April 25, 2014
By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher
A while back, I wrote an article about the revolving doors between politicians, the regulatory industry of government, and the private sector. First they had a hand in writing the laws, then they had a hand in administering the regulatory guidelines, and then they join forces with private companies to help them navigate the conditions they created.
The revolving door is the heart within the circulatory system of the body known as Cronyism. It’s the door between the room where politicians are bought outright and the corporate favorites are granted their favors.
It isn’t much different than the blurry lines between the Judiciary and Legislative branches. Legislative branch makes the laws. Judiciary interprets them. And supposedly the two are separate and distinct from one another. And yet every legislative body from the local to the federal consists mainly of former lawyers.
Recently, some more lines were blurred. The first is with DropBox and their rather curious appointment of Condoleeza Rice to their board. Given her staunch defense of government surveillance and the war on terror, it’s hardly a stretch to be concerned about this. She is not only the way in to DropBox for the government… and she is the way in to the government regulators’ good graces. The revolving door has been installed at DropBox. It’s made of glass so both sides can see through to the other room, and comfortably access one another when needed. How sensitive is YOUR information? How important is YOUR information? Well, put it another way: are you okay with the government having access to your cloud files?
The second is the appointment of Paul Krugman to Distinguished Professor at City University of New York (CUNY) by the Income Inequality Institute to the tune of $250,000. Are there women who are paid as generously to do so little? If you read his offer letter, here, you will find that it is a page of minimal expectations and a rather ridiculous amount of money to meet them.
Are they trying to stimulate their budget by flushing it down the Krugman toilet? In this case, he’s not functioning as much of anything except a paragon of cruel irony! THIS is what the Income Inequality Institute came up with? Because nothing nails the “credibility” factor quite like a white male making in ONE MONTH what a couple living at the national poverty level make in a year combined, all while decrying the ever increasing gap between the rich and poor. Not that I care that he’s white, male, or rich… but I would if I was a bleeding heart liberal, which is what makes this so ridiculously funny!
But you see people towing the line regardless of how inconsistent it is on a case by case basis. As it turns out, they just really hate it when the other party does what their party should’ve done. Hate Bush’s wars… rally behind Obama’s wars. Blame Bush for the horrible economy… praise Obama for not moving the needle in a positive direction one bloody tick!
And while we’re on it, let’s talk about the economic hope n’ change. Two things happened that should upset anyone who can connect two dots: 1. We’ve taken an economic turn for the worse, and floored it! 2. Our government is so hard up to make up for it, it’s turning over the proverbial sofa and checking the pockets of their jeans for loose change.
In addition to inflating the dollar beyond all reason by adding more and more zeros to the end of some number, under the Obama administration, the minimum wage has been raised a few times. He’s even spoken of a $10 minimum wage for federal employees and contract workers. But check this out from the US Census Bureau:
Notice something about the poverty rate whenever the minimum wage goes up? That’s because uneducated and unskilled workers just got priced out of the market. And ultimately, when the minimum wage rises, eventually the cost of living rises and so does the bar for what constitutes “the national poverty level”.
Minimum wage laws are proven to be an altruistic FAIL of biblical proportions. As have most of the social programs out there. I’m one of those people who actually CARE about poor people which is why I oppose these programs as much as I do. I find them absolutely inhumane!
He’s also attempting to enact the highest sustained level of taxation the US has ever experienced, taking the country from 17.6% of GDP to 19.2% ten years from now. What does that mean for the US?
According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would add $7.183 Trillion to the debt and, “the President’s budget would make a number of changes to the tax law,” said the report. “If enacted, those changes would boost revenues by $32 billion in 2015, and by $1.4 trillion, or about 3 percent, during the 2015-2024 period.”
This assumes all things remain the same. The same number of people are earning the same amount of money and paying the prescribed amount of taxes. How is that even remotely possible when the expatriation rate out of the US is growing? How is that possible when every $0.70 increase in the minimum wage puts approximately .70% of the US population into poverty? And our POTUS is eyeballing three times that?!
So naturally the clandestine, savvy, and very intellectual crowd found a Plan B. The Farm Bill. Say what?! You read correctly. Buried in that monstrosity was a tiny stipulation that lifted the statute of limitations on collecting on federal debts. What does that mean? It means, it’s time to fix all the clerical errors made by the Social Security Administration for the past 75 years! All the times they over paid, and folks didn’t know about it? Well, their KIDS are responsible for paying the difference. Talk about a shake-down!
But are you surprised? I’m not. The federal governments’ mini counterparts do it all the time with their cops out there extorting people for money all day. They even have quotas. Next thing you know, every government agency will be responsible for extorting… I mean RAISING its own money. I mean could you imagine if these agencies all had their own brute squad? That would be outrageous, wouldn’t it?
Well, prepare to be outraged: the Secret Service, the Bureau of Prisons, Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Education, and the Food and Drug Administration, the FBI, the CDC all have their own SWATs.
Have I painted a clear enough picture of you? It’s really quite sad when people pine for the days of Rodney King. Not because they wanted it to happen, but because it used to be upsetting to people that the police state would go so far. Now, it’s barely even news.