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I was going around the intertubes and have wondered how that austerity thing is working out here and other places.  I was shocked upon visiting a site that had compiled a graph to depict the extent of wealth inequality.  

If the graph is true in it's absolute form, then the cuts will surely sink us.   Every disaster and conflict along with wounded warriors, now on all fronts from the unecessary wars not on this soil to the fight for equality.  

I had to play this viral video several times to wrap my mind around it and then my jaw dropped.

Our reality is nothing (according to the graph) as our perception.  It is worse.

Watch...Learn....and then we figure what to do.

wow

http://www.businessinsider.com/...

This is sad.  We will not live long enough to leave our children with a hopeful future.
How Broke are you willing to be?

Originally posted to Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:36 PM PST.

Also republished by Dream Menders.

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    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:36:48 PM PST

  •  I knew all this before the Nov 2012 election (88+ / 0-)

    And I realized then the whole reason that the cuts are always for the people who comprise the 99%. My assumption is that the policies and the cuts must be on the backs of  the majority of Americans because to buy and pay for the members of the political class, it costs the big companies a lot of money.

    But buying and paying for the members of the Political Class surely works. It is the only logical reason why we had to have Geithner as Treasury Secretary, right? And why oh why  did most Democrats and the Dem President agree to sequestration maneuvers?

    As far as the executives working harder, they do work hard. it is just they are not really producing anything of value, just moving paper around, and making those all important phone calls to whichever Senators they own, so that "America's business' turns out in their favor.

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

    by Truedelphi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:52:42 PM PST

    •  It may take me the rest of the day to find (33+ / 0-)

      some joy to offer to my heart, but the sun is out  and I'll look for some joy.  The income distribution is a real downer tho.

      Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.
      Thanks for your sig line.  It's lovely.

      Time is a long river.

      by phonegery on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:00:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No... but they do deliver 350 times more value (5+ / 0-)

        As an example, how much value did Jobs' decision to pursue the iPod (Audio -> Video) -> iPhone -> iPad strategy produce for Apple?

        How much more value was that than that delivered by the average mid range Apple employee?

        •  There's an article somewhere today (72+ / 0-)

          that says Jobs' opposition to 7 inch iPads cost Apple a huge amount of market share (they released a 7.9 inch iPad after he died, and it outsells the original by a large margin).

          You're buying into the Randian idea that CEOs are what makes companies succeed and if they all leave for Galt's Gulch, society will collapse. The reality is that if they all disappeared tomorrow, the inequality in income distribution would lessen, and more companies would run successfully than would suffer.

          Jobs, to the extent he was responsible for Apple's success (which is probably much less than you imagine) is an extreme outlier.

          Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

          by badger on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:01:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And how would that work? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk
            You're buying into the Randian idea that CEOs are what makes companies succeed and if they all leave for Galt's Gulch, society will collapse. The reality is that if they all disappeared tomorrow, the inequality in income distribution would lessen, and more companies would run successfully than would suffer.
            So without the CEOs who would the final decision makers be?  

            Would companies get new CEOs?  Can you explain why you think they would be better than the current CEOs?

            Or would companies be run by some kind of workers' committees?  Can you point to any large successful companies run that way?  If the idea works then why haven't collectively run companies gotten big and taken over the Fortune 500?

            •  Yes, they would (47+ / 0-)
              Or would companies be run by some kind of workers' committees?  Can you point to any large successful companies run that way?
              In Germany, where they're doing quite well thatnk you very much, corporate boards are required to have union representation holding board seats.

              The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, the polls tell us how the media is doing.

              by Thumb on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:14:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here ya go: (7+ / 0-)

              http://www.nytimes.com/...

              Just one example. Also google anarcho-syndicalism during the Spanish Civil War.

              The world does not begin and end at your doorstep, laddie.

              "Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes begging." - Luther

              by Cartoon Messiah on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:31:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks... a good attempt (0+ / 0-)

                But let's note that the largest company (IMPA) doing this has only 170 workers, they took over abandoned assets, so they did not need to raise capital or build their factory, and the got a concessionary rental from the state, so they are not even having to pay a fair rental value for their assets.

                Moreover, this has not exactly been a stable business.  Here's a very sympathetic description of some recent history from a socialist web site: http://www.argentinaindependent.com/...

                In 2005, Luis Caro, a lawyer at the head of the Recuperated Factory Movement (MFR) tried to get involved in the cooperative. The workers say how the MFR looks to privatise cooperatives by favouring the installation of a leading council and avoiding cultural activities and the opening of the enterprise to the community. On 14th April, the lawyer broke into the factory with a group of 20 dissident IMPA workers. Outside, the 130 remaining workers, led by head of MNER, Eduardo Murúa, tried desperately to enter their workplace while being repressed by the police.

                ...

                A few months later, three of the workers went to meet the creditors to pay $4m back. Their show of good will pushed the government to give the company a temporary expropriation, meaning that the state bought the factory to allow the workers to reoccupy it under a new name: ‘22 de mayo’, the date of one of their biggest protests. Unfortunately, at the start of 2009, Judge Victor Hugo Vitale ruled against IMPA by declaring the law was illegal, even though it was dictated by the government. The case is now going into appeal and IMPA supporters are not too worried.

                Seems like the only way the can survive is to have the government keep protecting them from having to pay their debts.

                Now, given Argentina's rather pathetic economic performance you can argue that this is hardly a fair test... but then where are the successful companies in the US run by workers' councils?

                As a contrast, SAIC used to be employee owned, but the employee shareholders elected a board which appointed a traditional CEO.  In 2009 SAIC's employees decided that they would rather have cash than ownership of their employer and voted to convert SAIC into a traditional company and IPO.

            •  Project managers of actual projects on the ground (9+ / 0-)

              would make the decisions.

            •  Your examples and ideas are so crappy (9+ / 0-)

              I find it hard to figure where to begin.

              1) "Or would companies be run by some kind of workers' committees?  Can you point to any large successful companies run that way? "

              1) http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              2) In order to value any employee one of the key components is replacement value.  Current CEO's have little to no replacement value.

              Remove every last CEO of the say the consumer electronics industry and replace them with the second to best. You will see little to no net impact for the industry.

              3)  You quote Apple  as a success story......There is a reason why being assosciated with Apple is a black mark within the technical community. In short Apple the firm is not a positive and has contributed very little as far as value to the industry. (next to no new and innovative ideas). They are actually the single greatest threat to technological progress within the world at this time. Case in point Apple is now known to spend more on legal bills than R&D. It seems the firms greatest hope and dream is to stile any new and innovative product. I would wager to say they are now hated more than Microsoft was in the days of old.

              •  And apparently the outcome of Jobs being (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brooke In Seattle, pengiep, badger

                Jealous and obsessive about the ideas in "his" products.

                There's an upside and a downside to visions like that.

                Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

                by dadadata on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:34:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Strange ideas (0+ / 0-)
                1) "Or would companies be run by some kind of workers' committees?  Can you point to any large successful companies run that way? "

                1) http://en.wikipedia.org/... (W. L. Gore)

                W. L. Gore has a president.  I assume he fills the CEO role.  If not, then what does he do?
                2) In order to value any employee one of the key components is replacement value.  Current CEO's have little to no replacement value.
                "Replacement value" is the cost of replacing something.  CEOs today have a very high replacement value - it costs a lot of money to replace them with a new one.  Your argument is that companies are overpaying.
                Remove every last CEO of the say the consumer electronics industry and replace them with the second to best. You will see little to no net impact for the industry.
                Really?  What is your evidence for this claim?

                Just as one example, look at what happened when Mark Hurd left HP and was replaced by Leo Apotheker.   I think we very quickly saw the impact of a second best CEO.  (And Apotheker wasn't some bottom of the barrel pick - he had a good track record at SAP).  On the other hand, Hurd is apparently doing great stuff at Oracle - he runs their hardware business and it is doing far better than anyone expected when they bought it from Sun.

                •  CEO Pay is waste (0+ / 0-)

                  I present no evidence at this time. It is rather hard to do an experiment that would be needed prove my statement either way.  So I would ask you the same. Do you have proof that this is not the case? I do not expect you to, but I am just pointing out ridiculousness of asking for hardcore proof on such a statement.

                  However I will resource to conceptual points which should be supportive my general opinion.

                  .... A general principal of the free market is that no individuals have sway over it and invisible hand will demand that needed products will be created.

                  As such how is a CEO of any industry going to alter this?

                  If the world market demands shiny little tablets than the consumer electronics industry will produce them.

                  The most you can hope from a CEO is that they help an individual firms capture the most market share in the most efficient way.

                  In that way a CEO can have positive value to an individual firm. This however also prevents them from having significant positive impacts industry wide.

                  By paying these obscene salaries to individual CEO's within any industry the market is creating significant overhead.

                  Overhead is the same thing as waste.

                  This waste is being redirected from capital creation(R&D and manfuactuing) and thus again...........WASTE.

                  The second half

                  The best snippet I have about Hurd is as follows

                  "Hurd, you may recall, was an operations guy who led the company through a multiyear run of massive job cuts and little innovation, for which Wall Street rewarded H-P investors."

                  In short he gladly sacrificed HP's long term success for a momentary bump.  

                  I find your examples of "successful" CEO's telling.

                  What you seem to think is success is infact a leach sucking the blood out of a company and contributing a net negative impact on any industry.

                  •  Do you have proof of evolution? (0+ / 0-)
                    I present no evidence at this time. It is rather hard to do an experiment that would be needed prove my statement either way.  So I would ask you the same. Do you have proof that this is not the case? I do not expect you to, but I am just pointing out ridiculousness of asking for hardcore proof on such a statement.
                    I agree - asking for proof of such a statement is ridiculous, which is why I did not do so.

                    But there is plenty of evidence for it and Google is always there.

                    For example, http://www.stanford.edu/...

                    This paper shows that Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) meaningfully affect firm performance.

                    Using variation in CEO exposure resulting from the number of days a CEO is hospitalized, we investigate the effect of CEOs on firm policies, holding firm and CEO matches constant. We have four main findings. First, CEOs have an economically and statistically significant effect on profitability, revenue, and investment outcomes. Firms whose CEOs are hospitalized underperform when their chief executives are sick but otherwise exhibit similar performance relative to other firms. Second, we find robust CEO effects for relatively young and highly educated CEOs, and for CEOs in rapidly growing environments, settings where the value of CEOs actions are arguably highest. Third, we show that CEOs are unique: the hospitalization of other senior executives does not have similar effects on performance. Fourth, consistent with the idea that hospitalizations meaningfully affect CEO potential at the firm level, we find that hospitalizations lead to significant increases in turnover probabilities. Overall, our findings demonstrate that CEOs are a key determinant of firm performance,

                    There is also a good logical argument for this.  If you assume that the distribution of skills needed to be a successful CEO of any company is normally distributed in the population then obviously you want someone at the very tip of the top tail running a Fortune 500 company.  At this level you would expect significant differences in skill compared between best and second best, just as there is much more difference in height between the tallest and second tallest men in the world compared to the 100th and 101st.
                    .... A general principal of the free market is that no individuals have sway over it and invisible hand will demand that needed products will be created.

                    As such how is a CEO of any industry going to alter this?

                    If the world market demands shiny little tablets than the consumer electronics industry will produce them.

                    Yes, with invisible hands controlled by phantoms?

                    I think you should study some economics before trying arguments like this.

                    "Hurd, you may recall, was an operations guy who led the company through a multiyear run of massive job cuts and little innovation, for which Wall Street rewarded H-P investors."

                    In short he gladly sacrificed HP's long term success for a momentary bump.  

                    Which is why Larry Ellison, who still owns a huge chunk of Oracle that he can't sell without tanking the stock hired him to run his hardware business.

                    Think about it for a minute.

                    •  Invisible hand (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Free Jazz at High Noon

                      is not the will of the CEOs.... it is the will of the consumer demanding a product and will of the produce being happy to make it.. If one producer does not step up another will. Coming from  your conservative standpoint I find it funny that you would deny one of the basic founding principles of free market capitalism.

                      Ive studied a economics a enough in both an academic and professional manner to be able to reference the invisible hand metaphor.

                      As far as CEO's playing a key role in an individual firms performance. I would agree with that. Unfortunately the market has been woefully wrong as to the valuation of certain CEO's but that is a different story.

                      The argument is a value of a CEO on an industry wide level.

                      Say we have two firms  the GAP and Abercombie and fitch
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/....

                      A great CEO at Gap may make the Gap millions and millions as such and the same goes for A&F. As such both firms will pay, and pay well.  Im going to assume that there are two firms just so we can use the basic prisoners dilemma.

                      1) If neither firm pays a top notch CEO.
                      market share 50/50

                      2) If the gap pays a top notch CEO and A&F does not
                      market share 75/25

                      3) If the A&F pays a top notch CEO and gap does not
                      market share 25/75

                      4) If the A&F and GAP pay for a top notch CEO a
                      market share 50/50

                      Its essentially an arms race costing industry billions in wasted resources spent on CEO's

                      The CEO's wages are overhead and market waste in this situation.  

                      The industry would be much more efficient if we did not have to worry about these dimmwits wasting capital.

                      Spending 71 million on Mike Jeffries is a pure waste for the apparel industry.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(CEO)

                      •  OK... so how do you get all the apparel companies (0+ / 0-)

                        to agree to only hire second raters and only pay second rate salaries?

                        Why not try this first with professional athletes - baseball, basketball, or football, and see if you can make it work there with a relatively limited number of employers and workers.

                        •  There are ways to do it. (0+ / 0-)

                          and ofcourse there are ways around them.

                          But ya I would have no problem applying the same logic to professional athletes....I actually have in private discussions.

                          I would be more than glad to use them as an experiment just

                    •  I think you should study more studies (0+ / 0-)

                      The Stanford study is a poor measure of CEO performance in that it conflates two very different things. Yes, a company whose CEO is hospitalized for a significant period of time is going to perform worse, but for reasons unrelated to that particular CEO's performance. Even if the CEO was barely a cut above Bozo the Clown to begin with, the negative effects of being leaderless and impact on company dynamics/politics would damage any company.

                      Here's a better study from Purdue University

                      For example, firms that pay their CEOs in the top ten percent of pay earn negative abnormal returns over the next five years of approximately -13%. The effect is stronger for CEOs who receive higher incentive pay relative to their peers. Our results are consistent with high-pay induced CEO overconfidence
                      and investor overreaction towards firms with high paid CEOs.
                      Or take Forbes annual Executive Pay rankings.  For the last 10 years running, out of the top 25 highest paid CEOs, the highest # of  CEOs whose performance beat their industry peers was 4. That's right - at most 16% of the highest paid CEOs actually performed better than their industry peers - and that's per Forbes, a very conservative source.

                      CEO pay is grossly outsized to their performance.  

                      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

                      by absdoggy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:27:57 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  German engineering (post WWII) is respected (14+ / 0-)

              worldwide. Workers are on every board of directors by law and have some of the best pay and benefits in the world.

              They look at the U.S. honorarium system of CEO entitlement, (where CEO's go from one failing company to the next taking huge severance packages with them -- Bain Capital can show you how that's done) and just think we're off the rails. We are.

              http://www.juancole.com/...

              Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

              by FrY10cK on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:52:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  'scuse me but (10+ / 0-)

              there are so VERY MANY examples of CEOs who fulfilled the Peter Principle (raised beyond their competency) that ya could write a book about them.

              Oh, wait: it's already been published!  Like, forty years ago!

              Don't tell me that CEOs are so competent they deserve to earn 350 percent of what their midlevel managers earn.

              CEOs are useless most of the time.  The real work is done by the support staff.

              Occasionally, the CEO gets fired for incompetence.  More often, he (almost always a "he") gets elevated to the Board so he can't further harm the corporation.

              Except, of course, as Chairman of the Board, he can destroy everything.

              And as long as he can continue to line his pockets with the corporation's wealth, he's happy.

              And the poor stockholders are out a bundle: but they should never have invested in the first place, right?  They are supposed to know everything about every detail related to investing their 401-Ks.  B/c they have SO much time after working a 60-hour week to research stocks.

              Right.

              And the Easter Bunny is going to give me new eyeglasses.

              Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

              by Youffraita on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 01:21:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's saying (9+ / 0-)

              that only the very wealthy have the intelligence to invent. Jobs and Wosniak had a bright idea, they then hired other people to have bright ideas. At some point after Wosniak left Jobs finally hired some really great designers and marketers for the iMac, and hire the cheapest skilled workers in the world to make the ensuing products like the iPod.
              These were not Jobs' designs or even his ideas for the most part and his direction led Apple into some strange and non-renumerative directions for many years. (I think some money from Microsoft had to support them at one point). He did understand what combination of others' ideas (MP3 players, slick minimal design) would appeal to the people who influence taste and style.
              Steve Jobs recognised talent and exploited it well. A lot of people have the ability to use others, but only one out of a million of them will luck into gathering enough money at one time to be able to do something interesting with it. We would not have iPhones unless people had been tired of their grey boring computers and ready for something candy coloured instead.
              This did not make Jobs either god or guru, but both he and the general public tended to forget that. I think humans need to make up gods where none exist. I've seen this in campaign workers before, in televangelists' congregations, and the deification of all those who can gather either money or power. I guess those people hope a little luck will rub off. It seldom does.

