Continuing Class Conversation: American Dream or Nightmare?

4 01 2011

In a 2005 report to investors, for instance, three analysts at Citigroup advised that “the World is dividing into two blocs—the Plutonomy and the rest” . . .

In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.

Read ongoing conversation here and then see the new Atlantic piece by tv capitalist cheerleader Chrystia Freeland. Even she now admits the super-rich have “reached escape velocity” so that no quaint myth about American exceptionalism will save us from being left behind, floundering for our lives in the wake of their ever-accelerating planet-ocracy.

The Atlantic Home
January/February 2011

The Rise of the New Global Elite

F. Scott Fitzgerald was right when he declared the rich different from you and me. But today’s super-rich are also different from yesterday’s: more hardworking and meritocratic, but less connected to the nations that granted them opportunity—and the countrymen they are leaving ever further behind.

All while the useful-idiot bootstrap-believers heap blame on gays, immigrants, atheists and schoolteachers, Lucifer and ACORN and the United Nations (not to be redundant, lol) oh, and on all social justice and power-to-the-people public programs — you know, all except power OVER people programs like prisons, police, and the military, government meant to strike sufficient fear in people to control them at any cost, all about weapons and brute force and psychological domination, enforcing, restraining, prosecuting, deporting, punishing, torturing, killing . . .

What counts is what you DO, who and what you live and work FOR rather than against, who and what you take responsibility FOR and what results you get. Is the world more heaven and less hell because you’re in it, or vice versa? People notice the difference sooner or later, you know. . .



8 responses

4 01 2011

Every year, like clockwork, the (conservative, evangelical Christian) realtor who sold us our house drops by at Christmastime with holiday wishes and a 1 lb. box of Sees Candy (I should really break the news to him that we have no intention of selling our house and needing a realtor again, but my sweet tooth won’t let me). Anyway, he also shares the latest local housing market news – and this year’s left me with interesting new insights about our realtor.

I’ll paraphrase:

“Good news! The housing market is improving! (With emphasis) It has NOTHING to do with the Stimlus. It has NOTHING to do with TARP or anything like that. It’s just improving on it’s own.”

Also, he broke his analysis down into 3 price ranges. Ours and the one below ours are making slow but steady gains. The one above (way above) ours, the “$2 million plus range,” is, “of course, insulated” from the bad economy. “If they want a new house, they just write a check.”

4 01 2011
Nance Confer

So the “recovery” is a Christmas miracle then. We need more Xmas. And a real recovery.

4 01 2011

Christmas isn’t coming to Florida again, maybe not in our lifetimes, Nance — unless you actually believe Gov Scott was some sort of chosen savior born poor so he could get rich and save other rich folks a lot of money they’d otherwise need to spend on Christian values.

(Rich men needn’t pass through the eye of the needle if they can just buy the town and run it as they please . . .heaven can wait.)

You know all the poor people trying to get an education and getting scammed by the private “business” sector skimming public funds for school loans and leaving the poor folks holding the bag for crushing debt, with no education to earn the money to pay it off with? They have a rich and powerful friend in Florida now, by God!

He called “taxation, regulation and litigation” an “axis of unemployment” and vowed to reduce all three.

Scott said today he’ll create, through an executive order, a state office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform. It will review all state regulations.

He also said he’d push for tort reform to reduce litigation against business.

“We will not allow excessive lawsuits to strangle job creation,” Scott said. “And we will not allow a small group of predatory lawyers to stalk the business community in search of deep pockets.”

4 01 2011

I shouldn’t be too parochial though. The whole country’s in the same fix:
Darrell Issa Asks Business: Tell Me What to Change:

: “Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants the oil industry, drug manufacturers and other trade groups and companies to tell him which Obama administration regulations to target this year.

4 01 2011

From six economists/analysts predicting what the next year will bring to us ordinary (yet exceptional!!) Americans:

. . .the government remains too much under the control of the bankers to do anything meaningful.

There will be further cutbacks in education and all other services provided by state and local governments.

The weak labor market and falling house prices will further worsen the financial situation of near retirees. However this will do nothing to slow the drive to cut Social Security and Medicare. This crusade is being driven by a quest to redistribute income from the middle class to the wealthy and is not affected by economic reality.”

5 01 2011

Here’s my rant. Yours is welcome even in counterpoint, but be aware, I’m in a foul mood!

