The monkey that became the president (apologies to Tom T. Hall)

Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Nuts. Absolute nuts, I think. Finally, the MSM is waking up to what me, you and everyone else already knows: The recession is here, like it, lump it, shoot it, cook it, kill it, eat it.

And the monkey that became president? Still doesn't get the joke.

But, then, me, the ugly-assed working engineer, up to my skids in debt (like I'm the Long Ranger...), I see things differently, of course. An economics major? Hardly. I'm like Popeye: "I ain't no phsyikist, but I knows what matters!"

It's becoming clear, at last, to some, it's not just a recession: We are looking at an uglier fucker....stagflation.

Stagflation; loosely, a period of economic horsepoopie brought on by A) rising unemployment data, B) a surpluse of goods and services, yet, with nobody to purchase such and C) something causing shit to go bad.

And being an oil dude, Das Chimperor can't see the forest for the trees, obviously: By his own actions, he made this mess.

The "catalyst" here, of course, is that gasoline and other petroleum-based doodads...which accounts for, oh, every-fucking-thing these on a steady rise. Fuel costs go up, so does everything connected with it, which, is, yes, as we are smoking this bitumen doober to death...well, prices go up, so does everything associated with such. QED, right?

It does not require the differential calc of quantum to figure that shit out. Gas hits $3 per gal, so, it costs more to truck, to feed cattle, to ship this, to make that. Plastics, yes, use petroleum for the process of manufacturing, hence, plastics cost more. We got to keep those Twinkies sealed, right?

And yes, thilly me, I still say there never was a goddamned recovery from the recession of 2001. We just put more shit on credit cards, (guilty) and we prayed things would get better. One of those prayers, yes, you don't actually do before The Big Boss, but more, under your breath, just as the Huey's skids slide into the grass as it's shootin' time. We all did it. That last, desperate thing, yes. "Well, it's got to get better."

No, it never did. And President Ook-ook, of course, can't see what made it take place to begin with. But then, he's into supply-side crap that favors global feudalism, and doesn't seem to have shit for anyone else.

And now, desperate we seem to be, yes. Yoda I sound like, true. Let's recap a shade:

Citigroup just "wrote down" EIGHTEEN BILLION. That's $18,000,000,000. That's roughly a new attack carrier. That's also a metric shitload of homes going up for auction, and oh, Citi doesn't mention, but I sure will tell on them!...this also inclues a lot of "bad paper". Bad paper? That's industry jargon card debt, unsecured loans, and so on. Funny, they don't mention that. Wonder why?

Citi is among the nation's biggest banks. Thus, the news came out, and everyone on Wall Street went "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuckkkkkkkkkk!". Me and you sit back and we go, "What did you expect, dudes?" Citi, like so many, ran around purchasing "bad paper" left and right to sell off as those hedge fund thingies, the toys of the uber-rich. See? We don't make things anymore, do we? We get rich swapping debt. Duh.

Ah, now we're closer to the truth: America stopped owning a real economy ages ago, didn't we? Gee, golly, when did this happen? Oh, about when the time when this actor became president, for starters. Doors opening to "trade". The actor was followed by another smooth-talker who signed those clever treaties to accelerate....job loss to overseas.

That part kills me. The MSM can't see it, or, if they do, they don't dare talk about it: This recession actually began on or around 2001, as NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, GATT and all these clever trade treaties allowed more and more jobs to move from Buffalo to Beijing, from Minnesota to Mexico City, from Boston to Bhopal. The treaties Clinto signed were just beginning to crawl from cradle to "Hey, Dude, Where's My Job?" status.

Simpler math explains so much, let's play along now: Let's take Cooper Tools-Weller Products, who used to be in little Cheraw, SC. I say used to be.

Cooper management yanked the plug. I was told the place employed about 500 workers. If we do a mean average, that's a money machine generating about $7,500,000 per annum...into the local Cheraw economy. I'm being tight with the math, yes. Factory shuts down and departs to Mexico. Suddenly, there is a shortfall of, yep, $7,500,000 for the locals.

Thus, we then get the "side effect" damage: Workers lose homes, so there goes those houses. Workers can't eat, can't buy stuff, because unemployment pays somewhere between pittance and you-got-to-be-shitting-me. Oh, yes, in time, many get new jobs that don't pay close to what they once made, is this making sense yet?

Now, let's multiply this nationwide, again, some loose math, based on what we can read in the papers, or here. Now, we're talking a nationwide shortfall in the BILLIONS to possibly a trillion or more.

It doesn't take quantum math to figure that, yes, if you were once making $50,000 per annum, then drop to around $20,000, well, you then see why nobody has money to spend.

Then, we start adding up what we used to be able to afford, but cannot, obviously: Payments to credit cards, payments on the house, sending the kids to college, a new car, yeah, that's gone. Yet, these bills still exist, right? So, we do what we must: We tighten the belt even tighter.

And that creates the "graveyard spiral" effect, as applied to economics and not a descending 172. Tom, Dick lose their jobs, Harry can't spend, he's scared to. Nose down, tighter turning, back pressure and wonder why the airspeed indicator says 200 knots, eh?

Then, we add Mr Monkey and his PNAC asswipe buddies attempts at playing United Federation of Planets. Oil prices, before the Iraqi Annexation (don't smoke me, please) was less than it is now. Why is it now so high? Fear. Oil traders worry about supplies, talk about invasions, Al Crappo, a recession, this doesn't help at all, now does it? Too, we also couple in a failed energy policy penned by Quickdraw McHalliburton, that states, in simple language, "We's hooked on oil, mofos, ya dig?"

And here we are at last: Not a recession. Stagflation. Prices go up, oil goes up, we tighten the belt, nothing works anymore. Damn! Shazam, now how simple is that?

Sadly, Mr Monkey and his associates in both houses of Doodah have a solution...or is it? "Let's hand everybody $800 and see what happens!"

I know. At first, it sounds pretty cool, until you sit back with the checkbook, that stack of bills that looks more and more like a bizarre paper sculpture, do more math and then realize....we need far more, please, feeling our mutual Oliver Twist, mmmm?

$800 cash money won't last me one check. I'd still be behind the eight ball. So would you. So do we all, true?

What would work? Oh, now we get more daring, and delve into areas that our loving government...don't want to own up to. It would require somebody biting a pretty fucking big bullet, and I do not mean me, you, but, oh yes...Mister Piggie, the Rich Fucker.

One: We burn every trade treaty that exists. Massive tariffs on all imported goods. Like that, jobs are then needed. Why? We then become competitive again. Tell Wal-Mart the game is over. "But, prices would go up!" No kidding, but, we'd all have better incomes to deal with that, duh!!!

Two: An immediate freeze on fuel costs, period. I can already hear Exxon, Chevron, BP and the others screaming like an Allison whining to turn the rotors. "That would eat into our profits!!" Sure would, dude, it would also stabilize prices, and halt inflation of goods, services. Painful for the rich, yes, let them feel some pain for once.

Three: An end to supply-side economics, once and for all. It does not work, it never worked. You don't hand the rich more goodies. They do not open factories, nor hire. Rich folk are like electrons: They seek the laziest method to get richer, hence, hedge funds and not capital investment.

Thus, balance the taxes on percentages. If I have to fork over 30 percent of my check, so does everybody, period. Corporate, individual, regardless, the same percentage. Wall Street would then need an enema, eh?

Four: A "we're going to the moon" Kennedy mandate to make America become 100 percent self-sufficient for fuels. Take the cash we've blown on Iraq, hand it over to smart guys and girls who can think up new, different and recyclable methods, so we can tell OPEC to fuck a camel, okay? As long as we play this oil game, we are then Moe, Larry and Curly to OPEC's Ted Healy, to be bitch-slapped until we realize it's time to cut their asses loose.

And those are just for starters, too. Now, let me think, what can I do with $800? Oh, buy gas, yes. Figures. It should be there shortly.

Oh, and yes, stagflation can trigger a bigger warhead into existence, one my late father and his friends predicted we'd see this very lifetime. Starts with a big "D". Roosevelt rode in on it, yes. Is it here, then?

I dunno, but I'd not park near office buildings. Or bridges, either. Oh well.


Just keep in mind that globalization isn't a problem. Ask damn near anyone with a suit, a platform to speak from, and an agenda to further.

And keep in mind that the business world remains "flexible" in its allocation of capital: if China raises wages too high, just watch the jobs slither from China to whatever place then becomes the bottom of the wage barrel.

It's a fundamental restructuring of the world economy, with capital beating the crap out of labor, and far too few people even interested enough to raise a stink. And those who are irate mostly seeem to have no clue about what to do.

Kill all business regulation and government presence in the economy? Yeah, that'll work just swell.

Cut taxes for the rich again? And then again? How about giving them subsidies after their tax rates reach zero? Damn good idea, that'll somehow give the millions of people with no money....what?

Cut taxes on the middle class? That'll give them a little bit more money than they have now, but it won't cure the problem of wages falling and jobs disappearing behind a mountain of denial.

We've embarked on the big experiment that could reduce most of the planet to the status of Brazil. If we stick on this path, the employment "situation" isn't going to improve until the cost of labor here is as low as, or even lower than, the labor rates in China, Vietnam, etc. And just see how much Walmart prices help you out when you're making 50 cents an hour.

Well if big oil is the problem then we can blame all this mess on the Libs and the Dems can't we. I say drill in Alaska and get on with it. The PC the Dems and the Libs want America to abide by is going to be the death of us. Lets go ahead a put a Dem in office as president and we can really see what will happen, another retreat and defeat for them to add to their list.

drilling in alaska is to our current economic crisis as a teaspoon of water is to lake superior...

number six has it just about right. all of michigan feels your pain, first, last and always. We had it worst first. You are absolutely right about the flight of good paying jobs being the cause of this. it was not inevitable that those jobs go overseas, it was political choices that were made. and we let it happen. while a lot of folks were busy worrying about the gov'mint taking their guns away, the gov'mint took their jobs away instead. caught looking the wrong way again, damn. But seriously, hang on to those guns, folks, you will need them to knock off the liquor store down the street to get money to get food to feed your kids, in a few years.

the big D? maybe, i been thinking lately, thats what we should root for, because that's what it would take to force real change, not just bandaids to fool all us working (and unemployed) fools into thinking the powers that be actually give a damn about anybody that is worth less than, oh, say ten or twenty mill.

It was only when the ownership class was shaking in their jimmy choos with worry that the underclasses had finally had enough, in the early thirties, and were about to throw them overboard, violently, with prejudice, that roosevelt could extract anything for the working classes, and make those folks on wallstreet and in corporate boardrooms play nice for awhile. maybe thats what it will take, again, eh? watching whats going on in my neck of the north woods, its enough to make a girl reconsider socialism.

I tip my hat to the new revolution.

[what] The (PC the Dems and the Libs) want America to abide by is going to be the death of us.

You have that pretty right except that the phrase in parentheses should be "free marketeers." My wife keeps saying "What the hell's the matter with people? Can't they see what's right in front of them all the time?"

Visitor has answered that question. In the negative.