Monday, January 18, 2010

Clusterflock to the Poor House

Trust Jon Stewart to put everything into perspective:

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Clusterf#@k to the Poor House - Wall Street Bonuses
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Want the lowdown on the rest of your life (unless you're under 25)? Joe Bageant pulls no punches. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
Unemployment will in all likelihood go higher. And nobody on earth knows how to reduce it (although no one in the administration is about to acknowledge that). The factories are all but gone and they are not coming back. Not unless American workers are willing to work 13 hours a day for two Chinese yuan an hour, which is about 31 cents. What US factories remain are laying workers off due to high interest rates, and waiting for a lower interest rate policy before deciding if it is feasible to call any workers back into production.

During their wait they can watch hell freeze over. Banks know a fatter hog when they see it. And that hog is the consumer credit business (nobody has figured out yet that consumers need paychecks before they can consume anything, on credit or otherwise ). To that end the Federal Reserve has logically set a low interest rate policy. And in true accordance with banking logic, the banks took the Fed's money, then raised the annual percentage rate (APR) on credit card purchases and cash advances and on balances that have a penalty rate because of late payment. Next they raised the late fee. What the hell? If Americans are on the ropes, struggling to make their payments on time, then the logical thing to do is to stick it to them. Bleed 'em for all they're worth. It's an American free market tradition. We the people do not complain. We expect no mercy. America is a business and the American concept of business is pure ruthlessness.

A Deutsche Bank analyst tells me a near term worst is yet to come. Bank failures and home foreclosures have not peaked. A commercial real estate bust is coming down the pike. He says that, while there will be some minor periodic upswings, the fraudulent value of the dollar is now evident as it falls against every other currency, even the Russian ruble (13%), except those unlucky enough to be pegged to the US dollar. As former Assistant Secretary of Treasury Paul Craig Roberts says: "What sort of recovery is it when the safest investment an American can make is to bet against the US dollar?" My Deutsche Bank friend, who is younger and has a family to think about, has taken what he considers more appropriate action. He's buying gold and moving to an undeveloped Central American country.

But Mr. Bernanke assures us that the worst is indeed over. Despite the outside world's serious doubts, but Bernanke's announcement just might fly in the U.S. We believe whatever our Ministry of Truth tells us. We believed that debt was wealth, didn't we? And we believed in WMDs, and have come to believe warfare is a prerequisite to peace.

The saddest thing is that Americans are cultivated like mushrooms from birth to death, kept in the dark and fed horseshit. Consequently, they haven't the slightest idea that there is an alternative to the system in which they labor at the pleasure of corporate and financial elites who own both their government and their every waking hour. That alternative is democratic Socialism. Self governance for the broadest common good. Which the Ministry of Truth has defined for them as fascism.

. . .

The big heist

In the end the campaign rattle and prattle about Obama's recovery plan turned out to be moot anyway. Wall Street moved in and heavied up on the whole damned country, in one of the ballsiest heists in American history. It was a stroke of pure genius as theft goes. Following a meeting of the Five Families, Citicorp, Bank of America, Morgan Chase, Wachovia, Taunus Corp., the financial cartels said, "The rip-off is in. We got it all. Now if you don't hand over all the people's savings and assets so we can loan it back to them, the whole flaming ball of shit you call the services and information economy is gonna come down on everybody's asses like a giant meteor. So you can load three trillion bucks for now into the armored cars lined up out front and nobody will get hurt. Or you can watch the national economy shrivel up until the schmucks out there in the cul de sacs and cardboard condos can't even put together cab fare for their ride to the poor house. It's your call Barack."

There are still a few delusional souls out there who believe Obama is trying to do his honest best to fulfill campaign promises, but just cannot get past the pack of vampire financial corporations and cold blooded Republican lizards. Which is true in a sense. He cannot get past the Wall Street pack because he is running in the middle of it. Obama's nefarious relationship with Wall Street's power players has been ongoing for years. It is no accident that Wall Street got to select the members of the president's financial cabinet. My mutton eating friends, it's a sad and sordid tale, one I have neither the space nor the stomach to cover here. Especially since better journalists such as Matt Taibbi and others have written extensively about it in detail.

Last I heard, the banks never un-assed the dough. Never let it circulate in the people's hands or even through business loans. Instead, they declared a profit, divvied it up in bonuses, and congratulated themselves. Indeed, this was the sort of sheer brilliance we have come to expect from the Yale/Harvard MBA crowd. Getting rich by going broke. Then getting even richer by sticking up the US government and the entire American public, and eventually the entire world, leaving 1.5 quadrillion dollar cloud of toxic derivatives girding the world, to hoover up more money for them before imploding like a dark star. And indeed, the derivatives are even astronomical in nature. They represent $180,000 in debt load for every man woman and child on earth (although I cannot understand why, if the money isn't real, why we should consider the debt real). It is impossible to produce our way out of this calamity. There aren't even enough resources left on earth to sustain that scale of production.

