To Republicans who are Interested in Fewer Rights for Women:
Fact: According to Forbes magazine, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark are the 5 best countries for women. They are also 5 of the most stable economies with the highest standards of living in the world.
Fact: Mali, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Pakistan, and Yemen are the worst countries for women. I think we have a vague idea how bad their standards of living are.
Now, let’s do some simple math: when you alienate and discriminate against half of your population, you lose the earning power of half your population, right? Right. The U.S. saw the power of that when they finally started doing the reverse and letting women work during WWII. The economy boomed because all hands were on deck. And as the economy expanded post-war, many of those women were still needed in the workforce, eventually leading to the Feminist Movement in the 1960s. Also, I shouldn’t even need to use an example, as this is simple logic. “Two heads are better than one” has become a popular adage because it’s true.
And I know some of you are doing this because you just want “The Good Old Days” back so you can exist in a Norman Rockwell painting, smoking your pipe next to Santa holding a Coca Cola while your wife cooks and everyone quietly fears you—er, I mean, loves you!! Well, here’s the deal: it’s too late. Not only that, even if you somehow magically were able to reverse the changes/progress we’ve made, it would all repeat itself. And I’ll play the realism game here. Because eventually, war would happen, as it always does, and you guys once again would need us ladies to shirk the apron and pick up the welding torch, and then inevitably, we’d want our independence back again, and the whole cycle would repeat itself.
And right now, all women want is for you guys to back off. That’s it. In terms of not covering birth control because it’s against someone’s beliefs, I’m calling B.S. because holy crap there are a lot of women who take birth control for everything from acne to bad cramps to ovarian cysts. Something tells me that Viagra, which is unequivocally covered, isn’t as helpful. Plus, when you’re 65, for all intents and purposes, your penis isn’t supposed to be working as well—you know, you’re kind of going against nature, there, buddy, so I don’t see how that’s too much of a medical condition. Plus, something tells me that if male birth control came out first, it would be totally covered.
(Also, real quick, why are you so keen to talk about my body when it’s about birth control, but you get grossed out and want me to go away forever if I so much as mention my period?)
In terms of abortions, just quit it. We all know you don’t actually care about it and that you’re just trying to use it as a tool to obtain dominance over women once again, as well as to create a “wag the dog” scenario so we don’t pay attention to the bigger injustices you’re trying to run by us, like how you’re all bought and paid for. Plus, when you knock up your mistress and you’re up for re-election, I bet you’d change your mind.
And you’ve blown it for yourself big-time on the economic argument. The amount of money you’ve put into arguing over something that never needed to be a political platform has far outweighed the cost of birth control and abortions combined, and I’d like you to stop wasting my tax money, please. And while I’m at it, same with gay marriage. If I were your teacher I’d tell you to stop messing around and get back to your homework.
Has nothing I’ve said hit?
Ok, how about this: Mali, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Pakistan, and Yemen all have prominent MUSLIM POPULATIONS.
Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses, and what that means for the economy
HAHA NO MONAY!!!!!
Maybe our generation aren’t buying houses and cars because EVERYTHING IS SO FUCKED
You want us to actually talk to bank people and get home loans and auto loans? They are still fucking us! Any time I go into a bank, I feel disgusted. You want me to do MORE business with the who want to charge me 5 dollars for every single swipe of my debit card? Get fucked!
You think I’m gonna buy a car? A car? Where am I gonna get the money for a car and the insurance and the insurance against the insurance company if God forbid they decide to do the same things they did to the poor Fisher family and countless others? And fucking GAS? Are you crazy? The planet is dying, and you want me to buy gas at $FUCK.YOU/gallon?
In the past 5 years since the economy fell apart, we’ve been adapting. We’ve been listening to countless horror stories of those who made the risk. Those who saved and did it right, and still ended up with an inferior product with inferior service that RUINS YOUR LIFE. It’s not like ordering a pizza, and instead of sausage, you get cheese. It’s like ordering a pizza and then your credit is ruined and you are flat broke. The pains of acquisition aren’t worth it if it can all be taken away like a bureaucratic fart in the bathtub. It would be smarter to save our money for tickets to god-damn Mars than to invest in these hideous, broken systems.
