Median Net Worth Of American Families Down 40 Percent In Three Years

There is a chilling report out from the Federal Reserve that the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That returns American families to the wealth level of 1992.

The biggest hit were the middle class families. The wealthiest families actually saw a slight rise. The median for credit card debt did not materially change, however. Much of this decline is due to the decline in home values which remains the biggest investment for most families. Forty-seven percent of citizens do not pay taxes income taxes and 87 percent of those earn less than $20,000 a year.

These figures are remarkable since they parallel the Great Depression but we have not seen the same degree of displacement or social or political upheaval as a result. There are different theories from better public welfare programs to a new political dynamic with many lower and middle class families supporting either the Tea Party or GOP. It may also be that many families have experienced the decline but continue to hold on to their homes so that the diminishing in wealth does not manifest as sharply in their lives. Whatever the cause, the reduction in wealth has not produced a comparative political backlash that I can see.

Source: Washington Post

130 thoughts on “Median Net Worth Of American Families Down 40 Percent In Three Years

  1. You’re correct, Professor. There hasn’t been a political backlash, and we haven’t seen as much displacement. This is due to modern welfare programs which didn’t exist when the depression began. Today we simply borrow money to pay everyone what they need. I think this activity is eventually going to affect the U.S. dollar. I see massive price inflation coming sometime in the next few years.

  2. For clarity’s sake would it be the GOP or the Dems who should have taken the backlash? And what do you make of 2010 Dem congressional defeat? Was that an expression of dissatisfaction with the Dems, with government or the rise of the teabaggers. Are we to assume you mean that no appreciable shifts have neen noted over the period cited?

    Two more analyses please. Smile. ;)

  3. It is definitely a different dynamic. The tea party supports lower taxes for the wealthy and reduced government services across the board while billionaire Warren Buffett supports increasing taxes on the wealthy. Scott Walker was elected on the tea party platform and the democrats and unions did not succeed in recalling him. Even Jeb Bush is being called out by Grover Norquist for being too moderate.

  4. importanttopics.

    “This is due to modern welfare programs which didn’t exist when the depression began.”
    ————-

    Can you kindly specify the most important ones?

  5. @importanttopics

    Do you mean CORPORATE WELFARE to recapitalize insolvent banks?

    I ask because, AS FAR AS INDIVIDUALS ARE CONCERNED, WELFARE ENDED UNDER CLINTON WHEN WISCONSIN’S W2 PROGRAM BECAME A NATIONAL MODEL.

    And in case you haven’t noticed, we’re seeing massive price inflation NOW. The coffee I buy in the past year jumped from $9/pound to $12. The rice I buy jumped from $1.25 to $2.60. Peanuts went from $3/pound to $6. My health insurance has increased in cost fourfold over the past couple years even though my health hasn’t changed (in fact, I quit smoking and eat better now). Gas is up too.

    There is inflation, but I don’t think you have correctly identified the source…

  6. TPM
    Paul Werdel June 12, 2012, 9:41 AM 5392

    If you watched Fox & Friends interview Mitt Romney on Tuesday morning, you heard from the inestimably chipper Steve Doocy that the Federal Reserve announced on Monday that forty percent of Americans’ wealth had been wiped out in “the last three years.” One problem. It’s not true.

    No doubt the Fed report made for sober reading, showing that median household net worth was in 2010 at its lowest level since 1992 when adjusted for inflation. But the years studied — the height of the recession with a cratering housing market — were 2007 to 2010. Not (for the time-challenged) the last three years.”

  7. The article said that the bottom 20% pay at least 16.3% of their income in payroll tax (social security tax, and medicare tax), state tax, municipal tax, utilities tax, gas tax, real estate tax, personal property tax, sales tax, and their employer paid another 8.5% of their income for social security and a couple percent more goes for unemployment insurance. They just don’t pay federal income tax . 24% of the population is under 18 and 13% are over 65. Another 6.5% are under 5. Statistics are just that, statistics. People like to throw around the 47% figure but very few bother to actually look at the detail.

  8. These figures are remarkable since they parallel the Great Depression but we have not seen the same degree of displacement or social or political upheaval as a result.
    ————————–
    Gosh I could be wrong but we started the decline in a better place than in the great depression……are we so stupid that we need these ultimate disasters to manifest before we right the ship????!!!!

    Good G*d help us…………..

  9. @Swarthmore mom

    This is buy design.

    It’s no accident that this is where we find ourselves, living as we do in a legal system explicitly deisgned to preserve the privilige of a wealthy minority and to PREVENT majority rule.

    While American textbook talk about state conflicts around the drafting of the constitution, the whole move to restructure the articles of confederation was pushed by capitalists. They were united by a class identity, which the other classes (the working classes) lacked.

    There were four major categories of property interests responsible for drafting the US Constitution: land owners who profited from rent; slave owners who profited from agriculture; money interests who profited from lending; and mercantile and manufacturing interests.

    Women were excluded. Slaves were excluded. Renters were excluded. Laborers were excluded. Given that a majority of Americans — even white collar workers and CEO’s — earn wages, this is a huge class of society that was DELIBERATELY WRITTEN OUT OF THE CONSTITUTION.

    This is why the Framers wanted a Republican government — Democracy was too threatening to their privilege. Everywhere, States were cancelling debt and the capitalists wanted a strong federal government to enforce contractual obligations; land speculators wanted a strong Federal government to clear the Western lands of their Indian inhabitants; and the capitalists wanted trade protections from European competitors. These were the driving factors for the Constitutional Convention, and, incidentally, why labor unions are important today: labor unions were a historical compromise that is now being dismantled.

    Just how deliberate this all was can be seen in the words of Publius (Hamilton or Madison) in the Federalist no. 51:

    “It is of great importance
    in a republic not only to guard the society against the
    oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society
    against the injustice of the other part. Different interests
    necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a
    majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the
    minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of
    providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the
    community independent of the majority that is, of the society
    itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many
    separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust
    combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not
    impracticable.

    “The first method prevails in all governments
    possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at
    best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent
    of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major,
    as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be
    turned against both parties. The second method will be
    exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst
    all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the
    society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts,
    interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of
    individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from
    interested combinations of the majority.”

    The “minority” here spoken of, which needs protection, is the wealth of the capitalists. The Framers thought strong, centralized authority (like a hereditary monarchy) was best for business, but next best is a government that capitalists can control, keeping the majority fragmented and therefore without influence.

  10. Willard will employ another 100,000 troops. He will buy more warships and planes. He was against saving General Motors. He is against a basic mantra of the GOP since the 20’s: Whats good for General Motors is good for the USA. So what would Ike say about Willard? Military Industrial Complex Willard. You can find the definition in the new DSM V when it comes out next year. The Diagnostical Statistical Manual (soon to be Fifth Edition) deliniates and carefully defines mental illness in America. Willard has Histrionic Personality Disorder. This is evident by his obsession with his appearance, his mop of hair, his blue jeans ever so fresh and collegiate looking, his putting the dog on the top of the car. HPD, as it is called, is the disorder that Sandusky is claiming as his defense for raping all those minors.
    But Willard has it. It is real. Coming to a White House soon.

  11. Good posts Indigo Jones. I always laugh when the government comes out to say there is little to no inflation. hahahhahahahhahaha Everything I must buy, food, insurance, gas has all gone up in price by many factors.

    Things are worse than they seem. I travel all over the nation for my job and I have seen the poverty increasing in all our major cities.

    They live in their cars, or on the bank of a canal across the street from the Hard Rock Casino in Vegas.
    They wash up in Starbucks bathrooms.
    All these empty climate controlled buildings, the monuments to Capital, stand empty while the homeless scramble hard against the elements.

    They are mostly invisible now, but you can see all these people if you are looking.

  12. I just love it when there is class warfare between the traders and investment bankers…..

    Not all parts have seen a decline in real property values….. Nor have they seen a decrease in income…..

  13. Indigo Jones,

    Then it must be true, the citation of Madison I have cited a few times here:

    “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the opulent from the rest.”

    How much truth lies hidden in the Fed papers to reveal our incompetency, designed from the beginning.
    And we are still hoodwinked—constantly.

  14. And now of course, we are experiencing “compassion fatigue”:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-10/cities-crack-down-on-homeless/55479912/1

    A growing number of cities across the United States are making it harder to be homeless.

    By Aaron Ontiveroz, AP
    A protester holds a sign before a Denver City Council meeting last month to vote on a proposed urban camping ban. The ban passed 9-4.

    Philadelphia recently banned outdoor feeding of people in city parks. Denver has begun enforcing a ban on eating and sleeping on property without permission. And this month, lawmakers in Ashland, Ore., will consider strengthening the town’s ban on camping and making noise in public.
    And the list goes on: Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and more than 50 other cities have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
    The ordinances are pitting city officials against homeless advocates. City leaders say they want to improve the lives of homeless people and ensure public safety, while supporters of the homeless argue that such regulations criminalize homelessness and make it harder to live on the nation’s streets.
    “We’re seeing these types of laws being proposed and passed all over the country,” said Heather Johnson, a civil rights attorney at the homeless and poverty law center, which opposes many of the measures. “We think that criminalization measures such as these are counterproductive. Rather than address the root cause of homelessness, they perpetuate homelessness.”
    Vagrancy laws

    Cities that have adopted laws affecting the homeless:

    Anti-Camping
    • Atlanta
    • Denver
    • Los Angeles
    • Miami
    • New York
    • Seattle

    Anti-Food-Sharing
    • Phoenix
    • Orlando
    • Cleveland
    A number of organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia this month in response to its feeding ban.

