Obama is a magician, and Occupy Wall Street is his audience.
Magic acts consist largely of misdirection. While Penn Jillette’s painted fingernail on his left hand distracts your attention, his right hand pulls cards from outside your field of view. Barack Obama stokes fire in Occupy Wall Street’s belly, raising anger against banks and big business in order to mask colluding with the same 1%. Call it a variation of …
The Lie of Magic: Redirecting the attention of the public away from the core of the topic to complicated irrelevancies.
This is part of our modern political economy (the United States market economy has been comatose since FDR, the original American fascist). Money is made not through innovation, hard work and providing value. Fast, fat money is made by sitting next to people in power and guiding its abuse. In an uncertain world, purchasing influence removes uncertainty for the buyer.
This in turn keeps you unemployed.
According to the Financial Times, most companies in this country are increasingly uncertain about their future prospects. This is due in no small part to the uncertainty that Washington creates by bending the rules of commerce and fair play in favor of those who procure politicians. When rules aren’t, or are so flexible as to be unpredictable, then estimating a company’s future earnings is impossible, and thus hiring you is unwise.
History is vocal about this particular practice. FDR erected the National Recovery Administration, an organization derisively yet accurately referred to as Nuts Running America. To their evil credit, this extinct NRA openly colluded with large companies to fix prices, stifle competition, and drag industrial production down 25%. Echoing Obama and tools that Occupy, one National Recovery Administration head denounced open markets, favoring the government controlled variety in saying:
There is no choice presented to American business between intelligently planned and uncontrolled industrial operations and a return to the gold-plated anarchy that masqueraded as “rugged individualism.”
Shame John Wayne wasn’t around to correct this fellow’s misconceptions by applying some of The Duke’s rugged individualism.
Large companies collaborating with government to rig rules makes it easy for large companies to win (no big insurance company stood in the way when Uncle Sam made it illegal to buy health insurance in other states – Mass Mutual might be the Br’er Rabbit of insurance regulation). The larger the payoff, the more likely well-heeled corporations will saddle-up aside a President and guide policy, especially if the current commander is corrupt or corruptible.
And there are not many players bigger that Warren Buffet.
Buffet understands the Lie of Magic, and appears to have practiced it well in recent years. He bought significant holdings in banks, then campaigned for them to be bailed-out. The shady two-step landed his companies nearly $95 billion of your tax money, and the promise of another $130 billion to back Buffet’s bad debts. In a faux rescue of Goldman Sachs, Buffet negotiated a 10% divided on his cash infusion, then helped your congress critter pump deficit cash into Sachs posterior for a mere 5% dividend, in effect financing Buffet’s excessive income. Not only did your paycheck indirectly go to Buffet’s dividend income, but the guarantee of your tax money bumped-up Sachs’ stock, “earning” Warren another couple of billion bucks.
Not surprisingly, the government’s “investments” were pretty poor. It appears that banks that took TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money underperformed those that didn’t, according to a couple of finance professors at the University of Michigan.
Stated more painfully, you are subsidizing poorly run companies (and not just Solyndra).
Now we see the grandfatherly Buffet publicly requesting that wealthy people pay higher taxes, the calling cry of Occupy Wall Street hordes. The misdirection, Buffet’s own Lie of Magic, is elegant in its complexity. While sitting on Obama’s right hand and channeling the mortal movements of Timmy Geithner in the creation of the Public-Private Investment Program (i.e., more of your tax money backing hand-selected businesses, many being Buffet beneficiaries), he nurtures 2012 election mobs and other menial mentalities in mock outrage. Buffet is a mechanic that knows well how to use tools.
Will Occupy Wall Street look behind the curtain and past their preconceptions to see the true face of their wizards? Doubtful … and that is dangerous.