The Left: Robespierre did nothing wrong

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by bricktop, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    Republicans are so determined to help Trump, no matter what it does to them or the nation, that they’re resisting taking any substantial efforts to improve security so that Russia doesn’t follow up on its 2016 success.

    Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) … told reporters Monday afternoon that nothing in Mueller’s report convinced him that the Senate needs to move legislation to protect U.S. elections.

    The report details how Russia spent millions conducting a military operation that encompassed every aspect of the Internet, traditional media, and boots-on-the-ground “grassroots” campaigning. That Blunt doesn’t feel that anything needs to be done about that … suggests that he’s pretty happy with the work Russia is doing for him.
    shawnoc, Keef, BellottiBold and 3 others like this.
  2. JGator1

    JGator1 I'm the Michael Jordan of the industry
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    welfare for the rich
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  3. CaneKnight

    CaneKnight Osama Bin Laden Won

    I mean if Republicans actually cared about the country they’d be asking themselves why an enemy foreign government is doing everything they can to keep republicans in power. The fact that they don’t care should tell everyone how republicans actually feel about the country.
  4. Joe_Pesci

    Joe_Pesci How can less be more? It's impossible

    :idk: isn't their arena only like 20 years old?
  5. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?

  6. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?

  7. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?

  8. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    from DK
    Remember, Trump beat Hillary from the working class left

    This week I’ve been hearing a lot about Joe Biden. According to some of what I’ve been hearing, the story is that Biden is the person who can beat Trump. The thinking goes that Biden is a regular working class guy who can win back some of the voters in the Midwestern states Trump won. As David Brooks puts it:

    Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire adult life in the Senate or as vice president, but no one could fairly accuse him of being haughty or elitist. People still have the instinct to call him Joe. Average Joe.

    How will Biden’s working class persona hold up under scrutiny? Can he win back voters in the Midwest that cost Clinton the election? With this in mind, let’s look at what someone might look like who can win back working class Midwestern voters and take a look at how Biden and others measure up.
    Whether you like Michael Moore or not, in July 2016 he predicted Trump would win the election and he predicted exactly how he would do itby winning Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

    The criteria he used were:

    1. Midwest math—Stance on “free” trade policies (that destroyed the Midwest)
    2. The last stand of the angry white man—There’s a lot of white men who feel endangered in the Midwest.
    3. The old way of doing things—The establishment that has been fucking things up since the ‘80s is not popular with millennials.
    4. Depressed liberals—Liberals who aren’t excited will still probably vote Democratic but won’t do much else (like volunteer or convince others to vote Democratic)
    5. The Jesse Ventura effect—This is basically when people get so angry or frustrated that they vote just to fuck things up. Sometimes it’s almost like a joke to piss others off.
    How does Biden compare against these criteria?

    1. Midwest math

    Moore claimed correctly that Trump’s strategy was to focus on the Midwest and winning working class voters. Trump did this by repeatedly hammering Clinton on her stance regarding “free” trade. He claimed that NAFTA and Clinton’s vote for NAFTA screwed working people in these states. And he said he’d slap tariffs on Mexican cars shipped back to the U.S. and iPhones built in China.

    And working people here in Ohio turned out for him.

    He turned a state that voted for Obama in 2012 red. According to Tim Burke, Hamilton County’s Democratic Party chairman:

    Democrats generally missed the boat in understanding just how deep the dissatisfaction of working class, largely white, voters was. You look around the entire Midwest at the sweep by Trump and it was, in the end, the loss of the white middle class.

    Trump was able to stick Democrats with these policies even though they were all also pushed by Republicans because he was running against a Clinton and Bill Clinton had signed NAFTA.

    Joe Biden also voted for NAFTA. His top campaign donor for 2 decades was MBNA. He voted to deregulate banks. He voted to overturn the Glass-Steagall Act.

    He comes with a lot of baggage that’s going to be an easy target for Trump supporters. One Fox pundit is already calling him “Job Killing Joe.” How do you turn someone with this much baggage into a working class hero? Even David Brooks could only stomach:

    Biden is a populist in his person and makeup — where he comes from and how he relates.

    2. The last stand of the angry white man

    In this category Biden does slightly better than Hillary because he’s an old white man. But he’s not ranting about libtards and how the world’s being taken over by black Muslim transgenders coming across the Mexican border. So I don’t really see him doing much better in this category.

    None of our candidates do well in this category though because you have to say a lot of racist, misogynist stuff to do well in this category. We shouldn’t be trying to win in this category. This is the one that I hear people saying Biden can win. He can win back these folks because he’s a white man.

