Insanity and its Malcontents

I keep doing the same basic post over and over, hoping something will change. I know what that makes me, so this is one of the last posts I'm going to do in this blog (though you can still find me

occasionally). It's had a reasonably good run, made its point. Time to move on. But still. Holy crap, every day. Here are three more stories that, once again, underscore the, uh, score.


The Times

comes out with

It surely won't surprise many to learn that the figure for a single adult is about $30,000. The official poverty line, by contrast, is just north of $10,000. But the higher figure, ginned up by the nonprofit group Wider Opportunities for Women, includes such extravagances as savings—you know, for the future?—of $1,776. If we eliminate those, and arbitrarily remove "taxes" from the equation (‘cause everyone knows the poor don't actually pay taxes—

), we arrive at a figure of $24,000 per annum, still considerably more than twice the poverty rate. What percentage of working Americans currently earn at least that much? According to the

approximately 75 percent, as of 2009. Which means that, in the U.S.A., the real poverty rate is something close to 25 percent—not the 12-16 percent usually reported. My figures are very conservative, of course, as they do not include the unemployed and other welfare cheats who are obviously undeserving of prosperity. Or food. Or housing. Since they don't pay any taxes. And speaking of taxes, you may have heard, as recently reported, that General Electric

, owing to its mad accounting skillz. What you may not know (unless you're self-employed) is that paying zero taxes, mostly by salting away cash for the future, is a game even relative paupers (earning just $150k a year--i.e., the top 5 percent of U.S. earners) can play—if they take the trouble to incorporate. So

, anyway. As he points out, the proper response to GE's good fortune is anything but outrage:

With billions of taxpayer dollars used to prop up GE and rest of the financial industry, folks rightly wonder who got the money, and what collateral it was lent against. As


fought to get the Federal Reserve to divulge that information, won the fight (at the Supreme Court, no less), and

. The headline news: Yes, of course we lent money against for worthless, defaulted debt. The biggest borrower was Morgan Stanley:


Really. More info is certainly still buried in the released documents, Bloomberg notes:

why the work being done by Bloomberg's people on this is harder than it should be:


And the result of that will be?