published Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Economic Trends

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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EaTn said...

Looks like Clay is dipping his toes into the deep end of the pool.

October 1, 2011 at 5:07 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

When the average CEO earns 300 times more than the average worker and works far less, that is economic disparity. The greed from the top and their indifference and cruelty to our American working class is causing unrest.

When 700 pilots showed up to protest Wall Street yesterday and support the 99% ers in calling for economic fairness, this signifies change is on the way. Wall Street crooks should be worried. They should take notice of the price of pitchforks instead of gold. Workers have been pushed to their snapping point, and are showing up in the streets in protest.

Oh the times they are a changing...

October 1, 2011 at 6:06 a.m.
dougmusn said...

@lesliesmart: income disparity and job creation are the same problem viewed from different perspectives.

If the 400 richest Americans control the same amount of assets as the poorest 150 MILLION Americans, do you seriously believe they would purchase 150 MILLION refrigerators, 150 million cars, etc.? It is not just an unwillingness to spend money--400 people simply cannot purchase the shear number of items 150 million could purchase.

Whether simple greed or the dreaded "uncertainty" is the proximate cause, the rich are clutching their assets tight to their chest. No spending, no economy. No economy, no jobs.

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? "When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? "Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. [Matthew 25:37-40]

No (social) justice, no peace.

October 1, 2011 at 6:31 a.m.
jimbob said...

It's now time to lock and load.

October 1, 2011 at 7:02 a.m.
dougmusn said...

@jimbob: So, it's now time to lock and load. In the immortal words of Walt Kelly (Pogo's creator), "we have met the enemy and he is us". Should we act as Bahrain or Syria and shoot our own people?

Where would you have us train our guns?

October 1, 2011 at 7:36 a.m.
fairmon said...

sandyonsignal... The crowd I saw protesting on wall street on the news were not airline pilots. They were a disgusting dispicable bunch that were unemployable that didn't have a clue what they were doing except insisting they share in something without working. Most people working on Wall Street work hard and make less than $100,000 per year. Yes there are exceptions and yes there are CEOs and fund managers that are over paid. Tax them up to 90% of all over one million per year and there is little improvement in the economy and the debt continues growing at an alarming rate.

October 1, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.
jimbob said...

dougmusn,at any one who tries to take what is mine.

October 1, 2011 at 8:59 a.m.
fairmon said...

dougmusn said... If the 400 richest Americans control the same amount of assets as the poorest 150 MILLION Americans, do you seriously believe they would purchase 150 MILLION refrigerators, 150 million cars, etc.? It is not just an unwillingness to spend money--400 people simply cannot purchase the shear number of items 150 million could purchase.

This is true but what does it help if 80% of the purchases by those 150 million are imported products?

This is not to say some people with inordinately high incomes should not and could not pay a higher rate. However, there is a difference in excessive personal income and profits of a business. Businesses pay people dividends or gains through stock value increases for putting their money at risk by investing in that business. Most of those people are ordinary working or retired people that have their savings in mutual funds, a 401K etc. managed by an over paid fund manager. Having assets does not equal spendable money. Many of those assets of the wealthy are businesses, property and other investments that employ people.

Who pays the additional cost of up to 30% that is imposed on a business through taxes, fees and other legislation? Politicians love to bash businesses to justify extracting money from them and they do accept their contributions then cut them a break. The consumer then pays the additional cost of taxes and other cost when they purchase a product or services of the business. Which segment of society does this added product cost affect most? An example is the fifty cents per gallon tax and government royalty and other cost on gas totalling about 33% of the cost per gallon. Who does this hurt most, the high income individual or the low income?

Tax high personal income to whatever level desired but abolish all government imposed cost on businesses, abolish all the political favor to some and assure there is ample and fair competition to control prices. This is what benefits consumers, increases demand for American made products and creates American jobs. So far the stimulus and other temporary get elected actions help the economy of other countries more than the U.S. economy when any increase in purchasing power is spent on imports.

October 1, 2011 at 9:06 a.m.

Sandy, how come folks like you never bring up athletes, actors, singers and other entertainers who probably make 500 times or more more than the average worker? Isn't that economic disparity? Why are business owners, of both large and small companies and corporations, always the target of your venom?

How about what's going on in the NBA. Players who make millions a year refusing to work unless they get a new contract guaranteeing them even more money down the line, meanwhile, all the small people who work for the arenas and run small shops related to it are out of work. Predictable.

Harp is 100% correct! My brother's friend works on Wall Street and he's not pulling in that much. You need to get your facts straight.

