December 19, 2013

They're Coming for Your Pension

After suffering one of the worst economic collapses in our history, the US Government seems hell bent on balancing the budget on the backs of those who lost the most during the collapse, the middle class and poor.  The latest budget deal reduces military pensions while increasing the military budget. It is setting and furthering a president to claw back pension promises from those who can't fight back.  Even the President is in favor of reducing Social Security payments.  Why Social Security?  Isn't Social Security in the black for another 25 years?  Why suddenly does the Government feel the need to jump on this future crisis?  Well, while the Social Security trust fund may be in the black on paper, the actual taxes collected have been spent and replaced with special Treasury Bills that can't be sold on the open market.  The issue isn't Social Security running out of money, it is when Social Security is no longer running a surplus that the Government can spend.  As happened during the recent recession for a brief period, receipts dropped below payouts and the Treasury had to buy back those special T-Bills.  That required more borrowing.  The Government spent the money that we put away for retirement, now the Government wants to renege on the deal so it doesn't have to borrow more money to cover the money it borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund.  Some lock box!

This same story is going on around the country for State and Local Workers.  The Government Corporate PR machine is pumping out vitriol about how public unions jobbed State and Local citizens through collective bargaining agreements.  We all lap it up just as we did when Ronald Reagan told us about the evils of corrupt unions and how they were making our saint like corporations un-competitive.  Corporations have been shedding defined benefit retirement programs for the 401k defined contribution pension plan sending workers into the claws of the Wall Street Banksters.  Or simply bankrupted out of their pension obligations leaving the Government responsible for payments but at much lower benefits. Now State and Local government want to bail out on their pension obligations.  So we demonize the workers to make it acceptable to the populous to screw them by reneging on their retirement benefits.

So while the one tenth of one percent of top income earners have seen their incomes rise to the highest levels and their taxes reduced to the lowest levels in US history, where do we go looking for money to balance the budget?  You got it, the workers who have not seen an increase in wages in 40 years.  Do you really believe this economy can ever recover as long as the rich strip the middle and lower classes of every last dime?  Who do you think is going to buy the products that these multi-national monopolies produce?  We can prop up the stock market for only so long with Fed QE, slashing employment to reduce costs to boost profits and stock buy backs, all to give the illusion that the stock market is strong and the economy is soon to follow.  We are still waiting for austerity to pay off and now getting our pockets picked so we will be destitute in retirement.  Looking forward to those golden years working under the Golden Arches for minimum wage and no benefits!  The American Dream.

December 12, 2013

The Bill is due...

After 30 years of conservative policies, the conservatives are now claiming that the debt bill is due.  We were promised that lowering taxes on the rich would lead to trickle down wealth for all, didn't happen, we now have the worst income inequity in history.  We were promised that de-regulation would get the government off our backs and business would expand, didn't happen, the banks crashed the economy and blamed home owners.  We were promised that a strong defense would make us safer and allow business to expand around the globe, didn't happen, we are not in a perpetual war on terror, out of control government spying and lost Constitutional Rights.  We were promised tough on crime would lower crime rates, didn't happen, we now have over crowded jails with prisoners serving long sentences for non-violent offense.  We were promised that out-sourcing government would reduce costs and improve service, didn't happen, out-sourcers became high cost profit centers for private industry with lower service.

The solution from the conservatives?  Attack middle and lower class retirement funds.  Yup, the rich got richer and enjoy lower taxes but the rest, who saw no income increase, now have to pay for the failures of the conservative policies through their retirement funds be it Social Security, state and local government accounts and now Federal workers.  What ever happened to shared sacrifice?  Not in the plutocratic world.    The rich got the money and the poor get the bill! 

December 9, 2013

No....

No food stamps...
No unemployment...
No early education...
No health care...
No housing assistance...
No living wage...
No retirement...
Let'm die.

Yes military...
Yes prisons...
Yes police...
Yes NSA...
Yes CIA...
Yes Special Forces...
Power please.

Why are you so rich?
Why are you so important?
Why don't you care?
A great education yet you only learned how to amass wealth and power, not a society, not a nation, not a better world.  Wonder if all your money will over come all the short comings you built into the system?

