Merry fucking X-mas

Stumbled upon a good, if infuriating read in the online Vanity Fair about Bush’s economic legacy.

The administration crows that the economy grew—by some 16 percent—during its first six years, but the growth helped mainly people who had no need of any help, and failed to help those who need plenty. A rising tide lifted all yachts. Inequality is now widening in America, and at a rate not seen in three-quarters of a century. A young male in his 30s today has an income, adjusted for inflation, that is 12 percent less than what his father was making 30 years ago. Some 5.3 million more Americans are living in poverty now than were living in poverty when Bush became president. America’s class structure may not have arrived there yet, but it’s heading in the direction of Brazil’s and Mexico’s.

Yeah, you read that right. Mexico and Brazil.  Read the whole article, it’s worth it. Some finer points are the author points out that Clinton didn’t do everything he could have due to being fixated on eliminating the national debt and how Bush was in the position to reenforce out infratstructure to help prevent the recession we are heading invariably towards. (New Orleans levees anyone? Bridges that need repair or replacement? Anyone???)

Yup. Worth a coffee-break to read it.

—bikepunk

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About bikepunk

“Cuts, scrapes, bruises… all in a day’s riding. Then it’s off for some good german beer in a local biergarten.” Munich, Germany

30 thoughts on “Merry fucking X-mas

  1. Eh. I only cry in my beer, and it’s too early for that, so I’ll have to save this article for tonight.

    Prepare for a drunken rambling at that point.

    That is all.

  2. I am sick to fucking death of hearing about New Orleans. Yes, the hurricane was a tragedy, that cannot be argued. The simple fact is, the people who lost everything didn’t have proper homeowners insurance and/or flood insurance. If you are dumb enough to live BELOW sea level, get the proper coverage. It’s not the government’s job to build these dumbfucks a new house, period!!!! And please don’t spout of about the insurance industry because we all know how full of shit that argument is. If you are a responsible adult, you have proper insurance. Everyone bitches about insurance until they have a claim.
    New Orleans was a shitbox before the storm and it’s a shitbox now. It’s a shame the cops in New Orleans didn’t crack some skulls yesterday at City Hall…

  3. Yup, ditto on New Orleans. Wife and I have been going there for years. The whole fucking place is corrupt (almost as much as the government in whole). It was before and still is. For fuck sakes, it was founded by the damn French.

    I still say until the American public is paying more than $5 a gallon, no one will pull thier heads out of thier asses and look to see what is really going on. We are a minority in this. The vast public is stupid, lazy and doesn’t care about shit as long as thier Mcfuckits are hot and fast, there are football games on every night, and Wal-Mart stocks cheetos in all flavors for pennies. America is fat, stupid and lazy, that is why the government gets away with everything they do.

    When the public awakes, better get locked-cocked and ready to rock. THAT is when the shitstorm is coming, and the poor people are gunna be pissed. The fighting in N.O. will look like a junior high scrappin’.

  4. You’re right. In fact, let’s extrapolate that opinion.

    Those who in say, California and who lost their homes due to mudslides, earthquakes or fires better be properly insured, or… FUCK THEM.

    Those who lose their homes in the ‘Tornado Belt’ (for obvious reasons…) better be properly insured or… FUCK THEM.

    Those who lose their homes due to Hurricanes… FUCK THEM.

    Those who lose their homes due to failing levees and were not given the means to survive in the first week after, since FEMA and Duh-Pres had their heads up their asses… FUCK THEM.

    Fact is, N.O. was a shit-hole and corrupt, but guess what… Its part of the US. And we should be taking care of our own. Period.

    You think Florida isn’t corrupt? You think Jersey is clean-as-a-whistle?

    As for ‘proper insurance’ You ned to check out your own, and what falls under the ‘Act Of God’ clause. Im guessing you don’t even know.

    How many people who live in projects and are well below the poverty line are even able to AFFORD insurance? I’m guessing none. Can you afford health insureance for yourself and your family? Will it cover EVERYTHING?

    Think again.

