There are lots of reasons why the 2012 presidential election broke the way it did, but one that’s not often reported—but particularly germane to Per Square Mile—is the divide between cities and the country. I’ve been thinking for a while now about this split as a driving force behind the polarization of U.S. politics, and I know I’m not alone.
But I was curious. Can we actually see the divide between cities and the country in the electoral map? In short, yes, but I’ll let the maps to the rest of the talking.
After Diane Sawyer’s incessantly giddy slurring began to annoy me too much (”...and the swimmer in South Carolina is Jim Beams!”), we switched over to Fox News for the lulz we knew would await us there and never changed the channel after that.
It was riveting stuff.
As a connoisseur of Republican schadenfreude, it was pretty obvious that Fox was the place to be on this election night.
Megyn Kelly was clearly shell-shocked by the incoming results and you could tell with her, fairly early on, that she knew what was happening by a look of deer-in-the-headlights PANIC that crept over her face in real time during the broadcast. Also, they had her vamping constantly, but she’s just so unfunny, stiff and strident (and was so clearly off-put by Romney’s looming loss) that this fell completely flat and even I felt sorry for her. It was almost as if Fox News didn’t have much of a contingency plan when Obama won other than asking Megyn Kelly to wing it!
When Fox finally called it for Obama, it was like lacquer-haired Bret Baier, the one who blurted it out, had farted loudly behind the desk and the rest of them just looked down in embarrassment, shook their heads and muttered something. THAT was how the election results got called on Fox News last night: “Oh shit… he won.”
It was hysterically funny and SO REAL. I only wish that Sean Hannity had been on camera at that point, but alas, ‘twas not to be.
But did you hear what Papa Bear, Bill O’Reilly had to say earlier in the evening when the writing was already so clearly on the wall for R. Money:
And then there was supposed evil genius Karl Rove, who looked like he was trying to start a push-back against Fox News’ own “war room” of data analysts. He sort of scolded Kelly for calling Ohio too soon. It was a borderline nerd freakout, as if you could see the gears turning in his head as he realized that his days as one of the most influential people within the Republican party were coming to an abrupt end. That was a pretty extraordinary thing to watch:
After the commercial break, Rove came back on the air and basically said “Uh, okay, well, yeah, never mind.” Some evil genius “Turd Blossom” turned out to be this go-round. Rove couldn’t even buy an election (and this might be the GOP’s last election where they even get to try). Karl’s gonna have a lot of essplaining to do to the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and the other members of the Billionaire Boys Club about how he pissed their money down a black hole. Rove got fucking skunked last night, and he’s well aware of it, too, there’s no doubt about it.
For a little perspective: This was the widest vote to return an incumbent president to the White House since Ronald Reagan won 49 states in his 1984 reelection bid. That’s not a statistical fluke, no matter what the “know nothings” at Fox News, Breitbart and the Drudge Report want you to believe. What’s more, Frenchman John Kerry got over a million more votes in 2004 than Romney got on Tuesday.
Here’s what Fox News DIDN’T REPORT ON last night, at least not as long as we were watching:
Liberal hero Alan Grayson won his House seat back (Hell yeah!)
Wisconsin elected Tammy Baldwin, a proud lesbian woman, to the Senate, beating Tea party-backed former governor, Tommy Thompson.
Marijuana was decriminalized by Colorado and Washington voters.
Maryland and Maine became the first states in which the voters chose to legalize same-sex marriage.
Left for dead Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri beat Republican goatboy Todd Akin.
Liberal hero Elizabeth Warren won handily in Massachusetts.
Michele Bachmann, who raised more money than any other member of the House, barely squeaked by in her reelection.
Cuckoo Tea party favorite Col. Allen West lost his seat in the House.
Joe Donnelly beat Richard Mourdock in Indiana. God’s will?
Well then God must hate the Republicans’ fucking guts this year, that’s all I gotta say.
“Many of us have believed — and I still basically do — that that this is a center-right country. And a lot of conservatives have taken the view that liberals are really on the wane. If you look at tonight’s exit polling that we’ve seen so far, those that self-identified as liberals are about 24 percent, self-identified conservatives 35 percent, moderates 40 percent. Now, this apparent outcome tells you one thing about those moderates, that there are in that category an awful lot of them who are actually liberals.”
