"Did the United States grow more
unequal while Republicans were in
power? It sounds crude, but Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels
has gone a long way toward proving it. Bartels looked up income growth
rates for families at various income percentiles for the years 1948 to
2005, then cross-checked these with whether the president was a
Republican or a Democrat. He found two distinct and opposite trends.
Under Democrats, the biggest income gains were for people in the bottom
20th income percentile (2.6 percent). The income gains grew
progressively smaller further up the income scale (2.5 percent for the
40th and 60th percentiles, 2.4 percent for the 80th percentile, and so
on). But under Republicans, the biggest income gains were for people in
the 95th percentile (1.9 percent). The income gains grew progressively
smaller further down the income scale (1.4 percent for the 80th
percentile, 1.1 for the 60th percentile, etc.)."
Also note, there's not only a difference in who benefits most, there's
also a straight-up difference between the parties: under the GOP, the
very wealth benefit more; under Dems, the middle and lower classes see
their incomes grow more. But in literally every category, Americans do
better under Democratic administrations than Republican. Washington
Monthly (See Bartels' book: Unequal Democracy.
"...what separates successful states from
failed ones is whether their governing institutions are inclusive or
extractive. Extractive states,...are controlled by ruling elites
whose objective is to extract as much wealth as they can from the rest
of society and to maintain their own hold on power." (Daron
Acemoglu and James Robinson)
Time is long overdue to engage the conversation about how to
move from a permanent war economy to a permanent peace economy. Seymour Melman’s 2003 article “In the Grip of
a Permanent War Economy” clarifies this reality. From a
letter from Mary Beth Sullivan which is more fully quoted on the war page.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: "And, in fact, we have
redistribution in this
country, but it is very much upward. You know, the phrase
"trickle-down" was invented to mock Ronald Reagan’s tax
policies. But the reality is, it’s not trickle-down,
it’s Amazon-up, Niagara-up. And all you have to do is look at
the data. From 1961 through 2007, the bottom 90 percent of
Americans saw their income rise little tiny amount. But if
you’re in the top top group of America, the plutocrat class,
for every dollar that each person in the bottom 90 percent got
after taxes, you got $35.50—$36.50. Your taxes, if
you’re in the plutocrat class, fell from a mid-40 percent
range down to where Romney is, 15 percent or so. In 2009, we had
six people, according to IRS data, who made over $200 million, who
paid no income taxes. And we have people who make billion-dollar
incomes and can pay no income taxes because of the rules we have
that allow people who are hedge fund managers and private equity
managers, like Bain & Company, which was the sole property of
Mitt Romney, to defer all of their income. Now, how do they live?
Just the same way that the guys who create the internet companies,
who take a small salary, and the company pays no dividend, are able
to afford their private jets and their mansions: they borrow
against their untaxed assets. And they get to live a great life,
and . . . —you and I pick up the bill." (From
Democracy Now! )
"The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about
the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief
economist of the
International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has
effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more
typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many
emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the
U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation:
recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is
blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression,
we’re running out of time." Simon
Johnson, the Atlantic 5/1/2009
"What went on at Lehman and AIG, as well as the
chicanery in the CDO
(collateralized debt obligations) business, by an sensible standard is
The threat of defaulting on government obligations is
powerful weapon, especially in a complex, interconnected world
economy. Devoted partisans can use it to disrupt government, to
roil ordinary politics, to undermine policies they do not like,
even to seek political revenge. Section Four was placed in the
Constitution to remove this weapon from ordinary politics." – Jack
Balkin, Yale University
"This recession was caused by the greed,
and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And, what makes people furious
is that Wall Street still has not learned its lessons. Instead of
investing in the job-creating productive economy providing
affordable loans to small and medium-size businesses, the CEOs of
the largest financial institutions in this country have created the
largest gambling casino in the history of the world."
Senator Bernie Sanders.
