Monday, October 26, 2015

The Dynasty Disease

The whole thing started when Clinton put a monkey wrench in the Bush’s plans for a dynasty in 1992, with a little help from Ross Perot. Once in office the Clintons started planning for a dynasty of their own, as Howard Zinn has documented in chapter 23 of his “Peoples History of the United States” entitled, ”THE CLINTON PRESIDENCY AND THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY”.

This lasted as long as it took the Bush’s to gear up for the next challenge in 2000 where eldest son, “W” ousted the Clintons VP choice, Al Gore, with a little help from the Supreme Court.

In 2008, the Clintons were ready for the next round, with Hillary in the drivers seat to pick up where Bill left off. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the nomination. An upstart one term African American Senator promising  “A Change We Can Believe In (Yes, We Can)” was too much for the Dems to pass up as a real chance to put a cap on the civil rights struggle. It was such a world wide hope and promise that Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before he had really done anything.

The only problem was, the promised change never materialized, starting with the appointment of Clinton as Secretary of State, keeping on the Republican Gates as Secretary of Defense, and appointing neocons and Wall Street big wigs to other key administration positions. Unfortunately, Howard Zinn died one year into Obama’s administration. I would have loved to have read what he would have written about it.

Most of the Obama administration was spent continuing the wars “W” started and adding to it, surveillance of the entire citizenry, arming police department with military equipment, maintaining a kill list of undesirables the US should assassinate (along with others who were considered “collateral damage”) Little was accomplished domestically, since the GOP had identified as its main mission, stopping anything Obama proposed. While the Dems still had the Congress, a health care bill, first developed by the Heritage Foundation and implemented in Massachusetts by GOP governor Romney, was passed and pilloried by the GOP as Obamacare. But progress was made in minority rights, sometimes with Obama and Clinton coming late to the party.

Now we face the next dynasty challenge, this time with both a Bush and a Clinton competing. Clinton immediately became the anointed Dem, serving in the Obama administration to burnish her credentials for the next run.

But, at this point, things look a bit foggy in both parties. When Bill Clinton moved the Dems to the right, coopting the GOP welfare reform and corporate deregulation to assure the Dems of future election victories, the GOP moved even further to the right, to the point where they went off the edge into never-never land, advocating pre-depression era plutocracy and total destruction of New Deal programs. The GOP is so frustrated with their inability to get any of their agenda enacted that they have fallen for the uber-persuasive TV personality and business empire mogul, Donald Trump. In the Dem camp, Bernie Sanders, an independent self avowed democratic socialist, with a life long history of consistency has captured the imagination of the disowned progressives in the Democratic Party, many independents, and even a few main street types on the right, He’s decided to run as a Democrat and challenge the slickster waffling Clinton magic.

So what are we in for? If Sander can ignite the Dem progressive base to come out in 2016, there is a good chance he could roll back the control of the Party from Wall Street, and put it back into the hands of masses. If he doesn’t, the Clinton dynasty will likely continue the Wall Street and neocon influence to keep winning elections. In this case there will be a lot of hope, but don’t expect any change you can believe in.

On the other side, the Bush dynasty looks to be in real trouble. It seems the GOP doesn’t like dynasties as much as the Dems. They’re looking for change at all costs, and don’t appear to be seeking a move back to the center. Instead, they seeming willing to follow anyone that will let them enact their extreme right wing agenda.

So what if it’s Bush, or any establishment sanctioned Republican vs Clinton. More of the same. “fagetaboutit”. Suffer for another term, no matter who wins. Both parties will be looking ahead to 2020. We’re in one term territory. No more dynasties to worry about. The next generation will be voting and things will likely be moving in a more progressive direction.

What if it’s Clinton vs. Trump. The progressives have the wind at their back. This will probably be last of the Wall Street Dems no matter who wins. If Clinton wins, expect Clinton 2 or Obama 2 and more obstructionism. Should Trump win, it’s anybody’s guess. He could be the disaster the GOP crazies have been waiting for, or he could tell them to go jump and do what he really wants. In any case It’s the end of the GOP dynasties. But, if you like change at all costs, he may be your man.

So what if it’s Sanders vs. Trump. We’ve already said what’s going to happen if Trump wins. If Sanders wins, it likely won’t lead to quick changes, but the table will be set for the next generation to take over and return the country to a democracy.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Why the level of private debt is important

Those who spend beyond their income (spenders) owe those whose income exceeds their spending (savers). If net savings is greater than the need for capital to expand production to meet demand, i. e. savings is too high compared to spending, that means lower demand for goods and services resulting in recession and ultimately depression. This excess of private debt is important. The concept of a Debt Jubilee (periodic cancellation of all debts) was used in past economies to fix this situation. In the current era, redistribution of debt, wealth, and income through living wage laws, progressive tax policy, inheritance tax laws, and relaxed bankruptcy laws could accomplish the same thing.

The converse is also true. If the debt is too low to finance production to meet demand, i. e. spending is too high compared to saving, inflation results and must be controlled by the reverse of the measures prescribed above for excess debt.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Social Networks vs Blogging/RSS

Social networks like Facebook and Google+ are a mixed bag. It’s a way to expose your thoughts to the world or just friends and family. But, the price you pay is being subjected to a constant stream of promotions and suggestions from the hosting service that don’t interest you. Plus it is sometimes difficult to screen out information you don’t want to see, from that you do.

A better way, if only more people would adopt it is the combination of a blog and an RSS reader. With a blog you see only information from the person you want to follow without commercial interruption. You also get an indexed history of post titles instead of a cluttered timeline. The format is set by the author of the blog, rather than the host service.

To easily follow blog posts from multiple sources, and be alerted to new posts, you need an
RSS reader. You just enter the URL of the blog or site you want to follow and you are alerted to new posts from all the sites you follow in one convenient place. It’s easy to scan the titles to see which ones interest you, and then click on the ones of interest to go directly to the post.

Currently, I blog here at and use as my RSS (Real Simple Syndication) service. There are many others available to suit your preferences. Just do a search on Blog Services and RSS Services.