Posts Tagged ‘Tax loopholes’

Pluto’s Prostitutes

February 2, 2014

At this delicate point, the rise of plutocracy is all about the details of its implementation. Once plutocracy has grown enough, it will be fully arrogant and call itself loudly an aristocracy (“rule of the best”).

Already in the USA, plutocrats say that they need more money and should pay less taxes, because they are the best, and ought to be rewarded, because they are the best. Topologically the argument is close to defending the notion of aristocracy, it establishes a mood conducive to aristocracy.

Plutocrats do not say loudly, yet, that they ought to rule. Instead, more humbly, they content themselves with ruling through their agents (most of them multimillionaires).

Naked Slave To Plutocracy

Naked Slave To Plutocracy

[Adapted by Karine Percheron-Daniels from the Portrait D’Une Negresse, by Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist 1800, Louvre, Paris.]

Can you point to me what part of the Constitution of the USA created a “First” person? Right. Rome’s Octavian, called himself “Princeps” (“First”) informally introducing the notion. But he has been dead nearly 2,000 years.

The New York Times explains how Congressional aides turned lobbyists evade a law saying they have to wait a year, if they earned a bit more than $130,000. They just have non-governmental organizations, or individuals (such as their own Congressman!) paying their incomes over 130 K.

Says the New York Times:

“A top aide to a Republican congressman from Arizona helped promote a legislative plan to overhaul the nation’s home mortgage finance system. Weeks after leaving his government job, he reappeared on Capitol Hill, now as a lobbyist for a company poised to capitalize on the plan.

A former counsel to Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee left Capitol Hill a year ago. He, too, returned to the Hill just months later, lobbying committee aides on behalf of Wall Street giants like JPMorgan Chase and Bloomberg L.P.

And the chief of staff for the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee left his government salary behind in January 2012. Yet for months afterward, he continued to manage his boss’s re-election campaign, even while serving as a lobbyist for financial industry clients.

The experiences of the three Capitol Hill aides-turned-lobbyists — traced through interviews with political operatives and a review of public records — illustrate in new detail the gaping holes in rules governing Washington’s revolving door.

Federal ethics rules are intended to limit lobbying by former senior officials within one year after they leave the government. Yet even after the ethics rules were revised in 2007 following a lobbying scandal, more than 1,650 congressional aides have registered to lobby within a year of leaving Capitol Hill…

[these aides go] from government pay to six- and seven-figure private sector salaries.

In the three cases identified by The Times, the interviews and records suggest, the former House staff members did not violate the rules but rather seized on loopholes to lobby within one year.”

Seven figures means those aides earn more than one million dollar a year.

Loopholes everywhere, to serve the hyper rich and their plutocratic corporations. The largest loophole being the 90,000 pages Obama tax code (and growing!). (It was “only” 16,000 pages in 2006 under Bush, when democrats took control of Congress. Meaning that most of the growth in loopholes was accomplished by democrats.)

Plutocracy is strong, and smart, We the People are dumb, and weak. Thus the Greater Depression will go on, as ever more money is deflected to those who have nearly all the power, giving them ever more power to infuse the entire mood of civilization with the poisonous atmosphere they secrete as the lethal critters they are.

On Thursday, the first lady attended two Democratic National Committee fundraising events in San Francisco, a roundtable at a restaurant in Jackson Square and a reception in the Financial District. Closed events, plutocrats only.

The First Lady attended the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Women’s Lunch and VIP reception around 11:30 a.m. on the second day of her fundraising trip to San Francisco.

A small group of protesters gathered outside San Francisco’s Fairmont hotel late Friday morning as First Lady Michelle Obama joined lesser lady House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for a Democratic fundraising event. Pelosi is a second generation politician (her dad was mayor of Philadelphia).

Health care activist Joan Intrator, 86, a low lady of San Francisco, said she was sending the message to the First Lady and Commander In Chief Obama that there should be access to Medicare for all Americans.

A lone Occupy San Francisco organizer passed fliers against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a fast track trade agreement between a grand total of 36 officials from12 countries including the U.S., Japan, and Mexico, and more than 600 representatives of plutocratic corporations. 36 representatives of the Peoples, versus 600 Plutos: fair enough.

The downtown march from Secondary Lady Pelosi’s San Francisco office to Third Rated Lady Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s happened at 4:30 p.m. The crowd was boosted by a few gulls.

Friday morning’s DCCC event was sold out. According to the DCCC’s website, tickets cost from $500 to $32,400 per adulating and most grateful plutocrat. $32,400, that’s more than half of the median family income in the USA.

Just before 12:30 p.m., First Lady Obama’s motorcade crossed Market Street at Eighth Street on the way to the airport.

If Americans don’t get the message that the USA is ruled by an aristocracy, they are really dense. As far as plutocrats are concerned, the denser We The People, the better.

Not seeing what Michelle Obama is doing, selling her charms and influence, is an occasion to learn to become even dumber than before. But did not Obama propose to raise the minimum salary by 15% for a few thousand people, sometimes in the future? Will whine those who are stupid enough.

Yes. But why did Obama not propose to triple the minimum wage for everybody when he could, five years ago? That would have brought it to the old level (in constant dollars). Because Obama the Real has nothing to do with Obama the Charmer. They are antipodal.

Just as Obamacare is nearly antipodal to universal healthcare.

