Friday, June 15, 2012

Nuts to You

When’s the last time you got a raise?

I’m not talking about getting a lift onto a carnival merry-go-round or even a hard-breathing session featuring some doll named Morganna doodling with your zipper. I mean a good, old-fashioned increase in your working wages.

It’s been that long for me, too.

Yet, everything that can be purchased - from food to cars, from insurance to taxes, from tuition to cable TV – is going up faster than Kim Kardashian’s blouse in an NBA locker room.

This is hardly an out-of-the-blue occurrence, of course. Prices, and not paychecks (save those ticketed for CEOs), have been soaring for years.

And under our nonsensical capitalist system – which those making all the profits proclaim to be the best system in the world -  greedmeisters are perfectly within their rights to continue to ask for more and more and more of yours and my stagnant wages.

Like everybody else, I’m pissed. And as anyone that has been introduced me will surely testify, I’m pretty good at being pissed. It should have been my major in college.

However, far too often my wild-eyed rants, crazed soapbox dissertations and profanity-laced pontifications  have netted me little more than a few more blood-pressure points.

So that I can live to rant some more, I’ve tried to find the entertainment value in how these corporate whores attempt to justify pocketing ever-increasing fractions of my hard-earned.

Take the expected major hike in the price of peanut butter.

Now, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool peanut junkie who used to be content scarfing down PB&J sandwiches for every meal of the day. There was a stretch of time when my lunch consisted of eating crunchy peanut butter straight out of the jar. Age, however, as most folks who have aged will tell you, has a way of bollocksing up your favorite gourmet delights.

These days, as much as I love peanuts, cashews, walnuts, etc., if I eat more than about six at a time, my stomach undergoes the sensation of being used for penalty-kicks practice by the roster of Manchester United.

Unpleasant, to be sure, but I can still relate to those nuts about nuts.

I know this will come as a shock, but according to the peanut industry there is a shortage of peanuts that will cause a dramatic rise in the prices of peanut products.

The reason (and this tickles me) is a horrible storm that hit Georgia recently that is responsible for ruining 20 percent of the country’s peanut supply.

Hmmm, must have missed that devastation. Does anyone recall that storm?

Seems to me a weather system capable of knocking out a fifth of the country’s peanut crop would have also ripped the state of Georgia out of the ground, blown it across the southeast portion of the United States and magically morphed it into beachfront property on the Gulf of Mexico.

Wow, you mean there was a cataclysmic weather event of immense proportions on the east coast and Action News didn’t have some schmuck in a rain hat standing on the beaches of South Carolina giving me a play-by-play?

Bottom line – the price of yet another food item is going to double, triple, whatever, right before our hungry eyes.

Which leads me to this bit of we’ll-never-see-it logic: If inclement weather can send peanut prices through the roof, then next year, if the South experiences hot, gorgeous weather throughout the growing season, shouldn’t my “Skippy” brand fix become cheaper?

Call me Johnny Raincloud, but somehow I don’t think penciling in that unlikelihood on the calendar would be wise.

Wouldn’t it be just slightly easier to swallow (no pun intended) if Mr. Peanut stood before us and proclaimed he was raising prices just because he could?

 Yeah, you know that hard-shelled Casanova with the top hat and the cane, just standing on top of a “Planters” can and bellowing, “You gotta pay more for me , you saps!”

Horrible PR, but it would be good for a chuckle.

Which reminds me, I’ve read where the price of “Chuckles” is supposed to be going up.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Breaking News! Rich win out over Poor

So, the rich won again.

Please excuse me while I check my equilibrium. I may just pass out from the shock.

Unless you live very deep in the forest, and I mean so deep that you don’t even receive internet ads for Viagra, you probably heard about Republican governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Walker, a horse’s ass of the highest order, was facing a recall vote from the good citizens of Wisconsin after shoving legislation effectively stripping the right of collective bargaining from public workers through the state legislature while slashing money to education faster than you can say Tom Corbett.

First, a little background on our boy Scotty.

As a lad he was an Eagle Scout and once got to meet and shake hands with his idol, Ronnie (Death Valley Days) Reagan.

While campaigning for governor of Wisconsin, Scotty pledged he would create 250,000 new jobs in the state – perhaps confusing that six-figure number with the minimum salary earned by the majority of his supporters – and said he would do so by making tax cuts on capital gains and for the rich. Those tax cuts would be paid for by cutting the wages and benefits of the state employees.

Wow, this guy’s straight out of the neighborhood. That is, if your neighbors include Jed Clampett (post oil strike), Richie Rich and Scrooge McDuck.

Despite that obvious kowtowing to the blue-collar vote, Scotty got himself elected. And just in case you were wondering, his side outspent the other during the campaign.

Vowing to spend Wisconsin taxpayers’ money as though it were his own, Scotty began doing what young Republicans in office do these days. He badmouthed sex out of wedlock and anything having to do with contraception (I guess the initiation to getting into the Young Republicans club is not being able to get laid) and immediately began making the rich richer.

Before we go any further, let me point out I have nothing against rich people getting richer, as long as it’s not done at the expense of the poor. Unfortunately, it’s always done at the expense of the poor. And then, as if picking poor folks’ wallets isn’t enough, the sweethearts usually follow it up by kicking them in the balls by going out of their way to keep them poor.

And why, the naïve guy in the back asks, is it always SOP for the GOP to cut taxes for the rich?

I guess one answer can be found in the aforementioned recall election, which was not only about Scotty trying to stem the financial tide of those high-livin, high-falutin people like janitors, trashmen and those billionaires in the state workers’ secretarial pool, it was about taking away their ability to negotiate a decent living wage, and adding another swift boot to the already major national campaign to eradicate unions from the face of the globe.

Long story short, the Repubs, who forked out $47 million to support Scotty the Wonder Kid, kept him in office to continue his quest for a fair world for anyone with at least a seven-figure income. The working stiffs could only shell out $19 million in a reckless and self-centered attempt to get a fair shake and a fair wage.

Somewhere, Ronald Regan is smiling – and still counting.