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Dow 11,006.48 +57.90 +0.53%

Today’s NY Times front page announced that the Dow-Jones index, once around 15,000, has crawled back to 11,000 following the 2008 economic near-collapse.  Hurray, hurray yelps Wall Street, and economists reading their numbers assert the economy is coming back, the recession is over, and ain’t it grand, capitalism really works.

Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner, happy men of the mystical magic market

On the same page were two other items:

Employment Picture Dims as Government Cuts Back

The United States economy shed 95,000 nonfarm jobs in September, as 159,000 government jobs were lost at all levels and business hiring slowed significantly.

Job seekers in employment offer line

and

Largest U.S. Bank Halts Foreclosures in All States

The action by the bank is likely to increase pressure on other lenders to declare their own moratoriums.*

Bad Photoshop job

Together, along with more important items, such as who is winning a play-off game in the grand American sport of baseball (Reds up 2 oh against Phillies at the moment), this paints a picture of the schizm that presently defines America, the story of 2% who own (depends on which bean-counter you use), 80% of the wealth or 23% of it, and who, essentially, own the government which services those 2% much more than it does the other 98% (or, hell, let’s be generous and say “the rich” constitute 20% of the populace).  There are two Americas (or a handful more):  the one that gets rich thanks to the collapse of the other part, as they ship jobs abroad, close down safety-net government services, slice their own taxes thanks to owning the government, let their money do the talking, thanks to owning the Supreme Court, and otherwise run the show for their own evident (short-term) benefit.  Then there is the other America, numerically far larger, though a good percentage delude themselves into thinking that as “middle-class” they are actually somewhere in or close to that 2%  – 20% group and think as if they were, and another percentage, their brains addled by 7/24 propaganda issued by schools, corporations, the government, and so-called private media like Fox, who believe in the myth that anyone can get ahead and join that 2%, and dutifully buy their Lotto tickets, scratch cards, etc. and await anointment by the magic hand of the market whereby effortlessly they too will become millionaires or billionaires or…

In case, however, they find themselves disillusioned, finding the stock-market gains seem not to really have a positive impact for them, their scratch card not paying off, they can always trundle off to the (corporate) ball park, plunk down a $100 or more, and watch a thrilling game in which those on the field are pulling in a few million a year (or lots more) playing ball.

Go Phillies!

[* The moratoriums are being instituted as it seems that in their scurry to make yet another buck, these banking behemoths, recently rescued from collapse by a massive flush of public money (with which the management promptly issued themselves massive bonuses for their “work”), apparently diddled with the rules, and in the same manner as they shuffled the papers, facts and figures to make mortgage loans of dubious qualities, in the interests of course of making further quick profits, they in foreclosing did the same fiddling, counter to “the rules,” and so, for a moment they are stopping the robo-signatures, and looking more carefully before they… proceed with foreclosures, which, with any honest foresight, they could have fore-seen.  However honest foresight was blurred by the profit motive in which picking up a percentage of a bad loan was part of the deal, and then Lehman or Sachs would bundle it in a derivative no one would see, and while you laughed on the way to the bank someone else would buy the empty bag.  American capitalism.]

Flags made in China

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