Tag Archives: money

Deja Vu All Over Again, Again?

17 Mar

Well it’s Spring!…again…almost… and here on the east coast Spring has apparently been lionized for the entire month of March, so baseball season won’t begin until April this year… But no matter what the weatherman says baseball and opening day shall always spring eternal… although this year the season might not end until Thanksgiving!

Anyway, speaking of America’s favorite pastime, I have been a New York Yankee fan long enough to remember their 1965 collapse into mediocrity after a 1964 season that saw them finish one game away from the World Championship…for in 1965 as the great Yogi Berra might have phrased it, “The Yankees suddenly got old, early out there.”

And now 50 years later the Yankees stand on the precipice of continuing that trend again…but with a continued twist.

With their aging heroes continuing to age and with the return of our favorite exiled anti-hero, AKA Alex Rodriguez, the NY Yankees still owe their players over 200 million dollars in annual salary…and all for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in the last 2 years. That’s a lot of money spent for mediocrity but nothing says America quite like spending a lot of money for nothing…and then passing the buck onto the American taxpayer. For the Aging New York Yankees play in the house that “tax exempt financing” built.

Yankee Stadium is the most expensive baseball stadium ever constructed and although the Yankees paid for it (sort of)…They get to use their taxes to pay off their debt…which would be like you getting to use your property taxes to pay off your mortgage… (sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?)…but it is.

So, will joy return to Mudville this year? Along with Alex Rodriguez? All I can say is “Stay tuned!” Because when they fell from grace back in 1965 the Yankees had to wait 10 years until free agency was invented before they could put themselves back together again. But as a Yankee fan rooting for a team that still has access to free agency and with seemingly unlimited resources, in a city that can’t seem to wait to continue picking up the tab, I can only hope that it’s finally time for the next “new” thing…

A-Rod the Cyborg! After all, he’s not some cheap 6 million dollar man…he’s our 20 million dollar man!

Hopefully he used last year’s suspension from baseball for his steroid use, to have himself not only detoxed… but rebuilt! With the finest metal alloys and computer programming that the Yankees and NY taxpayers could buy. So let’s play ball and pray for sunshine…warm weather…and no rain…and definitely no lightning!

And no crazy new rules outlawing cyborgs! …Well, I can dream can’t I?

It’s Academic

25 Feb

In the history of the world there have been many great and prosperous civilizations and they have all failed. And usually at the time of the failing some few folks had all of the money and most other folks had none. They were either Kings or Queens or Popes or Emperors or Czars or Caesars or Pharaohs or whatever and they always invoked the divine right of the gods as the reason for concentrating all of that wealth in the hands of one man or one small circle of family and friends. Eventually the disenfranchised, poor populace grows disinterested and disaffected and the empire succumbs to a force of outsiders who invade and plunder. While the wealthy few run away or hide or are murdered or all 3! Then the new conquerors share in the plunder and even rejoice while sharing, and then the cycle begins anew as the new leaders emerge and invariably begin indulging in their own grandeur until…

Fortunately we no longer have empires such as those in the world today but we still have world leaders who rule with concentrated power and wealth. In the United States however, our president is not among the wealthiest men in the nation and we have no all powerful despot who rules with an iron hand under the divine rights of either religion or lineage but we still have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few and those few are now the business and corporate leaders of the world. Where we once had popes and kings we now have CEOs and corporations (The latter which ironically enough have recently been declared to be persons by our Supreme Court composed of actually real people!) and they have quite a large amount of wealth at their disposal which is growing while the wealth of the common population is shrinking. This is the historical recipe for national disaster. No matter how vast and distant the empire may reach, when the interior rots the empire always withers and dies.

Our public schools represent that interior. They are the nucleus which fuels the fire of freedom and free enterprise. We have built our greatness from the inside out and we look to replenish our strengths and our greatness through the rebirth and reaffirmation of our ideals in our children. In our best of times, We have spread our influence through the free trade and free movement of our citizens and by setting an example of economic wealth that can be earned and shared and experienced by all and not concentrated within a few.

