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      NEW: Ginni Thomas met with Jan 6 committee IN PERSON. She did not answer my questions pic.twitter.com/5z6pypr0S9 — Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) September 29, 2022 New: In interview with Jan 6 cmte, Ginni Thomas reiterated her belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. “Yes" Cmte Chmn Bennie Thompson said when asked if Thomas said she … Con […]
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      There’s a good article in Der Spiegel on the German energy/industrial crisis which is worth your time. Basically industries which have high energy costs are being crushed. In particular this means chemical and automotive, both big in Germany, but extends far further. (Indeed, the chemical industry was essentially invented by Germany in the 19th century, and […]
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You say “Class Warfare” like it’s a *bad* thing

I don’t know what’s more pathetic:  Obama’s negotiating starting point of $3 TRILLION dollars (yes, you read that right) or that the Republicans are ready to take their dishes and go home over a tax on millionaires.

“Wahhhh!  Life is so unfair for the millionaire.  It’s class warfare.  We’re being oppressed!  We’re being oppressed!”

The answer to the most pathetic move today has to go to Obama.  This man does not know how to conduct Class Warfare.  I’m not at all intimidated or bothered by the Republicans condemning it with dire tones and stern faces.  Watch, they’ll probably try to find some scripture that supports sucking the life blood out of the economy while people are out of work.

Maybe the magic is gone.  The term “job creators” never resonated with me either.  They’re called EM-PLOY-ERS and their primary creation these days seems to be shareholder value.  It’s not personal, that’s just what they’re rewarded for doing.  When we stop rewarding them for sucking money and value out of their companies and start rewarding them for planning for the long term, the jobs will come back.  There’s nothing divine about them.

But back to Obama.  What the hell is he thinking??  $3 Trillion to start?  That’s just fricking nutz.  And I see that military pensions and Tricare are now on the chopping block.  I have some relatives who are going to LOVE that.  Not only is it unnecessary but Tricare is a low cost health insurance system that we should be emulating, not cutting. If there are too many severely injured, permanently damaged people on it, maybe we should stop creating them.   Military personnel do not make the plushest salaries in the world.  Increasing the cost of healthcare for military families is going to be a real hardship.

The other proposal is for military pensions to be replaced by a contribution plan, like a 401K.  I hope it’s the type of contribution plan favored by retirement experts like Theresa Ghilarducci and not the kind of 401K plan the rest of the private sector is forced into.  The private sector 401K is very risky and exacerbates the boom-bust bubble and unemployment cycles we’re going through these days.  All of the productivity gains are siphoned away to investors who expect bigger returns every quarter.  With Ghilarducci’s investment strategy, the choices are limited and geared towards more stable funds and returns.  It’s a lower return on investment (3% instead of the 7% projected by 401K con men) but it is much safer and less damaging to the economy.

Still, $3Trillion, Barry?  I mean, what kind of room does that leave for negotiation?  You know Republicans.  They’ll never agree to $3 Trillion.  They want it all.   And you know what, Barry?  Austerity sucks.  Those of us who are out of work through no fault of our own do not deserve to be treated like this.

So, gird your loins, Class Warriors.

Well, that’ll learn’im.  Good thing we don’t do this to lying, traitorous, thieving rapists anymore.  I mean, for the rapists.  {{sigh}} Those were the good old days.

Monday: Why doctors of thinkology don’t get it.

Paul Krugman is in despair. He simply cannot understand why Obama and his economics team are taking the country off a cliff in order to protect bankers and investors from absorbing their losses.  It’s a puzzlement why taxpayers are subsidizing the private investors who will gladly take bad assets off of the bankers hands for more money than they are actually worth.

Paul, Paul, Paul, where have you been?  This $@#%’s been going on for a couple of decades now.  If we weren’t in danger of being called “crude populists”  some of us would complain loudly and vociferously about a class war.

