Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wall Street Burns A Hole In Our Tax Pockets--Nothing Enlightened About This

I've watched the current melt down of Wall Street with frustrated sadness. I suppose that's because I have very distinct memories of the Savings and Loan bail outs of the late 80's. At that time I wondered how some of these same conservatives who screamed for deregulation under Ronald Reagan could turn around four years later and ask us normal tax payers to pony up the money necessary to fix the mess generated by their greed. That little tax payer fix has cost the Americans slightly over one trillion dollars. At this level the word 'slightly' is kind of misleading. It actually means another hundred billion.

In the current mess, bailing out AIG alone is pegged at 85 billion. According to one source, that's more money than the entire 8 years of Aid to Families with Dependent Children under GW Bush. That's just AIG, that's not Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that's not Bear/Stearns, that's not anyone else rumored to be in the same financial straights. How comforting for these CEO's to know they can lobby their way to unregulated greed and then lobby their way to a monster bail out when their policies blow up in their faces.

I understand the ramifications of not bailing out these particular companies. The trickle down effect would resemble a hurricane surge. That's the funny thing about Reaganomics, wealth trickles down---slowly drips is more like it----but stupid bad debt roars down.

At this point I truly do not understand how anyone could consider voting McCain into office. From his involvement with the Keating five of S & L fame, to his consistent voting to deregulate and deregulate and bail out and bail out, and now his idea that there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the economy, the man has shown his stripes. He really seems to want to turn the USA into a corporate socialist state. It seems to me we're awfully damn close.

Here's one thing we avoided though, President Bush didn't get his way with privatization of social security. Given the current decline in the stock market that could have been a disaster of epic proportions for a lot of people. It could have been a disaster for the stock market too. Imagine the chaos with a hundred million small investors all trying to pull their retirement funds out at the same time. Barclay's wouldn't have touched Lehman Brothers. They wouldn't have been able to get a call through.

Here's another thing I've learned in the last couple of days. A couple of the lesser known right wing political groups have been working with Sarah Palin since before her run for governor of Alaska. Seems they saw in her a bright and shining new face on which to pin their hopes for their version of a theocracy. Poor Mike Huckabee, he seems to have been thrown under the bus for a bible reading hockey mom.

These same people are now involved in stopping the investigation of Troopergate. They've even gotten her to do a complete about face on her initial statement to cooperate with the Alaska legislature. They've also gotten her to renege on plan two, which was essentially to investigate herself. Somehow, Troopergate has become democratic posturing, a phony partisan attempt to derail the McCain/Palin ticket. Huh? It's all confusing to Alaskans as well.

There must be a different set of ethics in play in political races, especially presidential political races. I have no idea who this 2008 version of John McCain is, and I probably had a better idea of the real Sarah Palin when I had no idea Sarah Palin existed. On the other hand, Joe BIden is Joe Biden, always has been and will be, and Barak Obama is.......a very good orator!
Hmmm, maybe it really is time for the rapture.


  1. Colleen, you say, Here's another thing I've learned in the last couple of days. "A couple of the lesser known right wing political groups have been working with Sarah Palin since before her run for governor of Alaska. Seems they saw in her a bright and shining new face on which to pin their hopes for their version of a theocracy. bible reading hockey mom."

    That seems right on target to me. How else could those two biographies of hers by right-wing Christians of the most bizarre premillennialist background possible have been just waiting around for publication?

    They were rushed to the presses immediately after the announcement about Palin's candidacy.

    To me, this indicates malice aforethought: this is a long-planned and long-strategized candidacy. And God help us all if the theocrats get their way this election.

  2. I believe what we have now is a fascist government of corporate socialism. We are not just going to have to pay this back in the form of taxes, but in inflation and the higher cost to buy gas, medicine, a loaf of bread and everything else.

    The other interesting feature to the corporate bail outs by our government and the nationalization of Fannie and Freddie is that foreign investors like China did not incur losses. The reason for that I hear from a reliable source who follows money matters seriously and to whom the fall of these institutions comes as no surprise, is because if the foreign investors lost their money they would abandon the dollar and base their monetary system on their own currency. However, they may decide to go ahead and do just that anyway, at which time we will feel more economic pressure in the form of higher prices due to the devaluation of the dollar and higher inflation.

    The problem has been with a lack of regulation and oversight (the very things McCain has voted against for years) and many agree that both parties are at fault here, essentially looking the other way while literally no investment into our economy in the form of jobs has taken place really since NAFTA. Bill Clinton is responsible for that passing and is at the root of the problem for the lack of sound investment here, looking elsewhere for cheaper labor, eliminating large sectors of jobs here, etc.

