If you have "no place to go," come here!

Gimme a trillion or I shoot this market!


Sports fans, your humble blogger earnestly endeavors to keep up with the machinations of of big financial firms to extract rents from the poor chump taxpayer, usually by invoking scary images of the financial version of nuclear winter. Since we seem to be heading there anyhow, I'm at a loss to explain why these tactics should have such sway with the officialdom, save that they labor under the delusion that their efforts are having a positive effect.

Yyes, at a loss? Readers, can you help?

Oh, and pay attention to that word, "rent." Fix it firmly in your mind, because that's what Big Money is after, and that's what the upcoming Grand Bargain is all about.

Remember the scam where the banks charged people $3.00 a pop to withdraw their unemployment instead of just writing a check? That $3.00 is a rent, and now that the bubbles have burst, rents are one of the few ways big banks have of making -- make that "extracting" -- money from us, so expect more of it.

Now, the thing that really pisses off Big Money about Social Security is that they can't extract any rent from it. That's what's at stake right now.

Notice how it's the same deal with the insurance companies?

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goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

401ks were a big rent machine with the added bonus that the financial services community could gamble with our money while charging us for that privilege.
This sudden realization nauseates and infuriates me.

Submitted by lambert on

For example, do I believe that Greenspan made the SS deal with Reagan and O'Neill with the idea in mind that, thirty years on, he'd be able to loot the huge pile of money that resulted from it?

Well, on this one, it would definitely be irresponsible not to speculate.

I think the key in the current policy debates is to look for the "rents" because that's the driver. Not just Social Security, but also health care. Why is single payer off the table? Because, at this point, the insurance companies are nothing more than rent collectors. The rents sustain the Village (think the ferme générale pre-1789 France), and so the deal that any President makes with the Village is how those rents will be collected and who from -- not how to eliminate them. What the Village looks for is the best possible face to put on the rent collection process.

Which would explain a lot about the primaries, I would think. For example, the "bitter knitters" would be thrown under the bus not merely because of the vile misogyny of the OFB (though that existed), and not merely because the "creative" [cough] "class," Donna Brazile, et al, wished to remake the FKD without the base (though they did), but because older women who depend on Social Security aren't paying enough "rent," and the first step to extracting more from them is to marginalize them from the political process. Under the banner of "shared sacrifice," you understand. Eh?

On this, at least, goldberry, I think we are in vehement agreement. ;-)