Thursday, October 29, 2009

Banking and the Value Myth

I am old enough to remember the 70's well, I was a young man, the 70's were my first adult decade. The US was an unsure nation, chastised by the second war in 30 years that it didn't really WIN, but rather settled with compromises in Korea and were thrown out of Vietnam.

The pain showed in all aspects of society, our cars were losing share to Japan, the last country we beat in a war was now taking to our workers in Detroit and winning hands down. If you want to know how bad it got look at the way we dressed, fashion trends set by disco and flash back inspired designs from England, a country that has slid far and fast into the abyss of irrelevance and was taking it's revenge through fashion statements that screamed loser.

Then along came Reagan and his new history of America, instead of being a group of people that worked together, like socialist's or some other newly perverted life form, he explained that America was built by individuals who got what they wanted by taking from the weak and poor.

After successfully vilifying black people, poor mothers, hispanics and anyone that wasn't White and wearing a Blue suit with a red tie, he was elected on a platform of no taxes and bringing the stretch black limos back to DC. (Carter's car was a humble Chevy Impala. He was called the master communicator but he he was really a master story teller, and the idea of the oppressed white man was his favorite story, along with the types of folks that listen to Rush Limbaugh.

His most lasting effort was deregulating the banks, letting them change from being a service to businesses and commerce to BEING business and commerce, at least the only part that made any money.

This move to deregulate banks and insurance companies was the equivalent of dropping a bomb in the inner cities. Industries exploded, lives were lost along with jobs and we entered a 30 year period were wages dropped, mansions were built at a rate only exceeded by the 1920's and he raised taxes while building the recovery on the back of the tax funded military efforts building planes and ships to fight non existent enemies in his already failing mind.

So what to do, make baks accountable and transparent, eliminate off shore tax breaks and add import tariffs to countries that shelter tax cheats. Get the Government working again on energy instead of weapons, on education instead of tax breaks for second homes.

Most of all remember that we are part of a global family, humans every where deserve food, shelter and dignity and nothing is more important than making the world kinder and safer for all. Hard to write a country song about perhaps, but there are some rappers that can tell the story in simpler terms that might get the point across like CSN&Y did with their song Ohio that opened eyes through the ears of millions of Americans.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?

The guys in Oslo continued their excellent critic of the US, specifically after it's use of the bully pulpit in recent years with their awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The right wing wailed and gnashed their teeth, but that wasn't anything new, what was new was the way that the world is seeing us, that hope thing that the economy dashed over here is alive and well in many parts of the world where things are much worse than here even after our melt down.

The moment that Obama expanded the dialog to include the US and Russian atomic stock piles I was ready to give the Peace Prize, add his efforts to bring a more even handed approach to the Middle East and their problems and easing the tensions in Eastern Europe and it is no brainer.

I wish that there were more jobs for people that want to work, and it would be great if the banking industry wasn't controlled by organized crime and the congress wasn't owned by corporations. But they are and have been for some time so the President will have to get to them when he is done taking out the trash left behind by the crazy party left behind where we sent banks money because they weren't good at their business and bailed out jet riding auto CEO's but not auto workers.

Although I appreciated the many good things that Bush II did in Africa, his mistakes in Iraq and in the US and general lack of understanding have created a huge set of problems in finance, justice and stop progress in key areas of global co-operation.

It is true that September 11th created am emotional crisis across the country but after a few good statements and heading to Afghanistan he lost his way and went to Iraq, good for the Iraqi's who made millions from our efforts, not a good sue of our tax money and he never did get Osama.

Barack Obama is a smart and decent man that is going to leave a mark on the country also, but instead of the red blue brand that we were left with from Bush it will hopefully be a peace sign like the ones that I wore in the 60's to protest deaths everywhere.

I am looking for Peace, Love and Understanding