Tag Archives: business

Getting had by Indians – taking the long view

homeland security2

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Europeans thought they were getting a fairly good deal when the Indians snookered them into paying a bunch of beads and mirrors for Manhattan.  As historian John Wayne once pointed out, “The Indians were selfishly hoarding the whole continent.”  They were in a position to demand unreasonable prices for real estate. 

Later on they demanded even higher prices for the land east of the Mississippi River and so on, always pretending they didn’t want to sell.  Cheating white men and the government every time they turned around.  The Black Hills.  The Rocky Mountains.  Florida.  Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington.  New Mexico, Arizona, Texas.  Those aboriginals were shrewd businessmen, turning white people every way but loose.  Nevada.  Utah. Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, wheeling and dealing every step of the way.

Worse than a bunch of Chinamen.  Those Indians were taking the long view.  What they wanted was casinos.  Tricking white men into giving them choice spots along the highways where they could open up gambling joints.  Trinket shops.  Clay pots. 

And they got it, too.  They still have some nice real estate up in the Dakotas, down in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and other places.  And some of that land has oil, coal, natural gas and other things white people need to fire up the hair dryers, air conditioners and clothes dryers mornings. 

It’s time for white people to realize we’ve been had.  There are plenty of big power companies, mining companies, real estate developers and other white people who’d love to have that land if they could get it for a reasonable price.  Pay for it in slot machine tokens, maybe, or table chips. 

Time to cut off all that free health care and commodity cheese, break up those reservations right down to the pavement on the casino parking lots.  It’s time for white people to quit getting had by Indians.  Those corporations would gladly keep them from selfishly hoarding all the stuff nobody knew was there when the original deals were made to let them stay on that land.

And after all, we’re all Native Americans now.  If we’re not, what the hell are we?

When the Mexicans were selfishly hoarding the whole southwest US we had to shoot a lot of them before they’d give us a reasonable price.  How the hell are we going to stop all those illegal aliens from Mexico  sneaking into the land we took away from them if we keep getting had by other Native Americans?

We need to send some tanks and drones and helicopters to take care of our problems right here at home before we go off to places like Iraq and Afghanistan.  There’s nothing on those reservations and in those casinos a few thousand mercenaries and enough explosives won’t cure.

The Visionary President Ronald Reagan wanted to give all the National Forests, National Parks and Bureau of Land Management lands to the real estate developers, mining and oil companies.  But he didn’t go far enough and it serves him right he’s remembered as a failed lunatic.  He had the Army and he had maps of the US.  If he didn’t know where the reservations were he could have asked the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  White people could have finally gotten a good deal on something.

Old Jules

Boom-Towning the US – Economic One-Upsmanship by Texasizing

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

When the neighbor from up the hill described a business boom going on around Edinburg, Texas, [his previous home] the other evening it got me wondering why.  According to him, the entire Texas coastline is a beehive of manufacturing concerns, either operating, or under construction.  Even a Chinese owned gigantic steel plant.

After considering why this might be for a couple of days I concluded there’s a middling chance the Texas tax structure’s probably a major piece of it.  Texas doesn’t have a State Income Tax.  It relies almost entirely on sales taxes and property taxes for revenues.

That mightn’t sound too important at first notice.  But consider the implications more closely. 

  • First, workers employed in Texas can enjoy a higher take-home pay than those employed in states where income taxes are the revenue source.  This allows employers to pay the employees less than they’d have to do elsewhere.  Workers pay more when they spend their checks on consumer goods, but it doesn’t come out on profit and loss statements of the companies paying them.
  • Secondly,  CEOs, plant managers, high-ranking professionals living within the State, but who enjoy salaries high enough for investments of their incomes pay taxes only on their property holdings and consumer purchases.  Same as the legion of minimum-wage workers they employ.
  • Thirdly, all the nearby suppliers of raw materials, parts and labor for the industries enjoy the same tax-free status and are almost certainly able to offer their products and services more cheaply than they could do located in areas where State Income Tax exists.

For states with stagnant economies, especially those with coastal port facilities, but not limited to those, seems to me the answer might be to take a page from the Texas book.  The most immediate and obvious answer would be eliminating state income taxes and making it up in sales and property taxes.  But that would take a while.  Meanwhile, Texas booms and everyone else continues to lose jobs.

