Friday, June 29, 2012

PK enough already with the corporate path to recovery...monetary policy

we got a deleveraging mania underway

and  benjamin FED is fussin and fumin..behind closed doors

".. debtors, as a group, are trying to deleverage too fast, ..
the collective rate at which they are trying to pay down debt
isn’t feasible given the zero lower bound on interest rates"

"can’t get real interest rates low enough to induce
       sufficient spending on the part of those not deep in debt."

meet johnny fisc

benjamin fed's side kick....

" ... the role of fiscal policy: is not to stop aggregate deleveraging

 — the public sector doesn’t have to run up debt as quickly as the private sector runs it down —

 but to slow the aggregate deleveraging rate  down to a pace
 that can be accommodated by monetary policy."

maybe ...maybe
 but why ?

why go thru the corporate investment channel or for that matter
why use  any of the eight fold way credit channels ?.... or is it nine fold way ?

you got a transfer tax and payment system in place set it up to stablize the system
carefully designed
 then democratically evaluated
okay might need a few iterations
so what
nothing could be faster or as fair

high social spending low sovereign rates ?


olders not share hogs

Household Median Income by Age of Householder: 2010

Combined ( 49,445) ( 117,538 households)

25 to 34 ( 50,059)

35 to 44 ( 61,644)

45 to 54 ( 62,485)

55 to 64 ( 56,575)

Under 65 ( 55,276) ( 92,268 households)

65 and older ( 31,408) ( 25,270 households)

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Amusing conservative attempt to muddy the water on inequality. Conclusion: "This is not to say that inequality does not cause any social ills, but there remains little substantial evidence of what they might be." Deeply contemplative, no?

A few old links that are still relevant:

Conversation on inequality in Slate between Matt Yglasias and Tim Noah (author of The Great Divergence).

The New York Fed laying the groundwork for ending the Social Security tax break.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

gini games

"We’re talking two decades of gains, gone. "
jared bumster


VIDEO: Timothy Noah on Romney

Timothy Noah, author of recent book The Great Divergence interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell. Also has an excerpt from an interview of Romney that is amusingly uncomfortable...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

exploitation revisited

a rather baggy  pants effort ...but ...

headline take out :

" The Marxian concept of the rate of exploitation
                                            appears to have some statistical validity."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

welcome to the day after .....for households sitting on a lot bubble

"over the 2007-2010 period

 median net worth fell 38.8 percent"

  to a level " not seen since the 1992 survey"

boing !!

"the median for the lowest quartile of net

worth fell from $1,300 to zero—a 100 percent decline;

 the mean for the  group fell from negative $2,300 to negative $12,800.

, median net worth for the second quartile fell 43.3 percent.

. For the 75th-to-90th percentile group, the median fell 19.7 percent

  For the wealthiest decile, deline  was  6.4 percent "

yup inequality sharpened during the great contraction and stag


"Although declines in the values of financial assets or business were

important factors for some families, the decreases in median net worth appear to have been

driven most strongly by a broad collapse in house prices"

...another lesson in the hazards of socially engineeered mushroom wealth gimmicks

much much else here worth a quick  read

Right-wing take on Rent-Seeking

Notice here that he is reinforcing the idea that "market forces" eliminate rent-seekers...
Sometimes the editors at the New York Times get it right, even when they’re wrong. In a May 26 editorial they opined that Democratic attacks on Mitt Romney’s career as head of Bain Capital are fair game: “Private equity, rarely by design, has created many jobs. But the practice of leveraged buyouts, in which Bain was a big player, has also contributed significantly to the growth of the income gap, moving wealth from the middle class to the top end.” Economists use the term “rent-seeking” to describe our efforts to find ways to extract more wealth from organizations than we contribute. The social and economic arrangements of the first three decades after World War II allowed the managerial class in America to get “rents” from the corporate system. How they did so was legion. But it meant that the large corporate structures of our postwar economy began to accumulate a great deal of profit-making potential that was either inconvenient for the managerial class to exploit—or in some cases positively at odds with their self-interest. What CEO wants to divide his company into five pieces, none of which will have the high status (and high pay) of the big conglomerate? ... Financial analysts of the sort Mitt Romney oversaw at Bain Capital began to analyze the profit-making potential of companies: not as they were being run by current managers, but as they could be run if reorganized and run by somebody else. “Reorganized” is one of those anodyne words that mask harsh realities. You don’t reorganize a well-organized operation. As the leveraged buyouts proceeded, a new class of hard-driving managers came on to the scene, often cutting layers of management. This marked the end of white-collar social contract. No more lifetime employment. No more smooth escalator rides up the ranks of management. ... The upper middle class world responded to the leveraged buyout revolution by upping their commitments to education and economically oriented self-discipline. The old white-collar social contract subsidized three martini lunches and all they represented. Junk bonds put an end to that culture. And the white-collar parents who suffered from that sudden and severe change in corporate culture told their kids that it’s a very tough, competitive world out there, one with no guarantees. ... So, yes, the editors of the New York Times are right. In some small way Mitt Romney and Bain Capital contributed to income inequality in America. The leveraged buyouts of the 1980s destroyed an informal but powerful system of upper middle class subsidies, ones that allowed for habits and mentalities that lead to unproductive behavior. Once that system was dismantled—something Michael Milken deserves credit for—habits and mentalities changes. Well-to-do families and elite institutions adjusted, shaping a generation of go-getters.
And the sting in the scorpion's tail...
But that’s not the whole story. Why hasn’t middle class America been able to keep pace with the top twenty percent? The Times consistently insinuates that the success of the top twenty percent has somehow been stolen from the rest of us (“moving wealth”). A better explanation: the policies favored by the Times that subsidize unproductive behavior, leaving most Americans disarmed in the face of a rapidly changing and harshly competitive global economy. It seems a paradox, but it’s not: guarantees of economic security have a way of transferring wealth—or at least wealth-creating virtues—away from their beneficiaries.

