The New York Times and Dave Leonhardt's Upshot section made a big splash a few days ago by reporting on a study showing that the Canadian middle class had caught the US middle class in median income and likely surpassed it since. The study is based on an effort to measure median income per capita after taxes, and its results are presented as something truly significant.
However, I think the study is biased in that in median income per capita after taxes, it selected the wrong measure. What is needed is a measure of income or affluence that takes account of the value of cross-national variations in Government benefits delivered to the middle classes. Since the United States has lower taxes than most comparable nations, but delivers much less in safety net and entitlement benefits, it's pretty clear that the measure used in the study reported on by The Times overestimates the real median income of the US middle class in comparison with the middle classes of other comparable nations and provides a misleading impression of the relative affluence of the American middle class. Read more about Did Canada's Middle Class Just Get More Affluent Than the US's, or Did that Happen Long Ago?
Vestiges of widespread mental illness abound.
So writes Dr. Brian Moench in “Schizophrenics, Psychopaths Holding America Hostage”. In fact, he prefaces that statement with:
I've been struck by how large portions of the country are mired in schizophrenic distortions of reality and how prominent business leaders and politicians overtly display personality traits common to psychopaths. Vestiges of widespread mental illness abound.
“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.” Gandhi
The majority of American voters compromised on fundamentals on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. They returned Obama to the seat of presidential power.
The Obama machine even managed to get Daniel Ellsberg and Bruce Springsteen to crony up for Obama.
Obama the war criminal. Obama the white collar corporate criminal.
Obama deserved impeachment long before this 2012 election. But we are living in what David Brooks labeled Post-Morality America. Read more about Politics of Crony-Cowardism Landslides Politics of Courage!
Cindy Sheehan labeled it "hopium" long ago. Here are some excerpts from Randy Shields' brilliantly scathing Your Brain on Obama, worth reading in its entirety here at counterpunch:
This is your brain on Obama:
Smoking Obama increases apathy and reduces empathy, regardless of race, creed or color. Now blacks, as well as whites, don’t care in the least how many dark-skinned people America kills throughout the world. .... For American capitalism, that Obama is some good shit.
Last night superstorm Sandy’s ferocious winds found Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein at Boston City Hall plaza making remarks at a 350.org vigil during a campaign stop in her own state. How relevant was that! 350.org an organization dedicated to find global climate solutions. Today Dr. Stein is scheduled to go to Texas to support the Keystone XL pipeline Tars Sands Blockade. Another pro-environment activist movement. Read more about Stein's ‘Climate Change’ Reality & Responsibility Re Sandy
Matt Stoller writes in The Progressive Case Against Obama on salon:
Under Bush, economic inequality was bad, as 65 cents of every dollar of income growth went to the top 1 percent. Under Obama, however, that number is 93 cents out of every dollar. That’s right, under Barack Obama there is more economic inequality than under George W. Bush. ... most of this shift happened in 2009-2010, when Democrats controlled Congress. This was not, in other words, the doing of the mean Republican Congress. And it’s not strictly a result of the financial crisis; after all, corporate profits did crash, like housing values did, but they also recovered, while housing values have not.
I'm sure that some liberals would consider this outcome too close for comfort. We are not among those. Anything which "kills a mandate," is what we hope for.
Along with a split Congress, this may be the best RX to delay the implementation of Bowles-Simpson.
[BTW, we'll be casting our 'early votes' for Jill Stein tomorrow.]
“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson Read more about As we watch the 'Debate' this evening, our hope for the election outcome will be . . .
“Wasn’t that awful what happened to Jill Stein?”
It was the first thing I said to my coworker through the wall of our adjoining cubes when I got back to work on Friday night. R___’s a trusted friend and an avid daily reader and watcher and listener of current events, including what I used to consider the “hard stuff”, like the NYT, Atlantic, New Yorker, NewsHour, NPR, etc. I’ll bring up a news tidbit, R__ can not only be counted on to have heard about it, but to fill in the details for me.
R____ is also extremely respectful to me as a Green Party advocate. He is one of my very few coworkers who wouldn’t respond to my question with, “Who the hell is Jill Stein?” Instead, he responded:
“Why? What happened to Jill Stein?”
Arturo Garcia in Raw Story describes how Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, was handcuffed (you know, the plastic ones that sometimes cause nerve damage) to a chair during an 8-hour imprisonment after being arrested trying to gain access to the second presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday night.
Here is a link to the youtube of her act of civil disobedience and arrest. Read more about Stein Cuffed to Chair 8 Hours for Sitting on Dormant Street
No one spills out our destructive and self-destructive collective political reality -- moral surreality -- as passionately and penetratingly as Vietnamese American writer Linh Dinh. In his article “Voting For Death”:
America, you have become a nation of enablers and apologists for tyranny and mass murder. ...
... as another joke election nears, they’re [US leading intellectuals] all gung ho about candidates who back illegal wars and banking frauds, since each is supposedly the lesser of two evils.
A vote for either Obama or Romney will be an endorsement for a war with Iran.
Both evil Romney and supposedly lesser evil Obama are committed to more war in general and committed to obliging Israel’s strident insistence for a war with Iran.
All American citizens should think of this as they cast their ballots. Think of their own participation -- their enabling -- the greatest crime against humanity -- WAR. Read more about US Citizens Goose-Step to Voting Booth & War with Iran
The next dog and pony is the Dem convention where the platitudes and non-specific proposals will fly fast and furiously across the tv, radio,net, and printed media.
And will change very few peoples perceptions.
And then, just to keep the commoners amused, that will be followed by what is called 'The Presidential Debates'. As someone who took a few course in argumentation, it truly pains me to have these scripted shows be called 'debates'.
Bruce Dixon, managing editor of Black Agenda Report, in a recent article entitled "Closer Than You Think: Top 15 Things Romney and Obama Agree On" provided a list of the SIMILARITIES between Obama and Romney policies.
A distillation of Mr. Dixon's list:
15. Obama and Romney maintain that only the private sector can or should create jobs.
14. Medicare, Medicaid and social security need to be cut to relieve the “deficit”.
13. Climate change treaties and negotiations are to be avoided at all costs.
12. NAFTA-like “free trade” corporate rights agreements should continue to be established. Read more about 15 Sobering Similarities Between Obama & Romney
We keep hearing bad news about where the US stands on various social and economic indicators. The US's ranking in math capability is 27th in the world. Our health care system is ranked 37th. Our 2011 life expectancy is 51st in the world. Our estimated 2012 infant mortality rate is 49th in the world. So we're pretty far down in a number of international statistical comparisons of performance. Some here point to better performance on economic indicators. For example, GDP per capita is often cited as an area where the US performs much better. But even here the latest CIA world handbook estimate shows the US ranked 19th on this measure at $48,400. Read more about We're No. 24! We're No. 24!
Friday’s New York Times has a substantial story on the Green Party’s presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein. FINALLY corporate mainstream media is giving some serious print attention if not air time to the Green Party candidate for President of the United States as a viable alternative. Read more about Green Party's Prez Candidate Jill Stein On Her Way Running!