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Lofgren writes: "Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension - and viable public transportation doesn't even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call, who cares about Medicare?"

The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their own fellow American citizens. (photo: File)
The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their own fellow American citizens. (photo: File)

Have the Super-Rich Seceded From the United States?

By Mike Lofgren, CounterPunch

05 January 12


t was in 1993, during congressional deliberation over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican members of Congress who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. I distinctly remember something my colleague said: "The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their own fellow American citizens."

That was just the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.

At the end of the cold war many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation state. Some looked at the demise of the Soviet Union and foresaw the territorial state breaking up into statelets of different ethnic, religious, or economic compositions. This happened in the Balkans, former Czechoslovakia, and Sudan. Others, like Chuck Spinney, predicted a weakening of the state due to the rise of Fourth Generation Warfare, and the inability of national armies to adapt to it. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan lend credence to that theory. There have been hundreds of books about globalization and how it would break down borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.

I do not mean secession in terms of physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens occasionally. It means a withdrawal into enclaves, a sort of internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well-being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension - and viable public transportation doesn't even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call, who cares about Medicare?

To some degree the rich have always secluded themselves from the gaze of the common herd; for example, their habit for centuries has been to send their offspring to private schools. But now this habit is exacerbated by the plutocracy's palpable animosity towards public education and public educators, as Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated. To the extent public education "reform" is popular among billionaires and their tax-exempt foundations, one suspects it is as a lever to divert the more than one-half trillion dollars in federal, state, and local education dollars into private hands, meaning themselves and their friends. A century ago, at least we got some attractive public libraries out of Andrew Carnegie. Noblesse oblige like Carnegie's is presently lacking among our seceding plutocracy.

In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to employ Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. Courtesy of Matt Taibbi, we learn that the sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse; Bernard Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, says about the views of the 99 percent: "Who gives a crap about some imbecile?"

Steven Schwarzman, the hedge fund billionaire CEO of the Blackstone Group who hired Rod Stewart for his $5-million birthday party, believes it is the rabble who are socially irresponsible. Speaking about low-income citizens who pay no income tax, he says: "You have to have skin in the game. I'm not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system." But millions of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes pay federal payroll taxes. These taxes are regressive, and the dirty little secret is that over the last several decades they have made up a greater and greater share of federal revenues. In 1950, payroll and other federal retirement contributions constituted 10.9 percent of all federal revenues; by 2007, the last "normal" economic year before federal revenues began falling, they made up 33.9 percent. By contrast, corporate income taxes were 26.4 percent of federal revenues in 1950; by 2007 they had fallen to 14.4 percent. Who has skin in the game now?

As is well known by now, Schwarzman benefits from the "Buffett Rule:" financial sharks typically take their compensation in the form of capital gains rather than salaries, thus knocking down their income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. But that's not the only way Mr. Skin-in-the-Game benefits: the 6.2-percent Social Security tax and the 1.45-percent Medicare tax apply only to wages and salaries, not capital gains distributions. Accordingly, Schwarzman is stiffing the system in two ways: not only is his income tax rate less than half the top marginal rate, he is shorting the Social Security system that others of his billionaire colleagues like Pete Peterson say is unsustainable and needs to be cut.

This lack of skin in the game may explain why Willard Mitt Romney is so coy about releasing his income tax returns. It would also make sense for someone with $264 million in net worth to joke that he is "unemployed," as if he were some jobless sheet metal worker in Youngstown, when he is really saying in code that his income stream is not a salary subject to payroll deduction. The chances are good that his effective rate for both federal income and payroll taxes is lower than that of many a wage slave.

The real joke is on the rest of us. After the biggest financial meltdown in 80 years - a meltdown caused by the type of rogue financial manipulation that Romney embodies - and a consequent long, steep drop in the American standard of living, who is the putative front-runner for one of the only two parties allowed to be competitive in American politics? None other than Mitt Romney, the man who says corporations are people. Opposing him, or someone like him, will be the incumbent president, Barack Obama, who will raise up to a billion dollars to compete in the campaign. Much of that loot will come from the same corporations, hedge fund managers, merger and acquisition specialists, and leveraged buyout artists the president will denounce in pro forma fashion during the campaign.

The super-rich have seceded from America even as their grip on its control mechanisms has tightened. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+112 # Tippitc 2012-01-05 18:53
Excuse me - even if you are flying in a Gulfstream jet, that thing has to land sometime and what "imbecile" is going to maintain the runway?!?! The 1% may not live in the real world, but when the real world crashes into their fantasy land they will have a rude awakening!!
+45 # Rick Levy 2012-01-06 01:22
The Gulfstream will likely land at a private airport that is better maintained than its public counterpart.
+4 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 06:03
Yep; There will likely never be a shortage of weak and gullible minions to serve and even worship the pharoahs elite; Especially when the peasants are made to feel the pangs of poverty. The harder things get the weaker such minions get; Look at poor Afghan farmers ungodly abused by the Fourth Reich's opium / heroin cartels there; Farmers who are ungodly poor beyond most U.S. citizens imaginations, who hand over their child daughters to opium mules to repay front money that planted their opium crop that was destroyed by U.S. guarded minions in the charade of "eradication" to inject vulgarity into and diminish competition and to control the ungodly vulgar and unaccountable windfall profits from that vulgar scene; Quite well what the Reich wants to make the USA as much like as they can, and have been quite successful doing in U.S. ghettos for the last 100 years the U.S. Reich has been built. ~~~ But the Reich depends highly on key assets in their big money machinery, ....big long runways and their facilities quite pointed; When the operations of assets like FedEx are seriously compromised, it will not only get Reich minions attention, but will cause a critical mass of key Reich minions to abandon the Reich after a period of wrongfully thinking the Reich can fend off the creative voracity of the "Peasants".
+7 # Barbara K 2012-01-07 17:12
Yes, they've seceded into lala land. Good riddance to them.


our future is at stake
+24 # pres 2012-01-06 01:30
Simple. They just hire some "imbecile"s to keep it up for them.
Just give me a paycheck and a gun and I'll kill whoever you what me to. If I don't you can kill me for "desertion".
I'm a good Christian but I also need to make a living!
If the US Military won't hire me then any of a number of mercenary companies will.
(e.g. Blackstone or their many derivatives)
+3 # bugbuster 2012-01-06 11:32
And you want the rest of us to protect and uphold your rights? If some competing rich guy's goon is a better shot than you, you're toast, and we shouldn't just stay out of his way?
+40 # Glen 2012-01-06 07:04
Exactly, Tippitc, there is not one aspect of the lives of the wealthy that is not maintained by someone else. If there is a separation between them and their workers or general population, it is purely psychological with a wall around their compound representing that psychology.

