Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 14, 2012

The Predator State

fiscal cliff (fskl  klf) 

bipartisan rethorical political device to

  1.  cut social safety nets
  2.  enrich the elite of the predator state
Instead of just jumping over the fake cliff as his voters would certainly prefer Obama will use it to pay back the billion dollar he borrowed from the predators to finance his reelection.

Posted by b on November 14, 2012 at 08:05 AM | Permalink

Comments

A very good class-analysis of the "austerity war" in the Cambridge Journal of Economics. Very readable too.

http://cje.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/1/79.full

Posted by: h | Nov 14, 2012 9:45:00 AM | 1

L'affaire Petraeus comes at an opportune moment for Obama.

What better way to distract the sheeple as he prepares to shred the remains of the social safety net and reward the wealthy and chickenhawks who have "borrowed" working peoples' savings from the Social Security Trust Fund to fight their pointless wars.

What's amazing is that so few Americans ever understood that there was a price to be paid for endless war.

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 14, 2012 9:46:08 AM | 2

some background on the fact that Obama has already agreed to cut and burn social programs/security:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/will-obama-agree-to-entitlement-cuts-he-already-has/?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes

Posted by: h | Nov 14, 2012 9:46:32 AM | 3

Since you started out with a definition b, I thought this would be a good time, although admittedly a little off thread, to ask you if with your impressive facility with a foreign language to you, English, you could tell us the definitional difference between “finished” and “complete”, something that has stumped English majors for years.

Apparently, “In a recently held linguistic competition held in London, England, attended by the best in the world, Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese man from Bachelors Adventure was the clear winner with a standing ovation lasting over five minutes. Here is his answer which made him receive an invitation to dine with the Queen, who decided to call him after the contest. He won a trip to travel the world in style and a case of 25 year old Eldorado rum for his answer.

The question was this. How do you explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand? Some people say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. Here is Mr. Balgobins astute answer:”

"When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. And when you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED. And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!"

Posted by: juannie | Nov 14, 2012 9:50:55 AM | 4

And, for reasons I can't understand, the labor leaders and "progressive" leaders he met with yesterday seem to be swallowing this hook, line, and sinker.

Er, the sinker is for the us, those of us in the lower economic quintiles in the US who the rich don't like and don't feel they need to pay attention to. Except to lie to them/us when elections come around. Count Obama as one of the rich, soon to be filthy rich. It's a plan to sink us even lower.

Obama and the leadership of both parties set up this fake financial crisis, to come to a head at the end of the year, when the public is mostly working on holiday cheer and getting ready for winter; the better to try to pull another flim-flam on us.

Obama believes his "legacy" rests on screwing the beneficiaries of the great social safety net programs brought about by FDR and LBJ. He stated Ronald Reagan was the "most transformative" president, and he wants to out do him -- by accomplishing what St. Ronnie could not achieve, gutting SocSec and Medicare.

And this all could have been fixed just by raising the cap on income subject to FICA withholding. Or even covering hedge fund type income....

Outdoing St. Ronnie will be going some since Tip O'Neill and Reagan's Grand Bargain resulted in a 19% cut in SocSec benefits (that's 19% less than would have been the case without Tip and Ronnie's Grand Bargain, or about $340 less a month on SS of $1800 a month when all the cuts are in place), and will get to that full 19% cut within a few years. That affects everyone except the wealthiest. And it will hurt those seniors getting older while Obama's new cuts will bite into their small pensions yet more deeply.

Ah, the globalization of income for the lower quintiles, but the richest are totally excused from such thinking.

Evil, cruel man. Would Dems have stood up to Romney? Hard to tell, since so many are now Corporatists and do the bidding of their corporate masters. Will any stand up to Obama? We shall soon see.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 14, 2012 10:59:12 AM | 5

To be clearer, without the Tip/St. Ronnie bargain, today's SS recipient getting a check for $1800 a month would be getting about $340 more per month, for a total of $2140.

Enough to cover groceries for sure.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 14, 2012 11:04:50 AM | 6

jawbone, wide pov,

The flush of easy money, meaning available and cheap energy, of the post war era in the W (OECD), with the promise of all boats be lifted, GDP p. capita rise, Kumbaya, development for all, including the lower strata, stumbled first with the early 70s oil crisis - a wake up call that was was subsequently ignored, see *Limits to Growth*, etc.

