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It’s a pun off of the word stagflation which was short for stagnant inflation.  Stagpression is short for stagnant depression.  It is the most accurate indicator of our economic situation today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…

We seem to be in a Depression. but we aren’t.  The Housing market is recouping, jobs are consistently growing, energy costs have dropped,  corporate profits are now at record, higher than just before the 1929 crash, and an all time record high stock market..  We should be booming. But we aren’t.  We still have too high of an unemployment both on and off the books, we still have depressed low wages, we have lost massive wealth within the middle class over this century so far, we have record high student loan debt, we have low consumer confidence,  Hence, one class of America is booming.  The other class is still in Depression mode.  Hence we are in Stagpression….

It is easy to see why.

Here is a chart showing the free cash flow of businesses……

Free Cash Flow

Record highs. See?  Record highs.  We should be growing faster than China, we have so much investment money at our fingertips. But no.

Here is our investment track record…

Fixed Reinvestment

Ironically as we gave our businesses more and more money with lower taxes, less regulation, tax funded price supports, hand-tied their unions, and made free new technology at our taxpayers expense, despite all these perks and incentives, they invested less.  So what are they doing with their money?   Pick up any financial publication and read the headlines. They all will let you know.

Rather than invest in plants and equipment, businesses are primarily using their funds to repurchase their own stocks in order to boost management earnings and ward off hostile take-overs, pay dividends to stockholders, and accumulate large cash and bond holdings.

None of which help our economy. It is as if we work hard, buy their products, and they put that money into a mattress. Soon, we are going to run out of money. Fortunately the Fed has filled the gap by printing more and giving it to banks for free. It too, filters though the system, and when it gets to the top, it goes into the mattress.

Instead of recycling money, we are letting the tap flow from our printing presses to the top echelon of our society… Now do you get it?

What is missing is a system that recycles the materials back into our economy so we have less money we need to print. If we were talking about paper, we would be saying we need to recycle paper to keep from cutting down more and more trees simply to fill up our landfills….

We need a system to return that money to the bottom so it can rise again and again and again.

Here are the options that have been tried.

  • Price and pay freezes.
  • Government set and regulated prices.
  • Lower tax rates.
  • Cash incentives from taxpayers to reinvest.
  • Pleas and entreaties from the Oval Office.
  • Higher marginal tax rates.

Only one of these has worked.  Can you guess which one?    If you guessed higher tax rates spur reinvestment you are absolutely correct.

Notice the rates of reinvestment climbing in each of these presidencies:  Eisenhower, Kennedy-Johnson,  Carter,  Clinton each time  Congress legislated higher marginal tax rates.  Also notice the drops under Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush as Republicans cut the taxes…  The Bush Tax Cuts held through Obama’s first term, and account for today’s sluggish reinvestment. More precisely, the reinvestment turned upwards under Obama  until 2010 when Republicans took over Congress, and has fallen since. I can’t wait to see 2013’s numbers, for I expect to see real investment increase there as well. However those higher tax rates on the top half percent implemented at 2013’s beginning, sent financiers scurrying and bargain empty homes were bought up by investors with lots of cash which brought up the floor of the housing market (perhaps to our future peril).  It also accounts for stocks becoming an area of liquidity to hold cash,..explaining the record highs ….

So we have an opposite relationship:  cutting taxes increases corporate profits which go elsewhere other than reinvestment back into the ecnomy.

Increasing taxes, cuts into the Free Cash Flow, and funnels some of that flow over to reinvestment projects.

Ever wonder how Delaware’s 3 banks lasted for decades and then all disappeared very close to each other?  Bank of Delaware, Delaware Trust, and Wilmington Trust. are now owned  by other entities. (Wilmington Trust had some hand in cutting off its own foot).  Commerce Bank, which was New Jersey based had the same fate.

They lasted for years because big banks never had enough free money to buy them out.  Just think.  In Delaware there are now 3 less bank presidents.  18 less bank officers,  and who knows how many clerical workers are missing because the work goes to the owners headquarters, not located here…. One still wonders if our state could be better off, had MNBA not been bought up by an outside conglomerate.

So giving more money to businesses and corporations in this case, cost us jobs… and destroyed 3 long termed Delawarean corporations…

That was one example.  Across this nation, in every city,  every county, every state are millions more….

Raising the tax rates drives re-investment.  It is the only thing we know of so far that consistently works to drive re-investment.   Everyone who insists on cuts and de-regulation, no matter how they spin it, is pursuing a policy that has been completely disproven by reality and fact and of course, recent history..

Are you better off than you were under Clinton?  Your income level will probably determine your answer…..  Because yes, some people are indeed, a lot better off.   John Carney.  Tom Carper.  Chris Coons,  Jack Markell, to name 4 off the top of my head….  Better off too, are those who these four represent… the 1%.  Much better off!

If you find someone willing to raise taxes, stick to them like glue. They are the ones who will lead us back to prosperity…..

Until then, economic stagpression will continue…. continuing through tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow….(at a) petty pace that creeps from day to day….

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Thats 30 people more than have died from an overdose of marijuana, EVER.

I am borrowing heavily from Hunter here, who through an amazing amount of work did what I would have liked to, but never would have found the time…  He slogged through each month in separate installments.  I wanted to have one single visual representation of the year as a whole.

