Saturday, October 08, 2011

Occupy Cleveland

122 comments:

Joe said...

Those 34 campers seem to have a real firm grasp of thier issues.

alphadog said...

When all of these freedom fighters are free from the evil corporate oppressors, how will they tweet/text/blog about their achievement?

Erin O'Brien said...

Free?

You've got an entire generation that was told you are not hireable unless you have a college education.

So they trotted off and got that education as well as a pile of debt. Now they have no job--but they still have all the debt--and they aren't even thirty years old yet.

Their "issue" is that they are FUCKED.

Now I'm sure there's plenty of other voices of all ages, creeds and colors in the 99 percent who can tell you how the exact same issue of being fucked applies to them.

--underwater mortgages

--towering credit card debt

--unemployed

--no health care coverage

I'm sure the readership can add to the list.

Tony Rugare said...

Don't forget the seniors
-- dwindling retirement income.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alpha,

Why don't you look up A.L. Gore or The Mondragon Corp. They do right well without using a traditional corporate model. As for Joe he can go slap one of his buddies on the back and be dismissive in that wonderful snarky style of his. Chuckles all around

RJ
RJ

Anonymous said...

Correction. W L Gore Corp. Save the silly al gore jokes. ('course I guess we could discuss the stealing of the presidency in our spare time.)

RJ

Bill said...

Is there a post office box or somewhere I can send a donation to "The 99%"?

Bill said...

I have a suggestion for all of the silly ass "I don't know why we're protesting" crowd, hanging out, disrupting, and making a mess. Go sign up to be a volunteer. An unpaid volunteer. A volunteer for a charity that the 1% support with their donations.

Anonymous said...

I doubt any of those folks are getting paid Bill, ergo they ARE Volunteering. Or perhaps they could go volunteer for a United Way agency whose administrative costs could build a small city. They throw one helluva cocktail party though, I've been. Even got my picture on the social page of the paper. Bunch a yuppies, bein altruistic. (tear)

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill, funny how I don't remember you giving that same advice to the teabaggers.

Bill said...

Erin, I anticipated that comment. The Tea Party people, didn't camp out, didn't make a mess, didn't get arrested. They planned an event, did their thing, cleaned up, and left. One of their goals was to get like minded people elected to office. It was accomplished. Just as Fox news gave the Tea Party lots of publicity, the press is trying to figure out how to make the "occupy everything" mess into something more than a gathering. Evidenty the President has his finger in the wind to see if it can gain him some votes. As soon as it gets cold outside, it will be, "occupy your parents family room"

Anonymous said...

Being old and all I need my memory refreshed. Were the Founding Fathers the Tea Party love to invoke neat? I was thinking people in their revolution got arrested, hung and killed. Silly me.

Bill, as usual, you're comments beg the question. The Occupy people have been very clear their motivation was opposition to Corporate Greed. Hence the 99% meme. But they have also embraced an asymetrical model that embraces other view points and have tried to distance themselves from the Tea Party comparison but as everyone surely suspected the gravy sucking Democrats will try to co-opt their message just like the gravy-sucking GOP did with the Tea Party. It is the American Way. (Salute!)

RJ

Anonymous said...

Hate to leave this stimulating conversation but I must go vacuum. It's been kinda chilly here in middle Tenn and at any moment I expect a long line of miscreants at my door asking for a place to stay. I want to be able to tell them good housekeeping skills will help them with their search for social justice.

Later,

RJ

Anonymous said...

Bill, you left out a few Tea Party virtues...carrying weapons to political events, badgering and intimidating members of congress and their families, carrying racist signage...you know, all the principles and values instilled by a devotion to the founding principles.
@RJ...as to your comment about the GOP co-opting (SP)the Tea Party 'message'(a wholly owned product of Koch Industries, all rights reserved, all wrongs preserved) there are plenty of members of the contemporary GOP (can't call 'em modern) who are goddamn sorry they let this genie out of the lamp, the Sad Tangerine (BK John Boehner) probably more so than most.
MR

Anonymous said...

@ Erin-it is a bitter sort of bemusement I feel when I hear voices from the right use the "get a job" meme about a movement whose primary motivating beef is that corporate America is taking their profits and THROWING THEM ON THE FUCKING PILE rather than reinvesting in America...
MR

Erin O'Brien said...

Exactly Mike, every pundit far and wide cites the staggering corporate profits that are doing ... what? Where are the jobs? Where's the reinvestment?

The fat cats are sitting on the dough and pointing at Washington saying, we can't do thing with all this uncertainty and gridlock!

They do have a point, what with Michele Bachmann and the rest of the tea party gang clamoring for default.

GOOD CHRIST AWMIGHTY

Erin O'Brien said...

**the most important click of the day**

Relative to this thread and why I believe the "Occupy" movement has just begun.

sent to me by a little bird who knows who he is

Anonymous said...

