Voices from Russia

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Millionaire Steve Forbes’ Cynical Campaign to Keep Working People Down

00 Political cartoon. He doesn't see. He doesn't hear. He keeps quiet (when he's paid enough). 02.11.13

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What do you give to a man who has everything? Like a man such as publisher Steve Forbes, worth a reported 430 million USD (14.3 trillion Roubles. 467 million CAD. 484 million AUD. 317 million Euros. 261 million UK Pounds). What do you give him if you’re his beloved-but-on-the-ropes Republican Party? How about a cynical campaign to defeat a US federal government minimum wage increase? That’s what Forbes calls for in his column in the 18 November edition of Forbes magazine. To keep from getting “smacked around by President Obama and congressional Democrats“, instead of “passively taking a hit”, Republicans should gin up their spin machine to portray a minimum wage increase as a job-killer. Hold House hearings, he said, and parade out people who’d say that they were hurt by the last minimum wage increase. Do they really think those House witch hunt hearings still have any credibility?

In case they do, here’s a big red flag for Forbes and any Republicans who might listen to his advice… the public doesn’t buy your argument. A recent national survey conducted for the National Employment Law Project (NELP) by Hart Research Associates finds just 25 percent buy the claim that raising America‘s wage floor so working people can live in decency costs jobs. Indeed, the public’s right. Recent respected academic research determined that raising the minimum wage doesn’t result in job loss… even during bad economic times. Forbes, a two-time unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, is on the wrong side of the public in many ways. The NELP-commissioned survey shows that 80 percent of the public… including 62 percent of those in Forbes’ own party… supports raising the minimum wage to 10.10 USD (336 Roubles. 11 CAD. 11.40 AUD. 7.50 Euros. 6.20 UK Pounds) an hour and adjusting it for inflation in the future, as President Obama and congressional Democrats propose.

An increase in the minimum wage is overdue. If the minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation since 1969, it would be around 10.70 USD (356 Roubles. 11.60 CAD. 12 AUD. 7.90 Euros. 6.50 UK Pounds) an hour today instead of 7.25 USD (240 Roubles. 7.90 CAD. 8.20 AUD. 5.40 Euros. 4.40 UK Pounds) (or the scandalous 2.13 USD (71 Roubles. 2.30 CAD. 2.40 AUD. 1.60 Euros. 1.30 UK Pounds) for tipped workers). If it had kept up with the growth of workers’ productivity, it would be 18.72 USD (622 Roubles. 20.40 CAD. 21 AUD. 13.80 Euros. 11.40 UK Pounds). Meanwhile, if it matched the wage growth of the wealthiest 1 percent, it would be 28.34 USD (942 Roubles. 31 CAD. 32 AUD. 21 Euros. 17.25 UK Pounds). The stagnation of the minimum wage is digging a deeper and deeper hole between the Steve Forbes’s of this country and the rest of us. For the first time since the Great Depression, middle-class families have lost ground for more than a decade. In fact, America’s working families are earning less today than 15 years ago. This loss hasn’t been about productivity… no, America’s workers are more productive than ever. It’s not about education… in fact, wages for college grads outside the top income brackets have stagnated or even declined.

What’s happened is that the wealthiest people in America sucked up all the pay raises. Since 1997, all income growth went to the wealthiest 10 percent. Most of those increases went to the richest 1 percent. Raising the minimum wage is the right way to begin closing the economic chasm between America’s wealthy and regular working people. Lifting the wage to 10.10 USD an hour would benefit 30 million workers, pump 32 billion USD (1.07 trillion Roubles. 34.75 billion CAD. 36 billion AUD. 23.5 billion Euros. 19.5 billion UK Pounds) into the economy and add 140,000 new jobs… all without increasing the national deficit. It’d have particular impact on the lives of women… who’re two-thirds of minimum wage earners. Not to mention that it’s the right thing to do. Does anyone who works hard and plays by the rules in this wealthy nation deserve to live in poverty, forced to choose between paying for rent or food or the heating bill? Most people in the country think not. However, with his 430 million USD, Steve Forbes is living a very comfortable life as he plots to deny others the basic decency of a hard-earned wage they can live on.

