I'M BAAAAACK! (SOMETIMES COMPUTERS SUCK)

By my calculations every man, woman, and child in this country will be donating $49.81 to the automobile industry some time this week. This is on top of the $996.21 dollars they already donated to the banking industry. This actually adds up to about $1400 per adult, but that math is contingent on every adult paying federal income taxes, which isn’t necessarily true. Depending on whom you believe, around 36% of Americans either do not pay, or actually get money back from the government in the form of Earned Income Credits. At this point I actually can’t do the math, but I think that you can gather what my point is. You will also be shocked to hear that my math is based on only 321 billion dollars in bailout money, which is only part of the 700 billions that has actually been authorized. The hard pill to swallow, however, is that part of that 36% of Americans who pay no taxes are not the poor, but the rich who pay high priced accountants to legally hide from or evade taxes all together.

So simply speaking (and all I can do is speak simply, I’m not an economist, to the contrary I almost failed economics in college, but who knows what I could have done if I had gone to a school that didn’t cost $12000 a year to go to, and hired teaching assistants who spoke English, YAY USC!) it will be the middle class in this country who will end up bailing out these companies, and I ask but one question … why? There are several givens in this equation, first given is that the sub-prime mortgages were a scam, just like the junk bonds, just like the accounting scandals of MCI and Enron, just like the Saving and Loan scandal … and all legal scams because again the only people affected by these scams were the middle class. And it’s unfortunate that we define legal in this country as being according to laws made by the very people who break them. It was the middle-class people who had pensions attached to MCI and Enron which were wiped out, while the upper management sat pretty with fake profits and stolen money they still have today. Junk bonds bilked people out of millions, and yet Michael Milken, one of the chief racketeers in the practice, still sits on millions of ill-gotten gains (but you’ve got to read the wikipedia article about what a philanthropist the man is today, which only proves that anyone could write a wikipedia article, and they can’t be trusted … well maybe it can, but it begs the question, are you a philanthropist when you’re donating stolen money?). The second given is that we protect our rich in this country, just like we have throughout time. I never heard of a Lord or a Duke having to declare bankruptcy, and why: because the system propped them up. Well we have Dukes and Lords in the country as well, and the system props them up just as affectively … and I’ll let you in on a little secret here … the system props them up because they are the system.

Here in the small state where I live, Nevada, it cost over a million dollars to gain one national congressional seat. A million dollars for a job that lasts only two years, and doesn’t even make a million dollars in salary. Think about that for a second. I know that money isn’t everything, but if you didn’t have a million dollars does that mean you’re not qualified to be in public office? Are we saying that in my state, that unless you can raise a million dollars you aren’t even eligible for holding office? No, what we are saying is that the rich hold the cards, and the rich make the rules, and the rich determine the outcome of the game. And we’re all fine with it because we figure that we can all become rich if we just try hard enough … and hell that just might be true. This is America, and it’s true the American dream does exist, and we can all be millionaires, but my question to America is simply … since when does the ability to earn money translate in your ability to make decisions and rule wisely and just? Wouldn’t the working-man in a working community represent the population of his district better than the man who employs him? Isn’t that what this county was based on, the common man holding office and ruling himself? Aren’t be in effect letting the proverbial fox guard the hen house?

I’d be fine with the rich holding fortune in this country if they actually gave back … and save me the rhetoric about (tax deductible) charities, and all the money that is given to the community … they are hand outs. They do nothing for the very backbone of our society, and frankly, do nothing period. The vast help that is provided to the poor, in the way of public assistant, welfare, school lunches, are provided by the middle class and their taxes, and who gets the credit for being generous, and who is given awards for giving coats to a couple hundred people, or throwing a couple coins at foundations like the MDA or the Red Cross, whose management makes more than most Americans, and whose budgets are mostly used to fund the organization and not the cause they represent? Why it is people like Bill Gates, and Oprah, and others who lend their small contributions to causes get credit for them, and then take a huge tax write off at the end of the year because of them.

T. Boone Pickens was all ready to build a wind powered power plant in the south of Texas, which would have eventually provided clean energy 1.2 million households in America. I say “all ready to”, because natural gas prices fell, and oil prices dropped, and it is no longer profitable to build such a plant … so he’s probably scrapping it. This power plant would have utilized wind turbines that were made in America, by Americans … it would have provided clean energy to over a million homes, and probably drove up the technology and brought the cost down for such wind turbines for average people, but because it wouldn’t make a profit right away, a man, who has enough money to last him a hundred life time will probably decide against it.

Why hand out money to the bottomless pit that is the poor of this country when you can invest in high -speed trains that will move people and goods from place to place using electricity instead of petroleum. Why not use some of your billions to built an arena in the city of your choice, or invest in Chrysler or GM, and take some of those patents out of their vaults that they have been buying for decades now for engines that run on cat piss, or tires that last 100,000 miles and give back to the society that you’ve taken so much from? Why don’t local area businesses here in Nevada begin to lay down radiant heat under the mountain passes as roads are being maintained, and save countless lives in the process? I guess what I’m asking is why don’t the people who have bilked everyone out of this money they hold on to give a little back to even the score card?

I work on million dollar houses every day, and I’ve yet to see one use any kind of alternative renewable energy source, or over -insulate their homes, or use gray water for their toilets, or do anything constructive to take some stress off the grid in any way. When I question it to people they say that those things will never pay for themselves. I’m not sure when their $5000 cappuccino machine will pay for themselves, or the $10,000 bathroom fixtures, or the $50,000 granite counter tops … but they’re smarter than me I guess. I guess using these things and bringing the price down for everyone else as a result is not an option. We have to force people to use energy efficient lights (which they remove as soon as they pass their final inspections), or to insulation their homes at all.

I’ve been accused of class envy, and nothing is further from the truth. I’m totally okay with people earning money, and I’m in no way advocating forcing people to do the things I’m suggesting … but I do ask the question why don’t they? Why do they horde money, and not use it for the greater good? Why does all the good in our society fall upon the middleclass, the one section of society that often cannot afford to do so? I hate to quote Rush Limbaugh, but I once heard him say that liberals were all about nothing but symbolism, and as a card carrying liberal, I have to say he’s right about that, but not just for liberals … for everyone. Everyone plays lip service to being good and kind … and just, but when it comes right down to it we’re not. I offer this suggestion to Oprah … what good is being educated going to do a girl in South Africa when the country’s infrastructure is in shambles? What good is knowing about science when there is no way to get to a job, and no jobs to get to? The middle class, and society as a whole will educate their own, like they always have, but how can they do that when they can’t get to a job? But lets face it, investing in trains, roads, and sewers aren’t as glamorous as investing in a school named after you … especially when they make up songs that kiss your ass.

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