Naturally each situation would require site-specific solutions for immediate competition with Texas for new industries.  But several options come to mind:

  • Locate your port facilities here and we’ll do whatever’s needed to make absolutely certain your construction costs are lower than they’d be in Texas.  Whatever corners Texan regulators would allow you to cut in construction, environmental and safety standards, our regulators will allow more.
  • We’ll reduce our spending on our State vehicle fleets by putting a moratorium on buying any new vehicles for five years.  That money will be delivered in suitcases full of un-marked $100 bills to the people charged with the decision for your location.
  • We’ll make special interim provisions in our income-tax laws exempting dividends to stockholders, CEO and other high ranking professional employees from our State Income Tax.
  • We’ll lower our minimum wage to lower-level employees to the Texas minimum wage, minus the amount of the State Income Tax.  That will allow you to hire minimum wage-earning workers at the same rate it would cost you if you’d located in Texas.
  • We’ll overlook any hiring of illegal aliens you might do involving jobs good Americans don’t want.  Outdoors, heavy-lifting, that sort of thing.
  • We’ll provide lists of the names and families of all your high-ranking employees to all law enforcement agencies and prosecutors and provide a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card for each family member.  If you, or family members are busted for illegal drug possession we’ll make certain the arresting officers are suspended or otherwise punished.  Your executive employees will enjoy the same privileges in that regard as any State, local, or Federal politician.
  • If your executives are non-white, non-Anglo, non-protestant they’ll never overhear themselves referred to at the country club as Chinks, slopeheads, zipperheads, Mescins, mackeral-snappers, ragheads, camel jockeys, or sand niggers, as they certainly would in Texas.

Naturally they’d have to develop other business-friendly encouragements over time, but those would, at least open the door for a beginning.

Old Jules

 

Occupy the Great American Success Story

I had a friend for a few years who lived everything the American Dream used to think it was.  He was working for a steel fabrication company in Silver City, New Mexico during the 1970s doing grunt labor, but thinking.  He saw around him some flaws in the ways the process sequences were performed, believed he could advance in the company by suggesting improvements.

Marsh, I’ll call him, went home nights and worked in his garage inventing a tubing bender far more efficient than the one used where he worked.  After it was complete, he took it to the company, expecting praise and rewards.  They shrugged, brushed him off and kept him busier at work.

So Marsh applied for a patent, began manufacturing his bender in his garage.  He couldn’t keep up with the orders, so he quit his job and expanded, meanwhile inventing other improvements on what he’d seen, manufacturing and selling those, also, becoming a surprisingly wealthy man within a decade or so.

His business flourished, his children matured, and one of his sons started another business, inventing, patenting, marketing.  His son became wealthier than Marsh, far more rapidly.  The son, carefully examining his conscience and human needs, his business thriving, spent a million dollars and several months in Afghanistan during the early 2000s building housing, providing shelter for those left homeless by the wars there.

But during those same years Marsh began seeing his patented designs showing up in Harbor Freight and other Chinese import outlets priced lower than he could manufacture them.  His patents were being violated and the US government was allowing those violations to be imported with impunity.  During a Republican administration.  His own inventions competing with him in stores all over the US.

Marsh was outraged and gradually the business he’d built was being destroyed by theft with the complicity of the US government.

Marsh listened to daytime talk radio a lot during those years.  He got daily doses of opinion telling him the source of his problems, and those problems were caused, he allowed himself to be persuaded, by liberals in politics.  When the Tea Party emerged, he attended meetings and demonstrations hoping to bring about political change, hoping somehow to save his business, his livelihood.  Furious, frantic, determined, certain now, this president, this administration was out to destroy him.

Last I heard, it was doing so.  His business was declining to such an extent he was being forced to lay off longtime employees vital to continued operation.

All the years I knew him Marsh was an honorable, honest, solid, hard-working man, dedicated to the betterment of himself, his employees, his country and humanity. 

But somehow he missed the point, maybe because he was standing too close to the problem.  Maybe because he was holding to a dream of how things are that no longer was.

Marsh, to this outsider looking in, was destroyed by a government comprised of the illusion  of two parties.  Both were bought-and-paid-for by people bigger than Marsh.  Neither of those parties cared what happened to Marsh, to his family and employees, to the dream, the innovation, the drive, the ideal he represented.

Marsh was betrayed by the people who own the talk-radio host he listens to, who own the Tea-Party, who own every facet of this country where the decisions are made as to whether US citizens work, prosper and are rewarded for their labors rather than being merely consumers of foreign products.

Marsh didn’t belong in the Tea Party.  He belonged in Occupy Wall Street.

