Monday, September 7, 2009

Boom for the Rich

America is becoming a two-class society - the rich are booming, and the rest are declining toward third world status.

Don’t believe the hype about the recession ending. Note carefully how much money is being earned by those who call for patience. The elite wants you to think the economy is doing well because, for the elite it is. The rich really are getting richer, as a result of that nice trillion dollar buyout, although these days there may perhaps be fewer of them.

The reality unfortunately appears to be that the U.S. is being transformed into something like a third world economy for the mass of the population with an increasingly irresponsible “party elite” (as in “having a party”) perched like a monstrous fungus on top.

As for the overall economy, the recession is deepening. A quarter of a million new job losses occurred in August, to which you must add the roughly 125,000 per month required to keep up with population growth, for a real deficit of about 375,000. A big chunk of that came from construction, which contracted despite it being summer. One can only imagine what we may face in February.

More importantly, the gap between the rich and the rest, growing since the days of Reagan, is continuing to grow despite the recession. This gap undermines American democracy but was (barely) tolerable when the whole economy was booming. With the government skimming trillions – literally! – off the top of a declining earning base to reward Wall Street billionaires, the widening gap between the rich and the rest is no longer tolerable.

The proper way to manage a recession is not to enrich the rich but to keep people employed doing useful work and staying in their homes. Today, the politician/banker team would rather see homeowners on the street and their homes in foreclosure, slowly rotting away. Would it not be better for the banks to hire the homeowners to maintain the houses in return for being allowed to live in them? But no, the banks are just letting the vacant houses pile up. Ever wonder what will happen to the value of your home when the banks finally put all those houses on the market?

FDR’s visionary efforts to regulate banks and hire the unemployed to build hiking trails are forgotten in this economic catastrophe. Instead, protected by its Washington buddies, Wall Street executives concentrate on coming up with new ways of stealing money from the working class. The latest scheme is to bundle your life insurance policies for sale in a nice tidy package to rich investors, who bet that you will die fast enough to provide them with a profit. So…why should they agree to replace the current health care system that is designed to generate profits for the industry with one designed to keep people alive?

Why Americans are having such a hard time waking up to this social grand larceny is a mystery. It is shocking enough that Americans are in denial about the behavior of Washington in distant places like Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia (hint: Iraq, Iran, and Somalia have oil; Gaza has gas that the Israelis are stealing; Afghanistan/Pakistan is proposed as a pipeline route from Central Asia; can’t have those places acting independent). But oil isn’t the only issue; policy toward such regions is surely complicated.

However, the mismanagement of the U.S. economy by the Washington/Wall St. tag team of good buddies is not some distant mystery. We all know what they are doing, and we can all see the effect – the foreclosures, the unemployment, the vacant storefronts.

Forget it. Don’t get yourself upset. Just go watch TV…until the sheriff comes to kick you out of your house. After all, you can always get a job in Afghanistan!

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