Sunday, August 23, 2015
Sunday, August 2, 2015
Fancy Farm 2015 speeches.
Videos from KET:
Governor Steve Beshear:
Attorney General Jack Conway:
Sen. Mitch McConnell:
My favorite Fancy Farm speech of all time - Gov. Steve Beshear 2008:
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
When Things Went Wrong? When Money Got Weird. When the U.S. economy was latched onto by Wall Street there wasn't much that was new - besides lots of debt - and ways to hide it:
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Friday, June 26, 2015
Thursday, June 4, 2015
A great Harvard Business Review study about wage stagnation. The summary? Companies aren't even bothering investing in their workforces:
A snippet from the piece:
"Five years after the official end of the Great Recession, corporate profits are high, and the stock market is booming. Yet most Americans are not sharing in the recovery. While the top 0.1% of income recipients—which include most of the highest-ranking corporate executives—reap almost all the income gains, good jobs keep disappearing, and new employment opportunities tend to be insecure and underpaid. Corporate profitability is not translating into widespread economic prosperity.
The allocation of corporate profits to stock buybacks deserves much of the blame. Consider the 449 companies in the S&P 500 index that were publicly listed from 2003 through 2012. During that period those companies used 54% of their earnings—a total of $2.4 trillion—to buy back their own stock, almost all through purchases on the open market. Dividends absorbed an additional 37% of their earnings. That left very little for investments in productive capabilities or higher incomes for employees."
"From roughly 1950 until the early 1970s there was a period of unprecedented economic growth and egalitarian economic growth. So the lowest quintile did as well -- in fact they even did a little bit better -- than the highest quintile. It was also a period of some limited but real form of benefits for the population. And in fact social indicators, measurements of the health of society, they very closely tracked growth. As growth went up social indicators went up, as you'd expect. Many economists called it the golden age of modern capitalism -- they should call it state capitalism because government spending was a major engine of growth and development.
In the mid 1970s that changed. Bretton Woods restrictions on finance were dismantled, finance was freed, speculation boomed, huge amounts of capital started going into speculation against currencies and other paper manipulations, and the entire economy became financialized. The power of the economy shifted to the financial institutions, away from manufacturing. And since then, the majority of the population has had a very tough time; in fact it may be a unique period in American history. There's no other period where real wages -- wages adjusted for inflation -- have more or less stagnated for so long for a majority of the population and where living standards have stagnated or declined. If you look at social indicators, they track growth pretty closely until 1975, and at that point they started to decline, so much so that now we're pretty much back to the level of 1960. There was growth, but it was highly inegalitarian -- it went into a very small number of pockets. There have been brief periods in which this shifted, so during the tech bubble, which was a bubble in the late Clinton years, wages improved and unemployment went down, but these are slight deviations in a steady tendency of stagnation and decline for the majority of the population."
The rest is here:
Monday, May 11, 2015
What's wrong with our tax system? David Cay Johnston explains in this great piece below.
"If you go back one year to 2011, and you take - there was a little higher income in 2011 than 1966, for the vast majority, and just count that as one inch, they got $59 more income after all those years, they got one inch. The plutocrat class, this is the small group at the top of in this case 16,000 because it's a different statistical measure, 16,000 households in a country of 316 million people, compared to that one inch their income is up five miles, just a bit under five miles, one inch to file miles.
All the gains are going to the top, and it's not because everybody else got lazy or stupid, it's because we cut taxes at the top. We changed the rules. We put in place all these hidden subsidies I've been exposing for years that take from the many and redistribute upward to the few...
...YOUNG: Well, a ballooning capital gains pie lifts all boats, I mean, that this will trickle down to jobs.
JOHNSTON: That's - if that were true, and that's what the data showed, I'd be all for it. What the data show isn't trickle down by Niagara up. And more and more capital is being invested in unproductive ways. It's being used in this high-speed trading and to froth the market, which I've been writing about for years, and there's now an excellent book out by Michael Lewis explaining as an insider how this stuff works and how we have a bunch of dishonest markets."
Friday, May 8, 2015
Who was that communist President that gave amnesty to millions of people by the way?
Monday, May 4, 2015
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Conservatives squawking about border issues and refugees should take a close look at the Mexican agriculture sector that was devastated after the passage of NAFTA. Farmers who were able to support themselves before NAFTA weren't able to afterward. When a foreign government can undersell domestic farmers - you're left with few alternatives.
If your skeptical of the TPP, you have a good reason to be so. We've seen this song and dance before with NAFTA. Could we at least let our senators read the bill? Corporations got to look it over.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
O'Reilly was very right in the clip below. The demographics change in the country is nothing short of an earthquake.
