Vanity Fair Test Marketing the Obama 2012 Campaign Themes

The old enemies list is partially resurrected. The drug companies and the rich are demonized just in time for the Democratic Party Campaign Season ritual bashing.

Vanity Fair just published a piece by Joseph E. Stiglitz for the May 2011 edition titled,  "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%. "  The title gives away the entire premise of the article, but what's interesting is the timing of the piece, as the issue of Obama's complete incompetence on economic matters has driven his approval numbers to the levels that predict a one-term Presidency. 

Here we have the opening Obama 2012 re-election gambit in test market, just to see how much of this the public will swallow.  If past experience is any gauge, the media believes that any amount of dubious rhetoric, laced with occasional statistics and references to former dictatorships where the new elites, who just happen to be the old elites, run wild, denying "the people" their fair share sells! 

As an example, the piece stabs you in the eye with the following,
While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall.  For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous -- 12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades -- and more -- has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts is Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

What? No mention that more people now work for the government where the fastest and most aggressive growth has taken place,  than do in the private sector?  Or that the flame thrower of regulations launched against the private sector has pushed jobs overseas where lower taxes, less regulation and more responsive leadership to the needs of the people who produce the products we buy accounts for the massive trade imbalances? 

But, it doesn't stop there.  Having established, or should I say resurrected the "rich" as the criminal, the piece then throws in another "enemy of the state", the financial sector and the SCOTUS decision on recent Citizens United!  Here's that little gem to get the blood boiling of the intentionally uninformed left,

Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s -- a scandal whose dimensions, by today's standards, seem almost quaint -- the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. "I certainly hope so," he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending.

Again, what?  Why no mention of George Soros and the hundreds of millions he's spread around seeking to influence?  Or, the latest financial collapse seems oddly engineered by the very people who have made a fortune off the seemingly no end in sight foreclosures and sweetheart deals with Fannie and Freddie, or used TARP and Stimulus money to buy up banks?  This largest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the government in our history gets no mention either?  Our home values have declined thanks to government policies instituted by the people who now rant against the system they created and supported. 

So far, we have "the rich" grabbing all the wealth, now "big business" buying all the government influence.  Neat huh?  But wait, there's more!  Just as the polls show the "vast majority" of Americans favor repeal, defunding and eliminating Obamacare in total, comes this,

When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift -- through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price -- it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work."

What?  After the government eliminated more jobs in the shortest time in the history of the United States, put more people out of work than at any time in our history, increased poverty levels to the highest in history, forced people to Food Stamps at record numbers in history, and when more people work for government, 22 million plus, while only 11 million work in the private sector, the piece concludes that the remaining enemy, "tax cuts for the rich" comes into view. 

Perhaps the most telling of all is the reference to the military,

The top 1 percent rarely serve in the military -- the reality is that the "all-volunteer" army does not pay enough to attract their sons and daughters, and patriotism goes only so far. Plus, the wealthiest class feels no pinch from higher taxes when the nation goes to war: borrowed money will pay for all that.

Is this the newest theme?  Is Obama going to speak about reinstituting the draft?  That would have another effect on the economy. First, it would reduce the number of people looking for work in the 18-25-age range and immediately improve unemployment numbers across the board. Second, it would put more people in the government labor force, yet another expansion of the Federal government, requiring increased tax revenue, which will have to come from what's left of the middle class.

There you have the Obama 2012 campaign, with the talking points to watch out for:

  • The top 1% doesn't pay their fair share
  • The rich and big business buy government influence, and drug companies want to kill you
  • Tax cuts for the rich take money away from you
  • The rich don't join the military

So if you hear the voices of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Joe Biden, and Obama talk about the top 1% you will know and recognize where the media first tested the rhetoric to see how it would float.

Harry Pike is the pen name of a former Wall Streeter who spent 40 years in the industry the government blames for all the evils it regulated into existence.
The old enemies list is partially resurrected. The drug companies and the rich are demonized just in time for the Democratic Party Campaign Season ritual bashing.

