Daily Archives: October 26, 2011

CBO Study

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office just released a new study. Here’s one of the graphs from the summary. Market income is defined as “labor income (such as cash wages and salaries and employer-paid health insurance premiums), business income, capital gains, capital income, and other income” before taxes. The top 1% almost tripled its income between 1979 and 2001.

The Pregnant Vacuum

The comment piece below from Zizek complements Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism. Note that he argues that the absence of a particular set of demands which the Permissive Father may register, trivialize, and dismiss represents a strength of OWS . The Right attacks OWS incoherently as dirty hippies or Stalinist wannabes while the Democratic Party– the “Left” of the truncated US political spectrum– seeks to channel their energies into enthusiasm for “new” policies (Obama’s tepid jobs program, more public $ for private financial companies, etc.).

Neither of these positions is correct, and in the absence of an ideological position congruent with the status quo, the usual suspects (cash-bloated politicians, establishment pundits, think-tank “scholars,” et al.) are at a loss as to how to interpret OWS. In this sense, moralizing about the avarice of bankers would be a false gesture, one which would fail to reach the root of the matter. Anyway, haven’t we heard that story before? The terrible abuses at Abu Ghraib, Donald Rumsfeld assured us some years ago, were the work of “a few bad apples” when in fact they were the result of a detention system pioneered in Guantanamo. If OWS is to survive this co-optating logic, it will have to think structurally, to assert that the problem lies not with apples but with the barrel itself, which rots everything that it touches. (Except for those ones at the top.)