January 7, 2015
Crisis: On the economy - 1
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

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1. On the economy
2. On the site


This is a Nederlog of Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

This is another quite brief crisis item. As it happened, I slept quite well and quite long last night, but then had to go out twice today, so I am again left with very little energy.

Therefore this crisis item is a lot shorter than I originally intended, which is one reason to attach a "1" to the title. Then again, although it is short it seems adequate.

1. On the economy

In fact, while I distinguished six fields that are in crisis in my It's the deregulation, stupid! - namely: the economy, health care, education, politics & civil law, public debate and climate - it seems that what happened in the economy in the crisis, and indeed also before the crisis, is quite clear.

This is a chart that I adapted from September 25, 2014. It is about the U.S. The blue items refer to the bottom 90% of incomes; the red items to the top 10%:

What I added are the black rectangle, and the blue and red trend lines, that may be taken as linear regressions (approximate, but good enough). Otherwise, nothing was added.

What does this show, other than Obama's contribution [1] on the right?

I think it shows the following, and indeed without the shadow of a doubt:
  • if you belong to the 90% that earns at most a median income, you have been robbed systematically, firstly of your income, and also of your legal and politicial rights, and this has been systematic and pronounced ever since Reagan became president.
What the chart does not show is who did the robbing:
  • if you belong to the 90% that earns at most a median income, you have been robbed of your income and rights by a combination of the majority of the politicians who got elected; the lobbyists that the majority of the elected politicians generally follow (much rather than the people who elected them);
    and the judiciary that
    these days generally favors the interests of big business.
Also, the reason I speak of systematic robbery is in the graph: From 1940-1980 incomes grew everywhere in the U.S., both for the rich and the non-rich, and indeed (percentage-wise) more for the great majority of the non-rich than for the small minority of the rich, as indeed seems quite fair to me.

There is a lot more to say about the chart, but today I will not say it, and instead turn to another chart, that I first published on December 8, 2013. Again, it is about the U.S.:

This chart is unchanged, and lists the percentages gained in after-tax incomes since 1979.

It shows the same trends as the earlier chart, but restricted to the years 1980-2007, and indeed also without considering price-rises in ordinary goods. (Thus - and this is about me, who lives in Holland - my most minimal legal income, for that is what I have ever since I fell ill on 1.1.1979, roughly doubled since 1995, but the prices of ordinary goods - food and especially housing - rose more, mostly due to the introduction of the Euro, so all in all I have - considerably - less now than I had to spend in 1995. [2] But this is an aside, since the chart is about the U.S.)

2.  On the site

As to the site: I am loosing a considerable number of followers this year, or so it seems

In fact, I am not amazed, for this agrees quite well with my guess that the considerable gains I made in the number of followers since the second half of 2013 was due to my following the crisis quite closely, and indeed I have given up on December 19, 2014 the plan to follow the
crisis daily and in some detail.

Well... I am sorry: There will continue to be regular crisis items, but not anymore on a daily basis, and also not anymore with the same amount of detail as I did, for 1 1/2 years.

On the moment I can't do it because I do not have enough energy, and in case I get more energy, I still will not do it because I need the energy I have for doing other things.

Also, here are some additional reasons for giving up the daily crisis-reporting I did since June 10, 2013, also with some problems:
  • I have never read more daily papers (or websites) than I did the last 1 1/2 years, and it seems to me that I have learned most that I could have learned from them about the crisis - and no, I don't mind making the effort, though indeed it was a considerable effort for me.
  • One problem I have now is to translate some of the more general things I learned to Nederlog, and the present file is - in a way - the first such item, and  indeed also:
  • Another problem I have in finding and translating some general trends is that I was forced to [3] use lousy titles since the second half of 2013 (mostly consisting of key-words, which helps some, but not much), while also:
  • There are in fact at least 738 crisis files that I wrote since September 1, 2008, when I started (the 728 in the index, plus 10 that are also in the index, but are all numbered 226 with distinct letters).
Finally, as I have said: I will continue the crisis series, but not on a daily basis and not with the attention I spent on it the last 1 1/2 year.

[1] As to Obama's contribution, here is a quotation from September 25, 2014:
Obama was a lot better (or worse) than Bush in favoring the rich and very rich, for under Obama the top 1% grabbed 93 cents of every dollar created, and under Bush this was 65 cents, while under Clinton it was 45 cents. Also, under Obama the 99% lost income, and that also was a first. "Change! I promise you change!"

[2] This is certainly the case for me: I could very regularly buy second hand books and also bought daily papers, for example, in 1995, but the daily paper has long gone for me, indeed also because there are no more decent papers in Holland (for my intellectual and moral tastes), and I rarely buy books these days, although otherwise I buy more or less the same things ever since the early 1990ies, which is also the reason I am quite certain about these facts (but they are about Holland, and not the U.S.).

[3] The only way to keep readable titles was to make each item into a file with its own title, and this simply was too much work for me.

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