintain a keen awareness of the difference between the symbol and the reality.

    http://hannah.smith-family.com

    by hannah on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:10:17 PM PDT

  •  One historical correction. (8+ / 0-)

    The French king, Louis XVI, would bear the brunt of decades of excessive royal spending at the expense and destitution of the average French citizen. Louis XVI did see it coming with this quote attributed to him, "Apres moi, l'deluge"  (After me, the flood).

    Louis may have seen the revolution coming, but he still lost his head (literally) over it.  

  •  I think you are wrong about their not being (27+ / 0-)

    revolutionary energy from the Left.

    Occupy was not a failure. Occupy was a problem. The Left lost that battle.

    But you give the American people a choice between Occupy and the Tea Party, and Occupy wins in a landslide, IMO.

    Of course the TV or the newspapers won't tell you that, but that's a big function of their job - to protect their corporate advertisers.

    I would not expect, in the least, fair coverage of Occupy and the Left from the corporate media - it will never happen. Occupy and the Left are an anathema to corporate sponsored media and public policy.

    The media is losing it's grip - too many sources - they have even started a new paradigm - confuse the viewer and muddy the water - and they've done this because they are losing the handle.

    The Revolution will come from the Left and it will be the Right, the Tea Party, that are the front line of defense for the aristocracy.

    Peace~

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:26:18 PM PDT

    •  I don't think Occupy failed (34+ / 0-)

      Up to that point the conservatives were pretty much in control of the national debate and it was all smoke and mirrors: all deficit, all the time. Occupy pushed back and since then we've broadened the scope of the conversation to begin talking about the actual causes and extent of what ails this country. Occupy gave the people an important tactical victory. Now to see if we can carry that forward.

      Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

      by ricklewsive on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:36:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OWS succeeded as much as any random mob... (13+ / 0-)

      could. It moved the Overton Window and changed the conversation.

      Wealth distribution is everyday conversation now.

      When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

      by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:27:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Occupy had some brilliant leadership. (7+ / 0-)

      Doubt it? Read Alexis Goldstein's comments in the #askjpmorganchase Twitter fiasco.

      Occupy was brutally suppressed. Doubt it? Ask the guy shot in the head with a teargas canister by Oakland, CA police.

      Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

      by FrY10cK on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:31:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Point is that the Revolution, when and if it comes (7+ / 0-)

        will come from the Left, which the OP said was not going to happen.

        I believe that the OP is buying too much into the corporate media framing and coverage, and misses the latent, and not so latent (Occupy) power of the Left.

        I mean, granted, OWS got shot at, poked, prodded, spied upon, and otherwise molested and hassled and run out of town on a rail, but they did force an issue and create a zeitgeist in favor of human beings and tempering of the tyranny of the market.

        The energy of the Left is palpable. It's why we're getting heat instead of mockery and apathy from the Establishment.

        I think it is a great disservice to misread the corporate media for political tea leaves and a great disservice to ignore the vast support that the policies and values of the Left hold in our body politic.

        When the Revolution comes it will come from the Left. It has to, otherwise there won't be a Revolution. I submit to all of you that it is closer than you think.

        peace~

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:45:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I generally agree with your assessment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          but I think you're a little too blithe about the threat from the Right.

          Would you say that your knowledge of the far Right/T-Party is equal to your knowledge of Occupy?

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:40:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not blithe about them at all. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WB Reeves, flowerfarmer

            I'm saying they are not going to be a revolution. A devolution, perhaps, but it will reside squarely within this corporate dominated system.

            That's all.

            I'm quite aware of the dangers of the Right, and quite aware of the dangers of not turning Left as quickly and as sharply as possible.

            And to do that, Democrats can't be looking and pointing at the Right.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:44:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I see (0+ / 0-)

              So you're using a definition of revolution that excludes the Right.

              I disagree but you're certainly not alone in this.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:51:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That revolution has already happened. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WB Reeves, flowerfarmer, FrY10cK

                It was probably Kennedy or MLK/RFK in 68. Powell Memo / Liberalization of trade.

                I'm saying that what they are going to do serves the primary purpose of the current hegemony and is a construct of the current hegemony.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:23:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well people said the same thing about RW (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  k9disc

                  mass movements in the past and turned out to be utterly and disastrously wrong.

                  If by construct you mean that there is no autonomous mass base to the RW, that it is purely an instrumentality of the ruling class, I'd say you are repeating the error.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:38:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yea, I'm not very optimistic. I do know exactly (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    WB Reeves, FrY10cK, mkor7

                    what you are talking about, and it's there, it's menacing, and it is not likely to be defeated. I mean, I know that.

                    The Tea Party is a tool. The raving Right is a tool. They can be turned out of politics just as quick as they shit on the Establishment.

                    I do not think their beliefs hold enough sway to create a Revolution without the full support of Corporate. Big money is not enough to keep them afloat with the population, IMO. They need corporate support - the wall to wall coverage that is friendly to their framing, their political visage, and outlook - or their Revolution does not fly.

                    If they turn on the Establishment - tax rich people, regulate corporations, protect citizens - if they do that, at all, they're toast. Monkey wrenches in public policy is cool. Damage the profits and you're the enemy.

                    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                    by k9disc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:20:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Let me ask you a question (0+ / 0-)

                      Do you think the use of T-Party dominated State Governments to obstruct, sabotage and openly defy Federal authority, along with openly agitating the possibility of secession, are part of a general Corporate Agenda?

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:33:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think that's a pretty decent way of saying it. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mkor7, WB Reeves

                        Although, 'general' might be a bit too wide, but I think there are corporate entities that are really interested in Firesale America.

                        And to a lesser extent I think most giant corporations are kind of in to the whole tax abatements from desperate State governments and a relaxed regulatory environment.

                        But the guys we're talking about are not your garden variety corporatists.

                        They are looking at the destruction... a revolution in self governance...

                        Is that where you are going?

                        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                        by k9disc on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 03:18:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  How does this reconcile with the explicit (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          k9disc

                          corporate interest in maintaining the US's role as global cop?

                          That's not a role that can be sustained by a fragmented and balkanized North America.

                          While regional elites might benefit from such a development it's hard to see how the National elite, particularly those who profit from the Military Industrial Complex and view the National Government as effectively their tool, would approve.

