Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction. Erich Fromm

Archive for January, 2011

Corporations and Communism -the Same Fatal Flaw!!!

Luckily, we live in a world where Communism, as a world power is pretty well subdued. The Russians busted up into various separate countries. Cuba is about where Fidel Castro is healthwise, old, creaky, and on its last legs. North Korea is more of a lunatic asylum, than a country, although their acquisition of nuclear weapons and missiles means they will be humored by all.

China is some kind of weird hermaphrodite with a Communist government, and mostly capitalistic economy. If China, was a hooker, and hanging out on a corner under a red light, he/she/it would have something to offer everybody. And at a lower price than the competition. Soooo, what happened to “communism” particularly the kind where I read about peasants happily hoeing potatoes beneath a huge statute of Joseph Stalin while singing Meadowlands or Way Down Beside the Volga River???

I don’t think it was the masses yearning for freedom, although that is a good thing. Let’s face it, most of the human race has lived under some kind of tyranny since the beginnings of civilization. And sometimes, living pretty well as long as the ruling class kept their manias, klepto and otherwise, under some kind of control.  Benevolent despots seemed to work pretty well as I remember from my history classes. If the royalty in England had kept its power, I suspect Modern England would look pretty much like Modern England.

Some people think it was the gross economic inefficiency which destroyed the Soviet Union. The Soviets just could not keep up providing its citizens the goodies that were so common in the West.  There were even food shortages in a country which was capable of putting men into space. The problem was, there was just no personal responsibility or personal culpability anywhere along the line.  No one was personally responsible for getting potatoes from wherever in the Soviet Union to the Soviet dinner table. Railroad commissars lived like commissars whether the spuds survived or sprouted on the sides of the tracks. And, they got to shop at special stores befitting their status. Because they were TCTF. (Too Connected To Fail.) It was like the Soviet Union was run for the benefit of the 1% or 2% of the country who were members of the Communist Party.

The farmers might grow plenty of spuds, but the collective responsible for running the trains did not depend on revenue from the farmers to keep running their trains. No, the rewards, as meager as they might be, were divorced from both performance and responsibility. Animal Farm by George Orwell is illustrative. When everybody owns something, then nobody owns anything.  But I think this same fatal flaw has infected America’s Big Corporations.

A corporation is an artificial entity, owned by it stockholders,  run by managers, and supposedly overseen by a Board of Directors.  Ownership of Big Corporations is very spread out.  The law says that ownership of as little as 10% of a company’s stock makes you a “insider”, and effective control of a corporation can occur with far less than 51% of a corporation’s stock. What I am saying is that this has led to the same problems faced by the Communists. Where everybody (or a whole lot of people) own something, then nobody owns it. And personal responsibility flies out the window.  The system begins to run the same way the Soviet Union did, for the top 1% or 2%, and everybody else eats moldy potatoes. Our corporate CEO’s are about the same as Soviet Commissars. Connected, overpaid, and not personally responsible for long term performance or results.

Doubt it???

1) Approximately 9 percent of net corporate profits went to the top five executives in major corporations in the ten years up to 2004 according to Harvard professor Lucian Bebchuk—twice what it was in the mid 1990s. All this was approved by boards.

2) Boards effectively nominate and re-nominate themselves. It is extremely difficult for outsiders to influence this process. One cannot vote “against” a director after he or she is nominated. One can only “withhold” votes. Thus, in theory, one vote for a director will outweigh a million withhold-votes. Almost every election has as many candidates as there are open positions.

3) Losses to shareholders from failed company leadership:

* Merrill Lynch–over $60 billion
* General Motors–over $52 billion
* Lehman Brothers–over $45 billion
* Fannie Mae–over $90 billion
* Bear Stearns–over $20 billion
* Citigroup—over $200 billion
* Countrywide—over $22 billion

These examples are from:

http://content.moneyfornothingthebook.com/search/label/outrage

But it is not the purpose of this Internet Article to prove these allegations. That has already been done by others, and we are all of us living through a depression caused in large part by the breakdown of the system. I recommend Econned by Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism blog to any who disagree.

