12 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. Geeze. Hedge-funder’s income is taxed at 15%, no questions asked. Former Bear-Stearns employee, John Paulson, made $3 billion in ’07 and early ’08 by shorting sub prime mortgages. (I always think of that when I hear that the Street had no idea the economy was going to collapse – sure it didn’t.) Actually, there’s a sort of sliding scale in today’s tax law – the higher the income, the lower the percentage.

  2. Well, that reading list contained a few depressing facts, the worst of which, for me personally, was that not even Rick Santorum’s high school photo was as dorky as mine. Life is so unfair. Ron Paul was “Best All Around” and a “senior notable”, I was voted “most likely to collect aluminum cans for a living”. Who knows after pauperization, I may fulfill my destiny.

    I did have one small slightly positive thought cross my “mind” today. I wonder how the implementation of a single payer health care system in Vermont will affect businesses. It seems that it could be quite an incentive for businesses to move or build in Vermont. How ironic if it turned out to a greater entrepreneur magnet than the magic tax cuts and rebates that never seem to work as advertised.

  3. WTF?
    Newt, “Most Intellectual?”
    How many in the graduating class?
    With Newt getting away with voting twice?
    No wonder he’s so sensitive to voter fraud!
    Who came in 2nd? The school mascot – Zippy the Chimp?

    Richard Wolff’s article was great.
    Thanks for the heads-up, maha!
    Basically, it comes down to this.
    A foolish public – voting against its best interests.
    Feckless poticians – bought and paid for.
    Corporate corruption of elections – companies acting like rich assholes without reservations at crowded restaurants greasing the palms of the Maitre D’s in DC for the best seat in the joint to siphon money from the rubes in the public.
    Politicians, coming and going, playing Lobby group musical chairs, with high paying jobs guaranteed for life if they don’t rock the boat.
    And a compliant and complicit MSM – peopled by other rich assholes who are so far removed from working people, when they do talk about them, they might as well be discussing bugs, and how best to deal with them.

    It’s nothing we don’t talk about here at least a couple of times a week. But at least it’s nice to see it’s not just us in the Liberal blogosphere. Of course, Wolff is a visiting professor at NYU, in NY City, in NY State, in the USA, and he had to go the “The Guaridan” in Merry Old England, because, God forbid something like this gets published here and hurts the fee-fee’s of the rich assholes and their political and media lackey’s and sycophants. No, we can’t have that now, can we?

    All I can say as we race for the bottom, is that I’m dragging some rich assholes with me.

  4. Interesting that Newt and Paul are the only ones of the bunch with what I would call Presidential interests. Maybe it is true that ANYONE can be President; or at least can run!

  5. WTF?
    Newt, “Most Intellectual?”

    It was in rural Georgia, the competition probably wasn’t that tough. Most Intellectual probably came with a subsidiary award, Most Powerful Wedgie.

    Most Pseudo-Intellectually Pretentious is more like it. Check out Newt’s personal quote.

  6. Newt’s eye glasses look like the standard issue of military eye glasses that soldiers refer to as BCD’s…An acronym for Birth Control Device.

  7. Regarding the above-mentioned article, After the Crash: the Pauperisation of Middle-Class America by Richard Wolff, I’ basically in agreement with all he says, but I’d like to add a comment about this point that he made:

    …The US dollar has fallen sharply against many currencies of countries with which the US trades, and that has enabled US exports to rebound from their crisis lows.

    That was supposed to be part of his good news. Over here in Asia, you might be interested in knowing just what it is we buy from the USA. Both from the figures I’ve been able to dig up and the labels on products in our stores, I have a reasonable idea what the USA exports:

    1) Farm products (wheat mostly), apples in season. Alcohol (wine, whiskey), but much competition from Europe here. Some dried fruits like raisins (but Argentina is slowly taking over that market). US beef and dried milk are banned because ONLY THE USA allows hormones to be fed/injected to cattle, so Australia and New Zealand have taken over this market. American-made milk chocolate banned for the same reason. We have Skippy Peanut Butter, but it’s made in China at a licensed subsidiary of the US parent company. Similarly, Coca-Cola is made locally, under license.

    2) Hollywood movies. But European movies are making inroads. Hong Kong and India have thriving movie industries. Most of the soap operas that play all day are now coming from Korea and Japan. Happily, we DON’T have Fox News, even on cable. We do have CNN International, which is somewhat better than the US version, but BBC and Al Jezeera are better still.

    3) Music – some from America, but really falling fast. European groups are the most innovative these days. Locally produced Asian music (which I don’t really like much) probably has the lion’s share of the radio airplay. Interestingly, aggressive lobbying tactics by the USA’s “intellectual property” mafia (RIAA, MPAA) has caused many stations to stop playing American music. RIAA thinks that radio stations should pay a fee to them every time they play an American song, so our stations have stopped playing them. In our night clubs, the live bands are either locals or (best of all) Filipinos.

    4) Software. Microsoft and Apple really do have us by the short and curlies. I’m surprised that Linux doesn’t do better here, as it is in Europe. I’m a 100% Linux user myself.

    3) Weapons, at least the high-tech stuff. Competition from Russia and France. But less sophisticated technology (AK-47s, etc) made locally.

    In short, I do think the fall in the US dollar is doing much to help US products. The fact is, beyond the high-tech weapons, I can’t say that we really depend on America for much anymore. And even those weapons rely on computers, which are made here.

  8. Just wanted to add a couple of things…

    Tobacco. American cigarettes are still popular. But market for all tobacco is shrinking as Asian countries start anti-smoking campaigns.

    About software, there is big local trend in going mobile, with Google’s Android (a free off-shoot from Linux) as the operating system. This strikes terror into the hearts of Microsoft and Apple, so they are running an enormous smear campaign against Google, while suing companies like HTC (Taiwanese) and Samsung (Korean), producers of mobile phones, for just about every absurd reason Mapplesoft lawyers can invent. We have some products on the market here (MP5 player – Google it) that you can’t buy in the USA because of the legal environment there.

  9. Candide,
    Wow, that’s some pretty bleak stuff…
    Except the weapons, of course!
    Nobody can make shit that destroys people and property like America!
    USA! USA!! USA!!!

  10. It was in rural Georgia, the competition probably wasn’t that tough. Most Intellectual probably came with a subsidiary award, Most Powerful Wedgie.

    Most Pseudo-Intellectually Pretentious is more like it. Check out Newt’s personal quote.

    Good one Kyle. I’ve followed him for what seems like forever. I lived in Atlanta for 15 years and to see how he’s translated those less than impressive academic credentials (a PhD) into a supposed towering conservative intellect a la William F. Buckley still baffles me.

    Luckily, merely saying it so does not making it so. Besides Newtie was shown the door before he exited his GOP leadership position so he’s doing it for reasons other than realistic hope of winning — as are most of the GOP field.

    I wonder whether they will score points with their base from appearing to be a larger gang against the black dude or whether it will work against them either because of squabbling or the zig-zagging and violation of past positions they must indulge in to keep in lock-step with one another.

    The conventionalism, unqiestioning loyalty, unanimity and apparent idelogical purity demanded by conservatives is a two-edged sword and they appear to be cutting themselves on it. In any case it’s a real hoot watching them breaking their arms patting one another on the back while trying to conceal the knife they stuck there.

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