Saturday, October 27, 2012

Election Winners and Losers

Will the winner be Obama or Romney, Democrats or Republicans?

Once again it is clear who the winners in this election will be. It will not be the majority of the American people. We lose either way, albeit more or less, depending on which party prevails.

As we the people lose more, someone always gains. Over the past four years corporate profits have gone up and the wealthy have been doing swell. The winners are unconcerned about the losers. Shared sacrifice is as alien to them as shared prosperity.

The winners are enjoying a rigged game.

The national corporate media are also perennial winners. Corporate media has done its job. Instead of reporting pertinent information for the public good, it’s all about sensationalism, ratings, spinning a close election, and scooping up campaign advertising dollars. They never come out and report the fact that one side is more deceptive and less honest than the other. It’s always a “Both sides do it” kind of false, but equal, “fairness”, for the wrong as well as the right.

Appearances mean everything in this neurotic, attention deficit afflicted culture. As Clinton said, "When people are insecure, they'd rather have somebody who is strong and wrong than someone who's weak and right".

People don’t deserve what we get from politicians. We don’t deserve a no compromise party exclusively in service to Big Money, and we don’t deserve a neutered “opposition party” that must also depend on corporate approval and support from wealthy interests.

What we deserve are news media serving the public interest on our public owned broadcast spectrum. We deserve uncorrupted public funded campaigns. We deserve equal access to the polls. We deserve hard copy, or otherwise verifiable ballots. And we deserve politicians who represent the people, rather than Big Money and powerful special interests.

But we will continue to be locked into a system that is rigged against most Americans. Will enough Americans wake up to the great scam of this facade of democracy? Will enough Americans be willing to raise their voices and demand our representational democracy be of, by and for the people?

Probably not. We have football games to watch on TV today. And the World Series is more important than elections and politics.

On second though, maybe we do deserve the politicians we get, if we are incapable of seeking information and thinking for our selves.

Humans as a species are very much like a herd, headed for their fate of austerity under corporate overlords, their bought and paid for politicians, and their rigged system.

It’s unfortunate for those who are conscious and actively aware. We’re caught up in the herd.

But isn’t this a thrilling new season of Survivor?

39 comments:

Nan said...

Actually, it is a pretty good season on Survivor. Watching it definitely beats listening to endless robocalls or paying attention to the attack ads.

I'm still considering writing in Cthulhu -- after all, why vote for the lesser evil when you can support a truly great one?

Jerry Critter said...

Even most republicans are losers no matter who wins. The only difference is that they don't realize it.

The Heathen Republican said...

"Over the past four years corporate profits have gone up and the wealthy have been doing swell."

Dave, I once tried to determine if corporate profits are at an all time high. How did you come to the conclusion that "corporate profits have gone up"? Your implication is that they have gone up more than normal.

Not setting any traps here, just wondering where you found the data to make the statement.

"Corporate media has done its job. Instead of reporting pertinent information for the public good..."

I'm not so sure about this. I've found that Fox News and ABC are doing a good job reporting on Benghazi, which I find to be pertinent. Both networks are also doing a pretty good job reporting the economic data, which I believe is the most important topic ahead of the election. Perhaps your news sources need to change.

Dave Dubya said...

Nan,
I heard Romney just agreed with Cthulhu's foreign policy.

Jerry,
Of course you mean Republican voters not in the top income bracket.

HR,
My implication is corporate profits went up since Obama found the Bush Recession in his lap on Inauguration Day.

According to the New York Times corporate profits were up both in 2010 and 2011.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/business/economy/24econ.html

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/10/is-this-really-the-worst-economic-recovery-since-the-depression/

Business Insider says the same for 2012.

http://www.businessinsider.com/corporate-profits-just-hit-an-all-time-high-wages-just-hit-an-all-time-low-2012-6

US News reported: “Who's Better Off Under President Obama”

Investors, Big Business, CEO’s and small business, to mention a few.

Corporate profits tanked at the end of 2008, but they recovered strongly in 2009 and have been rising ever since.