America has cancer.  It is our conservatives.

January.

January 3, 2013: Election of Speaker. Incumbent Speaker John Boehner was re-elected with the largest number of defections in the vote for speaker since at least 1991…

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tells GOP: ‘Stop being the stupid party’. “It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults,”

Republican Stephan King introduces the Repeal of Birthright Citizenship.

Republicans closed party ranks against doing anything at all to prevent another Sandy Hook mass killing.

Republican state legislatures initiated laws to disregard any federal laws on gun legislation that do happen to pass.

The constitutional Sheriffs said putting armed civilian posse’s in schools would be the answer.  Some noted that Sheriff’s Arapao’s own posse was composed of criminal elements.

Republicans threatened to veto Obama’s appointment of conservative Republican Chuck Hagel because he was neither Republican or Conservative enough.

Sequester Legislation gets signed as part of budget deal, and Obama goes on a olive branch dining tour with Congressional Republicans.  He was received well ( they all brought their wives to meet him.)

The government did not shut down, Mitch and Joe made a deal that sailed passed the House, in which the leadership and moderate Republicans all thumbed their noses at the Tea Party contingent who voted it down.  The lesson was short lived.

GOP had a retreat to determine why nobody like them, and discovered it was because they were conservative.  While there they decided they could do nothing without their prime funders, who were all demented Conservatives, and so they chose to remain conservative anyway.

And Glenn Beck announced a Glenn Beck theme park was forthcoming.

February

John Boehner informs America that the Republican House is going to initiate a top secret Immigration Reform Club, that will blow both the Senate and America away with the scope and integrity of their quality legislation.

Disclosure is made that the NRA has a secret enemies list…  topped by Mary Lou Retton. (Not snark; seriously)

The NRA head Wayne “LaKook” LaPierre, felt compelled to give his own rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union address.

Led by a former Vice President who shot his lawyer in the face, a group of likewise gifted riflemen led a movement stating that having any discussion about gun safety was bad for America.

Mississippi Republicans pondered to ban animal-human hybrids. Oklahoma Republicans debated whether students should get marked wrong for stating that climate change or evolution DID NOT EXIST. Missouri Republicans responded with a bill to make it a FELONY for anyone to propose gun legislation laws….

Senator Cruz questions whether Secretary Defense Chuck Hagel is secretly getting money from North Korea or other of America’s enemies.

The Republican’s gentleman’s agreement not to block nominees with a filibuster lasted 15 working days.  Chuck Hagel’s vote did not reach cloture.

March

The Daily Caller was punked by a hoax involving two Dominican Republican prostitutes who after being paid a year’s worth of tricks by a wealthy Republican benefactor, then went and made charges against Bob Menendez.  Although quick to be proven a hoax, the Daily Caller to this date, still insists it was a true story, and the entire world is lying and currently is out to get them…..

After cowing to public pressure to install Chuck Hagel afterall, Senate Republicans next vow to hold up confirmation on the CIA director until Lindsey Graham and John McCain get the answers they want on Benghazi.

Senator Paul Rand of Kentucky stages a filibuster against the CIA confirmation chief’s vote, to protest drone use by America.  After receiving much good press and lots of contributions, he quietly said he really didn’t have a problem with drones being used to kill people at all.

With the exception of Governor Christie who fortunately as a Republican, is completely removed from the antics inside the capitol dome, all the other 2016 Presidential contenders came out against any post-Sandy Hook common sense legislation…. Sens. Marco Rubio, Jim Inhofe, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee…..

The Republican Sequester begins to go into effect, causing Republicans to push legislation to fund all those parts of their sequester which make them look bad.  Long lines at the airports,  White House tours,  immigrants sneaking across the border were all erroneously blamed on Obama.  Like cutting $85 billion overnight wouldn’t affect anyone?…  Duh.

Remember the Acorn scandal of years ago?  It was settled and the full story came out after the trial.  The film was edited by Breitbart to make it look like a prostitution ring was being run out of ACORN, but in fact, the ACORN perpetrators had been suspicious and called the police on the film crew, thinking that they were the ones misusing women for financial gains.  Trusting anything said by a conservative is dangerous.  That organization which re-enfranchised many poor Americans was shut down over a lie.  Can we now have that class action lawsuit against Breitbart and the film’s producer?

Woot!  Woot!  Paul Ryan had a Medicare plan!  Awwww.  The Senate voted it down 96-3.

Sequester kicks cut deeply into Head Start, cancer research, and Meals on Wheels.  Republicans complain loudly about the quality of towels in the heated Congressional swimming pool.  Apparently they weren’t getting cleaned well or fast enough.

April

Republican nominee for Virginia’s governorship advocates for the re-installment of Virginia’s anti-sodomy laws.  (Yeah, seriously!  In 2013!)

Sen. James Inhofe, dismisses the Sandy Hook families who showed up in Congress to witness the vote, by saying the tragedy of Sandy Hook didn’t have anything to do about them. “I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t.” –Inhofe

After gun control gets defeated, Inhofe in search of another publicity run, makes himself the head of investigating those rumors of whether the federal government is buying up all the ammo so gun owners can’t use any to shoot at rifle ranges.

The new conservative media darling Ben Carson disappears after stating that gay marriage leads to bestiality…

Multiple conservative groups took to the airwaves and blamed the Boston Marathon bombing on the Pill, sexual liberalism and abortion. Obviously they are ignorant of real world terms like backpacks and explosives.