Back. You know I think vacuuming may possibly be the most erotic domestic duty. I mean when else do you get to break out the ole Crevice Tool?

MR you make me a better man. I will attempt to avoid hasty generalizations. Your presence here enriches us all. Truly.

RJ

Hal said...

You can see live feeds from both the New York and LA protests here.

I was at the downtown LA protest yesterday and it was a great time. There was diversity of issues being discussed and protested - the feds cease and desist order to California medical marijuana dispensaries, war crimes committed by both the Bush and Obama administrations, and even a lesson on capitalism from some - of all people - Ron Paulians. People were well behaved, and while the north lawn of Los Angeles city hall was crowded with tents, trash was collected in a central location, people were peaceful, and there was a minimal police presence (overt at least), save for a couple of uniformed officers and a helicopter hovering overhead most of the time.

There were a couple of 9/11 truthers milling about, as well as someone concerned about the NWO, but no obnoxious Bush-is-a-nazi/Bush-is-a-monkey signs, no inflammatory or violent rhetoric. Something else there was was a much, much, much greater diversity of humanity than you will ever see at any tea bag party.

Hopefully I can go down there again this week.

Once Known as The Badger said...

Hell yeah! And I think this is just the beginning, too. It started picking up steam in Wisconsin, and it's happening in such dismally alienated places like Las Vegas. 99%ers, unite!

Nin Andrews said...

Check out this link, Erin. Or do a search on Anne Marie Slaughter, Occupy Wall Street, New York Times . . .
It's pretty interesting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/opinion/occupied-wall-street-seen-from-abroad.html?_r=3&ref=opinion

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Too bad I don't live in Cleveland. I'd get a food truck and run down to Public Square, and sell pizza, tacos, burgers, etc. I'd make a killing. After all, everyone has to eat.

Al
TRAG

P.S. Not a political statement.

Erin O'Brien said...

Al, there were two trucks on the opposite side of the square. Both were selling out of everything. I laid out nine clams for a KICKASS fish hoagie.

I took pix and will post some maybe later this week when we all need a break from politics.

I wish you would start a food truck in CLE. Me and the Goat would go down there with a whole bunch of peeps and eat all your Al food. That would rock my face off!

Hal said...

Here are some pictures I took at Occupy LA, all in glorious black and white!

:)

Bill said...

A better critique of the protests is the absence of specific policy demands. It would probably be helpful if protesters could agree on at least a few main policy changes they would like to see enacted. But we shouldn’t make too much of the lack of specifics. It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.

That is part of Krugman's column from Thursday. He good with the protest and protesters but, being the tools that they are, he thinks the intellectuals and politicians should tell them what they're protesting about. You can read his entire colmun here

DogsDontPurr said...

I think you did a great job of evenhandedly presenting the event.

The good and interesting thing about these events is that they attract a pretty wild spectrum of people/ideologies. And that's also the bad thing.

Far too often the message is lost or overshadowed by the fringe element...whether that be the racists, the hippies, the garbage, the violence, etc. All group protests end up with one or more of these elements. It's freakin' HARD to put on a good protest!!...or large crowd event of any kind.

So I dunno. I guess all I'm saying is that you did a great job of getting the feel of all of that. (And I especially liked the sneeze about half way through. lol!)

Anonymous said...

Random Data:

2011 Executive PayWatch
www.aflcio.org/paywatch

According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. corporations held a record $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets in 2010. But they are not investing to expand their companies, grow the real economy or create good middle-class jobs. Corporate CEOs are literally hoarding their company’s cash—except when it comes to their own paychecks.
In 2010, Standard & Poor's 500 Index company CEOs received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation— a 23 percent increase in one year.[1] Based on 299 companies’ most recent pay data for 2010, their combined total CEO pay of $3.4 billion could support 102,325 median workers’ jobs.[2]

RJ

Anonymous said...

@RJ at 4:37...should I be flattered or worried? I'm not entirely sure how to take that...
MR

Bill said...

I identify with these guys: the 53%ers

Anonymous said...

@MR
I was serious. I need to be more attentive to detail, less strident. Your feedback helps me toward that goal.
Of course I could probably use copious amounts of psychotropic medication as well but I'll save that for another day.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Dear 53%ers,

The poor are lazy.

Elect Herman Cain.

Oh and read a book.

Or at least an essay.

Like this:
Why I Am Not a Conservative
hem.passagen.se/nicb/cons.htm
Frederick Hayek

or this:

Big Sister Is Watching You
By Whittaker Chambers
December 28, 1957
Whittaker Chambers' Review of Atlas Shrugged, with commentary
aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com/

Sleep well.

RJ

Anonymous said...

@RJ...nice piece on Hayek and the Koch brothers, either The Nation or Mother Jones, I'll look it up for you tomorrow, in 1973 Koch wanted Hayek to take a fellowship in the US, when Hayek expressed concern about losing the universal health coverage he enjoyed in Austria, Koch encouraged him to come anyway because Medicare was so good...These people don't realize it's the hypocrisy as much as anything else that enrages people...MR

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ Erin: Like I said, everyone has to eat. And I could only imagine my food truck in Cleveland .. hmmm ... The things I could come up with ....