One, the economy is to serve the people and not the
people to serve the economy. Two, development is about people and
not about objects. Three, growth is not the same as development,
and development does not necessarily require growth. Four, no
economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services. Five, the
economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere,
hence permanent growth is impossible. And the fundamental value to
sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no
circumstance, can be above the reverence for life.
Following the disastrous 2008 financial crisis, Republicans oddly grew more hostile to
financial regulation. Disregarding how deregulation and Wall Streets recklessness had contributed heavily to the financial meltdown, Republicans
chiefly blamed the crisis on government overregulation, .... Similarly, in the
aftermath of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010,
the G.O.P. backed legislation that would have weakened regulation of off shore drilling.
These peculiar stances reflect the considerable influence of a radical ideology
among U.S. conservatives: free-market fundamentalism.
As described by Joseph Stiglitz, a winner of the Nobel Prize
in Economics, market fundamentalists believe that virtually all economic
problems stem from 'big government,' regulation, and taxes.
“When all the trees have been cut down, when all
the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover
you cannot eat money.” ~ Cree prophecy
austerity, while the economy is weak, is a great idea when the
evidence is otherwise. They think tax cuts,
mostly for the wealthy
(themselves) will increase demand and somehow create
They have opposed sensible bank regulation. We have become a
country with exceptional inequality,
we are paying a high price
for it, but they don't acknowledge the problem.
The sequester, cuts to government spending, was a drag on the
economy and did real harm to millions of people.
Vulnerable people: schoolchildren, seniors, towns and cities, and
people struggling to put food on their tables – need relief
more than air travelers inconvenienced by furloughs of air traffic
controllers, but Republicans insist on austerity.
Republicans, since FDR, have wanted to cut Social Security and other
programs for the vulnerable. Now they have cut food stamps, head start,
most likely unemployment checks, and struggled to shut down Obamacare.
But they favor increased funding for the world's largest military, and tax
cuts for the wealthy including the estate tax or the
flat tax. That's what they mean
by smaller government. This policy, funded by wealthy
sinking the 99 percent, depressing demand, and increasing income
Nobel prize economists, Krugman and Stiglitz, have made the case
that austerity has proven to be damaging
policy. Stop the cuts. Repeal the sequester, and confront Republicans to get serious about creating
The way it is now, people work for the economy, but that is
not how it should be. The economy should work for people.
Academic economics or standard economic measures have no relevance
to this concept...and that is another part of the scam.
There are two economies: one real and the other monetary. What
we ought to talk about is the real economy, not the money.
* What we measure
is what we get. Because money is the
prevailing measure of economic performance, we are not measuring the well-being of people or the
planet. Pollution, crises, wars, and weaponry are all regarded as positive
additions to GNP. We should redefine our economic measures.
Economics is political.
Our economic indicators do not measure what matters.
RFK on GDP
For a number of years I conducted surveys among business
economists as to the quality of government statistics (the vast
majority thought it was pretty bad), and my results led to front
page stories in the New York Times and Investors
Business Daily, considerable coverage in the broadcast media
and a joint meeting with representatives of all the government's
statistical agencies. Despite minor changes to the system,
government reporting has deteriorated sharply in the last decade or
so. -- John Williams, Shadow
* Usually corporations
consolidate as much as possible, the
better to dominate markets, force out competition, and multiply
gains for insiders. The result is media
that cannot transmit useful information, a population depoliticized,
banks too big to fail, healthcare that is
twice as expensive as in other developed countries, and government that is controlled
by big corporate money.
Low interest rates have enabled corporations
to consolidate even faster. The practical effect is to increase income inequality,
increase the number of unemployed, limit competition, facilitate
privatization, allow the wealthy
to game the system even more for
their own benefit, and weaken democracy.
and wise tax policy might mitigate some of this, but
the Republican Congress, sustained by
gerrymandering, is dysfunctional.
