Friday, October 3, 2008

Here, There, Everywhere; Or How I Feel Like Spending My Lunch Hour

NYT Economics Blog on recent unemployment spike nationwide:

Employers cut 159,000 jobs in September, more than twice as many as in August or July, the Labor Department reported. It was the biggest monthly decline since 2003, when the economy was still losing jobs in the wake of the 2001 recession.

There is no spinning these statistics as "temporary workers" or fast-food employees as "manufacturing sector" semantic bullshit.

And cities (anecdotally aka some clientele) and states are broke. From the LA Times, CA needs a $7 billion dollar loan. I hear some guy named Paulson has about $850 billion, maybe he can dig in his couch for an extra 7.
Truth is, it is a sad day here at the office as well. As we'll be adding to these figures when the October statistics come around and I feel the need to point my fingertip machine gun somewhere so here goes...

We will never see any of that $850 billionty whatever, no quarter. When counting for inflation we'll be working for less than ever and sane public officials will be forced to raise taxes to cover all the debt that the "fiscal conservatives" have run up in the past 8 years via giving away the farm to their buddies on Wall Street, defense (offense?), and various other pork barrel projects. Can you say Road Lobby?

THIS, my friends, is the cost of corruption. Here is the bill suckas.

You will get your paycheck and it will read X number of deductions and you won't even think about it, because you'll be looking at what portion actually makes it into your pocket so you can break even after bills, housing, GAS, family needs, etc.

And you'll never even know it, but you'll be supporting the swindlers and the fraudulent; the continued lifestyles of the jet set, new yacht purchases, corporate sponsorship at PGA tour events and NASCAR (please, if there is a God, which I doubt, will you striketh with a meteor the next nascar race?), and stadium naming rights. (Have I ever bitched about cities giving away stadiums to sports owners before? Reason Online is generally ridiculous and partially to blame for the scorn in this post, but here is their report on stadiums with which I concur. Link.)

But, besides the obvious mentioned above, do you ever get the feeling that somebody somewhere is popping bottles right about now? Ya know, somebody like Grover Norquist, "field marshall of the Bush plan," who infamously stated, "we want to shrink government down to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub." Apparently, a guy so ruthless and vile himself that he is incapable of comprehending government as a good thing, a positive influence for its citizens; the same idea that inspired those nobodies Jefferson, Washington, and Madison.

Well, it seems their eight year mission is finally complete. With a bang. Oh, but it also had that nasty little side effect of completely toppling American authority and power, as was documented here, which kind of was the goal of his buddies at Project for a New American Century (by the way, Francis Fukuyama, one of the conservative opinions in this country I respect, has withdrawn his support from these sociopaths, another Obama supporter). Wars are won by ideas fellas and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but all those million dollar carriers are worthless in the Middle East right now and presumably in any future conflicts.

War has been redefined. No longer are there castles and flags and physical objectives, unless you mean oil fields. The only winners were the defense contractors when they got the project. Who wins now? Those stuck on the ship away from their families? The billions it is costing us to float them in oceans? Trickle On economics. Ain't it great. Or as I call it, "21st century piracy."

Howard Bloom writes in the Lucifer Principle (a both brilliant and extremely intense/difficult read), how the forces that shape the world are a mind virus that infect. You thought you had original thought? Think again. We're merely conveyors in the battle of ideas and we are currently losing.

What I am most worried about is that we follow the path of a similar mind virus, that of the rise of the Nazis. The 1920s and 30s saw a similar time of global economic fragility, which were particularly hard on the German people because of the crippling (and perhaps necessary) reparations the League of Nations imposed upon them (my 8th grade history coming out). This is the same people that Neitzsche challenged to become his uber-men, full of national pride and propensity for dominance (violence?), in a fit of one of his crazy spells (you will never hear a complimentary word from me on that dude).

Nazi economic policies pulled them out of their economic doldrums and put people back to work, instilling pride within themselves, their country, and the Party of National Socialism, through a retarded version of Keynesian economic policies (which appropriated positively was the basis for the New Deal). The Germans built highways and buildt military. Sound familiar? Two words: Oh. and Shit.

Well, let's see. We know that we hired Nazi spies into the CIA post-WW2 for their expertise on the Russians. Could they be to blame? Nah, what else do we know? We know that American companies were happy to build fortunes off doing business with them. What could that mean? Oh, perhaps we could coopt similar bizarro Keynesian economics to transfer wealth upwards? Is that the mind virus that has infected us?

What do we have to show for all of this wealth "creation" over the last fifty years? The answer is wrecked cities, red numbered budgets, a full blown third world banana republic and a titanic-sized anchor around the neck of the global economy.

Times are about to get much, MUCH worse. As a people, like the Germans in 1920 we will be a fragile, but hopefully not helpless people. I see two directions out with two leaders. One, is where we choose the easiest answer for us personally, gladly and willfully accepting more paternalism ("don't worry, the economy is fine," "take your mind of 911, just shop," sound familiar?) dragging us back up in a potentially catastrophic direction, focused on similar wreckless policies OR one that inspires us from the bottom-up, to work, to learn, to create again, to rebuild the economy the way it should be. Clean, green, advanced, efficient, and profitable.

Thank you Grover, George W. and friends, from the fullest extent of my double middle finger salute. You can hire your private security forces to keep at bay the plebs who fight for crumbs of cake outside of your gates.