Sunday, July 22, 2012

Who's Getting It All?

We often hear about how a small minority of Americans is getting the majority of the wealth in this country. Here, for example. However, I find some people can relate to those numbers a little better if explained this way:

Where is the Wealth? Here's another way to look at it. Suppose the United States comprised a group of 100 persons, and had a cumulative wealth of one hundred dollars. That money would be distributed approximately:
     1 person gets $33.40
     9 people get   $4.01 each
    40 people get  $0.70 each
    50 people get  $0.05 each.
What will you do with your nickel?


Saturday, July 14, 2012

This Time, It's Hats

So the wingnut fauxtrage du jour is the uniform (especially the berets) for American athletes competing in the Olympics that start later this month. Fox and Friends hosts Gretchen Carlson asked, "Is this the new American trend now? Are we going to be seeing berets? And you have to pronounce it that way too, because that's the French way," and Steve Doocy suggested cowboy hats or going topless.

Fox News entertainer Lou Dobbs was more critical, noting that President Hugo Chavez also wears a beret! How French of him! 

I guess they would like to see our athletes wear super he-man American headgear, like one of their heroes:

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Friday, July 06, 2012

Who has the Spirit?

We've just celebrated America's birthday for the 236th time (more fireworks this weekend). Besides all the sales, we have been treated to speeches about the bravery of the founding fathers who dared to defy a king and an empire, as well as the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend their country throughout its history.

Now America is trying to emerge from another threat, an economic threat. This is not the sort of threat that can be fought by soldiers advancing through gunfire; their noble spirit cannot help in this. But help can come, if another group could only find the spirit it takes to save the nation--if only that group were willing to sacrifice, not their lives, but a small piece of their fortunes. Are the wealthy (including the huge corporations who are, after all, "people" as we are told), who hold a vastly disproportionate share of the national wealth, willing to sacrifice, just a bit? Can they find in themselves the same Spirit that inspired so many to give everything?

"The Spirit of '76' painted by Archibald MacNeal Willard, ca. 1875.  

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

House GOP About to Begin Job Creation Effort...

...But something else came up. Again. Yep, when the House comes back from shooting off their fireworks after the Fourth of July weekend, they would have been all set to pass legislation that would create jobs. But then there was that devastating blow dealt by Chief Justice John Roberts who joined with the rational branch of the Supreme Court in upholding the Affordable Care Act. They were all prepared to set aside discussions of icky lady parts so they could concentrate on job creation, which the Speaker of the House had said was a high priority. But now instead, they will do their best to prevent millions of people from having health care coverage, trying to prohibit the IRS from receiving transfers of funds from the Department of Health and Human Services that would help implement the ACA. 

No doubt Republican House members will (really, this time) get back on track creating jobs as soon as their bill passes the Senate and is signed by President Obama. Unless there are more icky lady parts to discuss.

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