Less Art More Rant

You might have seen mails talking about the size of billion dollars or talking about how fast the U.S. Government has been printing or spending money. At this point the monetary policy is out the window as the interest rate is 0% and we are trying to avoid deflation. The mail rants about taxation and talks about how big a billion is. I think we are dumb for not making those billions work for us collectively. Thats my beef. I hope the Governement gets a 3 Trillion budget because it can spend it better than private companies. So this was my retort:

No doubt a Billion is a large number. If you earned money at same rate as the median household income (48,000 per anum) it would take 20,833 years to earn that much money. Or you could look at that as the amount of money a community the size of Elko would earn in a year. There was an estimated 111,162,000 households in the U.S. earning that $48000 a year. Now the next number is really staggering, $5,335,776,000,000. That is what the GDP of the U.S. would be if every single household made $48,000 per year. Now here is a really amazing number. 13,840,000,000,000. That IS the GDP of the United States of America. So by our reconing of large numbers:

13.84 TRILLION Seconds ago the closest human ancestor walking the earth was Homo heidelbergensis.
13.84 TRILLION Minutes ago the earth was nearing the end of Oligocene Epoch, the second major age of Mammals on the earth
13.84 TRILLION Hours ago the Eath did not support life in any form.
13.84 TRILLION Days ago predates the big bang and the start of the universe.

Now since we are talking huge numbers, there is an 8,504,224,000,000 difference in what Americans earning the median household income in America sees (that $48000) vs. our GDP. That means that if every single household in America had the same income it would be $124,503.

Now there has always been a large amount of variance in home incomes. In the 60's CEO's of major Corporations could make as much 30 times the national average wage.
If the same held true today that mean they would pocket after taxes almost $936,000 annually. That still seems like a lot of money to me. Today the multple is closer to 400-500. In 2005, when Carly Fiorina was outsted from Hewlett Packard she was paid $42,000,000 for successfully reducing HP's share price from 76 to 20 dollars, decreasing market capitalization from 190 billion to a svelte 50 billion.

While 5% of the households in America have gotten fat under Bush with the 1.3 Trillion Dollars he gave to them diguised as Tax Cuts, as well as absorbing the entire Positive differential in GDP (that $8.5 Trillion out there). That dramatically increased spending power concentrated into too few hands fueled oil speculation, the rising cost in basic goods, and the housing bubble. The rest of America has struggled along with decreased spending power. This was driving many people to breaking point as the costs of food, fuel and housing skyrocketed during this decade. Rather than give raises to people to afford homes we lowered lending standards, letting people perch precariously over the brink where one illness, one layoff, heck, one missed paycheck could send them over the brink. And surely enough, with decreased medical coverage, massively increased debt, and the loss of countless industries once based in the U.S. (the crucial component in all of America's smart weapons is made in China) we have fallen over the edge.

Now here we are perched on largest reduction of GDP seen since the Great Depression, potentially bigger than 20% this year alone (so long 1.3 Trillion dollar tax cut). We have lost 3 Million Jobs in 6 months, and there isn't an end in sight. It looks horrible, but we face two choices, do nothing and through "Use, Obsolence, and Decay" wait for our economy to return in 20 years as every single car, computer, machine and implement in our homes and remaining businesses wears our, breaks or becomes obsolete and has to be replaced. We can keep the federal and state budgets balanced as we shed even essential jobs and services (Maybe Police are optional? Let's see how well that works when we have 25% unemployment and starving people on the streets). We can watch the bottom fall out and see the benefit of no safety net for tens of millions of Americans. If you have been paying attention you have probably already heard the sound of money sucking out of retirement accounts and pensions, maybe even heard the resounding thud of friends and loved ones losing houses, jobs and businesses. Does this fill you with a strange and perverse glee? Do you have some stake in wanting to watch America and American's fail? Or does it leave with a sickened pit in your stomach and hope that we can turn things around, somehow, and get back to what used to be the norm?

