Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Haves, Have Nots, Have Yachts

The Haves, the Have Nots and the Have Yachts

And he said, this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. Luke 12:18.
As we continue to see searing unemployment among the rank and file of America’s working class, it is quite clear that corporate America seems content to increase their profit margins at the expense of not hiring people who need to work.
October’s unemployment remained at 9.6 percent, despite the government’s efforts to create capital pipelines to help stimulate job growth. The recent $600 billion dollar bond auction to help boost employment did not move the numbers.
The wealth gap remains gigantic and difficult to close. Last month’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that while firings had slowed, hiring hasn’t picked up. Job gains from new or expanding businesses were 6.1 million in the first quarter, the lowest quarterly increase since the recession ended. Job losses from closing or shrinking businesses fell to 6.4 million, the smallest on BLS records going back to 1992. So in spite of what we may hear, what we see is much different. Many families that celebrated Thanksgiving in their homes last year have lost those homes to foreclosure in a real estate market that is flippant, callous, insensitive and cannibalistic. The recent economic debacle has brought out the beast in some of the wealthy, in that while wealth has been eroded among many in this democratic landscape, private jet flights have increased significantly, yacht sales are making a comeback and the super wealthy are getting back to their Hampton type settings.
There are also those who are not as bad off as some, but they still gripe because they had to sell some of their vacation property.
And, we now have more homeless families than we have seen in more than half a century. I am not one who will suggest social programs are the cure-all for what is going on in this country, but some gleaning, or resources could be deliberately provided, to give the needy some dignity. Recently, two of the nation’s wealthiest, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, suggested that if you take everything from your source, and return nothing, that in the end, everyone will have nothing. Which is the main reason they said they wanted to return a significant portion of their wealth in order to help develop a new platform of growth. In an article in, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett challenged the nation's billionaires to pledge to give at least half their net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death. Gates and Buffet campaign, if successful, could change the face of philanthropy. The Fortune 400 has a net worth of roughly $1.2 trillion dollars and the $600 billion would represent half of their total net worth. This alone would create a dynamic growth paradigm for future prospects. But I suspect that because of a lack of tolerance for the disenfranchised and institutionalized racism this may be a dream in a far away land that may never come to fruition. So just know that the rich don’t pay taxes, the middle class pay the taxes for the rich, which is why I maintain that being middle class is over rated. Why not go all the way, because the only real difference between the classes is money. And we all put our pants on the same way; one leg at a time.

Economic Growth versus Development

In the world of economics, growth is the primary metric. It's all about the numbers, and so we try to reach the sky with growth, quarterly, annually. As long as there is growth, we know we are on solid ground. The assumption is that growth is infinite, for there are infinite possibilities for growth if we search for new lands to exploit the labor, resources and addiction to consumerism or things we have programed people to desire, even beyond their needs.

As we look at the global economic crisis and the slowdown in growth, perhaps it is time to ponder this wanton desire for growth, especially when it propels people to spend beyond their means to satisfy the bloody capitalist swine who perpetuate

Two friends enjoying a moment in time, Marvin X and Fahizah.

the world of make believe, including the addiction to growth as the only barometer of successful economic policy.

But we know a child may grow but not develop, thus perhaps we should consider development as essential to economic policy. How many people were employed with jobs at a living wage in the last quarter? How many had health insurance coverage on the job. Did we reach wage parity with Black and white men, white men and white women? How many claimed they were happy on the job in the last quarter or last year? How many feel secure?

What does it really prove to have increased growth and profits? Well, it's all about profit, right?
It's all about making a profit with the cheapest labor and resources, even if we need to start wars to obtain such, even if we must remain on a permanent war footing to satisfy the bastards in the military/corporate/university complex who earn mega salaries with bonuses while the workers are rapidly slipping into poverty or require two salaried persons in the household to make it.

And because the workers have become addicted to things or conspicuous consumption, their lives suffer underdevelopment while the bosses drive them to increase the growth metric, no matter the development metric, especially the human development, after all, we are not talking of abstractions.

We are entering an era, especially here in the Americas, where Latin American or Indigenous peoples are discarding the blatant free market capitalism of the Europeans. The peoples of the Americas want an alternative to naked exploitation of labor and natural resources. Some rather keep their natural resources in the ground rather than give away for little or nothing. Bolivia is considering such with its new found lithium deposits that is needed for batteries and electronic devices. Other nations rather keep their oil in the ground, after all, it is exploited yet the people remain in poverty, ignorance and disease.

And so we are at the precipice of a new economic order. Progressive minded people are urgently seeking alternatives to solve the present global crisis brought about from pure greed and arrogance by the white supremacy bandits.

Is more better or less? Having more is no guarantee of happiness. In the US, workers have two and three cars, closets full of shoes and clothes, yet mates are estranged, suffering physical, verbal and emotional abuse, and of course many chose to remain prisoners of love because they enjoy the golden handcuffs of material security, neglecting to consider their spiritual security.

And so we suffer psychosomatic diseases from stress, cancer, stroke and heart attack, only then do people realize things are an illusion of the monkey mind. They are horrified when they see the poor people pushing shopping carts down the street, yet expressing happiness and joy, yes, while drinking their rot gut wine, but the couple is passionate with each other, laughing and joking as if they were in a palace.

Some economists, Robert Reich, for example, say we have reached the limit of growth, that the only thing possible now in order to have peace in the world is for the rich to share the wealth, yes, return some of the ill gotten gain to the wretched of the earth. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are the example of what must be done. They have given back or plan to give billions back to the people. They are encouraging other rich persons to do the same. Perhaps these men understand it is not about growth but development and the transformation of the human spirit beyond the material. Call it joy and happiness!
--Marvin X

No comments:

Post a Comment