Dinner with schmucks

President Obama is holding another one of his little Republican dinner parties, which will continue until he gets enough of them on board with inflicting pain on the people who least deserve it. Progress!

The problem, of course, remains that the president is dealing with a Republican party in which Johnny Isakson is now a “moderate.” That is his problem. Our problem is that the conversation over dinner is almost guaranteed to center completely on the proposition, “How much pain ahould we inflict on people who are not us?” The fact that the American economy has almost completely surrendered to corporate oligarchy is not likely to come up. Newly released data on corporate profitability for 2012 show the continuation of historic levels of profitability despite excessive unemployment and stagnant wages for most workers. Specifically, the share of capital income (such as profits and interest, which are hereafter referred to as ‘profits’) in the corporate sector increased to 25.6 percent in 2012, the highest in any year since 1950-1951 and far higher than the 19.9 percent share prevailing over 1969-2007, the five business cycles preceding the financial crisis… Profitability used to be lower when there was high unemployment, but in this downturn we have already seen the share of income going to profit exceed the high point reached in the last recovery or at any time in the last five recoveries. We now have an economy built to assure high corporate profitability even when it’s operating far below capacity and when most families and workers are faring poorly.

Too often, the economic problems of this country are sold to its citizens as being far too complex for them to understand and, therefore, by clear implication, too complex for political democracy to handle. And the hell of it all is that most people are completely aware that this is happening to them. They see it in their own lives. It’s not as though the foreclosures, and the looted pensions, and the food-or-medicine decisions are happening in some Phantom Zone to other people. What’s worse is that this is not being done by stealth, or by sharp practice, though sharp practices there are.

It is being done deliberately and people are being encouraged by their government and by the courtier political media — and by the utterly corrupt financial media, especially on television — that their stagnant wages and the yawning gap in income inequality are both symptoms that the economy is getting better. A viable democracy is not sustainable within the economic model, and subject to the economic forces, that are prevailing now in our politics. Sooner or later, something’s going to blow. People are being asked to ignore the circumstances that are grinding them down, day by day, and being told that their economic pain is really for their own good. Who are you going to believe, after all, Maria Bartiromo or your own lying eyes?

Watch this

And stop thinking about the oligarchy for a few minutes!

Virtually Speaking tonight

Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd. 6p pac, 9p eastern
Tonight American journalist Dave Weigel —   Slate political reporter and MSNBC contributor. They’ll talk about the factions of the US convervative movement, their role and influences on US policy. Follow @daveweigel @jayackroyd

Links: http://www.slate.com/authors.david_weigel.html
http://daveweigel.com/

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking/2013/03/29/dave-weigel-virtually-speaking-with-jay-ackroyd

Are people really this stupid and desperate?

Yes, you would “share” your car with their packages and they would give you a small discount to cover the cost of gas, but they wouldn’t “share” your insurance costs if you get into an accident on the way, and you certainly wouldn’t get paid for your time. In other words, you get to work FOR FREE for the richest family in the country! Feel the oligarchy!

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc is considering a radical plan to have store customers deliver packages to online buyers, a new twist on speedier delivery services that the company hopes will enable it to better compete with Amazon.com Inc.

Tapping customers to deliver goods would put the world’s largest retailer squarely in middle of a new phenomenon sometimes known as “crowd-sourcing,” or the “sharing economy.”

[…] Wal-Mart has millions of customers visiting its stores each week. Some of these shoppers could tell the retailer where they live and sign up to drop off packages for online customers who live on their route back home, Anderson explained.

Wal-Mart would offer a discount on the customers’ shopping bill, effectively covering the cost of their gas in return for the delivery of packages, he added.

Wow. I really didn’t think Walmart could stoop any lower, but I see I underestimated them.

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