I'll tell you what's a waste of money and an example of corruption, and it goes right to the top, it's Solyndra. Now Nancy Pelosi's brother in law gets a huge loan too. I think the biggest example of greed and waste are not Wall Street and CEO's, but the folks in our government who play loose with our money, like our current president.

October 1, 2011 at 10:08 a.m.
aidehua said...

Typical leftist rant calling for violence against the oppressors. Come tomorrow Mr. Bennett will accuse Tea Party activists of advocating violence.

October 1, 2011 at 10:47 a.m.
MTJohn said...

jimbob said...

It's now time to lock and load and shoot the wrong enemy.

fixed your post

October 1, 2011 at 10:49 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Now The Wart is advocating for violent protest? I wonder if this makes the TFP nervous at all.

October 1, 2011 at 11:03 a.m.
miraweb said...

Free speech is it is an important way we generally remain a peaceful and tolerant people.

We have seen riots in our cultural cousin Britain, violence in France, and revolutions in Egypt. We are not immune from those same economic and social tensions and they are rising, not dropping, as times remain tough.

The fact that a world-class cartoonist makes a brilliant observation on the actual state of the world is not inciting violence, but is, in fact, one of the release valves we have as a free people.

October 1, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Jimbob said: "It's now time to lock and load."

No, Jimbob, is time to sort out what is happening and look for solutions. Mike Konczal at Good Politics makes an valid point and offers a good suggestion:

“Thanks to a wave of deregulation laws in the late 1970s and early 1980s, finance has been one of the fastest-growing sectors over the past 30 years.

It’s become so important, in fact, that some argue the economy should be run in accordance with the ideas and goals of the financial sector. This way of viewing our economy is less about long-term value than short-term price manipulation, less about investing in communities and peoples than about gaming tax codes and regulation and less about markets as a means of expression and more about consolidated, cornered market power.

A financial transaction tax would help fight back against this and begin to steer our economy toward more sustainable and workable ends.

There are endless problems that plague America, but if the battle is brought to Wall Street, the demands should address the financial sector directly. Creating a post-recession economy that is more egalitarian is going to be a battle for generations.”

http://www.good.is/post/three-concrete-demands-to-hold-wall-street-accountable/

October 1, 2011 at 12:24 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"The crowd I saw protesting on wall street on the news were not airline pilots. They were a disgusting dispicable bunch that were unemployable that didn't have a clue what they were doing except insisting they share in something without working." - harp3339

Just how are people supposed to dress and comport themselves at a protest that would not make them disgusting and dispicable (sic) in your eyes? Like the Tea party crowd, maybe? Now, there's a fine looking lot of high-class, well-groomed American citizens for ya! They always look so neat, educated, and "employable" by comparison, don't they?

Actually the Wall St. protesters have behaved exceedingly well in spite of blatant and unwarranted brutality by some of the cops. They have made it clear that they do not hate the police, that in fact they are protesting as much on their behalf as for anyone.

It does not take a PhD in economics to know that the insanely large income disparity in the U.S., the greatest it has ever been, is at the core of what's destroying our country, both economically and socially. We simply cannot have a strong and vibrant nation without a strong and healthy middle class.

The income "redistribution" that teabagging conservatives whine about and claim to be part of a socialist agenda of liberals to "share in something without working," has been taking place for years now, only the wealth has been disproportionately redistributed upward and siphoned away from the middle class. Finally things have become so grossly unfair and out of balance that the pressure cooker is about to explode. I think the protests we are seeing today will only swell in numbers and intensity and I'm sure that the protesters are not going to be the least bit concerned with whether or not they have their teabagging, faux-news-loving critics' stamp of approval about how they look.

October 1, 2011 at 1:44 p.m.
MTJohn said...

miraweb said...The fact that a world-class cartoonist makes a brilliant observation on the actual state of the world is not inciting violence, but is, in fact, one of the release valves we have as a free people.

I also think that it is correct to suggest that the segment of our society that is mostly likely to participate in a violent insurrection in response to current economic reality would be those folks who disagree with Clay's political perspective.

October 1, 2011 at 2:07 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

MtJohn said: “I also think that it is correct to suggest that the segment of our society that is mostly likely to participate in a violent insurrection in response to current economic reality would be those folks who disagree with Clay's political perspective.”

When you consider the type of comments that we see on this thread today, I suspect you may be right about this, MtJohn. I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about some of the things that longtime GOP Capital Hill aide Mike Lofgren said in his recent article “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.” Attitudinally, I think some of these Republican politicians have greatly contributed to the unrest we see today. Steve Benen mentions Lofgren today at Washington Monthly and includes a interesting quote from Lofgren:

"Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner…. Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-

October 1, 2011 at 3:46 p.m.
patriot1 said...