8 January 2014

Richard Trumka

The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/minimum-wage-steve-forbes-wrong

Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it focused and sweet. All those who support the Republican Party and its feckless greedster policies spit on the Lord Christ and the justice that He stood for. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter how loudly you scream “Jayzuss” or how much you roll on the floor. If you support the Republicans… you’ll face me (and many others) on the other side of the barricades. The time for compromise is over…

One last thing… the most vicious and grasping crapitalists are Born Agains, Pentecostalists, and Mormons… NEVER turn your back on them, or you’ll truly regret it (do notice which Orthodox hobnob with such feral and godless sorts… shitbirds of a feather DO flock together)…

BMD

 

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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Moral Corruption Leads to Recession

01 Mammon

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Our world saw many economic crises. Between 1820 and 1929 alone, 13 crises seriously rocked the global economy. The financial crisis that began in the US economy in August 2007 and that later spread to all western economies turned into a major global economic crisis. At first, people thought it’d end very quickly, but over a six-year period, several countries went to the brink of bankruptcy. Our modern-day crisis is termed the “Great Recession”, and the world is literally in a state of helplessness. One shocking and disastrous result has been that there has been a sharp rise in the number of suicides in the wake of this recession. In the USA, for example, according to RT.com, they quoted the Centers for Disease Control as saying, “Suicide rates from 1999 to 2010 ‘increased significantly’ across all four geographic areas and in 39 states. The state of Wyoming recorded the highest increase in suicides with a 78.8 percent jump (31.1 per 100,000), whilst even the sunny state of Hawaii saw a 61.2 percent increase (21.9 per 100,000)”.

Many nations at the brink of ruin seek technical solutions such as printing paper money to ease the tidal wave of economic sufferings they face; yet, they’re unable to resolve them. The crisis continues, despite countries’ direct interventions. For example, the Bush administration recommended a 700 billion USD (23.22 trillion Roubles. 744 billion CAD. 768 billion AUD. 516 billion Euros. 428 billion UK Pounds) financial rescue package. The subsequent legislation gave the government wide authority to assume responsibility for those debts that financial institutions couldn’t repay. Many called it the largest financial rescue plan since the Great Depression of 1929. Clearly, neoliberal economic orthodoxy shaped today’s world and this opened the door to excessive greed, which leaves no room for spirituality. In such a system, the individual or economic unit/entity looks out for themselves, acting selfishly. People in this system live in a constant state of fear; they feel that they can’t trust anyone, knowing that others are just as selfish as they are.

This materialistic state of mind where everyone fights over resources, puts them in deep trouble, with them being none the wiser. It sets up a vicious circle of selfishness, fear, and greed, and in such an environment, positive creative abilities don’t fully bloom. Generosity, humanity, and spirituality suffer, as people can’t feed their soul with peace. Being depressed and in a state of fear all the time takes its toll. Feelings of love and gentleness toward others wither, whilst loneliness and negative feelings toward others rise. People are taught and deluded into thinking that living this way is the only option, and they think that they will be wealthier or be happier living this lifestyle, but in reality, they couldn’t be more wrong. When one starts acting in this way, the world starts striking back, as if taking revenge for not living love. Financial problems or health problems, losing one’s job or losing one’s family; things just start to go downhill and it might look like one could never get out from under that mess, hence, the rise in the number of suicides. People become further depressed, their health more compromised, so, the things they own will lose all meaning.

An attitude of survival of the fittest develops between people; animosity grows, fuelling hatred toward others. Deep fear of losing their investments, their cash savings, and livelihood drives people to horde assets, limiting the supply and speed of money circulating in the economy. This is one of the main reasons behind the stagnation. This view of crushing others, as people care for themselves alone, leads to a decrease in the amount of circulating currency. They don’t even consider acting selflessly, as they believe that the most important thing is their own interests, and making sacrifices would mean they’d lose or be viewed as weak. In order to end this tragedy in society, we must do away with the hatred that people feel for one another. Forgiveness, love, and compassion, derived from sound morality, needs to rise.

Spiritual and moral collapse leads to an appalling collapse of supply when people don’t live according to ethical principles. We no longer see the high levels of production we used to… aesthetics and arts suffer; in our time, we don’t find artists of the same calibre as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, or Raphael. We no longer produce famous composers such as Beethoven, Bach, or Chopin. Even scientists have lost the urge to make new discoveries; they content themselves with doing minor research around existing discoveries. They’re unable to make impressive discoveries. The economic crisis is like a bottomless pit. Beauty and prosperity can only appear with better morality and social ethics freeing us from selfishness and egoism. The awaited regeneration in the markets will come when we restore a spirit of coöperation, and the result would be wealth the like of which no one has ever seen before.

