Monday, July 18, 2011

Tip of the iceberg

Greetings good citizen,

You’d think this business of bitching about our badly mismanaged society (that we can’t get away from) would start to get repetitive, that one would run out of things to point at…

But NO! Every day there is fresh ammunition just lying there, asking to be picked up!

So, at the risk of repeating myself/belaboring the obvious, yes good citizen, the destruction of our civilization is proceeding apace.

The only ‘question’ is whether things will get better (unlikely, for most of us) or worse once the new regime seizes power.

Which is to ask how much more will the public tolerate?

Rip away their ‘rights’ (to a peaceful legal remedy) and that question becomes meaningless.

The ‘Divine right of Kings' were unspeakably cruel but his majesty could keep it coming as long as here were virgins to rape and peasants to exploit!

And showing ‘intolerance’ to the King was (and soon will be) fatal.

Left to your imagination is the question of what makes a man a King? and, increasingly, in our society the ‘kingmaker’ has become the ‘financial sector’.

A financial sector that would be seriously hard pressed to define the term ‘counterfeiting’…

Investors also remained wary about events in the United States, where President Obama is trying to get lawmakers to agree to a deficit-reducing package before an Aug. 2 deadline for increasing the debt ceiling.

On Wall Street, stocks were down in midmorning trading, with the Dow Jones industrial average off 136.57 points, or 1.1 percent, to 12,343.16 and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index losing 13.95 points, or 1.06 percent, to 1,302.19.

In Europe, the market jitters marked the start of an important week for the European Union as its leaders attempt to stem full-blown market contagion.

As of this moment the Dow is off 163…but, naturally, that makes ‘certain shares’ [hint: financial stocks] a ‘bargain’!

Just ponder that one for a minute and see if it doesn’t come up ‘screw job’ in your mind.

In yet another subject that is suddenly receiving a lot of attention, Mr. Krugman has some interesting observations to share regarding the housing market

Instead, these officials are pushing for a settlement with mortgage companies that, reports Shahien Nasiripour of The Huffington Post, “would broadly absolve the firms of wrongdoing in exchange for penalties reaching $30 billion and assurances that the firms will adhere to better practices.”

Why the rush to settle? As far as I can tell, there are two principal arguments being made for letting the banks off easy. The first is the claim that resolving the mortgage mess quickly is the key to getting the housing market back on its feet. The second, less explicitly stated, is the claim that getting tough with the banks would undermine broader prospects for recovery.

Neither of these arguments makes much sense.

The claim that removing the legal cloud over foreclosure would help the housing market — in particular, that it would help support housing prices — leaves me scratching my head. It would just accelerate foreclosures, and if more families were evicted from their homes, that would mean more homes offered for sale — an increase in supply. An increase in the supply of a good usually pushes that good’s price down, not up. Why should the effect on housing go the opposite way?

I definitely agree with Mr. Krugman although probably for a different reason. (Economists to date have yet to display a convincing grasp of ‘cause and effect’)

While he cites the effect of more foreclosed homes on an already saturated housing market, he ignores the ‘dearth of buyers’ situation…or maybe he assumes this is ‘self-evident’ and doesn’t warrant explaining (in that case, my bad!)

No buyers coupled with a rapidly expanding economic desert that will only get exponentially larger once heating oil rises north of $5 a gallon.

Too many units and too few buyers!

This will eventually make housing a ‘perq’ (a place to stay will be included in your, er, ‘job contract’.) This may create some serious downside the further down the food chain we venture, with, er, ‘low level’ workers being granted space on which to pitch their tents…near a communal restroom and water tap, of course.

Um, it remains to be seen whether or not the ‘rental value’ of these perqs will be taxable. This could vary from, um, employer to employer.

Which begs the reverse statement; the future’s so ‘dim’ I’ve got to wear night vision goggles!

[A parody on that old Huey Lewis tune, “The future’s so bright I got to wear shades!”]

I am sure many of you are taken back by my perpetual gloomy outlook, the constant ‘negativity’.

Honestly good citizen, is there a ‘bright side’ to this mess that I’m just not seeing?

While my posts often veer off into some mighty dark outcomes, every one of them is not only possible, but PROBABLE! (Dependent on where you land on the ‘value chain’)

So, as C.K. Michaelson so adeptly puts it While the ‘clowns’ are in the center ring fighting for ‘no new taxes’ our civilization is being flushed down the toilet.

The US Tax Burden Falls Disproportionately On Individuals and Small Business

Although the nominal US corporate tax rate of 35% seems high, and especially so given all the corporate funded propaganda promoting more tax cuts and givebacks, in fact the realized corporate rates are relatively low both in terms of historical experience and other countries. This is because of the many loopholes, subsidies, and accounting gimmicks available to its corporate citizens from the corporate friendly government.

One could make the case that the tax burden is falling disproportionately on smaller businesses and individuals that do not have the infrastructure and latitude to take advantage of the loopholes available to the bigger business lobby companies.

State and local taxes appear to be regressive. The top echelons of corporations and private individuals seem to be doing rather well for themselves.

Download Ten Charts from Center for American Progress

Follow the link to read the charts.

Today’s post is approaching the short side of long…if that makes any sense!

We wrap up today’s offering with another brief visit to Dystopia

Imagine if you will a world where most of what you know is a lie, worse, you know it’s a lie but there is little you can do about it.

You ‘tuned out’ a long time ago figuring that if things went too far off the rails, you’d ‘probably’ see it coming.

Bad news…it’s not as simple as it looks, is it?

Well, today’s headlines are only the tip of a much larger iceberg.

No irony should be lost on the fact that this is the same iceberg that has sunk our civilization!

Inside was a treasure-trove of evidence: 11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phones may have been hacked by The News of the World, a now defunct British tabloid newspaper.

Yet from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material and catalog every page, said former and current senior police officials.

During that same time, senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid. They steadfastly maintained that their original inquiry, which led to the conviction of one reporter and one private investigator, had put an end to what they called an isolated incident.

How many of you saw that ‘isolated incident’ claim coming?

Starting to get a little ‘old’ don’t you think?

Pretty soon good citizen, even YOU won’t think it’s funny no more!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


No comments:

Post a Comment