Using Hitchcock's Notorious KEY Shot to Focus on Political Palms - Part 2/3

» This entry is Part 2, cont'd from Part 1, which is posted here » Using Hitchcock's Notorious KEY Shot to Focus on Political Palms - Part 1. Broken up in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization.

And now, without further commercial interruption, we present Part 2 of » Using Hitchcock's Notorious KEY Shot to Focus on Political Palms.

Basically, one method = pain NOW, whilest the other = pain LATER. What was the name of that guy in the Fram Oil Filter commercial, who used to say, "You can pay me now .. or pay me later." ? =)

» Two Questions: Why Now? + How Tomorrow?

Clearly .. when the Economic System of the Wealthiest Nation on the Planet [ WNoP ] seizes up and melts down, this is a "sign" (uh, a warning sign) .. that something is wrong. Very wrong.

[ The only thing worse than seizing the engine of your CAR is .. crashing the thing .. and perhaps dying in the process. ]

So (question #1 ») WHY .. are we seeing such economically devastating problems now?

Some people say that the problem began when we "broke the link between gold and money." Others say that the problems began when we did away with Glass-Steagall.

Still others trace the root of the problem back to the confidential memo that Cigarette-Company-Lawyer Lewis Powell sent to the US Chamber of Commerce .. before he was appointed to the Supreme Court by Nixon. [ See t=19:20 » here. AKA the mobilization of busines that occurred in the mid-1970's ]

But others feel .. well, perhaps it would be better if I simply quote Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years (.. from 1981 to 2003).

"It's obvious that when the Eastern bloc was still there, it was a bustle between Capitalism and Communism. Once Communism was defeated however, then Capitalism could expand and show its TRUE SELF.

It's no longer constrained by the need TO BE NICE, so that people will choose their so-called free-market system, as opposed to the centrally-planned system. Because of that, nowadays, there is NOTHING TO RESTRAIN capital, and capital is demanding that it should be able to go anywhere and do whatever it likes."

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad addressing the United Nations General AssemblyIt is clear in the video (at t=2:50) that English is not his primary language, but he's basically saying that Capitalism was free to become ugly-as-it-likes after the fall of the Soviet Union (1991) ..

.. because there was no longer any competing Political / Social / Economic system and therefore » no reason "to be nice."

If, for example, you happen to own the only movie theater in town, or the only service station for many miles, you dont have to be very nice to your customers .. because they have nowhere else to go. [ Can you say, "Monopoly" ? ]

[ Note that this interview was conducted July 2001, while he was still Prime Minister, and at a time when he had already been Prime Minister for some 20 years.

That gives the good doctor a far better perspective than you and I might have (.. sitting in front of our Corporate-owned, Corporate-sponsored, Corporate-financed News channels).

He was sitting at/in a position of political power that gave him an ideal (international) perspective .. before, during & after the fall of the Soviet Union. Ten years before the fall and 10 years after.

What I'm saying becomes more clear if you watch the rest of the video (.. length = 5 mins).

At the very end of this video, btw, comes one of the program's more eyebrow-raising comments (.. from Bill Crist, former head of CalPers, world's largest pension fund) .. which we are seeing more & more .. in places not expected a very short time ago. ]

Famous scene form Hitchcock's film 'Notorious'You glean some insights when you apply the timing of these off-shore perspectives to the timeline of events here in the States that led to our current economic woes.

It's no secret that the main complaint, the biggest gripe, the most vocal criticism people have about Capitalism ..

.. has always been » the INEQUALITY it tends to breed. That it engenders.

Long as Communism remained a viable alternative Political / Social / Economic system, the governments of Capitalistic societies took steps to thwart their #1 perceived weakness.

With Communism out of the way, and with a good, old-fashioned Capitalistic monopoly on viable Political / Social / Economic systems, EQUALITY was no longer a major concern for the governments of these Capitalistic societies.

[ Plot a graph of wealth disparity in Capitalistic societies as a function of time both before and after the fall of the Berlin wall. Watch it rise. ]

Who said this?

