Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Epitath for America

Over at MB, Karl speculates on why America is great, and basically gets handed his head in comments.
Bad Tux points out that the U.S. is now the economic equivalent of Mexico.

I made essentially the same comment in both places.  Economic disparity and a deterioration of equal protection under the law are moving us toward plutocracy.   I forgot to mention that our most recent former president is an admitted war criminal.

I’ll say that we had our time of greatness – starting post WW II to an end date that can’t be pin-pointed since we are fading slowly, like an old soldier, but I believe is now in the  past tense.   My children – born in the early 70′s – will never have the quality of life as adults that I did. Two income families have become a necessity.

We were great because we had a strong, vibrant, and upwardly mobile middle class – the old American dream, characterized by relative equality in income and wealth distribution. Well, that is gone – killed by Reaganomics, tax policies, union busting, exporting manufacturing jobs, and the gutting of regulations. We are now at a banana republic level of wealth disparity.

Rule of law had a lot to do with it, too. But we are losing that, as well. Being rich can preclude prosecution for even an egregious crime.   I don’t think I’d get that kind of delicate treatment from a prosecutor.

And the Citizens United decision gave muti-national corporations essentially legal status equal to U.S. citizens. And they just bought themselves an election.

Where we go from here is medieval serfdom – not as Hayek imagined, but under the iron fists of multi-national corporations.


Suzan said...

Nice catch!

Thanks for running it.

Love your blog!


Jazzbumpa said...

Susan -

Thanks. Always happy to have you stop by.


nanute said...

JzB: Moseyed over here from AB. I always enjoy your insightful comments. What struck me about this particular post was your observation that equal protection under the law is eroding in the US. The most recent Citizens United case might just be the last nail in the coffin.
I'm not a lawyer, but I've been wondering if the Citizen United case runs afoul of the equal protection clause, in that it treats one "citizen" differently from another when it comes to bankruptcy protection. I've raised this question on several occasions at different blogs, with no takers in response. Any thoughts?

Jazzbumpa said...

nanute -

Thanks for the comment.

Actually, I don't have any thoughts on the bankruptcy question - I simply don't know enough about the specific issues involved.

The thing I can't get anybody to comment on is this.



nanute said...

There is an argument that the Fed is responsible for the M1 multiplier dropping off a cliff. Note the correlation between excess reserves of depository institutions and M1 below 1. See here:http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/03/m1-money-multiplier-still-crashing-each.html

Jazzbumpa said...

nanute -

I'll check it out. Thanks.

Also, I removed a couple of spams. They were harmless, but I see no reason to tolerate any of it.

My blog is not anybody's advertising vehicle.