Interestingly FOX(R) reported: However, history actually shows that the U.S. economy, stock prices and corporate profits have generated stronger growth under Democratic administrations than Republican ones.

So tell us what news source you would suggest... Mother Jones?

Of course you’d think Benghazi is more pertinent to our elections than the fact Romney lies and flip-flops more than a fresh caught bass on the dock. You would think Benghazi is more pertinent than the fact Republicans want to turn over our public safety nets to insurance corporations.

One pertinent, and very under-reported, election issue is Romney’s foreign policy advisors. More Neocons in the White House mean more war. Iran is on their hit list just like Iraq was before their puppet “decider” was given the White House by Supreme cronies.

So what’s your point?

The Heathen Republican said...

"So tell us what news source you would suggest... Mother Jones?"

You don't always have to pick a fight. I told you, I had tried to find decent data in the past and hadn't had any luck. Thanks for the links.

"Of course you’d think Benghazi is more pertinent to our elections than the fact Romney lies and flip-flops more than a fresh caught bass on the dock. You would think Benghazi is more pertinent than the fact Republicans want to turn over our public safety nets to insurance corporations."

Instead of starting an endless battle, let's just clarify where we differ. I think the U.S. economy and the assassination of our ambassador in Libya are pertinent election issues. Especially if there is an active cover-up by the White House (but still an issue even if there isn't a cover-up).

You think flip-flops, Medicare, and Romney's foreign policy advisers are pertinent to the election. I'm sure you're much more in touch with the average voter than I am.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Heathen Republican: "I had tried to find decent data in the past and hadn't had any luck. Thanks for the links."

Gee, it's tough using a search engine, I know, but give it a try. You'll be amazed at how the world opens up!

Get your head out of Fox News, Heathen, and Breitbart's rag. You might learn how the world really works.


"You think flip-flops, Medicare, and Romney's foreign policy advisers are pertinent to the election. I'm sure you're much more in touch with the average voter than I am."

Obviously...

Dave Dubya said...

JG,

HR asserted what my “implication” was behind the statement about corporate profits. And that got me thinking...

I wonder what implication could possibly be behind this apparently disingenuous claim?

Heathen Republican: "I had tried to find decent data in the past and hadn't had any luck. Thanks for the links."

Perhaps there’s none at all, so I shall dismiss any presumptions of implications.


HR,
Oh, dear, did a little ”Mother Jones” joke seem like picking a fight? I’m sure it’s at least as harmless as a little “Birth Certificate” joke by a Republican presidential candidate.

I guess that may seem so to you, in the context of your recent unfounded accusations that I never criticize democrats.

But we are far from fighting this time. We seem to be agreeing.

Both on this:

Of course you’d think Benghazi is more pertinent to our elections than the fact Romney lies and flip-flops more than a fresh caught bass on the dock. You would think Benghazi is more pertinent than the fact Republicans want to turn over our public safety nets to insurance corporations.

And this: Your example of only two media outlets reporting what you feel to be an under-reported pertinent election issue supports my media criticism as well.

It seems we are in agreement, apart from our rankings of degrees of pertinence.

Thanks.

Now it’s off to NFL world for me.

Cheers.

Steve said...

We get and deserve what we vote for.
I have learned to live as a political minority for decades.
My fears have come true, the Republicans have almost bankrupted America, continue to push their religious morals on a secular society, wage unnecessary war, and divide the American people.
We will be the first generation to leave an America worse off than it was left to us.
I won't be around to pay the consequences, and I have done what my one voice (more than voting) will allow.
Whether or not Romney wins (a distinct possibility) history will not be kind to the Republican party, their leadership over the last 40 years, and the mess they left America.
Being proven correct, is no substitute for a healthy, progressing society.
I'm thankful to my parents and the rest of the WW II generation who built a great society, which I have lived most of my life.
It has been sad to see it all crumble within my lifetime.

John Myste said...

Steve,

I think you assume that America will tend toward enlightenment. However, wisdom may be more cyclical than progressive.

History is not yet written.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

John Myste: "...wisdom may be more cyclical than progressive."

Like the seasons...

Dave Dubya said...

Steve, John, and JG,
Unfortunately history is writtten by the winners. And the Dark Side is winning. Look at Texas schoolbooks. Look at the new operative meaning of conservatism. Conservatism itself is now whatever the wealthy and powerful desire.

I think the single-party Republican rule in our Owellian future will be trumpeted as the salvation of Amerika.

Liberals will be blamed for everything, for there will be none left free to speak out.

Kulkuri said...

Dave, in answer to HR's question about corporate profits and the wealthy doing swell, why didn't you just tell him to check the stock market averages when they bottomed out in 2009 and where they are now?? There's your proof right there, it has practically doubled since it hit bottom. If that doesn't show that corporations and Uber-Rich are doing swell, I don't know what does.

Dave Dubya said...

Kulkuri,

Yes, one would think so. In fact last month I wrote an entire post around that fact.

However, Republicans will blame Obama for a falling market, and in the same breath, tell us Obama has nothing to do with a rising market.

The same is true for unemployment numbers. The rising unemployment that started in 2008 under Bush is Obama's fault, yet the falling numbers now are either "rigged" or Obama has nothing to do with it.

Bless their devious unscrupulous little hearts.

free0352 said...

I think the U.S. economy and the assassination of our ambassador in Libya are pertinent election issues.

RACIST!

You won't hear much argument out of me that both parties are pretty much the same. But most of these liberals here won't put their money where their mouth is if they can admit this. They'll vote for Obama, and put their name on a guy who gave huge banks 700 billion dollars, who is all about detaining American citizens forever without trial, helped start a war in Libya (to keep European allies energy costs down) and then sold out his operators whom he ordered there, who funneled billions to car companies and union bosses, and who passed "regulations" that gave monopolies to the very failed banks that gave us five years of recession.

Run along goo little liberals. Go vote for him. The truth is, we DO deserve the leadership we've had, and we will deserve the leadership we're going to have.

Run along and vote for more of the same, and then tell yourself how fucking enlightened you are. Useful idiots.

Dave Dubya said...

Useful idiots. Now that’s a term I’ve seen used for Republican and Democratic voters. I’ve seen progressives calling each other that for voting Democratic or Green. It would apply that to non-wealthy libertarian and Republican voters too. Nobody can really vote their interests, they can only vote against the black guy they don’t like, or against the pompous entitled aristocrat.

Apart from that they can only make a symbolic and useless vote of conscience....and still be called a useful idiot.

The system is rigged. Just look at the real winners.

The corporate media always wins. The sacred military industrial complex always wins. The Surveillance State always wins. “Contractors” always win. Wall Street always wins. Insurance companies always win. The pattern is clear. You see my point?

Now we have voters brainwashed into thinking the poor are too well off and the rich don’t have enough. Useful idiots all around.

Meanwhile we are bilked left and right, while all the money trickles up.

We are a nation of useful idiots.

free0352 said...

The system is rigged. Just look at the real winners.

The system is NOT rigged. Barack Obama did NOT steal the 2008 election, and George Bush didn't steal it in 2004 and while I'm sure you will argue this he didn't steal it in 2000 either. Bill Clinton didn't steal any elections in 1992 or 1996, nor did GHWB or Ronald Reagan.

People voted for them. On purpose.

Every one of these people were career politicians. Every one of them had held office before, and in fact most of them were former governors. Their records were EASY to find and review.

People WANT this. If they didn't, they wouldn't vote for it. Oh sure, they love to complain, but they'll turn out again and again.

So will you Dave. I know you said you won't, but you'll do it because you're a good little trooper. You follow the orders. Go vote for Obama, he's got more bankers to write checks to with your tax dollars. You know what you're going to get, but you'll do it anyway because you frankly are a fan boy who is more into the "Democrat Team" than any real idealism.

Just keep telling yourself its because Romney would be sooooooo much worse.

But really, you know it would all be exactly the same. I'm sure the execs at Goldman Sachs will enjoy your tax dollars.

