Super Congress in Session - More of the Cruel Charade

  • Posted on: 17 September 2011
  • By: MichaelCollins

Wall Street and the big banks owe $1.5 trillion for the bailout (at least).  The Super Congress needs to cut $1.5 trillion over ten years.  Get the money from Wall Street and cancel the Super Congress.  Problem solved.

Michael Collins: Questions for The Money Party - Negative Job Growth for 11 Years

  • Posted on: 21 June 2011
  • By: MichaelCollins

The Money Party is a very small group of enterprises and individuals who control almost all of the money and power in the United States.  They use their money and power to make more money and gain more power. It's not about Republicans versus Democrats.  The Money Party is an equal opportunity employer. It has no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. Democrats are as welcome as Republicans to this party. It’s all good when you’re on the take and the take is legal. Economic Populist

Negative job growth for eleven years is the best evidence concerning our economic troubles.  There were 135 million jobs in 2000 for a workforce of 144 million.  Today, there are 139 million jobs for a workforce of 154 million.  That represents negative job growth when you factor in population growth.

The "skills shortage" lie on unemployment DEMOLISHED

  • Posted on: 10 October 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Robert Oak at Economic Populist has rebutted the notion that hiring is stalled due to a "skills shortage." The latest news from the masters of disaster is that there are 5 million jobs in the United States open because of a skills shortage. Not so! as Oak skill fully demonstrates as he demolishes that claim empirically.
See: Blame Employers for the Jobs Crisis - Economic Populist

There is no skills shortage, there never was a skill shortage. There is a shortage of good employers who do not discriminate, age discriminate, ship jobs to India, China, Brazil and treat their workers like cannon fodder. There also is a shortage of jobs, pure and simple. Put U.S. workers first. Demand these employers quit their inane, harsh, wage repressing, discriminatory labor practices. Put a few of of these traitorous employers in jail and sue 'em. Deal with trade and offshore outsourcing, invest in America and Americans. Then and only then will we might actually get somewhere to putting people back to work. Robert Oak

Why Does Congress Hate America?

  • Posted on: 8 October 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

Oh, it's just that Collins guy mouthing off again.

Actually, I was far too easy on Congress yesterday in Lawless Nation - Congress.

Here's why: HR 3808 The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010

The bill is the response to the events outlined in a story that Numerian scooped on foreclosure problems. The banks are in big trouble. They failed to follow the law and rules in handling mortgages. Instead of foreclosing on home owners, those upside down and under water can consider strategic defaults on the mishandled notes. Legal efforts have reached a point where there's a "tsunami of legal action against mortgage servicers" as Tyler Durden calls it.

Ecomomists Warn Obama on Deficit Reduction Scam

  • Posted on: 19 September 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

Three hundred economists released a letter to President Obama today with one message: focus on jobs, not on the deficit. new deal 2.0

Don't kill jobs and growth in the name of deficit reduction. Statement and 300 endorsers.

Open Thread - Olympic Recession

  • Posted on: 19 February 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

We'll start off with a little humour from a transplanted Canadian and an official Ambassador for the Vancouver Olympic Games, Stephen Colbert, on an odd Olympic recession and the results:

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Exclusive - Zach Lund Outtakes Pt. 3
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Skate Expectations

A recent snapshot of the Olympics going on in Vancouver:

Olympic City Tries To Rise above Recession

“You have to predict the unpredictable”, says Dave Cobb, deputy chief
executive of Vanoc, the committee that has put together the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Were it not for the unpredictable, the games, whose opening ceremony
took place late on Friday, might be remembered as a model of good
housekeeping and environmental stewardship.

The sporting venues
were built on time and on budget. A new subway line links the airport
to the city centre. The athletes’ village, with a view over one of
Vancouver’s many picturesque waterways, sets high standards in energy-efficient construction.

unforeseen events have taken the shine off these accomplishments. An
unprecedented economic boom pushed up labour and material costs during
the early preparations. Then the recession hit. Most recently, the
weather has dampened the Olympic spirit. Vancouver has had its warmest
start to a year ever, and rain has kept revellers off the streets for
the past few days.

The recession hits home for Team USA:

Where are the Populists?

