Sunday, March 29, 2009

Outrage!! Not In My Name

I can't seem to escape that word these days. It starts with the letter o, and ends with the letter e. In case you just returned to planet earth from a distant galaxy, it's "Outrage." Merriam-Webster defines it as "An act that violates standards of behavior." We can't seem to get a break from politicians being outraged, the press-core being outraged and private interest groups being outraged over AIG bonuses, General Motors bailout fiasco, Bernard Madoff, the financial wizardry of Wall Street and the increasing failure of "Capitalism."

Bernard Madoff and his Ponzi Buddies did not steal enough money. They should have stolen a trillion dollars and then some. When the "ten-percenters" allow the two-man council to run everything then that's the price they should pay.

During the go-go good old days when the economic mafia, the academic mafia, the political mafia and of course the media mafia and their pundits enjoyed the spoils that membership in the 10% ownership club of American conferred on them, there was no outrage to be had. But now that mathematical magic brought down the house of cards created on Wall Street, it seems that everyone and their grandma is outraged in the name of the ordinary taxpayer. Well, I'm tired of the ten-percenters being outraged in my name.

Now that AIG and so many other firms are partially owned by the federal government, one would think that fair hiring practices would be put in place. These practices would ensure that those who are otherwise locked out from these lucrative jobs will now have a fair chance to participate in the selected club when the economy recovers, but no. The Federal Government and its ineptitude, lacked the gravitas to secure board representation on AIG's Board of Directors. This means that the same people who caused this financial calamity will continue to reap the benefits in good and bad times at our expense.

Sometimes during financial transactions, stocks are bought on "margin." This means that stocks are purchased on loans from brokers to be repaid at predetermined intervals or when these stocks are sold at a profit. "Margin Call" means that a stock broker requires a client to bring a margin account up to a certain level by depositing more money into that account. Like margin buys and calls, the consent to govern in a Democratic society is marginal. i.e., we the citizen-politic decides how we want to be governed and to what extent.

Although the economic mafia, the academic mafia and the communication mafia (Media) govern from the Divine Right of Kings playbook, that governance is marginal. I see no reason why millions of New Yorkers are not in the streets of lower Manhattan peacefully "calling" the manner in which we have been governed into question until things change. The Bretton-Woods style of capitalism is only working for 10% of the population.

The remaining 90% are left empty-handed no matter how diligent they toil. This is feudalism all over again. It's time for the body-politic to place that "Margin Call." The body politic in past times rejected feudalism and it also rejected slavery. Why is Capitalism allowed to stand when only 10% of citizens benefit, while 90% are left in the cold? When will we gather the courage and strength to place that "Margin Call on the Capitalism?"

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