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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
DonD BS: Trickle-down Economics in the USA (122* d) RE: BS: Trickle-down Economics in the USA 21 Jul 02

Another left-wing folkie here. And ignorant, too. But the most significant things I have to show from my experience with the corporate world are my -- preconceptions, and I won't give 'em up until you pry 'em out of my cold dead hands.

The only trickle down I've experienced has been accompanied by someone trying to tell me it's raining.

I've worked for a number of corporations -- what you'd call small ones, but what are now uniformly defunct ones. I've even owned a couple, equally defunct, and I tried to give myself a golden parachute, too. Maybe I'm too literal, but did you know that a parachute made out of gold falls like a rock, and one colored gold may save your life but afterward you're just down and nowhere.

One curse of capitalism as we know it is the principle of 'grow or die'. The balloon has to keep getting puffed up until it bursts; either the contents are revealed to be just hot air, or the puffer has to stop to catch a breath and the whole thing jets back in his face and flies off around the room. An entertaining moment, but all you're left with is a damp piece of rubber.

Another curse is the stock market: the biggest gambling casino in the world! Investing in a business may be valuable, but trading in its stocks or bonds is no more than shooting craps. The bet isn't on how well the company will do but on how well it will be perceived to be doing by money managers and brokers, whose only interest is to keep the wagers flowing. We demean race-track touts but esteem investment bankers.

Of course we're talking about the 'big' corporations, not those thousands of 'little ones' as if each of them doesn't have the goal to become 'big'. How many make up the Dow-Jones? The S & P? The Fortune 500? How many are in the tiny percent that control the vast majority of the wealth and buy and sell the governments of the world.

And don't talk to me about the value of either professional athletes or CEO's. Today's paper reports that some NFL or MLB team is paying over $30 million a year to athletes who are no longer in the game. Just the same as so many 'big' corporations are paying millions of their stockholders' money to ex-CEO's.

Years ago when railroads were 'big' corporations, the CEO of the NY Central screwed up royally, lost the company millions, and was fired (with a healthy thank you check!). He was immediately hired by another railroad which had dumped its screw-up CEO, with the explanation, "How lucky we are to find a man with his experience!"

Some clever journalist wrote that Bush #1 was born on third base and had the strange idea that he'd hit a triple, and I believe that that's a commomn misperception among many of the old boys network, and those who believe their bought-and-paid-for PR.

Aside from all of that, it's a great country and a great system -- if we can just fix it.

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