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Department of Bust Out Profit Models and Vampiric Capitalism

letsgetitdone's picture

Professor Krugman's Nervous Tic?

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Paul Krugman's recent post makes some good points about the myth of the undeserving poor. But does he have a nervous tic?. When criticizing conservative economic views, doesn't he always seem to genuflect slightly to conservative opinion in order to appear "reasonable"? In this post he says:

"I’ve noted before that conservatives seem fixated on the notion that poverty is basically the result of character problems among the poor. This may once have had a grain of truth to it, but for the past three decades and more the main obstacle facing the poor has been the lack of jobs paying decent wages. But the myth of the undeserving poor persists, and so does a counterpart myth, that of the deserving rich."

What "grain of truth" ever existed in this story? Where is the empirical evidence that the poor were ever more "lazy" than the rich or had other "character defects" (Not K's words) that the rich don't have in abundance, as well? I don't think there is any. What the conservatives believe is pure BS. Some people are certainly "lazier" than others. But there's no evidence that this aspect of character is class-based. It's just prejudice, myth, and conservative fairy tales, which they embrace in place of authentic religion, run rampant. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

The TPP: A Dangerous Proposal Whose Time Has Gone

A recent, very good post at Naked Capitalism by Clive, suggests:

. . . Dear readers, you may think that writing to your elected representative, commenting negatively on articles you read in the mainstream media about the TPP and generally kicking up a bit of a fuss, making some noise, is a waste of effort. That is not so. The world does watch what goes on in the US. If popular sentiment is against something, the US government has a much harder job of convincing foreigners that it’s just them being awkward and reactionary and not getting the big, progressive, reform-minded, modernising picture.

I agree that this is a good proposal for one way the American public could register its objections to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with foreign leaders. But, I think that such letters ought also to point out that even if the TPP were railroaded successfully in the next few months, then it is unlikely to stick. After all, it is only a Treaty. Wouldn’t an electoral victory here by a movement dedicated to overturning corporate control of the political system, result in withdrawal from the TPP before any concrete legislation likely to conflict with it was passed by Congress? Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

The Boeing kleptocracy

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Will Boeing Workers Nix Givebacks in Forced Re-vote?

Immediately following the November 13 rejection, Boeing began soliciting “bids” from other states and localities for the 777X work. A couple of newspapers got to see what Boeing was demanding in its request for proposals. Pretty outrageous: free land, a building for free or low cost, worker training, lowered taxes… the list went on

Read below the fold...
DCblogger's picture

Stock dumping, Goldman Sachs edition

Last quarter Goldman Sachs insiders dumped 57,000 shares of GS stock. The previous quarter they dumped 14,573,300.

Lloyd Blankfein has dumped 137,670 shares since October.

Basically Goldman Sachs is conducting a global bust out operation, and no one, not even their own firm, is exempt. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Are Deaths Due to Lack of Health Insurance Seriously Underestimated? Update

Lately, I've had the feeling that “progressive” journalists and commentators too often pull their punches in calling attention to social problems, by underestimating the magnitude of problem-related statistics such as the unemployment rate and the number of fatalities due to lack of health insurance in the United States. My theory about this is that “progressives” are being defensive in their approach and bending over backwards to give the right wing the benefit of the doubt by understating numbers out of an abundance of caution. Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

Why Greg Smith left Goldman Sachs

I recently finished Greg Smith's Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, and I highly recommend it. I did not expect to like him, a South African immigrant who worked at Goldman Sachs did not strike me as a sympathetic character; but I was utterly charmed. Read below the fold...

That Popping Noise? The Obamacare Bubble!

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Kate Randall in “Obamacare exposed: The gutting of health care for workers” contends that affordable, quality health care will not be provided by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Read below the fold...

Sirota: ‘Liberal Washing’ -- the Enabling of Plutocratic Exploitation

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I read an exciting article by David Sirota recently entitled “How the 1 Percent Always Gets Its Way”.

Sirota’s answer for that is simple. BOTH legacy parties are “up for sale.”