"Right Wing Sausage - When it Positively, Absolutely has to Be Done Right!"

"Tea Party Tacos - Limited Government Doesn't Mean Limited Flavor!"

"Cain's Pain - Wings So Hot You'll Be Glad There is A Godfather's Pizza Around The Corner!"

"Conservative Cookies - One Bite, and You'll Be Right!"

"Pelosi's Pierogis - You Have To Cut Into Them To See What's In Them!"

"Kucinich Kuchen - One Bite of This Cake, And You'll Be as Daft as Dennis!"

"Kasich Kakes - Produced by Your Local Food Service Workers Union"

"Erin's Empanadas - Filled with Goat Cheese from the West Side Market!"

"Boehner's Orangeade - It Matches His Skin!"

"Barack's Burritos - Stuffed Full of Things That Didn't Sell The First Time Around!"

"Perry's Popcorn - So Good Even Jesus Himself Likes It!"

"Romney's Root Beer - Served In A Perfectly Coiffed Cup!"

"Palin's Potato Skins - Featuring Freshly Killed Moose!"

"Biden's Burger - It's a "Big )uckin' Deal!"

"Holder's Hot Dogs - He Knew How Good They Were Before Others Did!"

"Green Job Salad - Because You'll Still Feel Empty After Eating It"

"Obama's Onion Rings - They're Hollow In The Middle!"

"Michelle's Marshmallows - Because Lecturing Others On Food, Obesity, Nutrition, Etc. Works Up An Appetite!"

"W's Waffles - Strategery!"

"Reagan's Rillettes - Pork isn't the problem ... it's the solution"

"Weiner's Weiners - Made from 100% Pure Pork Junk!"

"Rangel's Risotto - We'd Offer This, But It's Been Censured"

Geez, I crack myself up sometimes.

Note that I poked fun at both left and right. Thus, this is not a political post.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

Not bad Al, not bad...
BTW I've had live Crimson in heavy rotation in my car this week...those rock hall choices are a joke until Yes and Crimso get in...
The Athens Greek store that used to be near the market is now in Pearlbrook Plaza...picked up some terrific soppresata this afternoon...
MR

Joe said...

I say we start things by protesting the evil Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Yes, that was a joke, before you all have a stroke.

There is too much money in politics -- on both sides. Whatever the Koch brothers have done is more than equaled by the likes of Soros on the other side.

If these protestors want the real 99% to take them seriously they have to be realistic -- a barter society? Give me a break. I have no interest in living in a less than third world economy.

But guess what -- the wonder of capitalism is that if you can find a seller that will accept barter in return for goods and services you have the right to enter that transaction. Under a Communist economy you have to get your needs from the Government. The only barter is through the black market.

The vast majority of Americans have no interest the in economic system of Communism or total socialism. The descendants of the Wobblies have no traction.

Are there problems -- yes. But advocating the banks forgive all loans sounds nice -- but it is fantasy populism at best. The reult would be the total destruction of capitalism and few Americans are in favor of that.

I want my own home, not one the Government gives me. Sorry, I would rather pursue the American Dream than live the Soviet nightmare.

Bill said...

We just want to be 63%'ers. Is that too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

Joe:

"Under a Communist economy you have to get your needs from the Government. The only barter is through the black market."

Invalid statement. Communism is a post-scarcity model. Exchange is not a part of it. It is about freely giving and receiving from abundance. If you're going to critique the model you might want to read, oh I don't know, Marx?

Joe:

"I want my own home, not one the Government gives me. Sorry, I would rather pursue the American Dream than live the Soviet nightmare."

I know it's dangerous to assume but I'm guessing you're equating the Soviet model with the inevitable outcome of a Communist economic system. Tyranny is not a necessary element of Communism. We have Stalin and Mao (and others of course) to thank for that. I suspect with a minimum of effort you could find a correspondent living on a Kibbutz in Israel to share their experience living peacefully and communally.

RJ

Joe said...

Well RJ, I have read (and own) a copy of Marx. And if you can show me an example of the Marxian model that has worked, or that does not lead to tyranny I would be glad to study it.

I think the basic human need for freedom and yearning for a better life always trumps the tyrannical need of governmental power and control. Even in the harshest of communist societies a capitalist black market undermines the authoritarian control. The invisible hand is always present. The means of fulfilling another's wants and needs has value.

Capitalism is not perfect, it overly rewards a few and punishes many, but it offers the best opportunity for success of the many.

Bill said...

Last I checked, on can start or live on a commune or kibbutz, right here in the good ole USA. Just can't set it up in Central Park. What a country.

VideoDude said...

The American Corporations had their most profitable year last year. Where are the jobs? The Top 1% saw there income increase by 23% over the last three years. Where are the jobs? The Bush tax cuts have now been in effect for ten years. Where are the jobs?