  15. Barkin’Dog,

    Does anyone else read previews of DSM-V? I mean anyone who initially encouraged Willard? What else that killing small children (Obama does that too) can we expect form him as Prez?

  16. The life in a plutonomy governed by a plutocracy is not the same as an economy governed by the economic habits of a robust middle class:

    Upon closer inspection, the Forbes list reveals that six Waltons — all children (one daughter-in-law) of Sam or James “Bud” Walton the founders of Wal-Mart — were on the list. The combined worth of the Walton six was $69.7 billion in 2007 — which equated to the total wealth of the entire bottom thirty percent!

    The data may be a further sign that the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy – an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption. “I don’t think it’s healthy for the economy to be so dependent on the top 2% of the income distribution,” Mr. Zandi said. He added that, “In the near term it highlights the fragility of the recovery.”

    (The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy). Certain aspects of this disaster, which also culminated in the 2008 economic collapse, have been attributed to psychological problems, not economic problems.

    Until the mania goes away the plutonomy will continue to do what a plutonomy does naturally, which is to continue to become unstable, because the minds working upon it are unstable.

  17. How in hell can a state or a city have a “feeding ban”?? I thought the Right likes to claim that we are a Christian country? These bad wealth numbers will not improve as long as we embrace the economic policies first started by the Reagan administration and the so-called austerity plans by the Republicans in Congress and the Senate.

  18. http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/01/24/income-inequality-is-bad-for-society/

    The mysterious SocProf, who writes The Global Sociology Blog, offered a nice review of Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett‘s book, The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. Wilkinson and Pickett offer transnational research showing how, exactly, income inequality is related to bad outcomes on average. In other words, as SocProf puts it, ”…egalitarianism is not a bleeding heart’s wet dream but rather the only rational course of action in terms of public policy.”

    Societies with more income inequality have higher infant death rates than other societies

    Societies with more income inequality have higher rates of mental illness than other societies

    Societies with more income inequality have a higher incidence of drug use than other societies:

    Societies with more income inequality have a higher high school drop out rate than other societies

    Societies with more income inequality imprison a larger proportion of their population than other societies

    Societies with more income inequality have a higher rate of obesity than other societies

    Individuals in societies with more income inequality are less likely to be in a different class than their parents compared to other societies

    Individuals in unequal societies trust others less than people in other societies

    Societies with more income inequality have higher rates of homicide than other societies

    Children in societies with more income inequality do less well than children in other societies

    The authors sum it up pretty simply: : “The dissatisfaction [measured in this data is] a cost which the rich impose on the rest of society.”

    This is a clear warning for those who might want to place low public expenditure and taxation at the top of their priorities. If you fail to avoid high inequality, you will need more prison and more police. You will have to deal with higher rates of mental illness, drug abuse and every other kind of problems. If keeping taxes and benefits down leads to wider income differences, the need to deal with ensuing social ills may force you to raise public expenditure to cope.”

  19. Shano, why don’t they just execute the homeless? Then they won’t have a problem with trying to sweep them all under a rug which apparently doesn’t exist. Just exactly WHERE are they proposing that these people go? I guess it would be easier if they could just pull an Endora and wave their arms, and they would all just neatly disappear, never to plague them again! Seriously! Where do they want these people to go that they won’t be disobeying all their laws to cast them aside?

  20. yep, socialism does that every time.

    Middle class is always hurt the most. The rich are always successful in a socialist economy because they are in bed with government.

    Not surprising at all, in fact it is expected.

    the only way to end this is to get rid of Barrack Obama and all the democrats and republicans who think big deficits and redistribution is the way to go.

    No other way. We need an injection of capitalism to save this patient, the quicker the better.

  21. @idealist

    The Framers knew exactly what they were doing. Madison and Adams were under the impression that there were bound to be inherent class distinctions in society, but that the aristocracy could be forced to serve the public good. Jefferson was part of a camp primarily concerned with agrarian reform; the agrarians wanted paper money and fought the Revolutionary war to create a classless society (not to enrich a handful of bankers).

    The Madisonian camp supposed that (Federalist 10):

    “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man;
    and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of
    activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society.
    A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning
    government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of
    practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending
    for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions
    whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in
    turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual
    animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress
    each other than to co-operate for their common good…

    “But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society.
    Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a
    like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a
    mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests,
    grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into
    different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The
    regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the
    principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of
    party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the
    government.”

    General Knox described the threat posed by Jeffersonian Democracy like this, reacting to the Shays Rebellion (which was levied by the debtor class aimed at chipping away at privilege):

    “The people who are the insurgents have never paid any, or but very little taxes — But they see the weakness of government; they feel at once their own poverty, compared with the opulent, and their own force, and they are determined to make use of the latter, in order to remedy the former. Their creed is ‘That the property of the United States has been protected from the confiscations of Britain by the joint exercise of all, and therefore ought to be the common property of all.’ … In a word they are determined to annihilate the debts public and private and have agrarian laws, which are easily effected by means of unfunded paper money which shall be a tender in all cases whatever…”

    The word “creed” may be used in a very literal sense, traced back to the Bretheren of the Free Spirit and the Ranters in the Middle Ages: Jefferson picked up on the same strain of thought in Western Thought that Marx later picked up.

    Hamilton, on the other hand, was outright disdainful of Democracy, and devoted his life to ensuring that it would not emerge on the American continent.

    During the Continental Congress, the main “factions” among the wealthy capitalists were between landholders and money interests. Until around 1850, only white, Landowning men could vote. The capitalists were trying to figure out how to specify wealth minimums for participation in government that would allow creditors to participate without actually enfranchising farmers; the task got to be so difficult that landholding minimums were left out of the Constitution and left to States to regulate accordingly.

    The main task of the capitalists who wrote the Constitution for their own benefit (as they controlled the legislature and nominated the judiciary, which was supposed to keep the federal government “limited” to serving the interests of the wealthy in the legislature) was to keep the majority fragmented, to prevent them from coming into awareness of their majority status, their awareness that they were the ones who actually produced the wealth of the nation (not the bankers who let their money work for them): in short, they were determined to prevent the poor and the working class from obtaining to a class consciousness that could organize their efforts. They viewed this as key to the long-term continuation of their power.

  22. Why does Bron always stand himself and everything else on its head. He always ends up pissing in his mouth.

    Dedicated to Blouise, More vulgar, but ……useful?

  23. Bron, about that “injection of capitalism”, Multinational corporations are sitting on 2 TRILLON dollars of cash. Not investing in jobs, not investing in R&D. This has never happened before in the history of the US.

    Most of this money is in dark pools of unregulated derivatives and other financial assets that create no real wealth, much of it pure gambling and speculation- as in the commodities markets- driving up the costs of oil, food, pork bellies, etc. for all the rest of us.

    Tell me how you plan to change these capitalists endeavors, to get them to inject this money into the real economy instead of gambling and speculation, and then you may have a small point.

  24. “People like to throw around the 47% figure but very few bother to actually look at the detail.”

    Glenn,

    Thank you for that mostly overlooked point. The payroll tax paid ostensibly for Social Security does not go into a “lockbox” as was the popular saying in the 2000 campaign, it goes into the governments general fund. I began noticing sometime in the early 90’s that more money was taken out of my paycheck for Social Security, than for income taxes. That 47% of the populace doesn’t pay income tax is supportive of the specious logic of the anti-tax types. Those not in the 1% pay a significantly greater share of their income than do the elite. Truth is the elite 1% benefit more from government largesse than do the 99%.

    “yep, socialism does that every time.”

    Bron,

    If I didn’t on some level like the persona you portray, I’d tear you a new asshole for your continued stupid use of the “socialism” meme. It has been proven on this blog time and again that you have no concept of what socialism is, yet despite that you persist in playing that card at every opportunity. Is it really the defense mechanism of denial, intentional dishonesty in support of your cause, or merely that you are typical of the authoritarian mindset? I have no idea, but in any event it does you no credit to maintain this false position.

  25. idealist707 1, June 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Indigo Jones,

    “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the opulent from the rest.”
    ====================================
    That is horse shit.

    The purpose of the U.S. Constitution was to water down, yes to weaken power, which was seen as an intoxicant, a toxic unseen influence on those who were exposed to power.

    The Constitution was a effort to spread power, rather than to concentrate it.

    The forfathers such as Madison knew well that power is a shape shifter, that it hides itself so well that governmental structures must be flexible, distributed, close to the people, and always on guard.

    When power hides itself in money, in wealth, then the exercise becomes one of resisting a plutocracy and its child, plutonomy.

    Storms threatening the fabric of civilization come from many directions, some new, some old.

    But those storms always develop in the mind, and more specifically they develop by the work of the amydala, a servant of civilization’s darkness and degeneration.

  26. TO ALL HERE:

    Why does not any heavy weight from the long timers here address the explanation that Indigo Jones lays out for us as to why we’ve been screwed from the very framing of the Constitution?

    Indigo Jones was all the rage after his economics lessons. Why silence now? Are you in fact members of the class that kept power in this nation? Or are you wannabe’s?

    Does his interpretation smell too strongly of the C word? Does it require that we make the painful admission that in reality we are playing games in a rigged casino, where even the cards are in cahoots with the casino.

    “You were not meant to have a chance at determining anything.”

    Well, as I remember from Fed 51 quote, Madison/Hamilton presumed that the majority would not realize its own unity of class and purpose, and would not exercise its majority electorally.

    Well, we can vote now, even women. Let’s start a peoples party. Any who dare?

    So realizing what we are up against is part of the problem. The first step to unification and real change.

    Accepting his hypothesis, and answering my challenge would be nice to see evidence of here.

    Where is our propaganda 101 leader? Where are the others?