              "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

              by northsylvania on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 01:26:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Simple Answer (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zett

              The simple answer is that they used to get paid a much smaller multiplier – much, much smaller – and things ran very well.

              It's not the pyramid structure of corporations that's the main problem, it's the fact that top salaries were dramatically and artificially raised by cronyism and Libertarianism.

              CEOs fought just as hard to get to the top when the multiplier was 60 as they do when it's 350. The only difference is that now the difference amounts to another notch in the belt of people who want to redistribute America's wealth from the middle-class to the 1%.

              You know, like it was just before The Great Depression (hint, hint).

              A Southerner in Yankeeland

          •  PS. and CEOs do not speak ex-Cathedra (3+ / 0-)

            They aren't infallible, including Jobs.

            But one wrong call does not mean that his overall vision was not incredible valuable.  

            After all, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Palm, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, Oracle, Google, and RIM all had the necessary capabilities to do what Apple did.  But none of them had the strategic vision.

            •  Is anyone home? (15+ / 0-)
              After all, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Palm, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, Oracle, Google, and RIM...
              And yet they all did extremely well and their CEOs were also paid 350x the average workers' pay.

              Did you have a point?

              The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, the polls tell us how the media is doing.

              by Thumb on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:16:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  HP, Dell, and RIM are all not doing well at all (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                and none of them are doing as well as Apple, for which reason none of their CEOs made as much money as Jobs did during those years.

                But yes, all CEOs of companies that size get paid a huge amount of money.  And that makes perfect sense.

                For example, IBM's market cap today is $226 billion.

                Let's say a world class CEO is only 1% better (measured by investor expectations of NPV of future cash flows) than a really great and awesome (but not world class) CEO.  Since market cap is purely a function of investor expectations of the NPV of future cash flows that means the world class CEO is worth $2.26 billion more to IBM than the really great and awesome CEO.

                Given numbers like these, there is a good argument that CEOs are underpaid.  The counterargument is that because boards do not know if a potential CEO is really that great until after the fact (and sometimes not until several years after he is gone) it makes economic sense to pay CEOs less than what you would pay for someone you knew was a world class CEO.

                •  Only makes sense gto you (22+ / 0-)
                  But yes, all CEOs of companies that size get paid a huge amount of money.  And that makes perfect sense.
                  Used to be that CEOs made only 80-100x and not 350 times the average worker. It didn't mean they were less than a third effective, it means they didn't have the influence over compensation boards they do now. This influence skews what would otherwise be governed by the laws of supply and demand, and now it's legalized graft.

                  The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, the polls tell us how the media is doing.

                  by Thumb on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:25:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Uh huh....so when they find out he is a crook who (6+ / 0-)

                  fits him for the golden parachute?  The tooth fairy.

                  We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

                  by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 09:06:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Classic conservative ideological shell game. (17+ / 0-)

                  Where is the value?

                  You all do the same thing with the market. "Markets are self-correcting, so we should take a hands-off approach!"

                  Here you engage in the same rhetorical sleight of hand with the dollars at issue.

                  What is the controlling value of society and of the market? You've just made it the money/market itself—as if money or markets were inherent goods/ultimate ends.

                  They aren't. They exist in order to allocate resources to human beings. That is why they were created and continue to operate.

                  The controlling value is not (or ought not to be) the value of a dollar, or the value of the market, but the value of human lives.

                  The correct question is not "does CEO X return more dollars than the janitor as an investment," because neither the CEO nor the janitor exist in the service of dollars.

                  The dollars exist in the service of the CEO and the janitor. You have it exactly backward, irrationally backward.

                  The correct question is "is a CEO's life worth 300+ times more than the life of the janitor?" The clear answer is "no."

                  Think of it this way: Imagine that one person is so insanely bright and productive that their labor is worth infinitely more than anyone else, so much so that they have all the money and nobody else has any of it—they are just so much more bright and productive that everyone else's intelligence and productivity goes to zero by comparison.

                  So we have one amazing person with 100% of the cash and the other 300 million with 0% of the cash. Under your system, that is absolutely justified; this person's labor is that much more amazing.

                  But in that situation—what good is the cash? Why invest it? Nobody can possibly generate a better return than this amazing person with it. With so much wealth, he/she needs nothing, no point in spending even a tiny fraction of it.

                  But will everyone else simply roll over and die because they realize how worthless they are by comparison, and because as a result they deserve no resources at all? Of course not! What will they do? Develop an alternative system for resource allocation and cut him right out of it—because they value their lives intrinsically, not the money he's holding. And even if they did roll over and die instead, what would he do then, as the last person left on earth, with all of that money?

                  The value of the returns only makes sense within the context of market that is a functioning resource allocation system. Essentialize the money or the market to be the actual value, and the result is irrational with respect to human existence. It is the people that are intrinsically valuable, not the cash. A earth with no money/markets but lots of people would seem odd, but an earth with tons of money laying about yet entirely devoid of humans would be considered a post-apocalyptic tragedy.

                  Because at the end of the day, money and markets are not terminal/essential values; humans are.

                  -9.63, 0.00
                  "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

                  by nobody at all on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 10:11:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OK... but now you're onto a total reorganisation (0+ / 0-)

                    of our economy onto some kind of centrally planned system where people get paid based on their intrinsic worth (so assholes get paid less? Who decides who the assholes are?) rather than just an argument that CEOs are overpaid.

                    I don't think such a reorg is feasible and if we did try to do it I think our economy would all apart and we would all end up with far less.

                    •  Absolutely not. (3+ / 0-)

                      You're essentializing value as being one and the same as the resource allocation system once again.

                      Resource allocation systems are a social invention (yes, including capitalism), often emergent in nature, for the allocation of resources.

                      To the extent that they cease to function in this way, they are abandoned by populations—we see this again and again in history.

                      My point is not to argue that one is the "right" one because that is precisely not the point. The value (and stability) of the system does not inhere in its intrinsic properties, but in the degree to which it reflects the value that social agents attribute to other social agents.

                      All I am saying is that it is a silly argument to suggest that "the real value" of the CEO is based on his income because the value of the income he generates because the value of the income that he generates is precisely a social, human value whose apparent objectivity is really the result of social consensus. It is, at its root, a circular argument.

                      The value added by the CEO may be measured in "billions," but those "billions" are not a stable quantity—they reflect social conditions and consensus, which in part hinge on whether the population sees the value proposition at issue to be justified—a calculation that they make with respect to the value that they see to inhere in their own being. See, for example, hyperinflation, etc.

                      One of the sins of modern economics is that it has tricked many econ students into imagining the economic system as "real" and the population that sustains it (and that can destroy it in an instant) as "ephemeral and changing."

                      In fact, it is the other way around.

                      It's the difference between "I am the product of my work" and "I produce my work." The former is only a sensible statement in postmodernist philosophy. The latter obtains in almost every other situation in everyday, practical existence.

                      Workers are not the results of the dollars that they create; the dollars that are created are the results of workers. Similarly, the value of the CEO is not measured by the dollars that he or she creates, but rather, the dollars that he or she creates must express the actual practical social value of the CEO.

                      The direction of the arrow is not unimportant. In your perspective, the dollar value is objective, and based on the dollar value we can see the value of the CEO. If this were true, there would never be social unrest as the result of economic woe.

                      But in fact to the extent that people find that the dollars do not properly express what they feel to be the value of a CEO (and we can see this when people furiously mention 300x multipliers), the system loses legitimacy and the value of dollars (or whatever currency) becomes suspect.

                      The things/people are real and dollars represent them. It is not the other way around.

                      -9.63, 0.00
                      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

                      by nobody at all on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:45:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I see much handwaving saying nothing at all (0+ / 0-)
                        •  Let me make it simple for you. (0+ / 0-)

                          Money does not exist in nature.

                          It is a social thing. We want money because we trust that it can buy us stuff in the future. If we stop trusting the money, we will stop accepting it in exchange for stuff we already have now, including our time.

                          So long as people look at a CEO making 300x what a middle manager makes and think "this makes me think that the CEO is 300x better than that middle manager," then the money is fine.

                          The moment people look at the CEO making 300x what a middle manager makes and think "I know the CEO is not 300x better than the middle manager, which makes me think that the money might be broken," they will want to exchange their money for real stuff, because they no longer have confidence that the money will continue to buy them stuff in the future.

                          Right now, lots of people are looking at the CEO making 300x what the middle manager is making and saying, "Uh-oh, the money is somehow broken, because I don't believe that the CEO's time (which is, after all, his life) is 300x more intrinsically valuable (i.e. in terms other than money) than the middle manager's time (again, in fact, his life)."

                          The long history of market and currency confidence failures should tell you all you need to know about treating money/currency/financial markets as stable, objective evidence of social value.

                          It takes a serious ideological blindness to believe that the Great Depression, or the Great Recession of 2008, were not market events in which the meaning of dollar values became unclear, but in fact human events in which a large destruction of money was merely the objective result of a catastrophic drop in the value of human beings and their time.

                          Not only is it bizarre to imagine this, but we have all kinds of objective evidence (productivity metrics, flows of goods/funds in other coupled systems, etc.) to suggest that it is not the people or the time that became less valuable, but financial quantities and balance sheets—meaning, simply, that they money is not a guarantee of value, but rather—when and only when it is working correctly—merely its result.

                          If that's a lot of meaningless hand-waving to you, I'm not surprised. One of the hallmarks of conservatism is the imagination that people are fungible and things that are not people (including money, values, gods, etc.) are eternal and objective. It may be the most fundamental difference in worldview.

                          -9.63, 0.00
                          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

                          by nobody at all on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:37:18 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  hahahahahaha. CEOs underpaid?... (17+ / 0-)

                  ...F'n nonsense. But you fellas keep it up. Sharp inequalities of income and wealth always, at some point, are fixed by reform or revolution. Here's some of the former:

                  Swiss voters approved some of the world’s toughest limits on executives’ pay in a referendum, a move critics say could make Switzerland less attractive to multinational corporations.

                  The initiative against “fat cats,” proposed by Thomas Minder, head of a herbal toothpaste company, was backed by 67.9 percent of the voters today, the government said on its website today. [...]

                  The proposal gives shareholders an annual ballot on managers’ pay. It eliminates sign-on bonuses, as well as severance packages and extra incentives for completing merger transactions. The initiative also includes rules punishing executives who violate the terms with as long as three years in jail.

                  “I’m glad the long battle is over,” Minder, who started the campaign in 2006, told Swiss television. “It’s a powerful sign, this proportion above 60 percent.”

                  Sparked by a CEO getting "just" $78 million.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 11:33:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Isn't that beautiful? And they weren't (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blueoasis, tb mare, ratzo, jediwashuu, badger

                    intimidated by the arguments of the business community, the shills for CEOs telling them that it would make Switzerland less competitive.  

                    They are an inspiration to us all.

                    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

                    by helfenburg on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 03:24:57 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It's kind of irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

                    I think eliminating the sign on bonuses and severance packages is good, but of course Swiss companies will have to pay higher salaries in return.

                    There is no limit on managers' pay - just a requirement for shareholders to vote on it... which is also a good thing - the shareholders own the company.

                    http://www.businessweek.com/...

                    Moreover, Swiss companies could find that their shareholders are relatively compliant. In the U.S., where say-on-pay is nonbinding, shareholders approved more than 97 percent of executive-pay proposals presented to them last year, according to Los Angeles-based consultancy Semler Brossy. In a survey of executive-pay votes at 3,000 major companies, only 2.6 percent of proposals were voted down.
                    Apparently the people who pay the CEOs don't think they are overpaid.
                •  Ah, the box office theory of running a company. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  happymisanthropy, badger

                  Everyone loved John Sculley for a while, too. He talked good.

                  Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

                  by dadadata on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:37:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If CEO pay directly correlated with the success of (0+ / 0-)

                  the company, it wouldn't be so bad. But it often doesn't. CEOs often get paid a lot even if the company is not doing well.

                  •  Less and less (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FG

                    That's because more and more CEO pay is in the form of options and restricted stock.

                    Of course, there are problems with this as well.

                    A CEO with out of the money options is incented to do Hail Mary plays - after all, he is no better off if his options of $.01 out of the money than if the company is bankrupt.

                    On the other hand, a CEO with the majority of his net worth in his own company's restricted stock is incented to take fewer risks than is optimal for his shareholders who hopefully have well diversified portfolios and who should therefore be more risk tolerant.

                •  Utterly fatuous 'logic' (0+ / 0-)

                  1) Investors do not have a magic crystal ball that tells them CEO #1 would bring in 1% more profit to Acme Inc., than will CEO #2. [It's net cash flows that matter, btw, not total revenues excluding costs.]
                  2) Investors do not usually determine executive pay, in any case. Boards do. CEO #2 serves on the boards of half the companies represented on Acme's board. The other Acme board members either went to his alma mater, are in the same country-club, belong to the same elite organizations, or are on the same non-profit boards as CEO #2. They all scratch his back, and he scratches theirs. They choose him over CEO #1, and pay him twice as much -- and he does the same for them, directly or via networks.
                  3) Most CEOs aren't Jobs (to say the least!!!), yet most receive absurdly high compensation packages even if their company loses more money under their reign and the stock price has fallen. The "230x" figure is an average, of CEOs at the 350 biggest firms. Jobs was unquestionably a marketing genius, drove his team hard and well, and created the most valuable American company (for a while).
                  4) Perhaps Jobs would have brought even more wealth to Apple if he'd received even less compensation. :-) Perhaps he would have taken more leisure time with his family, would have had more time to research his cancer, and would have chosen the prudent medical route 9 months earlier, thereby living years longer and providing more value to Apple. WP:

                  Despite his diagnosis, Jobs resisted his doctors' recommendations for mainstream medical intervention for nine months, instead consuming a special alternative medicine diet in an attempt to thwart the disease. According to Harvard researcher Ramzi Amri, his choice of alternative treatment "led to an unnecessarily early death."According to Jobs's biographer, Walter Isaacson, "for nine months he refused to undergo surgery for his pancreatic cancer – a decision he later regretted as his health declined."
                  •  Who said anything about total revenues? (0+ / 0-)
                    [It's net cash flows that matter, btw, not total revenues excluding costs.]
                    I said it was NPV of future cash flows... which means net.
                    Investors do not have a magic crystal ball that tells them CEO #1 would bring in 1% more profit to Acme Inc., than will CEO #2.
                    That's right.  If they did then CEOs would get paid even more.

                    Imagine if there was a way to know that CEO X would increase the value of any IT company by 1% more than the next best candidate.

                    Then he could sit there and let Apple and IBM bid for him and quickly work his way up to about $2 billion in compensation.

                    Given the uncertainty - after all, Apotheker looked like a good fit to many people when HP appointed him - it makes sense that companies apply a big discount when they negotiate these packages.

            •  I happen to know some of those companies (4+ / 0-)

              reasonably well.

              You are comparing apples to oranges, in terms of markets and associated business goals of the different companies listed.

              Further, making more money isn't the only goal of those companies, either - returning investment profits to their extreme minority of top, highly demanding shareholders is, though.  Wall Street demands profits for the wealthiest investors and each case has its own conditions for making that happen.

              Even your much-vaunted Apple is vainly fending off a suit from one of their top investors at this moment - how much revenue and/or profit they made before/after Jobs as little to do with what that investor wants TODAY.

              "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

              by wader on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 09:31:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You can't do that without making money (0+ / 0-)
                Further, making more money isn't the only goal of those companies, either - returning investment profits to their extreme minority of top, highly demanding shareholders is, though.
                Even your much-vaunted Apple is vainly fending off a suit from one of their top investors at this moment - how much revenue and/or profit they made before/after Jobs as little to do with what that investor wants TODAY.
                Yeah.  So?  What is your point and how is this relevant to CEO pay?
                •  Earnings per share, guaranteed dividends and (0+ / 0-)

                  internal measures that get to those goals are key to top investors and Executives, which is not solely related to how much money the company makes - if you understand how a publicly owned business serves its monied interests.

                  CEO pay is rewarded for making their internal targets or simply staying around long enough to guarantee compensation packages kick in from contractual terms laid out in their hiring accommodations - that money trickles up from the bottom.

                  How do they obtain these benefits for the most wealthy investors and Executives?  Most of them are cutting costs faster than increasing profits, despite strides being made in growth markets at relatively slow paces across the board (faster for some).

                  And again, each of the companies you mentioned has different emphases: Oracle doesn't even try to compete with Apple and only works to beat Dell, HP, etc. in a specific set of business segments.  Most of them are not trying to be Apple, especially in the consumer device market and associated media commerce storefront.

                  Meanwhile, Apple could not satisfy Einhorn's lust for more money enough, and he sued until getting some movement in share prices to satisfy his desires, apparently.  Nothing specifically to do with how much money they saw as revenue before or after Jobs' multiple tenures.

                  "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                  by wader on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:05:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The stupid is giving me a headache (0+ / 0-)
                    Earnings per share, guaranteed dividends and internal measures that get to those goals are key to top investors and Executives, which is not solely related to how much money the company makes - if you understand how a publicly owned business serves its monied interests.
                    EPS is Earnings - otherwise known as how much money the company makes - divided by shares.

