Saturday, July 4, 2009

Flying with Neo-feudalism

From Anonymous:
While Jet Blue and other carriers look good to start with, at some point their workers will want better pay and benefits. If they get them, in a while we will have Jet Red and then Jet Orange all hiring young low time pilots and paying as little as they can. Then we have a bunch of old pilots with no retirement and no possible chance of new employment and of course real retirements have gone the way of the passenger pigeon.

While the workers suffer you see the same faces running the airlines and making real money and when one company goes under they seem to be able to start another airline or find work at another upstart and another industry gets to push their workers into being serfs or peasants. In the long run it will hurt since almost all businesses are trying to gut worker pay and conditions so at some point just who will be able to travel, buy big tickets short we are going have a smaller and smaller consumer group and consuming is what is driving the present day America.

From prairie2:
90% of our economy is driven by people who spend 100% of their income. In economies that have no middle class, the poor tend to sustain themselves by growing their own food. Here agriculture has already been taken away from the people, in neo-feudalism the very few own everything, even the canned goods.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Do your hotdogs taste funny?

Thinking of staying home for the holidays? We are experiencing the longest, steepest decline in driving by Americans since the invention of the automobile. The drop in mileage driven is equal to taking ten million drivers off the road. If you are on the road; good luck finding an open rest area; states are cutting budgets and since they aren’t mowing the roadsides there are plenty of bushes if the kids can’t wait for the next truck stop. Don’t wander too far into the bushes or you may find your missing neighbors; the small remote patches of public land next to the interstate are popular camping areas for the formally middle class.

Planning a backyard cookout instead of traveling? The sales of steaks are down and hot dogs up even among those that are so far unaffected by the collapse. The media paints this reaction as guilt but it’s something more; Americans for the past 30 years haven’t been shy about eating at a posh restaurants while the homeless sat at the curb; but when the homeless are people who recently lived next door to you and they did nothing different than you, the hot dogs have a taste of fear.

GM and Chrysler are celebrating Independence Day by closing plants and shifting the production to Mexico. Auto workers in Mexico can’t hope to buy the vehicles they build and will find it harder to buy the used cars from the US that were a big part of the Mexican economy. The simple fact is people in the US can no longer afford to give up their used cars as new cars are out of reach for them as well.

The scrapage rate of cars in the US far exceeds the sales of new cars for the first time ever. Normally the sales of new cars are 40% higher than the scrapage rate as a large number are exported while still usable; now they are driven to death. If you are lucky, your car will start when you are evicted from your homeless encampment.

PS: is Sarah Palin starting her Presidential bid early or just dodging an indictment?

God Has Spoken...

A Russian Major takes a drink from a bottle of vodka and passes it to his Lieutenant; drinking on missile patrol is forbidden but he has just become a father and this bottle is a gift from his men. He will share it with them while they watch the unusually vivid northern lights.

The Russian soldiers are camped temporarily in a clearing in the forest, forty miles from their base where they are waiting for dawn before moving again. They've been on alert patrol with their mobile missile launcher for weeks and are looking forward to leave with their families.

The evening darkness is suddenly replaced by a flash of light and a deep rumbling follows. The Major grabs his secure phone, but it depends on a relay station next to a large chemical plant that has just exploded. The plant was in between the Russian soldiers and their base but they don't realize this. The Russian missile commander tries his long range radio but the solar flares have knocked it out; he tries his new satellite phone but he has forgotten that the satellite is below the horizon for another 2 minutes.

He hesitates, but thinks about his family back at the base and gives the order. An aging diesel engine struggles to life; hydraulic motors whine; huge steel jacks press into the ground and the missile cradle lifts skyward. The Major and his Lieutenant turn their keys; an alarm sounds and they turn and run for cover.

On the other side of the world; some third graders are reading to the American President while the bored press takes pictures. The chief of staff bursts in and whispers in the President's ear; NORAD is tracking a single Russian missile headed for the ABM site in Alaska. The Russians are on the red phone; should he patch them through? Some of the children have noticed the fear on the faces of the adults, but the President smiles and indicates no to the call; the children are reassured and go back to reading. President Palin is smiling because God has spoken to her.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Last Independence Day Before Martial Law?

