Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You can tell a civilization existed here by the abandoned roads

You can tell a civilization existed here by the abandoned roads

The stock markets appear to stabilizing after the longest continuous slide since 1976, a cool trillion in wealth was lost, mostly held by institutional investors; your 401(k), state pension plans and the like; people who could, got out months ago.

Precious metals were the only commodities that were up today with gold gaining another $22 while oil continues to slide. The USD was weaker today after several days of strengthening but is still in the range its been trading in for the past year. The continuing train wreck of the EU banking system should keep the USD relatively strong against most currencies, except the Chinese Yuan which is manipulated for the advantage of China. (why can’t we do that? Oh, that‘s right they shoot corrupt officials and we reward them)

The shutdown of the FAA is an extortion attempt by Republicans demanding the elimination of unions throughout the FAA and the airlines. This has caused an immediate halt to 200 airport construction projects idling 36,000 workers. This is estimated to kill another 100,000 jobs as the damage ripples through suppliers, service companies and on and on. Even if the shutdown ends when Congress comes back from their break it will cost the government a billion in lost airline ticket tax revenue that is going into airline coffers instead. The people laid off won’t be paying taxes and will be drawing unemployment checks paid by the Federal Government as the states are too broke to cover their accounts.

Grover Norquist who is known for the pledge to “never raise taxes on rich” that all Republicans must sign in baby’s blood, and is also known as an un-indicted co-conspirator and beneficiary of Jack Abramoff, the convicted lobbyist/felon, (those two words are interchangeable), Grover Norquist has set his sights on the Federal Gasoline Tax due to expire September 30. If he is successful in holding that hostage, it will stop work on most highway projects nationwide unless the states want to pickup the tab. This will cause the layoff of hundreds of thousands of well paid workers and this too will ripple through the economy destroying even more hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Given that most of the states are barely avoiding bankruptcy already after slashing taxes on the rich and their corporations, this will mean most highways simply fall to ruin or become privatized toll roads at twice the cost. There will be more taxes and fees on the poor and middle class and still more cut backs to try to close the gap with all of this damaging the economy further and cutting state revenue still more. States could raise their own gas tax but Grover has his blue furry paws in every level of government so good luck. There will also be a need for more state safety net spending and for police to control the increasingly desperate population but no money to pay for it and once the economy is really circling the drain it becomes nearly impossible to fix by anything like normal means.

When I was a boy my grandfather told me how when he was a boy the Indians who would stop at our farm to water their horses. In our woods was a part of the trail that ran between two river crossings. It had probably been in use for thousands of years. The Native Americans were long gone by then but their road was still plainly visible where it cut deep through the earth. The trail and the woods are gone, it’s a corn field now.

There are lots of places on this planet where you can see old roads left by peoples long gone. Our civilization is poised to leave a lot of deserted roads.


Anonymous said...

This was my first time visiting your site, excelent work. Mike Malloy's show mentioned you. Thank you, I hope we can all come together on election day and remove all the republican from office forever. By All I mean Politico, I watch news, TPM, The Nation, Think Progress, truthout, PR watch, Politifact, Media Matters, Demo Underground,Consortium News, Democracy now, Ring of Fire, Daliy kos, Green960am cast, Whowhatwhy, PBS, Rude Pundit, etc. I'm 50, Male, native San Franciscan and only just discovered progressive radio this year. Wasted to much time listening to rock n roll.

Thanks Jimmy A.

John said...

This post goes into my file on: How the radical reich projects onto its political opponents all of its own intentional, societal crimes - subchapter "Job Destruction."

You can be sure that any "privatization" of roads will include provisions for state subsidies and sell back at a profit if the heroic capitalists so desire, for example, if it is found to be not as big a rip off as calculated.