Vanity Fair just published a piece by Joseph E. Stiglitz for the May 2011 edition titled,  "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%. "  The title gives away the entire premise of the article, but what's interesting is the timing of the piece, as the issue of Obama's complete incompetence on economic matters has driven his approval numbers to the levels that predict a one-term Presidency. 

Here we have the opening Obama 2012 re-election gambit in test market, just to see how much of this the public will swallow.  If past experience is any gauge, the media believes that any amount of dubious rhetoric, laced with occasional statistics and references to former dictatorships where the new elites, who just happen to be the old elites, run wild, denying "the people" their fair share sells! 

As an example, the piece stabs you in the eye with the following,
While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall.  For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous -- 12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades -- and more -- has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts is Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

What? No mention that more people now work for the government where the fastest and most aggressive growth has taken place,  than do in the private sector?  Or that the flame thrower of regulations launched against the private sector has pushed jobs overseas where lower taxes, less regulation and more responsive leadership to the needs of the people who produce the products we buy accounts for the massive trade imbalances? 

But, it doesn't stop there.  Having established, or should I say resurrected the "rich" as the criminal, the piece then throws in another "enemy of the state", the financial sector and the SCOTUS decision on recent Citizens United!  Here's that little gem to get the blood boiling of the intentionally uninformed left,

Wealth begets power, which begets more wealth. During the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s -- a scandal whose dimensions, by today's standards, seem almost quaint -- the banker Charles Keating was asked by a congressional committee whether the $1.5 million he had spread among a few key elected officials could actually buy influence. "I certainly hope so," he replied. The Supreme Court, in its recent Citizens United case, has enshrined the right of corporations to buy government, by removing limitations on campaign spending.

Again, what?  Why no mention of George Soros and the hundreds of millions he's spread around seeking to influence?  Or, the latest financial collapse seems oddly engineered by the very people who have made a fortune off the seemingly no end in sight foreclosures and sweetheart deals with Fannie and Freddie, or used TARP and Stimulus money to buy up banks?  This largest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the government in our history gets no mention either?  Our home values have declined thanks to government policies instituted by the people who now rant against the system they created and supported. 

So far, we have "the rich" grabbing all the wealth, now "big business" buying all the government influence.  Neat huh?  But wait, there's more!  Just as the polls show the "vast majority" of Americans favor repeal, defunding and eliminating Obamacare in total, comes this,

When pharmaceutical companies receive a trillion-dollar gift -- through legislation prohibiting the government, the largest buyer of drugs, from bargaining over price -- it should not come as cause for wonder. It should not make jaws drop that a tax bill cannot emerge from Congress unless big tax cuts are put in place for the wealthy. Given the power of the top 1 percent, this is the way you would expect the system to work."

What?  After the government eliminated more jobs in the shortest time in the history of the United States, put more people out of work than at any time in our history, increased poverty levels to the highest in history, forced people to Food Stamps at record numbers in history, and when more people work for government, 22 million plus, while only 11 million work in the private sector, the piece concludes that the remaining enemy, "tax cuts for the rich" comes into view. 

Perhaps the most telling of all is the reference to the military,

The top 1 percent rarely serve in the military -- the reality is that the "all-volunteer" army does not pay enough to attract their sons and daughters, and patriotism goes only so far. Plus, the wealthiest class feels no pinch from higher taxes when the nation goes to war: borrowed money will pay for all that.

Is this the newest theme?  Is Obama going to speak about reinstituting the draft?  That would have another effect on the economy. First, it would reduce the number of people looking for work in the 18-25-age range and immediately improve unemployment numbers across the board. Second, it would put more people in the government labor force, yet another expansion of the Federal government, requiring increased tax revenue, which will have to come from what's left of the middle class.

There you have the Obama 2012 campaign, with the talking points to watch out for:

  • The top 1% doesn't pay their fair share
  • The rich and big business buy government influence, and drug companies want to kill you
  • Tax cuts for the rich take money away from you
  • The rich don't join the military

So if you hear the voices of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Joe Biden, and Obama talk about the top 1% you will know and recognize where the media first tested the rhetoric to see how it would float.

Harry Pike is the pen name of a former Wall Streeter who spent 40 years in the industry the government blames for all the evils it regulated into existence.

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