December 7, 2013

St. Ronnies' City on the Hill: FAIL

When Ronald Reagan took office times were bad, the country needed a boost and candidate Reagan promised us a big one.  He promised us that making the rich richer by cutting taxes would all benefit us all, trickle down.  Cutting taxes would even increase government revenue through growth and new investment. If we got government off the backs of Americans and business we would all be better off.  If we build a strong defense, the world would be a safer place.  Slashing social safety net programs would push the poor to work. Times were tough, many of us signed on to what became the conservative ideology.

Trickle down became sucked up, the rich are now fabulously wealthy, pay little tax and the middle class has been gutted.  We cleared the way for banks to compete with the likes of Japan by removing regulations and the banks crashed our economy.  The  banks got bail outs, the people lost their homes.  Tax cuts didn't lead to more government revenue, we now owe 17 trillion dollars in debt.  We grew our military to defend our way of life but use it perpetually to attempt to control distant lands.  We have the greatest military in history but keep loosing conflicts and making conflicts worse then before we engaged.  We pulled down social safety net programs right into the worst economic down turn in a hundred years.  Income inequity and wealthy inequity are similarly at all time highs.

What do the current standard bears of the conservative ideology say at the end of this 30 year experiment?  They call half the country takers, people dependent on the state because they are slackers.  Never mind that many of those takers are retired, disabled from military service or students.  While all the wealth, stocks, income and assets are held by the top, leaving little for the the rest, it is us takers that are destroying the nation. They are in a panic over a social security crisis 20 years in the future, while people go without medical care, food and housing today because they can't get job.  It is not the military budget, now larger then the next ten countries combined, that is sapping our treasury, it is the retired, the homeless and the hungry that are raping the treasure.   Business is now about monopoly and political power.  Elections are paid for by the wealthy, the rest only asked to show up on election day to cast our vote for one of two business party leaders.  

So takers, I vote we take our country back.  We are the ones who have been taken, cleaned out, left for dead on the capitalist super highway.  How hungry, desperate do you have to get to cast off the corporate political PR machine?  It is time to dump the ideological slogans, the decisive rhetoric, the crock of plutocratic crap that keeps the wealth flowing perpetually up.

April 17, 2013

Capitalism's Externalities

Let's not forget that all the bombings around the world, US or "terrorist", are about the damage and corruption of unregulated capitalism. These are the costs inflicted on all of us by extracting resources, under paying labor and meddling in sovereign nations. Regardless of who actually placed the bombs in Boston, we know it is a displaced, dissatisfied and disenfranchised group or person. Capitalism isn't fair regardless of the rhetoric about opportunity. It matters who you are born to, which side of the border you are born on and what the color of your skin. Until we are willing to face the inequality of capitalism we will only see more efforts to disrupt capitalism. And we deserve it. We ignore the travesties the US government and US corporations have inflicted on the developing poor world. They only have violence left in their arsenal. We don't listen, we preach capitalism, we ignore the carnage, the suffering, the duplicity. We are laying waste to the planet and its people for a few to get rich.

April 12, 2013

Shut It Down!

We the PEOPLE need to shutter the biggest casino in OUR land.  The financial sector has morphed from capital distributor to money launder and profit skimmer.  What value do they add to the economy?  Not much and the harm from their non-productive services are doing genuine damage to we the people.  The banksters illigitamate profits are being used to buy our government and politicians through election funding and lobbyist influence peddling.  If our elect officials can not and will not turn back the take over of American by corporations and elites, we the people need to exercise our legitimate power.

Without workers and customers the banksters are out of business.  We can target one of the big five financial institutions that brought us the financial meltdown and shut it down.  Both employee and customers can choose to withhold their labor services and take their business elsewhere.  We need to demonstrate to our elected politicians and corporations that we hold the power.  That we call the shots.  This is a country of people, not a country of corporations run solely for profit to continue to enrich the elite 1%.

