Ok. I tried to be above the fray that is the teabaggin’ parties, but I cannot. Why? First of all, I want my tea back! Tea is a wonderful beverage that warms you up on a cold, MN winter night (sniff, bye winter), and it is unfairly being usurped by the right to further their inchoate cause.
I am Asian! Give me back my tea, you scumbags! Besides, the original BOSTON (not American) Tea Party was in protest of the British taxing the colonists when the colonists had no representation in the Parliament. In other words, taxation without representation. In the current invocation of Tea Parties, however, they Teabaggers are protesting, well, um, I’m not exactly sure what they are protesting.
President Obama’s higher tax rates! Except, he cut taxes for 95% of Americans. In addition, he did not raise taxes on the other 5%, he merely let the Bush taxcuts expire. Now, that particular tax rate is the same as it was under Clinton. In addition, it is 10% lower than it was under that great Communist leader, Ronald Reagan. So, we can dismiss higher tax rates as a legitimate concern.
I wrote briefly yesterday about AIG handing out $165 million in bonuses to the very employees who drove the company (and our economy) into the ground. Today, there is rage and fury and a whole lot of indignation going around. “How can they do that?” “What are they thinking?” “Don’t they have any decency?” In order, “Easily”; “They deserve it”; “No”. Any other question?
In the meantime, the administration is shocked and aghast, but, hey, their hands are tied–so says Larry Summers. These are contracts, and we can’t just break them. Um, yeah we can. Employers do it all the time. It’s called renegotiation. Basically, the employer says, “If you don’t accept this cut, we’ll fire you.” Try it, Edward M. Liddy–you might be astonished at how successful you could be. Please, though, do not trot out that tired old line about ‘having’ to give the money to retain the best and the brightest. I demolished the validity of that mentality yesterday, and let me add, where the fuck are they going to go? Who the fuck is going to want someone who killed the economy–wait, I shouldn’t ask that. With the nifty little Ponzi scheme all you CEOs are running, someone will pick up the dregs because they have been pushed as the best and the brightest.
If everybody gives me a hundred bucks each, I might even share the solution with you.
Just kidding. I really have solved it, though. Get comfy because it’s going to take awhile for me to explain how I reached my conclusion. Make a pot of herbal tea…ooh, that’s a good idea. Excuse me. I’m going to make some ginger tea. Be right back.
Ok, here I am. Ready?
First of all, let me state the obvious–the stock market is not real. Oh, I can hear your protests. “Wait a gol-dang-minute, Minna,” you’re saying to yourself. Well, actually, if you’re reading me, you’re probably saying something more akin to, “That’s fucking bullshit, Minna.” Ah, yes, the dulcet tones of insurrection sounds mighty fine in the morning. Ok, yes, it’s night, but still….
Anyway, let me tell you something about our economy. My dad, who is a pretty big economic muckety-muck in Taiwan (and he has a Ph.D. in economics) is basically optimistic about the American economy because the real stuff is still there. We still have the land and the people and the materials. He wasn’t blowing steam up anyone’s ass the way McCain did, but his point was that our actual commodities, to loosely use that word, are still intact.
I am not an economist, nor do I play one on the teevee machine (as my beloved Rachel would say), but my dad has a Ph.D. in economics, as does my uncle. His wife, my aunt, is working on her Ph.D. in economics as well. They have all asked me to edit papers for them, so I know a bit more about economics than I ever thought I would. Plus, with the economic crisis flaring up all around me, I am reading more of the financial news–especially economic hottie, Paul Krugman.
We are in the middle of a fierce recession which is sliding its way into a depression. Unemployment figures are nudging their way into double digits. People are getting laid off by the thousands on a daily basis. Actually, www.eschatonblog.com is excellent for economic news because he’s an economist. And he’s funny. He posted this link from Calculated Risk that says 651,000 jobs were lost in the month of February. More than a half a mill in one frickin’ month!