(Photo take by moi at my local public library branch last week.) Is there any wonder that the people who inhabit the top levels of this "loaded to the gills with their spoils of battle" sham economy are laughing and partying like it's 1928? Or 1896 (the end of the Gilded Age*)?
* The name refers to the process of gilding and is meant to make fun of ostentatious display. From our best Man with the Mudrake we finally get the goods on the guy (and a nice epithet) who started and then solidified the Class War (and who begs piteously even now to be ignored when the blame is assessed). If you can, please read the whole essay. It's more than worth your while (and drop by the Muckrake Man's place to say "Thanks!"). And I have to mention just once more that every time I saw this mumbling, obfuscating fool testifying to Congress during the 80's, 90's and 00's about the economic situation, the only thought I could ever conjure seriously was, "Who is believing this obvious pretender? Who takes this guy seriously?"
The important thing to remember about the Alan Greenspan era is that despite all the numbers and the inside-baseball jargon about rates and loans and forecasts, his is not a story about economics. The Greenspan era instead is a crime story.
Like drug dealing and gambling and Ponzi schemes, bubbles of the sort he oversaw are rigged games with preordained losers and inherently corrupting psychological consequences. You play, you get beat, in more ways than one. Greenspan staked the scam, printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to goad Americans into playing a series of games they were doomed from the start to lose to the dealer.
In the end the printed wealth all disappeared and only the debts remained. He probably did this just because he wanted to see his face on magazine covers and be popular at certain Upper East Side cocktail parties. His private hang-ups in this way shaped the entire scam of modern American politics: a pure free market for the suckers, golden parachutes for the Atlases.
And how about all those "Ponzi Club members in good standing" who are all over the MSM telling you that you have to have your taxes raised, Medicare/Social Security/Medicaid cut, and oh yes, the rich reaaaaallllyyy need their tax cuts not to expire? Well, they've just been elected (or re-elected) by the Rethug MSM practiced liars (on whose shows they are appearing), so kiss your economic asses good-bye. (Emphasis marks and some editing inserted - Ed.)
Alan Greenspan: The Biggest Asshole By mudrake
Greenspan was the perfect front man for the hijacking of the democratic process that took place in the eighties, nineties, and the early part of the 2000s.
During that time political power gradually shifted from the elected government to private and semiprivate institutions run by unelected officials whose sympathies were with their own class rather than any popular constituency.
We suffered a series of economic shocks over the course of those years, and the official response from the institutions subtly pushed the country’s remaining private wealth to one side while continually shifting the risk and the loss to the public. This profoundly focused effort led to an intense concentration of private wealth on the one hand and the steady disenfranchisement of the average voter and the taxpayer on the other (who advanced inexorably, headfirst, into the resultant debt).
In the second chapter of Matt Taibbi’s book: The Biggest Asshole in the Universe, it doesn’t take the reader too long to identify Alan Greenspan as that asshole. He’s tagged that for three reasons: his incompetence, his arrogance, and his lust for fame. One can easily imagine how those three characteristics would interact on a person in charge of the flow of money of this nation.
Yet, just two years ago, presidential candidate John [Sarah (Palin)] McCain said of him: “I would not only reappoint Mr. Greenspan; if Mr. Greenspan should happen to die, God forbid … I would prop him up and put a pair of dark glasses on him.” So goes the wisdom of the millions of citizens who cast their votes for that man. And why would their ‘wisdom’ not have included the awful role played by Greenspan over all of the years he flooded the nation with printed money and favors for the elite? They were never taught. Perhaps neither was McCain and certainly not, Sarah Palin. I’m giving McCain way too much slack because, clearly, he’s one of the Ponzi scheme boys. Palin is merely a useful idiot.
Education. That’s the point. Whereas our friend UptheFlag chastises me for blogging on this topic, he fails to realize just how un-learned the voting public is. And why not? Those two-percenters, the top dogs in our economy, like it like that and work hard to hire a set of propagandists to keep the facts from the American public. Just this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the newly elected sentor from Illinois, Mark Kirk, said that he would vote to ‘keep all of the tax cuts’ but would not vote to extend unemployment benefits unless it would be matched by spending cuts.’
