The Watering Hole: Thursday, February 28, 2013 The Suppression of Economic Recovery

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Why is Nobel economist Paul Krugman continually ignored?

The Perils of Hoarding Cash

So, I’ve had a mild-mannered dispute with the economist Joe Stiglitz over whether individual income inequality is retarding recovery right now; let me say, however, that I think there’s a very good case that the redistribution of income away from labor to corporate profits is very likely a big factor.

Take a look at the chart on corporate profits as a share of gross domestic product. Corporations are taking a much bigger slice of total income — and are showing little inclination either to redistribute that slice back to investors or to invest it in new equipment, software, etc. Instead, they’re accumulating piles of cash.

If you put money in a bank, the bank might just accumulate excess reserves. If you buy securities from someone else, the seller might put the cash under his mattress, or put it in a bank that just adds it to its reserves, etc. The point is that buying goods and services is one thing, adding directly to aggregate demand; buying assets isn’t at all the same thing, especially when we’re at the zero lower bound.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: ‘We Actually Benefit From Downturns’

“This bank is anti-fragile, we actually benefit from downturns,” Dimon bragged to his bank’s investors at a conference on Tuesday.

And it is true! The bank definitely benefited from the last downturn. It got to buy Bear Stearns in a government-backed fire sale, getting itself a brokerage business on the cheap in exchange for shouldering only a few tiresome legal burdens. It also got billions of dollars in government handouts, from $25 billion in TARP funds to billions in savings from low-interest-rate borrowing programs to a permanent subsidy arising from the idea that the government will bail out the bank if it ever gets in trouble.

And now we’re looking at the impending sequestration which in all likelihood will further stall economic recovery.  Do politicians just not care about citizens or are they intentionally trying to keep us down?  What do they gain by keeping us afraid of impending poverty?  Just as they frightened us with the dangers of Obamacare which will actually benefit most they now say spending to stimulate the economy will destroy us with debt.  Do out of work people really believe that the national debt is more harmful to them than not having a job and losing unemployment benefits?

Why Everything Republicans Are Saying About The Sequester Is Wrong

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD.  SAY ANYTHING.

155 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Thursday, February 28, 2013 The Suppression of Economic Recovery

  1. America has devolved. “We the people” no longer mean shit . . . it’s ALL about Money, and Power. Period. Ask the Koch Bros. Ask Dimon. Ask any corporate bigshot. Ask any Wingnut in Congress. People? Nah. People are worthless bums.

    • If anyone asks you about trickle down economics….. that graph above is your anwser…. its trickling down alright, and it smells like piss.

    • Johnathan Turley on Ed: “What’s really amazing is he (Scalia) was articulating what we call a Superlegislature System where the judges sit as the Superlegislature. Many conservatives use that as a way of describing Judicial Activism.”

      Thom Hartmann is against the concept of judicial review, preferring the elected legislature to do the right thing, but when the legislature passes unconstitutional laws, and the majority supports them, what is to stand between them and a persecuted minority? The tyranny of the majority would always rule, and the Constitution would be meaningless. We just need to keep electing better leaders until we get a better Supreme Court.

      • I agree with Hartmann, that they’re there to judge the constitutionality of legislation passed by congress, when a case is brought before them.

        There is nothing implicit in the Voting Rights Act to suggest that it’s unconstitutional in any way; its intent was and remains to protect the rights of minorities to vote.

        Scalia is full of shit. But we knew that a long time ago.

        • I should maybe have added that the Republicans have apparently concluded that the ONLY tools they have left that will ensure electoral success are gerrymandering, and suppression of minority voters. That’s it. Without either of those, they’re electorally finished, and they know it. Unless, heaven forbid, they should change their politics and become populist, that they might come to support we the people in favor of them the few, the rich, the powerful. They’d rather be dead! Works for me.

        • Without knowing more, I suppose an argument could be made about “equal protection” i.e. that the act imposes requirements on certain States that it doesn’t require of others.

  2. Republicans govern by fear because that is the only way they can control their ignorant, ill informed, undereducated base. They use war and terror, they use government “death panels” and now they are using economic collapse.

  3. Woo-hoo! As of @1:30 this morning there is another addition to the Badmoodman lineage, a 9+ pound boy. All are well.

    Good thing he was born today cuz I told my son if the baby comes on March 1, he has to name it Sequester.

  4. Nice post, in Britain they are talking about ‘negative interest rates’ – *you* *pay* the bank to look after your money…? And you thought they’d finished coming up with ways to f**k you, didn’t you?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2285430/Charlie-Bean-Bank-crushing-savers-Backlash-grows-new-hint-negative-rates.html

    The post has me in mind of ways to piss off Republicans in two easy questions:

    1. What about that Obama recovery eh? Dow’s at 14,000, double what it was when he came in?

    Answer is usually a grumble along the lines of – “Well, that isn’t benefitting me any, there’s no Obama recovery for me”

    2. Huh? So that ‘Trickle down theory’ from those unprecedented corporate profits isn’t working after all?

    • The Dow is at 14,000 because when the Fed increases the money supply, and it doesn’t go to the working class, but instead to the ‘portfolio class’, you get a stock market bubble.

