From last Sunday’s NY Times, The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent:
The crony capitalism of today’s oligarchs works in two main ways.
The first is to channel the state’s scarce resources in their own direction. This is the absurdity of Mitt Romney’s comment about the “47 percent” who are “dependent upon government.” The reality is that it is those at the top, particularly the tippy-top, of the economic pyramid who have been most effective at capturing government support — and at getting others to pay for it.
Exhibit A is the bipartisan, $700 billion rescue of Wall Street in 2008. Exhibit B is the crony recovery. Economists Saez and Piketty found that 93 percent of the income gains from the 2009-10 recovery went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. The top 0.01 percent captured 37 percent of these additional earnings, gaining an average of $4.2 million per household.
The second manifestation of crony capitalism is more direct: the tax perks, trade protections and government subsidies that companies and sectors secure for themselves. Corporate pork is a truly bipartisan dish: green energy companies and the health insurers have been winners in this administration, as oil and steel companies were under George W. Bush’s. 1
It is therefore correct to reject Mr. Romney’s depiction [for his depiction of 47 percent of America as wealth takers rather than wealth makers] as off-base and misleading. Yet the fact that he didn’t present the truth is an indication that the problem is actually worse than many of us realize.
Minnie in handcuffs:
Activists with Rainforest Action Network (RAN), costumed as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, blocked the entrance to the Walt Disney Company’s headquarters as two other activists unfurled a banner reading, “Disney: Destroying Indonesia’s Rainforests.”
Two years ago nine of the top ten American publishers of children’s books — including Disney — used paper from endangered rainforests. Most of the publishers have now committed to sustainable paper and Disney has just announced it will also stop buying paper linked to rainforest destruction. 3
I had a Native-American portrait by Edward Curtis (but the ex got that). Looked similar to this one. Here’s a story connected to him. Seattle was named for an Indian, but the tribe was removed to a reservation; they were not allowed to live in Seattle. Curtis discovered the Chief’s daughter living in the city, illegally, which lead him to become the most famous photographer of Native-Americans. This from Wikipedia. (Note: Chief Seattle first saw Captain Vancouver. My son lives in Vancouver.)
Chief Seattle as a young boy probably saw the first Europeans who visited the Puget Sound region area: Captain George Vancouver and his sailors, when they anchored their ships the Discovery and the Chatham near the southeast corner of Bainbridge Island, across from the present-day city of Seattle, in 1792. Chief Seattle was always intrigued by Europeans and their culture, and he later became good friends with Doc Maynard, the adventurous, hard-drinking entrepreneur who more than anyone helped establish the city of Seattle. Chief Seattle saved Doc Maynard from an assassination attempt by another Indian. Chief Seattle also helped protect the small band of European-American settlers in what is now Seattle from attacks by other Indians. Because of his friendship and help, at the urging of Doc Maynard, the settlers named their city after him.
Chief Seattle has had a worldwide influence in another way. His daughter, called “Princess Angeline” by local European-Americans, lived out her old age in a waterfront shack in present-day downtown Seattle. A young photographer, Edward S. Curtis, who often saw her in Seattle, became intrigued by her and often photographed her and talked with her. Curtis’s interest in Princess Angeline led to an interest in other American Indians, and Curtis went on to become the most famous photographer of them. He devoted most of his life to taking pictures of Indians all over America, with the financial backing of industrialist/art collector J. P. Morgan and the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt. His monumental work in documenting the lives of the first Americans ranks him among the greatest photographers of all time.
This just in. One of the young coyotes just trotted across my driveway with a limp – bad back leg, right side.