frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.

Check out my old  Voice of the People page.

Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington

1610 POSTS

November 2023
October 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
May 2022
April 2022
February 2022
January 2022
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
September 2016
August 2016
May 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
September 2014
August 2014
May 2014
March 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
August 2012
July 2012
April 2012
March 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
August 2010
July 2010
March 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
August 2009
July 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
June 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
June 2005
May 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004

Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 6h 35m 48s

Corporate Profits

The new figures indicate that corporate profits accounted for 14 percent of the total national income in 2010, the highest proportion ever recorded. The previous peak, of 13.6 percent, was set in 1942 when the need for war materials filled the order books of companies at the same time as the government imposed wage and price controls, holding down the costs companies had to pay....

The latest figures indicate the smaller businesses’ share of national income fell to a 17-year low of 7.7 percent in 2009, but recovered to 8.3 percent in 2010 and in the first quarter of this year.

Employees have always received more than half the total national income, until now. In 2010, the percentage of national income devoted to wages and salaries fell to 49.9 percent, and it slipped a little more to 49.6 percent in the first quarter of this year....

Nonetheless, President John F. Kennedy’s observation that a rising tide lifts all boats is no longer as true as it once was.

There have been 10 years when corporate profits as a share of national income exceeded 13 percent — 1941, ’42, ’43, ’50, ’51, ’55, ’65, ’66, 2006 and 2010. In eight of those years, the economy, as measured by real gross national product, grew at a rate of greater than 6 percent.

The exceptions were 2006, when real growth was just 2.7 percent, and 2010, when it was 3 percent.

Similarly, in the past, unemployment was generally low when corporate profits were high. In 2006, the unemployment rate ended the year at 4.4 percent — and that was higher than it had been in other postwar years when the corporate share of national income was high. At the end of 2010, the jobless rate was 9.4 percent. On Friday, the government reported that the rate was 9.1 percent in July.

[SOURCE: Floyd Norris | New York Times | 5 August 2011]

I guess that since the percent of GDP accruing to corporate profits is at an all-time high, we should expect massive re-investment by such profits in all of the areas that the nation needs re-investment. Isn't that what the "theory" says should happen. Excess capital leads inherently to investment that benefits all of society.

Except that the history of the human species is one of massive misallocation of resources due to the whims of dictators and kings; or the derelictions of paradigms beholden to the oligarchy. Extremely rich people spending more and more on extravagance with no redeeming value litters the history of mankind. Yet whatever and wherever the origin, the ignorance is promoted as the national ethos because concentrated wealth always promotes itself, and the sanguine wounds of pride deteriorate the wealth and strength of the nation despite the grandiose jargon.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011 at 22h 15m 17s

Deadcat bounce

hat tip to Barry Ritholtz.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011 at 1h 13m 56s

Social Security 101

This comes from a comment left by rktbrkr on the comment thread which sponsored my lambast below.

Many people misunderstand how the program operates. Payroll taxes stream into the trust fund that is used to pay current retirees’ benefits. When there is a surplus, that money is invested in a special type of Treasury bond that pays interest to the trust fund. At the end of last year, the trust fund had about $2.6 trillion. And though last year was the first year since 1983 that the fund paid out more than it received in tax revenue, it still continued to grow because of the interest accrued — and it is estimated to continue to grow through 2022.

Since the money in the trust fund is held in Treasury securities, taxes collected are essentially being lent to the federal government to pay for whatever it wants (and this allows the government to borrow less from the public). That is where some of the confusion comes into play about how Social Security is used to pay for things that are unrelated to the program. But it is really no different from China lending the government money by investing in Treasuries. (So the Fed by printing money to buy 75% of Treasuries is undercutting SocSec revenues. So the Fed is punishing SocSec as well as private savers with their policies!!!)

“Social Security does not, and cannot by law, add a penny to the federal debt,” said Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works, an advocacy organization that promotes the preservation of the program. “It, by law, cannot pay benefits unless it has sufficient income to cover the cost, and it has no borrowing authority to make up any shortfall.”

Monday, 1 August 2011 at 17h 46m 33s

The so-called crisis

I am so sick of this nonsense (or is it deliberate obfuscation.)

Why is the above graphic adding Social Security and Medicare taxes into the the total revenue? Why are they also lumped together as total government liabilities?

These two programs are payed for by separate payroll taxes. Leftover funds for social security are saved in the form of bond purchases. The tax revenue streams are separate, and the expenditures are also separated from the general revenue stream, so why are the lopped together? No business would do this with their subcontractors or sub-corporate entities.

This is like taking the revenue earned from a cafeteria and saying its the same revenue stream as a furniture store merely because the two businesses both put their money in the same bank. On the banks asset sheet these two separate businesses are summed together to get the total banks assets. But the banks business is separate from the cafeteria and the furniture store, as equally as the two businesses are separate from each other.

So when the bank goes into default, do the auditors raid the assets of the furniture store and count the revenue stream of the cafeteria as resources for the bank merely because they have accounts with the bank?

This is exactly what the dishonest bundling of all government revenue and liabilities means. Social security liabilities have nothing to do with medicare liabilities and the interest payments necessary because of funding government revenue deficit shortfalls on the yearly fiscal budgets. THEY ARE SEPARATELY FUNDED PROGRAMS. The government does not borrow to pay for social security, and government payments to social security come from separate accounts. Payroll taxes do not fund anything other than social security. So why are the payroll taxes added to total revenue?

The people paid for the social security insurance program into a collective separate account through payroll taxes to create a huge asset fund that will be able to pay 100% of benefits to at least 2042 by the most conservative of projections. That is no exactly a major crisis situation. And all we have to do to raise funds is raise the income cap on the payroll tax another $100,000. Problem solved.

This massive drumbeat of fiscal "crisis" is intended to provide smoke for an ideological agenda. It is also short-sighted and very stupid. All that happens is you push older citizens onto the backs of younger generations already strained income; you also force older people to have to compete with younger people for fewer jobs. All it does is drain the economy of spending, investment, health,and social stability just so the upper one percent can earn 20 times more than they will ever need in their entire lifetime.

Its a foolish shame.

Sunday, 31 July 2011 at 12h 34m 11s

It costs 20 million per terrorist

Former Intel Chief Dennis Blair

our relationship with these countries [Yemen, Pakistan, & Somalia] is only the start of the overhaul Blair has in mind, however. He noted that the U.S. intelligence and homeland security communities are spending about $80 billion a year, outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yet al-Qaida and its affiliates only have about 4,000 members worldwide. That’s $20 million per terrorist per year, Blair pointed out.

“You think — woah, $20 million. Is that proportionate?” he asked. “So I think we need to relook at the strategy to get the money in the right places.”

Blair mentioned that 17 Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by terrorists since 9/11 — 14 of them in the Ft. Hood massacre. Meanwhile, auto accidents, murders and rapes combine have killed an estimated 1.5 million people in the past decade. “What is it that justifies this amount of money on this narrow problem?” he asked.

[SOURCE: Dennis Blair | | 28 July 2011]

Thursday, 14 July 2011 at 16h 54m 2s

A history of American government debt

“With one brief exception, the federal government has been in debt every year since 1776. In January 1835, for the first and only time in U.S. history, the public debt was retired, and a budget surplus was maintained for the next two years in order to accumulate what Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury called “a fund to meet future deficits.” In 1837 the economy collapsed into a deep depression that drove the budget into deficit, and the federal government has been in debt ever since. Since 1776 there have been exactly seven periods of substantial budget surpluses and significant reduction of the debt. From 1817 to 1821 the national debt fell by 29 percent; from 1823 to 1836 it was eliminated (Jackson’s efforts); from 1852 to 1857 it fell by 59 percent, from 1867 to 1873 by 27 percent, from 1880 to 1893 by more than 50 percent, and from 1920 to 1930 by about a third. Of course, the last time we ran a budget surplus was during the Clinton years. I do not know any household that has been able to run budget deficits for approximately 190 out of the past 230-odd years, and to accumulate debt virtually nonstop since 1837.

The United States has also experienced six periods of depression. The depressions began in 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, and 1929. (Do you see any pattern? Take a look at the dates listed above.) With the exception of the Clinton surpluses, every significant reduction of the outstanding debt has been followed by a depression, and every depression has been preceded by significant debt reduction. The Clinton surplus was followed by the Bush recession, a speculative euphoria, and then the collapse in which we now find ourselves. The jury is still out on whether we might manage to work this up to yet another great depression. While we cannot rule out coincidences, seven surpluses followed by six and a half depressions (with some possibility for making it the perfect seven) should raise some eyebrows. And, by the way, our less serious downturns have almost always been preceded by reductions of federal budget deficits. I don’t know of any case of a national depression caused by a household budget surplus.”

[SOURCE: Professor Randall Wray | pragmatic capitalist | ]

Thursday, 14 July 2011 at 16h 5m 27s

The level of competition in basketball

The NCAA puts out a statistical analysis looking at the “Estimated Probability of Competing in Athletics Beyond the High School Interscholastic Level.” If you have some natural talent and work on your skills, you can probably compete at the High School junior varsity level. More skills, hard work, a little luck, and you make it to Varsity.

The talent pool gets much more competitive at the college level. The NCAA estimates approximately 3% of HS basketball players, and 6% of HS football and baseball players make an NCAA team.

If those number look daunting, the cut is far more challenging at the professional level. In basketball, only 1.2% of NCAA senior players get drafted by an NBA team. NFL drafts 1.7% of NCAA senior football players; Baseball holds the best odds, where 8.9% of NCAA baseball players will get drafted by a Major League Baseball club — but that includes minor league farm teams.

Lets crunch the numbers to put this into full context: A mere 0.03% of high school basketball players eventually get drafted by an NBA team. Football, its 0.08%, and baseball its 0.44% (including farm teams).

[SOURCE: Barry Ritholtz | | 14 July 2011]

Natural ability only gets you to college. The rest of the way takes discipline, hard work, and maybe a little luck. However, the luck will do you no good without the discipline and hard work.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 at 2h 43m 10s


I'm looking hard to source this. I heard this from yesterday's Young Turks Show. This is from David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's first Budget Director. [NOTE: this is a paraphrase.]

In 1980, the top 5% earned 9 trillion dollars. Today, the top 5% earns 40 trillion dollars. Now that increase [31 trillion dollars] is more than was created by the entire history of mankind prior to 1980.

Isn't that jaw dropping incredible.

I just found it Click here

Its from a 60 minutes show with Leslie Stahl.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPDATE: I realize that my paraphrase might give an inaccurate impression. I said "earned" 9 trillion dollars in 1980, but what I meant was that the total net worth was 9 trillion. The gain of 31 trillion is a gain in net worth since 1980, and that gain was more than mankind had created prior to that point in time. We are living in exponential times.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 at 19h 23m 25s

The Road Before Us

These are dangerous times. The US may be on the verge of making among the biggest and least-necessary financial mistakes in world history. The eurozone might be on the verge of a fiscal cum financial crisis that destroys not just the solvency of important countries but even the currency union and, at worst, much of the European project. These times require wisdom and courage among those in charge of our affairs. In the US, utopians of the right are seeking to smash the state that emerged from the 1930s and the second world war. In Europe, politicians are dealing with the legacy of a utopian project which requires a degree of solidarity that their peoples do not feel. How will these clashes between utopia and reality end?

[SOURCE: Martin Wolf | Financial Times | 12 July 2012]

Tuesday, 12 July 2011 at 0h 45m 48s

More mythology and lies

This my response to a trollish comment hawking pseudo economic ideas.

This is not true: "Government-created jobs are extremely expensive, with a net cost greater than the benefit. Moreover, government spending on job creation squeezes out private sector spending.

Businesses create jobs that deliver a net gain (i.e., the business value of hiring a new employee exceeds their cost) -- which has the additional benefit of making the newly-created job more likely to last."

-- The post office is a job that delivers a "net gain.. more likely to last". What private sector job has been squeezed out by this government spending? The coast guard is squeezing out private competition? Really? Are there a plethora of businesses trying to compete with the police department and the tax assessors office? Or the DMV?

Likewise, you don't see the government building supermarkets and coffee shops for a reason. Because its a different economic sector. Government invests for society what the free market cannot do withour perverse results. Like the national highway system, the internet, the Federal Aviation System, the National Parks Service, et cetera. And the businesses next door to various government offices do quite well economically. Downsizing those jobs will not produce the "economic benefits" of long lasting duration.

Get real Mr. Objective. Your statement is oversimplified nonsense that has been dragged around by ideologues and has no basis of fact. Its just another myth carted out by persons who have an agenda to cut down government spending for purely ideological reasons. They have no idea about history and the actual relevant economic analysis over the last 100 years which utterly refutes the nonsense.

What was it Josef Goebbels said when he was in charge of spewing Nazi propaganda?

Click here if you want to read the source. I'm comment #4 responding to comment #2.

Notice how comment #3 is a brief cheerleader to comment #2: "Well put Objectivist1. I'm stocking up on Advil."

Really? Objectivist1 was "well put" when he spewed the party rhetoric.

Typical Rethuglican neo-con ideologue. Stocking up on drugs (Advil) to solve their problems.