For those of you who do not know what a grifter is: snake oil became a generic name for many compounds marketed as panaceas or miraculous remedies whose ingredients were usually secret, unidentified, or mischaracterized and mostly inert or ineffective. The term came from the mid-1800s in which elixirs and potions of all kinds, even ones that supposedly included the oils from snakes, were sold as a cure for everything that ailed a person. Snake oil was any product that was proven to not live up to the vendor’s marketing hype.
By extension, the term “snake oil salesman” may be applied to someone who sells fraudulent goods, or who is a fraud themselves. The practice is also called grifting and its practitioners are called grifters.
Mitt “The Grifter” Romney has already threatened that he will be that “bush-league” el Arbusto (Spanish for “the shrub”, el presidente # 43) on steroids. So be it; let’s talk about what that will mean. First off, hope and pray that you’re not one of my fellow boomers out there; because The Grifter plans on throwing us all under a bus! But as for generations X, Y, and Z… if you’re able to: emigrate!
Item number 1 on Mitt The Grifter’s agenda will be totally deregulating banking, meaning banks can gouge you for whatever they want, take any kind of risk that stupidity leads them into, and every loan becoming a “payday loan” (usury has already been legalized). Moreover, banks need not worry about what their continuing stupidity will cost them. After all, that’ll be covered by the American taxpayer. And item number 2 on Mitt The Grifter’s agenda will be the wholesale looting of all publicly traded corporations. So for those of you who thought that working for megacorp was going to pay for your retirement, guess again.
Trickle-down was just the start. Over three decades ago, economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, “Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the ‘horse-and-sparrow theory’’: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through [sic: the horse's gullet] to the road for the sparrows.” Galbraith claimed that the horse and sparrow theory was partly to blame for the Panic of 1896.
So who was Kenneth Galbraith? Just the man who made it possible for us to win World War II by limiting the expenses to the American taxpayer from all the fraud and waste that Ike warned about in his farewell address concerning the military-industrial complex—known today as lobbyists. And the past 30+ years have amply and demonstrably proven trickle-down to be nothing more than a con job. By design, trickle-down produces bubbles, not jobs.
How consumer-based economies work
Jobs are not created by just having large pools of investment money available. There must be the opportunity to invest in a business that will have customers who can buy the goods and services before the investment money flows into job creation activities. The Republican economic theory that economic prosperity and employment ‘trickles-down from the wealthy’ has proven to be unsound throughout historical experience.
Tax cuts for the wealthy create huge investment money pools, but not jobs. Our nation has plenty of money sitting idle in corporate and personal coffers. Corporations have roughly $2.4 trillion dollars sitting essentially idle in corporate accounts at this time.
Tax cuts at the highest marginal incomes brackets do concentrate wealth and political power in the hands of the economic elite. The resulting political power by the economic elite pushes government policy in directions that dramatically cut the percentage of the nation’s wealth and income held by the vast majority of Americans. This reduces the ability of most Americans to buy goods and services. As a result, the economy unwinds because customers do not have enough disposable income to keep the flow of goods and services at a healthy economic level. The former middle class disposable income, now controlled by the economic elite, funds speculation and unsound “bubbles” in the economy instead of a healthy economic growth because sound businesses now lack paying customers.
Economic recessions and depressions almost always result from insufficient “effective” consumer demand for goods and services produced domestically. In economic terms, wanting something is not “effective demand”. For a want to become a demand for goods or services, the desire to buy must be accompanied with the ability to actually purchase. Money is required.
Without the moderating influence and economic demand of a healthy middle class, even the holdings of America’s robber barons will diminish until they grow insignificant. We have observed this repeatedly throughout history. That has been the fate of every plutocracy that has ever existed. Hoarding anything—ANYTHING, including an exchange currency—causes it to lose value. For anything to retain its value there has to be a market; it has to be traded.
And the faux argument of “over-regulation” has less than nothing to do with the lack of job creation. Deregulation helps corporations charge excessive prices. Not enforcing anti-monopoly laws permits price gouging. Comcast is a prime example of price gouging: In Europe, there’s actually that denizen that corporations run to the government for protection from called “competition”. And due to that competition, high-speed internet costs are a 1/10th of what they are here.
Moreover, European bandwidths and speed are double that in the U.S. and about to double again—which will threaten America’s ability to compete in telephony, telecommunications, and the whole nine yards associated with the modern era, including robotics. Not capping interest rates concentrates wealth and reduces consumer spending. Outsourcing jobs to foreign nations reduces incomes available to buy goods and services. Union-busting keeps wages and benefits down which undermines the purchasing power of workers.
