Thursday, August 12, 2010

Devolutionary Theory

The lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead.

We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions . . . are no longer affordable.

This is the Reagan Revolution. I hate to be blunt, but anyone who voted twice for Reagan voted for this — the devolution of America.

One of the witnesses of the Kent State Massacre of protesting students and innocent bystanders by the Ohio National Guard was a young Mark Mothersbaugh, who states that this was turning point in his life. He realized that America was devolving and as an artist and musician, he turned his prescience into art. Art and music have always seemed to be the precursors of social reality and Mark and his friends created the band Devo. Devo was never a part of any trend. It was decidedly and emphatically nerdy, put together from the detrius of a collapsing was rock deconstructed. Devo was so alien and strange that that they became their own kind of cool.
During the Reagan years, Devo was the perfect sound track. The sound of things falling apart.
Recently there was an Op-Ed Piece in the NY Times by David Stockman, who was the director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan Administration. In his piece, "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse" he explains how his GOP destroyed the U.S. Economy. Not, "is destroying the economy" but "THE GOP HAS ALREADY DESTROYED THE AMERICAN ECONOMY", setting up an American Apocalypse.

Stockman rushes into the ring swinging like a boxer: "If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation's public debt ... will soon reach $18 trillion." It screams "out for austerity and sacrifice." But instead, the GOP insists "that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase."

Stockman says "the second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40% of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970." Who's to blame? Not big-spending Dems, says Stockman, but "from the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."

Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us "live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore," while at home "high-value jobs in goods production ... trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million."

As the apocalypse draws near, Stockman sees a class-rebellion, a new revolution, a war against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes: No wonder "that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans -- paid mainly from the Wall Street casino -- received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% -- mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy -- got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market's fault. It's the decaying fruit of bad economic policy."

Get it? The sound of things falling apart.It's Devolution and I can't get me no satisfaction.....
I can't get no...uh no no no
Hey hey hey
That's what I say.......

1 comment:

mud_rake said...

We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions . . . are no longer affordable.

And the worst part, Microdot, is that there are millions of Americans bobbing their heads, 'yes' when they hear this tripe from the GOP.