Viva Fidel Castro? I suppose not…

For those of you who pay no attention to the media, Cuban ex-President Fidel Castro died a day or so ago.  There is a political divide in this country (and several other countries in the world) over whether Fidel Castro was a good man or not and whether or not he was a good president or not.  The divide is so prominent in the U.S. that we’ve essentially been at one-step-away-from-war with Cuba for almost twice as long as I’ve been alive.

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” -Fidel Castro (not really)

But what we must remember is that much of the cruelty Castro is accused of…is because of the United States meddling in his country.  Much of the death toll associated with his regime are CIA-funded counter revolutionaries and assassins sent by the U.S. to destabilize Cuba and oust Castro.

Castro and his cronies ‘Che’ Gueverra and the current president of Cuba, Raul Castro, led a popular revolt to oust the American-backed president, Fulgencio Batista.  In the first 50 years of Castro’s regime he is popularly regarded as killing or imprisoning 50,000 people.  Batista was in power for 10 years and killed or imprisoned 20,000 people.  If we assume that would have continued he would have a death toll of closer to 100,000 people in the same amount of time Castro was in power.

So let’s talk a bit about Batista.  Donald Trump, our future president came out cheering on social media over Castro’s death.  This id kind of interesting considering Batista was first elected president of Cuba in 1940 as a Democratic Socialist.  He was pro-union, pro-labor law, and anti-Fascist and an accomplished military veteran (everything Trump isn’t and everything he hates).  He won around 56% of the vote, in the 1940 election.

Y’know, the look of this guy reminds me of someone Maybe I’ll think of it as we continue?

Batista’s regime lasted only 4 years and the man he groomed to replace him lost in the 1944 election.  It is believed that Batista embezzled almost the entirety of Cuba’s treasury and fled to the U.S. before the next President could be sworn in.  Batista spent the next few years living a life of luxury in the U.S. where he ran for re-election as a Cuban Senator in absentia (this means he won the position, despite not even being in Cuba).  With this new position as Senator secured he returned to Cuba and ran for President in 1952.

It was a triple-threat race with the popular vote heading starkly toward Cuba’s Partido Orthodoxo party with a respectable second being the Cuban Partido Autentico party.  Running a distant third was Batista’s party.  So a few months before the election with almost no hope of actually winning, he secured his old military contacts and staged a military revolution.  He declared himself President, cancel the elections, and exiled then-president Carlos Prio Socarras from the country.  Well okay to be fair, Socarras was a bit of a dupe and apparently didn’t believe that Batista would actually stage a coup, so he did nothing to respond to the attacks when they occurred.  Once Batista took control and named himself President, Socarras quietly ceded defeat and fled the country.

Ah! There it is; that's who he reminds me of!

Ah! There it is; that’s who he reminds me of!

This is where the fun part occurs!  The U.S. government recognized Batista’s as the legitimate government and remained allies with Cuba, under Batista.  Now to be fair, sections of Cuba did continue to prosper under Batista – he wasn’t a complete idiot when it came to administration.  He was actually a pretty good government administrator.  But at this point he began a new direction where he desired more personal wealth, more power, and more respect – particularly from those of the upper echelons of Cuban society.

Batista got in deep with organized crime and American business.  In one instance Batista allowed an American phone company to raise their service rates to Cuban by an astronomical rate (he, naturally, received kickbacks from them).

And the number one form of aid from the U.S. to Cuba during Batista’s reign?  Weapons.  The U.S. supplied Batista’s police forces and his military with the munitions they needed to ensure someone didn’t pull a Batista and raise their own military revolution.  U.S. government officials even referred to him as a ‘despot’, but he was anti-communist by this point (remember that he got elected on a pro-Communist ticket in the 1940 election) and so that made him pro-America in the 1950s.

JFK was anti-Batista and actually, at least secretly, approved of Castro’s revolution when it began.

Yup, I can definitely see it. *Disclaimer: Artificial Colorization

Yup, I can definitely see it.
*Disclaimer: Artificial Colorization

You see Fidel Castro was a young lawyer, a rising star in the political spectrum of Cuba.  Right up until Batista canceled the elections that were supposed to bring Castro to the forefront.

