Friday, November 26, 2010

So Die Already

Corporate profits are up. Wall Street is doing well. Black Friday sales are humming along nicely. Happy days are here again.

Unless you're one of the unemployed millions. Especially if you're one of the discouraged unemployed millions (whom we don't even bother to count anymore - once you've been been unemployed for long enough, you're no longer unemployed - you're just "discouraged").

Perhaps what we really need to learn from this is that growth is, in fact, unsustainable. That the ten percent of the nation we can safely call unemployed is, in fact, the "surplus population" that Scrooge spoke of in Dickens' Christmas Carol. We don't need you.

So die already.

If you used to build cars in or near Detroit, Michigan, well, we don't do that sort of thing as much anymore. So stop whining, and either get a job at a Burger King (too much competition? Too bad!) or die. Or maybe you could start your own business, and sell some sort of cheap imported crap to your neighbors.

They're unemployed, too? How do you people live? What the hell is wrong with you?

Remember, we have to keep up with the Chinese in terms of wages and so on, otherwise American businesses won't be competitive. Look at what happened to the Maquiladora factories in Mexico, after all - unaffordable labor closed more than half of those plants down. So, let's raise the retirement age, privatize Social Security and Medicare (businesses are SO much more efficient in doing large, complex tasks - just look at Enron), and lower everyone's tax rates. We'll get the whole country working again, but we have to remember the cardinal rule - corporations are the important thing here, not the people. Much better for corporations live on and prosper than people. Without corporations you don't need people, right?

So die already.

Here's the deal - we'll give you credit cards as soon as you enter college (because you have parents who will co-sign student loans to make the payments), get you on the fast track to some sort of middle-wage paying tech or finance job that you'll have to work at for at least twenty years to pay off your student loan debt, and you'll want to have all the things your folks had when they were your age (or better, if possible) so you can go deeper into debt, getting a used car on credit because local public transportation isn't that great and you need your freedom, man, and by the time you hit thirty you start thinking that you'd like a family (if you haven't already started one, and thus put yourself into some SERIOUS debt), so you get married and have a kid or two, and by the time you're forty you realize that the job you got based on your degree isn't really what you wanted out of life, but it pays the bills, and if you quit now, how will you pay the mortgage and keep the kids and your wife healthy, and gee, the anti-depressants you're taking will cost a lot more if you lose your health insurance.

So die already.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Midterms and Report Cards

LOTS of goodies in the bag after the midterms. First off, here in Washington state, we still managed to maintain the Prohibition-era law that gives the government of Olympia the power to decide what kind of booze I can buy within the state. And their taste in alcohol is both limited, and kinda crappy. They've chosen a wider variety of flavored Schnapps drinks over a wider variety of Single-Malt Scotch - I mean, come ON - we're not all fraternity dudes, are we?

On the plus side of things, neither Sharron Angle ("Latinos look Asian to me"), nor Christine O'Donnell ("I am not Hermione Granger") got to be Senators. On the minus, 60 seats in the house went to Conservatives, some of them entirely nuts. The folks who retained their seats are talking about compromise, as is the Pres, and the Senate leadership.

Rand Paul has already made several statements that either contradict his own viewpoints during his run, or will piss off his base almost immediately - what was that about getting money for your state? Isn't that the delicious political meat called "pork"? And the suggestion that we could somehow cut military spending, well, I'm pretty sure he didn't mention that during the campaign (TEA Party folks luvs their military spending, for some reason).

Obama has been on the "apologise, appease and appeal" train this last week, first running out of the country to India and Southeast Asia to talk trade agreements and exports, while our dear Fed contemplates a bit of currency fudging that will likely annoy the crap out of the Chinese (and probably everyone else as well). While I get what the Fed is trying to do to some extent, they've led themselves into this hole by continually lowering the prime down til they reached rock bottom at 0-.25% during the Bush administration.

And now, we have what has become known as the "Cat Food Commission" report on the deficit. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles worked very hard to look at every single possible option for reducing the deficit, and what they came up with is totally baffling, while being completely predictable. Neither of these guys likes Social Security or Medicare very much (Alan Simpson referred to Social Security as a cow with 310  million teats), so a lot of their big ideas have to do with making us work longer and pay people less from the SS trust fund. Great. Rich people get lower taxes, working people have to work until they die.

Of course, the irony here is they're both on the government pension payroll with lifetime bennies.

We're truly heading towards the abyss. America elected a bunch of nitwits who think government is bad, that social programs all suck, who think the Defense Department can constantly grow no matter how few wars we're actually fighting (except maybe Rand Paul - we'll see), and who think that anyone who's on welfare or social security or medicare are leeches. Cut taxes, lower spending, de-regulate, and privatize. And Obama is talking about compromise, compromise, compromise. Un-fucking-believable.

If Obama does turn into a one-term President, it will be because he spent so much time trying not to get into a fight with people who totally hate him, and want him to fail. And they will continue to say that he never wanted to talk to them, and that he's all the bad things they said, and we can blame all the economic problems this country has been living through on him, and not on George Bush and the policies of the Republican party that have been pushed on us since Nixon.

And we'll deserve what has happened to the Left in this country, because we've never had the balls to work out our puny differences and deal with the bullshit the Right has been spewing for decades, letting them get more and more strident, get more and more power, until, like the frog in the pan of water, we've allowed ourselves to be cooked because we didn't notice someone had turned on the heat. We let it happen, and we let petty differences divide us.

And we keep re-electing zombies like Harry Reid.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gimme a Minute...

I'm waiting for all the results to be final. Here in WA state that means that we are either going to send the "Mom in tennis shoes" (Patty Murray) or the "Land Shark" (Dino Rossi) to the Senate. Patty's been there a while, and has done some notable things for the state, but has occasionally voted for a few boneheaded things.

Anyway, still waiting to hear Rand Paul's first speech as Junior Senator from Idiotville.