Wealth and fame, binders full of women, small business support

I am neither a Democrat, nor Republican. I just watched the debate last night to check whether any of the candidates represent me, the American middle class.

One thing I know for sure. Mr Romney does not.

In 2005, Mr. Romney said “When I was a boy I thought being rich and famous would make me happy, was I right” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsTAKhgtmvA. This type of remark would be suitable to the Lady Gagas and Madonnas of this world, not for an American president wannabe. The pursuit of happiness thought of by our founding fathers would thus be an empty one, for the vast majority of the populace will neither achieve wealth or fame in their lifetime. I suppose Mr. Romney’s country club buddies suit his ideal of happiness, though.

However, it is troubling that the man thinks that way, and is supposedly devising ways to make the middle class happy once again! How can that be? He is obviously out of touch with microeconomic reality, meats and potatoes. Talking about supporting small business and doing away with deductions is akin to giving a person a sedative before a lethal injection. Deductions are the only perks the middle class has, if we can call that. Small businesses are not businesses with more than US$10 million in sales or 100 employees, which may be Mr. Romney’s definition of it.  The wealthy class, however, has ~blind trusts~, private foundations, or receive income hidden as loans from companies, things small time operators are not privy too. This helps understand the 14% tax rate mentioned on the debate…

The reality is, we are reversing the economic process. “Mom and pop” stores are increasing in numbers, for jobs in multinational, large companies, have gone, perhaps forever. It is not only in manufacturing, which both candidates try to make us think. In services too. Anytime two large banks merge, thousands of people are made redundant forever, and hundreds of thousands have lost such jobs in the last 15 years, both under Dems and Reps.  These are the people that go on their own selling insurance, real estate, become “coaches” or consultants, because the job market no longer absorbs them. These, the micro businesses, are the ones that need help. Not even the regular mom and pop stores can survive anymore, globbed up by the Walmarts and chain stores of this world.

Then there was the binders full of women remark. I hope the binders were not full of old issues of Playboy. Just joking.

By and large, both candidates keep on going back and forth with the concept of “creating jobs” and “government does not create jobs”. The reality is that in a free market, jobs are mostly created by companies. Very simple. The laws of supply and demand, and availability of income and workers, dictates whether or not jobs are created. However, both candidates avoid the issues, or else, they have to clarify that they are in the hands of the market.

For instance, oil prices. Private oil companies follow international prices. Sure, the USA consumes 25 % of the world oil, but that means the majority is still consumed elsewhere. The supply and demand is as much international as domestic. And guess what happens? Oil companies do export, when the price is really good! Again, it is the markets that dictate this, but as the candidates do not want to seem powerless, they fake they have a power they do not have.

Thus, it is world of make believe.

The Bible says, wisely, that people perish for the lack of knowledge. This does not apply only to spiritual issues, it does to everything. People talk about the economy with almost doctoral authority, yet, have not idea as to the difference between assets and liabilities, currency issue, pork barrel politics, derivatives, foreign trade, and a host of other things that affect their daily living. Most people in this country still believe there is a gold standard and that the popular vote elects presidents! Thus a well-groomed dude can just tell them a whole bunch of things that are, at best, half-truths, and they fall for it. So no wonder the majority remains at the bottom of the food chain.

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