Is an “American Spring” possible?

As a student of history, I know two things:

  1. Those who don’t study history are bound to repeat it.
  2. Whenever the gap between rich and poor becomes too large- things cave in.

Apparently, the people in Washington and Wall Street weren’t students of history.

Henry Ford was an absolute jerk, but he realized if he wanted to sell lots of his expensive cars, he had to make them affordable to his workers- so he paid them well.

Buy War Bonds- "Are you doing all you can brother"

Who pays for the war?

Let’s take a look at the pay ratio in most of our major corporations- any idiot should see that by paying the C-suite big bucks and shipping the jobs off to China is going to eventually kill the goose that laid the golden egg. The American government can’t pay its bills, the American people are going broke trying to put gas in their tank, pay for health insurance, college loans and housing that is no longer worth what they borrowed, a perfect storm is brewing. Take a look at what’s happened in the Arab countries in the so-called “Arab Spring.” Think about what the “Tea Party” is modeled after? Folks, a revolution could be coming to America- or riots, or both.

I’m not the only one thinking about this- CNN’s Jack Cafferty asked the same questions:

For the first time maybe since the Vietnam War or certainly since the civil rights movement, there are some darkening storm clouds on the civility horizon. A growing number of voices are continuing to suggest that if this economy doesn’t turn around, and people can’t start feeling optimistic about their futures again, we could be headed for some ugly scenarios. A new CNN poll says 48 percent of Americans think the country is headed for another Great Depression in the next twelve months. That is a stunning number.

James Carville, who in 1992 told Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy stupid,” says the current economy is so bad, there is a heightened risk of civil unrest. And unless things start changing for the better, it’s a distinct possibility.

Our country is bankrupt and our government refuses to do anything about it. Unemployment is stuck above 9 percent. Millions of Americans are out of work, some for a number of years now. The value of peoples’ homes is sinking below the break-even line. In the most recent jobs report, more than half of the private sector jobs that were added were at McDonald’s.

For young people coming out of the nation’s colleges and universities, their families having invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their education, the outlook is grim.

via Cafferty File: Tell Jack how you really feel Blog Archive – What are the chances the U.S. economy could eventually trigger violence in our country? « – CNN.com Blogs.

He included some of the comments in his news story- but the comments are interesting in their own right. There are people ready to say “WTF do I have to lose”- and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose everything while banking CEOs who screwed the pooch still are millionaires, without a care.

Bernie Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme and went to jail, our Congress hasn’t done much better- outspending their allowance year after year- and none of them are in trouble. It’s not as simple as cutting spending or raising taxes anymore- 14 trillion is a bit bigger than that. It’s time to do a reset- and historically, resets come with a big dose of violence.

I recently got one of those e-mails that circulates with a million cc’s and it was right on the money:

Minorities
We need to show more sympathy for these people.

  • They travel miles in the heat.
  • They risk their lives crossing a border.
  • They don’t get paid enough wages.
  • They do jobs that others won’t do or are afraid to do.
  • They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language.
  • They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day ~ every day.

I’m not talking about illegal Mexicans ~I’m talking about our troops!

Doesn’t it seem strange that so many are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don’t support our troops?

Wouldn’t it be great if we took the $360,000,000,000 (that’s billion) we spend on illegals every year, and spend it on our troops!

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to‘The United States of America ’ for any amount, up to and including their life.

And I think back to the sacrifices this country made in the last declared war- WWII (in case you needed a refresher) where everyone pitched in for the war effort. And, all men were equally expected and eligible to serve.

Before we end up with war on the streets of America, it’s time that the burden of this war is equally distributed across all socio-economic classes. It’s time to hand the bill off to the richest Americans, who live in safety and have their freedom, because our poor are asked to do their fighting.

It’s time to put the brakes on the tax breaks for the rich- and the privileges of being an American without having to share in the sacrifice that everyone of the working class is making- paying $4 a gallon, going without health insurance and living in homes that are upside down.

Put a war tax on incomes over $1 million a year until our troops are home, and make it hurt. It’s the only way we’re going to get Congress to stop squandering our tax dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq while the people at home struggle. And if you’re super rich and don’t like it- you can either buy off your congressmen to stop the war, or take your money and go live somewhere else- because if things don’t get better soon- this country might look like somewhere else where the people revolted. Take a look at the Arab Spring for starters.

 

 

Aftermath of a break-in

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t posted nearly as frequently in the last 2 weeks. Nor have Greg and I been videotaping the Dayton Grassroots Daily Show.

