Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Barely a month into the new coalition, the Tory government has shown its true colors, and the Liberal Democratic leader is being exhibited as bought off for a wooden medal in the form of the title of Deputy Prime Minister. The price for this empty title seems to be a total jettisoning of the entire Liberal Democratic agenda, including the items whose inclusion in the Government’s promises were an integral portion of the ostensible agreement founding the present ruling majority. The Liberal leader says nothing while the Tories rake over the earnings of public servants and working people generally, taking their past earnings in the form of their pensions, and their present and future earnings in the form of cuts in salaries and wages, essential welfare support and public benefits, and the continuation of programs in housing, education, and health, including even the costs of school lunches for indigent children. These are all things that New Labour had predicted and which the Tories had sworn to protect, though in truth the New Labour scammers would have done also, but not as much and not as blatantly, rather like the New Democrats in USA. Housing is understood by its supporters as destined for the lowest level of public support since 1924, university tuition caps are understood to face increases from 3G/year to 5G or 7G, and even 10G is mooted in the press. The children of working people would be largely excluded’ with the places being “sold off” to those who can afford the tariff, with much less emphasis on proven academic ability. And the dumb waiter sits in silence, delivers the votes when those are called for, taking the worthy defeat of Gordon Brown as full payment by the party always representing the interests of the rich and powerful. And short of a denunciation by the Liberal Democratic Party, these will have tolerated their full political castration.
Friday, June 18, 2010
For the past few years, the quiet resentment that thinking US have carried in the direction of the banks, the large corporations, and enormously wealthy robber barons have displayed have all boiled up as the people who used to love to call themselves the “masters of the Universe” carried this nation to the very brink of another Great Depression and quite possibly over it into ruin have wrung all believability out of the pernicious lie that “greed is good”. As long as there appeared to be much prosperity around, it was easy to bury one’s doubts and fears, but we are now at the beginning of the avalanche and we can hear the call to save the people if not the system. Yet some of our political leaders are still dancing to the tune of their corporate owners, and these include at least one Democrat whom so many of us had desperately hoped to see elected as President. They are still at bat to preserve the unjustified tax loopholes for the richest plunderers of the economy, even holding hostage the desperate needs of unemployed US to maintain their form of highway robbery. It is no wonder that those of us who do not worship the gospel of greed and predation have lost essentially all of the unjustified hope we had carried for what was once the party of FDR. And the faint expressions of distaste we get from Obama are no match for the terrible signs on the road ahead. We have no place to look for hope in the next six years, certainly not from the possibility that the false representatives of the “little people” might be replaced four years hence by the minions of the US version of the Tories. There is no hope to be obtained from the possibility of revolution, and equally little from the knowledge that nothing short of it will end the permanent robbing and impoverishment of the People.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
It seems like decades that the US populace has been pummeled by nonsense out of the mouth of Grover Norquist. He is amply paid by the corporate Robber Barons to deliver the line that the US citizen can spend his money (which would otherwise go to taxes) better and more wisely than the Government can. As for emergencies, the very rich would be able to afford them out of their tax avoidance. Among the most enthusiastic disciples of this vicious doctrine have been the substantial majorities in the Gulf states. Not all as vociferous as the gun-slinging imitation cowboys of Texas, but the others are not far behind in their attachment to the doctrine of tax-free self reliance. And they have also been devotees of drilling for oil in the oceans, down to about a mile below sea level and contemptuous of those who have argued the tremendous risk. But as some have said, it is easy to be cavalier about the Government until one suddenly needs a Big Favor, like keeping one’s job or business or not being evicted from one’s home. And suddenly, the dark cloud on the horizon turns out to be BP slipping out from underneath their obligation to make good on the costs of their negligence as a rogue oil well on the rampage threatens to wipe out the life’s investment of thousands in those same Gulf states. And suddenly we hear all kinds of unfamiliar voices demanding that Uncle Sam make good in case the corporations they have always trusted as more upstanding than the hated Government squeeze out of the responsibility by quoting laws their lobbies have paid to have enacted. And not even a word of “oops” or contrition for having participated in leading he electorate astray. Suddenly out of the rat-holes come the hirelings of the trusted corporations demanding that the taxpayers of the nation cough up hundreds of billions to secure the security of welfare that the tax avoiders voted against time after time after time.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
In the early days of the mid-XVIII Century, the US colonies were a hotbed of ideas, with many of these finding their way into the forming nation. In the XIX century, the flow of ideas through the US gave rise to an international reputation for Yankee ingenuity, and that lasted until the mid-XX. But increasingly in the XX Century, the control of industry passed from technical invention to the growth of sales and thence to the manipulation of money. The few people who approached difficulties in the economy or technology as problems to be solved like crosswords were swamped by Robber Barons who were responsive only to sure things in the market. Someone with an invention, even a simple one that was a sure thing, had a difficult time with the control of the economy, whether by public or private by deciders who were largely un-arithmetic or unschooled in even elementary science, and who paid attention only to thoughts promoted by lobbyists or other channels of power, excluding those for which there were no rewards for the middle-men or their paymasters. Even inventions that had been tried elsewhere and whose benefits had been recorded in journals like Distributed Energy were routinely consigned to the circular file by office-holders and executives that simply did not have the training to measure their worth, and had no close subordinates that could evaluate them. The management of money was all those officers could think of. No less an established genius like Thomas Edison could not get a hearing from the supposed risk-takers of Wall Street when he wanted them to support electric lighting for that area until he got the ear of J. P. Morgan, who proceeded to create the Edison General Electric Company and then used his wiles to squeeze Edison out of it. And that was Edison. More modest inventors, like me, have it much harder to reach the ears of power brokers that could improve their corners of the world, but don’t.