[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com
this was in response to this:

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Though something called the "death tax" sounds ominous, Bill Maher explained on "Real Time" why taxing inherited wealth is actually a good thing. Namely, he just called out some kids who will inherit fortunes for being "entitled jerks." Maher's outrageous examples include Kylie Jenner texting while driving after Bruce Jenner's deadly accident; and Paris Hilton's brother Conrad Hughes Hilton III needing to be restrained on a flight.

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of debate over a method of extracting natural gas. Fracking, as it is known, was heavily promoted as a source of economic revival for depressed communities along New York’s border with Pennsylvania, and Mr. Cuomo had once been poised to embrace it.

Instead, the move to ban fracking left him acknowledging that, despite the intense focus he has given to solving deep economic troubles afflicting large areas upstate, the riddle remained largely unsolved. “I’ve never had anyone say to me, ‘I believe fracking is great,’ ” In a double blow to areas that had anticipated a resurgence led by fracking, a state panel on Wednesday backed plans for three new Las Vegas-style casinos, but none along the Pennsylvania border in the Southern Tier region. The panel, whose advice Mr. Cuomo said would quite likely be heeded, backed casino proposals in the Catskills, near Albany and between Syracuse and Rochester.

New York Times article
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Newsroom interview about Climate Change

While the interview is fictional, the information contained in it is not. A lot of the fictional EPA official's information was based on a study co-conducted by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. When the fictional EPA official stated that people alive today would likely die from catastrophic planetary failure, that was based a real analysis of data.

Although the study based on HANDY is largely theoretical - a 'thought-experiment' - a number of other more empirically-focused studies - by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance - have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years. But these 'business as usual' forecasts could be very conservative.


But unlike the ACN interview, the NASA report does offer a faint glimmer of hope:

Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.
[identity profile] deborahkla.livejournal.com
When workers don't make enough money in a consumer-based economy, this is what happens. When they make enough money they buy things and keep the economy afloat. This is NOT trickle-down economics--it's the opposite, and it truly works.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Also, an interesting video that answers the question, if Wal Mart paid a living wage for its employees (so they would not have to rely on food stamps1): and if Wal Mart passed those wage increases to customers, how would that impact the price for a box of mac and cheese?

Video can be viewed here.

[1.] A recent report indicated Wal Mart sales are largely from food items and a significant portion of those sales are from customers who use food stamps.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Now that the media is done freaking out about the missing jetliner, how about going on a search for America's vanishing middle class? Now I say this because the number of Americans who identify as middle class has never been lower. And if you don't believe me, just go shopping. The stores like Sears and Penney's that always catered to the middle market are dying. But you know who's doing great? Tiffany's and Gucci and Cartier for the Marie Antoinette crowd. And the dollar store for people who don't see a problem with Halloween candy in June. 50 years ago, America's biggest employer was General Motors, where workers made the modern equivalent of $50 dollars an hour. Today, America's biggest employer is Walmart, where the average wage is $8 dollars an hour. Which means you can share a room in a transient hotel with a drifter who cuts his toenails with a machete.

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com
If the consequences weren't so dire, this National Review article would be laughable.

National Review Online article by Rupert Darwall. For some good laughs, check out the comment section, where global deniers apparently don't believe in evolution either "Evolutionism is not science."

From a New York Times article about the recent IPCC report: "Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported on Monday, and they warned that the problem was likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control." And The IPCC report DID include some benefits from global warming, but you know, that is completely offset by "ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct. The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found." 1

[1.] Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come, New York Times, by Justin Gillis, published 31 March 2014.
[identity profile] brother-dour.livejournal.com

Condi_Rice Sums UP the GOP

Bitterness - like the GOP feels about an increasingly secular government?

Anger- like the GOP gets when anyone suggests that allowing same-sex marriage is only fair?

Entitled- like the 1% feels when anyone questions how they got to be the 1%?

Owed something - like said 1% feels they are owed a right to remain insanely wealthy at the expense of workers rights and welfare?

Road to nowhere - like the GOP will be on until they ditch the Tea Party?

(Note: this has not been fact-checked, nor is it technically a cartoon. I just found on a very Tea Party-ish friends' Facebook page and it made me instantly furious).

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Income inequality is increasing according to new figures released yesterday at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The 85 richest people own about 0.7% of the world's wealth, which is the same as the bottom half of the population.

Los Angeles Times article with a video report.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) went on the defensive when asked whether he was moved by the New York Times’ powerful series on a homeless family struggling to survive in New York City. Bloomberg defended his homelessness policies and claimed that 11-year-old Dasani, the star of the piece, ended up in dire straits due to bad luck. “This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not,” he told Politicker, calling her plight “a sad situation.”

The New York Times series explicitly tied Bloomberg’s homelessness policies to Dasani’s destitute situation. “The Bloomberg administration adopted sweeping new policies intended to push the homeless to become more self-reliant,” the Times’ Andrea Elliott wrote. “They would no longer get priority access to public housing and other programs, but would receive short-term help with rent.”

