Friday, March 20, 2009

AIG can't seem to learn its lesson.

AIG really screwed the pooch. They can't seem to learn.

Not only did they help create the mess that is our economy, but through their government allies, they managed to profit from it at the expense of taxpayers.

The public is understandably upset. In days of yore, this would be a tarring and feathering event.

I am utterly stunned at the audacity of AIG. They have little concept of the political nightmare they've created--and for what? Money.

What astounds me more is the political response. Republicans are blocking the political backlash against AIG's stupidity and greed. In essence, Republicans are advocating stupidity and greed at the taxpayers' expense.

My suspicion: Republicans are guarding their Wall Street constituents. If the previous administration and its cronies in the legislative branch had not set the environment for this greed and de-regulation, AIG might never have gotten away with this. Besides, those on Wall Street are notoriously Republican-leaning and to hurt them would cause campaign coffers to dwindle, despite any pretexts offered to the contrary.

Arguing that failing to pay these bonuses will be bad for the economy is what most of us clearly see as bullshit clothed in fearmongering. It's nothing more than a bunch of greedy bastards using that old Bush tactic of scaring us out of wits so they can sneak up and screw us when we're not paying attention.

I got a news flash: The economy is already screwed so these bozos need to come down to reality.

The public outrage is justified. The rapid Congressional response is exactly what the founders had in mind when they created the House, viz., a body to reflect the passions of the electorate.

Making matters worse: The previous administration orchestrated this with the complicity of Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke. Can anyone please explain why Bernanke neglected to mention these bonuses months ago when he learned of them? He should be fired over such a colossal blunder, since he is touted as the wizard of our economy.

AIG should be forced into bankruptcy. Every entity getting paid by AIG needs disclosed.

Until all the greedy cockroaches see the light of day, this mess won't be clean and our economy won't heal.

We can either drag this out to our detriment or we can make it quick and clean.

I opt for Robespierre's method: Off with their heads.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Employer-provided insurance hampers labor mobility.

Home ownership and employer-sponsored insurance may play a bigger role in unemployment than taxes or other alleged issues.

I've noted this for a time, that without some form of universal health coverage, people were tied to their jobs due to employer-provided insurance. When a health crisis hits, people can't just leave a job and lose their insurance, COBRA be damned.

Our system cements workers to their jobs when it might make better economic sense to move.

With the downturn in real estate, home owners are given a double-whammy with the loss of home value. They can't sell and they can't lose what they have sunk into their houses either.

The country may not be ready for this, but portable, universal health coverage would be a boon to labor mobility. People could move to where the jobs were instead of suffering with a job for the sake of the insurance and the house.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Faith eludes the faithful when death comes knocking

This study tells me one thing: The religious aren't less afraid of death and neither are hey more certain about an afterlife. It's just a show.

For awhile, I suspected that religion fills a need for certainty in an uncertain world.

Certainty is a pipe dream. Nothing is fixed and no one knows what happens after death, despite what religion tells us.

Too many willingly believe in an afterlife, but studies such as this give credence to the fact that those beliefs provide little guidance when death calls.

It takes great courage to face death with the knowledge that the end is near. Holding onto beliefs in spite of supporting evidence may be fine while death seems distant, yet when those beliefs get tested the truth hits like a slap in the face.

True courage requires no fantasy of an afterlife to soften the possible truth of existence, viz., that this is all there is.