30 November 2013

Ece Koc

Arab News

http://www.arabnews.com/news/485686

Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it simple. The Republican Party believes in Social Darwinism, NOT Christianity. It bows down before Almighty Mammon. That’s the long and the short of it… if you vote Republican, you vote for an ideology condemned by most responsible Christian leaders. Oh, you say that Evangelicals praise it to the skies? Ponder this… Evangelicals aren’t really Christians. Go to any of their services and you’ll see that it lacks any resemblance to a liturgy or a mass. In short, it ain’t Christian. If it doesn’t look Christian, if it doesn’t sound Christian, it isn’t Christian, and that’s that. The Eucharist is the centre of all true Christian liturgy… and if it’s missing on an ordinary Sunday, then, Christianity is missing, too.

Reflect on that, if you would…

BMD

Sunday, 28 October 2012

28 October 2012. Romney Wants to Return to the “Gilded Age”… Gilded for Whom? Good-Sense from Bernie Sanders…

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In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Wall Street and Corporate America (and virtually all Republicans) are working on a deficit reduction plan to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, whilst lowering tax rates for the wealthy and large corporations. Sadly, some Democrats are also engaged in this effort. This plan is likely to come up during the lame duck session of Congress after the elections. The idea of balancing the budget on the backs of some of the most vulnerable people in our country… the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor… isn’t only morally grotesque, it’s extremely bad economics. We must vigorously oppose this plan.

As you know, the primary cause of the large deficit that we’re now experiencing are Bush’s two unpaid-for wars, huge tax breaks for the rich, and a prescription drug programme written by the insurance and drug companies. Further, because of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behaviour on Wall Street, which drove us into this terrible recession, revenue at 15.2 percent of GDP is the lowest in 60 years. In order to cover the cost of the unpaid-for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they want to make significant cuts to Social Security that’ll affect not only seniors, but also disabled veterans. They want to do this despite the fact that the payroll tax funds Social Security, it hasn’t added a penny to the deficit, and it has a 2.7 trillion USD (85 trillion Roubles. 2.1 trillion Euros. 1.7 trillion UK Pounds) surplus. 

In order to cover the cost of tax breaks given to millionaires and billionaires, they want to increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and throw millions of families with children off of Medicaid. At a time when the USA has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider, their deficit-reduction plan calls for lowering the top tax rates for the rich and large corporations to 28 percent or even lower. There are fair and sensible ways to reduce deficits, but having the rich and the powerful beat up on working families and the elderly isn’t one of them.

Bernie Sanders

US Senator (I-VT)

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If you vote for Willard Romney, you vote to kick ordinary Americans in the teeth full-force so that the Affluent Effluent can party on, without any sacrifice or pain (after all, they’re the only “productive people”). That’s the consequence of your action.

I’m voting for Obama… so should you.

BMD

PS:

By the way… the cutoff level for the One Percent is 506,000 USD (15.92 million Roubles. 391,000 Euros. 314,000 UK Pounds). That is, if we were to seriously raise taxes on those making over 500,000 USD (15.73 million Roubles. 386,000 Euros. 310,000 UK Pounds) a year, very few people would be affected. However… these people think that they “own” the country. Let’s show ’em otherwise…

BMD

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

8 November 2011. They Haven’t Forgotten Their Roots in Shenadoah PA!

Isn’t this shirt the bomb? It’s in honour of the hard-scrabble “Hunkie” coal-miners from Eastern PA… that means po-nashemu guys, too! The area’s far off its peak after the coal mining industry imploded in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Yet, it’s good to know that people remember their roots. The more people “remember”, the less that charlatans like Rush Limbaugh or the Tea Party movement will fool them. Don’t forget the bosses STILL have their cudgels hidden behind their honeyed words… just like in the past. Click here for a link to a page where you can buy one of these… be proud of baba and dede… wear your colours (and your union pin, too, dear).

This warms my heart but good! Pass the jug… in celebration!

BMD

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