For now the financial mobsters have retired to Tuscan villas to savor their haul. The poor schmucks out there in the US heartland are left to devise new ways of hiding the family ride from the repo man. Never once, though, do they doubt capitalism. They figure it is all just a big financial accident. Fate. And that will somehow "work our way out of it," like we always have. These things happen in a dynamic free market economy.

A new mob moves in

To backtrack, that was when the smell of long green flying out of the public - the insurance industry. Insurance racketeers moved in with their own muscle to fill the void left by the Wall Street gang. The insurance syndicate dispatched its made men and soldiers throughout the halls of Congress, and, voila! They were able to pass the aforementioned $70 billion a year political blackmail job off as "reform legislation." Say what you want to about my country, but pillage and looting have never been so elegantly ritualized, institutionalized and executed.

Realistic people on the left have long known that the last act of American strong-arm capitalism would be a massive gunpoint redistribution of wealth from the public to the owning class through the private financial sector - which the owning class happens to own. But few would have expected it to be executed under a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate. Or under a Democratic administration honchoed by the first black president. One liberal blogger wondered aloud, "Imagine what the Republicans would have done had John McCain been elected?"

The same thing, brother. The same thing. Only with a different cover story. Both parties exist at the pleasure of the same crime syndicates.

How to join the rackets

As I remember, it was a Mexican diplomat who once told me that graft, theft and bribery are socialized in his and other Latin American countries - democratically distributed throughout much of society. But in America, he said, this sort of criminal activity is legislatively institutionalized. Only the elites are allowed to practice usury, theft, insurance blackmail and other forms of non-violent looting (violent looting being reserved for oil bearing Middle Eastern countries). The first step in building one of these rackets is to become a legally recognized interest group, in order to access the key Congressional players you wish to bribe or strong-arm into acquiescence or complicity.

The banking mob, the insurance mob, and other criminally organized legislative muscle men, cartels and commodity syndicates, are all officially sanctioned as "interest groups" operating alongside hundreds of others in that whorehouse by the Potomac River.

To list just a few, there are environmental interest groups such as the Sierra Club, which exists so its officers can draw fat salaries and meet movie star environmentalists. There is an interest group for education, which exists to assure the mediocrity of our public schools. Munitions manufacturers are an interest group. Gambling casinos and tobacco corporations are interest groups. There is an interest group to force feed us corn sugar, in order to sustain Midwestern Republican farmers and ensure the future of the ever expanding weight loss and diabetes industries. There are even lobby groups to protect the interests of syndicates in other countries, such as Israel. There is an interest group for everything except we ordinary American pudwhackers. The folks who just want to raise families in peace, and maybe have modest financial security in old age. And there are thousands of interest groups whose purpose is to make damned sure we never get either one.

We ain't mean, just thrifty

Yesterday I watched a CNN host ask two experts: "Is stepping up the war in Afghanistan really the best use of our tax dollars?" The killing, maiming and displacement of untold thousands is discussed in terms of the best use of capital. A dehumanized and monetized capitalist society sees everything in dollars and cents and return on investment. Even infant mortality is rated that way, though seldom does anyone admit it. Saving a black ghetto baby has a low return on investment, according to some human services analysts, as regards their lifetime contribution to the gross national product. I actually heard an expert on a television panel show say this.

Yet Americans sitting in front of their TV sets do not find this one bit odd. Or even mean spirited, much less an indication of a cruel society. No American thinks of himself or herself as cruel, or connected in any way with the world's largest human and environmental killing machine. No American doubts his inalienable right to drive around or run air conditioning or drink wine from grapes grown in Chile at the expense of a national war on the environment and those of the world's people who have been born amid energy resources. If there are things such as cruelty and injustice, we the people aren't the ones doing it. We the voters and taxpayers are not the CIA snatching people off to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to be raped with broken bottles and boiled alive to extract those "terrorist confessions" that keep the war on terror alive. We simply finance such operations.

And accountability? Well, on the very slight chance that someday the world will hold America accountable (which will never happen so long as we possess more armaments that the rest of the world combined and are quite clearly willing to use them toward our own ends) we the people can express our shock and disgust as citizens. We good people would never, never, never have approved of all those awful acts. And besides, there is not much the ordinary person can do about such things anyway. Right?

Maybe not. But it was Americans who so loudly proclaimed that complicity through silence is no defense, when we rubbed the German people's noses in the grisly filth of the concentration camps and hung their national leadership.

The revenge of Smirking George

We haven't heard much from George W. Bush since he packed up his comics and moved to Dallas. But his policies remain like dog piss stains to stink up the Obama White House. Rendition and assassinations continue, as does warrantless spying on the citizenry, along with other civil liberties violations in the name of the "war on terror."

All of these are terrible things for a president who ran on reform and change to continue to do. But it is the thing Barack Obama and his party did not do, the thing they did not insist upon, that will have the greatest ongoing effect on this country. Obama and the Democrats refused to prosecute Bush and Cheney, ensuring that . . . .