    Why is Shano crying like a prophet in the wilderness?

    And who gave me the job of agitator?

  27. Dredd,

    Do you understand I am quoting the father and chief writer of the Constitution, James Madison. It was he that said the purpose was……etc. Not I.

    So tell him he is talking bullshit. And of course you know better than he does. He, of course, was not addressing an assembly of the poor, but men who had the suffrage to vote and to influence the votes. But you know that of course.

    Are we together again, or do you insist that Madison talks BS?

  28. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t 2007– the base year for this report– the peak of the real estate bubble? So the net worth that people have supposedly lost was partly, maybe even mostly, due to asset inflation.

    Do people who think they’ve lost the difference in the value of their property since the height of the market at least feel grateful to the people who bid the real estate market up in the first place– the house flippers and the liar loan borrowers?

    And as for inflation, the last time I bought coffee I paid $5.49 for a two-pound can, down from seven dollars last year. If your tastes run to twelve-dollar coffee, good for you– but don’t try and make it into a social problem.

  29. idealist707 1, June 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Dredd,

    Do you understand I am quoting the father and chief writer of the Constitution, James Madison. It was he that said the purpose was……etc. Not I.

    So tell him he is talking bullshit. And of course you know better than he does. He, of course, was not addressing an assembly of the poor, but men who had the suffrage to vote and to influence the votes. But you know that of course.

    Are we together again, or do you insist that Madison talks BS?
    ==================================
    The attack on Madison by the warmongers has been building for some years.

    Because he famously said:

    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.

    The Greatest Source of Power Toxins). He was the one who wrote the Bill of Rights, a.k.a. the First Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

    His statements made before those were included were a castigation of the constitution, to show them what they had without the Bill of Rights.

    Context separates the 1% from the 99%, so be careful my friend, and stay thirsty my friend.

  30. idealist707 1, June 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    TO ALL HERE:

    Why does not any heavy weight from the long timers here address the explanation that Indigo Jones lays out for us as to why we’ve been screwed from the very framing of the Constitution?
    ==========================================
    Probably because only a frigging stolle would think that the U.S. Constitution was engineered to exalt the King.

  31. First off, since 2010 this is Boehner’s Economy. His Congress holds the purse strings and Republican’s unwillingness to take ANY significant action to improve the Recession’s affect on the middle class, unemployment and the lingering problem of homeowners underwater means this mess is their baby. The President’s initiatives have not been implemented. Secondly and perhaps more important is one word…austerity.

  32. Dezza 1, June 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    First off, since 2010 this is Boehner’s Economy. His Congress holds the purse strings …
    =========================================
    True in the sense that the Constitution gives original budget drafting power to the House.

    However, the Constitution also mandates a bicameral legislative endeavor. Both the Senate and the House must accept legislation before it can go to the President, otherwise that legislation dies short of a chance.

    Should any House bill survive the Senate, the president can still veto any legislation, including any budget legislation that makes it to her or his desk.

    Thus, all congressional legislation is bicameral, plus there is an additional check on legislation, the Presidential veto.

    In the end, the President is traditionally cursed or blessed for legislation of an economic nature, because the is the final link in the chain that pulls us out of the mud, or imprisons us in folly, by making that legislation law.

  33. @Dredd

    I don’t know where you took that Madison quote from, but some context would be helpful.

    I could match you a John Jay quote (from the Federalist 4):

    ” nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect
    of getting anything by it.”

    In short, it often comes down to money.

    But make no mistake about what was at stake for the Framers: they organized a huge payoff for themselves.

    Two conspicuous clauses in the Constitution, missing from the Articles of Confederation, were the linchpin on which Hamilton’s scheme rested: the ability of the new federal government to levy taxes, and the ability of the new federal government to enforce contracts MADE UNDER THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT.

    Here’s how it worked:

    The Revolutionary war was funded about 1/5 by foreign debt, and 4/5 by domestic debt. This domestic debt largely took two forms: stock bought in the Revolutionary government (most purchased by poor farmers) and promissory notes paid to soldiers (which could be redeemed in land, typically in the Western Terrotories).

    After the war, nobody knew if the new government would stand and the value of the dollar plummeted. The new government was not strong enough to fight off the indians, and so the value of the Western lands remained low. Many farmers and soldiers, to recoup some of their losses, sold their stock and land to SPECULATORS, who then agitated for a new Constitution.

    After the new Constitution was drafted by the Capitalists, Hamilton was appointed to the Treasury. He ever so gently “pushed through Congress” a number of measures: creating a national bank, and paying off the national debt (now held by the speculators who drafted the new Constitution — conflict of interest?).

    Hamilton ensured that the national debt would be paid off by issuing gold and silver coin in exchange for paper debt — AT THE FACE VALUE OF THE STOCK, not the depreciated value. To fund this, Hamilton proposed — and Congress instigated — the Whiskey Tax, which charged poor farmers (who had sold their stock to speculators at a loss, in most cases earning only 1/10 or 1/20 face value) for the whiskey they themselves produced and drank.

    To reiterate: speculators who did not fight in the Revolutionary war buy up depreciated war bonds from soldiers and farmers, overthrow the government, pay themselves off in gold coin, and then fund the payoff by taxing the poor. The clause in the Constitution forbidding paper money insured that nobody else could try their scheme again.

    The value of the payoff was about $40 million, or about 1/10 the value OF ALL THE TAXABLE LAND IN THE UNION AT THE TIME. The years surrounding the writing of the Constitution was a veritable orgy of speculation and insider trading.

    These were wealthy MEN going into it, and they made provision to keep things that way.

  34. Indigo Jones 1, June 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    @Dredd

    I don’t know where you took that Madison quote from …
    ===========================================
    You also know very little about anything else concerning the birth of the greatest hope for freedom the world has seen in modern times.

    Let me offer you a clue.

    It was not to establish the ideology, opulence, or power of the King.

    Ruminate from that point of reference and you may get yourself to the consciousness that provided a chance, a hope, a better way for nations to conduct their affairs.

  35. @Dredd

    And your opinion is worth what, exactly?

    You give me one quote without context and expect that, on face value, to make up for painstaking legal, social, and economic research?

  36. @Dredd

    “It was not to establish the ideology, opulence, or power of the King”

    Hamilton, Federalist 78:

    “The standard of good behavior for the continuance in office of the judicial magistracy, is certainly one of the most valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of government. In a monarchy it is an excellent barrier to the despotism of the prince; in a republic it is a no less excellent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of the representative body. And it is the best expedient which can be devised in any government, to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws.”

    Note that the “steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws” concerned are those laws that the speculators, who overthrew the Confederate government and now took occupation of the legislature, write for their own interests.

    And the “representative body” that is to be protected against “encroachments and oppressions” is the capitalists who have explicitly excluded women, the poor, slaves, and laborers.

    That is made clear in the next paragraph:

    “Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power
    must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated
    from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions,
    will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the
    Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or
    injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds
    the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the
    purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of
    every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary,
    has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction
    either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can
    take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have
    neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately
    depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of
    its judgments.”

    That is, the government is designed to be difficult to change, and the judiciary shares with monarchy.

    As I’ve laid out, the “political rights of the Constitution” pertain ONLY to the capitalist class, who wrote the Constitution to benefit themselves. Women, the poor, blacks, and laborers were disenfranchised.

  37. “That is, the government is designed to be difficult to change, and the judiciary shares with monarchy.”

    sorry, I meant to say, the Framers saw this benefit of the monarchy clearly, and were interested in emulating it.

  38. Dredd,

    You read worse than the proverbial devil reads the Bible.

    Now the quote simply says: that for a capitalist, repeat, CAPITALIST, the first choice would be a KING. It does not promote the idea, only notes the first preference of the capitalist class. OK?

    So on it goes to the second choice: to provide measures whereby men of opulence can maintain control although they are in numbers less than the folk majority. OK?

    So, either you can not read, or IJ is misquoting, or Madison/Hamilton wrote BS in the Fed papers.

    And your quote of Madison has nothing to do with the accuracy of IJ’s quotation. It is only a parts piece, which I welcome, but not as an argument against IJ’s quote.
    Of course quoting FF’s is a favorite playgame for those with the time to read and select. Context always context.

    What say you Amygdala Man? Hee Hee Hee!!!

    I agree it important. It has such direct effects, frightening actually. But to build mankind on reflections on the amygdala reminds me of Freud, Sigmund Fraud (sp? hee hee).

  39. that for a capitalist, repeat, CAPITALIST, the first choice would be a KING. It does not promote the idea, only notes the first preference of the capitalist class. OK?” Idealist

    The Unitary Executive privilege is getting very close to Monarchy.

  40. I’ll say it. The Constitution did have a major flaws. We are in part, failing as a nation, due to those flaws. The framers set up the Constitution to protect themselves: wealthy, powerful, white, male land owners from others who were like them, except more powerful (say, a king). Their failure to actually mean liberty and justice for all has led to many national crises, not just the current one. We needed (and still need) the civil rights and women’s movements to include more people as part of bringing about liberty and justice for ALL. We are in the midst of a deep crisis this one based on class and kleptocracy. This crisis will either end our society’s movement towards being a real democracy aiming for justice or I hope, move to rectify all injustice in the framework of a functioning democracy. (I don’t have much hope but that is what I hope for.)

    We don’t see poverty in much the same way that we don’t see murdered civilians from the govt.’s many wars of empire. Our newz is controlled and we have been trained not to see what is in plain sight. There are far more children and families in poverty than even a few years ago. Food banks and homeless shelters cannot keep up with the demand. People are getting sicker. Our national health statistics are closer to third rather than first world numbers. If you listen to news sites in nations in Canada and the EU you will here comments about how badly things are for most people in the US, something you will not normally hear on our news. It is much worse than this article states.

