While I’m still in shock that we have at least two senators that actually ‘get it’, it’s still depressing that we have more than seventy (I’m simply being kind) who don’t. Throw in several generations of industry insiders taking over regulatory roles, embedded corporatists throughout our judicial system, news agencies and government, and it’s a wonder that government hearings on accountability even happen.
Wages have been flat since Saint Ronnie took office in 1981, despite worker productivity increasing all the while and corporate profits reaching record levels over the last ten years. For the decades prior to that, wages were tied much more closely to increases in both productivity and profit. If you take the inordinate amount of extra profit that the oligarchs have filched and squeezed for themselves from the average worker’s labor over the last thirty years, and combine that with the lowest tax rates on the upper income bracket in generations, you start to get the picture.
The income gap in America has been widening, on purpose, and now it’s snowballing. The bottom 40% of Americans don’t even own one half of 1% of the country’s wealth. The bottom 60% don’t even own 5% of it.
Every few years, the United States ceases to exist; or at least is no longer the country it “always was” just a few days prior. Tallying up the numerous obituary notices given by both the left and the right over the years, the country has died approximately twenty times in the fifty-odd years between the assassination of JFK and the Citizens United ruling. And now it’s happened again.
I’m sure you’ve heard the news from the TV talking heads of reason and your conservative relatives and co-workers: America is dead. Kaput. Finished. Time to fire all of the workers. Time to guard your firearms. Time to escape this nation of government-suckled welfare cheats gorging on caviar with their monthly $140 SNAP checks, living high on the hog with their expired unemployment benefits in their cush poverty-stricken neighborhoods going on about universal health care, global warming and letting historically low tax rates on the rich expire.
The Billionaire’s Cap: A Game Anyone Can Play
Less messy than guillotines and worldwide collapse, and more fun and participatory than actually letting things get that far out of hand, the Billionaire’s Cap is a game of strategy and skill for the whole family to enjoy. The objective is simple: work your way through life until you’ve earned $1 billion dollars, and bingo! You’re declared a winner and allowed to merrily spend that repatriated and federally taxed hard-earned cash however you see fit. But the perks of winning don’t just end there!
A Contest, A Hat and A Novel Approach to Disparate Economic Inequality
At some point in the very near future, we’re going to have to address the dangers that unfettered wealth accumulation and concentration pose to our world’s various economic systems, governments, people and yes, even to the planet itself. The Billionaire’s Cap is a novel approach to normalizing the grotesque economic inequality in our present day societies. It celebrates the success of the mega-earners and then frees them from the obligations of further compensation. This then allows others to take their own turn at the helm (or the trough, as it may be) and increases economic mobility for everyone else.
Well, Curiosity’s second day of NASA pics have been stitched together by panographer Andrew Bodrov and posted on 360cities to offer a full panoramic view of what the rover can see. He did a wonderful job and included direction and height toggling controls, zoom in/out capability and it even works with tilting on some mobile devices. Just click the red button and choose fullscreen view. You can just imagine the cool video ‘walks’ we’ll be able to take out across the surface in the future.
When the future becomes the present. Like today. Pretty neat stuff as we start to explore the red planet.
Sept. 29 update: the 360cities panorama was recently taken down, so the top link should connect you to the nasa site for further Curiosity images of Mars. The bottom link is to the original 360-degree panorama should it go online again.