Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Looters, Reactionaries, Ayn Rand and "Nordie"

BLOGdoc 6 “Right on Brownie!” Just keep going, George.

Ms. Nord is responsible for checking imports into this country. After some bad experience with toxic toys, bad tires, poison dog food and the like, she told Congress that the recalls meant she was doing a good job. She also told Congress that only about 10% of the recalled products were ever returned. The rest stayed with the kids or on the family car or in Fluffy, the family cat.

“Right on, Nordy!”

Ms. Hughes was responsible for sweetening up America’s bad reputation around the world. She is what you might call a “faith based” diplomat. Now that everything is all better, she is resigning to, of course, be with her family or to become a lobbyist.

“Good job, Hughsie!”

There are two interesting words which have a great deal to do with understanding neo-con logic. It is surprising and somewhat disappointing that we do not hear them more often, especially in the progressive part of society.

The first of the two, ironically enough, is one heavily used by Ayn Rand in her books about social and economic objectivism. In Atlas Shrugged, for example, there were extensive descriptions of the “collectivist bad guy” characters, but a common thread through all of her comments was that she called them:


There have been a significant number of, presumably, uninformed claims that Ayn Rand style Objectivism furnished the basis for the wholesale transformation of more or less normal human beings into modern neo-cons. This misperception is fueled by the incredible “testimony” of so-called spokesmen for Objectivism in dabbling little interviews on Air America. In these insipid five minute “gotch’a sessions” the participants strive to connect the influence of Objectivism to the rather savage economic and social goals of neo-cons.

As far as generous review might extend, all of these conversations are the equivalent to two mules standing in a mud hole arguing about the price of oranges. Neither one knows much about his position on pricing or about oranges, but knowing about arguing is the important question of the moment.

We have probably all read Ayn Rand when we were impressionable, romantic high school students. We have probably even fallen in love with either Dagne Taggart or Fancisco d’Anconia, subject to our corresponding tastes. Even more, we have, most likely, incorporated some of the message of “non-contradiction” to a special place deep in our thoughts.

There is even the that special something, always produced by one side or the other in these “debates,” that Alan Greenspan, and by innuendo all sorts of other mysteriously powerful people, attended to some cult oath administered in, where else, the very apartment of Ayn Rand in New York City! Please.

Anyone familiar with Ayn Rand’s style of Objectivism would have to assume that this would be the last sort of thing to expect! We can be confident that Ayn Rand’s idea of a good time was the catch you and hold you with ideas, not late night, candle burning oaths to the sinister philosophy of Objectivism.

Back to “looters.”

There is a certain wealth distributed around a country such as the United States which has only a little to do with Wall Street, raw cash or Patrician lineage. This wealth is buried in functional, existing pension fund investments where a flow of money has continued for a long time.

It is buried in instruments such as the pharmaceutical plan delivered to Congress by the PHARMA lobbyists. The flow of money from pharmaceutical customers could be increased with legislation to create more customers. Even better, these high minded altruists in the congress and the pharmaceutical industry would, by the way, require protection form old sick people who really needed expensive medicine. The stairway to heaven hardly leads through their now infamous black hole of no benefits!

We saw the first assault on the wealth incorporated in the mortgages of families in America when equity loans and second mortgages became not only popular, but also rather easy. The second assault came with the brutal revisions to the bankruptcy laws. It was discovered that it was relatively easy to bankrupt a reserve soldier with a family and a home mortgage by sending him to Iraq often enough and long enough for him to lose his job.

The final, ultimate avarice arrived with the plan to increase the number of mortgage holders by lowering the requirements for lending. It was hoped that the strong among these “fish in the net” would survive economically long enough to begin their own destructive cycle of second mortgages and equity loans. Those other “fish” who proved to be unable to “jump the waterfall” could simply return to the pond, possibly to disappear forever or possibly to try it again later. You know. After they got back on their feet.

They must have forgotten that old adage about “rising tides lifting all boats” or whatever.

When the wealthy get tax relief, it must be made up by the taxes of those remaining payers who are not wealthy. This is looting.

When the bridge in Minneapolis falls from lack of maintenance, where oh’ where could the maintenance money have gone? Directly into someone’s pocket? Probably not. That would be too risky an undertaking for these famously incompetent, codependent looters. No need to think of that, anyway.

It could build a new road to by campaign donor’s brother-in-law’s new Dairy Queen out in Smithville. Let’s see. We will spend $5 million on the road, and oh by the way, another $2 million on the new bridge (named after my campaign sponsor; campaign sponsors love things like that). Our campaign will receive $100,000 in cash support by the grateful souls, but politics-wise that $100,000 is worth far more than tax-wise the $7,000,000 is worth. That is looting.

As pharmaceutical insurance goes, it is far more profitable to insure a large group of people who will submit only modest claims than to insure rickety, sick old folks who gobble up thousands of dollars worth of really expensive medicine. They hedged their losses a little when they outlawed any bargaining whatsoever (you can be arrested for mentioning pharmaceutical price bargaining in any form other than to say how bad it is for research and development, or maybe, even what a burden it is to making a decent profit for these terribly put-upon pill factories). This, of course, is looting.

Little matter that Medicare pharmaceutical coverage disappears just when the old and the poor need it the most, this little insurance gizmo represents extremely good business, extremely profitable risk management. With the cover from their friends in the White House, there was not any reason to even hide all this in fine print. Let them complain. This is looting.

Unlike the shared risk in normal insurance, this Medicare plan is designed to shut old people off before they have a chance to present a risk. What genius. Even when we compare this to the old, bad days before Medicare Pharmaceutical “coverage,” we will still probably have to call it looting.

Next, we consider Iraq. “Oh my goodness! (pant-pant) There is not a minute to lose! (pant-pant) We have to get in there as fast as possible! (pant-pant) We will need contractors to support the army! (pant-pant) There is no time to bid any of these jobs! (pant-pant) Just give them to somebody who can get them done! (pant-pant) We can go back to more efficient business practices such as actually bidding contracts later when things calm down! (pant-pant)”

Years later, we still use the same contractors and these contractors are still receiving unchallenged no-bid contracts! This would be war-profiteering, but it would also be looting. Delivering million dollar bundles of U.S. cash plastic wrapped for easy carrying to various people while neglecting to jot down their names would also be war-profiteering, but it would also be looting.

Hacking out $60 billion dollars from Congress for Katrina, well... Anyway, it is looting.

All of this looting would have possibly been more palatable if it had been accomplished in the normal style of government. That is, if all this money had truly slid under the table, quite unknown to the taxpayers, we might have been able to simply say, as we have always said, “it’s just the way the government operates.”

But this kind of looting pays its benefactors not only the green cash, but also the meal made of their arrogance. They have not hidden much from us. Rather they have paid our money to these freaks right in front of our eyes. They frightened us enough that they got away with it! This is looting.

We mentioned two words. The second is “reactionary.” The modern definition of reactionary is: “to stop everything where there is a possibility of looting a flow of money on ideological grounds, cruelly mutating it until looting becomes possible and the cost of which can be blamed on the original bad idea but actually be diverted to either some project we like or campaign contributions.”

This is a bit of a long definition, but if we try really hard, a useful one. The only times neo-cons stray very far from this idea of pure looting is when they smell the addictive odor of a legacy issue. Then all bets are off. What had been hidden under the table then becomes a deal done right on top of the table in the light of day. Regardless of the expense involved, citizens who are not “boosters” for these legacy projects are dangerously antisocial.

Their phone numbers are turned over to Homeland Security who then gives them to the NSA for FISA warrants so they can be monitored. The cost of this process is about $1 million dollars each, and is, of course, not only reactionary, but also looting.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic!! Keep em coming.

    Could you enable "RSS Feeds" in your settings so I can subscribe to your blog?