There are over 22,000 homeless children in New York City (the worst since the Great Depression). Meanwhile the city has set records for most millionaires (over 250,000) and billionaires (70) in the world. Dasani has to hang her food from the ceiling to keep rats in the shelter from stealing it. Desani and her family stated in the Auburn Family Residence, a homeless shelter, for almost three years in Brooklyn, has been cited for more than four hundred violations in the past decade, and not for casual things: “inadequate child care, faulty fire protection, insufficient heat, spoiled food, broken elevators, nonfunctioning bathrooms and the presence of mice, roaches, black mold on walls, bedbugs, lead and asbestos.” Then there were the written complaints about Auburn that didn’t go further: children and their mothers were molested, but the police were never called, and several reports of men exposing themselves to children in a shared bathroom.

There are more photos in the linked source.

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Pope Francis, in the heart of Rome’s fanciest shopping district, prayed on Sunday that the poor are never forgotten. His appearance at the foot of the Spanish Steps follows a papal tradition of public prayer before a statue representing Mary on Dec. 8, a church holiday honoring the mother of Jesus.

Pope Francis has been a vocal advocate for the poor and downtrodden, attacking the current economic state of the world which has the potential to foster inequality. He criticized "unfettered capitalism" in his apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium," and will be leading a worldwide wave of prayer for the hungry on Dec. 10th, Human Rights Day.

HONY is a website of human studies photography by Brandon Stanton, that puts a real focus on the subject's personal story, and not all of them are warm and fuzzy.

I'm trying to get out of my brokeness."
"Why are you broke?"
"I was born broke. Nobody ever gave me anything. Nobody ever bought me anything. But I made it hard on myself too. I left school. I left home. I threw all my stuff in the street and left."
"Why'd you do that?"
"My feelings were hurt. Nobody ever cared about me. Nobody ever said: 'Charlie, what's wrong?' They said, 'Shut up, Charlie. We've got our own problems.'"

When this was published on Facebook, someone commented:

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty."
Mother Teresa.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Since the average CEO now makes $380 times the wage of the average worker, if you want to modernize The Great Gatsby, don't just show the rich exploiting the poor, show the rich eating them. Yes, a new version of The Great Gatsby opened today, a fond look back at a gilded age when the very rich ran their big pretty cars right over the very poor. And that was supposed to make you sad — for the rich, or the car, I can't quite remember. But the point is, Gatsby isn't really accurate for today, because the wealth gap now is so much more profound than it was even in the 1920s.

The average "sales" associate at Walmart makes $8.81 an hour. While the six heirs to the Walmart fortune are worth $90 billion (audience gasps) — the same as the bottom 130 million Americans. Yes, the have-nots are getting a lot have-nottier. And not just at Walmart. 1 in 4 Americans makes less than $10 an hour. 146 million, about half the country, do not have enough to meet basic needs. And I say if you don't want to pay people, just go all the way and do what we do here in Hollywood, and call them "interns".

Look at fast food jobs. It used to be they were the extra jobs our kids would do to earn money for gas and weed. So they weren't using up all of mom and dad's. Adults worked actual jobs. But now, the economy is such that the fast food jobs are the actual jobs. The median age of a fast food worker is now 28. At the end of the order, they say, "Do you want one of my kids with that?"

And they're the lucky ones. There's now a web service called SeekingArrangement.com that matches rich men with cash-strapped college girls. He provides tuition money, and she provides "companionship". It's one hand washing the other — only in the case of one of the hands, it's a penis. (grossed out audience laughter)

Or Google the words "McDonald's prostitute", and you'll see stories about women being arrested for offering sex in exchange for a Happy Meal. Google "self surgery", and you'll see people operating on themselves, because they have no health care. Families are literally eating cat food. I mean, something is really not right when the kids hear the can opener, and start rubbing themselves against your shin.

And the older kids? 42% of recent college grads live in the houses they grew up in, because they cannot afford rent anywhere else. And it's really creepy when you're a co-ed trolling for a sugar daddy on SeekingArrangement.com, and you get an IM from your actual dad downstairs saying, "Damnit, honey, I'm already paying your rent!" There was a story recently about a Georgia man whose home was in foreclosure, savings running out. So he called 911, and when the responders arrived, he took them hostage. His demand? Getting his electricity turned back on. Now I'm not saying that's a smart approach, but squeezing people economically so tight, that they go all Django Unchained, that's not smart either.

If you're rich, you should be begging the government to redistribute your wealth. 'Cause you know what happens in countries where there's a huge disparity between the rich and the poor? The rich get kidnapped. It happens 72 times a day in Mexico. Getting snatched out of your car is so common in South Africa, that they actually make cars that do this.

(shocked audience reaction)

Do you really think your trophy wife is going to empty out the Swiss bank account to save your sorry ass? I'm talking to you, Donald Trump! hink about it. And remember, the difference between a mosquito and a hedge fund manager, is a mosquito will stop sucking blood before it explodes.


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