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HughBeaumont

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Member since: Fri Aug 13, 2004, 03:12 PM
Number of posts: 21,235

Journal Archives

What I like to tell my RW friends regarding their "working HARDER to EARN a better wage" chestnut -

I GOT off my ass. I "WORKED harder". I ATTAINED two college degrees. Many of you have probably done the same at this point.

6 years after that happened, in 2001, want to know where I was at 32? Want to know where all that "HARD WORK and BOOTSTRAPPING" got me? Unemployed, along with millions of others who also got college degrees; some that hold greater weight than what I have.

I don't know, did we all "not make the right choices in life"? Did we all just "not work hard enough"??

Five months after I got canned from the first job, I (LUCKILY) was able to get another, better job that paid more than the old one; that's Anomaly #1 in a recession.

I've been at this job ever since 2001. Anomaly #2.

In almost 12 years of employment, I make, in inflation-adjusted dollars, approximately $2000 more a year than when I started in 2001. THAT'S economic reality. THAT'S the problem.

In America, I'm considered "One Extremely Lucky Bastard". In 2008-2009, I had to continually watch degreed professional after degreed professional get laid off all around me through no fault of their own; grown men and women crying on my shoulder, wondering what the hell's going to happen to them, all in this giant competitive quest for profit and margin preservation.

That, kids, is the tragic result of 33 years of wage suppression. That, children, is the result of the handler's "divide and conquer" play regarding the hoi polloi, hoping you didn't notice that they sponged up the productivity and wage gains.

That, in itself, is why I don't even want to hear about how this grand "Laissez-Fail" Hayek/Strauss/Friedman religious bullshit that America has been foisting on its people is going to eventually bear fruits for everyone who "WERKS HARDER". That is why "Horatio Alger" is a rotting turn of the century fossil that bears no semblance to 2013 economic reality.

I've been employed through three, count 'em, THREE recessions; each one worse than it's predecessor. Some of you have made it through four or five. It's because of seeing the results of widespread wage suppression that I become more progressive each passing year and more stringent in my belief that a widespread labor movement is more patently necessary as time goes on.

We need to look at these fast food union workers and LEARN from them, not laugh at and demean their "$15/hr fer berger flippin" message. A few years back, when the Failure Fuhrer was president, I attended a "Million Worker March" in D.C. .. . where at best, about three to four thousand showed up. Why is that? Is it that we're all scared or is it that we just don't see it as that big a deal that wages haven't risen in real value since 1979? Is it not that big a deal that our overall savings rate is non-existent thanks to the use of credit in the face of wage stagnation?

Why not JOIN the "burger flippers", as some call them? Their wages get raised, then so will yours. It's baby steps, people. This is how movements start. Don't fall for "divide and conquer" on this issue.

Christ, who let the Heritage/Cato stooges in?

Fucking ridiculous. Get them the hell off of our board.

Minimum wage has gone down in value and in buying power . . .



. . . we're seriously lagging behind other countries on this issue . . .



. . . real wages have flatlined since 1979 . . . .



. . . while CEOs made out like bandits and continue to raze this country to death . . .



. . . and the "differing point of view" we're now supposed to accept and embrace is fetid rhetoric from a bad Stephen Moore book? We're now the site that promotes "bootstrapper" bullshit?

How about this . . . please stop worrying about what a fast-food worker should or shouldn't be making and maybe . . . just MAYBE . . . . . ask YOURSELF why you aren't making more also. ALL of us should be getting paid better. It's disgusting that degreed professionals only make 12 to 14 dollars an hour.

But maybe the fast food workers just might DESERVE that 12 to 14 an hour, because they seem to be the only ones standing up and saying anything about their ridiculously low pay. It's not like any of our comfy asses are million-person-marching to DC or conducting sit-ins in corporate boardrooms like we SHOULD be doing.

CNBC: "Happy Birthday Milton Friedman!" Verbatim.

Anybody who says this station "leans left" . . . yeah, kicked right in the junk, do not pass go.

"Friedman was a key opponent of activist Keynesian gov't policies" . . . said like it's a good thing. UNbelievable. Not even a hint of objectivity. That's the stuff of a true propaganda arm at work right there.

Alternet: Why Thomas Friedman is the Ayn Rand of Our Times.

http://www.alternet.org/media/why-tom-friedman-new-ayn-rand-our-dark-digital-future?paging=off

Friedman occupies a unique place in the pundit ecosystem. From his perch at the New York Times, he idealizes the unregulated, winner-take-all economy of the Internet and while overlooking human, real-world concerns. His misplaced faith in a digitized "free" market reflects the solipsistic libertarianism of a technological über-class which stares into the rich diversity of human experience and sees only its own reflection staring back.

Friedman is a closet Ayn Rand in many ways, but he gives Rand's ugly and exploitative philosophy a pseudo-intellectual, liberal-friendly feel-good gloss. He turns her harsh industrial metal music into melodious easy listening: John Galt meets John Denver. That make him very useful to those who would dismantle the engines of real economic growth, the ones which create jobs while protecting life and limb.

snip

What are the implications of a world in which you must be above average to get "any good job"? When Garrison Keillor described Lake Woebegon as a place where "all the children are above average," it was a joke. But Friedman's not joking. He's describing a world in which ordinary people are excluded from decent employment - and he's doing it without expressing regret or demanding change.