You and I get that ‘coded message’ that Kirk delivered. So did Joe Scarborough and maybe 20% of the audience. When pressed again about tax cuts without attendant spending cuts, Kirk dodged the question and talked about ‘double-dipped recession.’ Kirk knows the game. He’s clearly a card-carrying member in good standing of the Ponzi Club of America.
Yet most of his fellow Illini surely had no idea that Kirk was a Ponzi Club member in good standing. They heard his blather about lower taxes and ‘big government’ and fell for the propaganda. They actually thought that Kirk was sitting in their ball park eating hot dogs with them rather than in the board room dining room enjoying a filet mignon.
The important thing to remember about the Alan Greenspan era is that despite all the numbers and the inside-baseball jargon about rates and loans and forecasts, his is not a story about economics. The Greenspan era instead is a crime story. Like drug dealing and gambling and Ponzi schemes, bubbles of the sort he oversaw are rigged games with preordained losers and inherently corrupting psychological consequences. You play, you get beat, in more ways than one.
Greenspan staked the scam, printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to goad Americans into playing a series of games they were doomed from the start to lose to the dealer. In the end the printed wealth all disappeared and only the debts remained. He probably did this just because he wanted to see his face on magazine covers and be popular at certain Upper East Side cocktail parties. His private hang-ups in this way shaped the entire scam of modern American politics: a pure free market for the suckers, golden parachutes for the Atlases. Slap! Bam! Do The People get it?
No they don’t. The People are way too naive, too traumatized, to propagandized and too distracted to ‘get it.’ Perhaps they never will. Yet, if someone doesn’t try to tell The People what’s been going on, then there is no hope for this nation.
But they are getting it (or will). (Notice the slowly clearing-up Tea Party Confusion Miasma.)
And speaking about real education, did you see the news about the other bangs? Tough to imagine in a world that's only 6000 years old, isn't it? (But, pay no attention to the man who isn't standing in the corner.)
Renowned cosmologist Roger Penrose said that analysis of this cosmic microwave background showed echoes of previous Big Bang-like events.
The events appear as "rings" around galaxy clusters in which the variation in the background is unusually low.
The unpublished research has been posted on the Arxiv website.
The ideas within it support a theory developed by Professor Penrose - knighted in 1994 for his services to science - that upends the widely-held "inflationary theory". Read all about it!
(Woody Allen's gonna have to change that scene in Annie Hall now.)
Speaking of the nonsense (if you can call it by its true name in prim-and-proper society now) afflicting our society at the Congressional level in these most perilous economic times, Dave Johnson thinks he knows from whence it originates and its purpose. But even being cognizant of these facts, how does one cure the virus of proud ignorance?
So why aren't the "lame duck" Democrats voting every needed program that they can into being before the January changeover? The Rethugs surely would be pushing their agenda every second they held the power and were in the same place. (And they have historically.) Are we still too "prim-and-proper" not to take the actions that we know will save the country more heart ache and suffering? Suzan ___________________
Are they there to govern, of just destroy? As Washington works through its "lame duck" session and prepares for next year's new Congress, there are signs that the government-haters are preparing some serious hating on government itself.
The country needs to get moving. But conservatives, rewarded in the midterms for a strategy of obstruction, are bent on stopping everything and turning back the clock. For two years they followed a strategy of blocking everything and blaming the President for not making people's lives better. The strategy succeeded and now they are determined to carry it through to the next election. They are blocking an extension of unemployment benefits, calling for an end to ongoing infrastructure development like high-speed and commuter rail and alternative energy, and have made it clear that any new efforts to stimulate the economy are out of the question. Many are starting to worry about the terrible effect these positions will have on the economy, and are calling it deliberate sabotage.
Destroy the Country to Save the Country?
In Planning for the Worst, Matt Yglesias wrote that the White house should plan for "a true worst case scenario of deliberate economic sabotage."