THAT’S WHY THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS CRAMPS – 2015

Recent articles have prophesied the death of the middle class.  If not now on its deathbed, it is certainly suffering from a severe case of the cramps.  I’ve updated my post of November 10, 2011.

THAT’S WHY THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS CRAMPS – 2015
(To tune of “That’s Why the Lady is a Tramp,” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart)

The rich own lobbies and lobbies buy votes.
Candidate’s whinny like horses for oats.
To get elected, and ride gravy boats.
That’s why the middle class has cramps.

“Money creates jobs,” those say who play god.
“Give us your blessings, we’ll spare you the rod.”
Bankers kill hopes with a nay not a nod.
That’s why the middle class has cramps.

About that dream, a house with no debt.
Brother forget.
You’re hosed.
Foreclosed!

Our constitution our high court revamps.
That’s why the middle class has cramps.

They told you work hard and you’d achieve.
Fools who’d believe.
No joke.
We’re broke!

No funds for college or kids’ summer camps.
That’s why the middle class has cramps

Lyric © 2011, 2015 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

 

ON WALL STREET

Income disparity is rising in America.  But, the disconnect goes beyond how much people earn. The most troubling aspect of this statistic questions the value to our society and economy of what these highest earners do; or, said another way, questions the honesty of their earnings. There is a growing gap between the rewards for those who speculate on Wall Street and the earnings of those who labor on Main Street.

ON WALL STREET
(To the tune of, “On Broadway,” by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weill, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller; most popularly recorded by The Drifters in 1963 and George Benson in 1978)

They say if you can make a deal on Wall Street.
The streets are paved with bucks to steal, down there.
Because your compensation’s tied
To EPS that’s glorified.
In limousines  you ride that go somewhere.

You know you’re really out of luck on Main Street
Forgotten desperate people stuck out here
Where there’s no job security
And nothing that you need is free
You realize you’re totally, nowhere

Feels good to be the 1 percent on Wall Street
Where lobbyists you pay don’t miss a beat
Keep carried interest on hedge funds
The tax exemption on your bonds
And never have to work for crumbs
On Main Street
Not on Wall Street
No, not on Wall Street

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

THE BANKS ARE OUT OF LINE AGAIN

THE BANKS ARE OUT OF LINE AGAIN
(To tune of, “I Wish I Were in Love Again,” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart)

Sirs Dodd and Frank
proposed a bank,
If caught self-trading, would receive a spank.
And while we’re waiting for the rules to crank,
The banks are out of line again

The banks complain,
“This isn’t Spain!”
Tough regulations were the root of pain.
Yes, I’d believe that, if I had no brain.
The banks are out of line again

Making bets.
Incurring debts.
Time forgets, that,
bankers had to be bailed-out.

So, what’s so new?
That’s what banks do.
But, take our money and then say F-you.
Now Volcker’s fuming ‘cause,
The banks are out of line again.

Reprise
Back to school.
Best not fool,
with Volcker’s rule, lest,
You want another disaster.

But banks have clout.
They’ll whine and pout.
And congress listens when the big-bucks shout.
The foul pot’s stewing, and,
The banks are out, of line again.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

TAUGHT TO BUY

This post was derived from  a phrase in “The Call of the Toad,” in which novelist Gunter Grass writes of “succumbing compulsively, as it were, to the principle of capitalist accumulation.”  Consumers swarm the malls like locusts buying up everything in sight, mostly stuff they don’t need.  The buying frenzy creates jobs; the jobs beget more consumers; who, in turn, buy more stuff they don’t need – none of this activity adding to happiness or enriching existence in any meaningful way – simply an endless cycle of consumption.  Should we not ask ourselves, to what purpose a life, to seek vibrancy in what is high and noble, or to sleep-walk through our consuming diversion? 

TAUGHT TO BUY
(To tune of, “Who Will Buy?”  by Lionel Bart, from musical show, “Oliver”)

What I buy
Hangs in my closet
Why I buy?
I don’t know why
I have eyes
I see and I want it
I’m a creature
Taught to buy

I get high
Wanting new fashions
Firms supply
Knowing my need
Won’t deny
These insecure passions
We’re a culture
Built on greed

Yet this consuming weaves no pleasure
Leaves me always lonely here
With what I’ve lugged home as a treasure
That I will throw away next year

What I buy
Dangles on my wrist
No alibis
Won’t try to resist
Spend don’t save
The board-rooms encourage
Like a slave who’s
Soul has died,
Lives a creature
Taught to buy

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

NOSEY MISTER CHIP

Many worry about the Patriot Act, but even more pernicious as an invader of privacy are the massive data bases that large commercial enterprises are building.  These files contain detail information about our lives gleaned from data-chips in our cars, cell phones and on our computers.  Soon they may be put in the labels on our clothing, if not already hidden there.  The gender of Mr. Chip is not meant to make a statement of any kind.  I simply liked how ” Nosey Mister Chip” sounded with the melody better than the gender neutral alternative, “Nosey Little Chip.”

