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Definition of Deficit
A deficit is a tax compounded with interest for late payment.~ Anonymous
No insurance company can legally sell you fire protection on another person’s house, but the financial markets can and will sell you fault insurance on another person’s investments.~ Anonymous
Lazy vs Greedy
Americans have no trouble believing 150,000 million fellow Americans are lazy, but can’t conceive of the possibility that 400 of them might be greedy.~ Anonymous
Everyone is a socialist when his house is on fire.~ Anonymous
The trickle down theory of economics has it that it is good for rich people to get even richer because some of their wealth will trickle down upon those who stand below them on the economic ladder. Notice that the metaphor is not that of a gushing waterfall, but of a leaking tap.~ Margaret Atwood (born:1939-11-18 age:76)
When plunder becomes a way of life, for a group of men, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.~ Frédéric Bastiat (born:1801-06-29 died:1850-12-24 at age:49) The Law 1850
That is as succinct a description of the Republicans as any I have ever read.
Rich and Poor Disease
[Dr. Edward Livingstone Trudeau] well said, There is a rich man’s tuberculosis and a poor man’s tuberculosis. The rich man recovers and the poor man dies. This succinctly expresses the close embrace of economics and pathology.~ Dr. Norman Bethune (born:1890-03-04 died:1939-11-12 at age:49)
Bailing Out the Rich
Essentially what happened across the world, [in the financial crisis] is the private sector’s accumulated debts amongst those who have the most assets were bailed out, reinsured and the incomes were guaranteed at the top end of the income distribution. This ends up in the public balance sheet and somehow this is meant to be paid for with social security cuts and the downsizing of the public sector. So its a giant bait and switch. Now rather that admit to this and say actually what we are doing is bailing out the top end of the income distribution and everyone else has to pay for it. We have this morality tale called out where we all have spent too much. We all need to tighten our belts, which completely ignores the fact We can only all tighten our pants the minute we are all wearing the same pants. And that is further from the truth today its has been possibly in 80 years. You have been completely spun.~ Mark Blyth (born:1967 age:48) Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea
Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.~ Kenneth Ewart Boulding (born:1910-01-18 died:1993-03-18 at age:83)
Professor of Economics
Separation of Ownership and Control
Ownership has been separated from control; and this separation has removed many of the checks which formerly operated to curb the misuse of wealth and power.~ Louis Brandeis (born:1856-11-13 died:1941-10-05 at age:84)
~ Paul Buchheit details
- Only 3% of the very rich are entrepreneurs.
- Only 4 out of 150 countries have more wealth inequality than the USA.
- An amount equal to ½ the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans.
- Corporations stopped paying ½ of their taxes after the recession.
- Just 10 Americans made a total of 50 billion dollars in one year.
- Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100% of the deficit.
- The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 in net worth.
- Elderly and disabled food stamp recipients get $4.30 a day for food.
- Young adults have lost 2/3 of their net worth since 1984.
- The American public paid about 4 trillion dollars to bail out the banks.
Medical Care Overhead
When insurance companies run medical care they take twenty-eight cents of every dollar, but when the government does it they take three cents.~ Senator Jay Bulworth (born:1937-03-30 age:78), played by Warren Beatty
Donating to the Sober
A drunkard would not give money to sober people. He said they would only eat it and buy clothes and send their children to school with it.~ Samuel Butler (born:1835-12-04 died:1902-06-18 at age:66)
Living Beyond Your Income
All progress is based on a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.~ Samuel Butler (born:1835-12-04 died:1902-06-18 at age:66)
Purpose of Unemployment
Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden.~ Orson Scott Card (born:1951-08-24 age:64)
Sleeping the American Dream
The American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.~ George Carlin (born:1937-05-12 died:2008-06-22 at age:71)
Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists.~ Noam Chomsky (born:1928-12-07 age:87)
Who Are the Heroes?
It is pretty ironic that the so called least advantaged people are the ones taking the lead trying to protect all of us, while the richest and most powerful among us are the ones trying to drive the society to destruction.~ Noam Chomsky (born:1928-12-07 age:87)
One of the dirty little secrets of today’s international order is that the rest of the globe could topple the United States from its hegemonic status whenever they so choose with a concerted abandonment of the dollar standard. This is America’s preeminent, inescapable Achilles Heel for now and the foreseeable future.~ W. Clark
Monsanto — through acquisitions and cut-throat business practices — has cornered 90% of the soy, 65% of the corn and 70% of the cotton market and has a rapidly growing presence in the fruit and vegetable market, all without government anti-trust officials raising an eyebrow.~ Adam Claus of Credo
The Invisible Hand
Even the invisible hand does not want to pick beans.~ Stephen Colbert (born:1964-05-13 age:51)
Get a copy of Kevin Trudeau’s book on Natural Cures absolutely free. Must have a credit card to order.~ TV commercial
Obviously this is a scam, possibly there is a $20 S&H charge. If the book is truly free they don’t need your credit card number. Yet these crooks operate openly. We let slide all manner of dishonesty and deception in TV ads. Trudeau is now in jail.
