Thursday, November 18, 2010

American Reality Check...

Greetings good citizen,

The ‘idiot markets’ are up 170+ points as of this moment, shortly after noontime here on the East Coast.

Naturally, there is no ‘reason’ for this buying frenzy other than the sell off of the past couple of day has, er, ‘cheapened’ share prices making them more ‘attractive’ to investors who have nowhere else to dump their useless, er, ‘funds’.

Just as ‘idiot’s delight’ is the practice of converting money into power and then back into money, we can only speculate what the opposite of this is.

What do idiots do with their money when there are no ‘good’ investments?

There must be some sort of ‘regulation’ that keeps investors from bidding up their own holdings by more than a certain percentage over a given period of time.

Because if the only thing you had to do to make yourself richer was to bid up your own share prices, that’s what you’d do!

In recognition of that, it must be, by broad general agreement, prohibited. Thus do the ‘trading desks’ of the Wall Street investment banks, er, ‘control’ share trading.

Understand good citizen that ‘share price’ has no foundation in reality, we need only look as far backward as the ‘dot gone’ crisis to find companies that were trading at over $500 per share that HAD NEVER MADE A NICKEL IN PROFITS!

And many of them never did. (Make a nickel of profit…except for the law firms that liquidated them…)

You don’t suppose America Needs a Reality Check do you?

This country was built atop a strong middle class workforce and with the belief that anyone could aspire to achieving the American dream. But that foundation has been crumbling as middle class jobs -- manufacturing and service alike -- have been sent overseas in recent decades to low-cost labor markets.

The 'Great Recession' isn’t helping this reality. Unemployment is stuck at 9.6% and record numbers have been out of the workforce six months or longer.

To top it off, CEO pay is on the rise -- even during this economic downturn -- and the wage gap between the rich and poor is the widest it has ever been.

The percent of income garnered by the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households hit 48.2% in 2008, up from 34.6% in 1980, according to a recent report on income equality by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. "Much of the spike was driven by the share of total income accrued by the richest 1% of households. Between 1980 and 2008, their share rose from 10% to 21% making the United States one of the most unequal countries in the world." [And that, my friends, is the end result of the ‘Reagan Revolution’…I’d say it’s time for a counter-revolution that makes ‘The Terror’ look like a family picnic!]

And the income gap has actually widened since the financial crisis: According to the 2010 Census, the top 20% of workers -- those making more than $100,000 each year -- received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S., compared with the 3.4% earned by those below the poverty line. As reported by, that ratio of 14.5-to-1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968. (See: "Great Recession" Pushes Gap Between Rich and Poor to Record Levels)

This dire situation is not likely to get better any time soon, says Gary Shilling, president of A. Gary Shilling & Co, who predicts a prolonged period of slow economic growth and high unemployment. Even when thing do start to look up, “people are going to have to be much more realistic about their income levels.”

Shilling believes there will be jobs, but says, “People are going to have to work very hard to get trained and educated for jobs that do exist.” [Okay, like most present day ‘economists’ this guy just held up his ‘I’m an idiot’ sign for all to see! How much ‘time’ do these assholes think we have? This shit can’t go on forever nor will it. The media may ‘ignore’ the violence but you won’t, you’ll be hard pressed to escape it!]

To that point, in his latest newsletter he makes the argument that a college degree is not for everyone, nor should you expect a degree to yield you a certain level of income. [Is this a shred of ‘truthiness’? Did you study for a spot on Wall Street that doesn’t exist (because you don’t already have a relative who is willing to hire you)? You’re Bad, and piss poor planning ON YOUR PART!]

“Wouldn’t many be better off learning a skilled trade rather than facing bleak job prospects and lifetime student loan repayments after graduating from lesser institutions?,” he writes. [Um, not necessarily. We’re back to the pool of people able to pay a living wage to the ‘contractor class’ shrinking down to almost nothing (and they’re going to demand ‘perfection’! The slightest ‘defect’ and these pricks will refuse to pay, even going as far as demanding that you ‘undo’ the job at your own expense…)]

Shilling, author of a new book "The Age of Deleveraging", is optimistic [beyond credibility] and believes that America is “still the land of opportunity” where the American dream can be achieved. But first, he says, Americans need to “align themselves with reality” and become comfortable with the fact that things are not going to be the same as during the "salad days" of the 1980s and 1990s.

I don’t know what that FOOL has been sniffing but it has certainly, er, ‘clouded his judgement’.

We will all count ourselves as fortunate if we don’t find ourselves swimming in blood by the beginning of the coming year!

The only way to become that ‘disconnected’ from reality is be a conservative, so whatever Mr. Schilling thinks, you know he’s coming from the ‘insanely deluded’ side of the equation.

You can only marvel at how much these assholes believe people will tolerate…

And people will tolerate quite a bit…until they decide they aren’t going to put up with it anymore…then watch out!


Then we have this mea culpa from Mr. Panzer regarding yesterday’s post.

Should you follow the link you will find this boils down to his ‘misstating’ that the, er, ‘affluent’ are stepping up their spending.

The wildcard here is just how far down the ladder do you have to go to be considered (merely) ‘affluent’?

The guy with shoes looks ‘affluent’ to the barefoot individual just as the guy with feet looks ‘affluent’ to the person who has no legs…

How far do we push this rock before we arrive at a universally accepted ‘standard’?

You see, if you have to tap your credit cards to facilitate (routine) home repairs, you’re not ‘affluent’ in my book. This is pretty much SOP for the average ‘paycheck peasant’ so is the yardstick in use here the one where having a job at all makes one ‘affluent’?

That would be a ‘fair assessment’ to the newly homeless, although I’d opine that affluence is somewhat more than simply not being ‘destitute’…

This is nearly as disturbing as the ‘disappearance’ of the term ‘working class’ from the political vocabulary.

It is so disturbing that the next president, whoever that may be, is likely to ride the phrase right into the White House (regardless of their political ‘affiliation’.)

As far as I’m concerned, Obama was ‘the last straw’. This nation won’t survive another ‘liar’. Although it is difficult to argue that there is anything worthwhile left to ‘salvage’ from our current political system.

You can’t kill what’s already dead…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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