Court's Citizens United decision assures that this downward
spiral will continue. It is effectively a silent coup: the partisan
Supreme Court has replaced government by the people with government
by the corporations. (aka fascism.)
* Large disparities in
income, which tend to grow over time with unchecked capitalism, are not just unfair, but are the
direct cause of social dysfunction, political corruption, aristocracy (rule by wealth...which we
have.), and government by the oligarchs,
not the people.
* Financial volatility arises from extreme inequality, and the
speculative, casino-like market. When the economy spirals downward,
as it regularly does, there can be considerable suffering. Austerity
is the wrong approach for dealing with a deflated
economy, but because Republicans are
all about the money, that's their policy.
Republicans who have made a lot
money in business, no matter what kind of business, think that
somehow makes them economists.
* The monetary economy is a man-made artifact that does not
serve us well. It has grown so that it's claims far exceed the
real. As currently architected, it does not serve the people...it
enslaves them in a plantation-like economy (see Walmart.)
Debt servitude is not so different than
slavery. It could keep students from protesting though.
* the real world is rapidly being
destroyed: fresh water is being used too fast, fisheries
collapsing, glaciers melting, fossil fuels
consumed at a rate that cannot last, species are disappearing at an
alarming rate, We are facing a climate
crisis and associated problems: food
and water shortages, rising tides that flood shorelines,
increasingly catastrophic weather events,
We should wean ourselves off fossil
fuels...before we are forced to. It contributes to all of the
above catastrophes. Some of those unemployed could be working on
As for jobs: there is always plenty of work
to do. Too bad a lot of it doesn't get done because of our flawed
'market' system. As productivity improves and automation displaces
more workers our standard of living should improve. (It has not.)
There should be a shorter work week, generous vacation time, sick
time, and family leave. Scandinavian countries can do this because
they have kept their oligarchy in
Unemployment means product forever lost, atrphied skills, and
permanent damper on career paths. Republicans would rather cut the
debt, with resulting even higher unemployment.
* Republicans repeated, self-inflicted fiscal crises signal
they are willing to crash the economy if they think it will win
them an election. They don't like
government and they shouldn't be in it.
* The market is not good for assessing or reacting to
longer-term problems. New York should probably be planning for long
term sea-level rise, but it is not clear if that is politically
possible. Climate change is a looming long-term threat that we have
done little to acknowledge, let alone address. Corporate media is responsible for the misinformation about
this looming crisis. Almost all of our media is corporate,
politically powerful, and, not surprisingly, strongly biased toward the
Financial regulation, progressive taxation,
a solid social
safety net help to smooth out the business cycle, reduce suffering,
and damp down income disparities. FDR's New Deal implemented some
of these self-regulating mechanisms, but they have been weakened by
revocation of Glass-Steagle, and other deregulation. Republicans did not learn the lessons of
great depression and can be relied on to roll back the New Deal
when given the chance.
* A well designed economy should be self-regulating,
sustainable, and measured by the well-being of people. A strong
social safety net, public financed education, public media, and
highly progressive taxation damp down
extremes of inequality, produce more fair outcomes, better
information. The privatizers oppose all of these.
* Republican policy will bring the US and its empire to complete collapse.
The empire is an overstretch for the economy and can only be sustained
by depriving our own people of necessities. That's why working
people have experienced lost ground since Reagan. We need to abandon
the empire and re-engineer
Scandinavian's policies are much better than the US and it shows in their education outcomes and
better civics. They have not allowed their public sectors to wither away
the way we have: Their transit systems
are balanced, their media and healthcare have public options. Their
wealthy are not as much in control. Their government actually serves their people.
Republicans (and their talk-radio/religious
allies) are engaging in a scam that
robs the poor for the benefit of the wealthy. It is the corporate
agenda. (The dictionary definition of fascism...is
when corporations run the government. Do we not have that ?)