We aren’t cheap. We fucking hate doing business with you people.
All these pieces on Millennials are so mired in confusion since we don’t even trust journalists any more. The news, our entire lives, has been scary. Think about being 8 and processing the deaths of abortion doctors or homegrown terrorism. Now try to process the news when every asshole on camera just lies. The news hasn’t had an ounce of truth in it for 10 years. Can you not understand how much we don’t trust anyone who is older than us? How can you trust anybody when the president and vice-president of the United States lied to the Secretary of State so they could START THE WRONG WAR!
Also, that graphic? Is that what you think we all look like? Are you fucking kidding me, Atlantic?
I hope they never find out how to market to us. I hope we splinter so much that companies like Ford will have to make a decent product instead of asking the Vomit Spouts that created Jersey Shore how to create MORE fantasies about how great THINGS will make your life. We don’t attach to things because things break. We saw everything break.
But, that’s just me.
(Chart) U.S. Wealth Distribution: Perception vs. Reality
The most interesting thing about this is that even with a completely underestimated perception of the actual wealth inequality in this country, most Americans still think the wealth should be redistributed more equally. If that’s not inchoate socialism, I don’t know what is.
xkcd did a great chart visualizing weal distribution in our country. The median US after-tax household income is just shy of $40,000 per year; for the top 10% of earners, median household income tops $200k per year. Five times the median. Does that seem like it encourages a healthy economy?
The War Against Youth - The recession didn't gut the prospects of American young people. The Baby Boomers took care of that.
Twenty-five years ago young Americans had a chance.
In 1984, American breadwinners who were sixty-five and over made ten times as much as those under thirty-five. The year Obama took office, older Americans made almost forty-seven times as much as the younger generation.
This bleeding up of the national wealth is no accounting glitch, no anomalous negative bounce from the recent unemployment and mortgage crises, but rather the predictable outcome of thirty years of economic and social policy that has been rigged to serve the comfort and largesse of the old at the expense of the young.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, human potential has been consistently growing, generating greater material wealth, more education, wider opportunities — a vast and glorious liberation of human potential. In all that time, everyone, even followers of the most corrupt or most evil of ideologies, believed they were working for a better tomorrow. Not now. The angel of progress has suddenly vanished from the scene. Or rather, the angel of progress has been sent away.
Nobody ever talks about generational conflict. Who wants to bring up that the old are eating the young at the dinner table? How are you going to mention that to your boss? If you’re a politician, how are you going to tell your donors? Even the Occupy Wall Street crowd, while rejecting the modes and rhetoric and institutional support of Boomer progressives, shied away from articulating the fundamental distinction that fills their spaces with crowds: young against old.
The Difference Between Private and Public Morality
Republicans have morality upside down. Santorum, Gingrich, and even Romney are barnstorming across the land condemning gay marriage, abortion, out-of-wedlock births, access to contraception, and the wall separating church and state.
But America’s problem isn’t a breakdown in private morality. It’s a breakdown in public morality. What Americans do in their bedrooms is their own business. What corporate executives and Wall Street financiers do in boardrooms and executive suites affects all of us.
There is moral rot in America but it’s not found in the private behavior of ordinary people. It’s located in the public behavior of people who control our economy and are turning our democracy into a financial slush pump. It’s found in Wall Street fraud, exorbitant pay of top executives, financial conflicts of interest, insider trading, and the outright bribery of public officials through unlimited campaign “donations.”
Political scientist James Q. Wilson, who died last week, noted that a broken window left unattended signals that no one cares if windows are broken. It becomes an ongoing invitation to throw more stones at more windows, ultimately undermining moral standards of the entire community
The windows Wall Street broke in the years leading up to the crash of 2008 remain broken. Despite financial fraud on a scale not seen in this country for more than eighty years, not a single executive of a major Wall Street bank has been charged with a crime.
