Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear Congressman Boehner

I have little expectation that you will put the national interest ahead of your own so I have had little reason to contact you. However, having read about your recent economic policy proposals, I am inclined to believe that I have underestimated you.

Yes siree, your proposal to couple a mildly stimulative extension of the Bush tax cuts with a job-killing reduction of Federal spending during a major recession is a stroke of political genius.

I have reached a higher state of enlightenment. I now understand your view that a large part of the electorate is cognitively challenged, bigtime. I cannot agree more. I know that you can represent them very well.

We Deliver

And now for something completely different.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dear President Obama

I am 85 years old and my stake in the left-right political battle of the sound bites is minimal. But I do care very much about the struggle for a productive, humane and relatively stable society.

At this time, I find your contribution to that struggle to be minimal. I am of course not utterly shocked by the discrepancy between campaign rhetoric and actual performance. All the same, I cannot recall any previous instance when an administration spat in the faces of its most energetic supporters so publicly and unrepentantly.

If press sec Gibbs does not speak for the President then he should go. If he does, then this administration should not last beyond its present term.

Why? Because cutting deals with the very people who are bleeding the country white will not do what is necessary. It just prolongs the misery. Some battles are worth fighting even when the first battle is lost.

You just don't seem to get it.

I do not have the resources of the bankers or big pharma and my personal decision will have no significant effect on the next elections but I intend to do what is right in my own eyes.

Whatever I can contribute will be given solely to those progressive organizations who have not abandoned the fight for genuine change in Washington.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Macro-economics 101

See if you can connect the dots.

The number of poor is increasing.
The number of millionaires is increasing. Why?

Corporate executives, as a class, have been bleeding the country white. Bankers have been the most prominently successful. They did this not by creating value but by gambling with other people's money.

Congressional campaigns are very expensive.

The millionaires and, particularly, their corporate engines of wealth accumulation have much more influence over the Congress than do the rest of the public. One disgusted senator, referring to the banks, said "they own this place." OK, but this poses a serious economic problem by increasing the concentration of wealth.

The real rate of unemployment is about 16 percent.
Employers are not hiring enough people because they can meet all of the consumer demand with the ones they already have. Why?

Too many people are out of work or working for depressed wages. They are also in debt up to their eyeballs and don't have any discretionary income.

When the millionaires gather in more income, they can invest most of it. Some of it goes into US bonds and gold bullion. A bf part of it is invested abroad. Why?

Cheap labor and large reserves of natural resources are where the profits are to be found.

OK, our economy has a serious imbalance: lots of accumulated investment capital but too little consumer demand. What to do? Here are some possibilities.

Abandon the American people to privation and invest abroad. Problem: some of the people can see the big picture and they will tell the others. This strategy is exactly what has been in effect but it is not indefinitely sustainable - even with the undying loyalty of one political party and significant influence over the other.

Increase American consumption. Government can do this by building infrastructure and by subsidizing science and industrial R&D, and by subsidizing social services such as education and health care and by subsidizing certain large purchases such as automobiles, energy saving appliances, home improvements, and houses. This will make more government income necessary. It cannot be done forever on borrowed money. When more progressive taxes are enacted the Right will howl about "redistribution" and "class warfare."

OK, what's your alternative?