    In my opinion, at best there’s a little amelioration.

    3. The old way of doing things

    Is Biden popular with young people? Or does he represent the establishment of the last 40 years? I think this question answers itself.

    He doesn’t generate excitement in the way that Barack Obama did. Or the way that Bernie Sanders does. Or the way that even Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, or Beto O’Rourke do. As I often say to folks though, don’t believe me. Explore this yourself. Ask people supporting Biden why you should vote for Biden. Ask young people what they think of Biden. See what kind of responses you get. What I’ve gotten so far tends to look like this …

    Okay, but what’s exciting about Biden?
    Almost all the answers I’ve gotten are some form of “He’s the most winelectable.” This sounds a lot to me like Clinton’s pitch.

    Compare this with Pete Buttigieg:

    I’ve grown up in a time when you can pretty much tell that there’s tension between capitalism and democracy, and negotiating that tension is probably the biggest challenge for America right now.

    Or Elizabeth Warren talking about how she switched parties after fighting credit card companies for 10 years:

    I looked around in the middle of that fight and I realized: all the money was on one side, and all the hurtin’ was on the other. And that’s when I jumped in politically. I got in that fight, and I fought it for ten years. And by the end of that fight, I fully understood that every Republican stood there for the banks, and half of the Democrats did. So my party was the party that at least we got half of them to stand up for working people, and that was the big change for me.

    When I talk to millennials, I hear something like this:

    A comment from a friend.
    Now Joe Biden’s video where he says he’s getting into this because of Charlottesville isn’t bad. At least he’s picking a fight.

    But when I talk to people about Biden, they’re not saying what the video is saying. That is, their ideas about Biden have largely already been shaped. They don’t see him as a concerned citizen. They see him as the establishment candidate.

    4. Depressed liberals

    As someone who supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, I’m used to being attacked and “spun.” I’ve been called a BernieBro. And I supported Clinton. In fact, I wrote several articles supporting Clinton. I canvassed for Clinton. I tried to convince others about Clinton.

    I’m saying what I’m saying because it was hard. People didn’t buy it. I’m trying to explain why because I also care about winning.

    The problem with the progressives in the Democratic Party isn’t that they didn’t vote for Clinton. By and large, we did. It’s that it was hard to get excited about Clinton.

    Moore calls this a depressed voter:

    The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter.

    This is what I experienced again and again with voters in 2016. They couldn’t get excited about Clinton because she was the establishment candidate.

    Now maybe people are tired enough of Trump that this won’t be a problem for Biden in 2020. I don’t think that’s the case. I think he’s a tough sell as someone who will really fight for people.

    Again, don’t get me wrong … if he wins the primary, I’ll vote for him and try to help him win. What I’m saying is that it’s going to be harder for me to convince others to do the same than it would for any of the candidates.

    The only other candidate who’s even close to having as much establishment baggage as Biden is Cory Booker.

    5. The Jesse Ventura effect

    This is a weird one that I would never have thought about but now it’s hard to ignore. This is similar to people who write in Mickey Mouse because “I might as well get some enjoyment out of voting.”

    Trump has tapped into this vein as well. As someone told me:

    Either Trump fixes things or he destroys the country. Either way, I win.

    Jesse Ventura speaking about defeating the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban the freedom to marry in Minnesota. "The Constitution is there to protect people, not oppress them," Ventura said.
    What does he mean by “I win”? It largely means he can say he was right. But the gut level emotion is very much “Fuck you.” I heard versions of this again and again before the election in 2016.

    Now you might say liberals wouldn’t do this but I see it happen all the time. When people feel that logic breaks down, conversations often get nasty. Moore calls this the Jesse Ventura effect after Minnesota voters who voted for Jesse Ventura as a joke.

    This effect can be attributed to feelings of disenfranchisement. If you feel your vote doesn’t matter, why not vote for a clown?

    I don’t know as this hurts any of our candidates too much this time around because Trump is the incumbent, but it doesn’t help that Biden is the most traditional establishment of the candidates running.

    Why write this?

    I want to win in 2020 too. I understand it’s going to be tough because beating incumbents is always more difficult. In some ways, maybe we have less to lose fighting an incumbent.

    If the key to winning is indeed winning back states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and my home state of Ohio, I think we’d have a better chance if we picked someone who wasn’t from the old establishment.

