|RANT FROM FEBRUARY 2009
"Who Needs Stimulation?"
The words "stimulus package" are floating around in every so-called "developed country." "Stimulus" can mean different things: a sound, a smell, a light, a goad, a cattle prod. They don't mean any of that. They want to stimulate "the economy," that is, make money circulate. So they send money, give money, several billion here, several dozen billion there, several hundred billion somewhere else. They're doing it in the UK, Germany, China and even here in the USA.|
What is this? Give money? To whom? Who needs stimulation? The first attempt to move the economy by giving away huge chunks of public money wasn't called "stimulation," but "bail-out." The Bank Bail-out -- 750 billion dollars to banks, that is, to bankers. The intent was to stimulate the flow of credit. We give the bankers money for them to lend to borrowers, who need it for assorted projects that would energize the economy. It didn't work. The bankers kept the money. They used the money to buy competitor banks, and to pay themselves obscene bonuses. The economy was not stimulated.
Remember how we used to shake our heads when members of the richest 5% in the country quoted GNP [gross national product] and average income figures [they were up slightly], and then said that the economy was on a good foundation and that everything was wonderful? We knew it wasn't. The top 5% were doing well; the rest of us were not. There is hunger in America. There are homeless people in our town.
In recent weeks the situation in the real world has become worse. GDP [gross domestic product] is dropping. Even the top 5% are losing. The bottom 95% have been losing for a long time. The whole world is in bad shape, some of it much worse than here. The history of how things got so bad is told in THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, by Naomi Klein. I recommend every citizen read it, but I warn you, it is a different kind of stimulation. It made me furious, all over again.
A very serious danger, to everyone, is runaway inflation. Remember Germany, China, Argentina, Zimbabwe. Thank the Powers that Be, "It can't happen here!" "Pray that it not happen in winter."
So then, who needs stimulation? Free money, I mean. It begins to become obvious. Give money first to those who have no income. Then give some to those who have little income. Then to those who have little fixed income. At this point moralists will break in with, "But they didn't earn it!"
What? Do you think those in the top 5% earned it? The IRS even has a category, especially for them, called "unearned income." We're not trying to check on who earned what. We're trying to stimulate the economy. This is the "trickle up" theory of economics, and it would work, if we dared try it.
There is no need to stimulate those with huge incomes. What would they spend it on? What do they still need? They get salaries and bonuses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. What could they possibly still want? More! More, you say. More what? "More," by itself, isn't anything. More candy, more ice cream, more houses, more cars, more companies -- it is ridiculous and obscene.
We need to stimulate the bottom, not the top.