                    Opportunities to reduce shares are limited - generally share buy backs - so the main focus is increasing earnings.

                    I have no idea what you mean by "guaranteed dividends".  Perhaps preferred stock with a dividend payout?  But even those are not guaranteed.

                    CEO pay is rewarded for making their internal targets or simply staying around long enough to guarantee compensation packages kick in from contractual terms laid out in their hiring accommodations - that money trickles up from the bottom.
                    They are mostly rewarded for increases in stock price.  Staying around generally requires doing a good job - ask Leo Apotheker.

                    And as for the money, as far as I can tell, it comes from the shareholders.  If the CEO decides to take a $1 salary do you think the janitors get a raise?

                    How do they obtain these benefits for the most wealthy investors and Executives?  Most of them are cutting costs faster than increasing profits,

                    How does cutting costs (as opposed to increasing profits) help investors?

                    Are you confusing profits with revenue?  If so, then definitely.

                    If your margins are 20% then it takes $1 in reduced costs to increase profit by $1 but $5 in increased revenue to increase profit by $1.

                    Oracle doesn't even try to compete with Apple
                    You know Oracle owns Java, right?  Oracle and Apple are head to head on smart phone and tablet platforms and Oracle is pushing its own cloud services and its technology as the backbone of third party cloud services that compete with Apple's cloud offerings.
                    Meanwhile, Apple could not satisfy Einhorn's lust for more money enough, and he sued until getting some movement in share prices to satisfy his desires, apparently.  Nothing specifically to do with how much money they saw as revenue before or after Jobs' multiple tenures.
                    Yes.  So?  What is your point?
                    •  Obviously, you use obfuscation to attempt (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Free Jazz at High Noon

                      winning a point.  Lots of misdirection by taking quotes out of context and then attempting to redefine them as something nobody intelligent would intend.  That's primarily a Republican tactic and always the sign of a losing hand - being a former Republican, I'm familiar with this annoying trait.

                      Even attempting to equate Apple's multi-year investment in a consumer device orientation to Oracle's long-term, corporate business model + highly recent licensing of Java (which IBM once had an interest in - were they attempting to compete with Apple in their targeted customer segments, as well?) displays the height of buffoonery in a lost cause.  An investment in Java without any significant move into the consumer market suddenly makes Oracle a direct competitor to Apple's targeted segments?  Wow, that's rich.

                      Maybe you can say the same thing for patent portfolios, please - really, I'd love to hear you stake that claim, as well.

                      To review your lost cause, once again - because obfuscation tends to be a noisy ride, so we must often remind the audience of the main point being addressed - Steve Jobs was no god to all business models, customer segments or market attempts, and each of the companies you cited have succeeded for their primary investors + Executives in their own ways (which is a different statement than saying they succeeding for all shareholders or even their future investments in talented employees at the same time), even when publicly "losing" in Wall Street-measured business attempts (e.g., HP) and mostly without competing directly against Apple.

                      How have they made this minority of employees and top investors happy?  Firing people to artificially inflate earnings/share reporting, accounting revisionism to alter the bases for expense-to-revenue forecasts and Wall Street-oriented manipulation of returns for ONLY the types of shares or loans that major shareholders and Executives held as primary beneficiaries (all others being happy or unhappy winners or losers in a serendipitous fashion, depending upon how their holdings performed relative to timing of their buys and stock type in the past quarter or more, etc. - i.e., what the general public sees).

                      Your simplistic view of Jobs's and Apple's performance being all due to a single man smacks of hero worship, since his staff was largely responsible for their labor investments overseas, their materials+parts investments well ahead of manufacturing and their growth of a proprietary licensing scheme with content providers to support their embedded + online stores that merged with their simplistic consumer devices that led their business back for mediocrity before iPod and then iPhone sales helped bring back and become the basis of their future growth path.  Further, he had a number of failures along the way that had no markets to bear "dominating" sales of his company's products.

                      In fact, Jobs has never competed in the home desktop or corporate-serving market as a dominant force: today, Mac OS-X installs account for about 3% of all home and corporate computers today against Windows, Solaris and other variations of *ix.  According to your assertions above, he should have been driving for more MONEY on sales in every space where he competed, else been considered a failure against the competition.

                      Well, as I mentioned, some of these companies you cited have crossover in various business segments and channels, but Apple is generally in a consumer-oriented world that with a closed infrastructure and support model that finally worked well for them and that others generally left to Apple (with partial exception of Microsoft).  Yet, Apple remains miserable against competition in larger home computing and especially corporate computing spaces, at the same!  Horrendous!  Jobs needed to do better and make more money in those efforts, hm?

                      Stupid.

                      So:

                      1.  You compared apples to oranges in your simplistic notion of IT business goals among larger corporations and cannot admit to the fact - i.e., each combination of market, associated channels to such and target segments is generally different than what Apple targets today, so you will see similarly different revenues that cannot be compared from a performance aspect simply because it's all measurable in US dollars.

                      2.  You acted as if the largest business holder of cash is the most accurate barometer of success, as if such was defined beyond making the top 1% who profit from their unique investments or positions within each company more wealthy on a quarterly basis (i.e., you're hopelessly naive about the true goals of multinationals).

                      3.  You seem to have ignored that even the melodramatic, public critiques by Wall Street analysts have trashed Apple for many quarters, despite their obviously positive public performances (i.e., Apple must be under-performing in the money-making department, which is the sole measure of their ability to be successful that you've ludicrously offered).

                      You come off as a significantly puerile troll with no real meant to bring discussion to a standstill at this site, offering little understanding of how large corporations have core goals to make a minority of people happy with their investments and rare positions.  You further hide behind a lack of understanding that most of the companies you cited m are making those top 1%ers happy by sacrificing investments in talented resources in a massive Ponzi scheme idiots call free-market capitalism.

                      What a waste of bits you've become.  I'm simply documenting your asinine presence for posterity.

                      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                      by wader on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 11:42:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, everybody else failed (7+ / 0-)

              and that's why Apple has a relatively small market share in every market they're in.

              Look - just because Apple is successful at selling high-priced, and possibly high quality, goods into a niche market doesn't mean Jobs was unique. I've worked for and with people who have done that; one has a major business school named after him.

              And in the example I gave in my original response: Jobs' opposition to 7 inch displays on iPad lost Apple considerable market share - and they lost some of it to companies on your list of supposed losers because of his error.

              Jobs is unique among modern CEOs to the extent he actually understood his company's products and customers. He was, in a sense, a pre-modern CEO. Most of the rest aren't worth what they pay their temp workers.

              And so far, your entire defense of CEOs rests on a single example that wasn't all that good to begin with.

              Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

              by badger on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 11:02:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Depends on how you define markets (0+ / 0-)
                that's why Apple has a relatively small market share in every market they're in.
                If you define the market as tablets they are reasonably small.  If you define it as high end tablets, they own their market.

                But anyway, that's irrelevant.  Here's what matters.  10 years ago today Apple was at 7.39.  Today it's at 420.  That's a pretty good return - I sure as heck wish I had bought 10,000 shares back then!!

                Now, 420 is still disappointing compared to its peak of 700, but I think you can make a good argument that its 700 (which was a market valuation of close to 650MM) was an overshoot based on unrealistic expectations.

                And so far, your entire defense of CEOs rests on a single example that wasn't all that good to begin with.
                Laugh... there are plenty of great examples.  Larry Ellison, Louis V. Gerstner, Jack Welch, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates.
          •  Sorry to jump (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            happymisanthropy, Mad Season

            the comments. I want to make this point. I watched this last night and found saw something in the video that bothered me so I've decided to comment before it falls off.

            Around 2:25 in the video he shows a graph with all the wealth divided equally amongst the people. It's labeled "the dreaded Socialism". This is why Socialism has a bad name. It's not spreading the wealth out evenly in a society. That's called communism. You can strive to bigger things in a Socialist Democracy and gain more wealth than your neighbor.

            Again, sorry, but is this a valid point or am I being picky?

            "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

            by fugwb on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:38:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think he was basically snarking the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fugwb

              talking points that this nation is turning into socialists.   I am an economic socialist dem so I would not consider it dreaded.   I think this country is more in a fascist state than socialist but I think that is all the video was saying at that point especially when he says, " we can't have that can we"?  

              No not picky.. observant.

              We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

              by Vetwife on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:52:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks Vetwife (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Vetwife

                I too consider myself to be an Socialist dem. It always burns me when the damn wingnuts equate communism and socialism as one and the same. I commented before about the wingnuts around me accusing Obama of being a socialist, communist, fascist.  I always ask them "which is it? He can't be all three, pick one."

                The assholes weren't paying attention in school and now they get their higher education from faux news and rush.....

                "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

                by fugwb on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 10:26:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  All by his ownself he "built that"? (36+ / 0-)

          Or did he have a team of visionary engineers and others who created the i-pthingies in the first place? Or perhaps just the very act of "deciding" made him worth that much more.

          "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

          by Catte Nappe on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:14:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Part of how he delivered value (28+ / 0-)
          How much more value was that than that delivered by the average mid range Apple employee?
          was by doing nothing to improve the inhumane working conditions of the people at the Foxconn factory that made his products.

          That was an integral part of his this visionary's "vision," which is less than admirable given the large amount of leverage that Apple had to either influence those working conditions or move their factories somewhere else.

          A CEO that delivers value by devaluing the human beings that work for them, whether its Apple, Wal-mart or Papa John's, is not a value that I value.

          "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

          by FiredUpInCA on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:42:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  For every Steve Jobs there are 10 Carly Fiorinas (24+ / 0-)

          HP paid her $20 million to step down after halving the stock price in her 6 years there.


          i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

          by bobinson on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:50:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Dilbert Principle (15+ / 0-)
          The Dilbert [P]rinciple ... assumes that hierarchy just serves as a means for removing the incompetent to "higher" positions where they will be unable to cause damage to the workflow, assuming that the upper echelons of an organization have little relevance to its actual production, and that the majority of real, productive work in a company is done by people lower in the power ladder.
          --Wikipedia

          "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

          by midnight lurker on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:02:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My friends and I were discussing (12+ / 0-)

          portable small computers in the 1960s. Read sci-fi author Philip K. Dick's description of everyone reading their "videopaps" for news c. 1960.

          Probably 90% of his employees could have seen that as a strategy. But I doubt they would have thought "hey let's have practically slave-labor in China make them" right away, so there's that.


          We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

          by Jim P on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:29:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How often did he make a decision like that? Would (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife, qofdisks, caul, WisVoter, schnecke21

          he have made the same decision if he'd only made 100 times what the average employee did? Is money the only motivator? How about doing your job the best you can?

          It is only the average worker and lower who are asked to do more for less money. Do you sanction this?

          •  How would you enforce that cap? (0+ / 0-)

            If Jobs was limited to such low compensation compared to his value do you think he might have ended up just starting a new company and owning the majority of its stock instead?

            •  The game is up, man. You're a groupie for the 1%. (0+ / 0-)

              Whatever they get paid is justified by people like yourself. CEOs were paid at about twenty times the amount of the average worker. They helped build the great manufacturing industry in this country. Somewhere the idea grew that they should get more. Where it came from doesn't matter. What mattered is that the rules got changed. Campaign donations, good job for a former legislator, pack the board with friends who want to see the boss get ahead so compensation is no longer an issue. Different tax burden than Joe Sixpack because, after all, he uses his body to earn a living. CEOs use their minds so their income is special. Comes down to they've paid a lot of people off and we let them get away with it. It has become so common that the different rules for them extend everywhere. If I rob a gas station I'm going to do hard time. If they make up financial instruments like CDOs or CDSs and knowingly sell the collection of shit to their investors do they get prosecuted for fraud? No, they get bonuses. Its taken about thirty years but the rest of us are tired of paying to maintain the pedestals of these self-made gods.

              The ironic part here is that when they're through draining us they'll come for you. More is the name of the game now. If they ever make less it means they've failed. Check your history.

              •  And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't (0+ / 0-)

                for those blasted kids!

                But hey, that's alright - I've got a pair of Carlos Slim's used panties under my pillow so I'm happy.

                I am a bit insulted, though, that you're calling me a groupie for the 1% - a CEO of a major company who isn't in the .01% is a pretty abject failure!

                What mattered is that the rules got changed. Campaign donations, good job for a former legislator, pack the board with friends who want to see the boss get ahead so compensation is no longer an issue.
                How do you think a non-founder CEO who does not have a controlling stake in his company packs his board?

                How do you explain the fact that private companies and companies controlled by founders or their families (ie. Oracle, Microsoft, Apple) also pay very high salaries to CEOs?  Remember - the money paid to the CEO comes out of shareholders' pockets.

                The ironic part here is that when they're through draining us they'll come for you. More is the name of the game now. If they ever make less it means they've failed.
                How are they going to come after me?
                Check your history
                All 5,000 years of it worldwide?  How about you be more specific.
        •  CEOs are more raiders than innovators. (5+ / 0-)
          •  Do they "deserve" $58,000 per second? (13+ / 0-)

            According the the capitalist bible, Forbes:

            "By sitting on their growing investments, the richest five Americans made almost $7 billion each in one year. That's $3,500,000.00 per hour."

            More in one hour than a husband and wife working forty hours a week for forty years!!!

            Or $58,000 a SECOND!!! In one second they steal more than an average worker makes in two years, in ONE SECOND.

            This has become an economy where sociopaths rule, control the means of information and convince most of America that all productivity belongs to the idle class of billionaires, ie Ann Romney.

            Don't believe everything you think.

            by BrianParker14 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:35:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ann Romney isn't even close to being a billionaire (0+ / 0-)

              And what, exactly, is your problem with this?

              Are you suggesting that rich people should not be allowed to invest their money?

              •  And of course we know how much the Romney's (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tardis10

                have because they were so forthcoming w/their tax returns. (likely had they been honest, they would be under indictment for breaking offshore banking laws.)

                And YES, I do believe they shouldn't be allowed to invest "their" money in distorting the truth and manipulating teh stupids w/their lies about what they really want to do to our country by sending their sycophants to all forms of media as well as controlling through interlocking directorates the five remaining MSM outlets.
                From Paul Blumenthal..paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com

                "According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts."

                Petey Peterson's lying Fix the Debt 5013C not for profit scam, which funds Simpson/Bowles, Ed Rendell, etc is a misuse of tax policy and a corruption of the truth and therefore shouldn't be allowed to have his money "invested" in it.

                That's "at least".  And that doesn't include the Koch's, de Vos', Waltons, Simmons and the other billionaire sociopaths.

                And so I'm not suggesting it, I'm saying it.
                And, of course, don't believe everything you think.

                Don't believe everything you think.

                by BrianParker14 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:24:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Steve Jobs is the 1% of the excutives (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks, Vetwife, FiredUpInCA

          He is the one everyone pulls out to show the value of a good executive. The problem is that he isn't representative of that group.

          Just think of all the Wall Street executives that caused the Great Recession. They bought and sold mortgage back securities that even today we have no idea how much they are really worth. Stop and think about that. These people had absolutely no idea what they were doing.

          I have absolutely no problem with people earning what they are worth. I'll even go farther and say that I don't care how they spend that money either. If someone was truly worth $1 trillion dollars and wanted to spend it all on building a floating island in the pacific to house the world's largest pocket lent collection instead of donating to charity, then I say "Hey, it's your choice".

          However, the problem isn't that the executive make that much money, it is that they are not worth it.

        •  could Jobs or any other CEO ever (11+ / 0-)

          deliver that much "value" without all the work of the employees?  No.  Your right wing talking point is utter nonsense, meaningless propaganda from the upper class and you are falling for it.

        •  You're Attempt To Paint All CEOs (4+ / 0-)

          With the Steve Jobs brush is comical. Steve Jobs was an inventor. His function as a CEO was secondary to that.

          Name another CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation that also invented, or co-invented the products that that corporation sells. There are a couple, but they are incredibly rare.

          Instead, most of the true geniuses who invent products barely make anything when working for corporations. And most corporations, don't invent anything anyway. They buy up other people's inventions, with their almost unlimited access to capital, and end up harming the economy through monopolistic practices and generally function as the Soviet State did by limiting consumer choice and entrepreneurial innovation.

          So we've ended up with this situation where a handful of corporations control almost all of the production in food, consumer items, entertainment, and pretty much everything we buy.

          Being a CEO now is not about who can really create and manufacture things better. It's a club of Wall Street parasites who have figured out how to game the system.

          •  Why should a CEO be an inventor? (0+ / 0-)
            With the Steve Jobs brush is comical. Steve Jobs was an inventor. His function as a CEO was secondary to that.

            Name another CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation that also invented, or co-invented the products that that corporation sells. There are a couple, but they are incredibly rare.

            Laugh.  Ludicrous.

            Who invented the iPod or the iPhone?

            It was a team.

            But who told them to work on it?  Who allocated the capital?  Who set the strategy?  It was Jobs.

            That's what the CEO does.

