Saturday, August 16, 2008

Capitalism Upside Down or

How Dopes Like Me Got Duped A Money Manifesto Introduction: Though the war for this nation had not yet begun and though my father was kept out of it when it did because he worked for a newspaper, I am a war baby. Times were good. My childhood was good. Too much was good, especially for someone like me. Had I been born a Spartan and had the illnesses I had, I would have been placed on the mountain shortly after my birth. But no, I was born near the heel of a stinky swamp lake in beer, brat, and cheese Wisconsin into a religious and mostly practical and caring family where I--the second born--was the surrogate first. Making sure I did not die was imperative. So, though not totally pampered, I grew up in relative comfort. Am not certain, but I think my father bought a TV (an Admiral) in 1949. It was the first in the neighborhood. Okay. Some years later, when I was a student at a Wisconsin State College midway up the western side of the stinky swamp lake, my dad gave me the family Rambler. During my senior year I rented a space with some other guys in the upstairs part of a large house which was near the college. At some point, since I wasn't using it, I sold the car. My bride-to-be was not pleased. She told me I should have brought it down. Her dad could have stored it for us. In those days there still was train service. Anyway, she had been working for ACNielsen; and so after I graduated we had to use some of her money to buy a car. An aunt of mine had taught me how to drive a stick shift after my mother had taught me how to drive. Guess what, therefore, this Brian did. Bought a stick shift; and not a used one. It was a white Falcon. At the college two teachers of mine who had been through the Iowa MFA Program coaxed me into applying. I was accepted. Fine, but how was I going to pay for it? On June 12th she became my wife, and I became her--. She had an excellent work record. We honeymooned in Iowa City and, as I suspected, the university had a keypunch department. Shortly after we returned home, I wrote a letter to that department, but I made believe I was her. One day at work she got a call from them, and they hired her over the phone. I never did drive that Falcon as I ought to have. She said she always knew when I was coming up the hill to get her. While I was teaching at Eastern Illinois, the Falcon's odometer got to 50,000. I traded it in for--right--a new yellow Fairlane. I then taught my wife how to drive, but didn't make clear to her when to use the turn signal and also took the same course, thinking that was the course the tester would take her on. He didn't, and I sensed a prejudice against her before they went out for the test. She was a small woman, but she actually did well. That cop failed her for one reason: she did not flick the turn signal on soon enough. I wanted her to try a second time. Guess what happened to the Falcon--a pizza place bought it. Or maybe it was the Fairlane that pizza place bought. It got driven to Key West. I had purchased a set of The Great Books, not that I ever thought I would read them/ even though I intended to, but they came with a vacation to Florida. The next car was a blue Maverick. Rightfully, I didn't get tenure at Eastern, but the new Mav got driven from Wisconsin to California and back. She had a aunt and uncle living in Santa Barbara, and one of her sisters needed a ride out to California. I sought work there, and might have gotten employed as an ombudsman at the university had we not left before they called her relatives. Back at our home base, she walked over to ACNielsen's while I and her youngest brother headed north along the western side of the stinky swamp lake. By God's perfect timing I obtained an English Instructor position at my alma mater. She, of course, had gotten employed again at the product-rating facility. Then, though the Maverick had had an eventful gallop, I, unannounced, bought an army-colored Nova. Tonight I see that vehicle as a symbol of what was about to happen in my life. Early in 1973 I did a one-time-only Wisconsin Poets-in-the-Schools gig. As to the cars, I am not certain of the order; but there was a sky-blue Volare, an orange captain-seat Dodge van, a VW Sunbug, and one or two others up into 1981 when we moved from Milwaukee to Austin, Texas, without a vehicle. When we did get another car, it was with $2000 my mother secretly gave me after our move to Gainesville, Florida. That was a used Buick which we had for a good long while. My wife's favorite color was red, and toward the end of her life, her father went with me to Main Street Chevrolet where via a loan I bought a red Geo Metro. It became my last car as of early in January of 2003. Needlessly wasting money on transportation wasn't the only way I financially messed up my life, but I don't want to go there. Not now. * Here is the nitty-gritty. Free market capitalism depends on active consummerism. Thus the buy-this- buy-that-put-a-feather-in-your-hat philosophy: the emphasis on pleasure: the emphasis on the so-called American dream. These false ideas are pushed by many corporations and by much of the media. One reason the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is that the rich follow the principle of delayed gratification while the poor follow the principle of immediate gratification. This is deeply complex, but by dividing it into three complicit sources/ it can be analyzed more easily. These are the sources: the public sector, the private sector, the personal sector. In the Twentieth Century in the U.S. (and by extension, the world), the two leading monetary theories were the Keynesian and the Friedmanian. Neither is perfect, yet neither should be faulted for the current fiscal improprieties in the U.S. of _______. See Monetarism at Wikipedia: $$$ and read what is there carefully. It is not the theories; it is how the theories were interpreted and skewed. I did not use the word "complicit" inordinately. The Public Sector: - I'm restricting this to government. Several thoughts: 1. Excessive spending causes inflation. 2. Allowing the creation of more paper fiat notes devalues each note. 3. Relaxing credit promotes fraud in the markets. 4. Incentives are ultimately bad for business. 5. Allowing usury destroys the consummer base. 6. Bailouts of financial entities are dangerous. 7. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Private Sector: - Several thoughts: 1. Are the U.S. politicians controlled by corporations? 2. Does the Federal Reserve have too much power? 3. Has the Federal Reserve misused the power it has? 4. In what ways is Wall Street good? The Personal Sector: - Several injunctions: 1. If there is a church or other entity you wish to support, note it in your will. 2. Find ways to save as much as you reasonably can, but be aware that the dollar is ill and may become more ill/ and is therefore not the best way to save. 3. Don't count on job security. 4. If you can't pay for it, don't buy it. 5. The sooner you start saving, the better your life will be when you are 70, if you live till then. 6. If you enjoy working and are able to beyond when you are supposed to retire, keep working. - And this thought: Your worth as a human being does not depend on your credit rating. = Take link on this post to read Mike Hewitt's history of US money at his Dollar Daze blog: about the role of the central banks Rho00150

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