Woke this morning to the news of the quake in Japan. That is actually the second major quake in about 4 days for them. Three, if you include the major after shock from the first quake. The mainstream media didn't report that--not enough drama since there wasn't a lot of death and destruction. They barely mentioned the latest Chinese quake about three days ago. We wondered if we are simply getting more news because there are more occurrences or if there are actually more disasters happening. However, when the quake is the fifth strongest in Japanese history...? And the winter we have had was one of only five to top 50 inches of snow...? And last year was tied for the warmest on record...? Maybe we really have pissed off Mother Nature.
MSNBC has some good cartoons this morning--painfully funny. Go to the business section and click on the 'Trapped in the Economy' entry on the right hand side.
So this little item has resurfaced and the first thing the banks do is threaten their customers with higher fees or no more free checking programs. At least that was the news coverage in the snippet from last night. As usual we responded with what we would do if our bank decides to do either. Go back to cash and checks. But I have much more sympathy with the merchants than I do the big banks having worked in a small business that saw a lot of their receipts go for the swipe fees. The business closed after three years never having made a profit. I will be honest--it wouldn't have made a profit without the fees. But the fees were just one more nail in the coffin.
The Economic Populist puts in words many of the thoughts I have had as I listened to much that passes for news lately. On the one hand you have the Repthuglicans pontificating that we must (absolutely must) 'reform' Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid before we bankrupt not only ourselves but future generations (to the biblical 7th generation, maybe??). And on the other we have John McCain and others declaring that we must (absolutely must) establish a 'no-fly zone' over Libya to prevent Gaddafi's massacre of his own people in what has become a civil war. And he does so without ever saying where the money would come from to pay for yet another war. God, I wish some one of our giant pharmaceutical companies would invent a sanity pill.
I have often thought that the only really effective way to punish business for their anti-labor and other anti-social actions is to boycott. Evidently the unions and their supporters in Wisconsin have also hit on that. Of course, some of the biggest offenders are global in scope and how much a boycott in this country would hurt is an interesting question.