Rep. Louie Gohmert made the claim that the Obama administration was “chock full of Muslim Brotherhood” members…  Because it is?  That was the full extent of evidence behind his outrageous claim.

House issues its report on Benghazi.  It apparently did not know, or listen to any of its witnesses subpoenaed to it’s hearings,  that [By tradition], every cable from an embassy bears the “signature” of the ambassador — and every cable from Washington bears the “signature” of the secretary of state.”   The entire premise of their report, was instantly and publicly deemed invalid.

May

House Republicans admit their own ineptitude at being able to pass any legislation.  Revealing Quote:  “we couldn’t even get agreement to call 911 if House Speaker John Boehner were on fire.” 

Heritage Foundation weighed in on Immigration stating that it would cost trillions of dollars.  When broken down that came to half a million per immigrant, something that laughed Heritage Foundation past the monsters and over the edge of even their square world of reality.  it didn’t help Heritage, that the author of that report, was a known white supremest in charge of his own collection of kooks.

The NRA elects a new president who in video, express his continued anger that the northern states ran off with all of his great-grandfather’s black help…. More alarming was his advocacy for ” “weapons to fight tyranny”  forever dooming the next poor government worker who chooses to knock on the wrong door….

Republicans foundering in a froth over that Obama had the Tea Party scrutinized by the IRS, had a hard time dealing with the fact that democratic leaning groups got the same treatment as well. Could it be policy, that political groups requesting tax exempt status actually get looked at to ensure they were deserving of such before granting it? Completely out-played, Rand Paul stands up to protest, well, that he should even be forced into the position of having to protest anything at all…..

Michelle Bachmann announced she would not run again  and that the cause for which she was bowing out, absolutely had nothing to do with the two separate probes over her criminal misdoings…

It’s now been three months since the Republican National Committee issued its 100-page autopsy report about what went wrong in 2012 and promised to reach out to more non-white voters.

June

Just hours after the Supreme Court nullified parts of the Voting Right’s Act,  Republican state legislatures rush through legislation to purge voter rolls of Blacks and Hispanics.

Remember the IRS scandal?  In June through testimony it was revealed that twice as many conservative groups were approved than were progressive groups…  Remember Darrell Issa’s  charges that Obama was using the IRS to stymie Conservative groups only?   I guess the Congressional Committee actually did what it was supposed to do and got down to the truth of the matter.  Way to go, Darrell….

Snowden erupts… The press goes through a public mitosis.   We get to watch which reporters and organizations are the “real” fourth estate, and which are the self-appointed protectors of the DC bureaucratic elite.

Ultra Conservative foundation Heritage, was originally “for” a bill that eliminated public financing of campaigns, until they discovered the money would go to fund research for sick children… Better to waste it on Republican candidates than sick children they said (in a roundabout way), and switched their support to one of not…

And we heard again that rape does not result in pregnancy, so keeping abortions facilities around to prevent raped impregnations is absolutely unnecessary, and… we need to ban abortion immediately because, heaven forbid, fetuses are masturbating in the uterus!  Apparently this trend seems to occur mostly with Republican ones.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake had to apologize for his 15-year-old son’s unsavory remarks on Twitter.

July

July 16, 2013: The Senate reached a deal to allow some presidential nominations to come to a vote, avoiding the “Nuclear option” for filibuster reform…

Republicans in Missouri wanted their state Supreme Court to hasten forward their convict’s execution days, since access to acquire the drug to be used, was running out.

Conservative plans to put guns in schools hit a major hurdle as private insurance companies say if so, they’ll pull their insurance coverage away.

Republican Governor Rick Scott wonders why his national guard is not prepared for a hurricane, and discovers the sequester was the culprit….  Their funds were cut by his own Tea Party in Congress.

People whom no one takes seriously, on a network no one takes seriously, wasted a lot of air time blaming Obama for making us into a bi-racial nation, after he gave a few remarks about Trayvon Martin.

Congress takes a recess having passed 15 bills by it’s half year mark. A record low.

August

Arizona Senators who had voted against giving FEMA aid to New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, demand FEMA do more to help their state, beset by a few fires.

Liz Cheney gets busted for lying that she was a Wyoming resident.

The Republican National Committee demands that CNN and NBC not show their prime-time programs on Hillary Clinton, or else they will ban those networks from showing their convention in 2016….  Turns out it was only going to be those two network’s Spanish channels who would be banned….

Republicans who castigated Clinton and Obama for not having sufficiently protected embassies across the world, called the unprecedented closing of 22 embassies over a credible intelligence threat, an act of cowardice….  Darn. There went their plan for Congressional hearings all the way up to 2014 elections….

Republicans complained that the re-enactment of Martin Luther King’s Washington speech had no conservative speakers.  It was subsequently revealed that all those Conservatives who were invited, had declined.

September

Buildup to the Shutdown. Republicans do nothing to stop it.

Ted Cruz gives a pre-shutdown standing “non”–filibuster. Topic, Obamacare.  It was just (yawn) a speech, since it delays no vote…

The month of September was preluded by Republican entreaties that the government shutdown would NOT be the Republican’s fault, since neither Obama nor the Democratic Senate was not accepting their unreasonable demands to repeal Obamacare. The entreaties obviously didn’t work.