So if there is one word I would use to describe the greatest evil threatening our nation, it would be “wastrel”, because of all the capital America’s robber barons have squandered on endless business bubbles. America’s robber barons claim to be geniuses at investing. Those endless business bubbles argue otherwise! More importantly though, it is precisely due to America’s robber barons squandering in endless business bubbles that demonstrates a malevolence, an evilness, in America’s robber barons’ motives. The iniquity in America’s robber barons’ motives suggests intent to reduce the hardest-working people to walk the planet, the very salt of the earth, to the most despicable subjugation imaginable.
Allow me now to drop you a hint; just because America’s robber barons expended a great deal of effort creating these current conditions, including buying the government and all the news outlets in order that you would hear only America’s robber barons’ propaganda whereby America’s robber barons can get away with paying you a measly pittance that won’t even cover the barest of necessities doesn’t make it any less theft. America’s robber barons are stealing your, your children’s, your grandchildren’s and your great grandchildren’s futures.
Letter to Mr. President
Earlier this year, I wrote a letter to President Obama reporting Representative Paul Ryan’s (R—Wisconsin) double-dealing. Representative Ryan was investing in hedges that America would default on its obligations—and since Representative Ryan holds the position he does, that’s clearly a SEC violation because Representative Ryan could manipulate it. In that letter I stated:
President John F. Kennedy warned; “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” In an exercise to simply send a ‘letter to the editor,’ my letter, I found, was rewritten by a paper. That paper replaced what I wrote with their propaganda. This means that peaceful revolution is no longer possible, because civil discourse is no longer possible. But what most brings tears to my eyes is that I fully recognize what the costs will be.
Mr. President, for over three decades I have consulted to the Fortune 500 in the fields of engineering and business process engineering, rising to the level to serve as both CIO and CFO. I know what is at stake. When we default and the world recognizes that America no longer practices capitalism, but rather “laissex faire cronyism run amok,” the future value of the dollar will be worth approximately 16.667 cents because the world will no longer accept the American dollar as a reserve currency. You won’t be able to buy gasoline for less than $21 per gallon, nor bread for less than $20 a loaf. That will totally wipe out the middle class; America’s middle class will cease any longer to exist. All the hope, dreams and promise in America will be dashed!
Not only will Medicare go away leaving millions to die without medical care yearly, but even more millions will starve to death. If you think homelessness is bad now, picture one quarter of our nation homeless! Within five years, with the new dollar worth only 16.667 cents, Americans will once again become competitive in the market. But with no minimum wage, business deregulated and our public ready to be put back to work—even in completely exploitive sweat shops, there still won’t be any jobs.
You see, that’s another thing that these maladroit swindlers forget. When they finish pillaging this land, who the hell are they going to sell to? So there won’t be any point to put people back to work because they won’t have anyone to sell their crap to! But with shortened life expectancies caused by the exploitive sweat shops that do reopen, there will be a need to restore the work houses to house orphans. Yes, many, many Americans will die in the new workplace. But these conditions will also generate something else; within 15 years, a new civil war! You see, no nation remains stable when it has no middle class.
The class war currently under way, but waged only by the robber barons, will be joined. From border to border, America will become the wild, wild west and life insurance companies will find bankers, legislators and lawyers to be the most risky of professions. Anyone having any net worth will have targets painted on their backs. And we will see kidnappings explode in numbers, just like in Mexico, and for the very same reason—to obtain ransoms.
Americans are also not nearly so peaceable as Mexicans. I was born and raised in a border state; I know! As bad as you’ve seen come out of Mexico, here in America, it will be much, much worse. During America’s Civil War, one out of every 45 people died in the hostilities. So trust me, it will be much, much worse.
Are we still that people praised by J. Hector St. John de Crévecoeur?
These are the hard truths. This is why if you wish for our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren to have any kind of future, then we have to stop this evil. We have choices we must make in life. I would like nothing more than to simply live by the creed of the southwest: to live and let live. But this evil won’t allow this. So it is now time to join this class war—before it can turn into a true civil war. Since this evil is so desperate to have class war, then so be it … SO BE IT!
… Our nation has historically been one wherein our greatest accomplishments came from being inspired to do the heroic. We won World War II not out of fear, but rather by being inspired to rise to that occasion. We put man on the moon and returned him safely to the earth not just once, but again … and again … and again. This is a feat that has yet to be done … even once … by any other nation. We did this not out of fear, but rather by being inspired to rise to that occasion.
We, our ancestors within America, ourselves and our posterity, are that “new race of men” so eloquently praised by J. Hector St. John de Crévecoeur more than two centuries ago. Inspire us, and there is absolutely, positively no challenge we cannot overcome. Fear and despair have absolutely no place within our hearts. We are a people of vision and of hope. … We are still that people; are we not?