Posts Tagged ‘Robber baron economy’

Trickle Down Economics? Or Trickle Down Taxes?

July 6, 2011

Yesterday I was having a discussion with a friend of mine who is considered to be upper income.  She was complaining that the top 5% appear to be footing the bill for everyone else and that much of the middle class  are not paying any taxes.

It has long been said that numbers never lie – however – they can be distorted by those who wish to cherry pick their numbers.  Of course they are talking about federal income taxes to the exclusion of all else.


Greed Goes Global – and so goes Glass Steagall….

June 18, 2011

I have already accepted that the US has become a robber baron economy – but it had always been in the back of my head that expatriation was an option if things continued their downward spiral here.  But a recent round of reading and research has convinced me that the Robber Barons have  “gone global.”

Take reinstating  Glass-Steagall  as an example….


Eric Cantor and the GOP – give kitchen table advice to tornado victims

June 6, 2011

Apparently the GOP is back to their “austerity” measures and the people of Joplin MO could suffer for it.    Eric Cantor lead the charge. Compassionate soul that he is, Cantor feels that the people of Joplin deserve aide – but only if it means cutting back on OTHER government programs…. you know ….little things like unemployment insurance, medicare and social security.  Nothing of any major importance for a country in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Simple Solutions or Simplistic Nonsense?

Yes,  Eric Cantor was in the news again touting his “kitchen table” economics and trying to apply it the devastation in Joplin MO.  It really is very simple isn’t it?  I mean – if you save $10k for a new car but your house is blown down by a Tornado – you use the $10k to rebuild your life, right?  Sorry that does not fly.


The two “R’s” – Reagan and Revenue…

April 16, 2011

Obama gave his response to the House’s so-called 2012 budget on Thursday. In that speech he invoked the two R’s – Reagan and revenue!   Although I agree that invoking Ronald Reagan and Bush 43 for their reckless and his tax cuts to make a point about revenue loss over time puts the blame where it belongs – I do see it as something of a missed opportunity.

Reagan – Revenue – & GE…

Lest I seem “soft on the republicans” for creating this mes let me digress a moment and refer back to a recent article in the New York Times “G.E.’s Strategies Let it Avoid Taxes Altogether”. In that wonderful example of journalism (and I mean that sincerely) there is a passage about Reagan and corporate tax loopholes…Even in the 80s GE had managed to create some rather aggressive “creative accounting” that allowed it to legally avoid paying large sums in taxes.  The loopholes that this type of gamesmanship involved were closed by none other than Ronald Reagan himself – who commented to his Treasury Secretary “I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line.”


In defense of NIMBYs – the rights of municipalities to map their own futures….

March 27, 2011

Matt Yglesias  wrote a post on the need for moderate priced housing in the DC area and suggested rezoning to allow for greater density.  This set off a wave of responses including some rather typical “NIMBY” comments and cautionary tales about how zoning changes may not result in the desired moderate priced housing.

“Not In My Back Yard”


May you live in interesting times…

March 19, 2011

Matt Yglesias  posted on the voting trends of younger people.  I wrote  a comment that I decided to repost here.

Voting trends are just that – trends. Trends can turn on a dime – just like the varying popularity of kitten heels, flats, and platforms. At least such is the case during times of relative prosperity.  Prosperity breeds complacency.  It is during such uninteresting times that we sow the seeds of our on destruction.

As someone in the latter half of their forties – I came of age during the Reagan era. Spin and the mere fact that not much “bad” happened during the 80s and 90s to derail the American dream led to a quantum shift towards the conservative. The youth of our day will hopefully learn from our mistakes – because they are certainly paying for them. (And for that – all I can offer is a humble apology across the generational divide. )

We Get the Government We Deserve….

December 13, 2010

When I was little,  the public was very engaged.  I have vague memories of protests and demonstrations swirling all around me.  The generation ahead of me was caught up in the Vietnam conflict.   There is nothing like the threat of being drafted into a war you don’t believe in for promoting political activism in the young.

Politically engaged – but not necessarily politically informed…

Today – with the all volunteer military – such prods to active engagement and informed activism has been sorely lacking for over 30 years.  If we set aside the obvious meaningless wedge issues such as gays in the military and the 10 Commandments on the steps of a courthouse, it was  only the market crash of 2008 and the near total collapse of the world economy   that stirred the American public from its 35 year political stupor.  The fact that it took such a direct whack to the pocket book to waken the public from what appeared to be general anesthesia was depressing enough. But  the fact that there is  a world of difference between being engaged and being informed is a grim reality that has left the more thoughtful Americans who have been sounding the alarm bells for years tearing their hair in total despair.