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No longer a cog in The Machine.
10:21 PM on 01/18/2008
On the contrary, Joseph. Kelptonomics worked brilliantly.

"American" Kleptocrats brazenly looted an economic larder carefully stocked by the middle class, and we not only watched them do it, we wrapped their spoils "to go" before they sashayed through the front door amidst a tinkling of bells, leaving nothing behind but the faint, yet tantalizing aroma of a wealth that once was ours.
09:36 PM on 01/18/2008
You know what gets me, Mr. Palermo? I listen to these talking heads on the Business Channels go through these long winded explanations of what is occurring ... then at some point they will negate every word they said by stating they really don't know the extent of the problems because the Securities at the heart of it are so mysterious ...

So what's the point of their discourse? All they really know is that they don't have a clue ... How does that help?

I wouldn't be surprised if the Fat Cats knew this financial nightmare was coming and that was why they were pushing for Privatizing Social Security so hard. Think about it, instead of all the Social Security money being dumped monthly into the Trust Fund ... it would have been greasing the gears of the Stock Market. That would be oodles of money to play with, without the responsibility to repay it ... The Markets aren't a sure thing like the Social Security Trust Fund, invested in Government Bonds, is supposed to be ... A 401k isn't like a Pension ... it doesn't have to pay the investor back.

So without the access to the Social Security funds, Wall Street finds itself with its back against the wall, due to liquidity problems.

And your mention of the Credit Card Debt issue is right on target as well, because when that starts collapsing, it will be by the default of hundreds of millions of card holders ... How will the Federal Government be able to litigate so many concurrent bankruptcies? With what infrastructure?

Things are going to get very interesting ... it would have been so much better if Wall Street would have just been honest with itself and with us.
Joseph A. Palermo
09:28 PM on 01/18/2008
David Brooks' articles in the Spring of 2005 are the most illuminating. He waxed lovingly about the "ownership society" that would follow if we turned over a third of the Social Security trust fund to Citigroup and Merrill Lynch and Charles Scwhaub (all big Bush donors in 2004) etc. And then implied those of us who were opposing privatizing Social Security (most of the country) were being a bunch of wimps.
08:39 PM on 01/18/2008
It's not just Republicans who are pushing to privatize social security. So is Hillary Clinton. And unfortunately she is smarter and sneakier than Bush, so she might succeed in doing it.

Haven't you noticed that everytime anyone asks Hillary if she would agree to raise the cap at which SS taxes are assessed - so that, for example, the first $120,000 of income is taxed, as opposed to cutting it off at the first $90,000 -- Hillary refuses to answer. It's a simple way to increase funding for the system, and it makes sense given inflation. But she refuses to answer. She says she'll appoint a group of people to look at it. What's that about?

Well, go look at her website. She plans to have every individual set up their own personal 401k plan and contribute their own money to it. Government will give them a slight tax break. Everyone would have to turn their own private account over to her donors at wall street, who presumably would take 20%/year in fees and hidden costs to "manage" the money.

Want to bet the money to fund the private 401ks will be the money that otherwise would have paid into the social security fund? And this way, the employers don't have to contribute either.

She's sneaky, and she's a Republican. Don't vote for her. Vote Edwards. Or Obama.
06:54 PM on 01/18/2008
Class Warfare! So, it is a war, then? Glad to hear somebody say it out loud! And, Joseph, I love your blogs but, here's where you go wrong:

I just wish...all of the other class warfare enthusiasts will have the guts to finally admit that their economic forecasts and predictions were wrong."

Their predictions weren't wrong--Not at all! They have finally accomplished exactly what they set out to do at least as long ago as Prescott Bush and maybe even as far back as the rise of The Bank Of England. They have established a global Autocracy, a new Royal Corporate World Order, and if you leave that part out you are not telling the entire truth about how we got to where we are! And, more importantly, who our Real Enemy is, what they stand to gain and what it means for everyone who isn't a part of the Elite, which is 99.9% of us.