                          This isn't the first time that there has been such a profound division between Local and National elites. It occurred during the Civil Rights Movement as well and exploiting that division was a major factor contributing to that movement's success.

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:37:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Third try at answering this... (0+ / 0-)

                            Short answer - the National Elite don't care.

                            Longer answer - that's what Hillary is for.

                            I see a Corporate Centrist party in our future with the Tea Party and the Left being ostracized for teh Crazy and naiveté respectively. All sane complaints and arguments will be pushed into one of those two camps - bonkers or Ponies.

                            The local level doesn't matter to Big Corporate and US as Global Cop. What are we going to do stop bombing people? It's the only thing we do well anymore; that and imprisoning people. Oh, and lying to people is also a pretty solid market for us as well.

                            So what are we going to do if the ass falls out of local economies and social/political structures.

                            We'll employ more security. That hardly eviscerates Global Cop, in fact it makes it more likely.

                            That's why I don't see any Revolution coming from the Right. I see it as a common sense endgame of the previous Revolution in the 60s and to a lesser extent, but with large impact, Reagan's "Revolution".

                            I also see the destruction of local and state governance as a necessary step towards Domestic Colonialism, Internal Colonialism, or Corporate Colonialism - call it what you want, it's coming.

                            and stuff... :-)

                            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                            by k9disc on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:43:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "The National Elite don't care"? (0+ / 0-)

                            Frankly I can't make head or tale of your comment.

                            You seem to think that the National Elites have no stake in maintaining Federal supremacy.

                            You seem to think that they have no stake in whether local elites use State Governments to obstruct or nullify Federal authority.

                            You also seem to think that the US could continue to play Global Cop with actual political authority split up between 50 State Governments.

                            Then, in apparent contradiction to all the above, you assert that the destruction of State and Local governance is necessary and coming.

                            Now if the first three propositions are true, I don't see how the fourth one could be. Conversely, if the fourth is correct, it's apparent that the first three must be not be.

                            The National elite doesn't care about State and Local Governance, yet it's necessary for them to destroy State and Local governance, so they will?

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 03:51:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I was under the impression that your comment (0+ / 0-)

                            was talking about how National Elites cared about local governance.

                            I don't think they do. It is obvious now after re-reading that you were talking about Tea Partiers wanting local autonomy.

                            It is my position that they don't. They only want local autonomy for themselves and their pet issues. They want overarching federal laws all over the place for those people, they want their roads, they want their bank insurance - they just don't want to pay for it.

                            I thought you were talking about the tea party move to essentially ruin functioning state government, where they actually do have some power, which I believe is a move that their sponsors support - Wisconsin and Michigan being a couple of data points.

                            I had never even given their "State's Rights" position any legitimate thought. I thought it was obvious that "States Rights" means what my people say goes, otherwise we'll secede.  

                            So let's run through your comment again and see if we can't bring it back to clarity:

                            I think National Elites pretty much only care about national and supranational authority.

                            National Elites will not allow State's Rights to interfere with profits. State's Rights are not germane when corporate profits are on the line.

                            National Elites actually have a vested interest in having local and State governments over a barrel.

                            The US will continue to play Global Cop because that's about our only remaining advantage.

                            I do not believe that the Tea Party is about States Rights. All they care about as far as federal power goes is social spending.

                            Everything else, fossil fuel subsidies, war, national security, etc - "that's all important stuff, I just don't want to pay for it."

                            Any closer?

                            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                            by k9disc on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:58:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think you probably would do well to pursue (0+ / 0-)

                            further research into what the base of T-Party actually espouses and supports.  

                            It does seem to me that you aren't treating the T-Party, et al, as an authentic, mass based phenomenon. You appear to be viewing it entirely through the lens of those attempting to manipulate and exploit it for their own ends, as though the base was incapable of autonomous action.

                            In this I think you are mistaken.    

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 12:35:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't think that is the case. Thanks for the (0+ / 0-)

                            Conversation.

                            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                            by k9disc on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 01:31:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you as well. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:19:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I think that in the US, support for (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    k9disc, WB Reeves, mkor7

                    any sort of mass right wing movement outside of certain geographic regions is entirely lacking. The base for such a movement would need to come from a very specific set of folks, a lot of young people for one, and that isn't there right now. Certainly not on the hard right where bigotry is the norm. Without the bigotry the right in the US doesn't have much to build on. The only thing that does worry me a bit is what the right wing will do once it takes global warming as a serious issue. It will happen, because it must, ad that could be a new focus for a mass right wing movement if it isn't dealt with effectively.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:35:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's an arresting point (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      k9disc, AoT, mkor7

                      There certainly are historic examples of the far Right exploiting what we now days might describe as environmental sentiments. The population dislocations and material shortages consequent to Global Warming might revive the classic xenophobic and eliminationist tropes.

                      You may be right about the geographic limits. Unfortunately I happen to live in such a geography and, lets face it, it isn't negligible in terms of either real estate or population.

                      Admittedly, this perch doesn't give me the best perspective for judging conditions in other regions but it's excellent for assessing the strength of mass Right Wing sentiment and organization in this region.    

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:23:51 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Majority of my smart "liberal" friends & family (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mkor7

                  get their "news" from corporate media and don't understand the full implications of,

                  It was probably Kennedy or MLK/RFK in 68. Powell Memo / Liberalization of trade.
                  At least during the Reagan era, some explicitly called it  the "Reagan Revolution."

                  Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

                  by FrY10cK on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:28:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I would say that I know quite a bit about both (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WB Reeves

            institutions, although not first hand intimate.

            I've probably had more interaction with the Tea Party type, probably know more about them, I'd have to say.

            Why do you ask?

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:45:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I think a large number of people here (34+ / 0-)

    agree with your assessment.

    So what's to be done?

    My feeling is that we've been trying for nearly 20 years to make the case to the management wing of the party that it's time to move  leftward. 2006-8 provided some empirical proof of the fact that campaigning left tends to win you seats. Issue polling proves that as well.

    As JimP said, it's easy:

    HERE'S MY FEDERAL JOBS PROGRAM. LET'S PUT AMERICA BACK TO WORK.

    There, I just won the election.

    Add student loan forgiveness in there, and a full-throated defense of Social Security, and you've won the election X3000. And if you follow through on it in any significant way, you've won the election for the next 12-15 years.

