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Monday, March 25, 2013

Moyers - Richard Wolff - Rampant Capitalism - PBS


This entry is for a friend.  What is wrong is "the system" not the person.  Hard to argue with. The challenge is to have confidence in changing the system, not making it worse while causing enormous pain and upheaval and ending up where you started.

You do not know what you are talking about unless you have acceptable and consistent concepts shared by those doing the talking.  The dictionary definition of capitalism (below) is about as concise as possible but is it acceptable?

:an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market ... as defined in Merriam-Webster.

Note that this definition does not include any reference to "political systems".  Nor does it mention "market systems" or "global or international markets".  But they all exist and are interconnected in myriad ways, interoperating in both positive and distasteful ways on humankind.

My own reflections on these complexities I find are a lot more like those of Richard Wolff than others I have heard.  But even in that not everything said is new or amazing but old observation on things understood by many for a long time.  I have also found that "behavioral economics" (Kahneman) brings a lot to understanding that humankind is capable of great misunderstandings in processes and systems we create.  The challenge that we must accomplish - can we understand ourselves and adapt our "systems" in time to avoid convulsions.  Every violent collective action among ourselves is a risky failure, no matter the scale, be it local or larger in scale.

I do not think that big should automatically be equivalenced with efficient.  I do not think that allowing large "entities" to function via small groups charged with meeting short term objectives as the measure of success is wise at all -  but will almost always worsen humankind.  I do believe that "entities" need to have long term accountability built into their charter and those involved in following the charter have long term accountability for their actions.

I also offer Market Economy versus Market Society: Inequality and Civic Decisions - TED - Michael Sandel as refinement to these thoughts.

Moyers and Company has produced another excellent program ... will we all realize it in time?

From the broadcast preamble of 2/22/2013
...Yet some aren’t just wringing their hands about our economic crisis; they’re fighting back. Economist Richard Wolff joins Bill to shine light on the disaster left behind in capitalism’s wake, and to discuss the fight for economic justice, including a fair minimum wage. A Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, and currently Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School, Wolff has written many books on the effects of rampant capitalism, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It.

Economist Richard Wolff on Capitalism Run Wild from on Vimeo.

Bill #Moyers - Richard #Wolff - Rampant #Capitalism: #Cooperative Owner #47% #ows #inequality  - #PBS : #47% #99% vs #elites - WI 1848 Forward 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pridemore Grothman :Tool Time: Abused Wives Should Stick it Out?!

WI 1848 Forward: #Pridemore #Grothman : Abused Wives Should Stick it Out?! #Walker #WOW cronies #NARAL #wwJd #Walker

Friday, March 22, 2013

DPI Election : Evers vs Pridemore - WPR - Freyberg

Pridemore claims local control but vouchers are anything but that.  Listen for yourself.

#DPI Election : #Evers vs #Pridemore - #WPR - #Freyberg - #Vouchers #MTI #WEAC #WiVote Goodbye #SchoolBoards

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Walker knows how to discriminate! Wonder if Grothman and Pridemore support it?

For those who have the fortitude to read Governor Walker's 2013-2015 Biennial Budget you may be in for surprises.  It contains numerous vigilante like intrusions into your private life.

I suspect Libertarians and ACLU members (certainly progressives) will be united in their vigilance to root out these discriminatory clauses.

The Group Insurance Board will be required to impose premium surcharges on the health insurance of those employees and/or annuitants(?) that use (or don't hypothetically) ___________.  This charge is $50/month for 2014 and 2015.

I presume everyone will be required to file an affidavit, sign a form or take an oath or submit to "mandatory" medical tests.  If you "lie" you can lose your benefits.

I have left the space blank to underline the point that our dear Governor can with his rubber stamp majority GOP Legislature technically in the future fill in any word he likes.  You can guess where he has started.  The Governor as filled in the blanks with "tobacco products" - really - what does "use" mean - a cigar because you became a Mom or Dad?

Grothman and Pridemore would probably identify the blank with single mothers (may be even divorced) not using birth control (which they pay for themselves).  Both have been associated with legislation that makes judgements about certain groups of people by either who they are or how they live - so why not.  We have all heard the term slippery slope!  There are so many reasons why we should not discriminate.  On the most basic level in the case of insurance it is antithetical to the whole concept of what insurance is suppose to be.  Where does it stop!