Here is Keith Olbermann reading the statement from "Occupy New York":
http://current.com/shows/countdown/videos/special-comment-keith-reads-first-collective-statement-of-occupy-wall-street.

By the way, the Tea Party was never a "grass Roots" movement. It was formed by Dick Armey and funded by the Koch brothers among others.
This is a little off topic, but I wonder how the "righties" feel about the Koch brothers' connection with Iran. I wonder what would be said if George Soros had business dealings with one of GWB's "Axis Of Evil"!

Erin O'Brien said...

Barter system? The "occupy" folks have no demands. The only demands attributed to them were a fraud (make sure you read the admin note at the top).

Feel free to post any link proving me wrong, Joe.

And I don't think they're so interested in turning the USA into the USSR as they are furious at having to pay $5 a month to access their own money from BoA, whom they're own tax dollars bailed out mightily three years ago.

This is about income and wealth inequality. I've been harping on it for years. The chickens are coming home to roost.

Bill said...

Check out Hugo's latest comments. Seems he has lots of company around these parts. I actually agree with the very last sentence. Hugo speaks

Erin O'Brien said...

To Joe and Alph and Bill and Al (who makes no political commentary but is welcome to at any time): thanks for engaging. This is an American discussion and I really appreciate diverse voices--honestly.

And DDP: That was MY SNEEZE! And thanks to you for receiving my broadcast. I was trying to depict what it was like to be there without going on too long.

Anonymous said...

Way back up there with Joe.

I think you're right in that there is no problem free system. It's my understanding early advocates of free market economies like Smith, Ricardo, et al anticipated many of the problems with Capitalism Marx did, they just concluded, like you, it was the lesser of evils.
I think the human factor is responsible for more trouble than the satisfying of basic needs. As long as there are folks out there looking to game the system at the expense of the well-being of others there are going to be problems I
suppose.

As an aside. I was wondering lately why conservatives get so upset with "Collectivism" organizations like unions but never seem to complain about shareholder meetings. I mean don't share holders of publicly traded companies band together to influence Boards of Directors. If I'm an employee AND a share holder (I'm thinking of the ESOPS that were popular back in the day) am I a Collective Capitalist?

RJ

Anonymous said...

Paul Ryan just graced Face The Nation with his presence. He is still espousing the virtues of the Confidence Fairy and the Certainty Angel...same old from the GOP, they are trumpeting a 19th century vision of the Invisible Hand of The Market that didn't work then and can't work now...

As to the discussion re: socialism...we have PLENTY of socialism in the country already...Drive on an interstate highway? Socialism. Kids go to a public school? Socialism. Ever have to call a cop for a traffic accident? Socialism. Trust the purity and healthiness of the food you buy? socialism. Get on an airliner and feel confident that the wings won't fall off on your way to Topeka? Socialism.


Socialism is merely society pooling their resources to achieve a common good that individuals can't or wont do by themselves.

Corporations and big business benefit greatly from government-provided programs that are socialistic. Farm subsidies?Socialism. Defense contracts? Socialism. Oil subsidies? Socialism...

Erin O'Brien said...

Yep. Good luck with your free market capitalism sans socialist Interstate highways.

Anonymous said...

Ryan keeps trying to make it seem like it's about small businesses worrying about taxes and regulation...I work at a small business...ownership worries a hell of a lot more about CUSTOMERS...nobody in the middle has any disposable income since the housing crash. Most people in the middle had whatever wealth they held tied up in their home values...Wall Street gamed it by securitizing mortgages, which their internal e-mails show in example after example after example that they knew to be bogus... and sucked all that wealth out of the country...for people BELOW the middle, they now have negative wealth...their mortgages now are greater than their home values...now if they got into a solid mortgage and they're still employed, they can still make their mortgages...but a large number aren't so fortunate
MR
wv-'frapa'-gimme a double vente al pacino mocha frapa-chino...

Bill said...

Taxes are one thing. Regulations are another. I've owned two small businesses. It's complicated but businesses are leaving California in droves and it's not because of the weather. Government is strangling free enterprise here. Unless you're lucky enough to get an Obama loan from the other taxpayers.

Mike Lawless said...

Geez, Public Square is alive.

Bill said...

Two sides to every story:
a less idylic view

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ MR: How I know the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations and inductions are bogus? Neil Diamond and ABBA, yes, ABBA are in and Rush isn't. As for the museum itself, I was underwhelmed when I visited. And they don't let you take pictures, either.

@ Erin: No, no political commentary, at least not here, anyway. I do appreciate the invitation, though.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

Dearest Bill,

The thing you are sitting on is called your duff. Why don't you get off of it and head to the nearest "Occupy" protest? There you may judge for yourself about what's going on instead of reading about it in a UK tabloid.

Bill said...

There is not one near me. Most people around here are in the 53%. And besides, I'm working.

