Thursday, March 12, 2009

Paying The Piper

I find it interesting that with the recent announcement of a quarter in the black from Citigroup there has been no clamor requesting enlightenment. How is that a bank that had to take billions in Socialist handouts simply to survive now claims a profit in the last quarter and no one notices the...shall we be polite? and call it an Irony! Here's another interesting tidbit reported today. The brass at the corporation shorted their own shares to the tune of six million dollars and reaped a profit of nearly two million. They bet against their own poor performance as a corporation and made enough money for you and me to retire on. There is something very wrong, systemically wrong with all this. Not least that all this public funding of private corporations hasn't produced a single job, rather it has produced unemployment at the rate of 600,000 a month!
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While President Obama continues down the path of forking over trillions of our money while requiring no accounting he also promises costly social reforms and work programs that will improve the quality of life for "working" (ie: currently unemployed) Americans. How can he offer to spend trillions more when the first tranche of government support has been blown directly on the banks? Where will the money come from? Michael Chossudovsky of Global Research has an answer, one I don't much like.
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He suggests government will privatize. Sell all its assets, devolve. Which prospect a decade ago sounded pretty good to supporters of globalization and believers in the Big Lie that government is bad. "Government should be run like a business," the suits used to tell us with a sneer. Well, thank God it isn't run as a business else we would be bankrupt. Oh wait a minute we are bankrupt! So now we can sit on the sidelines and watch our government sell off the freeways the parks, the research facilities to the highest bidders to pay off our national bankruptcy. Naturally the corporations managing the sell off will be the banks, the very same banks that survived thanks to taxpayer largesse. There's an irony!
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The Key West city commission manages a 50 million dollar annual budget and faces a growing deficit. Initially the 2009/2010 budget looked like it might be short three quarters of a million dollars, then one pint two and now as much as two million dollars. Tot their credit commissioners are dealing with the problem and at a recent workshop made a radical suggestion- instead of cutting services or jobs they suggested raising taxes and fees. Normally the sheep start braying against taxes but so far there hasn't been a bleat. In a city like Key West the specter of joblessness is the specter of being forced off the island and that is the equivalent of exile for those who grew up here and even for those of us who have come to make this place home. Tax increases mean people keep their jobs on an isolated island where there are no alternatives.
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It seems unlikely to me that we the people will allow our government to be dissolved by the crooks who reduced us all to penury. At some point we all will remember that it is working together that we will get ahead, just as the people of Key West struggle to straighten out a budget deficit by keeping their eyes on the main prize: employment. Sooner or later we will all remember that work is what sets us free, proper work properly paid, and in my brave new world after the dust settles I'd like to see work rewarded and speculation castrated. My, I sound like a Marxist. That would be another irony.

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