        •  Nonsense. Any yahoo can direct (0+ / 0-)

          "go, seek, find, produce." That ain't creating jack. Hell, the $1 an hour ChiComs assembling our iPads have more to do with the success of Apple than any ten CEOs. And, I'm an Apple guy. For 13, 14 years now. Own an iPad. And, not for nuthin' but putting the iOS in a desktop iMac is the most stupid move Apple has made. "The unwashed don't need to compute. They just need to DL "apps" from the "app store." [rolls eyes]

        •  My guess (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Black and Blue

          is that, without Jobs' return to Apple and his pursuit of those products, Apple would not exist.  Back in the Nineties, Apple was basically the niche computer alternative to PCs, much favored by architects, graphic designers, and the like, but with something like 7% of the market.  

          Perhaps Jobs is the exception that proves the rule -- the CEO who delivers extraordinary value to the organization.  Nevertheless, it saddens me that our ostensibly reality-based community reacted in basically hostile manner to your statement, and a rejoinder got 25 times as many recs as your post.  

          A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

          by deminva on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 03:25:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree, but I like the discussion. :-) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          IMHO, Jobs would have done what Jobs did, even if his salary were capped à la Suisse.  http://www.nytimes.com/... (NYT article, "Swiss Voters Approve a Plan to Severely Limit Executive Compensation," March 3, 2013.)

          He was driven by other things, not just money. Same with Gates.

          Many things permit and drive exec pay, including interlocking directorates, lack of sound governance, etc.

          •  What caps? The Swiss have no caps (0+ / 0-)

            All they require is a shareholder vote on CEO pay.

            Anyone think Jobs would have had any problem getting paid as much as he was, or even far more?  After all, he added over $500 billion to Apple's market cap.

        •  If Jobs didn't make the decision (0+ / 0-)

          someone else would have.

          The longer I live, and I work in a high-value fortune 500 environment, the more I feel that CEOs and management in general are fungible.  Sure, some are better than others, but not 300, or even 10, times better.

          "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

          by RenMin on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:45:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  We are moving towards a winner takes all economy (4+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not, methylin, shrike, Sparhawk
      Hidden by:
      Swampfoot

      but it is not at all clear to me that this is caused by government.

      Seems to me that this is much more technological.

      Most of the highest value added parts of our economy are becoming radically more efficient because of technology and improved communications.  Many of the lower to mid level employees in these companies are no longer necessary and that means much more of the value is captured by shareholders and senior management.

      For example, I have a quite nice retirement and personal savings nest egg tied up in stocks and ETFs at Fidelity.

      25 years ago when I opened that account I had to go to a Fidelity office in person and then I had to call them every time I wanted to make a trade.

      It has been over 10 years since I called them for a routine trade and I have never had to go back to their office.  I still need to call for international bank wires, but they just sent me a letter saying that soon I will be able to do that over the Internet as well.

      How many well paid mid level jobs got cut as people like me moved to the Internet to do their financial management?  And how much did that leave for people at the top who cannot be automated away because they make policy decisions?

      Law is similar.  As technology has improved the basic legal process has become vastly more efficient.  In addition, legal outsourcing companies have used telecom and technology to move lots of basic legal work (ie. document review for discovery) to India.  This has dramatically cut the need for associates and big US law firms are now cutting back their hiring.  You still need people to litigate and make legal decisions, but they need much less support.  Again, good mid level jobs have disappeared.

      As a final example, consider Google making $10 billion in profit with just 50,000 employees.  That is $200,000 / employee.  In contrast, GM made $7 billion in profit on 200,000 employees.  Which of those two companies do you think has more money to give to investors and top staff?  

      By this theory, the US has the highest inequality because we are the most advanced and dynamic economy that has moved furthest in this direction.

      So, yes, that screws people who did not get decent college degrees.  But there may not really be a solution.  Even bringing manufacturing back to the US won't really help.  

      For example, I've done some work with sock factories.  Sock factories in, say, Pakistan, use a huge amount of manual labor - from nursing the knitting machines to stitching the toe to turning the sock (socks are knitted inside out) to pressing and packing.  There are also sock factories in the US, but they use incredible complicated and sophisticated machinery that does all of those processes in an almost completely automated process.  

      As another example, Foxconn is moving to automate its factories since managing people is too expensive.  If they do that they may put factories in the US for fast response and lower tariffs, but they won't hire a lot of people.

      Manufacturing may come back.  The jobs won't.

      You can try using taxes and transfer payments, but be realistic.

      Mark Zuckerberg can live anywhere he wants and get pretty much any citizenship he wants.  So can senior managers at most big Internet and financial companies.

      Think they will stay in the US if we impose confiscatory taxation?  

      Milking the cow makes sense.  When you butcher it you lose the cow.

      •  Zuckerberg is replaceable. (20+ / 0-)

        In fact, we'd be better off without him. Ditto for most of the psycho- and sociopaths hanging around the boardrooms.

        One of the things your comments indicates but doesn't actually say is that jobs themselves are becoming and will continue to become more scarce, due to technology. And that's true. Gee, do you think the privates sector is going to solve for that?

        Last, the government can absolutely play a huge role in moderating inequality. Heck, that's how it became so unequal the past 30 years, so suddenly. Supply-side economic policy combined with media that created supportive attitudes. It's no accident.

        When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

        by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:05:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  US has the lowest taxes anywhere (19+ / 0-)

        What is your bag? Telling Americans they will never have a job other than McD's? Managing people is too expensive? GM sucks because they have too many employees?

        I agree that many office jobs have been lost to the internet. However, you pointed out that Google and other such companies have started up. So what is the actual net loss of jobs due to the internet?

        You pointed out that manufacturing is becoming more automated, so that means there won't be many manufacturing jobs. I have a job. I work in a place that makes automatic machines for manufacturing. Its a decent paid highly skilled job. So...I don't get your point. I think you are out of touch with reality and you listen to Tom Friedman. Yuch!

        Government policy on taxes is the whole entire problem. We have no other mechanism for wealth redistribution than FAIR taxation.

        The way you think is what's wrong with the world.

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:06:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is just laughable (0+ / 0-)
          US has the lowest taxes anywhere
          Nonsense.

          For example, Hong Kong, which is a wonderful city to live in if you can afford the rents, has a top rate of 16.5%, and it is very easy to lower your taxable income by having a company pay most of your living expenses.  

          What is your bag? Telling Americans they will never have a job other than McD's? Managing people is too expensive? GM sucks because they have too many employees?
          King Canute's advisors probably said nasty things to the water and to anyone who told them that the waves were not going to stop for the King.  It didn't stop them from all getting wet.

          I am saying that some problems are not solvable.  The current economic / technological change wave is not slowing down and you can't stop it or most of its effects.  And by the way, it's not just the US.  I just sent off a proposal to help move some factories from China to lower wage countries... because even China is too expensive to produce cheap crap these days and with modern technology and logistics you can put your factories almost anywhere while senior managers, merchandisers, designers, and buyers stay in more pleasant locations.

          I agree that many office jobs have been lost to the internet. However, you pointed out that Google and other such companies have started up. So what is the actual net loss of jobs due to the internet?
          There has been no net loss of jobs and I never claimed there was one.

          There has been a massive decrease in the relative value of unskilled, low skilled, and semi-skilled labor, however.  And you can see that in our rapidly growing GINI coefficient.

          You pointed out that manufacturing is becoming more automated, so that means there won't be many manufacturing jobs. I have a job. I work in a place that makes automatic machines for manufacturing. Its a decent paid highly skilled job.
          Sure... but how many jobs are there working in that place compared to the jobs lost when the machines you produce replaced workers at your customers?

          (I will give you a hint - if your machinery does not reduce total labor usage then it's obviously not economic and you should start looking for a new job.)

          Government policy on taxes is the whole entire problem. We have no other mechanism for wealth redistribution than FAIR taxation.
          What marginal rates do you propose at what tax brackets?

          What does that do to your tax base and your economy when every company from Facebook to Goldman Sachs starts moving highly compensated jobs out of the US and high income expats start renouncing citizenship?

          High value labor is a lot more mobile now than it was 20 years ago.

      •  History calling, Line 1 (9+ / 0-)
        We are moving towards a winner takes all economy, but it is not at all clear to me that this is caused by government.

        Seems to me that this is much more technological.

        Really, so fire and the wheel was behind the Pharaohs winning the "winner take all" economies of their day? And what was the technological developments that lead to the entrenchment of kings for a couple thousand years after the Pharaohs and before America formed? Do tell?

        The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, the polls tell us how the media is doing.

        by Thumb on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:22:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I think most of that was technology (0+ / 0-)

          and administrative systems.

          So, if you look at hunter gatherer societies, they have little technology and very small political units.  When you have to walk everywhere on foot, you don't have roads, you don't have expensive weapons, and you don't have writing and hierarchial administrative systems then violence is democratized and you can't extend power over large areas unless you can somehow move large numbers of people and keep them focused on your goals.

          If you move up a stage to people like the Incas and Aztecs you see complex hierarchical administrative systems, expensive weapons that most people cannot afford, dedicated warriors who train with them and are better than the masses, roads, and written systems that allow record keeping and written messages.  This gives the ruler a much stronger monopoly on violence and the administrative tools to rule a larger area - communication via runners and a way to manage governors and other officials.

          When you get to Egypt and Rome you add metal weapons, horses, and much better organized militaries.  This again expands the possible zone of control (think about how big the Roman Empire got) and further monopolizes violence.

          Middle Ages Europe took things even further.  The shock troops of the day were mounted knights who trained from childhood and took huge resources to support.  Holding land now required castles.

          Violence remained the province of the powerful, but because your mid-level management needed castles to do their jobs they had a much easier time defending themselves against their nominal bosses.  This meant that it became much harder to hold large nations together - under feudalism every noble wanted to be his own king.  And, in fact, empires got a lot smaller.

          The invention of artillery and early firearms made castles useless and increased the resources necessary to field an effective military.  Countries got bigger again - see Germany and Italy as examples.

          However, as firearms became better and better violence democratized once more.  Asymmetrical warfare became possible, as famously demonstrated at Lexington and Concord.  It's very hard to fight against snipers and that makes it very hard to rule people who do not want to be ruled - you can't rule a nation from your own version of the Baghdad Green Zone.  So as violence democratized the consent of the government became more and more important and we entered the golden age of democracies.  Meanwhile, the improvements in logistics and communication (ie. telegraph and railways) have made larger nations possible - a nation the size of the current US would be completely impractical if we had to communicate between New York and California using relay runners like the Aztecs and Incas.

          There.  How's that for a quick explanation of how technology has driven politics?

          BTW, this is one reason why I think the current liberal crusade for gun control is a huge mistake.

          Guns democratize violence.  They put a limit on how far our rulers and other elites can push us.  It doesn't take a lot of people to make a country ungovernable - imagine trying to protect every governor, mayor, senator, and representative from an armed and violent 1%.  

          I have read all the people pooh poohing this saying that armed civilians could not stand up to the military.  That's silly.  Any armed civilians stupid enough to try that should be killed to improve the gene pool.  The key is to fight where the military is not.  We can't put soldiers on every intersection in America, and anyway, some of the soldiers would probably be among the disgruntled and violent minority that they were supposed to defend our rulers from.

          Look at Syria to see what happens in situations like that... and the Syrian government has it relatively easy because they can mostly trust Alawites.  Who could the US government trust in the context of an armed guerrilla insurgency or terrorist group comprising even 1% of Americans?

          I think the liberal distrust of "Second Amendment solutions" is because gun ownership is strongly correlated with conservative problems, so the 9 mm veto is most likely to be exercised if government tries to move too far left for the people, rather than too far right.

          But the solution for that is for more liberals to own guns, not to remove one of the key technologies that forces rulers to maintain the consent of the governed.

      •  This: (10+ / 0-)
        "but it is not at all clear to me that this is caused by government."
        Goverments all over the world regulated CEO's pay.  In Japan a CEO is only allowed to make so much.  What the CEOs do in American would be considered illegal.

        Government's job is to regulate, and they have failed in every aspect over the last twenty years.  Governments regulate in order to protection the citizens of their country.  Governments regulate in order to prevent fraud and are suppose to punish fraud, which has been the biggest failure of our government since 2008 and probably before that with all the private contractors making millions off war.  

        If everyone is free to do what ever they want then we really don't need to have a government at all.  And at present the 1% is represented by government 99% of the time, whereas, the 99% of us get about 1% representation.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:35:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well isn't that what the GOP is saying? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          starduster, zaka1

          Less really means none, Why do you think they want to seceed.  They want NO oversight and no taxes.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:01:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I copied that comment (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vetwife, qofdisks, helfenburg

            in bold from a comment up thread, it isn't my quote.  But, this is what the GOP wants because it is what the corporations and banks want.  And there are some Democrats giving us lip service, but always lean toward the corporations and both parties are guilty.

             

            "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

            by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:24:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hvae you seen this good news out of Switzerland (11+ / 0-)

          The citizens there have a referendum to get Serious Cutbacks on Executives' pay levels.

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

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

          by Truedelphi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:26:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for this (7+ / 0-)

            bright spot:

            Almost 68 percent of Swiss voters backed Mr. Minder’s proposals, according to results announced late Sunday.

            “I am very proud of the Swiss people who have sent a very strong signal to the establishment,” Mr. Minder told Swiss television. Despite the fact that his referendum had been opposed by Switzerland’s main political parties, Mr. Minder, who is an independent member of the Swiss Parliament, called on all lawmakers to cooperate in swiftly enacting the law.

            This absolutely has to be done in America.

            "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

            by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:45:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  high tax rates (8+ / 0-)

              on extreme compensation has the exact same effect.  What the republican corporatist mouthpiece's don't say about high tax rates is that high tax rates discourage ridiculous pay levels.  It is supposed to force that money to be put into the company to grow the company instead of enrich someone who won't be working there 10 years down the road.

              "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 03, 2013 at 09:51:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Excellent point (5+ / 0-)

                Never before in my life, and I'm old, have I ever seen this many CEOs making this kind of money.  It was rare in the 1970s and by the 1980s it started to grow and hasn't stopped since.  The more money they make, the less they are taxed.  Add that to the corporate tax loop holes that in reality are black holes for money and you've got a real screwed up world.

                As an example, we just had a big rate hike in our utillities which no one needed and now people are struggling to heat their homes, but what did our utility company do with that increase?  The raised the CEO's salary up 30% because he was only making 5 million a year and was one of the lowest paid CEOs.  Plus, they gave out 17 million in bonuses.  This when the sequester is going to cut off heating assistance to many.  I'm so irate.  

                I'm just sitting here and shaking my head, because it makes one feel so helpless.  And I don't want to feel helpless anymore, I don't want to just sit and wait for it all to be taken away.  I want the people to rise up and demand fairness.  We've already asked nicely, we've been patience, we've waited, and voted for things to change, but nothing has changed.  

                "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

                by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 10:35:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  For those who earn in the top 1% (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                happymisanthropy, bryduck

                bracket, the tax rate needs to be in the 80-90% rate. This causes those folks to put their money back into the company, thus lowering their tax rate. When all this money is plowed back into the economy, it would open up millions of jobs.

                The other problem that needs fixing is the offshoring of money. Look, this is insane. If everybody simply used offshore banking, nobody would pay any taxes at all. So how is it that the Romneys get to play these games, but we don't? Not a workable system.

                A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

                by onionjim on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:17:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That would have worked in the 50s (0+ / 0-)

                  But do you seriously think that 1%ers would sit still for that today?

                  Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, London, Geneva - the world is full of wonderful places to live and work that don't have that kind of taxation that that do not tax on global income (so you can keep your investments offshore and pay no tax at all on them.)

                  Getting citizenship in many of those places is also quite easy - for example, in Singapore it takes just two years as a permanent resident and permanent residency is easy for any professional.

                  Now, explain why anyone making $1 million a year in, say, finance would live in New York and pay a marginal rate of 80% - 90% when he could just move to Singapore, expatriate, and pay a maximum marginal rate of 20% (and nothing on capital gains)?

                  I am reminded of the old Hong Kong joke a few years after the handover.  

                  Jiang Zemin called up Lee Teng Hui and said "You're doing a wonderful job.  You are building a world class Chinese city.  Everyone in Zhongnanhai is thrilled!".

                  Lee responded "Oh... you know with all the difficulties we have been having here I did not realize you felt Hong Kong's performance we so great."  

                  Jiang replied "Hong Kong's performance great?  Don't be an idiot.  We're thrilled by what a great job you're doing building up Shanghai!"

                  In the same way, an 80% to 90% marginal rate in the US would be the best thing that ever happened to London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore.

        •  Interesting about Japan (0+ / 0-)
          In Japan a CEO is only allowed to make so much.
          It's actually a socially rather than legally enforced limit... and when Japanese companies want star executives they are forced to break it - see Sony, for example.

          And read this... http://www.economist.com/...

          ... the scant rewards Japanese managers get for doing well may be undermining their companies' performance and indeed that of the economy as a whole. Japanese firms have a return on equity of around 5%, which is half that of European companies and a third that of American ones. Over the past decade wages for all workers have stagnated or fallen, while Japanese firms have stacked up vast sums of cash—a staggering $2 trillion, according to the Bank of Japan. Little wonder that consumption is lacklustre and the economy is in deflation: workers of all ranks have not shared the wealth.

          Japan Inc justifies its meagre salaries and modest pay-differentials by noting that they help to foster the country's vaunted team spirit. They are also a function of a peculiar labour market with lifetime employment, a wage system based on seniority rather than performance, and little job mobility among managers. But they are another aspect of how Japanese industry is lagging what the rest of the rich world regards as best practice. The best solution is not simply to splash out on lavish pay rises for all, but to offer more generous incentives to reward talent and effort in Japanese firms, from the boardroom down to the shopfloor.

