Monday, September 29, 2008

The Presidential Debate

"Democracy is indispensable to socialism."

- Vladimir Lenin

As were most other viewers, I was sickened to watch John "W." McCain taunting Barack with racist slurs.

But in the long run, it will not matter. Barack held his own, and reminded the Amerikkkan voters that:

- They are suffering because of rich people

- They are suffering because of Bush

- They should not have to pay off their loans

- They are struggling, struggling, struggling

- They work hard with nothing to show for it; rich people do nothing except make money off of working people

- The government needs to be bigger

- Oil companies will be punished

- The financial crisis is a result of Bush's regulation-free Wild West "laissez faire" banking system

- Rich CEOs are to blame for all problems

- We should reduce trade with other nations. (I personally feel strongly about this, and would hope that President Obama will follow a Juche economic plan.)

- Everyone will get free health care

- We can't afford another eight years of what this country just went through; we need to return to October 2000.

- McCain wants to hand over $4,000,000,000 to the oil companies. Remember: A tax reduction is the same thing as a gift. (I also strongly agree with this. The government is entitled to everyone's money, and anything that the government does not collect is most certainly a gift.)

- Private insurance companies are now getting an annual $15,000,000,000 gift.

- Health care is bankrupting otherwise solvent citizens

- A few rich people are making everyone else poor

- We need new infrastructure, new roads to the most remote rural areas, and a new electrical "grid".

- We will get a "Google for Government" because the government is better at providing clear and useful information than Google itself.

- Money spent in Iraq should instead be spent on expanding social programs here

- Bush: An orgy of spending

- Iraq: We lost

- Sanctions: They work

- Tougher sanctions: They work even better

- Kissinger: He took my line, let's meet with Iran

- Energy: We need a strategy

- Drilling: Can't drill our way out of problems

- Solutions: Solar, wind and biodiesel

- Veterans Affairs: Give them more money

- Investments: What we need to do to education so that ordinary people can live out their dreams

- Me: Not ordinary

- Kenya: Land of my father

Well, good for Barack that he understands what the working people need to hear. With these sort of insightful policy prescriptions, I suspect that most people will be voting Democrat.

Put another way: If a responsive government can give the people everything they need from those who can most afford to pay for it, then it is almost axiomatic that the majority will vote with their heart.

And the majority is always right.

Solidarity, brothers and sisters.

We are getting much closer to the next stage of capitalism's death spiral.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Zero-Payment Housing: A Right

Many people have been asking me, "Professor, I am not able to understand the present financial crisis. And though I am undoubtedly not bright enough to understand your explanation, I still need help. So, can you please explain it to me?"

This question is indeed burdensome, but I will reluctantly oblige.

In a nutshell, greedy capitalists are raping the working people and minorities. Again. And again. And over and over and over again. To the point where it is nearly surgically impossible to correct the damage.

Specifically, here is what happened:

Step #1: I, being a typical working person, am entitled to housing. But under our dictatorship of the dollar, I have to go to you, the blood-drinking Zionist banker, for a loan.

Step #2: In the old days, I would have had to put 20% down. So, for a $100K house, I would have had to make a $20K down payment, and the bank would lend me the remaining $80K. So, if the value of my house dropped to $90K and I stopped making payments (as is my right), the bank would seize my house, sell it for $90K, take its $80K, and return only $10K to me. That's not fair! By what right would the bank have to seize my house and not return all my money? Because I refused to make loan payments? Fuck you, bank!!

Step #3: Of course, requiring down payments is racist, so in 2004, HUD twisted the arm of Bush-Hitler to the point where it nearly broke off, and he announced the "Zero Down Payment Mortgage". That's getting much closer to a free mortgage! And it is what the working people deserve. Now I would borrow the entire $100K, and if I stopped making loan payments when the value of my house fell to $90K, the bank would seize it, and get only $90K of its $100K back! In other words, they will have lost money! Ha ha, fuck you, bank! And fuck you capitalist lenders! Fuck you, Zionist entity! For once, you're the suckers!

Step #4: As it happened, though, the bank loans were sold to the semi-governmental Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, regardless of the loan's terms. So the banks didn't much care about losing money; they had government customers ready to buy the loans. As the banks could make money, but were reasonably insured against losing money, they made lots of loans to people who deserved such loans. However, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were now exposed to losing money. Well, fuck them too! Except for one thing...

Step #5: I AM ENTITLED TO LIVE IN MY HOUSE, WHETHER I PAID FOR IT OR NOT. In other words, someone had better pay the banks or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or someone somewhere with lots of money so that I won't have to.

And that "someone" is a government with a heart:

Barack Obama has also criticized McCain for sitting back and watching while so many American families face eviction. Yet his own proposals are more nuanced than Hillary's. They include setting up a $10 billion fund to help prevent foreclosures, cracking down on mortgage fraud, providing tax credits to low- and middle-income homeowners who don't currently itemize their interest payments, and standardizing the terms of mortgages so that potential borrowers can more easily figure out when they are being hoodwinked. Obama has also expressed support for Democratic Senator Chris Dodd's plan to expand the Federal Housing Administration's ability to refinance troubled loans.
And after the fat capitalist scum come up with the money, the people shall drag them into the streets and BEAT THEM WITHOUT MERCY. Socialism, first, last, and always.

