Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Economic Meltdown and Class Warfare

Molly Ivins wrote a few years ago that the most lucrative investment you can make — nothing else even comes close — is to purchase your own congressman (or several). How’s this for a Return On Investment? The financial sector has contributed $2 billion to Congress since 1990.

Talk about a payoff! Make $2 billion worth of bribes to Congress and get rewarded with a $700 billion handout from the taxpayers. Now THAT was some shrewd investing.

The Institute for Policy Studies has suggested a transaction tax of one penny for every $4 invested. This would add $100 billion a year to the Treasury. If this tax had been in place since the Enron meltdown in 2001, the Treasury Department would now have $700 billion.

Getting rid of overseas tax shelters would also yield hundreds of billions for the U.S. Treasury. Just imagine if these corporate bailouts were paid for by the people who created the need for them in the first place. Large corporations having to take responsibility for their own mistakes, just like regular people do — what a concept.

A member of the Institute for Policy Studies said “Many of these things have been examined, but not implemented. Congress essentially punted on how to pay for the bailout.”

The author of this column, Derrick Z. Jackson, ends his column with: “If Congress is the punter, the people are the football being kicked once again far downfield as Congress and the CEOs high-five with relief from the skybox.”

If you're in the mood for a little more class warfare and socialist rhetoric, check out this article by Michael Moore. During the past seven and a half years, the 400 wealthiest Americans have increased their personal wealth by about $700 billion. Again, that number is — Ahem! — $700 billion. (see above)

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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23 Comments:

Blogger LET'S TALK said...

Great post Tom and I enjoyed the two links as well.

It's just crazy that we are allowing our government to bailout these financial institutions with our tax dollar.

For the past two and a half weeks we have heard three different ways on how they will use the $700 billion dollars...a new plan for every week.

We were told that some would be used to help the home owner, but McCain speaks as if this is not part of the so called plan...I forgot he did not read the bill.

Whatever happens, we are looking at the fall of the middle class and it has been said, once the middle class go, so goes the country.

Maybe even a new kind of society with this huge welfare bailout. Wall Street and its lobbyist has already found their way around any plans this bill has to regulated how they use it.

October 9, 2008 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see it in Today's News? McCain was in Ohio and some Rube stood up and said he was Mad that Obama and the Socialist were going to take over the financial system.

There are still idiots that believe that in spite of everything they see that the Government is worse then any greedy business. What do they have to do foreclose on his Guns before he gets the message?

And he expects McCain to rescue them?

He looked old enough to have some memory of the Roosevelt Legacy

But...

Erik

October 9, 2008 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: I'm not sure if Wall Street lobbyists will keep the control they've been having. Public fury is at the highest level I remember seeing; I think even higher than at the peak of the Vietnam war. I could imagine open civil war if something isn't changed soon. Americans have been apathetic for a long time, but now that their own homes and livelihoods are in danger, it might be a different story. Just my guess.

Erik: Yeah, it's hard to believe, but there really are some dunces who think it's somehow capitalism for taxpayers to bail out Wall Street billionaires. And yet these same people will have a tantrum at the idea of somebody getting food stamps. Go figure.

October 9, 2008 at 10:39 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Blame the long siege of Republican-controlled congresses, culminating in the 2001-2007 period when Congress was simply a rubber stamp for the Bush White House. Because of idiotic ideology and in return for campaign donations received, the other way was the only way to look. That was true for those in the executive branch whose job it was to look hard for faulty accounting, too-risky lending and a host of other bad business practices. It was also true for those in charge in Congress, who were supposed to ensure executive-branch watchdogs were doing their job properly.

Tom, you and I and millions of others are understandably outraged by what appears to be a case of taxpayers having to pay for others' crimes, while the criminals go to luxury resorts to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. There's some truth to that, but we're nowhere near the end of this.

The credit markets have to be unfrozen ASAP. Confidence has to be restored economywide. Not just here but around the world.

Once that's straightened out, Congress and (I hope) a rehabilitated Justice Department can start going after the villains. At the same time, Congress can get to work on re-regulation and other reforms of the system, to keep this kind of thing from happening again — or until the public gets stupid again and starts electing radical right-wing Neanderthals and well-dressed crooks, so they can dismantle the safeguards and throw away the reforms yet again.

We Americans like instant results. This mess is too big and bad to be resolved quickly. And justice, unfortunately, will be months or years coming to those who've done the rest of us wrong.

October 10, 2008 at 12:25 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Erik, I wondered if that guy was a plant. Either way, he gave the country a look at what these right-wing extremists are like.

October 10, 2008 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: "Congress can get to work on re-regulation and other reforms of the system, to keep this kind of thing from happening again — or until the public gets stupid again" -- my sentiments exactly.

It should be obvious to everybody that Franklin Roosevelt had a reason for putting all of these "socialist" regulations into place 75 years ago. It was the only way to bring us out of the Great Depression. Then, after everything has worked pretty well (with ups and downs) for almost 50 years, some dimbulb ex-actor gets the bright idea that "Hey, we don't need all these regulations. Let's get the government off our backs."

Bush has made everything worse, but this madness had its start 28 years ago when Reagan took over. We have 28 years of insanity to undo. Let's hope we've learned something this time; at least for the next 40 to 50 years.

October 10, 2008 at 2:11 AM  
Anonymous kate said...

there was a world wide depression, but Franklin Roosevelt made ours a "Great Depression" by making it deeper and longer than necessary. We got the first big taste of corporatism where the profits go to individuals but the losses are eaten by the citizens. if the government would get out of businesses and let the free market and competition work we would be so much better off.

October 10, 2008 at 3:59 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

You guys wanna pool our resources and buy a congressman? I've got to imagine they'll come a little bit cheaper these days. Get in while the gettin's good!

October 10, 2008 at 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted in honor of Big-T.

Amazing. The worst economic and cultural crisis of all time will go down in history horribly misunderstood. What a pathetic bunch of ignorant fools we have become. Consumer junkie credit card morons. Perfect little victims. Say that reminds me.

Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold ALMOST 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, offshore accounts, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST ONE PERCENT HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transfered FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE OBSCENE, UNREASONABLE, AND UNJUST DISTRIBUTION OF UNITED STATES WEALTH, THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN A COLLAPSE IN THE HOUSING MARKET. Sub-prime did not cause the problem. It only accelerated the outcome. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. In fact, they specifically endorsed Countrywide by name. The same Countrywide widely responsible for predatory adjustable rate sub-prime lending and the accelerated collapse of the housing market. ENDORSED BY OPRAH WINFREY, ELLEN DEGENERES, AND DR PHIL. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. It also drives up the cost for nearly every product and service on the market. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. We still are. Even now, they claim to be ‘hurting’ right along with the rest of us. As if gas prices actually effect the lifestyle of a millionaire. ITS A LIE. IN 2007, THE RICHEST 1% INCREASED THEIR AVERAGE BOTTOM LINE WEALTH AGAIN. On average, they are now worth over $4,000,000 each. Thats an all time high. As a group, they are now worth well over $17,000,000,000,000. THATS WELL OVER SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Another all time high. Which by the way, is much more than the entire middle and lower classes combined. Also more than enough to pay off our national debt, fund the Iraq war for a decade, repair our infrastructure, and bail out the US housing market. Still think that our biggest problem is China? Think again. Its the 1% club. That means every big name celebrity, athlete, executive, entrepreneur, developer, banker, and lottery winner. Along with many attorneys, doctors, and politicians. If they are rich, then they are part of the problem. Their incredible wealth was not ‘created’, ‘generated’, grown in their back yard, or printed up on their command. It was transfered FROM US TO THEM. Directly and indirectly. Its become near impossible to spend a dollar without making some greedy pig even richer. Don’t be fooled by the occasional loss of a millionaire’s fortune. Overall, they just keep getting richer. They absolutely will not stop. Still, they have the nerve to pretend as if they care about ordinary people. ITS A LIE. NOTHING BUT CALCULATED PR CRAP. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Oil ‘futures’. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. Excessive medical testing. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, medical testing, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above drive up the cost of living, shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a dominoe effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. Which is usually done just before or after the release of their latest commercial project. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘federal tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influensed by the 1% club. Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, ect. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can’t afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. Anyway, when you account for all federal, state, and local taxes, the middle class actually pay about the same rate as the rich. The devil is in the details. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, credit crunch, weak US dollar, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can’t even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don’t blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can’t be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’, or ’socialism’. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

So what can we do about it? Well, not much. Unfortunately, we are stuck on a runaway train. The problem has gone unchecked for too many years. The US/global depression is comming thanks to the 1% club. It would take a massive effort by the vast majority to prevent it. Along with a voluntary sacrifice by the rich. THATS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. But if you believe in miracles, then spend your money as wisely as possible. Especially in middle and lower class communities. Check the Fortune 500 list and limit your support of high profit/low labor industries (Hollywood, pro sports, energy, credit, pharmaceutical, cable, satelite, internet advertising, cell phone, high fashion, jewelry, ect.). Cancel all but one credit card for emergencies only. If you need a cell phone, then do your homework and find the best deal on a local pre-pay. If you want home internet access, then use the least expensive provider, and share accounts whenever possible. If you need to search, then use the less popular search engines. They usually produce the same results anyway. Don’t click on any internet ad. If you need the product or service, then look up the phone number or address and contact that business directly. Don’t pay to see any blockbuster movie. Instead, wait a few months and rent the DVD from a local store or buy it USED. If you want to see a big name game or event, then watch it in a local bar, club, or at home on network TV. Don’t buy any high end official merchendise and don’t support the high end sponsors. If its endorsed by a big name celebrity, then don’t buy it. If you can afford a new car, then make an exception for GM, Ford, and Dodge. If they don’t increase their market share soon, then a lot more people are going to get screwed out of their pensions and/or benefits. Of course, you must know by now to avoid those big trucks and SUVs unless you truly need one for its intended purpose. Don’t be ashamed to buy a foreign car if you prefer it. Afterall, those with the most fuel efficient vehicles consume a lot less foreign oil. Which accounts for a pretty big chunk of our trade deficit. Anyway, the global economy is worth supporting to some extent. Its the obscene profit margins, trade deficits, and BS from OPEC that get us into trouble. Otherwise, the global economy would be a good thing for everyone. Just keep in mind that the big 3 are struggling and they do produce a few smaller reliable cars. Don’t frequent any high end department store or any business in a newly developed upper class community. By doing so, you make developers richer and draw support away from industrial areas and away from the middle class communities. Instead, support the local retailer and the less popular shopping centers. Especially in lower or middle class communities. If you can afford to buy a home, then do so. But go smaller and less expensive. Don’t get yourself in too deep and don’t buy into the newly developed condos or gated communities. Instead, find a modest home in a building or neighborhood at least 20 years old. If you live in one of the poorer states, then try to support its economy first and foremost. Be on the lookout for commercial brainwash plots on TV. They are written into nearly every scene of nearly every show. Most cater to network sponsors and parent companies. Especially commercial health care. Big business is fine on occasion depending on the profit margins and profit sharing. Do your homework. If you want to support any legitimate charity, then do so directly. Never support any celebrity foundation. They spend most of their funding on PR campaigns, travel, and high end accomodations for themselves. Instead, go to Charitywatch.org and look up a top rated charity to support your favorite cause. In general, support the little guy as much as possible and the big guy as little as possible. Do your part to reverse the transfer of wealth away from the rich and back to the middle and lower classes. Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. Jobs will be lost either way. Innocent children will starve and die either way. But we need to support the largest group of workers with the most reasonable profit margins. We also need to support LEGITIMATE charities (Check that list at Charitywatch.org). This is our only chance to limit the severity and/or duration of the comming US/global depression. In the meantime, don’t listen to Bernanke, Paulson, Bartiromo, Orman, Dobbs, Kramer, OReiley, or any other public figure with regard to the economy. They are all plenty smart but I swear to you that they will lie right through their rotten teeth. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These people work for big business. The ‘experts’ they cite also work for big business. They are all motivated by their desire to accumulate more wealth. THEY WILL LIE RIGHT THROUGH THEIR ROTTEN TEETH. So don’t fall for their tricks. Instead, look at the big picture. The economic problems we face have been mounting for well over 20 years. All of them caused or aggrivated by a constant transfer of wealth from poorer to richer. Soon, it will cause the first ever GLOBAL DEPRESION. Its not brain surgery. Its simple math. Like I said, you are welcome to run this by any professor of economics or socio-economics. If thats not good enough, then look up what Einstein had to say about greed, extreme wealth, and its horrible concequences. I speak the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Its already underway. A massive campaign to divert our attention. Trump, Buffet, OReiley, Dobbs, Pickens, Norris, and several other well known filthy rich public figures have been running their mouths about the economy. Finally admitting a hint of severity after almost 2 years of denial. They even have the nerve to acknowledge the possibility of a US/global depression. Still, they refuse to acknowledge the single greatest underlying cause. Instead, they focus on policies, procedures, and circumstances that were born FROM the underlying cause. Dancing their way around the big picture. DON'T FALL FOR IT. Remember: Our national debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. Consumer debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. The cost of living was up BEFORE sub-prime. Wall Street profits were obscene BEFORE sub-prime. The middle class were loosing free and clear assets BEFORE sub-prime. Our infrastructure was in bad shape BEFORE sub-prime. Loans from China were taken out BEFORE sub-prime. The dollar was loosing value BEFORE sub-prime. So don’t let these cowardly filthy rich public figures divert your attention or limit your range of thought. THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS WAS NOT CAUSED BY A SINGLE POLICY OR PROCEDURE. IT WAS CAUSED PRIMARILY BY A MASSIVE TRANSFER OF WEALTH FROM POOR TO RICH. THIS ALSO REPRESENTS A MASSIVE CONCENTRATION OF CAPITAL WORLDWIDE. OTHERWISE, THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A GLOBAL CREDIT CRUNCH. MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES AND IT DOES NOT JUST FLOAT AWAY. IT ONLY TRANSFERS FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