Tool Time: Abused Wives Should Stick it Out?!

... a little brutal (and for adults only)

An Open Letter To Representative Don Pridemore

WI 1848 Forward: #Walker knows how to discriminate! Wonder if #Grothman and #Pridemore support it? #47% #WIUNION

WI 1848 Forward: #Walker knows how to #discriminate ! Wonder if #Grothman and #Pridemore support it? #47% #WIVOTE

WI 1848 Forward: #Healthcare : #Walker knows how to #discriminate ! Wonder if #Grothman and #Pridemore support it?

#Campbellsport WI 1848 Forward: #Walker knows how to discriminate! Wonder if #Grothman and #Pridemore support it?

Too Much: Inequality - Our Buggy Moral Code <> SS is a " #FlatTax " except for #1%

An interesting newsletter in a form easily understood!

Too Much online 

Excerpts from this issue ...

Social Security [some emphasis added]
“Serious” pundits and policy makers on today's political scene love to wring their hands over Social Security. Woe unto future generations, they intone, if we don’t bring “entitlement spending” under control. Translation: Cut Social Security!
Well, whoa on the woe. Social Security is not going broke any time soon. In fact, even over the long term, a simple fix could fill almost any projected shortfall.
What sort of fix? Only the first $113,700 of paycheck income currently faces Social Security tax. So a CEO who pulls in $11.3 million pays the same tax as someone who makes $113,700. Eliminating Social Security's taxable income cap would fill in 95 percent of Social Security's shortfall over the next 75 years.
...  a really progressive tax ... and yet they can get something back!

Information Deficit [some emphasis added]
... Economic inequality in America hasn’t been this stark since the 1930s. But back then Americans by the millions took to the streets in protest. Why aren’t millions of Americans out protesting today? ...
...In 2011 a group of four top-flight academic researchers — including Emmanuel Saez, the world’s top expert on super-high incomes — decided to test this absence-of-information thesis. They prepared a detailed survey instrument and spent over 18 months quizzing a random sample of 5,000 Americans. 
These researchers have just published their findings, and on at least one key question — can information change attitudes about inequality? — their survey results do offer a definitive answer. Information can change attitudes. ...

... read on ... or should I say "blog" ... but you have to reach the people you don't!

TED - Dan Ariely - we all cheat a little bit or do we?

WI 1848 Forward: Too Much: #Inequality - Our Buggy Moral Code - #wwJd #47% #ows #SafetyNet #Medicaid #Medicare - Only #FlatTax the #GOP hates :) 

Too Much: #Inequality -Our Buggy Moral Code - So you want a #FLATTax - Try #SocialSecurity just add those > $113,000 

WI 1848 Forward: Too Much: Inequality - Our Buggy Moral Code #safetyNet == #FlatTax  

WI 1848 Forward: Too Much: Inequality - Our Buggy Moral Code #safetyNet == #FlatTax  No wonder #GOP wants #SS dead  - Only FlatTax the #GOP hates :) 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

03/13/2013 WED - Election Debate - State Superintendent of Schools - Evers vs Pridemore

State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Evers, to debate Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) and candidate at noon Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - meeting of Wisconsin Association of School Boards - Monona Terrace - Madison WI

The Press Conference will take place after a debate between State Superintendent candidates Tony Evers and challenger Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford). Media is invited to attend the debate, which begins at Noon, Wednesday, March 13, also at the Monona Terrace.

WI 1848 Forward:03/13/2013 WED- #Election Debate - State Superintendent of #Schools - #Evers vs #Pridemore #MTI #WEAC

PRWatch - Club for Growth - Big Spender in WI Supreme Court Race


Walker - DarkMoney Laundering - Hendricks - Prosser - Wisconsin Club for Growth


Club for Growth is the Big Spender in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

