Monday, March 28, 2011

There Is No Biggest Little in Atrocity, But There Is City

Good evening dear reader(s)!

In case you have not been keeping up with my blog-type-thing (& why would you?), I should start this particular post off by reminding everyone that I do not really like living in Reno.  (Yes, it is true.  You may take a moment to allow that to sink in if you must.)  Lately I have started to realize that my intense hatred for this town does not end with this town.  It is a broader, more generously shared hatred (You're welcome.) for the entire Reno way of thinking regardless of geographic location.  And so my dear reader(s), I am officially announcing that Reno is no longer just the Biggest Little City in the World (at least in Northern Nevada), but has actually become a state of mind.  

Now I know some of you may be asking yourself, "Does this mean you will stop making fun of Reno?"  Well mom, no.  I have a duty to make fun of Reno until they pry me from its cold, dead streets.  (Or blistering hot, dead streets if it is Summer).  What this means, is that I can take my fight against Reno across the globe!  My ever expanding army of voices in my head are ready to pursue those who fight for Reno wherever they may hide.  We shall treat the nations that support and give aid to Reno as though they are Reno themselves!  We'll smoke 'em out of their hiding spots.  Bring it on!

As many of you know, Reno has been trying and failing to attract businesses that will boost the economy for years.  The methods that Reno has been employing (& refuses to move away from, despite decades of failure) are as follows:  Keep the minimum wage as low as possible.  Do not make businesses pay taxes.  Approve any plans a business brings before government, regardless of how ridiculous the plan may be.  Refuse to enforce labor laws.  Subsidise the businesses when their ridiculous plans inevitably fail.  Cut government services that do not directly benefit the balance sheet of area businesses.  Cut education.  Make it crystal clear to the workforce that despite laws, enforcement of those laws in this "Right to Work State" is not going to happen, so they should feel lucky to even have their job that pays below the cost of living.  Rinse.  Repeat.  

These practices have been a massive failure to the people of Reno, to the government coffers, and all but a select group of unscrupulous companies who have no qualms about taking advantage of a workforce too desperate to walk away from these government sanctioned sweat shops.  The officers of these companies have made fortunes off the backs of their hard working employees, but the overall system has failed miserably and the economy overall has been in a downward spiral since this tactic become standard operating procedure.  

If this wasn't bad enough, it seems as though the Reno way of thinking is sweeping across the nation.  Ever since the "Economic Crash of 2008", corporations, in collusion with government officials, have claimed that they can not afford to pay their employees living wages, to hire more employees, to maintain a US workforce, to manufacture their products in America, and to pay taxes to the government that has allowed them to become prosperous in the first place.  These corporations were initially chartered in America, but now are only as American as their names.  And of course, everything they are claiming, is a bald-faced (Is a bearded lie better?) lie aimed at allowing the officers and executives of these companies to make obscene amounts of money at the expense of the workers and economy of America.  Essentially, they have seen what the Reno mindset has done for their peers in the high desert, & now they want a slice of the pie in places more hospitable to build their stately manors.  Here is how their game works:  They take advantage of the American economic system of loosley regulated capitalism to build a brand.  Once the brand is built, they go shopping overseas for the cheapest labor they can find.  They then divide their companies into different subsidiaries, so they can headquarter those subsidiaries in tax-friendly nations.  Working off of the American name and brand they established, they sell their wares to the American consumer who is unaware of the fact that they have been sold out.  They also target emerging markets where the indivudual may not consume as much, but because of a much higher population in that nation, that market may consume even more than America.  Through creative accounting, they shift any profits to the foreign subsidiary, thus allowing them to escape paying taxes to the only nation on Earth that would have allowed the company to grow so large.  They then get to claim that the American segments of the company are losing money, allowing them to get more productivity from each employee, allowing them to freeze wages, allowing them to create a level of fear in their employees that causes the employees to voluntarily give up pay and benefits already negotiated, just for the hope they may keep their job.  As the cheap labor economies that they exploit grow, so does the consumption of those economies, and with more people that America, even a modest rise in the consumption level of each individual translates into large gains for the companies that are now selling the goods.  Now the foreign subsidiaries really are making the larger profit, and the American worker and American economy are left behind.  The company makes record profits, all off of the backs of the workers and country that made them.  This is not opinion, this is fact.  In 2010 profits for "American" companies increased by 36%.  This is the largest increase in profits from the previous year since 1950.  Now where do you think the median income has gone during 2010?  How many city and state governments saw their budgets boost with the increased revenue from all this profit?  And so, because of Reno, we're all screwed.  That's right, Reno has destroyed the entire American middle class.  And don't forget, Reno also hates puppies!

The voices in my head have come to the conclusion that the only way we as Americans can fight the Renoization of this country is to stand up to these companies by not consuming their goods, by not going to work in the lousy jobs they choose to retain here, & by letting them know that we know they are not really American companies & will not support them as long as they choose not to support America.  In other words, we need to quit being afraid and stop allowing ourselves to be used just because we think we have to have luxury items like food, shelter, clothing, etc...  I took the step of starting this revolution about a week and a half ago by walking out of the crappy job that I had, and since I have not yet been evicted, have not yet had my power shut off, and have not yet been thrown in debtor's prison I have never been happier with a decision I've made.  (I will let you know next week if I still feel the same, once I am evicted, my power gets shut off, and I am thrown in debtor's prison.)  Because I can not fight this revolution on my own, (even with the "humanitarian air support" of the voices in my head), I am asking you to be brave, and stand up to your corporate masters.  Quit your jobs!  Make these companies fail.  Stop paying your bills!  When they come to take you from your homes, fight them!  We will have an army of millions of homeless people on the streets, fighting to save our democracy from the corporations that have stolen its power!  Um, I mean, just kidding FBI and Department of Homeland Security (sponsored by GE), we love our American companies and would never resist their ever expanding reach into our freedom.  (Wink-wink.)

Well my dear reader(s), the Chief of Staff of the Ever Expanding Army of Voices In My Head has informed me that I may have revealed too much and I should probably end my remarks at this time.  

So with that I say, "The revoltuion will be televised but you most likely can't afford the TV to watch it on, & if you can, you will have to pay your cable or satellite provider the pay-per-view fee which kind of goes against the whole point of an anti-corporate movement, now doesn't it?"  

By the way, this post was written on my phone using AT&T's service, which many of you know is a very small, independent, mom & pop, business, struggling to keep communications in the hands of the people.  God bless you AT&T, and may you succeed in your goal to provide great service at the lowest possible prices and unfettered access for all!  

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