I figure MSNBC and others of Team Dem are doing a more than adequate job inventorying and calling out the lack of empathy and the greed of the rabid leadership of the Republican party. Read below the fold...

Obamacare - Each Day Another Fresh Hell!

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Despite all the Team Dem 24/7 media propaganda, what Obama’s “counter”-reform Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will do is shift most of the financial burden of medical care profoundly on average American families by callously raising costs at the same time assuring substandard care, and as if that weren’t enough, it will penalize those who choose not to register for said substandard care.

Kind of lose/lose for the American people. Buy health-jeopardizing cut rate insurance or pay for not purchasing cut rate insurance. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Are Deaths Due to Lack of Health Insurance Seriously Underestimated?

Lately, I've had the feeling that “progressive” journalists and commentators too often pull their punches in calling attention to social problems, by underestimating the magnitude of problem-related statistics such as the unemployment rate and the number of fatalities due to lack of health insurance in the United States. My theory about this is that “progressives” are being defensive in their approach and bending over backwards to give the right wing the benefit of the doubt by understating numbers out of an abundance of caution.

If this is right, then my reply is that underestimating problem-related numbers is just as bad as over-estimating them, and that what people ought to do is try to provide the best estimates they can and let the critical chips fall where they may. In this post, I want to raise a question about the accuracy of the numerical estimates of US deaths due to lack of health insurance often seen in articles and blogs authored by people, like myself, who favor eliminating insurance coverage shortfalls by passing Medicare for All. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Bernie Sanders: Self-shackled Champion of the People

I gotta love Bernie Sanders, because he seems so much like people I grew up with and like myself too, and he also seems to have that passion for equality and democracy that is so important for the future of America. Sometimes I think Bernie is one of the few champions of the people left in Congress. But I also think that along with other progressives he has constructed chains for himself that prevent him from being as effective a champion of the people as he otherwise might be.

His chains are the chains of either false beliefs or a decision not to speak the truth about fiscal matters for fear that the “very serious people” in the Washington village will marginalize him even more than they do right now. I can't say which of these is true, but I think whichever reason is operative, his self-shackling reduces his effectiveness. Read below the fold...

Military Pundits Cover Up Conflicts of Interest Re Syria

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Democracy Now addresses a new report issued by the Public Accountability Initiative entitled "Conflicts of Interest in the Syria Debate" which identified 22 commentators from the U.S. military establishment who had immediate economic ties to military contractors as they were pitching the case for U.S. strikes on Syria on tv networks without disclosing their conflicts of interest.

Democracy Now: Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Dick Durbin Insults Everyone Else's Intelligence About Social Security

Yesterday on Fox, Senator Dick Durbin said:

WALLACE: I'm going to talk about ObamaCare on a second, but you're not answering my question. Why does taxes -- why do taxes have to be on the table? Why can't you just make a deal, short-term spending for long-term entitlement reform -- which, Senator, you support and President Obama support. You have supported the idea of some entitlement reform.

DURBIN: That's right. I do, and I'll tell you why -- because Social Security is going to run out of money in 20 years. I want to fix it now, before we reach that cliff.

Medicare may run out of money in 10 years, let's fix it now. And that means addressing the skyrocketing cost of health care. That's what ObamaCare is focused on, and yet, the Republicans want nothing to do with it.

If we don't focus on the health care and dealing with the entitlements, the baby boom generation is going to blow away our future. We don't want to see that happen. We want to make sure that Social Security and Medicare are solid.

The “. . . may run out of money. . . . ” and “. . . dealing with entitlements. . . “ memes, in reply to Chris Wallace's question suggests that a deal trading increased revenues for Social Security and other entitlement cuts is acceptable to him. So, Durbin's argument is that because Social Security Trustee and CBO projections, based on very pessimistic economic growth projections for the whole period, show a shortfall in the Social Security “Trust Fund” in 20 years, it is acceptable to make entitlement cuts now if the Democrats can get increased revenue from higher taxes, as if entitlement “reform” were the only way to meet the perceived Social Security solvency problem. But who would it be acceptable to? Read below the fold...

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