Saturday, August 15, 2009

Snidely Whiplash Mackey

email from Exupery:
About John Mackey (Whole Foods CEO in WSJ) and the like telling us we haven't earned socialized health care:

If he collapses, we should not call 911 for him. We should first ask him, "How much is it worth to you?"

Mackey prospers on the backs of an under compensated work force. We are only worth the least amount. I have watched as our professions and workers have been extorted and filched by the investor class. After we get our ratings, degrees and develop our skills we are told by the Mackeys of the world we are worth nothing. So Mackey telling the public they have not earned health care is like saying "let them eat cake." (or is it organic cheese?)

Oh yeah, and my point was, what fruit has Mackey ever produced? Or more to the point; how many of those hospital administrators and insurance executives have ever practiced a day of medicine in their life? (This would be an interesting list, short, but interesting)
Best Regards,
Exupery

It takes a certain kind of sociopath to think the way he does. Unfortunately a certain number of doctors in the past 30 years have been of the just do medicine to make money mind set, healing is just a way to avoid malpractice. If you spend much time around a hospital you will see them. In the really corporatized operations that is all there is.

In the old days these people were villainized like Snidely Whiplash tying Little Nell to the railroad track. Today the corporate media makes them heroes or at least we are taught to fear them. prairie2

Friday, August 14, 2009

At Least We Have Plenty of Ice

The number crunchers that decipher corporate earnings reports are coming up with some disturbing information. US corporate earnings statements have set a new record for exclustions from earnings to cover write-downs. These are from a combination of bad financial instruments from years of debt driven activity and the long term costs that will come from the meat cleaver approach used on their operations to generate a current profit. Past experience has shown that these numbers can accurately predict future earnings and the outlook is bleak. They’ve swept the ice off the deck and rearranged the chairs and it’s business as usual. Please ignore klaxon and the rats diving overboard.

As for the iceberg; inflation was zero for July and consumer prices are down 2% from last year, this is the biggest deflation since 1950. In a debt based economy deflation is the really big ice below the surface carving a hole into your hull. It drags down everything since it means that you will have too little cash flow in the pipeline to cover debt payments. This translates into a credit freeze up and more sacrifices of capital to cover operating costs followed by layoffs and liquidation of assets resulting in a further reduced cash flow and so on. As the ship sinks deeper, the water comes in faster and then the pumps start to fail....

Pump flailures, or rather Bank collapses; the largest bank failure this year occured today in Alabama costing the taxpayers close to 3 billion. The FDIC also seized a small bank in PA, but they are starting unusually early tonight, so we’ll have to see how many they annouce today. Would you like more ice for your drink? We just got some in.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The good old days are back if you miss the uniform

Despite the Happy Talk from the Fed today, the numbers were all bad. Retail sales were way down again despite a boost from clunker cash. Even Walmart’s sales were off substantially but they reported good profits, these turned out to be from cutting inventory signaling they expect things to get worse, not better. Manufacturers and retailers cut inventory for the tenth straight month while the trade deficit continued to widen as we produce less and borrow more. The Dollar continues to decline in value making everything more expensive.

Jobs also continue to be cut and so the weekly Unemployment claims were up again. The total number of people on the rolls is down but that’s only because for a lot of people the life line is gone. Home foreclosures have set a new record and home prices continue to decline. This makes refinancing impossible for many people who do find new jobs but still face homelessness. As many as half of home mortgages are underwater. Already at record levels, Bankruptcies were up 8% from last month and up 32% over last year.

From the Les Miserables department, if you are late with payments while unemployed, it will likely keep you from getting a job as the corporate fascists check your credit history. Some states are moving to ban this practice but look to the Bush appointees on the Federal Appeals Court to strike down these laws as they have been quietly consolidating corporate power over the past eight years.
Chief Justice Roberts has ordered the rehearing of a case this fall that will likely set in stone the absolute supremacy of corporations in America once and for all. This case could eliminate any attempts to restrict corporate spending on elections and lobbying. It could make any sort of reform of insurance companies or any other corporate practice an exercise in futility as corporations would have the ability to overwhelm any campaign against them.

