Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I read the News Today, oh Boy...

Thomas Piketty from a recent interview:

“Over a certain wealth level, particularly if you are Bill Gates, if you have several dozen billion dollars, you know it’s not very useful for society if you keep it forever. So you should return part of it each year. In a way, it’s like permanent land reform. It’s like a permanent revolution, but it’s a quiet revolution because it takes place within the rule of law.”

Not that I would ever compare myself to the brilliant Piketty, but common sense has always led me to believe that people hoarding cash is bad (corporations hoard cash too) — because it doesn't circulate within the economy; and why, if the job creators won't raise our wages, we should raise their taxes. Of course, Third Way Democrats (like Hillary) and the GOP don't want to raise taxes on the rich — to either invest in infrastructure or to shore up the Social Security trust fund.

In other news...

Progressives are by no means certain to rally around VP Joe Biden. Elizabeth Warren, who met with Biden over the weekend, could not realistically endorse him as long as Senator Bernie Sanders is in the race. In fact, her advisers went out of their way to downplay the significance of their meeting, stressing that she also met privately with Hillary Clinton earlier this year (who voted to change the bankruptcy law). Representing Delaware, Biden supported the bankruptcy bill that Warren made her name crusading against. NPR notes: “Warren called Biden out in her autobiography as one of several high-profile Democrats who championed bankruptcy legislation.”

Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Hillary Clinton and wife to Rep, "sexter" Anthony Weiner is part of the corruption in government. Abedin was granted permission by the State Department (under Hillary) to work as a “special government employee” (and getting paid more) while also performing other "work for certain outside clients." Of course, just like her husband and Hillary's husband, she denies any wrongdoing by either herself or Hillary Clinton.

When do guilty politicians ever admit to any wrongdoing? Only when they have no other choice, and then just apologizes for a lapse in judgment. Between 2009 and 2013, with Hillary Clinton guiding American foreign policy, the Clinton Foundation accepted large donations from foreign governments, including several that abuse human rights. The e-mail case is, so far, a more ambiguous tangle.

Why do GOP voters also approve of people that always screws them? A Quinnipiac poll out this morning puts Gov. John Kasich’s approval rating at 61 percent in the Buckeye State, with only 28 percent disapproving. He’s the only incumbent Republican governor running for president who is popular back home. Those 61% who think he's so great should show their faith in him and voluntarily accept his proposal for Social Security retirement.

Gov. John Kasich spent nearly eight years as an investment banker with Lehman Brothers, the now-defunct Wall Street firm. Mr. Kasich’s career at Lehman, neatly tucked between his time as a congressman and his election as governor, coincided with the bank’s messy collapse in September 2008, a downfall that helped throw the American economy into free fall. And he still wants you to invest your Social Security funds into the stock market.

As of this morning, DOW is still down over 2,000 points from it May 19th high, but today the media is making a big deal that the market has "rebounded" since yesterday's losses. I mean...the media is REALLY playing it down hard, as though everything was now honky-dory. We heard all about these "market corrections" in the Fall of 2008, remember? Is the media pimping confidence in the market?

The Next Great Depression (by Roger Farmer):

The stock market crash is screaming out for the Fed to lower interest rates, but that option is closed as the interest rate has reached its lower bound [already near 0%]. Some economists are calling for a huge fiscal stimulus. That is not the answer [Why not?]. Although I have stated publicly that I don't believe in fairies ... I DO believe in the confidence fairy. Pessimistic beliefs about the value of private wealth are as destructive to the economy as a hurricane ... [Here comes the scare tactic...] If we raise interest rates now, the stock market will fall further. The U.S. market correction will turn into a full scale rout. Unemployment will soar. What should we do? First: Give the Fed the power to buy a value weighted Exchange Traded Fund that contains every publicly traded stock. Commit to support the ETF by buying stocks. Pay for the shares by borrowing, or by trading Social Security Trust Fund."

(But isn't that also a form of "fiscal stimulus" that he opposes? That's always their answer: Instead, raid our retirement funds — and enrich the hedge-fund managers like Gov. John Kasich.)

New York Times: A Stock Market Rout in a Month That Hedge Funds Would Sooner Forget...

One hedge fund-manager (the top fundraiser for Gov. Scott Walker) told Donald Trump to stop bashing hedge-fund managers (Those poor rich hedge-fund mangers! Who, by the way, pays a very low tax rate.)

The GOP Party Machine, just like the Democratic Party Machine (e.g. Clinton vs Sanders), is trying to derail their more "populist" candidate (because they are also the most popular). Amid mounting concerns about Donald Trump’s candidacy, Republican leaders in at least two states have found a way to make life a lot harder for him. The Virginia and North Carolina parties are in discussions about implementing a new requirement for candidates to qualify for their primary ballots: that they pledge to support the Republican presidential nominee — and not run as a third-party candidate — in the general election.

Presidential candidate Ben Carson (who is Black) slams #Black Lives Matter in a new op-ed at USA Today:

“The idea that disrupting and protesting Bernie Sanders speeches will change what is wrong in America is lunacy. The BlackLivesMatter movement is focused on the wrong targets ... Let’s confront the entertainment industry that lines its pockets by glamorizing a life where black men are thugs and our women are trash.” [And the media, where people like Mike Brown are also glamorized as "unarmed" heroes.]

Great Recession Job Losses Severe, Enduring (The jobs never returned to re-employee most of those that lost theirs...and the jobs that were created after the recession officially ended were mostly low-paying part-time jobs.)

The NRA sued Seattle over a new tax on firearms and ammunition sales, arguing that it violated state law. "The Seattle ordinance is nothing but a 'poll tax' on the Second Amendment and an effort to drive Seattle's firearms retailers out of business," said National Sports Foundation General Counsel Lawrence Keane. (This is just the very tip of the iceberg. If Obama's TPP trade deal goes through, foreign corporations will be suing us for lost profits if we pass laws such as worker or environmental laws.)

China's ghost towns...[Too much infrastructure spending on a massive scale.]

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