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Sunday, October 16, 2011 ISSUE #677
 

Farmers may be needed after Wall Street protest
Oct. 16, 2011           
   
    COLUMBUS: The protest in New York City has grown. The liberal arts students have been joined by George Soros, Democrat office holders, unions, and the unemployed (who mainly took college classes in liberal arts).

    They complain about being unemployed, but how many of the Occupiers have you seen or heard that you would want to hire to work beside you?

    Would they accept an opportunity to work if it was offered? President Roosevelt set up the WPA during the 1930's and put men to work building roads, parks, schools, and other long lasting public projects. If you handed these protesters a shovel, sledgehammer and crosscut saw would they ask directions to the job site or would they scoff at you? 

    At the dedication to the wonderful memorial to Martin Luther King, President Obama offered support for the protests, "Dr. King would want us to challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing those who work there." Good point. And considering the unimaginable debt piled up in the last few years, Dr. King might also want us to challenge the excesses of the federal government without demonizing the civil servants who work there.

    Big banks and Wall Street firms don’t have many fans today. The excesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are at the root of declining home values and foreclosures. Successful businesses aim to produce more with less cost, so if they borrow to expand, it is often for new machines, not new employees. 

    In those New York protests, consider what you don’t see. You don’t see nurses, or engineers, or farmers. In contrast to the Tea Party rallies, I only saw one American flag, and it was upside down. Now, when the city gets around to cleaning up the mess they may bring in a couple of  farmers with a front end loader and a manure spreader. They can haul the stuff to Central Park to fertilize the grass.

    In Washington, the Congressional supercommittee of 12 is supposed to reach a budget compromise by Thanksgiving. Their colleagues in the House and Senate were asked to turn in ideas on how to save over a Trillion dollars. Well, so far they have offered to cut payments to farmers by $6 Billion. In all other areas the proposals total about $100 Billion. And that’s $100 Billion of increases, not cuts. Congress had better bring in Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson with their 2010 report, read the Constitution to see what the federal government is required to do, and appropriate funds accordingly.

    Warren Buffett could have helped out. He made $62 Million and could have given almost half ($29 Million) to the government. That would have eliminated his complaint that his secretary pays a higher percentage than he does. Instead he gave only 11 percent to the IRS. He gave the other $22 Million to charities. He believes they are wiser than the government in how the money is spent.

    Did you read about the woman who got lost in a corn maze and called 911? Well, I have a suggestion for farmers who want to attract customers afraid of getting hopelessly lost in a corn maze: cut a maze in a field of soybeans. Charge $3 to crawl through the maze. If they get frustrated, tell them to stand up.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
    "Senate has been investigating Wall Street for ten days and all they have found out is that the street is located in the sharp end of New York City, that not only the traders but the street itself is short, that neither end don't lead anywhere."
DT #1790, April 19, 1932

    "Funniest thing in this controversy over a bill to regulate Wall Street. Wall Street now wants to write their own bill. They are pleading guilty, but want to privilege of pronouncing their own sentence." DT #2386, March 27, 1934


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