03/29/02 - 10:58:05
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About the diatribe: "No poor person has offered me a job" -- but people of all economic strata pay for goods and services, and this is what "provides jobs" for sales representatives, service workers, plumbers, carpenters, cashiers, all the jobs that hire large numbers of people etc. Only so many of us can earn a living manicuring the fingernails, polishing the BMWs, leafblowing the lawns etc. of rich people. |
So a strong capitalist economy, at least by Keynesian macroeconomic standards, depends first and last upon the robust finances of a middle class, bearing only a distant relation to any dim hopes for charity that the rich will give _you_ a job with that great wad of financial capital they accumulated from the oil money as it washed back into the West after the OPEC embargo ended in the '70s, with those $72,000/ year jobs created by Reagan, with the speculative bubble of Wall Street, etc. The presence of all that money in the hands of wealthy investors is what creates today's illusion of a strong economy, but does it help you? Not likely, unless you were lucky enough to buy a house before real estate prices skyrocked in the 1980s. Thereís only so much economic benefit you can gain from cheap imported goods from Wal-Mart, when measured against the higher rents youíve been paying if you donít yet own a place. And not in the aggregate, given that the average wage still hasnít reached its 1973 peak. Look, the super-rich could just as well hire someone from India (or wherever) to do any job you might do, and for only a few cents an hour, so why would they want to hire you?
And, as for Europe's higher taxes, you wouldn't complain if you got what they got with the taxes they pay. Unless, of course, you're rich, in which case you probably have most of your money stashed in the Cayman Islands anyway. And it isn't "foreign aid" that sucks your tax moneys, if you earn enough to complain about them. (At any rate, itís really funny that Americans complain so hard about taxes when their tax rates are lower than those of the other industrialized countries. I suppose Americaís biased mass media have destroyed Americansí sense of perspective.)
At any rate, I really like your notion that "returning to musical 'roots' often indicates a creative dry spell" -- it's a criticism that applies in even more force to Jorma Kaukonen than to Eric Clapton...
And you've got a strong point with your speculations about Hendrix -- that stuff they released a few years ago, that he was recording just before his death, it's pretty dry. Yet Hendrix was a fount of creativity, so we could have hoped for much good from Hendrix had he not died.
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