    • We’ve had that here for years. If you don’t have enough money to keep in the bank because your the working poor the bank charges you for everything. And if you have gobs of money laying around the bank charges you for nothing.

  5. Even if the sequestration issue were solved today, a bunch of money has been wasted on planning for it. I’m sure there has also been a loss of productivity as a demoralized federal workforce watches a bunch of politicians play games with their lives.

    • I say place a hold on all of the Repubs bank accounts then say: ‘have at attempting to get by’ on what’s in your pocket (money-wise).

      Boner, Mitchy and their ilk are reprehensible.

    • I do love that they released all the Mexican immigrants they were holding. The GOP calls them criminals because they came here to do the crappiest jobs nobody will do. They should get bonuses.

  6. Since we’ve been doing a good deal of _________Fill in the blank lately, here’s mine.

    If President Obama were as far to the left as the Teabagging Congressional Republicans are to the right, he would have already ______________________

    Starter Kit:
    Nationalized the For Profit Health Insurance Industry and installed single payer with an Executive Order.
    Now it’s your turn, enjoy!

  7. The House has passed the Violence Against Women Act, effective until 2018, which is the Senate version already passed, so it goes to the President for signing.

  8. More weapons grade crazy. I didn’t realize that there was so much terror inspired by the “common core” teaching guidelines. Aside from the Godwin one is left to ask how English and math standards can be all these horrible things. I think the real message is “OMG! There’s a uppity ni…, I mean Democrat, in the White House”. Funny. I don’t recall the weird, crazy, ladies in frilly red blouses with giant hair helmets whining about “No Child Left Behind” sponsored by Mr. “Is our childs learnin'” himself.

  9. The Neo-Confederate Supreme Court

    If white rule in the United States is to be restored and sustained, then an important first step will be the decision of the five Neo-Confederate justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to gut the Voting Rights Act, a move that many court analysts now consider likely.

    The Court’s striking down Section Five of the Voting Rights Act will mean that jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting – mostly in the Old Confederacy – will be free to impose new obstacles to voting by African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities without first having to submit the changes to a federal court.

    This green light to renew Jim Crow laws also would come at a time when Republican legislatures and governors across the country are devising new strategies for diluting the value of votes from minorities and urban dwellers in order to protect GOP power, especially within the federal government.

    Already, the Republicans’ aggressive gerrymandering of congressional districts has ensured a continued GOP majority in the U.S. House of Representatives although Democrats outpolled Republicans nationwide in Election 2012.

    • Its almost as if there is a faction on the right that has spent years getting people into positions in local, State and National government, media and political influencing organizations that are all pushing at the same time to enact their Reichwing agenda. I’m not sure whether they’re acting now because they are confident that they have all the necessary players in place to properly acquire the total control they’re seeking or if they’ve decided they need to “go to war with the army they have” to avoid total destruction that seems to loom on the horizon.

      • Unfortunately the words “Beer Hall Putsch” have already been taken. OTOH, that one failed, at least temporarily. Will we be fortunate enough to see this Wingnut Putsch fail as well? Hard to say, but my optimism isn’t exactly boiling over just now.

        Never thought I’d live to see the day when the risk of what amounts to a classic Fascist takeover of the US was looming on the horizon, but there it is.

  10. Print your assault weapon at home. ‘Gun control’ will soon be an archaic term like ‘rotary dial phone’:

    Kelsey Atherton explains the significance of the below video:

    The agents provocateur at Defense Distributed welcomed Congress back from recess by releasing a video of a brand new 3-D printed AR-15 receiver being used to fire multiple 100-round magazines. … The last time we saw Defense Distributed test a 3-D printed lower receiver, it broke after 6 shots. The latest video shows that it can survive a whopping 600 shots. This suggests that Defense Distributed has made significant progress toward its goal of building a working 3-D printed gun.

    Defense Distributed is the group behind the Wiki Weapon Project, the goal of which is to produce an open-source 3-D printed gun that anyone could make with a 3-D printing machine.

    http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-02/watch-guy-fire-600-rounds-partially-3-d-printed-gun

    • Defense distributed….. of all the things these people could spend their time on, of all the devices that they could make that could ease suffering, life the lives of people everywhere…. and they choose a device whose sole purpose is pain and destruction.

      Just what we need – more f**king sociopaths.

    • Those clowns would have been thrown off any gun range I’ve ever visited for failing to control their weapon. It’s also a good demonstration of the only real use, firing uncontrolled shots until you have to switch hands because your trigger finger is cramping up, for a high capacity magazine.

