Wednesday, May 29, 2013

America Is Sinking, And Sinking FAST.


In the last couple of days, we've picked up several articles on the phenomenon, "American Is Sinking," starting with:

An essay from Tom Englehardt at Truthout called "Terracide and the Terrarists: Destroying the Planet for Record Profits," where we find that, "...referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell -- you’re the one who’s going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing...It wasn’t that complicated. In recent years, the companies they run have been extracting fossil fuels from the Earth in ever more frenetic and ingenious ways. The burning of those fossil fuels, in turn, has put record amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Only this month, the CO2 level reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. A consensus of scientists has long concluded that the process was warming the world and that, if the average planetary temperature rose more than two degrees Celsius, all sorts of dangers could ensue, including seas rising high enough to inundate coastal cities, increasingly intense heat waves, droughts, floods, ever more extreme storm systems, and so on."



Meanwhile over at Alternet.org, Paul Bucheit's story, "The Real Numbers: Half of America in Poverty -- and It's Creeping UpwardThe Census Bureau has reported that one out of six Americans lives in poverty. A shocking figure. But it's actually much, much worse," we discover the Conservatives have slowly crept towards their goal of economic domination over the rest of us, that "'The decade of the 2000s witnessed the most rapid change in the percentage of married mothers earning more than their husbands of any decade since 1960,' said Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist who studies gender and family trends. 'This reflects the larger job losses experienced by men at the beginning of the Great Recession. Also, some women decided to work more hours or seek better jobs in response to their husbands’ job loss, potential loss or declining wages,' (as)...nearly four in 10 families with children under the age of 18 are now headed by women who are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center,":

Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST - Julie Guyot-Diangone takes her children outside to play near their home. Guyot-Diangone is a single mom and the sole breadwinner

"Paul Buchheit teaches economic inequality at DePaul University. He is the founder and developer of the Web sites UsAgainstGreed.org,PayUpNow.org and RappingHistory.org, and the editor and main author of 'American Wars: Illusions and Realities' (Clarity Press). He can be reached atpaul@UsAgainstGreed.org, and he writes:

"The Census Bureau has reported that 15% of Americans live in poverty. A shocking figure. But it's actually much worse. Inequality is spreading like a shadowy disease through our country, infecting more and more households, and leaving a shrinking number of financially secure families to maintain the charade of prosperity.

"1. Almost half of Americans had NO assets in 2009

Analysis of Economic Policy Institute data shows that Mitt Romney's famous 47 percent, the alleged 'takers,' have taken nothing. Their debt exceeded their assets in 2009.

"2. It's Even Worse 3 Years Later

"Since the recession, the disparities have continued to grow. An OECD report states that 'inequality has increased by more over the past three years to the end of 2010 than in the previous twelve,' with the U.S. experiencing one of the widest gaps among OECD countries. The 30-year decline in wages has worsened since the recession, as low-wage jobs have replaced formerly secure middle-income positions.'

"3. Based on wage figures, half of Americans are in or near poverty.

"The IRS reports that the highest wage in the bottom half of earners is about $34,000. To be eligible for food assistance, a family can earn up to 130% of the federal poverty line, or about $30,000 for a family of four.

"Even the Census Bureau recognizes that its own figures under-represent the number of people in poverty. Its Supplemental Poverty Measure increases, by 50%, the number of Americans who earn between one-half and two times the poverty threshold.

"4. Based on household expense totals, poverty is creeping into the top half of America.

"A family in the top half, making $60,000 per year, will have their income reduced by a total tax bill of about $15,000 ($3,000 for federal income tax and $12,000 for payroll, state, and local taxes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau agree that food, housing, and transportation expenses will deduct another $30,000, and that total household expenditures will be about $50,000. That leaves nothing.

"Nothing, that is, except debt. The median debt level rose to $75,600 in 2009, while the median family net worth, according to the Federal Reserve, dropped from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010.

"5. Putting it in Perspective

"Inequality is at its ugliest for the hungriest people. While food support was being targeted for cuts, just 20 rich Americans made as much from their 2012 investments as the entire 2012 SNAP (food assistance) budget, which serves 47 million people.

"And as Congress continues to cut life-sustaining programs, its members should note that their 400 friends on the Forbes list made more from their stock market gains last year than the total amount of the food, housing, and education budgets combined.

"Arguments about poverty won't end. Neither should our efforts to uncover the awful truth.



"Note: This is an updated, corrected version of the original article, approved by the author."


