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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 13, 2011 4:48 PM. The previous post in this blog was Putting the middle class out of its misery. The next post in this blog is Is Captain Morgan a *fire* captain?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

And we're living here in Allentown

Say what you want about the vagueness of the demands of the Occupy crowd, it's clear that they have a lot to be angry about. Here's a brilliant collection of charts and graphs that spells it out quite well.

Comments (26)

People with nothing have nothing to lose.

Yet in their misguided rage they forget to target the lawmakers who largely dictated the course of market forces, and reallocation of the nation's wealth to their favor.

Instead of targeting lawmakers, the Occupiers are targeting their paymasters.

By your logic Mag - people who make money are paying off people who make laws against making too much money.

Really?

Jack's link goes right to the substance than many are seeking about Occupy: What is the focus of the grievances?

Locally, one grievance they should have been attending today is the OHSU, PSU, OSU Collaborative Building in SoWhat. A $200+ million dollar building claiming to do research, biotech and all that. But the funding comes from the Oregon's Lottery Fund to the tune of over $120 Million, plus $10 Million from even TriMet, your bus company that is broke. What? All this while another Oregon Lottery funded newer building at OSHU's Pill Hill sits 1/3 empty.

This is where the Occupiers should focus their attention, right to the Oregon Legislature that lets their Lottery dollars and other large taxpayer subsidies build a building not needed. Wall Street isn't the only abusers they should be focusing on.

I propose they move their encampment to Salem.

First, these folks are unlikely to find jobs camping out in a Portland park.

Most of these charts cherry pick their timeframes to make things look worse then they are. For example, the CEO salary as a percent of worker salary is actually down since George Bush was elected - ironically it peaked at more then 400x at the end of the Clinton administration. Average real wages are up about 10 percent since 1993, not down.

"John," whoever you are, please. Give me a break. Only an idiot would fail to see that the middle class in the United States is getting royally screwed, and has been since at least Bill Clinton. Now we're going to export some jobs to South Korea. Great.

The charts tell a true story.

And Elizabeth Warren will back you up, Jack, 100%!
Obama screwed her royally, now she will hopefully be elected to the Senate and have a real voice for the vanished middle class.

To return to the original post, I heard that the Occupiers' have been chanting:

What do we want? WE DON'T KNOW!

When do we want it? NOW!!!

Mister Tee | October 13, 2011 2:37 PM

Mister Tee... honestly, I didn't see your post before I posted the note above!!!

indie: you really think the legislators are making laws against making too much money? LOL! Yeah, against YOU making too much money. Them, however? Unrestricted. SoWhat is a great example of top 1% (which is more influence-based than income or net-worth) skimming theirs while the political class installs bike lanes to make us feel like they feel our pain.

Well, yeah, Don, that's kinda my point. It's called Crony Capitalism.'

And I believe we are in agreement.

Look beyond just the tax rate.

June 16, 2010 Congress retroactively raises FDIC deposit insurance limits, aiding IndyMac account holders

Let's not forget that wealthy people can get their accounts guaranteed to the maximum at each and every bank where they place their savings. They can thus completely escape the capitalist risk of loss, other than inflation risk, for at least a billion dollars in FDIC covered institutions. The potential for ultimate FDIC cover for losses by bankrupt banks fueled the emergency legislation related to Fannie Mae, and AIG, and TAPR, etcetera.

Reverse the account insurance coverage for any individual or entity that exceeds the maximum amount that one could have if they placed all their savings within one institution.

This is the same complaint I have had since around 1991. I don't expect that there will be a fix to the corruption, today or tomorrow. The pattern back then was to wait until after an election to ask Congress for S&L Bailout Money. In January 2013 we will see a ginormous demand made on Congress to cover for mortgage defaults on highly-overvalued collateral (in violation of 18 USC 1014). They will again claim that the entire banking system will collapse if they do not get the free money. The time is now to cut excessive deposit insurance, no later than early 2012.

The enemy remains the Bipartisan Party, in Congress.

Read more on the Moral Hazard resulting from the S&L bailout of depositors, particularly the brokered deposits. Let the banks fall on their own petard.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savings_and_loan_crisis

And the graph of government spending to GDP...? What happened to end the wars?

I agree Don, it's pretty simple to follow the money, so why are they mad at those who do have money?

