Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street

15
Apr
16

The Trash Economy

In the trash economy, they even pay you for picking up trash.
You get fully state benefits, medical, and retirement. All
you have to do is vote!  The state will give you all you need
to live in one handy-dandy, little white-plastic shopping bag.

It’s all about the taxes. Without a balanced approach, states are left with serious problems economically to provide needed state services.  Seems the Republicans are buying power to budget cut their states at the benefit of big business by lower corporate taxation.  But there are serious consequences to this new right wing movement, and that is the cut trash economyof education and government services.

You see the logic used by these politicians was that if you cut the cost of government, people will be awarded with more jobs and less of a tax burden, but the tax burden was only lifted really for the businesses in those states. Were they afraid that businesses might move out of state to build plants and operations overseas, or even worst place their corporate headquarters under shell companies on remote islands and in places like Panama, so as not to pay any state or federal taxes at all. panama papers

The problem here is that American governance has been sold by power hungry politicians to those with the money, big money, especially Wall Street banks and investment banks.

States where the governments have been taken over by republicans are in the worst shape – and remember we aren’t yet even discussing federal level politics, though that is also a huge problem. But the states are in sorry shape with the mantra of “Cut Government Spending” has actually taken place, where prisons have been emptied, education budgets halved and all sorts of services have been trimmed.  So who is going to pick up your trash, keep your water clean, your roads fixed, teach your kids, and incarcerate your drug addicts and sellers?

The combination of corporate America taking its work out of the control to improve the bottom line and the trashing of governance and public services has really screwed up states. Tax revenues are down. Stagnation has occurred.  The reduction in revenues has impact what states and local governments are willing to pay people as well.  In one state no one will work at the community centers because they can make more money working elsewhere.  And who really wants to be a prison guard after all for so little pay? Shell bermuda companies

Whacked by our politicians

How whacked is it? Think about it.  If the jobs are in the public sector and not the private sector, than the money generation for state taxes is taxing those who work for the state – smells like socialism.   We are a socialist country already, as the government already controls too much.  And the real problem is that that government officials are not beholden to the people, but to those who finance their campaigns, and who pay them to pass legislation, or to pull old legislation.  Do you remember the Glass-Steagall Act?

Glass-Steagall Act

Remember or learn that BACK IN 1999, Democrats led by President Bill Clinton and Republicans led by Sen. Phil Gramm joined forces to repeal Glass-Steagall at the behest of the big banks. Yes, the big banks wanted to make more money by handling investments.  When they earn more money, no new jobs are created, only more money enters the hands of their companies, their shareholders and consequently the rich get richer and nothing improves for the poor. The original reason for the Glass Steagall Act was to protect the country from the conflict of interest between investment and banking which caused the great depression in part.  The great serpent, that lying beast, the economic devil in disguise of glad tidings raised its head back at the Bush administration bailouts.

corporate bribery.png

Corporate Bribery

 

Another reason things went south was by letting rich people and corporations hide their profits in shell companies.  That should be illegal.  Those con men selling that to the American people need to go to prison.  Also tariffs need to be place on foreign produced goods, so that manufacturing is driven back to American shores and so that real jobs are created for people to work at, and where they can get off government subsidies and aid. Just think about how many other panama type exposures could happen to reveal how much of America wealthiest hide their money!

 

The politicians have made their masters very happy, and they have gotten fat and rich, but they have devastated their local state economies, gutted state education and ruined state employees’ benefits and pay.  Educators need resources, people need education, and innovation comes from education, not in tax shelters, tax breaks and incentives to invest in the infrastructures of other countries.  Again the rich benefit, and they PAY THEIR FAVORITE POLITICIANS to keep it that way.  Just how the 2016 election is paid for by Wall Street.

Look at the following examples to see how screwed up state economies have gotten:

Misssissippi:

“County officials across Mississippi are warning of job losses and deep deficits as local jails are being deprived of the state inmates needed to keep them afloat. The culprit, say local officials, is state government and private prisons, which are looking to boost their own revenue as sentencing and drug-policy reforms are sending fewer bodies into the correctional system.”

Response; why should the local economy be tied to the working in prisons and drug law enforcement efforts. This is madness. Economies should not be derived from the business of government. Read the article about how screwed up Mississippi is here.

Kansas:

“The bulk of Brownback’s tax moves in 2012 and 2013 revolved around state income tax rates for individuals. Those cuts, which primarily benefited those already wealthy enough to shoulder a greater share of the cost of schools and roads in Kansas, are politically untouchable even in the current calamity. But Brownback’s other signature move has lost the support of several of his fellow Republicans and will likely be at the epicenter of any budget deal lawmakers ultimately achieve.”

