Scenes from the class war

YouTube Preview Image

“The unemployment rate is still at a level which should cause politicians to panic. No one is panicking.”

“If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth [since 1968], it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women.”

“More than half of the people who became unemployed during the recession found a new job within six weeks, but a majority of them found jobs that paid less than the one they lost.”

“Insurance companies are in the habit of charging higher premium to safe, low- or moderate-income drivers than to richer people who were at fault for an accident.”

“While the banks, which include giants like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, do not make the loans, they are a critical link for the [payday] lenders, enabling the lenders to withdraw payments automatically from borrowers’ bank accounts, even in states where the loans are banned entirely.”

“Nearly 40 percent of U.S. workers who care for the elderly lack even a single paid sick day.”

“You think this is the best healthcare system in the world? Walk a mile in my shoes, then say that.”

“There is no greater threat to privacy than the creation of a database of sensitive consumer financial and personal information sold for profit for purposes that are unclear and without the knowledge of the consumer.”

“The comparison of payments to seniors with payments to children makes as much sense as comparing payments to bondholders with payments to children. It is understandable that people who want to cut Social Security and Medicare would make such comparisons … but it is hard to see why anyone engaged in honest policy debate would take such comparisons seriously.”

“It costs money, it doesn’t benefit the rich, and it’s something Obama wants. That’s three strikes, and that’s all she wrote.”

“Arkansas is the one and only state in the nation with a law that says you can be put in jail for not paying your rent.”

“We prefer to talk about poverty when it is manageable, when it can be solved by us –” conveniently with a certain project that we can donate to and thus help ‘cure’ the problem.”

“Far from being ‘priceless,’ as the promoters of ever-more spending on higher education would have Americans believe, both undergraduate and post-graduate education is turning out to be a catastrophic investment for many young and not-so-young adults.”

“Unless, I guess, there’™s that lash of necessity, that fear of real privation, people will make poor decisions about their families.”

“[Tenn.] State Sen. Stacey Campfield has proposed legislation that would cut welfare benefits to parents whose children fail to make ‘satisfactory academic progress’ in school.”

“He chose to call himself out as a royal dickhead for life, because now we all know he wasn’t paying for sick leave before forced to by law.”

DefendYourDollars.org

 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    According to the SGS Alternate Measure, unemployment is (within statistical fluctuations) stuck at 2009-2010 levels.

    I don’t know that there’s any widespread proof that this is true – that is, that employers are effectively ceasing to hire for any full-time jobs and are instead hiring on short-term contingency as a way to keep costs down and avoid taking on expensive payroll commitments. But there are proxy measures, and one of them is…

    Housing starts, according to the SGS graph, have only slowly recovered and are not even at 1999-2000 levels yet; as housing is often one of the major drivers of demand, owing to the “big-ticket” subsidiary effect that goes on with building a new house, such as piping, wiring, home appliances, furniture, the anemic recovery here almost certainly means an anemic downstream recovery, not helped by continuing high energy costs, even by US standards.

    The fact is, these kinds of poor economic conditions should be sparking a nationwide dialog about the nature of work and the need for work, and whether or not to radically restructure the economy to distribute the incredible wealth that, even now, the USA generates for itself (a $10 trillion GDP is nothing to sneeze at, and it doesn’t even need to increase very quickly to get large in absolute numbers; 1% per year means adding $100,000,000,000 ($100 billion) every year to the total output of the nation.

    For comparison, that’s adding TEN CANADAS to the USA.

    That’s right, ten times the entire output of MY COUNTRY gets added to yours with hardly any effort in the growth rate.

    So surely all this unimaginable mountain of riches could easily be awarded to everyone in the USA with little trouble – yet the poorest citizens of the US have to live under the punishing scrutiny of those who would rather they didn’t have “too much” according to some kind of moral-guardian measuring stick.