John McCain continues his push to arm Syrian’s rebels. Creates inter-party confusion, since, aren’t those rebels Al Qaeda? John says arm them nevertheless… (until Israel tells him otherwise).

Lindsey Graham says not bombing Syria immediately, will cause an all-out Israeli-Syrian War by March 2014….

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott, reschedules an execution since it fell on his Attorney General’s re-election campaign fundraiser date.

As more and more Republicans express hope that shutting down the government and defaulting on our debts are preferable to allowing poor people access to insurance coverage, a shut-down appears more and more likely.

October

The United States federal government was shut down as most routine operations were curtailed after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014, or a continuing resolution for the interim authorization of appropriations for fiscal year 2014…

When asked if Republicans gained anything by forcing the closure on many government functions, Republican Senator Ayotte replied “I think the answer is no.”

GOP Congressman Stutzman explains the very coherent clear objective for the stop-payment on 700,000 people’s paychecks by shutting down government.  “We have to get something out of this; and I don’t even know what that IS.”

Rep. Randy Neugebauer  berates a Park Ranger for closing a war monument that Rep. Randy Neugebauer himself voted to close. The best part of the exchange? Multiple bystanders coming to the ranger’s defense.

Republicans found they could get TV time on networks by falsely appearing  outraged over the closing of War Memorials for which they voted.  Unfortunately no TV time was allotted to children awaiting cancer treatments,  people eating unchecked contaminated food,  mothers whose work depended on Head Start classes teaching their children certain hours every day…. Even the Federal employees who had no income for 17 days, were barely mentioned.  Proving to all that there is nothing fair or balanced with any American news organization.

Republican Party head Reince Priebus states the RNC itself will provide funds to keep the war memorials open.  Two things not mentioned.  They would not be closed in the first place but only for Republican’s irrational enthusiasm for shutting down all government; and that more necessary programs  towards the well-being of this nation,  both economic and defense, would of course not be getting any assistance and would continue to do severe harm. Those two omissions making it clear to all observers  that Republicans are not only stupid, but dangerous to have anywhere near real power.

A rolling right wing extremist truckers brigade was planning on shutting down Washington for an entire weekend by choking the Capitol City’s roads and freeways.   5 trucks showed up.  But that didn’t stop Fox News from showing year’s old footage of trucks stranded on a Georgia Interstate due to a traffic mishap, in its selling of the live and current story…

In his ongoing  effort to prove who is the most irrational Republican Rep Gohmert tells an audience that John McCain, due to his criticism of the Republican shutdown, is secretly employed and on the payroll of Al Qaeda..  And to think, if not for Obama in 2008, he (Al Qaeda)  would have been president!  It has a nice ring to it though… John (Al Qaeda) McCain….

And in case you couldn’t tell… Michelle Bachmann held a press moment to declare, we are now in the ….. “End Times”…  (So that’s why the Eagles are champs of the NFC East.)

Even Norquist condemns the Republican Party…. “I think if you make a mistake as big as what they did, you owe your fellow senators and congressmen a big apology — and your constituents, as well, because nothing they did advanced the cause of repealing or dismantling Obamacare.”

Republican North Carolinian precinct captain,  essentially says the Republican’s party’s prime role, is to make non-whites second class citizens again…  He was pushed out after the interview aired, but not before criticizing his own party for not being KKK enough…

Republicans say defaulting on our debt, which means the government not paying at least some of our bills, is no big deal.   Meanwhile, the actual price the government paid to borrow money for a month rose to its highest level since 2008, more than doubling from just a day earlier.

The shutdown cost the Federal Government $4.8 billion. It lost the economy $24 billion. It shaved 0.6% growth off our GDP.

The Republicans caved just in time.  Newsweek revealed the S & P was minutes away from changing our already lowered AA+ to its lowest category, Selective Default.  the lowest of all 20 of S&P’s grades of non-trustworthiness.

‘Tea Party’ Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, insisted “this was worth having the fight,” even as they were conceding absolute defeat.

To a Republican Party which pretends to be concerned about fiscal conservatism — even as these numbers and many others show they clearly are not — any “victory” found amidst this shutstorm will have to do.

Republicans sum up the month by declaring there is a war on Christmas and only they are the last lines of defense in keeping it from being overcome.  Really.  Would that “war on Christmas” spending have anything to do with a self imposed  $24 billion hit to the economy?

Oh, and on the very day the government shut down to deny all funding for Obamacare,  the website for Obamacare opened… and received considerable amounts of traffic.  Perhaps a little too much traffic. But when one is concerned with focusing all September’s efforts on keeping the entire government from shutting down, are the problems of a tiny single untested website going to get that much pre-scrutiny?

November

November 21, 2013: Nuclear option for filibuster reform was enacted.  The new rule will allow just a simple majority vote for all nominees except for the Supreme Court.  Tipping point was the Republicans filibustering of 3 DC Circuit appointments for spite,  finally pissing off 3 cool-to-the-idea Senators and giving him the majority he needed to make it happen.

Rand Paul plagiarizes on a scale that makes Biden’s remarks 25 years ago just a slip of the tongue.  Biden was kicked out for that?  And Paul is still in?  Oh… I see…  two different parties; two different morales…

Boehner comes clean:  “Frankly, I’ll make clear, we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate (Immigration) bill,”  Note: There are enough favorable bipartisan votes to pass the Senate Immigration Bill in the House of Representatives if it ever came up for a vote.