          I don't think Japan is a great example of how to run an economy!
      •  This is no different than during the (5+ / 0-)

        industrialization of the gilded age.

        The New Deal & history completely negates your argument.

        And if the 'cow' decides it wants to graze in Somalia......well, good fucking luck.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:18:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Technological? This kind of wealth distribution (4+ / 0-)

        has happened time and again in history.  The difference here is the scale.
        Perhaps a plot of turnips is more material wealth than most people living on the edge today but, the planet has never been so crowded and resources have never been so depleted.  
        Humanity is actually on the edge.

      •  You fucking Libertarians (3+ / 0-)

        should all be hide rated on sight. You're worse than Republicans on just about every fucking front.

        You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.
        - Jessica Mitford

        by Swampfoot on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:35:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We are already there (3+ / 0-)

        That is the system as those who want no government desire.  They see government as the enemy of their ultimate goal - to take everything.  What kinda of society would that be ... Highly dysfunctional.  Just imagine a society like the one in Hunger Games.  Maybe this why these appeal so much to young people plus of course main characters are teenagers.  I think young people get this issue right and are appalled by the dismal future it portends.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

        by noofsh on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:05:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not HR-able, just damned Randroid stupidity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

        by LucyandByron on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 03:11:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It seems to me that the "sequester" was baked... (11+ / 0-)

      into the proverbial cake back in 2011.

      And why oh why  did most Democrats and the Dem President agree to sequestration maneuvers?
      That's when the Democrats (and Obama) caved. And that's why "entitlements" were left out of the deal at that time -- it was too close to the election. Modestly raising tax-rates and cutting both discretionary spending and defense as part of prior deals and the sequester that followed meant that any deals in the future could involve "entitlements" only.

      Neither party wanted to suffer the consequences of cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits before the election. And the Republicans only agreed to cut defense because they thought they'd win the election and be able to restore them afterwards.

      As far as this goes...

      And I realized then the whole reason that the cuts are always for the people who comprise the 99%.
      It's the numbers. The plutocrats subscribe to the noesis that dictates it's better for 99% of the people to pay the lion's share of debt reduction (of the debt they did not create) than 1% -- even though they know the disparate level of severe pain that will be felt by the 99% as compared to the minor inconvenience that would be felt by the 1% if they themselves had to pay down most of the debt.

      The so-called Great Recession was only just a symptom of what is really ailing this country, both now and in the foreseeable future -- the [ongoing] greatest upward wealth distribution process in U.S. history... if not the history of the world.  

      "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

      by markthshark on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:02:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You think it's easy transferring funds (10+ / 0-)

      to secret bank accounts around the world?


      We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

      by Jim P on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:25:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're sunk anyway. (22+ / 0-)

    The only way out is for the government to infuse about ten trillion into the economy.  

    And they're too fearful to do that - because OMG inflation and OMG we've never done that before and OMG what will people think of me.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:55:48 PM PST

    •  Harare on the Potomac? (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      Moonspinner
      The only way out is for the government to infuse about ten trillion into the economy.  

      And they're too fearful to do that - because OMG inflation and OMG we've never done that before and OMG what will people think of me.

      Um, yeah, and thank God!

      Do you really want hyperinflation?

      •  Why do you think that will happen... (6+ / 0-)

        ...in this morass?  Regardless, this is an emergency, so we have to start thinking outside the box.

        Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

        by dov12348 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:38:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I always love that kind of response. (16+ / 0-)

        We can't limit executive pay, we can't have a wealth tax, we can't have tariffs that would make labor and environmental exploitation disadvantageous, but we sure as hell can have the income and wealthy disparity that we have, and more tomorrow without end. We sure as hell can have 50 million in poverty. We sure as hell can have a minimum wage less than half what it would have been had it merely kept up with inflation. We sure as hell can have a minimum wage that that almost 1/3 of what it would have been had it kept up with increases in productivity. All kinds of bad things done to the 99% are acceptable. Not much of anything can be done about the 1%. Unless it's a way to make them even richer.

        Really, I think you may be on the wrong blog? I dunno.

        When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

        by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:35:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why do you think that would happen? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shrike, allergywoman

        If M2 is suddenly doubled by throwing $30,000 at every American - sure, I could see a good chunk of inflation happening.  People would probably pay off debts with it and likely spend a chunk of it too.

        So what?  Worst case scenario, everything settles down at double the price as there's twice as much money in circulation.  Where does the hyperinflation come from?

        Do people bid up prices past the price-doubling point?  Perhaps they would, but it wouldn't be sustainable since there's not enough cash floating around to support the higher prices.  Well, perhaps they could, if the money (in real terms) was circulating faster than it is now thus giving folk a bigger real income.  Doesn't sound too terrible to me.

        Hyperinflation would only happen if the money kept on being dumped into the economy not only faster than production could grow to justify it, but at an accelerating pace.

        There'd be plenty of knock-on effects, sure: creditors will likely be unhappy that their loans were just halved in value, so would probably increase interest rates to hedge against such a thing happening again; there'd probably be lots of disruption to individuals' spend/save habits; the economy would probably take a while to settle down afterwards; but hyperinflation would not be among them.

        Come to think about it, M2 did double in the last ten years, but inflation over the same time period was only 25% while GDP grew 18%.

        There is no hyperinflation boogeyman under the bed.

        Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

        by GeoffT on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 12:15:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So I gather you want an instant balanced budget? (0+ / 0-)

          Think about it...

          The US dollar just halved in value.

          creditors will likely be unhappy that their loans were just halved in value, so would probably increase interest rates to hedge against such a thing happening again;
          Yup... damned right they would... to how much?  In the late 70s during the Carter stagflation that gave us Republican presidents for 12 years after we all though Nixon had probably destroyed the party, inflation hit a maximum of 13% and 10 year Treasuries went over 15%.  What interest rate would investors demand after a sudden spate of 50% inflation?  50%?  60%?

          Could we pay that interest rate?  Well sure, we would just have to inflate again.  But investors aren't stupid - they can figure that out too... and refuse to loan money to the US at any rate.  (And even if we tried to borrow in Euros or Yen our rates would probably still be sky high - after you have already devalued your currency to screw creditors your commitment to meeting your debt obligations is obviously going to be questioned.)

          So, our only options would be to immediately balance the budget or massive asset sales (how much do you think we could get by selling federal lands in Alaska?  What about the Grand Canyon?)

          Asset sales could keep us going for a while... but obviously that's a limited source of funds.  We would have to go cold turkey on debt quite quickly.

          Think that would be fun?

  •  Very interesting. The video is about wealth (29+ / 0-)

    for the most part - not income.

    There is no tax on wealth unless you count the beleaguered estate tax (which is woefully weak).

    Also the bottom quintile enjoys a negative income tax rate.  And even with that favorable tax treatment they cannot accumulate any noticeable wealth at all.

    So, in summary, short of confiscating wealth there is no way to smooth out the drastic wealth inequity because the tax code cannot put a dent in it.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:02:44 PM PST

  •  Lots of illustrative graphs (14+ / 0-)

    I think a lot started being created and posted when OWS grabbed national attention.  That one you link to from business insider is dated 2009.  Some others:

    http://www.motherjones.com/...
    There's one there that lets us know one thing we need to do, and that's a lot of educating of our fellow citizens. There should be a graph in that set that show what people think the wealth distribution is, what they think it should be, and what it actually is.  They are very, very different.

    Some more good graphics and slides: http://www.theatlantic.com/...

    And here
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/...

    "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:05:45 PM PST

  •  I was born into the lower middle class (54+ / 0-)

    So was my husband. My husband and I will die in poverty because I have lupus and collagen disorder. He has had bladder cancer. That is our reality. Our married life has been spent paying medical bills to the exclusion of children, a career for me, home and travel to family events.

    Ain't it great to be 'Murrican.

  •  thanks for the links. (17+ / 0-)

    And poor fools accept the fact that if they own a microwave they too can be wealthy.   Sad.    I always felt we should pull that bull down at Wall Street when the occupiers were there and drag it around New York to wake folks up.  Would they have awaken then?

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:11:38 PM PST

  •  Indeed (16+ / 0-)

    The whole Republican scheme for some years now, aided by many "Democrats", rests on the false assumption that the great unwashed masses have most of the country's wealth in one way or another.  If people realized most of the nation's assets are in the hands of those most able to afford further contribution for the good of the country, how could the elite dismantle the government to pry loose the last bits of change?  The promises of Social Security, Medicare, and government pensions are where the money's at.

  •  Plutocracy is NOT what the founders intended (44+ / 0-)

    "There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents... There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendency." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1813. ME 13:396

    "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682

    "The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. ... Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." --Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811. ME 13:41

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:15:43 PM PST

  •  "Reality bends if you lean on it hard enough" (20+ / 0-)

    OPOL words in his latest diary.

    It is time for a serious movement in this country. If we wait much longer, we'll all be "pocket change."

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:16:26 PM PST

    •  Great comment and I couldn't agree more. n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, allenjo, Words In Action

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:09:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're already pocket change. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, qofdisks, allenjo

      Even the moderates. Like most Republicans, most of the moderates just think it's a temporary condition for themselves. Soon, they'll all be 1's, 5's and 10 dollar bills. Just wait and see. So we can't count on them. And the ones who are 1's, 5's and 10's already, well, they don't dare do a thing that might hurt their value, so they can't be counted either.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:40:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This reality can not be hoped away (18+ / 0-)

    Sorry Americans, this is your life.   Enjoy rice and beans.
    Hate to be a Debbie Downer but we are oppressed and shutting our eyes and singing la la la with ears plugged has put us right here !!!  Michael Moore has been warning us of this ever since Roger and Me.  Ike warned about the MIC and know we are Flint.   Capitalism ... Truly a love story.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:18:00 PM PST

    •  Checkout Stiglitz; also Saez & Piketty... (26+ / 0-)

      You should checkout Joseph Stiglitz’ “The Price of Inequality.”

      Along with others in the community, I write about Stiglitz’ views on inequality (and the economy, in general) quite a bit. See: “Joseph Stiglitz' Latest Must-Read: ‘Inequality Is Holding Back The Recovery,’” and “Wall Street’s Golden Rule.

      Then there’s Saez & Piketty, arguably, the world’s leading authorities on income inequality: “Saez & Piketty Income Inequality Update: Top 1% Have Received 121% of Income Gains Since 2009.”

      "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 03, 2013 at 03:27:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  People realize the American Dream for a better (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, bryduck

      life is slipping away.  Paying bills is all consuming and  9 to 5 is a must maybe beyond the age 67 and just pray you live to retirement with some economic comfort.  We had the illusion "We Can Do It" in the 60's and 70's and now the thought is OMG can I afford changing my job, buying a new car, sending the kids to college, praying we don't get sick and what will retirement be like.  Sad to hear people dreams for their childrens futures less than even their present lives.

      Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

      by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:42:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seconding Bobswern (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, cpresley, orlbucfan, WisVoter

      There is lots of stuff in the Saez and Piketty data. They have even made their data public as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet for those brave enough to venture into it. It turns out that if you take the 1% slice by itself and expand it out to look at the 0.01% vs. the rest of the 1%, the picture looks a lot like the one in the video of the 1% vs. the 99%. The gains really have been going to a tiny slice of the population.

      Here is what you have to make to get into the highest levels of income from the latest data (for 2011). Note that it tops out with incomes in the tens of millions without data on those making over a billion dollars per year. Compare that with the median income of $50,000/yr. In  graph going from 0.1 million to 10 million,  1 billion would be 100 times the height of the graph.

      Threshold Incomes
      Top 10%    $110,651
      Top 5%       $155,193
      Top 1%       $366,623
      Top .5%       $544,792
      Top .1%       $1,557,090
      Top .01%   $7,969,900

      Hacker and Pierson’s Winner Take All Politics describes how we got to we are. They look at different explanations and find that the only one that holds water is political organization by the billionaires in the early 1970’s that started bearing fruit in the Carter administration. The key idea is how changes to the rules, not just tax breaks have created rigged markets.

      Stiglitz is more readable and accessible to the general public, but James K. Galbraith also has a book with more details in it (lots of tables and descriptions of the kinds of statistical analysis his students at the LBJ school did).  One of the key takeaways is how the out of control growth of the finance sector is driving both the inequality and economic instability we are seeing. Another is how concentrated the inequality is. Removing just a few counties like the one NYC and Wall Street are in, takes away half the growth in inequality in the US.

      Do Justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God

      by NoisyGong on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:56:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The top 40 richest people in the US make as much (25+ / 0-)

    as the lowest 50% of the American population.

    That's simply astounding. All thanks to Banana Republicans.

    They're not a serious party anymore. -Kos

    by thenekkidtruth on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:18:23 PM PST

  •  That Youtube alone is worth a bazillion recs! n/t (13+ / 0-)

    "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

    by leema on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:22:37 PM PST

  •  Paris 1789, Saint Petersburg 1917 (38+ / 0-)

    In both cases it was the women who first took to the streets. They shamed their men into joining them. And in both cases it was for the same reason. They had no bread for their children. When Republicans advocate things like cutting food stamps and school nutritional programs for poor children, the ice they tread on will become thinner and thinner. Mothers will not sit by and watch their children go hungry. They will force the issue.

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

    by rmonroe on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:24:46 PM PST

      •  We are coming to a place that (21+ / 0-)

        something radical is about to happen.  MOTHERS and FATHERS will not allow kids to go hungry.   There is enough blame to go around but apathy and ignorance has been the enemy of this country for way too long.
        We are probably the youngest country to start evaporating in this fashion.   What was it the founder said, " It's a republic as long as you can keep it".  Well it is no longer a republic I am of the conculsion.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:35:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look at the stocks for security (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife, banjolele

          Since this article in 3/2001

          These companies are going to be getting money if that happens. Who do they donate to?

          "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

          by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:17:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm building a distributorship for raw pet food (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife

          and human meat too.  I'm in Denver, so if anyone needs anything.... DO IT NOW.  The Northern Colorado rancher I'm working with is very, very smart.  He started the pet food biz a little over a year ago when there were animals in the supply chain.  Now he jumps hoops to keep both the pet and human clients supplied with what they need.  He does miracles for us just to make sure that we have grass fed meat from healthy animals who aren't drinking fluoride or eating Monsanto GMO grains!

          I met with him on Thursday to pick up some meat and he said this supply problem is due to Obama's people not having the sense to leave some corn for the animals to eat so humans have food!

          Apparently they used up most of the corn for ethanol, which is good...... but now we now have this crisis because they wouldn't listen to the people who told them that cattle and other animals need corn!

          He said that once school starts in September that they will subsidize the school lunch program and grocery stores in some states won't have meat or they will have so little that they have to ration it.  OMG!

          If anyone in CO, AZ or NM, NE needs meat, e-mail me and I'm sure he can help.  He said that right now it will probably take 2 years to get supply up and prices down... so buy freezers NOW.

          I have 2 and am looking for another one!  The price on used freezers doubled on craigslist since I got my second one for $100 last September.  

          I have a feeling that this is not going to be pretty guys.    

          •  Suggest he buys distiller's grains from (0+ / 0-)

            ethanol plants - it's being shipped to China now buy is low carb, high protein and comes from the same corn with less sugar.

            Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it - Samuel Clemens

            by tjlord on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:14:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  cows are primarily raised on grass, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            salamanderempress, orlbucfan

            until they are sold to the CAFOs for finishing,  in the traditional market model,  or they can be "finished" with organic grains in a more humane situation than a CAFO.  All this is done in the last few months before slaughter to give the meat the preferred tenderness and proper fat content "marbling"?) to satisfy conventional tastes.  

            Meat can be raised on grass alone and is leaner then way, although often a bit tougher.  There are ranchers all over the West who are getting savvy to direct-marketing of their own meat, bypassing the conventional market process and getting real value for their efforts,  as the market is there for more naturally produced meat.  You have to go find them,  as it is often a small underground operation.

            This,  of course,  is of no help to the typical urban dweller with no way to access these networks.

             

            don't always believe what you think

            by claude on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:44:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Or just go vegetarian if you can afford to (0+ / 0-)

            This will help alleviate the supply of meat for folks that can't for whatever reason.

            Combine healthy wild rice with beans for a complete protein. Also quinoa is a complete protein (yes, I know the downside to that too).

            Additionally, moringa is a complete protein, so you can supplement your diet with that to help.

            Don't forget you can cook with Braggs amino acids to improve the amino acid profile of your foods to help with protein synthesis

            My wife and I went vegetarian 4 or 5 months ago and haven't really missed the meat all that much. The first month was probably the most difficult.

  •  I was just posting the same video (9+ / 0-)

    It is a good one.  Depressing, but important.

    Wisconsin, Forward!

    by astroguy on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:26:36 PM PST

    •  I am not sure the video can be posted too many (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, victoria2dc

      times astroguy.  Depressing as hell but this is what we are right now at this time.   When will America take to the streets?   The ones who know don't want to believe basically and those who are affected are turning to haters and not accepting responsibility for their apathetic ignorance.  I accept mine.   I have lived and worked under the majority of republcans and have never really had it easy .   We can push back and they still push harder.    When reality really hits the majority of rose colored glass wearers...There will be nothing that can be done.    We only produce war and fear and religion.   One feeds off the other.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for (5+ / 0-)

    that video which so brilliantly illustrates the income and wealth inequities in the US.