Her opponent, Marquette Law Professor Edward Fallone, has been endorsed by a host of progressive organizations, but lags well behind in fundraising.  [ReOrdered] 
Now, another member of the court’s 4-3 right-wing majority, Justice Patience “Pat” Roggensack, is up for re-election. Roggensack is being aided by the same outside groups that aided Walker in advancing some of his most controversial proposals. The far-right independent expenditure group Wisconsin Club for Growth spent an eye-popping $300,000 ontelevision ads supporting Roggensack during the primary. Club for Growth was responsible for more than 75% of the nearly $400,000 in TV spending in the primary race, and more than 80% of the total ad spots, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG estimates released by the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake.
In addition, Roggensack is being handed big checks by some ofthe same wealthy donors that gave to Governor Walker in his recall campaign, such as Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks and David Uihlein, well as a variety of PACs and local Republican Party chapters. ... [Emphasis Added]


Walker - DarkMoney Laundering - Hendricks - Prosser - Wisconsin Club for Growth

3/2013 #47% #99% WI 1848 Forward: #PRWatch - #ClubforGrowth - Big Spender WI #SupremeCourt #Election - #1% #Elites

Paul Ryan drinks deeply from pool of Social Security lies

Paul Ryan drinks deeply from pool of Social Security lies 

March 12, 201311:36 a.m.
Commentary LATIMES

I'd like to offer my thanks to House Budget CommitteeChairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) for doing so much to validate my list of the five biggest lies about "entitlement" programs published on Sunday.
Ryan's proposed federal budget, released Tuesday, uses four of them. As a dividend, he exploits a few that I didn't mention.
The ones from my list are: He uses the thoroughly discredited "infinite horizon" projection to claim that Social Security andMedicare are "tens of trillions" of dollars in the hole; he suggests that retirees aren't paying their fair share for their benefits; he suggests that the programs are hammered by benefits going to the wealthy; and he treats Medicare and Social Security as though they're similar programs with similar issues. All false; my explanations can be found here.
But Ryan also exploits several further nuggets of pure disinformation.  ...
...Ryan suggests that as a consequence of this bogus statistic, maintaining benefits for future retirees will mean raising payroll taxes to "crushing levels." Nonsense. The Congressional Budget Office, among other sources, projects that Social Security's share of the U.S. economy will increase by about 1.5 percentage points, to 6.63%, over the next 70 years. Removing the cap on annual income subject to payroll tax, currently set at about $113,000, would eliminate the projected deficit under almost any circumstances. [Emphasis added]

See the article ...

WI 1848 Forward: Paul #Ryan drinks deeply from pool of #SocialSecurity lies! #Janesville #1% #elites vs #47%

WI 1848 Forward: Paul #Ryan budget! War on #SocialSecurity #Medicare #Medicaid ! #Janesville #1% #elites vs #47% 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wealth Inequality Video 03/2013

Wealth inequality video goes viral

Top 1% owns 50% of assets in country!

From Bill Moyers & Company website:
Because of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on our offices and studio, we’re airing this encore edition of Moyers & Company, first broadcast in January. This Election Day, issues of money, influence and “winner-take-all politics” are more important than ever.
Moyers & Company dives into one of the most important and controversial issues of our time: How Washington and Big Business colluded to make the super-rich richer and turn their backs on the rest of us.
Bill’s guests – Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered

... did their corporations pay taxes on the way ...

... and the wealthy are subsidized in other (secondary) ways... the fortunes they acquire allow them to take advantage of huge government #infrastructure investments - intellectual and physical - e.g., and create new businesses in Space, i.e., Bezos, Musk, etc.

WI 1848 Forward: ... and the #wealthy are subsidized in other ways... their fortunes allow them to take advantage of huge government #infrastructure - intellectual and physical - e.g., create new businesses in #Space, i.e., #Bezos, #Musk ...

#Wealth #Inequality Vid #47% #99% #ows #NARAL #WOW #VoterID -WI 1848 Forward: 03/2013- #1% #elites $ 4 tax breaks #Weaponized_Wealth 

#Moyers : #Hacker & #Pierson on Engineered #Inequality : #PBS  #Obama #AARP #47% #Medicaid WI 1848 Forward:vs #1% #Weaponized_Wealth 

#Moyers : #Hacker & #Pierson on Engineered #Inequality -WI 1848 Forward: #PBS : School #Vouchers more discrimination #Weaponized_Wealth 

#Wealth #Inequality Vid #47% #99% #ows #NARAL #WOW #VoterID -WI 1848 Forward: 03/2013- #1% #elites $ 4 tax breaks Who feels a #Recession

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rand the Ridiculous - Paul asks the wrong question!

