Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fish or Cut Bait

On the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday, "Senator" Jon Kyl said the following:

So I wrote him these choice words and sent them to him on his Senate website:

Senator Kyl,

Yesterday on the floor of the Senate, you claimed that unemployment and COBRA benefits are a disincentive to work.

You, sir, insulted me personally with those words. I demand an apology.

I moved to Michigan in 2007 for a good paying job. I have never been unemployed in my life. In 2009 I was laid off. I have been searching for work for more than a year. As you may be aware, assuming you can read and you care, the unemployment rate in Michigan in more than 15%. I live in the Detroit area, where the unemployment rate is closer to 50%. For every job there are more than five applicants.

I get $330 a week on unemployment. This is the most that a person on unemployment in Michigan can receive. Fortunately I live with someone who is willing to support me. How in the world could anyone live on $330 a week?? What kind of fool are you to assert otherwise? What have any of you people done to keep and build good jobs in this country?? You sit back while all the good jobs leave the US, then blame those left behind that they can't find work. How pathetic.

You Republicans are treading a thin line. Go right ahead with your plans and foolish talk. If you think the tea party people are upset, go ahead and mess with those on the very bottom. We can go no lower. How about if all of us unemployed losers show up at your office for a little conversation? Maybe then we can impress upon you just how foolish you are.

Or better yet, maybe us unemployed folks will visit your home state and work to see you unemployed.

You are a Senator in name only. As you may be aware, Senator means "old man" or elder, the assumption being that an older man is wise. You are a stupid old man. You will reap the whirlwind if you keep this up.

If this is where the Republicans want to go, there will be consequences. Enough is enough.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kabuki Dance

Leave it to The Daily Show to once again produce the most cogent argument for regulation in the face of the Wall St. CEO onslaught. In this video Elizabeth Warren, chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee, argues forcefully that we are on the verge of losing the middle class in this country. As I have stated elsewhere on this blog, I contend that this effort has been purposeful - that the elites in this country have always benefited from the diminution of the middle class. This worldview has been extended throughout the rest of the world via the "global economy" meme that serves the same purpose elsewhere.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shadow Elite

I found these two pieces that expand on Professor Wedel's ideas from her book, Shadow Elite:

Turning Down the Gas On The Stove

 Note: Professor Janine Wedel recently published a book Shadow Elite, wherein she discusses concerns regarding the overweening control of American power in the hands of an elite few. Those of you who have read this blog are aware of my parallel concerns. She published these three articles on Huffington Post:

Shadow Elite': Do You Know Whose Agenda You're Being Sold?

For The Shadow Elite Failure Often Guarantees Future Rewards

Is the Government In Charge, Or Is It The Shadow Elite?


I wrote the following letter to her in response to the first article, which is her latest one.

Dear Professor Wedel,

While I have not read your book yet, I am quite familiar with many of the notions you have advanced recently on Huffington Post. I share your legitimate concerns about the quite obvious accumulation of power by a very small group of people in this country and elsewhere. My initial thoughts began to jell some years ago while working within the corporate world. The recent work of Kevin Phillips, particularly his excellent book, Wealth and Democracy, advances the premise that wealth in the United States has been closely held by the very rich since before the inception of the nation, and continues to this day. Phillips argues convincingly that this concentration of wealth in the hands of a few stands in tension to democracy here and elsewhere.

In a similar vein, I've written about the formal structures that I contend are the driving forces behind this - the publicly held, for profit corporation. You can read my series of articles on this subject here:

The Structures That Divide Us
The Mess of 2009
The Mess of 2009 Part 2
The Mess of 2009 Part 3

That said, I have a couple of comments I'd like you to consider:

1) "Flexians" - My gut reaction to this term is negative. First of all, it sounds akin to "Martian" or some other alien life form. I think the term is far to pejorative, and works toward an unnecessary demonization of these people. I understand the convenience of shorthand nicknames like this; however, I think it allows your otherwise great critique to be hijacked by more simple minds whose thinking becomes entirely too coalesced around the reductionism in the nickname.
2) Shadow Elite - I'm not sure if you've read all the comments on your post today (1/21) on Huffington Post, but here are a few that illustrate my second concern here:

Post 1
"From the look of this article the author seems afraid to label the root problem, The Rockefeller's and the Bilderberg group. I hope she doesn't think she has discovered something new, because this is old news."

