Monday, March 30, 2009


Cadillac-Driving Welfare Queens in the 21st Century

Right-Wing Free-Marketeers Scream "Socialism" at News that GM CEO Asked to Resign by White House
Nobody listens~
Your Demon's "quote of the day," from the Washington Post/Slate website commentary on the sudden precipitous decline of confidence in the MBA degree:
"If we ask why no one stopped these people, however, we come right back to business school. It was the market fundamentalism that dominates business school thinking that assured us that markets are self-regulating. It was the management myth—the idea that there is some specialized, teachable body of expertise that constitutes management—that confirmed the strange notion that these people were capable of regulating themselves. And it was the shareholder-value model from Business 101 that said all you need to do is load up managers with tons of stock options and they'll be sure to do the right thing. These aren't just ideas that happen to be taught at business school; these are the ideas that provide the rationale for the existence of the schools.
"The only semblance of a theory behind modern business education is that it purportedly produces 'experts' in shareholder-value maximization who are capable of forming an ideal, self-regulating market.
"It's a neat theory, of course, and pretty radical, too. But not since the fall of the Soviet Union has a system of belief woken up with so many parking tickets on its windshield."
Extra-Credit reading assignment: on the GOP's exploitation of the "Lemon Populism" eight years of their concerted efforts did so much to bring about:
"The clearest sign that the recent strain of populism may turn out to be a lemon is how quickly the GOP rushed to embrace it. Conservatives are now running attack ads against AIG bonuses—which is pretty rich, considering that the AIG bailout began under a conservative administration whose guiding economic theory was to reward risk and to lower taxes on high compensation. Republicans aren't running those ads to usher in a new era of equality; they want to poison the well against government action of any kind, from the economy to health care."


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wall Street Impervious to Self-Created Global Economic Meltdown

AIG Bonuses Threaten Wall Streeters' American Way of Life; America's "Marie Antionette Moment"?
Sad to say, it seems to this Demon that Obama's normally close-to-perfect ear for political pitch has failed him where his ongoing efforts to turn the problem over to the very people who created it are concerned, and who, Demon dares opine, counted on "helicopter Ben" to bathe Wall Street in taxpayer cash and politely look away while Geinther and Dodd tucked obscene bonuses in their tailored suit pockets.
Demon is thinking that Wall Street knew damned well that they wouldn't be allowed to go under, no matter how egregious their behavior. Thus the extreme arrogance and preposterous sense of entitlement.
Everyone, it seems, has been caught flatfooted by the "populist" outrage that ensued. Good news: It's the first time in many years that your Demon has been gratified to know that Americans ARE indeed paying attention.
Better late than never. It is the equivalent of paying a finder's fee/reward to the arsonist who burned your house down, and while it would have been much preferable to have in place prophylactic mechanisms to prevent such a thing iin the first place, it HAS happened, and somehow the privileged moneyed classes who benefitted when times were good (and they were very, very good for a long time, for certain people, at least-- I can't resist the urge to say toldja so) have managed to convince the humble taxpayer that we must throw more heaps of our cash into the funeral pyre and plague them NOT them with our bothersome requests for accountability.
Too, I am baffled and mystified that Obama isn't taking steps to discipline the Welfare Queens and strip them of their positions and the temptation that will surely cause more of the same -- oh, silly me!
I forget--THEY own the government and representatives; we don't. They own our taxpayer funds, and will"tell" us what they intend to do with them. They ruined the global economy, and they still have jobs, marshalling our money around! Quite a feat. "A" for ingenuity, boys!
Since Obama, who is normally quite astute about his press, seems to have missed it, I'm doing the public service of providing a link to Bill Moyers discussing with the former head of the International Monetary Fund how third-world-government-by-teeny-pointy-headed-and-tin-pot dictatorship- self-serving oligarchy this all feels. Hardly fitting for what was once the world's most powerful economy, and one that had supposedly learned its lessons in the Great Depression of the last century.
Keeping in mind, of course, that Democracy-for-sale got a big boost in the Clinton Administration, and "corporate Democrats," of whom Obama is rumored to be one (along with Nancy Peolosi, who was heard opining a day or two ago that there's no need to pursue the matter of the bonuses anymore because the oligarchs at AIG have surely gotten the message by now). It's head-spinning, that's what it is.
More today: from Harper's running commentary blog:
But that's not all of the scandalous story regarding the hijacking of "democracy" in service of the gluttonous rich wanting to get much, much, richer--it's the fact that such wealth has simultaneously loosed itself from any particular geographic confines, making the "construct" of a home country such as America irrelevant to anyone but the poor bastards who don't have enough money to relocate, nor a place to go that's generating real middle class jobs and less economically perilous ground. The world has been made safe for Cannibal Capitalism.
And that's what really scares me, as well as the fact that, just when we need to put our heads together and arrive at a solution, somehow make our politicians (who are, after all, OUR employees) as well as the cannibal captains of commerce understand that they cannot expect us to rescue them when they've also destroyed the economy and our ability to work our way out of this mess for a long time to come, we're still hampered by the fact that we're fighting "culture wars" over "wedge issues" invented by the extreme right-wingers whose political greed matched, if not exceeded, that of the cannibal capitalists themselves.
So, while I support Obama generally, I also think his political instincts tend toward finding a center--but, what was the "center" is nonexistent now, thanks to the extreme right wing and their dogmatic (often comically so) positions on everything over the past eight years. They have arrogantly overplayed their hand, and most people are sick to death of their whining, their ideology-trumps-reality stance, and their unpatriotic obstructionism. I have hope that Obamawill soon realize that to a certain (but unusually vocal) minority of them he absolutely can't do anything right, so he may as well write them off and go forward rather continue to try fruitlessly to appease them.
I also have the sense that, if he thinks he has political will behind him, he will move more boldly -- he is no one's definition of a coward. I am heartened, but I still wish he'd move more quickly to clean house where the self-serving and self-interested Wall Street oligarchy is concerned.

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