This reminds me of a couple of areas in the northeast in which the wealthy pushed hard for land conservation in their community. If you take a good look at the lay of the land and the location of the homes or summer homes of those wealthy, you realize they did it to attain separation from the rest of us.
+94 # LessSaid 2012-01-05 19:01
I guess John F. Kennedy's comment 'ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man' don't apply to the super rich. Can we say that the super-rich is un-American.
+36 # John Locke 2012-01-06 09:10
LessSaid: The super rich have no country, they are without borders, if you want to understand what the real problem is take a hard look at "The Skull and Bones" at Yale, and the Illuminati, which is what S&K are an association of... the problem with America, we are reluctant to look at reality sometimes, but there has been an elitis plan for control and these "secret" organizations not only exist they are lethel...becaus e people deny them and don't want to hear about what is behind them
+2 # maveet 2012-01-06 21:41
Thanks John Locke. Great to see this in print. I've found some of the most comprehensive, and unsettling, documentation of the Global Management Team and their nefarious and disgusting practices here:
+5 # John Locke 2012-01-07 14:34
maveet: I looked at the site you recommended, you are also aware of MKUltra, and I hope our "CIA" involvement is satanic child ritual abuse, people need to know, but what I see is they don't want to know, maybe they think if i don't know it won't be real...
+2 # Anarchist 23 2012-01-08 17:35
Hello again-a freind of mine took out a book from the library on exactly that topic-the military and Satanism etc and...she had to go to the librarian to get the book-it's restricted. we both wonder if FBI/CIA or whatever is 'tracking' that book and its readers -probably so because it is uncomfortably true. I have long lived in a universe where that sort of thing is quite 'normal' unlike many people who still think steel can be melted with jet grade kerosene and the 'magic' bullet killed JFK. so put a BOLO out for the 'signature' of Evil Magician in current events as well. Really.
+2 # John Locke 2012-01-08 19:28
Yes certain books have been removed and others are closely watched and if you read them you are listed, what your friend can do is make a copy from their copy machine it will be expensive maybe $50.00 and then pass it around, Most people here have no idea how involved our government is with satanic cults, Shull and Bones, The Thule Society which Adolph Hitler was a member and then chosen to lead because they wanted to follow the anti christ and believed it was he, and our CIA which has its roots in S and K, also the illuminati, all use satanic rituals, interesting the Masons only admit to three stages yet I have seen the ring that has 32 on it, its engraved on the left side and on the right side it looks like a hebrew language sign. like a "7", at that high they also practice satanic worship, i can only put certain things up, hopefully this will be allowed!
+2 # Anarchist 23 2012-01-08 17:32
Quite so, John Locke, about S& b and the 'Illuminati'. but I would go with Confuscious who shad 'first rectify the language' and I say they should not be called Illuminati because they are not 'illuminated' and they don't want 'illumination (free thought) for the rest of us-therefore I think we should call them the 'Anti-Illuminat i' Every one of us who wants a better world for the children of the future -we are the real 'Illuminati'
+2 # MidwestTom 2012-01-05 23:07
Most of their wealth has been created by the actions of the Fed, continuously creating currency in the name of saving jobs. The Fed authorizes and creates the money, they loan it to the banks for almost nothing, and the banks turn around and buy long term government bonds paying 2 to 3 percent more than they had to pay for the money. Why take chances and loan money to a small business or a home owner where there is risk? Just get enough from the Fed t continue to pay those big bonuses. Only Paul is willing to take on the Fed.
+29 # John Locke 2012-01-06 09:16
MidwestTom: I wish it were that simple, but its not, the wealth centers around Wall Street yes, but wall street is invested in media so they can control public opinion, in defense so they profit from wars, look who are the major shareholders in the big 500, the same wall street players, then take a hard look at their association, it leads from only one source... and you are probably not readu to go there...
+12 # John Locke 2012-01-06 09:17
The reason you may not be ready is because of what you will find when you do...
+4 # Naryaquid 2012-01-06 09:50
I find your assertions intriguing, but I don't know what you mean by "what you will find there"...Please explain.
+5 # John Locke 2012-01-06 13:53
Naryaquid: People are not ready to look down the rabbit hole...if you take the purple pill you will see reality, and that will scare you. Just a taste, Skull and Bones where the Bush family for generations were all alumni is a cult that worships Satan...they worship a false God "Eulogia" a female substitute for Christ and they worship "Judas Iscariot" I think you know about him? This is not a fabricated scare, this cult is the American branch of the illiminati which is also real... are you ready for more, I can provide hard evidence even the false god the Skull and Bones worship...who I have named...
0 # X Dane 2012-01-07 00:27
John, Obviously all concerning S&B is super sectret, so how did you find out?
and what were you about to name??
0 # John Locke 2012-01-08 19:31
you would need to contact me directly for that...i'm not allowed to put it up here...
0 # X Dane 2012-01-11 21:34
Please tel me how I can contact you.
I am certainly intrigued.
+36 # Cactusman 2012-01-05 23:19
We tend to think that the power of a pyramid is at its apex. It's not. It's in the base. Without a base, the apex has nothing to hold it up.

The 1% are going to learn this the hard way. I am not going to feel particularly sorry for them. Meanwhile, let's organize our society along the needs of the 99%, laterally, equitably, democratically, and fairly. They'll have to join us if they want to survive.
+2 # X Dane 2012-01-07 00:10
Cactusman, how I wish that was so, but I am afraid, they are not going to join. And because of all that money, they can probably continue, still like you I long to see them knocked of the perch.
+3 # Cactusman 2012-01-07 16:49
Hi X Dane. I tend to agree with your comments to some extent, but I also think that they are far more dependent upon us than they wish to admit, and it is that vulnerability once we awaken and refuse to play along that I am speaking of.

I have no illusions that this is going to be quick and easy and painless - meaning the awakening people of the 99% must go through before we can reorganize ourselves. It might take a couple of generations or more to fully integrate. But the long term does not favor apex predatory behavior like we've been seeing - in terms of long-term evolutionary success, more basic orders of diversification show greater stability.

What we have today, with globalization and centralized money, etc, is not sustainable for long and will shortly be an historical anomaly. I simply seek to hasten the processing by supporting alternative visions of reality. Without our ignorance and at least tacit (if not overt) approval, they cannot live their lifestyles. This is why they will crash once we stop participating. Sooner rather than later, I hope, since global survival is at stake.
+34 # ruths 2012-01-05 23:31
Yes-even regarding the most basic of services the wealthy have access to a different set of tools, and all that are used by working class people are under attack and are treated as 'welfare' that should either stand on their own or be allowed to fall apart. A great example is the attack on the post office. In chronically poor areas of our nation the 'other' letter carrier--FedEX- -doesn't even travel on their regualr schedules- and the cost places them out of reach of everyday folks. For small businesses the US Post Office is vital-yet its' existence is threatended by those who would prefer to 'privatize' one more important service and damn the public service to becoming inadequate and ultimately non-existent. Heck--Wall Street has FedEX, the rest of the 99% rely on the US Post office.
+1 # Anarchist 23 2012-01-08 17:38
ruths-what has brought the PO to its knees is special rates for all that corporate junk mail! Raise those rates (but lower for non-profits etc) and that would end the PO deficit. I agree about the ridiculousness of privatizing all mail-I am rural too-often snowed or mudded in and our PO is a social center as well as our life line to the outside world!
+43 # X Dane 2012-01-05 23:37
The super rich are moochers. They choose to live here because it is relatively safe and clean, in Schwitzerland, another well ordered country, and a few others.

