Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 42,447
Number of posts: 42,447
- 2014 (100)
- 2013 (646)
- 2012 (731)
- 2011 (12)
- December (12)
- Older Archives
The 1% is Hogging so much of our Income that it’s Holding the Economy Back
(By Anthony W. Orlando)
- snip -
Or, as the late economist Michal Kalecki used to say, “The workers spend what they get and the capitalists get what they spend.” What he meant by that was that the rich can afford to save more of their income—and, indeed, we find that the One Percent continue to save 15 to 25 percent, while the saving rate of the 99 Percent has plummeted close to zero. If too much money goes to the One Percent and not enough to the 99 Percent, the economy will save more and more and spend less and less, until there isn’t enough consumer demand to justify increasing production and investment. Thus, the economy will slow down.
For awhile, the 99 Percent were able to make up for lower incomes by saving less and borrowing more, and for awhile, the economy indulged them with rising asset prices—first in the stock market, then the housing market—and falling interest rates. But this was not sustainable. Eventually, interest rates hit zero, households spent all their savings, incomes couldn’t keep up with debt payments, and asset prices stopped rising. Hence, the Great Recession.
The only real solution is to pay them higher wages.
Here’s how Hanauer frames it: “If the typical American family still got today the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would earn about 25 percent more and have an astounding $13,000 more a year. Where would the economy be if that were the case?”
When those workers earn more, they also invest in health and education, making them more productive. They’re also less likely to go out on strike, resulting in less uncertainty and more investment. Higher wages also force companies to invest more in advanced technologies that reduce costs, increasing productivity and global competitiveness.
More equal societies also don’t have to waste resources on what the economist Samuel Bowles calls “guard labor,” employing people to keep the lower classes in line. Bowles estimates that one in four Americans are working as guard labor, everything from factory supervisors to police officers.
And our government is more likely to invest in public resources that we all need to be productive—infrastructure, research and development, safety and quality standards—if all Americans feel that they’re “in it together” and not separated by class, and thus they’ll all benefit from the investments.
MORE AT LINK
Anthony W. Orlando is a Lecturer in the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Los Angeles. This op-ed is an excerpt from his new book Letter to the One Percent, published this month by Lulu Press, Inc. To learn more, visit www. LetterToTheOnePercent. com.
Posted by Hissyspit | Sun Dec 15, 2013, 02:51 AM (44 replies)
Source: Reuters / Associated Press
@BreakingNews: North Korea's official news agency: Kim Jong Un's uncle has been executed as a traitor - @AP, @Reuters
@Reuters: North Korea says Jang, previously powerful man who helped Kim Jong Un to power, guilty of "attempting to overthrow the state": KCNA
NKOREA EXECUTES LEADER'S UNCLE AS A TRAITOR
Dec. 12, 2013 4:54 PM EST
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea on Friday announced the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle, calling the leader's former mentor a traitor and "worse than a dog."
The announcement came only days after Pyongyang announced through state media that Jang Song Thaek — long considered the country's No. 2 power — had been removed from all his posts because of allegations of corruption, drug use, gambling, womanizing and leading a "dissolute and depraved life."
Jang was seen as helping Kim Jong Un consolidate power after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, two years ago. Jang was the latest and most significant in a series of personnel reshuffles that Kim has conducted in an apparent effort to bolster his power.
Some analysts see the purge as a sign of Kim Jong Un's growing confidence, but there has also been fear in Seoul that the removal of such an important part of the North's government — seen by outsiders as the leading supporter of Chinese-style economic reforms — could create dangerous instability or lead to a miscalculation or attack on the South.
Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nkorea-executes-kim-jong-un-uncle
Posted by Hissyspit | Thu Dec 12, 2013, 04:41 PM (38 replies)
Source: Associated Press
@AP: BREAKING: In retrial, jury acquits former police officer in deadly post-Katrina shooting in New Orleans.
In retrial, jury acquits former police officer in deadly post-Katrina shooting in New Orleans
By Associated Press, Published: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 6:21 PM ET
NEW ORLEANS — In retrial, jury acquits former police officer in deadly post-Katrina shooting in New Orleans.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-retrial-jury-acquits-former-police-officer-in-deadly-post-katrina-shooting-in-new-orleans/2013/12/11/ee46c904-62ba-11e3-af0d-4bb80d704888_story.html#
A jury Wednesday acquitted former New Orleans police officer David Warren of federal civil rights and gun charges stemming from the post-Hurricane Katrina killing of Henry Glover. After 14 hours of deliberations, the jury delivered its verdict at 5:15 p.m.
Just an hour before, jurors reported they were deadlocked in a note that said the "tension is getting thick."
Warren testified that he he feared for his life when he shot Glover on Sept. 2005 from the second-story balcony of an Algiers strip mall where Warren was standing guard.
The former lawman, who fired a single round from his personal assault rifle, said he saw something in Glover's hand that could have been a gun. And Warren said that Glover, after arriving in a stolen truck with another man, was charging toward a first-floor gate, which Warren believed was unlocked.