Post 2
Nice to see someone finally waking up the public to the matrix around us.

I encourage people to look up and research:
Agenda 21
Bilderburg group
Trilateral Commission -- Thier goal is to destroy the US, political, economically and socially.
Council of Foriegn Relations
RAND corporation
Bank of England
North American Union
The Club of Rome
Committe of 300
Georgia Guidestones

Post 3
you've pretty much covered them all, bravo

Some sources for knowledge:

Bill Still: The money masters
Alex Jones
David Icke
Webster Tarpley
...and a host of others

a few good sites:
consciousmedia network.com
youtube.com (here you can search so many sources)
..the list goes on and on

The info is out there, intelligent, well documented and honest .
Most people will be shocked into cognitive dissonance

...but those who still have a few brain cells left not polluted by current media , entertainment and cultural obfuscation....will be enlightened

Post 4
Yup ... good data in these few threads.

Nothing happens by coincidence. There are those who will tell you not to look behind the curtain ... but time is getting late. Those voices who say there are no conspiracies have a stake is all.

... and yes, those who are new to this data will be shocked BUT they will also see WHY things have gone as they have these last many decades. Go ahead ... Look behind the curtain.

No one challenges these ideas on Huffington Post. Suddenly those of us who are attempting a rational examination of things have fallen through the rabbit hole into conspiracy hell. I spent some time this morning reading about the Georgia Stones, and their obvious connection with the New World Order....yikes!

Professor, I urge you to consider some alternate means of expressing what I consider very legitimate concerns. In my mind there are plenty of obvious, unambiguous, and overt examples of elites carrying out really evil schemes. I find no need to delve into other more nefarious and occult conspiracy notions. I think you should be aware of what you're tapping into, and try to do a better job differentiating yourself from those on the fringe who are rushing in to supposedly "complete" the "partial" picture you've painted, at least as far as they're concerned.

I believe there is a real danger in fanning these fires, a danger I wrestle with personally. If you conjure up this picture of this shadowy, very powerful group of people, who seem to have massive control over huge pieces of US and world culture, you run a huge risk. There are only a handful of responses to such a nebulous yet powerful threat.

One is a violent response on a scale large enough to bring such a behemoth to its knees. We have more than enough guns in this country in the hands of people who would love to use them. These folks are now showing up in numbers at the various "tea party" events, locked and loaded, and threatening to use their guns unless they get their way, say in the next election. The notion of a shadow elite feeds their irrational fears about a New World Order driven by some Evil Masonic/Illuminati cabal. As the comments above illustrate, for these folks, you haven't gone far enough.

A second response is powerlessness. The whole thing is way to big to deal with. Impotence can easily swing around into an extreme reaction in a time stress.

A third response, which I believe is your intent, is to begin some nonviolent, rational response to this inordinate accumulation of power by a few. I favor such an effort. Such a dialogue, however, must be held in a context that manages to resist both responses above.

I urge you to reconsider some of your rhetoric. I fear you're unwittingly pouring gasoline onto the wrong fires. I would like to propose the development of some forum where we can begin to actively discuss just how we can wrest this real power from these folks.

