Winning!"

What does corporate America, the Democratic Party, Wall Street, the banking industry, trial lawyers, teacher’s unions, various czars and government bureaucrats, SEIU and even the Republican Party all have in common with Charlie Sheen?  Well, duh!  Winning!  They’re all of them, winning of course and they’re probably tired of pretending like they’re not special, like they’re not, all of them rock stars from Mars!

And it’s just that simple.  Congress struggles trying to pass an additional 1.65 trillion dollars of deficit spending.  It would appear that the main stream corporate and political establishment along with a delusional Charlie Sheen are indeed winning and will continue to win as long as those of us in the middle class can be forced to pay for it.  And in so far as winning implies someone else is losing, who might we infer the losers to be?  Did I mention who is paying for it all?

Well let’s just say it isn’t Jack Welsh’s General Electric.  And, as if to begin drawing a pattern, it isn’t Whirlpool either, or any of the new, publicly subsidized energy companies, or electric car companies.  Go ahead stick a propeller on your hat and the chances are the government will send you a check.  If you can tie a battery to it and happen to be a group of Chinese investors we will call you a company and you’ll make a tidy fortune shortly before going out of business leaving who else, but the American tax payer holding the bag.  

Every government policy denotes winners and losers.  Now do you begin to discern a pattern?
Outside of politics none of it is required to make any sense as none of it is intended to withstand the vigor of serious examination.  How could it?  The science is flawed and as if that weren't enough, the outcomes were always predestined to be erroneous due to the absurdity of the mathematical assumptions.  In fact, the very business models themselves are only viable as long as the government keeps pouring in revenues and subsidies, which are simply and again, but more tax payer monies by another name.

To ask what all these political initiatives have to do with money borrowed in the tax payer’s name is to examine what we have allowed our government to become.  Ponzi schemes and outright fraud can easily be made to look enough like poorly executed business plans.  Invariably, when the music stops the money is gone with little to no effect on the supposed stated purpose, but the political constituency always lingers wrapped in some moral imperative, waiting for the next gravy train with an air of indignant impatience.

Meanwhile, the history of poorly administered government programs seem to accomplish little other than to prove liars and cheats sure can figure.  And in case you’re wondering, there is no law only politics and politics is the art of constituencies and coalitions.  Politics is all about money.

And it’s tried and true politics, the confiscation and redistribution of other people’s money.   As President Obama himself has reminded us, elections have consequences and in case you’re wondering where we are going with all this, well unlike Charlie Sheen and our elected, public officials and all the special interests they represent; the middle class isn’t winning.  They are beginning to realize more government isn’t the solution.  Government is the problem.  

As if further proof of all this fraud, theft and waste, putrid, political corruption and rank, governmental cronyism were required and before we completely lose sight of the topic of Ponzi schemes, ask yourself what distinguishes the Social Security Administration from Bernie Madoff‘s operation.  The only discernable difference is that the Social Security Administration’s fraud is being operated under the color of authority, which is, but another way of saying at the direction of our elected officials.

Every “Reasonable,” read establishment voice (Winning!  Winning!) to include media analysts, or talk show hosts on just about every broadcast, or cable network are attempting to influence events.  That’s their job I suppose, to control the public discourse, as in advising the general, public disposition.  They provide an odd mixture of "News" and entertainment and I would postulate, they are there to control, mold and shape public opinion.  They control the public discourse by editing and by the selection of topics and commentators and at this particular juncture, the sum total of their collective wisdom happens to be against a government shut down.  So much for a diversity of voices in a pluralistic, open society.  Both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times seem to think a government shut down would be counterproductive, albeit for different reasons.

And yet, so many Americans disagree.  Perhaps it is precisely because they are not rock stars from Mars and they certainly are not winning.  They are losing in fact and they are painfully aware of it.  A significant percentage of the American workforce is unemployed and even more are underemployed with little prospect for improvement.  Overall they tend to be pessimistic about the future, the country in general and most troubling of all, their children’s future.  Even the most responsible, disciplined and successful among them have already lost a rather large percentage of their savings and have been forced to watch helplessly as their homes have deprecated in value.  

The real estate market has yet to determine a bottom as banks refuse to acknowledge losses on non performing mortgages.  This accounting gimmick is exactly the route Japan’s banks took when their real estate bubble collapsed.  That was over fifteen years ago and the Japanese economy has yet to recover.

Meanwhile the Federal Reserve, on behalf of their primary clients, America’s largest banks continues to depress and hold interest rates well over two points below effective zero.  The spread allows banks to purchase T Bills and to build up reserves, which is to say further shift the burden of their financial collapse onto the backs of the middle class, a good many of whom are already under water, struggling to barely hang on.  

Never mind that the most irresponsible and speculative participants have long since just walked away from impossible mortgages on properties with declining values.  With little, or no skin in the game, they were always just in for the ride.  It’s as if children were induced with narcotic candy to sign impossible financial contracts and now their parents were being held liable under force of law.

The Federal Reserve’s determined debasement of the dollar in favor of the banking industry and the resultant inflation has accounted for the loss of well over twenty percent of middle and lower, working class savings so far.  In most cases, these savings represent the better part of a married couple’s life’s work, which can’t and won’t be replaced.  Interest income, which an older generation relies upon to supplement Social Security benefits so as to support themselves in retirement and to pay the inevitable medical expenses has been confiscated, or more directly, stolen, once again under the color of authority and transferred to the big banks and Wall Street's financial industry.

It’s been well over a decade now the Fed has been playing hide the ball with a duplicitous policy.  Their congressional mandate is to maintain a stable currency and minimize unemployment.  They have willfully demurred on both in favor of reestablishing the profitability and viability of the big banks and favored financial firms.  Do you think it coincidence that Wall Street’s big banks and financial industry got the TARP funds while the American people get to stand in the rain after the train wreck? 

The prospect of hyper inflation continues to alarm the WSJ’s editorial board even as food and energy prices squeeze the middle and lower classes in the here and now and the unemployed continue to stare into the abyss of a jobless recovery.  A government shut down occurs to some of us as a damn good thing and the sooner the better.  Maybe we might be able to catch our breath, if the government were to shut down?

Maybe some of the establishment (Winning!  Winning!) needs to feel a little more of our pain?  House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican Party don’t want a fight.  That‘s understandable, but they are going to get one anyway.  If they don’t fight the Democrats in the school yard; they will fight the Tea Party on the way home in the primaries and maybe in the general as well.  Politicians always want to be all things to all people, but the Republican Party can’t serve two masters at the same time and they sure aren't serving our interests.

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