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Wilbur Ross – ‘Billionaire Putz of the Week’

Via: Huffington Post

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Take heart, downtrodden rich people of America: Another famous rich guy has heard your cries of persecution and is joining the small but growing 1st Percent Defense Brigade.

Billionaire bottom-feeder Wilbur Ross on Tuesday declared that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons” and that poor people should stop their gripin’ and get themselves an education if they ever want to stop being part of the 99 percent.

“Education is the way that people get out of the ghetto and into, if not the 1 percent, something close to it”. (See photo)

Ross pledged his allegiance to another billionaire, the gnome king Sam Zell, who last week told Bloomberg TV that the 1 percent are “being pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so” and because the poors are simply incapable of working as hard as the rich, leaving them seething with jealousy.

Lazy, lazy jealousy.

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February 15, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Modern Day American ‘Debtor’s Prison’

Via: Huffington Post

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Virginia Dickerson says she’s devoted the last three years to recovering from the drug problems that entangled her in the criminal justice system throughout her teens and 20s.

Now in her mid-30s, she’s been out of prison for more than a year, working 30 hours a week as a cook and server at a restaurant in Richland, Wash. She says she’s also looking for a full-time job, and volunteering for two organizations that help people overcome addictions and a third that provides arts programs to teens.

Still, if she fails to pay off the $8,000 in fines that she still owes county courts in southern Washington as a result of her arrests several years ago, she could end up right back in jail. District and Superior courts in Benton County ordered her to pay a total of $130 a month toward fines and fees stemming from two drug arrests in 2010 and 2011, one for possession of methamphetamines and the other for delivery. Dickerson was fined about $6,000 for her two drug charges, but has accrued about $2,000 in interest.

“I’ve done my time, and I’m doing anything in my power to clean up the wreckage of my past,” Dickerson said. “But I can’t pay the amount they want me to pay.”

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In Benton County, the problem is particularly severe; about 20 PERCENT of the jail population is there because of unpaid legal charges. The county’s District Court fines people for misdemeanors like driving without a license, and the Superior Court orders defendants who are convicted of violent crimes and property offenses to pay restitution to their victims. In both courts, defendants are often ordered to pay for the cost of their trials.

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Under the U.S. Constitution, Americans can’t be jailed for failing to pay their debts when the reason for their failure to pay is poverty. But in Washington and other states, county governments get around that by insisting poor defendants could find a way to pay if they simply tried hard enough. “You hear judges say, ‘Oh, you have a tattoo, you can pay,’” said Vanessa Hernandez, a co-author of the report. “Or, ‘Why don’t you just mow some lawns?’ There’s not a specific enough standard for whether they have the ability to pay.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/12/debtors-prisons-report_n_4768320.html

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February 13, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iraq War To Remain A Significant U.S. Debt-Driver For Years To Come

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Via: Huffington Post

In the 10 years since the beginning of the Iraq war, the costs of war have been compared to the benefits of freedom at a near constant rate. Thanks to its large-scale impact on the country’s federal debt, it’s a debate with no end in sight.

The Iraq war has so far cost the U.S. about $800 billion — NOT including continuing payments to veterans — and it’s poised to be major driver of the deficit for years to come.

Add to that the costs of the Afghanistan war and the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, and you’ll account for almost HALF of the DEBT that the nation is set to owe by 2019, according to the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, a left-leaning think tank.

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Read more, HERE:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/19/iraq-war-us-debt_n_2908909.html?utm_hp_ref=business

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Before I forget, HAPPY ANIVERSARY!

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March 20, 2013 Posted by | GOP morons | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tax Cuts and TWO Wars – Do the Math!

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August 29, 2012 Posted by | 2012, GOP morons, President Bush, Romney | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greece Crisis Is Personal As Well As Political, As Greeks’ Lives Worsen

Via: Huffington Post

Like many Greeks left unemployed by their country’s economic tailspin, Dimitris Spachos finds it easier to talk about his nation’s problems than his own.

Enormous debt accumulated over decades sent the country into a recession so deep it kills 200 businesses and 900 jobs EVERY DAY. Elections this month failed to produce a government, and Greeks will vote again in June. Meanwhile, life for most Greeks continues to get worse.