“Now, liberal became kind of dirty word, that’s when the word progressive came into use. But I think that — but I don’t think — you take the conservative number, 35 percent, it’s certainly a share of those moderates that are moderate to conservative, you’ve still got a center-right country, but it’s more liberal than many may have thought looking at those numbers. It’s got to be.”
Well, there’s that, and they also happen to think the Republicans are batshit crazy lunatics.
I’m expecting Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to come up with time capsule-level shows tonight, aren’t you?
Required reading: Welcome To Liberal America (Buzzfeed)
There is no doubt in my mind that the single best writer covering the 2012 election, numero uno, is Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce. I admire Pierce’s insight, his craft and the fact that he actually has a deep knowledge of 20th century history and politics.
He’s also hilarious. Real bust-a-gut, laugh out loud funny with tears running down your face stuff. There was really no competition this year, I don’t think, for the best writing on politics, although I rate The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi and Salon’s Alex Pareene very highly, also. But when it comes to the writing, Charles P. Pierce is, I think by far, the finest political prose stylist in American life, in a rarefied class with Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, Ambrose Bierce, Gore Vidal before he became a crank and Hunter S. Thompson before his brain got soft.
I don’t hesitate to make that claim for Charles Pierce’s writing, read him for just a week and I’m sure you’ll agree. I find myself in awe of his talents on pretty much a daily basis. No one has him beat for creative ways of calling idiots idiots and I love him for it. I only wish I could write as well as he can. For his coverage of the 2012 election, the guy deserves not only a Pulitzer prize and a lucrative new book contract, but his own TV show. He’s my dream guest to see on Moyers & Company.
Reading Charles P. Pierce is a privilege. Pierce wrote the best piece, bar none, on the reason to vote for Barack Obama tomorrow. Reposting it here in its entirety, since it doesn’t lend itself to an easy exceprt. I hope he won’t mind.
To sum it up, the most compelling reason to vote for Obama has got less to do with Obama himself or his record and everything to do with making sure Mitt Romney and his fellow passengers in the Republican clown car don’t get the keys to the White House
Because I am going to be in Florida on Election Day, I am voting this morning here in the Commonwealth (God save it!). There is only one vote that I am casting with any measurable amount of enthusiasm. That is the vote I am casting for Elizabeth Warren to be my next United States senator. This enthusiasm is based not solely in my personal affection for her, nor solely in my admiration for the things she’s already accomplished, nor solely as a reaction against the unnecessarily crude and boorish campaign waged against her by incumbent Senator Scott Brown, nor solely even in the fact that I think this race is still agonizingly close and that I think Warren has it in her to be a great United States senator on behalf of many of the issues that I think are important to the country. The enthusiasm derives from the fact that, when she was asked in a debate what her policy would be toward our groaning (and increasingly futile) military adventure in Afghanistan, she answered quickly and simply. Out. Now.
I am also going to vote for Barack Obama. Without enthusiasm. And without a sliver of a doubt in my mind.
To be fair, this won’t be the most unenthusiastic presidential vote I ever have cast. The prize for that one remains Jimmy Carter in 1976. I spent a year chasing that grinning peanut-farmer around the country on behalf of Mo Udall’s campaign, organizing in the field in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, until the money ran out. All we did was finish second, over and over again. Hell, we finished second to him by an eyelash in Michigan after Mo had dropped out. Voting for Carter that fall was like draining my own blood with a turkey baster. I wasn’t particularly ginned-up over Mondale in 1984, either. Neither did Bill Clinton make my lights shine either time he ran. And, to be perfectly honest, the only real enthusiasm I felt for this year’s incumbent in 2008 came largely from being around people who were so transported by the idea of him. That and the fact that George W. Bush no longer would have anything to screw up.