    Scary!

    This must go viral - shared to FB.

    Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

    by ask on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:39:39 PM PST

  •  I propose, again, a one-cent transaction fee (19+ / 0-)

    on all Wall Street trades, coming and going. Time for Richie Rich to pay up for favors granted.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:41:11 PM PST

  •  this video makes compelling watching (17+ / 0-)

    for all the people who don't already know this is what's going on.  I posted it on my facebook yesterday and have had all kinds of reactions, mostly shocked, but some also really wanting to understand Gini coefficients, how we rank compared to the rest of the world, etc.  This was a useful link to drive the point home with pretty colors:  http://www.theatlantic.com/...

    I've posted stuff about inequality before because us development types usually warn about how damaging it can be, but I've never had as many people seem to get it, as with this video, and the colored map.  

    My answer to those who are posting things about needing a solution is that the first step to having a solution is having political will to tackle the problem, and you build that by outraging people and convincing them that things need to change.    There are lots of things we can do to change things - we all know what they are - the American people just have to see how badly things have gotten away from them in the last couple of decades and demand a change of course..

    •  Please elaborate. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      victoria2dc
      There are lots of things we can do to change things - we all know what they are
      Some of us don't know.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:56:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The commenter probably meant (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        American in Kathmandu

        get the word out and help change the status quo.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:07:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  For example: everyone in America needs to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife, Cat Whisperer

          have a RANCHER like mine.  Then we need to learn urban farming, like I'm attempting to do.

          I never, never to go Wal Mart or a grocery store.  We have an organic natural grocer that I've been going to all of my life.  They have everything necessary to life in the 21st century.  

          I had to go to a grocery store a few months ago for cleaning supplies (vinegar and that kind of stuff).  It had been so long that I couldn't believe what I saw!  They are smart and get you to buy 2 by inflating the general cost and lowering it to the normal cost if you buy two.  

          Can you think of one good corporation in this country that actually cares about their customers?  I cannot.  

          In Denver they changed the law so that people can have urban farms on their property, i.e.,  2 goats for milk; 8 chickens for meat and eggs, and all the veggies they want until the water dries up and then what?

          Each of us should have a plan.  I don't know anything about growing food, but I have a nice, big GREEN thumb, so I can learn.  I'm doing the farm in my friend's back yard... bees, chickens, etc!  LOL.  I can't butcher the chickens, but my friend is a former 4H kid... so there you go!

          The 3rd freezer will hold frozen veggies and whatever else we can grow.  It's serious guys.  

          •  Good idea however (3+ / 0-)

            city codes forbid some garden within city limits.  Back to the local govt. again.   Same thing for HOA.   Many cannot grow their vegetables or have chickens and cows.
            Some can't even have a dog, especially in apartments.
            But you may have a job creation plan going there !  Locally.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:47:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Vetwife... remember that WE are activists. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vetwife, Cat Whisperer

              I live in an apartment too...... that's why I'm using my friend's yard.  

              People in Denver became politically active and made the changes in the law so that we could have chickens and goats.  In one neighborhood I know, both sides of 2 blocks tore down their fences and they will be growing together this year for the second year.

              Imagine that! Americans working together!  Americans caring about each other.  We are all politically savvy... we should be leading these changes.

              I knew something was wrong last summer when I was down in RiNo (an up and coming Denver art district) and saw train cars longer than I could see loaded with military-style tanks to smash the Occupy movement.  There were so many that I couldn't count them!  Who do you think sent them?  It was the 1% and the Wall Street bankers... they were scared because they knew we were coming.  

              And yes, we will be coming again... and they should really be scared this time.  Don't you think?

      •  what VetWife says.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        the first step is to get the political impetus for change.  Right now, we don't have it.  Without it, we can't get our legislators to do what we need them to do to reverse some of this.  Examples of things that would help:

        -Strengthen the social safety net to better shelter the average American from catastrophic shocks due to illness, lost wages, disability, etc.

        -Obamacare moving towards single payer and genuine protection against bankruptcies caused by medical crises.

        -Put in place nationwide high speed internet available everywhere (well, pretty much).  

        -Strengthen educational opportunities and access beginning with free preschool programs, and moving up to ensuring every American can access high quality higher or vocational education.

        -Shore up workers rights, and reverse the erosions taking place in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

        -Change the tax code to increase taxes on high earners, and on investment income.

        This is off the top of my head after a long day and I'm sure there are tons more things that need to be done.  But most of all, it really comes down to educating the American people and changing the equation so that it becomes extremely bad PR to have firms paying their CEOs these ridiculous wages and incentive packages, while workers are laid off or their wages stagnate.   We have to change the playing field.  The current reality is not acceptable to 9 out of 10 Americans, as this video would show.  So, let's make sure they know.  And then that the voices to change it start to be heard.

        Now, American in Bangkok :)

        by American in Kathmandu on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 04:50:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Twitted. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, 3goldens

    All I can say is glad I'm ole and have no kids.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:44:37 PM PST

  •  The gastly reality of wealth distribution in USA. (8+ / 0-)

    I am one who thought it was not as bad as this graph shows so I am shocked by this.    Thanks for the education.
    I'm afraid for us as never before, I hope we can find our way out of this terrible financial place.

  •  We've lost. (6+ / 0-)

    It's over.

    Help where you can, give as much as you can.

    Be thankful for what you have, and share it.

    http://otherwise-occupied.tumblr.com/ @OOccupied

    by jvantin1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:51:33 PM PST

  •  can you explain how we no longer live in the (4+ / 0-)

    land of the free?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:53:59 PM PST

    •  When the Lord of the Manor (8+ / 0-)

      owns you, you are not free.

      Whether you're called a "slave" or not . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:02:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How free are you when you go to bed (18+ / 0-)

      hungry or homeless and wake up in that same state of affair?  I am not there but maybe one disaster away.  We all are.
      How free are you when you can never achieve your potential?
      How free are you when 9 people sit and decide who they serve and it is not the little man.

      How free are you if you are at the mercy of ignorant people who believe they are middle class who keep voting in wealth?

      How free are you when your jobs and earning potential is this unfair..More unfair than most of us knew?

      How free are you when you know you have fought and were mamed to be mistreated in places that were never designed to help you, like private facilities who abuse children and vets?

      How free are you to have your water and air poisioned ?

      How free are you when even the president is shielded from much truth which I believe he is.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:05:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Frank Zappa: (5+ / 0-)
      "Free is when you do what you want and you don't have to pay....
      ...Free is a verb!"  
      Considering that these swine are makin' us pay...We are apparently not free.

      (a truly bizarre note---I made exactly the same quote in 2009 in almost exactly the same conversation on DKos in 2009--While hunting around the web looking for the original Zappa quote, MY OWN ZAPPA QUOTE TURNS UP on Google!)

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:37:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rec for your bizarre "deja vu" experience :) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, eXtina, leftykook

        Lots of times when I search on a particular issue or quote the DKos diary I'm responding to pops up in the top 5 or so.

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:21:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, the banks own you (6+ / 0-)

      if you have a home loan, and even if you pay that off, you are still owned by the state that will demand property taxes every year, and if your too poor to pay your taxes the state will take your house that you already paid for.

      You owned if through out your life your paid was so little that social security becomes you only means of support to live off of and if your disabled your owned for just that many more years.  

      Your owned if you invest your money in wall street that is used by them as gambling chips, and then you as a tax payer has to also pay off their debt and give them a bonus.

      Your owned if you get sick and have to go in debt to the medical system.  

      You owned by colleges until you pay off your tutition with interest.  

      Your owned when promises to kill the one safety net you paid into all your life is cut or misused by those whom should have kept it save.

      Your own by the gas and electric companies until you pay your monthly bills off.

      You are not free when you have to suffer for not making the expected $400,000.00 a year to have a middle class life.

      "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

      by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:08:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have to object to the idea that owing property (0+ / 0-)

        taxes in particular is a sign of slavery. I'd say it's a sign of freedom, actually, it means you're a landowner in a state with a stable government. That's about as free as it gets.

        •  I didn't say that (0+ / 0-)

          paying property tax was a sign of slavery.  No where in my statement do I say slavery.  If you have a debt you are not free and property taxes while they are necessary, there should be a time in one life, if elderly or disabled, that property taxes should not become a burden to staying in one's home.  

          You've seen it many times on the news where a elderly woman or man is threaten to be thrown out of their homes because of back taxes and the person is in their 90's sometimes in their 100s and to me that isn't freedom.

          "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

          by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 10:46:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're (i.e. You+Are) not Your (0+ / 0-)

        This is your daily grammar nitpick. We now return you to your regular thread...

    •  In ancient Athens they used to think that if you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, eXtina, Cassandra Waites

      so much as worked for a wage you weren't entirely free. The only true free man, to them, was a citizen of the state he lived in, which had to be a true democracy without too much oligarchic influence, much less monarchical, and had to be a self-supporting farmer.

      Of course this farmer inevitably owned slaves. This may have been part of why they were so particular about freedom.

    •  We never did eXtina... it was all a bunch of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina

      lies, and it all started when the military industrial complex grew up just the way Eisenhower warned it would do.

      It is so out of control that there is really nothing we can do to stop it.  Obama can shut down this Internet anytime he wants to, and he has shown us who he is... we can count on the drones.  He has the authority to do anything he wants.

      People, here is another critical thing: I am building my pet food site with a component of pet and human homeopaths.  We have to stop taking their pills, paying the BIG PHARMA the trillions that they get from us, and we have to learn homeopathy and how to take care of our own families.  

      There is a woman (not my homeopath... mine is Canadian)... but she is doing miraculous things with helping women take fate in their own hands.

      Please check her out.  She is in upstate NY.  If you can afford it, hook up with her... and start learning.  She just got back from a big training mission in India.  Check her site and read it please!

      http://joettecalabrese.com/

      We do not need their healthcare.  When you experience homeopathy and study it you will learn the truth for yourself.

      Joette does families and the one I use (Carol Anne) takes care of people and pets!

      http://www.carolannerayson.com

      Both are excellent... please click on these links for yourself, your family and anyone who is sick or has stress with all of this mess.  Homeopathy heals.  

      Blessings to all.......

  •  Simplistic Answer is Reset Economic Policy (14+ / 0-)

    to about 1975. Much to most of the ways we changed our policies since then made this happen. Including the Clinton so-called boom, which created zero wealth for the 99%. Income yes, but it was all spent, even before the eventual crash.

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

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 03:55:14 PM PST

    •  ^^^^^^^ (5+ / 0-)

      It's no accident. It's not globalization. It's intentional lack of trade policy that could set a level playing field by penalizing countries (in the market) who exploit people or the environment. It doesn't have to be this way at all. It's just the way the plutocrats want and there are too damn many moderates in collusion and compromised by their own personal ambitions to see that they are the key cogs making it so. Without them, the Right would be irrelevant and the plutocracy could be cornered and caged in a Mixed Economy.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:11:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  here is my solution (4+ / 0-)

    We tax you according to the group in which you belong in 10% groupings. So you are an individual who is part of the class who owns 90% of the wealth, your tax rate is 90%. If you are If you are part of the bottom 20% tax group that owns nothing, that is your tax rate - nothing. Oh and that is across the board for all of your annual earnings. None of this "capital gains" shit either. If you earned it, your taxed on it. And no more than 5% of you taxes can be deductions either (the exceptions will be child tax credit, day care, education, environmental home improvements and medical - because those are all things that the middle class and lower class depend on for survival).

    Oh - can corporations get a flat 10% tax rate if you made over 1 million annually. Of you made under that, you pay 5%. This is at the federal level BTW. States and cities can continue to beat the shit out of each other.

    How is that for closing tax loop holes.

    What is our motivation to make more money you say? Being poor SUCKS! Ever wonder how you are going to feed your kids or where you are going to sleep tonight - motivation enough.

  •  Yep. (5+ / 0-)

    This is why we have a handful of men thinking they can buy their own president.  They're very used to being able to buy whatever they want.

  •  When wealth inequality becomes this extreme the (20+ / 0-)

    problem is no longer about rich vs poor or class warfare. It's about a tiny group of powerful people having the means to crush the vast, vast majority into grinding poverty.
    No one should have this power.
    Anywhere.

    -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

    by pat bunny on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:04:43 PM PST

  •  There are people on KOS who are under severe (5+ / 0-)

    financial pressure.  Please, check out their posts and if you can give them some words of support in the light of this post they have taken on an increased urgency in my mind.

  •  Oh Vetwife. You are a wonderful person. (6+ / 0-)

    I think what we are going to do is continue to make videos and share videos and say things like "We no longer live in the land of the free." And we will be telling the truth too, but there will be people who are struggling just like we are who tell us we are wrong or whining or not grateful enough.

    But we won't be able to stop. Because we care not just about ourselves, but about our neighbor who is even worse off than us.

    And eventually it will start to sink in. When I say eventually, what I mean is that people will die. They will die of starvation or medical neglect. Some of them will leave kids behind who slip through the cracks because they don't have enough people in their lives who can support them in getting on a sustainable path. This will happen and we will grieve and rage.

    But as sure as the fact that America has finally started to wake up to the fact that the folks shaming glbt people for being different aren't acting like Christians or good citizens, America will wake up to the fact that we are killing our own citizens because we celebrate greed.

    We will stop celebrating greed.

    I hope we live to see it.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:15:06 PM PST

  •  excellent (5+ / 0-)

    My daughter actually just posted that video on her facebook.  Really - every American should see it.

    But somehow the media (the media owned by the 1%) has persuaded all the idiots in this country that the rich are taxed too much.

  •  Along these lines, I have been watching (4+ / 0-)

    the Zeitgeist movies on youtube.
    Zeitgeist 2 Addendum

  •  We need to tax wealth, not earnings. (17+ / 0-)

    And the rate needs to be double when it converts to inheritance.

    Earning tons of money isn't the worst thing ever. I'd eliminate it if I were recreating society, but I'm not. Hoarding money, however, is the death of society. If you earn $15 million and spend $14 million, I don't feel like we need to tax you on anything but the last million, since you recirculated all the rest back into the economy.

    The remaining question would be what to call investment and how to tax it.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:23:23 PM PST

    •  This is an important distinction. (18+ / 0-)

      I'll admit... My household is in the top 5% for income earners. My wife and I hold good government jobs as attorneys. We have a nice house that we pay a mortgage on, but it's not an obscene McMansion. Good benefits, including health care and pensions that I think every worker deserves. Our investments are our house and what we put into our 401k mutual funds... No businesses or Day trading for us.

      And yet... We pay a substantially higher tax rate than the Mitt Romneys of the world. I'm not entirely sure we have what qualifies as a "net worth" yet due to our school loans and our mortgage. And we are actual job creators this year, sinking over ten percent of our earned income into the salary and benefits for our nanny for our soon to be 1 year old, resulting in more taxes paid, not less.

      Certainly not complaining at all... We are far, far luckier than the rest of the country. But it does demonstrate that the system does punish work moreso than it deals with gratuitous wealth.

      Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

      by wmtriallawyer on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:38:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That does seem to be the case (8+ / 0-)

        wmtriallawyer and pretty depressing for the class of 2013.   Thanks for you comment.  It puts things in a perspective of discussion that needs to be had across America.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:48:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The perfect example. Mr Romney should... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wmtriallawyer

        be paying more to the government than the entire membership of this site combined. Instead, a couple who buy American cars (job creation), hires a nanny (job creation), buys a reasonable house (job creation), chooses to have a child (and purchase all the goods and services that requires (job creation)), gets taxed at a higher rate than the quarter billionaire who made his fortune firing people and whose family constantly tells stories about what a cheapskate penny-pinching cash hoarder he is.

        Mr Moneybags is the one whose behavior we should be discouraging through the tax code.

        You still have negative wealth because you chose to get educated so that you could serve your country and invest in it. Because you did what we're all told is the right thing, and invested in putting a roof over your heads and strengthening the housing market in your community.

        Yet the tax system is screaming that you should've skipped law school and gone straight to careers on Wall Street, trading meaningless pieces of paper for the purpose of amassing completely unproductive piles of cash.

        Mindless stupidity. That's what we call that.

        "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

        by 2020adam on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:28:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The land of the deluded (5+ / 0-)

    Compared to other countries we suck big time.  We are at the bottom by World Bank Wealth Gini.  At the bottom.

    And it will get worse before it gets better.

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

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:35:29 PM PST

  •  Downton Abbey is just a TV Show... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, KJG52

    ... a very good TV show, but it's not a manual for a society we want to emulate.

    The most depressing thing about this video (and it is really depressing) is that a lot of commenters found absolutely nothing wrong with this setup.

  •  It's the return of the Gilded Age (11+ / 0-)

    There is a tendency to take things for granted. There was a reason we have movements like Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive movement.

    But the right never stopped trying to drag us back to the Gilded Age. There used to be a time when union membership was widespread, and both parties courted the union vote. Much of what the right calls "leftist extremism" was mainstream not that long ago. We've had a century of attempts to bring back the Gilded Age, people don't hear that often the history of why we put an end to the Gilded Age.