In Colorado, five hard-right counties voted in November to secede from the state…

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Jim Wright, was almost denied his voting rights under Texas’ newly passed Voter ID law.  Being in a nursing home, he could not get his drivers license renewed in time to vote.  Not to mention, untold numbers of married women were turned away because their married names had not yet been updated on their ID’s.

December

Congress will close 2013 with 58 bills enacted into law. It’s the lowest one-year output since 1947. 6366 bills were introduced by lawmakers.

“You know, you look around the Congress and there are a lot more females in the Democratic caucus than in the Republican caucus, and some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.” John Boehner, Dec 5, 2013.

House Republicans decide we needed a budget after all…  The Paul Ryan deal with Patty Murray sails through with 60 Tea Partiers thinking it was too liberal, and 30 Progressives thinking it was too Conservative but still making it through with a 3-1 margin, showing the entire world, that the House of Representatives can function very well whenever the Republican Hastert rule is  ignored.

We find out from Fox News that Jesus is white, and so is Santa.   Both apparently look like this.

Realizing Obamacare will doom the Republican Party… California Republicans create a spoof site that mimics California’s healthcare website and mails every constituent a pamphlet directing them to that spoofed site, instead of to the actual one.  Much of California’s clamor over the website problems came from trusting people actually steered towards the wrong website by none other than their elected representatives.

Women must now get rape insurance in Michigan. Purchased separately in advanced.  Otherwise, they were asking for it when they got nailed.

Conservatives who praised Mandela were vilified.  How dare you praise anyone of color.  If you were already of color and shook hands with someone also of color, you were again vilified.  You can’t be “our” president they said, because you don’t hate people enough….

Duck Dynasty proved in Conservative America,  you do not have the right to fire someone for speaking hate and bile,  but you do have the right to fire someone who is in love with anyone you don’t approve.

Republicans piled on the US closing the Vatican’s embassy as a war on religion, even though it was reported it was being simply being upgraded to a new location because of logistics…   (They’ve since scrubbed their website.)  Apparently they’ve never heard of Google, which come to think of it, is probably why their embarrassingly overwhelming loss in 2012 was such a surprise….

Finally, now at the end of the year, the Wall Street journal reports that the  Chamber of Commerce is putting up $50 million in combination with Republican power brokers, to weed out the Tea Party crazies throughout the primaries…  Just as a reality check this is a lot of money;  an average Senator’s campaign war chest usually tops out at close to $1 million.

If you need them, all the sources are here…  You can look them up if you wish.  You should visit him and give him a rec for service well done.  Personally I just wanted a reminder for those times when I get tired, see how little has changed,  and wonder what’s the ‘effin’ point… why is it worth anything that I should keep pounding away at them anymore?….

At such points, I can then come back and  look at this post….

A pretty good pastor told me this story.  His first born son came home, obviously had been crying. So he asked him if there was something he wanted to tell him and was told his son hated school.  With this son it was a shock. A complete reversal because that was all this son talked about up to this point: how wonderful his days were at school.  With a little probing the pastor found that other boys had discovered this pastor’s son, didn’t hit back and were having a field day at his expense.  So, the pastor had a little heart-to-heart talk.  “You know,” the pastor said.  “you have the right by God to defend yourself.  If someone hurts you, you are allowed to hurt them back, so they see what if feels like and stop hurting you.”  The relief spread over his son’s upturned face.  “Really?  it’s ok?”  “Why yes.” the pastor said.  “I used to be one of the best fighters in my school when I was growing up.”

The next day his son came home all smiles.  “Everything go ok?”  His son’s smile said it all..

That normally would be the end of the story.  Life lesson taught.  Well, this story has a twist and keeps going.  A couple of weeks later, the pastor got an urgent letter from his teacher. ” I must see you personally as soon as possible.”  He hurried down and the teacher begins… “I don’t know what is wrong with your son.  He used to be so nice and kind and everybody loved him.  Now no one will sit next to him.  They are adamant.  I’ve had to put him in a chair in the corner just to get class back on track.  They say he’s hitting them, but I really find that very hard to believe.”

The pastor went back home, found his son, and together, they had …. another little heart-to-heart discussion…  🙂

Point is: sometimes though fighting back is not deemed civilized or the mature method to handle problems, it is necessary. ( Just don’t enjoy the rush so much you forget when to stop.)

The erosion of the middle class has gone on long enough. Let me rephrase that: the erosion of all classes except those at the top 1%, has gone on long enough.  What can we do about it?

it is time for class war.  i don’t like it anymore than that little boy who was taught that hitting was wrong, liked hitting back at first, but it is necessary. The longer we wait; the weaker we become.

How do we win?  We win by deflating the value they place on their pile of money.  We throw the economy so investors everywhere are forced to panic.  The easiest way to do that, is to simply not work.  We can a) under perform and drive up productivity costs; b) sabotage our bosses and drive up supply costs; or c) strike and win, and drive up labor costs.

Of the three, the latter is the cleanest.  Staging a mutiny until conditions change, sends the clearest signal that the rules on the playing field must change.  The price of labor is going up.  If you refuse, we shut your plant down.