Anonymous said...

@al-I've only been there once, and that was for a free concert by Cleveland avante-garde legends Pere Ubu...I never left the lobby...I'm waiting until the new wing is completed, the one dedicated to all the rockers who choked on their own vomit, or, for Spinal Tap fans, guys who choked on someone else's vomit...

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

They have some neat exhibits, but do we really need to see Michael Jackson's stage costumes? If you're a musician I think it's a more interesting place to visit as they have a lot of musical instruments on display (I got to see John Paul Jones' "Triple Omega" Alembic bass and also one of John Entwistle's Warwick "Buzzard" basses), but there's a lot of other stuff that I didn't find too interesting. Oddly, I was able to snap pictures in the lobby (one of Ted Nugent's Gibson Byrdland guitars is on display there) but not in the main exhibit hall. I suppose they want you to buy them from the Hall itself. Ripoff if you ask me.

Ah, Spinal Tap - so many good lines from that movie.

Rob Reiner's character: "That's very pretty, what's it called?"
Christopher Guest's character, Nigel Tufnel: "Lick My Love Pump."

Best scene, though is where Harry Shearer's character is going through the airport metal detector, and he eventually pulls a foil-wrapped cucumber out of his pants. Hilarious. That and the "Stonehenge" scene with the midgets.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

@Al...I got to see Tap on the big screen at KSU.
There were a disturbingly large number of people who didn't know it was a spoof.
MR

Anonymous said...

@Bill @ 12:43...What of the regulations that are allegedly strangling business in California have to do with the federal government and how many of them state regulations made necessary largely by the fact that approximately 10 million people live in the Los Angeles basin, which gathers and concentrates the fumes and gases of modern industrial society in a manner inimical with human survival?

Bill said...

Anon, Yes. The California Air Resources Board is one of the main culprits. They need to be shut down.

VideoDude said...

http://www.bluestatepost.com/news_412.htm

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9tAQZInm5Q

Joe said...

BTW -- it was the banking reform act that led to BoA adding the fees to get your money. Congress made the banks reduce the fees they charged merchants to process debit card transactions. Be mad at the merchants, who did not reduce prices if you want to throw a fit.

In case some of you flunked econ 101 -- business exist to make money, not create jobs. Jobs are a side benefit.

Do you ire out your cooking, house cleaning or yard work? Why not? Is it wrong for you to have more money?

Do I like the fees no, but I do not begrudge anyone from making a buck, or a million, or a trillion.

Anonymous said...

Does that include making money through collusion and deception? I think its the behavior that some businesses engage in to get money that evokes peoples ire, not the making of money per se.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Exactly what RJ said, Joe.

There is nothing I cheer more enthusiastically than a solid successful business--as long as it's honest.

Read The Big Short. Just because it was legal doesn't make it right.

Dodd Frank attempts to make some of what fed the 2008 crash illegal, although it doesn't go far enough.

We'll see how many people flee BoA.

The banks and the wealthy need to belly up to their financial haircut right along with everyone else.

PLUTOCRACY SUCKS.

Anonymous said...

Joe-perhaps you should go back a little further into the chain of cause-and-effect vis-a-vis the banks and financial institutions in relation to regulation? As in, what was the NEED for the Dodd-Frank reforms? There was a little instability you may recall which began in 2007? It got even worse in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009? Surely you don't feel that after the most RECKLESS BEHAVIOR SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION THOSE BASTARDS SHOULD DO BUSINESS AS USUAL? Oh, I'm sorry-got a little worked up there...unfettered and shameless criminality will do that to me...at least Jesse James had enough class to use a mask and a gun when when he robbed people.

As far as the banks and card fees, this goes back even further...it may seem like Colonial times to many, but there used to be a procedure in this country wherein if you wanted to make a transaction with your financial institution, you went to a BRANCH. A human being working there known as a TELLER, would process your transaction and give you corresponding paperwork called a RECEIPT. They often also dispensed a social nicety called a SMILE.
Now, when the technology for ATMs became widely available to the banks, the banks perceived a problem. The TELLERS expected PAYCHECKS for their services because, being HUMAN BEINGS, they required FOOD and SHELTER...and so the banks pushed their customers into more and more ELECTRONIC transactions so they could lay off more and more of those pesky HUMAN BEINGS...and life was good for the banks...they even saw that customers who preferred a HUMAN BEING in their dealings with their financial institutions might pay a SURCHARGE for the right. The banks also saw that if a customer wanted one of those paper RECEIPTS that they had received with their transactions, the banks could add another FEE for that too.
***********************************
Now despite the fact that the banks are still roping in enormous profits after the financial crisis and the Great Recession, they have the nerve to try and impose an extra fee for a service that their own business model almost required? And you don't begrudge them from steal...err, making a buck? Your patience is like Job's.
MR
***********************************PS-Nice avatar...I loved Jonny Quest. I always enjoyed the homoerotic undertones of the devotion Race Bannion displayed towards Dr Quest.

