Sunday, February 14, 2010

This way out from the crooked casino

Wall Street has a president. The American people do not.

The American people are being battered. There will be no let up anytime soon.

The Conference Board projects 2010 salaries for all categories of employees of U.S. companies will rise less than 2 percent, far lower than the projected inflation rate of 2.6 percent. Even if Americans have a job, things will get worse.

But not for everybody.

The retailer, Polo Ralph Lauren reported last week the “return of (the) core luxury customer,” including buyers of couture dresses that sell for more than $4,000. “Top market” U.S. retailers like Nieman Marcus are also reporting strong sales. The French trade association, BNIC reports that cognac sales to the U.S. jumped 19 percent in the 4th quarter of 2009.

French cognac and $4,000 designer dresses - the Wall Street bail out at work - while only days ago, Mr. Obama compared the bonuses and salaries of the barons to those of baseball players; as if the Phillies or the Yankees wrecked the American economy, devastated millions and are paid from billions of taxpayer bailouts!

The same failed Wall Street team that cheered on deregulation and casino style banking and never saw the crash coming is still in place in Washington. Their agenda can be summed up in one word: more.

Wall Street has a president. The American people do not.

The Wall Street cartel must not only be broken up, but there must also be a decentralization of sources of credit and investment. The creation of state banks, modeled on the highly successful Bank of North Dakota is the most readily available means to that end.

Wall Street profits must be heavily taxed.

Americans must be put back in the homes they lost and helped to keep the ones they still have. The banks must be compelled to refinance every foreclosed home and current mortgage in America at the present market value of the home and at current interest rates.

The Wall Street banks that control 42 percent of all mortgages will take a huge hit. That’s the idea – to transfer back to the middle class some of the wealth that was plundered with the help of a witless Congress.

Funding for the war industry must be slashed and war industry profits must be heavily taxed.

The U.S. “defense” budget is now larger than that of every other nation combined. There are more than 700 U.S. military bases in 153 other nations, two wars, American armies in Europe and Asia and ongoing operations on every continent; while bozos with bombs sneak into America.

Taxes on the wealthiest must rise dramatically. And there must be jobs.

For the long term, decimated U.S. manufacturing must be rebuilt. And while trade and export are important, the American domestic market of 300 million is enough to support new American manufacturing.

Current depressed levels of imports from cheap labor nations must be kept that way – for perhaps a decade – with a “labor differential” duty. Trade must be focused on higher wage paying nations. Mexico must be more fully integrated into the NAFTA market.

The economic calamity in the U.S. has greatly reduced and even reversed the flow of illegal immigration from Mexico. To preserve this unexpected gain, the U.S. must push for rising wages there, to accompany better border security here.

But in the long term, wages must rise world wide. The parasites in pinstripes are a global plague. The U.S. must abandon the World Trade Organization and its drive for globally depressed wages to support global corporate profit.

To create jobs on the order needed in the short term, there must be massive government hiring, paid for by Wall Street and war industry taxes, higher taxes on the wealthy and a real reduction in military spending.

The administration and Congress now talk of jobs, but propose to spend what the NY Times aptly described as a “pittance,” and instead issue dire warnings about the deficit and debt – which did not matter when bailing out Wall Street, funding the war industry and protecting the profits of the health insurers and major polluters.

The federal government spends too much on the wrong things.

And while the budget submitted by the president nudges up taxes on the wealthiest, these proposals will be killed in the current Congress, as Mr. Obama well knows. Another flim-flam.

Having got what they wanted with more than $110 million in campaign contributions to Mr. Obama as senator and presidential candidate, and as much or more to Democratic members of Congress, Wall Street and the oligarchs are now shifting campaign contributions back to the GOP, to create competition for their support and hold the line on preserving their stolen wealth.

And the GOP bagmen are lining up.

As in a crooked casino, the deck is stacked against the American people. One weapon remains: the vote. A new Congress is the change most desperately needed by the American people, to set American on the new course that Mr. Obama abandoned when he chose Wall Street over your street.

No comments:

Post a Comment