It has been awhile since we have had strikes.  If they’ve happened at all, they get swept under the mat of the next news story to come up on the wire.  Strikes are kind of ugly.  They hurt a lot of people just like war; many of those hurt are completely innocent. And at one point, those of us who remember the past, recognized that strikes were being thrown way too often; in fact, they at one point were being used as extortion. Give it to us, or we’ll strike.  The middle class did well back then too.

Strikes hurt those striking.  During the strike they stop earning money.  Strikes hurt  employers whose revenue stream screeches to a stop.  They have to pay bills and have no income with which to pay them.  Strikes hurt customers and vendors of that company that is the target of the strike.   It is indicative that in these times, of all the strikes we have had in recent memory, most have all been done by millionaires striking against other millionaires.  By that I mean the sports industry.  Baseball, hockey, basketball, football…  no problem with them striking;  they have money to wait it out indefinitely.

Our middle class may be past that.  But strikes have a deeper purpose; if they are never used, that purpose ceases to exist.  A strike reminds the employer that they need to pay attention to those who are doing the work.  A strike reminds an employer that all are in life and business together,  Life is not a two layer system consisting of the overseer and the slaves; where one has all the privileges; the other all the pain.

Life is a cohabitation.  And sometimes the expense of a divorce is necessary to drive that point home.  For if you are completely confident that no one will ever strike, you can act with impunity.  Cut wages. Cut pensions. Cut rates. Cut benefits. If you always know that people will work for you, you can starve them to enrich yourself.  Really.  If there were no consequences: who wouldn’t?

War is always far more costly than the concessions of peace.  That was how strikes were won.  A business may balk at paying one percent more of its revenue towards its employees.  “That is outrageous” the business owner may puff.  “That will never happen.”

But he can only say that because he is confident that the employees will say, “oh, ok. Sorry we bothered you then.”   For if they went on strike, and his revenue drops down to zero, he has lost 10% of his potential yearly earnings because of the strike.  The 1% was rather cheap comparatively.

Which is why we need strikes to return.  We need the threat of a strike, to be real again.   What would happen if every teacher refused to return until Common Core was eradicated. We would finally have a serious discussion about Common Core and it would be eradicated.  What if dock workers in both Paulsboro and Wilmington went on strike until Dole decided to stay in Wilmington.  In a few short days, Dole would lose more cash than it would ever pay out  any other way…   What if policemen stopped working because their pension was being privatized?  What if all of Detroit simply stopped working until their pensions were guaranteed by the Federal Government.  What if the wait staffs and bartenders of every restaurant in Delaware refused to work, just stopped one day until their minimum wage set in 1990 was allowed to rise above $2.23 an hour?  What if nurses did not show for work, until rich investment companies owning hospitals, agreed not to steal their pensions, but fund them fully?  What if every administrative assistant in the Federal Government went on strike until Congress passed their budget?  What if no one services a broken car, in any garage across the country, until some of that $150 dollars an hour fo labor, went to them.

Can you see the implications?  In every case the cost of a strike is far more rigorous than the cost of the demand.  But it can only happen when there is a viable expectation that a strike is imminent.   An owner can be as invective as hell at the insolence of his worker daring to ask for more money,  but his accountants and lawyers with wiser heads, know full well that the cheapest way out is to give them what they want… Cheaper by one tenth.

So we have come to where strikes must occur, not only for individual workers, but for society as a whole.  Labor is underpaid, and it is time to use the laws of supply and demand to correct it.

And what will happen if we do?  Suddenly America will no longer be the safest place to park one’s money. The stock market will fall by billions.  Money will move out of our financial center over most likely to China, at the moment.  The wealthy certainly can’t have that.  It is far better to stop getting as high of a rate of return as one is used to,  than lose 40% of everything one has accumulated so far….

And that is the power behind committing to a strike.  As soon as the strike goes into effect, every shareholder of the company being struck, loses tremendous value on their investment.  Does that boss really want to face his angry shareholders at the next stockholders meeting?

The Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  That adage doesn’t apply  just to the one percent.  Sometimes like that little boy at the beginning of this story, you just gotta hit back.

Courtesy of Frank Capra

 

Any investor knows you buy low and sell high.  Buying high and selling low makes you a loser. The same goes with a business.  Buying a business doing very well, will leave you no room for growth.  Your pie can only get smaller, as more businesses arrive on your block and begin exploiting the fact you are so busy, by offering similar quality and prices with lower wait-times.  Their profits grow; while both your market share and profitability decline.

This is why people like monopolies so much.  One can consistently almost guarantee one’s income and profitability.

Now because of “math” it is easier to show great gains on low profitability options, more bang for the buck, than on high ones.  The closer one is to zero the higher percent increase one can show their clients.  If you have just one customer sale, it is easy to have a 100% increase by having 2 customer sales; someone just has to walk into your store.  But if you have 1000 customer sales per day, then it is rather hard to jump up to 2000 customer sales per day.  Where are you going to put them?

Understanding this  is critical to growing the economy.

History lesson.  In the summer of 2007 ARM’s started defaulting as the higher rates kicked in, starting a mushrooming effect up and down the securitized mortgage chain.   In 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed,  all hell broke loose.  The world financial markets came within 20 minutes of collapsing entirely.  But the US under George W. Bush restored confidence in the dollar, and people decided to leave their investments alone and let them ride.  That is his most defining moment.  That is one memoir I want to read.

