Interesting Times

Holy shit!

Leave on vacation and look what happens.

Here, I thought August is supposed to be a slow month.

It’s hard not to look around right now and feel like the end of the world is upon us with the stock market turmoil leading a former British official to call for people to stock up on food and water in case of a social collapse. Then there’s Donald Trump waging a dark fascist campaign that appeals to American No-Nothing tendencies.

Still, the stock market is not the real economy, even though long conflated as such. In fact all the growth in the stock market has come at the expensive of the real economy that employees Americans and makes things.

In an interview with Democracy Now!. economist Michael Hudson talked about the reasons for the gyrations in the stock market that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average initially fall a record 1,100 points before closing down nearly 600 points on Monday.

“The real problem is that we’re still in the aftermath of when the bubble burst in 2008… all of the growth in the economy has only been in the financial sector, in the monopolies—only for the 1 percent. And it’s as if there are two economies, and the 99 percent has not grown. And so, the American economy is still in a debt deflation. So the real problem is, stocks have doubled in price since 2008, and the economy, for most people, certainly who listen to your show, hasn’t grown at all.”

And, Donald Trump has certainly livened up the Republican presidential campaign by waging a populist insurgency against party elites. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic contender, who’s getting large crowds by laying out a series of progressive policies, is doing the same thing from the Democratic side in his challenge to the preordained candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s appeal is not all nativist resentment. His campaign has articulated progressive policies, like strengthening Medicare and Social Security and ending the carried interest scam that allows investment bankers and hedge fund managers to pay a much smaller percentage of income tax than a teacher or secretary, to the consternation of Republican insiders.

May you live in interesting times is purported to be a Chinese curse, but it does have a certain appeal. With change comes the possibility for new policies and certainly American economics and politics has become stultifying, what writer Andrew O Hehir describes as the Washington consensus.

“Through a confluence of material and ideological interests, the Western world’s financial powers and political parties and media organizations, along with the interlocking permanent governments sometimes called the “deep state,” have come together around a conception of political reality they describe as the only reality. This is the “Washington consensus,” a blend of postwar American foreign policy and Reagan-Thatcher economics: Globalized free trade and venture capitalism, government austerity, widespread privatization and “developing markets,” with the money flowing upward and cheap consumer goods for the so-called middle class.”

American’s of all political bents are waking up to the reality that our nations elite could not give a fuck about them and they are acting accordingly in their support of candidates that promise to shake things up.

It could get interesting




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