The Heathen Republican said...

"Dave, in answer to HR's question about corporate profits and the wealthy doing swell, why didn't you just tell him to check the stock market averages..."

Kulkuri, don't act like such a know it all when you clearly don't. The question was about corporate profits, not the stock market.

Surely you're aware that stocks are held by investors. The companies themselves do not make any more profit when the stock market goes up, and they don't lose money when the stock market goes down.

You revealed your ignorance by inserting yourself into the conversation. You should tread more lightly.

free0352 said...

Surely you're aware that stocks are held by investors

Nooooooot Likely HR, you racist ;)

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
Slow down, there, Sarge.

Wow, that's quite an argument you have there against...rigged elections.

But you see, none of the winners I listed are on the ballot, though, are they?

Here's the thing. I didn't say the election is rigged, although with Diebold (R)in the game it's a distinct possibility.

I said the system is rigged. Way before the chosen politicians get on the ballot, they owe favors. They need to pander and beg and make promises to a lot of Big Money interests.

Look at the winners again. They own much of both major parties. And Libertarians love them and need Big Money support too.

And that makes both of us useful idiots. You would be one to democrats, as one less vote for Romney. And I would be one for either wasting a vote, or voting for one of the corporatocracy's candidates.

If you want to argue, fine. But argue against what I say, not what you think, or wish, I say.

S.W. Anderson said...

Dave Dubya, your "we don't deserve" points are all well taken. But, who is "we."?

You posit corporate America and the news media as responsible for the increasingly distorted and corrupted rendition of democracy we have in America. They deserve criticism but only up to a point.

"Will enough Americans wake up to the great scam of this facade of democracy? Will enough Americans be willing to raise their voices and demand our representational democracy be of, by and for the people?"

Not anytime soon, I'm afraid. Millions of Americans deserve the lion's share of blame for our gridlocked government and the perverse mess our political system is in. Those Americans, mostly angry white men, don't give a rip about the condition of our democracy, or political system and take delight in seeing our government deteriorate.

What many of those angry millions do care about is telling Romney's 47 percent/Ryan's "takers not makers" that they're on their own; don't expect expect any help from the government or fellow citizens. If they get sick they should die quickly. If they're hungry they should go hunting. If they're in need of a college education they should borrow money from their parents. If they need a job and can't find one they should start a business. If they get raped and want an abortion they should have their rapist's baby, and get over it. If they're Hispanic they should "self-deport" or else be rounded up and sent back where they or their ancestors came from. If they're black, they should shut up, put up and keep to their place, as in the good old days so many of them mean when angrily shouting "We want to take our country back."

The rest of those millions responsible for how things are now aren't angry. They're not sufficiently involved to get angry. They don't like government and politics. They think politicians are all crooked anyway. They think it's all rigged or all an empty exercise anyway. They can't be bothered to become informed before elections, to register or to vote. What they don't realize is that their nonvote really is a vote — more often than note a vote against their own best interest, and the best interest of their children and grandchildren.

We had a very close election in 2000. Some fools voted for Ralph Nader. About half those eligible to vote didn't bother. A case can be made that together, those two groups had more to do with bringing us The Worst President in U.S. history than the Supremes did.

Like Pogo said, "I've seen the enemy, and he is us." Well, he's some of us anyway.

S.W. Anderson said...

Not surprisingly, free0352 wrote, "They'll vote for Obama, and put their name on a guy who gave huge banks 700 billion dollars."

I'm sure you think facts shouldn't be allowed to interfere with your rant, but the liberals here think otherwise.

Obama isn't responsible for the bank bailout, Hank Paulsen and the Bush administration are. The banks weren't given $700 billion (I think it was $800 billion) as a gift. The money was loaned to ensure liquidity because there were valid fears credit would dry up overnight, the economy would experience a runaway delfation spiral that would result in an all-out depression.

The economy didn't experience calamitous deflation. The loans were repaid, with interest.

free, I sometimes think that if you were to restrict yourself to logical conclusions and reasonable opinions based on actual facts, you'd be as comparatively quiet as you ought to be.