Erin O'Brien said...

Remember when it was hard to get a credit card? When you couldn't get a credit card if you had bad credit? When reaching your limit meant reaching your limit, and a purchase actually got DENIED instead of added to a burgeoning balance on which fee after fee can be added?

Remember when lending was honest and NOT a legal path to life long financial slavery?

The demise of responsible financial behavior--from the private card holder to the banks to Uncle Sam--is what's taking the whole goddamn juggernaut down.

Anonymous said...

Wolff offers a very nice analysis of the economic crash and how workers were fleeced with, among other things, easy credit. Worth the time it takes to watch.

Capitalism Hits the Fan - Richard Wolff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZU3wfjtIJY

RJ

Anonymous said...

Ah, Erin has has the key. "Responsible financial behavior--from the private card holder".
James Old Guy

Anonymous said...

Ah, James has been watching the same Madison Avenue ads I have.

"The American Dream is a fantasy. Don't buy anything you can't afford."

Brought to you by the Wall Street Bankers.

RJ

Bill said...

Workers fleeced with easy credit? Fleeced? The devil made me accept that money?

Anonymous said...

James, your use of selective quotation, eliminating two-thirds of Erin's comment, has entitled you to a lifetime pass to Fox News. You two deserve each other...
MR

Erin O'Brien said...

There's plenty of people going into debt putting food on the table.

It's easy to think you're above it, but none of us are. If you're out of work and you have no options, the plastic is pretty tempting.

If you're 30, unemployed with two kids and no money, what are you going to do? You used to have to move back home. Now you can live on credit for a while. And people naturally take that option first because they do not want to lose independence.

Or maybe they have no parents or family to go to. Plenty of families are going homeless when the credit finally does max out. Welcome to life long financial slavery.

That said, plenty of peeps go into consumer debt for all the wrong reasons. That the banks enable them just makes matters worse.

Jut for giggles, here's an article I wrote on the credit card act of 2009.

Erin O'Brien said...

Mike, James is welcome to truncate my words anytime he likes. As anyone can see, I just keep gassing on no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Bill...perhaps you should view the link to get a fuller understanding? There WERE many devils afoot in all of this. Most of them wore suits and were driven to work by chauffeurs. And what seemed like easy credit, as it was PRESENTED to consumers, was full of traps, loopholes and fine print.
MR

Erin O'Brien said...

Headline on CNN right now: Children to join Wall Street protests. Oh, and I think Sharpton's going over there.

Just thought Joe, Bill and James would love that deet.

No worries though gents, on the right hand sidebar of the same page, the Dow is listed as up 266 points.

I'm off to walk the purple mountain majesty for a while.

Anonymous said...

Bill,

I thought by now you'd be on your way to Berkeley to celebrate Indigenous People's Day which is offered in lieu of Columbus Day. Since you're not I'll elaborate on my use of the word "fleece."
First I too am a proponent of individual responsibility. However I am also observant enough to understand the markets incentivise debt. You know as well as I do that banks would offer blow jobs if they could to get me to sign up for one of their lending programs. And the market allows that kind of advertising and "predatory" lending. Yet have you ever walked in a bank with "CAVEAT EMPTOR" over the entrance in neon lights? And in smaller print an explanation that says the merchant will say or do ANYTHING NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW to get your business. In the alternative what if I were a legislator. Do you think I could get a law enacted that required banks to post that warning alongside their photos of sexy blowjob girls?
The floor is yours.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Not sure I would want my kids attending this fest.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/it_nyc_lam_sterdam_bmE4vlV5aDUWhBRv9IbaiK#ixzz1aNzIGOx7

Then again, I don't have a clue if the NYPost is reliable or not.

James Old GUy

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill! You sure gave those officers a lot of trouble!

Anonymous said...

Erin,
There's a terrific irony at work in the development of the Occupy Wall Street movement's press coverage. And it takes me back to the beginning of the Arab Spring, in Tunisia.
Although there was abuse, inequity and dissension in tunisia, it was not until one man, Mohamed Bouazizi, had enough that the people began to act.
Bouazizi was a college educated man who through the nature of the Tunisian economy was only able to earn a pittance income as a fruit vendor...and when he was hassled yet again for a bribe by the authorities, he snapped. He immolated himself. This was the one man and the one event which proved to be the spark for a revolution which overcame the regime of the dictator Ben ali, whose regime up until that time had been viewed as relatively benign by Middle Eastern standards in much of the West.
Here's the irony...for the most part the Occupy Wall Street protests were being ignored by the bulk of the media. if you followed MSNBC or the progressive dailies, you knew about it,in some cases for weeks ahead of time...but it was totally outside the consciousness of the general public...until one man, no longer able to take what he must have viewed as an intolerable situation, stepped forward and lit the spark. and that man...was NYPD deputy inspector Anthony Bologna.
The intolerable situation? the unbearable burden which caused Inspector Bologna to act? American citizens exercising their rights to freely associate and to freedom of speech. So Inspector Bologna stepped up (from yards away)and lit the spark with his pepper spray canister. Courageously. Decisively. Manfully. (Well except for the part where emerged from out of the crowd, pepper-sprayed three young women in the face at point-blank range, spun on his heel and sauntered off back into the crowd. That part wasn't manful. That part was cowardly.)
After Inspector Bologna played his role, and after the results of his cowardly action hit the internet, the mainstream media COULDN'T ignore the protests any more. For that matter, neither could the Democrat party or the trades-union movement.
MR

Bill said...

