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Trust-funder punk who has never done a day’s work in your life and don’t even live in Oregon, Labor Secretary Tom Perez has a very reasonable response to politicians blaming jobless people for being unemployed:
“When I hear people on Capitol Hill say the long-term unemployed are unemployed by choice, I wanna punch ‘em,” Perez said Tuesday during a meeting with reporters.Perez paused and smiled. The reporters laughed. Perez said he felt strongly about the hardship of unemployment because as a youngster in Buffalo, New York, he’d witnessed his surrogate father struggle after a layoff — and because of his conversations with unemployed people today.
“The thing they say that angers them as much as anything is when politicians suggest they’re unemployed by choice, they’re just sitting at home eating bonbons,” Perez said. (He didn’t cite a specific example of a politician alleging bonbon consumption by unemployed people.)
It’s really rather simple, you stupid shit, and if you weren’t sprawled drunk on Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on CNN/Fox Kool-Aid drooling Pavlovianly across a “couch” that came out of the back of a nineteen seventy-five Chevy Suburban you’d get it: the number of unemployed far outstrips the number of jobs available! Look at the chart, there are no jobs to be had.
Secretary Perez speaks for us all.
… if a mob is about to use one on you.
We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?
I see pitchforks.
At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.
If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.
Many of us think we’re special because “this is America.” We think we’re immune to the same forces that started the Arab Spring—or the French and Russian revolutions, for that matter. I know you fellow .01%ers tend to dismiss this kind of argument; I’ve had many of you tell me to my face I’m completely bonkers. And yes, I know there are many of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, inequality is a fiction.
Here’s what I say to you: You’re living in a dream world. What everyone wants to believe is that when things reach a tipping point and go from being merely crappy for the masses to dangerous and socially destabilizing, that we’re somehow going to know about that shift ahead of time. Any student of history knows that’s not the way it happens. Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand. That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen. We will not be able to predict when, and it will be terrible—for everybody. But especially for us.
The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies in the way that, say, Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression—so that we help the 99 percent and preempt the revolutionaries and crazies, the ones with the pitchforks—that will be the best thing possible for us rich folks, too. It’s not just that we’ll escape with our lives; it’s that we’ll most certainly get even richer.
Maria Antoinette and her cohort had no idea what was coming.
We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
America – its government, businesses, and people – are nearly $60 trillion in debt, according to the latest economic data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve. And private debt – not government borrowing – is the biggest reason for the huge deficit.
Total US debt at the end of the first quarter of 2014, on March 31 totaled almost $59.4 trillion – up nearly $500 billion from the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the data. Total debt (the combination of government, business, mortgage, and consumer debt) was $2.2 trillion 40 years ago. “In 50 short years, debt has gone from being a luxury for a few to a convenience for many to an addiction for most to a disease for all,” James Butler wrote in an Independent Voters Network (IVN) op-ed. “It is a virus that has spread to every aspect of our economy, from a consumer using a credit card to buy a $0.75 candy bar in a vending machine to a government borrowing $17 trillion to keep the lights on.”
When I was a kid my grandparents owned a mercantile (general store), gas station, motel and restaurant - Ivan’s Corners - down in LaPine. On the wall in the store was a hand-painted pine-plank sign that read, simply:
“In god we trust, all others pay cash”.
I may not have anything, but I don’t owe the banks one damned dime.
I am free. You are not.
Earlier I wrote “I am never so much reminded of the opening chapters of Doctor Zhivago - fat, white, drugged and drunken middle-class bourgeois comfortably pontificating in their mid-town flats – as when I scroll the “liberal” blogs. In particular those “liberal” blogs that position themselves as the progressive answer to the Retard Party’s Nazi Propaganda. They haven’t a clue as to what is coming.” Perhaps I was hasty.
Digby wonders if Marie Antoinette [is] waking up from her beauty nap? Marie Antoinette and her cohort had no clue as to what was coming. So too, apparently, our elite overlords.
The money quote: “you may have made a killing on pitchfork futures but that won’t keep the mob from using them on you.”
We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.
You’re either with us, or against us.
From its pyramid-shaped throne on the back of a dollar bill…
By Tony Norman, @Common Dreams
“I am the god of the 1 percent. You shall have no other gods before me. I help those who help themselves and visit poverty over many generations to those who would redistribute the wealth that I have freely given to those who luxuriate without guilt in my love. I reward the spirit of material excess because I hate poverty and the poor who have rejected my ways.