Response: another case of cut taxes for the rich, and lose state services like education.  Who needs an educated population?  Voters need to be stupid to vote for republicans who slice the education budget in half.  Who needs trained engineers, nurses, scientists, doctors, civil servants and academics?

Final Thoughts:

What has destroyed state economies is the same thing that has created the Wal Mart American society, the trash economy. What has depleted the Middle class, made the poor dependent on Uncle Sam, and ruined the livelihood of regular Americans, is that the government is now in charge of ensuring the rich get richer.  Without productive jobs to go to, everyone can only afford to buy cheap foreign made goods.  The quality of American life, the American dream in is glory, is fading.  This is the Trash Economy.  Relying on jobs in the public sector where half the country, especially the darker colored ones, is the only economical solution, is bizarre at best. What has to be fixed is how we earn our money.  The rich need to have rules that apply to them.  Throw out congress and elect people who will change the rules on how profits are made, close the tax shelters.  Bring the jobs home, and make it unprofitable for companies to take their work overseas.

New Jobs for the Middle Class

Now hiring: Workers are seen sorting as the conveyor belt moves recyclables to be sorted at the Waste Management Elkridge Material Recycling Facility on June 18, 2015 in Elkridge, Md. D.C. and other local jurisdictions send their recyclable materials to the Waste Management facility in Elkridge for recycling. The cardboard and paper products are baled and shipped to China for new product production. The facility is a one thousand ton facility, where it takes in a thousand tons and sends out a thousand tons daily. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

 

Articles referred to in this blog piece

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/mississippi-jails-are-losing-inmates-and-local-officials-are-devastated-by-the-loss-of-revenue/ar-BBrLU3D?li=BBnb4R7&ocid=SL5BDHP

http://sandiegofreepress.org/2012/08/how-mitt-romney-set-up-offshore-shell-corporations-bank-accounts-and-paid-no-taxes/

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2012/08/27/repeal-of-glass-steagall-caused-the-financial-crisis

http://www.thenation.com/article/what-happens-when-republicans-try-destroy-public-education/

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wall-street-is-putting-money-behind-these-presidential-candidates_us_55b143e7e4b08f57d5d414ad

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-25/what-s-destroying-middle-class-wages-china

http://usuncut.com/class-war/the-trickle-down-disaster-in-kansas-is-so-bad-that-even-republicans-are-trying-to-cover-it-up/

 

31
Aug
11

America: Striving for a Just World

America land of liberty, equality and democracy is headed in the wrong direction these days.  Two tenets of virtue have fallen to pertinacious winds of change.  First you had the (intellectual and physical) competition of Americans driving for Americans to build a great society, one for the greater good.  Innovation and practical improvements in the last two centuries prove how amazing competition in working toward technological solutions have been.  Then you had the second quest for truth and a pure form of government, which drove American lawmakers along with scientists to continue the improvements by creating a society of law and order, and one which used science to eliminate disease and improve sanitation and the health of Americans, substantially increasing the lifespan of Americans.  Now  these lines of power are like exposed wires, and the frayed spots are beginning to spark like hell.  You’ve gotten justice turning to political decision-making and competition and innovation corrupted by cheating and greed.

Justice is done

These topics more than the terriblenews of the Irene hurricane stirred my mind this week, setting off some realizations of where the big ship of American life is headed – can you say iceberg, or are your dining on the American Titanic. First of all have you read about the Supreme Court (of Injustice?), and Clarence (Can’t Touch This) Thomas’s decision?  How a court can throw out evidence and make such a impactful and fateful choice to disregard the Brady standards, must be covered in political (or irrational) premises.  The Supreme Court overthrew multiple appellate decisions regarding the Connick vs. Thompson, which basically took a settlement of one million dollars for each year a man was unjustly imprisoned for a crime he didn’t do.  The injustice involved is staggering, and the Supreme Court’s ruling is one that brings many legitimate questions about the health of American justice, as does the OJ Simpson trial and the Casey Anthony case.  Do these cases spin your head? The evidence cited by the majority decision does not mention 10 possible Brady violations, but Ginsberg in writing the dissenting opinion clearly states her conclusions that the DA office had violated the civil rights of the prisoner, who was convicted of a murder he did not do, and for which he spent 14 years of his life in prison, awaiting execution.  What really got the bullet is American’s concept of justice and protection against prosecutors withholding evidence.  As a critic added (after this decision) “the court has created a perfect Catch-22, since the courts already give prosecutors absolute immunity for their actions as prosecutors (though they may still be liable for their conduct as administrators or investigators). By immunizing their bosses as well, the court has guaranteed that nobody can be held responsible for even the most shocking civil rights violations.”  About the Brady violations, a writer from the Moderate Voice states: Authorities also failed to produce a police report in which one of their witnesses gave statements to the police that contradicted their testimony at trial. They also coached witnesses, improper conduct by legal ethics standards, to work around evidence supporting Thompson’s innocence. In all, at least ten exculpatory exhibits were withheld from the defense.  [the whole opinion from the court]