    When I talk to people I do hear extreme politically disaffection. I don’t see much rah-rah for Obamney. I see people searching for other choices than Demopublicans but not knowing what’s out there (again, this is a very information controlled society). I must also say that dealing with being hungry, homeless and sick makes it very hard to engage in political life, (something I don’t think is an accident).

  41. What I’m spelling out here was seen for what it was even in its day. This is controversial mostly because of modern brainwashing.

    While Hamilton was busy crafting the national debt payout scheme I discuss in some detail above, Jefferson was off in France. On returning, Jefferson supported the financing plan only until he learned about what it actually was, at which point, Jefferson said in pretty clear words:

    “When I embarked in the government, it was with a determination to intermeddle not at all with the legislature, & as little as possible with my co-departments. The first and only instance of variance from the former part of my resolution, I was duped into by the Secretary of the Treasury and made a tool for forwarding his schemes, not then sufficiently understood by me; and of all the errors of my political life, this has occasioned me the deepest regret.”

    http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=937&Itemid=345

    Jefferson quickly grew suspicious of all the speculation, conflict of interest, and insider trading among the legislators, and even drew up a list of names!

    Jefferson complained of Hamilton’s plan in detail:

    “I saw this influence actually produced, & it’s first fruits to be the establishment of the great outlines of his project by the votes of the very persons who, having swallowed his bait were laying themselves out to profit by his plans: & that had these persons withdrawn, as those interested in a question ever should, the vote of the disinterested majority was clearly the reverse of what they made it.”

    Oh, poor Jefferson, still under the impression that the Constitution was about Democracy or the Great Will of the Majority…

  42. You mean the federal reserve & congress have been destroying the wealth of Americans? The Horror!! YouTube Peter Schiff was right, and read any Austrian Economist on why this is happening & you’ll have a pretty clear idea of what is happening to middle America. Even Jim Grant is advocating a classical gold standard to stop congress & the federal reserve from further destroying the American economy. Another great vid is Peter Schiff’s mortgage bankers speech which is a great analysis of what actually happened to the housing market via fanny/Freddy & low interest rates by the fed. It may all be moot soon if QE3 happens I don’t see many avenues left for America to not lose the reserve currency status & the whole country will collapse.

  43. From George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier (1937):

    It greatly confuses the issue to assume … that social status is determined solely by income. Economically, no doubt, there are only two classes, the rich and the poor, but socially there is a whole hierarchy of classes, and the manners and traditions learned by each class in childhood are not only very different but – and this is the essential point – generally persist from birth to death [emphasis added]. Hence the anomalous individuals that you find in every class of society. … you find petty shopkeepers whose income is far lower than that of the bricklayer and who, nevertheless, consider themselves (and are considered) the bricklayer’s social superiors; you find board-school boys running Indian provinces and public school men touting vacuum cleaners. If social stratification corresponded precisely to economic stratification, the public-school man would assume a cockney accent the day his income dropped below £200 a year. But does he? On the contrary, he immediately becomes twenty times more Public School than before. He clings to the Old School Tie as to a life-line. And even the [“h”-less] millionaire, though sometimes he goes to an elocutionist and learns a B.B.C accent, seldom succeeds in disguising himself as completely as he would like to. It is in fact very difficult to escape from the class into which you have been born [emphasis added].

    As prosperity declines, social anomalies grow commoner. You don’t get more [“h”-less] millionaires, but you do get more and more public-school men touting vacuum cleaners and more and more small shopkeepers driven into the workhouse. Large sections of the middle class are being gradually proletarianized; but the important point is that they do not, at any rate in the first generation, adopt the proletarian outlook. Here am I, for instance, with a bourgeois upbringing and a working-class income. Which class do I belong to? Economically, I belong to the working class, but it is almost impossible for me to think of myself as anything but a member of the bourgeoisie. And supposing I had to take sides, whom should I side with: the upper class which is trying to squeeze me out of existence, or the working class whose manners are not my manners? It is probable that I personally would side with the working class. But what about the tens or hundreds of thousands of others who are in approximately the same position? And what about that far larger class, running into millions this time – the office-workers and the black-coated employees of all kinds – whose traditions are less definitely middle class but who certainly would not thank you if you called them proletarians? All of these people have the same interests and the same enemies as the working class. All are being robbed and bullied by the same system. Yet how many of them realize it? When the pinch came nearly all of them would side with their oppressors and against those who ought to be their allies. It is quite easy to imagine a middle class crushed down to the worst depths of poverty and still remaining bitterly anti-working class in sentiment; this being, of course, a ready made Fascist Party[emphasis added].

    The reforms of the New Deal occurred because the generation that designed and implemented them grew up poor and so could identify with the poor for the remainder of their lives. No matter how much better they managed to do economically later in life, they never really considered themselves rich. They didn’t look down in fear and loathing at the less fortunate. Rather, they looked up with the sure and certain recognition of who had made them poor in the first place. The part of the Baby Boomer generation that grew up feeling privileged and who avoided the indignity of cleaning toilets in the military, cannot now adjust to their new poverty, so the rabid right plays upon the rage that their downward mobility has engendered in them, turning it upon the working poor whom they now recognize bitterly as themselves. “Culture War,” the rabid right calls their chief electoral strategy. As Thomas Frank says: “Drive them off their land and out of their businesses and the next thing you know, they’re protesting in front of an abortion clinic.”

    It will take a new generation who has grown up poor to restore the American middle class — if they can physically stand up to the beatings and arrests that the hyper militarized, corporate rent-a-cops have in store for them. Perhaps they have what it takes. Perhaps they don’t. I won’t live to see it. Their future belongs to them if they wish to take seizure of it in their own hands.

  44. Shano,
    The Kennedys tried. The Bushes may make the first family or relatives to be three time winners. But the power is still divinded. Even as exec expansion is on the march.

    BUT SICKENINGLY HE IS ALMOST GRANTED A GOD STATUS, WHICH WAS RESERVED FOR KINGS……!

  45. “Even Jim Grant is advocating a classical gold standard to stop congress & the federal reserve from further destroying the American economy.” — Dave S

    Oh, yes. By all means. Then watch as the Chinese and Japanese show up at Fort Knox with all their Treasury Bills demanding conversion to gold bullion. In less time than it takes to say “Ron Paul,” the United States would not have an ounce of gold in its treasury and its economy would collapse. This nearly happened to the British when they wanted tea and silk and porcelain from the Chinese, but the Chinese only wanted sliver from them to pay for it. The British economy began to collapse from their contracting currency. Only the drug trade in opium (produced in British India) saved the British economy from trade-induced implosion.

    The same fate awaits the United States (with its enormous “free trade” deficits) if it stupidly adopts a bullion base for its currency when it doesn’t have the bullion and the Chinese refuse to buy drugs from a western world that cannot produce anything that China wants or needs.

    So what to do? Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts says:

    Everyone wants a solution, so I will provide one. The US government should simply cancel the $230 trillion in derivative bets, declaring them null and void. As no real assets are involved, merely gambling on notional values, the only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps (mostly over-the-counter contracts between counter-parties) would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system. The financial gangsters who want to continue enjoying betting gains while the public underwrites their losses would scream and yell about the sanctity of contracts. However, a government that can murder its own citizens or throw them into dungeons without due process can abolish all the contracts it wants in the name of national security. And most certainly, unlike the war on terror, purging the financial system of the gambling derivatives would vastly improve national security.

    About time to rob the real robbers. They’ve got it coming. And now that President Obama can do what he wants to anyone on earth without having to explain why, he can do something for the 99% of us for a change. I’d feel so much “safer” if he did. I might even vote for him again.

  46. Jill — because of the absence of the life interest.

    You simply cannot have rights coexistent with slavery. Any kind of slavery. Full stop.

  47. Economic cycles are about sixty years apart. The last great depression was in the 1930’s. The next one isn’t far off.

    The United States needs to stop policing the rest of the planet and stay home. Is that uncomfortable? Join whatever branch of the military you want. Ladies? Do you want equal opportunity to be killed and/or maimed? Get with it.

  48. Come to think of it: can everybody — even the working poor — play at this “national security” game? I mean, if merely uttering the word-like noises “national security” justifies literally anything and everything, then what may not anyone and everyone in the nation do if they feel “unsafe”?

    Personally, I do not feel at all safe with legions of cops, guards, soldiers, and hired mercenary thugs marching around all over the place. I mean: Why does my own government seek to terrify me in the name of making me feel “safe”? Something about this schizophrenic doublethink really smells.

    Somehow, I can’t shake the conviction that all the fear-flogging has only the objective of driving me into some updated version of a scene written by Charles Dickens. After all, as Attila the Hun said: “It is not enough that I succeed. Everyone else must fail.” Sounds like the 1% at work to — I mean, on — me. Like when I got 0.001 return on my money market account last year.

  49. Split personality again for me on this subject.
    On one hand, I dislike government and people in authority in general. I do not trust politicians. I can not point to any single politician in DC and say, “That’s a good man. He works for the people, in good faith, with the interests of the nation at heart.” Not one. Giving these kinds of people more money to screw around with is anathema to me. I can not trust that a single dime given by any tax payer to the government will be wisely and intelligently spent.

    I have no problem with my money going to aid those as can not aid themselves. I have no problem with my tax dollars building infrastructure, provided it’s viable, cost effective, and actually can be used by the nation to facilitate the development of economic activities. I have no problem funding public education, provided that it bases its methods on scientifically sound best practices of education, and provided that they do not interfere with the traditional role of the parent in providing societal and moral guidance to their children.

