[The Rude Guy Podcast #57 June 15, 2009]
This is Rich Zubaty, The Rude Guy. The Paul Harvey of podcasting. Bringing you…the Rest of the Story.
I’m still living in my car, because rent is way too high. If I pay rent I don’t have money for anything else, and in fact, I go deeper into credit card debt each month. Rent is an abomination. Rent is the way that rich people and banks, oppress poor people. And rent, these days, includes mortgages, which are really just rent of money…So how did we get here?
Long ago, in Europe and Asia and America, some man looked out over a thousand acres and said, “This is all mine”. The Indians, the local nomads, were baffled. They fell over laughing. But before long this entrepreneur had hired them, or other latecomers like himself, to “work” this land. Plowing it and raising cattle on it. Making it productive. The entrepreneur himself worked long and hard too, but he was the “owner”. He paid the others subsistence wages, corn and cows, and kept the rest for himself. And thus his wealth increased, by the capital, produced from the labor, of the local people. Labor IS capital.
Several generations later, the sons and daughters of this entrepreneur, still “owned” the land. But they had been to Harvard and Princeton, and had better things to do than raise pigs and soybeans. So they… “rented out” the land. To whom? To the grandsons and granddaughters of the very locals who had built up the capital wealth of the farm, in the first place. Overnight, the owners began renting the work of the local great grandfathers, to the local great grandchildren. What a system. This is what Proudhon meant when he said, quote, “property is theft.”
But pretty soon the renters wondered why they couldn’t be owners too? And after awhile, the heirs of the owners decided they needed ALL the capital, all the wealth, held in the farm, for other projects they were launching. So they decided to, “sell” the farm. To whom? The heirs of the very locals who had built it up. Now they were selling the work of the great grandfathers, to the great grandchildren. But the problem was, the locals didn’t have money to buy the farm.
“No problem,” said the heirs of the owners. “We’ll lend you the money, from our bank.” So the heirs of the owners made up money out of thin air, which is what banks are licensed, by the government, to do. Then they “lent” this money to the heirs of the people who had built the farm… so now the great grandchildren could “buy” the work of their great grandparents. And all they had to do was pay a little “interest”, in order to buy their great grandparents work back from the heirs of the owners.
Every wonder why there was a French Revolution? Why king’s and noblemen’s heads rolled in the streets? Why capitalism is despised over most of the globe? This is why. Rents and landlords.
An average payment on this rent of imaginary money, now called a “mortgage”, would be 90% towards interest, and 10% towards principal. It would take the better part of your lifetime, to pay off your purchase of your grandfather’s work. Grandpa’s work was stolen to begin with, and you have to buy it again. Ever wonder how rich people can afford racehorses and yachts?
And it gets worse.
For who would set the price of the farm? The renter? The owner? No, no, no, no. The “market” sets the price. What market is that? The “market” that is made up of 90% imaginary money, lent by other banks to other locals, who want to buy farms too. This is what’s meant, by growth. Growth is actually inflated value. The only way the banks can get back their imaginary money in real money, is if the economy keeps growing. Keeps inflating the value of everything, so that if you own lots of things, you get richer just for waking up in the morning. And if you don’t own anything, you get poorer sipping every morning’s coffee. But Rush Limbaugh and the Republican Party, and bastard, sell-out, right wing Democrats like Max Baucus, tell us that’s how the market works, so who are you to complain? You can buy all the work of your grandfathers for nine times more than it’s worth, plus interest. (with gravitas) The “market” says so.
Fine. You buy the farm. You make the payments. You have some good years. You have some bad years. The Banks, who have already made piles of money from you, by financing your purchase of the work of your grandfathers, the banks, lend you more money for machinery and seeds. The good years come back, but meanwhile the banks have also financed huge agribusinesses, farming hundreds of thousands of acres, which produce so much, food they drive commodity prices into the toilet. You can’t compete. You go bankrupt.
And now the banks, owned by the sons and daughters of the original “owner” of the farm, have your land back again. And they’ll even hire you to come work on it, at a subsistence wage. Just like your great great great great grandfathers did.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
This is what we call capitalism.
This does not happen under socialism.
A good definition of socialism comes from Hubert Bland, an English writer in the 1800s. quote “Socialism is the common holding of the means of production, and exchange, AND the holding of them (this is the important part), the holding of them, FOR THE EQUAL BENEFIT OF ALL. And the holding of them, FOR THE EQUAL BENEFIT OF ALL.
Capitalists, get out your crucifixes. The devil has entered the church.
You heard it right. We want the wealth of society, built up by our grandfathers, we want that wealth held, for the equal benefit of all. Not just for the owners. Not for the Harvard Business school-trained sons and daughters of the owners. Not for those people clever enough, and ruthless enough, to game the system to benefit only themselves. But for The Equal… Benefit… of All.
