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…so I’m not an economist, but I suspect I’m experiencing many of the same issues as those in Britain are experiencing when they voted out of the EU.  I live in Los Angeles.  One of the few things I love about LA is how cosmopolitan it is.  And that, being among the few things I love about it, compensates for the many things I don’t like about it (don’t get me started).  My brethren from here and all over the world is what has enriched this place to me.  When I see the “Brexit” folk being demonized and labeled as “xenophobe”, and, because I’m empathetic to the Brexit cause, it seems to me the media is failing to parse out and understand and therefore portray, with any diplomacy, what the real issues may be.

I don’t doubt that immigration lends itself to the issue in Britain, but I definitely see the global political-economic engineers (a.k.a. profiteers) as the demon.  Again, although I’m not an economist, I suspect that the elite in our global economy have bundled our efforts, our work, our savings, our student loans, our mortgages (once again), and our retirement accounts; our general livelihood, the same way as it bundled and leveraged our mortgages up to the 2008 collapse (that was just field practice) – funneling the gain for themselves and democratizing the risk to the rest of us – and effectively subscribing the middle class to its own deflation.  Thus, the profit margin of my life savings (which benefits me less than 1%) gets exploited and bundled into larger profit-bearing enterprises for the global elite:  exploiting the underpaid worker in China (or anyplace else), exploiting the environment, or waging war.  No doubt the Brexit vote is protectionist, but I trust Britain’s vote indicates, even more so, that it DOES care about democracy and it doesn’t care to revisit it’s own feudal history.  Carry on!

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses attendees during a campaign rally at Saint Mary's Park in Bronx, New York

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses attendees during a campaign rally at Saint Mary’s Park in Bronx, New York March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTSD35E

Great article by Ron Fournier:  http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/04/the-business-of-disrupting-politics/479172/

Change is going to come.

I think we have a critical mass here.  Where the electoral process – establishment politics – is not sufficiently acknowledging one-person-one-vote.  We need a national special-election:  an independent party primary between Sanders and Trump.

Awesome photo from The Atlantic.  “Kuhdoos” to the photographer:  Lucas Jackson.

 

GRAMSCI_HOPE…says me.

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…another place I haven’t been to in a while (other than posting here) is Italy, so given the opportunity, along with facing my (ahem) five-oh-ieth, I decided to carpe-diem my way to St. Peter’s to make it a jubilee.  And in the true spirit of a pilgrimage, we made it a journey:   starting in Venice, through Florence, Siena, and capping it off, literally, in Rome.  What a treat!  I can’t think of a better way to take on a birthday that marks the season of “middle-age” than contemplating the Renaissance.

Ave Marisa!

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Today’s news is a glimmer of sunlight in this trickle-down economic cave so many of us are living in.  No doubt it’s a glimmer of hope to hear a leader, (a world leader?) pick up the gauntlet and address the status-quo / the power structure and say, “enough – (basta)!” of the inequality and growing poverty that is a result of unbridled capitalism and to remind us of the value of humanity over profit (“A New Tyranny“).

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John Stumpf, CEO Wells Fargo

I just spotted the latest bank executive pay report in the Los Angeles Times and it appears that the wealth has distilled further:  from “the 1%” to “the .5%”.  Of the 6 bank CEO’s reviewed, only 3 got a pay increase.  Further, the top 2 earned almost twice as much as each of the other 4.  John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, was the top “earner” with a $22.87 million take – up 15% from last year.  Let’s look at some simple math on this – I know I have to, because if I could remember my calculus, this guy would be out of a job and he’d be blogging about me.  Anyhoo, he got the 22.87 million bucks in one year.  The U.S. population is 315 million.  The current unemployment rate is 7.7%.  If the ENTIRETY of our population qualified at that unemployment rate, there would be 24.3 million people out of work. And if this one guy lost his job, and his 2012 income alone was divided among the entire unemployed population,

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Lloyd Blankfein, CEO Goldman Sachs

we would have that many (24.3 million) more almost-millionaires.

This really lends a sense of proportion to one man’s staggering wealth.  And I’m not attempting to rally the socialists here, but if we could topple just this one guy’s position and distribute his one-year’s income, we would ameliorate this nation’s unemployment, the banks would have fewer people to lend to, and Lloyd Blankfein wouldn’t have to be the number-two anymore (CEO of Goldman Sachs:  $21 million income after a 75% pay raise in 2012) and get back to “doing God’s work.”

…because it’s MY blog (and a great performance too).

 

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