  • Posted on: 12 February 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you
just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity
will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if
you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find
its way up and through every class that rests upon it.
William Jennings Bryan, 1896

Populism is broadly defined
as "political ideas and activities that are intended to represent
ordinary people's needs and wishes." The majority are  deliberately
held down by the financial elite.  Removal of the financial elite is
the vehicle to realize the "people's needs and wishes." (Graph)

statement from William Jennings Bryan is pure populism. It becomes less
pure as he proceeded with his speech. He used a metaphor of burning
down the nation's big cities since they were, he claimed, the
stronghold of the financial elite and support for the gold standard for

In practice, populism almost always entails anger and resentment.

"Capitalist Tool"

  • Posted on: 28 January 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

promoted by roxy. Originally posted 2010-01-27 17:20:57 -1000

Michael Collins

Just a few cynics doubted the magnificent procession of then Senator
Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. He was the redemption
of our past sins, the proof that we were a better nation than we had
been. After all, race has been at the center of American politics since
Bacon's Rebellion was crushed in 1667 but we were  moving beyond that.  And we did.   Race was set aside for most of those who voted.

Then the Financial Tsunami Hit... Frontline report

  • Posted on: 22 December 2009
  • By: MichaelCollins

This is a front line report on the class war.   Edwin Girdle (The Colonel)
had an excellent business going until he needed a loan after the shock
of 2008.  The banks that got billions weren't lending and there was no
help anywhere else in the "safety net."  His story is compelling and
clear.  Noted at Jerome Doolittle's blog at who first posted this and reprinted with Mr. Girdle's permission.
Michael Collins

For three years I owned and operated a mini-market/gas station in a
Cincinnati, Ohio suburb. I bought an already existing store using all
the assets I had, including my 401K funds, after being down-sized from
my middle-management career of 22 years (in one of the many industries
which the U.S. can no longer keep onshore).

Things went along fairly well and the business grew as I acquired a
large clientele of regular customers from the local construction
companies, other business owners, and the Ford plant. My girlfriend and
I worked 90+ hour workweeks and, along with help from a few part-time
employees, we operated 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
In other words, I was a real practitioner of the kind of
free-enterprise capitalism that our windbag politicians and business
leaders praise to the heavens while making sure it doesn’t apply to

The G-20 Announces the "New World Order"

  • Posted on: 29 September 2009
  • By: MichaelCollins

Citizens Respond

Michael Collins

-- A new world order is emerging at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh with
a decision by the group to become the premier coordinating body on
economic issues.  Radio Free Europe, Sep. 26, 2009

Open Thread -- The Pending AIG Clawback Edition

  • Posted on: 18 March 2009
  • By: Open Thread

The recent furor over the $165 million in bonuses paid to AIG executives -- allegedly for "retention" even though 11 of 17 recipients are now no longer at the firm -- has resulted in a whirlwind of activity on Capitol Hill and from the White House, resulting in statements and claims that virtually every last dollar of those ill-gotten gains (the bonuses) will be recovered.

According to this piece on Reuters, U.S. to claw back AIG bonuses, lawmakers eye tax,

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration turned up the heat on AIG (AIG.N) on Tuesday over its employee bonuses, saying the embattled insurer will be forced to repay U.S. taxpayers before it gets another bailout of $30 billion.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner laid out the conditions in a letter to congressional leaders as irate lawmakers moved quickly toward legislation that would slap a heavy tax on $165 million in bonuses paid by American International Group Inc.


Beyond the bonuses, anger flared anew on Sunday when AIG disclosed that Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and a host of European banks were the major beneficiaries of $93 billion in payments from the insurer -- more than half of the U.S. taxpayer money spent to rescue it.

The ongoing bruhahas -- which I strongly suspect won't be the last ones related to this burgeoning crisis -- are not completely unexpected. For some interesting reading regarding clawbacks and the "polluter pays principal" see the following Journal articles by Michael Thomas:

Use Clawbacks to Fund Wall Street Bailouts, by Michael Thomas
US Treasury $copy; 2008 TH(ePluribus Media)  

Attorney Michael Thomas shares his insights from working with dot com and venture capitalists and witnessing first hand how they cleaned up the dot com bubble mess using clawbacks.

He has some suggestions for the Wall Street One Percenters.


