The latest BofA ad….
My friend Kirk sent this to me and I thought it was cute, fun, accurate and worth sharing…
The latest BofA ad….
My friend Kirk sent this to me and I thought it was cute, fun, accurate and worth sharing…
This is one of the Great Myths: That Republicans are good for Business.
No, they are good for Rich Businessmen and Wall Street Money Magicians….
I don’t see how people can forget it was the policies of George W Bush and the GOP that led to the economic collapse….
The Democratic Party looks to the future and entrepreneurship. The GOP supports money shell games that produce no jobs or social benefits.
And, Democratic Social Policy focused on equality for all allows more people to have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs…
From Yahoo Finance:
One contention of the Republican party is that Democrats don’t understand business and are bad for business.
GOP front-runner Mitt Romney has basically built his entire campaign on the theory that he knows how to run an economy and the Democrats don’t.
Given this, why does one of the most successful business-regions of America overwhelmingly vote Democratic?
And if Democratic “big-government” and “high taxes” choke off innovation, investment, and incentives, why have so many companies located in high-tax, highly regulated California done so extraordinarily well?
We put these questions to Reid Hoffman, who is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in the country. A partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock, Reid has invested in Facebook, Zynga, and many other companies. He is also the co-founder of one of last year’s standout IPOs: LinkedIn.
In Reid Hoffman’s opinion, Silicon Valley’s success comes despite California’s regulatory environment and “big government,” not because of it. Silicon Valley, Hoffman says, is powered by its amazing ecosystem of investors, engineers, and entrepreneurs, along with more than a half-century of start-up culture. And the Valley’s overwhelming support of Democrats, Hoffman suggests, is due as much to the Democrats’ social views as their economic views.
But Silicon Valley is a big fan of the Democrats’ efforts to help start-ups, Hoffman says.
And Hoffman ridicules the Republican argument that increased taxes would make him and other investors and entrepreneurs work less hard.
I’m going to make a point to see this soon….
Inspired by true events (think Bear Sterns? Merrill Lynch?) and with an all-star cast including Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, Penn Badley, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker….
It was also just named “Best First Feature” by the New York Film Critics…
I’ll let you know more once I see it….
It seems the Ruling Class is more afraid of Occupy Wall Street than they want to let on in public….
This lobby firm memo outlines their plans to fight back- and they wouldn’t be wasting time and effort to fight them if they weren’t afraid of Occupy Wall Street….
The 1% have a lot of money and media resources, but I’m hoping Occupy Wall Street has grown big enough to withstand their plans.
Things are just too far out of sync in the country right now for me to believe they can beat all this back with a PR campaign…
Mayor Bloomberg couldn’t do it with the NYPD…..
Great scoop from Chris Hayes at MSNBC….
A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”
The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.
CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.
According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”
The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”
The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry — that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party. “Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism,” the memo says. “…This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”
The memo outlines a 60-day plan to conduct surveys and research on OWS and its supporters so that Wall Street companies will be prepared to conduct a media campaign in response to OWS. Wall Street companies “likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause,” according to the memo. “A big challenge is to demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost.”
Part of the plan CLGC proposes is to do “statewide surveys in at least eight states that are shaping up to be the most important of the 2012 cycle.”
Specific races listed in the memo are U.S. Senate races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada as well as the gubernatorial race in North Carolina.
Okay, I’ve published enough fluff for today.
Let’s get back to Politics….
This is one of the biggest issues associated with income inequality. And it’s frequently overlooked.
The ridiculous salaries on Wall Street are creating a Brain Drain that draws young people, fresh out of College and many with large student loans, to go to Wall Street to try chase the dream to slave for ten years or so and retire billionaires at 40.
All these ridiculous, complex new financial instruments, like Credit Default Swaps, Hedge funds, etc. are really legalized gambling, market manipulation and frankly, fraud, created by super smart people to make a quick buck. The old, staid Wall Street of yore would never have thought these things up or known what to do with them.
