OWS

No Longer The “Gimme Election”

This year is no different from any other national election year in recent memory. Primal political party strategies emerging before November’s archetypal vote continue to mark strong differences between “prosperity gospel” versus compassionate conservatives on the right pitted against “divine left” elitist class versus working class progressives on the left. The principal similarities between the two inner party schisms are that both the “prosperity gospel” and “divine left” wings have dominated when governing while the themes of compassionate conservatism and working class justice serve to win elections. Choosing to honor what wins elections while ending this equally flawed dichotomy within either party will create the next decade’s governing mandate.

Similarly, juxtaposing campaign contradictions with economic reality, this year’s presidential candidates confront two principal problems trying to drive a political and philosophical schism between “an opportunity society, where free people and free enterprise thrive and success is admired and emulated,” and an activist, more efficient and effective government working to promote equal opportunities to “ensure that all Americans have a fair shot if they work hard.” First, really smart and competitive nations know how, eclectically, to converge both so that the whole exceeds the sum of the parts. Second, unmistakably skewed U.S. income inequality statistics show that the voting public knows that neither of the two approaches is working correctly either independently or together. (more…)

Income Inequality Economics 101

Perhaps the two greatest sociopolitical myths of our time, those holding that America was moving first towards a post-industrialist and then towards a post-racist society, require a proper epitaph which may be written electorally this coming November. In retrospect, it turns out we are going nowhere with either.

On a positive note, manufacturing is coming back although a shadow of what it was and needs to be for a more complete economic recovery. Mrs. Merkel, while dead wrong on austerity policies as a way to help anyone but elites who thrive on passive income and want their loans paid back while working overtime to deprive paycheck serfs of any means or justification to do so, was right that her nation has emerged relatively unscathed to date from the 2008 financial sector-induced recession because “Germany is a country that still makes things.” It seems that in our national urge to invent complex social formulas to justify extreme positions that serve narrow interest groups, we have moved into a “post-shame” society where excessive getting justifies unconscionable gutting and the responsible pipers are not compelled to face public perp-walks or personal bank account claw-backs for the siren songs that have ensnared us all. (more…)

MUPPETEERED

Whether acting in or out as Miss Piggy, Big Bird, Oscar, the Cookie Monster, Kermit the Frog, Animal, Gonzo the Great or Fozzie Bear, according to Goldman Sachs, we, the 99%, are all Muppets in waiting. Those pulling our strings in the name of their own unalienable rights to unearthly wealth creation at our working class expense should be sued by Jim Henson from his grave for breach of contract with the cultural heartbeat and soul of a country that is still a great deal more than the sum of its markets. (more…)

Homesteading for the One Percent

(AFP/Getty Images)

Inherited merit is perceived as un-American and justifiably so in the land of supposed equal opportunities. Historically, the “Far West” belongs to the enterprising and courageous pioneer, the indentured servant who paves his or her own way after voluntary conscription, the “failure is not an option” entrepreneur, the hard working immigrant, the colonial self reliant.

Tragically, America’s current housing crisis makes a complete mockery of this vision. More than a policy day late and a refinancing dollar short, now we have turned our underwater homeowners into Katrina-like refugees, disenfranchised in their own land.

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Heaven Prefers the Job Creators

Seen on the Street: the top one percent now sport a “members only” gold-plated lapel pin with the initials “JC” inscribed using blood-red conflict diamonds.

“JC” stands either for “Jesus Christ” or “Job Creators” depending on the eye of the beholder and the smirk of the wearer. The pin is produced as a charity tax write-off by worshipping “Oligarchy Prosperity Gospel” disciples who pray so that only victors get to gorge upon the spoils, the meek are consigned to rate-payer and renter castes, and inherited merit gets taxed at the capital gains 15 percent level with the goal of sparing hallowed wealth accumulators from the excessive burden of having to give back some of what they legally misappropriated. (more…)

Moby Dicked America

In the discarded dog-towns of the Great Recession, the “Moby Dicking” of America – harpooning our whale of a country to dance with the stars for starry-eyed profits – no longer qualifies as a victimless spectator market sport where big game hunters can pay to play for uneven advantages. Outside of paradise, twenty-seven million unemployed average citizens have come up empty, receiving nothing but return to sender job applications this holiday season (Los Angeles Times), with no improvement anytime soon. Our jobless testify to a national disenfranchisement fix, a coast-to-coast underclass that is alive but not well and which has morphed into a signed, sealed, and delivered divorce standoff between global shareholders and local stakeholders, between those who have way too much and those who have much less than enough, between those who decide to buy-back their corporate shares because they’ve confused investing in themselves with investing in their country, and between generations struggling to equate broken, non-recyclable promises with anything positive they were brought up to believe in. (more…)

The American Spring: What Could Go Right vs. What Already Went Wrong

Chris Matthews’ soberly accurate proscription for the current presidency (“Five things JFK Could Teach Obama”) strikes a double chord not only with its content but also because it is juxtaposed in Time magazine’s “Rise of Smart Power” edition (November 7/11)  with a description of foreign policy successes that are less obvious on the domestic front. This dichotomy between getting it fairly right overseas and missing it fairly broadly at home is much more than just a simple failure to communicate and signals an indictment of misplaced priorities and lost opportunities. (more…)

Let Them Eat Poverty

The elemental sleight of hand trick in modern American politics is to divert and channel populist anger into the two traditional party platforms and electorates as imperceptibly as possible so that voters don’t realize they’re going against their declared self-interest. But by 2030 according to current demographic trends when the U.S. will be a minority-majority country deploying ever more sophisticated social media platforms to convene at will – this may no longer be possible. These two developments, identity-based technology and advancing multicultural composition, spell out most clearly why the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement is not and will not become the left wing version of the Tea Party. (more…)

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