Comfortable, older, rich people fight change. This has always been so.~ Guy Dauncey (born:1948 age:67)
Living Within Your Income
Mr. Micawber was waiting for me within the gate and we went up to his room (top story but one) and cried very much. He solemnly conjured me, I remember, to take warning by his fate; and to observe that if a man had twenty pounds a-year for his income and spent nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence, he would be happy, but that if he spent twenty pounds one he would be miserable.~ Charles Dickens (born:1812-02-07 died:1870-06-09 at age:58) David Copperfield
A billion here and a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money.~ Everett Dirksen (born:1896-01-04 died:1969-09-07 at age:73)
Acting is the most wildly overpaid position imaginable.~ Robert Downey, Jr. (born:1965-04-05 age:50)
Money doesn’t talk, it swears.~ Bob Dylan (born:1941-05-24 age:74)
Most People Will Not Become Rich
But the fact is, most people are not going to be rich some day.~ Roger Ebert (born:1942-06-18 died:2013-04-04 at age:70)
We have no obligation to make history.~ Michael Eisner (born:1942-03-07 age:73), CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Disney
We have no obligation to make art.
We have no obligation to make a statement.
To make money is our only objective.
If you want something else, don’t expect unregulated capitalism to give it to you.
Steps to Financial Hell
The are several well-trodden steps to financial hell. First a country spends far more than it takes in taxes, usually to pay some war.~ Niall Ferguson (born:1964-04-18 age:51) The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
We’ll finance it with tax cuts to the rich.~ Ari Fleischer (born:1960-10-13 age:55) When asked by a reporter how the Bush administration would finance the Iraq war.
It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.~ Henry Ford (born:1863-07-30 died:1947-04-07 at age:83)
Sleeping Under Bridges
The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges.~ Anatole France (born:1844-04-16 died:1924-10-12 at age:80)
Adjusting to Abundance
The fact is that most men are still geared psychologically to the economic facts of scarcity, when the industrial world is in the process of entering a new era of economic abundance.~ Eric Fromm (born:1900-03-23 died:1980-03-18 at age:79) The Psychological Aspects of the Guaranteed Income, The Guaranteed Income
What was it that awakened us to the dangers of this fatal rivalry? A rivalry propelled by forces within and between the two countries? On the decisive forces, everyone must be allowed to make his own selection. Mine number five: They were Khrushchev, Cuba, the Viet Nam War, the growing divisions within the communist world, and the persistent unwillingness of the human mind to accept persuasion that is in conflict with evidence. All who exercise power find this latter obstinacy by far the most annoying tendency with which they have to contend.~ John Kenneth Galbraith (born:1908-10-15 died:1908-10-15 at age:0) Age of Uncertainty: the Fatal Competition
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.~ John Kenneth Galbraith (born:1908-10-15 died:2006-04-29 at age:97)
Supply Side Economics
Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy — what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.~ John Kenneth Galbraith (born:1908-10-15 died:1908-10-15 at age:0) Recession Economics
Sufficiency for Needs
There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.~ Mahatma Gandhi (born:1869-10-02 died:1948-01-30 at age:78)
You have to keep this con even after you take his money. He can’t know you took him.~ Henry Gondorff (born:1925-01-26 died:2008-09-26 at age:83) in The Sting played by Paul Newman
An even greater con is where the mark is fully aware he is being conned, but goes along with it anyway, e.g. casinos, churches, the stock market and women with sugar daddies.
If the need is great enough, (e.g. drowning) or the cost small enough (e.g. a light) then we are all Communists.~ David Graeber (born:1961-02-12 age:54) anthropologist
Too Big To Fail
If they’re [the banks are] too big to fail, they’re too big. In 1911 we broke up Standard Oil — so what happened? The individual parts became more valuable than the whole. Maybe that’s what we need to do.~ Alan Greenspan (born:1926-03-06 age:89)
In nature, when a cell gets too big, it voluntarily splits in two. When a bee hive gets too big it voluntarily spits in two. Banks don’t have the sense to split without encouragement.