But although they may live here.
Most don't give a damn about the country they are totally unpatriotic. They plain and simply don't need us, the regular citizens.
They do business all over the world. They don't need to sell their products here, they can sell them in any country

They could contribute, but why? They also have no interest in educating our children, we can just be the peons, who make their lives more comfotable.
+55 # pbbrodie 2012-01-06 08:24
We have truly regressed into a feudal society. What is infuriating is the way so many people buy into the propaganda and vote against their own interests and do so gladly.
+31 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-01-06 09:23
We are indeed well on our way to a new system of neo fuedalism. With the destruction of our education system and the compete control of our media by the extremely wealthy, it is no wonder "so many people buy into the propaganda and vote against their own interests and do so gladly." Those of us who are aware of what is going on (NDAA and the police state) need to get out and talk to our fellow citizens. People need to be informed on the voting records of the people in federal office now so that these bums can join the ranks of the unemployed. We must kick the corrupt (and that is ALL of them) out of Congress.
+2 # Capn Canard 2012-01-08 12:20
pbbrodie, ABSO-FICKEN-LUT ELY...

Is it possible that we are already there?
+18 # John Locke 2012-01-06 09:18
X Dane they are patriots without borders and for their own cause CONTROL...MONEY , and POWER look at the background of these will scare you...
+1 # John Locke 2012-01-06 09:19
I won't go into it until you are ready to really hear the truth...
+14 # jwb110 2012-01-06 12:54
I think that "The Super Rich are Moochers" is the bumper sticker of 2012!!!
+2 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 06:05
Yes, it IS time for 2012 bumper stickers! How about: "neo-CONS: The United Snakes of Amairka" ...and... "United Snakes of Amairka: The Fourth Reich".
+2 # X Dane 2012-01-07 13:52
Thanks jwb, I like to contribute in my own small way.
+27 # joyster 2012-01-05 23:38
Folks this just has steam coming out of my ears! This is not the America we were born in. Its been co-opted by a bunch of robber baron thieves. Being cynical about it is just not enough - but what to do??? I guess I'm hoping that the electorate uses a OWS litmus test and shakes up politics as usual... I got an email from Common Cause encouraging me to contact my state legislators about nationalpopular I guess I'll keep doing things like that and signing on-line petitions to lawmakers and sending in my ~ $20 donations here and there. Let's all take the actions that we can to do more than just be cynical about these fat cats...
+5 # X Dane 2012-01-07 14:13
Absolutely, joyster all the things you mentioned. We also need to talk, in a non-confrontati onal manner with as many people as possible, they need to here SANE arguments, not just the Fox crap.

And we need to make the young understand, that THEIR FUTURE is on the line so they better be involved, and certainly VOTE

I also sigh petitions, and when I do, I don't say pretty please, as I notice some do. I get to the point, as: "We need your positive vote. This is a very important issue. I have voted for you, and supported you, if you do not support me now, I no longer will."
+1 # Capn Canard 2012-01-08 11:22
joyster, we've all lived in this America as it was originally planned. The founding fathers were mostly wealthy and didn't want to pay King George the right to be English subjects. They wanted to invent a nation where they could do whatever they wanted... then CIVIL WAR and, lo and behold, their HUMAN PROPERTY wanted to be FREE!!!
-10 # giraffee2012 2012-01-06 00:02
I think the USA should divide. With the population in USA today (compared to 100+ years ago) the USA is too big (and is failing)

Divide the USA by N/S or quarter it by NW/NE/SW/SE. Four Countries is fine. Each country has it's own government with all the bells a whistles.

As it is - we cannot ever ever control the 1% - they control us in the USA. And we have no Congress, Supreme, WH, Military - etc. they are all owned by the top 1%.

We talk, we complain, we cry, we stagger, we fall down and have no voice in getting the crooks and our government cannot control those who rule: From Health Care, Private Prisons, Military, Banks, WalMarts --

As the banks continue to foreclose on houses whose loans are toxic and they and their kids move in with relatives or into their cars -- we are helpless.

In a real world, if you crook - you pay and go to jail. In USA today, the crooks run us and within a few years we will have sunk ....

I live in CA and want nothing to do with the "religious right"(I don't even relate to their ideologies)I don't want to live under their laws about a female's body or a gay persons' love life (when I'm struggling to find a decent job with a decent wage). And I don't want to pay into social security (etc) to be handed a voucher that might buy me an aspirin.

I say STOP complaining and BREAK the USA into segments that can be governed.
+8 # X Dane 2012-01-07 14:30
I really like you giraffee, and I feel your despair. I also get angry, frustrated and so sad for the many people deeply in need. I think most of us here feel as you do........but we are not ready to throw in the towel, and chop up the country, that's why you have the negative reds.

I am also a Californian, I love my state but it is infuriating to see how our previously prosperous and great state has deteriorated, much because of greed, and refusal to pay the taxes it takes to run a state, and country.