RJ: You should see the women who work at the bank branch I frequent. I'd get another job just so I could open some more accounts and get some more loans!!

MR: I'll read your comment more carefully but are you comparing "occupy whatever" to what's happening in Egypt, Syria, etc? You can't be serious! Or, maybe you can.

Bill said...

Erin: Did you notice that they left the ropes on me? Just another way for the government to maintain control over my life. Unrelated but I just had a bowl of Moose Tracks Icecream.

Anonymous said...

Bill, yes, please read it more carefully, but the point was that in each case a single individual was a catalyst. Not that the protests on Wall Street were equivalent to the Tunisian revolution.
MR

Anonymous said...

Bill @ 5:08. Not sure you responded to my inquiry but I was basically wondering if you'd consider requiring financial institutions to be as zealous/transparent about their business models as they are about their alleged desire to give their customers VIP treatment for trading with them.
Remember the derivatives market that collapsed around the default swaps was a so called "dark market", there was no regulatory oversight. Put that in your von Mises and Hayek pipe and smoke it.

RJ

Bill said...

RJ: I have to think about that but I did google von Mises and I think I'll start plagerizing his quotes and tweeting them. Thanks for the reference. I love this blog. It's fun commenting with most of you guys.

MR: Doesn't every cause, movement, etc., start with one person? But, this "occupy whatever" thing is more like a bowell movement.

Anonymous said...

@Bill...stay classy, dude...
MR

Anonymous said...

Bill,

"I did google von Mises and I think I'll start plagerizing his quotes and tweeting them."

I suppose you can do that Bill but it might make Michele Bachman angry if she finds out. That'a how she runs her presidential campaign.

You fellas sleep well.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear commenting readership: If something got spammed, I apologize. Blogger's spam system is crap and sometimes it eats comments.

Bill said...

Diane Sawyer puts her stamp of approval on the "occupy anything" movement.
even countries that don't exist are protesting

Anonymous said...

Bill,

"I did google von Mises and I think I'll start plagerizing his quotes and tweeting them." ^Above.

You know I thought about this after I signed off last night. I think Bill has been outed as a poseur. I mean if one claiming to be conservative doesn't have a Glenn Beck autographed copy of "The Road To Serfdom" with them at the polling place they aren't allowed to vote GOP are they?

RJ

Bill said...

RJ: I don't claim to be anything but what I am. I'm sort of ashamed to say that I have not read The Road To Serfdom. I don't read enough. I'm currently reading "Better" by John O'brien. I've mentioned this before but, I don't watch Glenn Beck and didn't when he was on Fox. I used to listen to his radion show before he was on Fox. Unless I'm trying to be humorous, I don't have to the need to pretend to be something I'm not. Did I take your comment too seriously?!

Bill said...

Did Kanye West and Russel Simmons get rich on the backs of the "occupy everything" crowd?

Anonymous said...

Bill-the Occupy Wall Street movement began roughly a month ago. Kanye West and Russell Simmons are rich because of TALENT...they produce ART which people will pay money for...a tangible PRODUCT...as opposed to manipulating OTHER PEOPLE's money...which is what Wall Street does...MR

Bill said...

Oh.

Anonymous said...

Bill-you left out the "D'-" to make it a quote of Homer Simpson...you know..."D'OH"...
MR

alphadog said...

What do you think might happen when the Occupy the City of Your Choosing people wake up and realize that Wall St. and the government are so tightly bound together that one cannot exist without the other?

Happily helping you along to another 100 comment post Erin.

wv- dirst
Dirst I did n den I didn't.
Reminiscent of a one time Presidential hopeful.

Erin O'Brien said...

I dink dey already know dat, alph.

Anonymous said...

"What do you think might happen when the Occupy the City of Your Choosing people wake up and realize that Wall St. and the government are so tightly bound together that one cannot exist without the other?" Alphadog

REPEAL CORPORATE PERSONHOOD!

CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION
COMMISSION

I think even Capitalists may blush when the final tally is made for expenditures for the 2012 elections.

Representative Democracy plus Capitalism = Organized Crime

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

What torques me so much about that "Corporations are people too" tripe is that you can't punish a corporation as if it's human. You cannot imprison it or deny it conjugal visits or put it in solitary confinement.

Corporations are not fucking sentient!

alphadog said...