    I have a lot of problems with my tax dollars going to Iraq and Afghanistan. I have a lot of problems with my tax dollars going into direct subsidies of any corporation, be they for companies that provide blue collar jobs or banks. Giving government and corporations more money is, in my opinion, giving the government more power and influence over the lives of everyone.

    I have a huge problem with the debt we’re racking up. Eventually, the money will get more expensive, or simply stop being loaned. Expenditures must match growth. I hate the notion of people “voting themselves more money” (I can’t remember where that quote came from, but I do believe it was Jefferson). But I hate the idea of 25 percent of people owning 90 percent of the nation’s wealth (those are approximations, correct me if I’m off by all means.)

    So what’s the solution? To all hell if I know. I have no problem with taxing on a progressive curve, but I don’t want that money going into the hands of people I despise (D. and R. both). The problem with the economy is not easy to fix, there are no magic bullets, and there are no plans that I have seen that will work. There has been too much idealism in both sides of the debate. I have seen neither D. or R. plans that have anything to do with boosting the economy. All I have seen are D. and R. plans that have to deal with boosting their power base.

    The only question I have is how do you create a system by which people are not penalized for doing well, maintain incentives for people to strive at the level and with the work ethic that pushed America to the top in the first place, maintain a minimum standard of living for the worst off in society without breaking that work ethic, and provide for National Defense (as opposed to American Imperialism). I can’t believe that system comes about by giving the idiots in DC more money. I guess I just want the current crop of self interested, buggy bastards the hell out of Washington, to be replaced by intelligent, rational and caring human beings. That is how you fix the economy. Put people in power who actually know something about and are willing to take an ethical stance to do so. All debates on tax, investments, financial regulations, etc. are pointless when no one we elect will bother with anything that doesn’t increase their own power base.

  50. “Let us get closer to the fire, so that we may see what we are saying.” — the Bubis of Fernando Po

    “Indeed, the most notable trait common to members of such [primitive] communities is a certain amiable inefficiency when confronted with force or fraud.” — Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class

    In other words:

    “Boobie Top-Down Class Warfare”
    (from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America’s post-literate retreat to Plato’s Cave)

    It happened back in Vietnam
    Some two score years ago
    When parents of the upper class
    Declined to serve, and so
    They coined Selective Service to
    Select who wouldn’t go

    They called themselves the brightest and
    They called themselves the best
    And then they sent their countrymen
    Into a hornet’s nest
    But not themselves, of course, because
    They’d passed the privilege test

    These parents of a George and Dick
    Thought communism bad
    But worried that some other lands
    Would find it not as sad
    As slaving for the rich ones whose
    Rank greed had made them mad

    So sympathizing with the rich
    No matter what they did
    The parents of a George and Dick
    Sent someone else’s kid
    To fight the dreaded communists
    No matter where they hid

    But not their George and Dick, of course,
    They couldn’t spare the time
    And Vietnam seemed far away
    Immersed in war and grime
    An atmosphere too turbulent
    For orchids in their prime

    These studly hot-house orchid types
    Worked hard to dodge the light
    Their parents helped them jump the line
    To keep them out of sight
    Arranging for deferments that
    Would keep them from the fight

    And so the years of war went by
    And communism won
    Which had exactly no effect
    On those who had the fun
    Of skipping out and turning tail
    To take off on the run

    Soon Vietnam recovered from
    The blasting it had got
    And communists turned businessmen
    To hatch a common plot
    With those who liked cheap labor
    And cared less why some had fought

    Still some remained embittered by
    The waste made of their lives
    And swore they’d never live again
    Like worker bees in hives
    Content to feed the rich who dined
    With sharpened forks and knives

    But Boobie schools taught only fraud
    And fiction to the young
    With fantasy and fables coined
    To see the truth unstrung
    Till history became a fog
    That never bit or stung

    On schedule, Boobie Dick and George
    Found Politician Town
    And learned that pandering for votes
    Could win some safe renown
    Affirmatively actioned up
    They never could fall down

    The millions seemed to flow their way
    And stuck to them like paste
    They spent what others raised for them
    With no thought for the waste
    Since someone else’s money had
    The sweetest sort of taste

    They made a deal between themselves
    To do a pantomime
    With Dick to do the thinking while
    George mouthed a lisping rhyme
    And so with the Supine Court’s help
    They grabbed for our last dime

    The Boobie George then tripped and crashed
    Into this truth sublime:
    That Boobies hated freedom and
    Considered it a crime
    Dick told him then what he should do:
    Just work them overtime!

    With not a moment left to think
    The Boobies wouldn’t know
    Where all their beads and shells had gone
    Or why they couldn’t show
    A single thing as evidence
    That they had labored so

    Once George and Dick gained access to
    The treasury’s largesse
    It hardly seems surprising that
    It soon contained much less
    A fact which few observers seemed
    To think of with distress

    But “stupid is as stupid does,”
    The stupid do and say
    Confronted by a wealthy thief
    They genuflect, then pay;
    With eyes and minds shut fast like that
    They make such tempting prey

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2006

    Thorstein Veblen had it right about the Boobies.

  51. CLH,

    Obama said he feels like he has to go to confession every day. How often do you go to confession?

    I’m not Catholic, and I’m not going to confession. I saw Obama on the 39th Floor at 230 S. Dearborn in Chicago. I walked the stairs.

  52. CLH, check out Bernie Sanders.

    He once told me about the lobbyists and corporate influence in DC:

    “However bad you think it is, it is much, much worse.”

  53. UNICEF: U.S. Child Poverty Rate Among Worst in Developed World

    New figures show the United States has one of the highest child poverty rates in the so-called developed world. According to UNICEF, out of 35 wealthy countries, only Romania has a higher child poverty rate than the United States’ 23 percent.

    USA USA USA

  54. Indigo Jones @ 11:34 am —

    “This is ‘buy’ design.”

    Brilliant!

    For the haves to have more, GDP must grow [ed.: ya know, that’s probably not sustainable over the long haul]. Growth is dependent upon consumption. Consumption is dependent upon growth in real wages or, in the absence of growth in real wages, cheap credit. Since Bush tax policy resulted in concentration of wealth in non-job creating sectors, easy credit it was. When the credit dried up . . . .

  55. @Michael Murry

    You’re quite right about the problems of returning to a gold standard; even if China didn’t show up at our doorstep demanding their gold coin (you know, since the Federal Reserve holds more Treasury bills than China now, things have gotten a little more complicated), the price of gold can be easily manipulated if a buyer (or cartel) sets out to buy up all the gold on the market (i.e., create scarcity to increase the value of their holdings).

    I don’t know much about Paul Craig Roberts, but in that quote you gave, he sems to have things right.

  56. Indigo Jones:

    In answer to your contention that our Republic was founded so the rich could prosper, I say no not hardly.

    America is one place where being rich is no guarantee your children and grandchildren will be rich.

    If you go back and look at the economic history of the 19th century, nearly all of the great industrialists started out either dirt poor or of modest means.

    Andrew Carnegie was a dirt poor Scottish immigrant.

    Cornelius Vanderbilt was poor, he started at 16 with borrowed money and a small boat.

    Isaac Singer was born to German immigrants no more than middle class.

    James McKay was an Irish immigrant.

    J. C. Penny was a clerk for a dry-goods store in Colorado, he bought out the owners and opened his first store.

    I can go on and on with stories like these of poor or middle class people who did well because our founders gave us a free society. They didnt do it just for rich people. Most rich people were not rich at one point in their lives. In fact I believe 70% of the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans were self-made men and women. In other words they started from the bottom few rungs of the ladder.

    America was founded to give people a chance to live for themselves and not for a king or the state or their neighbor.

  57. Bron,

    As usual, believing in fairy tales, are you.

    Try reading “Outliers”, there the rise of the 1830 group is explained. And am sure for every do-it-yourself man you’ll find 100,000 who had both money and connections.

    The exceptions prove the rule.

    We have the founder of IKEA, started with bare hands.
    But Persson of H&M had a successful Pa to follow, but definitely added his bit. Except for them, the others are born or associated themselves to riches.

    Try again, Horatio Alger.

  58. Indigo Jones and Michael Murry,

    Now you and MM can divide up the Herculean task to explain to us the finance and money market. Where these derivative “bets” are residing, and why they have any importance to us—I mean WE did not make them—so why are the ours to back up at all???

    How much of it is real, paper, etc.? Whatever it is, it’s not in our pockets, nor credits for us to enjoy.

    And what is the structure (large balloons please) of which derivatives 270 (?) TRILLION is a part of?

    And relate that to the overall picture, please.

    You guys can do a national economics with international trade extension model 101 for us.

    Think how much better that is than one more amazing tale
    from JT, or some starlet/judge/imam/preacher/crooked person/everyman’s dumbness tale.

    How about it guys???

  59. matt’s johnson:

    Not me, I leave that for lefties like you, since you guys want to tell everyone how to behave and how big your soft drink can be.

  60. idealist707:

    yeah, well now it is harder because our society is less free and the wealthy are able to get favors from government.

    Many people have become wealthy in this country and many more have raised their standard of living.

    Try again Leon Trotsky.

  61. Bron,

    Playing with you shows I’m a bigger chump than you.
    Just wasting my time Idiots never change, they don’t know how.
    Bet you can’t tell me without looking it up who was Horatio Agner or where Trotsky was killed, and when he left USSR?

    And do read “Outliers”, it shows some of the elements of success through the two recent centuries. Just trying to help.

  62. @Michael Murry

    The distinction you highlight between class and status is also of great importance.