And … the drama – did you know that this all came out because one of the culprit (prosecutor) who was dying of cancer confessed of this withholding of information during his last few breaths of life.  The guilt, and the drama!!!  Where is the value of convicting people for crimes they didn’t do?  What kind of pressure is happening to make people do this to others?  I’ve never worked in the halls of justice, but I have walked them seeking justice myself.  Some people say that ethnic and racial profiling is involved, and the white prosecutors don’t care what negro serves time for another’s crime; is that possible? Yet, could it be that another (second) strand of wiring, exposed and nearly shorting out the greatness of our nation.  Yes, competition.  Competition: to close cases, even if you have to lie and cheat.

In my humble opinion the government needs to protect the people, especially from the government and this decision surely throws things back a hundred years. The line of reason twists significantly when unfair completion enters this systems of law and order. Though competition is something that can bring about a great improvement for humanity, when it  helps people to strive to be their best.  Yet when there is any unfair advantage, the system that pits equals, then supports unequal circumstances.  Those with the advantage gain in whatever way they can, sometimes by cheating.  The simplest advantage can be wrought by bumping a fellow runner, running a familiar course, or more notoriously by taking steroids.  The American field of athletics is filled with NCAA violations in recruiting, the Olympians being paid professional athletes, and big television money (like the Texas piece).  The baseball scandals only proved what we Americans know: the unfair advantage is promoted by baseball, with the hopes no one will see.  Steroids buffed home run kings like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa.  These are baseball players that made the professional home run look like an ordinary blast from their bats. Here you have two elements intertwined, interlaced and unfortunately they are big part of the theatre of sports.  Sports without enhancement drugs just doesn’t exist.  Even high school kids are doing them.  It probably runs through the whole of all professional athletes.  If you want the faster step, the crushing grip, the larger physical size, you get pumped.  The big time players make big time bucks, too, and isn’t it all about the money?

Amateur sports has also taken the hit, and has been sucked into the vacuum of cheating and foul play.  The truth of this comes out, and spoils the whole ideal of  non-professinoal competition.  First on my list was what transpired in my life time regarding the Olympics.  I use to watch these events, and it was rather fun to watch the eastern-block countries field out these machine like athletes.  It gave the challenge for Americans to fight the steroid abusing, communist athletes.  The gold cup win by the American hockey team in 1984, really made the whole thing exciting and remarkable.   Then the wall fell, and the cold war was won, by capitalism. But the story darkens as professional atheletes were allowed into the competitions, ruining the whole system of non-professional athletics.  I stopped watching these charades when Americans won the gold in basketball (you may remember the dream team); I gag thinking about how what was once unpredictable became ruined by high powered paid athletes. Another sport that has over the past 30 years succumbed to the rampages of the corruptive power of big money, is college football.  Nothing is more unfair than television revenues altering the natural competition of recruiting players to major colleges.  The Big 12 represents this quiet clearly, as you see how ESPN has recently purchased the rights to Longhorn football games.  Accordingly the 15 (extra) million dollars annually will feed their powerhouse team football coffers due to this (what should be illegal deal).  The whole thing stinks, and give Texas better media coverage, more money with which to hire coaches, build better recruitment classes, and who knows what illegalities they are hiding in the dark recesses of their program.

These flashes of wrong are like lightning from an approaching storm.  You hear about it after you see the bright flash across the horizon.  The politicizing of our Supreme Court, and the corruption of law and justice is the precursor to whole scale disintegration of the state.  This will lead to judges taking bribes.  The constitution will be left unprotected as special interests groups lay the money down to alter the rights and privileges we all have.  When your prosecutor’s office can throw away evidence that proves people are innocent, they will also be able to manufacture evidence that didn’t exist.  Once a political power grabs control and abuses the power of the state to eliminate their dissenters, and the voices opposing them, then you will have total tyranny.   The problem is deeper than how the Supreme Court is selected.  What has happened is that big money buys and sells federal political careers.  The people have long lost control of the laws (legislative branch), as candidates are almost all millionaires themselves.  Corporate America owns these elections.  Congressional committees will almost never impeach Supreme Court members, the President and their fellow members.  What’s good for business is to eliminate competition and so eliminating their enemies will be something they will be out to accomplish.  The Brady decision must go for them to have the power to set people up in the justice system.  (Some folks think there is a global conspiracy involved, with the richest elite controlling all the strings.)