"Equality," I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

Now that there is no longer any RESTRAINT on Capitalism (.. which represents a form of political power) .. what does this bode for those of us who live under such a SYSTEM .. and for the rest of the world, which (it seems) sometimes finds itself subject to our (unrestrained) whims?

As you ponder that question, considered its implications in light of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which sought to set up a BALANCE of powers .. so that man does not end up destoying himself (.. given the corrupting influence of power).

Do you see a reason for concern?

••• today's entry continues here below •••

So for those of us living here in the States, and for those in the Western world in general, the real question becomes:

(2) » How do we create a Economic system that fosters economic growth that benefits ALL, not just the wealthy FEW, while minimizing the growing inequality and its resulting disparity?

This is the QUESTION I've found myself pondering this lazy holiday week .. that leads up to the dreaded 2012. I havent been trying to. (I've merely been trying to understand the problems that our economy faces.) Rather, these thoughts seem to be coming on their own.

» United States CapitolA Notorious Alliance

If you dig past/beyond the Keynes vs Hayek battle royal of competing economic philosophies (theories) .. and delve deeper into the situation we have here in the States ..

.. which I say because either system, that is, one controlled by central-planning or one controlled by market forces, can be gamed by crafty fellows ..

.. in trying to pinpoint the heart of the matter (.. no, I havent forgotten about Hitchcock and his Notorious KEY shot) .. the issue I keep returning to is » campaign contributions.

Money exchanging hands. From wealthy hands to politically powerful hands. Has all the look-n-feel of » a bribe. A rose by any other name. (Or a sewer.) If it quacks like a duck. Or rattles like a snake...

Long as lobbyists from wealthy corporations are at liberty to press a check into the palm of a Congressman or Senator, we the people are always going to come away with the short end of the stick. Can almost hear Mr. Lobbyist say in a hushed tone, "We'll talk later."

Once every 4 years, our political leaders (politicians) look to us for our support. But lobbyists are there for them every day in between. Whose opinion do you think carries more weight .. soon as the election is over?

Our political system (Crony Capitalism) is designed with FAULTY INCENTIVES. The moment the election is over, and the results are in, our politicans no longer have much incentive to respond to our needs. But they have huge incentives to respond to the desires of Lobbyists. [ Lobbyists are good at making $ure of that. ]

Because you might've noticed .. that these Lobbyists come carrying ultra-light (but nearly indestructible) titanium-alloy briefcases. A single LED on these beautiful hi-tech briefcase flashes a strangely familiar shade of green. The strobe effect from this LED seems to hypnotize our leaders. "I hear and I obey. Where do I sign? How should I vote?"

Our representatives swear that these contributions dont affect their decisions. But come on .. this is fantasy. Actions speak louder than words. Much louder.

While you & I may not be versed in the minutia of Economic theory, we ALL understand (quite well) the nature of human nature .. because we are all human, and we spend our entire lives as humans, being human (.. all too human). All of us.

To claim that a fat check wont affect their decision-making process » fiction. Pure fiction. (A comedy.)

People believe what they want to believe, and you know that's obviously what they WANT to believe. We all fool ourselves to various degrees, ignoring our negatives and amplifying our positives. (That's part of being human, too.)

Famous scene form Hitchcock's film 'Notorious'To hope that our leaders remain immune to glittery enticements is to expect more of them than is reasonable to expect from mere mortals.

Mother Theresas they are not. This they have demostrated many times over and I see no reason for the trend to change. Do you?

» The Glittering Key

I said all that to say this » until our system of government is reformed to nullify the political advantage$ currently available to Corporations and the Wealthy Elite, the economic outlook for the average citizen will continue to deteriorate and the wealth-disparity will continue to despair.

"Trickle-down" economics have been debunked these last few years. The only thing trickling around here is the toilet (.. that needs a new seal).

Does it not strike you as odd .. that our nation contains individuals who are fabulously wealthy, beyond anything the middle class mind can comprehend .. yet the nation itself is broke?

