Shame On You

This isn’t a political blog, but politics and economics cannot be entirely separated. Politics is all about money in the U.S., which has become an oligarchy of the wealthy. The 1%, if you like, although you really need to include more than 1%. If you want to understand how the U.S. has changed from a democracy to an oppressive oligarchy, all you need to do is watch this video. It is the government that is the enemy of the 99%, acting purely in its own interest. Sure, Wall Street is part of the problem. But they are just vultures, it is government that grew too large and too powerful and was corrupted by the wealth it could seize.

Government realizes that it has lost the consent of the governed. With just a little more than 4 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. accounts for a quarter of the planet’s prisoners, and has more inmates than the leading 35 European countries combined. Police forces around the nation are armed and armored like storm troopers from some dystopian science fiction movie, physically and morally separated from the people they were supposed to serve and protect. Now they serve and protect the government and its financiers. Quite apart from the individual corruption of legislators, money is the lifeblood of government because it is not yet grown so powerful that it can simply expropriate without paying. The 1% are where they are because they help feed the beast.

To understand the US financial position, just remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700

Money the family spent: $38,200

New debt on the credit card: $16,500

Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710

The US is trying to bring their budget under control. This year they implemented total budget cuts of $385. Assuming they don’t spend more than they raise in taxes, it will take them 370 years to pay back this debt. The bi-partisan US Super Committee is currently discussing proposals to cut spending by $12,000 over 10 years. At $1,200 in saving per year and assuming they balance the budget, it will then take them a mere 119 years to pay back the debt.

The so-called “two party system,” really a one-party system, has, literally, a death grip on government. The people understand nothing changes and government is failing them – last Gallup poll, only 13% of people approved of the job government is doing, no doubt all government employees. Propaganda from government-controlled media keeps voters confused and uncertain as to how to fix the problem. Electing Ron Paul as President might be a good start, although even a good man like Ron may not be able to affect this brutal system. Don’t let time go by, it is not long until the financial crisis becomes so severe that elections “have to be suspended until the emergency is over.”

Edit: I fully endorse Assistant Professor Nathan Brown’s open letter to U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. It is worth noting that, when hired in 2009, Ms. Katehi received a salary of $400,000 (doubtless higher by now) and:

Consistent with university policy, Katehi also will receive:

University-provided housing;
An annual automobile allowance of $8,916;
A relocation allowance of $100,000 (25 percent of base salary) to offset various costs associated with her relocation to California, subject to proportional repayment if the position is resigned within the first four years of appointment;
Payment of packing and moving costs for household effects, library and related equipment;
Reimbursement of travel expenses for business-related visits to the campus during the transition period; and
Eligibility for a Mortgage Origination Program loan and payment of relocation costs if she continues in a tenured faculty position after stepping down as chancellor. An annual allocation of campus funding will be established if an active research program is maintained during the appointment as chancellor.

Katehi will receive standard pension, health and welfare, and senior management benefits, including senior management life insurance, executive business travel insurance, executive salary continuation for disability, accrual of sabbatical leave and an administrative fund.

Ludicrous. She won’t resign. Not a chance, she’s on the government gravy train. Huge pay, no accountability. In particular, she says she takes full responsibility for the incident. Fine; she should be locked up for multiple assaults with intent to harm. But like any government employee, “responsibility” is just a meaningless noise.

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