Batista held fraudulent elections in 1954 and the man who had once defeated his protégé was the major runner-up against him.  Batista used brutal intimidation tactics to keep people from voting for anyone but him, or for voting for anyone at all.  Batista convinced the opposing parties in the election to abstain from voting if they opposed him.  This would be the equivalent of saying, “Well I support Hillary Clinton, so I just won’t vote that way I can’t vote for Donald Trump.”  In the election that Batista legitimately won over 75% of the country voted…in this one only 45% of the country voted.  Batista’s opposition dropped out of the election out of fear for their supporters.  The funny thing is…the guy still won almost 7% of the vote after dropping out of the race.

Batista began a campaign of brutality against his own people including killing University Students because his regime deemed all unemployed youth to be potential revolutionaries.  He shut down the universities and recalled a military officer who was popular to help support him.

Sadly for him, said officer led a military revolution.  It was found out though and Batista won the fight.  Eventually Castro would gain enough support from the people to overthrow Batista and force him to flee to Europe.

So as we remember Castro upon his recent death at the age of 90.  Remember that the U.S. of the 1950s created the Castro regime.  We created it by keeping such a vile piece of brutality in power as Batista.  Castro may not have been the perfect president, but I believe he was better than the alternative.

At least the good news is the U.S, doesn’t stand beside brutal dictators that turn the military on their own people any longer.  Right?

syrian-deathtolls

Oh…yeah…I forgot we don’t learn from our mistakes.  Damn it.

~RCS

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Independence Day, 2015

I won’t get into too big of a post today.  I will just take another stab at the Confederate Flag controversy by reminding everyone what flag flew over this great nation when our independence was declare.

Err, yeah that one, I guess.

Err, yeah that one, I guess.

So remember folks…this day celebrates the founding of America.  A land of…snakes in the grass!

Err…wait, what?

~RCS

We CAN Erase The Debt, Easily

You all know that I hate quoting myself, right?  Well I touched on a subject in my last post, but didn’t go really into depth with it.  Now I’m going into a deeper hole to mine some more information.  Follow along with me as I configure these numbers and come to the conclusion that…the nation is bought and owned by the wealthiest members of the nation.  And that there aren’t many ways to change it.

Here’s where the thought started in the last post to recap:

“And look at Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, who makes about $20,000 every 8 hours.  That’s equivalent to making $2,500 an hour if he worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year; that’s a grand total of $21.9 million a year in income.  He pays a little less than $3.3 million a year in taxes.  If he paid the same 22% that I do on my hard-earned money, that’d be a little more than $4.8 million.

And both Romney and my million-dollar CD only pay 15% taxes, whereas I pay closer 22% tax on the money I bust my ass for.  In other words, he pays a little less than $3.3 million a year in taxes.  If he paid the same 22% that I do on my hard-earned money, that’d be a little more than $4.8 million.  Whereas I pay a little more than $4,600 in taxes, but if I only paid 15% in taxes, I’d pay a little more than $3,100.”

Now if we follow along with those numbers…

And if we assume that all the .1% top income earners earn Romney’s amount and pay his level of taxes and that the lower 50% of the nation that make less than $26,000 a year all make the cut-off of 26k and pay my effective tax rate of 22% than we can look at the following results.

Top .1% Population: 300,000 people

Top .1% Income Gross: $6,570,000,000,000 (that is 6.57 trillion dollars)

Top .1% Tax Payment (at 15%): $985,500,000,000 (that is 985.5 billion dollars)

Bottom 50% Population: 150,000,000 people (that is 150 million)

Bottom 50% Income Gross: $3,900,000,000,000 (that is only 3.9 trillion dollars)

Bottom 50% Tax Payment (at 22%): $858,000,000,000 (yup, 858 billion dollars)

 

Now if we switch those tax rates around we find these numbers…

Top .1% Tax Payment (at 22%): $1,445,400,000,000 (a mighty 1.4 trillion dollars)

Bottom 50% Tax Payment (at 15%): $585,000,000,000 (still a comely 585 billion dollars)

So if we just switch the tax rates, we wind up with the top .1% paying 459.9 billion dollars a year more in taxes and the bottom 50% pays 127.5 billion dollars a year less.

In total that is an increase in $332.4 billion in taxes for the government.  In a period of 4 years we would increase tax revenue by more than $1.3 trillion dollars.

So if we can cut spending by 1.5 trillion dollars a year, that’d cut the budget deficit by 100 Billion dollars (i.e. .1 trillion dollars) a year, so after 4 years we would lower the national debt by 1.7 trillion dollars in 4 years just by making respectable cuts to the wasteful government spending and forcing 300 thousand people to pay the same tax rate as 150 million people who, combined, make less than the aforementioned 300 thousand people.

