[The Rude Guy Podcast #66 March 03, 2010]
Stop Paying Your Credit Cards
I’m Rich Zubaty. Welcome to the Truth Police. This is the place where we’re serious as hell about telling the truth. No posturing. No spin. No fantasies. Just truth. No matter WHO gets hurt. Any entertainment you get from this will be purely accidental.
The Democratic Party has been running the City of Chicago since before there was a Santa Claus…and that’s the problem with having Chicago Democrats run the White House. They’re accustomed to being the Ruling Party, and they don’t know any different. They are the party of labor and business, unions and corporations, waitresses, janitors, commodities brokers, carpenters, Sears and Boeing. It’s a party run like a third world dictatorship by way of bribes and payoffs and back room deals. I grew up there, and I know.
But that’s not how the rest of the country runs, and that’s not how the people in the rest of the country WANT it to run. We want two parties, with different ideas, that take a stand and fight it out. We try things for a little while the Republican way, then a little while the Democrat way, and which ever way is best prevails over time. Or that’s the way it’s supposed to work. But we don’t want one big party deciding everything. That’s Corporate Communism. Government and business in bed with each other. Also known as fascism.
Barack Obama is Bill Clinton with rockets in his pockets. I warned months ago that Obama was poised to take triangulation, what Clinton called The Third Way, to unimagined heights of selling out. Within nine months in office he drove my bullshit meter right off the scale. And now he’s just announced $8 billion dollars for clean energy – formerly known as nuclear power, the filthiest nastiest energy ever invented. Ugh.
The Republicans hate both Clinton and Obama, and for the same reason. These are the kind of Dems who conquer Republican turf. Republicans have sold their souls for a century to make the insurance companies THEIRS, to make Wall Street THEIRS, to make huge corporations THEIRS, and all of a sudden here’s this conniving squirt Rahm Emanuel, making back room deals. Sucking up to the big money. Doing the bidding of the very people the Dems were elected to oppose. They don’t know any better. They’re the Ruling Party in Chicago and they expect to operate that way in Washington.
Time for Rahm Emanuel to take a subway to hell.
Here’s some breaking news: I finally found out why people have to die. I just figured it out. It’s for our own good. After 70 years of watching the good fishing places get poisoned and fished out. Of watching the pheasants disappear and the purple martins fail to come back in spring. Of watching god-like politicians replaced by technocratic cowards, and even god-like gangsters replaced by Wall Street quants – after 70 years of that, we’ve just had enough. It’s time to die. Our teen idols are gone…the Marlon Brandos and Jim Morrisons, replaced by grumpy, nihilist rappers, wearing gold chains, and airhead songstresses cloaked in dyed chicken feathers. Martin Luther King Junior replaced by Condoleeza Rice! Walter Cronkite replaced by Glen Beck for God sakes. Vine ripened tomatoes replaced by tasteless bio-engineered cardboard sludge-balls. It’s for our own good, death is. How many good things can you lose over 70 or 80 years before you become constantly depressed, and just live in the past anyway?
I’ve made the mistake of returning to the old fishing holes and the old girlfriends and the old politics, and I am instantly struck by how stupid I was, not to have let them live on as wonderful old memories, instead of revisiting them in all their degenerate horror. So don’t be sad about death. It really is for the best.
But before I die I figured out one good way to jam my boot up the ass of Wall Street. I’m going to stop paying my credit cards. Just flat out stop paying them. I’ve never missed a credit card payment in my life, but I’m gonna stop paying and stick Bank of America with $7000 dollars. Well…not really. I’ve been paying out a thousand dollars a year since 2001, and that makes $9000 dollars I’ve paid out, on $7000 dollars worth of credit. So that’s plenty. That’s enough. They made their money back on me. That’s how I see it. That’s not how they see it. But I don’t care anymore how they see it. What I have to say to them is: fuck you you greedy bastards, I’ve had enough.
And what pushed me over the brink of finally having had enough, is this: Bank of America can go to the Federal Reserve and borrow the $7000 I owe them, at one quarter of one percent interest. The FED makes this money up out of thin air, and lends it to Bank of America, at one QUARTER of one percent. Then they turn around and lend that to me at 14%. That’s 60 TIMES more. 6000% more. For every dollar they pay on interest for the funny money they borrowed from the Fed, they get 60 dollars back from me. And they don’t think they should be regulated?
I agree, they should be lined up against a wall and shot! They should be doused with red paint and rolled through the streets. They should be put to work growing onions and cabbages in Alaska. They should be given brooms and forced to sweep up the slums. How would you like to be some unemployed janitor, looking down from the ninth floor of your tenement, watching a banker sweeping up the broken glass in the street. Wouldn’t that make your day? Wouldn’t that make you feel like America is working again? The entire economy would bounce back in a few weeks if people saw that happening. Bankers actually working. How unique. How special.
The key to this is, if we ALL stop paying, the bankers are really gonna freak out. If we won’t borrow money from them at 6000% profit, what’ll they do? Lower it to 5000%. 4000?
That’s how we stopped the Vietnam War. It’s not covered in the history books, but that’s how we stopped that war. When we ALL said we weren’t gonna fight, the soldiers, the draftees, the students, the workers…everyone…the war stopped. But I’m not waiting on anyone else. I’m just gonna stop right now. And urge you to do the same.
Here’s how we got here. The greedhead bankers made bets upon bets upon bets, and called it “insurance”. Derivatives, credit default swaps. And so forth. I call it sociopathic greed, and if any of the rest of us had done what they did, we’d be thrown in prison, and never get any credit again. But not them, not the government protected banks.
Basically, they bet on a horse to win. And then they took out an insurance policy against the horse, in case it didn’t win. And then they made various other bets about whether the horse would stumble, or the jockey would fall off, or it would only finish in third place. And then they bundled all these horseshit bets together with pretty wrapping paper, and sold them to Europeans and pension funds as Triple A mortgage-backed securities. The highest grade of investment. And then, because they knew they had sold everyone horseshit, they bet against their own horseshit. They took out insurance against their horseshit, based on the computer-generated guess, that the horseshit might start to stink, SOON…and then, they short-sold their horseshit on the securities markets, betting it would start to stink…based on the insider knowledge that it was horseshit to begin with, which only they knew, because they’re the ones who had wrapped the horseshit up in bright wrapping paper to begin with!
You know all that. You know it intuitively and that’s all I wanna say about it, because it’s what happened next, that fries my gonads.
Next, the horseshit soaked through the pretty wrapping paper and started plopping on people’s shoes, startling them into panic because of all the stink and mess. So, one month before a presidential election, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson went to George W Bush, and tried to arrange a taxpayer bailout for these vendors of horseshit. Amazingly and respectably, at first the congress said no. But a few days later, after lots of hinted-at forthcoming campaign donations to our representatives in congress, the congressional whores said yes.
So the big banks got their bailout…happy day. Except for one thing. The bailout came with strings attached, about how loose and fast the banks could operate in the future. So they immediately began thinking about ways to pay back the bailout money, so they could free themselves from the regulatory strings.
Anything to make a fast buck at this point. So they started speculating in petroleum and drove up the price of gas for everybody on the planet. Gas hit almost $6 a gallon where I live. Now it has settled down to a dollar seventy five MORE than it should be. And…to return to our main theme…the banks, in astonishing unison, also raised credit card fees and rates.
So here’s how this works. They made bad bets, that racked up huge debts, got bailed out from their bad debts by US taxpayers…but didn’t like the restrictions placed on them for taking the bailout money, and announced they would soon pay back the taxpayer money. How? By reaming taxpayers up the ass, shooting us like sheep in a pen. Strangling the very people who had paid the tax money to bail them out, with credit card interest rates, sixty times higher, than what it costs the banks to borrow that money. So…their big sophisticated financial plan is to suck the blood of the American people, to extract the money to pay back the bailout, given them by: the American people. And will we, the people, see any of that bailout money? Fuck no. Obama will blow it on nuclear power plants, or some such political rotten fish, to get more votes in Georgia, or somewhere else he’s losing ground.
Fuck these people. They should all be lined up against a wall and shot.
But…that’s only the current manifestation of the problem. Remember the Savings and Loan disaster? No, of course not, you forgot all about it. The banks stole 300 billion dollars from us back then, and we forgot about it. We forgot about it because we have been trained like monkeys, to accept the idea, that that’s what capitalism does. Once or twice a decade it raids the U. S. Treasury to cover bad bets. That’s just the nature of American-style corporate capitalism. Corporatism. Corporate communism. Government run for the benefit of Wall Street banksters. So we should just stop whining and get used to it – according to Wall Street.
Starting when the bombs went off in Afghanistan in 2001 I ran up $7000 dollars in credit card debt, traveling the length and breadth of North America, and twice around the globe, fighting against George W. Bush, and his insane wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I stayed with friends, and in backpacker hotels, and bought cheap plane tickets on dicey airlines, and cooked my own food, and got a long long way on 7 grand over three years. As you might know, I write books about men and war…and…increased book sales alone, jump-started by my many appearances at anti-war, and impeach Bush rallies, and at the Frankfurt book fair…increased book sales alone should have paid off ten times the amount of my credit card debt.
But they didn’t. Why?
Because I was frozen out of the book selling business by the big banks who finance the big publishing corporations, and big bookstores. Big banks are greed-monsters, who only invest in companies big enough to be listed on the stock exchange, and thereby create an environment in which small businessmen, don’t have a chance. Like today. Small businesses are going under because banks won’t lend them the money to operate.
Let me back up a little further and try to make this clearer.
I write books, and make associated videos, podcasts, articles and oil paintings. But no one would publish my books because they’re too controversial, so I self-published them. My book “What Men Know That Women Don’t”, completed in 1993, reissued in 2001, still pumps out a small monthly check from amazon.com. But amazon is the ONLY retailer that carries it. Despite 17 years of steady sales, no big publisher will republish it, which means no big distributor will distribute it. Which means no big bookstores will stock it. So people can’t see it, and pick it up, and browse through it…And buy it on impulse for their recently divorced brother.
It’s a rigged game. It’s de facto market censorship. But fools like me have watched too many Hollywood movies, where the good guy ultimately wins, and we don’t know that we can never win against them…the big banks won’t give us small businessmen, fair business loans, so we take on the high-interest credit card debt they offer, printing books and promoting books in a publishing environment that’s already rigged to fail, by the very guys who issued us the high-interest credit cards in the first place. The big banks.
But, fuck me. Who cares. I borrowed $7000 dollars and paid back $9000, and I’m not paying any more. They got a three per cent annual return on money they can borrow at a quarter of a percent – which is twelve times more. Every dollar they paid in interest, I paid back with twelve. Much fucking better than they were gonna get from AIG, without the taxpayer bailout partly financed by ME and you. So I quit. I don’t want their credit. Fuck credit. Let ‘em grow cabbages. No more loan fees outta me.
We need to establish a Bank of the United States that prints its own money, cutting out the FED. We need a bank owned by ‘we the people’, that lends directly to small businesses, cutting out the big banks, which don’t loan money to small businesses anyway. I won’t see that in my lifetime. But I guess its time to kick the can down the road. Stick my neck out again and risk what? I don’t even know. I’ve tried negotiating with these assholes and they won’t even negotiate. Every business deal is negotiable. How come credit cards are different? These assholes get together at Swiss ski resorts, and illegally price fix higher interest rates and fees for American credit cards, and that’s supposed to be OK. Maybe if I stop paying then they’ll decide to negotiate. Or maybe not. I’ll find out. And let you know. But I’m not gonna be a hamster on a credit card treadmill any more. My fishing spots are gone. My heroes are gone. My bullshit meter has gone off the scale. I ain’t runnin’ any more.
I’m going to quote again from Ellen Hodgson Brown, from an article on Truthout.org. Hodgson Brown wrote the book the Web of Debt, that I told you about in Podcast 64 titled: Nationalize the Fed.
A publicly-owned bank has also been proposed on the federal level. Nationalizing the Federal Reserve (which is not actually federal but is owned by a consortium of private banks) Nationalizing the Federal Reserve, was advocated by 2008 presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, and Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate. In 2009, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz said, the government would have been better off funding a federally-owned bank, than doling out trillions of dollars to private investment banks and CEOs, who speculated their way into bankruptcy. Speaking at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on March 6, 2009, Stiglitz said: quote
“If we had used the $700 billion dollar TARP money instead, to create a new financial institution, a Bank of the United States, and allowed it leverage of 10 to 1…which is very modest compared to the 30 to 1 leverage that the banks were doing…10 to 1 would have generated $7 trillion dollars of new lending capacity, far in excess of what our country needs. So the issue here is not about lending. It’s really about saving the bankers. And what we confused was, saving the banks versus saving the bankers and their shareholders.” unquote
We COULD have saved the economy, by starting our OWN bank, and letting the speculators drown in their own horseshit. But they bamboozled congress into bailing them out. Telling us everything would fall apart if we didn’t do what they said. Instead of giving us a couple weeks to figure out there were a couple hundred OTHER ways to handle the problem. Ways that would have helped all of us. A sea change in the way banking is done in America. An incredible blown opportunity.
And…here’s some even better news. There is a growing prairie fire of support for state owned banks. I hope it sweeps the nation. The State of North Dakota started one in 1919, to protect its farmers and small businessmen from Wall Street…sound familiar?…and it’s been working out ever since. And…North Dakota is a Republican state…and the reason they love their SOCIALIST bank, is because it means LOWER taxes for everybody. The State lends money out of its general fund. And collects interest on those loans. And funds many of its government expenditures, roads, social services and more, from those loan profits. How simple can it get? No bankster middle men.
Florida, Illinois, Oregon, Massachusetts, Idaho and California, all have political candidates whose platforms contain this proposed solution to the credit crisis. State owned banks.
In Idaho, James Stivers, a Republican candidate for the Idaho Senate, has also proposed a state bank to fill state coffers and protect the local economy. Stivers declares: quote
“An important part of sovereignty is the monetary authority. Currently, banks are allowed to multiply, many times over, the state tax receipts, deposited, in their private institutions. This special privilege is partly responsible for the ‘sucking sound’ in our local economies, as regional banks send their assets to central banks, that are playing the derivatives markets of the world.
Stivers sees the bank as a way to facilitate small business startups, end the ability of private banks to cream profits from the public treasury, protect key budget items, and stave off excessive influence from the federal government…The current banking system, he says, causes inflation, one of the quote “greatest detriments to a living wage”:
“Inflation is the secret tax of the banking industry, in which lenders use the multiplier effect to the benefit of their cronies. This secret tax takes the form of a decline, in the value of the dollar, and results in higher prices. Wages never keep up with this process because its very purpose is to extract wealth from the wage earner, to support the privileged classes, who curry the favor of lenders. A state bank would restore this privilege to the people in a public trust, and would give us the opportunity to back our deposits with the wealth from our public lands.”
This guy’s a Republican for fuck sakes. It’s amazing.
Also, writes Ellen Hodgson Brown:
Economist and author Farid Khavari, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida, proposes a state-owned bank that would lend directly to borrowers. The Bank of North Dakota usually uses a “lead lender” such as a bank, savings and loan company, or credit union, rather than doing commercial lending directly. Dr. Khavari maintains that the proposed Bank of the State of Florida would cut out the middlemen banks, and manage lending hands on. It could be launched at no cost to taxpayers, by using the state’s assets as the reserves for making loans, employing the same fractional reserve lending rules used by private banks today. In this way, he says, the bank could drive an “economic miracle” in Florida, instigating massive job creation, cutting costs in half or more, providing low-interest financing to homeowners and businesses, and improving teacher salaries, and care for veterans and the elderly, while at the same time reducing taxes. He explains: quote
“The economy is collapsing due to lack of demand. The economy needs money, but the banks are cutting credit, and then sucking all the cash out of the economy, by raising interest rates, to make sure no one has any cash left at the end of the month. [Khavari’s saying this, not me] The cost of interest is built into the cost of everything. People already work ten years of their lives just to pay interest in one form or another. The Bank of the State of Florida will end that for Floridians. And this model will work for every state….
“We can pay 6 percent interest on savings. Using the same fractional reserve rules as all banks, we can create $900 dollars of new money, through loans, for every $100 in deposits. We can loan that $900 in the form of 2 percent fixed rate 15-year mortgages, for example…and the state can earn $12 every year, for every $100 in deposits. That means Floridians can save tens of billions of dollars per year, while the state earns billions, by making the savings possible for them.
“State and local government budgets, will balance without higher taxes, when the Bank of the State of Florida, the BSF, cuts interest costs. [and listen to this ladies and gentlemen; quote] 6 percent BSF credit cards, will save people billions of dollars per month, money that stays in Florida instead of going to the big banks — and the state will make huge profits on that, too. Saving billions in interest costs will create millions of jobs without subsidies, just by keeping those billions circulating in Florida. Eventually the state will earn enough to reduce and eliminate state and local taxes, while every Floridian, has economic security, in a recession-proof Florida.” Unquote.
So…my ranting and raving has gotten us somewhere. Fuck big banks. Create state owned banks that give out home loans at 2% interest, and credit cards at 6%, or less! — to finance small business, cut taxes, and get our economy moving again. Time to give the finger to Wall Street.
[bird, or rooster or something]
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