Monday, December 21, 2009


About a month ago, reports emerged about NBA games being fixed. Former referee Tom Donaghy, speaking on 60 Minutes, described in detail the manner in which he could predict the outcome of NBA games for his own gambling purposes. You can view the interviews here and here. In his book, "Blowing The Whistle," which ended up not being published, Donaghy said the following about famed NBA coach Dick Bavetta:
That very first time Jack and I bet on an NBA game, Dick [Bavetta] was on the court. The team we picked lost the game, but it covered the large point spread and that’s how we won the money. Because of the matchup that night, I had some notion of who might win the game, but that’s not why I was confident enough to pull the trigger and pick the other team. The real reason I picked the losing team was that I was just about certain they would cover the spread, no matter how badly they played. That is where Dick Bavetta comes into the picture.

From my earliest involvement with Bavetta, I learned that he likes to keep games close, and that when a team gets down by double-digit points, he helps the players save face. He accomplishes this act of mercy by quietly, and frequently, blowing the whistle on the team that’s having the better night. Team fouls suddenly become one-sided between the contestants, and the score begins to tighten up. That’s the way Dick Bavetta referees a game — and everyone in the league knew it.


Studying under Dick Bavetta for 13 years was like pursuing a graduate degree in advanced game manipulation. He knew how to marshal the tempo and tone of a game better than any referee in the league, by far. He also knew how to take subtle — and not so subtle — cues from the NBA front office and extend a playoff series or, worse yet, change the complexion of that series.
As a long time NBA fan, frankly I wasn't surprised by these revelations. I saw far too many games where it was clear the one team received an inordinate number of fouls in situations where it was also clear the both teams were doing things worthy of fouls. The things related above about Bavetta were also not difficult to see without knowing the facts above. Often a game would cruise along, sans fouls, until some point near the end of the game, when things would mysteriously grind to a near halt. The revelations that all of this was conscious on the part of the referees for various reasons shocked me, but didn't surprise me.

In a parallel realm, but with far more dire consequences, it should be increasingly clear to even casual observers that we Americans are Officially Fucked. Quite frankly, I've been too depressed to even write anything recently. The effort seems hopeless on so many levels. As we've watched the healthcare "debate" in DC, it should be obvious to anyone with a modicum of consciousness that the game is fixed. We saw, as an example, 30 Democratic Senators vote against an amendment to the healthcare bill that would have allowed Americans to purchase prescription drugs imported from Canada and elsewhere. We were told, point blank, that this happened due to White House pressure to make sure the agreement Obama made with Big Pharma didn't fall apart.

So our Senators voted against our interests. Meanwhile, they've created a legislative Frankenstein healthcare bill that won't go into force for four or more years. 2014. W.T.F......

Then last night I saw this piece on 60 Minutes:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

The population of Wilmington is about 12,000; the 60 Minutes report says they lost 10,000 jobs. 10,000. One can assume that the job losses, largely the result of DHL's decision to abandon its US market in 2008, affected a much larger population than Wilmington; but basically this move by DHL eliminated almost all the jobs in this small midwestern town.

As I watched this piece, I felt ill. As I am currently unemployed, it struck me as to how close such an eventuality is for me, and millions of other Americans. Fortunately my girlfriend is able to support us for now. Obviously, though, nothing is guaranteed. I live in the Detroit area, where the unemployment rate in the city proper approaches 50%. And none of this takes into account the mammoth psychological toll this places upon me and others. This year marks the first Christmas in my adult life I've been unemployed. I am simply not used to this. None of us are.

Are we all lemmings? Is the fact that our individual and collective interests are being sold out, piece by piece, by our own elected officials, something we are unable or unwilling to do anything about? Is the obvious fact that our own government is under the control of corporate interests, lobbyists hired by giant companies willing to pay or do anything to advance their own interests, something we all simply choose to ignore?

I've argued with friends about the conspiratorial nature of all this. I think that corporations are purposefully working to bring about the demise of the middle class in this country. And my opinion is shared now by even former U.S. Senators:
Who is against jobs in the United States? The big banks, Wall Street, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Roundtable, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, Corporate America, the President of the United States, Congress of the United States.
Stop for a moment and reflect on this statement. A former U.S. Senator claims that the President of the United States, Barack H. Obama, who I campaigned for, who campaigned on a promise of "change we can believe in", is against jobs. He then presents evidence of this fact. Very much like former NBA referee Donaghy, he points out what has been obvious for a long time to anyone wishing to see it.

