Wednesday, July 09, 2014

1354 Bubbles in the Air

Private business and the government each work in their own bubble.

The motto on the government bubble: "We Are The GOVERNMENT and we don’t care."

The motto on the business bubble:  "We Are Capital.  We can exist without you, but you can't exist without us."

Often, it's when the interests of each coincide that we here in the economy class seats get the turbulence.  We're easier targets and we have no legitimate voice... and those who pretend to speak for us are full of banana oil.

But often these two supposed enemies work closely together.

The battle between the defense dept and the big contractors is like Wrestlemania.  Anyone can make any noise or moves as long as the match ends according to script.

Meantime, Apple and a flock of other corporate patriots become offshore companies who pay little or no US taxes.  And since the government can't go offshore, it finds ways to get even.

Usually, that means a slap on the wrist for an Enron-level crook or the “sudden” discovery, prosecution and jailing of a Bernie Madoff.  But they don’t touch Apple or the others who are too big to prosecute.

Yes, the government tends to look forward and the business looks to profit and protect itself.  This is tribal.

And we tend to think of both the government and private industry as competing monoliths.  But they aren't.

To those of us in the cheap seats, Siva Rangarajan who runs the Exxon station down the block IS Exxon.  And there's no difference between the Secretary of Labor and the social worker who removes kids from a bad home and into a bad foster home.

And we're wrong.  

The people who think the federal government should run like a household think the same as the people who think the government should run everything.

And they’re both wrong.

You can bet that any time the government wants to deregulate or privatize anything there are dollar signs in their eyes.

Same with private industry.  Those who want to rent the highways or the lottery system or the penal system.

No one has yet advanced privatizing the district attorney or attorney general’s offices.  But can the day be far when that happens?

Sometimes the business bubble and the government bubble collide.  But there’s usually no damage.  They are, after all, bubbles.

Sometimes, though, there are spikes attached to one bubble and not the other.  And that’s when the real trouble starts.

Shrapnel:

--So this big bulky guy falls asleep at a major league baseball game and his gut is hanging out and his posture is that of a dead man and the camera’s all focus on him and the sportscasters make fun of him.  Now, he’s filed suit against MLB, claiming his reputation is ruined.  Reputation for what… alertness at a game that put practically everyone to sleep?

--Because the game was at Yankee stadium, the suit was filed in the courts of the New York City borough of the Bronx.  So don’t hold your breath for a decision or a settlement.  Everyone knows the Bronx court system is where cases go to die.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2014

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