The 80’s limped along as it was all not that serious, the 90’s and beyond, to near now, continued on in a merry way hoping that tech advances, robotics, the intertubes, new tech, and green energy, would provide a prop.

It seemed that FIRE (finance, at heart) could simply create life-blood, money - aka energy, development, from nothing. So bubbles, etc. (see Spain for ex.) works, but only for a small class, the profiteers, as the profits or take-out is really quite small and very limited in time, temporary, and can’t be spread around.

Which creates great social stress, hate, animosity, so to more ‘class war.’ The divide then grows larger and revolutions or extreme urban and other violence looks likely, as those who control anything become afraid and invest in ‘the security state.’

> the soft version.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 14, 2012 12:05:11 PM | 7

All Americans will go over the cliff, but the crooks will have parachutes.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 14, 2012 12:41:30 PM | 8

@jawbone

The 19% reduction you refer to, is that based on the increase in the full retirement age engineered by Reagan-O'Neil, or is it based on their refiguring cost of living increases?

How did you arrive at the present 19% reduction?

Posted by: sleepy | Nov 14, 2012 1:10:28 PM | 9

End the wars, close most, if not all, off-shore bases, and cut the military and Homeland Security down to a skeleton crew. Then presto, you won't need to touch "entitlements" (more accurately known as "earned benefits"), and you'll have plenty of money left over to invest in public infrastructure and other peace-promoting projects.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 14, 2012 1:17:29 PM | 10

I think the USA went beyond the simple predatory model some time ago and is now a full fledged fascist state. The "soft" fascist sort, without the armed brownshirt on every corner, but it's getting there.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 14, 2012 2:49:37 PM | 11

thos interested in human predators may like to read Cloud Atlas and see the film

Posted by: brian | Nov 14, 2012 3:30:50 PM | 12

I agree with Cynthia. Our problems could be solved by gutting the war department and "intelligence" departments, ending all "wars", and closing every single base not on U.S. soil. All we need is the Coast Guard and each states National Guard and America will be fine.

Posted by: Kanzanian | Nov 14, 2012 4:37:28 PM | 13

Mmmmmm..Good comments all, and, I hope, not accurate, but, the answers will come within a month or so. I lean towards the comments by JohnH @ 2, and Jawbone @ 5. Will the REAL Obama please stand up, something us Progressives may not want to see.

One black man's opinion on Obama...

http://blackagendareport.com/

Posted by: ben | Nov 14, 2012 9:55:21 PM | 14

One of the most interesting things to me is watching to see how any given group manages to distort reality to better reflect their established opinions.

I read, for example, an interesting treatise from a loyal Democrat once in which, through some severe contortions of logic, he asserted that Obama's signing of the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA for fiscal 2012 represented some weird kind of "Congressional Poker" resulting in a resounding victory not only for the Democrat Party but for all peace-loving peoples everywhere. Needless to say, an identical action performed by a Republican Commander-In-Chief would have represented a sign of the impending Apocalypse as prophesied by Nostradamus. One only needed to watch the post-debate spin factories at work during this recent election distraction to come to the conclusion that the respective team representatives could literally spout complete gibberish and this would be interpreted as a decisive win if it happened to spew from one's own team. It's all about maintaining a comfortable personal fantasy which absolves one of any uncomfortable personal blame.

The so-called "fiscal cliff" is like this. The ACTUAL elites will simply use it to pillage, but this is the fun thing about unsustainable lifestyles. A smaller number of self-professed elites will be able to profit and a number of people who thought that they were elites will have to rationalise why they weren't able to be subsidised as they had grown accustomed. This will give rise to an enormous number of wacky conspiracy theories as they struggle to deny what an unflinching and objective reality serves up for them.

This won't be the end of it, either. Unsustainability will give us a greater and greater number of perplexed former elites to join the ranks of perplexed average joes, each of whom will gravitate towards a more complex set of psychological hoops to jump through and explain away why their beliefs are still correct in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary and to place the blame for their personal failures on the shoulders of something or someone else.

The Last Rat Standing will be the only one whose reality will continue to be vetted for them and they will have the luxury of not being forced to readjust their fantasies. They will also dictate to posterity the particular fantasy that will later become accepted as the previous status quo. If one maintains an open mind about the process, it holds the promise to produce some truly exquisite dark comedy.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 15, 2012 1:11:12 AM | 15

the book Cloud Atlas (now a film) has as its theme human predaciousness:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Atlas_(novel)

Posted by: brian | Nov 15, 2012 3:27:27 PM | 16

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