Since 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed 25 cases against mortgage originators and securities firms. A few are still being litigated but most have been settled. They’ve generated almost $2 billion in penalties and other forms of monetary relief, according to the Commission. But almost none of this money has come out of the pockets of CEOs or other company officials; it has come out of the companies — or, more accurately, their shareholders. Federal prosecutors are now signaling they won’t even bring charges in the brazen case of MF Global, which lost billions of dollars that were supposed to be kept safe.
Nor have any of the lawyers, accountants, auditors, or top executives of credit-rating agencies who aided and abetted Wall Street financiers been charged with doing anything wrong.
And the new Dodd-Frank law that was supposed to prevent this from happening again is now so riddled with loopholes, courtesy of Wall Street lobbyists, that it’s almost a sham. The Street prevented the Glass-Steagall Act from being resurrected, and successfully fought against limits on the size of the largest banks.
Windows started breaking years ago. Enron’s court-appointed trustee reported that bankers from Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase didn’t merely look the other way; they dreamed up and sold Enron financial schemes specifically designed to allow Enron to commit fraud. Arthur Andersen, Enron’s auditor, was convicted of obstructing justice by shredding Enron documents, yet most of the Andersen partners who aided and abetted Enron were never punished.
Americans are entitled to their own religious views about gay marriage, contraception, out-of-wedlock births, abortion, and God. We can be truly free only if we’re confident we can go about our private lives without being monitored or intruded upon by government, and can practice whatever faith (or lack of faith) we wish regardless of the religious beliefs of others. A society where one set of religious views is imposed on a large number of citizens who disagree with them is not a democracy. It’s a theocracy.
But abuses of public trust such as we’ve witnessed for years on the Street and in the executive suites of our largest corporations are not matters of private morality. They’re violations of public morality. They undermine the integrity of our economy and democracy. They’ve led millions of Americans to conclude the game is rigged.
Regressive Republicans have no problem hurling the epithets “shameful,” “disgraceful,” and “contemptible” at private moral decisions they disagree with. Rush Limbaugh calls a young woman a “slut” just for standing up for her beliefs about private morality.
Republicans have staked out the moral low ground. It’s time for Democrats and progressives to stake out the moral high ground, condemning the abuses of economic power and privilege that characterize this new Gilded Age – business deals that are technically legal but wrong because they exploit the trust that investors or employees have place in those businesses, pay packages that are ludicrously high compared with the pay of average workers, political donations so large as to breed cynicism about the ability of their recipients to represent the public as a whole.
An economy is built on a foundation of shared morality. Adam Smith never called himself an economist. The separate field of economics didn’t exist in the eighteenth century. He called himself a moral philosopher. And the book he was proudest of wasn’t “The Wealth of Nations,” but his “Theory of Moral Sentiments” – about the ties that bind people together into societies.
Twice before progressive have saved capitalism from its own excesses by appealing to public morality and common sense. First in the early 1900s, when the captains for American industry had monopolized the economy into giant trusts, American politics had sunk into a swamp of patronage and corruption, and many factory jobs were unsafe – entailing long hours of work at meager pay and often exploiting children. In response, we enacted antitrust, civil service reforms, and labor protections.
And then again in 1930s after the stock market collapsed and a large portion of American workforce was unemployed. Then we regulated banks and insured deposits, cleaned up stock market, and provided social insurance to the destitute.
It’s time once again to save capitalism from its own excesses — and to base a new era of reform on public morality and common sense.
“Leon Cooperman the Omega Advisors Inc. chairman and former CEO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s money-management unit…. [wrote that] Capitalists “are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be….’
“[Now] Cooperman, 68, said in an interview that he can’t walk through the dining room of St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, without being thanked for speaking up. At least four people expressed their gratitude on Dec. 5 while he was eating an egg-white omelet, he said.”