This corruption, that has crept into the justice and legal system, will permeates the politics of the land; it’s like a caustic chemical that has seeped into the seams of a rock, softening its firmness..  When bribes tilt the hand of justice, then no one is safe, and no legal decision without question.  The constitution and its sway over the lives of Americans is a document that provide certain liberties and rights to people; in part this document was designed to protect people from the government. However, big business and Wall Street have slipped in prostituting the congress and the White house, paying them for favors and protection.  This corruption is clearly represented in the movies.  When the White house bailed out the economy using tax-payer funding (actually really just more debt), the corruption reached a new high.  Government had no place in bailing out failing companies.  There is no place in federal government for this type of activity.  No provision or law that supported their actions.  But Wall Street owns the politicians, and helps fund their political campaigns.  The congressmen and senators have sold out to their moneyed constituents, meaning corporate America, and stopped representing the people. See this is what happens when competition is no longer fair.  When the laws that are created by congress (legislative branch) are created to protect the highest paying bidder, and the enforcement of laws (executive branch) overlooks infractions such as immigration (cheap non-union labor), and the Supreme court passes judgment in favor of an obviously corrupt district attorney’s office (judicial branch); then how long before the edifice crumbles to dust. The once great profession of journalism, that was like a fourth pillar of democratic society, denigrated into playing politics rather than spotlighting truth, the last protection for the people is tumbling.  It is said that 6 major corporations now own as much as 50% of the news outlets.  They too are in on the competition, and give money to the politician’s campaigns.  They focus on the dramatic to make money, and do little to report the truth of how corrupt the political process in America is. The last straw in the American system of democracy is its long time value of education and Christianity.  The founding fathers had seen the great flaws of governments that favored religious institutions, persecuting those that did not hold the politically correct version of faith.  They specifically are noted with saying how the great republic’s need a moral and spiritual people to make it work.  But instead of protecting people from religious persecution, the government turned against religions, and threw out of the public education any mention of God and the spiritual foundations of the country.  The new faith of the possessors of the republics office of government is secular humanism.  This means that there is no spiritual basis for law nor human action which holds the fabric of the state in place.   The idea that the founding fathers had of separating state from religion was no to eliminate religion from the people in government, but to eliminate religion governing the state’s affairs.  But in order to compete unfairly, to have no ethics, and to establish corruption, men must eliminate spiritual and moral precepts to be able to live chasing their own selfish wants.  That eliminates any hypocrisy in their lives, and also eliminates and spiritual consequences for the selling out.  When men believe they hold their own destiny in their hands and that there is no higher power, to be beholden to, then they can rationalize anything, even vile and wicked things, justifying the ends by whatever means is expeditious. If prosecutors can knowingly send men to their executions, knowing of their innocence, if senators can make a deal to pass legislation that benefits corporate America over their constituents (we even hear political candidates calling corporations people), if the President can involve us in a war without approval of congress, if supreme court justices can undermine the civil rights of the people, then Americans must think about why their representation has allowed these changes to occur if the results are negative for the people. Maybe it is like the story of the frog place in the tepid water which is then warmed slowly until it boils the animal.  American society cheers its cheaters, and admires their getting away with it (in the case of OJ and Casey Anthony, murder).  Don’t you remember the cheering when Simpson was acquitted? Idolizing the corporate greed mongers, cheering the football team that has 100 times the resources for their football team, letting kids in high school to take steroids to beef up, aren’t these things to be stopped?  Yet Americans love the competition.  But once the corruption enters into the arena, I for one think we have gone too far. The great experiment in democracy has lost an educated interested and moral people to ensure the principles of the constitution are not dismantled plank by plank, as in the recent supreme court ruling.  The fact that Wall Street and Corporate America give huge amounts of money to both of the parties that run Washington, shows how their influence has effected an indifference to the people’s voices.  Corporate America also owns the media.  Why should they be afraid to use the government as a bailout system for their risky business.  They own the whole system.  No one get elected without their approval. If, God forbid, we have continued economic disintergration, the mammoth corporation will endure, only the common man will suffer.  Capitalism strives to win, and crushing your opponent, eliminating you competition only makes your business more successful – the bottom line rules, and even if we work for a major powerhouse corporation like Microsoft, your job is not secure, just ask the 5000 employees who lost their jobs back in 2009. Frankly the internet is a place where we can all find something other than the news media’s story.  We can discuss and debate within our freedoms, just as the founding fathers wanted.  We can bash the cheaters, the steroid users, and those suspected of graft and corruption.  But that can all end quickly, and a man of power can pick up where Hitler left off in creating a society of one government by one party.  That’s not the home of the free, the brave and the a place I want to live.




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