“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Not so happy fourth thoughts. But shoot your firecrackers, you guys and gals!

Fourth of July thoughts

Truly, this is shaping up to be one of the most depressing presidential elections since Harding vs. Cox. I thought the 00s were the worst decade I'd ever seen, but this one is already a complete washout and it isn't four years old. We have a drone em candidate, Obama, and the spend more on the military and cut taxes on the rich candidate, Romney. And we will once more have the insane conversation about 'executive' abilities. If such things really do exist, then we can all save much money by computerizing them, firing en masse the parasitic cadre of CEOs, and putting in their place expert programs. To tell the truth, I think this would work - most CEO 'magic' happens only when the market is rising, and some corporation ekes out a bit more on that rise, usually compensated for when the market is falling and the extra risk taken by the corp bites em in the ass and they lead in the loss column. CEOs have as much to do with job creation as the gargoyles on cathedrals have to do with holding the cathedrals up. It is to laugh...

Bains was a creature of de-regulation, a symptom of speculative rot - no worse than the Carlyle group, perhaps. A good candidate with a populist, anti-corporate program would attack Romney with promises of a real program to curb speculative power. Even some one hundred year suggestions from T. Roosevelt could start us off: a postal bank, capitalized by the Fed, which would operate for households and small businesses the same way the Fed operates for giant casino banks; a complete revamping of laws on incorporation, making it the case that any interstate corporation would have to register with the Commerce department and obey federal law, rather than spreading the law of inshore offshore states (like Delaware) like the measles through the land; a complete revamping of our military 'committments'; a strong state presence in developing new power sources; progressive taxation, starting not by taxing the 99 percent more, but - amazingly - by taxing them much less, and the rich much more; a complete revamping of the guild system in health care, shifting much of the work monopolized by doctors, expensively, to medical tech who could do the work much more cheaply; a new auction system for IP, ending the abuse of the notion of "fair profit", which has become untenable monopoly. If the Bain ads actually generalized to a discussion of the kinds of investment vehicles that the big money was allowed to invest in - the pension and mutual funds, etc. - that would at least be useful. Because the wisest course in reversing the entrenchment of wall street wealth over the rest of us is to dry up the source of that wealth, the huge capital flows that are allowed to land anywhere. We would find a pension fund that bet all its money on roulette tables in Vegas shocking, but we allow such money to get involved in CDO swaps and the most arcane derivative instruments, which is the same thing, except with larger downsides.
I expect to see nothing like this. Rather, the Bains ads will be personal. The thing is, the Bains rot is systemic. And Obama, who has spent his time in office trying to return us to 2006, is as committed to that rot as any bobo. So once again, we will have the equivalent of miserable weather, a presidential election which involves one politician or another peeing down our necks, while the organized media boobs cheer one or another of them on, said boobs being comfortable 1 percenters, every one. I don't expect that Romney would be that much worse than Obama, but still, he would be worse. On the other hand, maybe the system, sloping downhill, needs just the kind of kick that a person rotten enough to devise the Bains strategy would provide.

1 comment:

Ed said...

First, this is an excellent program. Its important to note that good ideas for reform are out there, and have been out there for the past twenty years, but American elites have insisted, like the Brezhnez program.

But I'm not sure if Harding -Cox was particularly depressing. Maybe Bush -Dukakis would be a better marker, but we were dealing with mediocrities instead of two candidates who both disasters in their own way. Maybe Nixon -McGovern is a better comparison, McGovern was by all accounts, despite his role in destroying German cities, a nice guy, but his handling of the Eagleton affair showed him unsuited for executive office. And Nixon, of course, was Nixon.