    • I can’t imagine that the NRA and gun manufacturers will be happy with this. There goes their profits. The purpose of the NRA is to sell guns for the gun manufacturers. Plastic computer generated guns are of no value to the NRA.

  11. (a few of) Those who share badmoodgrandson’s natal day:

    • Margaret of Scotland, queen of Norway
    • Elisabeth II of Bohemia
    Paul Krugman
    • Mario Andretti
    • Cindy Wilson (of the B52’s)
    • Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (Uzbekistan cyclist)
    • Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler)

  12. HuffPo’s grammar-challenged headline writers do it again:

    “Mother Kills 9-Year-Old Son For Having Small Penis In Indonesia”

    Maybe it’s bigger in Canada, with the exchange rate and all.

  13. Perhaps we can get the Vatican’s bishops to select Judge Scalia as the next Pope….he’d do less damage there….

    ~”The Neo-Confederate Supreme Court Gearing Up to Restore White Rule Over America
    GOP desperation over U.S. demographic changes has spread to the U.S. Supreme Court — a majority is ready to tear up the most important part of the Voting Rights Act.”~

    February 28, 2013 |

    If white rule in the United States is to be restored and sustained, then an important first step will be the decision of the five Neo-Confederate justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to gut the Voting Rights Act, a move that many court analysts now consider likely.

    The Court’s striking down Section Five of the Voting Rights Act will mean that jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting – mostly in the Old Confederacy – will be free to impose new obstacles to voting by African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities without first having to submit the changes to a federal court.

    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/neo-confederate-supreme-court-gearing-restore-white-rule-over-america

    • Chief Justice Roberts questioned the need for Section Five of the Voting Rights Act by making the clever but disingenuous argument that blacks in Mississippi vote in higher proportions relative to whites than those in Massachusetts.

      However, his point is illogical because, first, that would indicate that the Voting Rights Act is working as intended in Mississippi – not that it should be struck down – and, second, people aren’t saying that Massachusetts has taken actions to discourage black voting. In the United States, people have the right to vote or not to vote. The legal problem arises when state and local jurisdictions try to stop people from voting.

      The Supreme Court’s apparent intention to gut the Voting Rights Act also could be viewed in the continuum of its five-to-four ruling in the Citizens United case of 2010 in which the right-wing justices freed up rich Americans to spend unlimited amounts to influence political campaigns. In other words, the Court’s majority seems intent on tilting the political playing field in favor of white plutocrats.

      But the Court’s Neo-Confederate rationale was underscored mostly openly by Justice Scalia and his sneering remark about minority voting rights being a “racial entitlement” and by Justice Kennedy’s insistence that Alabama has the “independent sovereign” right to set its own voting rules without federal oversight.

  14. I used to respect Bob Woodward. Now he’s a fucking liar and pussy. Robert Redford is probably disgusted too.

    Woodward’s claim that the White House issued him a threat is now shown to be complete bullshit. Gene Sperling’s email to Woodward:

    “I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

    This is what Woodward was claiming was a chilling threat to press freedom. Srsly. What exactly is the threat? This is the final email Woodward sent to Sperling:

    “Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this.”

    Does this read like a man writing to someone threatening him with anything? He even says: “I for one welcome a little heat.” He describes Sperling’s “threat” as “personal advice” as a friend, which it plainly was. Then he goes whining to Hannity, CNN and Politico that he is victim of government threats for his reporting. That’s a patent lie, and Woodward has now been exposed as a liar and a coward.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/exclusive-the-woodward-sperling-emails-revealed-88226.html#ixzz2MEFc77WC

  15. In Blind Poll, Republicans Choose Progressive Budget Solutions Over Their Own Party’s

    When the Business Insider polled registered voters and asked for their preferences among three Congressional plans floated to avoid the looming “sequestration” cuts in Washington, they found that when stripped of their partisan labels, the policies most favorable to the majority were those offered by the progressive wing of the Democratic caucus.

  16. inSennity’s revenge! Voice dripping with unconcealed hate he brings out his “beat” weapons”: Character assassination (attempted), guilt by association, “radical college days”, black racism, and a couple lickspittles (who happen to have darkish complexions) to give him cover for his racist, islamophobic, bigoted, unhinged rants. But? Not a single piece of evidence that Mr. Ellison is anything but a conscientious legislator. Gee! where have we seen that before?

    Also, rumor has it that FAUX”News” has lost the video but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give them a hit to find out. It’s hard enough to sit through it even if I know that FAUX”News” isn’t getting my traffic so consider yourselves warned. Still; it would be just too hilarious if inSeannity finally managed to embarrass his bosses with a circle-jerk hate fest that wasn’t primarily directed at President Obama.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/02/28/1655581/sean-hannity-launches-islamophobic-attack-against-keith-ellison/

    NOTE: I realize it’s rather late for the crew so I would be grateful if one of you early risers would repost it in the morning. It might be the most disgusting display of inSeannity’s career.

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