Read the reasons here.

. . .

There are endless rationalizations proffered as to why Obama has not come within a mile of fulfilling the promise and potential of his presidency, and the Democratic Party is writing more of them every day. Disappointed Democratic voters grab at them, and desperately defend each one on internet forums and in letters to the editor. But we must use our own personal capabilities as free rational human beings to assess Obama, and decide why he is failing. Or not failing. To hell with highly crafted official explanations about "wars of necessity" and trillion dollar blackmail payments.

George W. Bush left office wearing the same smirk he came in with. Perhaps it's congenital. But if Bush was smirking when he left office, he must now be convulsed in crazed hysterical laughter. His gang not only got away clean, but Obama carries on the dark Bush-Cheney legacy. And, almost as if to top the whole black escapade with a cherry of irony, the most inarticulate president in American history is now on the motivational speaking circuit at $200,000 a pop. Never let it be said that the Devil does not care for his own.

Will Americans ever rise up in defense of their own common well being through such things as education, health and a productive peace caring society? Nope. Because it has been seen to that socialism - the administration of the nation solely for the common good and benefit of all the people without preference or privilege - doesn't stand a chance in America. For over a century those who have attempted to further socialism have been shot, hanged, burned alive in their beds on Christmas Eve, imprisoned, falsely accused of crimes and falsely convicted, and demonized by the capitalist elites of the corporate state. The cause of socialism has effectively been wiped out in the US. Few Americans can even define the word. Most think it is a political system when it is a social philosophy. Hell, half the socialists these days think it is entirely a political system.

But even if Americans understood socialism, they are too terrified to ever admit to its virtues, much less publicly support the cause. And without free and open public participation in some democratic form of socialism, regardless of the name or label given it, there can be no recognition of the people's common welfare and good. And so the most egalitarian social philosophy ever conceived dies within a nation, with very little chance of being reborn because such an ideal, by its definition, cannot exist within the narrow mindset of bankers and oligarchs.

Bush smirks, Obama breakdances in and around the minefield of his false promises, and Wall Street CEO bonuses are higher than ever.

Like I said, the Devil does take care of his own.

Live with it. Suzan ________________

7 comments:

One Fly said...

Some of the better stuff I've read because it's what I also believe to be the case 100% and it sucks and is tedious to bear. I will continue to try but down deep given the reality this is lost. I hate to say it but it is and that sucks even more. I do not see a knight in shining armor coming to save me from the ravages of the religious insane right.

If there is any solace in this is that to accomplish what they have they did so by lying/cheating/ killing and stealing and that's a fact. Throw in the media and no way can you win if you try to play nice and follow the rules.

Accountability and the level of the crimes committed were only touched on. The sheep don't care and the only way they would is if this country and that would mean the whole world unfortunately because all this shit is our fault entered a real depression.

How horrible that would be but one thing for certain people would start paying attention real quick and possibly in the rebuilding/healing process decisions would be made so that maybe this planet could endure for a long time to come.

Suzan said...

You know I agree with you, One Fly.

But they will care, won't they? Maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon and forever. And oh the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments that will occur. Right?

And somewhere, sometime a real accounting. We can only hope we will live so long as I would love to be able to witness the Cheney/Bush drawing and quartering.

Thanks for caring enough to comment.

S

Accountability and the level of the crimes committed were only touched on. The sheep don't care and the only way they would is if this country and that would mean the whole world unfortunately because all this shit is our fault entered a real depression.
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Beach Bum said...

Suzan, I don't know what it is but I'm having major problems loading your blog. Of course my Gateway at the house has had that problem on several blogs for a long time but it seems to be getting worse.

But in short, I expect the "owning class" at some point to jump ship and slime away to some new country. Once you steal the everything all you can do is find another house to rob and then burn down.

One Fly said...

Suzan-Try setting the # of posts on the front page to 10 to 15 and I think you will find the problem BB has will go away. It's not too good with me either.

Without question the way we are headed there will be a time fairly soon where the shit has to hit the fan. The cause can be man made weather or whatever. The results will be ugly and violent.

BuelahMan said...

There can be no mistake now: it is the ultimate power/money grab.

The end result is planned societal changes to bring our quality of life way down in par with other countries, thereby truly making it a world order.

For there simply cannot be this many mistakes or coincidences made that are so detrimental. It has to be a planned effort.

Suzan said...

I'm with you BB.

And it's looking like it will be soon. Otherwise, why the need to shove through those bonuses so quickly?

Love ya,

S

I expect the "owning class" at some point to jump ship and slime away to some new country. Once you steal the everything all you can do is find another house to rob and then burn down.
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Suzan said...

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Beulahman!

We are completely on the same team.

I've said from the first teary-eyed TV appearance of Hank Paulson that this was no imminent catastrophe but rather a very carefully planned one.

S

For there simply cannot be this many mistakes or coincidences made that are so detrimental. It has to be a planned effort.
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