Jayaraman Rajah Iyer Comments on My Post – The Ethics Sage Wants the Politicians Gone!


Jayaraman Rajah Iyer is a buddy of mine. He comments on economic issues and always has something interesting to say and often controversial as well.

Here are his comments in full.

James Pilant

Jayaraman Rajah Iyer

I quote from my bookmark of Washington Post by Jim DeMint “On Sept. 12, 2009, millions of citizens rallied across the country. They gathered in the nation’s capital and other cities to convey a clear message: You work for us; we don’t work for you. Stop the bailouts, the takeovers, the debt and dependence”

In response to the first amendment Freedom of Speech, ‘Government for the People’ maintains stoic silence and conveys ‘yell as you like. Always, it is Government for a few people’.

In India we do have to go a long way in bringing the Government tuned to the people. Those who are trying, struggle but no comparison to the struggle of the masses who exist below poverty line, a 550 million of them. However, there are some initiatives from the government that were put through some years back, would be of considerable interest to the people of United States. It was in 1965 that the government of India brought out a compulsory Cost Audit for manufacturers of vegetable oils as an essential commodity for the masses. Every fortnight companies like Unilever had to go to the government for permission to increase the price of a tin of vegetable oil justifying in detail the cost escalation the company in question had gone through the period of 15 days. [Dr. Kaplan’s ABC that came in 1983, was in full use in 1966 by every such company providing the government with cost data analysis.] The cost audit system was successful and subsequently it was extended to very many commodities including medicine and petroleum that are in vogue even today.

Had not the Indian government introduced the cost audit we would have rich companies, poorer government and higher inflation. In US it is unthinkable that the government would intervene in the running of the companies. Today US is full of companies that are very rich, like Apple is said to have more money than the government, but government is running at loss. The US Senators and Congressmen do not realize that ‘Government for the people’ is no longer with them, it is with a few with ‘massive private gains at public loss’. Corporate Social Responsibility in US is an illusion.

Why is the Debt Ceiling Crisis a Business Ethics Crisis?


Because there are several serious business ethical questions involved.

We simply be in this mess without astroturfing by corporate interests. That is immoral. Creating apparently grass roots public groups with corporate money and then launching it at opponents as if it weren’t the financing corporation is blatant deception.

The hard right wing candidates would have had a great deal more difficulty getting elected without last minute infusions of corporate cash made possible by the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. The idea that a corporation is the equivalent of a person in terms of political and free speech activity is more political comedy than rational thinking. The concept that a corporation with forty billion dollars it can allocate to a political campaign should be on the same footing as a actual human being who on the average makes about 34,000 dollars a year in this country is a concept whose only value is a massive shift in political power and that is what is happening. American citizens are increasingly insignificant in the political realm. The decision was immoral. It placed the interests of powerful corporations above that of humanity.

The current economic crisis was caused by financial profiteering. Without this current depression, there would have been a great deal more tax revenue. Besides the practice of “disaster” conservatism, where any economic disaster can be exploited to impose financial hardship on the middle class, would not have been possible. Financial profiteering is immoral. It is also illegal but you couldn’t tell it by the actions of “our” government.

I can go on – blatant manipulation of our laws to directly divert public money into corporate coffers – outsourcing – avoidance of taxes – and on and on. All of these and more created our current impasse and are destroying the ability of middle class Americans to own homes, provide for their children, have stable retirements or too survive financially day to day.

We have a crisis in this government but the moral and ethical crisis of the businesses of this nation are root and branch of the problem.

We would not be in this situation without rampant ethical and moral failings in the business world. And the corruption has afflicted our government and there seems little hope of a cure.

James Pilant

Paul Krugman Says to the House of Representatives – Vote NO


Best line –

Third, the idea that a temporary disruption would permanently damage faith in US institutions now seems moot; if you haven’t already lost faith in US institutions, you’re not paying attention. 

Paul Krugman

This is from Krugman’s post – If I Were In The House

Here’s his essay –

I guess I have to be explicit at this point: yes, I would vote no.

What about the catastrophe that would result? Several thoughts.

First, what I keep hearing from people who should know is that Treasury won’t actually run out of cash tomorrow, that it still has a few more days.

Second, the people who claim that terrible things would immediately happen in the markets also claimed that there would be a big relief rally once a deal was struck. Not so much: the Dow is down 121 right now.

