John Bogle: ENOUGH – Speculation Bad Investment Good

MARK JEWELL

Associated Press, 22 December 2011

EXTRACTS:

Bogle says he’s paying close attention to tax policies he considers unfair, including one that’s favorable to the fund industry and investors with taxable accounts. The top rate for dividends and long-term capital gains is historically low at 15 percent, as a result of the extension of Bush era tax cuts that Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to a year ago. In contrast, top earners pay 35 percent on regular income. He doesn’t like that disparity.

. . . . . . .

As for capital gains, there ought to be some distinction between capital made by people who start businesses, and contribute value to society, and capital made by gamblers on Wall Street, some of whom win. Earned capital income should carry the regular dividend rate, but capital income gains by trading, and particularly short-term trading, should pay a higher tax, even than the present ordinary income rate.

. . . . . . .

Q: What’s your take on the Occupy movement?

A: I’m happy to say that my current income puts me in the 99 percent group. So maybe I’m not so happy, I don’t know.

This movement has brought to the surface some very serious problems in our country about disparities in opportunity and income. So many young people are having a terrible time getting a job.

Young people have great idealism, and the Occupy movement has been a bit unrealistic at times. So what? I can’t imagine a worse America if our younger generation didn’t have great idealism. I salute them for their enthusiasm, and their mission.

The negative side is that they just pushed too hard for too long. It’s very difficult for any movement without any seeming leadership — other than a good idea — to have any sense of taste or judgment. Who’s to say, ‘This is going too far’? In some places, it’s just gone on too long, and it’s been too disruptive. So I think it’s good that we’ve been cleaning up the plazas where the Occupy movement set up.

Read full interview.

See Also (Steele Reviews in Each Case):

John Bogle, The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism

William Greider, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

Matt Taibbi, Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History

Comments Off
Dec 22

Event: Jan 20, 2012 – Occupy the Courts!

Comment: For those in NYC who are interested, visit this event webpage and this flyer (front & back) + Twitter and Facebook.

Also See:

Event: Jan 21, 2012 – Occupy the Corporations!

Comments Off
Dec 7

John Steiner: US Chamber of Commerce – Kill It?

John Steiner

Click here to sign your name:
“Google, stand up for democracy and your users—quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce!”

Dear MoveOn member,

Right now we have a huge opportunity to deal what’s being called a “serious blow to one of Washington’s most powerful lobbies.”1

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is an army of lobbyists for hire by mega-corporations like banks and those in the fossil fuel industry. In 2009, it spent more corporate money on lobbying than the next five biggest spenders combined.2 And 93% of its campaign spending goes to support Republicans and attack Democrats.3

Google is a paying member of the Chamber, which means that part of the money they make from Google users—ordinary people like us using Gmail, Google search, and other Google products—goes into the Chamber’s pockets to fight for Wall Street and Big Oil. But the Washington Post and Politico recently reported that at Google headquarters, employees are intensely debating whether Google should quit the Chamber in the next few weeks.4

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Dec 6

Steve Denning: Itemization of How We Blew Up the World

Steve Denning

Lest We Forget: Why We Had A Financial Crisis

Steve Denning

Forbes, 22 November 2011

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this infallible sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

Jonathan Swift

It is clear to anyone who has studied the financial crisis of 2008 that the private sector’s drive for short-term profit was behind it. More than 84 percent of the sub-prime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending. These private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year. Out of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006, only one was subject to the usual mortgage laws and regulations. The nonbank underwriters made more than 12 million subprime mortgages with a value of nearly $2 trillion. The lenders who made these were exempt from federal regulations.

How then could the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg say the following at a business breakfast in mid-town Manhattan on November 1, 2011?

It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that. But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody. And now we want to go vilify the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and Congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves.”

Barry Ritholtz in the Washington Post calls the notion that the US Congress was behind the financial crisis of 2008 “the Big Lie”. As we have seen in other contexts, if a lie is big enough, people begin to believe it.

Full Story Below the Line with BLOCKBUSTER Itemization

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Dec 5

Chuck Spinney: UK Dunkirk, USA Long Walk Away from Afghanistan – the Military-Industrial Scam is to “Reset, Rebuy, Retrench”

Chuck Spinney

… How the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) Will Win By Losing

The old adage that it is easy to get into Afghanistan but painful to leave is true for many reasons — here is a big one described in 27 November issue of the Daily Mirror [also attached below] — the British army  plans to use Russian railways, built by the Tsars 140 years ago, to return hundreds of millions of pounds worth of equipment in Afghanistan via a landroute to the English Channel.

If you think the horror described in the Daily Mirror report is bad, think about the US options: Given our deteriorating relations with Pakistan, the long, highly vulnerable land route out of Afghanistan, thru the Bolan and Khyber passes, and then down the road system of the Indus Valley in Pakistan to its port of Karachi, is becoming increasingly problematic.

An optional US exit strategy would be an agonizing variation of the Dunkirk option described in the Daily Mirror report plus a sea lift, perhaps via transshipment points in Black Sea ports, like Batumi in Georgia, or Novorossiysk or Sochi in southern Russia, or even Odessa in the Ukraine (which at least would avoid the problem of different railroad gauges).

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Nov 27

Marcus Aurelius: SecDef to McCain on Sequester + RECAP on DoD Fraud, Waste, & Abuse

Marcus Aurelius

Invite your attention to pages 5 thru 7 of attached which outlines in very clear terms the likely FY 2013 and longer term impacts on the Department of Defense and the Joint Force of the impending sequester brought about by this week’s dereliction of duty on the part of the Senators and Representatives making up the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

SecDef Panetta to Senator McCain on Sequester (PDF 2 pages)

Phi Beta Iota:  Panetta-McCain may be the toxic replacment to Cheney-Warner.  The letter is without merit.   The acquisition system is so broken now the Navy and Army cannot build anything coherently–the Navy still lacks Naval Gun Fire and the Army still lacks an infantry weapon able to out-gun  the Taliban, while the Air Force continues to stink at close air support and lack both an intra-theater adequacy of lift and a long-haul heavy lift capability (or the ability to be effective above 6,000 ft).  DoD, in short, is a mis-managed mess and Panetta has no idea how to go about fixing that, nor does he want to.  Lockheed Martin and others are quite happy with the way things are, where 50% of every dollar is waste but that waste is profit for them because it includes their overhead.  It is true that the current laws mandated by Congress make it difficult for any Cabinet Secretary to cut waste–this is the same Congress that mandated we pay 100% asking price for Medicare drugs instead of the more common global standard of 2% for generic wholesale.  As long as Congress remains corrupt, and the SecDef remains corrupt, there is no fixing this problem.  The FACT is that we have to cut one trillion a year (what we are borrowing), not one trillion over ten years.  The FACT is that DoD would be much stronger if it could combine both intelligence and integrity and actually create the four forces after next, at a much reduced cost, that those with intelligence and integrity have been discussing for decades, and with greater intensity, since the mid-1990’s.

See Also:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Nov 25

Real PR (public reality): Harsh Realities in “Call of Duty”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Breaks Records, Makes $400 Million in One Day (video game)

 

Source: TruthDig

Comments Off
Nov 13