However, I am casting my vote for him (again) because of something that Dr. Jill Stein said the other night on TV, when she was being interviewed in the wake of that third-party candidates debate that Larry King hosted. I’ve known Jill socially for some time, and I admire her, and I agree with her on a marginally greater percentage of the issues than I do with the president. I think a lot of the snark aimed her way is unjustified. She’s not responsible for the wankerific fantasies of renegade “progressives.” I do not, however, think she is any more likely to become president — or any more qualified to be president — than I am. For example, I take a back seat to nobody in my scorn for the president’s apparent naïvete concerning the virulent nature of his political opposition. But, listening to Stein talk about the glories of the “Green New Deal” she’s going to pass through a Congress that is unlikely to differ much one way or the other from the one we have now, well, that makes Barack Obama sound like Huey Long. Still, I thought long and hard about tossing her my vote, because I live in the bluest of blue states, and I felt that, in casting my vote that way, I would absolve myself of complicity in the drone strikes, and in the inexcusable pass given to the Wall Street pirates, and in what I am sure is going to be an altogether dreadful Grand Bargain while not materially damaging the most important cause of all: making sure that Willard Romney is not president. And I might have done it, had Jill not gone on TV and talked about how those people who are voting for the incumbent president simply to make sure that Willard Romney is not president are doing so out of “fear.”
It is not fear. It is simple, compelling logic. We have two major political parties. Until that great gettin’-up morning, when purists on both sides of the ideological ditch manage to create workable third parties that look like something more substantial than organized unicorn hunts — which won’t happen until we have proportional voting, and I wish you as much luck with that as Lani Guinier had — we always will have two major political parties. One of them is inexcusably timid and tied in inexcusably tight with the big corporate money. The other one is demented.
This is not “fear” talking. I watched the Republican primaries. I went to the debates. I saw long-settled assumptions about the nature of representative democracy thrown down and danced upon. I heard long-established axioms of the nature of a political commonwealth torn to shreds and thrown into the perfumed air. I saw people seriously arguing for an end to the social safety net, to any and all federal environmental regulations, to the concept of the progressive income tax, and to American participation in the United Nations, the latter on the grounds that a one-world government threatens our “liberty” with its insurance-friendly national health-care reform bill. I saw Rick Santorum base his entire foreign policy on the legend of the 12th Imam, and I saw Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann actually be front-runners for a while. I saw all of this and I knew that each one of them had a substantial constituency behind them within the party for everything they said, no matter how loopy. When you see a lunatic wandering down the sidewalk, howling at the moon and waving a machete, it is not fear that makes you step inside your house and lock the door. It is the simple logic of survival. Fear is what keeps you from trying to tackle the guy and wrestle the machete away from him. And, as much as it may pain some people to admit it, the president is the only one stepping up to do that at the moment.
It is vitally important that the Republican party be kept away from as much power as possible until the party regains its senses again. It is not just important to the advance of progressive goals, thought it is. It is not just important to maintain the modicum of social justice that it has taken eighty years to build into the institutions of our government, though it is. It is important, too, that that you vote for one of these men based on whom else, exactly, he owes. Who is it that’s going to come with the fiddler to collect when you get what you’ve bargained for?
Barack Obama owes more than I’d like him to owe to the Wall Street crowd. He probably at this point owes a little more than I’d like him to owe to the military. The rest he owes to the millions of people who elected him in 2008 — especially to those people whose enthusiasm I neither shared nor really understood — and he will owe them even more if they come out and pull his chestnuts out of the fire for him this time around. He may sell them out — and, yes, I understand if you wanted to add “again” to that statement — but they are not likely to revenge themselves against the country if he does and, even if they decided to, they don’t have the power to do much but yell at the right buildings.
On the other hand, Willard Romney owes even more to the Wall Street crowd, and he owes even more to the military, but he also owes everything he is politically to the snake-handlers and the Bible-bangers, to the Creationist morons and to the people who stalk doctors and glue their heads to the clinic doors, to the reckless plutocrats and to the vote-suppressors, to the Randian fantasts and libertarian fakers, to the closeted and not-so-closeted racists who have been so empowered by the party that has given them a home, to the enemies of science and to the enemies of reason, to the devil’s bargain of obvious tactical deceit and to the devil’s honoraria of dark, anonymous money, and, ultimately, to those shadowy places in himself wherein Romney sold out who he might actually be to his overweening ambition. It is a fearsome bill to come due for any man, let alone one as mendaciously malleable as the Republican nominee. Obama owes the disgruntled. Romney owes the crazy. And that makes all the difference.
In his time in office, Barack Obama has done some undeniable good for people. There are auto workers in Ohio with jobs, and women making equal pay, and young people freed from the burdens of health care because of some of the president’s policies. And he is running on that record, making the case for his second term based on the good he has done for people in his first. In his only time in elective office, Romney also did some good for people. He reformed the health-care system in Massachusetts in a way that made him far more popular up here than he ever will be again. And he has spent seven years now running against the good he did for people. What kind of a politician does that? What kind of a man does that? A politician who has counted the debts he owes to the people to whom he owes them, and a man who is willing to hock everything about himself just to get even.