I hope very much that you will soon find a good job....and a little peace of mind.
+2 # Capn Canard 2012-01-08 11:16
X Dane, I am agree with both you and giraffee2012. But from where I stand I see that it is authority that is the real enemy, and our current system is to tightly controlled by the wealthiest of industries. We need to rid ourselves of this masturbatory instant gratification that is the Top Down mentality. Things need to be decentralized and controlled on local levels, ideally social communities/gro ups of 1,000 people and less, ideally. Otherwise the largest members will always be economic tyrants. BTW, a parliamentary system would be a far better political structure than the two party disaster that is America. Our system was guaranteed to devolve to benefit the wealthiest of wealthy and concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands.
+1 # Anarchist 23 2012-01-08 17:43
giraffee2012-yo u may get your wish-a Russian politico prophesied some several years ago that the GSA-Geheim Staats of Amerikkka (The Country Formerly Known As The USA) would break into several pieces-the West coast would be aligned with the Pacific countries; the SW would align with Mexico and Central America,the Northern Mid West would go with Canada, the East coast with the Atlantic countries of Europe-and I guess the vast 'heartland' could be reorganized as 'Jesus Land.' If so-I'm for Argentina-they already had their Fascism!
+30 # Doubter 2012-01-06 00:29
You can see them as high class rats leaving the sinking ship they just sank.
+20 # 2012-01-06 00:30
This is a very sad commentary on the US of America.
+16 # pernsey 2012-01-06 01:07
They are running the country and they are clueless. What happens when we cant afford to buy their cheap China made products, who will keep the profits up? Thats all they really care about, they got theirs and how much more profit they can squeeze out of the working stiff. They can afford to live in fantasy land, we cannot.
+37 # Rick Levy 2012-01-06 01:21
Just remember, when the time comes, there are more of us than there are of them.
+22 # pres 2012-01-06 01:22
Ah come on! The 1% need the US just as bad as they need toilet tissue.
And they do use both for the same purpose! :-)
"Human greed knows no limits"
+14 # Naryaquid 2012-01-06 09:54
You sound like there is nothing we can do about the situation, but are these not the conditions that spawn revolutions?
+1 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 06:07
There is PLENTY that the braver percentage of the 99% can do, ...while those not so brave can provide support such as study and educate as many of the brainwashed amairkan minions as possible via the many forums like RSN. And I think it's high time for the People to be brain-storming about what to do and planning out detailed suggestions well; So that hopefully a flood of great ideas will circulate and snowball via collective intelligent recognition, achieve an aresenal of ideas, gain active support, motivation and participation to beat the Reich in the least violent means neccessarily possible ....notwithstan ding creative eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth returned upon Reich initiated violence which is sure to continue to escalate the closer the People come to deposing the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich. Remember that the Reich fully depends upon a critical mass of self-important greed attached to or aspiring to the top of the pyramid, where defection can diminish the critical mass to below what's required for the Reich to retain power and control; And the achilles heel of such people is their assets. When Reich minions even THINK their assets are in jeopardy for being part of the Reich, they will bail out of the Reich as surely as it took brainwashed minions loosing their homes and jobs to realize the Reich's criminal scam and start looking for truth.
+18 # Larry 2012-01-06 02:05
Even Marie Antoinette had more compassion for her 99%; at least she offered them cake.
+13 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-01-06 10:31
No. Paris bread bakers used large wood-fired ovens, & the loaves picked up any remaining ash. The bottoms of the loaves were thus cut off & sold cheap, labelled 'gateau' - cake. In effect, Marie Antoinette was saying of the poor, 'They have no bread? Let them eat sh*t'.
+15 # grouchy 2012-01-06 02:46
In reality, these rich own the system already. So what the hell do they care about anyone other than those of their "own class". However, we common folk should always remember that we each have a vote if we choose to use it--and wisely--and not be snookered by a wall of spin and propaganda aimed at taking that vote away.
-88 # Robt Eagle 2012-01-06 06:25
I guess that the super rich employ very few people and the money they spend only provide jobs to an insignificant few. Maybe the super rich create more jobs and support more people than you think. OK, go ahead and tax them an extra 5% on their annual income over $1M, it will make the poor all warm and fuzzy, but will not solve the financial crisis America is in. Obama administration policies have put us in this situation and will continue to destroy America from the top down. Obama needs to go, the Senate needs to be out of the hands of Hary Reid, and Pelosi and her spenders are at least curtailed and should be gone too. We need fiscal responsibility on every one's part to get back to solvency and stop giving away $ to those who are irresponsible for their actions or inactions.
+49 # artful 2012-01-06 08:34
No, George Bush and his neo-con idiots have put us into this poverty stricken situation. No financial oversight, plus greedy, stupid finance people equal disaster. Don't blame Obama. It literally didn't happen on his watch.
+37 # pbbrodie 2012-01-06 08:34
What a complete joke. I thought you were being facetious, until I saw who wrote the comment. You are so ill informed or worse. How in the world can you blame the economic fiasco on Obama policies, when all of this mess occurred prior to the Obama Presidency? I suppose you believe that Obama got us into the Iraq and Afghanistan unpaid for wars and unfunded Medicare drug coverage? Why do you even bother to repeat the Republican propaganda here? You are so obviously out of touch with reality that you must be a Republican.
+35 # John Locke 2012-01-06 09:24
Robert Eagle: You might want to say less and read more, you are so off base with your ideas... you really do live in a dream world...your military stint, and your FOX views have done you a great disservice, you really have no idea what is going on and why...and if you knew and understood... it would scare the crap out of you...
-40 # Robt Eagle 2012-01-06 12:11
John, I read and have experienced way more than most. Unfortunately most of the folks on this site drink the far left Kool Aid and want everything given to them. When will they take responsibility for their actions? The super rich losing their wealth will not help the poor, or the middle class. Taxing the super rich more will only cause them to leave the US with their monsterous wealth and who will benefit from that? The whiners on this site should make something of themselves and stop looking for the gov't to help them, or blame their lot in life on some one/thing other than themselves. Go do something to change your status. Get off your whiny ass and make it happen for your own good. And by the way, John, I never had the honor of serving, but I have two children who are in the Navy. My oldest just returned to Afghanistan with his SEAL Team. Thanks though for wishing them well.
+19 # mebemo 2012-01-06 13:14
There's also such a thing as Ayn Rand cool-aid.

Individual responsibility is useful up to a point, but when it fails to appreciate that we are all in this together, we are members of one another, it creates a society where not just wealth but POWER is abusive, perpetuating selfishness and injustice. How can you fail to see this?
+9 # hd70642 2012-01-06 18:12
These folks are for selective accountability AKA elitism. Tax breaks deregulation out sourcing has never benefited the greater good nor produced individuals of intellectual or moral superiority
+17 # John Locke 2012-01-06 14:03
Robt Eagle: How is Rush, i supposed you get your morning does of his propaganda, Limbaugh is a sick drug addicted blowhard that also lives in an alternate universe...I said before there are two reasons children join the military (i) a false flag theory, they believe the propaganda put out by their country and believe they are fighting to SAVE their country, (ii) they have a need to get away from the dead end where they find om what insight i gain from your rants... I am to assume you are one of those "my country right or wrong" a good Nazi follower...but for that intellect now in the US a fool...I also assume you pounded in their heads this same nonsense! I pray they remain safe, and also that common sense overcomes you! but i fear you are just to far gone!
+12 # John Locke 2012-01-06 14:09
Robt Eagle: The super Rich are citizens of the world and have no allegiance to the US. Their oath is to a different source, and they follow, although you are not ready to hear this, an anti christ...I know much more than you do, and most, I have a law degree and have been a radio Host, as well as had CIA and FBI friends...and I have been involved is cases where the evidence has been overwhelming... the kool aid being drunk is not a liberal drink, trust me on that
+11 # Ken Hall 2012-01-06 17:36
RE: I don't see anyone on this thread whining (your description), and certainly not blaming others for their personal situation. If there is someone whining here it is you, whining because things aren't going your way. When RR was elected I didn't whine, when Bush1 was elected I didn't whine, when Clinton and GW were elected, I didn't whine. I knew the pendulum would eventually swing the other way, it always does. It's taken a godawful long time but it's finally beginning to happen, thanks to OWS. People want to take this country back from the plutocrats, from the 1%, they want them to stop subverting the US democracy with their big bucks. Part of that movement is making them pay their fair share. This is the best thing that's happened to US democracy since the civil rights movement and the banning of DDT. I put up with conservative stupidity for three decades without whining. Show some spine, man, stop your whining! BTW, you spelled monsterous (sic) incorrectly.
+4 # X Dane 2012-01-07 15:01
Ken Hall and John Locke is right. WE ARE NOT whiners. We have been working hard and made something of ourselves. I started a business...with high mortality rate...made it successful, hired many young people, tought them well, and saw some of them go out and start their own businesses.
I treated everyone well and paid good wages,.., and bonuses, when possible.

