Sunday, October 12, 2008

On the economy...

No, I'm not an economist...and I don't even play one on TV, however, I have had a few economics courses and I still maintain an ability to reason and face facts and reality head-on. Hence, the following observations.

1. Though it would be pleasing to do so, one simply cannot lay ALL of the blame on Bush the Lesser's (mal)administration. Granted and agreed, this (mal)administration has removed what few restraints and regulations were still in place holding back the tidal wave that has crashed about us in the last few days. However, even when the current (mal)administration took office, most of the restrictions and regulations that were developed and implemented following the last economic cataclysm (oddly enough, arising from many analogous causes as the current disaster) had been dissolved.

2. Although the causes for the current financial and economic tsunami can be almost directly traced to the Reagan/Bush I (mal)administrations, Bubba Clinton and his (mal)administration are hardly blameless. Though often painted by the right wing as “liberals” and looked back at today by many “liberals” and Democrats as a “Golden Era”, Clinton was, in no wise, a liberal. Clinton (and Al Gore) were there at the founding of the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) which served as one of those fabled devices of “triangulation”. What “triangulation” meant, in essence, was to push the Democratic Party away from its traditional base (workers, small business, minorities of all stripes, etc.) and toward more of the traditional Republican base (F.I.R.E.1 Sector, Wall St., etc.). The DLC reasoned (erroneously it would seem) that the traditional Democratic base had nowhere to go so they could be ignored while the traditional Republican base could be wooed and won by adopting more (big) “business friendly” policies. Additionally, Clinton surrounded himself with such Wall St. fixtures as Robert Rubin (Goldman Sachs chairman) and Lawrence Summers (Goldman Sachs chairman). As has proven to be the case with the current Secretary of Treasury, Hank Paulson (yet another Goldman Sachs alum), though they may accede to offices of public trust, they never forget from whence they came and hold the interests of the Wall St. entities close to heart.

3. The unseemly, unbecoming and inappropriate spectacle of the “Millionaires Club” aka the U.S. Senate crafting and voting on a Wall St., “bailout” bill (inappropriate inasmuch as ALL revenue bills are supposed to originate in the House) was truly nauseating. Nauseating because by far the vast majority of communications from their constituents was solidly against any bailout of the Wall St. fat cats that had made millions of dollars by essentially engineering the very situation they needed to be bailed out from! Isn't it interesting, when the question came to the common folk who were victims of the schemes of the Wall St. banksters and needed some help to maintain a roof over their heads, the Senators, Congress critters, and banksters almost uniformly shrieked “Moral hazard!”, “Moral hazard!” And yet, when it comes to bailing out the very people most responsible for creating the situation and circumstances that have led to the current disaster...”Listen to the sounds...of silence.”

This was unseemly and unbecoming because, without any shadow of doubt, all of the Senators and Congress critters are far wealthier than the average American and many are heavily invested in Wall St. and were, therefore, voting their own interests rather than acting as “representatives of their constituents”. Were this in the judicial arena, virtually the entirety of the Senate and House would have to recuse themselves for “conflict of interest”!

What has been shown by these last two weeks, to any who had any doubts, that the current system of government is broken; totally, completely and irremediably broken! What I find terribly disturbing was a comment from Brooke Gladstone on PBS's “Bill Moyers Journal”:

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Rather than trusting the leaders to make the decisions that we elected them to make.” (emphasis mine)

And, though it doesn't come out from the transcript, Gladstone seems disturbed that the people aren't trusting their “leaders”! As I recall, this country was established as a “representative democracy”. The reason it was established as a representative democracy and the citizens had to “trust” our “leaders” “ makes the decisions that we elected them to make.” is because communications were limited to the speed of a horse and even the original 13 colonies covered a large enough territory that communications between constituents and representatives were not feasible in any sort of timely manner. Today, in the era of instant communications, the “peoples' representatives” need to be much more responsive and attuned to the sentiments of their putative “bosses”, their constituents. As it is, these last two weeks have dramatically shown that the “peoples' representatives”, both Republican and Democratic, take their marching orders from their true bosses, the F.I.R.E. Sector and Wall St. and to Hell with the desires of those that actually put them in office!

At this point all I can suggest is that each and every one of the Senators and Congress critters who voted for the “bailout” and is vulnerable to election should be summarily removed in the upcoming election and replaced by someone who understands who the true bosses in a representative democracy really are!

1 F.I.R.E. Sector = Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.

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