Monday, January 23, 2012

Rope or Light Poles?

Greetings good citizen,

Sometimes the tune is ‘the beat goes on’ (Sonny & Cher, remember?) and so it is, good citizen, that we are offered an unvarnished look at today’s economy

No. 413: December CPI, PPI, Production, Housing Starts, Real Retail Sales 
January 19th, 2012

Patterns of Slowing Growth Have Re-Emerged
Inflation from High Oil Prices Still Impacting Broad Economy
2011 Average Annual Consumer Inflation: 3.2% (CPI-U), 3.6% (CPI-W), 10.7% (SGS) 2011 Average Annual Wholesale Inflation: 6.1% (PPI)
Perils of Poor-Quality Inflation Data and Bad Assumptions

Followed by an an encore of yesterday’s disturbing ‘what employers want’ debacle

Many employers, though, say they have little choice. Robert Batterman, a labor lawyer who represents employers, said whether it was the N.F.L. or Sotheby’s, which locked out 43 art handlers in Manhattan last July, “the pendulum has swung too far toward the employees, [says the man who makes his living advising employers how to ‘legally’ break their contracts] and the employers are looking in these tight economic times to get givebacks.” [Which is, make no mistake about it, how the rich get richer! None of them ‘need’ these givebacks, it’s just taking advantage of the economy! Every raise they DON‘T give multiplies their, er, ‘personal bonus!’]

“Employers,” he continued, “are using lockouts because unions are reluctant to do what the employers consider reasonable in terms of compromising. Employers are looking to reset their collective bargaining relations.” [And in many cases they’re doing whatever it takes to ‘bust’ the unions! The assholes cited here have even hired ’replacement workers…something that would have gotten you killed in the old days! Think about that while you enjoy your forty-hour work week!]

After being out of work since Aug. 1, Paul Woinarowicz, a warehouse foreman employed at American Crystal Sugar for 34 years, sees another rationale for lockouts. “It’s just another way of trying to break the union,” said Mr. Woinarowicz, a member of the bakery and confectionery workers union. “People here in the Red River Valley are really mad at American Crystal. It was just like a knife stuck in your heart.”

Because we all KNOW what the next step will be, the plant will close and all of the sugar beets processed here will be shipped to China! And a big ‘fuck you’ to the workers still capable of ‘bargaining’ for a living wage…such as it is these days.

Which brings us to the larger question of ‘are ‘free markets’ really the best way to regulate commerce?

The short answer is no because the free market is ‘incapable’ of justly determining what constitutes a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work. There are simply too many variables.

Under A Simple Plan, pay is determined on a needs basis where everyone is provided with a guaranteed ‘living wage’. Not necessarily enough to live like a Rockefeller but you won’t have to dumpster dive or skip two meals a day either. Nor would you have to sit in the dark, shivering in the freezing cold, contemplating your navel until sunrise either…

But if that’s what you like, it could be arranged.

Just don’t try to martyr yourself afterwards on the cross of ‘lost opportunity’, it’s one of the quickest ways there is to get yourself exiled!

(Assuming our descendants are as ‘vigilant’ as we will become…)

Because the exploiter will always be ready to insist that the ‘old ways’ weren’t as bad as the ‘old folks’ make them out to be.

And it only takes one ‘exception’ to completely reverse the process.

Once they gain the ‘right’ to buy and sell again, it’s all ‘downhill’ from there.

We’re back to ‘stick ‘em up’ and ‘fuck you, pay me!’

We are in this clusterfuck we find ourselves in today BECAUSE we belong/tolerate a justice system that is centered NOT on the well-being of the individual but on the ‘sanctity’ of property rights!

It USED TO include the ‘inviolability’ of a contract (this is where old time union organizers thought they had the capitalist cornered but the fucking weasel capitalists can’t be trusted!)

Which leads us back to the current ‘employer/employee’ contract…can the capitalist be trusted?

I think we all know the answer to that one, the answer is a resounding NO!

Property rights do NOTHING to build or preserve a society, much less a civilization. (Which is to point out we may have been doing this for millennia but that only means we’ve been DOING IT WRONG for millennia!)

Which is to say it takes hundreds of thousands of workers/customers to make a single billionaire, and we have a few thousand of them, world wide.

Well, good citizen, automation cuts out the ’customer’ side of the equation, putting more ‘purchasing power’ in the pockets of the owner…BUT this additional or ‘surplus’ income comes at the cost of lost demand!

Robots don’t get paychecks and neither do the people the robots replace…in fact, there are myriad things that the people replaced by robots don’t/can’t do…like pay taxes. (which is PART OF THE REASON our ‘infrastructure’ is falling apart…but not to worry, the don’t intend to replace it in Hong Kong either, they’ll just build new in Africa!)

Which brings us full circle to the president’s ‘jobs program’. The government has a proverbial ’bottomless well’ of cash…but if you print money with abandon, it makes the existing money (in whatever form) worth-less…in both senses of the term.

Which is to point out that we must throw these ‘short-sighted weasels’ out of power (preferably) before there’s nothing left to salvage!

So, yeah, here we are, 4 years after the collapse of the banking system and we have these shit weasel, one percenters locking down domestic factories to extract ‘give backs’ from beleaguered and besieged workers!

Which brings us full circle to the question of ‘What will we run out of first, rope or light poles?’

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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