The message from Bennett is consistent with something Van Jones, Obama's fellow street agitator, said about a Fall Offensive against the Tea Party. This would, according to him, occur in October and be similar to an "Arab Spring." Jones, the street agitator, was Obama's "Green Czar and it will get interesting when he is called to testify about Solyndra.

October 1, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.
fairmon said...

Rickaroo said....

Just how are people supposed to dress and comport themselves at a protest that would not make them disgusting and dispicable (sic) in your eyes? Like the Tea party crowd, maybe? Now, there's a fine looking lot of high-class, well-groomed American citizens for ya! They always look so neat, educated, and "employable" by comparison, don't they?

The tea party crowds are often not impressive and often lack logic as well. They ususally seem to know why they are there and most practice good personal hygiene. The protesters, many interviewed, really didn't know what the hell they were doing there or why. One response was "I am here because I was born to be here". They held signs with messages that made no sense. Perhaps you didn't see the news with most networks other than CNBC not showing anything. You can be comfortable and be clean. One reporter even commented on the lack of personal hygiene and the odor caused by many reliving themselves on the street. They claimed to be liberals but I doubt most of them know what that means other than being for Obama.

Protest, rallies, petitions, letter campaigns are all good acceptable ways to convey a message to leaders. There were no elected people on wall St., the group was and may still be wallowing around in unclean conditions for several days. They have no unity or stated single purpose and appeared to have no effective leadership other than one fellow leading cheers.

October 1, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.
fairmon said...

Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy."

Is it self government when the government makes every important decision for you? What is an institution of self government? One quote by a founder was that the best government was no government and it appears we are darn close to having the best.

October 1, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.
fairmon said...

What is the advantage of the federal government dictating to the states those things the states could decide what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it? Why is the federal government subsidizing local police and fire personnel funding and borrowing money to do so? Why is the federal government involved in and funding the education process in grades K-12? There is no evidence that we elect more intelligent and capable people to federal positions than we do to state positions? Too many people are under the impression the federal government can afford more than the states can when the truth is they can't, they are broke and keep borrowing.

October 1, 2011 at 5:37 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: "The protesters, many interviewed, really didn't know what the hell they were doing there or why. One response was "I am here because I was born to be here". They held signs with messages that made no sense. Perhaps you didn't see the news with most networks other than CNBC not showing anything. You can be comfortable and be clean."

Interesting, Harp3339. There appears to be a variety of groups participating in the protests, and I’ve noted the reports of the protests have varied. Out of curiousity I went to Canada’s The Guardian news site and this is what they had to say about last night’s march:

“Several thousand anti-Wall Street protesters marched through downtown Manhattan on Friday night to protest against incidents of police brutality at a previous demonstration. . .

The group had attempted a march last weekend which ended in scores of arrests. Numerous incidents of police roughing up protesters were caught on film including one senior officer spraying mace at several female demonstrators being kept behind a police barrier. . . .

. . . Friday night's march was aimed at highlighting the police violence at the previous protest. A long line of placard-carrying demonstrators wound the short distance from Zuccotti Park where the protesters are camped near Wall Street to Police Plaza, where the New York Police Department has its headquarters.

The march was led by a group of elderly grandmothers wearing yellows bibs emblazoned with the words: "Grannies for peace". That seemed to symbolise the protest's good-natured mood which appeared to be matched by the police's willingness to give the group the freedom to demonstrate.

Michele Moore, a former bank worker from Georgia, said she had been on the previous week's march that had ended in violence. "The videos of those events were completely accurate," she said. But she added that Friday's protest had felt completely different. "Everything I saw today was peaceful and positive. It was delightful," Moore said.

The protest was filled with the usual mix of Occupy Wall Street supporters. But there was also a smattering of people wearing T-shirts with trade union logos as well as ordinary working New Yorkers.

"I am a regular Joe. I have a job and everything," said school social worker Ben Yost, 36. He said that he had come on the march, less to highlight police misbehaviour but, to protest against the finance industry and bank bailouts. "Police brutality is not my top priority right now. I am here to protest against greed and to tax the rich," he said. That split of opinion was also evident in the different placards carried by the marchers. Some were against the police but most were against capitalism or banks. "We have nothing to fear but fear itself and unregulated bankers," read one.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/01/occupy-wall-street-protesters-police-brutality

October 1, 2011 at 6 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

United and Continental Pilots join protest of Wall Street . Here you go, Harp, just put your cursor over the words United and Continental pilots to get the hyperlink. These guys showing up on Wall Street aren't your dirty, f---ing hippies you so despise. These are the guys to whom you entrust your life every time you fly. These are the same colleagues of those who lost their lives on 9-11. These are the folks who work and train hard only to get robbed by Wall Street. Probably a good percentage of them learned to fly while serving in our Armed Forces. These are the faces of the 99%.

