Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quick Hits: The Rumors of My Demise...

...are greatly exaggerated.  But some of the news over the past few days prompted me to write, something I haven't felt like doing for quite some time.  Perhaps this is a rebirth of the T-Dude, maybe my muse finally got tired of vacationing and decided to return.  I don't know, but for the moment, here I am.  So enjoy this latest edition of Quick Hits - a quick scan of some of the news stories that got me thinking/pissed off/amused/befuddled.

If This is Class Warfare, Most of Us are Losing

According to a report by Oxfam, 85 people control more wealth than 50 percent of the rest of the world. That's right, enough people for a decent party on a yacht have more wealth than approximately THREE BILLION people.  Not scary enough for you?  Okay, then let's take a gander at incomes. (Wealth isn't income, income is like a salary.  Wealth is better described as the monetary value of things like investments, businesses, homes, etc.)

As reported in this excellent article in The Atlantic, in the U.S., the wealthiest one percent "captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009," Oxfam reports. The bottom 90 percent actually LOST wealth.  This translates into the U.S. having the greatest growth in income inequality in the world.

So, if you feel like you are working harder for less and think the richest among us are just get richer and richer, you'd be right.  And the Republicans have the gall to say that Progressives are engaging in class warfare.

Don't Piss on my Mitre and Tell Me it's Raining

Even the Pope believes that the Uber-Rich, and the political policies that have helped make them that way, need to change. While the world business leaders meet in Davos, Switzerland (This way they can visit their Swiss bank accounts in person and actually touch all that stashed cash) the Pope issued them a blessing, of sorts.

“We must recognize the fundamental role that modern business activity has had” in improving global well-being, Francis said in the message, which was sent by e-mail today. “Nonetheless, the successes which have been achieved, even if they have reduced poverty for a great number of people, often have led to a widespread social exclusion.” 

...The Argentinian pope, elected last year, is making the gap between rich and poor a focus of his pontificate. In November, he condemned “trickle down” economic theories, saying it’s incorrect to assume policies that help the rich will eventually help the poor.

 I have to say, it is nice to see a Pope who is concerned with more than just birth control.

Speaking of Making it Rain...

Move over Lindsay Lohan, there's a new Mayor of Debaucheryville.  Justin Bieber reportedly dropped $75,000 in singles at the King of Diamonds, a Miami strip club during Lil'Scrappy's birthday bash. (Don't even ask, I have no idea who this Scrappy fellow is.)

Seventy-five singles? Man, his lap must be truly sore. But I have to say, it sure is nice to see that trickle down economics at work

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