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"Shared sacrifice"

[October 16, 2013. Now that the Democrats have locked in a Republican budget through January and put the Grand Bargain on the front burner again, it's time to stick this one again! By popular demand... --lambert]

[August 17, 2010. Guess it's time to move this one up again. Obama calls for "shared sacrifice". Who's doing the sacrificing, and who's doing the sharing? --lambert]

The administration is become more and more out front about the economy never improving (except for CEOs, banksters, and their weasel shills in DC, for whom life always improves):

GEITHNER: [W]e [who?] have to do that if we're going to bring these deficits under control. But to do that we have to have some shared sacrifice.

Geithner gave a somber assessment of the economy, saying that "it's going to take a long time still" before many Americans feel that a recovery is under way. "This is still a very tough economy. For a lot of people [subhumans], it's going to feel very hard — harder than anything they've experienced in a lifetime now — for some time to come."

And in "some time to come," we're all dead. It's the new normal, peasants. Get used to it.

Then go die.

NOTE Don't say we didn't warn you.

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Submitted by jawbone on

it means: We are the sacrifice and the PTBs get our share.

Tonight, with all the reporting on the evening news about the negotiations and possible cuts to get to a new debt ceiling, there was not one mention of the pubic opinions polls which show that by two to one the public is against cuts to SocSec, Medicare, and Medicaid, along with other social safety nets, but want taxes to be raised on the wealthier among us.

Pelosi was mentioned as an obstacle Obama had to deal with because she had said the Dems will not vote to cut the Big Three safety nets; however, it couched as being an election strategy, that the House Dems had already begun their reelection campaign by labeling the Repubs as wanting to cut SocSec, Medicare, and Medicaid.

But we the non-Uberwealthy, are ignored, because those being sacrificed are seldom if ever included in discussing or making the plans for how to sacrifice people and their interests...meaning us. Obama ignores us, the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) ignores us, and, lately, it seems both parties ignore us.

By two to one, people wanted something like Medicare for All, single payer. We were ignored, or, worse, mocked.

By more than two to one, people wanted the Bush tax cuts extended only for the mddle class and below. If that could not be done, people were willing to have all taxes revert to the somewhat higher rates under Clinton. They wanted the revenues, from everyone, rather than letting the richest keep those Bush, now Obama Tax Cuts.

Same high numbers are being ignored again.

Obama, most DC Dems, all Repubs do not work for us.

katiebird's picture
Submitted by katiebird on

Weren't phone calls to Congress running 200 to 1 against? HaHaHa!!! Silly voters.

Submitted by jawbone on

but then Paulson, iirc, scared the bejeebus out of them, Obama whipped the Dems behind closed doors, supporting Bush/Cheney, and the vote went through. It was probably made clear that donations depend on the Wall Street Gang Banksters and the Uberwealthy, so if Congress Critters want to have a chance at reelection they must appease the Monied Gods.

And that wasn't even the biggest means of rescuing the banksters: They got the $13 Trillion or more out the back door of the Fed. Thanks to Timmy G and Obama.

And now the Fed is saying they've shot their wad and can't do anything about high, long term un- and DIS-employment or the possible double dip...Depression.

From Barry Ritholtz's column in the WaPo (via Susie at Surburban Guerilla):

My Sunday Washington Post column is out, and its titled “Note to investors: It takes longer to bounce back from a credit crisis.” The online version gets a different title, "Wall Street analysts and economists have this recession recovery wrong".

From the WaPo column:

Why have analysts and economists on Wall Street gotten this so wrong? In a word: context. Most are looking at the wrong data set, using the post-World War II recession recoveries as their frame of reference.

History suggests the correct frame of reference is not the usual contraction-expansion cycles, but rather credit-crisis collapse and recovery. These are not your run-of-the-mill recessions.

Ritholtz highlights the points made by economists who understand what is happening, using a piece by Professors Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff and written in January 2008. Worth reading the whole column. We here pretty much get it, but it's a good summary and might be useful for emailing, etc.

Here's where Ritholtz notes why the Fed won't be doing much, and sees indications Wall Street is starting to get it:

In the not too distant past, the market might have been inclined to rally following a horrific data point such as June’s NFP report. The assumption was that the Fed, or perhaps Congress, would respond to economic distress with its usual largess. But the immediate market reaction — selling off on the “surprisingly” bad number, and then having difficulty all last week — suggests that traders are no longer expecting a cavalry charge to save the day.

Indeed, the Federal Reserve is in no position to do much more without great distress. Markets briefly rallied Wednesday when Fed chief Ben Bernanke suggested that a QE3 was possible. But soon after he finished his congressional testimony, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President (and FOMC voting member) Richard Fisher said the Fed had “exhausted our ammunition.” And Thursday, Bernanke scared markets further, saying the central bank wasn’t yet ready to take additional steps to boost the economy.