Keep shilling for the Big Man, Harp. You'll find out soon enough, those big boys don't care one iota if you and your family starve. They only care about themselves.

October 1, 2011 at 6:37 p.m.
miraweb said...

While I am pretty unlikely to show up at a Tea Party rally, I feel bad that their organization is so incredibly useful as Wall Street's protective lightning rod.

Tea party supporters really are not the people who crashed the economy, wrote fraudulent mortgages, or tipped entire countries into bankruptcy.

I found the backlash to Bank of America's imaginative debit card scheme interesting. When the charges were well hidden in the higher price you pay everyday (because merchants were getting hammered) no one complained.

Now that it is out in the open, the bank's not-so-subtle "income redistribution" scheme is finally getting the outrage it deserves.

I wasn't too surprised it was BoA who jumped off the cliff first. A few months ago they asked me for a $6 fee for them to cash a check I had received that was drawn on their bank. They seem to have forgotten any other way of making a living.

Want to make a merchant smile? Pay in cash.

October 1, 2011 at 6:40 p.m.
MTJohn said...

miraweb said...I wasn't too surprised it was BoA who jumped off the cliff first. A few months ago they asked me for a $6 fee for them to cash a check I had received that was drawn on their bank.

The new bank fees are one device that the banks are using to get someone else pay for the money the banks lost with the bundled mortgages.

October 1, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.
rolando said...

This is actually a good cartoon...perhaps our cartoonist has second-sight. He done dood good job with this one.

You think the pitchforks/torches are a joke? Wait and see. The mood of the people is becoming quite ugly.

A government ordered rapid return of our National Guard from wherever the Hell in the world they are will be your first clue of just how serious a mood it is. Perhaps it will be UN troops. And yes, they will be ordered to shoot us...and they will.

That will probably take us over the tipping point to a Constitutionally imposed and duty required casting out of an oppressive government.

We now have one Democrat state Governor [in serious political trouble] and two Democrat DC Legislators [also in deep doo-doo?] who are seriously calling for a suspension of the Nov 2012 elections.

Their reasoning? So they can concentrate on jobs and the economy and not have to worry about campaigning for re-election.

Yeah, right. They have another year to concentrate on jobs/economy...if they deliver, they have nothing to worry about.

As it is, all they want to do is spend more cronyism money.

Fear deeply, dirtbags. The elections are coming! The elections are coming! If you are In, you are Out. YOU are not just part of the problem you are the problem.

October 1, 2011 at 9:21 p.m.
fairmon said...

miraweb and mtjohn...

You may want to read the entire Dodd/Frank bill to understand the cause of BAC's action which may be followed by others if it floats. Don't be surprised to see the big banks (too big to fail?) get bigger and regional banks get smaller, close, sold etc.

October 1, 2011 at 9:36 p.m.
fairmon said...

sos..

The pilots were not involved with the pot heads that today blocked Brooklyn bridge and are on a camping trip around Wall St. waking up in a new world with a different cause every day. The pilots, as would be expected, made their point in a professional and lawful manner for a day. They may have targeted the wrong place since congress, not Wall St., is the culprit in the airline industry. I wouldn't care if pilots were paid a minimum of $250,000 per year for a normal and safe number of flying hours. Who on Wall St. is keeping the airlines from paying pilots more? What about the stewards, baggage handlers, ticket handlers, maintenance personnel and administrative clerks etc. etc. shouldn't they be paid more also? Could the problem be there are too many airlines and perhaps too many pilots which means the supply exceeds the demand. I have flown but do not and will not if I can help it. Most people that fly don't have to and many of those that fly are the wealthy business people that people think it should pay more taxes so what if it cost them more to fly.

Again federal intervention other than regulating the safety of airlines airports and associated activities skews the market. The users of those services should pay for them through the price of a ticket. Those that were unable to compete would fall out and those best providing what people wanted would survive. With few rare exceptions people have the choice of not flying and pilots have the choice of not piloting. A shortage of pilots will result in higher compensation to attract and retain them. A shortage of airlines will attract others to enter the business and offer the service. That is what is known as capitalism and it works if government will quit trying to manipulate and show favor. There is a major difference in people being inconvenienced and in having a significant impact on the economy.

