A modern land grab

I recently read in what passes for “news” that one of our area (out of state owned) banks (which happens to be the one I use) is being swallowed by a larger regional bank from yet another state. It seems that the larger regional bank got a large chunk of the Trillionaire Welfare Package (also known as the Incompetence Reward Act), and is using the money to buy my bank. Now it’s bad enough that I am being robbed at gunpoint to reward fraud and failure on the part of some multi-billion dollar mega-corporations, but now I find out that some of the money being stolen from me is going to a huge bank which apparently doesn’t actually need rescuing at all, but is to be used to BUY MY BANK. There’s something inherently wrong with giving (under duress) my money to a foreign (out of state) bank so it can buy my bank, so it can make more profit from me.

I thought the advertised purpose of the Rich Relief Fund (the “RRF”) was to give the multi-billion dollar corporations money to replace the billions they frittered away through ignorance, greed, fraud, negligence, and arrogance. Now we find out that it’s going to be used by those same people to increase their reach, and increase their “Theater of Operations” so that it includes many thousands more people who are expected to trust these corporations with their hard-earned money.

Um, excuse me?

The money of which we, the citizens, were robbed, is being gleefully given to those who have no regard for our well-being at all, as long as they can suck more profit out of us to pay for their multi-million dollar pensions and “golden parachutes.” The entity who actually robbed us is the financial market’s accomplice in the crime: the Federal Government.

And, before you say that we weren’t actually robbed at gunpoint, let me suggest that you refuse to pay your portion of the RRF, and see if the government doesn’t send people with guns to your house to take what they claim is theirs: i.e.- everything you own, including your freedom. Resist, and you will be shot. Sounds kind of like an armed robbery to me. How about you?

Let’s look at it on a smaller scale, which might change the perspective.

Let’s say that there is a local grocery; one of 4 in the neighborhood. About 25% of the public shops there. The grocer is getting very wealthy because he charges more than most of the other stores, skims some off the top of the profits, embezzles quite a bit of the money, and “cooks the books” to avoid paying much in taxes. He also pays himself a HUGE salary, takes extravagant vacations, lives in a mansion, and drives a very nice car indeed. However, because of his horrible business practices, reckless money handling, luxurious lifestyle, and greed, the business runs into financial difficulty, and he is at risk of losing his billion-dollar pension. He goes to the local police station, and, through a series of backroom deals, bribes offered, and rewards promised, convinces the local police to extort $3000 from everyone in the neighborhood (only 25% of whom ever even shopped at his store), so he could pay his bills and retain his pension.

What do think the result of this situation would be? Some loyal customers may be willing to voluntarily donate something to help the guy out. Most would avoid ever shopping there again now that they know the guy is an undependable crook who makes bad business decisions based solely on greed and arrogance, and yet another group of people would want to burn the guy’s store to the ground and run him out of town, along with the police who went along with the scheme.

The customers who take a minute to think about it realize that they were ripped off twice. Once because the guy obviously charged too much for his products since the grocer was making such a large ‘gross profit’ that he could afford all of the luxuries. Secondly, they were ripped off by being forced, at gun point, to give the same guy even MORE money to replace what he “lost” because of his bad decisions and greed. (and remember that a lot of the money that his business “lost” went directly to HIM!)

Remember, both of the two major party candidates lobbied hard for the Rich Relief Fund. And one of the candidates says his goal is to ‘redistribute the wealth.’ The reasonable man would think that this meant to take from the rich and give to the poor (“from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”), which is bad enough, and that theory has resulted in disaster where it’s been tried before, like the USSR. However, what we’ve seen so far indicates that the flow of money might well be toward the top (which, of course, is essentially what actually happened in the USSR).

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