After the verdict was read, members of the Glover family sobbed, and Patrice Glover, a sister of Glover, screamed before a man hoisted her in his arms and carried her into the hallway. In the hall, she continued wailing and said, "He killed my brother."
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 06:22 PM (6 replies)
Source: New School Free Press / New York Daily News
News — December 10, 2013 3:38 am
New School Student Receives Settlement from NYPD
A New School student reached a $82,500 settlement with the police on December 4 after a year and a half-long lawsuit. Shawn Carrié, who is also an editor at the Free Press, filed a suit against the NYPD in May 2012 to receive compensation for brutality he claimed to have suffered during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
“My ear was bleeding and I had a bootprint on my face,” Carrié told the Free Press of a particularly violent incident in March 2012. “A police officer had also broken my left thumb.”
- snip -
“I had an encrypted cell phone and a 2-way radio on me that the Intelligence Division wanted to get their hands on, they used a fake warrant as a pretense to bring me in.” Carrié said that he was interrogated for 13 hours after being brought into custody.
He decided to take action and hired civil rights attorney Jeffrey Rothman. The NYPD made it clear from the beginning that they would fight each and every claim for as long as needed, Carrié said.
One of the claims in the lawsuit described the violent arrest in March 2012. Carrié told the Free Press that a police officer snapped his thumb out of place twice at the six-month Occupy anniversary. Once his fractured thumb had been immobilized and Carrié was in custody, the officer, Carrié alleged, ripped the splint off to make a point after another arrestee offered him a snack after hearing that he had not eaten all day.
At the time, Carrié had a full scholarship at NYU to study classical piano, but says that his hand will never fully function again, and has had to abandon his piano studies. “I will never play Beethoven again,” Carrié said.
Read more: http://www.newschoolfreepress.com/2013/12/10/new-school-student-receives-settlement-from-nypd/
Occupy Wall Street beating suit to cost city $82,000
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ows-beating-suit-cost-city-82-000-article-1.1541903#ixzz2n46WYEYn
- snip -
Schrader's lawyer Jeffrey Rothman noted that cops almost never seek out and arrest people on old public urination warrants, adding that the case "illustrates starkly the NYPD's brutal response to the Occupy Wall Street movement and the continuing malfeasance of its Intelligence Division in the suppression of protected First Amendment activity."
In an earlier arrest that started in Zuccotti Park on March 17, 2012, cops stomped and choked him, Schrader said in his March 2013 lawsuit.
He said an officer made his ear bleed, and growled, "Are you Occupy Wall Street people going to come back and demonstrate? Are you punks going to come back and keep showing up? Because every time you guys come back we're going to kick your asses."
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Dec 10, 2013, 05:08 AM (18 replies)
Source: The Guardian
Edward Snowden voted Guardian person of the year 2013
NSA whistleblower's victory, for exposing the scale of internet surveillance, follows that of Chelsea Manning last year
Monday 9 December 2013 07.44 EST
Mark Rice-Oxley, Leila Haddou and Frances Perraudin
For the second year in a row, a young American whistleblower alarmed at the unfettered and at times cynical deployment of power by the world's foremost superpower has been voted the Guardian's person of the year.
Edward Snowden, who leaked an estimated 200,000 files that exposed the extensive and intrusive nature of phone and internet surveillance and intelligence gathering by the US and its western allies, was the overwhelming choice of more than 2,000 people who voted.
The NSA whistleblower garnered 1,445 votes. In a distant second, from a list of 10 candidates chosen by Guardian writers and editors, came Marco Weber and Sini Saarela, the Greenpeace activists who spearheaded the oil rig protest over Russian Arctic drilling. They received 314 votes. Pope Francis gained 153 votes, narrowly ahead of blogger and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe, who received 144. Snowden's victory was as decisive as Chelsea Manning's a year earlier.
It is strange to think now, but a little more than six months ago, virtually no one had heard of Snowden, and few people outside the US would have been able to identify what the initials NSA stood for. Though internet privacy was beginning to emerge as an issue, few people had any idea of the extent to which governments and their secretive auxiliaries were able to trawl, sift, collect and scrutinise the personal digital footprints of millions of private individuals.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/09/edward-snowden-voted-guardian-person-of-year-2013
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Dec 10, 2013, 01:05 AM (15 replies)
Dan Rather Tells Piers the Difference Between His and Lara Logan’s Woes: ‘My Story Was True’
by Josh Feldman | 9:38 pm, December 9th, 2013 VIDEO
Former CBS newsman Dan Rather is in rather a unique position to tackle the issues surrounding 60 Minutes following its erroneous Benghazi report, and on Piers Morgan‘s show Monday night, Rather explained the key difference between his report and Lara Logan‘s: his story was true.
