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January 8, 2011 / hoopersx

Money may be the goal but it shouldn’t be the ends.

Free Market!!  Free Market!!!  Capitalism!!  Capitalism!!!

This seems to be the battle cry of the right.  When anyone dares to ask if the current system is right and perhaps suggest that there might be a better way all they will hear in response is Free Market!!  Free Market!!!  Capitalism!!  Capitalism!!!  It’s the last bastion of the heartless.

America is a representative democracy.  In other words, we find it too cumbersome to allow for everyone to vote on everything.  It was born of convenience back in the days before the phone, the fax and now the internet.  But that is another argument meant for another post.  My point tonight is that we elect officials to represent our ideals in DC.

It wasn’t so long ago that this country would work as a collective.  Democratic majority used to mean something.  But more importantly, instead of seeing everything from our own eyes, we took a step back and saw what was not only good for us as individuals but what was good for us as a nation.  It seems those days have long since passed us by.

Today, Democracy has been replaced by FREE MARKET!!!  FREE MARKET!!! and CAPITALISM!!!  CAPITALISM!!!  It’s no longer about “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.  Today it’s all about accumulating dollars.  Own a small business that is making you a tidy profit?  Well, you should be making more!  Outsource jobs that can be done far cheaper overseas just to make sure you accumulate more wealth than you are ever likely to need anyway.

Here’s the thing…  I’m not suggesting that making money is a bad thing.  I’m not even suggesting that it isn’t a legitimate goal for everyone.  What I am suggesting is two things:

First, at some point you get diminishing returns.  Company A can’t possibly sustain quarterly profits from year to year without doing something devious and down right shady.  There is this crazy expectation these days that if you invest in a BofA or a Walmart that you will see a positive return on your investment EVERYDAY.  That is not only insane it’s delusional.  But that is the market we have created.  Investors expect positive returns on their investments.  But the reality is that if you are investing in a market, there are adverse consequences that exist.  Sometimes you might take a bath because one economic indicator or another doesn’t go your way.  But to hear the Wall Street crowd, they should be able to invest in anything, incur no risk and make huge gains.  That just isn’t sustainable.  And if that is the road we are going to pursue, there’s a much bigger crash waiting for us around the  bend.  Anyone here heard of a little thing called TARP?  That’s what happens when you let Wall Street dictate the terms.  They never want to lose and when they do they come crying to us to bail them out.

Second,and most importantly,  the general public have to get over the idea that one day, they too will be filthy rich.  Sure, they might and sure, they might be struck by lightning.  It’s a nobel goal to want to do well and be well off.  It’s self-destructive to vote for tax cuts that directly affect you while you are still part of the middle-class.  It’s like so many of the tea party are voting for their future selves…  Or more aptly the future selves they hope will be.  But the reality is pretty simple:

Most of you will never be truly rich.  Most of you will never have to worry about how much the top 2% are being taxed because you will never live in that rarefied air.  Yet you keep voting like you will be.  Here’s a crazy idea, how about you start asking for deeper tax cuts for the middle class before you continue to ask for tax cuts for a class you are never going to be a part of?

If the last 10 year haven’t shown us anything it should have shown us that Trickle Down economics are a joke.

Whatever happened to the country that my grandfather and his father enjoyed?  A country that came together in hard times and made sacrifices?  When the going gets tough….  Today the rich get GOING!!!  I don’t begrudge anyone the chance to be rich.  I just begrudge the people who profiteer off of bad times.  And it seems like there’s a whole lot of that going on these days.



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  1. Karen / Jan 8 2011 12:15 pm

    I agree with everything you have written. This is an excellent post. Thank you!
    Our esteemed prez seems to think “compromise” is the way to go but it also has it’s downside…. Obomber-side is “con-promise” And it keeps on giving and giving to no one but the rich. : (

    • Robert / Jan 9 2011 8:26 am

      Hoopers, you’re spot on. What I fear is that it’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle. Look around…everyone is trying to sell us the “American Dream”, that you too can become ridiculously wealthy without putting in the effort. Just find someone to sue or get in on the latest fraudulent investment vehicle. We’ve been sold this bill of goods by none other than our presidents, who insist that Americans should not have to make any sacrifices and yet get all of the benefits.

      If Americans believe that going to war is the right thing to do, then they’ve got to understand that this will involve making sacrifices. They may have to pay more in taxes to finance the war or perhaps get drafted into the military. Americans want to have their cake and eat it too and have now grown accustomed to the idea that they can have all of the fat without any of the drawbacks.

      Unfortunately, any politician who is willing to take a stand and be forthright and honest about this, to be honest with the American public and tell them that there really is no such thing as a free lunch, will never get elected into office. So, we end up with people in office who instead pander to their constituents, even if this means making promises that cannot be kept. Meanwhile, money becomes the vehicle that drives the political machine and therefore the wealthiest have much greater access to this vehicle than do the rest of us.

      We need politicians who are willing to act with conviction instead of always doing what is expedient. This requires politicians who are willing to look beyond the next election cycle and instead place the long term interests of everyone in this country, not just the wealthiest 2%, at the highest levels of their agenda. We’ve become a country of people who expect immediate improvement and immediate gratification, and without any of the sweat and equity required. It’s just not achievable.

      Quarterly business profits are a great example. We demand a return on our investment every quarter, which only encourages unethical business practices in order to sustain these profits. Just as we need to consider long term development with respect to the direction of this country, we also need to consider investments as a long term proposition and stop expecting immediate, unrealistic gains. Abandoning the reporting quarterly business profits and instead making them yearly would be a good first step.

      • hoopersx / Jan 9 2011 9:36 am

        After today’s events, I am at a lossfor words. And as you and everyone else can tell, I’ve usually got an awful lot of words on any topic. As I type this, I am unable to push back the tears. I just want to fucking scream!! I thank you for your reply but I have to be honest, FFFFFFUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!! I NEVER pray. I am not sure I have a faith in any religion strong enough to make me believe that it would make an ounce of difference. But right now, I have to believe that whatever I beg a God to do, I truly hope he will be kind and loving for the FUCKING poor little girl of 9 years of age. I’m sorry. I don’t know why this is so raw and uncomfortable for me. But I’ve found it incredibly hard not to cry for hours. I have compassion. I feel for all the victims and pray, when I normally wouldn’t, that they all find peace, here or in the afterlife. BUT FUCKKKKKKKKKK I WANT TO…. Sorry. The world and certainly the victims deserved better. I GOT NOTHING MORE. Emotionally bankrupt right now.

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