To be fair, Friedman is an advocate for education - in his own way. But his education arguments, like his economic ones, focus on the online, the gimmicky, and the jargon-laden. Friedman's world doesn't seem to include manufacturing jobs, or construction jobs, or good government jobs. He envisions a workforce made up almost exclusively of "lateral thinkers" and "integration" engineers. Students should be trained to "invent" their jobs, says Friedman, who claims that self-invented work will be the best source of future employment.

Based on the number of people currently seeking full-time employment in the US alone, 15 or 20 million people need to "invent" their jobs pretty quickly. That's a lot of Internet start-ups, along with a whole boatload of "lateral thinking."


Ever notice that the ones who finger-wag and victim-blame the most about the long-standing and complex problems of the American work-force trapped in a laissez-fail Economy are almost never affected by it's crashes and numerous failures?

I made a meme in Photoshop today. Tell me what you think.

A discussion thread where people who make 375k a year complain that they can't make ends meet.

http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/304867.page

Hooooooo boy . . . parse through it. It's an eye-opener. I imagine this will be spreading like wildfire soon.

And yes, I KNOW D.C. is an expensive place to live in, but there ARE cheaper options in the surroundings. NO one's holding a gun to your heads . . . you're CHOOSING not to live among the hoi polloi in Silver Spring or Glenmont and take (shudder) public transportation.

Non-Satirical Onion: Financial Sector Thinks It's About Ready To Ruin the World Again

http://www.theonion.com/articles/financial-sector-thinks-its-about-ready-to-ruin-wo,32865/

Representatives from all major banking and investment institutions cited recent increases in consumer spending, rebounding home prices, and a stabilizing unemployment rate as confirmation that the time had once again come to inflict another round of catastrophic financial losses on individuals and businesses worldwide.

“It’s been about five or six years since we last crippled every major market on the planet, so it seems like the time is right for us to get back out there and start ruining the lives of billions of people again,” said Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. “We gave it some time and let everyone get a little comfortable, and now we’re looking to get back on the old horse, shatter some consumer confidence, and flat-out kill any optimism for a stable global economy for years to come.”

“People are beginning to feel at ease spending money and investing in their futures again,” Blankfein continued. “That’s the perfect time to step in and do what we do best: rip the heart right out of the world’s economy.”

According to sources, the overwhelming majority of investment bankers are “ready to get the ball rolling” by approving a host of complex and poorly understood debt-backed securities that are doomed to quickly default, as well as issuing startlingly high-risk loans certain to drive thousands of companies into insolvency.


Side note - Did you know that, even after taxes, Lloyd Bankfiend can purchase a $40,000 automobile every three days and it would make not an iota of difference in his wealth?

Oh look, positive jobs numbers. So who does CNBC have on to push their narrative?

None other than hypercorporatist, meritocracy and laissez-fail advocate T.J. Rodgers, who's STILL blaming "government spending", who's STILL blaming the culture of the "Buffett Rule", who's STILL blaming the same old bullshit standbys all conservatives retreat to when economics just aren't going their way under a (supposedly) Democratic president.

How does anyone take this channel seriously, or worse yet, laughingly calls it "centrist" or "left-leaning"??
Posted by HughBeaumont | Fri Jun 7, 2013, 08:52 AM (3 replies)

Of CEOs, Bathrooms and The Great American Chasm . . .



I think it should be put like this more often.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Thu Jun 6, 2013, 09:31 AM (2 replies)

Whenever I think "voting serves no purpose" . . . .

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/michelle-obama-clashes-heckler-fundraiser-043338613.html

. . . . sadly, after reading the comments section of Yahoo, CNN, Business Insider and other sites, I'm compelled to go back to that kiosk every time and cast those votes.

I know. It's Sad. THIS is our lot in life. Economically, the two parties are a wash. Military spending: Wash. Stacking the Cabinet with corporate toadies: Wash. Real action on environment: Wash. Universal Health Care: Sorry, voter, Wellpoint's CEO needs mo' mansions. Real action on fossil fuels: Sorry, voter, we swim in light sweet crude and dry off with dollar bills.

But . . . siigggggggh . . . . I cannot let the likes of these hatemongers, these bastards who still want to live in either 1955 White America or 1984 Reaganomicon . . . I cannot let these kinds of sub-idiot knuckledragger Klansmen take the country over. I cannot live in the ChurchWarMerica, the steamroll-the-poor nightmare, the white-makes-right stupidity these people WANT. I cannot take seriously anyone who, by subscribing to a faith-based government and economy and military, has allowed someone else to do the thinking for them.

Didn't it come out recently that Romney actually had a corporatized plan for the White House, complete with flowcharts, performance-based evals and a Six-Sigma-like management structure? What if that had come to pass?

These vile comments prove that Republicans are getting more and more willfully hateful and stupid each and every year, and this is what our vote means: keeping their kind of candidates away from power.

What kind of a set-up IS this? Are we now nothing more than babysitters for problem children brat kids who don't know any better and refuse to get smarter (thanks to corporatized media)?

Where are our Huey Longs? Where are our FDRs? Where is OUR vision of an egalitarian society and fairer economy? Does it exist only in ones and zeroes?

I expect better from politics and the people that are supposed to be seriously participating in it, and goddamnit, I'm not getting it.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Jun 5, 2013, 12:04 PM (1 replies)
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