The Privileged Perspective
Speaking Power to Truth
Speaking Power to Truth
Monday, June 14, 2004
More Unsung Help for Halliburton
Every day we learn more about Dick Cheney's brilliant molding of Halliburton into an unelected branch of the government. According to a new Los Angeles Times article , Pentagon officials have admitted that Mr. Cheney's chief of staff helped the "Greatest Corporation" secure a $7 billion, no-bid, taxpayer-funded Iraq contract, skirting the law and overruling the recommendation of an army lawyer. Nicely done! Of course, we would have expected no less from our esteemed Vice President, for the love between a CEO and his conglomerate transcends all earthly (and legal) boundaries.
The article also states that Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California, bane of our corporate brethren, is now "demanding full disclosure of the top-secret process that led to awarding the contract to the Houston-based oil services company."
Henry, Henry, you silly Democrat: Whoever said it was secret?
Sharpen Up those Oil Drills!
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4529, our GOP allies' latest proposal to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.
Of course, the business-impaired tree-huggers at the National Resources Defense Council say the bill is a bad idea: that it will wreck the environment only to create a 180-day supply of oil that won't materialize for ten years.
In a suggested letter to your Congressperson (how quaint!), the NRDC goons argue that "This pro-polluter legislation would enrich oil, gas, coal and nuclear companies with billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies."
Well, duh! What is government for, if not to make Billionaires richer at the expense of the taxpayers?
As for the environmental hysteria, we must simply ask: how much have moose, bald eagles, and seals contributed to the GDP this year?
If you're in Washington this week, fellow Billionaires, salute your Congresspersons (whoever among them you happen to own) with the following cheer: "4-5-2-9! Drilling in the Arctic's Fine!"
Keep those fat contributions coming, and it won't be long before Alaska's coast is bubbling over with Texas tea...
Pensions Aren't For Everyone: Neither is Wealth
Yes, Billionaires, we have yet another reason to celebrate at the expense of the middle class. According to a June 13, 2004 New York Times report, the demise of middle class pensions in favor of “self-directed retirement plans,” or, as we like to call them, “re-directed retirement plans,” has led to an overall net loss for middle income retirees and a boom for the already wealthy.
New research by Edward N. Wolff, a New York University economist who “analyzed 18 years of household financial data collected by the Federal Reserve” suggests that, though it seems counterintuitive “for a generation to emerge from two bullish decades with less wealth than its parents,” it has by -2.2% since 1983 (for median income households).
Do not fret, Billionaires! Current trends that favor 401Ks instead of pensions have led to the rise of “an elite minority who are well-prepared for retirement, and a majority who are falling behind.”
While we agree with Mr. Wolff when he adds that "The people at the top did better than they ever would have under the old system," we take rightful issue with his conclusion that "Basically, they made out like bandits," and suggest a more polite reality:
There are two kinds of people in this world,
Those who work for their money and
Those who let those who work for their money work for them.
Combine this with G.W. Bush's strong commitment to privatize Social Security, and the next two decades will be even more profitable for Billionaires than the last. The next time you are at lunch with your congressman, don't forget to remind him we still have that part of our agenda to push through. After all, the President is waiting to sign.