How Many Trillions Does it Take to Put a Banker in Jail?

About to go to jury duty here in about 15 minutes...which got me thinking about the concept of justice.

I don't mind paying a lot of taxes if it goes toward creating a better society, but in California when you get toward the upper end of the tax bracket you can pay ~ 60% (federal + state + local + self employment/social security) of your income in taxes. And those tax payments probably do not even offset the handouts we are giving to bankers that gambled with trillions of dollars and lost.

News of additional bailouts via a public private partnership (that makes almost all the reward private and almost all the risk taxpayer funded) have spurred Bank of America and Citibank into buying more of the toxic assets that they allegedly need help clearing off the books.

A guy writes $7,000 in bad checks and gets a 24 year prison sentence. These bankers cost tax payers trillions of dollars. So much money stolen that they debased the currency, and they are awarded with free money for being incompetent.

I am not sure what will come of today, but if this country actually had any sense of justice then there would be at least a half dozen bankers serving a few decades in jail. The fact that none of them have been locked up yet shows how perverse our justice system is and how little you should trust the U.S. government. Politicians work for the bankers.

Obama has a poll allowing voters to ask questions about the economy. Most of the questions are about "what about me I am broke and don't know what to do" and "I need some relief" etc. And that is how they will remain until our financial system is fixed. And by fixed I mean these bankers serve the jail-time they earned and pay back their "earnings." Billions of hours of labor have been wasted propping up a ponzi scheme that promotes insider/bank traders winning on both sides of the trade, while handing you the losses.

Is there any wonder why so many people feel overextended?

These bankers put teeth in the consumer bankruptcy law (lying using bogus statistics to pass it) then they wanted a decade long ride on the free money train for their company.

What's worse is that children who have yet to be born have interest working against them starting from the day they are born. They are in the hole from their first breath, having done nothing wrong other than being born into corruption. The politicians take care of their own children, just not our children.

We are so afraid of terrorism...and financial terrorists that cost us trillions of dollars are somehow just part of how the system works. No big deal.

Sorry, but I don't need to pay for someone else's second yacht or fourth home. If anything these career criminals should be scrubbing my floors and taking out my trash. You and I are the people who are actually paying their salaries (and bonuses) through a collective billions of hours of OUR LABOR that was confiscated and handed over to the banks. This makes me angry enough to want to go unemployed and stop working and/or move to another country. I hope I get to be a juror over a banker some day. And I hope you do too!

Update: here are a couple relevant articles in Rolling Stone & The Atlantic, and a nice video.

Social Network Theory

The more I learn about the field of SEO the more it feels like public relations and the less it feels like anything to do with machines, algorithms, or search engines. I am soft launching a blog about social stuff called social network theory.

Not so much Digg spamming sorta stuff, but tips and ideas about how social networks work from my limited understanding thusfar. In time I hope to read lots of books on the subject and related subjects like behavioral economics and linguistics. The blog might just be a fling, or it might turn into more if I really get into the topic. SEO Book will still be my main venture for the foreseeable future.

Thank You!

My wife and I just had our first anniversary dinner, which was a lot of fun. She actually found me by buying my ebook back when I still sold it, and our connection was only made possible through years of supporting this site / blog / brand by readers like I just wanted to say thanks. :)

Back From Vacation

My wife and I got back from our Kauai vacation Sunday afternoon. I slept most of yesterday, but am now back after the seasonal hibernation period. Hope to start posting a bit more frequently in the near future. :)

New Year's Resolutions for 2008

Improve SEO Book - the ebook format and sending updates via email have a lot of friction associated with them. Perhaps so much so that I should have realized it and changed my business model years ago. A partial list of that friction includes

  • shipping questions (for an ebook)
  • a text that takes a while to read
  • a format that presumes you want to read the whole thing
  • a text too large for most people to want to re-read the whole thing when it is updated
  • requests for special addendums when updates are done, which would make the whole book structure quite pointless
  • a text so large that it is hard to update
  • refund requests within 3 minutes of purchases by people who bought it with intent to steal it
  • people trying to sell it on eBay or on their websites
  • a lowered perception of value due to using a format that is often associated with scams

There are many ways I can add value to SEO Book and enhance value transfer to customers if I turn the purchase process into establishing a relationship. There needs to be more backend support for learning. With internet marketing getting more complex I need to make learning easier, more granular, and more interactive.

Treat SEO Book more like a business - I sorta stumbled into SEO, and honestly have not treated this site like a business like I should have. Over the years some of my mentors have given me many great tips that I was too lazy or scared to listen to at the time. After seeing one of my favorite SEO sites go offline it makes me want to treat this site more like a business so I can still focus attention on it for years to come, even while some of my other projects have grown to be more profitable.

Make my other sites more like SEO Book - I have some other sites that do pretty well without adding much value to the web. At some level I feel there is a moral obligation to start adding value to markets as you extract profits. Plus, if relevancy algorithms moved away from links and domain trust many of those domains (as they sit today) would be screwed. I want to create more product and service oriented websites and be less reliant on advertising and affiliate based income streams.

Try to get at least 2 weeks away from the web - this will be mid year sometime with my wife, in a one month European honeymoon.

Read more away from the web - I always learn a lot from reading books, and I doubt I would miss much if I cut how much time I spent reading recycled online content.

Start working out more again - after losing a bunch of weight I gained it back due to stress from doing way too much stuff. I have eased up my work load and am chipping away at it.

Spend more time with my wife - given that we both work on the web we spend lots of time near each other, but far too much time working and not enough time playing.

Set a better examplewhat competitors do I want to put a lot more effort into creating things worth copying.

Giovanna Wall, the New Writer for SEO Book

My wife and I do just about everything together, including...

  • eating
  • sleeping
  • playing
  • domaining
  • site design
  • content creation
  • link building

and so I begged her to start blogging. She should be publishing her first post here in the next couple minutes. Please give her a friendly welcome. :)

Anti Vote Baiting (Beta)

Matt Cutts recently offered a public voting for my lynching, but we just talked things over, and there will be no lynching - at least not yet. I think Matt is a great guy, but his job is tough as a public face of THE company dominating the web.

It is easy to take a series of events as being personal, but sometimes they are just a series of events and no personal damage is meant, and/or the person doing the damage is an anonymous third party. Also, priorities and goals and reasoning inside a large company can seem vastly different than how they appear outside of the same company, especially when the company has 13,000 employees and keeps doubling in size about every other year.

I still believe that many of my Google criticisms and concerns are valid, but there is only so much Matt can do, and he is doing the best he feels he can, and probably far better than I could do if I had his job. The keyboard is mightier than the pen.

Off to Get Married

My flight leaves tonight to go get married. I will be back in the last week of October. I might post again before then, but I might not. I wish you well and will be back soon(ish).

BTW, search analytics launches tomorrow. It is exceptionally affordable for its value. Be sure to check it out.

Hiring a Google Gadget Developer

I am looking to hire someone to create a few Google Gadgets for the the iGoogle homepage. If you are good at that sort of stuff please contact me. My email address is

Andy Hagans is Desperate for Links...

That is the reason I can think of to describe this flatering posts, which explains why Andy thinks this site became successful.