The scenario is similar in just about every industry: hedge funds like
Bain consolidate smaller companies which leads to large
conglomerates with heavy debt burdens, to keep up a front many
engage in risky derivatives trading, they bust unions
and drive down wages, send jobs to third world countries, cheapen product, plunder pension funds, pile on
debt, and take fees. Conglomerates become more predatory to suppress competition. They prefer a 'moat' as Warren Buffet put it. A
free market requires many competitors.
Lobbyists then pressure Congress to 'deregulate',
undoing New Deal mechanisms like the Glass-Steagle Act or other sensible
regulation and now the consequences are evident. The financial
sector ran out of control and devoured the real economy,
manufacturing migrated to repressive countries where labor is
cheapest, unemployment soared, lower wages caused consumer spending
to tank, and the economy collapsed. We are back to the 1930's
again. We have an oligopoly.
Deregulation enabled concentration
of wealth, and that, in turn, resulted in wrecking-ball style speculation. Speculation gone
wild allowed the financial sector to grow like a cancer that
devoured the rest of the economy. When the bubble bursts, corporations are too big to fail, but
taxpayers pay the bill. Without reregulation, it will surely happen again...only
worse because lobbyists have successfully fought off attempts at new
controls, and the entities are even larger now than they were last time.
"Supply side" economics (formerly called "voodoo economics" by
poppy Bush) never was accepted at any university. Republican pandering to Corporations made people victims (Banks
think that a cap on interest rates at over 30 percent is
unreasonable and they got the Congress to vote it
We again have come to a "gilded age", where a few have accumulated most of the wealth, a growing segment of the
population is in poverty.
Since Reagan, the middle class has been sinking. Corporations continue
to put pressure on wages, shed pensions, abandon health care, and
bust unions as CEO pay skyrockets and stock buybacks absorb cash
reserves. They find new markets in previously undeveloped countries, so
they move off-shore. (See globalization.)
Republican policy will put most
people in debt servitude.
"You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a
few, or democracy, but you cannot have both."
- Louis Brandeis
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's
oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a
superior moral justification for
selfishness." -- John Kenneth Galbraith
A dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows, or at
least should. The vast majority of economists and budget analysts agree:
The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and will founder on
the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done to correct it. David
M. Walker the comptroller general of the United States. See www.gao.gov for details.
Questions for Republicans:
Did you really believe that you could live, in the long
term, on borrowed money ?
Who actually claimed that such a large nation doesn't need
an industrial base ?
Where are the men and women who made us believe that a
negative balance of trade is a sign of strength ?
Why did no one sound the alarm bell when the U.S. dollar
became eroded and lost value for such a prolonged period ?
Is it possible that no one noticed a country that was once
the biggest lender selling off its assets to others ?
How could the entrenchment of economic inequality in a
democratic nation have been tolerated for so long ?
What happened to the upward mobility that was once this
country's trademark ?
And, last but not least: why did democracy, which is
supposed to react more quickly to malfunctions than other forms of government,
fail so miserably ?
(from 'The War for Wealth' by Gabor
"Society must cease to look upon "progress" as
something desirable. `Eternal Progress’ is a nonsensical
myth. What must be implemented is not a `steadily expanding
economy,’ but a zero growth economy, a stable economy.
Economic growth is not only unnecessary but ruinous." Alexander I.
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is the inability
understand the exponential function.
Albert A. Bartlett, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University
"...we live in a world where economic growth is
generally seen as both beneficent and necessary _ the more, the
better; where past growth has brought us to a perilous state
environmentally; where we are poised for unprecedented increments
in growth; where this growth is proceeding with wildly wrong market
signals, including prices that do not incorporate environmental
costs or reflect the needs of future generations; where a failed
politics has not meaningfully corrected the routinely deploying
technology that was created in an environmentally unaware era;
where there is no hidden hand or inherent mechanism adequate to
correct the destructive tendencies. So, right now, one can only
conclude that growth is the enemy of environment. Economy and
environment remain in collision." The
Bridge at the End of the World: Gus Speth (2008)
Free-market fundamentalism—just as dangerous as
the religious fundamentalisms of our day—trivializes the
concern for public interest. The overwhelming power and influence
of plutocrats and oligarchs in the economy put fear and insecurity
in the hearts of anxiety-ridden workers and render money-driven,
poll-obsessed elected officials deferential to corporate goals of
profit, often at the cost of the common good. This illicit marriage
of corporate and political elites—so blatant and flagrant in
our time—not only undermines the trust of informed citizens
in those who rule over them. It also promotes the pervasive
sleepwalking of the populace, who see that the false prophets are
handsomely rewarded with money, status, and access to more power.
