Beyond Tea-Party Somnambulism!

Posts tagged ‘small business’

And WE’RE the Anti-America Crowd?

Just when we all thought that the far right could do nothing more to expose their ignorance and hatred for Obama, we find that the Tea Party has surprised us again!  What is so unbelievable is that the Tea Party likes to characterize Obama, Democrats and those of us with Progressive views, as “socialists, anarchists, anti-American scum, bent on the downfall of  ‘merica.”

"Bring down the country so we can bring down the President!"

Last week, Tea Party activist Melissa Brookstone, writing on the Tea Party Nation website, called for a “national strike” by small businesses. And, what is the goal of the strike? To call on Congress to come together and stop bickering?  NOOOOO!  To demand that Middle Class Americans get help to refinance their “underwater” mortgages?  NOOOOO!  Ok…how about to stop cutting programs that provide medical services and school lunches to our millions of hungry and uninsured children?  HELL, NOOOOOO!

Brookstone’s ‘strike’ calls for America’s small businesses to stop all hiring (yes, you read that right: STOP, not START) while Obama and the “Democrats-Socialists” who control the Senate stop leading this country into chaos. Specifically, Brookstone rallied her troops with:

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

I hereby declare that my job creation potential is now ceased.   “I’m on strike!”

Well now…that’s one way of helping to bring around the demise of capitalism and economic growth in the country. But, considering that there are some wily, cunning and creative (best positives I could come up with) people on the far right, you’d think that they could have come up with something a little more helpful to the cause of capitalism, individual freedom, democracy…and the American way of life!

If I had been in Brookstone’s shoes, I would have attacked this problem of “Global Socialist Decay” in an entirely different way. If the Tea Party and the far right REALLY wanted to show Obama and the Democrats/Socialists ‘what for’, they should have done the following:

1.  INVEST in their business by hiring and expanding;

2.  INVEST in their business by providing their workers with the benefits that the Government has been forced to provide;

3.  INVEST in America by bringing back jobs from overseas and putting their neighbors back to work;

4.  INVEST in the message, “We believe in America and the American way of life, so we are going to show those Socialist Pigs the right way to get this country back on track, by hiring, expanding, providing competitive wages and benefits to our employees, which, in turn, will foster loyalty, improve production and make their lives richer and more secure. THAT’S how we’ll get back at those anti-American, protesting, living-off-the-dole socialist, commie-pinko-fags!”

Now, call me naive and a hopeless optimist, but wouldn’t these actions show the positive sides of laissez-faire capitalism, democracy and the American way of life?  My Mom always told my brother and I, “Don’t get mad…GET EVEN!”  It seems to me that Brookstone is VERY, VERY mad! Unfortunately, the only ones that will have a chance to “get even”, with her approach, will be those ‘Democrats-Socialists’ when election day, 2012, rolls around; people will have seen no improvement in the jobs outlook, thanks to Brookstone’s “strike on hiring” and now that she has put such an idea in writing, those same people will be able to point to her philosophy on economic growth and say, with the flick of their finger, “FOUR MORE YEARS…FOUR MORE YEARS!!!”

11 Facts You Need to Know About the Nation’s Biggest Banks

I usually don’t repost articles from the internet, preferring to rant and rage with my own words!  However, I thought this article, posted by the website, Truthout.org, was so important for you to see, that I’m posting here:

The Occupy Wall Street protest that began in New York City more than three weeks ago have now spread across the county (see http://www.Occupy. The choice of Wall Street as the focal point for the protests — as even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said — makes sense due to the big bank malfeasance that led to the Great Recession.

While the Dodd-Frank financial reform law did a lot to ensure that a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis won’t occur — through regulation of derivatives, a new consumer protection agency, and new powers for the government to dismantle failing banks — the biggest banks still have a firm grip on the financial system, even more so than before the 2008 financial crisis. Here are eleven facts that you need to know about the nation’s biggest banks:

– Bank profits are highest since before the recession…: According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., bank profits in the first quarter of this year were “the best for the industry since the $36.8 billion earned in the second quarter of 2007.” JP Morgan Chase is currently pulling in record profits.

– …even as the banks plan thousands of layoffs: Banks, including Bank of AmericaBarclaysGoldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse, are planning to lay off tens of thousands of workers.

– Banks make nearly one-third of total corporate profits: The financial sector accounts for about 30 percent of total corporate profits, which is actually down from before the financial crisis, when they made closer to 40 percent.

– Since 2008, the biggest banks have gotten bigger: Due to the failure of small competitors and mergers facilitated during the 2008 crisis, the nation’s biggest banks — including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo — are now bigger than they were, pre-recession! Pre-crisis, the four biggest banks held 32 percent of total deposits; now they hold nearly 40 percent.

– The four biggest banks issue 50 percent of mortgages and 66 percent of credit cards: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup issue one out of every two mortgages and nearly two out of every three credit cards in America.

– The 10 biggest banks hold 60 percent of bank assets: In the 1980s, the 10 biggest banks controlled 22 percent of total bank assets. Today, they control 60 percent

– The six biggest banks hold assets equal to 63 percent of the country’s GDP: In 1995, the six biggest banks in the country held assets equal to about 17 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Now their assets equal 63 percent of GDP.

– The five biggest banks hold 95 percent of derivatives: Nearly the entire market in derivatives — the credit instruments that helped blow up some of the nation’s biggest banks as well as mega-insurer AIG — is dominated by just 5 firms: JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo.

– Banks cost households nearly $20 trillion in wealth: Almost $20 trillion in wealth was destroyed by the Recession, and total family wealth is still down “$12.8 trillion (in 2011 dollars) from June 2007 — its last peak.”

– Big banks don’t lend to small businesses: The New Rules Project notes that the country’s 20 biggest banks “devote only 18 percent of their commercial loan portfolios to small businesses.”

– Big banks paid 5,000 bonuses of at least $1 million in 2008: According to the New York Attorney General’s office, “nine of the financial firms that were among the largest recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than a million dollars apiece for 2008.”

In the last few decades, regulations on the biggest banks have been systematically eliminated, while those banks engineered more and more ways to both rip off customers and turn ever-more complex trading instruments into ever-higher profits. It makes perfect sense, then, that a movement calling for an economy that works for everyone would center its efforts on an industry that exemplifies the opposite.

Originally published on ThinkProgress

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