Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 22.

Courtesy of work on income tax reform by the Congressional Research Service, across the jump is a graph of the beneficial distribution of four tax expenditures. The information is provided in a graph of concentration curves; an adaptation of the Lorenz Curve.

Quotation for Today: A "Nathan Detroit" in Every Governor's Mansion

The quotation for today reminds us that life for middle-and working-class Americans truly is becoming a crap shoot.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Republicans Stealing the Postal Workers' Pension

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is working a bill to "modernize" the postal service.  For more information on the postal service modernization bill, please continue reading across the jump.

Quotation for Today: Paul Ryan's Romneyville Budget or Creating A Modern-Day Hooverville

The Republican budget for the United States of America is the theme of the quotation for today.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 21.

Today, the U.S. House of Representative passed the GOP budget, also known as the Paul Ryan budget.  To view the impact of the Republicans' budget on college students who utilize Pell Grants, go here (PDF).

For Jared Bernstein's article on the Republicans' budget and its effect on the Pell Grant program, go here

A Fool's Analogy

One of the analogies used by a Subprime Court (aka U.S. Supreme Court) justice  was comparing the commercial activity of medical care to buying broccoli.  The Subprime Court justice who made this comparison is so blinded by political ideology that he cannot reason well.

To understand how foolish this analogy is, I recommend reading the material provided here.

Quotation for Today: What a Misfire!

The quotation for today aims our front sights on the nation's practice of making the innocent victim the subject of debate (e.g., his dress, in the wrong place, school records, etc.) in a gun-caused killing versus the gun and the shooter. What a misfire!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quotation for Today: Medical Care: An Involuntary and Imperfect Marketplace (Updated)

The quotation for today offers us a look at one of the fundamental truths that makes necessary the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  The quoted comments were part of the Solicitor General's argument in the case Department of Health and Human Services, et al., (Petitioners) v. Florida, et al..  The Supreme Court of the United States, over a period of three days, is presently hearing arguments in the case.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 20.

The enclosed explanation of the labor report by Gary Burtless, a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, is an opportunity to understand the horrible effects of the Congressional Republicans depraved actions that obstructed President Obama's efforts to help the U.S. economy recover and to create jobs for America's unemployed

The labor report is published monthly by the United States Department of Labor, and Gary Burtless' explanation of it can be seen across the jump. Please note  Mr. Burtless' key points made at the end of the presentation.

Quotation for Today: Citizens United Ruling Undermines America's Democracy

The quotation for today, across the jump, focuses our attention on the corrosive and corruptive effects of unlimited donations in support of political campaigns. These unlimited donations are a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. A critical aspect of the Citizens United ruling was the Supreme Court's narrow definition of political corruption to mean bribery.

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 19.

This week the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare).  Should the justices decide ACA is unconstitutional, then the impact will be devasting on many Americans who are insured through the Medicare program with its infamous, Republican-created "donut" hole for prescription drugs.

The benefits to Medicare recipients of the ACA/Obamacare vice the Republicans' plans to privatize Medicare can be seen here.

Related information:

Health Care Blessings of ACA/Obamacare.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quotation for Today: Pulled by the Nose

Is the United States drifting into another unnecessary war in the Middle East or is it being pulled by the nose into such a war? The quotation for today highlights an article that describes the views of foreign affairs experts on the possibility of another war in the Middle East.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Your Congress at Work

Enclosed are links to a House bill (H.R. 1038, 112th Congress) and a an article on the web site for Coconino County, which is located in northern Arizona.

Quotation for Today: Florida's Stand Your Ground Law Is a License to Murder

With the quotation for today, perhaps we begin our look at the accomplices in the murder of Trayvon Martin.  For as surely as I write this post, the Florida legislature and governor  -- who in combination enacted the heinous law known as Stand Your Ground -- are guilty of murder too.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 18.

According to United States Energy Information Administration data for the year 2009, the United States only got 0.8 percent of its energy (as calculated in BTUs) from two of the most abundant energy sources available to mankind -- solar and wind power. Oh, solar and wind power are inexhaustible too.

For a view of how upside down United States energy policy is, go here.

You can read Jared Bernstein's companion article to the energy consumption graph here.

Related information is available here.

Quotation for Today: The Words of Trayvon Martin's Murderer

The quotation for today illuminates the heinous paranoia of the man who stalked and murdered Trayvon Martin; a paranoia nourished on racism.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 17

Matt Browne, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote in his Huffington Post article that Mitt Romney is an advocate of David Cameron-style economic policies.  To see how well Mitt Romney's favorite economic policies have worked in the real world, go here.

The companion story by Paul Krugman can be read here.

Matt Browne's Huffington Post article.