    We’re taught to think of white collar workers as “higher class” than, for example, factory workers; yet both are wage earners. Not even CEO’s are really capitalists, but draw a wage. A CEO can’t decide to throw in the towel and sell the company; a CEO does not OWN the means of production in a firm, but IS A MEANS Of PRODUCTION.

    The distinction between class and status is part of what prevents the majority from coming into class consciousness. White collar workers, taught to see the world through their high status, come to think of themselves as indispensable — when, in fact, they can, will be and are being displaced in the workforce due to automation (software) just as the blue collar workers were displaced due to automation (assembly line robotics).

    Allow me to draw your attention to two charts.

    This first chart shows the value of slaves in the years leading up to the civil war:

    After the slave trade ended in 1808, the value of slaves skyrocketed (because supply was curtailed). States like Virginia and Maryland, which were overstocked with slaves profited handsomely, as they were able to sell their stock to states like Georgia, where slave mortality rates in the swamps were high.

    This second chart shows the manufacturing output per worker in the US since World War II:

    Very similar curves. The second chart means that the value of each worker has been increasing steadily because automation lets each worker produce more. Despite this increase in worker productivity, wages in the last 30 odd years have stagnated.

    It’s not a coincidence that since 1960, worker to CEO salary has increased from 40:1 to 400:1. This causes CEOs (and other white collar workers) to identify more with their capitalist masters than with the rest of wage earners.

  63. Bron:

    Idealist is right, that for every entrepreneur who makes it, there are hundreds of thousads who don’t. Only about 30% of business succeed. I think it’s indisputable that the Constitutionw as drafted to rprotect privilige.

    But for all those who do suceed based on their wits, don’t forget the large part played by government subsidies.

    “The West” was “won” not by Man squaring off against the WIlderness; the Westward Expansion was the expansion of technology into the remotest corners of the earth.

    After 100 years of “Indian eradication” on the public dime, slave labor, and with a huge pile of public debt to buy Louisiana from Napoleon, the Federal Government instituted a “land grant” program and pushed the Locomotive straight to the furthest coast.

    Old JP Morgan, while the US Government was still paving the way for his Railroad Empire, made his first pile of cash buying up some defective military surplus rifles and selling them back to Uncle Sam at a markup. I guess the things were blowing off soldiers’ thumbs.

  64. @idealist

    Here’s a starting point: the whole financial system is a giant house of cards.

    The fractional reserve system works like this:

    If you put $100 into a bank, the bank can loan out $800. The $100 you put into the bank — that the bank has in its possession — is considered a liability (because you can cask for it back at any time). The $800 loaned out, however, is considered assets because they’re accounts receivable).

    And banks make money just like that. That’s how banks can “generate” funds that surpass a national GDP.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_dom_cre_pro_by_ban_sec_of_gdp-credit-provided-banking-sector-gdp

    It’s all gambling on growth: borrowing from tomorrow to fund today’s wastefulness, planned obsolescence of gadgets, shoddy clothing, disposable cups at Starbucks, equipment destroyed in wars, etc.

    The metaphor of a piggy bank has absolutely nothing to teach you about what banks actually are, just as a lemonade stand has very little to teach you about how industry works.

  65. Indiana Jones,

    So to ask a detail for making it concrete for me who counts the nickels and dimes—-

    When the government (fed?) changes the regs, and says the bank can lend 16 to one on deposits instead of 8 to one, what effect does that have?

    (The actual injection of the bills is done for now. I believe, by the Fed Reserve, who print and loan it with interest added to the US government.—but let’s forget that for now.)

    It would seem to me to drive prices up, encourage injection of money to produce tangibles, and create a surplus to seek marginal financing profits elsewhere. In other words, a mixed bag.

    Net effect?

    Don’t want to hang on your coattails, so answer only if inspiration exists.

    BTW, your avatar poem (?) really will keep me wondering for a long while.

  66. Great points Indigo. The financial system in the US is based almost entirely on fiction and artificial constructs. The only way to actually add value to an economy is through production of raw materials into goods. Everything else is an artifice that will eventually blow back on itself. Every dime that actually is created in an economy comes from the growth of food, or the manufacture of products, or the extraction of resources, or the exchange of services from outside a nation. Services can not create wealth by themselves- services are an end user of resources, except in the instance when they make resource usage more efficient. Banking services are entirely artificial in that manner. They remove wealth from a system, rather than adding to it, except when they actually make resource extraction, food growth, or manufacturing more efficient, which can happen through structured finance allowing pools of investment capitol that would otherwise be insufficient to allow start-ups to survive. Other types of loans are purely negative on an economy’s overall generation of wealth.

  67. CLH, one of the things holding back progress this century is the banks continue to fund ‘old’ technology almost exclusively. They fund mountaintop mining over solar and wind. They fund the fracking industry. The choices the banks make on WHO gets funding gives them tremendous power.

    Amazing power considering they create money out of thin air.

    So far the banks are not making the right choices about which industries get funding. thats why we do not have true production in this nation, why we only have old tech and bread and circuses.

    We have to change this system. I also think college students should be getting near zero interest rates for the good of the nation.

  68. Here is a video of Idealist707 and Indigo Jones waking each other up from soul sleep with hard hitting logical discourse.

    Compelling discourse they learned at Dredd Blog.

  69. Indigo Jones 1, June 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    @Dredd

    And your opinion is worth what, exactly?

    You give me one quote without context and expect that, on face value, to make up for painstaking legal, social, and economic research?
    =================================
    The “painstaking legal … research” you have set forth is little more than a pain in the arse.

    The lawyers here will realize the principle of legal hermeneutics, when it comes to the interpretation of law, that one does not go back into the previous text to interpret the final text, unless there is an ambiguity in the final text.

    The rules of statutory interpretation and constitutional interpretation are the same in that respect.

    Therefore, your resort to quotations from the Federalist Papers to interpret the Constitution is quite backwards.

    Backwards is not up to date, not up to snuff, and diversionary.

    Show me in the constitution or federal statutes where the constitution was forged to improperly protect the opulent at the expense of the poor and/or middle class.

    You too Idealist707.

  70. Indigo Jones 1, June 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    @Dredd

    …. the constitution doesn’t contain its own history.
    =====================================
    That is why you have to take the meaning of the text itself, the law of interpretation is, if it is not ambiguous it has no history.

    And you probably think that is improving your argument:

    “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the opulent from the rest.”

    Now come on and show us the text of the U.S. Constitution that says “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the opulent from the rest.”

    If you can’t then you are in error.

    If you persist you are a liar.

    If you persist beyond that you are a sociopath.

    If you persist beyond that you are a psychopath.

    If you persist beyond that you will have a better chance to be elected.

  71. The closer one gets to the ordination of the constitution, from the proper side, which is after it was ratified, one hears:

    § 178. In our future commentaries upon the constitution we shall treat it, then, as it is denominated in the instrument itself, as a CONSTITUTION of government, ordained and established by the people of the United States for themselves and their posterity. They have declared it the supreme law of the land. They have made it a limited government. They have defined its authority. They have restrained it to the exercise of certain powers, and reserved all others to the states or to the people. It is a popular government. Those, who administer it, are responsible to the people. It is as popular, and just as much emanating from the people, as the state governments. It is created for one purpose; the state governments for another. It may be altered, and amended, and abolished at the will of the people. In short, it was made by the people, made for the people, and is responsible to the people.

    (Justice Joseph). Things were different before The Coup took place.

    Those who don’t get that are probably part of the coup.

  72. In short, [the U.S. Constitution] was made by the people, made for the people, and is responsible to the people.

    Reiterated just in case some of those in the chicken coup did not notice that part.

    Now, next:

    § 182. Where the words are plain and clear, and the sense distinct and perfect arising on them, there is generally no necessity to have recourse to other means of interpretation. It is only, when there is some ambiguity or doubt arising from other sources, that interpretation has its proper office.

    (Justice Joseph). This is the same for federal statutes:

    … canons of construction are no more than rules of thumb that help courts determine the meaning of legislation, and in interpreting a statute a court should always turn first to one, cardinal canon before all others. We have stated time and again that courts must presume that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there … When the words of a statute are unambiguous, then, this first canon is also the last: “judicial inquiry is complete.”

    (Connecticut Nat. Bank v. Germain, 503 U.S. 249, 253-254, 1992). Now groupies in the coup, what part is ambiguous about the constitution being of, for, and by the people?

    Not for the King people, for the people.

    Bring forth your ambiguities so we can move forward with your treatment.

  73. @Dredd

    “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the opulent from the rest.”

    I never offered that quote, Idealist did. And he only said he had seen it before, attributed to Madison, not the Constitution.

    You have a problem with reading comprehension.

    As far as your legal hermeneutics are concerned

    1) I’m not arguing a case in court, I’m dealing with verifiable history

    2) The Constitution as a legal document did not replace or supercede the Federalist papers

    3) The Federalist papers are a recognized authority in Constitutional interpretation From Wikipedia:

    “Federal judges, when interpreting the Constitution, frequently use the Federalist Papers as a contemporary account of the intentions of the framers and ratifiers.”

    4) If you’re going to talk about a law and what the law means, unless you’re advocating something like “activist judges” you have to understand what the law meant TO THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE IT IN THE WORDS THEY USED. Otherwise, you’re not talking about the law anymore. THIS IS A BASIC HISTORICAL AND LINGUISTIC ISSUE.

    Jefferson remarked of the cabal among the speculators at the Constitutional Convention:

    “the ultimate object of all this is to prepare the way for a change, from the present republican form of government, to that of a monarchy, of which the English constitution is to be the model. That this was contemplated in the Convention is no secret, because it’s partisans have made none of it. To effect it then was impracticable, but they are still eager after their object, and are predisposing every thing for it’s ultimate attainment. So many of them have got into the legislature, that, aided by the corrupt squadron of paper dealers, who are at their devotion, they make a majority in both houses.”