The [Iraq and Afghan] war has been a large part of the justification for the Bush administration to run ever-widening budget deficits… The result, according to economists, is a variant on Keynesianism that has particular appeal for Republicans. Instead of growing the government in general — pumping resources into public works, health care and education, say, which would have an immediate knock-on effect on sorely need job creation — the policy focuses on those areas that represent obvious conservative and business-friendly constituencies. Which is to say, the military and, even more specifically, the military contractors that tend to be big contributors to the Republican Party funds.~ Andrew Gumbel 2004-01-06 How the War Machine is Driving the US Economy: Military Keynesianism Might Get Bush Re-elected, But is Starting to Worry Economists
High finance is a form of black magic, namely causing harm at a distance via manipulation of esoteric symbols.~ Geneva Hagen (born:1948-05-09 age:67)
True Cost of Oil
If you factor in the cost of the military to protect our petroleum assets in the middle east, gasoline costs us $7 a gallon. We have to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.~ Gary Hart (born:1936-11-28 age:79) of The Last Word TV show on MSNBC 2010-11-21
What an arrogant imperialistic American! He refers to the oil in the middle east as belonging to the USA. I suppose it does now in a sense, stolen, now that Obama had the big auction to sell off all of Iraq’s oil reserves to American and European oil companies on the very day he announced the pullout.
The Declining Utility of More Stuff
At a certain level, our modern consumer society is built on a truth and a lie. The truth is that if you’re living below Maslow’s Threshold of safety and security, a little bit of stuff can make a huge change in your mental and emotional states and the quality of your life. If you’re outside alone at night, naked and cold, your’re miserable. If somebody brings you inside, gives you clothes to wear, a warm blanket, a fire to sit by, warm food to eat and a comfortable bed to sleep in, then you move from unhappy to happy pretty fast.
The lie is the siren song of our culture. If that much stuff will generate that much instant happiness the lie goes, then ten times as much stuff will make you ten times happier. A hundred times as much stuff will make you a hundred times happier. A thousand times as much stuff will make you a thousand times happier. And it follows that Bill Gates lives in a state of perpetual bliss!~ Thom Hartmann (born:1951-05-07 age:64) Threshold: The Progressive Plan to Pull America Back from the Brink page 14
Many conservatives don’t hold as a primary value the ideas of living in a society in which everyone has choices. They believe in a dominator model — that some people should be the deciders and that others should do what the deciders say. Conservatives who are members of the religious right in particular tend to believe that men are the deciders and the women should abide by their decisions.~ Thom Hartmann (born:1951-05-07 age:64) Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds and Restore America’s Original Vision page 151.
End of the US Petrodollar
The Gulf states, China, Russia, France and Japan intend to bring an end to conducting oil deals in US dollars, switching instead to a basket of currencies, including a new Gulf state currency, by 2018.~ Thom Hartmann (born:1951-05-07 age:64)
Heretofore the USA has enjoyed a huge advantage over other countries through bullying other countries into conducting all their petroleum transactions in US dollars. The following benefits will end with the demise of the US petrodollar:
- US banks get fees every time other countries exchange local currencies to or from US dollars for petroleum purchases or sales.
- When the US prints a trillion dollars of new money, instead of causing rampant inflation, other countries quickly sweep these dollars up for use as petrodollars.
- Petrodollars give the USA a way to effectively tax people in foreign countries. When Americans print money, they get to spend the money and the value of all the foreign petrodollar holdings drop. Foreign petrodollar holders are effectively paying a US wealth tax.
These three factors have given the US economy a free ride. Without a strong manufacturing sector and with dwindling natural resources, it will not be able to remain a superpower once the rest of the world abandons the American petrodollar. That is why the USA invaded Iraq when it went off the petrodollar in 1990 and today threatens Iran for the same reason.
Writing more than two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson argued for a tax on accumulated wealth [aka an estate tax or an IRS (Internal Revenue Service) death tax as the Republican call it] because he knew that if [great] wealth were passed down from one generation to the next, those lucky inheritors would turn into new aristocrats.~ Thom Hartmann (born:1951-05-07 age:64) Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds and Restore America’s Original Vision page 129.
If I have to pay taxes, the very best time to extract them is after I am dead when I am completely anaesthetised.
Taking More That You Need
In some cultures, accumulating more than you need is considered a mental illness.~ Thom Hartmann (born:1951-05-07 age:64)
Conservatives view taxes as a confiscation of wealth: the government is taking my money. For liberals taxes are the price of admission to civilised society — It’s our money. Liberals view taxes as the reasonable and appropriate way to fund an investment in society and the future. From the liberal point of view, if somebody doesn’t want to pay taxes, they’re a freeloader.~ Thom Hartmann (born:1951-05-07 age:64) Cracking the Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds and Restore America’s Original Vision page 95.
Who do the conservatives imagine should pay for all those wars they are so fond of, the nuclear missiles, all the police, the prisons, the water, the sewers, the roads, the border patrols…?
Purpose of Massive Borrowing
Massive borrowing acts as an anesthetic. It prevents us from facing the new limitations we must learn to cope with domestically and abroad. It allows us to live in the illusion that we are not in a state of irrevocable crisis, that our decline is not real and that catastrophe has been averted. But running up the national debt can work only so long.~ Christopher Hedges (born:1956-09-18 age:59) The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress
Taxes are for the Little People
We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.~ Leona Helmsley (born:1920-07-04 died:2007-08-20 at age:87)
She was sentenced in 1992 to four years in prison and fined $7.1 million for tax evasion. She was correct, except she was not big enough to get way without paying taxes. It sounds funny stated baldly like this, but this is basic Republican policy.
