Monday, November 21, 2011

The Great Money Map

As seen live on XKCD!

The Great Money Map: "There, I showed you it."
Note the obviously substantial, real quantities required to provide very high levels of Basic Income, "Amount needed to give everyone an income over $250,000 ... or $100,000." These numbers make a comparatively modest Basic Income a complete no-brainer. It can even be done on a global basis, as World GDP of $63,000,000,000,000 represents the sum total of all our efforts and energies, a pool of liquidity like the permanent fund dividend oils beneath Alaskan permafrost or Saudi sands.

"We are allowed to speak about alternatives." #ows

We need not make value judgments to observe the clinical fact that hoarded wealth creates massive blood clots in any resource circulatory system. Massive blood clots kill the entire body, no matter where they lodge.

On the chart, a U.S. Basic Income of $44,700 costs the Top 1% a mere sliver. The most entitled whining is likely to come from the top 20%, who don't "feel" as rich as they actually are, in both relative and absolute terms; and those who wanted their own shot at becoming the next pathological hoarders and indiscriminate, unmitigated overindulging self-servers. Like porn, gross overindulgence may be difficult to define, but everyone knows it when they see it; and the consequent obesity is empirical.

Follow @BasicIncome on twitter as a vote of support for an idea who's time and necessity have come. The more followers that account has, the larger the constituency we represent.


An Inconceivable Truth: 53.9% Real U.S. Labor Participation Rate

Even if you still haven't seen the Charles Ferguson, Sony Pictures Classics documentary Inside Job, which receives an unheard of 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, we now know that we pretty much can't believe a single word out of a single mouth on Bloomberg, CNBC, or any of the financial media. So today, we shed light on one of the most potentially disruptive and disturbing measures of just how delusional the current conversation about the Job Trance has become.
The current mathematical fact is this: nearly half of all Americans, an inconceivable 46.1% over the age of 16, are non-participants in the Civilian Labor Force (CLF), today.
That's right, a 53.9% Real Labor Participation Rate means a 46.1% total jobless rate. Right now. November, 2011. Not 9%. Not even the begrudgingly acknowledged U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) U-6 measure of 16.2%, as of October, 2011. 

Nope. Not 9. Not 16. A full 46.1% of Americans over the age of 16 in America are JOBLESS, right now, and we're gonna' break it down for you in real time, right here: the almost staggeringly inconceivable truth that the current financial reporting house of mirrors is set up to distort, divert, and deceive worker ants from seeing plainly. It's not a conspiracy, it's plain old diversion and deception.

Unemployment and the Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate

When most people hear the standard headline numbers of "9% unemployment" or "16% unemployment," what do they imagine? If you're like most, those numbers might conjure a picture where 100 people live in a village and 5 villagers don't have a job. Or, when things are really bad, 16 people of the 100 don't have a job. Either way, in the worst possible case, 84 people of the 100 are in great shape (employed, anyway) so what's there to complain about, right? Things should drift back to normal any day now; certainly there is no need for drastic action like an emergency basic income act.

That's exactly what the Wall Street econo-charlatans want you to believe, and it's astounding just how well it's worked, for so long. 

So, let's get to the bottom of this supposedly simple measurement scheme. According to the U.S. BLS, the U-6 number is "a percent of the Civilian Labor Force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force." But what is this Civilian Labor Force, exactly? For that definition, we need to refer to the Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, where we find the latest October 2011 Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate of 64.2%. 

Like every jot and tittle on this blog, don't believe me, look it up for yourself. Here's what you'll find:

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Data extracted on: November 20, 2011 (10:01:11 PM)
Series Id:  LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over

Civilian Labor Force (CLF) Participation Rate

What does all this mean? It means that due to the exponential efficiency of information technologies and the globalization of business, the U.S. Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate has been on a rapid downhill slide for at least the past decade, resting now at 64.2%. We are a civilization far closer to a technological singularity than a return to anything even remotely resembling full employment. Pick your favorite comforting fiction, the facts remain.

In 2012 we live in a completely different kind of civilization from 1912.

To put a positive spin, as I'm keen on repeating, we are the victims of our own astronomical success. We are so productive and efficient as a post-information age society, that nearly 50% of Americans, age 16 years and over, are not among the Civilian Labor Force and never need to be, ever again. 

What we've learned is that when mainstream corporate media refer to the peripheral U-3 and U-6 measures of unemployment, they are talking about fractions of the Civilian Labor Force, a term we've never heard explained or discussed in the mainstream. Therefore, when we read of 16% U-6, that means sixteen percent of the CLF, which is 16% of 64.2%, or 0.1027. That is 10.27% of the whole, further subtracted from the 64.2%. 

64.2% CLF - 10.3% Net U6 = 53.9% Real U.S. Labor Participation
Roughly half of all Americans, 46.1% over the age of 16 are jobless, non-participants in the Civilian Labor Force, today.
I heartily invite mathematical refutation of these numbers. It can't be done. Econospin word blenders can be used to mince and chop interpretations into various viscosities of indecipherablility, but the numbers are what they are.

So, by all means, let's keep fixating on the fiction of jobs, jobs, jobs and the make believe "unemployment rate" that has increasingly nothing to do with the real lives of growing numbers of Americans living in RV's, campers, cars, and tent cities across the United States. Put another way, if this isn't the end of the Job Trance, the clarion call to all out War On Poverty, and the wake up call to an absolute National Economic Emergency, then I surely don't know what is.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

World Ultra Wealth Report 2011: Uncovering Pockets of Opportunities

"The fortunes of the world’s ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals have surpassed $25 trillion and is set to increase, spurred by the growth of developing Asia. Wealth-X estimates that the global market of UHNW individuals has reached 185,795. Wealth-X forecast that the UHNW population in Asia-Pacific will surpass that of Europe in 2024 and overtake that of the U.S. in 2032."
In case there are any questions, later, about what caused The War.

