Trying to Understand

New word of the day: Taxspayer : One who has been financially neutered by the system

So the stimulus comes from one of two places: Either the Fed prints it, in which case we have inflation and money is worth less, or it comes from the taxpayers, in which case we are just paying more in taxes and then not getting all of it back.

Next, in order to stimulate the economy, we are supposed to purchase things…things made in India, China, Mexico, Gautemala, Malyasia, etc., meaning a lot of the economic consumption’s financial windfall will exit the U.S.

Additionally, to create jobs, we have to do one of four things: 1.  We have the government create programs and take taxpayer money to pay government workers for jobs that will eventually expire, in which case we are creating short-term jobs that require the government to constantly re-imagine and create employment opportunities, or 2. the corporations have to hire people to work, but since we have some of the world’s highest corporate tax rates, our companies are moving overseas and hiring cheaper labor, which is smart if you are a corporation but lame if you are a worker, or 3. we are hoping the American spirit will rise up and create a new crop of entrepreneurs who will build businesses to create new jobs, knowing full well that the idea of developing a business/corporation that puts profits into entrepreneurial pockets is antagonistic to many people in this nation, or 4. find a way to make corporations feel that their success was possible only because of opportunities in America and that they have a responsibility to take their money and put it back into the system and hire new labor and stop focusing on profits in order to help stimulate the economy, which is pretty lame business decision-making rationale if you are a business owner.

And now we’ve got government at odds on raising taxes for the top 1% of America’s earners who pay more then 25% of the current tax revenue.  Seems to me that it’s going to be difficult to tax our way into prosperity, and more than likely, the idea of taking money from the hands of the wealthy is not going to make them very likely to spend some of those profits to help the American worker get back to work.

I always thought the didactic little parable about “teaching a man to fish” was well-founded, that maybe corporations and small businesses could work with schools and give kids some practical work experience during their teenage years so they might develop an entrepreneurial spirit.  Or maybe private enterprise would create idea incubators for the high schools and universities so we could employ American brainpower before it succumbed to the starvation and homelessness of ideas.  Maybe the whole idea of whether we CAN tax people more should defer to the idea of whether we SHOULD tax people more (insightful corollary:  I CAN have sex with hookers but maybe I SHOULD not have sex with hookers because I’ll probably end up getting fucked and with less money than I started with – of course there is the argument that I’d be supporting an American-based business but let’s not go there).

I guess I’m just too stupid to understand how this is all going to play out.

By ccxander

Heading Home

Cappuccino skies stretch above the Mojave moonscape. Old cars appear like dying fish, their open-hoods gasping along the roadside and there is a warmth I just know is going to leave grains of sand in my nostrils.  I am driving, here, amidst the solitary houses that suggest some folks were unhappy earlier in their lives, and staring out at the balding hilltops and the cacti throwing off a resemblance to garden gnomes with unruly Mohawks.

Halfway through the desert, one feels the emancipation of an empty car, the enjoyment of fucking-up song lyrics mingled with an embarrassed giggle and the liberated yelp of freedom.  At infrequent intervals, I succumb to the sort of irrational competitiveness one feels when passed by another driver on the open highway. Adorned in moccasins, a solitary Navajo strolls I-15 with the reckless nonchalance associated with Earth’s children.  I wave, and smile, and feel guilty. Pornographic clouds put a skidmark to my thoughts. The consequence of an open window, my left ear is wind-numb and a clock tick of raindrops is starting upon my windshield.

Five hours ago I stood among six twenty-somethings hunched over a Craps table and wondering why the nineteen-year-old dice-roller with the fourteen-dollar shoes and the Target-purchased t-shirt was signing a 10K marker and tossing down black chips with the kind of unbridled responsibility one finds of youth in a brothel, followed by repeated calls for straight-shot alcohol (little bastard actually stuck the $100 chip tip into her g-string) and an appeal for an upgrade to “something larger for the effort.”  Now, I am driving, and my left arm has developed the type of tan that takes some work and the blurring glass is making me hesitate like one unsure of freeway speeds.

Snarling motorcycles pass as sunset’s embers fade into the nocturnal shimmering of oncoming headlights. I am headed home, vacating the city of open-addiction and unparalleled vice for the materialistic trenches of the pathologically accommodating. Winning sounds different on the coast.

An orange glow appears on the horizon.  In the rearview mirror, dust clouds disappear.  A cold pillow beckons. I have my father’s eyes and my grandfather’s dreams.

By ccxander