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Tag Archives: Class Warfare

Dick of the Week

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon— who took offense to the fact that people were beating up on the rich guys. And just how unfair that is.

JPMorgan Chase: Not Bad To Be Rich

When asked the increasingly negative view of banks, best represented by the Occupy Wall Street movement, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon responded, “Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and that everyone who is rich is bad — I just don’t get it.”

I found this letter by Josh Brown that gives Mr. Dimon the lowdown on (what should be) the REAL reasons that average American people are giving him some flack. Deservedly.  Continue past the break to read this delightful letter in it’s entirety.

Dear Jamie Dimon,

I hope this note finds you well.

I am writing to profess my utter disbelief at how little you seem to understand the current mood of the nation. In a story at Bloomberg today, you and a handful of fellow banker and billionaire “job creators” were quoted as believing that the horrific sentiment directed toward you from virtually all corners of America had something to do with how much money you had. I’d like to take a moment to disabuse you of this foolishness.

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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Economy, Humor, Rant

 

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It’s Getting Good

  • A little publicized provision of ‘ObamaCare” has gone into effect this month, and it it is one of the bigger deals of the legislation.  Starting this month insurers are being required to have a medical loss ratio of 80/20  What that means is that insurance companies must spend at least 80% of your premiums on actual *gasp* health care.  Needless to say, conservatives are aghast at this.  Republican controlled states such as Michigan and Florida have requested waivers for this provision, but these have been solidly denied by Feds. A good summary over at Balloon Juice here

“President Obama claims the new healthcare reform law will decrease healthcare costs for Americans,” said Coffman (R-CO). “However, the new Medical Loss Ratio included in the law may have the opposite effect by forcing insurers to increase— not decrease— premiums, because insurers will be discouraged from investing in administrative services, such as anti-fraud or anti-waste services, that could save consumers money…

Are you fucking kidding me?

  • The pummeling of Newt continues even as his bubble seems to be bursting.  And now that Ron Paul is ascending in Iowa, the knives are coming out here, here, and here.  The Republicans are dead set on making Mitt the 2012 Bob Dole.
  • Apparently the EU did not learn from our fuck ups here
  • There is already a plug-in for Firefox to circumvent SOPA should it become law.  Technology, or more importantly, geeks, will always come up with ways to circumvent the laws.
  • And today the House Republicans are still dead set on making themselves look like assholes.  This one just kills me.  I personally am against the payroll tax cut itself, it is just a political ploy and has the potential to undermine Social Security if continued ad infinitum.  The Republicans should be all over this because A) it’s a tax cut B) if they continue to push it year after year they could ultimately get their wish and undermine Social Security.  But no, Obama wants it, therefore no tax cut.  They are making it glaringly obvious with this simple maneuver that all they care about is denying Obama ANYTHING and that they don’t give one wit about the middle class and the poor.
 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Economy, Politics

 

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Some Reads to Start The Week Off

This speaks to the very core of conservative distrust of science. A fundamental of science is that once something has been conclusively disproved, you ought to stop believing in it, and certainly ought to think twice about using it as the foundation for building your own supposedly “scientific” notions. You can believe that if you feed a horse a penny, it will poop out a dime, but once the experiment has been tried and has failed you probably should cancel your plans for a horse-based retirement fund.

What we call the Brandeis Ratio — the ratio of the average income of the nation’s richest 1 percent to the median household income — has skyrocketed since Ronald Reagan took office. In 1980 the average 1-percenter made 12.5 times the median income, but in 2006 (the latest year for which data is available) the average income of our richest 1 percent was a whopping 36 times greater than that of the median household.

Brandeis understood that at some point the concentration of economic power could undermine the democratic requisite of dispersed political power. This concern looms large in today’s America, where billionaires are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money on their own campaigns or expressly advocating the election of others.

We believe that we have reached the Brandeis tipping point. It would be bad for our democracy if 1-percenters started making 40 or 50 times as much as the median American.

  • Barney Frank v. George Will on Marijuana.  The “gateway drug” thing kills me … alcohol, hello!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Economy, Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Jared Bernstein– On Inequality: Why Now?

I wouldn’t think that anyone would need to see much more than what this graph shows.

Jared Bernstein’s article gives some further explanation, which everyone should see.

All those idiots who just can’t figure out what the #Occupy movement is all about,… well, it doesn’t take any more than this. There’s a segment of the country that will just refuse to see. Even with this type of proof in front of them. They’re pretty much a lost cause anyway. But, reasonable people will look at this and understand where the problem lies. Everyone should read the whole article.