NOSEY MISTER CHIP
(To tune of, “I’m Mister Blue,” by DeWayne Blackwell, 1959 chart-topping hit of singing group The Fleetwoods)

Intro:
New technology has reached a stage
Big Brother would approve
Huge data bases are now all the rage
Tracking our every move
Forgive me if you hear doubt
Slip from my worried lips
As capitalists now all contend
Our friends are data chips

Verses:
My Mister Chip
Embedded in each website
Noting my every link
My likes and how I think
Reducing me to a blip
Nosey Mister Chip

Sly Mister Chip
Your in the car I’m driving
My hidden traveler
A data gatherer
Along on my every trip
Nosey Mister Chip

Bridge:
If I stay a home one night
You might tell a satellite
And my TV, a screen of
Watching eyes
(Nosey People)

Verse:
Why, Mr. Chip?
Must you know my life?
The joy and pain: what for?
Surely to sell me more
Print out another sales-slip
Nosey Mister Chip

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

SO-WONDERFUL, DC.

SO-WONDERFUL, DC.
(To tune of “S’ wonderful,” by George and Ira Gershwin)

Intro:
How’d this sad day come?
From a grand intent
Get congress off its bum. 
No one ever meant
Sequester to occur.
But madmen see not sun.
Loud blamers do aver,
And argue who has won.
Why should we fain to be surprised?
In D.C. victory is prized

Verses:
Democrats,
Republicans,
Still battling in
D.C.

Senators, and
Congressman,
“You play to win,”
Agree.

Bridge:
They’ve made DC so partisan.
Like cats and dogs there’s just no parting them.

Verse:
A President
Too hesitant
Who’s looking out,
For me?

Bridge 2:
Big heads have turned rock-hard again.
Fashion’s an Archie Bunker cardigan.

Verse:
Correction-proof,
Election-proof,
Unchanging as,
The sea.

Bridge 3:
They’ve wrought blood-letting politics.
Unnerving as those awful horror flicks.

Verse:
So, “those with pull”
So, full-of-bull
So-wonderful,
D.C.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

 

WHO’LL FEED ME NOW?

The economy is supposedly improving but the middle-class lot remains stagnant  and worrisome.  Unemployment is still too high and wages for those with jobs continue to lose pace with everyday living expenses.  There was a time when plain folks could sustain themselves, or starve by themselves.  Now the consumer oiled job making machinery must provide a job for most. 

WHO’LL FEED ME NOW?
(To tune of, “Who’s Sorry Now?” (1923) by, Ted Snyder, Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby)

Who’ll feed me now?
Who’ll feed me now?
Though I’m out of work
I’m still hungry somehow

The industry gods
Said learn and work hard
“You’d have a job,” was their vow

In canyons of steel
With no job there’s no meal
I’m hungry, and,
Who’ll feed me now?

Back on the farm
Life was no charm
But we had the crops and the cow

Life in the city
With no job ain’t pretty
I’m hungry, and,
Who’ll feed me now?

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

GEE THE GRAND BARGAIN’S SINKING

GEE THE GRAND BARGAIN’S SINKING
(To tune of “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” by Rodgers and Hammerstein from the 1942 (remade in 1962) movie musical, State Fair)

Verses:
Gee the Grand Bargain’s sinking
The ship in going down
Say Bowles and Al Simpson
“No one we’re convincin”
And Boehner’s still wearing that frown

Gee the Grand Bargain’s sinking
No side will give half-way
They’ve caused quite a ruckus
Like chickens they’ll pluck us
Ben Bernanke’s hair’s turning gray
And we are the ones who’ll pay!

 Bridge:
Maybe if voters complain?
Maybe they’d locate a brain?
Maybe they’d start, acting like they were smart?
Or, are they deaf? That would explain

 Verse:
Gee the Grand Bargain’s sinking
Sequester: shout, “Hooray!”
The Tea Party’s cheering
As doomsday is nearing
While sanity’s growing passé
And we are the ones who’ll pay!

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

DEBT IS A VERY DANGEROUS THING

DEBT IS A VERY DANGEROUS THING
(To tune of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster from 1955 film of same name)

Debt
Is a very dangerous thing
Debt will lead you on, and make you want
Every single thing

Debt is cunning and exotic
It’s like a strong narcotic
When you can borrow, you feel like a king

Then
You no longer pay your loan
And the bankers call
And come take all, of the things you own

There’s a lesson to this story
Loud, alarming bells should ring
Yes debt is,
A very dangerous thing

Refrain:
Debt
Is a very dangerous thing
Lets you feel the world
Is a string-of-pearls
Dangling on your string

But its spell soon breaks
That thrill’s a fake
You’re left untangling string
Yes debt is
A very dangerous thing.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

(CONGRESS IS) TOO TERRIBLE FOR WORDS

(CONGRESS IS) TOO TERRIBLE FOR WORDS
(To tune of “Too Marvelous for Words” by Richard Whiting and Johnny Mercer (1937))

You’re just too terrible, too awful in a word.
You’re  treacherous, and treasonous,
How could a congress reason thus?

You’re irresponsible, dumb is the proper word,
You’re poisonous, dangerous,
And sure to cost some pain for us.

No deal, no guilt,
You’ve left us feeling livid.
No flair, no will,
 And thinking far too rigid.

And so I’m singing you
This song, not mincing words,
“Dear congress you’re too terrible,
In fact, you’re for the birds.”

 Lyric © 2012 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved