Let’s admit it: We’re in a fix and will remain so for the foreseeable future, even if the Republican dream of dismantling the government comes true. It will likely take years to undo the immense harm done to the American economy caused by oppressive laws such as those that restrict child labor, require workplace safety, and ban dumping of chemical waste into rivers and lakes.
Those laws have put the reins on our economy, making it impossible for U.S. corporations to compete with the likes of a China, a Burma, and a Mozambique.
The good news, of course, is that we are rapidly moving to eliminate the shackles that enslave American corporations and eviscerate their ability to compete. Once the Republicans take back the presidency in 2012, nothing will be in the way of our nation becoming the great bastion of freedom it was 100 years ago when a meat processor didn’t have to deal with the time-consuming, unpleasant wasteful, and, yes, expensive task of cleaning out the vat and starting over again after its worker fell into the meat grinder and became edible.
The bad news that even after our society throws off the regulatory chains that have led to our undoing, it will predictably take time for our values to change. Consumers will need to be trained not to worry about what’s in their hamburger. The true realization that it does not matter what chemicals permeate our genetically-engineered salmon can only come with patient and tenacious education, and that will not be achieved overnight.
Meanwhile, we can still reach greatness. The secret is getting rid of that ultimate destroyer of national and family values: birth control.
Think of it. If the baby-making role of our American women can be restored, our nation will be blessed with an abundance of infants unwanted by their mothers. Those infants are not worthless. They will have a value somewhere. The free market will be our guide.
Not only can their names be sold to the highest bidder, we can market the babies abroad. With the proper advertising campaign, we will be able to sell the infants to third-world nations whose citizens will be eager for the prestige of having their own American-bred child in the family.
The babies will grow up and, properly trained, will become obedient servants. Their value will be great indeed, and we will be able to cash in on that value now while our nation learns to change its ways so that it can better compete.
By becoming Babymaker to the World, our nation can find strength and economic security during that period when our social values must adjust to the imperatives of competition and the needs and desires of our great corporations.
We must learn that true family values require hawkish attention to the bottom line. We will all thrive only if the chains that enslave our corporate citizens are thrown off so that the richest among us will get richer and the wealth will be free to trickle down.
William Lazarus is an attorney and sometimes playful writer who practices law and lives in Flossmoor.
Several years ago I saw a film about two hotel maids. In this film, whose name is beyond my recall and my googling ability, one young maid asks the other, “What are rich people afraid of?” Her friend, and fellow housekeeper responds, “Not being rich.”
Perhaps, that is the problem. The super-moneyed of this nation are just insecure. The oil baron Koch brothers are frightened. Billionaire casino owners, Wall Street manipulators, and those incredibly affluent CEO’s of the US Chamber of Commerce are terrified. That’s it. That’s why they spend their waking hours and hard earned millions on electing and influencing office holders. They are protecting their stuff. And their tactics seem to be working.
GingRich blames the poor of this country. Fraudulent mortgages, and concocted derivatives were not the culprits. The financial instruments that caused our country's economic chaos were food stamps. Ya see, it’s simple, there are just too many poor folk (aka Blacks) who love to get something for nothing. That S.O.B. Obama is taking our money, giving it to those greedy bastards (his people), and they are using food stamps to buy cheese for their kids. That’s the problem; it’s those people of color using food stamps. It’s obvious and it’s intolerable!
Romney (did you ever notice that 83% of his name consists of M-O-N-E-Y?) , a man with a net worth of hundreds of millions, who is building a twelve million dollar home so his grandkids can comfortably visit, pays an effective tax rate of 15% , yet audaciously accuses Obama of inciting the “bitter politics’ of envy.” My God, (Santorum’s advisor) that lying Obama has the chutzpah of making food stamp users envious of hard-working, job-making billionaires. The envy should be in reverse. Go ahead, name a billionaire CEO, who, given the opportunity, wouldn’t gladly give up his/her busy, mind draining day to live in the urban slum, have no worries and live off food stamps.
Those maids were so correct. It is exhausting to unceasingly plot, bribe, cajole, influence and lobby day after day to protect your billions. Guarding your wealth demands that you call for an end to the EPA and its regulations. The compulsion to protect your bundle demands sacrificing the future health and safety of your children and grandchildren. Your station in life demands this sacrifice. Jesus, (Rick Santorum, again) what a terrible drag.
And to top it off there are no guarantees. It is core rattling to think that the Romanovs of Russia had it all, and then, lights out. The Bourbons of France masterly had all working smoothly when, in a flash, they lost it all, including a couple of heads. They labored and toiled. They controlled the government, the courts, the religious leaders and whap, gone in an instant. Is there no security?
Romney’s, GingRich’s and Santorum’s puppeteers pull the strings; they own FOX and the Wall Street Journal. Yet, there is no guarantee of keeping the wealth. Add in the pesky Internet with its capacity to inform, and mobilize, and your really have tsouris.
The Koch’s of the world have choices. (I know; last week, I said there was no free will, but I can’t help myself) They can purchase armed guards, razor wire, and politicians while simultaneously despoiling the world and manipulating the people of few means to blame those of no means, or they can use their wealth and its concomitant power to make this a better and safer world; they can invest in the future, not plundering, but building. If they do the latter, my guess is they will still have a pretty nice lifestyle; of course, they would still have to do without those food stamps. Matt 1/19/2012
I am continually amazed at the hatred expressed towards President Obama by so many Americans. Before you get on my case, yes, I have frequently expressed my disappointment and frustration with this President, but frustration and disappointment just is not hate.
Every week my Inbox contains nasty jokes, vulgar cartoons and ridiculous rumors claiming Obama is a traitor, a liar, or the Anti-Christ. This is hate. What spurs this vitriol?
The cast of clowns masquerading as qualified politicians seeking the Republican Nomination agree on almost nothing, but they universally appear disrespectful when they mouth the word, "Obama." Seldom do they have the class to even refer to our elected leader as "President Obama." And the crowds cheer the derision.
Why do they hate this man? What the hell has he done or threatened to do to them? Please note: The US Chamber of Commerce, Koch Industries , Health Insurance CEO's, the Walton Family, billionaire hedge fund manipulators, and some CEO's may have some reason to hate Barack. He is a threat to their unbridled power and greed. But why does the real Joe the Plumber hate the man?
Some of my closest friends answer, with one word," race." While I concur that the melanin content of Barack's skin may serve to inflame and exacerbate the malevolence of Obama haters, it is not the whole truth. It is just another spice to add to the hate soup.
I believe the answer lies in two words, "makers" and" takers." And more importantly how fakers used these concepts to spread fear to the naïve of this nation. Google that couplet and see what pops up. I'll make it easier for you. The following popped up from the conservative American Spectator:
The Teixeira/Halpin/Obama/Democrat strategy of organizing the takers against the makers is reflected in the Occupy Wall Street movement as well. That movement reflects a pirate mentality, as they feel perfectly free to help themselves to the earnings, savings, and property produced by others. Wake up America, this is what Americanized Marxist revolutionaries look like. But their creepy French Revolution play acting with its implied threat of runaway violence is not in the American tradition, and consequently won't work with the American people. But it is in the tradition of Barack Obama, whose previous career was precisely as a Marxist street agitator. www.spectator.org/archives/2011/12/07/organizing-the-takers-against
Americans living a relatively good life are scared; they are insecure; they are terrified. They have been taught that they have a good life because they deserved it, they are makers. But, lying out there is Obama and his henchmen, conspiring to grab that hard earned wealth, that right to own a weapon of choice, that right to hate, even the right to pray. Worse, Obama plans to redistribute their wealth to the dirty scum, the TAKERS.
The United States Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiary, the Republican Party aren't worried about redistributing the wealth of the little guy. They are only worried about the distribution of THEIR WEALTH. And so these fakers spread the fable that there are two kinds of people in this world: the makers and the takers. If you have a home, a job, an education, a few bucks in the bank you are one of the people, the real people, a good American. Americans are makers..
Lurking out there are the takers: the evil ones on welfare, gangbangers, drug pushers, disgusting beggars, people living under viaducts, the unemployed riff-raff. Those lazy people, some named Juan and Jose', who are washing dishes, picking fruit and mowing Romney's lawn are the ones to be afraid of. These people want your stuff. While you are terrified, add to that list of low life, those lazy good-for-nothing government employees. They contribute zilch, but make life miserable, make us pay taxes, and regulate stuff. (I kind of think that the US Chamber is worried about their tax breaks and regulation of their right to treat workers, customers, and the environment any way they damn well please) And to top it off, those government workers still get ridiculous perks like health insurance and pensions.