    Thanks for making me more angry. I’m gonna go kick a republican puppy, then find any copy of any book by that insane bitch coulter, and take a big, greasy shit right in the middle of it.

    I hope you lose your home in a hurricane mister South Carolina. No bodily harm done, just your home, life, possesions. then you can come back here and relate how well your insurance is taking care of you.

    Jackass.

  5. “Thanks for making me more angry. I’m gonna go kick a republican puppy, then find any copy of any book by that insane bitch coulter, and take a big, greasy shit right in the middle of it.”

    Picking on puppies?

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. Bad bikepunk. Bad.

  6. Some people are able to take care of themselves all the time and never need help. They are totally on top of their shit. They read their insurance packets carefully and know where the holes are in their coverage. They are smarter than the engineers at the Army Corp. and know that the levees will fail before it happens so they plan for it accordingly.

    They never loose their jobs and have lapses in health coverage right before they get a catastrophic inllness. Those people that have their shit so completly together that they will never need any help from the govenrment or from their fellow man for that matter.
    They live in perfect places that never have natural disasters (like droughts) so anyone that ever chooses to live in a bad places is an idiot and deserves what is coming to them. Those are the folks that should vote Republican. And Fuck All those who might need some help here and there.

    To the point of the article… I heard on Democracy Now about a month ago that in 2005 the top 1% of income earners earned 21% of all income in the US. Get that… The richest 1% got 1/5th of all the money earned. Those folks should vote republican if they want to keep it that way.

  7. I think that kicking ann coulter senseless and taking a big greasy shit in its mouth would be more appropriate than hassling a repugnican puppy. Have you seen Barney? That’s one cute fucking dog.

  8. Now listen here, puppies have nothing to do with it. You should find that poor little puppy and give it a good loving home. Kicking doesn’t solve anything. Cooking it with mint sauce will help a hungry stomach though. and… you can make a purse for your mom outta the hide.

    Viva La Revolution!

  9. Man, there are some people here who believe that people need to be treated as children and have their hand held by the government their whole lives. Get this straight, if you want me to treat you like a child and then I expect to tell you how to live your life.

    If you want me to buy you a house, then I get to tell you where you can or can’t live.

    If you want me to take care of your health, then I get to tell you how to live your life. I get to tell you what you’re allowed to eat, if you’re allowed to have kids, how much you’re allowed to weigh, and you better damn well be exercising and not taking part in any risky activities like mountain biking.

    If you’re not responsible enough to take care of your own life, then you have not earned the right to run your own life. If you want me to be responsible for you, then I get the right to run your life.

    All you weepy leftists want the government to take care of you, well, if it takes care of you, it’ll also run your life.

    I like to run my own life, some of you may not.

  10. Just so you know, there is no “Act of God” clause in SC. And my wife and I are both in the insurance business. My coverage is tighter than a duck’s butt. And people who don’t have flood insurance are just stupid, considering the premium is virtually nothing and it’s a GOVERNMENT PROGRAM.
    I do feel sorry for some of the people in New Orleans, but seriously, get a fucking job and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. We should take care of our own, but at what cost. Are you going to be okay with your taxes going up to rebuild New Orleans? And if you say yes, you’re fucking liar!
    Don’t rely on anyone but yourself…

  11. Are you OK with 100% annual of the Federal Governments Revenue going to debt service at the same time the Government is going deeper into debt? That is like paying the minimum monthly payments on your maxed out credit cards with nothing left over for groceries and rent so you borrow more on your credit cards. That is what our Federal Government is doing for us right now.

    I am sick an tired of hearing about bootstraps and personal responsibility from those who vote conservative when our Repbulican Government has run us into the biggest federal defecit ever… Explain to me how that is conservative.

    If we stopped the mistake in Iraq and repealed the tax cuts for that top 5% of billionaires we could probably at least have a little money left over to pay down our debt. Since you work for a living I guess you are not in that top 5%.

    What the fuck does our government exist for if not to serve the people? Start wars in far away places? Run up debt? Spend Millions on the Military Industrial complex? Redistribute wealth from the poor and middle class to the ultra rich?

