Alan Wallach

A Little History as I See it

Back in the 30s, Tom Watson of IBM was asked by Wall street to talk to his friend FDR and ask him to back off his planned regulations. FDR’s answer was something like, “Tom, you go back and tell your banker friends that I’m trying to save this country’s economy. And if I succeed, I will have saved them too.” Even in those days, bankers were short sighted. FDR succeeded and they benefited from the improved economy, and spent all their time hating him. Stupid, stupid.
Fast forward to the 50s. Income tax on ordinary income was in the neighborhood of 90% over a certain level. Sounds terrible, right? Wrong. We were suffering financially from WWII and then Korea so DOD needed the money. But it had a huge beneficial effect. First of all, corporate management didn’t want big salary, tax too high. So they got stock options, instead. The result was that management had to do a good job in order to make their options worth something. Golden parachutes were not very common. It did another thing. Since capital gains taxes were very low, about 20%, people with large salaries invested it in new ventures because if they didn’t, the government took most of it. They had nothing to lose and a lot to gain if their investment made it big. Essentially they were investing the government’s money in ventures that, if successful, were taxed at %20. It was a good deal. So as a result, there was incredible capital available for the corporate development of the 60’s. The whole computer and technology industry and our world technological leadership was funded by these people who didn’t want the government to take their money. Federal funding for NASA didn’t hurt either. (Gee, Federal spending!!) It was a boom time. Another factor was strong unions which kept wages up despite the dumb scream by business that we weren’t competitive.
Fast forward again. Reagan did his best to continue the destruction of union power which began with Taft-Hartley in the 50s and continued with firing the Air Traffic controllers. There has been an incessant push to destroy unions which are the only entities that keep our wages up so that people can live. Scott Walker and his ilk. Unions insist that increases in productivity are shared with labor and don’t all go the the bottom line. Unions, plus high tax on ordinary income kept the income disparity acceptable. Clinton, no favorite of mine damn him, signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall act in 1998 which set the banks free to bring our economy to it’s knees. It took only 10 years.. So what do we have now? Corporate managers raping their companies to get golden parachutes as a punishment when they resign or get fired for messing up their companies. Then nothing trickles down because they have no incentive to invest. They put their money into politics to buy elections which further encourages their short-sightedness and blatant greed and the corruption which we call lobbying, the lobbying that sees to it that we don’t interfere with their greed. We bail out the banks because we are told they are too big to fail. They take that money and pay big bonuses to themselves and then spend millions lobbying to repeal Dodd-Frank which, in a very small way, tries to keep them from doing it over again. They don’t care about you. If they did, they wouldn’t be so greedy and selfish. They wouldn’t ignore climate change and environmental travesties caused by industry. You have a Republican knife in your back and you don’t even know it. That’s the secret of their success, put a knife in the back of ordinary working people and convince them that they are helping them. The American electorate is the dumbest in the western world.
Out political system is bought and paid for. It has even driven liberals to the right because they need the money to get elected.
Listen to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s messages. Every word of it is true and they don’t mince words.
Frankly  There was once a time but these days, I cannot fathom how anyone votes Republican.

SCOTUS and the republicans

There it is!  The republicans could not eliminate, or put an asterisk, or whatever to remove Barack Obama from history.  He is indeed a black president with significant accomplishments and after he leaves office, he will have existed in our history.  

Regarding the fanatic Christian reaction to gay marriage ruling, I continue to ask how a gay marriage affects, in any way, the status of a man-woman marriage.  It doesn’t.  The Christian right wing fanatics just want to impose their hypocritical morality, such as it is, on the rest of us.  This is not and has never been a Christian country.  Where they get this notion is a mystery to me.  

Now that SCOTUS had affirmed Arizona’s elimination of gerrymandering, it behooves the other states to act to reverse the 2010 gerrymandering that gave republicans control of the house and threatens to keep it that way despite a  pretty sizable democratic majority at the polls.

Trump and Jindal enter the clown car.

The republican clown car is filling up rapidly. now Jindal and Trump.  It seems that all these guys that have fallen into disfavor locally are running for president.  Christie, Jindal, Walker.  Jindal adds nothing to the group.  Trump on the other hand is the gift that keeps on giving to the democrats.  Most of the candidates will drive the party to the right.  Trump will drive them to distraction and the electorate into hysterics.

Repeal the 2nd Amendment

This treatment of the 2nd amendment as sacred is monumental bullshit.  It was established after a revolution against the British in a rural, wild society in an age of one-shot muskets.

There is no longer a need to permit citizens to bear arms.  Against whom or what?  Against our own government? And of course, we have the right to construct a nuclear weapon, no?  If we are truly at war to defend ourselves as a country, we bear arms.  We don’t need the second amendment.  The national guard as a well-regulated militia can bear arms.  There is a purpose.  Otherwise it’s time to repeal the 2nd amendment.  No one has the right to bear arms.  It should be licensed and limited to necessity.

How long should we be beholden to the NRA an Gun Lobby?

The Student Loan Travesty

I just read an article about the burden of student loans. It’s a system that is as bad as our lack of health care was before Obamacare.  The government has a moral and economic obligation to provide affordable  or free higher education to those who want and deserve it.  I paid nothing for college and went to graduate school on the GI bill.  Those days have been replaced by a bonanza for banks in the form of student loans.  In the article, the borrower extols the virtues of defaulting to eliminate the crushing debt which essentially destroys his freedom of choice.  He makes a lot of sense.  Our rugged individualism today means being born to wealth so you don’t need help.

Republicans = Ha!

Rachel Maddow predicted there would be 19 republicans running.  The republican clown car is already at 10.  She may be right.  Ask yourself if  there is even one of them so far that gives a shit about the country or its people?

Illustrious Madison Grads

James Madison HS in Brooklyn, my alma mater, has had many illustrious graduates. Politically, we’ve had (that I know of) 3 senators (Schumer, Sanders and Coleman) and a supreme court justice (Ruth Bader Ginsburg).This year we have a longshot chance of even a president. Go Bernie, Go

Beau Biden and Dick Cheney

No one should go through what Joe Biden went through.  Beau served his country in every way and should be honored and remembered.  The travesty is that Dick (Darth Vader) Cheney, that war-mongering, draft-dodging, liar still survives and keeps pumping out bullshit.  If there was ever a case for repealing the first amendment he’s it.  I don’t understand why the media give him any coverage at all.  His lies are so blatant.  He must be terrified that history will remember and judge him based on truth and not his lies.  The farce is definitely with him.