The makers our GOP leaders never talk about are those who make billions. Never mentioned is how these billion dollar makers make hidden contributions to political campaigns in order to make politicians behave in ways to make them even richer. Never discussed are the corporate makers who, left to their own devices will make this world a cesspool, will make fair wages and good benefits things of the past. Heaven help people who stand in the way of the real makers, they are powerful and they are relentless.. Perhaps Obama is starting to make their lives a bit miserable.
Environmental economists see the world a bit differently.
To them, the dangerous pollution that threatens the health of our kids and communities is nothing but a market failure – an example of socializing the cost of pollution while privatizing the profits.
I am not an economist. I don't even play one on television. Occasionally, I am a dreamer.
We have 46 million people in poverty in this country. Millions are on food stamps. Machines and China are competing for our people's jobs. Without question, the machines and China will win. How do we get out of this mess?
Below is a short, incomplete, and biased assessment of a few solutions proposed by our political parties.
The Greed Over Poverty (G.O.P) Party ;
Firing People = More Jobs Program - Cut funding to as many federal agencies as possible; this will simultaneously reduce costs and the number federal employees. Huh?
Let Em Die Program - Remove and/or destroy as many governmental programs that aid the unemployed, poor, sick and elderly . What?
I Got Mine Program - Disproportionately tax the least able to afford it. The neat thing about this tactic is that it aids in assuring the implementation of the above programs. Wow!
Remove All Regulations Program - Get rid of all regulation thus enabling corporations to hire slaves, and poison the Earth. The resultant corporate wealth would be protected by the I Got Mine Program. Makes sense to me.
Advantages - none to the unemployed - a bonanza to the wealthy and the razor-wire manufacturers
Disadvantages - some uncontained riots and difficulty in breathing the air, plus a few dead polar bears
The Democratic Party:
Extend Unemployment Benefits - extend benefits to the unemployed until benefits run out and then extend again until benefits run out ad infinitum. Warms the heart.
Build Bridges and Roads - hire big burly brutes to build bridges and roads. After completion this imporved infrastructure will employ one toll taker and three guys to fix potholes. But, we wil have great roadways and bridges to use in getting to the unemployment office.
Build Schools and Colleges - hire big burly brutes to build schools which, when completed, will employ many teachers, a few principals and a janitor. These schools will teach students skills that will no longer be needed once they graduate. However, degrees look nice on walls.
Build Clean Energy Projects - big burly brutes will build windmills and install Chinese made solar panels everywhere the wind blows and the sun shines. Once built we will have a cleaner environment, cheaper electric bills, and lots of unemployed burly brutes and a few dozen people cleaning the glass of the solar panels and tending the windmills.
Advantages - All the above programs will generate a plethora of funds that can be spent at Walmart on useless products made in China. We will have good roads for transporting foreign made goods to Walmart. We will have cleaner air for the rich and poor and perhaps less rioting in the near future.
Disadvantages - these are feel good, short term projects and provide little long term future employment
The Impossible Dream Party
Pass a Universal Health Care Bill
Build small hospitals and clinics across the country (perhaps 5000 or so) - big burly brutes would do the building
Staff these health facilities - with 100,000s of unemployed people who will be trained by 1000's of educators to be orderlies, cooks, computer programmers, medical technicians, practical nurses, registered nurses, grief counselors, security personnel, readers of machines that blink and go beep, and any other of the multitude of jobs associated with medical care.
Mandate that all equipment and supplies used in these federal facilities must be made in the USA. This would include sheets, uniforms, thermometers; the machines that go "beep", miles of plastic tubing, drugs, bed pans and all the other stuff we use to help sick people.
Advantages - provides permanent employment for a large segment of our population, provides better healthcare for us all. Caring and maintenance jobs cannot be outsourced. Taxes paid by employed people and the US corporations making supplies and equipment could sustain the program. Escalating costs of Medicare, and Medicaid would be drastically reduced.
Disadvantage - Just a dream
September 13, 2011
The nation's poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, the highest level in 17 years, according to new data from the Census Bureau. The agency's latest poverty report, released Tuesday, shows that 46 million people were poor, and that the median income dropped last year by more than two percent to about $49,445.
The richest country in the world? Yes
The developed, civilized country? No