Results tagged “capitalism” from onegoodmove

Capitalism 101

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.—John Maynard Keynes

You may recall my recent encounter with black ice and solid objects. I've written a bit more about it here.

What I didn't write about was dealing with my insurance company. Don't get me wrong they were helpful throughout and paid the claim promptly, and I consider the settlement fair.

But, oh yes there is always a but isn't there? When I called a towing company, I asked how much it would cost for the tow. They quoted $75.00 a reasonable price; they didn't know it would be covered by insurance. When they discovered they would be reimbursed by insurance they increased the amount to $115.00. I only became aware of it when they failed to charge my credit card the $75.00 I'd agreed to.

I stopped by the lot where my car had been towed to inquire and asked for a copy of the bill. They gave me the copy and informed me that the Insurance company had already paid it when they had it towed to the salvage yard. When I looked at the bill, I discovered the higher amount.

Later when I arrived at the insurance company for my settlement check I informed them of the increased charge for the towing. The fellow, not my agent didn't seem concerned. I told him I understood that it wasn't much but that unnecessary payments such as that resulted in higher premiums for everyone. He made sympathetic sounds, but it was clear he didn't care.

He did have my agent call, and he was just as much an apologist for the way they did things as his fellow employee. "It's not an unreasonable charge," he said. "It's standard in the industry ," he said. "It's only $40.00," he said. Perhaps I should have pushed harder, asked to speak with his boss, but would it have made a difference? It was only $40.00, right?

Bridge Loan or Bridge to Nowhere

It's difficult to say whether the bridge loan Congress will likely give to the auto industry is a good idea or just another bridge to nowhere. My view is that a loan is probably the best option, that it will be less costly in the long run. I may be wrong about that, but one thing is clear to me. The criticism of the bailout that takes the form of "if there's one thing worse than Detroit managed by the managers who have been driving the American auto industry into the ground it's Detroit managed by politicians."

The argument is a red herring. Congress isn't proposing to manage the auto industry, but to put guidelines in place that will provide direction, guidelines it should have instituted years ago. It is to enforce the kind of rules that would, had they been in place helped the car industry do the right thing all these years. Enforcing tough CAFE standards for example wouldn't have told Detroit how to build cars, but it would have required them to build fuel efficient cars. And if Congress now sets realistic but tough environmental rules, the Detroit managers will use their expertise to design hybrids, electric cars, whatever it takes to meet those standards. That is not managing that is looking out for the long term interest of the country.

There are always requirements when money is loaned, whether the loan comes from private interests or government. An example could be limits on how the money is spent. Monitoring that spending is not managing the car industry it is making sure that the interests of overpaid executives, who often look only at short-term profits and their next bonus, are not confused or conflated with the country's interest. When corporate behavior harms the nation government is failing in its responsibility if it fails to act. The decision needs to be made on what is in the country's interest and nothing else.

Related:

A government-run auto industry
Study: Auto bailout less costly option

Capitalist Pigs

Unfettered capitalism at work

KUER Interview

Here is the study Usury Law and the Christian Right: Faith Based Political Power and the Geography of the American Payday Loan Regulation

NPR affiliate KUER has a great interview with Utah law professor Christopher Peterson coauthor of the study. (tip to ME) This is a mandatory listen. Listen or be banned from OGM :) A note for the right-wing apologists: Personal responsibility is a two way street. It applys both to the lenders and borrowers. The playing field is however not equal, and it is the role of government to level that field.

Payday lending prospers in conservative Christian areas - Salt Lake Tribune:
“The Bible contains numerous passages condemning usury, an abusive lending practice older than money itself.

    Yet, the "payday" lending industry, which charges interest rates often double those of organized crime loan-sharking syndicates, is more prevalent in Utah and other states where conservative Christians hold political sway, according to a study co-authored by a University of Utah law professor.

    "A generation ago, populist Christian leaders were among the most aggressive opponents of usurious lending. But today, many Christian leaders take large campaign contributions from the credit industry and no longer support the biblical injunction against usury in public life," says Chris Peterson, whose research will be published in Catholic University Law Review.

    The industry has boomed since anti-usury laws were relaxed around the nation in the early 1980s. Today there are more than 24,000 payday outlets, a fivefold increase since 1995.

    In a typical payday lending transaction today, borrowers write a check for $60 above the amount of a $300 loan, postdating it two weeks out. If borrowers fail to get money into their accounts to cover the checks, they can be hit with fees and interest that drive up the cost of the loan to as mush as $800, industry critics say. Expressed as an annual rate, interest is typically 450 percent, which industry representatives justify because these loans are risky.”

To The Point On The Mortgage Crisis

The mortgage crisis, a crisis caused in large part by the greedy corporate fucks in the mortgage banking industry is at the root of our current economic woes.

The Fed in an attempt to stave off a worse crisis lowered interest rates. So you'd think you could get a better rate on a mortgage today, but you'd be wrong.

Reeling from their self-inflicted losses the bankers are using the lower rates they get their money at as a tool to screw the consumers a second time. Lower rates no, higher profits yes.

A good example of unfettered capitalism at its best.

Links: Fed Interest-Rate Cuts Fail to Lower Borrowing Costs