The Clinton Speech, Not 47%

Look at the chart. The inflection point is Clinton’s “explaining” speech, not the 47% remarks. They clinched it, but the turnaround started with Clinton’s convention speech.
Sept. 27: The Impact of the ’47 Percent’ –
THIS is what happens when Dems actually make their case. Clinton did that, here we are. Even consumer confidence is way up.

The Clincher

Here is Romney explaining how Bain would “harvest” companies. (See also So DID Mitt Romney Really “Create Jobs” At Staples?)
NEW ROMNEY VIDEO: In 1985, He Said Bain Would "Harvest" Companies for Profits | Mother Jones


(Poster created by Richard Eskow, Super-Genius)

Stupid or Evil?

So bankers are forcing austerity… See When you enslave yourself to banks, this is what happens, describing the misery across Europe.
My comment: The job of bankers is to assess risk. They are supposed to look at all the factors, and price a loan accordingly. If you have a credit card with very high risk, you might pay in the 20% range! This way the banks can lend out the money, and even if a large percentage of the borrowers default, they still do OK. They are expecting a certain default rate, they price accordingly, they do OK on the loan portfolio.
Same for when they lend to countries. They price loans according to the default risk, and over the lifetime of the loans they are supposed to get their money back plus some return, even with the expected defaults. If the banks screwed up and didn’t price their loans correctly, this doesn’t make the people of Greece lazy, etc. it makes the bankers incompetent.
OR the bankers did price correctly, and over the lifetimes of all of their loans they are getting their money back and a return, AND they are also taking advantage of the situation to get more, make a killing, force privatization, force wages down, get rid of that pesky democracy that has been in the way, etc.
So here we are again, with the elites in the position of being either stupid (incompetent) or evil. And with the people in misery as a result, while the elites do just fine for themselves. With the added bonus for the elites that the experiment of wresting control from the elites and to the people — democracy — ending.

iPhone Question: How Do I Go Back To iOS 5?

Question for readers: How can I take an iPhone 4 back from iOS 6 back to iOS 5?
The Maps app isn’t just really, really bad – terrible – it’s downright dangerous. It’s wrong. An incorrect map is not something I will trust. Lots of reasons, but I need a good and correct maps app. (And never mind what happens if I want to take trains or buses…)
This is a dealbreaker, and I think I’ll be all done with Apple products now. The ONLY reason to pay Apple’s extreme, premium, incredibly high prices (15″ Mac laptop starts at $1800!) was because when you bought something from Apple it worked, was better than anything else, and an upgrade improved the product. Apple isn’t doing that anymore. They changed maps to fit into a corporate strategy, and didn’t give a shit about how it affected customers — just more corporate greed, so forget this.
So how can I take my iPhone back from iOS6 to iOS5?

Apple Wants YOU To Fix Their Maps

The new Maps app in iOS6 is just terrible. Embarrassing. It is just corporate greed — they dropped Google so they could get ad dollars for themselves — while making the customer experience worse for us. (Another example, the smaller connector. Yes, they needed a new connector, no they do not need to charge us $30 for a little adapter — $40 for one with a little wire! That is just squeezing the customer, nothing else, just corporate greed.)
Here is how YOU are supposed to help Apple fix their maps, so they can make ad dollars instead of Google: How to add a location or report a problem in iOS 6 Maps.
They call this “crowdsourcing” but really it is having the crowd work for free and then harvesting the returns for themselves.
Hey, here’s an idea: give the people who help fix the maps some of the hundreds of millions that will be made selling $30-$40 adapters!
This has really turned me off from Apple products. Coming on the heels of the stories about how the slaves in China are treated, this really does undo the positive feelings I had about the brand.
Looking seriously at Android phones, tablets, maybe even Windows 8. (Well – talk about negative brands and corporate greed, though… Microsoft?)
P.S. Apple Maps uses Yelp for info about businesses. That’s the company that allegedly shakes down business owners along the lines of: you pay us, people see good reviews but if you don’t pay us, people see bad reviews. Talk about negative brand associations, wow.

The Real Question: WHY Don’t People Make Enough To Pay Income Taxes?

Mitt Romney was caught on video complaining that 47% of us don’t make enough to pay taxes, believe they are victims, are dependent on government, etc. The right question is why do so many of us make so little?