Corporations bray about the fact the good management all gets down to a matter of results. Fine. If we look at the results of their management of company after company, particularly in the case of for-profit, publicly held, multinational corporations, is it difficult to see the results? When corporations move their factories from this country to elsewhere, with the result being entire towns, counties, states falling into massive unemployment with little hope of jobs returning at any time soon, while their stock price goes through the roof, what rational person can deny that this result isn't purposeful? When we see the stock price of insurance companies reach a 50-year high after the Senate announces its healthcare plan, do we really need any help to see who benefits from all this?

As I observe all this, it appears increasingly clear - which I hope is merely my fear - that no substantive change will take place here through civil means. The fix appears to be in. While the details of the conclusion of the game may be left somewhat to chance, like the NBA games alluded to above, the conclusion, the outcome, has already be decided. Can we muster any collective strength as our national hour of darkness increases to do anything that will right our ship? Or is our democratic experiment already over, and those of us who thought otherwise are fools? Are we all such lemmings, or will any consciousness on these vital areas awaken us to the point where we can wrest our destiny from the corporate overlords and leave a world for our children that is in some way better than the world we received?

The Obvious

Former Senator Fritz Hollings posted the following on Huffington Post. His brutal honesty makes the point I've been arguing about for some time. I quote his article in its entirety here without comment. More to come:

Who is against jobs in the United States? The big banks, Wall Street, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Roundtable, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, Corporate America, the President of the United States, Congress of the United States. Everyone is crying for jobs, but no one seems to understand why there aren't any. And the reason for those opposing jobs is money.

Beginning in 1973, big banks made most of their profit outside of the United States. Industries off-shoring, investing, banks financing the investments, transfer fees, fees and interest on the loans made for bigger profits. Long since, the big banks under the leadership of David Rockefeller have led the way to off-shore and make a bigger profit. Goldman Sachs, AIG, Citicorp and Wall Street, conspiring for a bailout and now using it for bonuses, make more money from the off-shored operations.

The Council on Foreign Relations ought to be renamed the Council on Making Money. A recent PEW poll reported fully 85% of Americans said that protecting United States jobs should be a top foreign policy priority. But only 21% of the Council on Foreign Relations agrees. Financial interests organized the Business Roundtable to continue off-shore investment and profit. The local Chamber is for Main Street America, but Tom Donahue and the United States Chamber have sold out to the financial interests and oppose jobs and producing in the United States. Thirty years ago, hundreds of thousands of Arrow shirts produced in China were a best seller in the United States. But at Christmastime, the Chinese supply ran short and the retail stores had to order the same shirt from New Jersey. They made 20% less profit on the New Jersey shirt. Retailers are all for profit from imports and against domestic production and jobs in America.

Corporate America would fight any initiative by the President, the Congress, or the government to create jobs in the United States. That is, production that faces competition offshore. In globalization, U. S. production can't make a profit, can't survive. Its competition will off-shore the same article for a lesser price, putting you out of business. Moreover, Corporate America doesn't have to bother with labor in China. The China government controls labor and you don't have to worry about a work stoppage or minimum wage. All they have is a maximum wage.