Old Jules

A Delicate Balance

This is a confusing situation.  First I consulted my feline advisers about it, which didn’t help much.

Mr. Hydrox did, however, point out that the chickens, coons, possums and deer want to be like cats, coming onto the porch eating cat food, which gave me pause.  But then I discussed it with the Great Speckled Bird, who pointed his spurs of blame in the direction of the deer and the coons, mainly.

You’re constantly having to run them out of the chicken feed you put out for us.  Those deer aren’t even scared of you, but it’s fun watching you trying to chase them off throwing rocks, cussing and waving your arms around.  Damned deer want to be like us chickens.”

The deer were next in line for consultation.  That’s more difficult because they don’t speak proper English.  But a young buck assured me it was the feral swine causing the problem.  “Squeeee deer are just hungry.  Squeee don’t meannnnn no harm ner try busting things up.  Most of ussss.  It’s them damned wild hawggggs doing that.  They want to beeeeee like us deer.  Copycat bastards.”

What I was trying to figure out was why ‘we’ US citizens want the rest of the world to be like us.

At least, we want them to want to be like us

Time was not so long ago when the US cared so little about whether the rest of the world wanted to be like us, or not, the thought would have never entered their heads yea or nay.  Prior to WWII most US citizens wanted nothing more than to go about their own affairs and be left strictly out of the troubles spilling blood all over the planet.  What the rest of the world did was the business of the rest of the world.

 Earlier, during the Civil War, when the UK was trying to decide whether to join the French in the invasion of Mexico, the Prime Minister was saying a lot of things to Queen Victoria about the leadership of the country (Abraham Lincoln), the reasons for the war, the conduct of the war, that Americans would have found painful to hear if they hadn’t been too busy killing one another to pay attention.

 But they’d have found those remarks between the PM and the Queen painful because they contained so much truth. Not because they cared a damn what the leaders of the UK thought about the US.

 We’ve spent the last half-century trying to make the rest of the world want to emulate us, politically. Most of the world wasn’t interested.  But we did succeed in a lot of ways nobody anticipated.  We shipped all our industry off to the countries we’d spent a lot of lives and treasure whupping the socks off of, trying to help them be like us just a few years earlier.

 By ‘we’, I’m not talking about ‘me’, nor am I talking about ‘you’ if you happen to just be a regular person who wasn’t involved in making decisions to ship all our production, manufacturing and skilled labor jobs off to third world countries because of the cheap labor and ostensibly trying to help them to be like us.

The ‘we’ I’m talking about is some nebulous consortium of folks who had enough money to own companies, factories, mines, lumber mills, steel mills and all the other components involved in a healthy economy with a population of employed citizens.

And by ‘we’ I’m also talking about several generations of bought and paid for politicians of both parties who found themselves more attracted to serving the interests of those described immediately above than protecting the interests of the citizens who elected them to public office.

 When the parts of ‘we’ described above were minding ‘our’ own business the part of ‘we’ not included had thriving industry, plenty of jobs, affluence. Anyone who wanted a job could find one.

 But gradually, as ‘we #1’ and ‘we #2’ succeeded in making the rest of the world in our own image in some unanticipated ways, all three of ‘our’  industry and production infrastructures became a dead shell. All ‘our #3’  jobs became government related, or pure government, or ‘service’, such as selling insurance, flipping hamburgers, running the sewer plant, advertising, cashiers, sales, lawyering, medical, and cops.  The kinds of jobs producing nothing of lasting value, nothing for export.

 And in the process, the world we made in our own image wanted to be like us. They wanted cars, television sets, air conditioners, microwave ovens.  They became super-consumers. They began needing petroleum products for energy, for plastic rubber monster toys for the kids. Petroleum to run their power plants to refrigerate. Petroleum to run their hair dryers. Petroleum to run their industries.

 They became like us.

 Meanwhile, the dead hull of US industry didn’t demand so much energy, but our automobiles, air conditioners and plastics requirements continued to do so.

But the rest of the world wanted it, too.  They became like us. Prices skyrocketed.

 So, now we don’t have any industry, don’t produce anything, but still need the energy to run.  And so, also, does the rest of the world because they’ve done as we hoped. They became like us.  Now maybe we need to find some other ways to make them want to be like us, before they decide to be like us in some other unanticipated ways we’ll like a lot less.

But a couple of decades ago the entire Eastern Block of Nations, along with Iran, did something we might be well served to emulate.  They kicked out all the politico factions who’d been selling out the interests of the citizenries, tried a lot of them for treason and other serious crimes, and tried to start anew.