Privately funded Big Business shills casting themselves as candidates sincerely wishing only to become humble public servants, favored private security this cycle over public law enforcement and they used it at will against that same public, we the people both collectively and individually (constitutionally protected sovereign American citizens, remember) — searching us, denying us access on PUBLIC property to PUBLIC events, blocking cameras, handcuffing, detaining and locking up journalists, knocking down, even head-stomping women with signs when so moved, all apparently under the Bush doctrine of preemptive strikes now and lying about it later.

Many weren’t elected so there’s still hope for the American Way, but like Rand Paul, some were. Including here in FL.

Do these supposed constitutionalists really confuse public and private, to the point that they think “private” is always superior and is defeating “public” by coopting it and turning it private too, literally into their own private fiefdoms? Are they therefore right to fear the people and reporters and wikileaks the way all “private” tyrants over public interests, are right to?

Florida’s newly minted (a particularly apt phrase for him) Governor Scott is already presidential, on his way to imperial! THIS is the party so enamored of the Constitution and Bill of Rights — free public speech at any price for corporate billions styled as persons by their stacked supreme court, but none for actual people and their working press??

Governor Scott says he just hopes to “get to work” here as a fellow public servant, among all us longtime townies who raise families and pay taxes and work (when we can get it) and retire here, feeling we did something more successful with our lives by NOT centering it on cutthroat competition for compensation. Which means btw, that tea-party kings have nothing to fear from us. We use words instead of firearms in public showdowns, and we hold ourselves accountable for good behavior toward all, even a complete ass from the no-class:

Florida’s new governor was the star of the most security-conscious inauguration in recent memory, with elaborate Washington-style flourishes that amplified Scott’s unfamiliarity with the small, informal capital city he now calls home.

For two days, Scott was trailed by a cadre of dark-suited men who resembled law-enforcement agents, but were not. They wore red lapel buttons and silver earpieces, checking visitors’ credentials at a dozen events.

Scott’s inaugural operation said they were an “advance team” skilled at presidential campaign logistics, hired to make sure events ran smoothly and on time, and that guests found their seats. The team augmented the taxpayer-funded security that governors get from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The privately funded inaugural was . . . paid for with some of the $3 million raised from business interests.

Two law enforcement agents each were assigned to Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon, as directed by the governor’s inaugural staff.

Even as Scott promises total openness as governor, reporters had limited access to events in state buildings, something not seen at previous inaugurals.

Scott’s first official event after being sworn in Tuesday was an invitation-only “Let’s Get to Work” leadership luncheon with a couple of dozen lawmakers.

The last flight of stairs reaching the Capitol’s 22nd floor was covered with temporary red carpeting, a single “pool” reporter was allowed to cover the luncheon — providing details for all news organizations — while other reporters were escorted out even though there were empty tables.

In a couple of instances, reporters were told to leave events after they had entered, a situation that would have been inconceivable in the just-ended administration of Charlie Crist.

. . .Former Gov. Jeb Bush never had such security, even though his father, a former president, attended both of his inaugurals. [And we would see him around town, once at a Mexican restaurant with one guard/driver/companion in one plain black SUV, no entourage, lights, sirens or, give me an effin break, helicopters!]

. . .As he moved between events, Scott rode in an SUV at the front of a six-vehicle motorcade down Tallahassee’s narrow streets, escorted by Florida Highway Patrol cars, stopping rush-hour traffic at one point. Scott even rode the motorcade from a children’s museum to the civic center — about three blocks — on a bright, sunny afternoon.

High above Scott, two helicopters patrolled the skies both days. One was from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the other from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. FDLE spokeswoman Heather Smith said the air support was for “general awareness . . . monitoring the events, facilities and traffic.”

Smith said the cost of the helicopters and other taxpayer-funded security measures would not be available for a few weeks.

Scott managed to attend 12 public inaugural events over two days without pausing to answer reporters’ questions, even as he signed an executive order renewing the Office of Open Government created by his predecessor, Crist.

5 01 2011

Via COD, a crazy-making money “service” defending the top tier’s poor-me status that I am in no mood for today simmering about Gov Warbucks (hmm, come to think of it, they’re both bald too . . .)

5 01 2011

CBS/Vanity Fair’s survey of the real, actual American people on how to address the deficit: tax the rich!

By an overwhelming majority, better than 60 percent, more than most elected officials get to win, nevertheless claiming it’s a mandate from the people . . . smart people. Smart enough to know where the rest of the runaway costs are, too: the next biggest plurality at 20%, says cut defense spending — so let’s do both. 😉

And btw, what do more than 9 out of 10 NOT want?

“Just 4 percent said they would cut Medicare, and just 3 percent said they would cut Social Security. “

Detail by all questions polled, graphed here.

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