As I recall VP Dick Cheney was willing on 9/11 to shoot down U.S. citizens in U.S. airspace without knowing who the enemy was and willing to accept all the collateral damage as legitimate (U.S. citizens).  Presumedly the VP was using a calculus that weighed the lesser of two evils.

Rand Paul was suggesting that the U.S. government would target U.S. citizens on our sovereign land.  VP Cheney might argue the other difference was that his action would have been defensive, not that of an aggressor or offensive in nature.  Attorney General Holter more or less responded ... "Of course not ...".  Senator Paul continued the circus of self-importance.

Is there really a difference.  I do not think the weapon you use matters or determines the morality or immorality of the act.

The real question is how the U.S. military or military aid is used in any circumstance.  What makes war or assassination or enabling others to do it for us legitimate?  We do not seem to reflect on that question very deeply.

It strikes me that Rand Paul is just asking his neighbor a trick question... "Do you still beat your dog and other peoples dogs, whenever you please?"  

If you never beat your dog you can hardly answer the question.  If you only beat other peoples dogs you are still not a very nice person.

WI 1848 Forward: #Rand the Ridiculous - #RandPaul asks the wrong question! #Drones #WMDs Phony Wars & Interventions

Friday, March 1, 2013

Latino America - Marathon of Foreign Policy Shame

I should begin by saying that as a child (probably 7th or 8th grade) I wondered why as a democracy the USA supported all these dictators and seemingly brutal governments in Latin and South America.  As a child my attention span was developing but there were many competing interests.  As an emerging adult I again have to say that my attention was largely diverted by the War in Vietnam and events here in Madison.

Again and again the documentation seems to suggest that intentional or unintentional acts and policies pursued by the USA has not had a "democratizing" or even benign impact on Latin and South America.  I have included what is publicly available but in all cases been able myself to see each video/film completely.

Much of what has awakened me has come in visual form.  I thought I would share the experience.  It will take you some time.  The experience is living and growing.  Marathons go on and on ... or so it seems.  This is just the start.

El Salvador - Guatemala : Water/Mining Life Conflicts

President Reagan's Legacy in perspective - Martha Gellhorn, The Face of War (pub. 1988), writing of WARS IN CENTRAL AMERICA "The President justifies his policies and action by declaring that the guerrillas of El Salvador and the Sandinista of Nicaragua are Communists" p313 and later p315 (1983) in "Rule By Terror" about El Salvador "the Church [Catholic] estimates 35-45,000 unarmed civilian dead since 1979." In just five years 1979-1983.

La Mesa Anti-mining Demonstration (link to blog, original production for WORT 89.9 Madison, Wisconsin, 3/3/2013)


It was presented at Wisconsin Film Festival.

Doesn't seem to be available right now?!
Watch When the Mountains Tremble on PBS. See more from POV.


El Salvador

Reagan's Legacy in perspective - Martha Gellhorn, The Face of War (pub. 1988), writing of WARS IN CENTRAL AMERICA "The President justifies his policies and action by declaring that the guerrillas of El Salvador and the Sandinista of Nicaragua are Communists" p313 and later p315 (1983) in "Rule By Terror" about El Salvador "the Church [Catholic] estimates 35-45,000 unarmed civilian dead since 1979." In just five years.


I saw it at the UW Union South in Madison, WI in the fall of 2012 sponsored in part by the WUD.


I saw this in the summer of 2012 on UW Madison Campus.



Reduce our military expenditures on weapons development (that the military does not want but congress(wo)men do), foreign interventions and other adventures to "subsidize" our corporate influence abroad. These would solve many problems and reflect a country that really cares about not just our citizens and children but people everywhere.
from   Obama vs Boehner and Military Cuts vs Humanity



#Baldwin #Pocan #WORT -WI1848Forward: #Latino America-Marathon of #ForeignPolicy Shame: What's up? #Obama vs #Reagan

WI 1848 Forward: #Latino America - Marathon of #USA Foreign Policy Shame - #Indigenous exploitation - 3/3/13 upd

#Indigenous exploited #Mining #PalmOil #Land 3/3/13 #Latino America -Marathon of #USA Foreign Policy Shame