The financial meltdown is one of those “once in a century” occurrences whereby the citizens could actually walk away with the upper hand, as there could be a massive reordering of how we live and share in the gains from productivity. Labor could regain its status as the primary driver of our economy rather than capital.
This is exactly why there is a rush among the Haves to get their asses bailed out and to move forward and away from this spectacular failure as quickly as possible. Nothing to see here, keep moving along. Don’t think about the systemic failures, the deregulation, and the greed that produced this situation.
The other option, as we're seeing play out, is the Republicans using this catastrophe, as they did 9/11, for political gains. They threatened to skip the debate so that John McCain could rush back to Washington to save the day. Political theater whereby when the (latest) bailout, whatever it may be, gets completed the McCain campaign will claim it's all thanks to good ole' Johnny-boy rushing back to seal the deal. More of the same old tricks: taking credit where none is due and claiming just the opposite of what actually happened. McCain's coming back to D.C. actually blew up the deal just so John could capture some headlines and theater. He was not trying to do what best for the country, but what was best for his campaign and his corporate paymasters.
Since Reagan we’re living in a one-bubble-after-another economy. We starve the services for the poor, the needy, the hungry, the sick, the uninsured, the working-class…but oddly we pay for new professional sports stadia, convention centers, the corporate and manufacturing giants’ offices and production centers, and a whole host of other expenses that theoretically should be paid for by the business owners. Public sector jobs have been outsourced to private firms, yet the work isn’t as timely or efficient, and the costs are higher, most of the time. Our military is working alongside an increasingly privatized force without much accountability. Our economic system is in collapse because of an unregulated, nontransparent player of the financial sector (the shadow banking system).
Today we live in a world of inverse Socialism. Citizens are working longer and harder (without much retirement or health care coverage) to produce more profits for their employers, but of which they ultimately do not share.
Republicans have repeatedly won office based on outright lies and falsehoods. Once in office they basically loot the Treasury. The government takes on huge deficits, inflating economic bubbles and enriching Republican cronies, while leaving the bill to be paid by the taxpayers.
Republicans continually talk of smaller government and spending less, but their record is just the opposite. They increase government spending and size. And the problem is that their spending adds nothing to productivity and long-term growth. It merely saddles us with debt, thereby decreasing future growth.
Republicans have, for decades, jeopardized the long-term economic health of the country for the sake of their own short-term gains.
This latest malady of epic proportions is yet another chance for the true public servants to stand up and for the citizens to say enough is enough. There is another way. Re-regulation and improvement of the social safety net, both of which we cavalierly dissected and destroyed, are among the highest of priorities.
Oversight of financial transactions and rules governing those transactions is a must. Also, allowing workers wages to move in lockstep with their productivity, as they did after WWII, would go a long way toward relieving inequality in our country. This would entail a strengthening and encouragement of unionization and collective bargaining.
The free marketeers are wrong. They don’t know what they’re doing. Empirical evidence over the last 40 years has shown the emperor has no clothes. Let’s take back our country from these false prophets whom seem to only want to run government so they can use it as their personal piggy bank.
We keep taking on deficits for the Haves, but we aren’t sharing in any of the bounty. Our wages are stagnating, our health insurance is declining, the pension system has all but disappeared, and retirement accounts are dwindling. Republicans are benefiting from these deficits and bubbles, while we are left holding the bill. Is it any wonder that their primary campaign contributors are the same companies that saw meteoric increases during the heyday of the bubbles and yet are the same ones with their hands out now looking for insurance of their (deflating) asset prices due to their own poor management and oversight, risky behavior, and deceitful financial packages?
It’s clear we’re living in a socialistic country. It’s our duty to at least make it socialism of the many and not just a few.
For Further Reading:
Privatization of War
Republican Debt and Deficits
Republicans Oversee Largest Deficits in History
Republican Policies Make Deficits Worse
The Military Industrial Complex and the Obsession with Privatization