On Inequality: Why Now?

>Piketty and Saez: By rigorously creating and, equally importantly, sharing with the world, a long time series of income shares going back the early 1900s, these researchers have provided extremely compelling evidence of how skewed the distribution of income has become in this and other advanced economies. See here for recent CBPP work featuring P&S’s analysis (and here’s Saez’s website).

Here’s a picture from their work showing the share of income accruing to the top 1% since 1913. We’ve recently equaled highs in the inequality measure we haven’t seen since the late 1920s, and need I remind you, that didn’t end well.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Economy

 

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National Debt …

OK so we have all heard the numbers.  The US is $15 trillion in debt, and we are told that this comes out to ~$50,000 per person.  For you and I (this assumes there aren’t any of the 1% reading this blog) this is a big, very scary number. But this is a simple division by the population.  In reality, if a bill was to come due we would all pay a percentage based on our wealth and income.

So let’s do a little math.

The population of the US is estimated to be ~311 million, giving us the $50K number above. Now lets look at the US wealth and income distributions.  I got the numbers from Mother Jones as I had the article handy,

If we divvy up the debt by share of wealth:

The average 1% share is $1.67 million

The average 1-10% share is $206,599

The average 90% share is $14,435

If we compare this with the average incomes the results look skewed.  The bottom 90% owe roughly half of their yearly income while the top 1% owe roughly 145% of their yearly income.  This is due to the higher wealth to income ratio of higher income earners compared to lower income earners. Assuming a balanced-ish budget, we could mostly pay this down over 10 years with a 5% income surtax or over 20 years with a 2.5% surtax.  If we include corporate income the surtaxes would drop a bit more.

Another way to look at this is strictly in terms of national wealth.  The current aggregate national wealth is about $50 trillion.  So the national debt is 30% of the national wealth.  Using this as a basis, the debt would be retired if everyone paid 3% of their wealth each year for 10 years or 1.5% per year over 20 years.

These are admittedly very simplistic calculations, but what they show is that while the situation sucks, it is entirely manageable, especially if you consider the debt has been decades in the making.  In fact, simply going back to the Clinton Era tax rates would be a huge step in the right direction.  There is no reason to shred our safety net, abandon environmental regulations, labor regulation, gut schools and public services, all in the name of debt reduction.  It is a red herring we are being fed in an attempt to lead us into another gilded age.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Economy

 

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Mitt Spin

How does Mitt spin it? ———- How does he try to get across that there’s a huge difference between his Massachusetts health reform bill, the one that was used as a template for the Affordable Health Care Act that Obama passed?  I can’t remember,…. it’s hard to keep up with what the republican primary frontrunner, (kinda), says from day to day. It’s always different.

But, here we find an opinion from a man who should qualify as expert. Mostly because he helped write the Massachusetts version.

Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economist hired by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to help craft health care reform, sharply criticized the Republican presidential candidate for distinguishing between his bill and President Barack Obama’s in an interview with Capital New York published Wednesday.

“They’re the same f***ing bill. He [Romney] just can’t have his cake and eat it too,” Gruber said. “He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying. The only big difference is he didn’t have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes.”

Well,…. That puts us a little closer to the truth, doesn’t it.

Article here.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Politics

 

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Paul Ryan unwittingly speaks the truth

Paul Ryan on Obama’s “class warfare”,

Telling Americans they are stuck in their current station in life, that they are victims of circumstances beyond their control, and that government’s role is to help them cope with it – well, that’s not who we are. That’s not what we do. Our Founding Fathers rejected this mentality. In societies marked by class structure, an elite class made up of rich and powerful patrons supplies the needs of a large client underclass that toils, but cannot own. The unfairness of closed societies is the kindling for class warfare, where the interests of “capital” and “labor” are perpetually in conflict. What one class wins, the other loses.

Paul? you do realize you are exactly describing the direction you and your conservative/GOP/TeaBagger cohorts are driving us towards?

Makes me think of Al Franken’s comments on class warfare in Lies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them:

In her book A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, Barbara Tuchman writes about a peasant revolt in 1358 that began in the village of St. Leu and spread throughout the Oise Valley. At one estate, the serfs sacked the manor house, killed the knight, and roasted him on a spit in front of his wife and kids. Then, after ten or twelve peasants violated the lady, with the children still watching, they forced her to eat the roasted flesh of her dead husband and then killed her.

That is class warfare.

Arguing over the optimum marginal tax rate for the top one percent is not.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Politics

 

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