 

Now before you rant and rave at those numbers…keep in mind that we’re only looking at .1% against 50%.  If we look at Mitt Romney’s cronies among the top full 1% and realize that they must make around similar amounts as him.  So if we assume that the remainder of the top 1%, the other .9%, make marginally less than him we can create an even fancier number.

We’ll calculate it like this: We’ll assume that the top 1% makes, as a combined average, 20% less than Romney’s income per person.  That gives us the following numbers…

Top 1% Population: 3,000,000 (million) people

Top 1% Income Gross: $52,560,000,000,000 (that would be 52.6 trillion dollars a year)

Top 1% Tax Payment (at 22%): 7,884,000,000,000 (7.9 trillion dollars a year in taxes)

Top 1% Tax Payment (at 22%): $11,563,200,000,000 (yes…11.6 trillion dollars a year in tax income)

So if we raise effective taxes from 15% to 22% on the top 10%, using our numbers, we raise tax income (after accounting for lowering taxes on the bottom 50% from 22% to 15% tax) by $3,551,700,000,000.  In other words: 3.6 trillion dollars a year.

After 4 years, we’d have 14.4 trillion dollars a year, even without the spending cuts.  If we manage to cut spending by $1.5 trillion a year, we’d end up with $14.8 trillion dollars more than we get every year, now, in four years’ time.

So in the term of one single president, we could pay down over 97% of the national debt.  In the same president’s second term, we would erase the national debt in the first few months of his (or her) second term and by the end of the second term we would have a national surplus of 14.3 trillion dollars.

So in 8 years’ time we would not only erase the debt, but acquire a surplus almost equivalent to the debt as of writing this post ($15.2 trillion).

Now explain to me why we can’t have universal free health care and have this huge deficit, again?

~RCS

Maximum Wage

A big point of contention in this country is the financial disposition of the nation.  1% of the nation owns a large portion of the country and the top 10% owns over 90% of the nation as a whole.  See the diagram below to see the disparityof wealth in America.

That's cool, I liked Georgia, anyway.

But free marketers say that there’s nothing we can do about it.  If you do a good job, you should get paid and paid well…or at least you should if you’re a CEO.  They claim that doing anything about it would violate the freedoms of the wealthy and would ruin the free market.

We created a minimum wage to ‘help’ the poor class.  It does more to damage small business, you know the least wealthy businesses, than it does to harm big business who runs the country, you know the business owned by that aforementioned 10%

So why can’t we institute a Maximum Wage?  You have to be paid $7.25 an hour, minimum.  So how about a nice calm…$40.25 an hour, maximum.

Put a moratorium on hours workable as well; no person can work more than 16 hours without an 8 hour break.  So if you pay a CEO maximum wage for 16 hours a day, every day-7 days a week, year-round, including overtime…then you achieve the maximum wage for a salaried official.

So regular time for 40 at $40.25 equals out to $1610 a week; add in the overtime at $4347 for time and a half of $40.25 over 72 hours.

That means that the maximum yearly wage would be $309,764.  This will include bonuses, so no salary of $300k and then a $4 million bonus, or anything like that.

Let’s look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s CEOs as a comparison.  They each make $900,000 and then get paid $2.4 million in bonuses.  This is as they ask Congress to give them more money because they can’t make the business profitable enough to stay out of bankruptcy.

So if we assume they had the same losses in 2011 as they did in 2010, that means that Fannie Mae lost $14 billion dollars, even thought they posted an income of $153.8 billion.  That means that their operating expenses were in excess of $167 billion dollars.

So if we cut the CEO of Fannie Mae, Mike Williams, down to $309,764 a year in salary…we just saved the company $2,990,236.  That’s almost 3 million dollars!

So if we assume that the executive board makes 75% of the CEO’s salary and bonuses, that would be about $2.5 million dollars per person.  If we assume an executive board of 10 people, plus the CEO; and we cut that board down from 2.5 million to $300 thousand, then we save 2.2 million dollars, per person.

With just the executive board we’d save the company $24,990,236, that’s roughly $25 million dollars.  It’s not quite 14 billion, but it’s a step in the right direction.  Imagine how many people there make over $300 thousand dollars already, that would all end.

Now we make lobbying illegal like I said in the last post and we also save them another few million.  Before you know it…Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be profitable again!

~RCS

Or else they’ll fold and we can replace them with something that really works.  Either way’s cool with me.

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