    So the point is, as I said here, why do we assume they can't read a poll? Why do we assume DC Democrats are complete political blockheads who don't know what the American electorate wants? They know what the American electorate wants. They've decided to throw them a few crumbs now and then, and apart from that not give a shit what the American electorate wants.

    As an incredibly snotty Mark Warner staffer once said to my organization:  "Why should we meet with you again? Do you have anything to say that you didn't say at the last meeting?" (That one was about climate change. Real sweethearts, the Warner people. And they didn't care about the diverse and large group of constituents we brought to DC to talk to them either).

    However, the snotty little (redacted) has a point:  we've already made all these arguments to the management. The answer is "No." All indications are that the answer will continue to be "no" in the future.

    So what's to be done?

    Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:34:09 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately (17+ / 0-)

      I don't have an answer.  As you say, management only sees dollar signs.   They have their system in place, and no one wants to rock the boat.  Howard Dean gave me hope for a while but then when Obama won, he got kicked to the curb.  It may take a another financial collapse to change the people in control of the party.  Of course, I'm not sure this country could take another collapse, and if a Dem were the President at the time, that just might be it.  Right wing  single party states came to power during the Great Depression in a lot of places.

      People forget that both Labor and Management were fortunate Roosevelt was elected.  The post-war boom, which brought immense profitability to American firms, would not have been possible without a strong middle class.  Now that the Greed id Good crowd have eliminated most of the governors FDR put in place to keep the capitalist engine from overheating and the boiler from blowing, we have the worst of all possible worlds - a government/corporate complex dedicated to advancing the interests of business and no protections for individuals - only promises, that if they fail, could lead to a breakdown in society that could go either way, left or right - but could very well be bloody and murderous, regardless of the ideology.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:48:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then the real questions (23+ / 0-)

        --and I have the uncomfortable feeling that I'm backing you into a corner, which is NOT my intent--

        are these:

        1)Does any of us have any feasible plan for changing the minds of Democratic leadership?

        2)If the answer is no, is there a point to continued political engagement within the Democratic party?

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:58:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You and I both know the answer to that question... (14+ / 0-)

          but it is anathema to the purpose of this particular site.

          Though I must admit that of late the number of rec list diaries pointing out the cold hard truth makes my heart sing.

          Maybe Kos can be swayed....

          When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

          by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:20:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that's why I was saying (7+ / 0-)

            that I might be pushing Steve into a corner, which I didn't want to do. But when examined honestly, this is where the questions we're currently facing lead us.

            The thing is, I acknowledge that it's barely possible we might yet wrest control of the party from the management wing, and I'm willing to listen to any plan for that anybody has. Last time we tried it, we still believed in the Big Tent. This time, we don't. That might make the difference.

            Unfortunately, now the brand has been pretty trashed in the eyes of the public. Which is a problem for anybody wanting to keep the Democratic brand as their aegis.

            Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:38:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is the question of a Third Party alternative (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              goodpractice

              The trouble is that any such alternative, to have a straw hat's chance in hell of succeeding, is going to require the construction of an entire party organization from the ground up. That's a project that could take decades.

              Third parties that only emerge during presidential campaigns are engaged in the politics of symbolism and theater, providing no real alternative.

              Any actual third party alternative would require a detailed,  coherent, practical plan of nationwide organizing and contending for elective office on a local and State level. It would then be necessary to win sufficient numbers of activists to execute the strategy.

              Absent this, talk of a third party alternative is just talk.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:24:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  More likely (4+ / 0-)

                is the break-up of either the current Republican or Democratic Party (much like the Whigs and Federalists in the mid-19th century) and after a decade or so the re-emergence of a new party.  Of course once you have a dominant - potentially monopoly - party, they may just make it impossible to be defeated as the PRI in Mexico did for so many decades.

                "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

                by Steven D on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:35:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Bernie running as an (I) would be interesting... (0+ / 0-)

                His Senate record is everything the Ds say they are so there is no way to run against it. It would make how similar the parties really are much more obvious to the general public and in the long run that is the path to solution.

                When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

                by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:55:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Running as an independent, unless you're a (0+ / 0-)

                  billionaire or some kind celebrity, isn't likely to accomplish much of anything.

                  Nader's 2000 campaign certainly didn't.

                  I don't think the problem is a lack of popular cynicism about the two major parties. Far from it. I think the problem is the absence of a credible alternative.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:07:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So Sanders and his 20 year congressional voting... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    chuckvw, 3goldens

                    record is like Nader?

                    I don't think you want a solution...

                    When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

                    by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:09:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not my point at all (0+ / 0-)

                      Nader was a celebrity of sorts and drew media coverage accordingly. In the end the campaign left no enduring accomplishments.

                      Bernie is a politician. His profile is nowhere near as high as Nader's was, so why would you imagine that he would do better than Nader did?

                      If I don't want a solution, why would I be suggesting that Bernie run in the Democratic Primaries?

                      You haven't thought that one through.

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:50:25 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Because Nader was a turn off to even... (0+ / 0-)

                        progressives. He gave no confidence he would be a competent president and in general was a terrible candidate.

                        Bernie has won elections many times and has shown to be a competent politician and a staunch progressive.

                        You have it all backwards....

                        When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

                        by fToRrEeEsSt on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:38:13 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Turn off? (0+ / 0-)

                          Were you involved in the 2000 campaign? I was and I saw precious little evidence of Nader being a "turn off" for progressives.

                          In Georgia his candidacy sparked a boom in Green Party membership, a boom squandered following the election by the old guard's refusal to adjust itself to the influx of new people. Consequently the members drifted away and the Party shriveled.

                          Bernie not only has never won a national campaign, I don't recall that he's ever attempted a national campaign. There's not a shred of evidence that he could be elected anywhere outside of Vermont.

                          Which is another reason why entering the Democratic primary makes practical political sense. It would allow Bernie to both develop and demonstrate his national appeal while pushing authentic progressive positions into the debate. An Independent candidacy would be treated as little more than shouting from the side lines.

                          It would also have the added potential, regardless of how the election turned out, of creating a national Progressive political infrastructure within the Democratic Party. This is something sorely lacking at present and that lack constitutes a major stumbling block to Progressive and Left politics.

