Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Main Street Bail Out

How do you bail out Main Street? And how would such a  Taxpayer bail out get repaid?

 In all the other recent Bail Outs, the Taxpayers   got repaid ( in whole or for the most part) by those who were Bailed Out.

The  Big Banks repaid all of their Bail Outs, with a $40 Billion profit to the Taxpayers. AIG repaid it's Bail Out, with a sizable profit to the Taxpayers as well. Even the Auto Companies repaid most of their Bail Out funds.

In all of these Bail Outs the recipients gave the government stock, warrants , other collateral, or otherwise  promised  to  repay the Bail Out. They did  repay their Bail Outs, and in the case of the Big Banks in a relatively short time .

How would we Bail Out Main Street?  What kind of collateral would the government receive?  And once the Taxpayers did Bail Out Main Street, how would the Taxpayers get repaid?

I'm not trying to be cute or facetious. I just would like to know the answers to these questions because  the question of why Main Street has not been Bailed Out has become such a mainstay of our  political discourse.


Today's Red Guard?

Seeing recent videos of The Red Guard rallies in connection the 50th  anniversary of the Cultural Revolutions reminds me of Sanders young supporters.

Recall how Mao dealt with inequality. Totalitarianism appears to be only effective solution to income inequality. However we all know how well that went.

 Taxation and minimum wage increases may help the poor, but won't raised middle class wages. I've suggested strengthening private ( not public) sector unions and greater corporate shareholder activism  to rein in excessive compensation. I also like the idea of  employee capitalism and a guaranteed minimum income for everybody.

What other solutions are there in a free society?


> The senator’s supporters were incensed at a state convention they believe epitomized a rigged political system, with some threatening officials online.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Progress Deniers

What am I missing?

 It struck me while riding the train to work,  and going to and from the United Center, and just generally travelling around the City of Chicago and the Country, that it's obvious that there has been substantial improvement in quality of life for most Americans in my lifetime. 

 I remember looking out the window on those rides years ago and things have improved big time.

In addition, I'm seeing so many women and minorities in all walks of life . Business managers and executives, lawyers, doctors, bankers, government, military-- I could go on and on.  Major positive change.

The hard core poor have Medicaid, Food Stamps and subsidized housing, among other safety net programs. What they need is more jobs and better training for the age we live in.

Crime is down. Of course problems persist , especially gun violence

Rust Belt cities have rebounded and Gentrification of city neighborhood has become a bigger concern than what once was called Urban Decay. However the poor have not disappeared and homelessness and poverty persists. 

The quality of the environment has improved in the air, land and water.

We now are approaching energy independence and fossil fuel alternative energy sources are becoming more viable

 Safety has improved for cars, work place and in general.

 Major improvements in food production and consumption- the whole natural/  organic, farm- to-table/ locally grown , healthier food movements.

Only working poor and working class white men are doing worse, or have experienced little progress. Also the cost of higher education ( while more accessible) has become out of reach without incurring crushing debt.

Yet all politicians and most media , not just Trump and Sanders, say these are the worst of times, and harken back to a bygone era. When was that?

I know I live and work in an "ivory tower" , and I'm not as aware of the world the poor inhabit. However  with respect to the undeniable progress that has been made over the last several decades, what am I missing here? Why are so many in denial of that progress?