Fortuneately we are doing the right things. Taxes, especially on those earning more than $200,000 a year will increase. We have to get out of Iraq (where we have spent 700 billion rebuilding a resentful nation). We are going to have to spend $3 Trillion at the government level to have any hope of getting things back to normal in five years. But think of it like this. How much value would there be if you didn't have to save for your kids college tuition and you knew that it was taken care of? How much more profitable would your company be if it didn't have to pay the equivalent of 25 to 50% of your salary on health care? How much more money would you have in your pocket if you didn't have to pay for any necessary medical or dental procedure or any prescription drug? How much better off would you be if after working for 10 years in the same job you knew that you could take a 6 month sabbatical and not worry about whether or not you had a job to come back to?

Now let's stop fretting about this stuff. Spending money on roads, schools, internet access, and healthcare can substantively improve the quality of our life. If we don't like paying a myriad of taxes on every individual item we can switch to a VAT on a durable goods and non-food and non-medicine purchases. Stop busting peoples balls (even politicians) for spending what needs to be spent. Instead of being shocked and awed by how fast the government is spending money now realize it needs to start doing it 3 times faster because 25 years of Privatization and Deregulation have failed.

From August of 2007 to June of 2008 home values plummeted from an average cost of 215,000 to 180,00 costing the financial sector $4.5 Trillion Dollars in losses. That means:

Each Month We Lost $450 Billion Dollars or
$15 Billion Dollars every Day which means it took the U.S. Housing Sector

For my friends in India thats 4950 cr.



I have been noticably absent/silent since the Obama inauguration, plenty of work to do, very little I could actually post. I'll try and get some more art up later, this weekend after Art Class it's off to tirupati Temple near Chennai. Should be interesting, I'll post up some pictures shortly!

Back to the U.S. concerns, given the incredible tumult at the end of the Bush I knew Obama was in for a trial by fire. The shear wrongheadedness of the Bush Administration is going to leave American's and the world digging out of a very large, very deep hole for a very long time. Looking at the slopes of employment, investment, the works I think we are in for a complete shake up in the next few years. At a time we need to pull together most the Republicans are at there most batshit insane and we are coming off the death throes of the worst Presidency in the History of the Republic, BAR NONE.

It's a struggle but I am really looking for the bottom of this, and few rays of sunshine to penetrate these clouds. But I think there is a crucial lesson to be learned. Bush era policies are completely bankrupt. New job creation in the U.S. has fallen to NIL over an 8 period, almost every job created during the last few years of the Bush Administration has been wiped out in a matter of months. Think about that, for eight years despite increases in U.S. GDP and Productivity collectively we have nothing to show for it. While China, Brazil and India are rapidly becoming world powers and Japan and the E.U. work to solidify there position we haven't even been treading water.

Fundamentally we are at a breaking point, our capitalistic system has been a natural funnel for channelling wealth from the poorest and most in need, to the wealthiest and least likely to appreciate another average mans yearly income. Our Government held this natural system in check from the 30's to the 80's to the chagrin of the fiscally elite with Progressive Taxation and the empowerment to put the Capitalists of the country to work in service to the Nation. Kennedy stirred the nation with speeches of asking not what the Country could do for you and in General we obliged. It worked for everyone.

The Neo Cons changed all of that and with it changed the age and poisoned the well of faith in our Country and it's ability to do what is right for most of it's people. Now we have Wall Street Bankers paying out billions in bonuses on the backs of the bruised, beaten taxpayers. Meanwhile in the Senate, their Republican Cronies are fighting for permanent Tax Cuts and demolishing the worth of the Stimulus package with more worthless tax handouts. I for one, am finding this state of affairs sickening.

First of all, Obama has a MANDATE, the Democrats need to get shit done and they need to write off the Republicans as an irretreviable obstactle to the progress we so desperately need to make. They need to start playing hardball while they can and inform the constituents of their States, many of whom are finding it tougher everyday to keep food on the table, that the Republicans think it is better to do NOTHING. That they find it acceptable to let poor people who had jobs only month's ago starve, even as they get fat in the midst of catastrophe. The Democrats need to resurrect the spirit of Tip O'Neil and give the Senate Republicans the curb stomping they so richly deserve.

Maybe once the Republicans realize they don't have any politcal capital to barter with we can finally get some Justice.