                          While the idea that an Independent run by Sanders would rally voters to his candidacy is a pleasing one, it isn't probable. The number of folks who even know who Sanders is, much less knowing his record, is tiny compared to the numbers who knew who Ralph Nader was. Moreover, it would likely weaken progressives by dividing them between those who are committed to agitation within the Democratic Party and those who are not.

                          In an ideal political world Bernie's record might trump all practical considerations but that's not the political world we inhabit.  

                           

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:12:10 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  He wasn't a turn-off (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves

                            but I will say I was less than impressed when I discovered he was running as Green Party candidate--and hadn't joined the Green Party.

                            Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:45:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  When you say boom you mean what 2%... (0+ / 0-)

                            of population? less? Thats a real wave of change there and goes well with his few % points in the election. Now Perot on the other hand was a third party candidate that had some real steam, I didn't care for him, but he demonstrated viability. Nader not so much.

                            Seriously you are trying way too hard and have little to work with, not your fault though give Nader didn't have much to offer. Sorry you don't like reality, but thats pretty common these days.

                            When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

                            by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 01:43:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  What makes for a credible alternative? (6+ / 0-)

                    It seems to me that Sanders could be a credible alternative in 2016 if Hilary is the Dem nominee. Really, as long as the party doesn't have a meaningful strategy to address global warming then a serious third party challenger is inevitable in either 2016 or 2020. And the party doesn't look like it's moving to create a meaningful strategy, so I think its pretty inevitable.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:23:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In raw, electoral political terms, a (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AoT

                      candidate's credibility consists largely of two things: that they could conceivably be elected and that they can accomplish the goals for which they were elected.

                      If Bernie were to run as an Independent, assuming he didn't first run in the Democratic primary, I think his chances of convincing many folks of the first possibility are vanishingly small.

                      In the case of the second, even if Bernie passed the first hurdle, even if he were elected, he could not, by himself, bring about the necessary changes. The kind of sweeping, systemic change we need would require majorities in the House and Senate as well. In short, you would have to have a national organization capable of winning State as well as National elections. A real third party.

                      Now it's not beyond the realm of possibility that a mass, spontaneous  groundswell might make up for these handicaps. I doubt it though. While I wont say it's impossible, I can't think of a single instance in US Presidential history where it has. Can you?

                      Nothing human is alien to me.

                      by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:49:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Perot would be the obvious example (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        WB Reeves

                        Where it was entirely possible. If he had not dropped out and had chosen a different running mate he could have won. And there are a number of ways the president could easily implement a number of progressive ideas, ending free trade treaty negotiations would be one of them, and possibly pulling us out of other free trade agreements, although that would vary from treaty to treaty and most would require going through congress, which would also be possible if such a president were elected.

                        But honestly, when we got a little done as we did with a supermajority in the Senate and control of both the executive and Legislature I think most presidents fail that second test for the most part.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:09:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Perot was a multi-millionaire (Billionaire?) (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT

                          and I've already allowed that anyone willing and able to commit their personal fortune to a campaign can have an impact. That's not Bernie.

                          As you recognize, at the end of the day, Perot didn't succeed, so he really isn't an example of a popular groundswell making up for practical political deficiencies.

                          If an independent were elected to the Presidency and attempted what you suggest with a House and Senate composed of the current GOP and Democrats, how long do you think it would be before they impeached him?

                          Taking the White House by itself won't take us where we need to go. We would have to take the House and Senate as well, or at least enough seats to scare hell out of the remainder.

                          Nothing human is alien to me.

                          by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:38:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Perot failed (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves

                            but he's an example that it's possible for someone who actually knows how to run a campaign.

                            If an independent were elected to the Presidency and attempted what you suggest with a House and Senate composed of the current GOP and Democrats, how long do you think it would be before they impeached him?
                            Quite a while. And then there would be a Vice president to take over. And really, in that situation impeaching a newly elected president because he was implementing policy he said he would implement would be the best way to guarantee a route for the people in the senate and the house next election. We're talking about policies that a good majority of people agree with.

                            I think the getting elected is the hardest part. Then there are people who would work with the president from the left of the party, and the right on some stuff. What just a president could do would be limited, but on trade alone it would be a big difference.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:44:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Someone who knows how to run a campaign and has a (0+ / 0-)

                            a gazillion bucks to spend.

                            It makes a big difference when you can hire your staff and campaigners rather than relying on volunteers.

                            Sure Bernie would get some support from some mavericks but that wouldn't be enough to overcome the current GOP majority in the House even if he got every Democrat seated and that's not a real possibility. Likewise the Senate, even with it's current slim Dem majority.

                            For a Sander's candidacy to have maximum impact, there's really no substitute for him entering the Democratic primary and directly challenging the Corporate and Neo-Liberal factions.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:00:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There's a model out there for crowd sourcing (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves, SouthernLiberalinMD

                            funds now, and that could make all the difference.

                            For a Sander's candidacy to have maximum impact, there's really no substitute for him entering the Democratic primary and directly challenging the Corporate and Neo-Liberal factions.
                            I agree with this 100%. I just think there's a space right now for a successful 3rd party run.

                            If he does run Dem and he loses and we get Clinton then I'd expect it will make a third party run in 2020 all the more likely.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:45:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Like most of the Democrats in Congress (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves

                            Would support Sanders anyway, unless he joined their party. They can cross party lines to the right, Joe Lieberman can keep his chairmanship, but boy, do they ever remember anyone on the left NOT choosing to go D. They never ever forget or forgive that.

                            Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 05:46:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Which just underlines the inadequacy (0+ / 0-)

                            of Independent campaigns that focus solely on the Presidency.

                            Nothing human is alien to me.

                            by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 11:01:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Not if you do it right. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fToRrEeEsSt

                    Over forty is shrinking demographic. So why cater your campaign to them?

                    Social media rocks.

              •  There's another alternative - and that's (0+ / 0-)

                the Party within the Party.

                It's making the label "Progressive" mean something.

                It means effectively distinguishing good Democrats from bad in the mind of the public at large.  It means providing a short-hand that lets people understand when they're dealing with some pro-war "free trade" NeoLiberal sociopath and when they're dealing with a pro-Safety Net pro-Worker Democrat.