Stiglitz on Rent-Seeking

Some on the right also assert that those at the top deserve their higher incomes. They earned it, conservatives say. Their riches were due to their greater contribution to society, from which all benefit. I wish that were true — but it’s not. Those at the top aren’t the true innovators — people who provided the intellectual foundations of the computer, for example, or the Internet. Or those who invented the transistor or the laser; or, like James Watson and Francis Crick, who unraveled the genetic code laying the foundations of so much of modern medicine. Much of the top-most wealth instead comes because of successful “rent seeking.” Economists use the term “rents” for income derived from owning an asset, rather than from effort. “Rent seeking” refers to attempts to garner a larger share of the economic pie, rather than making the pie larger. Monopolists, for example, gain their wealth through restricting production — which makes the size of the pie smaller. When we look at divided societies abroad, like so many of the dysfunctional oil-rich countries, we diagnose their problem as an infliction of excessive rent seeking — too much of society’s resources go to attempts to grab a larger share of the oil wealth, too little to expanding the economy. What we don’t realize is the extent to which the United States, too, has become a rent-seeking society.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stiglitz v Conard

Joseph Stiglitz, whose new book has been (obliquely) mentioned on this blog, debates conservative charlatan Edward Conard, former Bain Capital managing director and author of Unintended Consequences:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the universal right to self organize

an application of the rights model to  job site organizing:

"amend the Civil Rights Act to bar discrimination on the basis of exercising the right to unionize, just as employers are currently prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, gender, religion, marital status, physical ability and – in some jurisdictions – sexual orientation. "

"wronged workers would have recourse to remedies unavailable under current labor law. They would have the right to sue in federal court for compensatory and punitive damages. They would have the right to discovery and a jury trial. They would have the right to seek recovery of attorney’s fees and court costs"

“ '....effectively shift the basic right of an employee to join or organize a union from what has long been conceived of as a collective right to an individual right.
.... in 2009 the National Labor Relations Board took an average of 483 days to decide a wrongful termination case, and its average back-pay award was $5,149. "

Confronted with the prospects of being required to submit to discovery, trial by jury and liability for unpredictable financial judgments, employers would have to consider long and hard the potential risks and costs incurred for each and every individual violation of an employee’s civil rights during an organizing campaign.”

ya baby do it the 'murikin way

  contingent fees...jury trials..... unlimited discovery...

most of all
compensatory AND PUNITIVE  damages

   get those noble trolls
              the ambulance chasers into the scrap !!!

this is a paradigm both  middle ameriks
                                  and the  peoples' Shysters understand

as the link sez:

"...Confronted with the prospects of being required to submit to discovery, trial by jury and liability for unpredictable financial judgments, employers would have to consider long and hard the potential risks and costs incurred for each and every individual violation of an employee’s civil rights during an organizing campaign.”

of course first
we got a s need for traditional collective activity

on the job !!!!! raise some chaos

possible task:

create a job site corporate rules  disobedience movement
intentional violations of corporate class peace

may need to be bigger and bad-er then  the civil rights movement
                                                                             of the 50's and 60's

the lunch counter model springs to mind

analogy here:

mass  on the job evictions maybe even arrests
                              while shouting "where are my rights....  my wagner rights "

the link  seems implicitly content to lobby congress..... of course it does

building the circus wagon
              before finding the horses to pull it
                     regulation  official  union voodoo

(vide the EFCA blanket toss )

okay now we got lots of decent souls fired
what's the new step two
                      after the job site massacres
                  after we undertake the direct on site action line ?

  "where's our NLRB ?
      we demand  our Wagner rights "

recall :

".... organizers (today)
           as a matter of credibility and conscience,
no longer distribute Your Rights Under the Law palm cards to workers ...."

of course not

 "...the penalties for coercive or retaliatory violations
                          under the National Labor Relations Act
                     virtually unenforceable

                                        serve no deterrent value. "

seems obvous enough to me
                       the NLRB ?

flood em with concentrated  violations
call in the media
bring in bus loads of public pickets
                       not at  job sites
               but at   NLRB hq and branch ops

there must be an uprising here
  not just cloak room hustles

numbers will matter
                              citizen activists
                                          will need to be engaged

in the mind of the people
corporate job sites
   must become the next  'human hell hole'
                                                    corporate Amerika
                                                                 another     "good ole Dixie "

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Portrait of Joseph E. Stiglitz

 is   beating the devil again

"...a look at the top reveals a disproportionate role for rent-seeking:
 some have obtained their wealth by exercising monopoly power;

others are CEOs who have taken advantage of deficiencies in corporate governance to extract for themselves an excessive share of corporate earnings;

and still others have used political connections to benefit from government munificence – either excessively high prices for what the government buys (drugs), or excessively low prices for what the government sells (mineral rights) "

"America’s inequality is undermining its values and identity.
With inequality reaching such extremes, it is not surprising
that its effects are manifest in every public decision,
 from the conduct of monetary policy to budgetary allocations. "

unions and inequality

"By most estimates, declining unionization accounted for
about a third of the increase in inequality in the 1980s and 1990s"

go see the two pleasing dynamic graphics at the linked to site above