Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailout Lies and Cowardice

The corporate media has started talking about the $700B tax theft in a little more detail now that the first "bailout" proposal has failed (although the shadow bailout already gave $630 billion away).

Naturally, now that the corporate media is going into a little bit of detail, a conventional wisdom (i.e., a collection of viewpoints that are not wise) is starting to build up whereby ordinary people, armed with a few choice facts, begin thinking that they understand the situation, that it is complicated and serious, and that they know what to do about it. And that means that they think it is time to grudgingly pass the theft proposal, in one form or another.

Don't call it a bailout. It's not a bailout. That is another of their lies. It is theft, god dammit. Stop using their terms or they have already won part of the victory. Tax theft is the name of the game. It's what they do. It's how they exist. Like hogs at the trough with reverse anorexia, they choke themselves gobbling down wads of spittle-soaked cash at a breakneck speed, afraid they might lose an ounce.

These lying, cheating, murderous thieves are not going to stop. They never stop. These are the people who brought you the invasion of Iraq. Stop calling it "the Iraq war." It wasn't a war. That's their term. It was a bullying. It was a mass murder. It was a trillions-dollar military machine pounding the fuckhell out of however many hundred thousand people. A war implies there was a country capable of resistance.

It's not a "fight" when a grownup kicks an infant: even if the infant swings a chubby little arm back. Nor is it a war when the American military swings in and topples the Iraqi government in a few days. Iraq right now might qualify for a "war," except that the people killing Americans are not necessarily doing so in the name of the nation of Iraq. But whatever. The point is, the original attack and killing was not a war, and stop calling it that. But back to the bailout.

These are the people who brought you the invasion of Iraq. They're the ones who keep bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan, so often that it seems like they're trying to disrupt marriages. They're the ones who throw napalm at children because a bogeyman terrorist might be living next door. They're pure evil. And now you want to believe them about the $700 billion?

Why do they do it? God help them, but most of them probably deserve pity. Like the rest of us, they live in the system of greed, where death by starvation is what happens to you if you lose. So there's nothing to do but try harder, and play by the rules, which means screw everyone you can and keep every red cent. There can be no peace in this twisted, loaded market, because there are so few guarantees against starving in the street. If you have an opportunity to gobble money, you have to do it, because if you don't, someone else will gobble it, and you will be that much closer to starvation. Or losing your house, going bankrupt to medical bills, skimping, postponing, or whatever stage of the game you are at. So gobble, damn you. It's all we have.

The elites are, in some ways, more afraid than the rest of us. That's why they look so happy at the prospect of stealing $700 billion: because it postpones the worry for just a little while. Their deep inner fear that if society became based on merit, they would starve in two days. God help them if they tried to run around selling their ability to "leverage financial markets" in a society based on character and hard work.

Look at all they can do, those Congressmen and Senators: they can manage money in financial firms, they can haggle about the bullshit little details of laws that their own staff made complicated in legal firms. Basically, they can't do anything productive. They are parasitical beings on top of those who actually produce things of value. And deep down, they know it. That is why they fight so fiercely to maintain systems of ownership and control whereby those who don't produce anything useful--those who "manage," or "coordinate," or "oversee"--get the most money. Those who actually do something get a poor man's wage, and have trouble paying to send their kids to the doctor.

So this brings me back to my own private little war against the paragon of having your head jammed in your ass known as Bitch PhD. Naturally, being that she is among the hallowed individuals who perceive that Barack Obama is the Light and the Way, she wants the "bailout."

Since once again Bitch has proven to be the crucible for progressive American error, I'm going to tear apart her stern lecture over why we should give $700 billion of our descendants' money away to the same people who caused various and sundry financial troubles, in exchange for their promise that this might avert future disaster.

Without further ado, here's Bitch embarrassing herself. Naturally, she embarrasses herself by channeling (half the time) her expert friend, who helps explain complicated things like finance to her, in return for her parroting it on her blog. This makes Bitch a modern news correspondent. Good for her! But really, I said without further ado, so let's make true:

"In the US and UK at the least, we (individuals, companies and countries) are hooked on credit. We buy our cars, houses and food on borrowed money. The companies we work for borrow money to pay us. Our hospitals, schools and buses are all bought with … yep, you guessed it …. more borrowed money."

The implication here is that people are "hooked on credit" out of choice. Rather, people are hooked on credit because they have nothing, so they require credit to get things they need. Like, say, medical help, or food, or a car, or a place to live. Like most American progressives, Bitch is very populist in this regard when critiquing McCain's tax policy and its effects on the poor, but when it comes to paying off the bankers, suddenly becomes very critical of poor peoples' credit "choices."

Poor people don't enjoy paying interest for the privilege of buying things. They do it because they have no money. Who has the money? They do. Like Nancy Pelosi, the twenty-five-times-over millionaire. That's why they look so happy.

I'll wager a guess here that Bitch's husband works in the FIRE (Finance Insurance Real Estate) industry, which might be why she's a little protective about that $700 billion theft (and could help explain a lot of American progressives, also). That inflated paycheck is all that's keeping her and her kid in iPhone lala land, after all.