A word for those who respond with the usual ‘I know more than you. Look how smart, knowledgable, and articulate I am’ crap. Let me say this in advance. I don’t claim to be an expert in this field. But I did go on record with these predictions long before any public figure uttered the word ‘recession’. If you search long enough, you will find my early postings from ‘05′ and ‘06′. Including the first draft of this rant. Since then, I’ve gone on record against people like Greenspan, Bernanke, and Paulson. So far, my predictions have been accurate. Like I said. This is not brain surgery. For the mostpart, its simple math. When you concentrate the world’s wealth, you also concentrate its capital and shrink the middle class along with the potential market for every major industry. Homes go unsold. Bills go unpaid. Banks fail. More products go unsold. Jobs are lost. More banks fail. and so on. and so on. It happened 80 years ago. It will happen again. This time on a global scale. Throughout the cycle, the rich will tighten their grip. Concentrating the world’s wealth and resources even further and ensuring the collapse of every major economy worldwide. Think it can’t happen? Think again. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Another thing. I don’t want credit for any of this. Otherwise, I would have given my full name a long time ago. As far as I’m concerned, you can put this rant in your own words and take credit for all of it. I don’t care. Just spread the word. Otherwise, the greatest injustice of all time will go down in history unchecked.

By the way. The bailout won’t work. IT WON’T WORK. The plan fails to address the fundamental problem. The middle class don’t need more credit. They need a reasonable share of the economic pie. They also need a lower cost of living and a chance to catch their breath. They need a break from all of the psychological marketing tricks and mass market BS. Most of all, they need to wake up and see the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