Fortunately Ben Bernanke was an expert on the Great Depression.   Bolster the banks, keep money solvent, coddle corporations, and keep the infrastructure intact.   Knowing full well, if it totally collapsed (like a small town losing its factory) there would be no economic driver to hammer the economy back into shape.

For this reason, great pains were taken to assist big business on their bounce-back.

They bounced back very well.  Only this time, they didn’t need as many people to work for them.  Over the last decade, software had become smart enough to replace many jobs people had previously occupied..  Just that before the recession,  it wasn’t that obvious, It was only after one let people go and ran well or better without them, that one realized how just how fat you were beforehand.

So this brings us to the point.  We have invested in corporate bounce-backs as far as we can go. We have hit the ceiling as far as getting a return on our investment.  On the other hand, now on the labor side, we have great opportunity.  Every little investment over there into into putting people to work, will return great dividends very quickly.

We have to realize there as simply some jobs in society that cannot be performed by machines inside  corporate establishments or a banks.   Those jobs, simply put, are ones whose duty is to watch corporate giants and banks to insure that they comply within the law and prosecute them fully when they step out.

We need these jobs.  We really need them now.  After all, people do not work best without any accountability.  In fact the opposite is mostly true.   When you have to personally answer to a boss, you are more productive. Even when  that demanding boss is oneself; they still answer to someone. Consider the opposite.  If you could be paid whether you did work or not,  would you be as productive as you are now, where if you don’t do work, you don’t get paid?  Or would you take advantage of that opportunity, to heck with productivity, and seek to experience some of the quality of life you missed hereto? Our corporate entities and banks need to answer to a boss. That boss should be the American People via their proxies. the government watchdogs.

Those record breaking Corporate profits which are achieved by cheating society, are not really profits towards society’s benefit at all.  Some one has to eventually pay for them.  If you pump toxic chemicals into the ground to avoid paying for their disposal, at some future point when they hit a water table, society will have to pay to remove them and the damage they caused as well.

It is cheaper now to prevent that action while we have tons of money, than it will be to fix it when we simply do not.

The small business method to fix our economy, is to hire more government workers (invest in a brand new business) and pay for them out of the corporate earnings (our business already tapped out) because they can run with less people.

It is really no change from before.  Except for the person writing the check.  Prior to the recession these people worked for a corporation and got paid by their company. Where we need to go, is to have these people work watching over their former corporations,  now getting their pay checks written by the government, which gets its extra funding to cover their pay, from taxing the excessive profits those corporations are making.  Why are the making them?  Because they aren’t working as many people….

This is quite sustainable when viewed from this perspective, as would be readily seen by the owner of a small business.   If we were happy in the nineties, back when everyone was better off each year than they were before,  then we can be happy again, just by keeping all portions similar, just moving labor from the private to the public, and increasing assessments on the private sector to pay for it.

There are those who will scream.  They are selfish. They will be proven wrong.

As our planet becomes more crowded, we need more solutions. Some solutions are not very profitable and for that reason, we need a government capable to grow to meet them.

The old arguments of government being the problem, are long gone.  They weren’t true ever, though a lot of people believed them back in the day.  The opposite is certainly true now.  As a society we need more watchdogs working to make our lives better.  As a society we really don’t need more profits.  We have too many of them now and really, what good are profits really doing for us? None. Instead, we need more people working and buying things..  Nice things that someone’s got to make…

It is time to pivot in how we view the entire American economy.  Let’s hire us some watchdogs and cut the deficit while doing so, by increasing the rate of taxes on all those profits being sucked up in excess because a lot of workers got fired..

This is in spot 6 tomorrow on the Senate Side.   This is the famous bill were the Board did not approve the Governor’s recommendation, and he replaced them,  getting the vote he needed.

This bill is solely to allow an Alabama firm to come into Delaware and perform health care and be the exception that never gets licensed, never gets inspected, and never gets a citation.   If this wasn’t America, and the building wasn’t in Middletown just under the flight path of Summit Airport, with the tiniest bit of imagination, this could be a concentration camp and we’d never know.  A place to take kidnapped school board officials, kidnapped in the dead of night, feed them truth serum then throw their bodies into the Appoquinimink marsh.

it is extremely bizarre, really.  The company is legit in Alabama, they own rehabilitation homes down there,  but if this were new with no track record,  I would almost think it were to become the top secret detention center.   Now I’m joking for those who can’t tell the difference, but that joke is brought on by these lines in the bill.  …   HB 89.

In definitions….

(4) “Health care facility” shall include hospital, nursing home, freestanding birthing center, freestanding surgical center and freestanding emergency center, whether or not licensed or required to be licensed by the State, whether operated for profit or nonprofit and whether privately owned or operated or owned or operated by a unit of State or local government. The term also includes continual care communities and any other nontraditional, long-term care facilities identified by the Department of Health and Social Services or the Delaware Health Care Commission. …………. The term also shall not include any freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital. 

What?  WHat!  WHAT?

