Monday, October 31, 2011

CBO says wealthy making out like bandits

By contrast, look at the top 1 percent of earners. Their after-tax household income increased by an astonishing 275 percent. For those keeping track, this means it nearly quadrupled. Nice work, if you can get it.  This is not what Republicans want you to think of when you hear the word redistribution. You’re supposed to imagine the evil masterminds as Bolsheviks, not bankers. You’re supposed to envision the lazy free-riders who benefit from redistribution as the “poor,” and the industrious job-creators who get robbed as the 'wealthy' — not the other way around."

If trends like this continue, you destroy the system, and wind up with everybody being either a serf or a lord. That's not what the US of A is supposed to be.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I like this guy; the future of economics

"Slovenian-born philosopher Slavoj Zizek, whose critical examination of both capitalism and socialism has made him an internationally recognised intellectual, speaks to Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman about the momentous changes taking place in the global financial and political system."

   My contention is that our economic system has proven itself inadequate for our age.  Some new system, probably one not thought of yet, will have to replace what we have now.  It's time for the world to start working on this.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

bottled water wastes

"Bottled water is often simply an indulgence, and despite the stories we tell ourselves, it is not a benign indulgence. We're moving 1 billion bottles of water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That's a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water. (Water weighs 81/3 pounds a gallon. It's so heavy you can't fill an 18-wheeler with bottled water--you have to leave empty space.) Meanwhile, one out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water. The global economy has contrived to deny the most fundamental element of life to 1 billion people, while delivering to us an array of water "varieties" from around the globe, not one of which we actually need."

Tap water in the US is almost identical to bottled water. It's delivered efficiently and cheaply.  So if you know you're going to need water someplace, bottle it at home and bring it with you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Geothermal to the rescue?

From what I've heard of geolthermal, it takes a big investment to set up, but then it's pretty cheap from then on. And surprisingly, the reservations in South Dakota seem to be a hot spot.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A place to save $122 billion; stop subsidizing oil companies

"In the current budgetary environment, the United States can no longer afford to give away billions of dollars every year to corporations earning billions of dollars in profits and costing American taxpayers twice: at the pump and through the tax code. We urge the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to consider eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels as an excellent source of deficit reducing savings. According to a coalition of organizations, eliminating subsidies to the fossil fuels industry could reduce our national debt by up to $122 billion over ten years."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

useful ideas for protesters

"1. It's all about attracting more and more people. The way we make change is by gathering together so many people that they can't ignore us.
2. Get information about everyone who shows up. We have to be able to contact people for future events and actions.
3. Give people something to do. Protests and rallies are nice. They get people fired up and they can get some media attention. But they aren't enough. We have to take those people who show up to the rallies and give them something concrete to do that will make a difference.
4. We all, every one of us, have to know what we're talking about. The number one way to lose momentum is for us to allow the media to marginalize us as kooks or crazies. If we are all educated and we only give the media educated, thoughtful responses, then we take away the opposition's major weapon.
5. We have to have a coherent message. The media and the opposition are already trying to paint us as having no real point. If they succeed in convincing the public that is true, the movement will die off. People will go home and nothing will change.
6. We have to walk a thin line when it comes to the law. Civil disobedience is a valid tool and it changes the world. But not if it is violent or disrespectful of the very people the 1 percent are already screwing over. We have to be better than the other side, not fall into their tactics or fall for the traps they are setting for us. And keep in mind that law enforcement and other people who may appear to be our opposition at times are getting screwed over by the 1 percent, too. We should be recruiting them, not antagonizing them.
7. At the end of the day, when the protest is over, we have to realize that just showing up and protesting and occupying isn't enough. It is an amazing start, but protests are never successful if they aren't coupled with actions that can change the world. Lawsuits and elections are the key tools in American history (and beyond) that have changed the way the system worked and created progress. We have to use the mass mobilizations as a way to get politicians elected that will fight the 1 percent (like Alan Grayson and Bernie Sanders, for instance) and we have to fund lawsuits that will enforce laws that already exist that protect our rights. Without these tools we can't win.
8. We have to win the media battle. This isn't going to be easy, because the 1 percent owns the media. But they don't own the Internet. Well they do, but they can't stop us from using it. And we have to use it well enough to force the rest of the media to pay attention and do the right thing. When a reporter lies about how many people were at an event, we need to use the web to tell the truth. When a reporter tries to spin a story to undercut what we're doing, we need to use the web to tell the truth. They won't do it unless we force them to."

Good ideas all.  If you're going to go to all the work to protest, you may as well do a good job of it.  I'd also suggest that your signage is important.  Too many words on a sign and no one will read it. If the letters are so small no one can read it, you may as well have a blank sign. Short, sweet, and neat is the key.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

bankers' income shoots up, while the rest of us not so much

"It shows that the average salary in the industry in 2010 was $361,330 — five and a half times the average salary in the rest of the private sector in the city ($66,120). By contrast, 30 years ago such salaries were only twice as high as in the rest of the private sector."

I'm not sure that the people who crashed our economy should be making so much more than the rest of us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Americans moving overseas to find jobs

"U.S. workers are performing the same analysis that multinational corporations have made -- life overseas is cheaper, and in some ways easier, than in America. Reversing a trend that’s perhaps 400 years old, workers are leaving America to find opportunity elsewhere."

While our government apparently is trying to make sure that all Americans are either serfs or lords, some are deciding to try their luck elsewhere.  Does this not suggest that something has changed dramatically in the U.S.?  Is there no concern for how its citizens are fairing, but instead the concern is how corporations are doing?  This new trend shows that we should go back to putting citizens ahead of corporations.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

9 jobs that technology is killing

I remember when I was growing up being told that technology would mean we would have to work less, since the computers and robots would do much of the work for us. Instead, as should have been predicted, it just means that businesses can let the technology do the work so they don't need to hire humans.