The True Cost of Doing Business

The True Cost of Doing Business
by
David Schlecht

While walking around our neighborhood, today, I noticed a business driving around tossing out little plastic packets of coupons, leaving them in the gutters, on the sidewalks, in our driveways, on our lawns, in our flowerbeds, and who know where else. In a “reasonable” society, this would be fined as littering. In our world, this is considered “doing business”.

This particular business has arranged to have the neighbors and the tax payers pay to puck up the by-product or the cost of doing business. What a deal. If you and I decided we could save a couple bucks throwing our trash on the businesses properties and driveways and homes, we would be hauled off to jail, so why can they get away with it?

This is only one very simple example of businesses sloughing off the cost of doing business onto society. In the case of this particular business model, the tax structure for the business must include the cost of cleaning up after the business, or better yet, requiring that the business clean up after itself. They should also be required to reimburse the society for the time and cost they put into the cleanup process. Sure, it’s only a couple dollars per packet, but it would better define the success of the business model if they had to clean up after themselves.

We can take this example to the next level. There was a gravel pit up the road where a construction company was mining out gravel for doing some nearby road work. Now that the road work is done, the gravel mine is abandoned and the damage from the strip mining gapes like an open wound at the drivers who pass by, on the newly repaired roadway. The construction business, like any mining operation is causing damage to the environment that they should be repairing. First off, the businesses should be required to repair the damage they do and the tax structure should be set up so that regulation of these repairs is paid by the business, not the rest of society.

Let’s look at this topic from a higher perspective. All businesses should be required to retain the environment in a pristine condition. Costs to the environment must be taxed to the businesses, and those taxes must be used to restore from the damage. Where else does society pay for the cost of doing business? Let’s list just a few.

  1. Regulatory agencies for policing the businesses
  2. Infrastructure for providing access and services in and out of the business
  3. Legal infrastructure for providing a means of redressing grievances with and between businesses. This, of course means the cost of police services, fire services, legal services, laws, courts and such.
  4. Medical services to those affected by the businesses. In the case of nuclear power plants, surrounding neighborhoods pay for centuries after a nuclear power plant fails. This also includes the cost of medical services to heal the millions who become sick each year from the sale and burning of gasoline, ethanol, coal and other fuels.
  5. The cost of cleaning all the carbon out of the environment.

This short list obviously only addresses a small fraction of the costs that businesses should bear but that are pushed off on society instead.

Why do we let this happen? If  businesses can’t remain profitable while cleaning up after themselves, they shouldn’t be in business. It’s that simple.

Now that we’re in the process of cleaning up our financial system, maybe it’s time we started requring businesses to pay their won costs of doing business.

Biden Appeals to G20 Protesters

Biden Appeals to G20 Protesters
by
David Schlecht

Yesterday, America’s Vice President, the representative of the free world, appealed for calm and patience while the G20 “tackle the economic crisis.”

Why are our representatives (notice I didn’t say leaders) so ignorant to the fact that the G20 is an indication of the problem? The G20 is not the solution. The solution is to enable labor and fix the working conditions of the people of the Earth — all the people. The G20 get together to figure out how to make industry more profitable and this comes at the expense of labor and at the expense of the living conditions of the people of the Earth.

Why don’t our representatives realize this? Because big business has their ear, but the rest of us just quietly work harder and harder increasing our nation’s Gross Domestic Product while letting the greedy businesses take more and more of the profit. It has to stop. This, Mr. Biden, is the problem. The G20 is the problem.

Make the G20 more like the Labor20 and things will improve overnight and the people will quite demonstrating and rioting.

More Fun With Our Financial Meltdown

More Fun With Our Financial Meltdown
by
David Schlecht

The latest word from our “Masters of the Universe” running our banks into the ground is that only they can fix this since the rest of us are too stoopid.

Well, I have one thing to say to these “masters”. Hello? We stupid folks aren’t the ones who caused this. We really shouldn’t be relying on your crooks to fix it.

It’s plainly obvious by now that the big cause of all this mess is that they spent over six BILLION dollars over the past 10 years to bribe our representatives into removing the safeguards that our grandparents put in place to save us from another Great Depression. It really is time for us to begin criminal investigations into what went on and how this happened. Obviously paying this kind of money to lobby our government so they can make hundreds of billions of dollars while we tax payrers pick up the pieces is not just morally wrong but is most likely criminal on many counts.

Here’s a great interview by Rachel Maddow regarding this. You’ll want to watch it.

More Examples of Our Broken Financial System

More Examples of Our Broken Financial System
by
David Schlecht

My last post on the three big problems with our financial system addressed major issues that are realm of government policy. But, there are many other broken pieces of our financials. We will look at a few that are more within our control,  yet we let them get out of control.

