Saturday, September 20, 2008

Now That We're All Socialists

Since we're becoming socialists it might be important to know what that means. AIG was bailed out by the US government and now it seems we'll be buying mortgages and securities. Our government just went right straight into business, stock market business. Try to find the government in the world that has gone into a one trillion dollar socialization program. We're not buying something like Exxon Mobil; we're buying junk. Now, it isn't like we can watch the credit markets implode and think the rest of the system won't go with it. I'm not going to argue that and I'm not going say that "these people" getting taught a lesson is nearly as important as avoiding economic catastrophe. But now I do want to know where this socialism experiment is going to go.

Where it stands is that people took out loans they shouldn't have, and people issued loans to those who shouldn't have gotten them, and then those got packaged up into a real mess. Lots of blame to spread around but where it stops is the lending. The money was loaned because it could be loaned and then sold and sold and sold. The US government said, OK, you'll do fine on your own. When the foreclosures started the government was fine with it, "that'll teach them," as long as it was individuals - regular folks in over their heads. So, we understand that it has to be a crisis and one in a big way.

I can think of other crisis situations, like health care. Today we have some sort of socialization of health care - broke and uninsured you can still go to the emergency room and those costs get dumped into the system, governmental health programs and insurance to pay for it. Those pieces get to socialize this in an uneven and strategically stupid fashion. A single payer system is called socialized medicine by the Republicans and plutocrats in general. Somehow this crisis doesn't rise to the bar. Why is pretty interesting.

The health care debacle in the US is killing our companies' ability to compete, untreated illnesses are morphed into serious conditions costing multiples of treatment costs, huge amounts of money are being dumped into the private system with poor return - essentially we are throwing away a catastrophic sum of the citizens' and businesses' money daily. But it is the where it's thrown that is the difference, that money goes into the insurers' hands and from there into investment banks (what doesn't stay in the hands of insurers). The citizenry and businesses are financing the plutocrats with their health care. Your health risk is socialized into the pockets of wealth. No incentive? Nobody who is being raped is big enough to strike the chord of interest of the plutocrat enablers. The Democrats won't do it, not without the Republicans getting on board, even with a solid majority and the Presidency they won't try. They will get handed their heads for trying alone. The Republicans have come on board, along with their plutocratic pals and that is not going to happen as long as they have the incentive to rape the nation.

Here's what the tax adverse don't get, there are legally few ways to restrict greed. You can create disincentives. The tax structure is the one way individual money can be managed by government, and Republicans are aware of it - see the Bush tax cuts. Over amped CEO compensation starts to look manageable if the tax load is based on multiples of average worker compensation, say at 20x for the total package (that's everything, jets, stock options, even the executive restroom) the rate goes from 40% to 70%. Wealth that only generates wealth through paper games can be addressed, if your money is in concrete working assets like factories and equipment (no your yacht isn't an S-corp business) you're safe but once you're above the top 5% in total complete income your capital gains go to 25%, inheritance taxes to 25%, and there is not sheltering, everything is out there. FICA gets uncapped, no upper limit. If you send money overseas, it gets taxed both directions at the top rate. Off-shore your corporation, all US operations taxed at the top corporate rate. Military and national security and infrastructure projects denied to any non-US tax paying entity. Mortgage deduction for 1 house and zero for any house in the top 10% valuation. Enough of subsidizing these people.

Class Warfare is the first response of the Republicans and I'll agree that it is, it is the counter-attack in the war that's been waged from St Ronnie on. You've been screwed to the wall - you're reading this, I mean you - and you have no idea just exactly how badly. You cannot go to the IRS/US Census data and see how badly, it is hidden. All that huge wealth you're looking at is only IRS reported taxable income, not the real extent of it. The tax games that hide this are arcane and I have no ability to break the actual numbers down for you but what you see has no relationship to reality. This is what the government has encouraged, absolute naked greed and rapaciousness because there is no downside to it. The mess we're in right now let run its course would only dent true wealth while killing everybody else and it is being socialized because it would dent wealth. There is the specter of global chaos and violence, but you have a lot of faith if you think that is the foundation.

The next Republican or plutocratic enabler that says something about personal responsibility should have a gun stuck in their face and given some personal responsibility. By rights, there should exist in this country a real opposition to the plutocrat agenda and there is not. There is no payback for sticking it to the citizens, we'll actually re-elect a bunch of these dirtbags and wealth itself will not be held to account at all. They won't be burned out of their mansions and tarred and feathered, they'll hang onto their wealth. Too bad.


jsg said...

Isn't it amazing? Guys who make the GNP of some countries (often just by emerging from the proper womb) have gotten people who can barely scrape by to think they're on the same team.

This isn't rape, it's prostitution, and the poor schmuck is going broke to pay the rich dominatrix to beat the crap out of him.

Bpaul said...

I linked to this on an upcoming post (will post in about an hour). Well done, as usual.