Wednesday, December 31, 2008

UP FRONT News September 24, 2010
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."
Some cliches, with a bit of adjustment, are true. One such is "the rich get richer while the poor get poorer", although it may be more accurate to suggest that "the rich get richer while just about everyone else gets poorer." With the tanking of the economy into a very severe recession, the rich have for the most part been exempted from anything approaching deprivation, while the incidence of homelessness becomes increasingly widespread with the epidemic of foreclosures, layoffs, and in major cities gentrification and "rentflation." (The federal government maintains that there little inflation - thereby justifying no increases in Social Security benefits for two years - but seems to ignore the realities of millions of tenants.)
Some people on left in particular complain (understandably I believe) that corporatism so dominates the media that much news that exposes true power of huge money is suppressed. (Folks on the right complain that the media is dominated by liberals.) While there is no question that many true stories do not appear in the mainstream media, the First Amendment is not dead. And so I intend to note important stories that appear in the media that essentially document the "rich get richer" reality - among other truisms.
On August 23 of this year The New York Times ran a story headlined "23 Million Possible Reasons For Chief to Leave Her Bank." The article was about a severance package of $23 million that would be awarded to Peyton Patterson, if and when she leaves her position as chief executive of NewAlliance Bancshares. Compare that to a typical severance payment of a retiring worker. In fact the $23 million package pales in comparison to more extravagant "golden parachutes" (and bonuses awarded to people like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs bank).
The Times also ran a story last August 3 headlined "After 99 weeks, Only Desperation" focusing on the very real tribulations of Ms. Alexandra Jarrin, who was laid off and now finds herself totally incomeless as her 99 weeks of unemplyment benefits expire.
A friend told me about an online news service "" which posts articles from around the world that may never reach people who rely on one or two news sources, if any.
Even the New York Post ran a story, first appearing in the Guardian in Great Britain reporting that it was the quartermaster at the wheel's error that resulted in the sinking of the Titanic almost 100 years ago. According to the story, the Quartermaster misunderstood a direction to steer to the right, instead turning left and straight into an iceberg. The informant, (highest ranking survivor of the disaster), revealed that he withheld that information from investigators because he "feared that it would bankrupt the White Star Line."
Sometimes it can take many years for a full story to come out.
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