Our country is no longer controlled by, and for, We the People, but instead by, and on behalf of, international banking and multinational corporate interests. While the gradual, almost imperceptible takeover of our government by this corporate fascism has been evolving by design for many decades, it is a coup d'etat nonetheless and has been disastrous for the vast majority of Americans. This blog is an exploration and discussion of how this occurred, and the damage it has done to our democratic processes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Capitalism Hits the Fan (or as your mama used to say, "don't step in that stuff")

If you don't think our economy is in dire straits, our way of life has been irreparably harmed and is in a downward spiral, then you either haven't been paying attention, are in denial, or you're part of the elitist two-percent living the good life at the top of the heap.

Please don't get the idea that our recent woes are purely an aberration of our previous and current president, although both certainly have accelerated the pace of decline with their corporatist policies and obvious disregard for the middle and working classes. This decline, as mentioned in my previous post, really has its roots in the successive court rulings giving corporations the rights previously only accorded real flesh-and-blood people, or more appropriately, natural persons -- like you and me. But the real tailspin, the one we're smack-dab in the middle of right now, started taking hold in the late 1970s when real wages started to flatten and stagnate, and productivity started its astronomical climb into the upper hemisphere. Corporations, the multinational ones with all the dough and all the lobbyists -- not Joe Schmoe's Engineering Company, or Jose Frijoles's Landscaping Services -- started really raking in the profits right about then, while John and Jane Doe starting to find it difficult to just make ends meet. To compensate, two-income families eventually became the norm while personal and private debt took off and has now reached record levels.

We're now looking precipitously like the early 1930s, when, as you recall, things started going from bad to worse. Back then, FDR had the guts and determination to initiate the necessary changes to put people on payrolls and back to work. He started works programs that built the infrastructure of this nation; roads, hospitals, schools and more, and didn't just extend unemployment benefits for those long-term unemployed. Fortunately, labor unions were a strong enough influence, being nearly 35% of the domestic workforce, unlike now where there isn't much of a push to reverse the current slide into the wastelands of economic purgatory. As Professor Wolff remarks, "As long as we let large corporations have the wealth that they have, be driven by profits as they are, we really can't be surprised if the things they do serve their interests and not the rest of us."

There's a crisis in America right now, and no matter whether you choose to ignore it, refuse to accept it, or try to escape it, you can't. It's going to take all of us to beat this, for surely it took most of us to allow it to happen. Please listen to what Dr. Richard Wolff (The University of Massachusetts at Amherst) says in this recent interview by Thom Hartmann, or read the transcript from Capitalism Hits the Fan.


Anna Van Z said...

What I find astounding is that these critical issues that you outlined here are virtually ignored by the teabagger-wingnut contingent. They have no problem at all with the outrageous realities of life for the average working person in America. Perhaps they're busy apologizing to BP, I don't know. They focus all their energy on preserving tax cuts for the top 1/2% of the wealthiest Americans - as if somehow this will magically "create jobs". What a bunch of bullshit!
Do they actually believe their own nonsensical drivel, or are they just complete tools, conditioned to recite whatever talking points wingnut corporate media tells them to?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

I certainly can't tell you the mindset of the tea-partiers, or other members of the conservative movement, for certainly if I did it would send cold shivers down my spine. But what I do know is that they're angry -- angry as hell, as a matter of fact. But I also interpret their anger as mostly misdirected and misplaced. They want to place total blame on the current administration's fiscal policies (i.e. deficit spending on domestic programs, in particular last year's Stimulus or Recovery Act) and its bailout of GM and the investment banking sector (otherwise known as TARP and initiated by the previous administration), but for some reason they never utter a peep about the astronomical outlays their government makes on defense spending appropriations, whether budgeted or supplemental -- each and every year! The latest, for example, calls for $680 billion and an additional "supplement" of $130 billion for the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. No matter how you slice it, that's a chunk of change -- so much not needed and wasted.

The tea-partiers sort of remind me of the old lady who lost her eyeglasses in her living room, but she looked for them in her garden because the light was better outside. Again, their anger is justified -- just totally misdirected.

Thanks for your thoughts!