Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Letter

I sent another letter to the editor, just now.  Jonah Goldberg's column got me started.  I really only picked on his opening and I explain it in my letter so I'm not posting a link to Goldberg's piece.  Here's my letter:

I agree with Jonah Goldberg (gasp!); a Master's Degree in puppetry is a hard thing to make a living from.  This is part of his point that 'the left' doesn't 'get it.'  I wish he had gone on to say what they should 'get.'  That everything will be fine if everyone figures out his own solution?  25 million unemployed?  That's 25 million individual problems with individual solutions. 

How about a collective action approach instead?  Where could we use more people?  The legal system?  Is there not a huge backlog of cases?  How about social services?  How about education?  Do we really have enough teachers or are we just unwilling to pay more?  How about police?  Is there 'ever a cop around when you need one'?  Do they even monitor traffic anymore?

But yes, everything I mention is a public sector job.  And there's no money, right?  We're broke!  How did that happen, anyway?  We weren't always 'broke.'  Didn't that happen over the last thirty years while we've been stubbornly pursuing a policy of putting the self over the community?  Which has led to us being 'broke,' collectively, while a handful of individuals and corporate 'people' have grown wealthy almost beyond measure. 

Think about it.

I believe that's 204 words, which is 'pushing it,' so I don't get into how I would pay for all this public sector hiring.  I expect I'll get called Socialist! by some online commenters (pretty much the worst insult they can think of, too, should I be insulted?).  I think socialism might begin to gain traction in the U.S. before too much longer, too, but that's not the way I would go.  Not first, anyway. 

No, I think we could have a much healthier economy with a thriving middle class and a robust public sector just by readjusting the tax burden.  Close some loopholes (if we could ever get our bought and paid for Congress to do it) and make the rate more progressive again.  Once the middle class is thriving revenues go up from them; the rich always do well and have been skating without paying enough for too long.  They'll fight any increase but let's fight them back and beat them!  Do it I say! 


  1. Good.
    We should all remember this. We hear often that all the spending and public works programs didn't get us out of the great depression, it was WWII that finally did it. This, though technically correct, bends us to an absurd logic if taken to conclusion, seeing the Axis powers as the best job creators this nation ever had.
    If you only remember one thing about this episode, remember that bureaucrats in the government running up massive debt and borrowing launched full employment overnight. Industry did not wake up in Dec. 41 and decide to build bomb fins or recycle scrap steel. No, government cut the checks and mailed them out to make it happen. Like it or not the government is the only thing that can quickly restart a stuck economy the size of the US. Within days of Pearl Harbor money was flying out with the plans and orders, they ordered thousands of precision grinding machines, purchased land for new air bases, increased hundred fold every armament contract on the books. Industry built the machinery of war but it was overseen, planned and funded by government agencies, the "job creators" of the day were firmly attached to the pigs tit, sure they had some latitude, but it was a massive socialist system that they profited from and the nation won the war with.

    Now, the job creators of today. Where are they? If we are to believe the GOP, the upper 1%, or 10% ,use what you will, are the blessing of the world delivered to the USA by God to trickle down on us, and most important to give us jobs for our share of the American Dream. Bull shit. I think it was a politician of the faire sex from Maine if I have it right, a few days ago said something like ....... very few of the 1%ers are job creators. Think about it. Many of these people make their money off the markets and by speculating or collecting royalties. They are not tinkering in an R&D shop with some craftsmen they hired to invent washable toilet paper or a faster power window for the Lexus. No, the closest they come to job creation is contracting for maid service when they visit their homes in Aspen or Cayman Islands. She suggest we devise a way to tax the idle rich and leave the job creators alone. Excellent, but sure as shoot'n their lobbyest will claim they are all job creators if they hold a poor guys mortgage papers, or if they own Boeing stock. Look, stock trading is a secondary market, buy stock and you don't invest one fucking cent in the company, you invest in speculation, a bet that someone else will want it enough to pay more some day. The exception, the guys that started the company, and the IPO stock buyers, everyone else who buys stocks later on can pound trash up there ass and have the same impact on job creation at that corporation.
    There are job creators, the guy that put the roof on my house, the guy that bought a machine and started making widgets. But collecting dads insurance policy, or trading foreign currency, or overlooking the bay in Miami while collecting oil well payments from the Texas desert isn't job creating. It's good that these people are able to eat and have shelter, but they should not own the government, nor should we buy the myth they are our blessing, our manna from heaven. Should manna smell like nursing home piss?

    I will publish this on yellow fringe too. and yes you will be called many things.

  2. Thanks Darrell. It's a tough call, how much tax is too much, what is just right. I'm thinking a slowly graduated tax whereby someone pays just a little bit more on each successive hundred thousand dollars of income.

    A very large issue, too, is loopholes. We will never, nor should we, eliminate ALL deductions. But some definitely need to go.