    It might help if we use these criteria when talking about who can win with working class voters in Midwestern states. I think we need someone willing to fight for the working class who doesn’t have to defend his votes against the working class. I think we need someone who our working-class base can get excited about and sell to other voters.

    David Akadjian is the author of The Little Book of Revolution: A Distributive Strategy for Democracy (ebook now available).


    I respectfully reject the notion of a white male savior.

    First things first. We need to win this presidential election. Period. The country is going down the tubes. I wanted to say this first because I don't want this discussion to center on whether I will support the nominee. Because I will. Absolutely. I have worked for and contributed to the democratic candidates for decades. As a African American woman, I have practiced political pragmatism by necessity. I know that most change is hard fought and incremental. I have supported candidates that I did not love because I thought they were the better option. I will continue to do so.
    I admit a bias toward the new generation of candidates. Of all genders and races. I frankly want a candidate who is not retraining him or herself. Who has not had to adjust to women and minorities in society and in power. Who is not trying to undo negative attitudes learned while growing up.

    Having said all of this, I am bothered by the nomination process. At a cellular level. I am bothered by the debate on the right and the left that we must nominate a white male to win. The right fears the nomination of a white male and (some) on the left feel that only a white male can win. I have read on DK that we need to nominate a white male because we nominated a black and female in the last two cycles (out of 45!). For real. The argument goes that things are so bad right now vis-à-vis racism and sexism that we need to nominate a candidate to appease them, i.e., a white male. Well, I’m not signing on to this sentiment any more.

    I reject the notion that we need a white male savior. I resent when I hear that Biden is “electable.’ This “electability” underscores the perception that white males are more bankable. Better. The Gold Standard. Older black people have the expression, that the white man’s ice is colder. Women and minorities are viewed as risky. Less than. Not quite ready for prime time. I feel that some on the left’s use “electability” as a way to perpetuate the existing power structure. Akin to the identity politics argument. My view is that this argument (in part) reflects genuine concerns about electability but also reflects internal ambiguity about the changing face of leadership that is often unacknowledged or denied. Our party is reluctant to acknowledge these uncomfortable truths. That we are all subject to implicit bias. That we all use internal classifications in our decision-making. That we have been conditioned to view the white patriarchy as most powerful. To deny this is folly. I think the denial on the left is actually exacerbated by the blatant racism of the current administration. We all want no part of the ugly percepts of racism that are before us so we redouble our internal efforts to reject that we have any bias.

    The meme of a white savior coming in to save us troubles me greatly. I want say that I have never felt this way. That would be lying. I have had these thoughts. But, I reject it with all my heart. It is not all about politics. It is about my stand for my race, for my gender and my views of self. It is my rejection of internal psychological structures of racism and de jure discrimination that have pervaded this country for centuries. It is for my son and for the children I work with who are battling some of the same things I have fought in the workplace and in society for decades. I am fighting for better. I am no longer willing to accept less than full recognition and partnership. Where does this leave me vis-à-vis this nomination process? I don't know. But, I do know that I am unapologetically pushing for full representation and more diversity in national leadership.
  9. JGator1

    JGator1 I'm the Michael Jordan of the industry
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    Tug likes this.
  10. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    Georgia mayor allegedly blocked job candidate because 'he is black, and the city isn't ready'

    from DK
    Theresa Kenerly, mayor of Hoschton, Georgia, allegedly pulled back on a job candidate who applied for an opening as the city administrator. As an investigation by the team at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) found, Kenerly allegedly did this because the candidate in question is black.

    The AJC pulled documents and interviews with city officials, including one in which Mayor Kenerly told a member of the City Council that she removed Keith Henry, the job applicant, from a packet of four finalists for the job. Why? Because “he is black, and the city isn’t ready for this.”

    Almost 90 percent of the residents in Hoschton, which is located outside of Atlanta, are white.


    This incident reportedly happened on March 4, while the mayor was speaking to a member of the council during a closed-door council session. The AJC reports that Hope Weeks, also on the council, said the mayor repeated the remarks in the parking lot after the meeting.

    “She proceeded to tell me that the candidate was real good, but he was black and we don’t have a big black population and she just didn’t think Hoschton was ready for that,” Weeks wrote in a document that reporters accessed via an open records request.

    Understandably horrified, Weeks talked to fellow council member Susan Powers. From there, both of them went to city attorney Thomas Mitchell.

    “Both of us were just appalled, so we thought we had to do something to stop it,” Powers said.

    When asked about the racist remark, Kenerly initially said, “I can’t say I said it or not said it,” which is not remotely reassuring.