Our public schools must be fortified and not abandoned. They must be embraced and enhanced and empowered in terms of anticipating and responding to technological, social, political, economic, and competitive change. Healthy cultures must always be willing to rethink their most basic assumptions about themselves in order to improve and grow and repair their societies and we must be willing to accept that what our schools need now more than ever is not a cut in spending but rather a renewed effort to spend more on the future and the future generations who will lead us.

Today’s students are willing to work hard but what makes us think that they are going to be willing to work hard for low wages that would suffice a life in China or India or some other-where where they don’t live? America’s corporate leaders and great men of wealth need to stop hoarding and start spreading the wealth. They can begin by first embracing the public schools of this country with largess and generosity and then by raising wages across the middle and poorer classes of society so that the term “working poor” is eradicated from our vocabulary.

Today’s students of the 21st century in America are beginning to notice that it is getting harder and harder to bring the American dream, a dream of studying hard then working hard, and then achieving affluence, into focus and for most of our poorest students that dream is nothing more than a taunting apparition of their hopelessness: a happy meal that they will never be able to afford

All You Need is a Dollar and Bread in your Bag

26 Jan

If you watched the Republican rebuttal to the President of the United States’ State of the Union speech last year, The speaker kept talking about how what every American really needed to have was a dollar, a dream and the blessing of God and that should suffice to help them obtain a successful future, just like the one she was enjoying.

But This year’s Republican rebuttalist began by letting us know that this year Republican’s had a much different plan for America, because she, like all conservative Republicans, felt our pain. And that all Republicans politicians everywhere realize that we Americans are tired of working hard for low wages, are afraid of our family’s futures, and are hurting during these difficult economic times of high deficits and uncontrolled government spending.

Then she offered a little more clarity and substance as to what American’s really need to do to live in a more perfect American, and Non- President Obama, world. And if you were watching and listening like I was, then here is what we all learned about what we need to do in order to make the United States a better place in which to live.

1. (Don’t worry about low wages)  Live simply!

2. (Don’t worry about the future) Don’t waste anything!

3. (Don’t worry about economics and unemployment) Rejoice in the knowledge that in America you have been given freedom: to…sacrifice, dream and enjoy hard work.

Then she went on to punctuate every Republican’s ideas about what America needs and doesn’t need:

America needs the Keystone Pipeline, fewer overseas trade barriers, lower taxes and more military spending!

American Does Not need: “Obamacare” and abortions.

And finally she concluded by reassuring all of us hard working Americans, living in this great country of ours, that wealth and privilege are not important!

So don’t despair America! You do not need wealth and privilege! All you really need is a dollar, a dream and bread bags to keep your feet dry. Live simply! Work hard! Don’t waste anything. Be free and have babies! Make sacrifices!… Big oil, Big business and the Military will protect us… And if you get sick…just suck it up and feel better.

Because that is how Joni Ernst, the newly elected senator from Iowa, who gave this year’s Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, did it in her life and became the successful citizen that she is today! Of course the $460 thousand dollars that her family received from the federal government in farm aid and subsidies didn’t hurt either. Nor did the $200 thousand dollars in county contracts her father’s construction company received while she served as auditor of Montgomery County, Iowa.

Really, I ask you…Who needs wealth and privilege in America these days, when you’ve got all that bread in your bags… huh?

Here’s What’s Wrong with College

16 Jan

Here’s  what’s wrong with college…

Pro football coach Jim Harbaugh, was paid 5 million dollars to be the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers until he was fired at the end of this season. He worked for a billion dollar ball club, part of a mufti-billiondollar non-profit network of 32 football teams in America. He, His coaches and players performed in giant stadiums before millions of adoring fans, who paid top dollar to see them play, and they all earned hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars each year because after all this is pro football in the United States in the year 2015. And that is what the market will bear in a democratically free country operating within a capitalist economy.

Now Jim Harbaugh works as the head coach for the University of Michigan football team. He is once again going to be paid 5 million dollars per year to do his work alongside coaches who will also be very well compensated. They will do their coaching in giant stadiums and in front of millions of adoring fans. Their university is part of an incredibly large organization that is worth billions of dollars and they all will profit from money that comes from licensing fees, ticket sales, network television contracts, merchandising, video game sales and monies directly related to the players personalities and likenesses…just like in the pros where he used to work.