“I am a vulgar god who never tires of the misery perpetuated by those who exploit the resources of the planet for tax breaks and personal gain. The smoke of belching coal plants and runoff from hydraulic fracturing pleases me. Let those who refuse to rape the earth that I have made in six days be accursed.
“I am the god of ‘In God We Trust.’ You shall have no other gods before me. Give to the poor (if you must) out of your excess and at your discretion. Don’t be compelled by guilt. The poor don’t need a safety net as long as I, the god of the Koch brothers and Ayn Rand, lives in the heart of every patriotic American. It is money that I love, not mercy for its own sake. Mercy without conditions offends me.
“I am the god of the morally upright. I abhor homosexuals, Democrats, mimes and all who believe in global warming. Those who have AIDS can give all glory to me. It is by my hand that every dread disease except obesity and cancer is visited upon the earth. Do not be fooled: I loathe the followers of Lady Gaga. Women who refuse to submit to male authority are an abomination.
“Those who believe in me know evolution is a lie straight from hell. The dinosaurs drowned during Noah’s day because the ark couldn’t contain them. This is not a mystery if you believe science is evil with all your heart.
“I am the god of war. I love violence and the mindless proliferation of guns in every home. Horses and bayonets proclaim my glory over the whole earth. That is why America is my blood-stained footstool. Guns don’t kill — I do.
“I am the god of the Invisible Hand. I hate the 47 percent who siphon the productivity of my blessed Job Creators. On Election Day, I will pour out my wrath on those who receive the mark of the Kenyan Keynesian. Repent of your idolatrous liberalism, or else.”
Or rather Cookie Jill, who rounds up today’s environmental news stories
violence hits brazil tribes in scramble for land.- the expansion of huge cattle ranches and industrial-scale farms in remote regions of brazil has produced a land scramble that is leaving the ancestors of brazil’s original inhabitants desperate to recover tribal terrains, in some cases squatting on contested properties – nytimes
strawberry farms suck spain dry. - for decades, local fruit farmers around doñana have used wells, legal or not, on the perimeter of the vast wetland on spain’s south-western coast. “If the doñana park were a patient, it would be on the point of entering the intensive care unit,” said eva hernandez of the world wildlife fund – the independent
fire retardants in food. - fire retardant chemicals are commonly found in household items like furniture and electronics. But a new study found them in a place you probably wouldn’t expect: food – living on earth
record heat marches on: texas and contiguous US had warmest spring on record. - much of texas has been getting something of a break from the history-making, headline-grabbing drought of 2011 in recent months, but the state’s excessive heat marches on. In 2012, texas had its warmest spring on record and its third warmest january-through-may period. – texas climate news
north texas water needs could cost billions in coming years. - meeting the water needs of north texas 50 years from now will require significant conservation, at least several new reservoirs, an unbending political will and a whole lot of money – dallas morning news
water war reignites as l.a. resists fixing some owens lake dust. -los angeles and the owens valley are at war over water again, with the city trying to rework a historic agreement aimed at stopping massive dust storms that have besieged the eastern sierra nevada since l.a. opened an aqueduct 99 years ago that drained owens lake. – latte times
the deadly legacy of america’s fields of gold. - richard nixon is remembered for his infamous part in the watergate scandal, but his lasting legacy may be a burgeoning army of people in the west who are too fat- the independent
virginia lawmakers avoid climate buzzwords. - state lawmakers discovered that they could not use the phrases “sea level rise” or “climate change” in requesting a study because of objections from republican colleagues. so they did away with all mention of sea level rise, substituting a more politically neutral phrase: “recurrent flooding.” – hampton roads virginian-pilot
groups fight back after conservatives try to dilute environmental laws. - discord between the tories and environmentalists began when the federal natural resources minister maligned environmental groups as radicals. it escalated with the introduction of a package of new laws, some directly targeting charities and environmental protections. – vancouver sun
longtime Hinkley residents haven’t looked back from community plagued with contaminated water. - now living near apple valley, california, the kearney family left behind their dream house in hinkley, which had turned into a nightmare due to a plume of carcinogenic chromium 6. Since then, they haven’t looked back. – san bernardino county sun
