Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Economic Conundrum? Methinks Not.



Every damned day media inundate me with hubabub about how governments, state and federal, spend every waking moment raking hands through their metaphoric locks as they struggle to make what they’re calling some “hard choices,” meaning without saying, usually, that they “have” to decide which social service programs to cut in order to balance the budget: education; medical payments for the poor, children, and the disabled; WIC assistance; food aid grants. And more. More, more, more, notwithstanding the record number of unemployed.
And all this is despite that the Dow Jones is a very healthy 12,200 and a huge segment of America’s corporations recorded record profits last year. In fact, at $1.7 trillion, profits for third quarter 2010 were the highest ever recorded. See this.

Well, it doesn’t seem logical, or even sane, to wait for these corporations to decide to create more jobs for the masses. They aren’t doing it, and you don’t need a crystal ball to figure out that they don’t have any plans to.

So instead of further cutting social services programs, how about cutting Corporate Welfare, since corporations are not only not helping, they are why we’re in this predicament to start with?

Since it’s largely big banks’ fault that we’re in this mess, I can’t help but wonder why we don’t start by stepping in and forcing them to cut their ludicrous bonusing and make them invest in employing the people they put out of work.


Big banks paid out something like (a horrifying) $143 BILLION in bonuses in 2010. See this. Since American taxpayers bailed them out, how about making them pay those bonuses back into America?

But no. Instead, the GOP (champions of the uber-rich) is pushing for big cuts in the programs that support the people who the banker’s blunders pushed out of work (see this) - cutting the very help for the people that no corporation will spend one penny to put back to work.

And, ludicrously, not one word is being said by either side about slashing Corporate Welfare in this precarious economy, which costs America trillions every year. Instead of helping out-of-work Americans, our governments are paying for overseas advertising for Agribusiness, subsidizing the growing of corn, letting companies (who are making record profits) continue to pay little or no tax, and throwing trillions of wasted dollars into the pockets of foreign purchasers (and defrauders) who promise to buy U.S. products. See this and this. And that is of course just the tip of the iceberg.

In truth, just that $143 billion in bonuses could easily pay to restore the threatened programs, with some left over. That money would help destitute Americans get by until they can find work again.

The L.A. Times published a tool where you can decide which programs California can cut to balance its budget. It's here. Not shockingly, absent in this tool are any other options besides cutting social programs. Propaganda cocktail, anyone?

Imagine, as John Lennon advised, what America would look like if the ruling class, including our fractious, ineffectual, corporate-sycophant government actually gave a shit about Americans. I am a far left, radically-minded woman who votes democrat because I think the Donkeys are often the lesser of the available evils. However, as days go by, as the stink of corruption steaming from our corporate shitpile, and no less so from our own government, wafts past a level of stench that even I can bear, I find myself more and more aligned with the tenets of the purists among the Tea Party. And, frankly, I don’t know how to feel about that.