Morning, everyone; joyous day after the solstice to you all, and a Happy Chanukah.
I was looking at Dani Rodrick’s new website ‘Economic Dreams, Economic Nightmares’ this morning, and found this concise video explanation featuring Liz Warren on the run-up to the financial crash, how the oligarchs have stolen our democracy and economic futures, and why #Occupy’s pushback is so crucial to regaining both.
Dani offers a warning whose premise I share:
“The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is moving to Main Streets across the globe. It’s about time. But I fear that the movement will be captured by the far left, just as the TEA party movement has been captured by the far right. If Occupy Wall Street will evolve to represent the case of the 99% against the 1% we will have a chance for needed social/institutional change here in the US.”
He adds this quote to his OWS piece:
“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
~ Louis Brandeis, Former Supreme Court Justice (1856-1941)
The other day I ran across this new organization dedicated to proving to the public once and for all that ‘businessmen aren’t bad guys‘, as one charter member says about his motivation, but this organization is called “The Job Creators Alliance”, and it’s gearing up to show us how cool they are, and why and how hard-working and patient CEOs really are the ones who suffer until they make their lucre as they create jobs. You’ll get a boot outta some of the quotes and videos; and you’ll likely find their self-aggrandizement very convincing. It sounds as though they will be hitting the PR talking heads circuit soon.
From a piece quoting an op-ed by Jeb Bush:
“Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: “The right to rise.”
Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn’t seem like something we should have to protect. [snip]
Have we lost faith in the free-market system of entrepreneurial capitalism? Are we no longer willing to place our trust in the creative chaos unleashed by millions of people pursuing their own best economic interests?
The right to rise does not require a libertarian utopia to exist. Rather, it requires fewer, simpler and more outcome-oriented rules. Rules for which an honest cost-benefit analysis is done before theirimposition. Rules that sunset so they can be eliminated or adjusted as conditions change. Rules that have disputes resolved faster and less expensively through arbitration than litigation.” (my bold)
From John Stossel, Fox Business News (apparently a Charter Member):
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, “My job is to create jobs.”
What hubris! Government has no money of its own. All it does is take from some people and give to others. That may create some jobs, but only by leaving less money in the private sector for job creation.
Actually, it’s worse than that. Since government commandeers scarce resources by force and doesn’t have to peddle its so-called services on the market to consenting buyers, there’s no feedback mechanism to indicate if those services are worth more to people than what they were forced to go without.”
Ah; qu’elle dommage, mon chere! ‘Taking from some people and fucking giving it to others! (ya know, taxing it to pay some of the freight that allow them to uh…make so much in the first place, including walking over the backs of would-be working Americans?)
This is from Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples, is pretty fun, altogether; he complains that government mostly creates jobs — that kill jobs. He must be an Amity Schlaes fan, whose book on the failure of the New Deal left out all data on jobs created by the government to mitigation the Depression.
“They’re creating $300 million worth of jobs in the new consumer financial protection bureau,” Stemberg said, “which I don’t think is going to do much for productivity in America. We’re creating all kinds of jobs trying to live up to Dodd-Frank … and those jobs don’t create much productivity.”
Ha! Kinda leaves ya speechless, doesn’t it? Again: Qu’elle dommage, mon chere! We are sooo sorry that consumer protection might get in yer way…of making more of that money by forcing a li’l bit of fairness and transparency in the financial industry. Maybe our tax policy and Fed zero-interest loans can help ya out, eh? Or we can take up a collection ta redecorate your Learjets, mebbe, like we did for Nancy Reagan. (I personally raised $400 toward her new Limoges china for Air Force One back in the day…)
But just in case the site’s not selling ya on their wonderfulness, you should just sit quietly, take some deep, calming breaths, and as you exhale…intone…low and slow….’Raaaaaaaaayyyyguuuuuuunnnnnn.’ And you’ll soon see Their Light.
But it’s likely that you’re ready for the Most Entertaining 1%-fights-back fun now, right? Okay, here it is:
On Saturday Dec. 10, JP Morgan Chase aired the equivalent of Big Banking American Idol on NBC. (seriously) I rather maliciously chose the coverage from a Flint, MI newspaper because of the most serious straits the city has been in since the financial meltdown. The writer is beside herself with praise for the event, entitled ‘TV That Matters‘:
“Flint area television viewers were moved by The American Giving Awards which aired live Saturday night on NBC (WEYI NBC25 in Flint). Chase Bank awarded 2 million dollars to the Top 5 charity online vote recipients. The Grand Prize winner got 1 million dollars and the other 4 split another 1 million dollars between them. The 4 runner up charities were: Wish Upon a Hero Foundation, Move for Hunger, The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Let’s Get Ready. The 1 million dollar top prize went to To Write Love on Her Arms.
The broadcast brought 5 American charities to center stage and gave them a platform to send their collective message of hope to literally millions of television viewers. This, in itself, was such a moving and miraculous thing.”
(Voting was done via Facebook.)
You and I might be cynical enough to call it ‘Chase greed-washing its reputation’ as Lisa graves did, as quoted by PR Watch, but then you and I tend to not care much for the bank’s part in the economic crash (they give some details here). And you may figure that after posting $17 billion worth of assets last year, a paltry $2 million ain’t a big deal. And never mind the paltry SEC settlement they paid for their peddling of zillions worth of fraudulent junk bonds.
Please focus instead on what this may do for reality teevee: a new and cheaper nod to noblesse oblige. No need to build an art museum, a library…just pit charities against one another on stage, run self-serving propaganda-mercials during the breaks…and voila! Banking Love, Multinational Love…abounds.
This is why we Occupy. Stay strong, patient and loving, everyone. They will stop degrading us.