The break-in at my office took a toll on my work flow- and I’ve been playing catch-up since. A lot of time has been wasted restoring computers (even though everything was recovered- nothing that was taken was still usable after the idiots stole it, haste makes waste) and getting quotes on the door and talking to the insurance company.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what brought 3 delinquents together to go on their ill-fated, middle of the night crime spree. Obviously, they weren’t even smart enough to steal what was valuable on the market- most of what they took are cell phones- easily traceable, with no value unless they are connected to a network (which can ID them). What they stole and what they passed up in my office showed that they flunked computer theft 101- taking 2 monitors that weren’t nearly as valuable as the computers they were connected to.

Two of the three are still in jail. The one who is not showing on the list is the one who had the longest record (either he’s already been sent upstate- or he’s out on bond). I can’t find out anything  because the detective who has the case doesn’t have working voice mail. I was never contacted about the court hearings btw. I would have gone.

In the review of this whole thing- I’m saddened to have to say that Dayton hasn’t even been able to produce good crooks.

The system won’t do anything to reform these 3 losers- all it will do is add to their problems.

Will these three ever contribute anything to society? Unlikely. More than likely they’ll all have at least one kid that’s almost doomed to follow through life in their footsteps. One of the three had told the cops he was along to make money because he has a kid on the way- how refreshing.

The U.S. now has more people in prison than any other industrialized nation. These idiots will continue to cost us all for years to come as we pay for their room and board and get nothing in return.

In the meantime- I’m facing higher insurance premiums, and my property value has been perceptually lowered. No longer am I able to say that my neighborhood is safe- thanks to the last year.

Is it time to abandon ship? Some would say yes.

I think it’s time to look at our entire society- what values do we promote and reward? Until we bring honor back to being a citizen in the real sense of the word, we’re going to keep getting screwed.

It’s not just the petty hoods either- it’s the people like Tom Petters, Bernie Madoff and the wizards of Wall Street and Washington who’ve looked out for the wrong people for too long.

If you really want to judge the success of a country/society/economic system- I think you have to look at how it treats its lowest of the low- not the best of the best. As I look back at this whole ordeal- I’m starting to think our country has failed us more than we realize.

Your thoughts on my very unrefined thoughts?

150 years for Madoff, and the SEC gets off easy

While there are people dancing in the streets about Madoff getting 150 years (they are now homeless, because of this cretin who stole their life savings) we haven’t yet seen one regulator nailed to the same cross.

Why not?

Herein lies the fundamental problem with our current financial system: it’s all one big con game.

Without putting some sort of restrictions on speculation, which is what 99.99% of the stock market is now, and huge amounts of volume being traded daily, there is zero connection to actual business goals and objectives.

Business is no longer about making money and paying dividends to the owners, it’s about manipulating stock prices so that paper wealth can be created, and huge sums skimmed off the top by the people running the casino, oops, I mean markets.

Madoff may be in prison, but somehow, we’re still allowing “legitimate crooks” to get paid millions per year, while running companies into the ground just like Madoff did. And, our politicians are barking up the wrong tree.

Take our esteemed crooked Congressman, Mike Turner.

His latest move-

U.S. Rep. Michael Turner, R-Centerville, has introduced a constitutional amendment that would bar the federal government from owning stock in companies, his office announced this week.

Coined “Preserving Capitalism in America” the constitutional amendment would preserve the government’s right to provide loans or to acquire equity interests in any public authority or public use corporation, as well as investments by any government pension fund.

via Turner seeks to bar government intervention – Dayton Business Journal:.

I’ll translate for those of you who are missing the point: instead of banning the use of your hard-earned tax dollars to prop up these crooks running corporations into the ground at a record pace, Turner wants to continue to give them money in the form of bailouts and “economic development” funds- corporate welfare, without taking an equity position.

Turner is all for giving your tax dollars away.

The insane part, he supposedly has 102 co-sponsors to this piece of crap legislation.

It’s time to install strict controls on stock ownership, forcing anyone with over 1% ownership, or over $100,000 in one company to hold the stock for at least a year. It’s also time to create strict limits on executive pay, clearly stating the maximum pay allowed based on average payroll, number of US-based employees, and net worth of the company. If you want to pay yourself more as CEO, take the company private. Shareholders would be paid dividends on anything above and beyond the ratio, unless they vote to reinvest in the company. Any CEO who cuts his workforce, or has a loss, gets paid zero. There has to be risk to be a CEO.

There is only one place for our current crop of legislators who aren’t calling for the arrest and prosecution of both the regulators and the thieves who have paid themselves so well while failing so fantastically. In a cell, right next to Bernie.

Then we can get started on constitutional amendments.