Max Abelson wrote a story today for Bloomberg about the hurt feelings of many bankers and CEOs who feel they are for some weird reason being cast as the villains in
“A Christmas Carol”the bleak economy.
Allow me to tell you a story.
At one point on my book tour, I was approached in the airport by a former banker.
He told me he was a life long Democrat and a huge fan of The Daily Show, but he also felt that Jon and the show had it all wrong.
(Because he was a multi millionaire, he has the right to just start critizing anyone in the airport he wants.)
He said that the bankers were not the bad guys in the subprime mortgage scandal and near financial collapse that they had everything to do with. They were just doing what the government allowed them to do.*
And so: he felt it was unfair and hurtful to make the bankers out to be the bad guys.
I was very happy to finally have the chance to say this to someone’s face:
I told him that as a freelance person, I had no idea how much money I would make this year. I never do.
But during the previous few years, due to hard work and exceedingly strange circumstance, I had made more money than I had ever conceived of making in my life. I had also paid a huge bucket of local, state, and city taxes, and that was JUST FINE WITH ME.
Because I knew that I had very little to worry about when it came to providing for my family and me this holiday season. And I suspected he didn’t as well.
But there are many, many people who are VERY worried about this. And out of consideration to them, it seemed to me a little unseemly for wealthy to care so much about the names they might be called.
“From my point of view,” I said, “I think you and me and other wealthy people should just suck it in and take it.”
I have never said anything like this out loud to a stranger before in my life, never mind a stranger who has money; but as I am now a Deranged Millionaire, I now have that right to speak my mind.
Naturally, he just ignored what I said and offered to consult on the Daily Show if we wanted.
LOOK: I do not mean to suggest that anyone in this piece is a monster. I am sure they are smart, innovative, and good to their families and employees. I respect success IMMENSELY and I am a capitalist.
However, I know better now than ever that wealth deranges.
It disconnects you from the world. It inflates your self-regard. It allows you to believe that four people congratulating you at your country club makes you a GODDAMN HERO OF AMERICA.
And it leads you to say things like former banker John A. Allison said in the article linked:
“Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive.”
Because of course, you non-millionaires are not productive, and not worthy.
I know this from experience: when wealth takes hold, the brain creates a new reality in order to explain your new fortune over the poor fortunes of others.
It is not enough to say, as some of these men do, “I am wealthy, and I got some lucky advantages, but I also worked really hard and found some opportunities, and I am proud of it.”
You must instead say: “my extreme wealth proves that I DESERVE to be wealthy, because I am better.”
This logical fallacy is the core of Social Darwinism, but you’d think after a while that Homo Robber Baronensis would have bred some thicker skin.
But it’s like no one around these rich and powerful men have ever called them a name or even disagreed with them!
Oh! That’s right: no one has. At least, not for a long time.
Well, some of these guys are childish, and some of them are creeps.
That is all.
AMAZING IMAGE OF ME AS A POOR DERANGED MILLIONAIRE COURTESY: THE AMAZING APE-LAD.
*This was his actual argument. It is not an argument an adult makes. It’s the actual argument that TEENAGERS make at prestigious high schools where cheating is rampant: everyone was doing it, and no teacher was stopping them. So they WERE FORCED to cheat in order to be competitive. TEENAGERS ARE NOT JOB CREATORS.
This is accurate but in a limited way, and it’s a good example of how graphics can lead to bias regardless of your political inclinations*. So what you see above is the 2012 federal budget for discretionary spending, which is very different from the actual 2012 federal budget.
The 2012 federal budget also contains something called mandatory spending, and in 2012 we’ll spend about $2.382 trillion in mandatory spending. Social security will cost us $761 billion, and things like medicare and unemployment insurance will cost a lot as well. (For a good breakdown of the 2012 budget, go here.)