You'd probably also have to become a liberal.

Kulkuri said...

You revealed your ignorance by inserting yourself into the conversation. You should tread more lightly.
HR, I knew better than to insert facts into such an alternative reality, but couldn't resist. What better way to measure a company than how it's stocks are doing?? If the company is doing well the stock price goes up and that adds to the total worth of the company.

Before you get on your condescending high horse get some facts on your side.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Kulkuri, to The Heathen Republican: "Before you get on your condescending high horse get some facts on your side."

You'll have to excuse the arrogance and feigned superior manner of HR. He always falls back on this highly contemptuous behavior when he feels threatened.

Obviously, he's not aware that the stock market is one of the most important sources for companies to raise money, allowing businesses to raise additional financial capital for expansion by selling shares of ownership of the company in a public market. You and I know that there's a very real correlation between maximizing the stock price and maximizing profits. In the long run, a firm's stock price will depend largely on the firm's overall earnings. Therefore, earnings will be the strongest driver of a company's stock price. After all, investors will not invest in a company that is not making, nor will ever make, money.

Conservatives such as HR don't want to make that obvious connection. Well, at least not now -- with Obama (or any other Democrat) in the White House. But you can bet he'd make every conceivable connection were it a Republican running to retain his office. Then, he'd be lauding the spectacular rise in the stock market since Bush left our economy in a tailspin.

There's no doubt...

The Heathen Republican said...

Personal attacks aside, Kurkuri and Jefferson (are those your best shots?), neither of you addressed my point and continue to go off on tangents about stock prices.

Please continue patting yourselves on the back for winning the argument. I honestly don't care if you continue to live in ignorance.

John Myste said...

I know no one ask me, but everyone here knows how the Stock Market works. Everyone who claims the someone else does not is not arguing honestly.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Heathen Republican: "Personal attacks aside..."

It seems the "personal attacks" are always initiated by you. Why is that?


"...neither of you addressed my point..."

Which was...?


"...and continue to go off on tangents about stock prices."

Tangents?! You cruelly attack someone for correctly asserting a correlation between corporate earnings and stock value, and you claim they're unrelated?!

Give me a break!


"I honestly don't care if you continue to live in ignorance."

Someone once said that ignorance can be fixed, but stupid is forever.

S.W. Anderson said...

Heathen Republican wrote: "Surely you're aware that stocks are held by investors. The companies themselves do not make any more profit when the stock market goes up, and they don't lose money when the stock market goes down."

Jefferson's Guardian makes good points about the relationship of earnings to stock price. But there is another dynamic at work.

Any more, CEO's and, often, trustees, are paid in whole or in large part with stock options. If the company's stock price rises nicely, they make a lot more money. And to make things even more really swell for them, their gains are taxed at the capital gains rate, much lower than the income tax rate, which for them is pathetically low to begin with.

Consequently, there is tremendous emphasis on boosting stock prices. One problem is that some of the ways stock prices can be boosted are not in the long-term best interest of the company, employees, consumers and buy-and-hold investors.

In a famous example, "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap, an infamous "turnaround" honcho, laid off lots of workers, cooked the books and did devious things with inventory accounting at Sunbeam. He quickly boosted the stock price, made a pile of money and rode off into the sunset. But he left behind a ruined company whose stock didn't remain boosted for very long. As a result, everybody else connected with Sunbeam lost. Some lost a lot.

A high and rising stock price can be an indicator a company has winning products, a good business model, sound management and good future prospects. Or, it can just be the result of dirty work at the crossroads.

Jerry Critter said...

Here's a chart of corporate profits after taxes for the last 10 years.. I'd say they are doing pretty well.

free0352 said...

Stimulus, THREE QEs, and bank "regulations" that give monopolies to the banks that caused the 08' crash... but oh its Bush's fault.

Stop blaming Bush, its fucking old. Its been nearly half a decade. Bush shouldn't have done TARP. Yup, you're right. That doesn't change Obama's horrible policy.

