Thursday, January 5, 2012

Yet another News flash!

Life is getting harder for Americans. (NYT)

"Seriously?" asks Coco. "My investments are lookin pretty good!"

(Apologies to my favorite canine pal.) If you haven't seen the article in today's NY Times, "It's Getting Harder for Americans to Rise" to a Decent Standard of Living, well, cast off that pall of cognitive dissonance, go on over there and be prepared to witness the obvious substantiated with recent facts and studies, including the likes of this posted at National Review.

Well, Duh, is all most of us can say.

And you "Haves"? Well, I think ya'll should just ignore this post cause you've heard it before and it just doesn't register with you. Too snug in your smug sense that you are somehow more worthy (oooo, I just despise me those neo-Calvinists, I do!) of the largesse with which "fate" has somehow blessed you. Certainly more than that guy or gal who's asking for help. Oh, go on, give 'er a little check. Think of it as a form of tithing for the non-religious. Keeps you in good with Kharma and all that.

There now, give yourself a nice pat on the back. As you jet off to somewhere warm and sunny.

Here's what I wrote in the comments section of that article today, and I'm proud to say so far, reading down the comments, there are several people who agree with me. And if I may toot the horn for one sec, I'm flattered to be one of (so far) a dozen (of about 350) comments listed in "NYTPicks". I do have my differences with that paper, but gee, let this little hick enjoy the moment.

"Other countries cited in this study have similar fiscal problems to those of the US, but visit Canada or the EU for any length of time, get to know the people a little, and you'll find a much happier populace of ordinary folks than we have here. Free health care is a much bigger part of this mix than the Republican party wants americans to realize. And anyone who doesn't blame this on that Party's Rino purge since Reagan, which destabilized Congress irremediably, is practicing the same willful , dreamy- eyed ignorance that got us in this mess. Republicans have always been the party of the Haves, the core of whose political philosophy was "conserving" their wealth for themselves and theirs. Reagan, Newt, the FOX propaganda machine convinced us that greed was good, a radical swing of the pendulum from the egalitarian zeitgeist of the 60s. Once the political center shifted to what was once the far right, we were gonners, as policies supporting that position became law and the fleecing of America's Treasury was the end result.

Why everyone isn't organizing a national strike is unfathomable. Our middle eastern fellow planet citizens have put us all to shame. But that's because they're fed up, and aren't worried about ruining their FICO scores if they go against the man.

It's only going to get worse, and everyone knows it. the corporatization of our government has gone that deep.

And I'm considered a glass half full kinda gal."

Some other comments I liked:

"Here in America, one learns to live like a rat in a maze subject to random shocks."

As John Stewart would say: BOOM! I particularly liked the next one as it most certainly aligned with my understanding of the several white men I know who fit the description (see yesterday's blog).

"What's difficult for conservative, white men to understand is the emotional, psychological, and spiritual oppression of poverty and hopelessness that makes it very hard for people to keep plugging away despite monumental odds against them."

This is true. It's a little like Louis C.K.'s spoiled white boy rant: whining because you have a LOT, but you don't have enough and it's isn't perfect. Spoiled, whiny white boys. Somehow, though your life has been a selfish, easy one, you deserve more, you can't possibly be more generous with the guy who has nothing! His "nothingness" is scary! Christ, that could be me if I give you too much! The myth being that, witness the Wall Streeters, Congress, and my friendless Have former friends, it's never enough. You'll always be afraid, because you live in fear rather than love for those who love you and faith in the future. You got to invest your energy and time and love in a better future for everyone in order to create one.

Here are some more astute commenters from the Times:

"Until conservative men get their egos out of the way and recognize just how limited their life experiences and perspectives are, and just how narcissistic they are being when patting themselves on the back, we'll continue to see positively silly spin coming out of the conservative think tanks and ridiculous pronouncements like the governor of Iowa's insistence that internet access creates critical thinking skills!"

