The Weathervane Bares All

 

As I’ve stated repeatedly, the recent presidential election and its aftermath have been amazingly clarifying. Come to find out that the torrent of propaganda spewed out by the corporate media in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, wasn’t a one time affair. If anything, in the age of Trump they’ve become more brazen in their push for war as their shameful coverage of the Syrian civil war demonstrates.

Case in point. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, (aka The Weathervane), has a new column where he drops all pretext that the US isn’t using terrorists as proxies and urges the US to arm not just Al Qaeda, but ISIS, in the ongoing neoconservative effort to affect regime change in Syria.

“Why should our goal right now be to defeat the Islamic State in Syria?” Friedman asked before proposing outright support for the jihadists: “We could dramatically increase our military aid to anti-Assad rebels, giving them sufficient anti-tank and antiaircraft missiles to threaten Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian helicopters and fighter jets and make them bleed, maybe enough to want to open negotiations. Fine with me.”

Yes, you heard that right. America’s leading foreign policy columnist wants to work with ISIS, the terrorists who decapitate hostages for live video streaming on the internet. Doesn’t this bold idea by Friedman negate the very purpose of the war-on-terror, or are we too far down the rabbit-hole of our Alice in Wonderland, topsy-turvy, foreign-policy funhouse to even notice the glaring inconsistencies?

The dirty little secret of the war-on-terror, is that the US cynically employs terrorists as either proxies or patsies to carry out its foreign policy, while waging a  a never-ending war against terrorism.

Going further, if we define terrorism as–the asymmetrical use of violence to achieve political goals–then the US, with it’s invasions, regime changes and drone assassination programs, is certainly guilty of its very own, ongoing terrorist campaign.

Elite media columnists and talking heads justify and sanctify the US’s secret foreign policies of war and terror. They appear to delight and rush to support any military intervention or act of aggression the United States wages against a foreign power. Friedman, if you’ll recall, stated in an interview: “The Iraq Invasion Was Worth Doing Because We Needed To Tell The Middle East To Suck On This.” 

Rather than facing ridicule and scorn, people like Friedman are amply rewarded for being wrong, but wrong in the very same way as the US foreign policy elite that comprises the Washington Consensus. Instead of facing consequences for backing an Iraq invasion based on lies and criticizing war opponents, many of these media figures continue to hold positions of influence and continue to provide foreign policy reporting and commentary.

Thomas Friedman is a vaunted NY Times columnist precisely because he mirrors and reinforces elite opinion. He also signals the depravity of our elite with his calls for greater and greater crimes to preserve the American-Empire.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Flight to Serfdom

 

Neoliberal economist Friedrich Hayek wrote  The Road to Serfdom, in 1944, where he warned of totalitarian governments terrorizing their citizens.

Hayek’s dystopian vision is upon us, only instead of totalitarian governments it’s all-powerful corporations like United Airlines that we fear.

I imagine that everyone has seen the video of Dr. Dao being forcibly removed from a United jet.

It’s telling that United’s immediate response was to blame the victim and justify the outrageous assault on Dr. Dao.

Dear Team,

Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I’ve included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees….

Oscar

Of course, Oscar, United’s CEO, was lying, as the subsequent events demonstrated. The corporate media was not much better, essentially parroting United’s public relations campaign.

Jesus, if flying wasn’t bad enough before.

How can airlines treat their passengers this way?

Simple–concentration. After the mergers and acquisitions, promoted by neoliberal economists, we’re left with four too-big-to-fail airlines serving the country. United, along with the other airlines can do whatever the fuck they want because they are part of a powerful oligopoly, as Alex Pareene, writes.

“In the three decades after the U.S. deregulated the airline industry in 1978, carriers chased market share at the expense of profits, losing tens of billions of dollars over the period. From 2008 to 2014, four mergers combined eight big airlines into four: American Airlines Group Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co.”

“This is called oligopoly, and, for airline shareholders, this is great! It truly is a new golden age of aviation, for people who fly in private jets but own stock in airlines. For the rest of us, this is most of why flying sucks now (the rest of it is the ever-expanding and largely incompetent security state), and also why United is not that worried about you sharing that video of a man being brutally dragged off their plane. They are not embarrassed, and you will not embarrass them. Airlines feel no need to perform the dance of corporate penitence. If you’ve chosen to fly somewhere, it’s probably because you don’t have a good alternative to flying, and you may not even have a good alternative to flying one particular airline.”

Though economists like Hayek sold neoliberalism as the way to avoid a dystopian future, there is much evidence that he and the others that were part of the Neoliberal-Thought-Collective, understood the darker side of their economic prescriptions. It’s useful to recall that the first test for neoliberalism was in Chile, where Salvador Allende was brutally deposed and his followers tortured and killed, under the guidance of the infamous Chicago Boys, who were then free to practice their radical free-market economics on a captive populace.

Guess who is the captive populace now?

That’s right. The radical free-market economic nostrums forced upon the Chileans by the Chicago Boys have come an airport near you.

After decades of neoliberalism the end result has been  an unparalleled corporate consolidation that has greatly enriched a few at the expense of workers, consumers, and citizens in general. It’s also created a culture of meanness that makes the United’s actions possible.

Not just possible, but probable in the future.

In my opinion, video’s of the bleeding, unconscious doctor being dragged from the plane are a blunt warning from our corporate overlords.

Comply or else.

United’s advertising jingle is unintendedly ironic–Fly the Friendly Sky’s.

Indeed.

Update: Matt Stoller weighs in on the costs of deregulation.

“More broadly, it’s time for the public to recognize that there is no such thing as “Deregulation.” The choice is always simply between regulation by the public for the public or regulation by private powers for their personal benefit. In short, we must regulate our society through democracy, or the plutocrats will regulate our lives for us. And sometimes, as we saw with David Dao, they will use violence to get their way.”

 

 

 

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Domesticated

 

Trump ran for office vowing to change US foreign policy and put America first.

That didn’t last long.

Trump’s cruise missile attack on Syria in response to the Syrian military’s so-called chemical weapon attack, marks the culmination of a months long campaign to domesticate Trump by the deep state.

With his bombing of Syria, Trump has been successfully manipulated into a completely different foreign policy from what he promised during the campaign and warned against in 2013 when Obama was threatening military intervention in Syria. Indeed, Trump was played like a fiddle by neocons such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Russia conspiracy theorists in the Democratic Party, and the always war-mongering corporate media.

After Trump’s top officials signaled that the regime change in Syria was no longer official policy, the pressure became unbearable. Haley and Tillerson’s comments brought harsh criticism from American neoconservatives, liberal interventionists, Israeli leaders and others obsessed over the past six years with “regime change” in Syria.

And, voila, a perfectly timed Casus belli, when on April 4, sketchy reports of children and other civilians killed by chemical poisoning emerged in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, an area controlled by Al Qaeda-connected rebels. Assad was immediately blamed for bombing civilians with chemical weapons.

How convenient.

The whole story smells and has the distinct feel of a set-up. Ask yourself who benefits from this attack–Cui bono? In my opinion, it’s clear that the armed opposition–Al Qaeda–and their supporters benefited from this event. They have used the story to further demonize the Assad government and renew calls for the U.S. and the world to intervene.

The phrase deep state has been in the news lately. More than a permanent bureaucracy, the deep state is an articulation of the secret foreign policy that the U.S. government pursues contra to the stated policies that are sold to the American public. Without doubt, the most shocking articulation of US power would have to be using Al Qaeda as a proxy to carry out regime change in Syria.

I’m pretty sure the average American has zero idea that their country is run by sociopaths.

The problem for a neophyte like Trump, who doesn’t understand how Presidential power is wielded overseas, is that he’s in over his head and doesn’t have a network of trustworthy foreign policy intellectuals to fall back upon in a crisis, leaving him dependent on the usual neoconservative suspects.

The neoconservatives, cheered on by liberals like MSNBC host Rachael Maddow, have pushed Trump relentlessly into a conflict with Russia. It was quite telling that the very same liberal media that’s been bashing him non-stop, immeadiately started cheering when he launched the barrage of cruise missiles.

Robert Parry, the investigative reporter who wrote many of the Iran-Contra stories for  Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, has been warning for months that the neocons are seeking to force Trump to continue their mad policies, using any means at their disposal.

