Monday, July 25, 2011

Outlook not favorable

I think it is hard to imagine for the young today the system shock from the riots and assassinations of the late 60’s. When the price of gas doubled in the oil shock and then you couldn’t have all you wanted even if you could afford it. That just freaked the counter culture right the fuck out. Want to know why the peace and love generation turned into the greedy selfish fucks that everyone loves to hate the baby boomers that is what made them that way.

Over the next couple of years I am afraid that same youth will get to experience something far worse. There are no jobs. The very wealthy are doing very well, they are buying lots of new toys. Apple pads, pods, phones and their numerous clones are flying off the shelves. The top quintile is now 60 million people and that is more than enough to sustain the top quintile. As long as they can quit paying for anything needed by the other 4/5ths. The 13 million long term unemployed are about to start running out of benefits. “The little depression” as Paul Krugman calls it is upon the rest of us and the safety net we spent the last seventy years building is about to be destroyed. The government is out of money when tax burdens are at the lowest in 60 years. No brainier to raise taxes in a normal world but in Randistan that is heresy. The co-operative government that created the highest material standard of living in the history of civilization was now evil, but that is another rant. Because of Austerity measures to combat a revenue problem unemployment will go up and poverty will become endemic in a manner not seen since the 1930’s

I look around my little town and it is dying a slow death. A high end clothing shop opening at the mall will not make up for the closing of schools and restaurants. And for the newly fired most wont even get 26 weeks unemployment let alone extended benefits. It is my opinion that we are at the breaking point. There are not enough cans to pick out of the trash for us all to survive and humans being what they are it will not be pretty. The tent cities are already full. There is now a block long Bushville in the warehouse district now. It wont be fair to call the Obamavilles until he passes his grand bargain then all bets are off. When the next wave of foreclosures hit there is no place for these folks to go.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There is a big club and you ain’t in it.

In 1066 an event referred to as the Norman Conquest occurred in Europe. When it was over the victors decided to count the spoils resulting in the a document, Doomsday Book. Finished in 1085 it revealed the 1% fact. 1% of the population owned just about everything. There have been lots of attempts at redistribution of that wealth since then but in the end a thousand years later the 1% still own as much as the rest of us put together.

In an effort to get back to levels of the feudal days the plutocrats have decided we need to attack the New_Deal safety net programs that made life tolerable for those serfs tenacious enough to live to old age.

Previous presidents had done much to improve the lot of the "least of society“,Lincoln freed the slaves, Roosevelt broke the trusts, Wilson promised pensions to the vets of WWI. Generally these attempts were clawed back, Jim Crow,The gilded age, The unleashing of troops on the Bonus Army. Social security was the first to stick and was improved over the course of the next seventy years. Medical care was added and the system was expanded to include more workers and improved disability insurance. Unemployment insurance, cobra health insurance and food stamp programs also came along to protect the populace from the creative destruction of capitalism.

The success of these programs was on display when the latest bubble burst in housing and the great recession of 2007 came along. We had a contraction along the lines of the great depression but we didn’t get the horrible bread lines and displaced populations because we had these programs in place. Little comfort to the folks that lost their jobs and homes but better than the, “brother can you spare a dime”days of the 1930’s.

For some reason after the government bailout of the rich with TARP and trillions of dollars lent at zero interest by the Federal reserve worked to save the investment economy the 1% have decided it is time to destroy the folks at the bottom to avoid picking up the tab.

Enter the worst president in my lifetime and the “Shock Doctrine”. The debt ceiling, a nonsensical and possibly unconstitutional law, (See the 14th amendment)is being used to create an artificial crisis to justify cutting programs for the poor. A deficit that can be traced to illegal wars and huge tax cuts for the 1% will be balanced on the backs of the old, the poor and the disabled veterans.

We do not have a spending problem at the moment we have a revenue problem. It can be short term or we can make it permanent that is the decision we are about to make. Tax rates are at historic lows. Social Security Never contributed a dime to the deficit until the “Fierce Advocate” thought just one more tax cut and the confidence fairy will save us all. They already cut benefits with the last change in COLA this one will lower the standard of living for those at the bottom of the scale. There is no reason to capitulate on entitlements now. These programs are stable for at least a decade so the president can burn the village to save the village after the election if he thinks it is that important to make more elderly poor. Although with higher then 8% unemployment and having threatened the life of old people I think his re-election is now in serious doubt for the first time. If the economists that I tend to believe are correct this austerity fetish will probably result in another down turn and then even batshit crazywill beat him.

Rather then continue to increase poverty, 25% of the population at the moment, we need a different plan. No more failed Laffer curve discredited bullshit tax cuts as stimulus. Lower the retirement age to create jobs. Lower the cost of Medicare by lowering the age and expanding the pool with some people that consume a little less will extend the program life. Make the subsidy a sliding scale for Medicare if you need the elderly to pay more, raise the price for the richest. When unemployment has dropped to 4% or below then we can address cutting no defense discretionary spending. End all foreign wars and close 20% of overseas facilities immediately.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mad man goes to Mad River

Went out to the Summerfest, Mad River variety.
These are some of the things we enjoyed. These folks had their act together. Major public transpo so instead of crippling walks from parking lots just to get there I was able to enjoy walking about the event.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Even intellectuals and TV stars can be jerks

If we are going to get past arbitrary codes of conduct, (religion) and move to a rational society based on equal protection under the law we are going to have to check our privilege at the door. If your behavior makes another human being uncomfortable you have to be willing to look at that behavior. As a bald headed fat man with lots of scary tattoos and a long beard I do not have to worry about random assaults upon my person. People cross the street to avoid me as the saying goes so I am not going to understand the level of discomfort that an average woman may feel when confronted with unwanted advances no matter how benign in the eye of the confronter.
As the current celebrity do-gooders VS. the Village Voice dust up shows there are a lot of bad numbers when it comes to sexual exploitation and or assault but 1 in 7 women as victims of some type of sexual attack in the US is what is out there. That number is low by the experiences of women I have talked with over the years but that doesn’t put it out of the realm of possibility. This reality requires one to at least listen when a woman claims that your behavior was inappropriate. I would have thought that educated skeptics would listen to the evidence as a matter of course but that doesn’t seem to be the default position when it comes to women and their complaints.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Down and Out.

The summer arrived up here on the coast. Mid 60’s for highs with some afternoon sun. Have been feeling pretty down with a flair of the IBS but still trying to get out and about. Level of fitness is horrible but I got the bike out on the 4th. Some pictures from the festivities. The 2nd amendment entertainment booth was the oddest new venders, shooting Zombie targets with a toy assault rifle. Posted some pictures from the Sandcastle festival on yfrog.

A friend has a sick pussy cat. It has a liver disorder that makes it not want to eat so she has to syringe feed Lexi. long story short the Vet bills have been huge so if you can help her out that would be cool.
Post has been edited to remove the chip in widget. Lexi is much improved and will not need the tube. Thanks for your support.