Mar 082012

Editor’s Note: How many times do we have to hear this to really start getting pissed? The notion that gross inequality has something to do with the impossibility of attaining economic recovery (an elusive term anyway) is obvious and undeniable since insufficient demand (“underconsumption”) cannot create the conditions for a healthy economic ambit and social well-being under any system and most particularly under capitalism, which dynamically causes inequality and eventually gross poverty for the majority.
It’s a bit laughable that modern (mostly mainstream) economists still have to crunch enormous amount of data to arrive at the obvious, which Marx described almost two centuries ago.—PG

The Huffington Post  

 TAGS: Barack Obama ,   Recession ,   Video , 1 Percent , 99 Percent , Economic Growth , Economic Recovery , Great Recession , Income Gap , Income Inequality , Capital Gains , Earning Gap , Income Growth , Occupy Wall Street , Recovery, Top 1 Percent , Wealth Gap , Business News

Technically, the economy has been in recovery for two years. But it turns out the rich have been doing most of the recovering.

In 2010 — the first full year since the end of the Great Recessionvirtually all of the income growth in America took place among the country’s very wealthiest people, says an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. The top 1 percent of earners took in a full 93 percent of all the income gains that year, leaving the other 7 percent of gains to be sprinkled among the vast majority of society. Continue reading »

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 Posted by at 4:30 pm
Mar 082012

No more “German miracle”, eh? 
Capitalism ate it. 
Unemployed mother scans the want ads. 

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, WSWS.ORG , a socialist organization
Thank you, WSWS.ORG
8 March 2012

“There is no cause for celebration. We continue to have a scandalously high level of child poverty in Germany.” These were the words used by Ulrich Schneider, chief executive of the Joint Welfare Association on February 29 in Berlin, to introduce his study “Poor Children, Poor Parents: Families in Hartz IV Welfare.”

The study exposes the claim, made by the federal family minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) at the end of January and since spread by the media, that the number of children living in poverty is declining. Continue reading »

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 Posted by at 3:32 pm
Mar 082012

Editor’s Note: The following critiques are not offered here as regular movie reviews (which normally appear right after the film has come out or before it makes its theatrical debut), but as commentaries on a trend we have often decried in these pages: the degeneracy of Hollywood as a reflection of the larger culture’s own decay.  While some good movies are still being made, the norm is now the infantile multi-million dollar extravaganza.  The immediate causes for this are the “blockbustering” of the entertainment industry (the effect of finance capital at the helm of the industry), with a substantial part dedicated to utterly silly escapist fantasies designed to entice the young male demographic (which apparently can’t have enough superhero violence); the willingness of both “talent” and authors to serve these ever more extreme plotlines, and the cultural climate itself, permeated with wars, lies, and a constant effort to make all opposition to the system a matter to be resolved by the violence of hyperindividualist superheroes. The lone hero. What’s more, as in the case of one of the films reviewed, Hanna, the producers have no qualms in using an animal’s suffering as one more stupid prop for an even more stupid script. (The film opens with Hanna stalking and shooting an elk with a bow—a big endorsement of such heinous practice.) They ought to be ashamed, but most of such establishment power players —true to the system in which they’re embedded—know little shame, only self-aggrandizement, and thereby remain impervious to moral rebuke.—PG

Source Code
and Hanna—two new Hollywood thrillers

By Hiram Lee , WSWS.ORG, a socialist organization
Thank you, WSWS.ORG
3 May 2011

Source Code, directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley; Hanna, directed by Joe Wright, written by Seth Lochhead and David Farr

Source Code and Hanna, two new thrillers from Hollywood (both directed by British-born directors), are poor films which have little to say about real life and fail, frankly, to be “thrilling” for the most part.

One film tells the story of a US soldier used as a guinea pig in an experimental program designed to prevent a terrorist attack. The other is about a teenaged girl trained by her father to be an assassin and seek revenge against an old enemy. One relies on surprise twists and turns for its impact, and the other features a character whose violence is coldly delivered with unshakeable confidence and almost surgical precision We’ve seen too much of all these phenomena in recent years.

Source Code

In Source Code, directed by Duncan Jones (born 1971), Army Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) must prevent a major terrorist attack in the United States. A bomb has already destroyed a train in Chicago, killing everyone aboard, and more attacks are imminent. Continue reading »

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 Posted by at 2:14 pm