Giant corporations, presumably qualified as such because of employee counts, are causing unemployment?? In the sense they push for barriers on their competitors to create jobs yes, but isn't that the enforcers liability?

pdxnag-

I agree, this excessive risk taking and socialization of losses is wrong, but it's enabled by the government, namely the Fed Reserve.

Unfortunately lowering the FDIC guarantee wouldn't have a great effect on behavior as those dollars would just move into treasuries, as many have despite the guarantee due to the PITA it would be to access accounts in the event of insolvency.

Actually I'm a bit stumped to find the answer to Cui Bono for the FDIC acct ins; the gov wants people to sell dollars to spur inflation and exports where the guarantee discourages such. Well, to discourage bank runs for the benefit of bond/shareholders but there isn't any physical threat of that anymore...

Um, worth searching the guy who wrote that article. (Hint: he's banned from securities trading for life and paid the gov't $4 million in fines. Sour grapes, much?)

Buy a vowel, get a life time - NO ONE owes anyone anything. Choices have consequences, you want a job, one here in America? There are places right here in America, that have thousands of jobs that they are begging to fill, well paying jobs, here is the link

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/willis-report/blog/2011/10/13/thousands-workers-needed

However, when you decided to get your degree in film study, or women's studies or the myriad of other not-so-marketable degrees, then you don't qualify do you? Just because you blew $50K to get that performing arts degree does not mean I owe you a job, let alone a job in the city YOU want and a wage that YOU want. If you bought a house at a insane price because you thought it would move to an even higher insane price and then you lost your job - sorry, too bad, had you hit the lottery you'd be fat but like a player in Vegas you rolled the dice and it came up snake eyes. They whine about the money the CEO's are making - anyone who would turn down a huge salary to run a company if the offer was there? You are worth what someone (some company) will pay you. Your house is worth what someone else will pay you for it. Life itself is a gamble everyday - we bet that we won't be hit by a car, suffer from a heart attack, contract cancer or the vast array of 'things' that can effect our lives. Sorry when things don't turn out like you (we) hoped, however this is America, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get moving ... or don't and suffer those consequences. Choices have consequences, everyday we make hundreds of choices and live with/suffer with the consequences.

The "rich" have been "getting richer" since the dawn of time. There must be a reason for that. I don't think it's Bush's fault.

Whatever the relative national economic standing is right now, the take-home lesson is that the U.S. has a major crony capitalism problem. Unfortunately too many people confuse all capitalism and free market trade with the crony version. The Occupiers are no exception. Most of their "demands" would at best perpetuate the problem, and more likely make our problems far worse. $1 trillion in new "infrastructure" spending (now!)? All the major government-contracted construction and engineering firms would certainly back that one (cha-ching!). The EPA would LOVE their budget to expanded by $1 TRILLION (as would all of their contractors). "Forgiveness" of all debt!? I can kiss my dreams of ever owning a house in the next 20 years goodbye when every lender in the entire country ceases to lend.

While I sympathize with the general angst of the occupiers, I can't relate to their economic stupidity and anarchical protesting. They would do well to read up on some Russian or Chinese history from the early 20th century and see how well some of their Marxist (or quasi-Marxist) ideals have fared in other parts of the world and throughout history. Redistributing the power of the cronies will just change who wins and who loses (and still leave most of us losers).

If home prices were at the natural equilibrium of 2.5 to 3 times wages then the middle twenty percent of the employed population could have hope; enough hope that they could try to pay off a mortgage within ten years and enough hope to start a family.

This happy place might be too boring for folks that are hell bent on fueling the political capital gains tax cut game with all manner of distortions to artificially boost asset prices, as if it were the mythical perpetual motion machine.

A private debt that is wholly between two private parties can be reduced to a financial judgment up to 6 years after breach, and the money judgment can be enforced up to twenty years thereafter, if the judgment is renewed. This is the same twenty year maximum period applicable to a restitution award related to criminal conduct. Student loan debtors are treated much worse. Mortgage debtors could be treated just like student loan debtors in the blink of an eye, by way of Congressional action on behalf of lenders and notwithstanding the contracts clause of the US Constitution. Congress could declare that state anti-deficiency judgments are invalid against the federal government for any mortgage that the federal government has ever taken possession of as a result of FDIC insurance coverage for a bank that has been declared unsound. Congress can even go back 20 30 or 40 years to revive an expired judgment and then administratively garnish your social security payments. They can even extend enhanced collection rights between private parties, applying federal law in a state court where state law is contrary. See
Mountain Peaks Financial Services v. Roth-Steffen, 778 N.W.2d 380 (2010)

Corporations can go bankrupt, or simply dissolve, and the investors can just start anew with uncommitted resources. People, on the other hand, are all in, including their SS, and thus uniquely vulnerable to being enslaved for their entire life. Whatever one thinks of the sinfulness of non-repayment of a debt, in isolation, a natural person could insist that they be treated no worse than any corporation. Any person can try to insist on no less than parity.

