Archives for posts with tag: income

Finally, the root cause is revealed.  Plenty of talk has been talked on the topic, by experts, data wonks, and politicians. But nobody was able to say why the 1% started f***ing the rest of us to an even greater extent than hitherto, from the 80’s through the present day. Not until a few months ago, that is:

There are many gauges of the depth and breadth of economic inequality, and they often measure what middle-income working people have today against what they had prior to 1980 – that time when homes were affordable, along with doctor visits and college educations. Yet few of the astonishing charts and metrics that have captured this widening gulf explain how it all came about. So when economist William Lazonick pointed a finger at a very specific aspect of corporate behavior, people took note.

Lazonick’s 4,900-word piece, titled Profits Without Prosperity, focused on the 449 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index that were publicly listed from 2003 to 2012. Lazonick found that from the end of World War II until the late 1970s, corporations generally took a “retain-and-reinvest” approach to profits. That is, they kept their earnings and reinvested them – first and foremost in pay raises and job benefits for the employees who helped make the firms more competitive, but also in business expansion, research and new technologies.

But starting in the early 1980s, after the Securities and Exchange Commission removed limits on companies’ power to buy back their stock, these large, publicly traded companies began spending a portion of their net income on stock buybacks. The trend was exacerbated in the 1990s, when the compensation packages of corporate chief executives were linked directly to the stock value, and has accelerated in recent years – even though it’s been little noticed and rarely discussed as a prime driver of economic inequality.

THIS IS HUGE, Gentle Reader. Huge. It proves what everyone except Teapubbies and all the other “small government” and supply-side eedjits have known for decades: the Reagan Revolution was a huge mistake, a f***-up for the ages, even worse than when the Senate handed Rome to Caligula. The nation’s woeful retreat from its former stability to the shambles of the present day is, once and for all: The. Fault. Of. Reagan. Era. Republicans.

And the longer America keep electing these criminally idiotic, venal, fact-challenged, big-mouthed-but-walnut-brained f***wits, the worse it’s gonna get. We need to vote each and every “Republican” who is currently IN office OUT of said office. And that soon.

Maybe someday, when Repubs go back to the pre-Reagan days of ideological and political sanity; then, and ONLY then, can we allow them back into power. But frankly, friends, we can’t AFFORD these Teapublican nitwits any longer. They have cost us dearly, far too dearly, and done far too much damage to be trusted now.

Now you know who to blame. Time to do something about it.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Wingnuts are in high gear of late, proclaiming their usual canard about there “being little or no difference between the parties”. Bull-f***ing-s***. Today’s debunking: women’s rights.

Huge differences abound: look at the current Teapubbie and Democratic platforms:

Number A: Repubs think women should allowed to die rather than allow them to have a life-saving abortion. Dems do NOT believe this.

Letter 2: Repubs think women should not be allowed to use birth control, or at least be deprived of insurance coverage if they need it. Oh, and that applies even if the pills are being used for other medical reasons than birth control. Dems do NOT believe this, either.

Thirdly: Repubs believe women should be made to work harder and be paid less. Once again: Democrats do NOT share this belief.

Ignore the lunatics of the fringe: the parties are VERY different. A vote for a Dem IS a vote against Repubs. Get on out and vote Dem.

Unless, of course, you hates you some women. If so, sit out the election or vote Republican. If not, get out and vote AGAINST the party that hates your mothers, sisters, and every woman on Earth. Any electoral action  OTHER  than a vote for a Dem is an attack on women. Period.

“No difference”, my Cranky A**. Tomorrow: Repubs’ love affair with terrorists.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

The link below takes you to a research study that proves what we already know in our guts: rich motherf***ers have bought our government and are using it to steal the rest of us blind. And they can do it because so few Americans vote. Here’s the money quote:

Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association,and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policy making is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

(Emphasis mine)

The reason this happens, Gentle Reader, is because the 1% have no competition for the attention of our “representatives”. Since the majority of eligible voters do not vote, the Governors, Delegates, Congresscritters and Senators around the country do not fear our disapproval. But they DO fear the wrath of the rich who have bought them.

The only way to change this dynamic is to rise up as one (“e pluribus unum”) and exercise our constitutional rights by voting. When millions of us cast the loathsome wretches out of office, and do so time and again, they’ll respond.

It takes each of us a few hours, twice a year, to vote. It costs the 1% billions of dollars to purchase and maintain their control of our nation. We can earn an enormous return on a tiny investment if we all just take a few minutes and make the investment.

http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf

Mr. Blunt and Cranky