Main Street Dictionary

Posted in Bailout, Business, Current News, dictionary, Economy, In The News with tags , , , on October 7, 2008 by Eli

EXECU-CON: A conman who worked his way up the ranks and has a key to the executive bathroom

CORPO-CON: A corporation where an Execucon works but has no recollection of anything he does

DEMI-CON: An Execucon assistant and document shredder

POLITI-CON: An Execucon elected or appointed to office while still working for Corpocon

MARKET CORRECTION: Stealing our money and not serving time in a correctional facility

BAILOUT: A shovel used to dig up rotten Corpocons and dump the manure on our heads

BAIL-A-LOT: Same as ‘Bailout’ but with a much bigger shovel

Congressional Subpoena: A reminder from Politicons to Execucons to hand over some of the loot

FEDERAL RESERVE: Transfers money from ordinary people to Corpocons without reservations

DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY: A collection agency charging us for things we don’t want, can’t afford, or even have anymore.

CONGRESS: The paradox of PROGRESS, (also) ‘Lower House’ (very low indeed)

 

SENATE: A comfortable retirement home/clubhouse for the ruling class

LEGISLATIVE RECESS: A hotel room and a $1000 an hour Hooker

 

By Eli J. Fleischer

 

 

Economic Fix

Posted in Bailout, Business, Economy on February 23, 2009 by Eli

Fix-It

Wer’e Baaaaack….!

Posted in Bailout, Business, Current News, Economy, In The News, Tech, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 22, 2009 by Eli

'We're Baaaaaaaaack...!

We are back, and we want more! That’s what ‘GM’ stands for: “Gimme Mo’ 

The AIG Syndrome

Posted in Bailout, Business, Current News, Economy, In The News with tags , , , on October 12, 2008 by Eli
The AIG syndrome

The AIG syndrome

Posted in Bailout, Business, Current News, Economy with tags on October 12, 2008 by Eli

Global Economy
Global Economy

The Progress Backwards

Posted in Tech with tags , on October 10, 2008 by Eli

I am sitting at my computer, googeling for a wood or coal burning stove on the Internet, and it struck me: here I am, using microchips and fiber optics, satellites in orbit are busy bouncing my keystrokes back to earth, while I’m shopping for… an 18th century appliance to heat my home.

I pickup my wireless phone and call a stove dealer; He is all out of stoves until early next year, and prices have gone up in response to heavy demand, as it is written in the book of ‘supply and demand’.

I contemplate my navel. My car needs gas, so I stop at the corner station. $76 dollars later, I see a well dressed man with a leather briefcase bicycling to the train station. The bicycle is made in China, where they know all about bicycles. The Chinese are buying cars now, and shipping their bicycles to us. I guess they don’t need them anymore, and we do. I read about scooters selling out in the west coast.

Scenes from Mad Max come to mind. I expect to see a car pulled by a horse, and wonder if the GPS  will still work, but then I reason that it won’t matter, since a good horse knows the way.

I open my tax  bill. School taxes have gone up, again, but my son still doesn’t know the multiplication table; Can I get a refund? As soon as I make a dollar, someone wants a share, even when it’s worth less and less. I plan for retirement, but the rules change as soon as I can see the possibility;

So we continue working long hours, feeling insecure about everything. It’s one step forward, and three steps back, and we are told that we are making great progress. Really? When I was young, watching The Jetsons on TV, I was sure that by the end of the twentieth century we will be flying our personal jet-cars, instead of looking for wood burning stove to heat my house. Then, only a generation or two ago, to be middle class required only one income, and mother was home when we finished the school day. My wife’s family were typical; The father owned a small dry cleaning store, owned a home,  bought a car every few years, raised three children, and mother was at home. Heating oil was 30 cents a gallon, gasoline, 35 cents, diesel was 12 cents and subway fare 20 cents, we drilled for a nuclear attack by going under the desk and sticking our buts in the air, and a wood fire in the fireplace was for ambiance, not heat. Oh, taxes were a few hundred dollars, and kids knew how to read and multiply.

Appliances were made in the US and lasted forever, banks gave you toasters and TV’s, gas stations washed your windshield and gave trinkets just for coming. Then we started really moving forward on progress; 400 channels on TV and nothing to watch, 24 hour news that tells you nothing but opinions, microwave ovens to heat your frozen dinner because mom is now working too. Other things changed;  The meaning of ‘Imported’ to ‘made by cheap labor faraway’, ‘long lasting’ to ‘disposable’, ‘cure’ to ‘daily dose’, ‘health care to expensive ‘no  care’, marriage to ‘anything goes’, ‘faith’ to ‘multiculturalism’, an operator on the phone to ‘press 1 for English’, ‘call’ to ‘text me’, and so much more progress, much of it made possible  when Al Gore ‘invented’ the Internet, and later his ‘Carbon Offset Credits’, which makes us and him feel so much better about all this progress.

Am I the only one feeling that we are sliding backwards?

We seem to be hell bent on becoming a third world country, with low wages, a crushed middle class, a dysfunctional political system, service based economy, and dependence on others for products and energy. What is happening to us? I would really like to know. It may make me feel better when I chop wood in the snow this winter, or shovel coal into the stove.  

Giddy up home, horsey. 

The Wall Street Casino

Posted in Business, Uncategorized with tags , on October 9, 2008 by Eli

They lined up by a podium in their executype pinstripe suits, and we watched them tell us what they have done to save us.

I thought their pin stripes should be much wider, with a number imprinted on the front; those were the ‘execu-cons’ who just robbed us blind. Like most boomers growing up in the post war years of relative prosperity, we only heard about the Great Depression from someone much older who lived thru those terrible years. We were told that reforms and safeguards and regulations were put in place and such disasters will not happen again; our leaders are keeping us safe, so sleep well and prosper.

But the older folks never regained trust in banks and stock brokers, and we, the youngsters, chuckled at their fears from so long ago. How can you live without an ATM card or on-line banking, grandma?

Every decade has its financial shenanigans, and just like a virus, they appear in new and more potent forms, infecting more victims than the ones before. Those who are elected or put in charge of safeguarding us from such attacks on our future, our homes, and our hard earned, and often meager savings, seem to be more concerned with the well being of the virus than the health of the victims. After all, they have been with us since Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden…One may argue that this is the world’s oldest ‘profession’.

Until 1971, anyone who had a dollar in their pocket had a piece of gold at Fort Knox; the dollar was the undisputed monetary king around the world: you could print only as many dollars as there was gold to back them up. The price of gold was fixed at about $35.

Our wise leaders changed the rules in 1971, repealing the gold standard and moving to a “flat currency” system, or just paper money, maybe because it was easier to print more… the first whiff of ‘free market’ rose in the air, and soon, less and less was really free. We were told it will be better for us, although the aroma was alarming.

By December 1980, gold rose to $850, and chain snatching in the subways and malls became a new sport for street gangs, those not wearing pinstriped suits; The execu-cons in their empty suits were much above street level thievery, gazing down from their corner offices and penthouses, dreaming up new ‘investment instruments’ to sucker us on a really grand scale.

By 1990, wholesale layoffs on a level not seen since the Great Depression changed the working landscape:

Job security, and jobs for life, was a thing of the past, and a new trend emerged: the per diem ‘consultants’, working without benefits, women replacing men at lower wages, and the ‘stay at home dad’. But we were assured by our esteemed leaders that this was all good for us, and for the future of our children, so we went to sleep, worked hard, and didn’t prosper, willing to bear for our children’s future.

We look up at our Senators and Congressmen, and see privileged, wealthy men and women, some worth hundreds of millions each; how can they understand us? Or care? Aren’t they a part of the problem? Do they worry about the price of milk? the cost of health insurance (which they get the very best of for free)?     

When did we create such a ruling class? And why are they so wealthy? Why do we keep electing them?

Can they be fired for incompetence, or do they have a job security for life, something the rest of us don’t? We are sailing in troubled waters in the dark of night, and when we hit the iceberg, the captain and crew take the lifeboat and bail out, leaving us on the sinking deck.

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