potomac named most endangered river. A conservation group says the potomac river is the most endangered river this year in the united states – that pollution in the potomac is decreasing water quality, threatening marine life and will become worse if congress rolls back national clean-water protections – voice of america
shell oil injunction forces greenpeace to get creative. - with a judge ordering greenpeace’s boats to stay away from shell’s arctic rigs, the anti-drilling organization turns to social media and other means of getting its message out – latimes
oil’s dirty price in north dakota. -oil and gas fracking operators in north dakota have dumped at least 1.7 million gallons of brine and 716,000 gallons of oil on the western plains between 2009 and 2011. and that’s just what they’ve reported – minneapolis star tribune
state allows industrial-scale exploration without hearings. - for the last 24 years, mining companies have been exploring for copper and gold on state lands in the headwaters of bristol bay.and they’ve done all that – with the state’s permission – without public notice, without inviting public comment, and without public hearings – anchorage daily news
house committee adopts bill banning epa, corps from issuing water act guidance. - the house transportation committee adopts bill to prohibit epa and army corps from finalizing guidance clarifying clean water act jurisdiction and from using that document to issue rules or decisions – bloomberg bna
nebraska cattlemen, politicians protest ‘weird’ epa flyovers. - epa’s use of aerial surveillance to nab clean water act violators on great plains farms isn’t sitting well with Nebraska farmers and lawmakers. the state’s congressional delegation criticized the practice in a letter last week to epa administrator lisa jackson. – greenwire
new wyoming supercomputer expected to boost atmospheric science. - this month, on a barren wyoming landscape dotted with gopher holes and hay bales, the federal government is assembling a supercomputer 10 years in the making, one of the fastest computers ever built and the largest ever devoted to the study of atmospheric science. – latte times
new orleans barge gate crack is likely to delay lake borgne project. - contractors have discovered a 15-foot-long, horseshoe-shaped crack in the bottom of a concrete barge gate designed to block hurricane storm surge from moving from the gulf Intracoastal waterway into the Industrial canal – new orleans times picayune (remember…this is the paper that is on the verge of extinction…imagine this important news not being told.
assessing consumer concerns about the meat industry. - tom philpott, who covers food and the agricultural industry for mother jones, raises concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy – mad cow disease – infiltrating the food chain. – npr
From the “O”, last week: T-Mobile announced Thursday that it would shutter its Redmond call center and lay off its 359 workers, just months after local and state leaders say they were reassured it would remain open.
The Redmond layoffs are expected to take effect June 22, nearly nine years after a forgivable $850,000 state loan and enterprise zone incentives helped woo the company to the High Desert. … It’s a significant setback for the region, where double-digit jobless rates are at least 3 points above the state and national averages, despite recent modest economic gains.
State and local officials extended a package of incentives to lure T-Mobile to Redmond in 2003. Oregon’s $850,000 forgivable loan came from the governor’s strategic reserve fund. In return, T-Mobile promised to hire and maintain 720 workers for a set amount of time, Business Oregon spokesman Marc Zolton said. The company satisfied the conditions by 2007, when the loan was forgiven.
Redmond granted property tax abatements and reduced system development charges through its five-year enterprise zone program. The company eventually aged out of the deal, City Manager David Brandt said.
Then T-Mobile’s payroll began shrinking in recent years, losing 280 workers in the past year alone. About half of its current workforce commutes from outside Redmond, Brandt said.
It once was one of the top employers in central Oregon, where the jobless rate stood at 11.6 percent in Deschutes County and 14.6 percent in neighboring Crook County in January, when Oregon’s statewide unemployment rate was 8.8 percent.
In January 2011, Deschutes County’s jobless level was 13.9 percent, while Crook County’s was even higher: 17.3 percent.
In all, the company will lay off 3,300 workers.
“That does not change the fact that tens of millions of Americans are, at this very moment, maimed in body and spirit, existing at levels beneath those necessary for human decency. If these people are not starving, they are hungry, and sometimes fat with hunger, for that is what cheap foods do. They are without adequate housing and education and medical care…. This poverty twists and deforms the spirit. The American poor are pessimistic and defeated, and they are victimized by mental suffering to a degree unknown in suburbia.”