This is not “fear” talking. This is simply the way things are. It is important to stand against the people and the forces to which Willard Romney owes his political career. It is more important to do that than it is to do anything else. It is more important to do that than to salve my conscience, or make a statement, or dream my wistful dreams of a better and more noble politics. And that is why, today, I will vote for Barack Obama, not because of the man he is not, but because of the man his opponent clearly has become. I will do so without enthusiasm, and without a sliver of doubt in my mind.
If the 2012 election went on for even one more day than scheduled, I seriously think that I would just spontaneously burst into flames. Wednesday can’t come fast enough. I’m sure many of you reading this feel the same way. Probably the vast majority of Americans, but not just Americans, are sick of hearing about it.
So it looks like Obama is going to win in a squeaker. All everyone has to do now is vote.
Me? I keep getting asked “Why haven’t you written any of your political rants lately?” Like I say, I’m bored to death of the whole election topic, but in brief, if Obama wins a second term, I would certainly prefer that. However, if by whatever kind of electoral chicanery Mitt Romney would “win,” well, I think Oliver Stone put it very succinctly to Buzzfeed’s Michael Hastings:
“I guess if I was another kind of personality, I would say I’d vote for Romney because it’ll wreck it faster. And you know, we’re going to go down, but it’s going to be faster, and maybe that’s better. Maybe we should just bankrupt the whole fucking thing.”
I’m a fairly dyed in the wool Marxist, myself, and so I tend to see history and current events through that sort of lens. Even the worst news is still (kinda) good news when you look at things that way…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to vote for Obama. I’m one of those kinds of people who would spend ten hours waiting in line to vote, too—and I will very happily be casting a ballot for my congresswoman here in Los Angeles, Rep. Karen Bass—but I am largely indifferent to him. Obama could have taken on the banks, he didn’t. His record on civil liberties is not great, but he’s got one thing that sees the Democrat ticket topper get my vote every time:
The latest from the American Bridge PAC (with supporting facts here). It’s a “greatest shits” compilation reminding voters in union-heavy northern Ohio who they don’t want to vote for…
The top-voted YouTube comment sums it up quite nicely:
Giving a vulture capitalist who’s (sic) greatest financial successes all came at the expense of American tax payers, the keys to the American economy is tantamount to financial suicide for the middle class.
Yeah, like the guy with the Cayman Islands bank account is gonna look out for your interests, Joe Sixpack (To be clear here: I’m not pro-Obama, I just hate Republicans).
The battleground states get all the good political advertisements. Out here in true blue California, we never see any of the good ones on tee-vee.
Although Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” comment was obviously the comedic highlight of the debate, Stewart draws out the laughs nicely here on the Libya question like the satiric maestro he is. Brilliant!
So far, it still seems pretty inscrutable—red herrings abound—as to who might be behind this (my guess would be it’s a Karl Rove or Daily Caller/Breitbart-related thing, maybe not) but with just a little over four days until the big reveal is promised, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.
I’m still wondering why no one has leaked Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Someone who doesn’t like him has copies, of this I have no doubt, but so far, crickets. There’s already a leaked image of something associated with this that looks kinda “taxy” on BuzzFeed. Make of that what you will. It just as well might be a college student loan application listing Obama’s birthplace as Kenya, or Romney’s Vietnam-era draft deferments, what do I know? (The same as the commenters at BuzzFeed, that’s what, no more and no less!)
Update two: They took the website down and closed the Twitter account!
According to Matt Drudge and Radar Online, Los Angeles-based lawyer Gloria Allred, who sank eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s bid for California governor, might be involved in a similar document dump. Allred, an Obama delegate at the DNC convention, isn’t saying.
If you live in Arizona, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky Louisiana, Michigan, Montana New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas or Utah and you haven’t registered to vote, TODAY is the last day you can do so.
Luckily, it’s easy to register at Rock The Vote. Takes just a few minutes. Just make sure to get it postmarked today, too.
Although we are still several months away from the November general election, and this new Bloomberg poll certainly bucks the trend of most of the polls we’ve been seeing lately (which show a much tighter race), it’s interesting to note that its underlying implication is that Thurston Howell III Mitt Romney has gained almost zero ground with likely voters after an entire year of campaigning.