Notwithstanding Republicans' Devilish Tactics, ACA Is a Health Care Blessing

In presenting this post on the issue of health care, I would like to begin with a passage from a study done by the Employee Benefit Research Institure (EBRI).
This [EBRI] article examines the impact that repealing PPACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] would have on savings targets [read costs] for health care expenses in retirement. The estimates suggest that retirees with high levels of prescription drug use throughout retirement would see their savings targets [costs] increase roughly 30-40 percent were the coverage gap reduction in PPACA repealed. 
To learn more about the EBRI report and retiree health care costs, please continue across the jump.

Quotation for Today: The Insanity of America Writ Large

As if we needed another example of the insanity of contemporary America, we have one in the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin; yes, 17-year old Trayvon was stalked and murdered by George Zimmerman

The quotation for today illuminates the insane and cowardly Stand Your Ground law of Florida that permitted this murder, and other murders in Florida. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 16.

You can get a picture of the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act here and read the companion article here.

Related information is available here and here 

Quotation for Today: Republican-Controlled Congress Is Obstructing U.S. Economic Recovery

The quotation for today gets to one of the core reasons as to why the economy of the United States is sluggish. Although the reason cited for economic sluggishness in the United States has nothing to do with regulations or the economic policies of the Obama Administration, it does help highlight the failure of the Republican-controlled Congress' economic policies; policies that have blocked job-creating actions, thereby obstructing the economic recovery in the United States.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 15.

The deterioration in income for working-class Americans can be seen in the graphic map presented here. An analysis of the data in the graphic presentation reveals the fact that you need to earn 150% - 350% of the minimum wage rate (based on a 40-hour workweek and region of the country) to rent a two-bedroom unit in the United States at Fair Market Rent.

Jared Bernstein's companion story to the graphic map can be read here.

Related information:

Revisiting Poverty in America 

Quotation for Today: Where Is "Blondie" When You Need Him?

Many of you have already heard of Greg Smith's stinging critique of his former employer, Goldman Sachs. The quotation for today amplifies Mr. Smith's critique of Goldman Sachs and expounds on the perverseness of Wall Street, historically and contemporarily.

Reminder: Goldman Sachs is a Wall Street mega-bank that received government assistance during the early days of this Little Depression; when the Wall Street banks were collapsing under the cumulative weight of their financial "engineering." 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Revisiting Poverty in America

During this contemporary era of intense income and wealth inequality in America  -- when the character of a person is determined by the size of his or her bank account -- the impoverished people living among us are often invisible.  These impoverished Americans are viewed as being the 'other America,' and the article highlighted in this post provides a look back at the origin of the concept of the 'other America.'

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 14.

The need to expedite the health care protection enacted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is illustrated here.  Please continue across the jump for more information.

Quotation for Today: Return of the Social Security and Medicare"Sharks"

Just when you thought it was safe to "get back in the water," we discover -- via the quotation for today -- that the Social Security and Medicare "sharks" have returned to the waters off "Social Security Island"; apologies to Peter Benchley and the producers of the movie, Jaws.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

United States Exports Safe Foods and Imports Unsafe Foods

The article presented in this post focuses our attention on the unsatisfactory state of affairs in the food production business.  Please accompany me across the jump to learn more about the non-inspected and possible unsafe foods that are imported into the United States.

Quotation for Today: Courts Used to Redistribute Income and Wealth to the One Percent

The quotation for today highlights another tool -- bankruptcy procedures -- that is being used to redistribute wealth to the One Percent.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 13.

In economics and finance, the notion of a wealth effect -- increased consumption based on a perceived increase in wealth -- is well known.  Conversely, true wealth increase (measured by income change) is a bit different, as pictured here.

David Cay Johnston's companion article to the true-wealth-increase picture can be read here.

Related information:

Permanent insecurity for the 99 percent.

Quotation for Today: Creating Jobs the Republican Way

Via the quotation for today, we are introduced to the Republicans' job program; it will surely cause a drop in the nation's unemployment rate.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline a Potential Menace to the Environment?

Again, Republicans are deceiving Americans about the Keystone XL pipeline and how it will make America energy independent. Not!!!  

The article, highlighted on the other side of the jump, should disabuse Americans of any benefits accruing to middle- and working-class Americans from the Keystone XL pipeline.

Quotation for Today: Public Moral Hazard

Republican presidential wannabes and their supporters inveigh against their idea of private immorality while ignoring the endangerment of public morality by Wall Street bankers and corporate executive officers.  The quotation for today reminds us of the violations of public morality by Wall Street bankers and corporate executives.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quotation for Today: Real Oil Men Drill for the Tough Oil

The enclosed quoted remarks offer insight into the future nations struggling to maintain their oil-based economies.  The upshot of the quotation is that nations can begin to wean their economies off oil and onto more sustainable energy sources, or they can prepare to bear the high costs of an oil-based economy. These costs will be measured not only in money for oil-based products, but also in the costs of economic crises, environmental disasters and international strife.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 12.