In real life, of course, this is not true, as I obviously do not have a mortgage on my rent-controlled apartment.

Someday, we shall all be living under such control. Control is wealth. And wealth is community. And community is the world of my brothers and sisters.

I assume that this explanation was far beyond the grasp of most readers.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama and Women's Rights

"Despite decades of progress, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes."

- Women for Obama, from the official Obama/Biden Campaign Literature

Sad but true. In fact, I personally know of many employers who, when faced with hiring a woman for 77 cents an hour will instead thunder, "Give me a man of equal ability who will cost my company and shareholders an additional 23 cents an hour!" Bastards.

"In the Illinois State Senate, Obama cosponsored and voted for the Illinois Equal Pay Act, which provided 330,000 more women protection from pay discrimination."

The Illinois Equal Pay Act stipulates that people doing the same job must be paid the same wage, without regard to ability. This law therefore eliminated hiring discrimination. That is, if everyone must be paid the same wage without regard to ability, then employers might as well hire anyone. You can't understand that? If not, then you are not educable, and more than anyone, you need to have experts like Barack make decisions for you.

"As president, Obama will continue to promote paycheck equity and close the wage gap between men and women."

Again, if everyone must be paid the same salary, then all hiring discrimination will end. And furthermore, when equality is codified, then we will, legally speaking, all be equal in fact. Different input, same output. Enforced equality of outcomes has worked before, and it will continue to work in the future.

"Today, three-out-of-four low-wage workers have no paid sick leave. It is fundamentally unfair that a single mom playing by the rules can get fired or lose wages because her child gets sick. Barack Obama and Joe Biden support efforts to guarantee workers seven days of paid sick leave per year, a moderate proposal that should not impose too onerous a burden on employers."

Such a sensible idea, but with all due respect to Barack, why not two hundred paid sick days per year? That's what I get as a tenured university professor -- especially when you consider my summers, my sabbaticals, etc. And don't senators like Barack get more than only "seven sick days"? The trouble is that the low-paid working people do not know what is best for them. They need the on-the-spot guidance of legislators to determine how their compensation shall be administered. Sick days? Vacation? Wages? The best combination can only be determined by third parties who feel what must be done, and are unbiased by profits, losses, and the unforgiving fist of the so-called "free market".

The people need leaders. Lead!

Obama and The Mortgage Crisis

Most people of my age will remember the term "redlining". That referred to a financial practice where banks would not lend money to People of Color. Instead, they took a red pen and drew a line around minority neighborhoods that would be denied loans.

Of course, the banks did not explicitly use the language of racial discrimination. Instead, as usual, the fat cats removed their white hoods and used code words like "bad credit risk" or "people without jobs, credit histories, collateral, or the ability to make a down payment".

Then, in 1977, under the stewardship of President Carter, the Community Reinvestment Act was passed, and all discrimination was outlawed. Banks had to lend money to everyone.

So far, so good.

Or was it?

Actually, a problem remained: Although minorities were getting loans and mortgages, the greedy lenders were getting even richer by collecting interest. But why should bankers get rich off the backs of the working people?

They shouldn't.

And now, those very fat cats are getting theirs. Firings, bankruptcies, layoffs...the entire ruling class is now suffering -- as they richly deserve -- just as Engels predicted.

But the question remains: What is to be done?

Barack Obama has the answer:

"We need some clear and steady leadership and that's why I was ahead of the curve in calling for regulation," he said. "And that's why I'm calling on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to use their emergency authorities to maintain the flow of credit, to support the availability of mortgages and to ensure that our financial system is well capitalized."

More credit. More mortgages. Perfect. Let the money continue to flow from the greedy capitalists to the working people.

Our mission will not be finished until the working people get everything they deserve, for free, and the rich are punished for good.

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Home Values Are Plunging"

In Barack's own words, from the ObamaBlog:

More than 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs since January. Home foreclosures are skyrocketing, and home values are plunging. Gas prices are at an all-time high, and we're still spending more than $10 billion every month on a war in Iraq that should never have been waged.

I agree with Barack that plunging home values are a crisis that must be fixed. It would be far better to have skyrocketing home values so that people will no longer be able to buy fossil fuel-burning homes.

Now, I already know what you are thinking: "But Professor, if you and Barack like high home prices, then how will we achieve our vision of affordable housing?"

My response to such a naive and insensitive question is that I (and Barack!) are under no obligation to entertain such smear-mongering and racially-charged accusations from Christianists who are clearly on the Bush-McCain-Palin-Haliburton-Hitler payroll.

In any event, demolishing half the nation's housing stock would go a long way towards addressing those plunging home values. It's been proven as a highly effective strategy in other countries.

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