Moving Jobs To Places Where People Don’t Have A Say

You often here that competition due to “globalization” means that we have to accept lower wages and fewer benefits, because people “over there” make so much less. What has caused the pressure, however, is “free trade” agreements that allow companies here to close factories here and open them over there, and then bring the same things they used to make here to sell in the same stores. The only “trade” involved in this transaction is trading who does the work.
In places where people are able to have a say, they say they want better wages, benefits, good schools, good roads, parks, a clean environment, safety standards, and things like that. In places where people do not have a say, they are told they can’t have better wages, benefits, good schools, good roads, parks, a clean environment, safety standards, and things like that.
When we allow our companies to close factories here, where people have a say and move them there, where people do not have a say, and then bring the same goods back here to sell, we are allowing them to escape the borders of democracy. When they are no longer subject to the We, the People that has a say, they can do what they want, exploit workers, exploit the environment, and reap the profits of not having responsibilities to others. And because it costs less to pay people less and exploit the environment, allowing them to escape these responsibilities makes democracy a competitive disadvantage.

The Wal-Martization Of Our Economy

Another reason so many people don’t make enough wages to pay taxes is because we let companies like Wal-Mart and Staples pay close to minimum wage. That is part of how they compete with our smaller, local businesses. Low wages, selling cheap stuff made in China by people with lower wages. (And by the way, we don’t raise the minimum wage to a livable level! This means that government ends up helping employees of these companies through “safety-net” programs like Medicaid, Food Stamps, and the other “dependency” programs Romney complains about.)
Also, bigger companies are able to use their size. They can also apply the advantages of access to capital that smaller, local companies and regional chains cannot. They can also take advantage of scale in their purchasing, negotiations, management functions and elsewhere. This is smart business, but then we let them drive down wages, and send the difference to a few at the top, without even taxing those at the top so we can use the money to make up for the circumstances this imposes on those at the bottom.
In So DID Mitt Romney Really “Create Jobs” At Staples? I looked at whether Staples really invented new jobs or really just shifted jobs from other companies to their company. Unfortunately Staples didn’t “create jobs,” it grew by putting other companies out of business, thereby shifting people into lower-paying jobs. That is the Wal-Mart model, Bain Capital model, that has taken over our economy.
Staples grew by putting local stationery stores out of business, local office supply, and other chains like Businessland out of business. All those small business owners who had local stores, making a modest small-business income, now instead are working maybe as managers at a Staples. From the post,

As Staples grew it overtook competing chains like Businessland and others. In other words, Staples took business from other, existing stores — often local retailers. Staples did not “create” jobs, it shifted office-supply jobs from local stores, etc., probably to lower-paying jobs. (The former owners of local businesses certainly were worse off from this.) They likely even lowered overall office-supply, stationery, etc. employment in the larger economy.
Low Wages?
How do these”Romney job creator” jobs stack up against other jobs? Average Staples salaries for job postings nationwide are 51% lower than average salaries for all job postings. The pay at Staples appears to be around $8-10 an hour. That’s $16-20,000 a year, certainly not enough to support a family, or even pay rent in many areas, never mind buying food. (The 2012 poverty guideline for family of four is $23,050.)

So Mitt Romney complains that the changes in our economy over the last few decades that have made most of us so much poorer are our own fault. But he concludes that government – We, the People – shouldn’t try to do something about it! He complains that government – We, the People – are really just in the way of letting it go on and make a few at the top get even richer at the expense of the rest of us.
In democracies We, the People are supposed to have a say. And WE say we want better wages, bnefits, and a piece of the pie. When democracies function, that is what happens. When the Romneys and the Bain Capitals and the Wal-Marts are able to tell us what the government’s policies should be, then things fall apart. 6 Wal-Mart heirs have more wealth now than around 1/3 of all Americans combined. Mitt Romney has an income of approx $440,000 per week.
And yes, 47% of us don’t make enough to pay income taxes.
The solution is to restore our, We the People’s, yes government’s control over these circumstances. Government is US making the decisions and bug government is us making more of the decisions. And when We, the People have a say we say we want to restore the virtuous circle of prosperity: we create the fertile ground for businesses to prosper by building roads and bridges and good schools, we help them prosper by providing good courts, regulation to keep the giants from domination and to keep the components of the economy functioning smoothly, and investing in research and universities. And then when the business are doing well we ask for good jobs with good wages and benefits and working conditions, and we collect taxes to pay for the investment that keeps that virtuous circle going.
Please read also: Tax Cuts Are Theft
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
Sign up here for the CAF daily summary