We might never get there. But we can certainly get a lot closer than we are now. The best thing I heard in the current economic collapse is that the United Auto Workers are receiving 55% of Chrysler stock, to compensate them for Chrysler’s disappeared pension funds. However this deal is still screwed up by capitalist meddling. The stock is held by a management company, not the union itself. The owner class still controls it. But, it’s forward movement. At least the Chrysler workers have been given a stake in their own company. Which works two ways. They profit when it profits. And, they are not going to force such harsh union demands, that they destroy the company. Worker-owned business. That’s real SOCIALism.
So how do we run things, for the Equal Benefit of all?
The Post Office is a good example. You pay the same amount for a stamp that will take a letter across town, or from Honolulu to New York. And few people complain about that. It’s better to have the flat rate that reaches everywhere. Better for people. Better for business. And if you really want premium service, you can always go to Fed Ex, and pay more money, and get the job done faster.
The Post Office is a federal government entity that is quasi independent, in the sense, that it is expected to generate all, or most, of its operating expenses. But it has the backing of the Federal Government. Its rates are regulated, and it’s not going to collapse. That would be a great way to run automobile companies, oil companies, banks, hospitals, schools… (oh, that’s how we already run schools), highways… (oh that’s how we already run highways), Social Security…(oh that’s how we already run Social Security). Parks…oh…Well…It’s the best way to run just about any business with more than 1000 employees.
No I don’t want Federal hamburger joints competing with McDonalds. I think they should both go the way of the buffalo. Small businesses are best run by entrepreneurs. But big business? Give me the government every time.
That’s why Airbus is beating the pants off Boeing right now. Airbus is a joint venture between the governments of Germany and France, and the corporations of Germany and France. By American thinking this should be a laughable bureaucratic mess. But it’s not. Their airplanes float on water. We saw that on the Hudson River in New York. That’s the kind of people-over-profit design, their socialist governments insisted on. So they’re building better planes, and they’re building them for less. In these (grating) horribly socialized governments of Europe. And MORE remarkably, Airbus is a two-government company, made up of two governments which, sixty years ago, were bitter enemies. According to the American Corporate Capitalist Bible, this shouldn’t work at all. But the reality, the rest of the story, is that it works better than anything we’ve got in the barnyard. Socialism.
Where the work, the capital, created by the great grandfathers, belongs to the great grandchildren, not the owner class… where society runs things, for the Equal Benefit of all…
I walk down a street in Cologne Germany, and I’m amazed to see a plaque informing me that the paving stones I’m walking on, were laid down by Roman soldiers over 2000 years ago. 2000 fucking years ago!
A European, more so than an America, is born into an infrastructure put there by his grandfathers. He can see his great great great great grandfathers’ roads, bridges, churches, railroads, schools, farms, dairy cattle breeds, fruits, flowers, music, great books, paintings – a cornucopia of publicly shared wealth, reaching back thousands of years. And moreover, born into it, as a German or a Frenchman or Swede, he is entitled, and invited, to make use of these wonderful things, and to preserve them, and to contribute something of his own, during his lifetime, to this great cultural legacy.
It’s very easy for a European to understand how to run things for the Equal Benefit of All. Unlike Americans, the intent of a European is not to make a lot of money and buy a lot of stuff. The European intent is to add something wonderful to his cultural inheritance. Until every Frenchman has food and medicine and shelter, no Frenchman is entitled to make a pile of money and gamble it away in Monaco. If he does, when he comes back home, his office will be burned to the ground and his horses poisoned. That’s how they do things in European socialist countries. They don’t listen to Karl Roves or Rush Limbaughs…they don’t worship private wealth…they don’t take shit from rich people. They understand there’s a class war, and they understand which side of it they’re on. In case you’re wondering America, it’s time to be MAD at the rich. [RG voice] Mad at the rich.
And now for something nasty and disgusting. This is, after all, the show with something to offend everybody. So lemme say something that’s gonna cause people’s hair to catch on fire.
I just endured another Memorial Day. It’s always a painful and infuriating day for me. I have friends and relatives who died in war. And I still don’t know what they died for. The newspapers tell me it’s for freedom. But the French and the Germans and the Dutch have more freedom than we do, and they don’t have to die for it. So what the fuck is that about? There’s freedom in Poland and Bolivia and Argentina and Denmark and Italy, and a hundred other countries, and they don’t have to send soldiers to the other side of the earth to die for it. The bottom line is, war is bullshit. War is fought for capitalist profit and only horribly exploited, brainwashed fools, fight in wars and die in wars. War is stupid. War does not make us free. War enslaves us. There is NOTHING ennobling about fighting and dying in war. Nothing.
A bunch of belligerent, dumb teenagers are put in uniforms and shipped to the other side of the globe where they kill some hapless gooks or dinks or ragheads, and you tell me they’re protecting my freedom. What’s wrong with you? Are you kidding me? Yes. You are kidding me. You army of brainwashed fuckwads and demented bastards. I hate all of you. I hate the wars you fought in. I hate the people who sent you to fight. I hate the newspapers, TV, radio, politicians, peace activists, and all the other cowardly bastards, who blow smoke up your asses for a job well done…protecting our freedom. I hate you soldiers who, 20, 40, 50 years later, still think you did some great thing for America, and for freedom. Who still can’t admit you were just ignorant dupes, teenagers with guns, seduced to service the greedy agendas, of tyrannical governments and corporate imperialism. You’re fools if you cannot admit that war is bullshit. Demented fools. 51,000 Americans died in Vietnam and who can tell me what they died for? And, when we failed in Vietnam, and fled with our tails between our legs, what happened? Nothing happened. There were no falling dominoes or communist expansions. Within 15 years communism had totally collapsed of its own preposterous grandiosities. War is bullshit. And if you can’t admit that you are either brainwashed or demented. Or both.
OK, I’ll give ya World War Two. I suppose that war had to be fought. But it only HAD to be fought because Woodrow Wilson injected us into World War One — after promising, during his election campaign, he wouldn’t get us into that war — Wilson injected us into World War One, and that forced such a one-sided peace settlement on Germany, that a mere 20 years later the whole thing blew up again.
So if we had stayed the fuck out of World War One, we would never have had to fight World War Two! Assholes.
I hate you media cocksuckers. And that’s just what you are. Cocksuckers. Sucking the dicks of the politicians and soldiers. Sucking the emotional blood from their wives and children and girlfriends, the tragically abused and ignorant public. Manufacturing angel wings out of bear shit. And now, even under Obama, we spend as much on the military as the entire rest of the world combined, and you tell me we are doing this to preserve freedom? Freedom for whom? The bastards who get the billion dollar government contracts to make the weapons systems to kill gooks and sand niggers?
Fuck all of you. You’re deranged. You’re hypocritical liars.
And Fuck Memorial Day. Let’s use that day to remember all the innocent victims of war. Including our own soldiers. Who died for nothing. That’s the real outrage. Died for nothing. What was accomplished in Vietnam? Nothing. Korea? Nothing. Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan? Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. When France and Germany go to war overseas to “protect their freedom” I’ll sit up and take note. But until then get out of my face with your phony war propaganda. And Obama too. I’m sick of listening to him and other peaceniks drool all over our troops about what a great job they do. Get the fuck out of Afghanistan and Iraq like you told us you would. That’s how to honor the troops. Just get ‘em out. There’s no cool way to do it. Just be uncool Barack, and do it. We learned that in Vietnam. Just get the fuck out. Stop using your silver tongue to justify women and children getting blown to hamburger by drones. Get our soldiers out! Now.
And get the fuck out of Guantanamo too. At some point pragmatism becomes cowardice. You can’t be all things to all people. Plant your feet and deliver what you told us you’d deliver on. Stop kissing the ass of the right. They didn’t vote for you. The left did. Simply appointing middle of the road blacks and Hispanics and women is not gonna cut it. We want action on issues. End the wars now, and we’ll have hundreds of billions of dollars more to spend on worthy economic programs. Not just blowing holes in the ground, and in bystanders, on the other side of the planet.
Ugh. You, Barack Obama, are the first Northern Democrat we’ve had as president since John F. Kennedy. That’s a wonderful thing. No more conservative southern Democrats and redneck Texans in the White House, for a few years at least. You bring knowledge of cities and workers and poor people and progressive thought, into the White House. And I love it…That said, now is not the time for a regression to Clintonian triangulation. Because no matter what you do for the right, they will attack you, and oppose you, and stifle you for the last six years of your administration. The time to act is NOW! Fuck the right. Steamroll ‘em like they’ll steamroll you.
In one entire year, I’ve only gotten one donation to keep this podcast going. 11 dollars from Joe Campbell, Joe C., who works at a drive-thru beer store in Cincinnati Ohio. He said he’s taking his monthly Air America subscription, and sending it to me. Sez Joe: “I’m working my way through your podcasts now… I’m on number 30. I work at a “Drive-Thru” Pony keg in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Conservative stronghold. I sell beer to deceived wanna-be right wingers, through the window of their beat down pick up trucks….And, from what I’ve heard so far, you are already doing a hell of a job. A podcast that endeavors to set it’s listeners on the REAL issues. To cut through the distraction. ” Unquote. Thanks Joe. I was hoping someone out there would be interested in ideas, not just beltway gossip. Wish this podcast could be discovered by the other million of you, I know are out there. And I wish all of you would send me eleven bucks. Like Joe.
But I guess the rest of you folks don’t care. That’s OK. I don’t care that much either. Maybe it’s time to for me to move to Brazil. A country with a former shoeshine boy and labor leader as president. Anyway, I’ll just make shows when I need to vent about something and leave it at that. No expectations, no promises.