Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What Makes the World Go Round...

I have paid way to many damn parking tickets in this town. I swear. There ought to be a statue of me standing in front of a parking sign with my shoulders shrugged and my eyes squinting as I try to figure it out. They can cast it from my melted down car. Between insurance, tickets, gas and the need for a new transmission, I am going broke like every other American I know. You can keep the car San Francisco. I am going back to Muni. Oh sure, it's completely unreliable, there is a good chance of catching some communicable disease and you have to wait outside in the cold for it. But it's cheap. Cheaper than loosing that game of parking late at night and not thinking of what day of the week it will be tomorrow.
Now that our economy is tanking and there is all this talk of helping people out, I have an idea. Tax amnesty.
The U.S. Government can't account now for 30 Billion dollars that was shipped to Iraq. First it was a few million that went missing. Then there was the 12 Billion they actually sent in one hundred dollar bills. They wrapped them in plastic and placed them on shipping pallets, loaded the money into the back of a C-130 and by the time the plane was unloaded and ready to take off again, that money was being distributed in Iraq. No receipts, no paper work, no accountability. 12 Billion gone one day, another one Billion someone lost track of and a new grand total now of 30 Billion the general accounting office says has been sent to Iraq, we just don't know who got it.
This is the same Government that tells me I owe $2,000 more from 2006. The same government that is working on an economic stimulus plan to help the poor and middle class just kicked me in the balls.
Why do I owe the IRS $2,000 more dollars from my 2006 tax return? Even my tax accountant says I have to pay it because I failed to send in all my w-2's. Sorry. Somewhere during the half dozen moves that year, a very emotional break-up, therapy and pursuing what everyone likes to call "my dream" I lost track of things. It's no 12 Billion worth of sloppy paper work, but I would think you would be willing to cut me some slack because I am exactly the type of person you say your about to help out with tax relief. Well, give me some fucking tax relief!
I know it sounds ridiculous that I'm complaining about two grand. But this is exactly the type of thing politicians don't seem to get. You guys ship off Billions of dollars to Iraq for a war of choice and now you want to sweat the little guy for what, the cost of two machine guns? Thats going to tip the balance. I hope my name is on one of them. "This gun paid for by Joe Klocek's lack of record keeping. Enjoy."
Between parking tickets and the IRS, I can't afford to live!
Does anyone in the business of Government get this? From where I'm standing, were all living bellow the poverty line.
You get a tax break if you have kids.
You can write off tuition.
You can claim deductions for almost anything.
I am a single male with no dependants, no health insurance and I make people laugh for a living. That has to be worth something. Where is my write off for being a guy that makes people forget their problems for a while?

People are worried about on line child predators. We had more to fear from our toys in the 1970's than anything else. Shrinky Dinks. Anyone remember them? Essentially it was putting several pieces of plastic in your oven to shrink them. Yeah. Thats right. Putting plastic in a oven! That was considered a safe toy back then. Were worried about toys from china painted with lead? We put plastic in ovens! It's a miracle I'm alive.
How about a tax break for living threw the 70's? I have a bad feeling were all about to go through it again.
I remember when OPEC raised the price of oil so much, that gas stations had to ration gas. There was even a system for determining if you could get gas. If the first number on your license plate was even, there were specific days you could go to the station. Well, the Government can pass any type of economic help policy it wants, but if the price of oil keeps going up, were all still fucked. Bush went to Saudi Arabia recently. It was his first ever visit to the Kingdom. You want a sign from God how it went? First of all, the temperature dropped into the low 40's and even snow fell on parts of Saudi Arabia for the first time in 40 years. A U.S. President visits and a freak cold snap happens at the same time.
The Prez, basically went with hat in hand asking for the oil prices to be lowered. The reply, nope.
Soon as he left, the country once again returned to normal weather.

I keep trying to learn how everything fits together. The world of money is interesting to me. In a weird sort of way, money has tied the world together in a way no peace maker ever has. But it's not a good relationship for everyone. When the Fed cut a percentage rate by a quarter of a point, the stock exchange in India rebounded. Our government makes a small cut and a country half a world away rallies.
The housing crisis is really a credit problem. Banks gave people money to buy homes. The amount of interest they had to pay on those loans was ties to the whims of the market. When the bottom fell out, the cost of lending and borrowing money went up. Not to mention all the people who could no longer afford to keep their homes. Remember, we haven't seen this many people loose their homes to banks since the great depression. So it's bad. CitiCorp, one of the biggest financial companies there is announced it lost 10 Billion dollars in one 3 month quarter.
As the dollar looses value, the euro is on the rise. For foreign investors holding dollars, it is a lot wiser for them to buy euros. Problem is, this sets up a downward spiral. The actual value of a dollar buys less at exactly the time when the price of key products like oil, are on the rise.
As oil prices rise, the cost to ship products also rises. This gets passed on to you and me as higher prices. So we spend less. Less money floating in the economy means the economy slows down. When that happens, it has a ripple effect across the planet.
Since were buying less, orders to factories drop off. People get laid off. It is a down ward spiral that were all stuck in.
So here is my idea.
It's a little radical and slightly odd, but hear me out.
First, we get rid of credit. More on that latter.
Next, we assign a universal value to products that sustain individual life. Things like heating and cooking oil get a fixed price kept low by the Government. You think this sounds like Communism? Do you realize that the U.S. pays big farming companies not to grow certain crops? It's call a subsidy. We also give tax dollars to oil companies in the form of subsides.
I could use one. I bet you could too.
We put a stop to that shit right a way. No more of our money being pooled and given to companies that are already making a killing off of us anyway.
So things like bread, heat, water and oil all get a fixed price so everyone can afford to live.
Here is why we get rid of credit cards.
IT IS A SCAM! The second you buy anything with credit, you have to consider how long it will take you to pay that off. If you keep a large balance on your credit cards as most Americans do, anything purchased is actually costing you about four times what you bought it for. It is easy to loose the value of money when your not actually holding money. Thats why I say we go back to only having cash.
But lets make it easy to have cash. It would be difficult to pay for a large item like a car with a lot of money. A stack of five dollar bills that adds up to ten thousand dollars weighs a lot. Inflation, recession, depreciation also changes the value of our currency. To encourage people to have cash and to spend it at a time when the economy needs it, we make all money out of Shrinky dinks!
Think about it. When the value of a dollar falls and you need to have more cash in your pockets, we make that easier by shrinking the physical money! Eventually, how ever low the value of the dollar goes, all that shrunken money will kick start the economy going in the right direction again. Plastic is a petroleum product. So we will still be doing business with Saudi Arabia. That should make them happy, were happy and all I can do now is wait for my Nobel Peace prize in economics to show up in the mail.

1 comment:

Dean said...

Fuck... and Bernanke took over for Greenspan instead of you? Travesty, man, a goddamn travesty...