    To aggravate this is the fact that the trade unions have been decimated by NAFTA. The trade unions were a force in the past to keep wages from falling. They are out of work and essentially the unions were busted by NAFTA.

    Corporations are notorious for not having unions and for firing people who even mention the word union. They have been getting away with downsizing since the 1980's and rehiring people for considerably less money, but of course, making record profits. People who replace former workers do the work of four or five people. If they can't keep up, they are driven out or burnt out until the next wave of corporate reorganizations to replace them with even cheaper labor. I should know. I've been there; driven out or burnt out.

    In the good old days people got together who were unemployed at the unemployment line. Now you do everything mostly over the phone and no one really sees the extent of the masses of people affected by job losses. I would venture to say the unemployment rate is higher than they are saying. Also, so is the economic downturn worse, but to prevent a run on banks they are talking it down which is probably not a bad idea considering what that would do.

    In this economy if one had to move because they got laid off and can't afford it anymore they would have trouble finding a buyer because there is no money to be had for a mortgage loan for the buyer. If housing prices fall too low people could conceivably lose their most if not their entire nest egg that they might have relied on for retirement by selling and downsizing. The only people who would be making money in this type of economy are the wealthy who would buy cheap, sell high, once a window is open for them to do so. It is heaven for the wealthy and economic decimation for the rest of us.

    The bankruptcy laws put in by Republican Bush cronies recently doesn't help people either in this type of economy.

    Who in there right mind would vote for more economic devastation to our country by voting in people like McCain/Palin who admit don't know anything about it in the least. I think we stand a better chance with Obama in the creation of new jobs and in looking out for our interests.

    I agree Bill, "God help us all if the theocrats get their way this election." McCain would get us deeper in debt, deeper into divisions and wars. It would only get worse and he would make that possible. Palin - well, beauty is only skin deep. She doesn't fool a lot of us as to what is really inside.

  3. butterfly, if you don't mind, I may use your comment for tomorrow's post.

    One can not leave out Bill Clinton when discussing this current economy. NAFTA didn't just hurt the US, it's hurt other countries like Mexico who thought they were getting some serious hope. All they found out was they could be undercut by developing countries West of them, and South of them who pandered to our multinationals.

    The real problem is everyone who could pandered to our US spawned basically unregulated multinational corporations. Delaware is a big player in this corporate world, and it's one of the reasons I have a problem with Joe Biden, or anyone else who comes from Delaware--same thing with any politician who comes from South Dakota, land of the free and no credit card regulations.

    Malice aforethought Bill? However could our little bible thumping hockey mom have such a following if she wasn't hand and mouth in the interests of neo cons and theocrats, and what might their interests be? Ask the CEO of AIG, and Bear/Stearns, and maybe even BIll Clinton. Hillary was certainly is the pay of Credit Card companies. She was a cosponsor of the credit card bankruptcy bill.

    Obama is still a good orator. Hopefully there's more to him than his rhetoric. We all know where McCain stands--at least for today. which is not the same as Monday.

  4. Sure, I don't mind. NAFTA is the big problem as far as jobs here are concerned and in reducing pay. Bill Clinton capitulated and I believe Hillary did too, along with other Dems on pushing NAFTA. Were they bamboozled by neo-con spin doctors into believing it was good for our country, good for business in the long run and good for US workers? I think so. If they are not looking back at their support of NAFTA and in any sort of crisis of conscience, well, then I just don't know what to think about them.

    The thing about NAFTA is it was made out to appear to be a good thing for our economically strapped Americans south of the border in Mexico and good for entrepreneurs in creating jobs here too. It was about trade, right? Our trading with them was the idea and creating jobs here and there.

    What NAFTA has effectively done is increase unemployment here, eliminated jobs, and created a glut of workers who are out of work here and that lowers wages. It seems to be the same operative principle involved in the mortgage crisis whereby there are a flood of homes on the market but no buyers because credit and liquidity is tight, if not damned shut. In the case of NAFTA there is a flood of unemployed but no jobs.

    I'm not sure where Obama stands on NAFTA. Will have to google that i guess to find out.

  5. Obama quote re NAFTA "I'm not a big believer in doing things unilaterally," Obama said. "I'm a big believer in opening up a dialogue and figuring out how we can make this work for all people."

    Good article in the link below.