    Now again, as I discussed above, Jefferson, in discussing the conflict of interest among the Founding Fathers, noted:

    “had these persons withdrawn, as those interested in a question ever should, the vote of the disinterested majority was clearly the reverse of what they made it.”

    THE COUP WAS IN 1787.

    All the “We the People” stuff is BS. The Founding Fathers themselves knew that their plans would never be supported by the laboring masses. That’s why they talk again and again about the pitfalls of democracy.

    Your position has no historical, logical, or moral substance, ALL YOU HAVE NOW IS YOUR WILLFUL IGNORANCE.

    And that wasn’t an ad hominem, it was a description.

  74. Indigo Jones 1, June 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @Dredd

    “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the opulent from the rest.”

    I never offered that quote, Idealist did. And he only said he had seen it before, attributed to Madison, not the Constitution.

    You have a problem with reading comprehension.
    ——————————————————————————–
    You have a problem with comprehension, period.

    I did not say you offered it, I said it was “your argument”.

    If that isn’t your argument, then say the purpose of the constitution is not to protect the opulent.

    Let Idealist707 know, out in the open, because so far he has been mislead.
    —————————————————–
    As far as your legal hermeneutics are concerned

    1) I’m not arguing a case in court, I’m dealing with verifiable history

    An argument in court would be better for you.

    It would not be shadow boxing at home in front of the “me good” mirror, rather it would have a healthy dose of reality in it.

    A good shit kicking will get a lot of rat shit out of the eyes and ears.
    —————————————————–
    As far as your legal hermeneutics are concerned

    2) The Constitution as a legal document did not replace or supercede the Federalist papers

    Like I said, just quote the Federalist papers in a court when unambiguous constitutional text is the issue, and a good shit kicking will happen and do you some needed good.
    —————————————————————–
    3) The Federalist papers are a recognized authority in Constitutional interpretation From Wikipedia:

    “Federal judges, when interpreting the Constitution, frequently use the Federalist Papers as a contemporary account of the intentions of the framers and ratifiers.”

    I am really happy Wikipedia likes the Federalist Papers, but where do they show up when there is no ambiguity?

    Like I said, there is another good shit kicking that will do you some good.
    ————————————————————-

    4) If you’re going to talk about a law and what the law means, unless you’re advocating something like “activist judges” you have to understand what the law meant TO THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE IT IN THE WORDS THEY USED. Otherwise, you’re not talking about the law anymore. THIS IS A BASIC HISTORICAL AND LINGUISTIC ISSUE.

    Jefferson remarked of the cabal among the speculators at the Constitutional Convention:

    “the ultimate object of all this is to prepare the way for a change, from the present republican form of government, to that of a monarchy, of which the English constitution is to be the model. That this was contemplated in the Convention is no secret, because it’s partisans have made none of it. To effect it then was impracticable, but they are still eager after their object, and are predisposing every thing for it’s ultimate attainment. So many of them have got into the legislature, that, aided by the corrupt squadron of paper dealers, who are at their devotion, they make a majority in both houses.”

    I am waiting for you to quote the Constitution. You have quote everything except car salesmen and the constitution.

    You must like getting a shit kicking.
    ————————————————————————————

    Now again, as I discussed above, Jefferson, in discussing the conflict of interest among the Founding Fathers, noted:

    “had these persons withdrawn, as those interested in a question ever should, the vote of the disinterested majority was clearly the reverse of what they made it.”

    Once they ratified the constitution, what went before was of no legal significance.

    Man, you are one of those folks who tries to wiggle out of contracts like a friggin lizzard.

    The tail keeps on wigglin even though it has been cut off.
    ———————————————————————–

    THE COUP WAS IN 1787.

    All the “We the People” stuff is BS. The Founding Fathers themselves knew that their plans would never be supported by the laboring masses. That’s why they talk again and again about the pitfalls of democracy.

    Your position has no historical, logical, or moral substance, ALL YOU HAVE NOW IS YOUR WILLFUL IGNORANCE.

    And that wasn’t an ad hominem, it was a description.
    ——————————————————————————-
    Ok, run for office.

    You are beyond psychopath.

  75. My responses in the above reply were not in bold. This comment corrects that.

    Dredd 1, June 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Indigo Jones 1, June 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @Dredd

    “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the opulent from the rest.”

    I never offered that quote, Idealist did. And he only said he had seen it before, attributed to Madison, not the Constitution.

    You have a problem with reading comprehension.
    ——————————————————————————–
    You have a problem with comprehension, period.

    I did not say you offered it, I said it was “your argument”.

    If that isn’t your argument, then say the purpose of the constitution is not to protect the opulent.

    Let Idealist707 know, out in the open, because so far he has been misled.
    —————————————————–
    As far as your legal hermeneutics are concerned

    1) I’m not arguing a case in court, I’m dealing with verifiable history

    An argument in court would be better for you.

    It would not be shadow boxing at home in front of the “me good” mirror, rather it would have a healthy dose of reality in it.

    A good shit kicking will get a lot of rat shit out of the eyes and ears.
    —————————————————–
    As far as your legal hermeneutics are concerned

    2) The Constitution as a legal document did not replace or supercede the Federalist papers

    Like I said, just quote the Federalist papers in a court when unambiguous constitutional text is the issue, and a good shit kicking will happen and do you some needed good.
    —————————————————————–
    3) The Federalist papers are a recognized authority in Constitutional interpretation From Wikipedia:

    “Federal judges, when interpreting the Constitution, frequently use the Federalist Papers as a contemporary account of the intentions of the framers and ratifiers.”

    I am really happy Wikipedia likes the Federalist Papers, but where do they show up when there is no ambiguity?

    Like I said, there is another good shit kicking that will do you some good.
    ————————————————————-
    4) If you’re going to talk about a law and what the law means, unless you’re advocating something like “activist judges” you have to understand what the law meant TO THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE IT IN THE WORDS THEY USED. Otherwise, you’re not talking about the law anymore. THIS IS A BASIC HISTORICAL AND LINGUISTIC ISSUE.

    Jefferson remarked of the cabal among the speculators at the Constitutional Convention:

    “the ultimate object of all this is to prepare the way for a change, from the present republican form of government, to that of a monarchy, of which the English constitution is to be the model. That this was contemplated in the Convention is no secret, because it’s partisans have made none of it. To effect it then was impracticable, but they are still eager after their object, and are predisposing every thing for it’s ultimate attainment. So many of them have got into the legislature, that, aided by the corrupt squadron of paper dealers, who are at their devotion, they make a majority in both houses.”

    I am waiting for you to quote the Constitution. You have quoted everything except car salesmen and the constitution.

    You must like getting a shit kicking.
    ————————————————————————————
    Now again, as I discussed above, Jefferson, in discussing the conflict of interest among the Founding Fathers, noted:

    “had these persons withdrawn, as those interested in a question ever should, the vote of the disinterested majority was clearly the reverse of what they made it.”

    Once they ratified the constitution, what went before was of no legal significance.

    Man, you are one of those folks who tries to wiggle out of contracts like a friggin lizzard.

    The tail keeps on wigglin even though it has been cut off.
    ———————————————————————–
    THE COUP WAS IN 1787.

    All the “We the People” stuff is BS. The Founding Fathers themselves knew that their plans would never be supported by the laboring masses. That’s why they talk again and again about the pitfalls of democracy.

    Your position has no historical, logical, or moral substance, ALL YOU HAVE NOW IS YOUR WILLFUL IGNORANCE.

    And that wasn’t an ad hominem, it was a description.
    ——————————————————————————-
    Ok, run for office.

    You are beyond psychopath.

  76. Rich people have more power than poor people, and they use that power to get what they want — which is, normally, more wealth and more power. Across America, politicians invariably reflect the views of their richest constituents. And the Federal Reserve, too, appears to have been captured by the rich: It seems much more worried about the specter of possible future inflation (which might be bad for the rich) than it is about the tragedy of present-day unemployment (which is calamitous for today’s jobless)…. This is now a country run by the rich, for the rich. And nothing in either of these books gives me reason to believe that there’s any hope of changing that.
    Whatever the founders imagined or meant, what we have now is the rich getting more and more power and wealth. They can no longer stay invisible on their host as parasites.

    Some founders predicted this. The question is, what is to be done when all this wealth is concentrated in the hands of people that are completely disconnected from the lives of average people (like Bloomburg)- how does one end the sort of corruption that is causing so much pain and misery? Is revolution in the street the only way to try to create balance in the economy?

  77. shano 1, June 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    The question is, what is to be done when all this wealth is concentrated in the hands of people that are completely disconnected from the lives of average people (like Bloomburg)- how does one end the sort of corruption that is causing so much pain and misery? Is revolution in the street the only way to try to create balance in the economy?
    =================================
    Where we are now is the result of confusing “then” with “now”, like those who supported the King did back “then” and have all the way til “now.”

    Our forefathers gave us a very decent chance to ________, but we failed, so we now have ______, which is not then.

    But it really doesn’t matter if we don’t know the difference.

  78. Indigo Jones…..

    I think Dredd was out walking and slipped and fell into the dogshit. Why else would he be so angry?

    Is he mad for losing the argument? He can’t even keep track of my arguments versus your ones.

    Poor man, I had some respect for him, no really I did. But now?
    Not much at all. Have even stopped reading when he hopped into the manure stack and grabbed the hayfork.

    Best he get back to his amygdala, which is fascinating, and his symbiontic microbes in our bodies, which is also fascinating.

    The Constitution and society are not his best or even worse side. It is tragic.

    Agreed?

    What a laugh he is.

