Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Greetings good citizen!

Sometimes I get ahead of myself and today is one of those days. I finished and posted today's piece without writing an intro (so I'm doing it now!)

First up we have this curious story, could Rhode Island become our personal Greece?

The impoverished city, operating under a receiver for a year, has promised $80 million worth of retirement benefits to 214 police officers and firefighters, far more than it can afford. Those workers’ pension fund will probably run out of money in October, giving Central Falls the distinction of becoming the second municipality in the United States to exhaust its pension fund, after Prichard, Ala.

“Time is running out,” warns Robert G. Flanders, the state-appointed receiver, who recently closed the public library and a community center to save money. He has no power to cancel the city’s contracts with workers, so instead he has begun approaching retired police officers and firefighters with what he describes as “the Big Ask”: will they voluntarily accept smaller benefits in the name of saving Central Falls?

Some of the retirees are in their 90s, and Central Falls, like many American cities, has not placed its police and firefighters in Social Security. Many have no other benefits to fall back on.

I’m stretching things here…but only a little. While we have all heard that California is ‘on the brink’, could Rhode Island turn into America’s Greece?

You will note that this ‘crisis’ is (once again) centered on the benefits due public workers, the ‘other shoe’ nobody is talking about is how during ‘good times’, ‘excess’ contributions to the worker’s pension funds were ‘siphoned off’ for, er, ‘other uses’.

Worse than mismanagement, this is ‘malfeasance’, which is nothing more than a fancy term for ‘theft’.

It occurred to me that most of you don’t see where this is headed…you may have an idea but you are unsure as to how it will ‘play out’.

Currently we are witnessing a textbook example of ‘dominoes’, as the little fish default the bigger fish are getting taken down too.

Ilargi: After having maintained for the past few years that Greece neither could nor would be allowed to default, EU leaders have finally given in. Of course, the word now is that this can be a default that doesn't trigger a credit event, in which payments on credit default swaps come due. Good luck with that. The credibility of Europe in the financial markets is shot. Gone. Trillions more in taxpayer funds will be thrown at the issues, but it doesn't matter anymore.

Not coincidentally, the change in attitude on Greece comes at a time when Italy has come under intense pressure. It's time to cut losses. Getting Greece done will open up space and time to "save" Italy. Or so undoubtedly goes the reasoning. It's not going to work.

Italy is not the EU periphery; Italy is very much in the heart of Europe. The country's nominal GDP is over $2 trillion. And its debts are staggeringly high.

Germany is the ‘backbone of the EU’ just as Detroit ‘used to be’ the backbone of the US. No irony should be lost on the fact that both ‘backbones’ were centered on providing the exact same product to the exact same market!

(Japan’s prowess in electronics dwarfs its auto industry, which is why Japan WAS the number 2 economy, worldwide…by dint of its dominance of markets developed here in the USA.)

There’s a fairly sick ‘we can make ya and we can break ya’ story behind all of this but none of the fuckers responsible want to drop the flag long enough to take credit for it!

How sick is it when the ‘profits before people’ crowd wrapped themselves in the flag to hide their treachery?

How is it the media gets away with ‘under reporting’ a catastrophic (and growing worse all the time) unemployment crisis?

There is much of recent history that the ‘corporate puppets’ would like to disappear behind the controversy of gay marriage (like anybody actually gives a shit!)

It doesn’t cease to amaze me that media outlets around the planet aren’t constantly on fire!

The latest in a long parade of ‘happy talk’ has been the ‘predictions’ of a strong ‘back to school’ season this year

How much do you want to bet this will be because cash strapped school districts will be pawning off more of their expenses onto their students?

Reasons To Be Cheerful?!

In "It's That Time Again," I highlighted government statistics that refuted the "facts" one retail industry "analyst" was using to bolster his bullish outlook for the upcoming back-to-school selling season. But even if you ignore the broad-scale economic data he seemed to be relying on, other, more industry-specific trends provide little support for his (or any other analyst's) bullish take. In fact, the following reports suggest the retailing environment is anything but healthy.

Um, all bullshit aside, do you see any way for this to ‘work itself out’?

Is ‘austerity’ really the answer when we have tens of thousands of millionaires if not billionaires that will continue to live ‘the good life’ (at YOUR EXPENSE!)

Let me remind you what makes the wealthy, wealthy. It is pay raises YOU NEVER SEE coupled with LOWER PRICES YOU DON’T GET!

Naturally it is worse than that…if being the boss meant we could all be rich, we’d all work for ourselves! (And mindless capitalist MORONS ardently cling to this myth, that it is possible for us all to have our own little gig, selling shit to one another.)

And once again it takes a ‘killjoy’ like me to point out that there isn’t enough ‘market share’ to support anything even remotely resembling ‘capitalist utopia!’

But constant reader knows that as I have pointed this out many times. No irony should be lost on the fact that the first thing to go out the window in ‘capitalist utopia’ is the ‘employer/employee’ relationship!

A major kink because it is not your efforts that make you rich, you get rich off of your employees!

But I digress because we are rapidly coming up on the ‘unravelling’ of our civilization over ‘money woes’ that are really just ‘ledger entries’.

I think you all realize, deep down, that this all boils down to who takes it up the poop chute.

Considering the amount of criminal activity involved in getting us here in the first place, I think the criminals should…er, ‘get what’s coming to them’ (and I don’t mean paying them off, at least not in the traditional sense.)

The writing on the wall, the widespread adoption of ‘austerity measures’ that is code for the ‘privatization’ of just about everything SHOULD tell you something good citizen.

I’ll tell what I ‘see’.

Since the only thing cheaper than an employee is a slave AND the ‘employer/employee relationship is on the verge of breaking down… (Employers don’t see the ‘need’ to pay a living wage if they can feed their slaves at wholesale prices!)

And with the ‘abundance’ of surplus labor, I don’t see things looking too good for those who, er, ‘accept’ the slave option to its alternative…starvation.

Yes good citizen, you will soon be faced with the exact question…will you die on your feet or live on your knees?

I choose ‘feet’ (and I’m taking as many of the mofo’s with me as I can!)

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


PS. TILT is an old fashioned term for 'fault' commonly associated with old time pinball machines. Because play could be extended by literally 'tilting the table' engineers installed a device to detect when the table was being 'tilted', causing the game to shut down.

So now you know!

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