                •  I'm rather surprised (0+ / 0-)

                  that there aren't people pushing a draft Sanders movement to get him into the primaries. If you want to spark a substantive debate within the Democratic Party, that would certainly do it.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:50:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I know what the hyper-partisans (16+ / 0-)

        and management wing of the party will say in response:

        1)Gay Rights!
        2)Women's rights!
        3)Voting Rights!

        Never mind all that economic and ecological stuff you idealistic idiot! Or, you racist/sexist/homophobe who doesn't care about my people!

        The thing is, if the economy or ecosystem collapses, the civilization collapses--and none of those things is good for LGBT folks, women, or POC. And once those kinds of collapse happen, they're going to tend to eclipse pretty much everything else.

        So I guess the real question is:  

        Are we going to continue to work on the fundamental problems with the economy and the ecology even though no political party is interested in doing that work? And if so, how?

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:06:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SLMD, once again, I totally agree (11+ / 0-)

          If a politician was truthful, s/he would say in the upcoming election

          " Look folks, I am not going to throw you the regular redmeat. Climate Change is what is going to devastate our civilization, a lot sooner than later - we are already suffering its effects more and more.  We need to all join together and find ways to motivate our government, economy and citizenry to form a serious plan to mitigate its effects.  Like now.

          If we could form a rush program to put a man on the moon, let's form an emergency program to keep man on earth!  We are truly running out of time.

          Part of this will require that we form task forces with other nations on this, because we are all in this together, as Fukishima, and ChinaSmog has shown us."

          And that is something that would stir not only the electorate of the young electorate especially, I think that the Boomers would join in a flash.

          Then in this REAL emergency, jobs would have to be created ASAP so that we could attack it multidirectionally and we would then have to fight the huge battles with the Koch Brothers of this world to redirect our sources of fuel.  And most certanly part of this would be to double down on as many alternative forms of energy as we could think.

          And then the USA would finally be doing something of value that the world could see as worthy of its claims to exceptionalism.  And in some ways, we would just be catching up with some other countries.

          And THAT politician I would devote all my waking hours to, getting him/her elected and then working on one the task forces.

          We are being lied to continually with a barrage of propaganda and fed 'the blue pill' continually.

          Like Neo, enough of us need to take the 'red pill' and wake up and help the others wake up out of the Matrix.

          Rant over.

          "The corporate state’s repression, now on the brink of totalitarianism, would with the help of Christie, his corporate backers ... become a full-blown corporate fascism.' http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_trouble_with_chris_christie_20140112

          by SeaTurtle on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:13:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice rant, and I totally agree (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SeaTurtle, Steven D, jbsoul, JesseCW

            What would perk up the ears of those old white guys in DC would be if a crop of 'new' Democrats showed up with jaw dropping election numbers after running on agendas that placed climate change, jobs and economic fairness as their center pieces. That is the only thing that will shift the party's platform.

            Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

            by ricklewsive on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:21:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  agree !!!!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Steven D

              "The corporate state’s repression, now on the brink of totalitarianism, would with the help of Christie, his corporate backers ... become a full-blown corporate fascism.' http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_trouble_with_chris_christie_20140112

              by SeaTurtle on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:29:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  those old white guys in DC or (4+ / 0-)

              wherever they are, TPTB, would do everything in their power to ensure this never happens:

              jaw dropping election numbers after running on agendas that placed climate change, jobs and economic fairness as their center pieces.
              The machine will not permit that to happen, not even a serious effort or appearance of that happening. Running is expensive, I hear.

              Not to be overly cynical or a wet blanket, sorry, because I agree too, in theory. The key question, as I see SLMD posing above, is HOW do We The People override, or circumvent, that brick wall? (a wall that is reinforced with gold)?

              and... related, I think once upon a time I heard the phrase "crashing the gates" bounced around. Whatever happened to that concept?

              If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

              by Lady Libertine on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:36:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sadly (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Lady Libertine

                I tend to agree with the prospects of the idea. Yet there is one fact that the money cannot overcome: those young voters become more important to the job prospects for politicians with each passing year. How they get organized and become a force for change I am not sure. Probably only when they've had enough. Then maybe they'll "crash the gates" of DC.

                Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

                by ricklewsive on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:18:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  They would certainly try. See also, Rahm (0+ / 0-)

                Emanuel, 2006. Or Steve Israel, 2010-present.

                Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:13:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Make them spend their money. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ricklewsive, SouthernLiberalinMD

                Control takes cash

                Communication takes cash

                Attack ads take cash

                Buying off the media? More cash

                The police--even more cash.

                Blocking communications, Still more cash.

                Boycotts cost them cash.

                Make them spend spend spend, til there is nothing left. You don't even have to break the law or hurt no one, just make them spend their money trying to stay in control.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:20:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  that means dealing with the issue of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lady Libertine

              money and media.

              Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:12:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Honestly? Stop playing the game as its intended... (13+ / 0-)

      The game is set up for heads they win, tails we lose, so we need to stop flipping that coin.

      When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

      by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:15:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I tend to think that's true. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fToRrEeEsSt, Steven D, SME in Seattle

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:39:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I really want Bernie to run as an I in 16'... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lostinamerica

          Doesn't matter if he can win he so truly represents what the Ds give lip service to that he will force the other two sides of the coin to show how similar they really are.

          Could be the straw needed to break the illusions back.

          When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

          by fToRrEeEsSt on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:40:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Name an issue group and they can go into detail (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      "So the point is, as I said here, why do we assume they can't read a poll? Why do we assume DC Democrats are complete political blockheads who don't know what the American electorate wants? They know what the American electorate wants. They've decided to throw them a few crumbs now and then, and apart from that not give a shit what the American electorate wants
      "

    •  Replace the management. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD
      •  Tough but good idea. (0+ / 0-)

        How do we do that?

        And is the brand ruined?

        Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:14:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I saw the "didn't see it coming" sign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, LSmith, AoT

    on the shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central. Working people mostly. I figured the sign was aimed at the Wall St. types and the hyperbole was marketing aimed at their zombie apocolypse-type entertainment saturated brains.

    How else to explain that ad on the subway?

    Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

    by FrY10cK on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:56:32 PM PDT

  •  50 and 60 somethings are (22+ / 0-)

    also working less, and for less. Many lost their entire savings in the great recession because they had to use it to survive, and help family members survive, when savings portfolio value was way down. Now have nothing to retire on. Boomers who supported both parents and children, whose last remaining asset is a house that's underwater, have no savings left.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:18:07 PM PDT

    •  We Boomers need the Milennials (12+ / 0-)

      to save our lives and that isn't really hyperbole.

      Most of the Boomers active on this site have been trying to hold the MIC's feet to the fire since the 60's and Vietnam.
      We tried, and failed and tried again- one step forward 5 steps back, for decades.

      The lucky boomers managed to stay married.
      Many of us went thru divorce, lost our financial security, our prized possessions sold on ebay to pay the mortgage on the home later lost to the mortgage companies.

      SS, HUD housing, food stamps and Medicare, all of which could be eliminated by the likes a RMoney, are all that stands between alot of us and living in our 18 year old cars.

      'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

      by flowerfarmer on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:02:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thise who rely upon their savings to survive (12+ / 0-)

      have had five hellish years under the Zero Interest regime of Obama appointees. That tactic did not "revive" the economy. It just allowed corporate and banking profits to soar while NOTHING trickled down in spite of Mr. NeoLib's belief in Reaganomics.

      Five years and counting of destroyed savings and nary even a mention, let alone some relief. In many ways, this is an elitist, uncaring "D" administration. And who appointed them again?

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:41:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  (raises hand) (5+ / 0-)
      Many lost their entire savings in the great recession because they had to use it to survive ... when savings portfolio value was way down. Now have nothing to retire on.
      Mid-50s here. Exactly why the whole "Third Way" and the allegedly-dead Simpson-Bowles austerity ideals that are determined to break Social Security render me so apoplectic anymore. That's all I have left.  What makes me so nuts is the fact that Social Security has been The Third Rail ever since I can remember. Yet since 2009, oddly enough. you see actual Democrats "playing politics" with it, "offering it up as a bargaining chip" in these ridiculous "budget theater" pieces.  

      How much longer do I have to witness this endless Russian Roulette with what remains of my future?  There's a point where that shit starts feeling like mental abuse.  

      These leaders need to wake the fuck up to the fact that garbage is a giant FAIL, and just knock it off.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:32:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not with a bang, but (8+ / 0-)

    a whimper.

    It may be that the US devolves into a third world nation. The uber-wealthy will land on their enormous cash cushions. The rest of us will likely be competing for the scraps they throw us to work for them.

    Maybe I'm just having an ultra pessimistic day. Sigh

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:33:06 PM PDT

  •  Sick of hearing "Thousands laid off! Stock price (13+ / 0-)

    soars on news!" I see this all the time in industries I pay attention to, like BigPharma. "6000 researchers let go! R&D to be outsourced!" Followed in due course by " Key ckinical trial fails!" And/or "Scientific fraud suspected! Investigation ongoing! Arrests expected!"

  •  I have 2 degrees and can't find a job (11+ / 0-)

    Research jobs seem to want me to have a masters already, if i wanted part time work they'd tell me i'm too experienced due to the degrees. At this moment i am applying for unpaid internships just to try to start something moving.

  •  it's kind of ironic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DiesIrae, emelyn

    that you're going with 'both sides are owned' when there's an actual front page post showing how much more to the left Congress has moved within the democratic party.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:55:00 PM PDT

  •  Good diary. Thank you. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, Steven D

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:07:58 PM PDT

  •  Change won't come from partisanship (10+ / 0-)

    American liberalism has rejoined its international namesake, we refer to it as "neoliberalism" because the US social democracy of the mid-20th century was too afraid to call itself honestly what it was, and adopted the label "liberal".  Now liberalism under the "neoliberal" banner drives the entire Democratic Party, there's no space left for the 20th century social democratic synthesis.  That's every bit as true of the Democrats as any other political institution in our "Ownership Society".  That doctrine is the essence of authentic liberalism, as any British Lib Dem or German Free Democrat could tell you.  What's vital to understand is that current US policy is leading the world in that direction, systematically snuffing out anything that fails to promote the triumph of the Ownership Society.  And we are utterly without any organized political force or base resisting that in the US.  I'm old and sick now, I won't have to put up with much more of this.  You younger folks best like it a whole lot, because this and moreso are the rest of your lives under the hegemony of capital to which all American political pragmatism swears absolute fealty.  (Watch the proud "pragmatists" around here, count the times their posture differs from the self-interest of capital.  You won't need any fingers at all.)

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:40:18 PM PDT

  •  David Cay Johnston speaks for me... (6+ / 0-)

    ...then again, "I speak for me," too. Thank you diarist! Excellent post!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:05:15 PM PDT

  •  One really does have to be literally insane (14+ / 0-)

    or incredibly stupid to still believe (as if there was ever any substance to it) that a self-regulating "free market" could ever benefit the majority of people living under it and be equitable and fair--or even sustainable. Left to their richest participants to run them as they see fit, economies invariably become unfair, unjust, unequal and ultimately untenable. This is all but axiomatic and you can, ahem, take it to the bank. This is true of any man-made system, be is a sport, politics or economies. People CHEAT, and the most powerful and rich cheat the most. Without prudent and enforceable checks and balances, all human systems ultimately fail. There are no exceptions. NONE.

    Either we re-regulate our economy, or it will fail. That includes prosecuting those who've gamed it illegally. I don't know why Obama doesn't get this.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:08:41 PM PDT

    •  Oh I think we know why (6+ / 0-)

      They gave him a lot of campaign money, especially once they saw he was likely to beat Hilary for the nomination.  And they kept sending in the money

      From the wayback machine:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:28:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know (4+ / 0-)

        It's just that I'm uncynical enough to have to ask anyway. You really do have to be a particular kind of asshole to be willing to prostitute yourself like that, especially given the stakes and consequences. I think it's all part of his all "I'm the coolest dude on the face of the planet so suck it, fools!" attitude. He really does seem to believe that if he does, it must be ok. Or else simply not care.

        Yeah, yeah, pragmatism, blah blah blah. The only people who say that are self-serving types who have benefited from his big fat wet kisses to the rich and powerful, or fools who'll believe anything a con artist tells them.

        A couple of years ago this comment would have been HRed into oblivion.