And Corporate America doesn't have to worry with clean air and clean water or the environment in China. Nor does it have to worry with OSHA and all of its safety rules. Many times the factory building is furnished and you don't have to worry with capital costs. If you make a profit, you can just reinvest it in an additional operation and not have to pay any U. S. income tax. If the operation fails, walk away with no legacy costs. Corporate America bitterly opposes its government protecting and strengthening the U. S. economy because producing again in America will put the executives back to work. They can send a Jaycee to China to watch the quality control daily and sit on the 32nd floor on Sixth Avenue with the internet, keeping check, and, leaving early for a massage and drinks. With production in China they don't have to work.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President dithered for months over the number of troops. But he can't equip the troops except for the favor of a foreign country. The War Production Act of 1950 requires the President to make sure that we can produce in- country those articles necessary for our national defense. Enforcing this law would limit the campaign contributions. Under Section 201 of the trade laws, the President is supposed to take action, like impose tariffs or quotas, when a certain production is endangered. Not only endangered, our automobile production has been bankrupted. But all the President does is give Detroit bailout welfare. The President doesn't want to limit the campaign contributions.

The same with Congress. Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota long ago tried to allocate the tax incentive for foreign jobs and production to domestic jobs and production. The Business Roundtable and the U. S. Chamber fought it like a tiger and killed it.

As the President said in his West Point talk, there is fierce competition in international trade and globalization. All countries move to protect and build their economies while the United States goes out of business. The one advantage that the U.S. has is its richest market in the world. It is fast becoming the poorest market and the U.S. is losing any clout to maintain a strong economy.

The economy is in the hands of Summers, Bernanke and Geithner. Campaign contributions are in the hands of David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel. The poor President is smart, diligent and working his head off campaigning. But he is inexperienced and not governing, and the Congress is in a Mexican standoff over an archaic filibuster rule that reveres democracy by the minority.

Of course, the media, which knows this and keeps it top secret, is owned by big business.

If I don't meet you in the breadline, my children will.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What He Said

Finally there are a few sane voices regarding the need for a different economic direction! In this clip, Representative Peter DeFazio brings up the obvious:

Yes, Timmy Geithner and Larry Summers DO need to go. I don't think this even begins to remedy the myriad problems with the economy; perhaps this would only be symbolic. After all, for every well-known name like either Geithner or Summers, there is a long list of other people, some of whom probably having even more influence than either of these fools. Clearly, as the daily Dow Jones average shows when compared with the unemployment figures, these people work for Wall Street, not Main Street.

That said, their removal will have little effect on the continual slide of the middle class in this country toward its seemingly inevitable demise. I sincerely hope that some cataclysmic event isn't necessary to produce some fundamental realignment in the United States. The prospects, however, do not look good....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We're All Slaves Now

An article on Talking Points Memo by blogger Saladin reflects similar thinking to mine. There is a comment posted by one commenter named peoplechoose that discusses the intentionality of this rise in debt.

I agree with the writer that this entire debt mess is intentional. I think it serves several purposes.

First of all, the vast accumulation of debt in this country has, in fact, already caused the demise of the middle class. Most people who call themselves "middle class" don't actually own much at all. Who do you know that actually owns their house and their car? In Michael Moore's recent Capitalism, A Love Story movie, he recounts how his father, working for AC Delco in Flint, MI, owned is house outright by the time Moore was four, and bought a new car every three years. What person in our time, working on stagnant wages that haven't gone up in more than a decade, can do that?

The student loan factor that Saladin discusses here is a key to this slide into servitude. By training young people that huge amounts of debt is the norm, the stage is set for successive moves on the debt game board. Once a young person is convinced that six figure debt is inevitable, even larger amounts of debt seem normal.

Secondly, I argue that this effort to normalize debt is intentional. The intention of this effort is manifold, but should be obvious. If we ask, who benefits from this huge mountain of debt, the answer is simple: for profit, publicly held corporations. This accumulation of debt serves their need for ever-rising stock prices. Additionally, if the middle class in this country collapses, then at some point in the future, corporations can re-sell us all this cool stuff again. First convince the Chinese they want to be like the US. We buy all their cool, cheap stuff and go into untold amounts of debt doing so. Our economy collapses under the weight while China prospers. Once we fall, these same corporations can flip the whole mess around....