My purpose is to get people to thinking the same way about the problems with Big Corporations, as they used to think about the Soviet Union. If a lack of personal responsibility there caused that collapse, can we expect a different result??? And we go one step further than the old Soviets — our failed commissars have Golden Parachutes to ease the transition.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter


The Great G. Gordon Liddy Gold Paradox!!!

The More Things Change

There is a person named G. Gordon Liddy who has commercials on television for Rosland Capital, about how really smart people should invest in GOLD. According to him, PAPER money like dollars, will just not have much value and if you are smart and want to be safe, you will buy some GOLD!!! (Which has never been worth nothing!)

There is another lady on television who works for some place called Monex, who has a commercial where she is sitting there with $50,000 worth of GOLD and $50,000 worth of PAPER DOLLARS and asks you which you would rather have in five years???

But here is the paradox. What is it they are both wanting to get from you in order to give you their wonderful GOLD??? They are wanting your PAPER  DOLLAR bills!!! Yes, in the very commercials where they are telling you how WORTHLESS PAPER DOLLARS are and how wonderful GOLD is, they want you to send them your PAPER DOLLARS and they will send you their wonderful GOLD.

Sooo, does this make any sense??? Because if I believed that GOLD was great, and PAPER DOLLARS sucked, I would just sell enough GOLD to pay for food and utilities and keep the rest. I sure wouldn’t make it my business to go swapping out this wonderful GOLD I had, for this lousy PAPER DOLLARS.

Sooo, the next time you see G. Gordon Liddy trying to get your PAPER DOLLARS, just ask yourself what is going on. And ask yourself what it is the Monex people would rather have five from years from now — it is your PAPER DOLLARS!!!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter


Everybody in Iceland is Dead!!!

Icelanders Resist Calls For A Bailout

Everybody in Iceland is DEAD!!! Oh wait, I might be mistaken. It is just that you haven’t heard too much about Iceland lately. Outside of the volcano thing. I wonder how come it is that there is very little Iceland news???

Hmmm. Maybe it is that some people are hiding Iceland because Iceland did something everybody else hasn’t done. Iceland told its banks to “drop dead” and they weren’t going to bail them out!!! And Iceland DIDN’T die.

The Icelandic Post-crisis Miracle

Iceland is, of course, one of the great economic disaster stories of all time. An economy that produced a decent standard of living for its people was in effect hijacked by a combination of free-market ideology and crony capitalism; one of the papers (pdf) at the conference I just attended in Luxembourg shows that the benefits of the financial bubble went overwhelmingly to a small minority at the top of the income distribution:

And in the process of building short-lived financial empires, a handful of operators built up enormous debts that their fellow citizens are now expected to repay.

But there’s an odd coda to the story. Unlike other disaster economies around the European periphery – economies that are trying to rehabilitate themselves through austerity and deflation — Iceland built up so much debt and found itself in such dire straits that orthodoxy was out of the question. Instead, Iceland devalued its currency massively and imposed capital controls.

And a strange thing has happened: although Iceland is generally considered to have experienced the worst financial crisis in history, its punishment has actually been substantially less than that of other nations.

Here is the full story with charts and graphs and stuff:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/the-icelandic-post-crisis-miracle/

But what I wonder is why we aren’t hearing more about this??? About how you really don’t have to sacrifice everything for the super rich people???

UPDATE!!! In April 2011, Icelanders re-affirmed their NICHT!!! Vote!!!

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/its-economy-mend-iceland-stuffs-bankers-second-time

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter


How Football Could Save America

Whocuddanode???

Here is how Football could save America.  Every week millions of people watch football games. The teams have names like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers, and the Oakland Raiders. All very macho and manly names. Then there are the animal names: the Seattle Seahawks, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chicago Bears, and the Detroit Lions.  The list goes on and on: the Buccaneers, the Cowboys, the Rams, the Chargers, etc etc.  But is this really America???  Are there any “steelers” left in Pittsburgh?  Or  ‘packers” left in Green Bay???  The only “Raiders” in California were the corporate kind, and now the ones buying foreclosed properties for pennies on the dollar.

