While the political elite labors to convince us all that the sky will fall unless it is granted the power to reward its corporate allies for the irresponsible financial management of this country of which both are guilty, I am watching rural America continue to live and work within its means.
Yes, our elite could wreck everything. On the other hand, there is an element of utter unreality about Bush's panic-stricken pleas for instant gratification.
Here in rural America, I am running a small personal construction project that requires me to manage about a dozen different contractors - electricians, tree men, plumbers, construction types, movers, cleaners, etc. Chicken-Little screams from the White House notwithstanding, every single real professional contractor I have contacted is overwhelmed with work.
Beneath the self-serving panic of the rich and corrupt, addicted to the profits they are making from provoking foreign wars and degrading our environment, lies a powerful economic engine of millions of Americans industriously going about the business of living.
Exactly why the rich who are sinking the ship of high finance must be rewarded so quickly escapes me. On the street in the U.S., there are certainly many problems, but I do not, in interacting with actual hometown individuals, see any reason for panic. Yes, easier access to business and personal loans would in some cases be helpful. Stronger penalties for individuals who max out their credit cards would also be helpful, for the many with weak wills and expensive buying habits. But justification for saying the sky will fall unless vast rewards are given to millionaires on Wall Street who gambled and lost simply is not visible on mainstreet.
The panic-striken White House pleas to bail out the rich RIGHT NOW are precisely like its panic-striken pleas to stop the alleged enemy of the moment from destroying the world. Seven years ago Bush-Cheney founded their imperial reign on cries of terror about bin Laden; then they switched focus to Iraq; then they switched focus to Iran; now it's Iran on Monday and Pakistani tribesmen on Tuesday. Are these problems? Of course - just as the financial mess is a problem.
But reasons for panic? Reasons for pouring gasoline on the fire? Reasons for pouring good money after bad? Reasons for bombing the innocent in order to catch one or two of the guilty? No, au contraire. These problems are reason for cautious, reasoned policies. The Chicken Littles of Washington are brilliant at exploiting scare tactics to enhance their personal wealth and power. They have learned that Americans are so ignorant about high finance and international affairs that scare-mongering works. They won't stop until the American people wake up and demand that they stop. It's up to you: get educated and speak out!