Make no mistake about it. The men I'm referring to think of themselves as liberals, possibly even progressives! They "contributed" to Obama! They try to help out! (Meaning they write occasional checks, which for them is like donning an anodyne necklace against the nagging conscience that threatens to expose the myth of their deservedness.) Such is the nature of self-flattery, of rigid denial that your greatest fear is that you'll actually have to share what you have with anyone who actually needs it. For God's sake! The needy (anyone whose survival is at risk, most people these days) are scary! Who knows when they'll stop asking? And anyway, aren't they really just lazy? Why didn't God bless them with what I've got? (Not earned, got. This followed by an hysterical rant about how scary life is for the marginally wealthy.)

I forget who wrote this list of remedies for the country's dilemma, but it's a good one. (Probably found it on Zero Hedge comments or somewhere) Check it out, then let's organize a national strike, as someone in Harper's magazine suggested years ago, I think it was before the Nov. 06 elections. It's our only source of power, that and just stop buying stuff that isn't absolutely essential to survival.

Here's the guy's list of remedies. Remember he's a financial guy, but that's where the giant enema needs to be placed first.

"1) CFTC enforcing position limits.

2) SEC fining abusive companies like CITI when they repeatedly commit blatant fraud.

3) Curtail revolving door jobs between government regulators and the industries they regulate.

4) Re-institute Glass-Steagall

5) Forbid banks from evading US regulatory controls via subsidiaries in other countries; penalty: no business in the US.

6) Remove "felonies" as penalties for failure to follow administrative rulings, and add require knowledge the party intended to break the law (versus catching you in a regulatory trap where interpretation is up to a bureaucrat).

7) Forbid the Federal reserve or federal government from bailing out investment banks. Eliminate moral hazard and eliminate monopolistic entities in banking.

8) Stop Congress or legislative bodies from using "insider" information to trade.

9) Automatic recusal of regulators and bankruptcy trustees with conflicts of interest.

10) Pass legislation that requires the losing party to pay attorney fees. That'd severely pinch the ability to mis-use the court system.

11) Create an appeals process from Administrative rulings that allow US citizens the right to appeal decisions into state or federal court.

12) Limit the amount of money printing the FED can do to a % of currency outstanding, and limit FED purchases of US debt to a threshhold at a % of budget. This would force politicos to actually figure out if they can finance their over-spending without FED support.

13) Institute corporate bonus structure for key executives that requires vesting of a portion of their bonus into the future. Half up-front, remainder payable over 3 additional years tied to company performance. (Creates long-term incentives and supports rape-and-flip management).

14) Eliminate collective bargaining for all public employess except for salaries.

15) Require "signoff" by Congress/Senate, by bill section, indicating they read those sections of the bill, and require 'bill genesis' to indicate which party added specific language into the bill's history. Eliminate "voice vote" to force accountability for legislation.

16) Force congress to oversee administrative agencies, and an omsbudsman process to report administrative abuse which would be a matter of public record.

17) Forbid "law enforcement" activities that include use of firearms by non-law enforcement agencies like: IRS, EPA, Forest Service, BLM, etc. Law enforcement must be present if law-enforcement activities are required.

18) Require Congress to cite the Constitutional grounds or Supreme Court rulings for legislation it passes.

How's that for some appetizers?

Freedom baby. It's yours to defend."

What do you say we let that guy run things for awhile? A benevolent monarch, term limited. He seems to have 20/20 vision. At minimum, the guy can see, if only with one eye. "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

And as a reminder that people really are still good, by and large (though not Haves for the most part, with exceptions) check this out, the Nicest Place on the Internet. It was swell of whoever put this together; we can all use a little hug. (Except those meanies who think hugs breed cooties. They prefer the kiss/kiss, no touchy thing... Cooties and all.)

Tata for now, spread the love

1 comment:

  1. "despite all my rage i am still just a rat in a cage". Pretty true these days, eh? Gotta remember that the majority of the world lives on less than $2 a day. Makes you wonder what all these "haves" need with all they have. But redistributing wealth? That's commie talk. So maybe it's time we got some real soapboxes and started occupying street corners with a little motivational speaking. It's not like things are gonna get any easier.

    Wouldn't our founders be disappointed as hell.