It is not in the corporate interest to create jobs or to do anything that aids in the economic recovery. The worse that things get, the better it is for them as they continue to consolidate power. Business failures mean nothing, the assets are simply transferred to a different corporation. The barely concealed corporate support for the brown shirt birthers and deathers will likely become more blatant. With all restrictions on corporate political spending lifted by the Roberts court this fall you will doubtless see this taken to a level not seen since the thirties. Brown Shirt thugs, torch light parades, book burning and kristallnacht; it’s a good time to be a fascist again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You’re before the Death Panel everyday

There are Death Panels. There is little or no chance that your life will not be cut short by one of them. In corporate headquarters around the world they callously make decisions that will kill you. Insurance companies that pull your plug don’t behave any different from any other corporation. You are nothing to them but grist for the mill.

Cigarettes of course, lead and heavy metals in the coal smoke, millions of tons of pesticides, corn sweetener in the food and on and on. You can track the advent of every major disease that plagues us by the introduction and expanded use of something we really don’t need that makes some corporation a lot of money.

Take 2-4-D, a broadleaf weed killer. Fifty years ago they really pushed it as safe because it was just a hormone that made the weeds grow themselves to death. Growing twisted and malformed until they die. That should have been a clue. You’ve probably heard of its close cousin, 2-4-5-T or Agent Orange. You wouldn’t spray Agent Orange all over your lawn or would you? You do or your lawn service does and so do all your neighbors. They know it is a direct contributor to cancer (especially in women) but they still marinate us and our food in it everyday. Why? Because it gets rid of the dandelions and it makes it possible to grow corn with a few less farmers. Oh yeah, and it makes the people that own a big chemical company rich. www.prairie2.com
Ever wonder where Ex-Senator Rick Santorum has gone? He’s just announced a series of speeches to be given before right-wing religious groups in Iowa this fall. A spokesman said this doesn’t necessarily amount to a kick off of a 2012 presidential campaign just because Iowa has the first caucus in the nation.

Since Iowa is one of less than a handful of states to legalize gay marriage and Iowa did launch the successful march to the White House by (whisper) a black man; Iowa should be fertile ground for Santorum. What with the packs of men and dogs having sex in the streets and all the abandoned white women being forced into prostitution by the legions of black pimps with federal badges.

God has not been ignoring the sinful nature of Iowa, to punish the voters for the nazi liberal commie fascist president, "He" sent a 12 billion dollar flood last summer. This summer because of all the "man on dog sex", God has plagued Iowa with unheard of cold summer weather and has repeatedly sent hail storms over large areas devastating crops with yields down 40% statewide. Ex-Senator Santorum will be able to dispel the myth that this is the result of manmade global warming but rather the righteous punishment from a wrathful god.

But the Ex-Senator may have a hard time finding an audience as Socialist death panels already being formed to start eliminating the elderly and the infirm, forcing abortions and giving everybody sex change operations. But with the new White House enemies email list, all of Santorum’s supporters will have rounded up by the time he finishes his first speech. God will send locusts and rain frogs.

Ps: you know how sweet corn leaves stink after a few days in a hot garbage can? A couple of days after a hail storm, a corn field smells like that at a distance.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's all in a name

The Federal Reserve Board has been meeting this week and is expected (this means they’ve leaked the news to reporters) to keep the rate they loan money to banks at zero percent. They are also expected to stop buying Treasury Bonds in the near term when they reach the 300 billion dollar total purchases. This is already driving up bond futures markets with speculation that nobody will buy bonds at current interest rates.

The NY Fed is also on a hiring binge, adding hundreds of new traders to manage its securities holdings that have already gone past two trillion Dollars. The manner in which they acquired these "assets" was in such a way as to inflate the value far beyond what they were really worth. This was a huge windfall for the large banks that unloaded these securities. That would be the same banks that have been reporting huge profits.

The money supply has been growing at a breathtaking rate but actual numbers are hard to come by as the Fed stopped publishing the information several years ago. When they stopped this was the first clue that we would be living in interesting times. Meanwhile debt has been disappearing, especially in the commercial and industrial category with tens of billions being taken off the books. Consumer debt has also been declining at a sharp angle. Still the large banks are making huge profits and paying staggering bonuses while doing less and less "real" business.

Lets all print up some pretty paper and pass it around between ourselves and we can all be rich. One small problem is that the middle class that does all the work has to believe the paper we printed is worth something or at least China has to be willing to loan us money to buy Chinese made goods to sell to the middle class so that they keep believing. Sounds crazy if you and I talk about doing such a thing, we’d be locked up in jail if not in the asylum. Of course we aren’t related to the Prescott or Bush families, if we were we could go ahead and do that. It’s all in a name.

By the way, financial stocks pulled the market down over a hundred points today.