Warfare continues to become more professional and dehumanized every day.

The purpose of Extraordinary Edition is being revisited for winter, headed into 2013. U.S. foreign policy, Central Asia and the Middle East remain key focal points. Economics and culture on your front doorstep are coming into focus here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Back to the War at Home: Stop the Next Collapse Now

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe writes March 3 the Roosevelt Institute has released a report indicating the U.S. economy may be headed in the direction of systemic crisis yet again due to failure to make specific revisions in policy affecting banks and risk.


"Risk-taking at banks," the report cautions, "will soon be larger than ever."

Without more stringent reforms, "another crisis -- a bigger crisis that weakens both our financial sector and our larger economy -- is more than predictable, it is inevitable," Johnson says in the report, commissioned by the nonpartisan Roosevelt Institute.>>

When one takes into account how well the argument has fared in the health care debates how attentive regulation of powerful entities by properly funded government staff translates to "big government" invading the lives of ordinary people, some explanation becomes apparent of how challenging it is to convince Republican legislators to cooperate on a regulatory bill that might change their banking friends' freedom to operate the central economy like a car in a Formula One race. When we asked you nicely in an underregulated, free market environment not to overheat the engine and to avoid collision above 140 mph, we said, "Please?"

This aversion of corporations to minimizing risk--in fact the obsession with increasing risk on investments and ultimately place culpability for poor choices into the hands of taxpayers (whose elected representatives then exclaim, "BALANCE THE BUDGET--THE DEBT IS GETTING RIDICULOUS" ... tell that to the gamblers on Wall Street three years ago, please)--is driven by the fundamental concern of corporations in form and function: to create jobs? Well, in a way--to create executive-level compensation packages that are attractive to prospective execs and competitive with other bloated, top-heavy corporations across all industries and around the globe. If you're going to think of corporate investments, you have to think in terms of corporate priorities (don't forget in the end to reconcile those priorities with your own Main Street concerns: jobs, public infrastructure including transportation, social programs for anyone you know who relies on them to live, affordable health care, capital investment for development of industry where there is too little or none [small business loans]).

Take for example in Michael Moore's last film, "Captialism: a Love Story" his interview with a woman whose deceased husband's employer took out "peasant insurance" on his life. When he died, the company received millions. His wife was mistakenly informed by letter of the insurance award. If you search web sites and read a few articles about peasant insurance you find the motivation for what seems to be a regulatory loop hole and some bad logic that hasn't been tended to by regulators, is driven forth by one motivation: the need to offer executive compensation. Executive bonuses is one of the highest expenditures of large corporations.

Meanwhile many are watching television shows devoted to the fantasy of one day being wealthy enough to never work again and make some eccentric purchases in shopping centers while followed by strangers with video cameras, it may just be coming at a cost to working people (not to even begin to mention the formerly employed) to store all this extra wealth at the top of the economy. Executive compensation seems like a distant concern to most of us. But when the president and his allies in Congress are talking about job creation and the press seems to only acknowledge "jobless recovery," the capital that makes executive salaries and bonuses attractive is the same captial that would be used to create those jobs that bring the stability back to the economy that seems to be what all of us are yearning for but few of us know exactly how to attain.

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