April 11, 2013

Stop Lending us the Profits you Should be Paying Us

Seventy percent of the US economy is consumer spending, worker spending.  If workers are not making more income how can the economy continue to grow?  Of course it can't unless all the accumulated profits are lent to workers to maintain and expand our consumer economy.  But unlike the Federal Government, which can print more money to cover past debts, consumers sooner or later have to pay off their debt or end in bankruptcy and an abysmal retirement.  It is rightly called a Ponzi Scheme that our corporate profiteers and banksters have engaged in for the last few decades.  Now they are attempting to blame the financial crisis on dead beat borrowers who borrowed beyond their means.

It is time to shut down the Ponzi scheme permanently.  Wall Street's primary business is recirculating capital and skimming big profits.  Leveraged buyouts, junk bonds, secularization of debt obligations, derivatives are all junk to extract profits from the recycling of money, not the investment of capital in business development and growth that will expand and grow our economy.

April 10, 2013

We Need a Few Americans to Sacrifice

As in war, a few must sacrifice for the many to defend the nation from our enemy.  Our enemy is within.   Corporations and the very wealthy have taken over the country.  Our politicians use social issues to distract us from economic crisis.  They get elected on social issues then vote the economic interests of corporations and wealthy.  Our elected officials have become irrelevant, their paymasters are pulling the strings.  We must demonstrate the power of the masses by targeting the bad actors that are controlling our country for their profit and running our government in their best interest.  

If a few choose to stop offering their labor to a major bank, the bank would collapse.  Banks may have redundant data centers and back up work sites but they don't have replacement workers.  They need us to run their businesses and make their profit.  Our politicians need to see that the people will exert their power to rein in rogue businesses that only serve the wealthy.  

There is a reason we have Public Companies.  Becoming a public company bestows legitimacy and status  An agreement to follow laws, regulations, oversight and provide transparency.  In return, public companies owe the stakeholders of the nation a responsibility to conduct themselves in the best interest of all.  If the gains aren't being shared then the protections of limited liability and the courts, the use infrastructure and public services should be withheld. 

 A nation is about people, real living people, not man made constructs and profit.  A corporation isn't a person, money isn't speech.

April 9, 2013

Exercising our Power

If we don't act soon there will be little left to save.  We have suffered a devastating financial crisis and our government hasn't acted in the interest of the people they represent.  Politicians are beholden to their paymasters who fund elections, corporations and the very wealthy.  Income, wealth and power has migrated to the top.  We the workers have been fooled, we still hold the power but have been convinced we are weak and must take the random abuse dished out by corporations as they lay off workers to keep profits up for executive management and stockholders.  

It is time to remind our overlords who holds the power.  They need us, we don't need them.  They are a small minority, we are the masses.  While off-shoring and automation has decreased demand for labor in the US, corporation require skilled labor to run corporations: no workers, no business. Rather then suffering the fate dished out by corporations, it is time to shut down the worst actors and reassert our control over our country and lives.  Rather than a few being laid off across many corporations amounting to massive unemployment, it is time to shut down the excessively greedy, corrupt and above the law businesses.  Too big to fail, to big to jail: too big to trust.

Imagine targeting one of the big five financial companies with a worker walk out.  Not a strike, a mass resignation.  Just shut down a major Wall Street bank for good.  No Congressional bail-out or Fed liquidity could save a bank that has no workers to operate.  The doors would remain closed, the bank would close and the executive would be out of work, a first in this crisis.  A lesson from the people that greedy businesses that have lost sight of all the stake holders in the economy can be pushed off the economic cliff.  

February 18, 2013

What's wrong in America? BIG

The American political system has become bipolar with extreme wings because both sides want to protect their big interests.  The Republicans are backing big business in the name of markets, innovation and entrepreneurs.  The Democrats are backing big government in the name of fairness, equality and great society.  Both are big burdens on Americans.  How better to avoid an attack on your big interest then polarize the political debate so there is no middle moderates to call bullshit on both sides.  

Big Business loves big government.  Business wants one stop anti-competitive regulations and contracts in a centralized isolated bureaucracy.  It is more cost effective to send one permanent team of lobbyist to DC then travel to 50 different state houses to push legislation and win contracts  The permanent big club allows players to seamlessly move back and forth enhancing their personal wealth and interests.  

