plutocracy

There's no future - and England's burning

  • Posted on: 10 August 2011
  • By: Tony Wikrent

It has now been three days since riots began in North London after police shot and killed a man reported to be involved with a local drug gang. According to at least one source, the fact that the riots appear to be organized using the relatively secure Blackberry network is evidence that British drug gangs are leading the riots in reaction to recent, highly successful police efforts to terminate many drug gang operations. The reasoning is that unemployed teen punks would not be able to afford Blackberry's. So, it must be drug gang members. Supposedly, the British police are "allowing" the riots to continue (for three days now?!?) so they can get plenty of photos of gang members organizing riots on their Blackberries. Oh, and to sway the "civil liberty types" toward further expansion of an already oppressive police state in Britain:

 

Open Thread - Landmark Ruling Last Week that YOU may not have heard about and then some...

  • Posted on: 18 August 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

Zach Carter takes note of recent ruling in a case that shows pretty clearly how the banks, not just Wells Fargo BUT all banks, purposely rigged their overdraft system against you:

Wells Fargo Overdraft Scam Makes Elizabeth Warren More Important Than Ever

A landmark court ruling on Wells Fargo's outrageous overdraft scam has the potential to return hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen funds to consumers all over the country. But like many of the banking scandals from the past decade, there's more to the story than simple bank predation. When banks devised this new program to swindle their own customers, bank regulators did not merely look the other way, they actively encouraged the behavior by writing a new rule approving a practice that courts now believe to be unfair and deceptive. The Wells Fargo case should be viewed as a clear example of why Elizabeth Warren ought to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The overdraft scam that Judge William Alsup slapped down yesterday is not unique to Wells Fargo-- every big bank in the country has been doing it for years, and if it's never happened to you, it's probably happened to your friends or family. Banks make a lot of money from overdraft fees-- $38 billion last year, compared to a combined industry profit of just $12.5 billion. They don't make that money by accident. Internal company emails and memos from the Wells Fargo case show bankers spending a lot of time figuring out how to maximize the number of overdraft charges they can hit their checking customers with.

One way is by changing the order in which your transactions are processed. Most people think that their checks and debit card purchases are processed in the order that they make them. But that's not how banks actually do it. Instead, they wait for you to make several purchases, and then process the most expensive purchases first. This method pushes a customer's balance to zero faster than the honest way that actually reflects buying habits. And the sooner your balance goes to zero, the more overdraft fees the bank can hit you with.

It is institutional fraud, across the board and directed at the average consumer, that had elevated the issue of the new consumer protection agency to a grassroots level to begin with.

And it is not just the bank customers that are institutionally screwed over by the financial system. Again from Mr. Carter, even the small players on Wall Street are habitutally hammered to the benefit of the American elite that continues to escape punishment for their crimes:

Sections: 

Democracy for Dummies

  • Posted on: 14 September 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

I confess. I believe there is a ruling class that sustains the two-party plutocracy running the nation for the benefit of the rich and corporate class. Their broad strategy is deception and delusion. Tactically, they use government, the mainstream media, the financial services sector, funding of politicians and the two major parties, and many other parts of the culture and economy to maintain their power and control.

Bye Bye Barry

  • Posted on: 20 August 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

intriguing view of one possible future -- cho

Bye Bye Barry

Joel S. Hirschhorn

The final results are in on this historic November day. Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars he raised, Barack Obama has lost the 2008 presidential election. American voters have boldly spoken truth to arrogance. Turned out that all those pre-election opinion polls that showed Obama’s inability to get over 50 percent support were prescient. Much of the public was never comfortable with Obama, though he clearly was so comfortable acting like he already was president.

Working Poor Unready to Revolt

  • Posted on: 7 August 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

Once upon a time when governments no longer served most of their citizens it was the most economically disadvantaged that could be counted on to rebel against tyranny and injustice. Times have changed, for the worse, despite the spread of democracy.

We Need More Direct Democracy

  • Posted on: 29 July 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

Representative government fails when corrupt politicians mostly serve corporate and other special interests. Then it is crucial for citizens to have direct democracy opportunities. This means having the right to place initiatives or referenda on ballots that can make new laws, amend constitutions, recall elected officials, or control taxes and government spending.

The Audacity of Arrogance

  • Posted on: 1 July 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

The Audacity of Arrogance

Joel S. Hirschhorn

Anyone who doubts the downside of hubris should think of the losing campaign of Hillary Clinton. Like cholesterol in arteries, extreme arrogance can block seeing political realities.

And Barack Obama is exhibiting horrendous hubris by, for example, flip-flopping on his pledge to use federal campaign financing for the general election, and for displaying an Obama seal in public events that closely resembles the official presidential seal.

Welcome to the audacity of arrogance.

But there is a lot more to this Age of Hubris.

Poisonous Plutocracy Pushes Economic Inequality

  • Posted on: 29 May 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

Poisonous Plutocracy Pushes Economic Inequality

Joel S. Hirschhorn

The biggest political issue receiving no attention by the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates is the powerful plutocracy that has captured the government to produce rising economic inequality.

What Are We Waiting For?

  • Posted on: 20 May 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

promoted by carol. While I profoundly disagree with you, I recognize that you speak for a tendency with the progressive movement.

What Are We Waiting For?

Joel S. Hirschhorn

Long before the disastrous George W. Bush administration, I had been waiting for profound, systemic changes in our political system. Perversely, I saw the upside of Bush as motivating more Americans to demand political change. And that happened. But the national yearning for change was co-opted by Ron Paul on the right and Barack Obama on the left while John Edwards with the most authentic populist change message fizzled out early.

Delusional Hope: The Obama Rapture

  • Posted on: 22 February 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

Delusional Hope: The Obama Rapture

Joel S. Hirschhorn

Never have so many hoped for so much because of rollicking rhetoric and pulsating platitudes. A tsunami of hope has plunged America into electoral euphoria. In its path is the wreckage of critical thinking about what ails the US and what bold, revolutionary actions are needed. Barry Obama has accomplished semantic alchemy, turning justified but grim distrust and outrage with government and politics into hallelujah hope. But most hope never materializes and is a terrible predictor of reality.

Obama Hope Beating Hillary Help

  • Posted on: 15 February 2008
  • By: statusquobuster

originally posted 2008-02-15 06:28:25 - bumped

Hope mongering has been working much better than experience mongering. Now, the rest of the story….

As befits American culture, politics is all about slick selling to the masses. Hillary Clinton is selling Day-1 help to victims and sufferers. Barack Obama is selling effervescent hope to yes-we-can dreamers. This media hyped horse race is like a fight between diet Coke and diet Pepsi, artificially sweetened candidates devoid of real nourishment.