Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welfare Gone Wild

Language is important, but because of its utilitarian usage has a "dulling effect" and makes people sitting ducks for all sorts of monkey biz. The father of public relations, Edward Bernays, understood this and capped a very successful career working with some of the largest corporations. Beyond Karl Rove is Frank Luntz who whipped the Republicans into marketing shape; thus, "estate taxes" became "death taxes." And in one of the most famous verbal hits ever, George Bush I fired "the dreaded 'L word'" at liberals and buried it next to Hoffa's bones.

So, language, words, are very important, and here's where I'm going; the largest heist in history was not a "bailout," much less "TARP," it was WELFARE. The most criminal and vile kind of welfare; staring down a double barrel sky is falling harangue from the right, left and most in-between. And that time-worn tactic, fear, was the sword of Damocles.

But in spite of the right's classic demonization of brown people crossing our borders in order to have kids and prey on us via welfare, not one on the left calls this fiasco, this absurdity of absurdities for what it is; Welfare Gone Wild.

And talk about some BIG assed welfare mothers; look at Israel, which has been on the dole for half a century. Cash, guns, ammo, tanks, bombs, intelligence... like clockwork, year after year going to foreigners, even in the face of Americans left holding the bag as with Katrina and now EM08.

Want more? Here's a list of the biggest and baddest welfare deadbeats in history; Let's call these the "Welfies", The Welfare Awards for the biggest deadbeats and beggars in history whose white collars make brown mothers on assistance seem like Pop Warner to the NFL:

  1. Too Big to Fail banksters, headed by BoA, JPMC, Citi, Wells, Morgan Stanley, and the ever-present when there's a con going down, Goldman. Need I go on?
  2. Insurance: AIG was one of the single largest recipients of direct welfare money payouts, some $70 billion of your money that barely left Tim Geithner's quivering, hush hush urgings and found its home lining the pockets of, yep, you got it right, Goldman, making them whole on their bets (Credit Default Swaps).
  3. While we're talking about insurance, we might as well talk about the way healthcare is welfare. Think about it, what is Medicare but welfare, like clockwork, siphoning taxpayer money to corporations? It's but one reason why healthcare in this country will never be socialized; it's controlled by not one or two industries, but three; big pharma, hmos and insurance. Any one of which has ultra-deep pockets and is so far up the ass of congress via their lobbyists everyday people have zero chance in this fight. Put three huge industrials together with common interests and it's bon voyage to hope for everyday people, hello to grabbing your ankles and the grimace of reality, whether you know this or not, because eventually, by odds, everyone gets sick.
  4. Agri-biz. Like clockwork, year after year, huge welfare payouts go out to pukes like Archer Daniels Midland and Con Agra for things like corn that they then flood the market with. Notice, childhood obesity and diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past 20-30 years and of course American adults are hogs without governors on their mouths. Agri-biz is perhaps the most pernicious and ironic form of welfare; pernicious because of the health ramifications, ironic because with the in-our-faces approach to cheap carbs in this country -- cereals to soda -- you'd think we'd wise up. Unfortunately, not even Dick Cheney having sausage links in his veins will wake us up.
  5. Big auto. Not much more to say here save for Chrysler is one of the worst welfare mothers, with the recent welfare it received being the second time it has come begging for money. The first was under the revered Lee Iacocca.
  6. Defense - If there's an overall Welfie winner, it's defense. By far the largest portion of our budget, it's 100% welfare, and one of the oldest, battle-tested methods of welfare transference from everyday people to the elite (pun intended). The corporations with defense contracts -- the Lockheeds, Boeings, Martin Marriettas of this privileged world -- are just the most obvious first line of welfare deadbeats, because the money is re-distributed via the equities market. Thus, the econ elite with the wherewithal (large capital investments + inside info + inside connections) enrich themselves as a result of the welfare state. Dis-Honorable mention and a special Welfie goes to Dick Cheney's Halliburton whose no-bid contracts as a result of the Iraq invasion set a new high in low for welfare leeching cronyism.
  7. Government employees. Take the heads of the three branches of government, and they all receive welfare healthcare - for life. Which raises the question; if a socialist healthcare system is so evil, then why don't our politicians who receive it deny it? Why don't they work to rescind it? why don't they do as Nancy asked inner city kids, and just say no...?  Enlarge the iris a bit and every government employee's pension -- including their healthcare -- is welfare.
A fundamental problem in America is that we lie to ourselves. Columbus was not a great explorer and people of equal talent to Einstein had to have toiled anonymously in cotton fields and sweat shops (hat tip to the late great Stephen Jay Gould). The truth of the matter is that America has no such thing as the "free market" and is not a capitalist system of economics, it is at best a perversion of ... of what I don't know, but in the same way and taking a cue from Wolfgang Schivelbusch, that under Stalin there was no such thing as Communism but tyranny flying under the guise.

The raw truth; America has been a welfare state for quite some time. In fact, the more I think about that and until I wrote the above list, I never realized just how deeply rooted in welfare we are. We're junkie status.

Now if we can just be honest with ourselves about it.