Prostitutes get motorcades, plotters make millions for all to see. And We The People is getting habituated to the increasing corruption. Progress, totally, from the point of view of the Demoncratic party.  Yet, queens and corruptocrats have no place in a Republic.

But how to make the rabble understand this, in a country where supermen are steroid laden brutes whose loftiest ideal is to bang into each other’s brains at full speed, until they get neurodegenerative encephalopathy? While stuffing themselves with “superbowls”? First the brains get turned off, by First Persons, and other prostitutes, then the Republic will also suffer neurodegenerative encephalopathy. The fact People love that symbolically is no good omen.

Patrice Ayme’

ONE WAY PLUTOCRACY KILLS.

July 29, 2008

MORALITY WITHOUT ECONOMY IS ONLY RUIN OF THE CITIES.
***

Abstract: Those who believe in money-power (plutocracy) love to say that all and any excess of the “free market” will self correct. And thus such excess will stay self contained to the economy. Not so. We give one class of examples.
***

Two very severe quakes occurred in urbanized Japan during the last month (7 to 7.5 Richter). Nearly nobody was killed, and there was little damage. These miracles occurred because of the tough earthquake code in Japan, and reconstruction according to it. In California, similar quakes, centered on cities, could kill up to 100,000 people, or more. They are expected soon.

Why are so many deaths coming to California soon? Because, only in the city of San Francisco (a tenth of the Bay Area’s population) dozen of thousands of buildings are ready to collapse if the expected quake(s) occurred (a 7 to 8 Richter earthquake in the central Bay is predicted, within 30 years). The city of San Francisco has realized there is a serious problem, and that is what it says. It advises real estate owners of “soft buildings” to fix them, but it will not make the fixes mandatory, nor will it address the case of “non ductile” concrete buildings (there are thousands in the Bay). In case of severe quake, those are expected to “pancake”.

Why no mandatory fix? Why not prevent “pancaking”? Because there are not enough engineers to inspect and find out what to do, building by building.

This problem has been long in evidence (after a deadly quake in the LA area, the LA city council tried to make quake fixes mandatory in 1995, but rich real estate owners stopped them). Instead of directing economic activity that way, by morally correct legislation, it was directed towards speculation (Internet bubble, credit bubble, real estate bubble). The speculation made a few people much richer, and they were the ones pulling all the strings.

Thus the present US financial crisis it is not just a question of self correcting excesses in the financial sector. The financial sector directs the whole economy. By going crazy, it made the economy crazy.

By controlling the electoral process the financial sector and its attached plutocracy led the whole country in the wrong direction. A good example was the refusal to limit frantic consumption, energy waste, etc… Result: Iraq was invaded, but the USA did not get ready for quakes. Just as there is only a finite number of building inspectors, there is only so much capital. If most of the disposable capital, human or financial, is spent on the military, and “nation building” on the other side of the planet, among the haters, there is none for infrastructure, material or otherwise, inside the USA.

Senator Obama’s economic plan proposes a tax loophole for Venture Capitalists, supposedly to stimulate the economy. This makes little sense. Most of the economy does not have to do with improving widgets, and making the hyper rich richer is the Reagan way to go at it. This has been proven to be a disaster. Moreover, all the hyper billionaires will turn into “Venture Capitalists” overnight, to benefit from the zero percent taxation. They will probably all invent “new” financial “instruments”. No wonder they are all in love.

The preceding shows that gigantic infrastructure spending is not just a question of creating a real economy, but of basic morality. There are no mostly military solutions to socioeconomic problems, be it in Afghanistan or in the USA. There are no efficient financial markets without efficient law and morality to guide them, either.
***

Patrice Ayme,
Tyranosopher.
http://patriceayme.com/

***

Technical addenda: 1) To make an old building earthquake safe is not obvious, and requires highly technical assessments, which vary from building to building. The cost can be anywhere between 5% and 70% of total replacement by a brand new building.

2) The “financial engineering” found in the USA in recent years is a tail banging the dog around. So much so, the dog has lost its mind. The word “engineering” in this context is an abuse of a glorious concept. The late “investment bank” Bear Stearns used a leverage about 30 (the expression “investment bank” meant it went around all international regulations that banks have to respect, by law). It mostly “invested” in financial “products” of a type so obscure that more than one TRILLION dollars worth of it cannot be sold at any price. Meanwhile China is building the Bay Bridge piece by piece, in China; real economy for real (Chinese) people. That crucial bridge was broken in 1979, in a preceding quake. Excuse us if it’s so slow: we are spending all our money invading other countries, to justify spending more on “defense” than the rest of the world combined. In 1941, the USA was a country of engineers. That’s why it won the war in three years. In 2008, the USA has become a country of puppet masters pulling financial strings to nowhere, except decay, death and destruction. That’s why, even with Chinese help, it can’t repair earthquake damage in 20 years.

3) Japan can be said to be three times more egalitarian than the USA (using the RP 10% measure). Japan is actually (as measured by the Gini index) one of the most egalitarian countries in the world. Uniquely among the most developed countries, inequality has been rising considerably in the USA. (since 1970, leading to a decay of health and education).

4) The entire west coast of the USA (just like the entirety of Japan) is very exposed to earthquakes. There are many faults next or below Los Angeles, massive ones around Seattle, and no less than three major ones in the San Francisco Bay Area. The frequency at which segments shake is known, hence the predictions above. Four massive quakes occurred in the SF Bay Area in the last 170 years.


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