Although this obviously bodes rather poorly for the millionaire Republican presumptive nominee, enthusiasm to re-elect Obama looks tepid, too.
Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18.
The survey shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48 percent see him unfavorably—a 17-percentage point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36 percent who say the president is more out of touch.
Taken together, the results suggest an unsettled political environment for both Obama and Romney five months from the November election, with voters choosing for now to stick with a president they say is flawed rather than backing a challenger they regard as undefined and disconnected.
If this poll is an indication of any sort of trend—and I’m not saying it is, because until more polls confirm its results, it should be viewed as an outlier—then all Obama would need to do to coast to re-election is to keep hammering away at Romney as a vulture capitalist, corporate raider who will most certainly bend tax reform to benefit his own family’s vast fortune and future investment income, as a guy has no idea what the poor and middle class are going through, and portray him as the Grinch who will steal healthcare. (Well, that and praying to fuck for no unforeseen bad news about the economy, scandals, oils spills, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, etc.).
The Romney campaign ads SUCK, they aren’t even SHITTY, and are totally ineffectual at redefining a guy who we’ve all seen daily on our tee-vee sets for the past four years, whereas the Obama campaign has unleashed some hilariously nasty, viciously scathing—but quite true—ads, just excoriating Romney. Some of them are mini-masterpieces of political ridicule.
Nothing quite like the nuclear bomb (”When Mitt Romney Came to Town”) that Newt Gingrich threw in Romney’s face back in January, however, although I am sure that Obama’s own version of this political Kraken will unleashed by say, late August.
Wait for it, it’s coming. They’re just sharpening their knives and Romney’s such a fucking dipshit that he gives them new material to work with on an hourly basis. If this is the Obama campaign’s definition of “lighthearted” I can’t wait to see what they come up when the gloves are really off.
Of course Democratic strategists know fully well that when all is said and done, these motivated lefty types who would send money to PCCC in the first place are highly unlikely to leave the fold. But can they take their donations for granted? Their enthusiasm? The Republicans, to give them their due as pols, at least know how to throw red meat to the base during an election cycle, even if they are utterly craven about it. The Democrats, by way of contrast, seem to think that taking a piss on the heads of their stalwart supporters is a better strategy.
Take me, for instance. I’ve not voted for even a single Republican in my entire life (and never will). On a local level, I almost always vote for a Green-affiliated candidate or if a socialist candidate if that is possible, unless I really like the Democrat in the race. I’m not interested in a middle of the road, generic Democrat at a local level, I want true progressives. Where I live, at least, in Los Angeles, this is seldom an issue.
Stated differently, my voting is motivated like so: I have absolutely zero loyalty to the Democrats, but I LOATHE Republicans and vote accordingly.
I liked what Ralph Nader had to say in 2000—he was right about almost everything—but there was no way, none, that I wanted a Republican president emerging from a three-way race. My loyalty was to a Republican-free White House and so I voted as defense against that happening. (How worked up can anyone get about Al Gore? To me he was the candidate who was not George Bush. I felt much the same about that French guy from Massachusetts they ran in 2004).
I think there are a lot of people who, though “nominally” Democrats, vote like I do. Especially in cities, college towns and in blue states.
For the record, I’ve been lucky in recent years to have had a Representative whose votes I agreed with 95% of the time, Diane Watson, who retired from Congress in 2011. I surely can’t say that about Obama! He sucks!
I’m not saying I agree with that, because I do see Obama winning again, the GOP field is full of midgets and seems likely to remain that way—especially if Donald Trump runs as an independent and splits the GOP vote—but it does make for a compelling read:
President Obama has several key flaws which have doomed his presidency.
1. His leadership style is one of consensus and compromise. This works OK in a caretaker setting in which there are no crises and no demands for bold changes of course. Unfortunately, this era is defined by structural crises, and a leadership based on gaining consensus and compromise is basically a rudderless one in this environment.
2. He does not understand economics or finance, nor is he secure about making decisions on financial topics. As a result he deferred to the “experts,” who just happened to be Wall Street cronies and insiders who easily swayed the President with their hobgoblin stories of financial meltdown and ruin if we didn’t “save the banking sector from losses.”
