Thursday, January 09, 2014


UP FRONT News December 11, 2013 Second release (Dec. 12)
"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."
Published by Tom Weiss
Andrew Mazzone - Media Representative and Economics Advisor
Steven Gradman - Political Consultant
Lehman Weichselbaum - Arts Editor and Reporter
The views expressed in UP FRONT News are those of the publisher or the contributing writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of staff.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OUR "HEROES" ARE STEALING FROM US. GREED IS GOOD?" ROBINSON CANO VS. POPE FRANCIS
Some years ago at a forum on the tax reforms put forth by 19th century economist/activist Henry George, guest speaker Stephen Zarlenga, who wrote what may be the definitive history of money, was asked, paraphrased, how do the super-rich accumulate wealth. "They steal it", he replied. Mr. Zarlenga makes a valid point, one that by implication is sympathetic to the politics of, among others, Jesus Christ, Henry George, Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, Andrew Mazzone and a great many other people who comprise "the 99%'ers" of the planet.
I am aware of no "law" that empowers any human being to simply accumulate the most basic resource, i.e. land (otherwise known as "real estate") and gouge non-owners for the use of that land, and thereby gouge all others who must depend on the land and what the land produces (which is almost everything, even the oxygen generated by the plants which live on the real estate). Henry George, a dedicated opponent of land-based monopolization of resources, believed that a tax based on land value would serve to economically democratize matters and end the have/have-not chasm that accompanies both private corporate capitalism and state corporate "socialism."
Both the Old and New Testaments are laden with historical figures who live (and in some cases die) by greed.
Despite the "greed is good" sloganeering of Gordon Gekko, the character portrayed by Michael Douglas (whose salary for playing the part, put Douglas in the de facto Gekko Group himself) in the films "Wall Street" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps", as far as I am aware, most people regard greed as a negative.
Among the peculiar greed-related ironies is that public heroes and "role models" often in the entertainment and sports industries are among the greediest among us. I read recently in a sports column in a New York City tabloid that major league baseballer Robinson Cano, who felt that the offer of around $15 million year from the New York Yankees was tantamount to underpaying him and decided to to fight impending poverty by accepting more money ($24 million per year) from the Seattle Mariners, had a habit of not running out ground balls or flyballs that might or might not wind up in the seats as home runs.
Some years ago, Alex Rodriguez, who consistently confuses himself with The Almighty, aided and abetted by greed merchant agent Scott Boras, threatened to leave the Yankees because he felt that his approximately $26 million "annual" (a baseball "year" lasts from March through September, except for playoff teams still competing into October) salary was not commensurate with his divine abilities and desires. According to The York Times, among the folks "A-Rod" consulted in his effort to stave off homelessness was Goldman-Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who was once quoted as suggesting that his banksterism was "God's work." And so A-Rod got rthe Yankees to give him a raise to a reported $30 million a year. And for that bargain basement purchase price they retained a pathological narcissist with a history of perfromance enhancing drug abuse who would probably overload a lie detector device.
A recent guest article by a Washington Post columnist appearing in (of all papers), the multi-billionaire Newhouse empire-owned Staten Island Advance, whose publisher and political reporters consistently protect one percenter-protecting politician - referenced the pattern of the filthy rich to camouflage the greed that got them there by theatrical philanthropics. The image that comes to mind is zillioniare professional basketball players handing out turkeys to the poor folks in "ghetto" neighborhoods in New York City who have no way of seeing the players perform being unabld to afford the extortionist ticket prices charged which relate directly to player salaries and owner profits.
Our "heroes" are stealing from us!
Neither Jesus nor Pope Francis - who most recent pronouncement lacerated the rich for their greed - are known as athletes. Jesus reportedly was homeless a lot.

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