Monday, August 30, 2010
My favorite song from "Mary Poppins" is, perhaps not surprisingly, "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank." I had, however, forgotten how tremendously apropos and, well, instructive it is.
I'm a complete dork. I love it when Banks sings "plantations of ripening tea," but so many of the other lines really do apply today.
And, yes, that is Dick Van Dyke.
That bit of business when he steps down is brilliant. Van Dyke was a great treasure.
And, dammit, when I saw this as a child, why of course I wanted to feed the damn pigeons!
Of course, now I know better.
Now I'd buy a lottery ticket.
Oh, come on. Give my hard-earned tuppence to a grasping, doddering old fool like that?
Around that era, I learned a banking song at school. Not surprisingly, I couldn't find it on YouTube, so the lyrics will have to suffice.
Find a bank and put your money in
Let it work for you
Let your fun begin
If you save a little every week
You are bound to be secure
Find a bank…
Unfortunately these days, at the interest rates that banks are offering, security is in the far distant future.
Van Dyke did a great episode of Scrubs a few years ago.
Some super-genius is has put Mary Poppins on Broadway.
Same wonderful speech as George Bailey's in musical format.
Of course, the kid’s tuppence(s) would better be collected toward investing at whatever miniumums in stock, bond, metal, and money market index funds than the bank, but in any case I have a small stake in a bank (I have to manage my bank directors better, admittedly), so I’ll make 7-8% on the kid’s change relying on the State of Delaware and the USA to make sure I get rich either way give him 1-2%.
But there is something wrong with the Republican Party and even the Tea Party. It lacks the everyday common sense and precise language to communicate to the economically ignorant and government-controlled economy indoctrinated public the why that Republican policies benefit the poor - they do. Reaganomics and the "trickle down effect" is still terms of ridicule when they should be the opposite: a well-established partial rejection and partial improvement upon Keynesian economics.
Republicans mock "spread the wealth around" when it sounds great to many naturally. Mocking "spread the wealth" is counter-productive - rahter explain with Reaganesque simplicity and compassion why "sperad the wealth" is at some point unjust, but far more importantly as we are now experiencing and did in the the late 60s, the 70s, and early 80s, harmful to the poorest citizenry.
"Majestic self-amortizing canals!"
I think that's one of my favorite lines in any movie. I love the way it oscillates between the real thing and self-parody -- in one instant, I really do find self-amortizing canals majestic, in a proud-of-industrialization sort of way. And then it flips to being silly -- majestic?! And then back again...
I agree, PD, but it goes beyond the Republicans. Businessmen are terrible at explaining what they do clearly, and why it adds value. So many executives are defensive about their contributions, when the real response to anti-business attacks by academics, journalists, NGO volunteers, and politicians should be, "oh, whatimportant thing have you done, what have you built, what lives have you changed, and how many jobs have you created?" Any banker ought to be able to articulate that more persuasively than almost any of the professional gum-flappers.
There was a great lesson on the free-enterprise system in a Merry Melodies cartoon, the shoe maker and the elves. I've not seen it in years and can't find it on Youtube. In it the elves teach the shoe maker how to expand his business and how the economic system works. If anyone finds it I'd love to know.
The thing that's always bothered me about this song (love it as I do)--most of the enterprises listed were *terrible* investments! There's been a lot of economic history research done into the performance of financial assets under the British Empire, and most show that imperial investments such as the canals, railways, and tea plantations listed returned single digit yields, far below the returns avaliable back in Britain (or Germany and America, for that), and certainly not compensating for the increased risk premium.
Frankly, Michael was right to hold onto his money.
Nowadays, Michael would need a child advocate in negogiating with the unscrupulous bankers, maybe ACORN, and opening an account would involve signing an arbitration agreement, along with reams of compliance forms. With all that exposure and overhead I wonder if a bank would open an account for only a tuppence.
One of my favorite movies ever!
Indeed, business people tend to be good at business rather than soaring rhetoric about the wonderful contribution business makes to the earth, particularly it's poorest (statistically, with the abhorent individual instances where business ventures are objectively predatory and destructive).
But, the Republicans when they are not in quasi-corrupt tax-and-spend in exchange for campaign contribution mode which they have been lately, perhaps out of necessity, are supposed to be the professional communicators. I heard a Mitt Romney speech once - and he must pay speech writers - and it was horrible. One dead on arrival quip after another and a speech that was totally tone deaf to what irks the (indoctrinated) masses about Republicans, free enterprise, disparities in income in a given year and over the course of a life-time,etc. The speech was over and it's as if I, who consider free enterprise (taxed wisely and appropriately governed for the purposes of social justice, a requisite I readily recognize) to be a bounty for all, am readily persuaded Republicans want to make the rich richer. And I think Romney would make a great president (waffler over the course of his career that he has been notwithstanding) - not as great as Giuliani though.
I have yet to see any major articulate simply, persuasively, and accurately Reaganomics or the "trickle down effect" or the Laffer curve (before anyone gets ready to ridicule me, I don't think the Laffer curve is ever a precisely applicable to any recent short or medium term economic situation the USA has had including the early 80s; yet I hold it remains apt over the long term). These are all wonderful concepts that require a '10s revival.
But what really bothers me to the point of near apoplexy is that the Republicans won't make themselves the party of education, education, education, nor establish the link between education, social libertinism, poverty, and income inequality. There are "four lanes to the Washington, D.C." for someone who makes clear what is counter-intuitive and unbelieved by the masses, i.e., that The Republicans are the poor people's party.
Actually, I amend that; given how small the several tax increases were in the 90s, including Clinton's increase for the highest income bracket, the case can be made that the Reagan tax cuts generated growth that paid for themselves and in so doing being the essential cause of the balanced budgets of the 90s thus being the Laffer effect over the course of 15 years, more or less.