Tag Archives | Government

Soaring Profits Do Not Equal Investment

It is taken for granted in conservative circles at that lower taxes on the rich will lead to greater investment in the economy, and therefore jobs—but the data tell a very different story. This analysis comes from Gerald Friedman of Dollars & Sense:

Net Investments and Profits

“The share of national income going to investment (net of depreciation of existing plant and machinery) has been declining since the beginning of the “neoliberal” era, around 1980. Since the start of the Great Recession, net investment as a share of GDP has plummeted to its lowest level since the 1930s. This sharp drop in investment comes despite sharply rising profits.”

Monetary Policy Isn’t Working: The Federal Reserve has helped to shorten past recessions by driving down interest rates to lower the cost of borrowing and so spur investment. During the current crisis, the Fed has conducted an aggressive monetary policy, raising the money supply to lower interest rates.… Read the rest

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Government Whistleblowers to Edward Snowden: Don’t Come Home

war-on-whistleblowers-300x425Who’d be a whistleblower? As Robert Greenwald’s documentary War On Whistleblowers all too easily showed, there is little upside other than the moral victory of doing the right thing. The men and women who have learned the hard way are telling Edward Snowden to stay away from the United States, reports Al-Jazeera:

Every day at 5:45 a.m., John Kiriakou wakes up. He pulls on green pants and a green button-down shirt with his name and number on the front. Breakfast is at 6. He watches the news from 6:30 to 7:30, then goes back to sleep. He wakes up again at 11 a.m. for lunch, after which he exercises until around 2:30 in the afternoon. Mail call is at 3:30. Dinner is at 5 p.m.

Kiriakou, a former CIA agent, is serving 30 months in prison. He emailed a freelance reporter the name of a covert CIA officer, violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

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Via The Poke: UK Government Announces Bold New Plan To Kill Everyone

Why-Dickens-despise-Victorian-art-asks-Jeremy-Paxman

Click to enlarge

UK government to jump on the immanentizing the eschaton bandwagon?

Satire. Sort of.

via The Poke

Death News: The government has outlined far reaching plans to kill everyone in the UK, through high energy prices, dismantling the NHS and crushing debt.

Recent reports say that winter deaths went up by nearly 30% last year, a figure the government claim is a ‘significant start’ in their plans to kill everybody.

“We’ve made a promising start in reducing the numbers of old and poor people by making fuel so expensive, but these are still early days in our plan to kill you all,” said a senior government spokesman.

“We shall now focus on the rest of the population, by removing healthcare and making existence so expensive we hope many people will just choose to kill themselves instead of ploughing through this shit for another year.”

The government says that anyone struggling through the winter months should seek urgent advice, from a noose.

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U.S. Health Care vs. Socialized Health Care

Say what you want about the PPACA legislation (I certainly don’t support it), it’s getting harder and harder to defend privatized, for-profit medicine when the United States gets ranked below Costa Rica by the World Health Organization. And as much as I want to support government-run health care, it’s idiots like these guys which make me fear what might happen the next time I get sick and there just so happens to be a vote on who gets to be insured and who doesn’t that day. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I grew up in Europe or north of the border.

VIA Christian Science Monitor

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The Tea Party Is Over

Reading the recent post about how Ted Cruz is some Biblically-prophecied “anointed king” caused me to have a severe horror flashback of the previous Republican administration, in which the commander-in-chief  of that time essentially declared the “divine right of kings” as the reason for his place in the Oval Office.

But then I come to read that our corporate overlords have decided to deprioritize the Tea Party as an electoral brand. It’s nice to know that fascists plutocrats won’t put just anybody in office.

VIA Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A slice of corporate America thinks tea partyers have overstayed their welcome in Washington and should be shown the door in next year’s congressional elections[. . .]

Call it the wrath of establishment Republicans and corporate America, always considered the best of friends. Since the Republican takeover of the House in 2010, they’ve watched the GOP insurgents slow a transportation bill and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, block a treaty governing the high seas and stand in the way of comprehensive immigration legislation.

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Tea Party Republican Defends Being on Medicaid While Opposing Medicaid

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Remember Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman, a.k.a. Octomom? Well now we have deca-teabagger.

via Gawker

A Tea Party candidate for Idaho’s House of Representatives defended himself against allegations of hypocrisy following an NBC News article in which he admitted to signing his entire family up for Medicaid while running on a platform that calls for the dismantling of all government programs.

“I don’t think that the government should be involved in health care or health insurance,” Greg Collett, 41, of Caldwell told NBC News earlier this month.

Collett, a self-employed software developer by trade, went on to note that his ten children — two biological, eight adopted — are all recipients of health insurance through the government’s Medicaid program, and acknowledged that “there are a lot of people out there that’ll cry foul” over the dissonance.

And, indeed, many people did visit Collett’s personal site shortly afterward to ask him what the hell.

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As U.S. Government Reopens, House Of Representatives Stenographer Restrained Yelling About Freemasons And Jesus

houseVia Gawker, in case you were wondering whether the people working in Congress are insane:
As the House finished their vote to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling, a House stenographer decided it was a good time to let everyone know her feelings about God, Congress, and the Freemasons. “The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters,” the stenographer yelled into the microphone as she was dragged off by security. The stenographer, identified as Dianne Reidy, was interviewed by Capitol police after the incident, according to Fox News.
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Deal Done But War Goes On: No Winners, Only Losers

John BoehnerBehind the Shutdown was a politics of right-wing movement building to raise money and visibility by raising hell. Obamacare had nothing to do with it.

So what was it all about?  The Senate deal ending the shutdown and deferring a default until the next time has solved nothing. It is as if we have been given a break for Thanksgiving and the Christmas shopping season until the partisan wars resume.  The fighting and arguing have only ceased.

It is unlikely that any of the instigators have learned anything other  how a handful of parliamentary savvy kamikazes can bring the government to its knees in the name of a righteous cause—not to bring about change but to try to stop changes they don’t like.

When the Ted Cruz missile against Obamacare helped trigger the melee that closed national parks, limited government services and disrupted the livelihoods of 800, 000 federal employees and the lives of millions, many wondered why when it was clear the extreme right was pursing an unachievable goal.… Read the rest

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The Manufacture of “Surveillance by Consent” Part 2 – Is Mass Surveillance So Bad If You Can’t See It?

One nation under CCTV
Image by T.J.Blackwell

In the dark ages known as the twentieth century, mass surveillance of entire populations was a sport practised only by elitist totalitarian states . Those unlucky enough to live in a what was then termed a “free country”, had to sit on the sidelines and simply imagine what it was like to be subject to constant state intrusion.

But times change, and after several wars of the twentieth century (including the war to end all wars) mass surveillance was finally liberated. The liberators of surveillance even adopted a snappy slogan to help spread their evangelic message, which today is more commonly used than that one about washing up liquid – “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”. Don’t bother de-constructing this slogan in any way – just marvel at its symmetry and its almost Shakespearean rhythm.

You see the secret to success of the architects of “surveillance for all” was they spotted that surveillance is so much easier to sell to the masses when it’s invisible.… Read the rest

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Government Shutdown Doesn’t Slow Negotiations On The Trans-Pacific Partnership

tpp

Democracy Now! reports the latest on the previously discussed sinister and corporate power-grab:

As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP is often referred to by critics as “NAFTA on steroids,” and would establish a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and, until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisers reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton and Monsanto.

“This is not mainly about trade,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade.

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