    Not long after, she issued the following statement:

    “I do not recall making the statement attributed to me regarding any applicant for the City Administrator position, and I deny that I made any statement that suggest [sic] prejudice.”

    Henry, who participated in a phone interview prior to the incident but withdrew his candidacy after being asked to pay for his own travel from Texas to Georgia for an in-person interview, told reporters he didn’t pick up on any particular racism when speaking to Kenerly on the phone. Still, he isn’t surprised at how things turned out.

    “It comes with the territory,” he said. “If you live in America as a minority you can’t be naïve that it is the reality that you face.”

    And wouldn’t you know it, someone else in town offered up some remarkably racist sentiments on the situation. In this case, council member Jim Cleveland isn’t sold on Kenerly being wrong. Even worse? Interracial relationships make his blood boil.

    Seriously. He gave the AJC the following quote:

    “I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage. That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe. I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.”

    Again: Yikes!

    At this point, Kenerly can sit in during interviews, but not otherwise participate in the screening process for job applicants. Which … doesn’t seem like nearly enough of a response?

    You might remember the story about a tech recruiting firm that posted a job ad looking for “Caucasian” applicants. The ad went absolutely viral on social media, with people bemoaning the obvious racism. That’s all well and good, but a story like this one is an important reminder that more often than not, this sort of insidious behavior doesn’t happen out in the open.

    Racism (and all forms of discrimination) often happens behind closed doors. Think, for example, about the studies which show that having a certain kind of name can make you less likely to get an interview. On the other hand, certain hobbies can make it more likely for your resume to be passed along. Why? Racial bias.

    The easiest way for minorities to get more job interviews? Studies show, disturbingly, that “whitening” your resume does the trick. That has got to change.
  11. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
    Texas LonghornsAtlanta BravesAtlanta HawksAtlanta FalconsGeorgia Southern EaglesAtlanta United

    This may be one of those stories they recycle every month, but still USA Today grooming is non-essential?

  12. MA

    MA Surprisingly normal looking
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    Small thread on it:

    #13062 MA, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  13. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
    Texas LonghornsAtlanta BravesAtlanta HawksAtlanta FalconsGeorgia Southern EaglesAtlanta United

    It's also average not median so it's likely a way over inflated number because of extremely wealthy people's discretionary spending.
    Anison and JeremyLambsFace like this.
  14. AlternativeFactsRule

    AlternativeFactsRule Mmm ... Coconuts
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    Michigan WolverinesSwansea

    Also, food is essential. People may be overspending on it, but you aren't getting all of those food items listed back.
  15. JeremyLambsFace

    JeremyLambsFace For bookings contact Morgan at 702-374-3735
    South Carolina GamecocksAtlanta BravesDallas Cowboys

    Average spending is $94 a month on subscription boxes what the fuck are you doing people
    Shawn Hunter likes this.
  16. Tobias

    Tobias dan “the man qb1” jones fan account
    North Carolina TarheelsAtlanta BravesCharlotte HornetsNew York GiantsManchester CityTiger WoodsNational League

  17. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?

  18. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?

  19. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
    Staff Donor
    Clemson Tigers

  20. steamengine

    steamengine I don’t want to press one for English!
    Houston RocketsLiverpool

    blotter, yaywaffles, Anison and 6 others like this.
  21. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    Just saw some CNN clickbait article about production companies avoiding GA because they just adopted a new abortion law that is pretty crazy. Seems like five months ago some folks were talking about GA maybe being a swing state in 2020. Yet now they seem to be trying to emulate states like AL, TN and MS... That's disappointing
  22. AlternativeFactsRule

    AlternativeFactsRule Mmm ... Coconuts
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    Current political climate is not about actually representing the people of your district/state. You can look at statewide vote totals and see Georgia moving to purplish status and still see that the Republican leadership is not reflecting that status in their actions.
  23. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
    Texas LonghornsAtlanta BravesAtlanta HawksAtlanta FalconsGeorgia Southern EaglesAtlanta United

    Stupid people just pulling that GOP lever at the voting booth, but there have been polls where the majority of Georgians support the current abortion laws. The state is still heavily gerrymandered to give the Georgia House and Senate a disproportionate number of red seats though.
    AlternativeFactsRule likes this.
  24. Pile Driving Miss Daisy

    Pile Driving Miss Daisy It angries up the blood
    Texas LonghornsAtlanta BravesAtlanta HawksAtlanta FalconsGeorgia Southern EaglesAtlanta United

    Hell yeah, everyone needs to follow Benjamin on twitter if you haven't.
  25. Can I Spliff it

    Can I Spliff it Is Butterbean okay?