How can that be? Where did all that money go? I dont have any of it. Do you? [ "When you got nuthin' you got nuthin' to lose," wrote Dylan. ]

Actually, it's worse than broke. Much worse. And it keeps getting worse (worser?) .. every minute of every hour. Year after year.

Does it not stir your curiosity to hear cries of historic inequality followed so closely after an explosion in our National Debt? Suspiciously close. Coincidence?

Inequality in South America | Rio de JaneiroMoral Implications of Inequality

Inequality carries moral implications that all of us are sensitive to (.. all of us with a soul, anyway).

All of the world's great Religions espouse the principles of equality, including Christianity.

Yet today, some have incredibly vast amounts "left over," while everyone everywhere will readily admit that many more suffer great lack.

I'm not saying there should be total equality. Rather, inequality is a given on planet earth.

But when the MAGNITUDE of that inequality causes your inner moral thermostat to reach a certain point, a preset setpoint .. when it becomes .. (.. what's the word I'm looking for? .. ah, here it is ..) » grotesque .. how does that old Shakespearean saying go? .. "Enough is enough."

.. to such a degree that revolutions have been waged because of it, ones in which many died. Heads have rolled. A millimeter before that point » "No problemo, Señor. Todo es tranquilo."

You can read about it or ignore it, but revolution is in the air, my friend, and it's global. (Dont blame me. I'm not the one who put it there.)

It's so bad in some places that people dont even care whether they live or die .. because they can no longer go on living like they do.

Well, they could, but they have no desire to. People would rather DIE than live a shit-life in a shit-country .. while a select few live lives of boundless luxury.

Mohamed Bouazizi | Tunisian street vendor who torched himself Dec 17, 2010Dont forget that it was a street vendor (named Bouazizi) who torched himself (17 Dec 2010) on the streets of Tunisia ..

.. in front of the Governor's office .. which was the event led to the outrage that started the Arab Spring revolutions ..


.. that favors a narrow elite .. at the expen$e of everybody else.

I know a little something myself about the frustrations that come from dealing with such skewed systems. So I can relate. Empathize.

And if you know about physics, you know how we're all connected, at some level. So I know you feel it, too. The stirring. The energy. The discontent, disgust & despair. (The 3-D's.) All harking back to inequality.

Adam Smith put it this way:

"Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality, for one very rich man; there must be at least five hundred poor."

Does nothing inside you question the morality of a "system" (.. set up and maintained by wealthy, politically powerful people) .. by which some men (individual men) possess more wealth than entire nations? All in the name of Capitalism.

Do you not feel the prick of indignation somewhere down deep inside?

GandhiInequality + Inequity = Infuriating

Consider the definition of a similar word » inequity » Injustice. An unjust act. (More.)

Inequality is most distasteful when accompanied by inequity .. or the subsequent favoring of those whose fast-n-easy ways caused many innocents great distress.

It has the effect of a double-negative .. except not the kind that self-cancels. Rather each aspect adds to the offense.

The emotional impact is multiplied by the proximity of one offense abiding so closely to/with the other.

I dont think our government gets this, tho, which is why no one has gone to jail yet. Not even a sacrificial offering for obnoxious offenses far as the eye can see .. from sea to shining sea.

[ Surely they can find a Private or Corporal in the Army to pin this on .. like they usually do. ]

And no government official has had the honor to step forward, take responsibility and fall on his sword. (Good thing I didnt hold my breath.) Is there no longer any sense of honor in Washington? (I am far from being the only person to raise this question.)

These guys obviously dont buy into the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (.. "the thing speaks for itself") .. because the thing speaks of obvious negligence, corruption and inequality.

Another reason why this is so infuriating .. is cuz » it violates the very definition of what it means to be an American. To be an American means » we dont reward bad behavior. At least, it used to.

That's the very definition of Capitalism .. if you screw up, if you make stupid decisions, you pay the price. This is why the bailout cut cross-wise of everything that Capitalists hold sacred. It's like they are punishing good people and rewarding the bad. Totally back-asswards.

And yet another reason why so many experts are saying that the American dream is dead, a myth, a fantasy that the government wants us to continue to believe.