So I am not suffering. But I am angry that so many are, and I am infuriated that the republicans are constantly cutting the funds for education, for they are condemning the young to poverty, and the country to failure.

Fox and Limbaugh, (who should be in jail) are destroying the country, AND YOU ARE LIVING PROOF OF IT. YOU HAVE NO HEART AND NO SOUL.
+5 # X Dane 2012-01-07 14:41
Robt Eagle, you may have read and experienced more than some, but that has not made a human being out of you.

What you are basically saying, is, PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOT STRAPS..........
+12 # karenvista 2012-01-08 01:17
Mr. Eagle,

You don't have the slightest idea who you're talking to.

Just because we believe in economic justice doesn't mean that we are homeless, jobless or unemployed.

I'm sure that you would have no compassion for someone not of your particular econmic status but that doesn't mean that the whole world is without empathy.

I owned my own businesses and am now retired. I kept other people employed and made sure that they were paid, even when times were tough (during Reagan/Bush years) and they got paid even if I couldn't.

I'm aware that businesses need both supply AND demand. People of your ilk think that "if you build it they will come." Not without a reasonable paycheck, they won't.

You are preaching to educated, reasonably successful people who have an understanding of what a healthy, non-sociopathic society should be. Some, on the right, prefer the sociopaths.
+8 # Capn Canard 2012-01-08 11:03
Robt Eagle, you leave me unimpressed with your conservative interpretation. Insofar as taxing the rich would cause them to leave: there is very little objective evidence that they would leave. They are very unlikely to leave the nation of their birth, and that is something that cuts across all socioeconomic class. The rich will and have moved factories to other countries to create jobs that pay pennies per hour and they will complain about paying taxes no matter what the level of taxation(but we all believe we pay far too much in taxes, though the poor and middle have a real argument about the taxes we pay). The rich are NOT JOB CREATORS. That is a MISCONCEPTION, but I would call it an outright lie. Jobs are created when DEMAND is high. DEMAND is generally higher when the middle class and poor have excess income to spend. And try looking at how flat income has been for the middle class since Ronald Reagan. This is a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the uber wealthy. All I ask is that you try to actually think about this before posting.
+24 # ABen 2012-01-06 09:52
Factual historical record be damned, eh Robert? It is obvious that you are still swilling down that Fixed Noise coolaid.
+32 # Naryaquid 2012-01-06 10:00
"Yeah, go on and tax them an extra 5%"

No, how 'bout we don't?..How 'bout we tax them an extra FIFTY percent -- then they'll be CLOSE to paying at the rate (91%) they did in the 1950's, which was, by the way, an era when America was strong, prosperous and had a HUGE middle class.
+8 # bugbuster 2012-01-06 11:48
Professional and amateur economists are starting to use dynamic mathematical models. Those models are getting better at predicting the outcomes we are seeing. Those same models should be used to derive appropriate formulas for taxation.

For an eye-opening such model, search the word *squashpractice *. Much of it is too technical for me, so I just skim through that part. There are some game-changing ideas in the non-technical parts. For example, it shows how capitalism can only result in what we see today, and that greed, moral decay, and the rest of it need not be part of it, and probably isn't. It's just math with winners and losers like a roulette game. After skimming this article, you may agree with the notion that the word *earnings* needs to be replaced by *winnings* in our vocabulary of wealth.
+38 # Naryaquid 2012-01-06 10:02
There is an old saying: "When the cottage isn't happy, the castle isn't safe".

The uber-rich might do well to heed that one.
+24 # bugbuster 2012-01-06 11:41
Some redistribution of extreme wealth in the form of taxation is more than morally desirable, it is vital for the survival of the economic system from which the super-rich gathered their winnings. If you starve the oxen, there will be no more crops to plunder.
+21 # PGreen 2012-01-06 14:44
Rich people do not create jobs. What creates jobs is a dynamic state sector maintaining the economic infrastructure, including capital investment. "What creates the jobs," writes Business Insider, "is a healthy economic ecosystem surrounding the company, which starts with the company's customers. The company's customers buy the company's products, which, in turn, creates the need for the employees to produce, sell, and service those products. If those customers go broke, the demand for the company's products will collapse. And the jobs will disappear, regardless of what the entrepreneur does…. Contrary to what Republicans would have you believe, super-high tax rates on rich people do not appear to hurt the economy or make people lazy: During the 1950s and early 1960s, the top bracket income tax rate was over 90%--and the economy, middle-class, and stock market boomed."
+13 # bugbuster 2012-01-06 17:15
The super-rich may employ many people, but not as a result of the activity that makes them super-rich. That wealth is mostly unearned income from stock market investments. It can be demonstrated mathematically that given a room full of monkeys investing randomly, over time the wealth will concentrate into fewer and fewer monkey hands. Those are *winnings*, not *earnings*. That process is a zero-sum game that created nothing and just moved money around.
+6 # jerryball 2012-01-06 20:31
Sorry about your 30-year amnesia while the GOP slashed their way through the regulations put in place to keep the economy strong. Get well soon. God Speed. Perhaps you need a long long vacation to Europe or Asia to regain that misplaced logic?
+5 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 16:48
Hey Bobby boy (and oh how I want to say Bobby Vulture Droppings ....but that's the sh_thead in me); It's good to see you continuing to post on RSN. It's very good for folks to see what the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich brainwashing does to otherwise even good people. I hope you will learn that profound reality by participating in forums that have already learned ...evermore all too well; As I did long ago as an ex- army officer with 18 combat decorations in my drawer, ....substantiat ed ever since beyond any doubt by 42 years of acute academic studies. But don't be disheartened; It took much worse times for many Germans (and similar minions all over the planet) to learn that the license for hydrocephalic superiority they thought the Third Reich's brainwashing gave them, was as mentally ill and immoral as Hitler himself. Shine on oh beacon of rush limburger cheese; It's good to know where the shallow waters are.
+2 # Anarchist 23 2012-01-08 17:48
So Robt Eagle-how low on the scale of living are you personally willing to go in order to implement the 'austerity' the Rich demand? How about $38,000 a year-that is ''average' in Iowa. Less maybe-how about down to $9,106-what a single woman who worked in clerical jobs gets in Social Security? Recycled steel in cans now goes for $20 a ton-think you could live on a job like that? Obama is far from satisfactory-be cause he caves to the super-rich and the conservatives every time.
+16 # Faladog 2012-01-06 07:33
Franklin Roosevelt was born to wealth and so he knew and was not impressed or intimidated by it. Barack Obama is dazzled by and wants it; note the imperial style to which He and His family have grown accustomed despite his obligatory rolled up sleeves when he's out on the hustings.

