Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy My Couch (armchair economics)

Maybe I'm jaded, but I don't see how 50-100 people sleeping outside in Downtown Seattle will have any impact on anything except keep people from journeying downtown.  I do give them some serious props for holding their rally in October - especially considering the damp fall day we're having.

I've seen some interviews on national media and periodically there's an articulate person who is able to explain the purpose of the occupation. Mostly, to me anyway, it seems like bored college kids who are happy to be involved.

The people do need to rise up and express our outrage - but at what exactly?  This dismal recession and lack of jobs?  Yes, our economy blows (not an economics major, cut me some slack) but I do believe that the growth we were seeing in the early 2000's was out of control and obviously not sustainable.  Some people are still getting rich while others are struggling.   The struggle is awful and I don't have a point of reference - even when I was unemployed for 5 months I was fine.  I had options, reasonable rent and no kids to feed or insure.  

What I'm most outraged about it my naive belief that our government works.  I feel like a fool for continuing to make thoughtful decisions about whom to vote for only to have the folks that are sent to Washington do nothing but spin.  Votes are delayed, influenced by re-election desires and what might make someone else look bad.  The President's jobs bill was to be voted on in the Senate today and before it even hit the floor I was sure that it wouldn't pass. The fact that the votes are entirely on party lines tells me that the defeat isn't about the right thing, it's about the "not HIS thing".    Raising taxes is not a popular idea, and I don't know if it is the right thing to do or not do, but I want to stand on top of my house and scream  "JUST DO SOMETHING!"  

Cut everything - including defense spending.  Give every Senator, Congressman, Secretary, assistant and janitor  who works for the Legislative branch a common salary, heck let's give them all the salary that a teacher with 15 years of experience gets paid in the state of Washington $60,242 plus benefits.  They can get a bump to $62,917 if they get their PhD.   The districts & states that these good folk represent can budget $1500 per month travel monies, and a reasonable budget for office expenses, say $5k per month.   (Now, please don't all over me because you think I'm suggesting that the VALUE of a teacher is the same as a US Congressman - I surely don't think that.  Teachers are far more valuable...duh).

The other thing that pisses me off is how taxes are managed and talked about.  Everyone should pay the same amount, a flat percentage based on income (including alternate equity for those tricky executives.)  The girl behind the counter at McDonald's should pay the same percentage of her pay as the CEO of Bank of America.   Sure there are arguments against that such as the rich can afford to pay more, alternatively by not letting folks write off their charitable donations or mortgage interest then people won't make donations or buy houses - but I think that's crap. I didn't buy a home for the tax write off, I don't donate to the charities of my choice because of the impact to my taxes, it's about need and humanity.  It seems that in the American dialog about taxes the idea of eliminating a tax cut is talked about as an increase in taxes.  Um... no.  If something costs $10 and it goes on sale for $8, when it stops being on sale the price is still $10.  I can see how, since these tax 'cuts' have been in place for ages that it seems like they are permanent, but if they were intended to be permanent, wouldn't the excellent legislators have made them permanent.  (Bwahahahahaha - foolish girl no, they don't have the balls for that.) 

Oh I could go on and on with my armchair economics.  Don't get me started on the highway robbery that is Estate taxes.  We got our cut of that money once - we shouldn't get a second crack at it because Daddy died.

I have to stop typing and go play on the floor with my baby.  It calms me down, much in the same way an animal is good for old people.  I guess that is why new Presidents always seem to get a pet.  "Here, you run this shitty operation, but in return we'll give you this cute puppy."  (Calvin Coolige had a goose, but an animal that does nothing but squawk, attack and poop seems Presidential to me in the modern day.) 

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