  • Carstonio

    Insurance should not be about making a profit or enriching shareholders. The purpose of insurance is to spread risk among a large group so that no policyholder is left destitute by a catastrophic event. The only way an insurer can make a profit is by raising premiums or by cutting benefits. If it were legally possible, I would require all insurers to operate as non-profit membership corporations, with each policyholder as a member. And where health insurance is concerned, I would leapfrog that entirely and institute single-payer, which would simply be a government-run insurer.

  • SisterCoyote

    I’d just like to point out that Campfield was ALSO the jackwad behind the Don’t Say Gay bill, AND proposed a bill that would limit lottery winnings to people on welfare, AND last month, proposed a bill that would require teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents.

    Seriously, what is going on in Tennessee?

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    In my little corner of the world, I know exactly no one who has gotten a full-time job in the last 5 years that they did not create themselves. And that’s only two people, one of whom started her own consulting business which cannot pay the bills yet. Everyone else is competing for incredibly low-paying, no-benefits temp work. It is not sustainable.

  • Jim Roberts

    There’s a Republican supermajority at all levels of government. It’s going to be a rough, rough ride.

  • Dave Lartigue

    Always remember: high unemployment is only a problem for labor. For management, high unemployment is a solution.

  • Magic_Cracker

    …high unemployment is a solution…

    Consisting of equal parts Shock Doctrine (the solvent) and liquidated labor (the solute).

  • Fusina

    Regarding the Coffee shop person, Just did the math. If he is indeed telling the truth, at his lower cost of 25,000/year in sick leave pay, it comes to almost 19 dollars/hour/employee. So if the cost is split between sick person and replacement worker, that comes to an oh so generous 9.50/hour. Reminds me of John whatsisname from Papa John’s pizza, who would have to up his prices by a whole 11=14 cents per pizza to pay for Obama care…

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Insurance should not be about making a profit or enriching shareholders.

    Be very careful with “should” statements. You can’t go from “is” to “ought”.

    The purpose of insurance is to spread risk among a large group so that no policyholder is left destitute by a catastrophic event.

    Close, but not quite. Yes, insurance is a way to share risk among a large pool, but it’s to share all kinds of risks, not just “catastrophic events”. Most car insurance claims are for less than catastrophic events, and most health insurance claims are for routine doctor visits. 

    The only way an insurer can make a profit is by raising premiums or by cutting benefits. 

    Actually, the easiest, best way for an insurer to make a profit is to refuse to insure high-risk customers at all, and only sell insurance to low-risk persons. (see also: pre-existing medical conditions and health insurance) Insurance can be incredibly profitable simply by selling the product to those who need it the least and denying it to those who need it the most.

     If it were legally possible, I would require all insurers to operate as non-profit membership corporations, with each policyholder as a member

    Well, you can do the next best thing, and only purchase insurance from mutual insurance companies. It doesn’t carry the power of law, but it sounds like the kind of structure you want.

  • smrnda

    People often argue that increasing minimum wage will drive businesses into the read and out of business, but that tends to neglect the fact that if a large % of workers get more money, that’s more money they have to spend. Once wages get low enough and stay low enough, there isn’t enough consumer demand to fuel economic growth.

    The problem is that the goal of the wealthy is consolidating ownership. If wages stay low, they make more profit and can buy existing businesses rather than starting new ones, and then screw more workers. With wages low and consumer spending weak, smaller, less established businesses are more vulnerable and likely to either sell or go out of business, which means less competition for the already wealthy.

  • ReverendRef

    Well, here’s some good news at least:  The NYT ran a story this morning reporting that several prominent — although retired — Republicans have signed an amicus brief calling for marriage equality and allowing SSM.

    It’s a start . . . 

  • MikeJ

    He chose to call himself out as a royal dickhead for life,

    If you live in Seattle you might also want to avoid what is often considered one of the best restaurants. The owner of Wild Ginger came out in favor of snot in your $33 seabass.

