“Agitate, agitate, AGITATE” — Frederick Douglass
The vampires have been set upon the peasants for another two years. I should’a known when I heard two radio commercials on the last day of the 2019 legislative session.
I was mildly disturbed by the accidental irony of a local rock station which followed a spot for a payday loanshark with an ad for a blood bank. The portent proved emblematic of what had been billed as lawmaking Valhalla for the Donkeykongs.
It came as no surprise to a superannuated political dinosaur like me, but it still rankled. I was disappointed as usual, but not surprised, also as usual.
Once again, if your political interest was represented in Carson City by a big-money lobbying campaign, you did real good. Alas and alack, the peons had only their elected officials to work for them. As always, they were disappointed.
Many probably never knew and will not know because they are too busy working three jobs trying to survive.
As Lily Tomlin once immortally opined, “no matter how cynical you become, it’s hard to keep up.”
The lowest of the low were allowed no surcease from sorrow. The loansharks will feast unabated and unregulated as pillaging landlords run amok. Even controlling two of the three branches of government,
Democratic burritos could not even get the state minimum wage raised to 1968 levels, adjusted for inflation. (It goes to $8.00 an hour later this year. Whoopee.)
’Twas ever thus in the High Desert Outback of the American Dream.
Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, introduced Senate Bill 398 which purportedly would have given local governments more purview over affordable housing.
Know-nothings like me reviewed existing law and wondered why it was necessary. (The words “rent” and “control” were nowhere to be found in the bill.)
KILL BILL, VOLUME 3. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Cowardly local officials will now be able to say “our hands our tied” to aggrieved renters because SB398 failed. Sen. Ratti’s cure has thus worsened the disease. She stated to the legit media that she had no idea who killed the bill.
Colonel Mustard in the garden with a 30 pieces of chainsaw, perhaps?
SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM. The wildwood flower made out real good. Nevada is starting its own version of bitcoin to help the marijuana industry.
As long as Mary Jane is a scarlet woman in the opinion of federal law, banks will not allow traffickers in illegal substances to use the system.
Awhile back, I wrote about a cancer-stricken Teamster friend of mine who was denied marijuana by the Renown octopus because they fear losing federal funds. My now-dead friend was wasting away, unable to hold down food and government sanctioned pot capsules did not help. So to get strong enough to leave the hospital he would have to leave the hospital in order to smoke up in order to eat and get strong enough to leave the hospital. Damn them. (Barbwire 10-4-2016)
The people who really need banking services remain out in the cold with the vampire loansharks circling. As I noted months ago, I went to a local banker about developing reasonably-priced loans for renters. He said his outfit wanted no part of that action. They make way too much money hitting people for overdraft charges.
All this is nothing new. Years ago, I put together a Tribune team to tell the tale of a local woman whose 50-cent overdraft turned into $1,000 in charges from US Bank. Angela Curtis and Debra Reid splashed the story on the front page of the erstwhile Daily Sparks Tribune. (Linked to the web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com)
Garden variety banks make a huge portion of their profits on overdraft hits. In that conversation, my banker informed me that I could overdraw my checking account by $1,000 anytime even without applying for overdraft protection.
Count Dracula, call your office.
The long-term remedy for all this usury lies with a return to postal banking, a service once offered at every US Post Office but killed a half-century ago.
Locally, Nevada municipal governments must be pushed to control rental abuse. It’s legal, dammit.
St. Louis activists started a credit union to help aggrieved renters. It took 14 years.
The answer, as always, lies with the greatest lesson from Aesop’s Fables: If you want something done, do it yourself.
Agitate, agitate, agitate.
Organize. Organize. ORGANIZE!
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.