    The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

    by A Citizen on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:41:14 PM PST

    •  And many kossacks don't see much of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52

      a problem with executive salaries, income inequality, the distribution of wealth, etc. In fact, they're more concerned about cutting spending, especially social programs.

      How did we get here?

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:17:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is NOT the answer! (4+ / 0-)

    His actions have mostly helped those at the top.  The few crumbs that we have gotten from him are so inadequate that the top 1% have gotten nearly all of the gains of the economic recovery of the last four years.  Inequality has gotten worse under Obama than under Bush.  

    Go here and here for all the sordid details.

  •  What is it about hockey-stick graphs? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Words In Action

    It seems they never bode well.

    "...to name something is to own it." Thomas L. Friedman. Pleonexia. Ruthless self-seeking. An arrogant assumption that others and things exist for one's own benefit. I now own the Republican Party.

    by Dave in Columbus on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:50:03 PM PST

  •  Wow, shared. thanks for the diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Words In Action

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:53:48 PM PST

  •  Great vid but one glaring error (13+ / 0-)

    Socialism does not produce an equal distribution of resources; communism is the political system which at least in theory pursued that socio-economic outcome.

    That conflation is the very that tea baggers often invoke when they decry the evils of "socialism."

    Socialism is most fundamentally about the collective ownership of the means of production. Socialist systems do tend to have less extreme differences in wealth distribution but they allow for income variance based on skills, market demand etc.

  •  As a "conservative" Republican (5+ / 0-)

    I'll say that this is a a powerful video.

    My suggestion is to make it into an app.  Allow people to state what their ideal is, what they think it is and then based on their answers develop, say, 5 or 10 different voice overs of the basic presentations based on how they answer and what is what "92 percent" of us claim as ideal.

    Couldn't cost much.  I'll chip in to make it if the DKOS community decides to do it.  What, maybe $10,000 to develop the app?  Could we not get 1,000 people here to contribute $10 to make that app?

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:55:17 PM PST

  •  Great graphic (5+ / 0-)

    Vetwife.  I've known something was terribly wrong for a long time.  And all the while our politicians are looking for places to cut?  What a joke.  I'm sure both Democrats and Republicans have seen this chart in private over and over again.  Yet if you notice more recently than not, the fights in Washington are not about the people, but the politicians themselves.  Somehow, there are major fights going on with the budget and yet the consequences on the poor, the elderly or the sick are never part of the discussion, except for on here in Internet land the consequences talked about.  

    The people are lost without representation and we are only here as a ATM machine for when our representatives need us to help corporations, bankers, and wars.  Otherwise we don't matter.  

    We have to do something.  And we have to think about the adults as well as children because the children won't survive without us, if we don't survive to help build a future for them.

    America's suicide rate is through the roof and a lot of it has to with the ecomony.  I personally don't know how much longer I can face such a grim future.

    I was adding it up today, what my yearly costs are, just for medicare B it is $2,400.00 a year, gas & electric yearly are about $1,800.00 (and I turn off my heat), property tax $200.00 to 400.00 with homestead), phone (basic) $600.00 per year, car insurance $720.00 a year. And about $2,000.00 for my assessment on my condo.  And I'm bringing in about 13,000.00 a year on social security.  There are no other options that are cheaper, renting would be more.  I don't have cable, or cell phone.  And I seriously don't know how much longer I want to live like this.

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:55:59 PM PST

    •  Well don't give up......There are answers and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1, ladybug53, victoria2dc

      this is an activist site.  The old saying, "Be the change you want the world to be."  it is also peaceful knowiing, the mighty Oak was once just an acorn.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:10:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't given (6+ / 0-)

        up yet, but something drastic has to happen soon or millions of Americas will be laid to waste.  This change can not be done alone, we are going to have to come together in another Occupy kinda way in order to demand that the people be represented.  

        What floors me is you can own and carry a semi-automatic gun in this country, but if you protest your government with out any threat or weapon your tear gassed, beaten, and arrested.  There is something really screwed up with that.

        Washington needs to know the people are fed up and not going to take their crap anymore.  Any cuts will have to first come from their salaries and healthcare, I refuse to live in poverty while my tax dollars are going to bail out the banks, and to the pockets of Congress and Senate millionaires for retirement and healthcare.  Screw that crap.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:59:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wait a minute! (11+ / 0-)

    Someone is just figuring this out now?  Occupiers told this story loud and clear a year and a half ago.  And got beaten over the head for doing so with the implicit consent of many of the same people who are going "Wow, this is terrible!" when they look at the video.

    Instead of taking to the streets; instead of physically stopping the foreclosures (aka theft of wealth); instead of demanding banksters heads (figuratively), instead of doing anything meaningful people chose to sit back and let "our representatives" deal with these issues, when the representatives themselves,  for the most part, are either part of or live off the one percent.  And the end result was exactly what you would expect: more and more austerity for the lower and middle class (cf sequester, minimum wage stagnation, payroll tax increase); more and more wealth accumulation (cf stock prices, ceo bonuses) for the one percent.

    There is no outrage at this because no one, at a fundamental level, seems to give a FF.

    •  Yes "someone" is just figuring this out now (7+ / 0-)

      The actual data/graph is nearly two years old. Don't know the age of this particualr video, but it is suddenly getting lots of "viral" notice. That's how this stuff works. Lots of "someones" are still unaware of this, and similar, information. It's not that no one gives a FF - they do not know. It is our job to spread the info.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:35:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I knew it as well, which is what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      victoria2dc

      makes me sick half the time, wondering what the hell it is going to take for people to react rationally and responsibly.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:44:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why, when President Obama..... (7+ / 0-)

    ....argues in favor of "entitlement reform", it shows me that he is completely out of touch with reality.

    In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

    by xynz on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:12:21 PM PST

    •  Your comment is absurd. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, worldlotus

      "Entitlement reform" means finding a way to sustain the benefit stream.

      Please refrain from silly comments like that.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:43:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Entitlement reform means cuts (12+ / 0-)

        I don't think Obama is " totally out of touch with reality" but let's be clear that all proposals for " entitlement reform" are cuts, with the exception being raising the wage cap for Social Security taxes, which Obama is not proposing.

        He has proposed changing  the Social Secuirty COLA, a cut, and has entertained the idea of raising the age of eligibility for Medicare, which is a really cruel cut.

        Spare me the  "he has to do this," I have no idea what might be going on inside the DC Kabuki.

        I just want to note that your statement that entitlement reform is about sustaining the benefit stream is not consistent with what has actually been proposed in the name of entitlement reform.

        We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

        by Urban Owl on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:08:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  your comment is content free (0+ / 0-)

        Please explain how the "reforms" being discussed will "sustain the benefit stream".

  •  Just a reminder (4+ / 0-)
    “The work ethic is not a traditional value. It is a Johnny-come-lately idea. In ancient times, work was considered a disgrace inflicted on those who had failed to amass a nest egg through imperial conquest, profitable marriage, or in forms of organized looting”
        Barbara Ehrenreich
    I've pretty much given up on this "Grand experiment".

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:25:18 PM PST

  •  Sobering and wonderful diary! (6+ / 0-)

    I wish I could make a witty or wise comment, but I don't know what I could add to this. All I could offer, but won't, is my incessant resentment.

     Speaking of my own situation,I'm currently unemployed and struggling with my student loan debt.

     Naturally I really want to do relevant activism and volunteering, but I don't know where to begin. I hate feeling useless.

     What could I do to help change the tides? There's has to be some grassroots level work I can do that isn't just protesting or getting someone elected. I should know this answer. I can't help but feel overwhelmed.

     I'm not saying protests and elections are bad or useless, just that there has to be more to it than doing those alone.

     What I am doing, albeit on a seasonal basis, is helping my local election department as an election worker. I don't know if that helps in the big picture, but I like doing it.

  •  Tax Policy Won't Work in This Political Climate (5+ / 0-)

    Attack their sources of income i.e. their supply lines. We have power as a consumer, if not as a citizen.

    -Grow your own food or trade labor for food at a local farm or rent a plot.
    -Forage for food in parks. Some "weeds" are actually nutritious plants.
    -Work together, pool resources, to provide necessities for all.
    -Use barter. Mow a lawn to pay for a haircut.
    -Buy a distiller rather than buying water bottles
    -DIY on everything as much as possible. Make your own pizza and coffee.
    -Spread the word and knowledge.

    Do anything and everything to not buy their products and every time you do, loathe that you are funding you own enslavement. Think about how you might DIY. Ask others how you might DIY. Despite all of the high, testosteroni rhetoric about being your own person, the billionaires club is hellbent on making everyone dependent upon them for survival. We've seen they do not value our lives. People need to be hellbent on disentangling themselves from this abusive, and for some fatal, relationship.

    Wal-mart has been hurt by the lousy economy. People need to learn how to apply that hurt by choice rather than circumstance. This means learning the old ways, working together, and letting go of materialism. The American Dream is a nightmare. It's time to embrace a future of personal growth, mutually encouraged pursuit of excellence, responsible stewardship, and sustainability.

    •  Hurt Walmart, yes, but not the rest of this (0+ / 0-)

      Cutting consumption is a great strategy for any one family, but it adds up to contracting the economy.

      Tax policy will work just fine if we change the House in 2014.

      We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

      by Urban Owl on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:10:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Consumption is going to have to drop and (3+ / 0-)

        the economy contract in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, anyway.

        It will be painful. We can either do it proactively or wait for collapse. Either way it's going to happen.

        When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

        by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:47:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salamanderempress

          We have to cut onsumption of stuff with bigger carbon footprints, but not total consumption. We can buy more services, fewer goods, change from high-carbon to lower-carbon goods, etc.

          We have to cut our carbon footprints, but that is not the same thing as cutting consumption as we currently measure it on a national level.

          We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

          by Urban Owl on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:45:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It Adds Up to Destroying Exploitation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        victoria2dc

        We can no longer afford the corruption and rentier tacit taxes. If some people are concerned that people producing some of their own food or bartering contracts the economy, then the economy does not serve the people, it exploits the people. People becoming their own producers would only upset those who exploit people.

        What is the purpose of an economy? To line the pockets of parasitic, non-productive, fat cat rentiers or to meet the needs of the people? Efficient distribution of capital? The pursuit of profit (inefficiency) is contradictory to the alleged reason why capitalism rocks. The greatest profit is found in the least efficient markets. A good economy would aim for zero profit even within constraints of scarce resources.

        People don't owe fat cat rentiers a living. The more they can produce their needs on their own or with like minded people, the more power to them. Who cares what happens to an economy that serves the 1% if the 99% can meet their needs without it.

        •  Except that the 99% can't do this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife

          Most people live in cities, and we can do a lot with urban ag, home production, etc., but the idea that everyone can be self-supporting just doesn't add up for the 99%.

          It's just fine for you or anyone else to go off the grid, but it is just not an option for most of us. Organizing and building more just and lower carbon society is feasible. Not easy, but feasible.

          Cities, by the way, are lower carbon per capita than rural, and both are much better than sprawling suburbs.

          We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

          by Urban Owl on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:50:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's Not All or Nothing (0+ / 0-)

            Support for a movement can come in many forms, all equally important in presenting a message. The goal is a display of collective power so we have something more to bring to the table than "please don't hurt us?"

            Simply filling up light block milk jugs with soil, poking a few holes in the bottom, planting something edible, and placing it in a window sill is progress. If a person lives in a dark closet, then learn what others are doing and spread the word. While waiting for coffee or a ticket, strike up a conversation with a stranger about someone who is growing food. Spread ideas and empowerment even if one's position is tenuous.

            It may not be an option for YOU, but it is an option for US or some like minded person with resources. We have an awareness and ego problem, not a resource problem. Every great accomplishment has been through cooperation (of some form), not independence.

            Cities and rural areas are functionally different. It's a little bit of an apples to oranges comparison.

      •  It would be worth contracting the economy a little (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, crankypatriot

        to fundamentally shift the country away from rampant consumerism.

        Ultimately though, you wouldn't be contracting the economy because more of your income/labor would be recirculated around your local community instead of being locked away in corporate coffers.

  •  Capitalism doesn't work as it is today (5+ / 0-)

    The theory is that the "invisible hand" works to minimize excess profits. The only way that this kind of wealth can happen is through economic rent and excess profits. There is no mechanism in our economy to restrain these. Until we figure out how to do this wealth and income inequality will continue to increase.

    •  it has run amuck... now capitalism is evil IMO (0+ / 0-)

      Greed possessed.  

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:49:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We had an entirely plausible mechanism (7+ / 0-)

      That kept the state of the economy safe and sound and middle class. That mechanism was known as "Glass Steagall, and it was a law that stipulated that banks could not serve as gambling institutions  and insurance companies.

      The bank Modernization and Reform Act that Pres Clinton signed in the last months of his Administration took away the Glass Steagall protections. And within some 8 years or so, we had the Economic Collapse of 2008, the birth of Too Big To Fail, and pretty much the destruction of our middle class. Twelve million households ended up in foreclosures. Obama's economic choices for appointees were just as bad as Dubya's had been.

      Geithner headed Treasury and Obama left Bernanke over at the Federal Reserve. While Geithner blithely told Governors who asked for loans that those loans could not be afforded, as they would add to the deficit. (In fact, those loans would have kept many people employed, and might have aided in a recovery.) Bernanke lent out over 15 trillions of  dollars, some 4.7 trillion of which experts state will never be repaid.

      Back in the Eighties, eight or nine cents out of every dollar of profit generated in the USA went to banks. Over the past 25 years, through the destruction of our middle class economy, aided and abetted by bought an paid for Democrats and Republicans BOTH, we now have a catastrophe of  situation wherein so many decent jobs are gone forever, and 49 cents out of every dollar of profit generated in the nation goes to the biggest Banks, who keep it for themselves and don't loan it to normal people except at exorbitant rates.

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

      by Truedelphi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:07:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes... time to get rid of the FED. Now! n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Glass stegall did work but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJG52

        this has been going on a very long time.  People are so apathetic or dense...or self absorbed or all three.. they did not see the rich taking over which is strange because I was taught all my life when republicans are in charge the rich get richer and so far that is true.  

        We just do not have accountability held anywhere unless you are on minimum wage and then everything is that person's fault.  Obama's problem is reaching out for compromise too much.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:50:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  WIZARD... Capitalism and democracy both! (0+ / 0-)

      There is really nothing nothing to be happy about when looking at life in America.  We have to create our own EVERYTHING!  

      We can just ignore them and do our own thing.  I've been doing that for a while, and it works.  Why go to Wal Mart... that crappy store!!  Let them all close down.  Their made in China junk is just that.

      Oh people....... another GREAT resource is the Weston A. Price Foundation.  They are a little too religious and very clear about how to eat, how to take care of the land, how to get well and much, much more.  

      Check them out... they have regional farms, ranchers, CSAs, raw milk shares, etc.  They are really doing a lot to stay out of the mainstream and do their own work.

      Joette, the homeopath I mentioned earlier is a WAP member, and she is like a bright light from somewhere.  If you go to her website and look at her face you will see what I mean.  She raised all of her kids with NO medications and no doctors.  I think she took risks, but she did it and now they are all grown up and work with her!

      It's a beautiful story that she tells about how she did it..

  •  time for the grand bargain to make it worse (5+ / 0-)

    both parties have been in power during this time

    both parties are playing a game right now

    they are diverting attention from reality

    for most of Americans, they will pull it off

  •  Up until the end of the 1970s, the United States.. (12+ / 0-)

    ....was progressing towards becoming a free social democracy.

    The USA hit its peak, when its democratic institutions forced President Nixon to resign.

    Very soon after that, the USA "Jumped the Shark", when President Ford pardoned Nixon.

    Howard Jarvis and Proposition 13 ushered in the contemporary era of Democracy in name only.

    As this video has amply demonstrated and as Paul Krugman noted in his Sunday New York Times editorial, the system of government in the US is not based on the competent implementation of rational policies to address reality. The system of government in the US is designed to protect and enhance the status quo. That is why the pundits and politicians who consistently get it wrong are still in power: their job isn't to get it right, their job is to frame the debate so that no other outcome is possible.

    That is why there has been no action on global warming. That is why the US spends more on its military, than the rest of the world combined. That is why the austerity is being implemented. That is why President Obama is a failure: when he came to power, the status quo was unstable and weak enough to be over-thrown, but he chose to rescue it.

    In the Fox News Christian Nation, public schools won't teach sex education and evolution; instead they'll have an NRA sponsored Shots for Tots: Gunz in Schoolz program.

    by xynz on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:48:29 PM PST

  •  Far, far from a democracy (11+ / 0-)

    The invisible elephant in the room is economic democracy. We cannot have a functioning democracy without an economy that provides the right to the pursuit of happiness, and that includes the means to achieve that. This is the great discussion almost entirely absent from our national discourse. FDR talked about this in his Second Bill of Rights. We cannot achieve a functional democracy until we deal with this issue. Wake up America.

  •  What is freedom? (4+ / 0-)

    This is a very powerful video. Thanks for sharing at it.

