Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party: Hypocrisy Par Excellence?

Everyone has a right to express their anger, but does the affluent-yet-ungrateful Anglo-Saxon Protestant community of America really in a position to protest against the Obama Administration’s tax structure?

By: Vanessa Uy

After America’s reputation as the only superpower on the face of the Earth was reassured yet again by President Barack Obama’s decisive action that freed Captain Richard Phillips after being held captive by Somali pirates. Sadly, the jubilation was rather short-lived because the affluent-yet-ungrateful lunatic fringe of the Anglo-Saxon Protestant community surprisingly managed to sum up the courage to protest against the Obama Administration’s “taxation without representation”.

Though in my opinion, rich spoilt white folks protesting their government’s unfair tax structure by reenacting the 1770 Boston Tea Party really is a big improvement. After all, aren’t these the same people who used to truck bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and firebomb planned parenthood clinics during the Clinton Administration? An improvement in expressing one’s disdain against the government like this year’s Tax Day Tea Party really brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Yes we can.”

Probably the only good thing that has come out of the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party demonstrations is that it has done the job that is supposedly should have been performed by every sixth-grade social studies teacher in America were paid to do. Which is teaching America’s young impressionable kids about the original Boston Tea Party of 1770. Though I often confuse this historic day with the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. I just hope that the teabags that they used in this year’s Tax Day Tea Party were bought at fair trade prices.

But still, the thought still haven’t left my mind if the Fox News Channel had given Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols their own shows back in 1995 – like the one currently done by Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Channel. Those Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building employees would have been happy living out their lives till this day, instead of dying needlessly back in April 20, 1995.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Is Nationalization Killing the Protestant Work Ethic?

Critics called nationalization of the banking industry in America as nothing more than rewarding failure, but will it ultimately kill the Protestant work ethic in the long run?

By: Vanessa Uy

President Obama really did scored big during the London G20 summit back in April 2, 2009 for leading the way in allowing the attendant countries to reach a consensus in tackling our on-going global financial crisis. Even though France, Germany and the rest of the EU were very reluctant at first in “throwing money at the problem” via economic stimulus packages – given that this is the very thing that saved Japan from her economic “Lost Decade”.

But back in America, populist anger has been brewing since the start of 2009 over TARP-fund misappropriation through overly extravagant executive bonuses of the likes of AIG and their ilk. Many now see the nationalization of ailing banks and other financial institutions as nothing more than rewarding failure. The question now is will nationalization – which many economic pundits believe mark the death-knell of American capitalism – is now poised to kill off another cherished American value – namely the Protestant work ethic?

Even though the Protestant work ethic had become inexplicably linked to the Reagan-era “greed-driven” economic prosperity of the 1980s, even though the concept already reached full-bloom in 20th Century America where everyone – especially the “Turn of the Century” (1900s) immigrants – stating that anyone who works hard will be rewarded handsomely. But Capitol Hill’s current flirtation with nationalization, where failing financial institutions are unfairly rewarded through the TARP funds, does sound just like a repeat of the dubious concepts of the past. Like the Johnson Administration-era redistribution of wealth of the mid-1960s - a.k.a. “War on Poverty” which usually just resulted in a heavier tax burden and fewer crucial services for the working poor and the middle classes.

Hastily set-up ill conceived government programs like the outgoing Bush Administration’s TARP funds to bail out ailing banks and other financial and corporate institutions became the focus of populist anger. Especially during the first few months of 2009 were economic and financial issues are as politically polarizing as religious extremism – given the ever-increasing number of job losses and home foreclosures.

Poorly executed government programs of “social service” – especially the TARP funds which to me are nothing more than welfare of billionaires who are taking too many risky financial decisions for their own good – do more harm than good. Especially when the American taxpayer are now the underwriters of their ill-conceived high-risk financial adventurism. They tend to undermine the Protestant work ethic that made the post World War II American economy the gold standard of capitalism. Nationalism – especially when it is poorly executed – will ultimately lower productivity. Which only serves to bolster the idea harbored by socialist-leaning anti-capitalists who think that capitalism cannot reform itself. Looks like those Ché Guevara T-shirts will never go out of fashion.