One philosophy, one administration, two serious crises
Two great crashes, one surviving United Slaves of America
First, two multi-trillion wars unduly enriched insiders. Now a malignant bailout that could exceed those trillions enriches insiders. Whether we’re still a democracy, a republic, or not, only we the people can turn this debacle around, and construct an economy that works right for everybody.
by Ben TanosbornFirst, it was the foreign policy crash of 2001. That much-milked by Bush 9/11, which instead of serving as wake up call to remedy America’s policies towards the peoples of the Middle East, only provided the Bush administration with a casus belli as well as a raison-d’čtre for both the neocon empire-building and the economic sacking of the nation by an unscrupulous elite. Now we know the cost of replacing a “call to reason” with a “call to arms.”
As if that foreign policy crash hadn’t been enough, here comes a monster of a financial crash. Afterwards in America, other than the elite and a small affluentocracy, the rest of us, probably 85 to 90 percent of the population, will de facto help redefine this nation as the United Slaves of America.
Give me Capitalism, or give me Death! That seems to be the chant in America, that long ago replaced Patrick Henry's catchphrase. We feel we have no choice but to learn to live with it. It’s our way of life -- God’s will being done here on earth. Americans have rationalized two capital sins; isn’t greed really the basis for capitalism and consumerism (gluttony) the way we measure well-being?
Our American Dream is metamorphosing into an economic nightmare. Another gilded epoch in America is passing. This time, however, its exit appears to be of the farewell-forever kind, as our nation no longer looms so vast and overpowering, economically, before the rest of the world.
A week ago, the mainstream media started reporting that maybe the nation's economic fundamentals weren’t as sound as they had been reporting all along … courtesy, of course, of the White House (and Fed) propaganda machine.
Then, after the appearance of a White Knight or, should we say, a White Trojan Horse -- the US as the guarantor of last resort -- the stock market ended the week where it had started. The Treasury and the Fed, which for years has known the facts that would bring the nation to this chaos, demanded a bailout of $700 billion for starters. The citizenry, many somewhat remorseful for their contribution to greed and gluttony, will bite their lips and take it in stride.
Except for one thing: this action will solve nothing, only provide a temporary lifeline for domestic as well as foreign banks. That eventually will help cronies acquire additional wealth as the disposition of real estate assets takes place. But no $700 billion is going to save these institutions, nor our entire economic system, not when there’s between $350 and $500 trillion (not billion, trillion) in structured financial paper (derivatives) teetering on default.
Back in 1999, Alan Greenspan, addressing the Futures Industry Association, stated: “As we approach the twenty-first century, both banks and non-banks will need to continually reassess whether their risk management practices have kept pace with their own evolving activities and with changes in financial market dynamics and readjust accordingly. Should they succeed I am quite confident that market participants will continue to increase their reliance on derivatives to unbundled risks and thereby enhance the process of wealth creation.”
Well, Mr. Greenspan, did it occur to you that self-regulation that directly or indirectly you (the Fed) promoted, the do-as-you-please risk management practices, would become pure hoax and that the derivative market would grow more than ten-fold? The process of wealth creation was enhanced, all right -- but only for a thieving few. Your boosterism has been fraudulent, a trait marking nearly your entire discipline of economics.
As our economy is at an ICU, attached for dear life to a few tubes, we have a staff of quacks coming up with a reviving prognosis: the same staff instrumental in creating this bacterium, bent as they were on redistributing wealth to the affluent, plus a Congress in the hands of lobbyists, and a Fed operating at the White House's beck and call.
Our Republican parasites have annulled regulations, part of the “privatization” dogma of greed. Now, as the house of cards is collapsing, there seems to be a bipartisan cry in Washington that favors “socialization” of all costs that might be incurred.
If Japan’s economic crisis of 1989-1992, one with repercussions lingering to date, is anything like today's fiasco in the US, we can expect the Dow 500 going down to the 6,500 level within a year or so, and remain there for the next decade. As for Real Estate folks, their flipping will not be of houses, but hamburgers.
God help us all! We have had two crashes within one decade: in foreign policy and in financing housing. We, lower-case demorats, have become the United Slaves of America -- until we demand economic justice for all.
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