Via Michael Hudson.
The Democrats could not have won so handily without the Citizens United ruling. That is what enabled the Koch Brothers to spend their billions to support right-wing candidates that barked and growled like sheep dogs to give voters little civilized option but to vote for “the lesser evil.” This will be President Obama’s epitaph for future historians. Orchestrating the election like a World Wrestling Federation melodrama, the Tea Party’s sponsors threw billions of dollars into the campaign to cast the President’s party in the role of “good cop” against stereotyped opponents attacking women’s rights, Hispanics and nearly every other hyphenated-American interest group.
In Connecticut, Senate candidate Linda McMahon spent a reported $97 million (including her earlier ego trip) to make her Democratic challenger look good. It was that way throughout the country. Republicans are pretending to wring their hands at their defeat, leaving the Democrats to beat up their constituency and take the blame four years from now.
Two German illustrators have visualized the most important facts about the US presidential election using burgers and fries, the stereotypical American meal. The playful images are packed with both calories and information. They also betray a few differences in how fast food is eaten in Europe.
All pictures click here.
Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Company, gives his opinion on the fiscal cliff, the global economy, and an uncertain economy.
Soon-to-be-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is about as well-liked as he has been during the presidential campaign, with 48% of Americans holding a favorable view of him and 46% an unfavorable view. His image was only slightly more positive in May — about the time he clinched the Republican nomination. As recently as mid-July, significantly more Americans viewed him unfavorably than favorably.
Weekend reading on taxes and politicians, by Vanity Fair.
For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.
Aperson who worked for Mitt Romney at the consulting firm Bain and Co. in 1977 remembers him with mixed feelings. “Mitt was … a really wonderful boss,” the former employee says. “He was nice, he was fair, he was logical, he said what he wanted … he was really encouraging.” But Bain and Co., the person recalls, pushed employees to find out secret revenue and sales data on its clients’ competitors.
Guest poist by Azizonomics.
So Romney has picked Paul Ryan for Vice President; a man with a remarkably similar “deficit-reduction” strategy to that of George Osborne here in the UK, where unemployment and budget deficits have soared, and GDP remains well off its peak.
If Ryan or his Democratic rivals really understood the budget deficit, they would understand that its huge size is a result coming primarily out of a depression brought on by excessive total debt:
As debt soared from the 80s to the 90s, tax revenues soared as the economy boomed on borrowed money. But as the debt continued to grow relative to income, the costs of the debt mountain meant that income that might once have been invested in businesses and consumption went toward debt service instead. And so once we hit the point at which debt repayment exceeded new debt acquisition, we were flung into a depression. This has had a relatively severe impact on growth; since the deleveraging hit in 2008, GDP growth fell considerably from its long-term trend (nominal potential GDP):