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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Greed’s Gravy Train

Just when you thought you couldn’t be shocked anymore by the level of greed and avarice of the apostles of BushCo, along come the big credit card companies—in the wake of Bernanke’s boys cutting-the-prime two-step. Yep, the big credit card companies, when the prime was cut 1.25 basis points [that would be 1.25 percent in plainspeak], have been busily raising their interest rates.

But did they settle for small potatoes? Nah, not our apostles of greed. They’ve raised interest rates in the range of a whopping 3 times. Not 3 percent. Three times. So Joe Customer, who had an 8% interest rate on his card, now gets socked 24%—spell that out, children…24 percent.

And not just to delinquent customers either…they’re sockin’ it to their good customers, the steady payers, the consumers of their commodity who have paid their bills every month…with interest.

Note to consumers: if you can’t afford to pay your complete credit card bill every month, and you don’t have a major life emergency overriding, you better be takin’ a serious look at your spending. And no, you won’t be tried for treason if you don’t shop, shop, shop. So far, the only one that idea seems to be helping is China, and look how they pay us back…they spy on our industries.

There’s plenty of blame to go around for this mess. Congress and the lobbyists who dance with ’em have had their fingerprints all over this one, too. The economy these days looks more like vampire economics than voo-doo. And the willful absence of oversight the Republicans gave us while they were in charge has allowed the vampires to dance like Blackbeard (why does Grover Norquist’s face pop in my head with that name..eeeeuuuuwwwww).

IANATPE (I am not a trained professional economist)…and I don’t pretend to be one. My economics starts at the kitchen table. And the total at the bottom of the grocery bill, and the price at the gas pump, and the bottom line on the utility bills…

And it seems pretty simple to me. When you’ve got a working middle class making enough income to pay for their goods and a few goodies besides, everyone makes a profit. But when you stir gouging and greed and excess profits and profiteering and a corrupt occupation of another country into the mix, well, the profits may be ginormous in the short term, but they’re going to only a few and everybody else is going down the bathtub drain.

Team BushCo came riding in on the Enron Express, steered by the mindset that greed is good, screwing granny on her California energy bill even better. Sad to see, nothing has changed. And for Joe Customer, now that the credit card companies are gouging worse than Shakespeare’s Shylock, with neither shyness nor shame, all that’s left for once-working America is small change, chump change, until we stop voting against our own interests—listen up, RedStates—and change the leadership in Washington.

Because the unseen hand can’t be trusted to operate without common sense regulation and rules. And the politicians can’t be trusted to operate without that wee bit o’oversight called elections.

There’s another voting day today…in the Potomac neighborhoods. Pay attention, because who we elect matters, getting there is a long train ride, and the only ones who can put the brakes on the runaway practices of vampire economics are we, the people.


Anonymous said...

When we complain about 'greed', we are identified as anti-capitalists! But failure to speak against unbridled greed seems to indicate that we are (1) asleep at the wheel; (2) don't recognize that we are all being victimized by those who place profit above all else; (3) choose to be quiet, because we are feeding at the same trough; or (4) accept that people--real flesh-and-blood people--are nothing but 'consumer units' or 'labor units.'


Prairie Sunshine said...

Seems to me we complainers are the true capitalists because we see the long train...those who most vocally call themselves capitalists these days are more likely to be pirates or vampires. Short-term profiteering is not true capitalism.