We Are All Deficit Owls Now?

Both Paul Krugman (h/t Trixie) and James Galbraith (h/t Matias Vernengo) have presented positive thoughts, at least in the US context, that the deficit hawks and enemies of the social safety net may at last be on the back foot:

Krugman: “Deficit Hawks Down”

James Galbraith: Is This the End for the Deficit Drones?

I have no way of assessing their interpretation of the political realities, but both articles make for interesting and enjoyable reading.

Continue reading

The 1 Percent Only Need You When You Help Them To Help Themselves

Over the previous few weeks a grumpiness had overcome me. This was not helped by a recent survey indicating that at least 53 or 55 percent of my fellow citizens, depending on the measure, are mean spirited and/or idiotic, choosing to vent their anger and/or hatred at the unemployed. Disgusted, I retired to a balcony overlooking the city, where I fasted, eating only when hungry, and allowed myself just to feel, rather than think. On the third day, Invasion Day, a day that many of the mean spirited and idiotic think worth celebrating, a helicopter hovered beside the balcony. A wealthy man with white hair and beard wearing gaudy jewellery stepped out, taking a seat across from me at the table where I sat. A moment later, a younger guy with long hair joined him, interacting with some newfangled piece of phone technology. I didn’t recognize them until they identified themselves. The older guy was God, the younger one Jesus. They said they had an important message to share with the 99 percent. I agreed to act as scribe once it was made clear that free will is an illusion.

Continue reading

What We in the 1 Percent Don’t Want the 99 Percent to Know

We don’t wish to be rude, but if you are not one of us – part of the 1 Percent, that is – you are not meant to be reading this message. With some exceptions, you should go back to whatever it is you have been doing. If you happen to be some kind of troublemaker, inclined, say, to question things or work toward change – a terrorist, to be frank – be assured that we know what you are doing. Thanks to our creeping surveillance apparatus we will soon put an end to your efforts, whether by misrepresenting your position, holding you up to public ridicule, sending you to jail, or making war with you. If you are not a terrorist, then we don’t much care what it is you have been doing. But be comforted in the knowledge that you must be doing it well, because you have not inconvenienced us in the slightest. We thank you for your cooperation. Now kindly go away.

Continue reading

I’m Not One For “Family Values”, But …

When I was young and heard politicians extol the virtues of “family values” and blame a decline in them on moral atrophy, I wondered how they couldn’t see that it was their economic policies, with deleterious effects on the social safety net and job security, that most undermined these “values”. Then I turned 3, and saw how naïve I had been. They never cared about those values. They just wanted an explanation of social disintegration that exempted from blame their class-interested attacks on the living conditions of general populations the world over.

Continue reading