To my surprise, two public figures have found the courage to acknowledge this problem to some degree. On 11.07.07 former presidential candidate Ron Paul mentioned the massive transfer of wealth from poor to rich. He also hinted at the possibility of economic collapse. He did so on 'Face the Nation'. He was blacklisted almost immediately for doing so. On 9.28.08 former secretary of labor Robert Reich refered to the obscene levels of income inequality as part of a "recipe for disaster". He mentioned the richest one percent in particular. He did so on 'Late Night With Conan OBrien'. As far as I know, Albert Einstein was the first to explain the link between extreme wealth and economic instability. He did so in 1949. He explained how the first Great Depression was actually caused by a massive transfer of wealth from poor to rich. He predicted that it would happen again. He was right. Amazing. The prosperity of an entire world is about to be compromised. Almost entirely because of greed. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

The point about our government printing up more money was that it can't be done "on a whim" and that there are serious concequences for doing so (weak dollar, higher gas prices, inflation). I never said that it can't be or hasn't been done at all. Afterall, those loans from china weren't infused in the form of Chinese currency. They were infused in the form of our own. Not given to the middle class but instead to the banks in the form of credit. Its done nothing but perpetuate the problem. It never has been and never will be the answer. Sorry if I wasn't explicit enough the first time. The original draft was written 2 years ago and intended to fit within 300 characters. Anyway, I'm no English major. So if any of you want to re-word this post, feel free to do so. Whatever it takes to make people understand.

October 10, 2008 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

This is why we must elect Obama AND support his efforts during his entire term to wean Congress off the lobbyist tit. It won't be easy and he cannot do it without us. We're all going to have to stay involved and demand that Congress reform itself.

October 10, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kate: I'm familiar with your argument but I don't buy it. I'm all for brawling knock-'em-dead capitalism, but there still needs to be a certain amoung of regulation. Even the most brutal boxing or wrestling match has a referee to make sure the fighters don't kick each other in the balls or break each other's necks.

Randal: Hey, there's a thought. They'll never be as cheap as they are right now.

Anonymous: Uh, I'll have to read your comment later; it's a tad long.

Candace: We definitely need Obama, but fixing this is going to be a long gradual process. Things have been coming unraveled ever since that senile ex-actor took over in 1981. It'll take awhile to re-ravel everything.

October 10, 2008 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

Actually, one of the best recent things that I have read about this was from a column yesterday in Vanity Fair by Christopher Hitchens.

Great quote:

"At a dinner party in New York during the Wall Street meltdown, where the citizens were still serious enough to do what they are supposed to do—break off the chat and tune in to the speech of the President of the United States and Leader of the Free World—the same impression of living in a surreal country that was a basket-case pensioner of the international monetary system was hugely reinforced. The staring eyes (close enough together for their owner to use a monocle) and the robotic delivery were a fine accompaniment to the already sweaty “Don’t panic. Don’t whatever you do panic!” injunction that was being so hastily improvised. At a White House meeting with his financial wizards—and I mean the term in its literal sense—the same chief executive is reported to have whimpered, “This sucker could go down,” or words to that effect. It’s not difficult to imagine the scene. So add one more banana-republic feature to the profile: a president who is a figurehead one day and a despot the next, and who goes all wide-eyed and calls on witch doctors when the portents don’t seem altogether reassuring."

October 10, 2008 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mike: That's an excellent quote. We sure are turning into a banana republic; it's exactly what conservatives have been wetdreaming about for decades.

October 10, 2008 at 11:20 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

kate, did you know a few people survive appedicitis without surgery or antibiotics? The odds don't favor it, but it's possible. And even kids will usually get over strep throat without antibiotics, some without even incurring heart damage later on.

However, in both cases it's a much longer and more painful process. And it's scary. Would you want to risk a child or other loved one's life by skipping treatment, on the theory what doesn't kill them makes them stronger? I hope not.

In fact, the markets will in time right themselves. No one disputes that. It was true in 1929 and it's true now.

The operative questions are, how many people are going to get hurt, how badly are they going to get hurt, and how long will it take before they're better?

Rich folks can not only survive a deep recession or full blown depression, they can, as in the 1930's, benefit from one, adding greatly to their wealth. That's because they can buy temporarily near-worthless investments, properties, businesses, etc., for cheap and can afford to hold them until they can sell them for a large profit when the economy recovers.

Meanwhile, ordinary people wind up on the streets, homeless, standing in line for a free meal, dressing their kids in other people's discarded, threadbare clothes and shoes, if they can find some.

