Stupid is as Stupid Does!

Wow… That’s some powerful dumb.

Anderson Cooper is stunned by the degree of dumb on display from Romney Campaign spokesperson Gail Gitcho.  She can’t figure out the difference between the President and the CBO.

The Congressional Budget Office is a non-partisan group of economists and econometricians put in place to provide objective economic analysis to congress and the nation.  Gail Gitcho should know this.  She doesn’t.

“A Plague on Both Your Houses”

Washington does not get it

  • Forty-five million Americans (one in seven) are on food stamps.
  • One in seven is unemployed or underemployed.
  • The percentage of those out of work defined as long-term unemployed is the highest (42%) since the Great Depression.
  • Fifty-four percent of college graduates younger than 25 are unemployed or underemployed.
  • Forty-seven percent of Americans receive some form of government assistance.
  • Employment-to-population ratio for 25- to 54-year-olds is now 75.7%, lower than when the recession “ended” in June 2009.
  • There are 7.7 million fewer full-time workers now than before the recession, and 3.3 million more part-time workers.
  • Eight million people have left the labor force since the recession “ended” — adding those back in would put the unemployment rate at 12% instead of 8.2%.
  • The number of unemployed looking for work for at least 27 weeks jumped 310,000 in May, the sharpest increase in a year.
  • Just 14% of high-school graduates believe they will have a more successful financial future than their parents.
  • The male unemployment rate for ages 16 to 19 is 27%; for ages 20 to 24, it is 13%.
  • Because of structural problems such as negative home equity (which keeps people from moving for work) and skills erosion (from long-term unemployment), UBS economists estimate that the economy’s natural unemployment rate has increased from 5.7% before the recession to 8.6% now. This acts as a speed limit on potential economic growth.
  • Between 2007 and 2010, median family net worth fell nearly 40%, while median inflation-adjusted incomes before taxes fell nearly 8%.

Welcome to The Next Great Depression.

Just.. Wow… Unbelievable Sexism on Fox & Friends

Unreal. On Fox & Friends Thursday morning, Steve Doocy interviewed members of the U.S. Navy Band about the band’s recent inclusion of women. In his reaction to the piece, Brian Kilmeade sniped, “Women are everywhere. We’re letting them play golf and tennis now. It’s out of control.” Gretchen Carlson walked off of the set in anger.  The self-loathing of Republican women is reaching epidemic proportions.  Will nobody on the right speak out against this?

Like Neo in his tank, it’s time to WAKE UP

Time to Wake Up, America!

In The Matrix, Neo (Keanu Reeves) discovers that the world he thought he was living in was merely an illusion, a computer-generated program designed to keep him docile and to be, in effect, a D-Cell battery.  I’ve long held that The Matrix is a brilliant example of political cinema.  The use of information technology & media to suppress dissent has been the driving force in our political system for many years now, though the process has accelerated significantly since 9/11.  While we’re not physically connected to The Matrix as Neo was, a large portion of the population is glued to the massive right-wing disinformation system to the exclusion of all other information sources.  They are, in effect, connected to The Matrix.

One of the most important illusions the Powers That Be™ must maintain is the belief that America is a meritocracy and that anyone, no matter how lowly or economically challenged can rise to at least the middle-class if not the upper-class.  Following the Second World War with the growth of industrial unionization and the greater collaboration between management and labor, we had that.  Citizens with a high-school diploma could get a decent job in a factory, join a union, put money away for retirement and expect to live a pretty good life.  Shared prosperity was not a dirty word.

Over the last 30 years, we have hollowed out this model so that now, America offers her citizens less economic mobility that we saw in Europe in the 19th century.  Citizens with college degrees cannot find work and if they do, it’s for less than their parents made.  Wages are stagnant for all but the wealthiest citizens.  Poor people stay poor, their children and grandchildren stay poor.  Poverty is intragenerational now.  The rich stay rich and the middle-class are on a downward trajectory towards greater poverty.

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argues that the inequality gap in America has become so great that the chances of those at the bottom making it to the middle or upper-class are bleak.  He is joined by Marxian economist Richard Wolff to discuss the plight of the non-wealthy in America.