If the super wealthy think that their fueled and waiting Gulfstreams and one of their multiple mansions will save them and their children from the climate chaos and toxins now engulfing us, they will soon learn otherwise. But I suspect that in their drive to possess everything, they simply don't think. An uninhabitable planet will be as inhospitable to them as to the rest of us. They will, unfortunately, never understand that they did it to themselves.
+2 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 06:11
Obama is a politician from the "Chicago" tilt, expert in the art of trade-offs. He is trying very hard and done quite well for the 99%, on a very crooked playing field. "Just" as Eisenhower was elected by prevailing power brokers in all parties, to dismantle the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich that gained a strong foothold in WWII, ....Obama too was selected from the slate of winables, by prevailing MIC power brokers, to be the best compromise for the MIC's / Amairka Inc's / Fourth Reich's survival through the financial collapse of their highway robbery under geeeeduhbya. But Barack has a penchant for running a good "3 card monte" which shows in his personality such as rolled up sleeves. His seemingly sassy bounce is psychologically & politically analogous to the competition in the movie 'White Men Can't Jump'.
+5 # X Dane 2012-01-07 15:35
Faladog, I have no doubt that Obama is ambitious. You HAVE to be, to run for the Presidency, BUT......with his excellent education, presidency of the law review, AND....... the connections he made at Harward, he could have chosen any firm in the country, and he could in short time have become very, very wealthy, and lived an extremely comfortable life.

He no doubt thought he could make a contribution to the country, and I think he still can.

You forget that he is a PRAGMATIST. He doesn't think so much about this year or the next. He thinks much further down the road.

I think he planned to make sure he would have two terms, by playing it relatively safe. In a second term he will have NOTHING to loose, and can go for bigger issues, and maybe win??

Before you rain red buttons on me, think about it. I believe it makes sence, and Obama has nothing but good sence,....guts and brains. He doesn't go for the easy tasks.
He truly showed guts in the Bin Laden raid. I know the great seals got him,....but Obama tok responsibility.
He went against some of the military, maybe Gates too?

Make no mistake. He would hsve been crucified, if it had gone wrong. He
would have been finished.

+28 # Lulie 2012-01-06 09:06
Finally, the 99-percent are engaging in the class war. Unfortunately, it may be too late. Even if we won and made the massive change that needs to take place, by that time the environment may be destroyed to the point that humanity itself would be in peril.
When I see news broadcasts that lead with coverage of Mitt Romney and then spend fifteen seconds on the melting polar icecaps, I realize we are fiddling while Rome burns.
+8 # jerryball 2012-01-06 20:37
It's NEVER too late for a Revolution. The rich can flee to Europe or elsewhere on the planet, BUT they will NEVER feel SAFE anywhere in the world when they can no longer depend on the kindness of strangers. Not even to mention the trust of Communists is not a good strategy for safety of one's own neck.
+8 # jerryball 2012-01-06 20:39
Of course, if they intend to keep living in a Charles Dickens novel, old Dickey boy always had a come-uppance for these ruthless types. Fiction follows reality.
+18 # stonecutter 2012-01-06 09:14
I don't believe it's inconsequential that in this piece Mr. Lofgren happened to use the analogy of the British in colonial India. One viewing of the great 1982 epic film "Ghandi" is enough to contemplate the self-sacrificia l mountain the 99% have gotta climb to wrest back control of our government and its priorities from the "tightened grip" of the 1%. Sure, the analogy doesn't literally apply, but in spirit it's a tight fit.

Here's a quote from a current blog post by right-wing blowhard Emmett Tyrrell:

"The year 2011 has drawn to an end, and as I look back, I see several of my predictions that appear pretty sound. President Barack Obama is dead in the water and will be beaten in 2012. I have made that prediction over and again this year and I think it will be borne out.Another observation I've made is that liberalism is dead. By the coming election, it will be the rare psephologist who fails to notice...after the Nov. 6 elections, with the Senate and the presidency added to the Republicans' trophy chest, I think my observation will be commonly accepted."

This is the same guy who wrote that Rick Perry would slide glibly through the campaign like a knife through butter. Rick Perry, who never lost a debate in Texas. Who was he up against...strok e patients? A real "opinion leader", Tyrrell is. These bastards flatulate enough arrogance to fuel the Pacific Fleet. Yet, the challenge is there. What a year this will be.
+1 # bugbuster 2012-01-06 16:08
But hey, it's a living, right? Better than tarring roofs.
+8 # karenvista 2012-01-08 01:32
Rick Perry refused to debate his Democratic opponent for governor, Houston Mayor Bill White. Now we know why!
+15 # Karlus58 2012-01-06 11:13
I've been saying this for some time now....they have no allegiance at all to any country...for the world is their oyster!
+6 # John Locke 2012-01-06 14:54
Karlus58 you are more right than you know, their oaths are meaningless because they have sworn one to a different god...which nullifies any given to support and uphold our constitution...
+14 # reiverpacific 2012-01-06 11:17
I really don't think most of the super-rich are very happy -I've brushed up against quite a few by association when my business was doing well and got the distinct feeling that if they couldn't buy it, they didn't get it, squeezed as much as they could out of employees and laughed at them before they cut their throats if they didn't measure up to expectations that they couldn't even begin to fulfill themselves, sought power over others and didn't give a penny to a charity which wouldn't write them a generous tax break.
Of course it's never that clear-cut nor broad brush rendered -I've also met some true philanthropists who wanted no credit for their giving -the late Bill (Jeep) Daniels comes to mind -only Billionaire I ever met personally: a fiscal Republican who would have been horrified by the current mean-spiritedne ss dominant in his old party (he changed to Democrat briefly). I, as an openly dedicated lefty, had many great and informative discussions with him, agreed to disagree on some issues but maintained open minds willing to learn something and always did.
Bottom line though is that he actually CARED about his "poor Earthborn companions and fellow mortals" as Robert Burns put it.
There are bigots of all stamps and political colors (some writing here, stuck in an ideological sink-hole of their own making) but it seems that compassion and awareness is not the exclusive realm of anybody if true clear vision is desired.
+5 # John Locke 2012-01-06 15:02
reiverpacific: as you get into political circles you will find, as i have, that racism and bigotry and anti-semitism flourishes unchecked... the opinion of these elitist is that if you are jewish and doing their bidding you are one of the good jews... i have also noticed alot of anti-semitism by the readers and commentors on RSN, people who are anti race, anti jewish or anti gay are merely trying to justify their failure by blaming someone else, its time to stop blaming a "scaprgoat" and blame the real enemy...
+2 # reiverpacific 2012-01-09 15:10
Quoting John Locke:
reiverpacific: as you get into political circles you will find, as i have, that racism and bigotry and anti-semitism flourishes unchecked... the opinion of these elitist is that if you are jewish and doing their bidding you are one of the good jews... i have also noticed alot of anti-semitism by the readers and commentors on RSN, people who are anti race, anti jewish or anti gay are merely trying to justify their failure by blaming someone else, its time to stop blaming a "scaprgoat" and blame the real enemy...

I've been "Into political circles" as you so tritely call it for years as a direct activist in several different countries (Including my native UK, Franco's Spain, pre-left Ecuador and others including here), have been jailed and threatened directly and indirectly for it. Do I sound like a naive newcomer that much??
Perhaps it's because I'm just as appalled as you are at ALL mean-spiritedne ss from all sides but refuse to give in to it. I've found that the blame-game is about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit!
+4 # shortonfaith 2012-01-06 11:30
When & how did the super rich get so important? They are only important to themselves, not to me. One man one vote. That's life. I don't care how many shinny rocks you've collected over the course of time. If you actually made it yourself & didn't just inherit it then, I will have a little more respect for you. Still, one man one vote. That's the way it's always been from the beginning. I don't know when they started believing they were special? More shiny beads surely won't make you smarter. Just look at our representatives & some of the actions of our CEOs. Some of these folks don't even deserve a vote.

And, I'm tired of reading about their stupid asses. What is this a tabloid?
+3 # X Dane 2012-01-07 16:04
shortonfaith, unfortunately it is not a matter of one man one vote, when the big corporations, and wealthy individuals use money to subvert the process.

All the negative CAMPAIGN MONEY flooding the air waves confuse a lot of voters, and prevent them from understanding, that they are cutting their own throats.

In addition, a slew of republican governors are making it so difficult to vote, because of the voter id laws, rhat will affect only democratic voters.
Since it "hits" the students, the old and the poor.
I heard that in many rural areas, some of the people were born at home and didn't get a birth certificate.
Students in some states are not allowed to use their STUDENT PICTURE ID ?? but a gun owners permit will do??

So unfortunately it is not as simple as one man one vote. i wish it were.
+4 # Electricrailwaygod 2012-01-06 12:10
Funny, When I first predicted this several years ago, I have been pooh-pooed all over the place! Now so sad, but I have indeed turned out to be absolutely CORRECT in my past predictions!

Well, it sghan's last long, as they need services, but if the "imbeciles" are made homeless, ill, or indeeed are killed, then just WHO is going to catter to the minute whims of these obscenely super-wealthy hogs?
+4 # Stephen 2012-01-06 12:18
Re Obama raising a billion dollars from the Financiers and Banksters... note that the vast majority of these dollars will go directly to the mainstream media cartel for paid ads.
Letting this be known well in advance is guaranteeing a big honeypot to the media corporations, promising them a bonanza in 2012. And notice that by announcing this in advance, Obama forces the opposing candidates to ratchet up their funding (and media buys) as well, increasing the honeypot for the MSM further.
+4 # soularddave 2012-01-06 19:35
So use the post office to deliver the campaign ads. Use the internet to do community organizing. Don't buy TV ads.

I read my mail, but have no TV.
+11 # Fraenkel.1 2012-01-06 12:43
What the super rich don't understand is that taxes, which they resent paying, support the facilities and services which keep the economy going and especially stabilize and facilitate development of their business interests. A productive stable economy supported by high marginal progressive income taxes does more for the assets of the rich than for the rest of us. When the economy goes under with high unemployment, minimal production and consumption and all the tragedies that go with that the assets of the rich will plummet. We all go together when we go,
+6 # karenvista 2012-01-08 01:44
Quoting Fraenkel.1:
What the super rich don't understand is that taxes, which they resent paying, support the facilities and services which keep the economy going and especially stabilize and facilitate development of their business interests. A productive stable economy supported by high marginal progressive income taxes does more for the assets of the rich than for the rest of us. When the economy goes under with high unemployment, minimal production and consumption and all the tragedies that go with that the assets of the rich will plummet. We all go together when we go,

Amazing how they get paid $5 Billion a year, like John Paulson (and pay 15% tax) and don't understand simple economic facts while we simpletons, who are paid the tiniest fraction of that, grasp the basic economic principles.

I'd also like to point out that if these international citizens go shopping for other countries to live in, most of the countries they would favor have much higher tax rates than the U.S. Maybe they can go to Zimbabwe. The tax rates may be low but the inflation rate is appalling!
+15 # reiverpacific 2012-01-06 13:08
Hey Robt Eagle.
I really want to know this. Perhaps you can direct me to a right wing oriented site or blog like RSN -I mean a rational one- that will allow me to jump in and be part of of a discussion from an obviously opposing point of view.
I'd really like to have a go at this if such a site exists.
See, I've tried to call in to the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, a few others and our Oregon version Lars Larson on radio (commercial of course) but the nearest I got was making it, admittedly by subterfuge in posing as a reactionary caller, through the heavy screening and after (politely) starting to engage Larson, was cut off abruptly when it was obvious that I was of an other point of view than their predictable and mean spirited rant.
It seems to me that much hot air can be blown-off at we on the socially concerned and collectively oriented left by rightists, yet there is no real access to the other side's attack headquarters located in heavily guarded corporate bunkers, nor debate by the highly paid and sponsored pundits who hurl bile at us without fear of rational return. I really want to know and engage: steer me to another place of debate mate.
B.t.w., I'm glad your young 'uns made it home safe -I've got great respect for navy SEALS -y'r son must be a tough cookie to even have made it through the course.
Perhaps they might attend a few meetings of US Vets for peace; I've learned a great deal at these.
+10 # bugbuster 2012-01-06 16:25
Posting dissenting views in echo chambers will simply draw abuse. It's human nature to come to places like this for the comfort we get from those who agree with us--those who root for the same team.

AM radio abandoned Top 40 and went to right wing talk when they realized that Internet had flushed out an impressionable breed of misanthropic losers and loners who needed company.

