Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Starbuck Mutiny

After our yuppie friends get done filling up the Navigator they still owe $30,000 on , then log on to the in-dash internet stock quotes only to watch the value of their 401k sink like a torpedoed freighter in WW2 and finally check out the sky-high prices in Whole Foods, which the current cash crunch makes them put on the 29% interest rate credit card they NEED a hot steaming, frothy latte to buck up their spirits. But, doggone it, if they use the credit card one more time to buy a four dollar cup of coffee that four dollars will turn into twelve dollars of principal and interest by the time its paid off, if it ever GETS paid off. The walls are closing in on the office-bound middle managers and government employees these days. They thought that they had it all sewed up; comfortable niches in an impenetrable bureaucracy, no layoffs, a lock-solid retirement, plenty of disposable income. Hey, lets go across the street and grab a dople espresso at Starbucks and rap about it, compadre!
Maybe not. That disposable income has suddenly disappeared in a wave of inflation that seemed to come out of nowhere. Now us free-lance and small-business chickens have been hit by the same wave but we never expected things to be easy and are used to battening down the hatches and riding out the storm. I cashed in my 401k after the film industry tanked after 9/11 and never had any illusions that the corporations I worked for would do anything but get rid of me the minute they didnt need me any more. But now the ugly truth is sinking in to the smug yuppies who voted consistently for the party of Green Change that they arent excluded from economic reality; an economic reality that might face them with some stark choices. Not buying that $4 latte is just the beginning. California has just adopted a job-killing, economy-crushing 'Global Warming' plan which is a signal to anyone thinking of investing in this state to look elsewhere and is saying loud and clear to anyone in business in this state to move somewhere else if at all possible. Capital flight has turned a projected six billion dollar deficit into a seventeen billion dollar one. The libs made a few noises about raising taxes but the example of Michigan stands stark and tall; raising taxes in a crumbling economy makes revenues go DOWN! The bureaucrats in this state are looking over the precipice at huge job cuts, and not just those superfluous fireman, policemen, teachers and road crews but even vitally important paper-shuffling loafers will be affected. The phat pension system will be burdened by the lowering value of all paper securities and a huge wave of people taking early retirement.
In the novel 'Moby Dick' an insane leader stopped his crew from looking for oil to chase a white whale, a chimera which had no sensible relation to any reality. He used his mad passion to get his crew to abandon their own interests and join the chase for this useless beast. Thats where we are with Global Warming. Only one member of the crew of the Pequod realized the truth and at one point tried to put a harpoon through the mad skull of Ahab. Starbuck.
In the last few days we've seen the Dems and the yuppies quail and even back off from their decades long phobia against drilling for oil. Chucky-Schmucky Schumer even mentioned that there was 'room for compromise' about drilling. If that doesn't tell you how terrified the libs are about losing this argument you just need to look at the numbers for Starbucks this quarter. Job cuts will follow at the fern-draped Seattle headquarters shortly, just like they will at Boeing. People are buying a cheap thermos and a can of Folgers at Target and brewing up their coffeee at home or drinking the industrial coffee at the office and forgoing the flight to go see granny in Tulsa this year. The smug lifestyle of the middle managers is coming to an end and the dems are still chasing the White Whale of socialism instead of hunting for oil. The Europeans are already abandoning the insane pursuit of the White Whale of Climate Change and thinking of their survival. Can America be far behind?

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