This profit-driven vision is sucking the democratic life out of
In short, the dangerous dogma of free-market fundamentalism turns
our attention away from schools to prisons, from workers’
conditions to profit margins, from health clinics to high-tech
facial surgeries, from civic associations to pornographic Internet
sites, and from children’s care to strip clubs. The
fundamentalism of the market puts a premium on the activities of
buying and selling, consuming and taking, promoting and
advertising, and devalues community, compassionate charity, and
improvement of the general quality of life. How ironic that in
America we’ve moved so quickly from Martin Luther King
Jr.’s “Let Freedom Ring!” to “Bling!
Bling!”—as if freedom were reducible to simply having
material toys, as dictated by free-market fundamentalism. Cornel
Many Republicans think that the
beneficial way of determining our social direction or that it is
somehow associated with democracy. It is not.
of planning, short-term profits, downsizing of R&D, starving
infrastructure, plain old-fashioned corruption, and other mistakes
(more below) also factored into the current economic collapse.
Capitalism works very well in
Communist China, it does well
under tyrannical dictatorships (see Naomi Klein's "Shock
Doctrine"), and world-wide it weakens democracy.
Since wages have
been declining for a number of years, observe that investors and
corporations have been winners at the expense of citizens. Robert
Reich's book Supercapitalism
explains this very well.
As consumers we can shop at Wal-Mart
and still know that their employees are poorly paid, ununionized, and lack benefits. We know
products, formerly made in good paying factories in this
country, are now made in third-world sweatshops. As a
consumer you may shop Wal-Mart thinking you are getting a good deal
at those low prices, as an investor you may be pleased that the
stock is doing well. As a citizen, you know it's a bad deal. Many of
their employees require public assistance.
Bush the First once called 'supply-side' economics, voodoo
economics. That lower taxes would produce more Federal revenue was
never true. Tax cuts were not only contrary
to common sense, they ignored the costs of Bush's war adventures,
and, contrary to Christian values, they rewarded the already
wealthy at the expense of the poor. They converted the
fundamentalist churches into a propaganda conduit for the
Republican party. The war cost was put on
People no longer believe that their government serves them.
money buys Congress and legislation
keeps people in check. Union busting is accepted, citizens groups
are out shouted by conglomerate media, the public loses
influence, and democracy dies. That's
how we come to be on a path to fascism.
To bestow the benefits of the Bill of Rights on Corporations,
the Supreme Court ruled that
Corporations are persons and they now have the full benefits of the Bill of Rights. The Bill
Rights for actual people is being shredded. Check out this.
In the interest of multinational corporations, we now have the
largest military in the world.
After years of Republican
nonsense, the US is broke, the economy is collapsing.
There is no guarantee that the latest stimulus will bring it
Privatization removes activity from public accountability.
