Warfare continues to become more professional and dehumanized every day.

The purpose of Extraordinary Edition is being revisited for winter, headed into 2013. U.S. foreign policy, Central Asia and the Middle East remain key focal points. Economics and culture on your front doorstep are coming into focus here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Wealth Gap v. a Victory Against Overdraft Fees

My preoccupation with the following matters is ... as follows. What kind of world are we living in where money gets taken from us in a sort of ordinary day-to-day occurrence (I was charged $30 for each $1.20 use of my debit card over the three days I was out of money before I got paid? It must be my fault, not a product of insane greed), and then on the flip side of that day-to-day world, the number of people who've got it made in the shade increases by double digits amid double-digit unemployment?

One of my classic very long sentences, but let me offer you this. Steven Wright, way back in the mid-'80s quipped, "How come it's a penny for your thoughts, but you've got to get your two cents in? Somebody's makin' a penny." We must think more like Steven in this world of perpetual yet opportune collapse ... and act more like that guy in that old movie who shouts, "I'M MAD AS HELL! AND I'M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!!" I think Thomas Paine would've said, "Hey ... sometimes ... we need that Mad-As-Hell guy."

March 10, 2010 Democracy Now

Study: Number of US Millionaires Increased 16% in 2009

A new study says the number of millionaires in the United States grew by 16 percent last year. The jump in wealthy households coincided with a rising unemployment rate and stagnant wages for most American workers. The research firm Spectrem Group says that if income inequality continues apace, the divide between rich and poor in the United States “will resemble that of Mexico by year 2043.”

Spectrem Group study

Okay, just an observation about the status quo and reasoning: merging information must simply be stated as supporting testimony to the ongoing success of the existing system in order to prevent that merging information to be taken as testimony to the ongoing failure of the existing system. This is not John Maynard Keynes here, this is Alec Guiness demonstrating the Jedi mind trick. Actually, it goes further. It's a technique of indoctrination. What's good for the economy is good for you (so long as we don't attempt to define the word economy together, what it means for people with jobs and money and what it means for everyone else). To properly redirect this indoctrination onto the path of critique and inquiry, if you see the documentary The Corporation by Joel Bakan, an economist is quoted as saying, "The rising tide lifts all boats. If you don't have a boat, you're fucked."

Bank of America to End Overdraft Fees on Debit Purchases

The banking giant Bank of America has announced it will end overdraft charges on debit card purchases. Customers with insufficient funds will now have their purchases declined instead of being hit with large fees. The decision comes amidst a federal push to regulate overdraft fees. The Federal Reserve has proposed to bar banks from charging overdraft fees without consumer consent. Banks collected at least $32 billion dollars in overdraft fees last year.

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