How to be afraid media

The stock market goes into an uproar on any excuse under the sun. The latest? The debt crisis in Europe. Or is it the politicking over the debt ceiling? Or did it have anything to do with Japan? Or, the too slow restoration of Americans returning to work? Or the home foreclosures continuing apace? Or is it because Michele Bachmann, presidential contender, deems a 35% tax rate much too high? Or will the markets only calm down when Governor Rick Perry can give a pink slip to the current President?

I’d like to remind some of these Republican jerks that it wasn’t so long ago that only the private sector could create jobs. That was in rebuttal to the Obama stimulus package. Well, the private sector went on eliminating American jobs and moving operations to countries with plenty of cheap labor. Only what they had been doing since GW had been in office, and not likely to change their practices any should a Republican (any) get elected to the Presidency.

Now here is a real irony for you; CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley discussed the fact that Chinese labor was being paid higher wages now because of all the western demand for products made in China. Not only higher wages, but even, free housing. Just to attract skilled workers. Toys R Us warned their customers that because of this, the price of toys can only go up. Uh, what? I’ll bet an “Easy Bake Oven” probably cost less when toy manufacturers had Americans make it decades earlier. Not only because energy prices were lower, but also, we are talking about less shipping charges, less insurance charges, less warehousing and general storage charges, just because what was made in America didn’t have to travel several thousand miles of ocean before it landed on the shelves of a Toys R Us store. Bottom line, there wasn’t as much of a price mark up between the factory or origin and ultimately the store it was delivered to. But, if you check the price of toys [on sale] now, they are three or four times the price of when they were indeed made in America. Price mark ups from the point of origin of manufacture, storage, shipping, etc. to the ultimate delivery to the local store is inevitable, just because of the cost. The real argument that came at the tail end of this report, Toys R Us would have to go shopping for cheaper labor elsewhere. Wasn’t that exactly why they went to China in the first place? It isn’t the higher cost of the merchandise that is going to find its way to the U.S. store, but rather the higher cost of labor that gives the actual heartburn. So, don’t kid yourself that toys “were much cheaper” when Chinese labor was cheaper. They never were. But, Toys R Us could see max profit from cheap labor. And that was definitely something the news media could have followed up on. A change of president would not change the current corporate appetite that involves working cheap and investing cheaper.

Any Republican presidential candidate knows this. In fact, in a great many instances, they chose to encourage it. Among the many excuses, labor, taxes, environmental rules and regs. How can businesses operate in that kind of environment? So now, the current crop of GOP candidates seem to have developed one heck of a memory problem. So has the broadcast media. But, beyond ideological “criticisms” of the current President, empty platitudes seem to be the only thing they have to offer. Nothing of substance, no solutions.

Just today, they were discussing Obama’s “poll numbers” regarding his being seen as a strong leader. Since 2008, his “numbers” may have been reduced significantly, but his being seen as a “strong leader” still by the majority of those polled, 58% in fact, is really pretty good compared to say, Congress. But leave it to Mr. Pelley and company to spin it as “poor showing.” For which the Obama White House needs to be “very worried.” So, define a “strong leader.” Actually I’d have to say that given the pure crap that Obama had to endure for the last three plus years from both the news media and the GOP; to announce his re-election in the face of that, is sufficient proof of a guy who’ll keep on trying. Anybody else would call it quits. The only thing these polls seem to prove is just how shallow and fickle the American voter happens to be. And the GOP hopes that like 2010, they will be easily manipulated.

Of course after the GOP such as Michele Bachman, and etc. did all of their shrill ranting about the “mistake” that the American voters put into the White House, and only with him gone will the nation “return to prosperity,” was this Sunday Morning hilarity; it involved a discussion about the heads of corporations sitting on a mountain of dough and what would it be like if indeed they were to start handing out the cash, such as, how many cars could be filled with gas… But of course, so we are informed, they aren’t going to do that. The latest excuse? The stock market, or consumers aren’t “spending as much…” Therefore, they’ll continue to sit on the cash, something they have only been doing since GW was in office. Which reminds me of what I ultimately said to a neighbor:

(Think of the economy as a car on blocks in need of repair) The car is sitting in the yard an actual reparable rig. But, even though the money is available to actually fix the car, the owner doesn’t wish to spend the money. So, the owner wants [his neighbors] to supply the needed funds (tax cuts, loop holes, subsidies, tax breaks) so that the car can be put under repair. But, the owner doesn’t actually want to spend the money… And then complains that the car isn’t going anywhere.

So, would an attitude such as currently exists in the corporate offices where the decisions are made daily to spend as little money as possible change with a change in the President? Not likely. They’d simply come up with more excuses about why they aren’t hiring American, don’t want to invest in the American economy, and so on. The GOP as well as the news media being the liberal enablers of this sort of intransigence.

Yes, I did say liberal enablers. My definition of a “liberal” in this day and age is that person who makes excuses as the radical dude takes a flying header off the cliff. We’ve seen plenty of suicide jumps in the world of business in the last over a decade. Even though major corporations (inclusive of the entertainment industry) are fully aware that they can become easy targets of copyright piracy, they turn to the source of piracy and insist that the product (that can be pirated) get manufactured within that country anyway. Piracy so bad, that it can literally affect our national security. It would have been a simple matter for CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley to draw some obvious conclusions. They didn’t. Maybe it was because they wanted to make nice to the corporate sponsors. How about the GOP? No, too busy catering to the fringe lunacy called the “TEA Party.” That’s what is meant by liberal enablers. My neighbor also didn’t think that we actually had a capitalist system any longer. He’s actually right, we don’t. We have corporate welfare. All the heads of various corporate interests have to do is whine a lot, contribute to favorite politicians’ campaign war chests, and expect to get loads of redistributed taxpayers’ moolah. But, unlike the current crop of GOP presidential contenders, I wouldn’t even think of scapegoating the President for that “I’d prefer to sit on my fat cat butt” attitude from the corporate office. I’d blame the guy who actually sits in that office and pays the lobbyists and elected officials more than he wants to pay the people who actually would make his corporation a bigger success. After all, only with an income would people have the “confidence” to buy anything.

And here is where “make me very afraid” news media put out a fresh batch of pure bull. Following the wild gyrations of stock prices—buying and selling, people would be less likely to buy that big flat screen TV. Uh, if you work short hours three days a week, you can’t even afford to rent, how would you afford a TV set that currently costs between $2,000 to $3,000—a half a year’s pay? It has absolutely nothing to do with the stock market or the people who are wealthy enough to gamble there. Instead of these people running Best Buy blaming “the customer,” or “the President,” or “Congress;” maybe they should just blame themselves that they preferred max profit with the least amount of investment. As a consequence of that attitude, not enough people around to buy that 50″ 3D effect flat screen TV. You know that won’t happen. Rep. Michele Bachmann on “Face the Nation,” jobs: we won’t see an economic recovery until tax rates are significantly reduced. Fact: we have yet to see an economic recovery even though the Bush era tax cuts were maintained at the end of 2010. So, the GOP promised all kinds of private sector results should they regain a majority in Congress. Didn’t happen. So, why believe them today? You can’t. But instead of be very afraid news media taking a good hard look and actually challenging them on the particulars, let us instead “report” and have what is “reported” reflect badly on President Obama. No, it reflects badly only on the people who benefited greatly from our capitalist system, and then turned on the very thing that made their wealth and profits possible. Sorry, but the President really can not dictate how business interests choose to behave or what they wish their practices to be. Maybe, just maybe, those business interests will eventually exercise some common sense when they discover that the only “car” they own is the one that they have no interest in repairing. Instead of having to suffer the cost of paying for a “Taxi” (government) now they simply need to bite the bullet and make the “car” road worthy again. One can only hope.


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