First, Rock and Roll Economics
« Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night to talk about what it’s going to take to strengthen the middle class in the United States.
It might come as a surprise, but rock and roll has more to say about wealth inequality than you might think, as he explained last night. One big theme of Krueger’s speech was that children born into countries with higher levels of income inequality are less likely to move up from one income bracket to another later in life — it’s called The Gatsby Curve.
« The Great Gatsby. » You’ve probably heard of it — a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and now a movie (again) that highlights the inequality and class distinctions in America during the Roaring 20s.
What is the Great Gatsby curve ? Learn about it here. The Great Gatsby Curve illustrates the connection between concentration of wealth in one generation and the ability of those in the next generation to move up the economic ladder compared to their parents ».
Reflecting over the Great Gatsby Curve was worth communicating upon by the outgoing Chairmain Alan Krueger, specially in relation to the Sequester blindly hurting the poor along with tax rates increase for the 1% superwealthy americans.
As the curve shows, American society is sticking with great inequalities, on top of the curve, as the most inegalitarian society in the World. A top position America should not be proud of. Closely behind America is the U.K. Number third of the podium, France. Natürlich.
In 1964, a Great French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu issued a study of French society on the same nerve that the Great Gatsby Curve highlightening the matrix of french inequalities : Reproduction of the elites. He labelled them ‘The Heirs’ ; another way to insist on the heritage factor. Three books of the Author drive this idea : « World Misery » ; « Distinction » as a class definer and the « State Noblesse ». Pierre Bourdieu thinking definitely undermined the power of Education solely to fight away what looks like « social determinism ». According to him, education was targeting democratization. It ends up with massification, which is quite different from democratization.
Democratisation supposed social mobility from a class to another. This is still not happening. Proof of it, high skills or immigrants with degrees are not visible or admitted inside french circles of decision-making or at any stage of leadership in France. You may have some exceptions. As all of you know exceptions are there to prove the rule is true. Of course, White French upper classes are not the only one to blame. Contrary to Black people or immigrants either hispanic or chinese of America, black people and immigrants of France are desperately lacking political culture and are short-dreamers. This informs about the type of French immigration : people of inferior classes in Africa are the ones that migrate. Their dreams, culture and ambitions are low if any apart from coming, living and dying in France.
In reference to the Maslow curb of needs, they are on the basic level of the pyramid : Ground Zero, I may say. With your permission.
Anyway, forget about those immigrants that are still living with chains on the brain, around the neck and the feet piled into a cargo. When it comes to french people belonging to the lower classes, people concerned by massification leading nowhere, you encounter another problem : the two standardised education system at the upper level. On one hand, you have got universities that are opened for everybody. On the other hand, high schools, booked for the Heirs – trained in advance to fit the entrance exams requirements – the kind of which president Hollande is coming from, known as ENA (National School of Administration). Originally, the school was created by General de Gaulle for historical reasons – after WWII – to form public servants apt to run the Administration. With the passing of time, those elites have confiscated the Administration overstrectching their position to political partis where they are holding first hand positions in tight fists – again president Hollande. Before being elected, he was educated in three of those special french schools for priviledged heirs. He was destined for office at « la Cour des Comptes ».
30 years later, after being at the same time, a member of Parliament, a local councelor and chairmain of the board of councelors of the County of « La Corrèze » (a place they have in common with the Chiracs, the adviser in the dark of candidate Hollande), Mayor of the city of Tulle and the First Secretary of the socialist party during 10 years as the lowest common denonimateur – at the time the party was looking for its next strongman who never comes until Martine Aubry defeated in the primaries against Holllande officing at the Elysee Palace today. A great mobility. Lucky for him.
President Hollande is the perfect product illustrating how perverted the double-sized college system has turned out in France. In the end, you’ll find all those people out of french college high schools in office at the board of directors and administrators in the banks, in the public societies, in CAC 40, in politics. They proliferate as bad vegetation ; their children, friends, girlfriends, etc All in all the society is suffocating, democracy has run away, nepotism is underway, corruption everywhere, electoral clientelism, destruction of hopes for the lower classes, crony capitalism.
Immobilism for lack of sanctions, depossession of the poeople. To compensate, social security and allocations, tolerance in clandestine immigration are there as politics by default like a tree hiding the forest. More, social protection is a prevention against social explosion : the truth is if France goes on reducing social benefits sharply, then people would go all-out in despair endangering the whole system. France is such a desperate society. Education helps very little. The glass ceiling, as just described, deceives many expectations of social mobility.
How do you sort this out ? Education doesn’t suffice. We need a strong, bold and honest governance. Transparency won’t either. About transparency, here is an anecdocte. When ministers, parliamentaries and chairmen of local councils were asked to post their wealth, their first reaction was to cry wolf advocating private life. Laughable. Nevertheless, the measure was taken to counter the scandalous effect of tax evasion concerning an off shore account detained by the former Budget Minister, Mr. Cahuzac, the same man who was assuming the campaign treasury mandate for candidate Hollande during the presidential race – how amazing the cheating is in France and the mobility : from presidential campaign treasury to Minister of budget. The account was open 20 years ago and nearly every body at the high level of the socialist party was aware of that.
Only the socialist party ? Not that sure. A man is threatening to reveal some names of ministers belonging to this government and to the previous one who detain off-shore accounts. He fears for his life. That is why he has not gone out so far waiting to secure his environment. So wait and see if the man is courageous enough to do so. It will be a thunderstone in the Sky of France.
In any other society, Cahuzac’s case would have been a case of Impeachment. Pure. Simple. But France is not an ordinary society. The president knew the man had open an account in Swiss 20 years ago ; the account was moved to another tax heaven place after a first alert. But, the man was chosen among thousands as the financial manager of the socialist campaign trail. Everybody inside the socialist party’s leadership knew that ; so did the Far right party (le front national) : one of its membership helped Mr. Cahuzac at the time with the opening of the secret account. Mr Le Pen who was ruling the party then confessed he himself has an account in Swiss and he sees nothing wrong in this. He is even proud. Only in France can you hear a first class politician man admitting an account off shore. African leaders and presidents, the champion of tax evasion and money hidden offshore are a little bit shy. In France no.
The reason why ? The System is corrupt.
Pending to this is the following concern : to which extent money laundering intervened in the socialist presidential campaign trail ? Is it possible Mr. Jerôme Cahuzac received the budgetorial minister as a « Big Thank you » for money laundering services ? It was absolutely amazing to see how socialists were said out of money one week before the end of the game and yet, there were able to continue campaigning. Guess why ? President Sarkozy’s accounts of campaign were dismissed by the constitutionnal council as vitiated. Hollande’s were not. This is a political decision. Back in 1995, when president Chirac was first elected, his sheets of accounts were false so were those of his rival, Mr. Balladur. Because the constitutionnal council considered the rejection of those accounts incriminated absolutely disruptive, for the victory would have then be canceled or revised prompting another election or the declaration of Mr. Jospin, third in the first turn, the winner, the constitutionnal council avoided a political stalemate or crisis and refrained from applying the law.
2012’s election looks very much like 1995’s considering every think OK for president Hollande to avoid a political crisis. Contrary to 1995, no excuse for Sarkozy where Balladur deserved it easily. Again the system is flawed. Deeply. One of the causes is the sitting of ex president of the Nation as de facto member of the constitutionnal council. Which is not sane. In a real democracy the constitutionnal council – the equivalent of the Supreme Court for electoral matters and Judge of the constitutionnality of laws – would have considered investigating the matter seriously, as this is a dismissal case of a competitor in an election.
Meanwhile the Parliament comprising the two chambers, the national assembly and the senate are still fighting back the proposition of coming clean before the electors by posting their wealth. They are winning it : hiding their enrichment and how they got from poverty in the beginning of 1981, after president Mitterand election, the moment when French system turned totally corrupt, to now. A « clean hands » operation would one day take place in France, as the country needs it to take back the stolen money from undeserving hands. French has invented the notion of « legal theft » or « legitimate corruption ».
It all comes about the corruption of the law. Corruption of the law and hijacking the System.
Parliament’s corruption worldwide
Apparently, this is not a French Exceptionnalism. In the NYT (New York Times), two op-ed tell us about how bills are killed. « Kill Bill » is the title of one of them. The other one is from the same contributor. You can find it easily on the NYT website. The example of the NRA-backed senators voting against extension of check grounds for arms possession illustrates it the best way possible. The Major of NY, Bloomberg is right storming out Democrats senators who have joined their votes to this. Again the NYT reported on that. No matter whether this could end up reinforcing the position of Republicans inside the senate. The fact is something has to be done and a clear message sent to the representants : they are not elected to fulfill their career and selfishness ambitions doing savage politics. They are not elected to go on rampage against the people opposing the sentiment of the People who sent them there in the first place. The word Representant means what it means. President Obama used to say « Words must mean something ». So is the word Representant. Semantically, you are there for the others, not only for you. Because they have placed their confidence in you, being sure you won’t betrayed them, you ought them a first hearing. Not lobbyists.
In U.K., we also have some troubling facts of Lords’ bribery. Which is absolutely unbelievable.
In Africa, the case of Mali is unspeakable with Senegal, Tchad, Ecowas nations siding besides France to help France taking hold on natural ressources of the country. It is simply not acceptable and must be condemned the hardest way. Those Presidents must be chased from power as Betrayals of the Nations.
Corruption of law is diverse : arms providing and war logistical tools delivering to rebels inside sovereign countries is one way to achieve it.
Then you have got Syria and the Bieldeberg’s rule.
From CNN. Latest developments.
United States military support for Syrian rebels will include small arms, ammunition and possibly anti-tank weapons, according to two officials familiar with the matter. The weapons will be provided by the CIA, the officials said.
years l On Thursday, the White House said Syria had crossed a « red line » with the years lause of chemical weapons against rebels and added — without specifics — that the United States would increase the « scale and scope » of support for the opposition.
What we need, really, is weapons and ammunition, and especially anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, » Salim Idriss, the head of the rebel Free Syrian Army, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Friday.
First, the spokeman of the Bieldeberg went out criticising president Obama « the Wuss » if he did nothing to help Syrians rebels. OK, President Clinton attended the last Bieldeberg Meeting with his spouse alongside with many leaders hiding themselves shamefully behind black cars glasses. David Cameron, the country hosting the meeting is the only one to assume he was attending the secret instance. The sortie of Israeli-Bieldeberg lobbyist spokeman is not a surprise. It is in the norm of the old-fashioned way of doing politics. Opacity. By the way do you remember how the operation « Restore hope » in Somalia ended ? Wussly with wusses running away cowardly, when the first American soldier was trailed down the road of Mogadiscio. Shamelessly, the Wuss retreated.
We regret that ex presidents and ex vice presidents don’t have the elegance to show restraint towards their successor. Their time of ruling is over. They were there and it is past time Al Gore and Clinton to hammer advice or harmfull critics, disregarding the respect due to their personnalities. America can learn politiness and sophistication from UK and French former PM and Presidents. Neither Blair or Gordon Brown are criticising publicly or commenting Cameron’s policy. So is President Sarkozy who is not even sitting in the Constitutional Council as the Constitution allows him to. He doesn’t want to be suspected of revenge over president Hollande’s decision contestation.
President Bush is absolutely wonderful in standing.
The pope Benedict would never criticise Pope Francis.
Why Al Gore and Clinton ? Probably because of the next campaign trail. Is Al Gore candidate ? What about Hillary ?
While waiting to get more on this, it is no question the more Syrian blood is going to flow, the better the chances of Hillary to run for primaries would also bleed dropwise. Politics have changed. The people is back into the Arena. « We the people ». That’s where Mayor Bloomberg is tremendous. What about Bloomberg for Next President ?
The good news is the UK Parliamentary reserve along with the Russian.
The ten things you need to know on 17 June 2013…1) VLAD TO DAVE: ‘DON’T ARM THE CANNIBALS’ Our prime minister is starting to look pretty isolated on Syria.
The Times reports on the « icy Downing Street press conference » between Messrs Cameron and Putin, ahead of today’s London-hosted G8 summit:
« David Cameron was warned last night that he would risk arming extremists who ‘eat the organs’ of their enemies if he handed weapons to Syrian rebels.
« In an extraordinary riposte to the Prime Minister, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the brutal tactics used by some of the rebels battling to topple Bashir Assad’s regime were at odds with the ‘humanitarian and cultural values’ of Europe. »
The Independent reports that « when Mr Putin was asked by British journalists about comments by Mr Cameron last year – that those supporting President Assad had the blood of Syrian children on their hands – he reacted angrily. He said: “One does not need to support people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? »
I’m no fan of the autocratic and egomaniacal Russian president but he does have a point. Doesn’t he?
The universal view among Fleet Street commentators and leader-writers in this morning’s papers is that arming the rebels would be a dangerous, if not catastrophic, move. But it isn’t just journalists abandoning Dave on Syria. Yesterday, it was the deputy prime minister; today, it’s the Tory mayor of London, the (Tory) former head of the army and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
From the Telegraph’s splash:
« Arming the Syrian rebels would be disastrous because Britain would be ‘pressing weapons into the hands of maniacs’, Boris Johnson says today.
« The Mayor of London warns David Cameron that the UK must not use Syria as an ‘arena for muscle–flexing’ and says that any weapons sent to the country’s opposition could end up in the hands of al–Qaeda.
« … Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson says the only solution in Syria is a ‘total ceasefire’ and claims that it will be ‘impossible’ to arm the rebels without weapons ending up in the hands of ‘al–Qaeda–affiliated thugs’.
« ‘This is the moment for a total ceasefire, an end to the madness,’ Mr Johnson writes. ‘It is time for the US, Russia, the EU, Turkey, Iran, Saudi and all the players to convene an intergovernmental conference to try to halt the carnage.' »
The paper adds:
« Lord Dannatt, former head of the Army, warned that supplying arms to the Syrian opposition could turn into a ‘much larger intervention’.
« … He said the risk of supplying small arms is that it ‘becomes the thin end of the wedge’.
« Dr Sentamu warned that arming the rebels could be a ‘naive position to take’ because it is impossible to know who the ‘good guys’ are. »
Rebels are defeated and there is no reason to continue this, Instead, this is a great chance for peace.
—News from the Polls. From CNN.
President Barack Obama’s approval rating dropped 8 percentage points over the last month, and for the first time in his presidency more than half of the public doesn’t feel that the president is honest and trustworthy, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows.
A sharp 17-point drop among Americans under 30 fueled the drop in Obama’s approval rating.
The poll was conducted as the White House has been under siege over telephone and Internet surveillance, the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, its handling of the terror attack on the U.S. consular post in Benghazi, Libya, and the Justice Department’s collecting journalists’ phone records as part of the government’s investigation into leaks of classified information.
And Americans are less and less enthusiastic with their Congress.
June 14th, 2013 12:42 pm – Henry Decker
According to a new Gallup poll, the number of Americans who have confidence in Congress has hit an all-time low — making the 113th Congress the least-trusted American institution on record.
The poll finds that just 10 percent of Americans have confidence in Congress, down 3 percent from 2012, and capping a long-term trend dating back to the 1970s.
According to Gallup, that 10 percent rating is the lowest for any institution it has measured since 1973.
Perhaps because of Congress’ divided leadership, disgust with the legislative branch is a very bipartisan phenomenon. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all rate Congress nearly equally.
The Forbidden Truth: The U.S. is Channeling Chemical Weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria, Obama is a Liar and a Terrorist.
Who has Crossed the « Red Line »? Barack Obama and John Kerry are Supporting a Terrorist Organization on the State Department List.