Finally, this effort is profoundly undemocratic. As Kevin Phillips argued in his book, Wealth and Democracy, the tension between accumulation of vast amounts of wealth and the democratic impulse dates back before the founding of this Republic. The few who have accumulated these vast amounts of money have no real interest in democracy. An indentured body of citizens serves them well.

Please read this series of articles:

The Structures That Divide Us
The Mess of 2009, Part 1
The Mess of 2009, Part 2
The Mess of 2009, Part 3

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama Campaign Promises

So now the status quo forces begin to talk about the Left - again - as if we've lost our minds. Chris Matthews recently said this in a conversation on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell. (I'm sure that she and her husband never talk politics, and it never influences her reporting....)
Everybody is doing their politics here. She represents San Francisco and she represents, I know the Speaker's role. you have to respond to the nosiest elements in your caucus, and the most passionate and apparently, I assume just knowing the Democratic House, the voices she's hearing from every single day are the left who want out. Now this president never promised to get out of Afghanistan. And he's not gonna...

He never promised to pull out, that was the good war, the necessary war. Oh, by the way he never ran on the public option. Somebody's got to tell these people on the left and the netroots and some of our colleagues, yeah, he might like the idea of a public option, he may prefer it. He didn't run on it.
He didn't get elected for it. So this idea that he somehow betrayed a left wing mandate is nonsense.
Well, yes he did - this is from the PDF document, The Blueprint For Change - Barack Obama's Plan For America:

Quality, Affordable and Portable Coverage for All
(1) Obama’s Plan to Cover Uninsured
Obama will make available a new national health plan so all Americans, including the self-employed and small businesses, can buy affordable health coverage that is similar to the plan available to members of Congress.

The Obama Plan will have the Following Features:
Guaranteed Eligibility: No American will be turned away FROM ANY INSURANCE PLAN because of illness or pre-existing conditions.
Comprehensive Benefits: The benefit package will be similar to that offered through Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the plan members of Congress have. The plan will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity and mental health care.
Affordable Premiums, Co-Pays and Deductibles.
Subsidies: Individuals and families who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP but still need financial assistance will receive an income-related federal subsidy to buy into the new public plan or purchase a private health care plan.
Simplified Paperwork and Reined in Health Costs.
Easy Enrollment: The new public plan will be simple to enroll in and provide ready access to coverage.
Portability and Choice: Participants in the new public plan and the National Health Insurance Exchange (see below) will be able to move from job to job without changing or jeopardizing their health care coverage.
Quality and Efficiency: Participating insurance companies in the new public program will be required to report data to ensure that standards for quality, health information technology and administration are being met.
This document was circulated widely by the Obama campaign. Some might argue that nowhere does this document champion a "public option." If this description isn't about an optional public plan, I don't know what is. The accompanying quote from an Obama campaign speech spells it out:
“We now face an opportunity – and an obligation – to turn the page on the failed politics of yesterday’s health care debates.... My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less. If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law. No one will be turned away because of a preexisting condition or illness.”
--Barack Obama, Speech in Iowa City, IA, May 29, 2007

This was the change we could believe in. Those of us who now expect the President to keep his word are not the left wing nuts that the MSM portrays us as. The President's words are clear and unambiguous. Mr. President, keep your word.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Economic Voodoo

As I've written in several places earlier, the rise of debt in the United States, and elsewhere has had profoundly negative effects on various parts of the American psyche. I've argued that we Americans have been seduced into thinking that debt is neutral, or perhaps good. I've also pointed out the obvious fact (at least obvious after some reflection) that corporations have made a conscious effort to convince us that debt is a good thing, that the world will come to an end, or perhaps fall off its axis, if we don't take on more and more debt. I've also pointed out that the move toward more and more debt produces slavery, rather than the freedom pronounced in commercial after commercial by Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, etc. This slavery, I contend, is intentional, and produces a dramatic dampening effect on the force of democracy here and elsewhere. People who are in debt slavery are resistant to efforts to rock the boat. If you have a huge amount of debt, maintenance of the status quo is crucial to keeping the status quo.