The June employment numbers came out a day early so that everybody can take an extra day off for the holiday, but the numbers show a record number of Americans will be taking an extended "holiday" with no prospect of employment. This is the first time since the Great Depression that the number of existing jobs has dropped below the number created during the previous business cycle. There are now fewer jobs than there were in May of 2000 even though the population has increased to produce 12.5 million more people who need jobs.

The "real" unemployment rate is in the range of 17.5% if you counted jobs the way they did forty years ago and with 467,000 fewer jobs in June alone any reversal of this trend has been pushed back into 2010 by even the most Pollyanna of forecasts. The elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring is that the jobs being lost are the real economy drivers. This fact had been concealed by massive imports from China paid for by printing money. Republicans continue to chant "global economy" but they have no answer for where the "global" money will come from to pay the trillions and trillions in debt obligations the Republicans have created, let alone pay for future imports.

The Republicans used to point to the empty store shelves in the Soviet Union in contrast to the plenty manufactured here to demonstrate the superiority of "capitalism". Once the Communist Chinese cut up our credit card, the empty store shelves will be here. The plenty here was in spite of "capitalism" and not because of it. Capitalism brought us the last Great Depression and thanks to Republicans and some Democrats like Clinton we are on the verge of a Depression that has not been seen anywhere, ever.

FDR was urged repeatedly to declare martial law in the thirties to bring the corporate robber barons under control and once war broke out that is basically what he did. Is Obama planning to use the martial law apparatus created by the Bush Crime Family? Will he have any choice? Is he really on our side?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tea Bags and Rocket's Red Glare

Are you getting ready for Independence Day? Do you know what our forefathers were fighting for? What did tea have to do with it? Contrary to what the Republican tea baggers would like you to believe, the colonists weren't opposed to taxes. They were opposed to the British East India Company (the Super Walmart of the day) being exempt from all taxes while their businesses weren't. The tea dumped in Boston harbor was tax exempt.

Today's tea baggers are on the wrong side of history. They think corporations are on their side somehow and if we did away with taxes we would return to those magical days of 1776. We have a choice between serfdom and freedom but first people have to figure out which is which. Go out Saturday night and enjoy the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air, it's just for show.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Slavery is Freedom Down on the Farm

A little noticed aspect of the economic collapse is the farm crisis. People in businesses that serve the farm economy say that they have never seen things this bad. In the eighties they made movies and held Farm Aid concerts, but now there aren't that many farmers left and it isn't attracting much attention.

There is also the matter of Bush appointed Judges and Appeals Judges doing away with all state laws that had been passed in the eighties to protect farmers from corporate predators. The corporate dominated Supreme Court simply refused to hear any appeals. The patenting of plant and animal genetics and the heavy handed domination by corporations has recently been rubber stamped by the Corporate Justices.

You'll notice food prices have not come down despite farm prices being half of what they were a year ago. Hard for farmers to elicit much sympathy with food prices so high and the American Dream going down the drain. FDR had land reform and price controls. The Republicans have their own version, all the land goes to a few corporations and the price of food to the consumer is high. "Free Market" is double speak, it goes with the saying "slavery is freedom".

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flying for the Soylent Corp.

submitted by: Exupery
Forget canned goods, perhaps a program where every employee with more than 12 years is forced to submit to DR Kervorkian for inclusion in Soylent Green is the answer. The public is consuming the seed corn of the implied promises of a good career in exchange for the considerable skills and education required to fulfill these highly technical jobs. But be prepared for future Buffalo crashes from low skill pilots. Are the doctors next in corporatized medicine’s plans? I assure you the instigators will have their private airplanes and won't go near the transportation (or medical) system they created.

submitted by: Exupery

The link to the original article: Costs of Old Age Trip Up Airlines

From prairie2: Corporate medicine is already driving down Doctor pay where it can and quality care is not on the list of priorities. Hospitals admit to killing 100,000 people a year from errors, you can bet the number is really much higher and will increase. Prairie2