3. His grasp of history is poor. The same can be said of most presidents, but Obama failed to grasp the historic opportunity to set a new sustainable course for the nation’s banking and financial sectors, and thus for its economy. He opted instead to save and protect the corrupt and embezzlement-based banking sector from losses, and he continues to do so with “extend and pretend” policies.
In a similar fashion, he has allowed the National Security State and the Global Empire to expand without any limitations.
4. He has no visible core beliefs beyond a vague sense that the Federal government and its extension, the American Empire, are forces for good. His policies can be boiled down to: support and expand the Savior State and its many fiefdoms, support and expand the Global Empire and National Security State, and allow the banking system and its Power Elites to set the agenda and control the oversight agencies and institutions.
His signature accomplishment, the “Obama-care reform” of the nation’s sickcare system, simply extends the power of existing cartels and fiefdoms and delivers an ever-larger slice of the national income to their coffers. In its basic parameters, the “reform” could easily have been supported and passed by socially liberal Republican presidents such as Richard Nixon. There is nothing remotely progressive or radical about “pooling” insurance cartels and wet-paper-bag bureaucratic tests of “the most effective treatments.”
These are simply technocratic layers added to a bloated, corrupt, venal and destructive system that already costs twice as much as those of our advanced-economy competitors.
In addition to these flaws, he has made fatal policy errors which doom the economy to implosion by November 2012. All of his administration’s policies can be distilled down to these three points:
1. The banking sector is the most important foundation of the economy. The Central State and its proxy, the Federal Reserve, pumped some $14 trillion (by some measures, $23 trillion) in cash, credit, guarantees and backstops into the banking sector and its cloaked twin, the Shadow banking System.
Meanwhile, little to nothing was done for the cash-strapped consumer or citizenry. Why?
2. The “problem” is lack of credit and “confidence.” If the State and Fed flood the banking system with credit and “restore confidence” by goosing the stock market, then people will start borrowing and spending again, and everything will be “fixed.”
This presumes demand is strong, and all that’s needed is credit for people to satisfy their thirst for more goods and services.
Meanwhile, back in reality, people realized they didn’t need a third car, fourth TV, 17th “cute blouse,” 23rd pair of shoes, etc., and now that their home is worth less than their mortgage (or their remaining equity is minimal), they can’t really afford the luxury travel, boats, etc. they enjoyed when they thought their house would keep rising in value forever and tapping that rising equity was painless.
Demand is slack because everyone who could afford more crap already owns more crap than they need or even want. The percentage of the populace who would like more stuff cannot afford more stuff. Their household incomes and wages are declining, and their expenses for essentials are rising.
The Fed’s largesse to banks (free money in unlimited quantities) doesn’t reach them; all it does is boost assets held by the top 10%.
3. Boosting the assets of this top 10% (or 20% if you include those who have equity of some sort beyond the $2,500 in their IRA) will cause a “wealth effect” that will “trickle down” to the lower 80% as the top 20% buy more Coach handbags, enjoy fine dining at tony upscale restaurants, etc.
Unfortunately, this may help boost Coach’s profit margins, but the vast majority of the “trickle-down” consists of low-paying retail clerks and busboys.
In other words, the “wealth effect” is bogus, a charade deployed to defend the pillaging of the economy via financialization and Fed intervention.
4. Pushing the dollar lower in a “beggar thy neighbor” currency war is the best way to boost the U.S. economy. Apparently no one in the President’s team looked at financial history to identify the nations which grew rich and powerful by debasing their currency.
In a perverse blowback to this misguided policy, corporate profits earned overseas were certainly goosed, but so were import prices, one of the reasons (along with the Fed’s easy-money quantitative easing) for rising costs to consumers.
If you set out to design a policy that impoverished 80% of the citizenry and channeled a larger share of the national income to the top 10%, then this is precisely the set of policies you would pursue.
Nothing important has been fixed; nothing important has even been addressed. The institutions of governance are captured and corraled by the monied Elites to the point that the government has lost control of its own institutions, which now rule as quasi-independent fiefdoms. The citizenry, bought off on the cheap by stale Bread (rapacious student loans, food stamps which offer the veneer of normalcy, extended unemployment benefits so no angry mobs form, etc.) and dazed and distracted by the Media Circus, keep quiet in their complicity, while the Power Elites revel in the freedoms offered by a caretaker Administration.
If President Obama had fought for fundamental structural reforms and lost, he would still have support.