Monday, March 16, 2009

Quote of the Year

From Paul Koestner:

"I experience chunks of nothingness every night, at least during those times when monsters aren't chasing me. There's nothing to it."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Talk Me Down

... or Harvey rants his way through a 360 and will now need a nap while you berate him and his sissy logic!!!

OK , so I’ve been watching CNBC and MSNBC and tuning in (at least as much as I can stand, which is revealing a relatively low tolerance for the stuff) to get a feel
for what’s going on with our economy.

Suddenly, I’m finding myself wondering about the Obama/ Democratic Party/Workingman-in-need approach to things.

I’ve been a lifelong Dem and have always believed that our tax dollars (even those couple of really good years wher
e technically, I should have been a Republican) should be directed at entitlements for those not doing as well as us.

Obama wants to make sure the rich don’t get richer and the working Joe gets some relief. I couldn’t agree more. This POV is reflected in his taxation policy and appears to color (if not determine) everythi
ng we’re doing in the recovery packages.

So here’s where the terror sets in.

Anyone who watched ‘Network’ or read the novel could see some sense of inevitability when the big boss explains that everything in this world is determined by dollars, petro-dollars, pounds, yen, pesos, etc. etc. He is saying that global distinctions are no longer geographic or even cultural borders, but are defined by Exxon, GE, Sony… corporate entities, their fiefdoms and how they figure into the dynamic of things.

Now while of course, there are cultural issues that are overwhelming, and there are countries, and this is a bit of overstatement as to
the inner workings of everything , let’s push in a bit here.

You give more money to the little guy and he pays off some debt, maybe buys a TV, and maybe the economy is stimulated.

But if you make allowances so businesses can operate more freely, there ar
e jobs, benefits, and an economy. What I’m wondering (help me out folks) is if Ned Beatty’s speech in the movie wasn’t more right than wrong, that capitalism, a currency based world in fact, in full fruition in the 21st century, REQUIRES a recognition that corporations have to be able to act with a level of support, that the symbiotic relationship between business as an institution and the worker is, after all, only functional as a trickle down, with larger chunks of money hitting the top effectively keeping things running with a more singular sense of purpose far more than taking on the issue from the bottom up, where there’s little rhyme or reason… at least no structural or institutional controls other than the need to buy food, gasoline, heating and a roof over our heads, and many other ways to spend (or hoard) the money beyond that list serving little to no useful purpose to the economy at large.

Those of us who would be seen as liberal Democrats, off to the left hippies, have justifiably criticized the implementation of trickle down economics based on the idea that the corporations have been, in effect, answerable to no one, reflecting upper echelon personal greed, resulting in an unsupervised disaster. This is what we’re experiencing now.

I understand the pain that we’re all feeling right now as a result, and most certainly, justice, revenge, retribution for what has happened should all be on the plate, but here’s my question:

Does it appear that the system really has evolved (devolved?) to a place where the trickle down theory has actually been proven and the thing that’s wrong is how it’s been operated, not the institutional structure itself?

Is it likely that throwing money at a general population- one that is likely to hide it under their mattress and spend on the bare essentials as so many of us are out of work with NO income- is not going to right the economy?

Is it possible that with serious oversight, but stimulation – such as allowing, for a set period, corporations to bring offshore money and investments back into the states tax free for a time to allow for expansion and recovery, as it’s not being taxed now anyway…. again, with serious and unprecedented oversight, is more of an answer?

It has to be easier to enforce a discipline and a set of regulations on structured corporations than on a world full billions of individuals, in a 100+ different countries, with a 100 + different cultures, all with different agendas.

As I write this, I guess I’m seeing that the Obama administration is doing just that. Billions to corporations to keep them going, trying to regulate and go for transparency. I think, ultimately, the purpose of this rambling is to come to the realization that President Obama shouldn’t be crucified for doing what might be seen as ‘Republican’ things in his dealings with this problem, just as those of us who are supporters shouldn’t be shocked (though feel free to disapprove) when we come to see that he’s also not a Dove. He never, by the way, ever claimed to be.

It would be good, though to see some public floggings. No one can fault me for that!

I guess I talked myself down, kind of, but feel free to talk back.