    To answer your question. I expect the government to manage its income the same way that I manage my personal income. I borrow if is an emergency or a smart investment like buying a home. Otherwise I live within my means probably the way you do as well. If one of my family members is sick I dam well take care of them and fuck the cost. If one of my famaily memembers is doing something self distructive I do my best to stop them.

    Right now the most destructive behavior I see within this country is coming from our Repbulican leadership.

    By the way I may only be some liberal nutcake on the screen but I think you can manage to have a conversation with out throwing insults.

  12. Guys–

    Look, we all knew Nawlins is doomed for fifty years. The ARMY CORPS has been saying so since the 40s. All it took was a huge storm. And guess what? It will happen again, maybe worse next time. Has anything changed? Nope.

    Mr. Crawford, as contrary as he tends to be, also makes an excellent point. If you go along with the classic “England owes me a living” schtick, then you get Limey bureaucrats telling you howe to live. Anyone surprised? I didn’t think so. Anyone want to live that way? Not really. It sucks to be poor, and pretty much always has.

    I’m gonna blow off work this afternoon and go for a ride. A cold, wet ride. Awoo.

    Mikey

  13. George ~

    “All you weepy leftists want the government to take care of you, well, if it takes care of you, it’ll also run your life.

    I like to run my own life, some of you may not.”

    It is not about the Government running your life. It is about the buying power of the collective. If you believe in capitalism, then you know it’s all about volume. There is no way General Motors can continue to be saddled with as much debt as they carry – trying to provide benefits to thousands and thousands of people that no longer work for them. Let the State pick that one up. Toyota, Audi and Saab aren’t paying employee benefits. It’s an advantage to those overseas competitors.

  14. Wow Big Jonny such nuance… shades of gray… you are messing with reality there is only binary reasoning. Good or Bad. On or Off. Right or Wrong. Guns or No Guns. Nanny State vs. Capitalst Greed.
    Yes I am being facetious.
    Merry Chirstmas, Happy Solstice to all I’m going home and gettin on my bike.

  15. Mr. Sorelegs–

    Unfortunately, the US government’s foolish fiscal policy is the result of a bottom-up mandate from the American people. Fiscal conservatives are a dying breed, Repmocrat or Dempublican. I hold no credit cards and my debt ratio is around 2%, which makes me a full-on freak. Think of all the flat-screen HD TVs and GPS systems I’m missing out on! I am constantly bewildered to meet intelligent adults who are mortgaged to the eyeballs. What if something hiccups? Injury? Illness? Unemployment? Litigation? Natural disaster? Oh yeah, the federal government can bail you out. No thanks, I’ll try to steer clear of that… been lucky so far.

    Big Jonny–

    I agree re: automakers. The younger (overseas) automakers are not saddled with union contracts, pensions and intransigent dealer networks that the “Big Three” are. It gives them an enormous competitive advantage in an increasingly low-margin business. (I spent five years selling machine tools in the Midwest, where I heard A LOT about this stuff.) Hell, the Japanese and Germans themselves are quick to point out that the bulk of their products are assembled here in the US (for business reasons, but hey, warm-and-fuzzy marketing is a nice side benefit). So are we to believe that Japanese and German engineering is intrinsically superior to US engineering? Well, I spent a few years in the semiconductor industry, where all the players are young companies, and US engineering rules the globe. Same in software. So I see it as something else– pension, unions and dealers killing their golden gooses.

    Mikey

  16. Let the taxpayers (the state) pick up the tab? More corporate welfare, no thanks. GM was poorly managed & ran itself into the ground. That’s how it works, good companies flourish, bad ones go out of business. The government has no business keeping shitty companies afloat, it is more expensive in the long run.

    Look, if you want to live in an area prone to wildfires, floods, droughts, hurricanes or tornados, get adequate insurance to cover it. If you can’t afford to, move somewhere else. That’s why I don’t live in LA or Miami.

