V E R Y Perplexing Issues about the C O N

From: "Dr. Benway" <benway@interzone.edu>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 1996

From: crazykey@sound.net (crazykey)
>Don't know what is behind those scary links, but is this
>page impressive upon first read, whew!

> http://www.webcom.com/maxang/ASAN/

Great link! Maybe there's a chance for this newsgroup yet. If Lou Duchez
sees this article, he'll go into one of his Fed Reserve Rants. As for me, I'm
gonna go into my Stock Market Rant.

But first, here's from the web page cited above:

The Crisis System

Fables Of Austerity

There's jam tomorrow and jam yesterday but never jam today...

Like lemmings, the obedient workers of today are expected to crush
themselves on the myths of crisis, budget deficits, inflation, global
competitiveness or high technology. Mysterious explanations of our falling
wages appear and disappear like villains on day-time soaps. Stern
bank presidents give unquestionable reasons why we must give one more
pound of flesh for financial stability. CNN suddenly tells us the remote-
control computerized world-market is the final arbitrator of our wage and
work conditions. The 1994 US recovery was worse than the 1993 recession.
The unemployment rate may have dropped a big 1% but unemployment
benefits and youth summer jobs got cut more. The hours of those who had
jobs have gone up to torture levels.

The usual rhetoric is that no one understands a 100 billion dollar deficit, a 3
trillion dollar economy or 1-trillion-dollar-a-week currency speculation. Of
course the workings of the economy aren't simple. But we can still use
abstraction and approximation to understand the system.

The Federal Reserve sells us inflation, unemployment, and the deficit as
forces independent from how we live. But no matter how elaborate the
computerized money system becomes, the economy will always boil down to
the way people relate to each other. A single person now cannot challenge
the economy. The initial barriers are the cops and the merchants. But the
larger barrier is that no one person has a community, a collective response,
to fall back on. The LA riots ended when people had looted most of the stuff
that was in the area. They didn't form a community to either create
a new way of living or to fend off the National Guard.


Now for my Stock Market Rant:

What the hell is going on? I can't rely on my employer or my government
for retirement, so I have to take money out of every paycheck and put it in a
retirement account that's mine all mine. Shit! As if my paycheck isn't
measily enough already: ten percent goes into that retirement account with
my name on it. Sure, I'd have a retirement from my employer after I've
been here ten years but how do I know wether that's gonna happen?

Besides, my last employer was going to give me a retirement after ten years
vesting period but FUCK THEM, they "downsized" me out onto the street and
kept the retirement money for themselves.

So now I've got money in the stock market. Do you think I would put that
money in a bank at those measily three-percent interest rates? The bank
doesn't pay enough to compensate me for the effects of inflation on my nest
egg. No wonder Americans don't save money like the Japanese -- we're
better off spending our paycheck six months before we get it! But me, I save
because I have too and I'm not settling for bank returns when I can toss my
money into the stock market and watch it go ZOOM!

Didn't you read about how the major market indexes were up 36% last year?
I should have taken out a second mortgage and bought IBM and GE with the
dough. So am I greedy or am I doing what's right for me? Well, I've got a
few thousand dollars in the market. Maybe I've got a year's salary saved and
invested in the market. Try to save a year's salary. It ain't fun, believe me.
We haven't had a real vacation since 1991. And one year's salary will
probably pay for one year's retirement. This nest-egg ain't close to hatching
and I wanna quit my lousy job and slack off without having to pretend
like I'm working.

I COULD BE READING A BOOK RIGHT NOW!!! But no, I have to sit here typing
and flipping around through six different terminal sessions. I WANT TO

So my money is in the stock market and do you think I'm evil? Well, guess
what happened yesterday? There was this report from the Department of
Labor that says that hundreds of thousands of people are getting jobs. That's
8.5 million new jobs (net) created since Billy-Boy took office and we should
be happy and prosperous and secure in our jobs, right? Not according to the
television set. Not according to my paycheck either. Not much of a raise last
year and no raise at all the year before and the year before.

But still, more jobs and heck! I don't even see as many people holding those
stupid "I will work for food signs". Those people are probably scrubing pots
at the back of the local Burger Barn. So this is good news, huh?
their IBM and GE as shares because the economy wasn't a WEAK and SLOW-
GROWTH as they thought. And what do you suppose happened to me and
my retirement account? I'M A THOUSAND DOLLARS POORER! And all
because we've all got jobs and business is good for GE and IBM. I mean, if
business is good for GE and GM and all those other big companies, shouldn't
that make their stock be worth more money? All those people with their
new jobs and going to be going out to buy a new car and new refrigators and
maybe even a plane ticket for a much-deserved vacation to Disney World
(which means GE will be selling more big jet engines to Boeing which will be
selling more jumbo-jets to American Airlines which will operate with full
plane loads of employed people who want to spend their money at Disney

OK, I own bonds too. So kill me. It was part of a "Savings and Security Plan"
with an old employer. My bonds and SINKING! Naturally, they're worth less
because maybe we're gonna have inflation on account of the economic good
times. BUT STOCKS SHOULD GO UP on good news. I mean, by the logic of
Wall Street, if DEC or Apple announced that they were gonna loose a lot of
money then APPLE WOULD GO UP. Since when does bad news make for a
better stock value? Oh... We're not gonna sell as many celluar phones
as we thought so Motorola stock jumps 50 dollars a share. ONLY IN YOUR

Actually, this business about the weak economy is just a cover story to keep
workers scared so that they won't stand up and demand more money. My
wife isn't getting a raise this year -- but I suppose they tell her things like
"you're lucky to have a job". Well, those liars are running out of lies. Things
ARE good right now and YOU DESERVE MORE than what they're giving you.
The labor force is actually going to be SHRINKING soon and young people will
be in great demand as the "Boom Generation" finally does ride off into the sunset.

So where are our unions? Unions. You remember them. They are supposed
to stand up for their members and fight the big corporations and the stock-
holders. Well, the unions are gone because Ronald Reagan nuked the Air
Traffic Controllers and he scared everyone out of the unions. The unions
were what was wrong with America and that's why unemployment was
running 12% back in 1980. So we give up our unions. WHERE'S
THE PAYBACK? Why aren't we prosperous like back in the fifties and

Becuase we're scared stupid.

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