Maybe if the football teams change their names, Americans could be reminded each week about the true status of America.

AFC Teams:

  1. Baltimore Robo-Signers
  2. Buffalo Bill Collectors
  3. Cincinnati Beggars
  4. Cleveland Brown-baggers
  5. Denver Brokes
  6. Houston Temp Jobs
  7. Indianapolis Clunkers
  8. Jacksonville Jumper Cables
  9. Kansas City Cheaps
  10. Miami Loan Sharks
  11. New England Pay Cuts
  12. New York Judgments
  13. Oakland RePo’ers
  14. Pittsburgh Starvers
  15. San Diego Charge Offs
  16. Tennessee Tent Citiers

NFC Teams:

  1. Arizona Car Sleepers
  2. Atlanta Foreclosures
  3. Carolina Panhandlers
  4. Chicago Bear Market
  5. Dallas Co-Signors
  6. Detroit Loans
  7. Green Bay Pink Slips
  8. Minnesota Vagabonds
  9. New Orleans Serfs
  10. New York Indigents
  11. Philadelphia Evictees
  12. San Francisco 99ers
  13. Seattle See Hocks
  14. St. Louis Rummagers
  15. Tampa Bay Bankrupts
  16. Washington Red Inks

Maybe if these names become the new logos, Americans will face reality and take the country back from Wall Street and the Big Banks!!!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter


How Rich People Are Like Mattresses!

He worried that a thief might stumble upon the money hidden under his mattress. . .

How Rich People Are Like Mattresses!!!

This is a Internet Article about the Economy. Right now, there is a debate about whether tax cuts for rich people are good or bad, and whether they help the economy. I could be TOTALLY STUPID like the Free Market Extremists, and just say “Well, any money the government DOESN’T get, is good!” But lucky for me and everybody else, I have not read the FICTIONAL novel about trains by the dead Russian atheist, named Ann Rand. Sooo, you get to read some REAL Economy Stuff not just BLAH BLAH BLAH theory stuff that has never worked.

First, we have to talk about PARADOXES! A PARADOX is a “a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.” (This is from Dictionary.com on the Internet.)

There is a very famous Economy Paradox called the “Paradox of Thrift.” Which says that if a few people save a lot of their money, that is probably good for them, and doesn’t hurt anything. Just say instead of spending money, they stick it in a mattress. It is out of circulation.  BUT, if everybody gets real thrifty and starts like buying stuff at Goodwill and not eating out at McDonalds, and sticking their money in a mattress, then the whole economy goes to pot because DEMAND has dried up.

What might be good for a few people to do, which is advice to be thrifty, doesn’t work when everybody does it. Because then, the thrifty person may lose their job at McDonalds because everybody else is being thrifty, too. That is why it is called a PARADOX.

Now another thing here which is important is that you notice how DEMAND is what makes things work in the Economy. Take away DEMAND and everything is just POOF! Just for what it is worth, a lot of Republicans are SUPPLY SIDE people which means that if you build it, somebody will buy it. Well, just look at the Economy now, and you can see that people aren’t buying stuff and it’s not because it isn’t there. It’s because they don’t have any money. This is why SUPPLY SIDE stuff is really stupid, and is also called VOODOO Economics.

Which now brings you to the DEMAND stuff. There are two things that sound hard in Economy issues, but really aren’t. They are called Marginal Propensity to Save (MPS) and Marginal Propensity to Consume. (MPC) What these are is what people will do with the very next dollar they get. Poorer people spend it on stuff like food and shelter. Rich people tend to save it or invest it because they already have 10 cars, and 4 houses, and a couple of boats. They just can’t hardly spend all that they have.

This is why a lot of people say that tax cuts for middle classes do good in the Economy, while the tax cuts for the rich don’t. The tax cuts and unemployment for poorer and middle class people goes straight into DEMAND. Where tax cuts for the rich get “invested.”

