Ugly Is As Ugly Does

October 19, 2011

(Illustration found here).

Nowadays, don’t US politics — and politics in general — make you sick to your bowels?
In the midst of most-likely the biggest, nastiest, piece-of-shit economic condition since I-don’t-know-when (common term, ‘not since the Great Depression‘), the political systems on this entire, whacked-out planet has gone way-bonkers.

This morning, for instance, there’s a general strike beginning in Greece, a suck-hole of all things financial, in protest to the latest round of government austerity measures that’s already known to be creating higher taxes, pay cuts and job losses.
The sight to behold:

One striker, university lecturer Yannis Zabetakis, told the BBC: “We are now living in a taxation Armageddon and the economy is dying.
Along with the economy, we are dying.
The austerity measures are not working and our best people are being forced to go abroad.”

The words, ‘austerity measures,’ has become the catch-phrase, linchpin for how Europe is handling the spreading financial crisis, an approach scorned by almost all economists worth their salt — from a couple of Nobel-prize winners.
Paul Krugman echoes the sensibility: Because tax increases and cuts in government spending would depress economies further, worsening unemployment. And cutting spending in a deeply depressed economy is largely self-defeating even in purely fiscal terms: any savings achieved at the front end are partly offset by lower revenue, as the economy shrinks.
Joseph Stiglitz agrees: “Austerity is an experiment that has been tried before with the same results,” Stiglitz said today in a speech in Copenhagen. Cutting budgets in low-growth cycles leads to higher unemployment and hampers recovery, he said.
Thus, Europe is f*cked.

So far, in the US the cuts haven’t reached European size, but it’s not that the GOP ain’t trying.
Last night, another Republican blow-hard debate, and once again, these clowns showcased the cruel reality they really don’t have a portent of a clue about how to handle the American economy.
Hot Herman Cain’s infamous ‘999’ tax program would make it that 84% of U.S. households would pay more than they do under current tax policies, according to a report released Tuesday by a nonpartisan research group. And the impact would be felt most heavily by the lowest income groups.
And Mitt Romney’s proposal to increase US Navy ships would would add $35 to $40 million to an already dangerous national bottom line, plus Romney doesn’t explain where he’d get the money.
Out of the ass of we-the-people, that’s where.
And if I hear these frackin’ assholes call the rich/wealthy/the 1 percent “job creators” I might just holler, slobber, pound the floor and rend my garments — makes one go crazy.

The horrible part is that President Obama ain’t much better.
From the Washington Post:

By mid-2011, it was clear that Obama had done little to address the nation’s fundamental economic problems.
As had not been the case during previous recoveries, America’s major corporations and banks were investing abroad rather than at home.
Unemployment still exceeded 9 percent.
Almost all the growth the nation had experienced since the economy bottomed out in mid-2009 had gone to profits; wages during that time actually declined.
Their incomes diminished and mired in debt, Americans were unable to purchase enough to get the economy going.
Even if their purchases had increased, a lot of their funds would simply have flowed to the nations that made the things they purchased.

No wonder the US economy is floating down the financial river.
And no wonder the Occupy Wall Street movement has gained so much traction in the last few weeks — US peoples really know what is happening, despite what’s coming out of Obama’s White House.
He’s off campaigning, but it won’t do much good, for him, or this country.

Once again, Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture pretty much summed it:

Today’s NYT notes the gloom that has descended over consumers, and they suggest it may be home prices.
I think they are wrong — in my experience, the sort of generalized rage and frustration comes about when people realize the institutions they have trusted have betrayed them.
Humans deal with financial losses in a very specific way — and its not fury.
This is about a fundamental breakdown of the role of government, courts, and leadership in the nation.
And it all traces back to the bailouts of reckless bankers, and the refusal to hold then in any way accountable.
There will not be a fundamental economic recovery until that is recognized.

Hence, it might get even more ugly.

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