That's neither right nor necessary.

What you favor, kate, is that we all live by the law of the jungle. Most of us prefer to live in a civilized society where people aren't forced to go years without work, millions don't lose everything in a financial bust, and kids don't go to bed hungry — all that hurt through no fault of their own.

If you really favor the jungle life, kate, go to one and live there. I wish you luck, because you will need it.

October 10, 2008 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom, I checked on Google for "Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy" and got 19 hits on various blogs.

Looks like that overly long comment from Anonymous is the blog-comment equivalent of a chain letter.

October 10, 2008 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

HOLY SHIT! Moore does it again!

This whole crisis has been rigged!

Everytime I think I cannot get more upset, enraged or simply shocked at this bailout, a new twist appears!

Every man and woman for themselves--who hijacked our country!

October 10, 2008 at 12:54 PM  
Anonymous kate said...

anonymous, i read your comment but have yet to digest all of it. but yea ron paul !! now there's a man with a true understanding of the economy and the constitution. He is a great congressman with uncompromisable integrity. FYI: he is the only congressman who has never voted for a tax increase, or a congressional pay raise, and the only congressman who does not participate in the extremely lucrative congressional pension plan. He is instrumental in a grass roots movement to save and restore our liberties. lobbyists don't even talk with him anymore because they know he can't be bought and they know what he will say, if it's constitutional he will vote for it, if it's unconstitutional he will not vote for it. he has a web site for anyone interested. but anonymous, you are right,we need to wake up and realize what's going down and take action or it will be too late and we and this country will be doomed. we need to work to get this country to where it could be, should be, and was intended to be.

October 10, 2008 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: I figured that long comment was some sort of chain letter. I've had a few other longwinded comments that I deleted because they seemed either religious-righteous, or they had a link that I suspected was a contaminated site. I still haven't read this comment yet, other than a quick glimpse; I keep meaning to.

Very good answer to Kate. I can't think of anything to add to that.

Enemy: That's exactly right. Every time I think I can't get any more pissed off or worried, there's another new twist. We live in interesting times.

October 10, 2008 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kate: I like Ron Paul a lot (he's against the Iraqi war, for one thing) but I'm not a Libertarian. I agree that we have to make sure government doesn't get too powerful or too cumbersome. But this financial crisis was caused by lack of oversight of Wall Street. Congress and the federal regulatory agencies haven't been doing their jobs.

October 10, 2008 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger American Hill BIlly said...

Yep, They say crime doesn't pay...LOL!!! Now, that's a joke. Just look at the yield's it returns.

If I was an elected official, then I'd be happy people are stupid, and believe anything.


United In Peace And Freedom

October 10, 2008 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

AHB: I guess they'll have to rewrite that old slogan. Crime sure does pay for some people.

October 10, 2008 at 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libertarians are by nature believe in less Government and less regulation and have always appealed to both sides.

They want less Regulation and More Local Government (which conservatives like)

But that also means more personal liberties which mean no Abortion nor Marijuana laws (which Liberals like)

Now that was always the classic Libertarian outline when I followed them in the 70's and the 80's I haven't heard Paul quite fully embrace that.

In the Past you could talk to conservatives because many of them had integrated values in them- they really (seemed) to believe that to enact big government in anything is wrong which is why (they say) many of the old conservatives (Like Barry Goldwater whom seems like a saint compared to these guys today)opposed federal civil rights laws.


Erik

October 13, 2008 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I've always liked the Libertarian viewpoint. Even when I disagree with them (a safety net for people, government oversight of industry) I at least respect their consistency.

Today's conservatives are fucked up beyond recognition (I just remembered, that's what FUBAR stands for). I don't think they even have any sort of philosophy that guides them; they're just a bunch of dunces that grunt and twitch when somebody says "abortion!" "socialism!" "elitists!" There was a columnn in the New York Times a few days ago talking about this, how the conservative movement has deteriorated over the years. He mentioned intellectuals like Goldwater and Buckley, and how they begat Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

October 13, 2008 at 3:27 PM  

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