And what is "the awful truth?" While uninformed voters were looking the other way as usual, their cries of "were number one!" turned into a peak into the present, not the future - the present: at The Land of The Paupers And The Home of the Homeless.

The con, "Trickle Down Economics," is the main culprit as we see not only from a look at Wikipedia's entry that, "The economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted that trickle-down economics' had been tried before in the United States in the 1890s under the name 'horse and sparrow theory.' He wrote, 'Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: "If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows." Galbraith claimed that the horse and sparrow theory was partly to blame for the Panic of 1896.[14]



"Proponents of Keynesian economics and related theories often criticize tax rate cuts for the wealthy as being 'trickle down,' arguing tax cuts directly targeting those with less income would be more economically stimulative. Keynesians generally argue for broad fiscal policies that are directed across the entire economy, not toward one specific group.

"In the 1992 presidential election, Independent candidate Ross Perot called trickle-down economics 'political voodoo.'[15]

"In New Zealand, Labour Party MP Damien O'Connor has, in the Labour Party campaign launch video for the 2011 general election, called trickle-down economics 'the rich pissing on the poor'.

"A 2012 study by the Tax Justice Network indicates that wealth of the super-rich does not trickle down to improve the economy, but tends to be amassed and sheltered in tax havens with a negative effect on the tax bases of the home economy.[16]"



And a more partisan but no less true look at Conservative "economics" from Allen Clifton at Forward Progressives, "The Con of Trickle-Down Economics," he writes:

"...it doesn’t take into account the one flaw we’ve faced since the dawn of humanity–basic human nature. Human nature is often very greedy, and those who have the most, in many cases, tend to be the greediest.

"The old saying 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' in reality means power of any kind often corrupts. With our society placing so much emphasis on money, it has made having money equal having power. Trickle-Down Economics puts the health of a nation into the “generous” hands of the rich and powerful.




"But you have to ask yourself, who benefits most from this philosophy? Who stands to gain the most by shaping an entire economic ideology around this belief? It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that out–the rich and powerful. Whose power in politics has grown thanks to rulings such as Citizens United, which allows big corporations the freedom to give unheard of sums of money to any political candidate or party? Yup, you guessed it—the rich and powerful.

"Nearly all credible information you can find over the last 30+ years shows that middle class pay has remained pretty much stagnant. This fact remains indisputable as the income for the top 2% in this country has skyrocketed, and never more so than in the last decade. Yet even with that indisputable information, you have millions of Americans who accept this economic theory.

"It’s a magnificent con.



"The rich and powerful have convinced millions to vote against their own interest. Right now, instead of supporting closing loopholes for individuals and big businesses that make millions (or billions), an entire political party has instead focused on cutting programs that mostly help lower and middle class Americans. They’ve screamed 'class warfare,' yet have not supported a single deficit reduction solution that includes a sacrifice from the top 1%—even opposing the elimination of a tax break for people who own corporate jets.

"It seems insane to think that a middle class American would fight to protect the tax rate of someone who makes a hundred times what they make, all while advocating the slashing of programs they themselves benefit from.

"And the worse things get, the more tax breaks they want. Their talking point is near perfection:

“'Well, how will raising our taxes create jobs? We need lower taxes so we can create jobs and boost the economy!'

"They’re right, raising taxes won’t help create jobs, but lowering them didn’t help either. At least with increased tax revenue we wouldn’t need such drastic cuts to public employment like Republicans have pushed for the last 4 years.



"Republicans ignore the fact that we had historic economic growth, and all-time low unemployment, under President Clinton–with higher taxes. They’ve also ignored the fact that we faced the worst economic crash in 80 years, and shed millions of jobs, while we had the lowest tax rates in our nation’s history. These are two simple realities that easily prove the falsity of the Republican rhetoric that “tax cuts are vital for job creation”.

"Ask yourself these questions: Over the last 30 years are most jobs gaining or losing benefits? Are people gaining or losing their pensions? Are they working less or more? Are health care plans getting better or worse?

"Keep in mind when you answer these, that over the last 30 years executive pay and benefits have hit historic highs and corporate profits have skyrocketed."

For the rest of the story, go to --> http://www.forwardprogressives.com/the-con-of-trickle-down-economics/

Very little else remains to be seen:  Conservatism has ruined our country, and unless it is criminalized we're going to continue to sink until the golden age of the New American Feudalism begins.  Criminalize Conservatism NOW.



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"A man in a bookstore buys a book on loneliness and every woman in the store
hits on him. A woman buys a book on loneliness and the store clears out."

Doug Coupland, Canadian Novelist.


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