Tag Archive for 'economy'

Future of banking

The future of banking:

1. Borrow money from tax-payers at near zero interest

2. Lend the tax-payers’ own money back to them at 5% interest

3. Profit!!!

Watch the video for more details.

Rise Up

Jackie Ramos kicks ass.

Jackie used to work for Bank of America. She used to be a customer service representative whose responsibility it was to deny BofA credit card holders entrance to programs designed to help people fallen behind on their credit card bills that came with 30% interest rates.

She was so distraught about screwing her employer’s customers every day that she stopped doing it. Instead of denying everyone, she started accepting everyone. No doubt she made a difference in many people’s lives with her good deed.

She got fired.

Good on you, Jackie!

And fuck you BofA for fleecing the unemployed, sick, elderly, the blind and everyone else you can get your greedy little hands on with loanshark rates, fees over fees and other immoral garbage. I am wondering how charging 30% interest rates on compounding late fees is still legal.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) agrees, the American Dream is dead

Just the other day I wrote about how the majority of people in the United States are doing worse than their parents and how the American Dream is effectively not attainable any more.

That conclusion received some more proof in the form of a Congressional Budget Office data series on income equality in the United States between 2003 – 2005. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.

The after-tax income of the bottom 20% grew by 6%, hardly to cover increased costs of living, healthcare and transportation, while the income of the top 1% grew by 228%. Even worse the after-tax income inequality is growing faster than the pre-tax income inequality meaning the rich are paying less taxes than the poor.

The trickle-up economy is treating Bushies well. Too bad about the folks hit by hurricanes. The income inequality is worse than at any other time in US history for at least a century. We’re at a point where we’re approaching the robber baron era type of economy in the United States, if we didn’t already make it there.

The Economic Public Institute (EPI) concludes:

Such concentration of income is unsustainable in a democratic society. The distribution mechanisms that have historically worked to ensure much more equitable outcomes appear to be wholly inoperative. Fixing them must be at the heart of any serious economic policy discussion.

EPI’s analysis of the situation is on their website. EPI also posted a shorter blog article about the numbers.

It’d be interesting to hear what the presidential candidates think about this. I think I know what the Republicans would say, and I also know what John Edwards thinks about it.


The American Dream is dead

Alter.net has an article basically saying the American Dream these days is a complete myth to the majority of people living in the United States and especially to those born in poverty.

As a whole the US residents are doing better, but the accumulation of wealth is concentrating more and more to the few that are already wealthy, so the stats are getting skewed by the well-to-dos doing even better while the average Joe is doing worse.

Upward mobility (moving up in the socio-economic ladder) is just as likely as downward mobility (getting poorer), and the number of people who are earning more than their parents but still moving down is increasing. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t look ok to me.

Living costs (education, healthcare, housing) are skyrocketing while earnings are staying flat or declining depending on how you factor in things like inflation. Things are not looking good for the middle class in America, and it’s downright scary for poor people.

Meanwhile European countries, especially in Scandinavia are doing extremely well. The mobility (one’s ability to climb up on the socio-economic ladder) is up to three times as likely in countries like Denmark and Finland than in the United States. Scandinavian countries are high tax, free education/healthcare type of countries, pretty much complete opposites of the United States.

While it’s easy to dismiss the article by merely claiming it’s done by those liberal rabblerousers, you can’t argue with the facts. The research is solid and it’s showing undeniably that the “trickle-down” economy bullshit is bad for America. It’s making rich people even richer, and poor people even poorer. That’s why I personally call it the trickle-up economy.

The data is showing the Big Government approach is actually better for your citizens than the Small Government approach. Imagine that. Let’s see if they learn that in the US before it’s too late. I’m not too optimistic myself.


The Banker to the Poor wins 2006 Nobel Peace Prize

That prize couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person.

Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh is the founder of Grameen Bank, a bank that’s pioneered using microloans in 3rd world countries to rid the world of poverty. It’s been a phenomenal success in every way, including financially.

You can read more about him and his bank from his excellent autobiographical book Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty.


Exxon Mobil posts record profits with the help of American tax payers

I sure am glad I gave the oil companies $10B last April, because they were having such a bad year with Katrina and all.

Could I get some of that back, please? The poor people in New Orleans kinda need it.


The $22B tax hike

All the noise about tax cuts and cutting Government spending apparently means nothing to the Republicans when they’re out to reward their most loyal campaign contributors.

The Washington Post article describes how in a closed-door meeting, from which all Democrats were barred, the Republicans managed to save the healthcare industry some $22B USD during the next 10 years.

I’m sure they’ll find some other programs to cut to get the $22B USD back. Education, foodstamps, social services…who needs them!? Republicans sure don’t.

One has to wonder how the Republicans continue to get their strongest support from the poorest and oldest demographics while the Republicans keep on asking them to bend over and take it, over and over and over again.


How the Republicans Stole Christmas

The Federal Government is thinking of introducing a budget for the next fiscal year that would cut essential services from low income people across the country. The cuts are severe, and will hit the poorest the hardest.

Medicaid, food stamps, social services are all getting multi-billion dollar cuts in order to pay for the federal aid to Afghanistan, Iraq, the oil companies, Katrina relief efforts among other things.

What’s particularly ironic is that while victims of Katrina are getting emergency federal aid from one Governmental agency, the proposed budget cuts would cut other aid to the very same people. Give with one hand, take with the other? That’s flip-flopping with people’s lives, dear Republicans.

Meanwhile they’re still passing tax cut bills. Is there any sense to any of the Republican tax policies?