Rush and his ilk do very well exploiting this phenomenon. If they uttered a single civil word to a "liberal," their market value would plummet. Their fans would desert them along with their advertisers.
+2 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 05:37
No, ....vast numbers of AM radio stations were bought up by MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich puppet fronts, specifically to place reich-wing talking heads to ad lib from very high tech and highly effective psy-ops brainwashing propaganda. Abandoning Top 40 had nothing to do with it nor did a more profitable listener market; Their money comes from big money payola for time slots to run the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich brainwashing propaganda machine.
-2 # CCC 2012-01-06 13:39
What's up with the thumbs up / thumbs down ranking?
If I select a thumbs down, the ranking goes up 2, and vice versa. So whatever the numbers are next to each comment are invalid.
+3 # bugbuster 2012-01-06 16:10
When your screen refreshes after you click the thumb, you are seeing the total number of clicks that happened since last time your screen refreshed.
+2 # happihr 2012-01-06 15:36
The thumbs up and down icons are messed up, kinda like America the land of the no longer free. After pressing the thumbs up icon, the number with + were removed and a - number was placed.. The positive... This occurred with each comment. Chem trails were thick in NC yesterday. Aloha
+2 # happihr 2012-01-06 15:39
Aloha John Locke, Where do you find your information? It's more difficult these days to find truth any where except from another countries media. Heard of Ken O'Keefe? Check him out. Truth Justice Peace and Aloha
+1 # jerryball 2012-01-06 20:27
Why should they feel responsible for condescending allowance for us to provide their security and ensure they and their spawn will not be shot in their beds or keeping them from the guillotine, or fighting wars to keep their fortunes and family safe from harm on the dole? We ARE the stupid ones putting our lives on the line to keep these imbeciles safe with NO SKIN nor money in the game. Who are the imbeciles? Both, I'd say.
+1 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 05:40
This article is prime to be expounded upon; It indeed describes key natures of the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich not terribly different than the Third Reich; A matter of human natures and the benevolence or malevolence a person chooses for his / her Ego and endearment of Self vs compassion for other human beings plights. Ego is terribly played / preyed upon by the Reichs brainwashing propaganda wholely intent upon giving 'me-too' license to rationalize malevelant Egos and Selfishness for a political base of minions to follow; A psy-ops trick as old as the rise of coalition might, power, force and thus ill gained wealth among the earliest civilizations (hardly "civilized"); But particularly now with the sophisticated broadcast of very high-tech and scientific art of covert psychological propaganda brainwashing which is as much an expertise among the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich as is their self-rationaliz ed corporate and financial fraud and war / police machine to impose and protect their socially and morally sick malevelance. But if God and Rush Limburger's cheese forgives their sins then why not be a greedy self-important creep and still have your place in heaven; No different than creeps and minions on the other side of the planet brainwashed to think God will reward them with 12 young virgins.
+2 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 05:44
By all means, let the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich scum reveal themselves for what they are; They really enjoy doing that albeit often in "code" words, phrases and insenuations bragging and chest thumping between the lines. Newt Waffle is running on a rather soiled and worn out political IOU card; Watch his ego start literally foaming at the mouth as it has always done when he thinks his egotesticle nonsense is winning, as well as when his nonsense proves time and time again to be his worst liability as it was when was booted out of the republikan elite for being such a giddily egotistical fool.
+1 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-07 06:11
The MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich has accomplished what Hitler's Third Reich axis wanted but couldn't achieve.
+1 # anniemouse 2012-01-07 08:43
This scenario was in the Sept. 200o Project for the New American Century.
0 # RMDC 2012-01-07 09:02
This is good. The observations about the end of the nation state are right on the mark. I have friends in Seattle who feel closer to Japan and Korea than they do to the East coast of the US where I live. The US is no longer a nation state. It is held together for reasons of exploitation -- the USG needs the tax money in order to conduct its wars all over the world and to enforce the economic policies of the 1% all over the world.

It is time for the US to break up into 50 independent nations or some configuration of regional independent states. Leave the corrupt and criminal central government in Washington with no base. Turn Washington into a theme park managed by the Disney Company. People could go on reality tours -- this is what fascism looked like. Or the Pentagon could be turned into low rent condominiums. The CIA and NSA could be research libraries for historians of empire.

The 1% could not exist without the protection and rigged laws of the US government. Organizations like NAFTA, WTO, GATT, etc. only benefit the 1% and they are forced on people by the USG.

Big nations like the US are dinosaurs. They are in their death throes. They can do a lot of damage while they thrash and struggle to stay alive. The US is bombing and stealing all over the world. I just hope we will see the death of this beast very soon.
0 # richruben 2012-01-07 10:04
Good article, good comments -- but WHY are the super-rich rich? Is it just that they're greedy and we've been remiss in allowing them tax loopholes? Or does the capitalist system at the present stage of its development produce this financial elite? I think the problem (which one sees in "enlightened" Europe as well as the "vulgar" US) is late capitalism. If this is true, then the solution is a new form of communism -- a democratized "mixed" economy run by working people for their own benefit.
+7 # karenvista 2012-01-08 02:04
German capitalism allows a strong union system and worker members of the Boards of Directors of their corporations with real say in management decisions. When the recession hit there, no on was laid off, hours were adjusted and wages were modified but the full social safety net, including pensions stayed in effect. Germany is a very successful export economy. Because Germans of all classes are involved in management of their businesses they did not outsource their jobs or their factories.

When the economy improved the hours and wages were restored and the economy is flourishing again. They make high-guality products that customers are willing to pay a premium for and Germans earn a good wage.

That's what we need to do here instead of letting our financial institutions pick the bones of American business and outsource jobs and sell whole factories to foreign countries.

Our county has been destroyed because workers have no say in what happens to our jobs and our businesses. Because all out companies care about is prices, we have to lower our wages and compete on prices, not on quality like the Germans do.

We are destroyed because our government has sold us out to business and finance!
+1 # Fight the Reich 2012-01-09 21:24
AH YES ... THANK YOU! The Germans learned their lessons the hard way under the Third Reich; While just as stubborn and better-than-tho u that a critical mass of Americans have evermore been since WWII, they are just beginning to learn the very same lessons under the MIC / Amairka Inc / Fourth Reich as the Germans did under the Third. The only consolation to me, and it seems so remote, is "Who will come to save us from the Reich, and when do we get our Nuremburg Trials?
+2 # cypress72 2012-01-07 20:22
Social Security and Medicare can easily be funded by making all income, earned, unearned, dividends, capitol gains, etc. subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. The rate would go down as the income goes up but even Warren Buffett, David Tepper, George Soros, John Paulson, the Waltons and Mitt Romney would see a big spike in their tax bills but alas, the 1% write the tax bills so this will never happen. Mitt Romney probably has an effective tax rate less than 20% and that's why he won't release his return. He would be in big trouble politically if this came out.
-2 # cypress72 2012-01-07 20:40
Dear richruben:
I believe that the super-rich became that way by investing in the stock market and staying invested for the last 30 years. On August 12, 1982, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 882 and change. It has been as high as 14,000 and is now around 12,300. Many of these super rich started high tech or financial companies or became CEO's of ones that someone else started. A big part of their compensation came from stock options which they received for nothing and cashed in years later at huge, huge profits which were taxed at the lower capital gains rate. In October 2010, Jeff Cook became CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs died. He received a stock option package of 1 MILLION shares (currently valued at over $420 MILLION) but he can't cash in any shares for years and he won't get all 1 million shares unless he stays with Apple for 10 years. That's how you become super-rich !!! The quickest way to become super, super rich is to start a company, build it up for a few years and then take it public. That's how Gates, Jobs, Wozniak, Page, the Waltons et al did it. Zuckerberg will oficially be a billionaire when Facebook goes public this year. They didn't "steal" from the poor in the US to make their forutnes although they may have made it on the backs of slaves in the third world.
+4 # karenvista 2012-01-08 02:21
A very charitable, if somewhat antiquated version of classical investing followed by the one-in-a-millio n inventor-type stories.

I think the question was more-How do the hedge-fund managers like John Paulson make $5 Billion a year (through illegal deals set up with Goldman Sachs) or other Wall ST. 30 yr, old multi-millionai res (by unloading worthless AAA rated subprime mortgage derivatives on teachers' and fireman's unions' pension funds, corporate pension funds, etc.)

The fact that the Financial Services percentage of our GDP has gone from 7% in the 1970s to 40% in 2007 is not because of traditional investment, it's because of dishonesty and outright fraud and collusion between ratings agencies, Investment Banks, Hedge Funds and Insurance companies!

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