An Appeal To The Sloths: Wanna End Up Like Greece?

(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)

The apathy is astonishing.  

Americans would rather “sit back and wait” than “stand-up and fight”. It’s hard, I know, you need to take off a day from work or something to demonstrate your point in the streets and even then you leave the protest with nothing changing and nothing happening.

But…what if?

What if instead of an orderly demonstration, a pro-democracy movement were to form that demanded the Capitol back from the corrupted representatives that inhabited it and refused to leave until they were given entrance?

It could happen, if you wanted it to.

If you want to know what life in the Third World is like, just ask Lisa Pack, an administrative assistant who works in the roads and transportation department in Jefferson County, Alabama. Pack got rudely introduced to life in post-crisis America last August, when word came down that she and 1,000 of her fellow public employees would have to take a little unpaid vacation for a while. The county, it turned out, was more than $5 billion in debt – meaning that courthouses, jails and sheriff’s precincts had to be closed so that Wall Street banks could be paid.

As public services in and around Birmingham were stripped to the bone, Pack struggled to support her family on a weekly unemployment check of $260. Nearly a fourth of that went to pay for her health insurance, which the county no longer covered. She also fielded calls from laid-off co-workers who had it even tougher. “I’d be on the phone sometimes until two in the morning,” she says. “I had to talk more than one person out of suicide. For some of the men supporting families, it was so hard – foreclosure, bankruptcy. I’d go to bed at night, and I’d be in tears.”

Homes stood empty, businesses were boarded up, and parts of already-blighted Birmingham began to take on the feel of a ghost town. There were also a few bills that were unique to the area – like the $64 sewer bill that Pack and her family paid each month. “Yeah, it went up about 400 percent just over the past few years,” she says.…

So begins the beginning of Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone.  Not only was our tax money taken by Wall Street, but now the services that they paid for are being charged to all for them to pay out of pocket.  Just typing that last sentence I kicked a hole in my wall.  

Is there nothing they do to you that you won’t accept?  If they raped and murdered your family without being prosecuted because every politician and judge in the area is in their pocket, would you just say “oh well”  and go on with your life?  I think you would.

It’s unfortunate that the only way this can be fixed now is through extreme measures.  If the people had acted more forcefully earlier to stop this, there wouldn’t be bloodshed but I believe it will come down to an eventual “slaughter in the street” because with no help coming from the government and more being charged to an already economically hurting people, we’re one 500% hike in fees from pulling off a Kyrgyzstan type of revolt.

Although I doubt you have the fight in you to carry such a thing out.

The thought is “and replace it with what Jack?” and I can tell you that I honestly don’t know. Can we spark a resistance that scares them into complying with our demands instead?  Maybe.  Could we even begin to organize a movement that wishes to overthrow and replace our current corrupted government?  Again, maybe.

Let’s look at how much they’ve been fucking you.

This is us:

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Personal income increased $1.2 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, and disposable personal income

(DPI) increased $1.6 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, in February, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $34.7 billion, or 0.3 percent.  In January, personal income increased $30.4 billion, or 0.3 percent, DPI decreased $26.0 billion, or 0.2 percent, and PCE increased $38.5 billion, or 0.4 percent, based on revised estimates.

Real disposable income increased less than 0.1 percent in February, in contrast to a decrease of

0.4 percent in January.  Real PCE increased 0.3 percent, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent.…

This is them:

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The visuals of their profits going up while our income goes down has a few intervening control variables, but nonetheless, lead to us getting fucked in the ass.

In the Matt Taibbi article, he talks about how the state went ahead and borrowed money from the banks and a relatively cheap $250 Million dollar sewer building turned into $3 Billion and with interest….$5 Billion.  This is how the operation works.  They make a shitload of profit even after they fuck up our economy and get a bailout, lend it back to the state after they were handed all of our tax money, and we can have our taxes back with interest to fund our public works/social welfare programs!

And if we can’t pay them back, and we default, well you still owe us buddy!

This happened to Greece except they just needed cash upfront for some shit and now it looks like the EU is picking up the tab.

To get a more accurate description of what is happening in Jefferson County, Alabama you only need look at what JP Morgan Chase did to Milan in Italy.  Except here in the U.S., there will be no charges brought against the banks, just the greedy representatives that took the money.

“With No Accountability Comes No Consequences” is the new motto of our Corporate owners.  We’ll buy up your state’s one by one with the tax money we took and you won’t do shit about it.  Why?

Because….you’re Americans.


  1. Wall St. needs a fresh supply of profit!

  2. I thought they were using the Argentina economic model.

  3. from Taibbi in Rolling Stone

    The sewer bill, in fact, is what cost Pack and her co-workers their jobs. In 1996, the average monthly sewer bill for a family of four in Birmingham was only $14.71 – but that was before the county decided to build an elaborate new sewer system with the help of out-of-state financial wizards with names like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. The result was a monstrous pile of borrowed money that the county used to build, in essence, the world’s grandest toilet – “the Taj Mahal of sewer-treatment plants” is how one county worker put it. What happened here in Jefferson County would turn out to be the perfect metaphor for the peculiar alchemy of modern oligarchical capitalism: A mob of corrupt local officials and morally absent financiers got together to build a giant device that converted human shit into billions of dollars of profit for Wall Street – and misery for people like Lisa Pack.

    Rep. Doolittle, when he was in office, earmarked like crazy for the Lincoln Regional Wastewater Sewer Treatment Plant.  The plan was to then have all the smaller communities in the area be forced to tie into it, by not earmarking nor appropriating  the money for said smaller communities’ needed upgrades on their existing treatment plants.  Then they could subsidize Lincoln’s facility and be charged out the wazoo for it.  The problem was that these foothill communities are so far away from Lincoln, and the terrain is so hilly, (the Sierra CA foothills are what folks back east would call small “mountains” ) that putting the pipeline system in to ship sh*t all over the place was also going to cost a fortune.

    There’s a subdivision that never got built in Lincoln that has the huge sewer pipe pieces, as nearly tall as I am, still littering the entranceway.  Doolittle was helping to run a kickback plan on land use mitigation with all the real estate developers.

    Great link, JSR.  

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