  26. steamengine

    steamengine I don’t want to press one for English!
    Houston RocketsLiverpool

    My work days often consist of listening to people simultaneously say “I can’t find good engineers because everyone just goes to college and studies polit sci and english”, while simultaneously complaining that their workers have no social skills.

    It’s quite fun.
  27. This is why people should go to liberal arts schools.
  28. AlternativeFactsRule

    AlternativeFactsRule Mmm ... Coconuts
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    Michigan WolverinesSwansea

    It’s not like focusing on STEM has given us political leadership that understands science.
  29. BWC

    BWC It was the BOAT times, it was the WOAT times
    Nebraska CornhuskersChicago CubsPittsburgh SteelersPittsburgh Penguins

    Yeah...dumb initial tweet was dumb, but the conversation it initiated was quite good
  30. Name P. Redacted

    Name P. Redacted I have no money and I'm also gay
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    tbh i find these two issues disparate.
  31. steamengine

    steamengine I don’t want to press one for English!
    Houston RocketsLiverpool

    That could certainly be argued. And I would listen.
  32. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
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    Michael Roberts Blog
    blogging from a marxist economist
    « Productivity, investment and profitability
    Inequality and risk – both rising

    The gini coefficient (the basic measure of inequality) for incomes is now at its highest ever in the US, at a record breaking 0.48 up from 0.38 in the late 1960s – a rise of 30%
    Inequality and risk – both rising
    The US Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard, in a speech in Washington, revealed the extent of rising inequality in the US. Using the latest income and wealth data, she outlined that the incomes and wealth of working-class (the American establishments like to use ‘middle-class’) households in the US have been squeezed in the last 50 years and particularly in the last 20 years.

    Average American households have still not fully recovered the wealth they lost in the Great Recession. At the end of 2018, the average middle income household had wealth of $340,000 (mainly a home), while those in the top 10% had $4.5 million, up 19% from before the recession. The latter’s rise was mainly due to the surge in the stock market.

    According to the Fed’s consumer survey, one third of middle income adults say they would borrow money, sell something or not be able to pay an unexpected $400 expense. One fourth said they skipped some kind of medical care in 2018 because of its cost. Nearly three in 10 middle-income adults carry a balance on their credit card most or all of the time. Meanwhile the share of income spent on rent by middle class renters rose to 25% in 2018 from 18% in 2007, a rise of 40%.


    The gini coefficient (the basic measure of inequality) for incomes is now at its highest ever in the US, at a record breaking 0.48 up from 0.38 in the late 1960s – a rise of 30% (see graph above).

    Brainard suggested that so bad is this development that reasonable living standards for most Americans will never return. “In recent years, households at the middle of the income distribution have faced a number of challenges,’’ Brainard said. “That raises the question of whether middle-class living standards are within reach for middle-income Americans in today’s economy.’

    Such a situation also threatened to weaken the economy with lower consumption per person. “Research shows that households with lower levels of wealth spend a larger fraction of any income gains than their wealthier counterparts. That has long-term implications for consumption, the single biggest engine of growth in the economy” she said. And it even risked ‘democracy’ itself. “A strong middle class is often seen as a cornerstone of a vibrant economy and, beyond that, a resilient democracy,’’ she said. Such are the fears of one of the members of the pillars of American capital, the Federal Reserve.

    While the ‘middle-class’ in the US and many other advanced capitalist countries is being squeezed, the top 1% and even more, the top 0.1%, have never had it so good. It’s as though the Great Recession never happened.

    The wealth of the world’s richest people did decline by 7% to $8.56 trillion in 2018, Wealth-X said, citing global trade tensions, stock-market volatility a slowdown in economic growth. And the number of billionaires fell 5.4% to 2,604, the second annual fall since the financial crash a decade ago. But the America’s richest fared the best of the three main regions, recording a slight rise in the number of billionaires of 0.9% to 892, even if their wealth fell by 5.8% to $3.54 trillion.

    San Francisco has more billionaires per inhabitant in the world — with one billionaire for approximately every 11,600 residents — followed by New York, Dubai and Hong Kong.


    There has not been a fall in billionaires in Brexit Britain, however. According to the Sunday Times rich list just published, there are a record 151 billionaires in the UK. And to be a billionaire is like a god in the sky compared to the average wealth of households. If we measure the difference in time, say days, it is staggering. An NHS nurse’s annual salary is like half a day, while a billionaire’s is like 11,500. The billionaire’s income has a 32 year gap!