  1. Do you look at the stock market or the Dow Jones or Nasdaq to get a feel for how the economy is doing? If so, you’re brainwashed like the vast majority of us. If you’ve been paying attention, you have noticed that usually when the unemployment rate goes up, so do the stock markets. Why? Well, obviously, the economy being good for the greedy corporations means that they can get cheaper labor. So, when unemployment goes up, it’s better for the greedy. It’s not a better economy for the huge majority of Americans. In fact, usually as the stock market goes up, the health of the economy goes down.How can this be? Again, let me explain that the health of the economy isn’t the health of the 1/10 of 1% of Americans who are multi-millionaires. It’s the health of the remaining 99.9% of us that matters. Someone has been lying to us telling us that stocks are the yardstick by which we measure the economy.  What really matters to Americans (yes the 99.9% of us) is how labor is doing.
  2. When was the last time you read about how labor was doing? It’s been years since I’ve seen a “Labor” section in any newspaper. Let’s see, 99.9% of us care more about labor than stocks but newspapers don’t even have labor sections any more. But they all have Business section. Is there any question why we’ve lost touch with what matters to America?
  3. Unemployment figures don’t even give us a decent yardstick of measuring the economy that matters to America. Our Conservative politicians, Republicans and Democrats, alike, have been lying to us about our employment numbers. We’re looking at 11% unemployment in Nevada. But that’s not a real number. The number of homeless has skyrocketed. These are people no longer on the unemployment roles. What good is a number that doesn’t include unemployed people?The numbers are also jacked around to show military personnel as employed. Actually, getting paid to get shot at isn’t a living. Why would presidents mess with the numbers and hide the real truths from us? Because it makes them look good. We need to get outraged when we catch our representatives messing with the figures that we need in order to evaluate the health of our economy.

Start asking for a Labor secrion in your newspapers, the dead-tree and the online versions. Start demanding that we get real numbers from our government. Get outraged when they start to get slimy and start cooking the books.

The Two Santa Clause Theory

The Two Santa Clause Theory
by
Dave Speck

Regardless of which party you are affiliated with or whether you think of yourself as a conservative or liberal or libertarian, there are two very important websites you should visit. It explains so very much about our current political climate and how we can help get America back on track.

The first one is a Wikipedia page on Jude Wanniski with a reference to the Two Santa Clause Theory. The second is a post at CommonDreams.org with the title The Two Santa Clauses.

It’s all so obvious in hindsight.

Reinventing America’s Economy

Reinventing America’s Economy
by
David Schlecht

We’ve been hearing a lot lately of the need to reinvent our economy. Our financial system is so broken that we can’t prevent it from melting down multiple times in each century. This essay investigates some areas where we can greatly improve our world by reinventing America’s financial structure.

We start with a short investigation of exactly what is causing this recurring nightmare that plunges so many of us into poverty every few decades. Without a firm understanding of the causes of the disaster, there’s no way to fix it. There is no way for me to say this without sounding like I’m politically biased but this is a fact obvious to anyone paying attention. The Conservatives around the world are directly responsible for this disaster just like they were for the last Republican Great Depression.

During the depression of the 1930s, we, the people put numerous safeguards in place to protect us from another disaster. We put many rules in place to control greed in our financial markets. We passed laws to prevent businesses from getting too big to fail. If these safeguards were still followed, today, we would not have this disaster. It’s as plain and simple as that. The people forcing through the failed policies around the world are all chanting “Free Market, Free Market”. Well, the greedy Free Market is what we’re looking at having to bail out. The banks are too big to let fail, so here we are, again, bailing them out.

And, here we are, again, bailing out the autmobile industry. We stopped enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act which saves us from having businesses too big to fail. The last monopoly to get cleaned up was Ma Bell. Since that time, the Free Market Advocates have been getting their way and stripping us all of the safeguards our grandparents put in place to save us.

We’ve already addressed two of the major causes of this disaster, 1) Too Big to Fail Businesses, and 2) Lack of or refusal to enforce safeguards to control the greedy. The third leg of this stool is The Federal Reserve.

Unknown to most people, the Federal Reserve is niether federal nor does it have any reserves. Like “The Clean Air Act” or “The Healthy Forest Act”, the name is only there to confuse the unsuspecting and the gullible. This is a privately owned bank that we have put in charge of managing our country’s money supply. As I said, there are no reserves, so the Federal Reserve controls the money by providing credit.

America didn’t always have a Federal Reserve. It wasa created as a national bank to help control the flow of credit. However, it has been privatized and is now a for-profit bank with stockholders. Their responsibility is now to the stockholders, not to America, and many of the stockholders aren’t even American. Not only is the Federal Reserve a for-profit bank, but all the banks and gambling houses (aka investment houses) are now for-profit. This means that they make decision, not based on what’s best for America, but what’s best in the short term for their shareholders and their CEOs.

Now we know what three of the major causes of this disaster are, so let’s look at how to clean them up for good. Obviously we can’t rely on just safeguards, because our grandchildren will abandon our safeguards just like we abandoned the safeguards our grandparent put in place. We have to fundamentally change the structure of our economy.

#1. Too Big to Fail: Since we can’t rely on our politicians to enforce the safeguards against Too Big Businesses, we need to create an agency to monitor monopolies. We also need to put laws in place that let competetors initiate monopoly investigations against monopolistic competetors in the hopes of splitting them up.