If the money was getting INVESTED in America, or put on deposit at a American bank, then it might not hurt quite so bad. Because if there is a lot of it, interest rates go down because everybody is trying real hard not to lose the value of their money in inflation. BUT, now rich people can invest in places like China, Mexico, India, Brazil, and wherever else in the world.  Sooo, all the excess money that rich people get is just going overseas and is just the same as if it was put into a mattress to us Americans. It is out of circulation here. And everybody is suffering because of it.

The Free Market Extremists told us that “free trade” was just soooo good for everybody, and they were just lying through their teeth. It was good for the few rich people who could invest overseas, but not good for the rest of us. This is part of how the rich are just getting richer and the middle class and poorer people getting worse off or not growing much for like 30 years. This is how, and why jobs have ended up overseas.

Taxes are not happy things, but at least most of the money stays here. It might get wasted, but at least it is getting spent and wasted in America. Now some people worry about the country going broke. Well, that is just STUPID, too!!! We are not like Greece, for example. That is because our debt is in money that we can print. If we owe China a trillion dollars and we don’t have it, we can just print it out and give it to them and they can not complain because it is what they said they would accept –American dollars.

What the real worry is, is INFLATION. Once again, this is more of a rich people problem, because it is the rich who worry about the 100 million dollars they have only buying 50 million dollars worth of stuff. People who work, get paid in the inflated dollars, and when prices go up,  they will stay about in the same place. Plus, debts will be easier to pay because there is more dollars floating around. For example, back in the olden days of 1980, a $400 house note seemed real high. But in 2010, it is like nothing. You can’t hardly rent a tent for that little.

But, even inflation is not a horrible problem yet compared to the lack of demand. This is where the tax cuts to the rich are really bad news. Not because of the deficit, because we can print money to get out of that. It is because of more dollars getting put into the “overseas” mattress. The tax cuts to the rich will just make that problem worse, and that is the really bad part. Not the deficit.

If you want to understand economy stuff like this, it is not that hard. I have learned a lot of this stuff just over the last few months!!! First, you have to STOP getting your Economy lesson from the Ann Rand FICTIONAL novel. That stuff has NEVER WORKED ANYWHERE ANYTIME!!! And, if you are a grunty little malebeast who likes to pretend to have the answers to everything, you are going to have to do something besides spout off “If the government wasn’t involved, then. . .”

Because, that ISN’T THE ANSWER to every economic problem. Lower taxes are not the answer to every economic problem. You are just going to have to swallow your pride and start reading some new stuff and try to understand better what is going on. Your little thingy between your legs ISN’T GOING TO FALL OFF if you take the time to learn about Economy things instead of just spouting off the same old stupid stuff all the time. Plus, stop worshipping the rich!

Get a copy of “Econned” by Yves Smith and READ IT!!! Go to naked capitalism.com and READ THERE EVERYDAY. Go to marketticker.org by Karl Denninger and READ THERE EVERYDAY. That way, you can start to be a real Economy expert, too!!!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter


Squeekonomics -The Fata Morgana Image

Fata Morgana

A Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior mirage, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon. Although the term Fata Morgana is sometimes incorrectly applied to other, more common kinds of mirages, the true Fata Morgana is not the same as an ordinary superior mirage, and is certainly not the same as an inferior. Fata Morgana mirages tremendously distort the object or objects which they are based on, such that the object often appears to be very unusual, and may even be transformed in such a way that it is completely unrecognizable. Fata Morgana can be seen on land or at sea, in polar regions or in deserts. This kind of mirage can involve almost any kind of distant object, including such things as boats, islands, and coastline, as shown in the photographs which accompany this article.

Fata Morgana is not only complex, but also rapidly changing. The mirage comprises several inverted (upside down) and erect (right side up) images that are stacked on top of one another. Fata Morgana mirages also show alternating compressed and stretched zones.