As On the Media noted today, the MCMers (members of the Mainstream Coporate Media) are so used to just doing the he said/they said on governing and most issues, that if an issue isn't being addressed by either of the two legacy parties it does not exist for them. On the Media was talking about why so many people think the government does nothing for them, when it does a lot for so many. But it also is why so little attention is paid to un- and DIS-employment. Indeed, it's a big reason no MCMers are addressing the underlying problems causing disemployment and caused by disemployment.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

I haven't been able to listen to Obama ever. Or that odd looking elf, Tim Geithner. But now I don't watch or listen to any of them. It's an affront to my intelligence and sense of decency. Now I live for weekends listening to Lynn Samuels from 10am-1PM on Sirius Stars 107. She was on Sirius Left, but they kicked her off. Most of us think it's because she hates Obama. She thinks for herself and so she is not in a bubble like most people on the left and the right. She has left and right wing callers. Yesterday she had several callers asking that the Fed be put under the Treasury dept and congress pay in half. Then she had an Obamaton who said that Obama was the smartest president EVER!! And told her she should be on Sirius Patriot, the right wing channel, cuz she hates Obama. Then back to a Republican who wants to raise the debt ceiling and tax the wealthy. Then she'll talk about TV or movies. It really keeps me sane. That and reading Glen Ford on blackagendareport.com and coming here.

Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

"there has been an "astounding" 36.1% drop in the wealth (marketable assets) of the median household since the peak of the housing bubble in 2007"

Yet by 2007 economic inequality had already reached a historic high in the US:

The graph below, updated to 2007, shows the percent of total U.S. income that went to the top 0.01%, that is 1/100th of one percent, of earners:
[go to first link for graph]

As you can see, in 2007,  the top 1/100th of 1% of earners in the U.S. brings home 6% of the total income earned in the U.S.  This represents the largest proportion of total income since at least 1913, and is the endpoint in a trajectory of rising inequality that began in the early 1980s.

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/200...

... tentative projections -- based on the price of housing and stock in July 2009 -- on the effects of the Great Recession on the wealth distribution. They suggest that average Americans have been hit much harder than wealthy Americans. Edward Wolff, the economist we draw upon the most in this document, concludes that there has been an "astounding" 36.1% drop in the wealth (marketable assets) of the median household since the peak of the housing bubble in 2007. By contrast, the wealth of the top 1% of households dropped by far less: just 11.1%. So as of April 2010, it looks like the wealth distribution is even more unequal than it was in 2007. (See Wolff, 2010 for more details.)
http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesameric...

rapier's picture
Submitted by rapier on

Of course Americans are going to be poorer going forward. It take some guts or something, to deliver that message, no matter how obtusely. The post WWII half century is over for America. Hell it was over in 1980 except Reaganites convinced themselves and us that we could borrow our way to wealth while burning up every drop of remaining cheap energy possible.

It's tricky stating what the one grand reason for the end of the cycle is but the end of cheap energy is as good as any. Almost as important was the massive increase in debt.

It's unfair to blame Obama for not doing the impossible. That is to create economic growth of the expected sort, as measured by GDP, under the current monetary and political system. Or to put it another way under the current political economy. GDP itself is a flawed measuring stick. The means of achieving its advance or trying to guarantees every bad thing liberals used to be against. The thing is we have a stupendous amount of wealth that is poorly distributed and getting worse all the time so the field of battle has been narrowed to slicing up the pie and Obama of course wants to slice more off the bottom 90%. American is unable to look any other way. You can hope it will, be my guest but that's a waste of time. You cannot possibly win an economic argument in America if you call for limits nor if you call for redistribution any other way than the natural way which is always to the top.

Once you enter this arena of the politics of 'growth' you lose. It's a fools errand unless you do it just to enjoy the passing parade of history and to chronicle it and tell stories about it. Ones energy is far better spent planning to protect you and yours as historic events which spit out lives by the millions every decade, but not American ones, finally break our shoreline.

Submitted by jm on

We live within a finite system and face real constraints regardless of whether or not we accept that fact.

However, I see most of the criticism here of Obama as blaming him for not doing the possible. As in when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. For instance, it was possible for Obama, when the Democrats controlled both house of congress to avert the current debt ceiling "crisis". Indeed, it is not a stretch to say Obama manufactured this "crisis" in order to position himself for reelection. It is possible, albeit not easy, to use the position of the presidency to push for a whole range of economic policies that would ease the suffering of real people at the lower end of the food chain. That Obama isn't even trying speaks volumes.

Instead, Obama is doubling down in his support of the people, and political narratives, most responsible for the current clusterfuck. That's what Obama is being blamed for.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

The over arching problem is capitalism aka politics of growth. We must stop talking in terms of GDP and empire building and instead talk about what work is. It is not a job. It is what needs to be done to sustain yourself and your kin. And your kin must be everybody in the world.

Not only will this president or any of them talk in those terms, but they don't buy it at all. They are cruel at worst and careless at best.

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."
The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrman is filming "The Great Gatsby" this fall starring Leo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and Isla Fisher. I look forward to it. Timely, as is the "J Edgar" that Leo just finished filming.

Gatsby was a criminal but then so were sons and daughters of the robber barons whose company he craved. Hugh calls this land is your land (Guthrie's birthday was Thursday) a Kleptocracy. He's right. And they don't even care to mask it anymore.
They are thieves and scoundrels.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

It won't really be bad, it will just feel that way. That's because our expectations were too high. We wanted a secure life, a modest, but predictable life. That expectation was really over-reaching.

So all we proles need to do is recalibrate our feelings. Timothy and Obama are here to do that for us. These are our peas, and they are going to make sure we eat them. For example, wherever did we get the gall to expect that our lives, or our children's lives, would be better than our parents, or grandparents? How incredibly demanding we are!

Yes, this is the new normal. Permanent destruction of the middle class, and impoverishment of the working class.

Rangoon78's picture
Submitted by Rangoon78 on

"Looks like this one ate his peas"

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

A good Democrat's only regret is that they have but one life to give for their leader.

Turlock