As I write this, BuzzFlash is asking if it is time for a French Revolution. I say no, for there is never a good time for a French Revolution. Too many adverse reactions always emerge from total chaos. For the French, it was Napoleon. But it is a fair question to ask right now, because such events happen only when there are no other options remaining for the "small" people to pursue toward the redress of their grievances against the powerful. Just ask Tsar Nicholas II how it works; he knows!
We may well be in the moment of such a time. Despite all of the recent Happy Talk in the investor propaganda media regarding an improved economy, the AFL-CIO reports: "250,000 unemployed workers a week are losing their unemployment benefits because they can’t find jobs." And as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka reminds our federal Solons, "...both Republicans and Democrats must remember that, come November, voters will be thinking about one thing: jobs." No doubt! The New York Times reports that just between June 1 and June 14 of this year, "325,000 jobless workers have been cut off" and "that number will swell to 1.25 million by the end of the month."
"Somebody DO something," shout the people. 60 percent of Americans — according to a June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll — say they would favor “additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.” Yet the desired relief is nowhere to be found. Instead, as Ann Davidow queries, "...what exactly is so ‘free’ about government subsidies that underwrite the business ventures...?
A local example of this problem (for me and my fellow Californians, that is) can be seen in the California state budget. Millions of tax dollars are spent each year subsidizing business activities while needy people can expect their benefits to be cut or eliminated. Hollywood alone gets $100 million a year, allegedly to keep productions in California and save Los Angeles studio workers their jobs. But the State of New Mexico offered $40 million in tax rebates to Hollywood production companies to film in their state, and discovered in a 2008 review of the practice published in Governing that that for every dollar spent, it received but 14.4 cents in return. Even a client of Bernie Madoff would see this as being a bad investment!
Hollywood could care less about a measly $100 million subsidy from California, and the piddling $40 million from New Mexico, if it had to be surrendered. They only "earned" a record $10 billion dollars in 2009. This is nothing compared to what the energy industry and Wall Street see each quarter! Yet they also continue to be subsidized by the federal government while Main Street languishes from neglect — if not destroyed by criminal abuse.