Third, the idea that a temporary disruption would permanently damage faith in US institutions now seems moot; if you haven’t already lost faith in US institutions, you’re not paying attention.

Fourth, those legal options are still there. Obama can move now; and even if he eventually loses in the courts, that gives him time.

Sure, it’s risky. But the whole situation is immensely risky, thanks to the extremism and bloody-mindedness of the right. There are no safe options, and trying to play it safe when there is no safety lands you, well, where Obama is right now.

I fully agree. No deal and default is better than submitting to blackmail and creating a new forth branch of the government.

James Pilant

Rogue Columnists Blasts Debt Deal (via Rogue Columnist)


Rogue Columnist!

As always, Jon Talton writes with a acid pen but this budget deal calls for nothing less. Here’s what he has to say

As expected, President Hoover and the corrupt/enervated Democratic Party gave away any tax increases in the debt-ceiling stand-off. The results of this “balanced approach” will be years, if not decades, of economic and social destruction. The Republicans have a partner in their cherished ambition to dismantle Social Security, the Great Society and the New Deal in the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As with the 24 million un- or underemployed Americans in a nation of 301 million, the damage will begin at the margins and not be fully felt for years.

That’s about right. This horrifying spectacle of political blackmail and presidential failure will damage this country for decades. The agreement calls for the creation of a Super Congress which will not be subject to the will of the people, essentially a politburo designed to do the unpopular things because in their minds the desire of the American people for job security, a stable retirement and help with medical costs brand them as irresponsible.

James Pilant

36-Year Congressman John Conyers Calls for Protest Against the Debt Deal: “Thousands of People [Should Mass] In Front Of The White House To Protest This” (via Washington’s Blog)


First listen to John Conyers –

This video is courtesy of Washington’s Blog.

This budget agreement is a disaster but even more disgusting is the creation of new branch of the government –

Here’s why we don’t want a “super congress” as proposed under the debt ceiling agreement. From the article

That’s not all. If the politburo — handpicked members split evenly between the two gangs of thieves and poltroons that now hold sway on Capitol Hill — can’t agree on just how much they want to gut the budget and cut taxes for the rich, why then, this will trip a series of “triggers” which will automatically start gutting, slashing and cutting, without any vote by the democratically elected representatives whatsoever. And surely it would be superfluous in me to point out that these unaccountable “superpowers” will soon stretch to cover other areas of legislation beyond budgeting and taxes.

Behind all the flim-flammery of this manufactured “crisis”, we are watching the creation of a new form of government — or rather, the further mutation of the new form of government that the United States has been crawling toward for a long time. We called it a “neo-feudal oligarchy backed by a militarist police state” here the other day. No doubt there are many other ways you could describe this murderous, ravenous, lopsided monstrosity of a system. But the one thing you cannot call it is a “republic”.

Get mad. I don’t want you to do violence. I want you to be aware and to be tough with our elected officials. Let us try to change these things peacefully.

James Pilant

The Ethics Sage Wants the Politicians in Washington Gone!


In his blog post –  Throw the Republicans and Democrats Out of Office, Steven Mintz calls for us to throw the rascals out. And he’s right. I support him 100% in his call to vote out the current incompetents.

Here are his lead in paragraphs but to get the real flavor, you need to go and read the whole thing (and, of course, put the site on your favorites!).

Steven Mintz

Politicians have lost sight of their main responsibilities — to serve the public interest, honor the public trust, and be faithful to their constituency. It’s the latter that can get them into trouble as is the case with the current budget deliberations. The republicans are driven by conservative views and the Tea Party principles based on balancing the budget, cuts in spending especially from entitlement programs and no new revenues. If this is the Tea Party manifesto then it should start to drink caffeinated coffee. This is not the time to pursue a balanced budget amendment given the government has failed to deliver one for at least the last 14 years and we are still fighting two unwinnable wars. 

The Democrats want no balanced budget amendment, limited cuts in spending programs and new revenues by raising the tax on taxpayers making over $250,000 in income. There needs to be changes in social security such as expanding the retirement date to a minimum of 65 years and a maximum 70 years. I would also recommend a slight increase in the 2.5% tax on Medicare which is low in comparison to the 6.25% rate for social security. We have an aging population that now lives longer than in the past and a slight increase in the Medicare rate is justified given the higher Medicare costs to the government.

My own opinions on our current politics have been featured in so many of postings I don’t feel the need to add to this. Besides this particular soap box belongs to the Ethics Sage.

James Pilant