Now that they’ve managed to become like us it’s time we tried to be like them.

 Finally, Tabby pointed out what’s probably both true and obvious.

You run those chickens off the porch when they try to steal our food.  You do whatever you have to do to keep the coons and possums from killing the chickens.  You drive the deer away from the chicken feed.  And you kill the swine because they’re dangerous to all of us and destroy everything that stands in their way of taking everything from all of us.

“Where’s anything confusing about that? “

Old Jules

Guy Clark “Jack of All Trades”

This Anonymous Manifesto

I’d wondered when something of this sort would happen without actually believing it ever would.

Someone keeping better track of current events than I do will probably see this as a yawn. . old news.  But when someone sent me an email after talking to me on the phone about it yesterday you could have knocked me over with a feather.  After pondering it a while this entire grassroots Occupy [fill in the blank] thing strikes me as rhyming a lot with what happened during the early 1990s when the Eastern Block, the USSR, and Iran all fell to pieces in less time than it takes to tell it.

Rich, a close friend, sent me a link to a site, We Are the 99 Percent, which if there’s any substance to it, might be the beginnings of something unpredictable enough to keep it interesting for a while.  I suppose I didn’t think there was enough of that left in the world to even consider.  My initial reaction was a bit of a ho-hum.  These seem to be peaceful folk demonstrating peacefully, which, while gratifying to see going on isn’t likely to undo anything. 

But then, in walks someone, or some group called ‘Anonymous’ and joins hands with the Occupy folk. 

PC Magazine Article

Here’s the transcript of the latest Occupy Wall Street video from Anonymous:

Greetings, institutions of the media.

We are Anonymous.

The events transpiring within Wall Street have caught our eye.

It seems that the government and federal agencies enjoy enforcing the law a little bit too much. They instate unjust laws as mindless automatons, blindly following orders with soulless precision.

We witness the government enforcing the laws that punish the 99 percent while allowing the 1 percent to escape justice, unharmed, for their crimes against the people.

We have observed this same government failing to enforce even the minimal legal restraints of Wall Street’s abuses. This government who has willingly ignored the greed at Wall Street has even bailed out the perpetrators that have caused our crisis.

We will not stand by and watch the system take over our way of life.

We the people shall stand against the government’s inaction.

We the people will not be witnesses to your corruption and ill-gotten profits.

We will not labor for your leisure.

We will not assist you in any way.

This is why we choose to declare our war against the New York Stock Exchange. We can no longer stay silent as the population is being exploited and forced to make sacrifices in the name of profit.

We will show the world that we are true to our word. On Oct. 10, NYSE shall be erased from the Internet. On Oct. 10, expect a day that will never, ever be forgotten.

Vox Populi, Vox Anon.

The Voice of The People is The Voice of Anonymous.

We are Legion. We are the 99 percent.

We do not forgive. We do not forget.

Wall Street: Expect us.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394071,00.asp#fbid=_qbOvyUs5hm

That seems to shine an entirely different light on things.  I don’t know whether anyone’s actually able to jiggle remote computers in a way that allows them to shut down something like Wall Street Stock Exchange, especially after giving warning ahead of time they plan to do it.  But I think making the threat is bound to have every capability in the kingdom concentrated on keeping them from doing it, first, and hauling their butts off to the slammer as soon as they can slap a pair of handcuffs on them.

Gutsy stuff, or a level of confidence surprising from the perspective of a person who figures the powers-that-be can do anything they want to do with impunity.  If they manage to do it the resulting power-shift leverage would inevitably seem to make a sharp turn in favor of the people calling themselves the 99 percent.  But do or don’t, it pulls things out of the realm of peaceful demonstration and gives the powers the excuse they might have been wishing for to drag out the machine guns against the 99 percenters.

The people posting on the 99 percent site appear to be just regular people with a lot of justified bitterness about how things are going and a determination for legitimate change.  But thinking back on the history of revolutions, the signs and banners walking out in front of the parade have always been followed back in the baggage train with enough guillotines to separate a lot of fact from fiction after the dark underbelly of human nature is exposed.

What comes out the other end tends to look a lot different than anyone thought it would going in.  If this isn’t just a flash in the pan it sounds as though the people in the collateral damages zones might be in for some interesting times.  But, hell.  I guess we’re all in the collateral damages zones.

Revolution – The Beatles

 http://youtu.be/KrkwgTBrW78