Archive for the ‘Government Rebate’ Category

The Bread n’ Butter Gang

February 12, 2008

By David Farside

Capitalism is great. The government regulates business, collects taxes and spends the money on everything except national health care, the working poor, veterans and senior citizens. But times have changed – temporarily.

The recent rebate program passed by both houses will pump $150 billion into our failing economy, but the government has misplaced its priorities.

One-time rebates of $600 will be given to individuals who make up to $75,000 a year. And couples who have a yearly income of up to $150,00 will receive $1,200. Now, I have a question. Why in the world do people making that kind of money need a rebate check?

The people who really need the $600 rebate and some financial help such as: senior citizens, the disabled and veterans who are so poor they don’t earn enough income to pay any income tax will be the recipient of the governments generosity in the amount of a $300 rebate. It seems to me the governments rebate program is backwards. The people making the least should receive the most.

The purpose for the rebate is to stimulate our economy and encourage public spending. I guess they figure poor people will spend money on rent, groceries and pay off some debt instead of buying new television sets.

It always amuses me how our government preaches about the virtues of capitalism. Evidently, true capitalism doesn’t work. When our capitalistic economy and so-call free market fails and is caught between a recession, depression and inflation the government regulates the flow of money, prints more paper money, influences the federal reserves decisions on interest rates, and reverts to socialism by distributing government money back to the people they overtaxed in the first place.

But with all the poverty we have today it doesn’t compare with the financial hardships of the early 1940s. During the Second World War poverty was common, not the exception.

I remember my father struggling every day for our meager existence. Every morning he traded and bartered for food rations on the “black market.” He worked at odd jobs in the afternoon and at night he dealt poker for the local gangsters, bookmakers and racketeers in the back room of the neighborhood barbershop. We survived using ingenuity and skill. But it was the compassion, kindness and thoughtfulness of our up-town-neighbors that contributed the most to our family’s existence.

As kids in the neighborhood, we also found creative ways to sustain our families in this war for survival.

Every Saturday our small army of five met in front of the old Presbyterian church at four o’ clock in the morning. With our homemade wagons built with old roller skates, orange crates and rubber bands loaded with empty burlap sacks and sand pails, we were armed and ready for the attack.

It was a long walk to the 6th Ward where the upper class lived in their colonial style houses. An hour before dawn the troop approached the battlefield. And under the cover of darkness we kept a sharp lookout for our early morning target: the milkman.

The milkman was busy delivering his assortment of milk, bread, butter, cheese and eggs on the front porches of our enemy, and we were right behind him. After he turned the corner we were filling our burlap bags with small portions of his delivered treasures.

There were only five of us. But like a well-trained army, we all had our own responsibilities. Speed, timing and courage was paramount for success.

The one in charge of stealing the bread was “June Bug”. He opened the wrapping and eased out 2 or 3 slices from ever loaf he could find.

“Bones Broderick” commandeered the cheese, cutting off a few slices from every block cheese. “Bang-Bang Baymer” managed the milk department and “Ted the Toad” gathered the eggs. I was the lookout; always ready for a retreat and make a run for it.

We only took small portions from everyone, hoping no one would resist our maneuvers, set a trap or capture us as prisoners of war.

After a few invasions, our victims of war surrendered. Now on Saturday mornings almost all the porches had small paper bags filled with groceries, candy, cookies and sometimes even money. Each bag had a note attached to it addressed to “The Kid’s in the Bread n’ Butter Gang”. We didn’t have to steal anymore.

If the government didn’t steal our money by taxing the working class unfairly, creating a national debt we will never payoff, regulating banks to protect the finance companies instead of the consumer , and stopped using social security funds to colonize the world by armed force, we wouldn’t need a rebate check.

Maybe the government could learn something from the Bread n’ Butter gang. If the government went to the nation’s wealthy 6th Ward and took a few more slices of their riches and fairly distributed it to national health care programs, senior citizens and the working poor maybe, they wouldn’t have to steal anymore.