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The Morning Grumpy – 2/20/13

20 Feb

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

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1. You might want to check out the podcast I recorded yesterday with Brad Riter for Trending Buffalo about the cleave in America between dummies and smart people. I call it the US Weekly Cultural Divide.

2. If America is to again experience a truly shared prosperity, the enemy we need to defeat is “southernomics”.

Northernomics is the high-road strategy of building a flourishing national economy by means of government-business cooperation and government investment in R&D, infrastructure and education. 

Southernomics is radically different.  The purpose of the age-old economic development strategy of the Southern states has never been to allow them to compete with other states or countries on the basis of superior innovation or living standards.  Instead, for generations Southern economic policymakers have sought to secure a lucrative second-tier role for the South in the national and world economies, as a supplier of commodities like cotton and oil and gas and a source of cheap labor for footloose corporations.  This strategy of specializing in commodities and cheap labor is intended to enrich the Southern oligarchy.  It doesn’t enrich the majority of Southerners, white, black or brown, but it is not intended to.

The southern race to the economic bottom, in which workers rights are weakened and regulation rejected, is a national economic poison. The ironic piece of the story is how the southern states cut state spending to the bone on social programs and infrastructure, only to supplement with a massive annual influx of federal spending. Southern states receive way more in federal spending than they contribute in tax revenue. Yet, by and large, red state voters loathe the federal government.

3. Fun fact! The largest 0.2 percent of banks (just 12 institutions) control 69 percent of total bank assets in the United States.

banksizechart

Why worry, right? They’ve proven to be responsible stewards of our money in the past, right?

If you ask Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher, the solution to all these megabanks being “too big” is to make them smaller. Chop ’em up. Whittle ’em down. Or in the language that these megacorporations like to use in similar situations pertaining to their employees, “right-size” them.

In a speech last week, Fisher called America’s megabanks “overly complex.” According to the Independent Community Bankers of America, Fisher noted that “99.8 percent of the nation’s banks are subject to failure, which ensures that these smaller institutions limit their risk.” The nation’s 12 largest “megabanks,” in contrast, hold 69 percent of U.S. banking industry assets, and have been given a blanket guarantee that they’re too big to fail.

Fun Fact #2! Did you know that the financial sector sucks $635 billion every year out of the economy that could otherwise go to more productive uses. The more you know…

4. How to become Pope.

5. The chemistry of snowflakes.

Fact Of The Day: Hugo Boss was not only a supplier of uniforms to the Nazis, but was the designer of the black uniforms worn by the SS

Quote Of The Day: “Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.” – Hubert Humphrey

Video Of The Day: “Hearing Test” – Godfrey

Song Of The Day: “Radio Free Europe” – R.E.M.

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Email me links, tips, story ideas: chris@artvoice.com

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