October 1, 2011 at 10:11 p.m.
fairmon said...

mntl....

We have nothing to fear except economic idiocy and those that think wealth is created from thin air. Perhaps teller machines were the start of the problem. All we have to do is make those that are wealthy less wealthy then we can all be unwealthy. It sounds like Obama and the republican candidates have it fugured out.

October 1, 2011 at 10:27 p.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Mr Bennett, if you don't equalize your take-home with my $250 or so average per week, shall I come after you with a pitchfork? If I did, would you lock and load?

Or shall I just send the D.C. and Nashville people after you? Look, to equalize income by force requires inequality of force. To equalize requires a non-equal Equalizer. Stalin had to cause the death of a lot of kulaks. Liberalism requires aristocracy. So the very ideal of forced equal-ness destroys itself, is incompatible with itself, inherently in itself reacts against itself with a reaction greater than itself--I wish English had stronger words. Not just "inconsistent," but "consistent only with its own opposite in a worse degree." Not just isn't working, but cannot work. So we need not just FDR or LBJ instead of Obama (it didn't work then either), nor even RINOs instead of Obama; we need a different ideal. Coveting is sin; loving your neighbor is virtue.

October 1, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
fairmon said...

sandyonsignal...

I have no objection to pilots making more but your reasoning excapes me. Is it an accurate assumption that you fly only on those airlines that pay their pilots better since you think better paid pilots will assure you a safer flight? If that is true then you should ship yourself as a package on a UPS or FEDX flight since they are the highest paid at over $250,000 per year.

October 2, 2011 at 12:06 a.m.
MTJohn said...

AndrewLohr said...So the very ideal of forced equal-ness destroys itself, is incompatible with itself, inherently in itself reacts against itself with a reaction greater than itself--I wish English had stronger words.

Andrew - I don't think anyone is advocating "forced equalness". Rather, they are voicing objection to forced inequality. And, the forced inequality that is the currently reality in this country is the predictable outcome of an economic system that celebrates greed.

October 2, 2011 at 10:15 a.m.

No (social) justice, no peace. (dougdamuse)

ifn it wernt sadd i wud laff n laff howtha librulls n lifteests yuse owr Bibl an owr Jesus ta mayk ther poynts

Owr Jesus wasn no soshalist ur comyunist! yall gots it bakwurds! tha librulls n soshalists all ways takey ALL owr $$$ in da end

Theys mayk us awl porer n porer til wes tha thurd wurld n eatin nuttin butt bannannas! hippycritts!

Jesus toldn us awl IFN ya dont wurk ya dont eat! yes hepp awl yur bruthers n sissturs He dont ax tha gubbermint ta hepp! why yous soshalist foks ar shor foxi liken a Fox huh?! An yur greeedi gulpurs likey tha ole snayk too! Seeck!

October 2, 2011 at 10:32 p.m.

Stalin had to cause the death of a lot of kulaks. Liberalism requires aristocracy. So the very ideal of forced equal-ness destroys itself, is incompatible with itself, inherently in itself reacts against itself with a reaction greater than itself--(mrLorh)

So troo, so troo n thanky mrLorh im thunkin yu an missBlondi mayk thees librulls crayzi maddur then an ole hornett! crakkers theys hayt yall n kep tryin ta sting yalls buttts! tha fax isa tha fax in hisstori whar we sees all dem mullyons n mullyons of por fok killid by lifteests n markists n stalun n meow n chay n kasttron n all-wes da peeples ar nuttin ta thees Hippycritts n lyers! theys owr enimas!

Sandy, how come folks like you never bring up athletes, actors, singers and other entertainers who probably make 500 times or more more than the average worker? Isn't that economic disparity? Why are business owners, of both large and small companies and corporations, always the target of your venom?

How about what's going on in the NBA. Players who make millions a year refusing to work unless they get a new contract guaranteeing them even more money down the line, meanwhile, all the small people who work for the arenas and run small shops related to it are out of work. Predictable.

Harp is 100% correct! My brother's friend works on Wall Street and he's not pulling in that much. You need to get your facts straight.

I'll tell you what's a waste of money and an example of corruption, and it goes right to the top, it's Solyndra. Now Nancy Pelosi's brother in law gets a huge loan too. I think the biggest example of greed and waste are not Wall Street and CEO's, but the folks in our government who play loose with our money, like our current president. (missBlondi)

thanky thanky Miss- Nobodies sed it butter er trooer! (wes all ways wunderin the saym thins too! tha reech librulls n soshalists ar purrfek n the reech Consurvs arnt!)

October 2, 2011 at 10:47 p.m.
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