Remember Pittsburgh in the late 70’s?  Of course you do.  Back then, the Japanese dumped steel on the US market and drove prices down.  The US steel manufacturer’s used that as an opportunity to get rid of the pesky unions and diversify.  I used to wake up in the middle of the night to a bright orange sandblasted sky and the comforting sounds of clanging steel.  My uncles worked for US Steel and made pretty good money.  Then, they were suddenly out on their own.  The mills went silent.  The milltowns fell into disrepair.  Giardia crept into the water systems that municipal authorities couldn’t afford to fix.

Then there came PATCO.  Ah, yes, I remember it well.  It happened just before my first trip to the Bahamas.  Lucky for us there were just enough management to take over running the airports to get us safely off the ground and back again.  But it was OK.  We hired new air traffic controllers who were willing to work for less money and wouldn’t complain so much.  Probably laid off steelworkers.

The 80’s were full of stories about lockouts and Caterpillar workers on strikes and people living off of their union dues and sadness and heartbreak in reazlizing the only job they knew was gone, gone, gone.  These were not high-falutin’ doctors of thinkology.  They were just your average Joe’s who enjoyed a beer on their front stoops after work and spent the weekends tending to their gardens and their cars.  The people you want to spend Thanksgiving dinner with, eating pumpkin pie in front of a football game.  Little people who liked watching the sunset over the river on a summer evening and telling stories to their neighbors.

I was in college in the 80’s.  I saw the rise of the MBA lifestyle, the business majors, the resurrection of Greek culture, the beginnings of networking.  We G-d damned independents thought we were so much smarter than them, hunkered over our P-chem textbooks and sodium sand organometallic reactions.  There would always be a job out there for those of us who used our brains.  Money?  Well, yeah, we expected to be paid well.  Maybe not stellar salaries but enough to enjoy the American Dream.  Greed wasn’t what we were after.  And there weren’t that many of us anyway.  My college graduated exactly 8 Chemistry majors in 1986.  Besides, wasn’t a college degree the path to success?  That’s what everyone told us.

But we were wrong.  It’s the people who handle the money who have a path to success.  While we were busy thinking, they were busy rewriting the rules.  And we were so busy.  Those of us who are female had careers and husbands who didn’t help out as much as they should have and children and daycare and forty things to do before we fell into bed at night.  The pace of life picked up and went at lightspeed.  Who has time to manage the money?  We trusted people to do that for us.  Even when we got our first 401k’s, most of us were content to just “set it and forget it”.

And the college educated toiled away while the MBAs and the marketers and sales people flourished and gave themselves bonuses and promoted themselves over and over again.  And the investors bought stock and frowned when the quarterly earnings didn’t endlessly increase their dividends.  And they demanded cutbacks and the MBA’s obliged and reduced the number of people who actually did the work.  And the remaining workers cheered because their portfolios grew.

And here we are.  The college educated are now the new working class.  We are expendable.  I heard an HR person at my company slip recently and tell a bunch of high school students that a starting BS scientist could expect to make $35K at my company but people who came in with marketing degrees made the top salaries.  Well, we’ve suspected this for a while now.  They also get the attention of the CEO’s.  If a marketer can’t figure out a way to protect his own job, he should find a new career.  And the MBAs sit in their offices and move the chess pieces around and try to figure out which production units to cut in order to increase their bottom line. We are all expendable.

So, now Tim Geithner and Barack Obama are working on a plan to stick hard working, soon to be out of work taxpayers with the bill for the investors who are going to take on the massive bad assets that the bankers cooked up to make money for themselves.  We should not expect these bankers and shareholders to take a haircut because that would be “crude populism” and class warfare.  Why is it any surprise to you that Obama would go this route, Paul?  As long as those of you in the media say it’s OK to treat us like the wretched refuse of our teaming shores, why shouldn’t Tim, Larry and Barry do whatever the hell they want with our money?

In order to get the economy back on track, we workers have to reclaim our dignity and demand accountability.  So, Paul, if you can’t say anything nice about us “crude populists” out here, please, say nothing at all.