    Like climate change and global warming, inequality around the world has now reached an irreversible tipping point. The UK-based House of Commons Library reckons that, if current trends continue, the richest 1% will control nearly 66% of world’s money by 2030. Based on 6% annual growth in wealth, they would hold assets worth approximately $305 trillion, up from $140 trillion today. This follows a report released earlier this year by Oxfam, which said that just eight billionaires have as much wealth as 3.6 billion people — the poorest half of the world.

    Chief Economist at the Bank of England Andy Haldane also delivered an insightful study of how in Britain the rich and poor are spread across the country. From his home town, Sheffield in northern England, Haldane showed that wealth and income are heavily concentrated in the south-east of England. Indeed, the UK has the worst regional dispersion of income and wealth in Europe – even worse than Italy.


    Income and wealth are concentrated in London and the south-east, although long hours and travel time seem to make Londoners more miserable than their poorer fellow citizens in the north, according to surveys.

    Rising inequality is creating conditions for rising risk and uncertainty in capitalist economies. That’s because the main way that the inequality of wealth has increased is through rising prices of financial assets. Marx called these assets fictitious capital, as they represented a claim on the value of companies and government that may not be reflected in the value realised in the earnings and assets of companies or government revenues. Financial crashes are regular occurrences, often of increased severity, and they can wipe out the ‘value’ of these assets at a stroke. Such crashes can be triggers for a collapse in any underlying weakness in the productive sectors of the capitalist economy.

    The latest report of the US Federal Reserve on the financial stability in the US makes sober reading.

    According to the report, “Borrowing by businesses is historically high relative to gross domestic product (GDP), with the most rapid increases in debt concentrated among the riskiest firms amid signs of deteriorating credit standards.” Interest rates for loans are near historic lows, so the borrowing binge among companies continues. According the Fed, “Debt owed by the business sector, however, has expanded more rapidly than output for the past several years, pushing the business-sector credit-to-GDP ratio to historically high levels.”


    Moreover, “The sizable growth in business debt over the past seven years has been characterized by large increases in risky forms of debt extended to firms with poorer credit profiles or that already had elevated levels of debt.”


    And this borrowed money is not used to invest in productive assets but to speculate in the stock market. Indeed, the main buyers of US stocks are companies themselves, thus driving up the price of their own shares (buybacks).

    As long as interest rates stay low and there is no major collapse in corporate earnings, this scenario of corporate borrowing and stock market buybacks can continue. But if interest rates should turn up and/or profits fall, then this corporate house of cards could tumble badly. As the Fed puts it: “Even without a sharp decrease in credit availability, any weakening of economic activity could boost default rates and lead to credit-related contractions to employment and investment among these businesses. Moreover, existing research suggests that elevated vulnerabilities, such as excessive borrowing in the business sector, increase the downside risk to broader economic activity.”

    Naturally, the Fed’s report concluded that things were going to be all right and the banks and corporations were resilient and healthy. But overall uncertainty about the future for the major capitalist economies is rising, according to the latest reading of the World Uncertainty Index, a device that supposedly measures the confidence of capitalist investors globally.


    The latest measure of the WUI has risen sharply to a level higher than before the global financial crash. And the recent drop in share prices driven by the ongoing trade war between the US and China is an indication of what could happen in the next year.
    AlternativeFactsRule likes this.
  33. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    The cable network that is Foxier than Fox -- and that Trump is promoting
    By Brian Stelter, CNN Business

    Updated 3:26 PM ET, Tue May 14, 2019

    New York (CNN Business)Does President Trump think he can play Fox News and One America News Network off each other?