Our elected officials are suppose to represent the people's interests.  Now that they are for sale to the highest bidder, public debate is focused on  less important social issues that big interests are not interested in and remain silent on unemployment, income and wealth inequity and climate change.  

August 30, 2012

Prayers & Positive Thoughts

Americans love to express their concern for other's misfortune on social media sites by writing "our prayers and positive thoughts are with you."  As Bill Cosby once said, "thinking about cutting the grass doesn't get the grass cut."  People who are suffering don't need your thoughts and prayers, they need your help.  Hollow words are for the selfish.  God and words have never fed a family, rebuilt a home or town or a country.  If you care, do something.  If you are just trying to make yourself feel better about doing nothing, shut up.  America is a country that has handed off social issues to the government collectively turning our back on our families and neighbors.  Now we wants to shut off safety net and emergency aid to fund tax cuts for the rich and military spending to maintain economic control over the world.  It is unsustainable but apparently no one is going to notice till its too late.  We have been de-humanized by capitalism and the pursuit of wealth.

August 29, 2012

Militarization of America

The military industrial complex, the national security industrial complex and the homeland security industrial complex are bankrupting American.  Everyone seems ok with this, keep cutting social safety net programs.  I suspect with a bit of thought we can guess what the military is preparing for.  The military knows global warming is happening and American economic interests are going to explode to include food and water or at least protecting them from a famished thirsty world. (The military is working on plans to prepare for global warming and the ensuing shortages and disruptions expected from changing climate.) The Defense Dept can't fulfill its former primary role of national defense  stretched so thin protecting economic national interest through war.  Perhaps it should revert to its original name of War Dept.  We created a new defense department: Homeland Security.  Internal security is provided by the FBI, local and state police.  We got lots of security!  Someone is expecting a crisis. 


We aren't gong to have enough troops to put boots on the ground so we are developing drones and cyber weapons.  We are creating a poor underclass to fill the military and contract military roles to fight to secure future self created resource shortages.  It's a beautiful country, an exceptional country...too bad its mostly a lie.

August 27, 2012

If we could just save a few pennies...

This was the theme of an old Microsoft commercial about how tech efficincies could save a few pennies on each transactions that would add up to millions.  We are living that joke now.  Everywhere we turn business is trying to save a few pennies on each transaction or make a few pennies.

The bright techie holding a nickle while co-workers looked on confused.  We are the ones looking on confused now.  How did we get nickled and dimed to death?  Businesses argue that the customer gets most of the value of the products and services they sell.  Investors and employees only get a small fraction of the value they create.  How then did CEO's start getting paid millions?  

Enhancing revenue is the code word for screw the customer or tax payer for that matter.  Airlines, banks and cell carries use the fees and penalties revenue enhancement model to boost revenue and reduce customer value.  Airlines now charge to book tickets with a customer service representative.  Need to make a change in your flights?  The fees can be more then the original ticket.  Banks charge more for overdraft then the actual overdraft.  ATM were to reduce bank costs now they charge huge fees to use ATM's, a new profit center. Cell carries make a fortune on over usage, well above their highest unlimited plans.  Customers lost the power and the middle class is suffering if not collapsing from the uneven power between multi-national corporations and individual consumers.  

August 26, 2012

Is the United States Un-Developing

Education and healthcare are declining relative to developed countries.  Military, security and surveillance spending is increasing.  Government secrecy is increasing.  The US is at war, is conducting military operations and maintains military bases around the globe, far more then any nation.  The national infrastructure is decaying and not being rebuilt.  Income & wealth inequity is increasing. The US imprisons more people per capita then any other nation. The middle class is disappearing.   Corporate & political public relations propaganda is rising.  Politics is funded by the wealthy.  The media is owned by corporations.   Corporations are people in the eyes of the courts and protected by the Constitution.  Money is speech by Supreme Court ruling.  Corporate corruption is rampant, prosecutions rare.   Regulations that safe guard individuals, society and the environment are under attack or gone. Taxes are falling for the wealthy while services for the poor are declining.