“Night after night, MSNBC and other networks competed in their Russia-bashing to boost ratings among Trump-hating Democrats. However, besides creating a convenient excuse for Clinton’s defeat, the anti-Russian hysteria blocked Trump and his team from any move that they might try to make regarding avoidance of a costly and dangerous New Cold War. The Russia-hating frenzy reached such extremes that it paralyzed the formulation of any coherent Trump foreign policy.”

Making this horrible situation worse, Democratic leaders are attacking one of their own–Representative Tulsi Gabbard–who’s been one of the very few leaders to shine a light on the details of our deep state foreign policy, where the US is employing Al Qaeda as their proxy in an effort to overthrow the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.

“A pair of veteran leaders on the left, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, called on Hawaiians to vote Rep. Tulsi Gabbard out of office after the Democrat questioned whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for last week’s chemical attack” [CNN (DK)].

The courageous Gabbard has introduced HR 608, Stop Arming Terrorists, bill in Congress, in an effort to force the issue. That the Democratic Party is deployed against Gabbard for spilling-the-beans is a telling aside.

Like I’ve stated repeatedly, the election and the aftermath have been amazingly clarifying. Come to find out that the so-called liberal faction in America is just a bloodthirsty and primed for war as the neocons.

One of the very few positive things about Trump was that he’d promised to reset relations with Russia and cease America’s unending regime change policies.

Can’t have that can we?

Fucking liberals in their mad quest to bring Trump down have made war with Russia probable and our world infinitely more dangerous.

Thanks a lot.

The Democrat and liberal hatred of Trump and willingness to employ any methods in their effort to destroy him reminds me of the pivotable scene from, A Man for All Seasons.

Roper: “So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”

 

 

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N is for Neofeudalism

 

Everything that was old is new again. Take feudalism, it’s making a comeback.

The US economy is trending towards wage bondage and economic polarization, with an all-American debt peonage that I’ve come to call neofeudalism.

Heterodox economist Michael Hudson explains how it works in an interview with Adam Simpson. Hudson has just written a book entitled–J is For Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception, where he deconstructs the positive economic jargon that influences our world and offers up a far bleaker view.

“Today, families entering the labor force are going to have to spend all their life working off the debt they need to take on in order to get an education to get a job, as well the debt they need to buy a car to drive to the job, and the mortgage debt for the house they need to live in to avoid rents going up and up. They have to spend all their life merely to pay their creditors, not to live better with more goods and services. Unlike serfdom, today’s workers can live wherever they want. But wherever they live, they have to produce value not only for their employers but also for the bankers.

These bankers (and bondholders) are the main exploiters today. So finance capitalism is overwhelming industrial capitalism. Instead of industrial capitalism evolving into socialism as was expected, it is retrogressing back to neo-serfdom and neo-feudalism. This is mainly because of the inability to bring debt within the industrial capitalist system to evolve into a socialist economy. That is what neoliberalism is sponsoring by financialization and privatization.”

The sad truth of the matter is that the middle-ages serfs had it better. They had a lord to act as their protector, a small garden plot to till and some chickens to raise. Indeed, the good folk of the Middle Ages were enjoying far more of the good life than we are in our technologically-advanced society. What they had that we’ve neglected are community and culture, as historian Juliet Schor reminds us:

“The medieval calendar was filled with holidays …These were spent both in sober churchgoing and in feasting, drinking and merrymaking …All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one third of the year. And the English were apparently working harder than their neighbors. The ancien régime in France is reported to have guaranteed fifty-two Sundays, ninety rest days, and thirty-eight holidays. In Spain, travelers noted that holidays totaled five months per year.”

I remember reading science fiction as a kid, where the citizens of the future had minimal, rewarding work leaving plenty of time to write, paint, and pursue a life of leisure if they desired. These future beings were able to attend to family, friends and community.

That sort of world has turned out to be a cruel joke, as Hudson elaborates.

“If you told anyone a century ago about the rise in productivity, they’d think that people would only have to work one or two days a week. There would be a lot of leisure time. But the opposite is happening. People are being squeezed, they’re having to work overtime. They’re struggling just to break even. They’re one paycheck away from missing a utility payment. They can’t afford to campaign for better working conditions, much less go on strike.”

It’s not just economic. Neofeudalism has been enhanced through the deliberate imposition of austerity–starving the beast. Unfortunately, austerity is never just economic. It is cultural, and it is emotional. Americans are encouraged to hate on those beneath them while bowing and scraping to those above. Consequently, there’s been a serious loss of community and goodwill among Americans.

I have watched the country where I live become a harder, meaner place.

Going to leave you with some quotes from Trump voters that offer up a snapshot of neofeudalism in America.

“They cut my insurance at work…My doctor, because my back is bad, said, ‘Well, cut your hours. You can only work so many hours.’ Now I have to work more hours, take more pain pills, to get my insurance back, and now they’re telling me I can’t get it back for another year.”

“I was born and raised here. I am not happy. Middle class is getting killed; we work for everything and get nothing. I hate both of the candidates, but I would vote for Trump because the Iraq war was a disaster. Why we got to keep invading countries. Time to take care of ourselves first.”

“Clarington is a shithole. Jobs all left. There is nothing here anymore. When Ormet Aluminum factory closed, jobs all disappeared.” She is also blunt about the pain in her life. “I have five kids and two have addictions. There is nothing else for kids to do here but drugs. No jobs. No place to play.” She stopped and added: “I voted for Obama the first time, not the second. Now I am voting for Trump. We just got to change things.”

Update: Yves comments on the downward spiral of the American business model in the age of neofeudalism.

“I’m not sure if Jeff Bezos has much of a sense of irony, but even he would have to laugh if his warehouse employees could not order goods on Amazon because they didn’t earn enough to qualify for a credit or debit card. Amazon can’t be certain whether or not the clever wheeze of collaborating with conventional retailers to act as cash handling operations for this group of credit or debit card-less customers is sufficient to overcome an inherent regulatory failure in promoting financial inclusion.

The snags are obvious — if you have to go to a real, physical store to charge up your Amazon account, you might as well shop at either the store you’ve just had to visit or another store you could have gone to instead. And paying Amazon in advance with the inevitable consequence of having a credit balance sitting on your Amazon account does your personal financial management no good at all. If you are poor and living from pay check to pay check, you simply cannot afford to have money sat in your Amazon account when you might need it not for luxuries which you might buy from Amazon but to pay the rent that month.

Amazon — of all companies — must realise that it cannot expect the banks to subsidise unprofitable customers. But customers who cannot access even basic financial services like credit and debit cards because they are too poor to use these products in a way which makes them profitable are precisely what Amazon’s business model is creating.”

 

 

 

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Manufacturing Consent

 

While our neoliberal elite have been more than willing to offshore traditional manufacturing, they’ve kept the manufacturing of consent right here in America.

Though western countries claim to be democracies, they all suffer from income and wealth inequality, with many of them trending towards plutocracy. Neoliberal economic policies have made this wealth and income inequality worse everywhere. Here in the United States, our plutocracy is out of control. The owners of our country manage this inconvenient public relations dilemma by manufacturing consent through their ownership and control of the corporate media.

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman wrote Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, in 1988, where they proposed that: “the mass communication media of the U.S. “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”, by means of the propaganda model of communication.[1] The title derives from the phrase “the manufacture of consent,” employed in the book Public Opinion (1922), by Walter Lippmann (1889–1974).[2]

In Manufacturing Consent, Chomsky and Herman lay out a propaganda model where the media in the US filter out dissenting views so that the American people are fed a steady diet of pro-corporate, pro-war, pro-neoliberal “news”.

Chomsky and Herman’s propaganda model is thus:

Size, Ownership, and Profit Orientation: The dominant mass-media outlets are large companies operated for profit, and therefore they must cater to the financial interests of the owners, who are usually corporations and controlling investors. The size of a media company is a consequence of the investment capital required for the mass-communications technology required to reach a mass audience of viewers, listeners, and readers.

The Advertising License to Do Business: Since the majority of the revenue of major media outlets derives from advertising (not from sales or subscriptions), advertisers have acquired a “de facto licensing authority”.[4] Media outlets are not commercially viable without the support of advertisers. News media must therefore cater to the political prejudices and economic desires of their advertisers. This has weakened the working class press, for example, and also helps explain the attrition in the number of newspapers.

