The Remora Of Wall Street

Brother Charlie Pierce writing in Esquire tells us today about Clinton and Warren in The Antifreeze Chronicles (“Things in Politico That Make Me Want to Drink Antifreeze”), and while he makes a good point about the horse-race nature of Politico’s writing, I think he missed out on the larger story.

Anyway, as I said, this entire piece is based on the fanciful notion that SPW’s [Senator Professor Warren] ferocious campaign against the plutocrats is putting her crossways with Clinton.

And Brother Pierce goes on to correct much of the record, which is good.

But when I go to the news accounts, wherein Hillz rallies for Martha Coakley (who is running for governor of Massachusetts), I find things I both like and hate. It is not a secret that most progressives find themselves yearning for Senator Professor Warren to run against Hillz in the 2016 Goat Rodeo, and of course the press would love to have a battle royale, or as Charlie puts it, a cat fight.

Anyway, Clinton asks the Coakley audience:

“Why, after women have contributed so much to our economy, some people still act like it’s 1955. Isn’t it amazing that we’re still debating that women deserve equal pay for equal work?”

Which is a good point, and one that belies the notion that Clinton is Remora-like, sucked onto the belly of Wall Street.

And then Clinton said what everyone is now saying is the proof that she is striking a populist note:

“Don’t let anybody tell you,” she said at the time, “that, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” She was speaking at a rally in Boston with Senator Elizabeth Warren on behalf of Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate for governor in Massachusetts.

The comment was quickly criticized by Republicans who likened the remark to President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” line during the 2012 campaign.

The pushback from the right was such that Clinton felt the need to explain it days later, lest Y’all Qaeda’s 2016 Convention is a repeat of the willingly stupid You Didn’t Build That theme of 2012. That sucking sound you hear? It is the Remora attaching itself to the belly of Wall Street:

“I short-handed this point the other day, so let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple decades,” she said.

“Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out,” she said, “not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.”

And this is where I have to put on the brakes, and pull the car over to the side of the road and tell Hillary to get out.

Jobs are not created by plutocrats sprinkling magical dust because they feel beneficent today. Jobs are made from demand from consumers who want and need things. Entrepreneurs are made when the little guy opens a bakery down the street, scraping together a loan from his parents and hopefully a bank.

When Wingnuttia talks about businesses and entrepreneurs they mean Walmart and the Koch Brothers and their ilk sprinkling magical Ayn Rand ashes on everything.

So when Hillz said that job creation is a the result of businesses and entrepreneurs (Walmart and the Kochs), she is essentially agreeing with the Wingnuts.

It’s freaking infuriating watching Clinton triangulate away from one of the most populist arguments—that the economy is built by everyone, not just the Galts of Wingnuttia’s fever dreams.

Starting next week, Clinton has two years to explain this idea (elegantly, to use her words). She need to do it without apologizing, and if Fox News comes at her (as they surely will) calling her remarks Class Warfare, she need to embrace it and not run away from it. We are in a class war, and the 1% are waging and winning it. And if Hillz cannot make the case of class warfare, and if she cannot/will not promise to do something about it, she’s not going to win liberal voters.

Want Some Stupid For Your Coffee, Erick?

“If you’re a 30-something-year-old person and you’re making minimum wage you’ve probably failed at life.”

–Our old pal Erick Erickson who not only tells you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, but gives you a deadline to do it.

Word Salad from D’Vorce D’Spousa

“I think the progressive attack always pretends to be against the 1 percent, and it’s against the immigrants because when you look at this critique, you stole the country from the Indians,” he said. “You stole half of Mexico in the Mexican war. Wait a minute, that wasn’t the top 1 percent. And they were living in handsome mansions and cottages, and it’s poor settlers who went out West and they defeated the Indians and the Mexican war.”

–Convicted confessed felon, auteur, and would-be bigamist Dinesh D’Souza showing us again why he is considered an intellectual giant on the Right.