You do not have to look far to see that US corporate
governance needs reform. We should have a policy that considers
fairness and basic humanity. Compensation, for example, has displayed
Republican's think privatization
is good policy. What it actually
does is remove functions from public accountability, so it is
anti-democratic. Result: Blackwater, Enron, prison-industrial
complex, financial instability, consumer exploitation, or, worst of
all is privatized vote counting. There
is now considerable doubt about election
Karl Marx was wrong when he predicted in an ideal world that
state would wither away. Republicans share this idea. The most
successful economies are mixed. Government has functions that it
must do, and the private sector has a domain in which it functions
better. We need a discussion about just what is the correct
This may be an area best defined not only by economists, but
other stakeholders as well: The market functions best when there
are a lot of participants who are free to compete and quality
information is available to consumers. A small number of
corporations that dominate an industry do not necessarily make for
a efficient market These are, for example, not the conditions
for healthcare. You do not know which doctor has the best
performance record, you cannot know what their charges will be, and
you may get different assessments for the treatment that is right
for you. Insurance contracts for health care are generally not
transparent and they can change without notice.
Other developed countries have universal health care and that
one of the reasons why the global market is not a flat playing
Especially when their are few competitors, Government regulation is needed to assure that the
Market fundamentalism has led to massive deregulation and now
you can see the consequences:
financial meltdown, bank failures, bad food, market scams,
deceitful advertising, commercial lying,
predatory lending, absurd CEO salaries, and a widening gap between rich and poor. Make no
mistake though: deregulation can kill. as you can verify in
lax workplace safety enforcement, unlabelled and unchecked food
products, toxic toys, downer cows, or environmental
Deregulation has again led to out of control markets, bubbles,
scams, corruption and ultimately to recession.
Bank deregulation led to reckless use of derivatives,
lending, and the subprime
it coincidental that Bush I had to bail out the Savings and Loan
industry on his watch too ? The Glass-Steagle Act should be fully
The visible results of the unregulated market include unsafe
products, huge disparities in income that lead to walled
communities, and could produce a new aristocracy and along with it
a new feudalism.
Republicans have made regulatory agencies (like the FCC, FDA, EPA, SEC, etc) captives of the industries
they are supposed to regulate. This allows corporations to serve
their own interest instead of the public interest, it makes
government dysfunctional and it assures continuation of our race for the bottom.
Republicans think that the
is a really good decision-making tool. Even better than
democratically elected government. When making this argument they
generally do not notice that an unfettered market will gladly sell
drugs to your children, put workers in sweatshops, run prisons for
profit, pollute the environment, deindustrialize the US, and more.
Capitalism works very well in totalitarian contexts as is plainly
evident from the many capitalist paradise dictatorships.
"What is a capitalist state? It is a state in which
principal means of production, such as farmland, real estate in the
cities, the supply of water, gas, and electricity, public
transportation, as well as the larger industrial plants are owned
by a minority of the citizenry. Productivity is geared toward
making a profit for the owners rather than providing the population
with a uniform distribution of essential goods. This propertied
minority dominates the rest of the population by dictating working
conditions and controlling jobs in accordance with its interests.
It dominates public opinion through its influence on schools, the
press, government, and legislation. The harshness of this situation
is sometimes tempered or at least disguised by a democratic form of
government in which all citizens are guaranteed formal equality."
Einstein around July 1945. From Einstein on Politics, Rowe and
When Bush took office there were
surpluses in the federal budget as far as the eye could see. How
quickly that changed.
growth has not kept up with population growth
as Corporations consolidate,
downsize, and claim rights of personhood that were originally
intended to protect poor minorities. Corporate media
has become useless in providing adequate
information to carry on a democracy. Wages have fallen as
Corporations have moved to low wage countries, busted unions, cut
benefits, and often have abandoned pensions.
Our poor children will pay with interest for Bush's folly.
Already they are having to accept lower wage jobs with shrinking
benefits. Pensions are disappearing, health expense is being
shifted to them, tuition is skyrocketing, they are paying
unprecedented rates for heavy credit card debt and income
inequality is increasing fast. They have not yet lost Social Security but Republicans are
working on it. They will have to fight the endless war
that Bush provoked. In spite of clear warnings
about climate change, there is little
chance that greenhouse gas emissions will be mitigated any time
To sustain their lifestyle, consumers have gone into heavy
Creative real estate financing their homes so that they can consume
Since the Bush election campaign was funded by Corporate elite, it is not surprising that
program was really about benefiting the already very comfortable.
