The latest round of republican rhetoric regarding contraception has left my head spinning. Sure, I expect the social conservatives and elements in the tea party to brush off the abortion issue every four years but the out and out open attack on contraception and Planned Parenthood was beyond my wildest imaginings. Its a horrifying thing and proof positive that freedom can not be taken for granted for so much as a minute These are issues that I thought were settled either before I was born or shortly thereafter - nearly 50 years ago!
April 11, 2012
October 10, 2011
Much of the criticism levied at the #Occupy Wall Street movement has pinpointed the fact that in general the protesters lack “direction.” These people are not fools or bums and those who would dismiss them lightly do so at their peril. They are savvy enough to know something is wrong. Very wrong. They have the right target in their sites. They are disgusted with Wall Street and the “too big to fail” banks that have yet to be held to account for the misery they have inflicted on millions of Americans. They understand that the banks were bailed out. They understand that instead of lending the largesse from the taxpayers - the banks took the money and locked it up. They get that the super-rich, the big banks, and multinational corporations are sitting on the trillions of $$ that are desperately needed to kick start our economy. They understand that until that money circulates - the misery on Main Street will only increase.
But specific demands are harder to get to…
So here are some demands that would give the movement “direction”. They are particularly relevant to an #Occupy Wall Street movement in that it targets Wall Street and the big banks.
October 7, 2011
People keep talking about things that are broken. I’m not talking about a cup or a glass or even Grandma’s antique china. It usually goes something like…”the_______industry is broken!” or “the _____system is broken!” or the ______business. Which begs the question: how can so many industries, businesses, and systems all be broken at the same time?
Personally, I have had two careers and it seems as though academia is broken and the real estate industry is broken beyond repair. My father had cancer and getting him treated because he was in an HMO was a nightmare…so the insurance industry is broken. The big banks won’t discuss loan modifications with clients - so the banking industry is broken.
When there are this many “broken things” shattered on the ground at the same time - something is wrong systemically. It is rooted deep within the our government and the body politic. This is what happens when a government ceases to be functional. When the government is broken, it means that those who would exploit and steal, those who would earn their money on the backs of others are in firm control. In our case, the capitalistic beast has been let loose and its eating its prey. Unfortunately we are the prey and until the beast is contained - we will continue to look at our institutions and business as so much shattered glass.
The Wall Street protests reveal that the public is now aware of the fact that they are prey. They see who the enemy is and are finally standing strong. The response by the police only affirms how badly dysfunctional things are. They are arresting the protesters while leaving the real criminals free to continue the carnage. Pssst…I have a hint for you men in the white and blue shirts….the REAL criminals have suits and carry briefcases…
© RMGHicks - http://www.therobberbaroneconomy.com
September 11, 2011
This year I just wanted to get through the 10th anniversary of 9/11… There was a fatigue in me that I think the entire country is sharing that made me want to turn away and move on. Days like this are days of reflection. And given the state of the world our country, the environment and the economy perhaps I thought it was best not to reflect too carefully. After all, we know what we are going to see and it isn’t pretty. It is perhaps best that we pass this one by quickly and not stare at the reflection too carefully.
But I was up late last night and happened by a special on CNN with Sanjay Gupta regarding the “dust” of 9/11 and it brought home to roost many things that I find very disturbing about America.
September 9, 2011
Obama has to close the deal…
As of this writing Obama has presented his plan before the American people and a joint session of Congress - A Congress that graciously begrudgingly gave him a time slot at their convenience.
The republicans are probably somewhat chastened by a brutal August among their constituents. I know for our part - New Yorkers gave Nan Hayworth little peace. The heckling started the minute she returned home and she was shadowed by angry constituents every day of her recess. One even stripped off her shirt (she was wearing a bathing suit) saying that she was losing her shirt to tea party policies. Ironic, since she was a “job creator” with her own (now outsourced) business. But I digress. It appears to have been a similar period of purgatory in other districts throughout the county. Sooooooo - doing nothing is probably not an option. But giving Obama a victory is also NOT an option.
August 12, 2011
That’s pretty much what Obama and the democrats are up against in Congress. In my previous post on hostage politics, I mentioned the tyranny of the majority had been supplanted by the tyranny of the minority. The tea party is governing from the minority and they are willing to drive the US and world economy off a cliff in the name of their warped ideology. As discussed in the Federalist Papers - it was theoretically possible for a minority faction to take the government hostage. But the question remains - how do you negotiate with a radical faction like the tea party.
As a Realtor® - I negotiate for a living. Under any kind of normal circumstances i would say that you catch more flies with honey. I encourage my clients to be honest, up-front and reasonable and I give the heave-ho to any client who plays games with a very serious negotiation. But there is one critical difference between a real estate transaction and negotiating with the tea party. In real estate - either party can choose to walk away. You have an option NOT to negotiate with any given party. This often happens when one side digs in and refuses to budge. A buyer can move on to a new house, a seller can wait for another buyer. There is no such “out” for members of Congress and the president. They have to work with what they’ve got - and what they’ve got is a brick wall. If there is one thing I have learned by being in real estate. Trying to move a brick wall is well nigh impossible.
Contrary to standard and prudent practice in real estate - this is a situation where the President and Congress must DIG IN and say “no!” when things get out of hand. They have to face the stare-down on the other side and not blink or they will be held captive to it. Here is how Stephen Colbert would handle things.
© 2011 - RMGHicks - ALL rights reserve.
June 21, 2011
They say that truth is stranger than fiction. I have been watching HBO’s A Game of Thrones - an epic fantasy along the lines of the Lord of the Rings. But compared to this latest corporate gambit - the specter of humans hatching dragon’s eggs seems almost plausible, even logical. The terrifying thing about this big business ploy and those in Congress that support it -is that the request is not a fantasy nightmare.
The repatriation holiday is a simple enough concept - The US would drop the corporate profits tax from 35% to 5.25% for one year. Since the large corporates are sitting on piles of profits abroad - that would ostensibly STAY abroad should the holiday not be enacted - could be used to create jobs. But COULD is the operative word. No one ever said the word “would”.
David Kocieniewski of The New York Times reported this story along with a cautionary tale about what happened the last time we gave the corporates a repatriation holiday. The video below was presented with the article and offers an excellent explanation as to how corporations offshore to avoid the 35% corporate tax.
May 24, 2011
Apparently everyone likes the the new CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) except the big banks and some members of Congress. A certain contingency of the Republican party has had the long knives out for Elizabeth Warren for a long time. Accusing the agency of having “unprecedented power” and of “over reaching”. Oh horrors - someone might be pushing back to protect the consumer! That can’t be allowed.
According to the New York Times headline “Decorum Breaks Down at House Hearing on Consumer Finance Agency”
Patrick McHenry Leads the attack on Warren and the CFPB:
May 1, 2011
Its been a while since I posted - and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.
Its a scary world when we get some of our best information from the likes of Comedy Central. But Jon Stewart made me aware of a bizarre amendment to the 911- First Responders Bill. Of course this twist is so bizarre - perhaps this is the most appropriate place for such a report. Apparently a late amendment to the bill forces first responders to prove they are not terrorists before receiving benefits.