|sometimes the simplest solution is to just take it out in back of the barn and shoot it|
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath--Matthew 13:12
Last Wednesday, I posted the documentary, Inside Job, which dangerously dissects the causes and the names the players who created the current dire financial situation we find ourselves dealing with one way or another all over the planet. Last night, I watched the full PBS Frontline documentary, Money, Power & Wall Street. I highly recommend these as a crash course in understanding the planetary economic mess. How did this happen? How could anyone see it happening? How could it be stopped? What do we do now? Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising to find that the very forces that empowered this disaster have been rewarded and are still in control! Many people I talk to think that there is nothing to be done anymore. Let the system destroy itself, as it will and then we can pick up the pieces. But that's not reasonable, rational or realistic. If undisciplined, unbridled greed created this mess, then we can only expect unbridled undisciplined greed to triumph. I really wish you would watch these documentaries and let me know your take on this. Obviously, austerity is not an ideology, but a scam to further empower the cycle of greed that is destroying our socio-economic reality. We have the power to save ourselves, but we have to be know what we are dealing with. If you watch these documentaries, you realize the criminally irresponsible greed driven corporate financial monsters who are raping our planet had no idea of what they were dealing with or what they were really doing. It was more like, hey, shit happens....
In the 19th century, America was agricultural and most folks knew how to grow vegetables and raise chickens. In the 20th, America was industrial and countless shade tree mechanics tinkered with machines. Today, in the 21st century, America is financial--and people can barely reconcile their checkbooks, let alone wise up to what’s happening on Wall Street.
Given our dismal knowledge of the dismal science, we are suckers for trash talk about economics. Politicians right and center and pundits corporate and conservative batter us daily with nonsense about the money and how it gets used and abused.
Though it all sounds confounding (confusion helps keep us docile), there is a constant but unspoken central message at work: the rich don’t have enough while the rest of us have too much. This message cannot be openly proclaimed because it doesn’t sound right or proper. Willard Romney or Obama buddy Robert Wolf can’t just announce that they’re depending on the sacrifices of ordinary Americans to make them richer. At least, they can’t say it quite yet.
Nevertheless, that goal is the main reason why Wall Street and its rented pols in Washington do what they do. Take any of the economic issues in the news: there’s debt (though only government debt is defined as a danger), there are bank bailouts, there’s the ongoing Fed gift of free money to big-time stock and bond players, there’s austerity, there’s ‘entitlement’ reform, there’s rewriting our tax system, and, as ever, there’s beefing up our military.
The CEOs, senators, tea baggers and such we hear raising alarms about this stuff like to affect an air of civic responsibility. They’re forever warning us about the awful price our kids and kids’ kids will pay for our profligacy unless we get our finances in order. Carefully unmentioned is that each of the items above is, in fact, designed to make our progeny poorer. For it turns out, on the even slightest examination, that they are nothing more than schemes to transfer wealth from the bottom, middle and top to the top of the top.
For instance, our debt will impoverish our kids only if they keep paying it off to wealthy creditors who keep producing ever more of it. For instance, our military burden will keep growing only if we keep playing the imperial game.
Like our obesity epidemic, our economic situation is not complicated and has a simple solution. For the former, it’s eat less and better food and exercise more. For the latter, it’s spread the wealth.
Unfortunately, the simple solutions are often the hardest to do.