#2. Free Market Greed and Foolishness: Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were both initially government lending institutions. They have since been privatized. As it alwasy happens when government functions are sold to the greedy, they get out of hand and end up, well, like Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. Greed should be frowned upon, not rewarded. If greedy politicians want to privatize our government services, they should be unable to vote on any legislation in which they have received any money or gifts, either directly or via Political Action Comittees. Furthremore, any privatization must require a 2/3 vote in both the House and Senate.

Big business currently owns our government. There’s no simpler way to put it. It costs $20,000 per day for a politician to run for office because of the billions of dollars that are spent by greedy big businesses to buy our representatives. We need to take the money out of politics. We need immediate finance reform that prevents anyone from spending personal money on elections. This means all elections must be federally funded.It’s the only way to get the greedy businesses out of our government. Furthermore, we need to revise many of our corporate laws and remove the rights of personhood from our corporations. Corporations do not need and should not have the right of free speech. Corporations should not be allowed to own or invest in other businesses and corporations, all corporations should have “serving the public interest” as their fundamental purpose, and corporations should have a maximum life span after which they are shut down and sold off.

#3. Corrupt Banking Industry: First, federalize the Federal Reserve. Our nation’s credit should not be managed by greed and profit. For that matter, buy back Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and run them as the services they were intended to be. Secondly, every state should have a state-owned and state-run bank that provides credit for the people and businesses of the state.

There are, of course, many more things that need immediate attention, but these three are, in my opinion, three of the biggest issues facing us today.

The Liberal Lie Machine

The Liberal Lie Machine
by
Dave Speck

Let’s imagine for a minute that there are three classes in America, the elite, the working class elite, and the working poor. Just imagine that there is one working poor, and two multi-millionaire elite class. The numbers sort out to thousands of elite for each poor worker. This counts most of the lower and middle management as elite. I know. It sounds bazaar, but stick with me.

Now the greatly under represented poor decide they want to change the mostly successful economy, after all, the vast majority of Americans are now ultra rich. Well, they can’t explain to the huge successful majority that the system doesn’t work because obviously it does. They can’t express that everyone should just be poor and abandon all the things that are working for the vast majority.

So, what do the Liberal Poor do? Well, of course, they need to start a liberal lie campaign to convince all the rich people how much they hate being rich and how much they wish they were poor. It goes without saying that it would have to be a very successful media campaign and it would take many years to finally get people changing, but marketing campaigns have done harder sells than this. The trick would be to divide and conquer. Start by indoctrinating the rich larvae in schools explaining how miserable it must be for their parents to be so happy all the time.

The important point to note is that this campaign will only work if they can lie well enough and long enough and loud enough to finally get people wanting to change, to despise and abandon their success.

Alright, now, let’s reverse the roles. Let’s say the numbers are the real numbers and there are thousands of working middle class and poor for each one ultra rich CEO. For the most part, the system was working as the middle class was growing each year and the number in poverty diminishing, as it was before Reagan. Obviously, if more people are getting a couple more dollars in their pay checks, the CEOs must be having to share their success with the workers making them rich.

Okay, now, how will the ultra rich manage to convince everybody that the system isn’t working? Obviously it is, since the vast majority of people are dong better with each passing year. It would require a major lie campaign, just like the earlier scenario. You have to tell the people that “the government isn’t working”, even though it is and everything is getting better. The lie campaign would have to express that everyone should have the same greedy morals and goals as the richest of the elite, and that nobody should ever want to spend tax dollars to help each other.

Ask yourself, now, what reason would the liberal majority want for creating a lie campaign against the rich? There are no reasons, none, period. If the vast majority are doing better, they don’t need to lie about anything. There’s no incentive to lie, just let things take their course.

Imagine now, what a lie campaign would look like sponsored by the ultra rich minority. There would be plenty of dollars to spend on buying up radio stations and cable news stations and pumping out the endless lies. There would be constant effort to get more representatives-of-the-rich in teaching positions. There would be plenty of money spent on “think tanks” that figure out how to spread the lies and to make them look more like truth to the unsuspecting. In our current climate, what need is there for the workers to fund think tanks? The truth is obvious. It doesn’t need to be dressed up like a pig.

This may seem like a nightmare, but it’s the world we find ourselves in, today. The ultra rich are funding “think tanks” that are designed to dress up the pig and to find ways to fund more media, like Fox and Conservative Hate Radio. And the sad part is that they are winning the war. More and more unsuspecting are succumbing to the aggressive media, lie campaign every year.

Without the lie campaign, we wouldn’t have abandoned the safeguards that were put in place after the last great depression to save us from suffering another. Without the lie campaign, we wouldn’t be acquiring the national greed-is-good mantra of the greedy rich. Take a moment and Google the Conservative Think Tanks and you’ll see that they’re funded by the ultra rich. Ever wonder why? Check it out:

  • The Heritage Foundation
  • The Cato Institute
  • National Center for Public Policy Research
  • The Manhattan Institute
  • American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research