"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, October 21, 2011

Linkfest - Jokers

Cain's 9-9-9 Plan is Much Love for the Rich
If you just hear the plan without thinking about it, the 9-9-9 plan sounds good. The 9 numbers sounds so good with 9% corporate tax, 9% income tax, and 9% sales tax. It’s already a fact that for whatever reason, people believe prices that end in 9 are a better deal than those that don't so there is that reason he picked the number. However, once you look deeper it’s not so hot. For one, most businesses will not have to pay that 9% due to various tax shelters and the like that exist. Cain does nothing to address that. As for the income tax, that means that not only will 9% of every dollar you earn be taken away, it also means that another 9% will be taken away for every dollar you spend. On top of the state, county and city taxes you already pay. This also means that deductions go out the door so benefits of being married or having kids cease to matter. But still, seems like a good idea, and it could be as far as simplicity of paying taxes. However, as the chart shows, it really is just a boom for the rich. The bottom 80% will pay more in taxes under the plan. The next 19% will pay a decent amount less, the top 1% a 10x less than that with the top .1% experiencing around a 100x less boom to the bottom line. It hard to picture in text, but the picture makes it painfully clear. Once again, the GOP proves their only priority is the top 1%.

15 Facts About Wealth Inequality in America
For years now the GOP are selling a pretty simple story - for the country to succeed all of us must sacrifice to keep the top 1% rich happy. Happy rich people means one day they might create jobs and give us raises instead of doing the layoffs that have become the norm. For some reason, this argument has worked on 50% of American's even though this flies in the face of the human condition and all of history. For those with brains, hit the link for 15 facts, supported by data (not party specific data) that supports the notion that while everything is getting better for the top 1%, the other 99% continue to get screwed. Sad facts include the reality that top 1% has 33.8% of our nation’s wealth, own 50.9% of our stocks & bonds, and have had their wealth grow year after year while other bottom 80% has dropped year after year. In addition, average earning have hovered around $18.50 an hour for 50 years while in same period the rich's portion of USA's income has grown while everyone else's has shrunk. This is why the Occupy Wall Street exists.

Muammar Gaddafi is Dead
After 42 years of a crazy and ruthless dictatorship, the ex-leader of Libya is finally dead. He has been hiding for weeks now as his government was overthrown in favor of Democracy but he was continuing the fight in pockets throughout the country. That fight essentially came to an end when he was found in his hometown of Sirte. It will be interesting to see how Libya develops from here. I suspect it will continue to be a problem for western countries for quite a while. Regardless, the people of Libya should be applauded. They chose their own destiny and sacrificed their lives to achieve it. That is something any lover of democracy should stand behind, regardless of where it occurs.

Mark Hamill Retires the Joker
After 19 years of performing the voice of The Joker, Mark Hamill has officially retired the role with the release of Batman: Arkham City video game. He had previously the decision earlier this year but in a tweet verified the decision. For me he is the definitive version of the character, providing just the right amount of crazy menace in his voice.

Iraq War Ending Before ChristmasPresident Obama confirmed today that American troops are leaving Iraq by the end of the year. The decision was actually part of a 2008 agreement signed by President Bush but the press conference today reiterated the intention to uphold that promise. Like many, I was concerned that we would delay ending the war as it has proven very lucrative to military based companies that pay a lot of money to Congress to keep the money flowing. I am sure the GOP will lambast the decision as being premature as they tend to get the most money from those corporations.

The Avengers Trailer #1

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