"Eighteen of America's wealthiest families, including the Timkens
of Canton, are bankrolling efforts to permanently repeal estate
taxes that would save their families a total of $71.6 billion,
according to a report released by public interest groups".
Democracy, freedom, and the
unregulated market are not compatible. As wealth is concentrated, only the powerful have
voices in the media, money driven elections produce results for the oligopoly,
gated communities with private security forces keep order for the
wealthy, the legislative process slowly removes accountability from
corporations, deregulation removes corporations further from
democratic control. As privatization proceeds, more and more public
concerns are removed from public accountability.
A stunning blow to democracy occurred when the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have personhood. Shareholders
do not have real voting rights in the current US corporatocracy.
Workers are not represented and they are experiencing relentless
downward pressure on their wages, benefits, and
Only when there are many competitors is there a free market.
When a single company or a very small number of companies dominate
a market, they can act in ways that do not serve the public. There
are markets where privatization is dangerous, such as the one that
delivers mercenarys. A large private army is a danger to our form
of government. A small number of companies control US media and they are a danger to our information
streams and, since they are all radically right wing, are
undermining our democracy.
The US now has one of the most skewed income distributions. Expect more
economic volatility since there are tsunami amounts amounts of
speculative derivatives that can cause severe economic upset if the
investment community is spooked at all. As one example, rising
interest rates are already causing a cooling of the real estate
market and a resulting loss of many jobs. Republicans have
tightened bankruptcy laws. The Economy is in Crisis.
One of the symptoms of a banana republic is an elite
class that rewards itself from massive debt. It is only an
apparent prosperity. So it is that CEOs have continued to increase
their pay by double digit percentages, that most of the benefits of
tax cuts go to the topmost 1 %, war profiteering and loosely
accounted public money are going to a select few corporations (which are tightly connected
senior Bush officials). Other regressive Bush policies include tax cuts, cuts in health care, welfare,
Veterans Benefits, social security, labor, worker safety,
environment, globalization. All of these reductions, along with
systematic union busting, are at the expense of the US
Many countries are diversifying
their currency holdings away from the US dollar since it is visibly
losing value and also from ill will. The consequence of hiding war
expense have historically been associated with currency collapse.
China, alone, holds more than $950 Billion in dollars...but it is
While Bush partisans proclaim that the economy is healthy,
economists will tell you that such profligate deficit spending is
sustainable and will ultimately cause currency devaluation. It
is not a matter of if...just when. Since Bush took office the
economy lost 3,000,000 manufacturing jobs.
It is expensive to build an empire,
it is clear that healthcare and education are unaffordable as long
as we have these global 'responsibilities'. When you think
about it, it is healthcare and education that allow continued
Our children will pay for the
military buildup, misadventures, and ill will that Bush
brought on us from the rest of the world. They
will need to fight his endless war, they will inherit deep debt,
ballooning tuition, interest expense, shredded social safety
net, degraded environment, a
reduced standard of living, corrupt government, an unchecked President, and sharply reduced civil liberties. They are not safer.
In history all empires share the
fate... only the amount of destruction has accelerated over the
centuries. Is Iran next ?
"Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands,
partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly
because technological development and the increasing division of
labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the
expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an
oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be
effectively checked even by a democratically organized political
society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are
selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise
influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes,
separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is
that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently
protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the
population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private
capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main
sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus
extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for
the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make
intelligent use of his political rights." Einstein on
Politics, Rowe and Schulmann. Monthly Review, May 1949.
Shock Doctrine: the Republican agenda
Naomi Klein If
think that the 'free market' and democracy are compatible try
"Shock Doctrine", Naomi Klein's recent book.
"There's a very committed effort to convert the US
something resembling a Third World society, where a few people have
enormous wealth and a lot of others have no security." Noam
The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class (Lecture Video 57