Saturday, October 4, 2008

Why Trying To Find Your Lost Post Feels Like The Economic War Greedy Peeps Have Declared On All of Us

I had a nicely edited piece linking how we handle our finances and active participation in voting is not only a good thing to do, it's for our survival. I did save it and scheduled it to post then psst my internet went screwy and I could not get into my Blogger account or any Blogspot site from 5pm -10pm PST. Yet I was able to view them from my cell phone browser.

Now that I can load my blog again I found the original draft but not the finished piece I was set to publish. I am pissed! I usually write my posts in a Word doc or Notepad and copy into Blogger under Edit Html feature but I was writing directly onto the post tab this time.

I don't remember what I wrote  - sigh.

I'm gonna do stream of consciousness right now.

Ok....I wrote about the scene from The Matrix where Morpheus gives his call to arms and how their actions represented the "very meaning of their lives". I talked about this in an earlier post last month and included the clip. This was in relation to voting and being active participants in what goes on in this country. active as we can be. Knowledge is power!

I was watching Oprah as well and she had on Suze Orman and Ali Velshi to discuss how we got into this financial mess. Ali was being very coy about how 'Annie the Homeowner' was offered a higher loan amount than requested and how the rate went up and the banks and the supermarket and the supplier all fell down. Suze broke it down and called out the banks for being greedy and offering those adjustable rate loans for higher amounts than necessary for property that had an inflated value to begin with. FINALLY! 

Yes, Joe Six Pack has to take responsibility for making poor choices BUT predatory lenders and private companies supplied a lot of that funding and mortgage brokers were making 1000 times their usual fees AND they were bundling them and selling them to banks who sold them to Wall Street as hedge funds. They were also trying to trick elderly people into refinancing schemes for property that had been paid for. A 30-year fixed 6-8% loan won't make nearly the same amount of money as a no-money-down-shoot-up-to-20% or skip-a-payment loan did. 

Let's just also discuss how that debt has been tacked onto a lot of other things besides bad mortgages. What are they? We don't know because it's been buried in hundreds of pages of paperwork!! Then the gov't 'came to the rescue' (to further steal from us) and added a bunch of hand-outs and tax breaks to the very same crooks that are literally raping us right now. I'm not one to make light of such a violation but that is exactly what it is.

We have been a spend, spend, spend society for far too long. The difference between say 30 years ago and now is:

1.  Things cost less.
2.  Jobs paid more.
3.  Income vs. Standard of Living was more equitable.
4.  Companies were in the US and used US workers.
5.  The gov't helped (some) people more i.e. with the GI Bill.
6.  People did not use credit cards like water - did anyone even have one back then?

Women used to not be able to even get credit unless it was through their father or husband. Now an underaged child can qualify for a credit card. In the US you can go into a store and charge whatever you want often with no minimum. I can buy a candy bar at Walgreens and get cash back using my debit card. I could not use a credit card at the Tourism Office in Amsterdam in any amount when I visited in 2003. I was also actively discouraged from using anything other than cash at most establishments - even to buy postcards at one of the top hotels there.

Now California's got its hand out to the tune of $7B. So we're even luckier here! That plan to strip the salaries of certain union employees earning around $50K to work for minimum wage ($6.75/hr) to trim the budget didn't quite pan out. Praise Jesus!!! The fact that this current Governor would try to pull that shows how unfit he is for his post and how callous the Republican party is. 

Ok, I can modify that. It shows how much contempt these multi-millionaires (billionaires?) have for the poor and how removed they are from the daily struggles of the majority in this country. Because if you're making $50K in this state you're 'poor' when housing is 10 times the amount by comparison to the cost of living in other parts of the country. 

What was my other point? hard it is to have an economic reality check and not overspend. The perceived minimum standard of living is continually being elevated. Nobody wants to be left behind. For example can you remember a time before Starbucks? Now there's one on every freakin' corner! And I LOVE COFEE but even I get it!!! 

It's in the best interest for a corporation's business model to get people to buy things they don't necessarily need or provide a convenience for a markup. You know we can make coffee at home or buy pastries from the supermarket. It seems normal to eat take-out, buy gourmet or designer strappy shoes and go broke for Christmas, but it is not

This is reinforced by society:  tv shows on the lavish lifestyles of the rich, magazines, heck looking at your neighbor who's likely to be in hock up their eyeballs but we want 22" rims!! We don't feel adequate and are judged by frankly a lot of people for not having the right bag or dress or degree or address or body type. It is the antithesis of living a spiritual life but the God of the US is Money. It's killing us. 

So of course some degreed white-collar executive is going to exploit that. That was indoctrinated by their name school as part of the plan for world domination. It's about starting wars to take all the natural resources from other countries, pocketing that money, running these industries into the ground, paying off politicians for favorable legislation and coming back to the poor of this country to foot the bill. That's why we don't have jobs. 

And they're going to keep doing it all over again 3, 5 and 10 years later. If they can keep us on a treadmill with a carrot and fighting each other for a few crumbs then all the better. Some of us can get over on the system but most of us have yet to figure out how. We must very decisively learn to disengage. 

Ok I think I'm done for today. Now it's on to the voting.

Early voting has started in many states or absentee voting as a convenience to citizens. I say do it asap and get it out of the way.  California starts today! This is where the trickle down theory should be in play. Start with the President and work your way down - get rid of all the enabling politicians or put the fear of the wrath of a vengeful God in enough of them so they straighten up and fly right. 

We got the Civil Rights Act passed and you know how much a fight that was! We can do better for ourselves if we are willing to do the work and let go of unnecessary things. 

Now I read Kit's latest post and have my concerns but since I don't believe in the wrath of a vengeful God I think we have the potential to avert something like this. At least I hope so! And yes, I am aware of the rumor that the CIA 'owns' Google in the same way they are involved with AIG, but you can dismiss this as crackpot thinking if it makes you feel better. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing!


Unknown said...

A good movie to check out is "In Debt we trust" ... although it was released in 2005, it predicted everything that is going on now and how there will be another credit crisis after this one (student loans).

about voting: politics is local. what is good for the geese is not good for the gander when it comes to state and local politics.

Folks need to be come educated and active participants. It bothers me that most people know everything about Obama but so little about who their city council person is (and that person might go to church with you!). No one knows who runs their local school board.

Join your local civic league, join the PTA, get involved.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Yes people need to use that bottom up approach Obama talks about. Start with school board (if you're a parent) and get involved. My mother volunteered for our state Assembly person when I was a kid. Here in SF I'd probably focus on the Board of Supervisors and definitely those running for Judge and DA. I think a lot of people despite their support of a national candidate allow themselves to be influenced by corporate media interpretations and their emotions instead of having criteria for selection. They also fail to see the big picture. Candidates need money and people willing to put their time into supporting their campaign and be strategic in that support. If you don't know how a law gets passed or the differences each town, city or state operates how can you know that you are making a truly informed decision? We all want our candidate of choice to do the 'right thing' but how does one define that?