Sourcing Mass Media News: Herman and Chomsky argue that “the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access [to the news], by their contribution to reducing the media’s costs of acquiring […] and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become ‘routine’ news sources and have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers.”[5]

Flak and the Enforcers: “Flak” refers to negative responses to a media statement or program (e.g. letters, complaints, lawsuits, or legislative actions). Flak can be expensive to the media, either due to loss of advertising revenue, or due to the costs of legal defense or defense of the media outlet’s public image. Flak can be organized by powerful, private influence groups (e.g. think tanks). The prospect of eliciting flak can be a deterrent to the reporting of certain kinds of facts or opinions.[5

Anti-Communism: This was included as a filter in the original 1988 edition of the book, but Chomsky argues that since the end of the Cold War (1945–91) anticommunism was replaced by the “War on Terror” as the major social control mechanism.[6

With the election of Donald Trump and everything that’s happened perhaps it’s useful to examine Chomsky and Herman’s propaganda model again in light of recent developments.

Why are the media freaking out now about fake news?

Perhaps the corporate media, which by the way is even more concentrated than when Chomsky and Herman wrote Manufacturing Consent, is fearful of losing their gatekeeper role to alternative sources and views?

Could it be that the corporate media is freaking out because they’re worried their advertisers, who keep them enormously profitable, will realize how little influence they have now that they’ve been so discredited in the eyes of the American people.

Meanwhile, although the manufacturing of consent has remained in America, the corporate media does seem unduly worried about Russian imports.

 

 

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Accumulated Despair

 

Lately, it’s hard to write about any aspect of our shared experience without running headlong into evil.

Take neoliberalism, an economic ideology that increasingly orders our lives to a terrifying degree.

While neoliberalism may seem incredibly complicated, in my opinion, it’s actually quite simple.

At its most basic, neoliberalism is an economic ideology that justifies funneling all the gains of the economy to the one percent while transforming a “New Deal” economy of shared gains to a plutocracy.

The high priests of neoliberalism, like Thomas Friedman, are paid fabulous sums to justify this arrangement. Friedman, like the rest, produces voluminous variations of the familiar refrain–there is no alternative.

Neoliberalism has been amazingly successful. Wealth polarization has reached the point where the globe’s top one percent now owns as much as the rest of the world combined, while eight individuals hold as much wealth as the world’s bottom 50 percent.

Consequently, we are now in the midst of a worldwide political dynamic, where far-right-wing forces capitalize on genuine working-class resentment of neoliberal economic restructuring that, more often than not, was implemented by liberals and social democrats.

Neoliberalism was the ideology that justified this shift.

Lambert, at Naked Capitalism, expresses neoliberalism with a couple of rules–1) because markets. 2) go die.

The latest Case/Deaton mortality and morbidity study offers further proof that neoliberalism does indeed kill its victims through accumulated despair. Indeed, one could argue that so many of the societal malady’s afflicting America, from homelessness to opioid addiction and overdose, can be attributed to neoliberalism.

The 2016 presidential election and its aftermath have been incredibly clarifying. Rather than address its serious shortcomings, the Democratic Party along with their liberal media infrastructure, seems hell bent on continuing the same corporate, neoliberal policies that brought us to this juncture, while blaming the Russians.

Indeed, the Democratic Party and liberals are doubling down, and engaging in eliminationist rhetoric to boot by blaming Trump voters for their own misery.

I’m pretty sure that’s not a winning political campaign, but what the hell do I know?

Trumpism is the fruit of decades of lesser-evilism, where liberals trails after the labor officials, who continually surrender to capital, while chasing a rightward-moving Democratic Party in the name of “fighting the Right.”

Without a clear and potent independent working-class political alternative, one rooted in mass struggles in workplaces and communities, more and more workers will see no alternative to the neoliberal capitalist offensive other than white populist nationalism.

It’s quite apparent that the Democratic Party is beyond repair. They need to go the way of the Whigs, and soon, so we can get on with the radical transformation that’s required.

Update: More reasons for accumulated despair.