(An earlier rant on student loan issues is in a comment here.)

Native Oregonian,

Would you vote for legislation to make every mortgage debtor cover the full measure of their debt obligations, for the balance of their lives and garnish their SS as well?

It is not marxist nor anti-capitalist to demand equal treatment under the law for persons relative to corporations. Search on Joseph Story Bankruptcy for a useful read -- he uses the phrase "perpetual bondage."

"However, when you decided to get your degree in film study, or women's studies or the myriad of other not-so-marketable degrees, then you don't qualify do you? Just because you blew $50K to get that performing arts degree does not mean I owe you a job, let alone a job in the city YOU want and a wage that YOU want."

Your absolute ignorance about what's going on with our economy, and your absolute lack of compassion for your fellow citizens, is evident in the cliched and silly straw demographic that you're constructing.

You can kid yourself about how America is still the land of opportunity and that if anyone can't make it it's their own darn fault. But the facts are, the system is being increasingly rigged in favor of the super-wealthy, the middle class is being undermined, and there aren't enough jobs to go around.

But why should I bother to dispute what you're saying? Some people are just ignorant and mean-spirited, but instead of coming right out with it and saying "I don't care," which is their real outlook on life, they pretend that they're making a genuine argument.

This whole story is rapidly becoming a non-issue to me.

While I do support for the need for some severe reform of taxation and favoritization of the rich, let's be sure both political persuasions of rich people are affected.

The evil corporations (Enron) supported by Republican investors are bad. And yet, the alternative energy "green" corporations favored by Democratic investors (Solyndra)are good. So good, that even one of their billionaire backers gets repaid his investment before the US Taxpayer during bankruptcy.

Maybe it's time to move to Washington DC and protest where it really matters.

Richard - you have NO IDEA who I am or what I've gone through. I was laid off at age 55, wanna try that situation on for size? Nope, I'm not rich, the MOST I ever made was $90K in my entire life and that was over 10 years ago (I will make under $60K this year). Before this layoff, I was laid off in 2001 with 1200 other people - the reason was simple, the company wasn't making any profits anymore. I blew my 401K to retrain for a job that was impossible to get without experience (plus the training). Moving forward, with this last layoff I sold everything, checked over 400 websites each week, put out 68 resumes and had 15 interviews ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. Blew the money that I had from my worldly goods sale to get myself to the interviews and ended up with a job 2600 miles from Oregon, making more than I was in Oregon. I just closed on a house for a reasonable amount of money which would have cost over 3 times the amount that I paid up in the Portland area. I did what I had to do to feed my family and keep moving ahead. More people (legal and illegal) come here than any other country because you STILL CAN make it. But you have to want to and be willing to do what it takes to get there. Chanting in the streets is NOT what it takes, but when you don't want to deal with life - life deals with you.

PDXnag - corporations have been declared a 'citizen' by the supreme court. All citizens should be treated the same under the law.

Native Oregonian:

Your personal determination is admirable, and I'm glad things worked out for you. However, that doesn't change the facts that there are far more people out of work than there are available jobs and that the system is unnecessarily rigged in favor of the rich and their cronies.

We can have a much more economically just society without eliminating the benefits that come from personal initiative and hard work. The system we have now often lavishly rewards those at the top who do nothing of value for society and, even, utterly fail at their jobs. The "market" and capitalism aren't fair unless we--collectively, through our government and laws--make them operate in a fair manner.

(And by the way, the Supreme Court's decision conferring citizen status on corporations is an absolute abomination. A business enterprise does not have the same kind of interest in a political system that a real human being does.)

"...collectively, through socialistic government and laws, we can force them to operate in a fair manner. Or nationalism there."

Socialism, anyone?

Che Richard!!!

What's the country coming to when you're called a socialist for supporting a top marginal tax rate equal to or lower than the rate that existed for 7/8ths of my presidency?


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