Rather echoed points made in Mediaite’s defense of Logan: that it’s very easy to blame the correspondent (being the face of the reporter) and forget that there are people working on these reports behind the scenes who are deserving of similar, if not more, scrutiny, and that any judgment of Logan’s journalistic bona fides should take her entire career into account, and not just this one incident.
As for his report on George W. Bush‘s national guard service, Rather said that there was a big difference between the fallout from his and Logan’s reports.
“With our story, the one that led to our difficulty, no question the story was true. What the complaint… was ‘Okay, your story was true, but where you got to the truth was flawed.’”
Read more: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/dan-rather-tells-piers-the-difference-between-his-and-lara-logans-woes-my-story-was-true
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:47 PM (96 replies)
Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/blog/comics
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:51 AM (28 replies)
Source: The Guardian
Amnesty to take legal action against UK security services
Human rights group says it is 'highly likely' its emails and phone calls have been intercepted by British intelligence
Matthew Taylor and Nick Hopkins
The Guardian, Sunday 8 December 2013
The human rights group Amnesty International has announced it is taking legal action against the UK government over concerns its communications have been illegally accessed by UK intelligence services.
In the latest of a series of legal challenges sparked by the revelations based on documents released by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, Amnesty said it was "highly likely" its emails and phone calls have been intercepted.
Michael Bochenek, director of law and policy for the human rights group, said: "As a global organisation working on many sensitive issues that would be of particular interest to security services in the US and UK, we are deeply troubled by the prospect that the communications of our staff may have been intercepted."
The latest challenge follows revelations that GCHQ and its US counterpart, the National Security Agency (NSA), have developed capabilities to undertake industrial-scale surveillance of the web and mobile phone networks by trawling the servers of internet companies and collecting raw data from the undersea cables that carry web traffic. Two of the programmes, Prism and Tempora, can sweep up vast amounts of private data, which is shared between the two countries.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/09/amnesty-international-legal-action-uk-security-services
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 07:28 AM (1 replies)
Source: New York Times
Tech Giants Issue Call for Limits on Government Surveillance of Users
By EDWARD WYATT and CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
Published: December 9, 2013
Eight prominent technology companies, bruised by revelations of government spying on their customers’ data and scrambling to repair the damage to their reputations, are mounting a public campaign to urge President Obama and Congress to set new limits on government surveillance.
Larry Page, chief of Google, called for reform of security laws worldwide, saying, “We urge the U.S. government to lead the way.”
On Monday the companies, led by Google and Microsoft, presented a plan to regulate online spying and urged the United States to lead a worldwide effort to restrict it. They accompanied it with an open letter, in the form of full-page ads in national newspapers, including The New York Times, and a website detailing their concerns.
It is the broadest and strongest effort by the companies, often archrivals, to speak with one voice to pressure the government. The tech industry, whose billionaire founders and executives are highly sought as political donors, forms a powerful interest group that is increasingly flexing its muscle in Washington.
“It’s now in their business and economic interest to protect their users’ privacy and to aggressively push for changes,” said Trevor Timm, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The N.S.A. mass-surveillance programs exist for a simple reason: cooperation with the tech and telecom companies. If the tech companies no longer want to cooperate, they have a lot of leverage to force significant reform.”
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/technology/tech-giants-issue-call-for-limits-on-government-surveillance-of-users.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 07:23 AM (4 replies)
Source: The Guardian
Revealed: spy agencies' covert push to infiltrate virtual world of online games
NSA and GCHQ collect gamers' chats and deploy real-life agents into World of Warcraft and Second Life
theguardian.com, Monday 9 December 2013 07.00 EST
To the National Security Agency analyst writing a briefing to his superiors, the situation was clear: their current surveillance efforts were lacking something. The agency's impressive arsenal of cable taps and sophisticated hacking attacks was not enough. What it really needed was a horde of undercover Orcs.
That vision of spycraft sparked a concerted drive by the NSA and its UK sister agency GCHQ to infiltrate the massive communities playing online games, according to secret documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The files were obtained by the Guardian and are being published on Monday in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica.
The agencies, the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which boasts more than 48 million players. Real-life agents have been deployed into virtual realms, from those Orc hordes in World of Warcraft to the human avatars of Second Life. There were attempts, too, to recruit potential informants from the games' tech-friendly users.
- snip -
The NSA document, written in 2008 and titled Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments, stressed the risk of leaving games communities under-monitored, describing them as a "target-rich communications network" where intelligence targets could "hide in plain sight".
Games, the analyst wrote "are an opportunity!". According to the briefing notes, so many different US intelligence agents were conducting operations inside games that a "deconfliction" group was required to ensure they weren't spying on, or interfering with, each other.
If properly exploited, games could produce vast amounts of intelligence, according to the the NSA document. They could be used as a window for hacking attacks, to build pictures of people's social networks through "buddylists and interaction", to make approaches by undercover agents, and to obtain target identifiers (such as profile photos), geolocation, and collection of communications.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/09/nsa-spies-online-games-world-warcraft-second-life
Posted by Hissyspit | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 07:11 AM (24 replies)