    That's one way to interpret his tweets.
    One America News Network, or OANN for short, is a right-wing cable news channel that wants to take on Fox. In the past two months, Trump has tweeted about OANN seven times — after going two years without tagging the channel once.
    OANN has some fans, but it is not a widely known brand -- which is all the more reason why the president's plugging it is notable. When he's not assailing "enemy" news organizations, the president is promoting outlets he approves of, and OANN is clearly in the latter camp.
    OANN executives have encouraged the presidential endorsements in their conversations with White House aides -- and sometimes in public on Twitter.
    Robert Herring, the channel's CEO, regularly tags Trump in tweets. "Mr. President our young employees want to thank you for noticing all of their hard work," he wrote in one of the posts last month.
    The praise goes both ways. On Monday the president thanked both Fox and OANN in back-to-back tweets. First he sent kudos to "Fox & Friends" for its ratings, then he said "congratulations to @OANN on the great job you are doing and the big ratings jump."
    The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said that Trump's promotional behavior is troubling.
    "Dedicate your broadcast to supporting the president and he'll use the power of the presidency to increase your ratings and hurt your competitors (or so he claims)," CREW said Monday.
    Benefiting from Trump's promotion
    For OANN, being seen as pro-Trump is a key part of the business model.
    For example, the channel advertises commercial-free coverage of every single Trump rally -- and sometimes shows the warm-up speakers as well.
    It wants recognition in exchange. Back in March, the channel's main Twitter account complained when Trump thanked "his supporters in the media" without mentioning OANN. "Not a single mention of One America News -- one of his GREATEST supporters... @OANN calls bulls***," the tweet said.
    The channel, headquartered in San Diego, launched in 2013 into a very difficult market for independently-owned cable channels.
    Distributors are reluctant to add more channels to an already-jam-packed cable bundle. That's why, six years later, OANN is still relatively obscure. Verizon and AT&T-owned platforms carry OANN, but other distributors like Comcast and Charter do not, so the channel is not available in most homes.
    But Robert Herring and his son Charles, the president of OANN, are pressing forward. They see the channel as an alternative to Fox and all the other news options on TV, including CNN.
    Like Fox, OANN is a combination of newscasts and fiery conservative talk shows. Many hours of the day are just an old-fashioned news wheel, with a heavy dose of international headlines. Bombastic talk shows and segments featuring Jack Posobiec, a notorious pro-Trump Internet personality, are mixed in. At times the content veers into conspiracy theory territory.
    The staff is a mix of young journalists and committed partisans. The chief White House correspondent, for example, is a former actress who is now both a reporter and right-wing commentator, Emerald Robinson.
    Trump greeted her by name during an informal Q&A with reporters on Tuesday morning.
    "How are you Emerald," he said, inviting her to ask a question. "Go ahead, what's up?"
    Measuring OANN's popularity
    OANN does not subscribe to Nielsen ratings, which is usually a sign that a channel's audience is quite small. But Charles Herring said in an email message to CNN Business that there's a different reason: "We refuse to PAY for Nielsen data based on the excessive price."
    Instead, Herring relies on ComScore set-top-box viewership data to say that OANN was the "fourth rated cable news network" in March, behind Fox, MSNBC and CNN.
    That assertion is not backed up by Nielsen -- the agreed-upon currency for the TV industry -- since OANN is not rated by it. But the ComScore data may explain how Trump heard about a "big ratings jump" at OANN.
    Herring said he shared his data directly with Trump in late 2018, and also had "recent conversations with key White House officials."
    No one at Fox seems to be concerned about the competition. There are several other Fox wannabes in the marketplace, including Newsmax and BlazeTV, yet Fox's ratings remain solid.
    "Trump's recent promotion of OANN hasn't come at Fox News's expense," Vox's Aaron Rupar wrote on Monday. "But it does indicate that Trump is looking these days to amplify other outlets that cover him favorably, and reliably reinforce his talking points."
    Trump has repeatedly shown that he wants to prop up multiple alternatives to the mainstream media he loves to hate.
    Other Republicans also see reasons to plug OANN. Senator Rand Paul tweeted about the channel on Tuesday, saying "OANN brings much-needed variety" and "real news."
    well that's just fucking great
    they also have newsmax or something like that
  34. timo

    timo Vuela, vuela, vuela vuela sin parar
    Penn State Nittany LionsPittsburgh PiratesPittsburgh SteelersPittsburgh PenguinsTottenham

    #13087 timo, May 15, 2019 at 5:20 PM
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 5:26 PM
  35. Prospector

    Prospector I am not a new member
    Arkansas Razorbacks

    Her Name Was Susan

    Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
    Wednesday May 15, 2019 · 10:13 PM CDT
    Recommend 331

    Several years ago, I posted a remembrance from my experience as a junior medical student at UCLA in 1964. The recent events in Alabama have released a flood of memories from that period. So with your indulgence I am reprinting that diary. As an old white male, I can never pretend to know the agony and despair that so many women have suffered and continue to suffer as the result of those who would deprive them of their choice and dignity. I can only try to understand. Even at the age of 78 it haunts me still.