Call if Fascism, Totalitarianism, Globalism, whatever--It is playing out just as planned. The Class War has been won by an enemy with no name. The camps are built, the private armies in place, the Constitution, meaningless. Let the gilded carriages begin rolling through the mobs of poor. Welcome to a version of society that even Dickens' worst nightmares couldn't begin to conceive.
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06:26 PM on 01/18/2008
We don't need the supply-siders to admit they are wrong. As has been pointed out, they won't. We need the American electorate to admit that it was wrong putting them in office, giving them control of our economic policies.

Kevin Phillips, a former Nixon aide, has been writing books since the mid-80s about how more wealth has passed into the hands of the super-rich than ever before. The wealth gap between rich and poor has grown enormously.

No one was listening. We always have to have a train wreck before anyone notices--as with global warming.
04:43 PM on 01/18/2008
Now, folks, this is not complicated. Bush and the RePubbies like to tax hedge fund/private equity managers, some of whom make hundreds of millions of dollars a year, at 15 percent; while middle class families pay in the 25 percent marginal bracket. Yes, cut taxes, start an unnecessary war built on LIES,and run up $3.4 Trillion of new debt. The current economic disaster has been quite skillfully
engineered by the RePubbies.
04:16 PM on 01/18/2008
Hey all the money lil george and co have stolen was for Jesus, but Jesus has no pockets- so they stuffed all that money in their own pockets. Can it get any more holy than that?
03:52 PM on 01/18/2008
What an excellent, economic, necessary piece.

What is wrong with this country, that the people and the horrible infantile media follow only trivial starlet or murder news or the even more disgusting and trivial primary sideshow?

Why is there no accountability? Why do people get away with lying and spinning and failing and lying and spinning again and again?

Why do the people turn away from Edwards's passion and anger to embrace fairy-tale bipartisanship and decorum and a veneer of niceness that cannot any longer even mask the stench of putrefaction in this country?

Why have the people, even most of the nominally left (the fake left of the middle), let the democracy go?

Thank you again for your post.
03:35 PM on 01/18/2008
Mom Taught me - Question Everything - Thanks Mom!
03:30 PM on 01/18/2008
",...and all of the other class warfare enthusiasts will have the guts to finally admit that their economic forecasts and predictions were wrong."

Problem is - they really weren't wrong. Everything happened almost exactly like all these criminals and idiots figured it would. They all got rich,,,,..RICH! And the rest of us look like we are going to pay the bill for them.

Exactly according to their group plan - so far.

We, the voters, those that do the vast majority of the living, working, tax-paying, and consuming that keeps the economy going, need to take our country back from these idiots just the way they did ~76 years ago with Roosevelt's New Deal.

It's our country too, and we need to remind them all of that.
03:27 PM on 01/18/2008
Interesting point and thank you for the Roosevelt quote. I hadn't heard that before.
03:18 PM on 01/18/2008
What's the best way to boost employee and employer economics?

What's the best way to make America more competive?

What's the best way to end anxiety, suffering, and literally thousands of American deaths every single year?

Open up medicare and allow every single American to be able to participate.

Health care safety net for every single American with no exceptions!

Let's use a fraction of the money being talked about to permanently fix a fundamental problem with America's economy.
03:11 PM on 01/18/2008
That's never the way it works with true believers. If the Bush crew were to answer, they would say that the current economic problems were the result of not following their ideology closely enough - not enough tax breaks, not enough de-regulation, not enough "ownership". We're already seeing this in Bush's latest economic "stimulus" package, which he wants to fill with more tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

There will always be some aspect of the economy that hasn't been reworked completely in their image, and so there will never be a time when they admit they may have been wrong.
03:10 PM on 01/18/2008
Do you actually read David's columns?

"Supply-side economics had a good run, but continual tax cuts can no longer be the centerpiece of Republican economic policy. The demographics have changed. The U.S. is an aging society. We have made expensive promises to our seniors. We can’t keep those promises at the current tax levels." -- David Brooks, "Middle-Class Capitalists", NY Times, January 11, 2008