Effect of China
If China were to have even a 10% grain shortfall, it would have to buy up 25% of the world export grain market to compensate. Think what that would do to grain prices!~ Thomas Homer-Dixon (born:1956 age:59) in Energy and Climate Change: A Sustainable Future?
Blind to Ecology
Around the world people are dying, ecosystems are crumbling and economies face ruin because of climate change and all Bush and the oil industry can think of is how to maximise their profits and continue business as usual.~ Paul Horsman , Greenpeace spokesperson
~ Harper’s Index 2009-09
- Percentage change since 2002 in average premiums paid to large US health-insurance companies: +87%
- Percentage change in the profits of the top ten insurance companies: +428%
- Chances that an American bankrupted by medical bills has health insurance: 7 in 10
Americans have been so bamboozled by the health care industry that they fight tooth and nail to pay three times what anyone else pays for inferior care. The USA ranks 51 in the world. Even Cuba is better at 42.
Avoiding a Monetary Aristocracy
There is an artificial aristocracy, founded on birth and privilege, without virtue or talents… The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government and provisions should be made to prevent its ascendency.~ Thomas Jefferson (born:1743-04-13 died:1826-07-04 at age:83)
Jefferson’s plan was for estate taxes or what Republicans call death taxes. This will help create a level playing field, rather than one where a few rich families dominated the country by generations of accumulated wealth purely from investment. After you are dead is the least painful time to pay your taxes.
Debt = Swindling
I sincerely believe… that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.~ Thomas Jefferson (born:1743-04-13 died:1826-07-04 at age:83) to John Taylor, 1816
A debt of service is due from every man to his country proportional to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him.~ Thomas Jefferson (born:1743-04-13 died:1826-07-04 at age:83)
Jefferson’s Notion Of the End Of America
The end of democracy and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.~ Thomas Jefferson (born:1743-04-13 died:1826-07-04 at age:83)
By Jefferson’s thinking the USA died some years ago.
If the people ever allow the banks to issue their currency, the banks and corporations which will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered..~ Thomas Jefferson (born:1743-04-13 died:1826-07-04 at age:83)
Banks don’t literally print money, but they create trillions of dollars by lending money they don’t actually have.
Love of Money
The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyment and realities of life — will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.~ John Maynard Keynes (born:1883-06-05 died:1946-04-21 at age:62)
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…
If it sounds too good to be true, it is.~ Karen Kuvaas , (born:1947-06-17 age:68) Mayor of Narvik, Norway, whose city was badly ripped off by Wall Street subprime mortgage loan scams.
Money = Madness
Money is our madness, our vast collective madness.~ David Herbert Lawrence (born:1885-09-11 died:1930-03-02 at age:44)
Nothing really matters but money.~ Ken Lay (born:1942-04-15 age:73)
Lay is like a teenager who became obsessed by a video game. The catch is, his obsession harmed hundreds of millions of people. In primitive societies, people had to carry their possessions around. This put a reasonable limit on them. Today there is no limit.
Legal System Works Only for the Rich
The legal system doesn’t work. Or more accurately, it doesn’t work for anyone except those with the most resources. Not because the system is corrupt. I don’t think our legal system (at the federal level, at least) is at all corrupt. I mean simply because the costs of our legal system are so astonishingly high that justice can practically never be done.~ Lawrence Lessig (born:1961-06-03 age:54) Free Culture 2004
No insurance company can legally sell you fire protection an another person’s house, but the financial markets can sell you default insurance on another person’s investments.~ Michael Lewis (born:1960-10-15 age:55) Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World
If you could buy fire insurance on someone else’s house, you would have nothing to lose and everything to gain by it going up in flames. This would be too much of a temptation for arson. The same applies for securities.
Overspending on War
I want to know why there is always so much money for war and so little for human condition. If we launch a war on Iraq, the world will find $7 billion, $8 billion, $10 billion, a month for bombing, but there’s always a huge shortage of funds required to fight AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), malaria, tuberculosis.~ Stephen Lewis (born:1937-11-11 age:78)
Lincoln’s View of the End of America
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.~ Abraham Lincoln (born:1809-02-12 died:1865-04-15 at age:56)
Lincoln might be puzzled at how his prediction came about, with groups of financial corporations hijacking the government with its flow of tax income, setting up legal cons to extract still more money from the people and dismantling the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The supreme court banned campaign contribution limits. Americans quietly surrendered democracy for an oligarchy, a corporatocracy. Even though corporations are mini-tyrannies, most American want them to run things rather democracies. Christians breached the constitutional wall of church and state and gained the right to force their religion on others and to persecute homosexuals. With the Patriot Act, out of exaggerated fear of terrorists, Americans meekly surrendered their constitutional rights to privacy, habeas corpus, right to a trial… Spending on pointless wars put the country so badly in debt, it will inevitably go bankrupt. Jeb Bush said We must create a [economic] crisis in order to ensure that there is no alternative to a smaller government. So bankruptcy is the intention of American Republicans. Americans single-handedly destroyed their own country.
Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.~ John Locke (born:1632-08-29 died:1704-10-28 at age:72)
Purpose of Government
Government has no other end, but the preservation of property.~ John Locke (born:1632-08-29 died:1704-10-28 at age:72) 1795-04-20
This the Republican philosophy baldly stated. They see the rôle of government is to help the wealthy hang onto their wealth, (or increase it), period.
The Benefit of Advertising
Advertising has a beneficial function. It defines ideals of how products should work. When the ads first come out, the products behave nothing like the way they are advertised. However, the ads create the expectation of how the products should work. To satisfy the consumer demand created by advertising, eventually the providers evolve their products to meet the expectations.~ James Loewen (born:1954-03-26 age:61) photographer
There is an evil which ought to be guarded against, in the indefinite accumulation of property, from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by… corporations. The power of all corporations aught to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.~ James Madison (born:1751-03-16 died:1836-06-28 at age:85) 1817
Similarly, estate (death) taxes are a good thing because they prevent a landed nobility class. Further, if you have to pay taxes, the least painful time is when you are dead, or when you have just received an inheritance windfall.
History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit and violent means possible, to maintain their control over governments, by controlling money and its issuance.~ James Madison (born:1751-03-16 died:1836-06-28 at age:85)
How little has changed!
Slice of the Wealth Pie
In 1979 the top 1% of Americans got 8% of the economic pie. In 2008 it grew to 23%.~ Bill Maher (born:1956-01-20 age:60)
The total world supply of mined gold would fill about three Olympic-sized swimming pools.~ Brian McKenna (born:1945-08-08 age:70) The Secret World Of Gold
Rich Criticising the Poor
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed and well-fed.~ Herman Melville (born:1819-08-01 died:1891-09-28 at age:72)
Not Rich, Richer
Men do not desire to be rich, only to be richer than other men.~ John Stuart Mill (born:1806-05-20 died:1873-05-08 at age:66)
Value ≠ Profit
Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.~ Arthur Miller (born:1915-10-17 died:2005-02-10 at age:89)
War Is Bad For the Economy
War can really cause no economic boom, at least not directly, since an increase in wealth never does result from destruction of goods.~ Ludwig von Mise (born:1881-09-29 died:1973-10-10 at age:92)
Dissent ≠ Disloyalty
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.~ Edward R. Murrow (born:1908-04-25 died:1965-04-27 at age:57)
Coddled Drug Companies
The lucrative U.S. drug industry — coddled with tax credits, free transfer of almost-ready-to-market drugs developed with U.S. taxpayer dollars via the National Institutes of Health — charges Americans the highest prices for drugs in the world and still wants more profits. Drug companies no longer produce many necessary medicines like penicillin in the U.S., preferring to pay slave wages abroad to import drugs back into the U.S.~ Ralph Nader (born:1934-02-27 age:81)
In addition, the drugs manufactured in India and the drug testing are poor quality since they are not subject to FDA (Federal Drug Administration) inspection.
Only $40 Billion
In 1998 only $40 billion US was needed to bring basic health, education, clear water, sanitation, to the world’s poorest citizens. Gates alone could afford that and still have $11 billion left; he owns more than the 100 million poorest American citizen combined.~ United Nations United Nations Human Development Report 1998-09-09
Stimulus = Spending
What do you think a stimulus is? It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.~ Barack Obama (born:1961-08-04 age:54)
The richest 62 people own as much wealth as half the world’s population. Almost half the super-rich individuals are from the United States.~ Oxfam
How could this wealth gap have come about? These 62 people tend to be unusually unethical, greedy, focussed and cunning, but that is not enough to explain such a stupendous gap. Our economic system is designed to funnel even more wealth to the wealthy, even without effort on their part.
Greed = Good
Greed is good.~ Kevin O’Leary (born:1954-07-09 age:61)
This is the capitalist philosophy in a nutshell. Take from those who have little. Overconsume. Value nothing but money and power. From his picture, it looks as if O’Leary will probably die young of cardiac trouble from overeating. This the opposite of pretty well every religious and rational philosophy. It its an utter dead end, both for its adherents and for the planet they destroy in the process. O’Leary is like a child who thinks Dungeons & Dragons is the meaning of life.
Global Wealth Gap
The world’s 300 richest people are worth more than the world’s poorest 3,000,000,000. Between 1983 and 1997, 85.5% of the increase in America’s wealth was captured by the richest 1%. Overall US income rocketed — of which 80% of Americans saw 0%.~ Greg Palast (born:1952 age:63)
Dispossessing the Rich
Make the people sovereign and the poor will use the machinery of government to dispossess the rich.~ C. Northcote Parkinson (born:1909-07-30 died:1993-03-09 at age:83)
This sounds logical, but if you look at what actually happens, he should have said, Make the people sovereign and the rich will use the machinery of government to dispossess the poor. Northcode underestimated the power of money to persuade people to vote against their own interests.