“It seems quite remarkable that none of these economists seem able to acknowledge that the rise in the pain medication prescriptions for people at the lower end of the educational spectrum might be due in part, and perhaps in large measure, to workplace-related factors, as in limits on hours and stipulations on work conditions. For instance, even though one of my brothers is still in a union shop and does desk work, the mill’s regular schedule is now 12 hour shifts. That would have been inconceivable in the days of greater labor bargaining power. It is hard enough to do a job that requires you to be on your feet for eight hours. Imagine the greater stress and risk at 12 hours. And then imagine how that interacts with the fact that overweight and obesity are far more common than they were 30 years ago.”

 

 

 

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Evil Is Easy (Part 2)

 

Wall Street, the too-big-to-fail-banks, and the financial industry control our lives for the worse.

How did this come to pass?

From the New Deal up until the 80’s finance was heavily regulated, staid, boring even. Finance was also a valued member of a productive economy that properly allocated capital to manufacturing and service industries that provided goods and services.

Those were the good old days.

Since Reagan, Wall Street and the financial industry have escaped their regulatory purgatory through the valiant efforts of neoliberal intellectuals and massive campaign contributions delivered to our elected officials.

Economist Michael Hudson wrote a book entitled Killing the Host, where he well described the present-day financial industry as a parasite feeding on a host.

Guess who the host is?

That’s right, Wall Street and the financial industry are feeding on us. In the process, these people and their all-powerful institutions have made our lives infinitely more difficult.

Are you working your ass-off to get out of poverty, or having to perform for a boss you hate and a corporation you loathe to somehow cling to your middle-class status? Are you  a senior who’s income has declined precipitously since the Fed initiated its zero interest policy? Do you owe the payday loan operator more money than you will ever see in addition to your first born child?

Much of the economic suffering and rank injustice of our present situation can be blamed on the banks as well as their enabler–the Federal Reserve.

Wait, I thought the Fed was a government institution that works for us? In reality the Fed is controlled by the banks, and is both irredeemably corrupt and anti-democratic, as well as a blunt tool of the wealthy Americans who own the banks.

That the banks and financial interests have done immense evil should not be in doubt. Just like a parasite, or vampire, the US banking system is draining our wealth and limiting our freedoms and prospects for a brighter future.

For example: there is a severe crisis of homelessness in my city, with numerous public meetings between the mayor and city council, as well as acrimonious exchanges with citizens concerned over placement of homeless shelters. Nowhere in this narrative of homelessness and search for solutions is there any recognition of  the 2 to 3 million Americans who lost their homes after the Wall Street crash due to financial industry greed.

When President Obama ran for the Presidential election in 2008, he promised to hold the banks responsible while allowing American homeowners to write down mortgage debts.

We all know how that turned out.

According to Michael Hudson“The banks were saved, not the economy. Tim Geithner, who was a protégé of Robert Rubin, was moved on behalf of Citibank into the Treasury, and he bailed out the banks – leaving all the debts in place, not writing them down. Banks stopped lending mortgage money, and began to call in their credit card loans by about 100 billion dollars, from one trillion to about 900 trillion. Mortgages were not written off, so homeowners had to pay so much money to pay off the debts that had been built up during the bubble economy that they didn’t have enough income left to buy goods and services.”

Indeed, our country has been overtaken by a culture of greed, driven by the financialization of our economy.

Going forward we need to eliminate the idea that democracy is equated with capitalism, a system that’s driven almost exclusively by financial interests. Neoliberalism created a a global trade system for capital. This allowed capital to abandon American manufacturing locals for Third-World hell-holes where labor is pennies on the dollar and environmental regulations nonexistent.

That the American working and middle class was allowed to sink into despair was hand-waved away as no big deal.

And now, with the election of Trump, the crisis caused by financial neoliberalism has been exposed for all to see. The serious problems we are facing–like global warming and labor exclusion–are now reaching acute proportions, exacerbated by financialization and neoliberal globalization.

A parasite injects poison to anesthetize the host while feeding. Perhaps the corporate media in collaboration with the financial industry anesthetizes us to our grim future?

In America, it’s good to be evil, and damn sure easy.

To be continued…

 

 

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