GOP: Job Creators for Comdey Troupes

What could possibly go wrong (or right?) with an idea like this?

The Koch brothers were recently criticized — which they hate — for a series of misleading anti-Obamacare ads, so actors with morals or political qualms probably shouldn’t bother. For the soulless, this should be tons of fun:
TRAVEL GIG
Client: Firefly Millward Brown
Business: Research Company
Project: Still being developed: Koch Industries wants to identify current and emerging social and economic issues and the underlying emotional drivers and motivations behind them. This research project will take a cross-section of people, ask questions, and then based on the answers, the improvisers will perform scenes.
Dates: Either the week of 4/21 or 4/28
Talent Needed:
One Team Leader
Four-Five Additional Team Members
One Note Taker
One Videographer

Can mimes apply? (h/t Krugman)

The Kristallnacht of the 1% Continues!

For having all the money in the world, the 1%ers sure do whine a lot. Anyway, today’s persecution complex exhibit A is brought to us by The Wall Street Journal (again), and features the Perils of the Koch Brothers. Yes, Charles wrote an editorial about how put-upon the wealthy are, specifically himself and his brother:

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[T]he fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles.

We have no choice but to fight for those principles, well that takes balls for him to say. But here’s the passage (after the self-congratulatory clap-trap) that sings out:

Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people’s lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

So, in other words, accountability is un-American, the wealthy are morally superior, and we serfs should know our place and surrender unto the wealthy’s tender embrace.

Historians say that the French Aristocracy never saw The Terror coming. Just sayin’, Charlie.

(WSJ)

Hey, Let’s Look At What A 1%-er Bought!

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When you are crazy rich, it seems you have opportunities to evangelize your opinion wherever you want. Here’s an example of another Xristian Xrazie Plutocrat (who seem to be out in force today, you know, Hobby Lobby and whatnot) who is going to foist his opinion on the public:

A major funder of “creation museums” has been selected — strange as it may seem — to be the commencement speaker at Montana’s leading institution of science, Montana Tech, the mining and engineering school in Butte that has produced some of the world’s top geologists.

The speaker is Greg Gianforte, a conservative billionaire whose philanthropic endeavors include funding museums whose purpose is to discredit Darwinism and persuade visitors that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that North America’s geology was carved by Noah’s flood, and that dinosaurs coexisted with early humans.

A young-earther is going to address geology students at commencement? Continue reading

$15 Minimum Wage

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Somewhere, Tom Perkins is weeping:

As a renegade member of the 1 percent, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer is leading the debate locally and nationally for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

We’ve talked about billionaire Nick Hanauer before, he’s one of the good’uns. Anyway, the article is a refreshing break from the bizarre sense of persecution that the über-wealthy have been complaining about as they raid the treasury, slash the safety nets and send our jobs overseas.

(Seattle Times)

Compare and Contrast Tom Perkins surreal explanation…

This interview is fascinating from the perspective of what Bloomberg doesn’t follow up on.

He’s still an assrocket without a clue, of course. Also/too: THE CREATIVE ONE PERCENT?!

Now compare Mr. Perkins with a different Venture Capitalist, Nick Hanauer:

I’m a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I’ve started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)

Even so, I’ve never been a “job creator.” I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.

And he continues on with that theme, including calling for a raise in taxes for the wealthy:

I can’t buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed andunderemployed Americans can’t buy any new clothes or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the tens of millions of middle-class families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.

If the average American family still got the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would have an astounding $13,000 more in their pockets a year. It’s worth pausing to consider what our economy would be like today if middle-class consumers had that additional income to spend.

It is mathematically impossible to invest enough in our economy and our country to sustain the middle class (our customers) without taxing the top 1 percent at reasonable levels again. Shifting the burden from the 99 percent to the 1 percent is the surest and best way to get our consumer-based economy rolling again.

It’s a great read from someone who wants to see the economy recover from the ground up, not the top down, because it will be good for business and good for him, too.

(Nick Hanauer)