Time For Reform

The passage of the spending bill through the House of Representatives was bad enough but its passage through the Senate was really unpardonable.  While the Democrats will lose control of both houses next January there really was no need for Nancy Pelosi to her power base to support that spending bill.  The very weak protest should have been met with a much stronger outburst of filibuster and votes against that bill.  Hairy Reid, for his part in this complicity should have led the Senate in a rejection of the bill and forced the house to reconsider their error.  But neither Reid nor Pelosi would vote against that poor excuse of a funding bill.  The one provision that should have been removed was that which gave banks the ability to trade in derivatives without so much as one penny in those accounts and then make the tax paying public liable for any losses the banks may incur.  The fact that any Republican would have supported such fiscal piracy of the public treasury is an abomination of what the old line party once stood for, fiscal responsibility.

I was not happy at all to see the spending limits for political contributions raised.  The money must come from somewhere and I suspect that the general tax paying public may be on the hook for that item as well.  We have reached a point in our history of this country where morality ceases to matter and government intrusion has penetrated into every part of our lives.  The latin phrase, “Qui bono?”, comes to mind.  Who benefits?  This is really a question of how do we divvy up our world.  Yes, we have long relied on the ideal that hard work and education makes the man or woman, and those who persevere should be rewarded.  I don’t know that any parent tells his or her children to beg for every bite of food and every coin to spend, although judging from the welfare rolls I would not be surprised.  We now have third and forth generations of children on the dole and these individuals have never know any other history.  Perhaps we should stop fooling ourselves that a future Einstein will rise out of this group and that the group has nothing to give to humanity nor civilization.  If these individuals were removed from our presence tomorrow I doubt that we should greatly miss them.  Oh a few of us might miss our jobs as social workers and welfare administrators but I am sure we could find other more productive work to occupy our time and efforts.

Perhaps we have reached that time period in history where our politicians more closely resemble the nobility of France just prior to 1789, in which it took ten years to take down a royalty and a nobility.  There are only a handful of “noble” families left in France and they no longer enjoy any power without the aid of wealth.  Like a child whose father was a professional athlete, it entitles one to a certain amount of honor but that’s about it.  We have what amounts to political nobility as one can witness with the Bush and Clinton families.  And we have those whose names most of us have never heard and yet who control great wealth in this country.  The management of large and very large corporations have now assumed political and financial power that the French and British during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries could only dream of wielding.  We are seeing a growing number of what had been solid middle class citizens being reduce to a working class or less.  So much of the wealth of and in this country is being concentrated into the hands of the very few.  The irony is that with all that technology is suppose to do for us only the few will benefit and then not for very long.  For technology is expensive and someone must pay.

I remember listening to a British Telecom EVP tell everyone in the room that the next killer app for cell phones was going to be the restaurant locator.  And that would be followed by an entertainment locator app.  That was 2001 and his killer app never became the rising star.  The killer apps were the ring tones that the Japanese teenagers and young adults wanted for their cell phones.  As far as killer apps, less than one hundred are used on cell phones and smart phones.  The rest just sit as inventory on a disk someplace waiting to be erased.  Technology reaches saturation points.  It is a ratcheting process.  In 1977 8-bit micro computers were expensive, often costing three or four thousand with limited memory and perhaps a floppy disk drive attached.  But the push came with the development of 16-bit micro computers and the prices started to fall.  The continued evolution of personal computers was driven by price.  That is, while mainframe computers never really came down in cost like personal computers, the PC market was driven by price and he could offer more for less was assured market share.  Apple, under the mismanagement of Steve Jobs wanted to keep prices high and let IBM blow by them.  Jobs wanted high margins, not market share.  Now, who wants to buy an Apple laptop?  A hundred bucks gets a generic laptop that does most things well enough.  What does an Apple laptop cost these days?

Then we have the high tech solutions where machines, robots, and such are replacing labor in the manufacturing, retail, and other markets.  This means greater unemployment.  That means more taxpayers who have incomes greatly above the poverty level must be levied to pay out more welfare, more transfer payments.  That means that fewer people will be able to afford what the 1 percent want to sell.  The one percent don’t eat at Mickey D’s and if fewer and fewer people can afford to eat there then who pays for all those hamburgers and fries?  Who pays for the robots that will replace high minimum wage help?  And who will pay for the financial destruction of not only this country but the world as well as the almost unimaginable amount of debt that has been let loose in the world collapses under its own weight?  When billionaires become merely multi millionaires?  When a dollar only becomes worth a nickel, if that?  At some point the rabble, assisted by those malcontents who have some money and want to save their own necks while profiting from the destruction of the current 1 percent, will take to the streets, will drag out all those who have not managed to leave the country, and we will see heads roll and blood flood the streets.  The hoards will cross the southern borders and assist in the process.  After all, what do they have to lose?  We are about to cross the Rubicon and there will be no turning back.

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