Ashamed to be an American, where only wealth can set you free

Posted on December 12, 2012

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This will be a fairly wide ranging opinion screed.

Let’s start with HSBC.  Yes, they had to pay the largest fine in history.  So what?  Look at the wiki link.  HSBC is a company with a market cap of 166 billion dollars.  They have assets of 2.637 trillion dollars.  Or 2637 billion dollars.  The fine they just had to pay for being and supporting some of the worst criminal scum on the planet is  1.14% of their market cap or .002 percent of their assets.  I don’t know what fees they charge or how much they make on money laundering transactions but since they were able to hide, just from the Reuters article above, 670 billion dollars they were moving around in Mexico I don’t think they will be encouraged to change.  They are too big to jail.  Read the first paragraph.  If they are too big to prosecute the penalty is also carefully designed to look big, but not hurt.  This goes back to what I said in my Lance Armstrong post, the reward for cheating is so large, the penalty for getting caught so small, there is no reason not to cheat.  In fact, not cheating is stupid, and costly.

I was going to comment on what happened in Michigan yesterday, but Charles Pierce does it better.  I’m from Michigan.  Both my parents were union members.  My maternal Grandfather was a union member.  I do not come from a well off family but I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we would have had less but for the efforts of labor unions.  Still, my mother voted against the initiative to enshrine collective bargaining in the Michigan state constitution because the teachers’ union in Bay City wanted someone to be able to get caught drunk at work 5 times before being fired.  One, I’m just going to assume that’s bullshit.  I feel fairly certain no one has ever tried to write a contract with that in it.  Two, so what?  Her next words after telling me she voted no is that she knew Michigan was going to become a right to work state.  And she didn’t care.  She knows that wages in the state will go down.  She knows that the jobs that might come back to the state will not pay as well as they should.  And if she ever reads this she will know that there is no possible way my family will ever move back to that state now.

We have a congress that is trying to gut Medicare because old poor people are expensive to take care of.    They want to change Social Security because they refuse to lift the income cap and make it solvent forever and they also think Baby Boomers will never die.

Keep the poors poor and the rich rich.

The end is rushed because I’m at work.  Don’t worry, they’ll get their own full posts soon.

That is all.

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Posted in: Politics, Social