“Every day I see more people sleeping rough on the street,” said Spachos, 72. “They can’t even wash their clothes or themselves. … It worries me.”

Spachos, who has been staying with different friends in recent months, may soon join them. A former doctor, he could not afford to retire and found work as a hospital orderly. But as Greece’s woes mounted so did his own, and he lost his job, then two more: one as a gardener and one as a groundskeeper.

Now, he is unemployed and homeless, and spoke this week at a municipal soup kitchen, where he ate a plastic bowl of bean soup, a thick slice of bread and a banana.

“I am ashamed to be here,” Spachos said, his eyes filling with tears. “My heart is broken.”

“Greeks have fight in them, so maybe things will improve in a couple of years,” he said, opening his shirt to reveal a scar from surgery to implant a pacemaker. “But I won’t be around to see it.”

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Read more, HERE:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/20/greece-crisis-personal_n_1530871.html

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personal thought:

” . . . so maybe things will improve in a couple of years”; I hate to say, but I think it might be very much worse in a couple of years.

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May 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Americans: Too broke to go bankrupt

Via: CNN Money

This year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to be too broke to file for bankruptcy.

The average cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the most common form of consumer bankruptcy, is more than $1,500, according to recent research submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

As a result, anywhere between 200,000 and one million consumers are estimated to be unable to afford that steep cost this year.

The research, conducted by a group of professors from Columbia University, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, examined how bankruptcy filings spiked after people received their tax rebates in previous years. They estimate that another 200,000 consumers, who would otherwise not have enough money to file, will use their tax refunds to pay for bankruptcy this year.

“For lots of people, bankruptcy has been taken off the table as an option because of the severe fees involved,” said Jialan Wang, co-author of the report.

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That means many of the Americans who have seen their debt snowball out of control due to events like job loss, foreclosure or a medical emergency during the economic downturn are now left without their last financial lifeline, she said.

“It becomes harder and harder to pay off the debt as interest payments get higher, so your debt grows larger and larger,” she said.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/americans-too-broke-bankrupt-105500347.html

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photo:

“Well, my idea has always been to bring back the debtors prisons’, Mitt Romney did not say, at least not yet.

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May 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Krugman – ‘Four Fiscal Phonies’

Via: NYT

Mitt Romney is very concerned about budget deficits. Or at least that’s what he says; he likes to warn that President Obama’s deficits are leading us toward a “Greece-style collapse.”

So why is Mr. Romney offering a budget proposal that would lead to much larger debt and deficits than the corresponding proposal from the Obama administration?

Of course, Mr. Romney isn’t alone in his hypocrisy. In fact, all four significant Republican presidential candidates (see photo) still standing are fiscal phonies. They issue apocalyptic warnings about the dangers of government debt and, in the name of deficit reduction, demand savage cuts in programs that protect the middle class and the poor. But then they propose squandering all the money thereby saved — and much, much more — on tax cuts for the rich.

And nobody should be surprised. It has been obvious all along, to anyone paying attention, that the politicians shouting loudest about deficits are actually using deficit hysteria as a cover story for their real agenda, which is top-down class warfare.

To put it in Romneyesque terms, it’s all about finding an excuse to slash programs that help people who like to watch Nascar events, even while lavishing tax cuts on people who like to own Nascar teams.

Read more, HERE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/opinion/krugman-four-fiscal-phonies.html?ref=opinion

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Do the Right Thing  – Hold the Senate; Win back the House; Re-elect Obaba/Biden!

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March 3, 2012 Posted by | 2012, Gingrich, GOP morons, Romney, Ron Paul, Santorum | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joseph Stiglitz – ‘Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%’

Via: Vouge

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened.

The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year.

In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent.

One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided.

While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride.

Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran.

While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

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This is half the first page of the five page article. You can read the rest, HERE:

http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105?currentPage=all&wpisrc=nl_wonk

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Via: Columbia News

Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics on Wednesday (10-10-01) by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/news/01/10/josephStiglitz_nobel_2001.html

August 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment