Thursday’s Musings

The net worth of the nation’s 400 wealthiest individuals exceeds the net worth of half of all American households. 

That number astounds me.  It shouldn’t, but it does.  The rich have for a generation had the government, both democratic and republican, as a partner.  And the arrangement has been a lucrative one.  I had no idea they had redistributed the wealth quite as much as they have.  Extra taxes for those 400 people sounds like a great way to pay for things in this nation.  The bottom ½ of the nation financially can’t afford it, we’re busy trying to pay for milk, gas, and what little food we can actually afford.  Time for these 400 to pony up.  Or get out.  Pay your way or we’ll find a way without you, but if you don’t pay, you can’t stay.


Republicans are waging war on the middle class by taking money from workers and giving tax breaks to corporations. 

With all the money those 400 people mentioned above paying for those corporations, one wonders why they need tax breaks.  They don’t pay enough, and they haven’t proven they can make intelligent decisions.  If they did, we would not be in the bad shape we are in right now, economically. 

Or are there people out there who think the poor are to blame for the recession? 

Billionaires tried to make a profit by relaxing the net capital rule, at the behest of Hank Paulson and SEC commissioner Christopher Cox . They then made the mistake of giving people with no money mortgages.  2 years after this the housing market falls apart, and the poor people are to blame for that?  No, you give people hope of having a home, their own piece of the American dream, and then when it all goes to hell, blame them for wanting it, and going for it, without blaming those people who made it possible for them to make the decision in the first place.

So when I hear talk about taking money from the middle class, like they are doing in Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin, for tax breaks for corporations, paying for it on the backs of senior citizens and schools, I tend to think that there is something completely out of proportion, and it isn’t me, and it isn’t the poor people.  It’s being poor and STILL having to pay for the rich man and carry his damn water, when he isn’t doing enough for America, isn’t spending enough himself, isn’t hiring enough people, isn’t paying them enough, isn’t doing the right thing for America, because that would negatively affect his bottom line. 


Been thinking about the term free market for a bit.

The Free market is a myth, isn’t it? The whole world is a mixed market.  America is NOT a free market economy, not by the definition I know, never has been to my knowledge, and frankly that is a good thing.  If it was, would there be a need for a conversation at any point ever about the concept of corporate personhood?  Would we be in the shape we are in now?  No, we would be considerable worse off, because there would have been no government intervention in 2008 that basically saved America’s ass, and the world’s along with it. 

Perfectly free markets don’t need intervention. But that is because they are not real.  They are classroom fictions, created by professors for students to ponder, not real world constructs. Markets, mixed markets, real world markets,  need intervention from time to time, to counter bad decisions and the like from players with those markets, and to keep competition healthy, and to ensure basic concepts like fair play.

Those who claim that government intervention into markets is a problem, are making the simple mistake of forgetting that they too are players within the market, and have a primarily positive influence for the people for whom it works, I.E., the populace, who are defacto shareholders in this most important market player. 

The market, the mixed market, is about the best we can do at this point.  An absolutely free market would be death for small business, because, like Woodrow Wilson famously said, the laws here do not prevent the strong from crushing the weak.  No mom and pop hardware store could outduel or outmaneuver a major chain.  No corner Bodega, without external help could survive long where larger stores could simply price them out of the market. 


G’night America.


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