A postscript regarding eyebrow-raising news from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas: It was news that said we'd best break down those megabanks that are too big to fail, lest the whole economy get sucked in and squashed when they topple again. Imagine that, a conservative regional bank saying what regular folks have been saying -- for how many years, again?
The temptation is strong to say something snide here, such as, "What? No honor among thieves?" but we will do all we can to rein in that urge. Instead, we will simply agree it's asking for trouble, keeping more than half of the nation's banking assets in just five institutions. The Dallas Fed agreed, adding those megabanks not only prolonged and amplified the 2008 crash, but have also been squarely hindering the recovery.
Wall Street, by the way, is doing just fine: More than half of financial workers saw their salary rise last year, and, at a time when the number of Americans living in poverty reached an all-time high. Count in skyrocketing CEO megabonuses while profits are prevented from any momentarily sag or lag, bottom lines polished brighter, bolstered by canning more workers or engaging in a little creative destruction, colloquially known as vulture capitalism -- there you go.
Quite a show, knowing CEO pay still screams along at the highest levels in the world: In 2000, CEO pay peaked at 525 times the pay of average workers, now down to 300 to 400 or so, depending on which day you check, after which company has been broken apart and its pieces shipped to China or India. The next highest CEO-to-average-worker pay is likely located in Venezuela, at a comparatively wispy and inconsequential 50 to 1.
What were those pesky Occupy protesters about all again -- some silly freedom-of-speech thing, wasn't it?
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We should expect a very long, very hot summer -- no matter what seasons or temperatures might do: Police departments have bulked up on military supplies and firepower. More people are starting to tease a single thought into the corners of their minds: Enough is enough.
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It's interesting to note how vigorous is the response to unarmed protesters exercising their rights: chemical weapons applications, forcible arrests, long and silent detention periods -- and now, strip searches have been queued up by the courts, for any arrest whatsoever, even jaywalking. It's also interesting to note how improbable would be mass arrests if tens of thousands of people showed up at each event, or, if a few million people got up off the sofa to peacefully express their thoughts -- the same day, the same place, the same hour.
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"These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power... that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Voodoo economics and prayerful trickle-down pleas have never worked -- ask anyone who deals in facts. We see how well it has worked out, providing endless and mammoth tax cuts, an effort in urging the rich and corporations to create jobs -- we see exactly and precisely how much it is were are not swamped by all those promised jobs: Gee, thanks.
One Percenters spend all their energies shoring up their wealth, trying to make sure none of it leaks or dribbles out or trickles down anywhere. The rest of us are just people, trying to live life and survive -- how silly of us.
Anyone having two brain cells to rub together can easily ponder those points and provide plenty more room to contemplate another idea, too: Name one thing Republicans have ever done for the regular working person -- no, corporations are definitely not people.
Take all the time you want answering that one: All the time in the world will not be enough, you will see -- eventually, like the Dallas Fed, quite suddenly.
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"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children wake up homeless..." -- Thomas Jefferson
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"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed." -- Abraham Lincoln
Speaking of difficult choices: Here is your way-down-here-hiding, weekend bonus -- an Easter egg of sorts -- regarding the vagaries, confusions, and pleasures of Choice: http://www.radiolab.org/2008/nov/17/