Monday, December 29, 2014

Sick & Tired of Those Damn Regulations

Nothing like one of my Congressman Vern Buchanan’s Insta-pols to make a sick and tired guy even more so.

This is the latest example.

I voted "No", putting me in a minority of his enlightened constituents, 80% of whom voted "Yes".

Well, any critically thinking person knows that it’s the regulations that have caused a failure to create jobs and hampered economic prosperity - except for a few sad facts:

Certain sectors of the economy have prospered due to a distinct lack of regulation. I’m talking about the banking business. Bertolt Brecht said it much better than I could: “What is the robbing of a bank, as compared to the founding of a bank?”  That line appeared in the 1931 film, “Threepenny Opera.” Some things never change. One difference is that when those committing the former are caught, they usually spend a fair amount of time as guests of the state. Bankers and Wall Street Execs who have milked the system, committed acts that would be punishable with jail sentences in most democracies, are enjoying lofty salaries and bonuses and are not required to live on the food that gives correctional facilities such high culinary marks.

Thanks to Repubicrat William Jefferson Clinton, who signed off on the repeal of Glass Steagall, permitting these modern-day highwaymen, to have their way, Wall Street was free to commit virtual rape of the economy. Since the statute that could have prevented that no longer exists, we can’t even call it “Statutory Rape.”

The newer Republicrat, Barack Obama, who took money from Wall Street to help win the 2008 Presidential race, has done nothing to let his benefactors sample some of that prison fare. American taxpayers were called upon (I never got such a call, did you?) to bail out the banks. Screwed homeowners, were sucked in by adventurous Wall Street and banker speculator's offers of garbage investments and unlimited credit, lost their homes and saw their credit ratings fall off the roof.

Then there was “Quantitative Easing”, a scheme by the Fed allowing those same bankers to borrow at practically zero interest rates, and could then lend at real interest rates. You might also be aware that this interest rate structure conveniently did not apply to student loans.

And who says regulations (besides my Congressmen and his cronies) impede growth? The latest rules for banks to follow were written by Citibank (who surely has no vested interest), and signed off by guess who? Not only doesn’t he have his Attorney General Prosecute these villains, he approves legislation that permits the very behavior that caused the 2007-08 collapse to happen again. See the Mother Jones article:

Now, let’s talk about the other point. Vern thinks it’s regulation that prevented jobs growth. What’s wrong with this assumption? Everything. There has been more job growth in 2014 than there has been in the last decade. What has not happened is wages keeping up with inflation (except for Wall Street).  M.I.T. has something to say about this: The article talks about, among other factors, the difference between a living wage and the minimum wage.

Those millions forced to live on minimum wages that have not been adjusted in decades.  In 1968, the minimum hourly wage (in 2013 dollars) was $10.71. Today it is roughly (very roughly for many)  $8.51. Ask Wall Street how many of their executives earn that sickening wage. The results of these slave wages is that many are forced to work multiple jobs, including single parents. Many are forced to go to Uncle Sam for food stamps, can’t get health insurance (yes, it’s those tough regulations that brought that on), and must depend on emergency room services for survival. You may want to think about that the next time you have an uncontrollable hankering for one of McDonald's beef-substance products (their pay-starved employees are not "lovin' it",  I'll wager)

So, Congressman, I would have sent this to you in a letter or email, but you are notorious for not responding to constituents opinions (at least never mine). 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Presidential Talking Points
Why I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, today.

The President is on a collision course with a congress that is even more do nothing than anything Harry Truman ever faced. 

He has announced two initiatives that are designed to work around the obstacles laid down by Boehner and that other boner, Mitch McConnell. 
Is it evolution or just a messed up job of cosmetic surgery?
In order for his efforts to have any shot at success, our very uninformed electorate needs to understand the issues. Fox Noise gets around complicated explanations by the use of buzzwords that Roger Ailes distributes to his Noise Team each day. If you're one of the millions who depend on this  source for your Noise, and stay on that channel for a good part of your day and/or evening, you have heard these repeated ad nauseum

SPOILER ALERT! Just because Fox Ditto Heads say the same things over and over again, it doesn't make them true. 

The progressive movement lacks the simple language to get our message across to those who prefer a bunch of modern-day gladiators maiming one another on the football field, to learning about what really effects their lives, and that of their families. 

Let's first talk about Climate Change:
If I were the President, I'd use the Bully Pulpit to explain, in a language even a third grader could understand, exactly what the failure to wean ourselves off fossil fuels could mean. 

What if over 90% of the scientific community is wrong about anthropogenic causes of Climate Change. What if the population doubling in the last forty years has had no impact on fuel and food consumption, and the unsustainable dependence on cattle, deforestation leading to lowering the Earth's ability to absorb CO2? Anthropogenic: There’s a word you probably won’t hear from the Ailes minions. 

What about the health implications of the use of fossil fuels, especially by those people too poor to live a safe distance from a coal plant? In the case of China, which has announced an executive decision to reduce their noxious emissions 20% by 2030. Executive, because they don't need no stinkin' congress to approve it. 
Another delightful day in Paradise

Beijing residents are sick and tired of having to wear filter masks, and being unable to see beyond a few feet in front of them. And if you think wasting a trillion bucks in Iraq to safeguard the oil supply (petroleum and not olive) was worth it, along with the casualties on both sides have suffered - not to mention the opportunity that ISIL has had to grow their numbers, easily blaming the U.S. for much of the region’s troubles.

The other story that needs selling is the immigration issue. 
Don't you just wish you had this job?

The Republicans are betting that the electorate is too ignorant to realize why we need workers in this country for the jobs Americans won’t accept. They may be correct in their assessment , but unlike stupidity, ignorance can be remedied. Americans are not reproducing at the rate of previous generations. If our Social Security system is to survive, it needs workers at the bottom of the pyramid. If our crops are not to remain fallow in the fields, we need people to do the back-breaking work that most of us will not do. We need to pay these people a living wage, so that we don’t continue the pay race to the bottom. We need to crack down on companies that hire these undocumented laborers with the advantage that they can be paid slave wages, or be reported to the Immigration Service if they protest. Within the population of these undocumented are talented children, who could make educated U.S. citizens if permitted to stay. The alternative is to return them to a country with which they can no longer identify. Have we lost our souls? Can we not empathize with these young people who’ve accompanied their parents across our borders through no fault of their own? 

So, Mr. President, those are your starting talking points. Get your supporters out there to spread the word. The Republicans are putting out merde and we have to set them straight.