        He will have done lots of good, but history will not judge him kindly overall.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:20:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Capitalism Always Leads to Monopoly (4+ / 0-)

      The basic elements of the capitalist system will always bend toward monopoly power.  It's the way the system must work with unregulated competition.  At the end of the day, only one company will remain standing.  Government answerable to the people is the only power large enough and strong enough to challenge monopoly capitalism.  We forget that at our own peril, because the ultimate outcome is a hereditary aristocracy based on wealth.  Every republic in history that's gone down that slope winds up with totalitarian governance.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:11:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am watching this today, Elizabeth Warren (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Shockwave, goodpractice, JesseCW

    is/has/will always be
    AMAZING!!!!

    Be the change that you want to see in the world

    by New Minas on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:23:44 PM PDT

    •  She would be a dream come true (7+ / 0-)

      Paradoxically she is the best hope greedy corporate and 1%s have. If her vision, of regulated capitalism and a non-dysfunctional financial system and government in general, does not come about, the long term alternative is a political, social and economical earthquake.

      This debacle may start with a storming of the gated mansions like an assault on Versailles and La Bastille.  But the final destination will be the fracturing of America into theocratic, racist, anarchic and dysfunctional urban areas.

      On the left, the OWS movement may have foundered but its memes still live and grow.  On the right, I am starting to feel the armed wing-nuts stir.  However mentally deficient they are and however wrong about the diagnosis or prescription, they are becoming intense.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:31:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No one is ever "safe" from the dangers on all (6+ / 0-)

    sides.  The Occupy Wall Street movement was only a hiccup of what could really take place if the majority of people were suffering enough and had the will. Let things get much worse and most of the people will come out. The OWS movement was merely a warning that government should heed but probably will not.

    Anyway, this planet can't go on forever like this - the damage to the environment, global warming, overpopulation.. Someone on another site posted a historical analysis of what causes the collapse of countries or civilizations.  Apparently two things pop out - unequal distribution of wealth and loss of environmental resources.  The right promotes just those things with its policies.  That is why this country is headed for it's demise if things don't change.  And in the end all will perish anyway by overpopulation, war, famine, disease, global warming, etc.  When that time comes it will be horror.  Fortunately, I will not be around.  And fortunately I lived most of my life while this country was doing well (I was born in 1950).

    Why do I seem so pessimistic.  Because after observing human behavior all my life I don't think human civilization
    is capable of dealing with the problems.  Just look at the issue of global warming. There has certainly not been enough action on that front.  Governments are corrupted by the materialists who only care about their wealth so only things that promote wealth get done.  There is always some sort of warlike activity going on around the world (humans by nature are warlike)     Just wait until food supplu and environmental conditions get worse and you will see much more wars and fighting over resources.
    Nope, if I have to be realistic, the future doesn't look bright.  But don't let it get you down. Live in the moment and for today. Species and civilizations don't last for ever.

  •  . (5+ / 0-)

    both parties have bought in to the Milton Friedman brand of economic philosophy and are sticking to it to the bitter end just to avoid it becoming completely obvious how wrong they are and have been for well over 30 years.  The politicos are just sucking what they can out of they system before it fails due to the rest of the world sick of their abuse of the dollar as the worlds reserve currency.  

    Note the retail sector falling apart.... so much for the 'service based economy' bullshit they fed everyone for so long ... It should be a 'delight' when:

     Sears goes belly up (losing up to 360 million in 1st quarter of 2014, lost 1.36 billion in 2013) ... a cornerstone store in many malls around the nation  ...

    or Best Buy (2000 managers getting the boot) ..

    or Radio Shack (1100 stores getting closed)

    Even Macy's is axing 2500 people and closing a few stores (only 5 so far.

    "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:54:23 PM PDT

  •  Off With Their Heads (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    Battle cry of the French Revolution.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:03:15 PM PDT

  •  Two things: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rduran

    1) The French revolution took something like 10 years.  The King still reigned in Paris for 2 years before fleeing after the storming of the Bastille.  Plenty of people saw "revolution" coming... just not exactly how everything played out.

    2) There's an easy fix to overseas cash hording, and that's doing what most of the world already does: Don't tax repatriation of funds, and tax income only the country it is generated in.

    •  That wouldn't work at all (4+ / 0-)

      Companies would just continue to produce their products in low tax or tax free areas and sell their products to their domestic subsidiaries at an extremely inflated rate so that all the profits stay in the low or no tax countries. What we really need to do is to trash our so called free trade agreements and reinstate our import duties in the 35% range to protect our domestic produced manufactured goods. The last thing we should do is, as you suggested, stop taxing repatriated funds. That would only reward these transnational corporations for their bad antisocial behavior.  

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:13:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It already does work fine. (0+ / 0-)

        As I said, the US and a handful of other countries charge a reparations tax, same with overseas income.  Most of the world doesn't have any trouble making it work.

        Companies would just continue to produce their products in low tax or tax free areas and sell their products to their domestic subsidiaries at an extremely inflated rate so that all the profits stay in the low or no tax countries.
        Any return to US shareholders would have to happen in the United States. That's what they want to do with the money.  They can already use the money overseas as it stands without having to deal with US taxation.
        The last thing we should do is, as you suggested, stop taxing repatriated funds. That would only reward these transnational corporations for their bad antisocial behavior.  
        This is not "bad behavior" it's sound business practice.  Taxation is not about "reward" or "punishment" it's about revenue generation in as positive a way for society as possible.  Taxation that hampers the market and fails to raise significant revenue is bad any way you look at it.
    •  Only After the Outstanding Money Returns (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies

      We change the rule on taxing foreign earnings only after the current pool returns home for a final accounting.  Otherwise, we've just allowed scoundrels to game the system.  Besides, they've already taken tax deductions on that money in expectation of it's being returned.  If we change the tax law as you endorse, we need to change the WHOLE tax law for all money invested overseas.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:14:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. Freer capital. That's the ticket, by (0+ / 0-)

      Milton, I think you've got it.

  •  The party just got really rough and dangerous (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flowerfarmer, River Rover, Samulayo

    if we are left with the French Revolution as a reference point.  