The Italian name “Fata Morgana” is derived from the name of Morgan le Fay, who was alternately known as Morgane, Morgain, Morgana and other variants. Morgan le Fay was described as a powerful sorceress and antagonist of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere in the Arthurian legend. As her name indicates, the figure of Morgan appears to have been originally a fairy (Le Fey) rather than a human woman. The early works featuring Morgan do not elaborate on her nature, other than describing her role as that of a fairy or magician. Later she was described as a woman, King Arthur’s half-sister, and an enchantress.

Morgan le Fay is associated not only with Etna, but also with sirens. In a medieval French Arthurian Romance, Floriant et Florete, she is called “mistress of the fairies of the salt sea” (La mestresse [des] fées de la mer salée.) So who is Morgan le Fay, who studied magic, who lives in fiery Etna and in the sea at the same time? What else is she capable of doing? Perhaps she is the being who creates boats which fly above the sea and never approach the shore, and the golden castles that float in the air above the straits of Messina which nobody was ever able to reach, the castles that are nothing more than an optical illusion – a mirage, or is she herself just a mirage, Fata Morgana as she was called in Italy? (All the above is from wiki).

The above image is of Fata Morgana .

I finally tracked down who did this. His name is Archan Nair, and he does  just sooo beautiful work!!! From his website:

Archan Nair (b.1982, New Delhi) is a self developed visual artist, illustrator and  Art Director, specializing in mixed media, illustration, and digital art.

Archan is inspired by various phases and forms of life to create highly intricate works that connect the various dimensions of our existence.

Formerly a fashion major and entrepreneur, Archan started painting in 2006 at the age of 24 and made the shift to independent artist in 2007. Since then he has embarked on an exhilarating and inspirational journey, collaborating with various companies and individuals around the world such as Canon, Nike, Tiger Beer, Sony etc. Archan has been featured in various publications including Computer Arts, Digital Arts, Advanced Photoshop,GQ, Bak, Vanity Fair, and has achieved recognition from music artists like Kanye West.

Archan’s passion and love for the creative process and expressing himself has opened a whole new journey, where he is exploring the beautiful essence of life.

This is from 2008, and can be found at his website:

http://www.archann.net/

Economics is a lot like the Fata Morgana. Things may seem to exist, and don’t, or do exist while not seeming to. That is the purpose of Squeekonomics.  To try to find the Reality behind the Image.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter


Bring Royalty Back to America!!!

The Top One Percent

Here is another idea how we might fix things in America. It seems that even after an American Revolution where we told royalty where to shove it, there are a lot of Americans who just WORSHIP rich people and think we would all be lost without them. Soooo, maybe this really good idea of mine will help everybody else to see this for what it is, AND, the rich people and their WORSHIPPERS could feel good too!

Why don’t we BRING ROYALTY BACK TO AMERICA!!! What we could do is just hand out the titles by the income amount that is taxed in America. That way, when the regular people want to fuss about the rich people, they will know who to fuss at the most, and the people who WORSHIP the rich, can give more homage to the higher ranking rich people!!!

Here is my idea:

Knight – Over $250,000 to $300,000 per year.
Baronet– $ 300,001 – $ 400,000 per year.
Baron– $ 400,001 – $ 1,000,000 per year.
Viscount– $ 1,000,001 – $ 10,000,000 per year
Earl– $ 10,000,001 – $ 100,000,000 per year
Marquis– $ 100,000,001 -$ 1 Billion
Duke-$ 1 Billion and $1 up

I think this would solve a lot of problems, plus when we need to raise taxes, the poor people who WORSHIP the rich, will not just go into hysterics as much. And this way, you could raise taxes BY TITLE!!! Soooo, like you could have a VISCOUNT Tax Increase to raise up their taxes, without affecting the Barons and below. Or a Duke Tax increase to raise their taxes, but not those royalties below!!!

Plus, it will give everybody who thinks they are better than everybody else something to shoot for! If they are only making $150,000 per year and have some of their money working overseas, then if they bring that back to America, it might raise them up to $250,000 where they can be a KNIGHT!!! Sir Whatever.

Once they have a ROYAL TITLE, maybe the rich won’t be soooo insecure anymore. And tax increases can be seen as a form of status symbol!!!

I think this is a really good idea!!! What do you think???

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter