Sunday, February 01, 2009

What time's the Revolution?

(AP) The body of Rip Van Winkle, a disgruntled 35 year old air traffic controller at the time he was fired for participating in the 1981 PATCO strike, was found dead in a small cave where he had gone to sleep in the autumn of 1981.

According to coroner's reports, Van Winkle, who had left his family strick instructions to "Wake me when the Revolution begins," died in his sleep. Friends speculate Van Winkle didn't anticipate the abandonment of the revolutionary spirit that birthed the nation for the apathetic attitude it presently enjoys.


MEANWHILE As The World Burns

Or, as Dada might caption this 'toon:

"Just throw us up a couple $trillion, we'll save you!"
"What's it for?" those desperately trying to spare themselves from drowning inquire.
"It's for 'None of your fucking business!'" comes their answer from above.

Today's blog is inspired by an idiom attributed to John F. Kennedy used to put forth the thought that an economy that is performing well is beneficial to all. Simply stated, it is, "A rising tide lifts all boats." (from an October 3, 1963 speech). As the cartoon suggests, current economics have disproven that theory.

But it was Kennedy's testament how cutting taxes would benefit all. This evolved into Reagan's idea of cutting taxes of just the rich, or "trickle down economics" as it came to be known (the trickle being delivered by the "haves and have mores" in the form of urine, as in "Piss on you!" to those below). Market policies of "free trade" followed, accelerating the trickle of the 80's to a downpour in the 90's, culminating in The Great Flood of the 21st Century. Trickling tinkle and *free markets* are turning out far costlier than anyone imagined.

(NOTE: This part of today's blog was inspired by a conversation last Friday morning with "Brenda" of Las Cruces. She teaches one of those faux "sciences", i.e., the social science of politics, the sibling of its brother, economics, aka "the dismal science.")

Elsewhere in the news:

Citigroup, after announcing plans to cut more than 50,000 workers from its rolls and having lost almost $19 billion in 2008, is going to pay $400 million for the NY Mets to name their new ball park in the Queens, "Citi Field." Or is it?

After receiving $45 billion in taxpayer bailout funds and a guaranteed "government backstop for more than $300 billion in loan losses," there are apparently two disgruntled congressmen who are questioning this expenditure. Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, and Ted Poe, R-TX, are urging Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary, to intervene and stop this extravagance.

Apparently Kucinich and Poe didn't get the message from the bailout beneficiaries that they have no right to know how they spend taxpayer's money.

As a curious Rip Van Winkle might have inquired upon stirring, "Has the Revolution started yet?"
"No, Rip, go the hell back to sleep!"


After almost 2 1/2 days without a computer, this is the first headline I saw online this morning. AP Investigation: Banks sought foreign workers.

Apparently, it is being revealed the banks that received more than $150 billion in bailout money requested over 21,800 visas for the foreign workers they hired at an average salary of almost $91,000. Apparently, the banks were motivated by the money they could save as the foreign workers they hire work cheaper than Americans.

The AP report says, while the actual number is likely a fraction of the 21,800 workers the banks sought to hire because the government limits the number of visas it grants to 85,000 each year....during the last three months of 2008, the largest banks that received taxpayers loans announced more than 100,000 layoffs."

How many of those may have been foreign workers brought in to replace American jobs is unknown.

It appears Rip Van Winkle's death was a merciful thing.

(FYI: For an nice blog on how much Bush may have profited during his 8 years in office, check out Redheaded Wisdom's "the Blind leading the Blind"! )


Fran said...

Oy! I seriously feared about the regulations that should & could have been imposed on the takers of bailout money. Being the creative bunch they are, I suspected no matter what was written in the guidelines, some rock solid legal genius would need to put in verbiage that was super tight.

If they just said No Bonus Money to be given, then some creative thinker would invent alternatives.

They would also have to specify, no raises, incentives, prizes, awards, or any method by any other means that results in additional funds being given.

Because you just know they would say it's not a bonus, it is productivity compensation or some bonus by any other name.

You'd need a team of lawyers to really scrutinize things to make sure there were no loopholes.

Or you could just give the money to Paulson & let him throw it in the wind to Wall Street favorite buddies & change the rules every week, but never disclose what the rules are, if there ever were any!???

xandtrek said...

If only all my ideas could appear as cartoons. If only my life was a cartoon -- oh wait, maybe it is.

-Superhero at bringing boats up from the bottom of the abyss. "Brenda"

D.K. Raed said...

hey thanks for the plug, dada! we have sure hit the death of investigative journalism when it is up to me to calculate bush's wealth (grin).

Jon Stewart is promoting "trickle up" economics. It sounds like between that & trickle down econ, the middle class will be getting pissed on from both directions. Maybe KBR can build us some of those electrified showers.