Use Polluter Pays Principle to Fund Bailout, by Michael Thomas
US Treasury $copy; 2008 TH(ePluribus Media)  

Michael Thomas recognizes that the Bailout bill that failed to pass in the House on Monday was at best, a compromise. Instead of a 700 billion dollar bailout, Thomas suggests that there is a viable alternative for funding the bailout through the concept of the "Polluter Pays" principle used in Super Fund Cleanup legislation. 


Check 'em out, and keep an eye open for more "good stuff" as it comes along on both the ePluribus Media Journal and over here, on our Community Site.

This is an Open Thread.

Open Thread -- Road Rage Edition

  • Posted on: 13 February 2009
  • By: Open Thread

From March 20, 2008 -- an excerpt from a piece posted here by wade norris:

OK let's review. Last Spring, Bush said their was no recession. This summer, 'a few bumps in the road' - this fall, "Stormy weather", now, well their might be a depression, but my tax break will fix it. My opinion of these changes reflect that there is indeed a serious recession and possible depression occurring, but our news media doesn't cover the issues. At least BBC has covered the newest element of our spiraling economy - Bush's own 'Hoovervilles' are here.

A "few bumps in the road" appears to have turned into a highway to (or at least skirting) Hell. Even the magickally prosperous and ever-growing Dubai isn't immune:

With Dubai’s economy in free fall, newspapers have reported that more than 3,000 cars sit abandoned in the parking lot at the Dubai Airport, left by fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners (who could in fact be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills). Some are said to have maxed-out credit cards inside and notes of apology taped to the windshield.

The government says the real number is much lower. But the stories contain at least a grain of truth: jobless people here lose their work visas and then must leave the country within a month. That in turn reduces spending, creates housing vacancies and lowers real estate prices, in a downward spiral that has left parts of Dubai — once hailed as the economic superpower of the Middle East — looking like a ghost town.

No talking? No facts or feedback if it'll hurt the government or reputation? Mmmm...maybe that's why Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, finds it a great place to retreat to. Of course, the voices of reality sometimes have a habit of catching back up with people -- and governments.

Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

It may not be a voice in the back of your head, but you can bet on the likelihood that someone is talking, somewhere. In this day and age, it's difficult to hide anything completely successfully.

No one knows how bad things have become, though it is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or canceled. But with the government unwilling to provide data, rumors are bound to flourish, damaging confidence and further undermining the economy.

Instead of moving toward greater transparency, the emirates seem to be moving in the other direction. A new draft media law would make it a crime to damage the country’s reputation or economy, punishable by fines of up to 1 million dirhams (about $272,000). Some say it is already having a chilling effect on reporting about the crisis.

Last month, local newspapers reported that Dubai was canceling 1,500 work visas every day, citing unnamed government officials. Asked about the number, Humaid bin Dimas, a spokesman for Dubai’s Labor Ministry, said he would not confirm or deny it and refused to comment further. Some say the true figure is much higher.

It's beginning to look like Dubai's little microcosm is also going to serve as a small-scale simulation of events that will play out if we don't get a viable handle on the current runaway economy.

This is an Open Thread.

For more information about past ePluribus Media stories, check out these taxonomy / "tag" / terms:

recession : financial crisis : economy

Note: there is a little overlap. 

Mesmerized by Melodic Rhetoric: Guns vs. Hope

  • Posted on: 12 February 2009
  • By: statusquobuster

Mesmerized by Melodic Rhetoric: Guns Versus Hope

Joel S. Hirschhorn

"I've been through Y2K and I've been through 9/11. I have never seen people so afraid as what we are seeing right now,” said gun shop owner Scott Moss recently. With more guns per capita – easily 250 million privately owned ones – and certainly more people in prisons than any other democracy, the intriguing question in this still worsening economic calamity is: If Americans found the courage for political rebellion now, would it preempt massive criminal violence, social havoc and armed rebellion later?

Do Libertarians Have Answers?

  • Posted on: 12 January 2009
  • By: statusquobuster

Libertarianism: If Not Now, Then When?

Joel S. Hirschhorn

With the meltdown of the American economy, what better time to ask: Can libertarianism come to the rescue?


Perhaps the most interesting statement in the Wikipedia discussion of libertarianism is that

There is no single theory that can be reliably identified as the libertarian theory, and no single principle or set of principles on which all libertarians would