Except, unlike the professional SF football players, none of the University of Michigan players will be paid anything! And when Mr. Harbaugh and his coaches look up into the stands at their adoring new fan base, each and every one of the students sitting up in those stands will owe on average 29,000 dollars in student loans to the University of Michigan, (besides having paid for their tickets) part of over 1 trillion dollars owed in total U.S. student loan college debt.

College football is almost exactly the same product with almost exactly the same access to profit that professional football enjoys So who gets the money that would otherwise make EVERYONE in the professional football arena rich? (including the fans who have to be pretty well off to afford the ticket prices) And why does college tuition keep getting more and more expensive every year for college students… at a rate 4 times that of inflation?!

Anyone? …(No offense to coach Harbaugh. I know he’s just doing his job)

The Taxman Cometh

15 Jan

Here’s an interesting bit of news that contradicts just about everything you think you knew about finance, government and taxes… At least everything that you’ve ever been told by everyone or thought to be true yourself, simply because it would seem to make perfect sense. That is if we all lived in a fair and just society.

But according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy ( a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that works on federal, state, and local tax policy issues) their newest study on taxation in the United States reveals that, in 2015 the poorest fifth of Americans will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent will average 5.4 percent.

The tax study’s major conclusion is that  “Virtually every state’s tax system is fundamentally unfair. Unfair tax systems not only exacerbate widening income inequality in the short term, but they also leave states struggling to raise enough revenue to meet their basic needs in the long term.”…  And to make matters worse, several states have adopted or are considering changes that will further lighten the tax load on their wealthiest residents.

And you thought that rich folks pay more in taxes because they make more money didn’t you?

It seems that States and localities have regressive tax systems because they tend to rely more on sales and excise taxes (fees tacked onto items like gas, liquor and cigarettes), which are the same rate for rich and poor alike. Even property taxes, which account for much of local tax revenue, hit working- and middle-class families harder than the wealthy because their homes often represent their largest asset.

Of course we know that The federal income tax system, primarily taxes individuals at a graduated rate, and those who earn more pay a larger share… But don’t forget that the federal system also uses payroll taxes to raise large sums for Social Security and Medicare, which also comes out of the pockets of many low- and moderate-income Americans who pay little, if any, income tax. So when you here stories about how 47% of Americans don’t pay any taxes at all, and in fact make money from the government…well, plain and simple, that’s a lie. When you put all of the federal, state and local taxes together and subtract those from earnings, the United States is #1 in income inequality…in the world!

Wherever there are rich folks passing by you can always find poor folks left in their exhaust. And I believe that it is safe to say that poverty is a waste product of wealth. Seriously, when the richest 1% hold about 38% of all privately held wealth in the United States, and that is more than the bottom 90% who also hold 73% of all debt, and 15% of all Americans live below the poverty line…then how can you possibly imagine that what I just said about the wealthy and their exhaust being poverty, isn’t true?

There should be an AA for the wealthy, as in Avaricious Anonymous: A place for the money abundant human to go and stand in front of his or her fellow citizens, be welcomed, and then declare. “I’m really rich…but all I really want is more!” and get some help.

But I doubt that we could help them, or even help ourselves, if we found we were in the same condition, for no matter how hard we seem to try, and no matter what facts are presented before us, we still seem to believe that wealth equals hard work and goodness… while poverty equals sloth and iniquity…and who doesn’t want to be good…really, really good?

So it’s time to embrace the obvious, if you dare. The poor are poor because they have no money, not because they get free stuff from rich taxpayers. So enjoy your money while you still have it, because the inequality is getting worse not better, and rest easy in the knowledge that the poor are getting the shaft… just like the rest of us. And if you are rich than you can just rest easy, because giving folks that shaft isn’t really hard work at all.

The Rich Get! Everyone Else is on Their Own.

22 Dec

The 1.1 trillion dollar budget legislation approved by Congress and signed this week by the President, included a provision that is supposed to prevent an implosion of multi-employer pension plans. Those in favor of this provision claim that it is better to preserve some pension benefits for workers rather than letting plans collapse… especially because the multi-employer fund is “supposed to” run out of money within 10 years. And If the multi-employer system were to collapse, pensioners would  be left with no benefits. But the multi-employer plans are insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the federally sponsored agency that insures private sector pensions. So what’s the problem?