Expenditure rises to meet income.~ C. Northcote Parkinson (born:1909-07-30 died:1993-03-09 at age:83)
It has become painfully obvious that our most important laws are written by corporate lobbyists who finance the political campaigns of those officials. While polls show that the majority of Americans want to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, raise corporate taxes, offer better education to their children and guarantee health care for all citizens, our policy-makers implement policies that accomplish the opposite, choosing to support Big Business rather than the average citizen.~ John Perkins (born:1945-01-28 age:71) Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the Global Economy IMPLODED — and How to Fix It
Privileged = Badly Behaved
Privileged people behaved consistently worse than others in a range of situations, with a greater tendency to lie, cheat, take things meant for others, cut off other road users, not stop for pedestrians on crossings and endorse unethical behaviour.~ Paul Piff (born:1981 age:34) source source
What would you expect? Privileged people see themselves as privileged in all aspects, exempt from the restrictions that apply to others.
Money = Good
So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason.~ Ayn Rand (born:1905-02-02 died:1982-03-06 at age:77)
In her view, the factory owner completely owns all goods produced, even though he lifted not a finger to produce them. He has a duty to screw his employers and customers. His ability to control others is a measure of his strength and virtue. He has zero obligation to the widows and orphans and disabled people his business creates. Whatever the law allows, he is obligated to exploit. She considers the highest virtue is absolute selfishness and maximal exploitation of others — the morality of the Serengeti.
Source of Money
When you were a child your parents taught you not to take money from strangers and not to take money from your friends. Who does that leave? Known enemies!~ Sondra Ray
Advantage of Death
Embalming can make you look younger.~ Funeral Industry representative
Enemies of Peace
We [have] had to struggle with the old enemies of peace. Business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred.~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt (born:1882-01-30 died:1945-04-12 at age:63) 32nd president of the USA.
The test of our progress is not whether we add more abundance to those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt (born:1882-01-30 died:1945-04-12 at age:63) 32nd president of the USA.
A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.~ Theodore Roosevelt (born:1858-10-27 died:1919-01-06 at age:60)
I don’t pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.~ Theodore Roosevelt (born:1858-10-27 died:1919-01-06 at age:60) 26th president of the USA.
Issuing the Money
Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes its laws.~ Mayer Amschel Rothschild (born:1744-02-23 died:1812-09-19 at age:68)
Market Economy = Invention
The market economy is not a law of nature… it is an invention.~ Wade Rowland (born:1944 age:71)
To Prove my sincerity, you are not sending me any money. Because most of this scam is about sending money.~ email scam
This has to be the most incompetent email scam I ever received, supposedly from an American.
It appears that no one is so unfortunate that he or she is exempt from spending cuts, while at the same time no one is so fortunate as to be ineligible for a tax cut.~ Jonathan Schell (born:1943-08-21 died:2014-03-25 at age:70)
I wonder if the unfortunate and fortunate should be swapped.
The bottom 50% of Americans own 1% of the wealth.~ Ed Schultz (born:1954-01-24 age:62)
If the government were composed entirely of merchants, it would be the worst of all governments for any country whatsoever.~ Adam Smith (born:1723-06-16 died:1790-07-17 at age:67) author of Wealth of Nations Republicans misrepresent Smith as advocating unregulated capitalism. He was horrified by the crookedness of the Glasgow merchant monopolists and felt the government had to engage in anti-trust activity to counter its effects.
We have socialised loss and privatised gain.~ Eliot Spitzer (born:1959-06-10 age:56), former Governor of New York.
Why Socialism Failed
Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.~ John Steinbeck (born:1902-02-27 died:1968-12-20 at age:66)
Regulation Needed For Market Efficiency
My research on the economics of information showed that whenever information is imperfect, in particular when there are information asymmetries — where some individuals know something that others do not (in other words, always) — the reason that the invisible hand seems invisible is that it is not there. Without appropriate government regulation and intervention, markets do not lead to economic efficiency.~ Joseph E. Stiglitz (born:1943-02-09 age:73), Nobel Prize Winning Economist. Making Globalization Work
If you switch from taxing work and taxing savings to taxing pollution overall wellbeing would actually be enhanced, we would do less of the bad things and more of the good things and societies would be better off.~ Joseph E. Stiglitz (born:1943-02-09 age:73), Nobel Prize Winning Economist.
Right to Make Money Trumps Everything
We place such a high value on our legal right to make money, to make a profit, that we are basically willing to destroy the planet and destroy our civilisation as we know it in order to let them make their money.~ Mark Sundeen (born:1970 age:45) author of The Man Who Quit Money
Amen! It is as though the pipeline companies think they have some inherent right to place pipelines wherever they please and if land contains minerals, there is no other possibility but to mine it and leave the mess for others to clean up over the coming millennia. The right to a profit trumps every other consideration.
Obamacare means Less Goes to Medical Care
I will not hire any more workers and I am considering cutting the hours of employees because of Obamacare.~ Zane Tankel (born:1929 age:86) Owner of 40 Applebee’s restaurants, not the whole chain.
Capitalists claim that the purpose of life is to make money. They tell me it is necessary to pretend the customer is always right. Then why do they cut their throats like this public like this so often? Such remarks will strongly offend 50% of their customers and will produce a mild nod of approval of the other 50% and complete indifference in the remaining 50%. In other words, the crack will tend to drive away half the customers and have a mild positive effect on the other half and no effect on the rest. When someone trashes your beliefs, you remember. When something repeats something you already believe as gospel truth, it is not a significant event. Applebee’s is a public company. Zane Zankel is not just burning his own money, he is harming the reputation of other Applebee owners. He will regret this when he sees the sales figures. Unfortunately, the entire Applebee’s chain including his own employees will suffer too from his lack of restraint. Lawyers will be working overtime at Applebees to see how they can get rid of Tankel or at least shut him up as a company spokesperson. That’s the sort of remark he should make over a beer, not with the press in earshot.
Republican Monetary Philosophy
I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. I have a problem, I’ll get a grant. I’m homeless, the government must house me. They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.~ Margaret Thatcher (born:1925-10-13 died:2013-04-08 at age:87)
On the other paw if a Fortune 500 corporation, or a bank or a billionaire things they deserve to be more profitable, Margaret was willing to throw people under the bus to solve it. Her government created an economy that siphoned money from the poor and showered it on the rich. It allowed corporations to destroy housing to crank up the rents and render people homeless. In her view, correcting the imbalance was not a government problem. From her point of view, there was no problem. Only the wealthy were worthy of the necessities of life in her view. It was up to the poor who had been deprived of nearly all their resources to fight back.
Abundance Causes Unemployment
Unemployment rates must�be expected to rise. This unemployment will be concentrated among the unskilled, the older worker and the youngster entering the labor force. Minority groups will also be hard hit. No conceivable rate of economic growth will avoid this result.~ Robert Theobald (born:1929-06-11 died:1999-11-27 at age:70)
Greed for the Sake Of Cruelty
The historian of the 21st century will still be puzzled as he looks back on the nineteen-sixties, for he will never understand our point of view. He will wonder how we could tolerate an exploited minority when it was possible for the remainder of the population to provide for it without damaging their own economic position. He will ask how we could accept a society in which those with money had relatively few unsatisfied needs and those with many unsatisfied needs had no money.~ Robert Theobald (born:1929-06-11 died:1999-11-27 at age:70)
What Gold is For
The desire for gold is the desire to make others do what they do not want to do.~ Emile de Tocqueville (born:1805-07-30 died:1859-04-16 at age:53)
Legal ≠ Right
Let’s put it this way: if you need to ask a lawyer whether what you do is right or not, you are morally corrupt. Let’s not go there. We don’t base our morality on law.~ Linus Benedict Torvalds (born:1969-12-28 age:46) 2004-08-26, creator of Linux
Amass a store of gold and jade and no one can protect it.~ Lao Tsu Tao Te Ching
We have the best government that money can buy.~ Mark Twain (born:1835-11-30 died:1910-04-21 at age:74)
Fish Out Water Looks at Money
If money were made of iron and could be converted into knives, axes and chisels there would be some sense in placing a value on it; but as it is, I see none. If a man has more yams than he wants, let him exchange some of them away for pork… Certainly money is much handier and more convenient but then, as it will not spoil by being kept, people will store it up instead of sharing it out as a chief ought to do, and thus become selfish… I understand now very well what it is that makes the papālangi [white men] so selfish — it is this money!~ Fīnau Ulukālala
It is always sound business to take any obtainable net gain, at any cost and at any risk to the rest of the community.~ Thorstein Veblen (born:1857-07-30 died:1929-08-03 at age:72)
Definition of Invention
Invention is the mother of necessity.~ Thorstein Veblen (born:1857-07-30 died:1929-08-03 at age:72)
The capitalist version of the old saw.