Possibly the worst ever, continuous plunder of the United States treasury is shown here and you can read the companion story here.

You can read a related story here.

Quotation for Today: 'Permanent Insecurity'

The quotation for today captures well the contemporary America built on 30 years of Republicans and Alan Greenspan's economic and monetary policies.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 11.

The historical evolution of extreme income inequality in the United States is shown here.

The Y-axis intersects the X-axis at the year when the doubling of income share for the one percent began.  

Related information:

Konczal, Mike. "Welcome to the 1% Recovery." New Deal 2.0 5 March, 2012. 

Quotation for Today: Not Just Wrong, But Damnably Wrong

The quotation for today fits right well with Mitch Daniels estimate of Iraq war costs.  Mitch Daniels, in a rebuttal to Lawrence Lindsey's estimate of $100-200 billion war cost (which turned out to be very wrong), estimated the Iraq war would cost $50-60 billion. Now, across the jump to the quotation for today.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quotation for Today: The Moneyed Interest and Mitt Romney

The role of money -- post Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision -- is the focus of the quotation for today.  What does money say about a political candidate?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol. 1, Issue 10.

Again, we are presented a graph of the intense inequity (or iniquity) of the American capitalistic system -- an economic system based on 30 years of Republican and Alan Greenspan economic and monetary policies.  The graph, a comparison of the rise in the distribution of income to the top one percent in the United States and Sweden, can be viewed here.

Paul Krugman's article accompanying the graph can be read here

Related information is available here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol.1, Issue 9.

Nowadays, Americans are working longer hours to offset stagnant/lower hourly wage rates and the graph depicting the current hourly/weekly wage phenomenon can be seen here.

Jared Bernstein's companion story on the Fed's job report and the aforesaid graph can found here.

The graph in this post complements well the information presented here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol. 1, Issue 8.

The general, inequitable character of the contemporary American economy -- punishing labor while rewarding the rentier class -- is portrayed vividly here.  

To read the companion story by Mike Konczal go here.  Paul Krugman's op-ed, "Rule by Rentiers," provides a sketch of the power of the American rentier class.

Related information:

"Rescuing America." Exempli Gratia 8 March, 2012.

Rescuing America

The Main Street American economy  -- the place where middle- and working-class Americans live and work -- is in dire need of rescuing and the Obama Administration is working intently to rescue it.  

This rescue of the Main Street economy will take considerable time -- remember the Main Street economy, operating for almost 30 years under Republican economic policies, has suffered tremendous neglect during approximately 30 years .  Across the jump, via excerpts from several articles, you can read about the need to resuscitate the Main Street economy and the efforts of the Obama Administration and other leading institutions to rescue the Main Street economy of the United States.

Quotation for Today: The Political Essence of Family Vacations

The quotation for today captures well the allegorical theme presented to us in the tale of the Mitt Romney-family vacation to Canada.

Many of you may have heard of how Republican presidential wannabe, Mitt Romney, transported Seamus -- the family dog -- on the roof of the family car when he took his family on vacation to Canada. Evidently, during the trip, Seamus -- the family dog -- suffered from a digestive-system illness that necessitated the washing of the family car. For the political essence of this tale, please continue reading across the jump.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quotation for Today: Has the Republican Party Become a Religious Organization?

Again, the issue of church-and-state and a religious test for politicians raises its ugly head. The quotation for today and the related articles capture well the dangers to freedom posed by fusing church and state and applying religious test for politicians; a threat to freedom that the nation's Founding Fathers warned us about.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol. 1, Issue 7.

In this issue of "A Thousand Words," the theme is the national debt and the presidential candidates.  The effect on the national debt of each presidential candidate's federal policies are portrayed here.

The companion story can be read here.

Quotation for Today: School Discipline: An Excuse for Racism

The inequitable nature of the United States education system is the thrust of the quotation for today.  It is not surprising to find intense inequity in public education since inequity is the leading economic feature of this contemporary Age of Greed; a time when hedge fund and former hedge fund managers a la Mitt Romney pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Quotation for Today: More Middle East Entanglements: Why?

The quoted comments cited in this post refer again to ultimatums and force with respect to another Muslim nation in the Middle East.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Thousand Words, Vol 1, Issue 6.

For a snapshot view of how Americans are working smarter and harder than ever to leave a decent legacy for future Americans go here, and you can read the associated story here.

Quotation for Today: GOP Stigmatize Hard-Working Americans

Inveterately and instinctually, the Republican Party presidential wannabes and powerbrokers speak their true feelings when they talk of American workers as special interests. The GOP elites view the one percent as their true constituency, not the hard-working Americans  --  the middle- and working-class Americans  --  who are the heart and soul of the 99 percent and America. The quotation for today condemns the Republican Party's presidential wannabes for stigmatizing industrious American workers as special interests.