Republican leaders are being completely disingenuous when they pretend that eliminating the Department of Education (or any number of other federal departments) would significantly cut the budget deficit. But Democratic leaders are also being completely disingenuous when they act like the defense budget is the biggest budgetary challenge facing the U.S. (The notable exception here is the President, who actually acknowledges that serious budget reform will involve both cutting social programs and raising taxes, thereby making him popular with no one except me.)
I’ve been really disappointed in our national inability to have a grown-up conversation about the economy, unemployment, wage stagnation, small business growth, and the other hot-button topics of the past few months. To beat a dead horse, we all need to recognize the legitimacy of others’ narratives if we’re ever going to make progress, and part of that is acknowledging that most of the federal budget does, in fact, go to social programs. (As it does in every other country in the developed world.)
* Like, I think the U.S. spends way too much on defense, but it would be ludicrous to say that cutting defense spending could easily balance the budget. Also, quite a lot of defense spending goes into very popular programs, like providing health care for war veterans.
Controversial Claim of the Day: Jennifer Fox, the pregnant protester who was pepper-sprayed along with 84-year-old Dorli Rainey during last week’s Occupy Seattle march, has reportedly miscarried.
The 19-year-old homeless woman, who says she was three months pregnant, penned an email to local blogger Ian Awesome with the terrible news.
“It hurts,” she writes. ”It’s upsetting. I was ready to have a kid, because my family was going to support me in taking care of the child. Her name was going to be Miracle.”
She later spoke with Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger to provide additional context. “I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in,” Fox is quoted as saying. “I was screaming, ‘I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out.’”
She says a police officer then “lifted his foot and it hit her in the stomach” just before a second officer struck her again with his bicycle. “Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut.”
An initial ultrasound at Harborview Medical Center following the incident did not reveal any complications. It wasn’t until yesterday that Fox says she “started getting sick, cramps started, and I felt like I was going to pass out.”
She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, where doctors informed her that she was having a miscarriage. She told The Stranger: “They said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to it [the fetus], too.”
Fox acknowledges having worried about her condition prior to joining the protests, but says she “didn’t know it would be this bad,” adding “I didn’t know that a cop would murder a baby that’s not born yet…I am trying to get lawyers.”
When asked, Fox claimed to be unable to provide The Stranger with medical records to prove her miscarriage and/or the doctors’ diagnosis, but said she would ask her Harborview case worker for copies.
The newspaper promised to follow up.
Video captured in the immediate aftermath of Fox’s pepper-spraying posted below:
[If all this is true, the baby part, I accept the beating part fine]
Don’t we also have a government (lobbyists) actively working to make sure every fertilized egg cell grows into a baby? Even the unwanted ones, hell, especially the unwanted ones - and here was a fetus (a few hundred thousand to million cells more than a fertilized egg) that was wanted and brutally aborted. Way to go, america.
At least be more consistant with your douchbaggery sometimes.
And I don’t use ‘douchbag’ as a thing.
Thinking about the other thing some lobbyists were gunning for not too long ago, having the police investigate all miscarriages to “ensure” they weren’t actually desired abortions. I don’t remember if that one passed, but I think in this instance it would be insult to injury.
And if this woman were lying about the baby, that beating wasn’t seem necessary in the least. I don’t know the full story, not going to pretend I do, but if it were a peaceable march, until the police intercepted them, the police instigated the already agitated protesters. This is all so fucking ridiculous. We need an entire economic overhaul that will possibly never happen given our structure. We have the right, in the Constitution, to over throw Congress and the President, but not enough Americans will ever agree enough to change the system. I mean, if the 99% of Americans who are poorest actually did band together we could overthrow the system. Part of the problem are those who don’t believe they’re a part of the 99%, and those who are too moderate to try to improve anything.
He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.
this, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with america
constituents are not the fatcats who give politicians the money
they are the everyone
Source: The New York Times
Secrets of the 99%
I am the 99%
So are you.
Our generation is drowning.
We were told education would save us; we were lied to.