Every four years the naïve half who vote are encouraged to believe that if we can elect a really nice man or woman President everything will be all right. But it won’t be. Any individual who is able to raise $25 million [inflated to $1 billion in 2008] to be considered presidential is not going to be much use to the people at large. He will represent oil, or aerospace, or banking, or whatever moneyed entities are paying for him. Certainly he will never represent the people of the country and they know it. Hence, the sense of despair throughout the land as incomes fall, businesses fail and there is no redress.~ Gore Vidal (born:1925-10-03 died:2012-07-30 at age:86)
Another of our agreed-upon fantasies is that we do not have a class system in the United States. The Few who control the Many through Opinion have simply made themselves invisible. They have convinced us that we are a classless society in which everyone can make it.~ Gore Vidal (born:1925-10-03 died:2012-07-30 at age:86)
Democracy = Bribery
Our form of democracy is bribery, on the highest scale.~ Gore Vidal (born:1925-10-03 died:2012-07-30 at age:86)
The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity — much less dissent.~ Gore Vidal (born:1925-10-03 died:2012-07-30 at age:86)
End of the American Empire
On 1985-09-16, when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation, the American Empire died.~ Gore Vidal (born:1925-10-03 died:2012-07-30 at age:86)
Taxes With Benefits
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.~ Gore Vidal (born:1925-10-03 died:2012-07-30 at age:86)
Invisible coins will lead to the triumph of the many who spend them.~ Leonardo da Vinci (born:1452-04-15 died:1519-05-02 at age:67)
Automation means a job-free future. Automation always destroys more jobs than it creates. This has always been so.~ Vivek Wadhwa
Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.~ George Washington (born:1732-02-22 died:1799-12-14 at age:67)
Advertising = Lying
Advertising is legalized lying.~ H. G. Wells (born:1866-09-21 died:1946-08-13 at age:79)
Wealth, in the migrant vision, although coveted and eagerly sought, brings only transient pleasure, for prosperity lies forever ahead, beyond the horizon. For those trapped in such addictive striving, more is never enough.~ Dr. Peter C. Whybrow American Mania: When More is Not Enough
One Dollar One Vote
Whereas democracy strives for one person — one vote, with globalization the operating reality has become one dollar — one vote.~ Dr. Peter C. Whybrow American Mania: When More is Not Enough
And now with the supreme court ruling that campaign contribution limits are unconstitutional, it is official.
The fear is that the financial dominance of the large multinational corporations will squeeze our local entrepreneurs, creating a lifestyle that depends on wage earnings from centralized industrial conglomerates rather than from community-based economies. Because such centralized monopolies are faceless and anonymous, the argument goes, they are destructive of a civil society — defined as a stable human community based on collaboration and mutual caring — replacing it with the competitive law of the jungle, where the biggest and most powerful dominate. Individual cooperation and creativity — the foundation of artistic expression, craftsmanship and local market-based economies — are devalued in favor of mass production, shifting the cultural emphasis away from individual preference toward what Alexis de Tocqueville described as an imperfect substitute designed for a broad audience.~ Dr. Peter C. Whybrow American Mania: When More is Not Enough
If as a culture America continues to reinforce self-interest at the expense of social reinvestment, then predictably our cultural-economic system will run away to greed.~ Dr. Peter C. Whybrow American Mania: When More is Not Enough
Selfish behaviors are reward driven and innate, wired deeply into the survival mechanisms of the primitive brain and when consistently reinforced, they will run away to greed, with its associated craving for money, food, or power. On the other hand, the self-restraint and the empathy for others that are so important in fostering physical and mental health are learned behaviors--largely functions of the new human cortex and thus culturally dependent. These social behaviors are fragile and learned by imitation, much as we learn language. To be sustained across generations they must be carefully nurtured by extended families and viable communities. Inadvertently, in our frenzied search for profit and economic efficiency we have built a consumer society dominated by centralized megamarkets that magnifies desire and minimizes collective responsibility, eroding the small market-based economies that once provided stable and meaningful employment. Our ill health and growing discomfort are in step with these social trends.~ Dr. Peter C. Whybrow American Mania: When More is Not Enough
Another consequence of the increasing consolidation of commerce and the destruction of small community-based markets is that the distribution of wealth in America is becoming badly skewed. This trend and it shows little sign of abating, fosters envy, the debt accumulation and the demand-driven work environments that fuel the discomforting frenzy experienced by many American families. The result — again predictable from knowledge of the dynamics of human behavior — is that the delicate balance between individual desire and social responsibility — the bedrock of a healthy society — is increasingly threatened.~ Dr. Peter C. Whybrow American Mania: When More is Not Enough
There is nothing to which men cling more tenaciously than the privileges of class.~ Leonard Sidney Woolf (born:1880-11-25 died:1969-08-14 at age:88)
The idea that the world must be run by the stock market is as mad as any other fundamentalist delusion, Islamic, Christian, or Marxist.~ Ronald Wright (born:1948 age:67) Massey Lectures in a 2004 Massey Lecture
The best lack all conviction, while the worst~ William Butler Yeats (born:1865-06-13 died:1939-01-28 at age:73) The Second Coming
Are full of passionate intensity.
Tea Partyers who could not run a candy store are trying to run the country. Economics professors are afraid to speak out against wealth grabs by the wealthiest 2% and corporations.
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