Synopsis: poor Americans choose credit because they have no capital to buy anything else. The monopoly on pre-existing possessions held by the rich forces them to use credit. Therefore, using their use of credit to justify giving $700 billion from them to the very wealthy is extremely fucking stupid, not to mention wrong and inappropriate.

And if you think the poor can afford cars and houses and doctors and all that without credit, you're living in lala land (possibly iPhone lala land--check your purse).

If, as seems increasingly possible, however, its not just individuals but rather the entire banking system that's in trouble, the fact that some former traders are cashing large pay-checks is the least of our troubles.

Actually, no, it's not. All of those twenty million dollar bonuses going to financial executives who have driven their companies, and the banking system itself, into the ground, are not "the least of our troubles." They are our troubles. These are the same people who did it, and you want us to forget that they're getting paid truly huge chunks of money for waltzing out the door as failures?

Excuse me, Bitch, if I don't think it's trivial. Maybe my lack of a PhD in 18th century English literature makes me unable to comprehend things as well as you do, but here's how I see it: every $20 million bonus represents, say, a hundred $200K mortgages that could be paid off.

That's a hundred families with children that could be living in their home instead of shacking up in a relative's apartment, or camping out in the car. A hundred. And that's per bonus. So it is not "the least of our concerns;" it most certainly is a big fucking concern. Unless, of course, Bitch PhD cares only about her kid and living situation. And I know that's not the case.

If a sufficient number of banks go bust or the remainder get so nervous that they refuse to lend to anyone other than their own governments, then none of us will be able to either get new debt or, worse, renew the debt we have.

Okay, enough deriding Dr. Bitch for her ignorance and callousness toward the less-fortunate. The above quote is the crux of the Obama/progressive bullshit argument. It's basically the argument of the extortionist.

Here's how it goes: I got your money. You got a problem? Open your mouth and I'll make it worse. Go on. I dare you.

Otherwise known as: we've dug ourselves into a hole, and the only way out is to keep digging.

If we have gotten into a problematic situation where we require "new debt" or "renewed debt" in order to function, the answer is not to pay even more to keep the cycle going. Debt-financing is bad. It ultimately leads to huge deficits, economic slowdown, and spiraling interest payments. The idea of compounded interest relies upon the assumption of continual growth, because without continual growth, compounded interest cannot be financed. "Compounding interest," i.e. "debt," is nothing but magic: it implies creating value out of nothing. Putting $500 of gold in a vault does not create anything new. Working, growing, building--these things produce. But just owning alone does not produce anything--unless you use ownership to get other people to work for you, and keep the profits of their labors yourself.

Debt is disruptive and dangerous. It is by its nature an extortionary arrangement, whereby those who own can extract work from those who produce simply by virtue of their ownership. I.e., by holding a monopoly on resources, owners can never have to work, by parceling out "their" resources in exchange for someone else's work.

Aside from that, debt encourages living beyond means. It is a costly means of buying anything, because you pay more for it than it's worth. It raises prices thusly. It also encourages risk, because when you invest with debt (particularly through a limited-liability entity), you are much more willing to risk than if it were something you owned.

The resulting bill for all this mess, and the huge bureaucracies and courts for our bankruptcy system, are paid for by the taxpayers. It is our taxes paying for the bankruptcy system that keeps busy adjudicating the debt system--at a huge administrative price.

"That's also why we have to suck in our breath and prop up the flawed, panicking banking system that got us into this mess whilst we find a longer-term solution to our debt dependency. Finally, its why we have to stop venting on Henry Paulson and let him get on with buying time for a systematic review of our financial companies, systems and regulations."

Bitch's plea, and Obama's plea, is that we continue relying on the banking thiefs, because they think we can't make it without their lending. They even admit it is the same people who got us into this mess.

How can you be so insane? How can you want to give seven hundred billion dollars to people that you openly admit are the cause of the entire problem?

That is maddening. Almost as maddening as supporting Obama's plans for more war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and maybe Iran.

Yes, under our current system, the bankers could punish us a great deal if we don't pay them off. And they will. But they will do the same thing if we give them the money. In the same way that they drove up commodity prices, including food and oil, to begin hedging their investments against crashing mortgages, they will take the $700 billion and do the same thing, driving prices up further as they try to insulate their own portfolios against the mess they made for the rest of us.

Check out Mike Whitney's latest on the $700 billion theft: he predicts, accurately, the same commodity dumping that happened when real estate prices began to drop.

Seriously, remember: these are the same people who keep funding the Iraqi slaughter, and who voted for telecom immunity under FISA. Do you really think they're going to take the $700 billion and start nicely lending it out to bright-eyed young couples to buy their first home or start a small business? I guess, if you're looking to someone like Obama to save you from the future of endless war, you might well believe such a fantasy.

These are killers, liars, thieves and cowards of the lowest order. Give them $700 billion more? Are you crazy?

We can live without them. We can live without their debt and wars and blood and hidden enemies. Be brave.

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