    Poor Dredd. Got two more disdains to add to his long list.
    Wonder how long it is? Too long apparently.

    Can I dish out the shit. You betcha. started when I was seven and never stopped. He is a piece of cake. So many openings he leaves for attack. Whooeee!

    Beddy bye for me. Gotta get up tomorrow. It’s one AM now.

    See you soon for more fun and games with sensible people like CLH and Shano, and no one named and no one forgotten as we say in Sweden.

  79. Perceived defects in the constitution were taken on following the Bill of Rights in the original.

    These included States Rights (11th), Election Fine Tuning (12th), outlawing Slavery (13th), and application of equal citizen rights and due process to states, etc. (14th).

  80. “The constitution was drafted to help the opulent.”

    That is a laugh.

    It was drafted to stop the opulent from getting that way indecently. I someone develops an opulent lifestyle decently, so be it.

    It is not the constitution that turned the U.S. into a plutocracy, rather it is the ignoring and trampling on the constitution which does that.

  81. It was drafted to stop the opulent from getting that way indecently. ”
    Dredd

    Then it is not working at all. We see all sorts of indecent opulence, from Monsanto to Blackwater…….

  82. Dredd,

    Somewhere above is buried along with your furor is my snotty snarty reply to you.
    You gave me the pleasure of reviving in full (?) force the weapons of my childhood. Thanks for the enjoyment. No harm done. We are at times here for the purpose of exchanging a little bile. No harm done.

    The ones we’d like to kill are outside our reach, so we have to fight each other as surrogates instead.

  83. To ALL,

    Wishing to leave my mark in the historical record embedded in 10 rsised to 30th bytes of data, I add here a crosspost which has value in being registered by your minds.

    The figure? The number of protons in the universe.

    Quote:

    I mentioned earlier, in answer to a discussion on young american men’s thoughts that some felt that Sweden had invented porno, that the first erotic art exhibition was in 1968 at Lund’s Könsthall, and arranged by the American couple Phyllis and Eberhard Kronhausen. An exhibition which I had seen then.

    Further, let me add this excerpt from the self-bio from their blog with a connection to the breakthrough of erotic material in the USA. Reading further in the bio is recommended. Note their promo of new book: “Staying Sane in a Crazy World”, a work which may have some value to the readers. (Haven’t read it, and can not say if this is by use of erotic material, psychotherapy with buddhistic base or other sources.)

    EXCERPT

    “Another large breakthrough against censorship and for the recognition of fine erotic art, were our first exhibitions of erotic fine art in several, large public, Scandinavian museums, from ca. 1968-1970, and in a private Museum
    of Erotic Art, in San Francisco, from 1971 to 1973.

    We also arranged for the importation by Grove Press of the first frankly erotic Swedish film of indisputable artistic merit, “I am Curious Yellow.”
    This, in turn, prepared the way—for better or for worse, depending on one’s point of view—for the public showing of other, frankly erotic, as well as outright pornographic films (as, e.g., “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones,” to mention just two of the best known
    of these frankly pornographic movies).

    END EXCERPT.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eberhard-kronhausen-and-phyllis-kronhausen

    Considering how this modest start has developed in extending the permitted limits of our minds, our rights to use them as we wish, and the obvious impact on our society (watch any talk show on TV, etc.) then I felt that providing this link to this group of civil rights defenders and simply citizens of this America, was worth doing.

    For those who can, remember your youth and those bygone days.
    For some, don’t read this comment. Adult material. Pun intended.

  84. idealist707 1, June 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Dredd,

    Somewhere above is buried along with your furor is my snotty snarty reply to you.
    You gave me the pleasure of reviving in full (?) force the weapons of my childhood. Thanks for the enjoyment. No harm done. We are at times here for the purpose of exchanging a little bile. No harm done.

    The ones we’d like to kill are outside our reach, so we have to fight each other as surrogates instead.
    =======================
    Kind of like what the Sunnis and Shiites do to each other when there aren’t any foreigners to kill. How about the Catholics and Protestants.

  85. ID707,

    I mentioned earlier, in answer to a discussion on young american men’s thoughts that some felt that Sweden had invented porno
    ==============================================
    Al Gore invented the internet. Since when did Sweden invent porno? David Duchovny got busted for looking at too much porn. Is that Sweden’s fault? Shame on you for making Duchovny look bad.

    According to Mesopotamia, they invented math. So who’s ahead?

  86. Kind of like what the Sunnis and Shiites do to each other when there aren’t any foreigners to kill. How about the Catholics and Protestants.
    =====================================================

    Some Israelis point out that the Arab countries feel very unified when they oppose Israel, but not otherwise, so the cohesion of the Arabs = the Jews. An Egyptian scholar, whose own father was killed in a war with Israel, commented that “Israel is a device used by Arab states seeking regime change.” That is, of course, too complex for me, but it does seem like another rework of the same-old.

  87. Redacted text for children:

    Geez, the malarkey you can crank out, both of you. Any certified?

    India invented math, including the empty set.

    It was according to Junction Shamus that American boys THOUGHT that Sweden invented porno.

    The Swedes have only invented “do it when you like it, and we know everybody likes it here” S-X.
    That and the monkey wrench—yes in fact.

    Sunnis vs Shiites? They do that with the right hand.
    The left hand reserved for wiping your POSTERIOR EFFLUVIUM is for the foreigners—at the same time.

    And who’s that DDDDDDDD?????

  88. Matt,

    New thought on sunni/shiite and catholic/protestant.

    Most primitive people, including the above ones, know when to stop hostilities when their own losses get too high.
    So it is a self-limiting conflict.

    Our government has no religion but profit and it knows no limits.

    I said that.

  89. Malisha,

    Let’s compare the arab use of Israel to “our” use of the war on terror.

    Regime change, haven’t seen any since Nasser and Qadaffi got and lost power.

    If Nasser died of a heart attack (and not a CIA attack) then my name is King Farouk. And who picked the guy who did an Oswald on Rabin? Guess. Was it Mossad or the firm?

    Speculation thy game is brain driven.

  90. idealist ‘Most primitive people, including the above ones, know when to stop hostilities when their own losses get too high.
    So it is a self-limiting conflict.

    Our government has no religion but profit and it knows no limits’

    This is the problem that escalates when the war profiteers are allowed to buy our representatives. Vicious cycles are vicious. So true.

    ok, My Xoloitzcuintle is telling me the Aztecs discovered ‘zero’ first.

  91. Malisha,

    “Israel is a device used by Arab states seeking regime change.” That is, of course, too complex for me, but it does seem like another rework of the same-old.
    ==========
    That is a rework of the same-old. Why did they kill Sadat? Same-old. He knew he was going to die. What is happening in Syria now?

    How about Muammar Qaddafi? Let the French deal with it now. Or don’t they have the balls to send in anyone except the Foreign Legion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muammar_Gaddafi

  92. A draft agreement leaked Wednesday shows the Obama administration is pushing a secretive trade agreement that could vastly expand corporate power and directly contradict a 2008 campaign promise by President Obama. A U.S. proposal for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact between the United States and eight Pacific nations would allow foreign corporations operating in the U.S. to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal.

    The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its ruling. We speak to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, a fair trade group that posted the leaked documents on its website. “This isn’t just a bad trade agreement,” Wallach says. “This is a ‘one-percenter’ power tool that could rip up our basic needs and rights.”

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/breaking_08_pledge_leaked_trade_doc

    .

  93. Woosty, thanks for the video. I’ve long had the question of why is growth good? Why is it necessary? From a business standpoint it’s seems pretty standard that the business has to grow or it will die (not that it’s always a bad idea). I’ve known intuitively that constant growth is unsustainable but found it hard to explain factually or mathematically to those who firmly believe that growth is necessary and good. The professor has laid it out nicely. I’ll have to watch the video again. Maybe that’s what the Mayans figured out.

  94. Shano,

    The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its rulings.
    ============================
    Good post. The fact is, U.S. law is already superfluous. It’s nothing more than subjectivity (at best). If you think it’s more than that, you’re dreaming. You might as well forget about going to law school. Wait until the 99% really does gets totally pissed off. Where is your spider hole?

  95. bettykath,

    Maybe that’s what the Mayans figured out.
    ==================================
    The Mayans didn’t figure out anything.

  96. bettykath, yes, NAFTA with a New World Order flavor when Multinational Corporations create their own international justice system that can over ride American laws- courts that only they can access.

  97. Matt Johnaon,

    Good session by all.
    Don’t know if this will be read, but just to give you a reply:
    If the Mayans did not figure our anything, then why is Obama in such a big rush to get so much bad stuff done.
    Due date, maybe????

  98. ID707,

    December 21, 2012. Three, three, three. Tesla was fixated with the number three.

    The Mayans didn’t create that calendar. They were the labor, but they weren’t the intelligence.

  99. Was it to the base twenty they counted? 20 fingers and toes. And then there was forty mixed in somewhere, something to do with the apparent precession of the North star over 40 years, etc.
    Sounds good, just as yours does too. Tesla, an interesting figure.

    Connect it all the the regression of the median worth and you’ll a visit from the FED, or the feds. Do much betting on WS?

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    Lovely..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” And Her Delicious Key Lime Pies Baked With
    Pure Love…Always……40 Years And They’re Still Going Strong….

    ….May GOD Continue Blessing “Anita And Kutchie Pelaez” and They’re World
    Famous Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill Where The Personalities, Ovens And
    Smiles Are Always Warm And Inviting. “Kutcharitaville” You’re The Best We Love You!….

    …Now You Know Who Is The Hottest!…And Baby Let Me Tell You, Mrs. Anita Is No Act…She’s The Real Thing Baby!…

    ….Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate…..

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