I have also stated my ongoing concern about the pronouncements from the Obama administration regarding our economy, and the fact that the same ship of fools that got us into this mess are hard at work now within the Obama White House. In last few days, some additional analysis of some of the President's recent comments on our economic travails. Referring back to a speech the President gave in April 2009, economist Steve Keen points out an obvious fact. First here's the speech, with the section in question:
Of course, there are some who argue that the government should stand back and simply let these banks fail – especially since in many cases it was their bad decisions that helped create the crisis in the first place. But whether we like it or not, history has repeatedly shown that when nations do not take early and aggressive action to get credit flowing again, they have crises that last years and years instead of months and months – years of low growth, low job creation, and low investment that cost those nations far more than a course of bold, upfront action. And although there are a lot of Americans who understandably think that government money would be better spent going directly to families and businesses instead of banks – "where's our bailout?," they ask – the truth is that a dollar of capital in a bank can actually result in eight or ten dollars of loans to families and businesses, a multiplier effect that can ultimately lead to a faster pace of economic growth.
In these words, President Obama spells out the strategy of bailing out the financial institutions that got us into this mess, rather than directly giving money to individual Americans. Read it carefully. Can you spot the problem with this strategy?

Steve Keen makes this statement of the obvious, once you discover the fly in the ointment:

This argument comes straight out of the neoclassical economics textbook. Fortunately, due to the clear manner in which Obama enunciates it, the flaw in this textbook argument is vividly apparent in his speech. This “multiplier effect” will only work if American families and businesses are willing to take on yet more debt: “a dollar of capital in a bank can actually result in eight or ten dollars of loans”. So the only way the roughly US$1 trillion of money that the Federal Reserve has injected into the banks will result in additional spending is if American families and businesses take out another US$8-10 trillion in loans. What are the odds that this will happen, when they already owe more than they have ever owed in the history of America? …

Our President, who I voted for and campaigned for in the 2008 election, presents me with a gift I must refuse: more debt. He states that for all of this to succeed, we all must go into debt yet more! Be it a business or an individual, the only way for this economic stimulus to work as planned is if, for every dollar given to a lending institution, we all borrow ten times as much!

I, for one, must just say "NO" to this idea. Not only is it a bad financial idea, it is also bad for our democracy. Keen argues, and I think convincingly, that money given to consumers would have a far more positive effect on the economy than the Bernanke/Geithner/Summers plan for us all to go directly to debtor hell. I argue, further, that, in addition to the economic travail produced by more and more and more debt, that our democracy will falter yet further, that Americans will feel more and more inslaved - and more and more powerless - if they mount up more and more debt, which appears to be the plan, in the President's own words.

This is a very bad idea. These people are playing with fire. We've seen recently that a certain segment of the American population already feels that our socialist, communist, Marxist, Kenyan undocumented worker president (their fears, not mine) will do from the inside what Osama bin Laden tried from the outside on 9/11. They already carry signs suggesting that the next time they show up that they may do something with all those guns they own.

Now the economic idiots, who are apparently very bright folks, think we should take on more debt? This is a very bad idea. Debt slavery will only add more fuel to this fire. It will produce the mentality of slaves among those who take on more debt. And slaves will, at some point rise up and throw off their chains.

This is exactly what we don't need. I will give President Obama the benefit of the doubt on this; however, perhaps he's thinking too much like the other wealthy white guys he's surrounded himself with. Perhaps the President needs a refresher course on what it's like in the neighborhood his Chicago house is in. You can be sure that most of those folks are already feeling that things have not gone well economically. The more that the average American senses that his or her government is operating for the advantage of a select few rather than the people at large, the greater the threat that those left out will find less peaceful means to resolve their grievances.

And that is something to avoid at all costs.