Nov 21, 2012

Another reason to run away from supply-side economics

Conservatives have been running on the economic theory that if the rich get richer, their extra money trickles-down to everyone else. But according to the exact opposite is true. The economy gets better when the poor get richer.

On Tuesday, Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer told Ezra Klein, on MSNBC’s ‘The Last Word,:

“This idea that if we just keep squeezing workers at the bottom, that somehow we’ll get more prosperous is obviously, categorically untrue. Look, if there was a truth to any of these arguments, given how rich  the rich have gotten for instance, given how profitable corporations have gotten in the last 10 years, we would be drowning in jobs and prosperity. It’s the opposite of true. The way you animate prosperity in a capitalistic economy is by raising the bottom and using the surpluses.”

A look at historical economic data shows that Hanauer is right on the money. At times when the income inequality gap shrinks, the country experiences an economic boom.
The concept of tying higher wages for workers to economic growth goes back to early in the last century, when automaker Henry Ford said his employees needed to make enough money to buy the products they made. By doing so, it expands to buying-power of consumers and expands the middle-class.

But what’s been happening in America over the past 30 years or so, is businesses have been blaming wages for reduced profits. In turn, they have cut workers’ pay, which gives them less money to put back into the economy. 

Hanauer calls it, “a death spiral of falling demand.” 

At some point, there are not enough people left with enough money to buy any of the products their bosses make. When demand stops, the top economic tier also comes tumbling down.

The theory of trickle-down economics is not only unsustainable, it’s a ticket to economic collapse.

For some reason, this rather obvious concept has been lost on American voters who continue to election conservatives who are destined to completely collapse the economy with supply-side theory. By implementing ever-more drastic policies that widen the gap between rich and poor, they erode the buying power of America’s economic engine which at some point, brings it to a complete halt.

If every person in America today could afford to live in a comfortable home, buy a new car every three years, send their kids to college, and retire with enough money to maintain their lifestyle, the US economy would be thriving and the federal deficit would be history.

America is letting vulture capitalism rule government policy, instead of the other way around, and everyone but the super-rich are suffering for it. However, their day will also come if they are allowed to squeeze the buying-power life out of their workers.
The best way to grow the economy and create jobs is to give the poor the opportunity to become the middle-class. 

With trickle-up economics, the more money everyone has to spend, the more money everyone makes. The logic is impeccable. But convincing the rich to part with their money for the good of the nation is as foreign in America today as the jobs CEO’s ship overseas in their quest for cheap labor. They are creating their own doomsday and don’t appear to be smart enough to know it.


Nov 14, 2012

Property and Animal rights attacked in new Florida animal law

On Friday, a new animal control law was passed in Hernando County, Fla., that allows officers to enter private property without a warrant. It also has provisions that allow dogs and other animals to be shot to death on site by Animal Services officers.

According to the new ordinance, "If an Animal Control Authority agent personally witness an animal at large, the agent shall have the authority to enter upon private property in pursuit of the animal," without the owner's permission or a warrant.

During earlier revisions of the new animal ordinance, the legality of the animal control ordinance was questioned and Hernando County attorney Jon Jouben told The Tampa Tribune, that the clause that violated federally protected property rights "was never in the ordinance and couldn't be because the U.S. Constitution would forbid it."

But Joubin's statement is not supported. The clause that directly contradicts the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution remained in the final version of the ordinance that was approved by Hernando County Commissioners on Friday, in Brooksville.

Another troubling clause in the new animal ordinance involves methods of euthanasia. It allows animal control officers "immediate euthanasia" powers to "destroy" animals "by shooting the animal or injecting it with a barbiturate drug," pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 828.05.

This has the potential to be tragically abused by an agency whose reputation for animal cruelty and inappropriate animal killing has been well documented.

While the stated goal of the new law might have been to improve animal survival rates at the county's high-kill shelter, the details suggest that is it more likely to achieve the opposite.

Pet owners will no longer be allowed to surrender animals to the shelter as they did in the past, and the chances for adoption remain slim, since there is nothing in the ordinance that expands access to impounded animals through extended or weekend adoption hours.

There are some provisions in the law that provide new requirements for shelter from weather, as well as stricter rules for spaying and neutering. However, they will do nothing to save the lives of the unfortunate animals that are taken by Hernando County Animal Services.

Hernando County's disregard for 4th Amendment rights leaves it open to  lawsuits when residents refuse to tolerate animal control officers chasing stray animals through their yards. It should also be noted that Florida's Stand Your Ground Law may  also puts human lives at risk. Property owners might feel threatened by unannounced and unwelcome animal control officers  on their land.

It is unclear how or why Hernando County officials approved this provision, after admitting publically and in emails that it was illegal. 

Click here to read the entire Hernando County, Florida animal control ordinance. 


Nov 11, 2012

A letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

On November 6, 2012 you made history and I helped you, as I did in 2008. But this time I expect more. 

I don't want to see a grand bargain that includes you selling out the people who elected you. The election really was a clear choice and voters said, we want a government that helps us up, rather than shuts us out.

I voted for you because you are supposed to support and defend the things Democrats believe in, like Pell Grants, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. You are supposed to keep our environment clean and safe from people who want to pollute it for profit.

Now is your time to prove that you will not bend to the will of the losing party. America does indeed want to move forward.

So, Mr. President, stick to your guns and break the gridlock because the best way to tame a spoiled child is to simply say no.

  • ·       No to cuts in Social Security and the chained CPI index.

  • ·       No to education cuts.

  • ·       No to Medicare and Medicaid cuts

  • ·       No to more tax cuts for the rich

And most importantly, say no to John Boehner and his Tea Party caucus. Just because they refuse to listen to the voice of voters doesn't mean you should go along for the ride.

Image: Wiki file