Wall Street vs. the Real Economy

I will admit that I don’t really understand all of the ins and outs of economics. I took classes in this subject while at university, and I have read a number of textbooks in the field. I still find some facets of economics to be confusing. However, since I have often heard the experts talk about it, and since they are obviously full of crap, I think I am justified in writing on this subject. So I think I’ll just go ahead and have a rant. Consider that to be your rant warning. ;o)

What we hear about on the financial news, day in and day out, is the stock market. Wall Street is king. I understand that some small people have money in the stock market, usually in retirement plans that they don’t have a clue about, and on which stock brokers earn a better living than do the investors. But the bulk of the money made in the stock market is made by people that are already rich.

Of course, those rich people run the country. Money is power, especially when the lobbyists that represent the rich people find it so easy to purchase the politicians of their choice. Do you really think that the collected millionaires of America are going to be willing to donate big bucks to political campaigns and get nothing tangible in return? Dear readers of mine, these are the people that won’t give you the time of day without first taking a substantial profit. They are buying politicians and their votes, every day, as a matter of course, in Washington, D.C and everyplace else where they want something they can’t get for free.

When you hear how well Wall Street is doing, setting new records as an example, that is the rich people that own most of our country pulling down their trousers, turning around, and waving their butts in your faces. Almost all of that money is theirs. Those millionaires and their sleazy servants, the politicians that are supposed to be looking out for us, are just laughing at you. Remember the folks at Enron laughing about how they were screwing the public? Well, that was just one one-hundredth of one percent of the laughing that millionaires and politicians do at our expense, behind closed doors, every day of the week. They are all pulling an Enron on you.

The economy of people like you and me is a little bit different. We get to go to Wal-Mart. The prices are low at Wal-Mart and the products are just as cheaply made as they can get away with, just like they are everywhere else. Wal-Mart is just better at selling us crap than anyone else is just now. Most of this crap is made in China, Mexico, India, Korea, and anyplace else where an American corporation can save a buck on labor and get away with running a sweat-shop.

That includes things like televisions, furnaces, automobile components, steel, cellular telephones, shoes, toys that will make your children sick, and food that will kill your dog. And pretty much everything else. Most of the money the big (and many small) corporations save while doing business in this disgusting manner, not caring whether the people who make it or the dogs that eat it live or die, is kept by those very same corporations and the rich people that control them. You can read every day about the huge costs they are saving, the labor costs they are axing, the people they are laying off. Have you noticed the price of Adidas, or dog food, or toys going down year after year? No, and Hell no!

Several years ago, the rich people got together and decided that it was not good enough just to save money on their costs of production and only pretend to pass those savings on to us. They also decided to make a concerted effort to make sure that all of the jobs with reasonable pay were taken away from people that insisted on making more than a couple of dollars per hour. That, of course, meant moving all those jobs out of our country and into places where the people will work a lot cheaper because they really don’t have any choice.

Not only were the big corporations able to move all of the high-priced manufacturing jobs off-shore, they were also able to take the jobs that were one tier down, like call centers and grunt software coding, and move those offshore, too. Now, some of the countries to which we moved these jobs are coming back to America, with foreign-owned companies, and paying Americans dirt-poor wages to do those jobs because they could not manage to get them done well enough in those foreign countries, despite how badly they were screwing the working people over there.

We are building foreign cars in this country, at lower wages than ever before in the industry, and all the profits are going offshore. Call-centers are coming back to our country because the people in those other countries didn’t do all that well with the language of the people who were calling, which was us. Now we have a few more jobs that pay really badly, but you don’t have to ask if they want fries with that. Now you can drive your foreign car to your foreign job, just down the street, powered by $3.00 per gallon gasoline. Ain’t life grand?

And while the rich people and the big corporations were absolutely ripping the guts out of this country, the politicians just sat over in the corner and smiled. And why not? That’s what they were being paid to do. Well, that and stand up once in a while and tell the same lie often enough, until most people believe them, like how we can fight an Army-Navy-Marine-Air Force “war on terror” against people who don’t have the common decency to come out in the open where our soldiers can shoot them. And then they pass laws taking away our rights to effectively bitch about any of the above, all the while saying how unpatriotic it is not to back the Commander In Chief while he is prosecuting a war that he made up out of thin air out of a tragedy on 9/11 that he has done almost nothing to better protect us against.

The non-rich, non-CEO people in our country are simply taking it in the shorts. They have been taking it in the shorts for a long time, but this last six years has been the absolute worst, all the way around. The corporations have turned into pirates and the politicians have turned into their hand-puppets. And it is getting worse, every day, because we let it get worse every day.

What can we do? We can stop electing crooks and liars to public office, if we can find any honest people that are still willing to run for office in our greasy, filthy sewer of a political system. We can start buying less crap at the store, and holding out for some of the rare quality merchandise that there is left on the shelves. We can punish the corporations that are fostering unsafe, unclean manufacturing operations in foreign countries where the employees are paid very badly and nobody cares.

It would be perfectly logical to have a global economy if it was not run by corporate lobbyists and crooked politicians worldwide. We could then work hard to lift everybody in Africa, India, and China up to a living wage and a decent standard of living. Hell, we could work hard to lift everybody in the United States up to those standards. And we had better start doing all of that pretty soon, before it is absolutely too late.

There. I feel better now. I need a good rant once in a while. I promise you that I will not do it very often. But I also promise you that I will do it again.

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