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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Paying for New Orleans

I don't know how long it's been fashionable but there seems to be a common practice these days in which agreements are made to buy things of value and then these things are paid for by stripping them of many of their assets and selling those, thus making the things less desirable than they were before.

You can see that around here when someone buys an acreage of beautiful woods, then promptly turns the acreage to an ugly wasteland by clearcutting all those trees that had taken decades to reach that wonderful state, and they use the proceeds to pay off the loan that allowed them to buy the property.

Or you can see another variant of this in people who take advantage of the inexplicable system that allows outsiders to take over a company that doesn't want to be taken over, and then the buyer promptly fires a goodly number of its longtime employees to "cut costs" and also sells off the company's other assets, which are then used to pay for the purchase and incidentally to put a considerable sum into their own pockets. In this way numerous companies have been sucked dry in recent times.

The need to rebuild New Orleans, and fast, is exposing another variant of this "strip it for all its worth" financial perfidy, this time on the part of those who are currently in control of the U.S. Government.

The people who came into office five years ago found a bonanza left behind in the Government's coffers by the Clinton folks. Instead of saving it for a rainy day, like those recently provided by Katrina, these dummies promptly used all those ill-gained riches instead to reward their bigtime supporters and to indulge themselves otherwise, most notably in the unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq. As a result now the country or the Government or both -- it is hard to understand which or what or to whom all the money is owed -- are well over a trillion dollars deeper in debt than they were before 2000. And this situation has been made all the more embarrassing by the ravages of Katrina.

Bush says that cuts in spending will be necessary to pay for the rebuilding of New Orleans. His people and others use the term "offset" -- just the kind of nebulous word that is favored in a priesthood like economics, so that the uninitiated won't quite understand what they're saying. But cuts in what? I thought they had long since made all the spending cuts possible in programs that liberals like. And you know the Repubs won't trim their darlings.

Raising taxes is of course a big no-no, even though some Republicans are saying that the taxpayer will pay for the rebuilding.

I have always strongly resisted even thinking about money, and that sort of hocus-pokus resorted to by the manipulators of it is one of the reasons.


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