If this bill passes a freestanding inpatient hospital is not a medical facility… 

If it is not a hospital, then what is it…. (here is the fun part…)

c. “Freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital” shall mean a facility that satisfies, or is expected by the person who will construct, develop or establish the facility to satisfy, the requirements of 42 C.F.R. § 412.23(b); provided that, if such facility is not paid under the prospective payment system specified in 42 C.F.R. § 412.1(a)(3) within 24 months after accepting its first patient, then it shall not be considered a freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital under this section. No freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital is subject to the Certificate of Review process, and thus no such hospital shall have any license or authority to operate denied, revoked or restricted on the grounds that a Certificate of Public Review has not been obtained.

This bill allows the Alabama firm to build a facility with no inspections, and if found they are killing patients to feed to other patients, their authority to operate still cannot be denied, revoked or restricted….

Is this wise?

Delaware is being held hostage. The firm is stating that they won’t come unless they can get no inspections and no state agency can shut them down.  Quentin Johnson and  Jack Markell want the business so much, they are catering to this one companies demands.

Meanwhile all other IRF’s get inspected,  injected, detected, neglected, and all kinds of stuff that they gotta do….

Because Social Security is getting cut down, you choose to put your money in an IRA…  Since doing percents are easy with amounts starting with a one and ending in zeros, let us assume you choose to put $100,000 in an IRA for 20 years…. The Wall Street firm will charge you 2%. You think, $100,000?  2%, ok … $2,000 over 20 years that’s nothing.. I’ll still have 98% plus interest over 20 years…

You think?  This is Wall $treet we’re talking about……

So take this interest compounding calculator. … Seriously, you need to do this.  Right click it into a new tab  so your computer doesn’t have to download flipping back and forth….

Add $100,000 as principle.   No new additions on the first round.  Time Frame: 20 years. For the interest rate put in negative 2. Since you are going to be receiving only 98% of your earnings on a yearly basis, a negative 2 works better than having to do the extra step latter and subtracting two totals.

Hit total…  At 2% compounded off that $100,000 you originally placed,… after commissions all you will have left is $66,760… Wall $treet takes 1/3 of what you earn…..

Not convinced?  Let’s go a different way.  Let’s say you will average 7% increases with a 2% commission… We’ll do it in two steps.  We will use the calculator to figure out what we would have earned at 7%, and again, what we would have earned at 5%.  We will subtract the two to see how much Wall $treet is taking out from your future…

At 7% increases we would have earned $386,968 over 20 years with no additions after the initial deposit.  At 5% increases our total maxes out at $265,329.   That 2% costs us…..$121,639 dollars…. The same 1/3  as above….

The argument can be made that since we agreed to it in the beginning and never got it, the commissions really doesn’t cost us anything.  But if we change the wording so we say that it costs us $121,599 in “potential earnings” that clears that hurdle and if probably a more truthful line..  But there is no question …. these calculations show us how much Wall $treet intends to make when our retirements go their way instead of coming through Social Security….

We now remember why Franklin D. Roosevelt went with Social Security in the first place.  Those who saved across all their lives, can not afford to live after they stopped working.

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

So, I know the title gives it away, but what do the:
Ambulatory Pediatric Association,
Gray Panthers,
Congress of Neurological Surgeons,
National Association of Chain Drug Stores,
United Methodist Church,
General Board & Church Society,
Drew Barrymore – Actress,
Christie Brinkley – Model,
Doug Flutie – NFL player,
Art Garfunkel – Singer,
Helen Hunt – Actress,
Britney Spears – Singer,
James E. Carter – Former President,
C. Everett Koop – Former Surgeon General,
A & M Records,
Ben & Jerry`s Homemade, Inc.,
Blue Cross Blue Shield – Kansas City,
Hallmark Cards,
Kansas City Chiefs,
Levi Strauss & Co.,
Sara Lee Corporation,
Southwestern Bell Telephone- St. Louis,
St. Louis Rams,
Stoneyfield Farms Yogurt,
The Christian Publishing Society,
Gannett News Service,
Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine
and the YWCA of the U.S.A…….

all have in common?

They are listed along with a couple of thousand other well known people, organizations, and American businesses, as being an ENEMY of Wayne LaPierre and the NRA….

Can you still tell me with a straight face that these aren’t kooks, or weirdos, or crazies? The NRA is the pond scum of America. I’m all for legitimate gun rights as everybody knows… but fellow gun owners? These guys ain’t doing you no favors!

I'm Going to KILL the United Methodist Church!  If it is the last thing that I, Wayne LaPierre do!!!
Courtesy of Reuters per Daily Kos

Israel is going forward with 1200 new settlements on the West Bank.

Expect the truce to end tomorrow afternoon as rockets arch the skies.

Once again, Israel takes advantage of what it believes is the US’s inability to think for itself.

Our proper response, is to demand they stand down. When Israel says no, tell them our support for their country depends on no new settlements. If they go ahead, they do it alone; tell them as of now we begin our withdrawal in one week…. We stop when we hear they have voted to stop all new settlements.

This is not about friendship; we will always have a love for Israel. It is about business. Every insurance company has the right to decide whether to insure an at-risk beach property, or not. The United States of America is Israel’s insurer of their right to exist. Israel’s actions have simply made it too costly to continue our relationship….

It is not our choice if Israel goes forward with settlements. They get to choose their future. Our only duty is to precisely define the options so they completely understand all consequences….. That precisely worded statement, is that if they do so, they do it without any of our help or aid.