Posted by: quiscus | November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011


1. “Key Lesson From Iceland Crisis: “Let Banks Fail”


2. “Greek Prime Minister Forced Out in Euro Crisis Deal


Whatever the outcome of the political maneuvers in Athens, the Greek working class has already paid an enormous price. According to a report by Inter Press Service (IPS), the measures already implemented have given birth to a “new poor” in Athens, with wide layers of the population, once accustomed to regular employment and adequate living standards, now plunged into destitution.


The report published November 1 cited the emergence of homelessness on a mass scale in the Greek capital, as well as a proliferation of aid clinics and feeding stations familiar in third-world war zones, but not seen in the European Union in many decades.


This includes a medical facility for the homeless, run by Doctors of the World, and a volunteer clinic in Perama, a working class district of Athens once home to longshoremen and shipbuilding workers, most of whom are now laid off.


Nikitas Kanakis, with Doctors of the World, told IPS, “Out of the 40 kids our pediatrician examined two weeks ago, 23 were malnourished. Some years ago we thought that this country had moved past the point where a lack of food was a prominent social issue. Now we are making public appeals for supplies so that we can provide those in need with dry rations and clothing along with our medicines.”


The Athens Center for the Homeless reports a 30 percent increase in people seeking food since the beginning of 2011. Together with church facilities and other agencies, charities distribute 12,000 meals a day to the hungry in Athens alone.


There are also reports of a significant increase in drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and other social problems that are the direct consequence of poverty and mass unemployment. Suicides have increased by as much as 40 percent, according to the Greek minister for health.”


3. “Jobless and Clueless: America’s Delusional Democracy


As Ezra Klein noted: “Americans are in the odd position of fervently believing in upward mobility while not actually having very much of it. Europeans, conversely, don’t really believe in economic mobility but have plenty of it.”


Those jobless with this delusional thinking, refusing to think critically, judge the facts and come to a hurtful conclusion, are not the ones I expect to be participating in or supporting the Occupy Wall Street protesters, about three-quarters of whom now disapprove of Mr. Obama’s performance as president. Though the Occupy protesters speak of the rich 1 percent, that is a big underestimate. As Anne Applebaum correctly noted “Despite all the loud talk of the ‘1 per cent’ of Americans who, according to a recent study, receive about 17 per cent of the income, a percentage which has more than doubled since 1979, the existence of a very small group of very rich people has never bothered Americans. But the fact that some 20 per cent of Americans now receive some 53 per cent of the income is devastating.” Becoming part of even that larger group of rich Americans is now more difficult than ever.


Do unemployed have the right kind of jobs to aspire to the top one percent of income earners? Consider the jobs that account for the top one percent; the top four categories account for nearly 70 percent: corporate and business management not in the financial sector, medical, financial industry executives, and lawyers. This also shows how difficult it is to somehow negatively impact the one percent by protests by the Occupy movement.


In our delusional democracy with its delusional prosperity thinking that hard work, great ideas and superior performance will get you into the top one percent is self-delusion, even getting into the top 20 percent is a long shot. The economic system is too rigged against economic justice. Sure, every once in awhile someone starting out poor or average becomes superrich, but that is like winning a super lottery. Best to stop believing in the rags-to-riches myth, unless the system is reformed.”


4. And of course also how they run the US press:

“This Is How Israel Runs The British Press”


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