Face it, the guys who used to run Wall Street weren’t that smart…
Now young people who should be attracted to jobs that might make Society better, be more fulfilling and create something positive are all running to Wall Street to try to think up the next ridiculously complex financial instrument to make themselves rich- no matter who it hurts or that it adds nothing to society.
Let’s get back to the basics:
It’s all out of whack….priorities, salaries, creativity and risk.
It shouldn’t all be about a quick and easy buck-like today’s system encourages….
From Huffington Post:
But what if top students didn’t go to Wall Street? What if, rather than creating complex financial products that collapsed the global economy, they were building bridges and creating new technologies instead?
As America struggles to create jobs and get back on its feet after the recession — caused largely by the financial industry’s recklessness — the country is in desperate need of more entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists and other professionals, a complaint regularly made by non-Wall Street business leaders and members of both major political parties.
Lee Jackson is a senior economics major at Stanford who edits a financial newsletter called The Opportune Time. He has interned on Wall Street and plans to work in finance after graduation, but admits the profession needs reform.
“I think the emphasis is more on making money and making a profit, and there’s been less emphasis … on what the greater societal implications of that are,” he said, pointing to fields like law and medicine that focus on the needs of the client or patient and have outreach programs to help low-income individuals. During the debate over Wall Street reform, meanwhile, bank lobbyists fought a provision in the Dodd-Frank legislation that would require financial companies to operate in the best interests of their clients.
“Over the past few years in the mainstream American culture, the bad side of American finance has come out time and time again,” he added. “But my fear is that the good side of finance and the side that can help people save for retirement, build their own wealth and be able to support themselves [will be lost].”
Yet without a cultural shift and reforms that rein in the financial industry’s sky-high profits and salaries, a disproportionate number of the best and the brightest will continue to head to Wall Street.
“Our financial system remains out of whack in terms of regulation, compensation, and until our economy is stronger, it’s not surprising that young people will be attracted to the place where the money and jobs are,” Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senate candidate and creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told The Huffington Post. “In a sense … it’s a demand problem, [as well as] the fact there is not enough demand in the rest of the economy. It’s both problems.”
Another brilliant article from former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich….
Click the link at the bottom to see his actual proposed “pledge” for the Corporations:
Words of Wisdom from RobertReich.org:
Despite what the Supreme Court and Mitt Romney say, corporations aren’t people. (I’ll believe they are when Georgia and Texas start executing them.)
The Court thinks corporations have First Amendment rights to spend as much as they want on politics, and Romney (and most of his fellow Regressives) think they need lower taxes and fewer regulations in order to be competitive.
These positions are absurd on their face. By flooding our democracy with their shareholders’ money, big corporations are violating their shareholders’ First Amendment rights because shareholders aren’t consulted. They’re simultaneously suppressing the First Amendment rights of the rest of us because, given how much money they’re throwing around, we don’t have enough money to be heard.
And they’re indirectly giving non-Americans (that is, all their foreign owners, investors, and executives) a say in how Americans are governed. Pardon me for being old-fashioned but I didn’t think foreign money was supposed to be funneled into American elections.
Romney’s belief big corporations need more money and lower costs in order to create jobs is equally baffling. Big corporations are now sitting on $2 trillion of cash and enjoying near-record profits. The ratio of profits to wages is higher than it’s been since before the Great Depression. And a larger and larger portion of those profits are going to top executives. (CEO pay was 40 times the typical worker in the 1980s; it’s now upwards of 300 times.)
This makes way too much sense to ever become law….
This is not aimed at true investors, but rather at the Market manipulators who treat Wall Street much the way other gamblers treat Las Vegas…
Unfortunately, these same people, who would pay this miniscule tax, now own most of our Senators and Congressmen. Therefore, they will say it’s better to cut Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security than to implement this transaction tax….
A minuscule tax on financial transactions proposed by congressional Democrats would raise more than $350 billion over the next nine years, according to an analysis by the Joint Tax Committee, a nonpartisan congressional scorekeeping panel.
The analysis was sent Monday to the offices of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the lawmakers who proposed the tax, and provided to The Huffington Post.
The Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act would impose a tax of 0.03 percent on financial transactions, meaning that longterm investors would barely notice it, but traders who move rapidly in and out of positions would feel its sting and, the authors hope, reduce the volume of their speculation in response.
A great Birthday present for me!
The threat is not over, but at least postponed….
From ABC News:
ABC News’ Greg Krieg reports from New York City:
City officials today postponed a cleanup of Zuccotti Park after earlier threatening to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters who have been encamped here. Jubilant protesters later poured from the park to the Wall Street area, some clashing with police. As many as 15 people were reportedly arrested for blocking access.
As the announcement was made via the “people’s mic” at 6:40 a.m., the crowd waved their brooms in triumph. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office tweeted that Brookfield Properties, owner of the park, (and not the city) decided to postpone cleaning. The city was informed “late last night.”
This is kind of looking and sounding familiar….
A little too modern…
A little too now….
Great column from Paul Krugman in the New York Times…
I see he’s getting the same Buffalo Springfield vibes I got the other night….
It’s so good, I’m reprinting almost the entire column:
There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear, but we may, at long last, be seeing the rise of a popular movement that, unlike the Tea Party, is angry at the right people.
When the Occupy Wall Street protests began three weeks ago, most news organizations were derisive if they deigned to mention the events at all. For example, nine days into the protests, National Public Radio had provided no coverage whatsoever.
It is, therefore, a testament to the passion of those involved that the protests not only continued but grew, eventually becoming too big to ignore. With unions and a growing number of Democrats now expressing at least qualified support for the protesters, Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.
What can we say about the protests? First things first: The protesters’ indictment of Wall Street as a destructive force, economically and politically, is completely right.
A weary cynicism, a belief that justice will never get served, has taken over much of our political debate — and, yes, I myself have sometimes succumbed. In the process, it has been easy to forget just how outrageous the story of our economic woes really is. So, in case you’ve forgotten, it was a play in three acts.
In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst — but bankers were bailed out by taxpayers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers’ sins. And, in the third act, bankers showed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support — and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts — behind politicians who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.
Given this history, how can you not applaud the protesters for finally taking a stand?
Now, it’s true that some of the protesters are oddly dressed or have silly-sounding slogans, which is inevitable given the open character of the events. But so what? I, at least, am a lot more offended by the sight of exquisitely tailored plutocrats, who owe their continued wealth to government guarantees, whining that President Obama has said mean things about them than I am by the sight of ragtag young people denouncing consumerism.
Bear in mind, too, that experience has made it painfully clear that men in suits not only don’t have any monopoly on wisdom, they have very little wisdom to offer. When talking heads on, say, CNBC mock the protesters as unserious, remember how many serious people assured us that there was no housing bubble, that Alan Greenspan was an oracle and that budget deficits would send interest rates soaring.
A better critique of the protests is the absence of specific policy demands. It would probably be helpful if protesters could agree on at least a few main policy changes they would like to see enacted. But we shouldn’t make too much of the lack of specifics. It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.
Rich Yeselson, a veteran organizer and historian of social movements, has suggested that debt relief for working Americans become a central plank of the protests. I’ll second that, because such relief, in addition to serving economic justice, could do a lot to help the economy recover. I’d suggest that protesters also demand infrastructure investment — not more tax cuts — to help create jobs. Neither proposal is going to become law in the current political climate, but the whole point of the protests is to change that political climate.
And there are real political opportunities here. Not, of course, for today’s Republicans, who instinctively side with those Theodore Roosevelt-dubbed “malefactors of great wealth.” Mitt Romney, for example — who, by the way, probably pays less of his income in taxes than many middle-class Americans — was quick to condemn the protests as “class warfare.”
But Democrats are being given what amounts to a second chance. The Obama administration squandered a lot of potential good will early on by adopting banker-friendly policies that failed to deliver economic recovery even as bankers repaid the favor by turning on the president. Now, however, Mr. Obama’s party has a chance for a do-over. All it has to do is take these protests as seriously as they deserve to be taken.
And if the protests goad some politicians into doing what they should have been doing all along, Occupy Wall Street will have been a smashing success.