Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Sorry, you’re too stupid for employment

Posted in class divide, unemployment, wealth divide, worker rights by allisonkilkenny on July 2, 2010

Go home, morons

The persecution of the poor continues with employers now accusing the unemployed of being too stupid (or let’s be generous and say “inexperienced”) to be find jobs with decent salaries. (h/t)

Here in this suburb of Cleveland, supervisors at Ben Venue Laboratories, a contract drug maker for pharmaceutical companies, have reviewed 3,600 job applications this year and found only 47 people to hire at $13 to $15 an hour, or about $31,000 a year.

As Atrios points out, it never occurs to the good people at Ben Venue Labs that they’re not paying enough to attract skilled workers, or that maybe they should provide on-site training to attract new talent.

It’s become a commonplace line of attack to hear right-wing loons like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle place the onus of unemployment on the unemployed, and of course this has been the territory of Conservatism for years: it’s your fault you’re unemployed. Intellectual giants like Rush Limbaugh constantly say things like unemployment benefits “do nothing but incentivize people not to find work.”

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The end is nigh…unless it’s not

Posted in corporations, Economy, Republicans, wealth divide, world by allisonkilkenny on June 30, 2010

The hysterical debt Armageddonists have been screaming about the need to adopt all sorts of insane austerity policies because if we don’t, China is going to invade and enslave our children…or something. This irrational frenzy is, of course, bipartisan. Both sides of the aisle, for example, recently voted against extending unemployment benefits.

Tea Party sweetheart, Sharron Angle, specifically said citizens are “spoiled” by jobless benefits, and the US should cut unemployment benefits in order to motivate people to find work. Because – as we all know – unemployed people are just too lazy to toil, and there are millions of jobs in some secret industry sector only teabaggers know about, waiting for capable employees to fill them.

No matter how loudly Krugman tries to tell these idiots that cuts are the very worst possible thing they could do right now — what does he know? He only won a Nobel Prize in economics – Republicans refuse to listen. Actually, the world doesn’t seem to be listening, either.

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Canada spends $1 billion to arrest a deaf man

Posted in activism, wealth divide, world by allisonkilkenny on June 28, 2010

Photo from Reuters

To anyone who watched the G20 circus, the headline isn’t much of a hyperbolic stretch. Here was a country, which spent nearly $1 billion on security measures — greater than any summit’s security budget in the history of the world — and yet footage of burning police cars and shattered store windows played on loop throughout the week on Canadian television.

Where were the cops? How were a handful of fringe protesters able to create this — admittedly limited — havoc?

Naomi Klein proposes an interesting explanation. The state and cops had received widespread criticism for the tremendous amount of cash being dumped into security for this single event (78 percent of Canadians believed that the cost was unjustified,) and when some anarchists lit up their police car, they may have decided to take a long lunch break just to teach everyone a lesson.

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Toronto on lockdown for G20 summit: the wall, snipers, and sound cannons

Posted in Capitalism, Economy, police state, wealth divide, world by allisonkilkenny on June 25, 2010

Protesters march through downtown Toronto on Thursday to draw attention to aboriginal issues. (Pras Rajagopalan/CBC)

I find it disturbing that a major city being put on lockdown in order to accommodate the international elite and suppress the underclass has become standard — and acceptable — procedure.

Right now, the leaders of rich and developing nations are in Toronto, and the authorities anticipated that there will be a series of protests during the conferences because there are always protests during the G8/G20 meet-ups.

Capitalism is particularly unpopular right now because the US has unleashed a steroid-filled version of it unto the world, and this economic system has failed to provide for the majority of people. It has, however, created a dwindling elitist echelon who control a vast majority of riches. In the year of Hayward and his yachting adventures, there’s no reason to doubt there will be any fewer protests against the douchiest rich people among us.

Toronto was ready to suppress such dissent, and shape a nice, pleasant narrative for the city’s visitors, by implementing a complete and total lockdown.

The “lockdown” of central Toronto includes a 3m-high (10ft), 3.5km (2.2-mile) concrete and metal fence enclosing the G20 meeting area and a huge security presence. Banks and theatres will be closed, as will one of Canada’s most famous tourist attractions – the CN Tower.

It’s important to remember that the supposed goal of the G20 summit is “to continue the work of building a healthier, stronger and more sustainable global economy.” And what better way to express that kind of egalitarian unity than to build a 10-ft-high, 2-mile-long fence to keep out the serfs?

These kinds of global gatherings have also become a playground for authorities to experiment with their newest, shiniest crowd control devices. Last year, I reported that Pittsburgh police demonstrated the latest suppression technology on protesters near that year’s G20 summit. The weapon du jour were sound cannons.

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DeMint: The Richest 0.7 Percent of the Population is “Lots of People”

Posted in class divide, Economy, politics, wealth divide by allisonkilkenny on February 25, 2009

Matthew Yglesias

The right-wing is flinging smokescreen rhetoric about income taxes and small businesses so quickly that it’s difficult to keep track of what they’re saying. But the important things to recall are that very few people find themselves in the top two tax brackets, and that though some of these people are small businessmen they’re paying taxes on net income. These are brackets for a small number of unusually prosperous people. For example, here’s Jim Demint:

It looks like he’s gonna try to get a lot of that revenue from raising payroll taxes on upper income and that sounds good but basically that affects small businesses and their ability to hire people. So I just think it shows a lack of understanding of the private sector. A lot of people make — who are reporting a quarter million dollars — you know, I’ve done that before in my small business, and I was actually taking home like 50 or 40.

In fact, about 0.7 percent of households file in the top two brackets: 

taxes.png 

Meanwhile, I don’t know why DeMint thinks people who are only taking home $40k or $50k would be filing as people who earn $250,000. I think he wants people to think that the government is taxing gross business receipts, so that if I spend $230,000 on my business to earn $300,000 in revenue, that I’m taxed on all $300,000. But that’s not how it works at all. You deduct business expenses and pay taxes on your net income. Any small businessman who’s earning a middle class income isn’t paying in the top two brackets, just as any salaried employee who’s earning a middle class income isn’t paying in the top two brackets.

Watch the Demint video here.

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