    You would think restaurants would be the last place people would want lots of flying mucus, but that doesn’t seem to be true of the owners. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Raising premiums… or… cutting benefits?

    You think too limitedly. See, we start with both, and then we find new ways too, like having people whose only job is to find reasons to retract claims we’ve already paid! :D

    Wait, this wasn’t supposed to be a good thing?

  • Carstonio

    Good points. My only point of disagreement is that the profit model for insurance companies is cruel because it inherently conflicts with the purpose of sharing risks. 

  • P J Evans

     75 of them. But not C Powell or Cheney.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You know, the dumb thing is that insurance is inherently profitable as long as you pick a sector where the incident rate is small compared to the total pool of people insured.

    Consider auto insurance. You have the stats on the accident rates for, say, the last 10 years. Even if the law bans discrimination on the basis of age or sex, you can still use statistics to predict roughly how many accidents you have to pay out for as a percentage of your pool of insured. Set your premiums such that they meet this figure plus overhead, and the rest is gravy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    “Unless, I guess, there’™s that lash of necessity, that fear of real privation, people will make poor decisions about their families.”

    So, if that’s true for the poor families, single parents, et al., isn’t it even more crucial that it be true for the big decision-makers, CEOs, job creators? After all, if a poor person makes a bad decision, their family might suffer. If a major CEO makes a bad decision, hundreds or thousands of families might suffer.

    Oh Mr. Gander, there’s a Mrs. Goose who’d like a word with you about the sauce….

  • Damanoid

    I suspect the idea that there is any political downside to ignoring the unemployed is somewhat obsolete.

  • Buck Eschaton

    Again it comes down to the rich want to own everything, they want to institute some sort of neo-feudalism. The 0.01% want to force deflation. They want to suck money out of the economy. They want to make it harder for us to pay our debts. By sucking money out of the economy it will be harder to make mortgage payments, there will be more defaults.  It’s win/win for them. They get bailed out and they also get our homes and other assets for cheap. Our assets, our city’s and state’s assests for cheap.
    We need to get rid of the big banks, and provide direct windows at the Fed for households and individuals. Instead of direct cash injections going to the banks, the government will directly inject cash into households. We can then pay off our debts, free ourselves from the corporations and loan that money back to the government at 5% interest. Just like the big banks have been doing.

    We need to force the big banks and corporations to sell their assets to us for cheap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Николай-Крутиков/100002311958508 Николай Крутиков

    How about some posts concerning the destruction of the bourgeoisie and the self-abolition of the working class? That’s real class war for ya!  

  • stardreamer42

    I’ve been saying for over a decade now that 90% of the problems with insurance companies could be fixed by forbidding them from offering stock. As soon as they become publicly held, their clients go from being an asset to being a liability, and their primary responsibility becomes delivering dividends to stockholders — at which point every claim they pay cuts into the profits.

  • stardreamer42

    Stupidest comment I’ve seen lately, on a different blog:
    Employment “at will” is disappearing, as a job is coming more and more to be seen as an entitlement.

    Jeezus H. Christ, what color is the sky in his little world?
     

  • EllieMurasaki

    Same color as here, where the majority belief (at least among politicians) is that not everyone deserves a job, only those talented enough and hardworking enough to get and keep one, and the corollary that anyone who doesn’t have a job doesn’t deserve such things as toilet paper and, y’know, FOOD.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    If you live in Seattle you might also want to avoid what is often considered one of the best restaurants. The owner of Wild Ginger came out in favor of snot in your $33 seabass.

    I remember a friend relaying a while ago that the owner also pressured single employees into marrying people they wanted to get into the country with a divorce immediately after their citizenship was confirmed, with the employee threatened to lose their job if they did not comply.  

    However, I cannot seem to find any more information about that from a cursory search, so that could just have been apocryphal.   

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Employment “at will” is disappearing, as a job is coming more and more to be seen as an entitlement.

    I only wish. Maybe if it was 1953 instead of 2013.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X