We're in trouble.  We the People didn't ask to get screwed by an elite in pursuit of ever more wealth and power.  Will they take the US down in their quest?

August 24, 2012

Divide and Impoverish

American society is being broken down into smaller and smaller units.  The extended family is now focused on the nuclear family.  Many are now choosing not to have children.  Many individuals are deciding not to even marry.  American society is getting broken down to just the individual.  A single person left to their own to survive the challenges of life, society, politics and economics.  Where are the support networks that make our nation resiliant?  Where are the families that buoyed the down and out.  Who is there standing by your death bed?

Economically it makes sense to break up the family into the smallest possible unit.  Every person now needs a stove, washer, drier, car and home.  It is an economic boom.  Low quality products that are hardly used sold to every man, woman and child, huge volumes with cheaper lower quality and cost.  What is the price of this re-engineering of America?  We are learning that the government can't afford the safety nets that helped the unemployed, disabled, sick, poor and the old.  The resources of the individual are far less then the extended family that could step in to help in time of crisis.  The pay back to the individual to help is not the same as to the extended family.  The costs to the individual too high, return too unlikely.  

We have stopped helping one another as a country.  We don't get involved in politics, we let it happen to us.  We live an isolated life so we don't know if our neighbor needs assistance.  We live a drive by life, see the accident on the side of the freeway and shake our head thankful it is not us but don't stop to help and quickly erase the memory to avoid the fear of what if it really was us?  Would anyone stop for us, help us if we made a misstep?  No, no one is stopping any more.  Everyone is to scared to fall off the tread mill of capitalism.   The elite control the tread mill and keep pushing the slope and speed up explaining we are competing with the world now.  Trust us we know what is best for you.

August 22, 2012

An Economy in search of Superstars

Why is everyone working despairingly to keep up?  Why are so many resorting to cheating to stay in the game?  Why is income and wealth inequity exploding?  We have build an economy around paying superstars extraordinary income far in excess of their contributions.  Corporations now claim that stratospheric CEO compensation is an investment not just compensation for work.  

The entertainment industry lead this charge decades ago.  Whether it music, movies or sports, corporations raced to find the next superstart and pay them a king's random.  CEO's wanted a cut of the action and recast themselves as the superstars of the corporate world.  The leaders that will by their very presence drive profitability and stock value.  They turned equity market watching into a media event.  The media happily joined the horse race mentality.  Instead of long term growth we now have short term home runs that make the few a lot and leave the carnage for the rest.  Just as the drug using ball player final gets caught or collapse, we now live in an age of corporations on steroids, here today, gone tomorrow, along with all the money.  

August 20, 2012

Prison: We are creating the very monsters we are trying to protect ourselves from

Put a kid in prison for possessing drugs and you end up with a far more dangerous person after their release.  We need a re-think on who and why we incarcerate people.  Prison as a solution and punishment is too easy for society.  It is a way to avoid looking at societies failings.  The stick and the carrot doesn't cut it: prison or wealth.  Not much in between.  The silly notion of economic Darwinism is simply a cover for societies failure, refusal to consider fairness as a basic right and what does the individual owe society.  We have now succeed to lock up a generation of young black males for non-violent drug possession.  What do we expect the outcome of this tough on drug policy?  Do we expect these men will come out of prison better people after seeing and living the horror of gangs and rape?  Do we think we have fooled them into thinking their punishment is fair and just?  Do we think they do not know that the system is rigged?  The drug war is immensely profitable for the defense industry, private prisons and banking sector.  The US uses the drug war as an excuse to put US military in foreign countries.  Everyone at the top seems to be making out quite well in money and power.  Why do the kids using the drugs end up in prison?

August 18, 2012

Diplomacy in Jeopardy

It is very hard to believe the US is not exerting a very heavy hand in the Assange criminal and diplomatic disputes. I am shocked that the UK would threaten to withdraw diplomatic status of Ecuador's embassy. Clearly Assange’s release of US diplomatic documents is at the core of this conflict. Have the UK and US really dissolved to the level of blatant disregard for diplomatic security and integrity? The US has clearly walked away from international agreements on war and torture. Once our governments fail to uphold the law, how can we expect the banks to bother with following the law either? Or anyone else for that matter, it is just a power play now.

