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Americans Are Pissed Off from Being Pissed On

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 16, 2013 9:38 AM |

What do readers think about launching a new means to measure consumer sentiment?

We can continue to measure Consumer Confidence, but I propose we also launch a monthly reading hereby defined as The Pissed Off Indicator.

Why do I sense that so many in our country are pissed off? For the very simple reason that they are sick and tired of being pissed on.

This sense of disgust is not healthy or conducive to growing our economy, but it strikes me as self-evident. I write on this topic today given a steady stream of commentary I have received from regular readers over the last few days. 

In my opinion, The Pissed Off  Indicator would generate a very high reading primarily for the following two reasons:

1. Our representatives are not really working for us. What are they doing? Spending an inordinate amount of time raising money, as mandated by party leaders. Eric Lipton of The New York Times recently addressed this fact:

After the elections in November, Democratic Party leaders gave a PowerPoint presentation urging their freshman members to spend as much as four hours a day making fund-raising calls while in Washington, and an additional hour of “strategic outreach” holding breakfasts or “meet and greets” with possible financial supporters. That adds up to more time than these first-term lawmakers were advised to spend on Congressional business.

It is not just the Dems involved in money grubbing but the Republicans as well, perhaps even more so.

2. Our incomes are not growing while the elites — many of whom work on or around Wall Street —  use their power and influence in a rent seeking fashion. The resulting income inequality in our nation strikes many as so grossly inequitable that it leaves us feeling very pissed off.

Both The Atlantic and Huffington Post address this reality. If a picture paints a thousand words, then this graph (from The Atlantic) on changes in top income distribution and marginal tax rates within countries since 1960 encompasses many volumes.

Other reasons for being so pissed off would certainly include the following:

1. special deals granted to favored groups for dealing with the expected increase in Obamacare premiums.

2. having one’s hours cut so that your employer is not subjected to the Obamacare penalties.

3. a sense that far too many of the games played in our nation — that is, big business — are rigged against ordinary everyday Americans. (Please buy my book if you do not think so … or even if you do)

I will grant you that this pissed off reality is not healthy, but I have no doubt that it is widely prevalent in our nation today. And I write this as an eternal optimist — but not one with my head in the sand.

Let’s do an unscientific polling. On a scale of 0-100 (0 being not pissed off at all, 100 being pissed off to the max) how pissed off are you right now?

Larry Doyle

Please pre-order a copy of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy, that will be published by Palgrave Macmillan on January 7, 2014.

For those reading this via a syndicated outlet or receiving it via e-mail or another delivery, please visit my blog and comment on this piece of ‘sense on cents’.

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Joe

    I would register a 105 right about now . . .

  • Ted


  • Van



  • Rudy


  • GC

    Mark me down at about 94% PO’ed.

  • Russ

    I’m a 101. (That’s 100 plus 1).

  • Jay

    Rigged is Right

  • GMA

    Definitely at the full 100 mark and growing increasingly more disgusted with the folks in D. C. and Wall Street who seem oblivious to the unrest and growing anger out here in the real world. Wonder if students are still required to read “A Tale of Two Cities” in high school these days…you know, the one about the French Revolution when a lot of “the aristocracy” ended up having an unpleasant date with a guillotine.

  • Brad

    You drug me in! I’m pissed off probably 60-70 out of 100. My problem is as you know, government is way too big and consistently failing, only to grow again and repeat the costly cycle.

    Government can’t make peace more peaceful, let it just be a justice system. I don’t pay attention to democrats and republicans any more and reagan may be the last one i vote for, maybe bush # 1.

    if any thing changed with all them that would be breaking news and it’s not happening.

    However this country still has the rule of law (albeit too many laws) and killing, assault, theft and fraud are still illegal no matter who it is committed against.

    That’s for example why there will never be peace in the mideast, if and arab kills an arab thats bad, if an arab kills a jew, not so much.

    I’m hanging on to my last 30-40% of love for this country and although we’re heading in the wrong direction fast there are still columns like sense on sense, there’s FEE, there’s gary johnson who got 1.1mm votes in the last presidential election (rosanne barr got like 40k) and it sounds like marijuana is closer to becoming legal.

    Even steve leisman on cnbc said draconian laws have banished innocent people to rot in jail for doing nothing wrong!

    Anyway i’m gonna watch sanjay gupta’s piece on weed and hope that soon i can smoke my first joint since the 70s (ok a couple in the 80s) and relax!

    After all i’m a devout law abiding citizen, i pay out of state parking tickets (seriously)

  • JDS

    Thanks very much for the post.

    Earlier today Yves Smith posted a piece on Naked Capitalism that she titled “A Disturbance in the Force”.

    In it she described the feeling she was developing of a “heightened generalized tension, the social/political equivalent of the sort of disturbance that animals detect in advance of earthquakes”. A key paragraph:

    “It isn’t just that the economic rights for ordinary workers and the social safety nets of the New Deal and the earlier labor movements here and abroad are being demolished. Major elements of a broad social and political architecture that served as the foundation for the Industrial Revolution are being torn apart: the Statute of Fraud (essential to give people of every level of society decent protection of property rights) and access to legal remedies; basic protection of personal rights (habeas corpus, due process, protection against unlawful search and seizure); local policing (as in policing being accountable to local governments). Decent quality public education and the freedom of the press are also under assault. People here have used various terms for this new political order that is being put in place; Neofeudalism works as well as any, but it looks intended to dial the clock back on many economic and civil rights of ordinary people, not back to the Gilded Age, but to before the French and American Revolutions.”

    Then you post a recommendation for a new “Pissed-Off Indicator”, with the final question, “On a scale of 0-100 (0 being not pissed off at all, 100 being pissed off to the max) how pissed off are you right now?”, versus her final lines, “do you have a similar sense of a collective rise in pressure, or tangible signs of disturbance among what passes for our elites? Or is this just me trying to draw a trend line through a random set of data?”

    Put me in at 75 which, I am much more comfortable looking for workable solutions (stuff like term limits and taxing carried interest at the maximum tax rate) than I am being pissed off.

  • IHS

    “(Being a follower of Jesus) means fighting the powers that be, whether political or religious, on behalf of the sick and the dispossessed, the poor and the marginalized, the outcast. It means rejecting those who use his name to empower themselves politically or enrich themselves economically. It means always taking the side of the individual over the institution and refusing to accept the proposition . . . that there are gatekeepers to salvation; that there are some among us who get to speak on behalf of God. There are not.

    “Walking in the footsteps of Jesus means taking the side of the poor against the rich, the weak against the mighty, the meek against the strong. Only then may we be as the psalmist says, men and women who conduct ourselves with integrity, who work for justice. who speak truth from the heart who look with contempt on the corrupt and stand up against those who exploit the innocent. Only then can we be truly called followers of Jesus and only then can nothing ever shake us.”

    Reza Aslan Preaches at All Saints Church

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