    I am of the opinion that for all practical purposes freedom and money are the same thing. But not quite. Free means you are unencumbered. So you can be homeless and free. The homeless are unencumbered by debt (I expect in most cases, since they have no assets) and are "free" to live by their wits and to call a cardboard box a home.

    Of course the reality is something else. The homeless suffer and are harassed to start.

    Many an insightful opinion and observation can be found on my blog Occam's Razor. UID: 875

    by Guy Noir on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:53:06 PM PST

  •  WOW! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Words In Action, victoria2dc

    I'm Floored!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 05:57:49 PM PST

  •  omg. yea... I knew it was bad.... but this is (5+ / 0-)

    absolutely astonishing.

    what a deranged, twisted, mess our country has become.

    wtf. :(

    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:03:58 PM PST

  •  How to fix excess wealth and debt (4+ / 0-)

    Your debt is someone wealth. Your mortgage got aggregated and then sliced and sold off. The most important parts are that it generates a cash stream and it is secured.

    The economy will not recover as long as we have a debt overhang that keeps middle America from spending. There were mechanisms in the past that moderated this. Wage driven inflation was one. High marginal tax rates was another. These are not going to happen today so we are stuck.

    I'd like to propose another mechanism. This will not happen of course, but it would fix the economy in short order. Congress should pass a law that all mortgages, student loans and credit cards are limited to 2% over prime. Anything over that and you go to jail for usury.

    What would happen? Consumers would be able to keep and spend a much larger fraction of their income. The rich get to keep their wealth, but unearned income from it would be considerably reduced. With a growing consumer market and limited returns on debt investment, wealth would be very motivated to invest in new business, technology, manufacturing, etc. They would be willing essentially to take a risk and invest in America. With less money in mortgage funds, it would be much harder to qualify for a new mortgage and unqualified new mortgages would be few and far between. With mortgages harder to get, we could fuel a healthy housing market without a bubble forming.

  •  Not too long ago Move On (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    victoria2dc

    administrator joined here.   Netroots nation is coming up.
    This has to be addressed in a speaker activist /act now
    way.  I suggest all people who can go..do.  I can't.   Not that I could do that much but if I could I would go.  
    The growing need to meet up such as in
    A NEW DAY ...series and acting locally is a damn good start.   If you are not aware of this series and most here are .. Here is her link and it is not all about socializing.
    It is about forming local outreaches.

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

    participate and organize and let Navajo know ....you are doing so....She helps so very much.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:18:52 PM PST

  •  I was familiar with this information, but this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    presentation makes it even more powerful. Thanks for posting it, Vw.

    When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

    by Words In Action on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:49:31 PM PST

  •  This is where the visuals come from (6+ / 0-)

    http://www.people.hbs.edu/...

    And their conclusions are not promising;

    Given the consensus among disparate groups on the gap between an ideal distribution of wealth and the actual level of wealth inequality, why are more Americans, especially those with low income, not advocating for greater redistribution of wealth? First, our results demonstrate that Americans appear to drastically underestimate the current level of wealth inequality, suggesting they may simply be unaware of the gap. Second, just as people have erroneous beliefs about the actual level of wealth inequality, they may also hold overly optimistic beliefs about opportunities for social mobility in the United States (Benabou & Ok, 2001; Charles & Hurst, 2003; Keister, 2005), beliefs which in turn may drive support for unequal distributions of wealth. Third, despite the fact that conservatives and liberals in our sample agree that the current level of inequality is far from ideal, public disagreements about the causes of that inequality may drown out this consensus (Alesina & Angeletos, 2005; Piketty, 1995). Finally, and more broadly, Americans exhibit a general disconnect between their attitudes toward economic inequality and their self-interest and public policy preferences (Bartels, 2005; Fong, 2001), suggesting that even given increased awareness of the gap between ideal and actual wealth distributions, Americans may remain unlikely to advocate for policies that would narrow this gap.

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

    by Shockwave on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:52:23 PM PST

  •  extremely maddening in current austerity climate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    victoria2dc, Vetwife, caryltoo

    The mere fact that we are told that these cuts are freaking necessary to prevent problems in the future. And that Grand Bargains are being offered but increasing taxes or closing loopholes for corporations and extremely wealthy is definitely off the effing table. We can't have any of that we are told...we can tax Wall Street or corporations or penalize for shoring ...heaven forbid....they will crash the economy. ...cause inflation ...cost jobs!
    There is someone on this very thread saying all of this ...just WTF! Enough, we outnumber them...they have the money but we have the numbers.

    I don't want redistribution of wealth, I want to stop the hoarding by the plutocrats who have rigged the laws, rules, our government and our government's  policies to their own benefit.

    The best government our plutocrats can buy.

    Thanks for this...recycled, tipped, and distributed.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:23:19 PM PST

  •  Michael I. Norton is the Harvard professor's name (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    victoria2dc, Vetwife, mithra

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:30:57 PM PST

  •  fun fact: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    The video in question has 48,000 views on YouTube.

    Meanwhile, "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus, has 321,408,684. I'm not making this up. Oh the ironicitude. They have us totally snookered, don't they?

    To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate--that is strength undefeatable. (Helen Keller)

    by kareylou on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:37:20 PM PST

    •  Most of them could tell you who was the latest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou

      American idol but those same people could not tell you who was in succession for president.   They couldn't tell you three state capitols...much less the governors.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:57:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have to admit, though, the last American (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kareylou

        Idol had a way funnier name than any of the first few people in line for the presidency.

        Although actually their ratings are dropping like a rock, people may not even know who their Idol is. A sad, sad day for the nation.

        •  I would be one of those people.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kareylou

          Never have watched it or Dancing with the Stars.

          If it isn't on TVland or a good movie..then I am lost.
          I had my day of MTM and That Girl and the Love Boat.
          Today the reality shows are not like most reality..pretty much like the news or wrestling.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:29:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wrestling is a great comparison, actually. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vetwife, kareylou

            No one could be bothered to watch wrestling if it were just a bunch of sweaty guys knotted up in a pretzel on the floor like there USED to be at the Olympics :(, but when they add stories, ratings success!

            Similarly, if you put up a camera somewhere and just let it run, no one is interested in watching unless it's pointed at baby pandas, so the reality shows are carefully arranged so that they have as much story and editorial interference as the scripted shows do.

  •  democracy is about power, not freedom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, jayden, a2nite

    the 99% don't have power

    we have the trappings of democracy

    we used to have a more balanced system

    but the corporations and the military have taken over and bought out the politicians

    we don't have parties, we have what the founding fathers called Factions, and they warned against them

    30 years of right wing judges have not taken over the judiciary

    etc.

  •  I implore everyone reading this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, tommyfocus2003

    who is on Facebook/Twitter etc to please post this video (it's on YouTube). If we can get this to go viral I truly believe this will help cause a shift in perception because it is so simple and straightforward.

    This video perfectly explains Obama's policies when he says he does not want any more strain on the backs of the middle class and poor and feels that the top 1 or 2% can easily absorb the brunt of new taxation (plus the corporations whose loopholes need to be closed now!).

  •  Over at YouTube (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, jayden

    So far 251,962 have watched this video. 6,914 clicked "Like" while 311 clicked "Dislike."

    Well I must admit that I don't like the message one bit so perhaps a few got confused and clicked dislike because they are going to bed hungry. But even if it is accurate that ratio contradicts the Republican version of reality.  

  •  The problem that this video confronts (6+ / 0-)

    is that most people who DON'T know how the wealth is distributed, when confronted with the fact of how it really IS distributed, react like this:

    "Oh, I didn't know that, but I guess that's how it has always been.  But that's probably all for the best because I don't want to take money away from anybody, and things are okay for me and my immediate family.

    1) It hasn't always been this way.  That's difficult to communicate.  Things are worse now than they were during the halcyon days of this country before the Republicans made us all relatively poorer.

    2) It's not for the best.  When you smother the middle class, you smother the economy.  For everybody.

    3) I don't want to take anybody's money away from anybody else.  But those rich 1% guys have the system gamed to make themselves richer at everybody ELSE's expense.  (Hello, Dick Cheney, meet Halliburton).  

    4) You and your family may seem well enough off right now.  But the next time a family member loses a house or gets laid off or ends up in the hospital with hospital bills that the rest of you can't pay, remember, it didn't have to be this way.  You're not immune to what is happening to everybody else.

    •  So right -- the ignorance of the average person (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, Don midwest, Dumbo

      is a major contributing factor. It hasn't always been this way and it doesn't have to be. One thing the video didn't point out is that there are countries where the distribution of wealth is close to what most Americans think it is and that's a few of the scandinavian countries. Government policy affects income distribution, and it's not just taking from the rich -- it's things like living-wage laws and universal healthcare that could improve life for so many.

  •  This is important to see, with headlines today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50, caryltoo

    on a number of sites touting an estimate that the richest 1% of Americans will pay 30% of all federal taxes this year!  Of course, that ignores regressive state taxes, including sales taxes that even the poorest pay, so it isn't true for total taxes.  And since the richest 1% own more than 40% of the wealth, even paying 30% of taxes wouldn't really be their fair share.

    Income inequality is bad enough, but when wealth is taken into account, our tax system is actually quite regressive.  The bottom half of Americans (approximately) pay more in total taxes each year than their entire net worth.  Those at the top pay maybe 2% of their net worth in total taxes each year.  Very few people realize this, and they get snookered into thinking the wealthy are overtaxed relative to everyone else, when that simply isn't the case.  A more progressive tax system isn't the whole solution, but it is an important part.

    So I'm glad to see this video getting some attention.  I've thought for three years that this was a very important study that should have received much more attention than it has.

    Civil marriage is a civil right.

    by UU VIEW on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 10:53:40 PM PST

  •  This is what conservatives do NOT want you to see (5+ / 0-)

    This blows their entire "10% of the population pays 70% of the taxes" and"53% of the populace pays no income tax" arguments. The basic premise of their argument falls of the mistaken belief by their constituents that wealth is more evenly distributed. As my FOX-spewing neighbor put to me one day last summer "10% of the population should only be paying 10 % of the taxes and 50% should be paying 50% and so forth". I like the guy, but I had to beat my head against a tree after that one.

    This video needs to go viral, I'm going to do my part.

    “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” ― Charles Bukowski

    by macleme on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 10:56:36 PM PST

  •  Why? (4+ / 0-)

    Why has the top expanded so fast? Why did they go from 9% to 24% since 1984?

    The primary reason is because of bad trade policies. Starting in the 1970s we began shipping wealth-producing jobs overseas. Manufacturing jobs, for example, peaked in in 1979 and have declined by about 25% since then. In about the same time, wages have dropped for typical workers while worker productivity (previously an indicator of wages) has gone up over 80%. Worker's share of business income dropped from 60% to 50% since 1980.

    The primary reason is because of competition from cheap overseas labor. As a result, workers are literally paid about one half what they would have been otherwise.

    But this has not held back the rich. If you are an investor you can go to China and make a killing. But if you are a worker you can't go to China to earn one additional dime.

    Hence, income disparity.

    The way to address this is to bring wealth-producing jobs back to the U.S. We can do that by insisting on a living wage. To support that we need to make sure that products sold in this country are made to our workplace and environmental standards. That implies an international minimum wage and a reasonable system of tariffs.

    We have a choice. We can either become a third world country by continuing our current policies. Or, we can insist that other countries rise to being first world nations. They need to have a forty-hour work week and workplace safety standards like we do. They need to have child labor laws, like we do. They need to pay at least our minimum wage if they are going to sell products here.

    Last year the estimated trade deficit was $55 billion. That's not bad considering it's been in the hundreds of billions. Not a single dime of that went to Social Security or Medicare. None of it went to unemployment compensation. Yet, we hear that Social Security and Medicare need to be cut back and we've already seen unemployment compensation reduced. None of that would have been necessary except for bad trade policy.

    The question to ask Congress is this: When are you going to go to work on increasing wages and employment levels? When are you going to concentrate on putting people back to work? When are you going to fix trade policy?

    The deficit that matters is the trade deficit. It's time someone in Washington woke up to that fact and did something about it. The whole lot of them ought to lose their jobs if they can't fix this problem.

  •  We never did live in a free nation; this country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife
  •  Glad you posted this. This study has been out for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Don midwest, ratzo

    awhile now but got nowhere near the kind of play that the rich-pay-most-of-the-taxes meme did. David Cay Johnston did a blog post on this more than a year ago at tax.com. The bottom 40 percent of Americans have just .3 percent of the wealth in this country and there is something so grossly unjust about that, but all you'll hear about is how they're the takers, never mind that many, many of them are working and still barely able to survive.

    Income inequality is the real problem in the U.S. and we're approaching the point where it, throughout history, has caused social unrest.

    If I hear the president or other pols talk one more time  about shared sacrifice I think I'll vomit. All the sacrifice is coming from 90+ percent of us.

  •  The Culling (0+ / 0-)

    The 1% is in the process of culling the population. They don't believe their own climate change denials. The rich know what's up with the environment.

  •  This video... (0+ / 0-)

    .. or this message... has been around for as long as I can remember.

    When discussed in an open forum, it is quickly marginalized by reality. The video itself tells that the graphed population includes everyone... meaning that most of the bottom quintile are children, or non-working adults/spouses. So, if you normalize for that, it flattens out a bit. And when normalized by age ... ala a 25 year-old(second quintile) is supposed to have a tiny fraction of accumulated wealth, compared to a 65 year-old (fifth quintile).. it flattens further.

    Then, normalize for the fact that a person (or group of people) have to have wealth far greater than those who work for them, if by nothing other than the net worth of his (their) company.. IOW, is it ridiculous that a sole owner ( a 1%-er) of a company employing 99 folks (the other 99%-ers)  be demonized because he built that company up to an amount of wealth that might as well be infinity to a younger worker who is in the infancy of wealth accumulation ?

    Yes.. there is a problematic wealth disparity.. but it's nothing near as horrid as these rage-inducing videos suggest.. as stated, this "message", is as old as civilization, so don't get all depressed. Just remeber, the only, real, long-term way to narrow the gap(s), is to free-up all the wealth that ends up in the hands of a government that spends, $35,000 per average household ($3.8T / 112M households), where the average household income is $55,000..  or ask... just whose oportunities are more eroded under of government (federal only) of that scope.. the rich, or the poor ?

    •  and there you have just heard from a right (0+ / 0-)

      winged talking point !!!!!   So....the only thing that is falling flat here is that comment.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:55:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know it falls flat, "here" .. (0+ / 0-)

        ,, but did I state anything innacurately ?

        Like I said.. this "video", is nothing new.. Wouldn't you like to see the chart normalized, if for no other reason than to see how out of whack it is ?

        It's ancient, silly, propaganda.. and in no way helps the cause (that I admit exists).. it actually hurts it..

        •  The truth is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife

          In the US the upper 1% (Romney) pay much lower taxes than the middle/working class.  That is counterproductive to a sane, just and fruitful society.  Progressive tax systems are better suited to modern social democracies.  Vetwife is right.  Since the Reagan years and the indoctrination into the US culture of "no more taxes = growth," and "less government is better government," the US, as a culture and society has failed miserably.

          I grew up the son of a Steelworker and stay-at-home mother in the '50's & '60's.  Good wages.  Lived well.  family of five children.  Catholic schools.  Three of us have advanced degrees.  I served honorably in the USAF (Vietnam veteran).  

          What has happened in the US is nothing less than tragic.  Minimizing the pain and suffering of our people or saying "it's always been this way," is simply wrong-headed.  I can't  imagine your purpose.

          •  My purpose... (0+ / 0-)

            .. was to point out how dishonest that chart is...

            Largely, I agree with you.. especially about progressive taxation... but at government of this scope.. even utter confiscation of  high levels of wealth will barely dent just the deficit (and you can only do that once), let alone the debt, and debt service ($350,000,000 under artificially low rates)... and I just think you have to be honest (or use honest data).. if you're setting out to change, ANYthing for the better.

            •  Correction.. (0+ / 0-)

              * $350,000,000,000

            •  Countries where taxation is progressive (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vetwife

              and with strong social safety nets - have citizens and societies that are generally less stressed, more family-oriented , more nurturing of the common good and simpy less harmful or painful with regard to the middle/working classes and the poor.

              The US continues to decline in so may ways.  I know this as a political scientist and as an American who is over sixty and who did live in Europe a few years.  

              The forces attempting to turn back the progressive gains made in the US since the '60's are strong and powerful and they do not have any allegiance to anything (the common good?), including the American people.  They maximize profits.  Period.              

    •  the chart is correct (0+ / 0-)

      and my gracious attitude is wearing thin with right wing talking points.   You didn't care about the deficit when Bush was declaring illegal wars did you?  

      I laugh when you speak of propoganda... You sound just like Fox.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 11:21:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this Diary, Vetwife (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    As usual, your heart and your innate kindness and compassion shine through.

    Please check your emails.

    As I write this, crazy Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R,SC) is being interviewed by Chuck Todd and she is spewing her insanity without taking a breath. "Enough Taxes!"  Repulsive human being.  Liar.  Deceiver.  She is among the worst I have ever seen in Congress.

  •  We Let Them Take All Our Money (0+ / 0-)

    But we won't let them take our guns.

    GUNZ, BICHES!

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

    by bink on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 01:31:27 PM PST

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