August 16, 2012

American Exceptionalism? Not by the Numbers.

We still have all the ingredients for greatness, to be a beacon of freedom and economic possibilities, to lead the World in this millennium.. but will we?  It is up to you and me.. all of us.. not the politicians, pundits, special interests, political action committees, lobbyist, corporations or PR firms... What do you want America to be?  Start with a sober look at where America stands today compared to the other developed countries... in the most critical areas of social ranks.. damn it.. F ing last place... that's not the exceptionalism we think about when we think of America.

The world as seen by Republicans, in a land of myth and amnesia | Gary Younge | The Guardian http://bit.ly/MV1AxS

We're No. 1! We're No. 1! We're ... uh ... not? - CNN.com http://bit.ly/QWvOjT

August 14, 2012

Copyright: Business Regulations for Profit


Copyright is to protect publishers not writers.  The copyright laws are not primarily meant to protect the creator of works.  Copyright is meant to ensure the profits of the distributor of material.  A business model has been created around the distribution of works by marketing, packaging and distribution.  Music is the best example.  A few pop stars are selected.  Are their works the ones that will most contribute to society?  Probably not. Mass appeal and distribution typical locks out other artist whose work may have more societal value.  Copyright is about big business controlling the market to extract profit, I would even go so far as to say rent.  The musician goes on concert to make an income and contribute to the marketing of their work.  The profits from the sale of their music remains with the publisher.

Ideas are built on societies shoulders.  What ideas are not built on the ideas of those that proceeded them or collaborated with them?  What work is not based on society?  All of these components to a work are contributed by others.  Very few ideas are genuinely new and innovative.  Maybe Einstein's General and Special Relativity?  Research shows how much of modern rock is based on decade's old artists.  The mind creates by connecting unrelated ideas, this is not creation but more like synthesis.  Does the synthesizer deserve total control and rights to this compilation?   

Mass markets change the equation.  The cost of distribution is dropping to zero.  Mass markets permit profits on micro prices. Apple has proven both in music and apps that one can sell songs and apps for a dollar and make a profit instead of CDs in jewel cases for 20 dollars.  The tech age is crushing the monolithic publishing and distribution business model, copyright law is a regulation protecting an antiquated business model.

Most artist do toil is poverty and obscurity to fulfill their passion.  What is the goal of the artist?  Is it really to get rich from their work?  Is fame and fortune not just the acceptance of their work and validation?  How much does the pop star contribute to society beyond entertainment?  The publishing model has skewed rewards to those who aim for the populist general public.  It is generally the outliers who are marginalized and their works are lost or ignored.  These are the innovations that could add the greatest value to society.  The artist that sets aside our materialist society, who survives on passion for drive is creating the innovative and contrarian works.  Those bound by popularity have boxed themselves into echoing society.

Copyright is a business tool to limit expression.  We extend it at our own peril. 

August 6, 2012

Circumventing US Labor & Environmental Law

That's what off-shoring manufacturing is really about.  Labor is cheaper but labor makes up a smaller and smaller portion of the cost of goods.  The really high costs are the externalities: pollution, toxic waste, worker health and safety.  Corporations have figured out how to circumvent all the labor and environmental laws built up over the last century.  Are we happy that our iToys are build by children working 12 hour days?  Are we proud that our computers are vastly adding to pollution around the world.  It is easier to ignore the problem when it is not in our back yard.  California is my favorite example of off-shoring our environmental messes.  LA is the car capital of the World yet California has stopped oil drilling off its coast.  We all live on one small planet we can't push our problems overseas.  Climate change is proving that we will all suffer.  

August 4, 2012

Role of Government and Business

We are being told that if we run government like a business we'll have a lower cost & more efficient government.  This ignores two facts, big business is not a model of efficiency and the role of government isn't to make a profit but to pursue social outcomes.  As we apply the tools of business to government we make government less effective and less efficient.  I suspect that is exactly as the Republicans want it.  They are creating their own self-fulfilling prophecy of failed government needing to be whacked back to free the entrepreneur (read: multi-national corporation) to make a profit.  We are seeing the results in the financial melt down and big pharma fines for promotion of off-label uses of drugs.  Democratic government is meant to be by the people for the people, a balance against business not a partner with business.  Business is for profit, not protection of individuals.  We have lost a separation of wealth and government and the individual is suffering, badly.