From the LA Times:
"Republicans will be trying to win with a base of supporters that is roughly 90% white in an increasingly diverse country, having failed so far to develop a strategy to attract the growing minority populations who rejected them in 2008 and 2012.
Who wins will almost certainly depend on which proves more powerful — the hunger for change or the inexorable demographic wave.
Or to put it another way, the 2016 election will test whether the Obama coalition of minorities and white liberals can hold together, turn out and defeat the aging but still powerful coalition of social and economic conservatives and foreign policy hawks assembled by Ronald Reagan 35 years ago.
The best case for Republicans is that "the American public seldom has the stomach for a third term, and President Obama hasn't been the kind of leader who generates a third term," said political scientist Julia R. Azari of Marquette University in Wisconsin.
The two presidents in the modern era whose parties did win three or more elections, Reagan and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, both transformed American politics by embodying — and helping bring about — a change in what people believed government should do."
It's all going to come down to turnout. Can Clinton energize Obama's base? Can she get the minorities and white liberals to turnout like they did in 2012?
"According to CNN exit polls, 93% of African-Americans, 71% of Hispanics and 73% of Asians supported Obama over Romney."
Obama’s current 21-percent-deficit -- he trails Romney 59 to 38 percent -- would be far harder to overcome, as this year may break a string of increasingly non-white electorates. In 2008, whites made up a record-low 74 percent of all voters; in the latest Post-ABC poll, they made up a similar 75 percent of likely 2012 voters.
In 2004, John Kerry lost white voters to George W. Bush by a similarly wide margin, 58 to 41 percent -- and he also lost the election.
Compared with four years ago, white voter support for Obama is now lower among white men and white independents. (See the latest Post-ABC tracking poll on The Fix at 5 p.m. every day through Nov. 5.)
The clearest loss for the president is among white men. In 2008, Obama lost white men by 16 points, according to the exit poll. This year, Obama trails Romney double that margin -- 33 points -- larger than any deficit for a Democratic candidate since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide win over Walter Mondale.
After splitting their votes 47 percent for Obama and 49 percent for McCain in 2008, whites who identify as political independents now favor Romney over Obama, 59 to 38 percent. Nearly half of all of those who supported Obama in 2008 but Romney in 2012 are white independents. (Overall, whites make up more than 90 percent of “switchers.”)
A key element of Romney’s advantage among all whites is that by 55 to 39 percent, more white voters say he, not Obama understands the economic problems people in this country are having. Among whites without college degrees, Romney is up 58 to 35 percent on this score, expanding what was a narrow gap just a few weeks ago. This advantage comes even as 48 percent of white voters say Romney, as president, would do more to favor the wealthy; 37 percent say he would do more to for the middle class."
The math is looking good though (WSJ):
"Republicans stand a slim chance of winning the presidency in 2016—unless they nominate a transformational candidate who can dramatically broaden the GOP’s appeal. That assertion may seem incongruous in light of stunning Republican triumphs in the past two midterm elections. But success in 2014 no more indicates the outcome of the 2016 presidential election than victory in 2010 foretold the presidential winner in 2012.
The continuing problem for the Republican Party is the country’s changing demographics. GOP congressional candidates won 60% of white voters in 2010 and 2014, producing landslide victories. The calculation works differently in presidential elections, however, when turnout is higher, particularly among minorities. In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won 59% of white voters, the highest percentage of any Republican challenging an incumbent president in the history of exit polling. He won every significant white subgroup—men and women; young and old; Protestants and Catholics—often by overwhelming margins. Yet Mr. Romney still lost the election by five million votes.
Barack Obama won because he achieved breathtaking majorities among every other racial group. The president won 93% of African-Americans and more than 70% of Hispanics and Asians. As a result, the first African-American president won re-election with only four out of 10 white voters."
The best thing the Dems can hope for is the GOP candidates keep running to the far right on immigration, social issues and safety nets. The economy just might be the wildcard in 2016.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party recently. Submitting her to Time's 100 most influential people list.
Warren spoke at the Levy Economic Institute about the unfinished business of financial reform.
Full interview here:
Warren spoke at the Levy Economic Institute about the unfinished business of financial reform.
Full interview here:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Run and hide, rich people! The poor are coming to get ya!
Chomsky addresses this phenomenon, it's addressed in Manufacturing Consent - he calls it reverse Marxism - the wealthiest repeat the charges of class warfare from the bottom up over and over again -- (direct jump here) you can find it in the video below starting at 21:50.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Friday, December 19, 2014
A little insight into the Lexington 3rd Council district election in 2014.
The sections in color are the voting precincts, the graduated circles are the percentage of homeowners vs. renters in Census blocks (the smallest measure in census data). Of course correlation doesn't equal causation, but there's a strong indication that areas with high home ownership preferred Ellinger.
We'll be taking a closer look at this district and election in the next few months.