Remember when all of those banks were about to go under because of their predatory lending scams and derivative packaging frauds and phoney bond rating swindles? And the federal agency that insures their money put it all back to the tune of trillions and trillions of dollars at tax payer expense? And then the bankers and wall street execs gave themselves million dollar bonuses for all of their good (dishonest) work?

So why can’t these at risk pension plans receive a giant infusion of money from that same federal government to save them and bail them out to keep their pensioners getting their full hard earned pensions…just like when all of those banks and bankers were bailed out? Because according to the plan as set forth in this bill, the maximum cuts permitted under the law for retired union workers are pretty drastic. For a retiree with 25 years of service and a $25,000 annual benefit, the maximum annual cut permitted under the law is… $13,200! That’s more than half of what is already a fairly meager amount, especially when you compare it to a millionaire’s bonus money.

Imagine being a middle aged man receiving a 2 million dollar bonus annually and having it cut by 1 million? You still get a million dollar bonus…and it’s a bonus! Now imagine being 70 years old and living on 25K per year and then being told you’ll have to live on 13,500 dollars! And did you know that this recent budget legislation, besides cutting these multi-employer pension benefits, includes the loosening of regulations that will make it easier for those same U.S. banks to lose all of their (our) money again?…If and whenever they please that is.

So, if the rich keep getting richer, and those who run our government are rich and are backed by the even richer, then what future is there for the honest working men and women of this country and their other hard earned retirement plans like public sector pensions, Social Security and Medicare?

According to financial experts full pension benefits shouldn’t be considered a sure thing anymore and everyone should have a Plan B…like saving your money to “make sure you have something to rely on in the future”. That’s if you work for a living of course, and have money laying around that isn’t sunk into an underwater mortgage or inflated college tuition or predatory credit card debt at up to 20% interest. If you do you can save it for the future…at .1% interest… from the big banks.

And what do you suppose is the super rich’s plan B when times get tough?

Thanks to Congress That’s an easy one… Just steal all the money again!

The GM Defense

8 Jul

It’s funny how people process their morality. It seems that the higher the monetary stakes the more likely it is that a person will find a reason to behave immorally. Especially if the person is far away from the other people that his decisions will be affecting and most definitely if those people are of another class/culture or race.

So money gained minus people hurt divided by class/culture and race, times distance from those affected equals the probability of altering one’s moral turpitude…or

$ – P/CCR x D = M                  

  …or something like that.

Anyway, it doesn’t take an Einstein to know that causing the deaths of 12 people because you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money redesigning and recalling your automobile is wrong…does it?…but then again I don’t work for or own or represent General Motors. I’m just one of the poor, affected, middle class saps who bought one of their cars.

So try this technique should you ever find yourself on the wrong side of a murder/homicide.

If you’re the one holding the smoking gun just fire as many bullets as you can at the floor or ceiling or wherever there aren’t any other humans for as long as you can until the police arrive to arrest you.

Then at your trial have your lawyer point out that you fired over 10,000 bullets and only hit and killed one person! Who would spend that kind of time and money on murder? It was obviously just a mistaken and costly accident.

Call it the General Motors defense!

And, oh yeah…you’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

alesiablogs

A Blog About Ordinary Life Told In Extraordinary Fashion!

KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog

Rural doctor, mom, writes poems, dance, sing.

pacificparatrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

The Happiness Trick

Let's Get Happy!

Loving a Frenchman

My Cultural Adventure

saneteachers

What they never taught me in teacher school.

The Last Half

...Spitting into the online ocean.

Voices from the Margins

A welcoming space for resistance to the forces of oppression and hegemony.

Joanna Funk

a mostly musical life

Long Awkward Pause

A Humor Mag Of Sorts...

rona black photography

occasional visual essays

Life as a Garden

Exploring how we can live our lives with purpose and joy.

Learning is the Reward

Teaching well is a challenge; learning to teach better is the reward.

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.

Harriet in Bloom

A place for educators to reflect, recharge, and revive

The Red Herring

“Much unhappiness comes into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,847 other followers

%d bloggers like this: