Funding the Economic Recovery from Katrina by A.G. Kaiser
Estimates up to $300 billion are being suggested for the rebuilding of the Katrina ravaged Gulf Coast and New Orleans. The president has promised taxes will not be raised. It is well understood that the excess cash of Mega-Oil cannot be appropriated for public use. Such irresponsible acts would force BP-Amoco, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch/Shell and others to increase prices even further, in order to rebuild their cash reserves. Sources in the know explained that such profit, at the expense of the community, is compelled by the "law of supply and demand." One very excited economist described the disaster as "a God send!" He added to our mandatory query, "I cannot comment on the suffering and pain of the victims, it would be outside my area of expertise."
Most economists agree that the money to rebuild New Orleans et al. must come from the middle class and poor, whose justification for existence is to purchase gasoline and other products and pay interest on loans to create the profits of giant corporations and stockholders. In no event should the beneficiaries of the communityís economic activity, the oneís who have most of the money, be forced to contribute to the support of the communities who provide their riches, unless they remain free to raise prices and thereby regain from the community what they give back to it. Anti social notions, such as corporate responsibility or accountability, would undermine the very foundation of the free market capitalist economy, according to the common wisdom of conventional economists.
Unconventional economist, Karl Marx, was contacted during a Delusanews seance and asked how he thought disaster relief might be funded. Karl would only speak through my friend, Carlos Marques.
DELUSANEWS: "Where do you think the money should come from to rebuild New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast?"
KARL: "Money is not wealth. Material goods are wealth. All wealth is created by doing work. For one to have much more than average wealth, other members of the community must toil and suffer deprivation to create and convey to the rich individual his/her excessive share of the common production. That is: the wealth of the rich must come from the community. The source of all profit is the spending of consumer/taxpayers, who are the greatest part of the community. Those who benefit most from the common work of production, the rich, must be made to give the most to the support of the community, which creates their wealth. We represent material goods with money. Where will the money come from for disaster relief and recuperation?
"To simplify calculations, say there are 300 million in the population. To raise $300 billion requires $1000 dollars per person. Most can afford very little. They need all they have to merely survive. On the other end of the economic scale, at least 0.1 % of the population, 300,000 people (or the corporations they own by owning most of the stocks) can afford at least $1 million each. [Editorís note: Exxon Mobil has $18.5 billion in excess cash plus $25.4 billion in notes and accounts receivable (less doubtful amounts) listed in the Annual Report 2004, delivered on May 25, 2005 in Dallas, TX. They reported $25 billion profit last year and $10 billion during the 2nd quarter of 2005.] One million x 300,000 = $300 billion. The rich have most of the money and wealth in our community. They acquired it through profit on the communityís work. Itís time we, the community, take back the profit of our labor, which has been appropriated by the rich through their corporations!"
At this point, this reporter began to suspect that Carlos, speaking allegedly for Karl, was faking it. But, in any case, Iíll repeat, as Karlís, the response to the next query.
DELUSANEWS: "How do you think your hypothesis may be tested and/or implemented?"
KARL: "The foundation of my comment is not hypothesis. It is theory. As such it is an abstract representation of reality. It may be tested by comparing the approximation, that is the words, to the truth they purport to describe, the material reality. As to forcing the return of the commonly produced goods to the communities that the rich have despoiled, well, that requires a lot of work. Luckily. your American Republic and Constitution invest the ultimate power in the people who vote in free and honest elections. The first step towards recovery must be to reassert that power by taking the government back from the corporations who own it. To accomplish that, youíll need to take back the national dialogue from the wholly owned subsidiary demagogues and corporate media that dominate it. Once youíve done the impossible, a general strike is in order to let them know youíre serious. Unfortunately the economic rebellion may be necessary to gain control of the politicians and news media in the first place. Since the strike is unlikely until that control is returned, well, youíve got a hell of a mess. Too bad you didnít listen to me 150 years ago. I predicted this is what would happen. Now Iím only known by the lies and distortions of your masters, which theyíve used to defend the pyramid fraud that made them rich. Good luck, idiots! I did my part. I wonít even talk about the cheaply coopted fools, who would be willing goons in support of their rich masters. So donít ask!"
The opinions expressed by Carlos Marques, my imaginary friend, are necessarily those of the author, reporter, editor and publisher of Delusanews, agkaiser.
I'll feed myself and provide other necessary resources so that I may continue to write.
A G Kaiser
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