Friday, February 19, 2010

Dick Armey and Joe Stack

In the late 1980s when Dick Armey, Ronald Reagan were working hard to eleminate American jobs and export them to Asia, Dick remarked that the American People were likely to get very angry about what they had done.

And many of us are. The H1B Visa program and the singling out of hi-tech professionals for special lesser treatment, under our tax and legal system, has made many of us angry. Most of us just live with it.

I've seen a lot of comments about how he was a private contractor and failed in his businesses and the assumption that he tried to start a church as a tax dodge. The folks writing those things I'll assume, have the same information to work from that I do. And that's suicide letter he wrote before engaging in his suicide attack on the US Government. And make no mistake, he is a terrorist. Engaging in a suicide attack to make a political statement is a terrorist attack. I guess Home Land Security says it isn't, in order to continue lying with statistics... But I digress.

As I read it, an alternate set of explanations occurred to me. But then, I've been in the same industry for almost as long as he was.

First off, in Dick Armey's war on American jobs, corporations get tax breaks and subsidies for hiring non-American workers. Our government intentionally makes it more expensive to hire Americans, than to hire workers from India, Japan or China. But only for a limited time. Workers can't stay in the US too long or they lose their H1B status. They have to be recycled. Further, our government actually pays corporations to move jobs overseas. This is intended to offset the higher costs of spending less money for labor.

This is one of the issues he was mad about.

The other is that before Dick Armey began his war on the American economy, software engineers that worked as contractors could take advantage of tax breaks given to small businesses. This allowed many entrepreneurs to start as a one man operation and grow their business on a shoestring, hiring workers as their workload increased. the restrictions on this is that engineers had to keep their books as if they were a business. They essentially had a set of books for the business, and kept one account for that, then paid themselves payroll and put that in the books for their personal account. This allowed them to accumulate capital as a business and take advantage of tax breaks designed to help small businesses. They could write off the computer systems, servers, software purchases etc... as business expenses.

Plumbers can still do this... It's only hi-tech people that are banned from filing as a small business in this fashion.

Now as I mentioned, many software companies got started in this mode. But after they became rich and powerful, they of course wanted to close this option and make it harder to create a startup. The Ronald Reagan administration as a great enemy of small business, was more than happy to do this.

This is where I think Joe Stack got screwed.

Now a lot of folks get the contracting side our business wrong. After Dick Armey's work to destroy American jobs got going, big corporations needed more tax dodges to improve profits. One simple way to do this is to hire people with disabilities and minorities into most of your full time employee positions, and then fill up the rest of your staff with 'contractors'. This way, you get tax breaks and subsidies for being a small corporation that satisfies the various public assistance programs, and you can have thousands of off the books employees doing the heavy lifting.

Further, you don't have to provide them with insurance or pay taxes on them. This really cuts costs and overhead.

This is a great way for corporations to cheat the tax man and taxpayers.

Those workers never earn any meaningful form of seniority. And even better for the Federal Government, if they are let go, they aren't actually fired, because they weren't actually employed. So when you kick them to the curb, they aren't unemployed. They paid into unemployment, but they get no benefits. They don't effect government stats on unemployment. It's another way for the government steal from us without providing a service.

It looks like Joe Stack had finally gotten tired of just sucking it up. Dick Armey made the seemingly mild mannered Joe Stack so angry that he engaged in a terrorist attack on the IRS, and Dick predicted this anger as he signed those bills. Dick Armey knew he was screwing us, and screwing America, and he did it anyway.

In fact, when his legislation really started kicking American jobs in the ass, he fled the D/FW metroplex and moved to Hawaii. He was afraid of the people who's careers he worked very hard to destroy. And likely for good reason. He knew it wasn't safe to stay within driving distance of tens of thousands of workers who blamed him for his deliberate acts of sabotage against the US economy.

Considering this, I doubt that Dick Armey is in any way surprised at what Joe Stack has done.

Again, I want to reiterate to my readers, than what Joe did, was in the end, a meaningless and futile act. The government is not afraid. It's simply a machine that will continually ratchet up the pressure and destroy little by little, the livelihoods of the people it is supposed to represent. As a machine, it doesn't feel fear. Eventually it will destroy so many jobs that people will riot in the streets and the armed forces will start gunning them down.

The system is collapsing. Peak Oil ensures that. And no act of violence or desperation on our part will change that. When our government is changed, it will likely be a military coup, run from the Pentagon. And that new government will be even more brutal than what our existing one can hope to become. 'We the People', really will have no say in how this comes about, as sociopaths have the authority and the guns, and they enjoy using them.

Keep your head down, your nose clean and make your differences felt in the community. The rest is already scripted and you don't have a say in editing.


At 7:52 AM, Blogger Kitty said...

Armey is a big pile of poop!

At 8:17 AM, Blogger edgar said...

Thanks Weaseldog,

I figured you to have some insights in this matter. Musician, techie, little guy, it's hard not to indentify with Stack in many ways.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The problem is we are not the kind to keep our heads down. No doubt there are fascists already taking a head count of "undesirables" in the blog world. You know, those of us who dare to use the word "corporatism".

Oh, well, if we are going anyway, we may as well not go quietly.


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