  •  huh? (3+ / 0-)
    As for our modern day Aristocrats?  I think they're safe, and they know it, regardless of what happens on election day this year or in 2016, or in future elections after that for as far as they can see.  And that to me is the saddest thing about our country's current political scene.
    perhaps, but lets remember all their power comes via monopoly money, its a fiat currency, its has ABSOLUTELY NO WORTH except for the faith people put into it.  Once that faith is broken, its all worthless paper.
    Stock markets crash, hyper inflation does happen, revolution and war do occur, natural disasters do hit, and now do to our societies ridiculous devotion to tech and JIT inventories, we really are only 5 to 7 days from totally anarchy at any time.

    So sure for as long as society holds together as is, the rich have little to fear, but the fabric of society is not nearly as strong as you seem to think it is.

  •  The US should invade the Cayman Islands, seize the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice

    ill-gotten assets, extract the taxes and see to it that corporate income is monitored and properly taxed. If they don't want to pay taxes on it, let them invest it in stateside infrastructure projects that will create jobs.

  •  The French aristocracy didn't have modern (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodpractice, Steven D

    telecommunications, transport, or security.

  •  I agree with much in this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalvinV, Samulayo

    but I disagree with the underlying point that the lack of "revolution from the left" is to be blamed largely or mostly on the Democrats' refusal to embrace a more distinctively progressive message.  Certainly the Democrats are no profiles in courage.  But what this diary and what many on the left fail to recognize over and over again is that politicians do not lead public opinion, they follow it.

    Take Occupy for example.  The diarist mentions that it failed because Democrats failed to embrace it.  I disagree.  Occupy failed because Occupy deliberately chose to act outside the electoral sphere.  If for example you suddenly started seeing Occupy candidates successfully primarying Democratic politicians or if local Democratic party organizations started getting taken over by Occupiers, believe me, you'd suddenly start seeing a whole lot more Democrats singing their tune.

    How do we know this?  Because that's what the Tea Party did with the Republican party.  That's how Republicans went from endorsing cap and trade and the individual mandate in 2008 to deeming such measures as pure socialism a year later.  But in addition to that, what also caught people's attention was when Tea Partiers started winning primaries and elections in places like Massachusetts (Scott Brown), Delaware (Christine O'Donnell), suburban Chicago (Joe Walsh), and New York (Carl Paladino).  Though many of those candidates lost the general election, that they were making waves in deep blue country made the establishment take notice.

    If you really wanted to bring about a revolution of the left or if Occupy had wanted to really shake things up, the best way to have done that would've been to have successfully primaried Mark Pryor with an Occupy/aggressively liberal candidate.  Now, I know the excuses: but the Tea Party had big money and Repub establishment was behind them.  But this ignores the fact that candidates like O'Donnell in Delaware, Paladino in New York, and Sharron Angle in Nevada ran against better funded establishment candidates in their primaries.  People forget that in Kentucky the better funded establishment candidate was Trey Grayson, who was backed by the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but it was Rand Paul who had the support of insurgents and grassroots who won.

    The point is this: a big part of the problem is that movements of the left are ineffective on the electoral level.  Until that changes, Democrats will not go further left.  And it's not enough to win in safely blue districts.  We have strong liberals in Oakland and Marin and New York City.  We need to show we can win in red states and districts.  At this point liberals can't even win in suburban Chicago - look at Ilya Sheyman's loss a couple years ago to a Blue Dog.  So long as that's the case, Democrats will continue running Blue Dogs in such districts (and Brad Schneider then won his election).

    "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

    by puakev on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:39:48 PM PDT

    •  That's the difference (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D

      The GOP has to deal with the tea party.  It forces the GOP to act against the establishment's interests -- the tea party has caused real change.

      The Dems take their progressive constituencies for granted because they assume (rightfully) that the progressive voter will always make a 'rational' Dem vote. Thus, their votes can always taken for granted.

  •  how many times/ways can I recommend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    recommend button, tip jar ... what else?  this is a compelling essay ...

    Dirigiste vs Free Mkt -6.25/ Libertarian vs Authoritarian -4.72

    by bob in ny on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:04:22 PM PDT

  •  If we want the police to sympathize with the mass (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Truedelphi

    then the only way to do that is to stop them from getting compensations that put them among the privileged.

    If there's any votes to increase any compensations for police, vote it down. That's what we did in San Jose. Good riddance to any of them who leave because they think they should be among the privileged,

    In any societies, the police is always the main tool used by dictators to suppress the mass in the name of the skewed "law and order" mainly to protect the interest of the oligarch against the unruly mob.

  •  "Five times" the investment? (0+ / 0-)

    What do multinationals have "invested" in those listed in those five countries besides additional stores of paper wealth?

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:55:11 PM PDT

  •  So I find myself stumped. Help me out. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samulayo

    Are the same people who voted for "O" in 2008 going to continue to vote for Democrats now that it turns out the party has willingly become the Lesser Evil?

    I have been out tabling on a local issue, and it seems to me that people want very little part of politics.

    Fewer voters cannot be good. But the only people really enthused about either of the Two Big Money Parties are those who are the One Percent, and those who are close enough to that One Percent that they think it will somehow rub off on them.

    Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

    by Truedelphi on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:17:29 PM PDT

  •  I am for the revolution's coming (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know where she's been.....

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:28:32 AM PDT

  •  Oh -- never mind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    I thought the diary would be about the Spanish Inquisition.

    Or the Finnish Ski Brigade.

    ------
    Ideology is when you think you know the answers before you know the questions.
    It infests hollow spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:44:09 AM PDT

  •  One can dream, but the people are not (0+ / 0-)

    desperate enough, and worse, we are deeply divided among ourselves.

    For any real mass change to be triggered, it'll be by some external event that necessarily unites black and white, liberal and conservative, to the point where they are willing to put aside their doctrinal differences to deal with an existential issue.

    Such a thing as mass food shortage, a national pandemic, etc. Nothing short of those will unite and motivate the people of the United States -- the most docile and disconnected civil population on the planet.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:11:21 AM PDT

  •  The Democratic Party... (0+ / 0-)

    Embrace the Suck.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:28:28 AM PDT

  •  Well-the french had their version- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    "Let them eat cake."

    The American version:

    "Let Koch EAT THEM!"

    Rose Schneiderman (1866-1972). "The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred."

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:36:57 AM PDT

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