The End of Social Mobility in Uber-Capitalist America

Nation of Change on Why Income Inequality Suddenly Matters:
"for all the right-wing mythology about "Eurosocialism" snuffing out upward mobility, data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that social mobility in uber-capitalist America is actually lower than in most industrialized countries.
This is why almost three-quarters of respondents just told The Hill newspaper's pollsters that income inequality is a problem.
This is why my local TV news is suddenly airing pieces on economic inequality between sports, weather and all the "you stay classy" small talk."
Too late for platitudes. This is our Declaration of War.

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's the Arrogance and Entitlement, Stupid

Couldn't make this up if you tried:
Anyway, the bankster told her "You'll be back. Credit unions can't provide the services you need."  We'll see about that.  She withdrew over $200k from Wells Fargo. Next we went to Bank of America.  I closed my last account with hardly any questions asked.  Of course, I had taken most of my money out so there wasn't much left to take.  My sister on the other hand had a large balance in multiple accounts.  They actually refused to cut her a check for the full amounts.  They only gave her 1/3 of her money and told her she'd have to come back to withdraw the rest.  They claimed they were only allowed to make checks for a certain amount, and that they had no authority to cut additional checks on the same day. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Who's Stupider?

“When I was a child, I thought as a child; when I became an adult, I put away childish things.”

Transcript Excerpt
>>the swaps market, which is where a lot of this leverage lives, has little to no capital requirements and exists in the off exchange with nobody clearing it. blaming greece for these problems is like blaming the subprime borrowers. greece stupid? yeah, you bet, they're real stupid. but they're also the size of dallas, texas. so who's stupider? greece, who was like, we'll take all the money, or the western bank regulators who said it was legal to give the greeks this kind of leverage?
>> well, look at the swaps market. the swaps market is anywhere between $300 trillion and $600 trillion (CORRECTED) -- and the whole global economy, you know, its capital value, is not that much. it’s a fraction of that much. which means if rhode island fails, just the swaps on rhode island's debt is enough to take down the entire u.s. banking system and ripple across the pond. and that's exactly the problem. greece is like rhode island failing.
>> that's the interconnectedness, and that's why you need not just financial reform in this country, but financial reform that has a global reach.
>> absolutely.
So, isn't it time to grow up out of our safe little fairy land and act like responsible grown ups? Isn’t it time to stop pretending that this bass-ackwards game of Railroad Tycoon that we call Vintage 19th Century America Industrial Capitalism is any more legit or inalienable than Tidily-winks or Parcheesi? Isn’t it long past time to fold up that tired old board game and get to work creating a scalable, adaptive world game that might be worth our kids inhabiting over the next couple of decades and long beyond?
Now, to be clear, nobody is suggesting some kind of expeditious transition to a global peaceful postscarcity scenario, here, right? I mean, who can afford the risk of a rational, diversified, mixed-economic model working in symbiosis with some kind of utterly pathetic socialist utopian crap? No, we simply MUST return to the conservative comfort of doing things the way we always have, bombing the living hell out of anything and anyone that we don’t understand or can’t utterly dominate and control, right?
Or not.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Red, White, and Blue of Economic Inequality

David Brooks is a genius at finding a middle road that gently slopes right, tamping down hyperbole and histrionics. He’s long been a personal hero and role model for encouraging cooler heads to prevail. In the case of the occupy movement, however, he’s set up a brilliant, deceptively simply, and false dichotomy. David writes:
But the fact is that Red Inequality is much more important. The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it’s not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.
If your ultimate goal is to reduce inequality, then you should be furious at the doctors, bankers and C.E.O.’s. If your goal is to expand opportunity, then you have a much bigger and different agenda (NYT).
Wait? Furious at doctors? The people who cure us and care for us? Oops. Sometimes deadlines help us focus, other times they just make us rush. I’m fairly confident David would never want to utter the phrase, “society should be furious at doctors.”
Nevertheless, the article is an attempt to provoke current and potential new occupiers to question whether or not the cause justifies such sustained efforts, mobilized direct action, and relentless focus on Economic Inequality, which knows no color or other division.
Economic Inequality may manifest itself as Red and Blue in some cases, but it’s White all over. Relax, that’s not a racial slur, Caucasians.
Mr. Brooks and his 1% paymasters fear nothing more than the efficacy of the full 99%, unpartitioned by superficial politics, race, geography, culture; and that’s precisely what the #occupy movement is all about.
Beneath and within the Red and the Blue, the underlying White fabric of all economic injustice is woven of a frayed and decayed fabric, of 19th century industrial capitalism and cotton, dipped and striped a billion too many times in the dye of Any Rand’s sociopathological objectivism, and Made In America by Frederick Taylor’s scientific management, valuing humans as mere cogs to be optimized in the machine.
The 99% are not Red, White, or Blue. We are Human Beings of every hue, united against every stain of imbalance and injustice.
Setting up a false Red and Blue dichotomy seeks to drive a wedge into the 99%, encouraging the kind of polarization that Brooks claims to oppose every Sunday morning, on an issue that is entirely colorless at it’s core.

Bottom Line: the usual whipping posts of education and opportunity will not distract the public this time from the astronomical costs and hoarded profits that exacerbate All Inequality, consequent to the one corrupt economic OS this movement is properly focused on upgrading. It’s time for the full system reformat. Delete all partitions. Reboot. Restart.