Honestly Erin, I'm not sure the majority do. I'd put that number at 10% of the 99%.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047664/Occupy-Wall-Street-Children-1-good-time-protests.html#ixzz1aRtfU1nS

Love the Brits perspective on all things American. They know they've screwed up and seem to take a certain delight in pointing out our foibles.
I wish you hadn't pissed off Vince, I'd like to get his take on all of this.
Vince, if you're reading this I know you're an Irisher and not a Brit, I meant no offense.

RJ, just saw this, "Representative Democracy plus Capitalism = Organized Crime". Agreed, but please keep in mind we are still considered a representative republic despite the fact that we seldom resemble one.
Anyway, this is why government and free market capitalism should be kept as separate as church and state.

Anonymous said...

100.

Free Market Capitalism is a fantasy.

The second I give you a break on the price of Erin's sex tape because I think you're a pretty nice guy the whole system falls apart.

Collusion and Deception kill the Golden Goose.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

People.

The Mail is a TABLOID. Dig the current home page headline: Is Beyonce wearing a fake baby bump?

So alph, you might want to get a more credible source.

Erin O'Brien said...

RJ: HEY!

alphadog said...

Erin, wasn't it a tabloid that broke the Edwards scandal?
RJ, I am a nice guy. Where do I get that sex tape?

Bill said...

Corporation vs person. I (my corporation) was sued in a San Francisco Court. During jury selection, one of the potential jurors told the judge that, in spite of his instructions, he did not consider a corporation a person and would not follow that instruction. I wanted to jump up and say, "hey! that's me!" The plaintiff was suing for $1,300,000 and my insurance company was on the hook for $1,000,000 of it. The other $300,000 was on me. You can't convince me that a corporation isn't a person. Fortunately, we won, thanks to the fine insurance company lawyers.

Erin O'Brien said...

Sorry Bill, no pass from me. My dad incorporated also. Small businesses do it all the time in order to separate and protect their personal assets from the liability a business can incur.

I'm glad to hear you dodged the bullet, but it doesn't change my mind. The penalty still would have been financial--which is the only way you can "punish" a corporation.

Now let me guess: you upped your insurance after that incident.

Anonymous said...

"You can't convince me that a corporation isn't a person." - Bill

Can a Corporation Mambo?

RJ

Anonymous said...

@Alpha @4:15...The Edwards scandal was a...wait for it...TABLOID story...that;'s what they do, no?

Anonymous said...

ATTN: All...the Erin sex tape is now available as a FREE download at http://cunning.linguist.hotspot.wet-spot.com.-STICK IT TO THE MAN!!! Fight the power!!!
{Not sure about this one, I'll stay 'anon' until I find out if Erin's pissed}
Anon...

Erin O'Brien said...

Oh Christ.

The O'Brien on Edwards.

Anonymous said...

@Alpha was me...MR

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a post, the current wv is 'suckinnc'...sounds like a personal ad for fellatio in North Carolina...wait, I guess this IS a post...MR

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"suckinnc?" That would describe most of the restaurants here in Fayetteville, NC, where mediocrity is good enough.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

Erin: I'm sure you are aware that many, if not most, small corps, are funded with the owner/shareholder personal funds, lines of credit, etc. Once that money is lent to the company to meet payroll, etc., it is not protected. This may be a dead horse but when you own a small corporation, it's you.

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill, the small corporations aren't the one's I'm worried about when it comes to massive political donations.

Anonymous said...

9-9-9 upside down is 666. Godfathers Pizza spelled backwars is AntiChrist.

You've been warned.

RJ, Seer of Signs

Anonymous said...

9-9-9 is easy to remember...simple, as it were, for simpletons to absorb and repeat robotically...
MR

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

5-3 plus salt and yeast. Basic ratio for bread (flour, water, salt, yeast) according to Michael Ruhlmann, food writer.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

It's hearwarming to know that there is a path to prosperity for union members.
union leaders looking out for the working man

Erin O'Brien said...

From Business Insider: Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About--a simple series of charts and simple numbers.

Bill said...

Erin: Now let's see if any of the "occupy anything" crowd is able to aticulate the information in those charts. My hunch is that they'll be gone because of the cold weather before they can make those charts into signs.

Anonymous said...

Erin-Thank you, very much, for that post...I FOLLOW all this shit, but to have it at a glance and in one slide show, is mind-boggling...wow...thanks...this gets bookmarked...MR

Unfreakingbelievable: wv: unity....

Anonymous said...

10/29/11
Tenn. Gov. Bill Haslem bitchslapped a second time by courts. NO WARRANTS ISSUED.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20111029/NEWS01/111029004/Occupy-Nashville-protesters-released-after-second-night-arrests?odyssey=mod|defcon|text|FRONTPAGE

RJ

Bill said...

RJ: Check out this page and you'll easily be able to link to a URL when commenting.
http://w3schools.com/html/html_links.asp