The American Dream is OverI would like to explain to our leaders how the bailout FEELS .. to average Americans.

A Bank Robber robs a bank during an earthquake.

A big crevice opens up on the street (Main street) in front of the bank.

On his way out of the bank, with his bag in hand, and in a hurry, the robber (let's call him Wally) bumps into us, and we both go sliding down into the seemingly bottomless open crevice.

Both Wally and us are hanging on for dear life, when along comes Mr. Government Man, and we are very glad to see him, because we are sure he is going to save us, and throw Wally the Robber in jail. We can see the rope bulging in Mr. Government's pockets.

"Throw us down a rope," we shout.

But instead of us, the G Man tosses his long length of rope down to Wally .. pulls him out, dusts him off and hands him a vodka martini for his trouble.

Most surprising is the lack of emotion on the face of Mr. Government Man as he walks away with his arm around Wally (the Robber) .. leaving us there to slide down into God knows what.

The whole justification for allowing these extremes of inequality to exist (they claim) is to encourage and support the entrepreneurial spirit .. so that people will have a REA$ON to risk their capital .. by reaping the rewards.

So when they turn around and REWARD poor/stupid/foolish performance, which also includes elements of unethical (and even illegal) behavior .. they negate their rationalization for such obscene extremes of inequality. And yet they still exist .. worse than even, and growing worse with each passing day.

In other words, they cant have it both ways. Cant justify these obscene extremes of inequality (.. in the name of Capitalism) and then turn around and bail out the obscenely rich (.. with OUR money) when they fuck up and make stupid decisions (.. that are based on greed).

Because this means that they cant lose (.. and we cant win).

What has become painfully clear in recent years .. is that .. the rich and powerful get every possible advantage, while the rest of us PAY FOR those advantages (.. that we will never see).

Is there an American anywhere who is not familar with this outrage? One thing has become painfully clear to ALL Americans » the reason behind this ironic behavior is due to warped values and dysfunctional standards. Cant possibly be true, but it is.

You dont need to be a Certified Public Accountant to notice the connection between our explosion of national public debt and cries of historic social and economic inequality. The People get more public debt whilst the Wealthy get more private wealth.

[ "How many yachts can you water-ski behind, Gordon?" ]

If you simplify the equation down to it's most basic form, you get this formula » the government acquires more money by creating more DEBT (.. which it assigns to the public). This action (somehow, miraculously) translates into the Wealthy growing wealthier still.

Bare snowy trees reflect on the surface of icy water during the winter solsticeMeanwhile, everybody else (me & you), at best, stays the same .. but more likely we lose. (Hard to go back to baloney sandwiches after you've gotten accustomed to prime rib.)

And of course, somebody must now SERVICE that debt. (And PAY that debt, eventually.)

It's infuriating. At the level where moral values live & breathe. Because we all know who that somebody is.

They toss you a bone if you promise not to complain about the immorality of it.

In your own neighborhood, do you not find that (governmental) authorties are far more likely to overlook the wrong-doings of a wealthy person?

The reason behind that tendency is based on » values. (Big subject.) And the reason for the prominence of these values in our culture .. is because these values are held by those who hold positions of Prominence in our society.

And these values can seem unpretty if you get a flashlight and start digging around and turning over rocks. Sometimes .. what DOESNT get said is actually more important. (And in politics » it always is.)

So as you can see, there's a REASON why the words inequality (unEQUAL) and inequity (unJUST) sit right next to to each other on the same page in your dictionary. Think about it.

The Dow Jones Industral Average (DGIA) should not be our national scoreboard, displayed constantly & conspicuously on Corporate News channels everywhere. (It's the Corporate scorecard, no?) We should select something a little more enlightened than a ticker tape.

In keeping with the tenets of web site optimization, I broke this entry into THREE PAGES. The final page is posted here » Using Hitchcock's Notorious KEY Shot to Focus On Political Palms - Part 3/3

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on December 30, 2011 12:30 PM.

Using Hitchcock's Notorious KEY Shot to Focus on Political Palms - Part 1/3 was the previous entry in this blog.

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