  17. Last I checked, Toyota has a plant in KY which is organized by the UAW. Most of Audis vehicles are produced in Germany, where I’m sure heathcare exists freely via tax revenue, their Chinese production is mostly sold in China, their Brazil production is sold exclusively in Brazil, yadda yadda. Saab is only made in Sweden and is wholly owned by GM.

    Not paying benefits? I kind of doubt it.

  18. “The cost of providing health care adds from $1,100 to $1,500 to the cost of each of the 4.65 million vehicles GM sold last year, according to various calculations. GM expects to spend at least $5.6 billion on health care this year, more than it spent on advertising last year.

    “It’s crystal clear that we need to achieve a significant reduction in our health care-cost disadvantage and do so promptly,” GM CEO Rick Wagoner told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting June 7 in Wilmington, Del.”

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com

    “Consider this – Toyota’s health care costs are estimated to be 1/3 of GMs on a per-vehicle basis. Costs are so low they are not even a line item in their financial reports. That means Toyota can sell a vehicle for $1000 less than GM and make the same amount of profit. Actually, Toyota has a lower cost structure, so margins are higher anyway, but the point is that health care alone accounts for $1000 of that lower cost structure.”

    Source: http://www.joepaduda.com

  19. Mikey,
    Hope you enjoyed your ride. A 2% debt ratio must be nice. I hope you realize what you’ve got. Not to say you didn’t get it by hard work and intelligent choices. Contrary, I am sure you did. But I’ve got to think you got a bit of a head start with your education and the opportunities afforded you growing up.

    You are absolutley right about the bottom up mandate. Unfortunatley the shitbags are getting elected on hate based anti – abortion anti-gay anti-american platform that the 51% of the idiocracy votes on. If that 51% really pulled themselves out of their holyer than thou stupor they might realize (geogre crawford) that the fiscal policies of the Republicans are driving them down the tubes to the point that they are very unlikely to get that sweet 2% debt ratio. And it is going to be even harder for their kids.
    BikePunk, stick a keg of german beer in the fridge and pull down that German-English dictonary. I dont know how much longer I can take it.

  20. Give me the power to cut and I’ll balance the budget, but I suspect that the leftists won’t like what I choose to do away with. You act as if there is only one way to balance the budget, (ie raise taxes and stop the war). There are many other places to cut spending besides the war.

    BTW, since I’m the only one using my full real name I’m going to change my moniker back to KG

  21. Actually it doesn’t matter who votes for whom, what matters is who counts the votes, and the fox is thoroughly in charge of the henhouse in that regard.

    Opus

  22. Give me the power to cut and I’ll balance the budget, but I suspect that the leftists won’t like what I choose to do away with. You act as if there is only one way to balance the budget, (ie raise taxes and stop the war). There are many other places to cut spending besides the war.

    BTW, since I’m the only one using my full real name I’m going to change my moniker back to KG

    I figure you can use whatever name you please. I’m going with big jonny. I don’t think it changed the conversation much if you use some moniker or nickname over what’s on your birth certificate.

    As for the budget ~ you have to admit the “war on terror” is soaking up a lot of cash. No one wants people carrying boxcutters, bombs and baseball bats on airlines, and no one is seriously discussing eliminating all of the expenses (some are quite necessary). But Iraq is bleeding the treasury at an alarming rate. And to what end? And when does it end? The goalposts have been moved so many times it a joke to try to keep it all straight. What the fuck are we doing over there?

    And “leftist” or not, everyone has something (a program, department or concept) they think needs even more money than it received currently. Me? I think you could throw cash at education and it would do nothing but make things better. Teachers make shit. The curriculum is, well, in need of attention. Don’t even get me started on No Child Left Behind….

    There are a lot of things that can, and should, be looked at quite closely. And what is wrong with raising taxes? There are a lot of services the government (whether it be local, state or federal) provide to use taxpayers: The fire department, road construction and maintenance, the police department… It’s a long list. We all pay in, we all benefit. Personally, I’d like to see the average cop make a few more bucks & have more expected from him (or her) in the way of education and professionalism.

    For the sake of this discussion, can you list for me KG, five budgetary items you think should be cut back?