    Her name was Susan. She was young. She was beautiful. She was intelligent. She was articulate. She was dying…

    Susan was a 23 year old single woman who came to Los Angeles in the early 60’s to pursue her dream to become an actress. She had played the leads in her high school plays somewhere in Utah. She was runner-up in the Miss Utah pageant. She managed to get a couple of walk-on parts in some B-grade Hollywood films. She was a starlet.

    A year or so after coming to the West Coast she became pregnant. The father quickly faded away into faceless LA. Her good Christian parents were humiliated, outraged and wanted nothing to do with her. She was on her own. Broke. Friendless. Pregnant. Scared.

    So she took the bus to San Diego, walked across the border and headed to a cheap, dirty Tijuana abortion clinic. Four hours later she was back on the other side of the border, in pain, bleeding and completely debased. By the next day, the pain had become unbearable and she was spiking a temperature. She went to a local emergency room and was hospitalized overnight at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. She was subsequently transferred to the Medicine unit at UCLA Medical Center, at that time a small teaching hospital in its embryonic stages.

    I was a 3rd year medical student in my first clinical rotation at UCLA. Susan was one of my first patients. We were about the same age. I was embarking on my medical career. Her life was ending

    Over the next three weeks, I learned how people die from sepsis. Her uterus was perforated. She had developed gram-negative septicemia. Our knowledge of and access to antibiotics was primitive and limited. Eventually she went into renal failure. She burned with fever. She was racked with abdominal pain. The lovely face become sallow, sparkling eyes sunken, lifeless. Her skin turned a sickly bronze color. Her breath reeked the pungent stench of ammonia. After weeks of agony, her frail body mercifully surrendered.

    As I recollect these painful images of my brief encounter with Susan, the most outrageous aspect of this experience is not even the way she died. It is that she died alone. During those three weeks, she never had a visitor. There was no boyfriend - he was off to other conquests. There were no parents - they disowned her in shame and embarrassment.

    Even worse was the mindset of the medical staff. While she was given the requisite care, there was little, if any, sympathy or compassion for this young woman or her situation. There was always the profound sense that “she brought this on herself,” that she was, in the final analysis, just “an unfortunate tramp” - Even As She Lay Dying.

    It is now 50 years later and I still carry this burden of shame for myself, my colleagues, my society, my country. And to this day, whenever the subject of Roe v Wade comes up, whenever I see and hear the holier-than-thou religious fanatics trying to take away the rights of a woman to control her own body, to make her own choices, to force her into the back alleys of Tijuana, I can still smell the stench of ammonia in the air.

    Goodnight, Susan, we will not forget you.

    Michigan Republican says that abortion procedures should be 'painful' and 'God should take over'

    State Sen. Kim LaSata is sort of scary
    Everyone knows that God hates women who get abortions. In fact, one of the earliest books in the Hebrew Bible—Numbers—has a “pleasant” story about God’s priests giving women a special “potion” that would induce an abortion. According to the Bible, it was a punishment for adultery. So, abortion bad … unless God wants it done … to punish women. For those of you opening up your Hebrew Bibles, that’s Numbers 5:16-28. Got it! Michigan state Sen. Kim LaSata doesn’t read those kinds of bibles. She reads her own special bible and has big thoughts and feelings about what God wants. She and other forced-birther zealots in the Michigan state legislature have been trying to get their own abortion ban through.

    With Alabama’s decision to outlaw abortions in virtually all cases, forced-birther types like Sen. LaSata want everyone to know that they are overjoyed by their victory in protecting the “sanctity of life.” The Detroit Free Press explains that during examination of medical experts, LaSata became angry after testimony that by banning standard second-trimester procedures for abortion, the Michigan legislature would be putting women into painful and dangerous scenarios. Sen. LaSata’s response was the kind of Jesus empathizing you might expect from a good Christian like LaSata: “Of course it should be hard! And the procedure should be painful! And you should allow God to take over!! And you should deliver that baby!"

    Sen. LaSata has talked about her own personal abortion story, where she attempted to get an abortion, it didn’t work, and she ended up giving birth to a stillborn baby. She called the experience an intervention by God, forcing her to go through with what must have been a truly emotional and physically brutal experience.

    It seems that what Sen. LaSata wants is for other women, regardless of the situation, to experience the trauma she experienced. In her mind, based on her words, she thinks that God did that to her and so other women should get to experience God’s work in the same way.
    between this and the MI idiots on 1A this morning, I don't think MI gets enough credit for how shitty stupid they are. Honorary membership in shit states immediately
    #13088 Prospector, May 16, 2019 at 1:17 PM
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 1:22 PM