August 2, 2012

Burning Down the House

Without the counter balance of government to rein in business we are all doomed.  Government is the only institution that has the power and legitimacy to balance wealth creation against the needs and rights of society to ensure fairness and equity.  It is the people's country after all.  The idea of a corporate person demonstrates the tortured logical of our age.  Government and politician have abdicated their most basic responsibility to society and nation, they sold out, accepted that greed is good.  The 3000 or so think tanks in the US feed the machine with the false logic that rising wealth is always good for society.  Even in the face of catastrophic failure, the fact generators explain we just need more free markets and less government interference.  

Today we are teetering on the precipice.  No one seems to notice society collapsing.  We are left with no party or government representing the people.  Our government isn't thinking about the best interests of the country in the long run.  Wealth is the end all, be all of national security and international power.  Short term profits are the proof, long term trends are the voodoo science of the statistician and scientist.  We are living in the age of irrationality, unhinged from debate, fact and research.  When in doubt religion is used to explain the situation of the desperate, it's gods doing.  Science is co-opted and trans-morphed into pop theory:  Social Darwinism.  Take your pick, religion and science both support unfettered markets and wealth inequity.  The illogical of using both religion and science to justify the existence of poverty demonstrates the corrupt and bankrupt ideology that is driving us over the edge.

August 1, 2012

Those Who Have Everything

When do those who have everything start contributing to society in more then just words?  80% of the world's population lives on less then $10 a day.  That statistic hasn't changed much over the decades.  The American middle class is collapsing while we are being told that capitalism is making the world richer yet the very poorest don't seem to be doing any better.  Total wealth is expanding but individual wealth growth is all flowing to the top.  How can the wealthiest continue to claim their business endeavors are contributing to the world's wealth yet incomes are dropping.  How can wealthiest justify more tax cuts to keep more of the wealth they are creating.  Incomes are dropping for all levels except the top 10%.  From 2001 to 2007 the wealthiest have seen their taxes halved and their income double.  Where is the huge economic expansion and middle class wealth creation we have been promised going to happen? This of course is the ultimate in economic un-sustainability.  Unsustainable seems to be the modus operendi of business, be it pollution, resource use, out sourcing and corruption.  When can we declare this conservative capitalist experiment a massive failure?  

July 31, 2012

Conservative Stranglehold

Generally speaking, the Conservatives are happy with the status quo.  They won the ideological debate over the last 30 years and intend on maintaining it through government gridlock.  Austerity, we already have it.  Huge defense budgets, done.  Low tax rates on the wealthy and capital, check.  De-regulation, complete. The Conservatives have only a societal hammer and continue to pound away at the social fabric.  Conservative strictures continues to be enforced against all social and economic ills.  

Liberals don't have much to add to the debate, both sides are beholden to their corporate overlords.  We are trapped by two sides of the same coin.  The capitalists are running the show, the people's role has been eliminated.  This is the undercurrent in the debate over the last 30 years, which is the foundation of society, democracy or capitalism:  wealth creation vs fairness and equity.  Trickle down wealth and the Laffer Curve are theories to explain and justify the leading role of economics over government 

How far will we have to fall or collapse before new leaders emerge.  Leaders emerging from the majority ranks of the suffering poor or worse demigods using inequity and suffering to mislead?  How radical will these leaders be?  How radical and violent will the changes be? Equity and fairness are socialist radical ideals to the capitalist conservative and will be fought at any cost. 

The entrenched are preparing: the police are militarized, the tactics used ignore human rights and Constitutional rights.   The current corporate capitalist system will fail when it gets bad enough for the masses.  Why do we have to wait for the implosion and the ensuring damage of a break down in society? That is supposed to be the advantage of democracy, peaceful change.  Is it really that hard to see the path we are on and how it is likely to end?  I fear so.