As for paying back loans, what a joke! Nothing of substance was paid back, and what was paid back was never used for its intended purpose and simply was left in an account to accrue interest.

I great example of this was GM, who lost over 3 billion dollars in one quarter and so the execs hopped on their jets to go to DC. What they got was a loan for 4.5 which was more than they lost. Obama's hand picked new CEO Ed Whitacre (Whose first day of experience in the auto industry was his first day as CEO of GM) then screwed over the bond holders out of their shares, and then issued new shares most of which went to union bosses or the UAW itself. With that new political clout, Whitacre then asked for a bail out and got 52 billion dollars in tax payer dollars. Whitacre then paid back the 4 billion with the bail out check and made a commercial where he claimed to have paid back the loan. The other 48 billion? The tax payers have never seen a dime of it. What GM saw was millions in subsidies for the Volt which was a success if you define success as bursting without warning into flames.

But yeah, GM paid the loan back. What a crock of shit.

Or Goldman? Who gets to set the purchase and sale price of treasury bonds?!?! Seriously? Oh wait, I don't know why thats shocking since half the FED heads are ex Goldman employees. More Goldman employees wrote the financial "regulations" which basically say if you're a multinational mega bank you can gamble till the cows come home because hey... you're too big to fail, while regional banks who didn't fuck up in the first place and only took TARP money because they were forced to because our super awesome government said if they didn't it would erode confidence in the big banks got locked out of 50% of finance. But hey, they paid their loans back they never wanted in the first place so Anderson here can tout the success of TARP.

Yeah, good story bro.

John Myste said...

I was getting ready to dispute one aspect of the Corporate Profit assumption, Jerry, but then, just in time, you posted a link to the chart. Case-closed.

The Heathen Republican said...

Thanks Jerry, another great link. Exactly the kind of data I couldn't find when I was looking for it.

Jerry Critter said...

Thanks, John and Heathen. I didn't think I would ever thank both of you in one sentence for the same thing.

;)

okjimm said...

whoa.... just checking in... Free still thinks he has all th answers?

but but but does he know all the questions? Damn, but the guy sure does remind me of Jethro Boudin... ...the guys has been everything but a double aught spy....gees

free0352 said...

Free still thinks he has all th answers?

I don't have all the answers. Just more than you have.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "I don't have all the answers. Just more than you have."

Possibly so, but your wrong answers are worse than no answers.

free0352 said...

Ah yes, because the two major parties have done such a wonderful job... we couldn't possibly want new ideas. I'm sure if we keep trying the same thing over and over expecting different results they'll get it right.

Yeah, thats it.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "Ah yes, because the two major parties have done such a wonderful job..."

The "two major parties" (let's be honest here -- the one corporatist party...) would do okay if big money's (i.e., "big business") influence were taken out of the picture.


"I'm sure if we keep trying the same thing over and over expecting different results they'll get it right."

Rome's burning and you want to throw gasoline on the problem.

Yeah, nice idea!

free0352 said...

Ah yes, you mean the one party that collects billions in campaign contributions from Wall Street? I mean hey, even Chelsea Clinton got the crony, hook up hedge fund job.

Keep dreaming and cover those eyes and vote, vote, vote.

And then you wonder why things are the way they are. Why you always lose.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "Ah yes, you mean the one party that collects billions in campaign contributions from Wall Street?"

That's exactly what I mean, the one, single, "Corporatist Party" -- composed of the Republican wing and the Democratic wing.

You got it!

Obviously I was misunderstood. My reference to your pouring gasoline on the fire, is your advocacy of a totally unencumbered, laissez-faire, unregulated economy. That's the gasoline.

My, wouldn't the multinationals celebrate all night upon that announcement?!


"Keep dreaming and cover those eyes and vote, vote, vote."

I'm afraid you're the dreamer. Anyone supporting a fully unregulated business environment obviously hasn't considered all the scenarios and undesirable circumstances.

But, I'm not surprised. Remember, you're the champion of:

Ready...fire...aim.