Yesterday it really hit me. It wasn’t one thing. It wasn’t a certain number or graph, and you won’t find any in this essay. It was the zeitgeist. It was seeing the look on peoples faces. People’s faces who have been briefed, people’s faces who truly understand this stuff.
We are in deeep shit.
The financial crisis is not just a financial crisis…it is a FINANCIAL CRISIS!!!
The problem, as far as perception and understanding goes, is that Bush manufactured crisis after crisis. Cried wolf at the drop of the hat. Over and over and over in order to plunge the nation into fear and thus docility and made ‘us’ controllable. Heck Bush even had a fear meter, the Terror Alert System, where he could communicate to us how afraid we should be. When it was politically advantageous for him. Experts were trotted out, ‘paid’ experts in the case of the Military Analyst scandal, to scare us into docility as Bush pushed his purely political and ideological agenda on the world. As he tortured and murdered and had the NSA spy on us to make sure we were docile. And spied on journalists, to make sure that the nominal Guardians of Truth were docile as well. The upshot of all this Wolf yelling was, as is the moral of the story, that we became inured to fear mongering at the hands of government pronouncements.
So at least for me, when the talk of a new great depression started a while ago, I discounted it….at least somewhat. I have stopped doing that now.
I mean I KNEW in my bones that the highest agenda of the Bush Administration was to loot the government. It is what the Republicans do, as they call for smaller government. They pass laws and make appointments and fete lobbyists and line up like kids when the ice cream truck comes to feed at the trough of “Big Government” they profess to hate. It’s always the same. Cut social programs and increase defense spending, since just coincidentally, all of the defense contractors are Republican cronies who have greased the skids since before I was born.
With Bush though, there was a crucial difference. The Bush team was both greedier….and stupider…than previous Republican Administrations.
And due to the incompetence that they so prodigiously displayed in every aspect of their eight year Reign of Terror….instead of merely looting the treasury and the economy, they have destroyed it. They went to steal cookies out of the cookie jar and broke it instead. They force fed the Golden Goose and killed it to get the pate, instead of just stealing the Golden Eggs like their predecessors.
Which is not to say of course that the SMART Republicans don’t have a plan to make huge gobs of wealth off of a depression as well. Many people argue that the Ruling Class manufacture these cycles to make money of off the giant swings of the economy, and it is tough to argue that. Since they control it. Though of course “Responsible People” can’t say that out loud.
That would be ….gasp….Class War. It would be ‘alarmist.’ It would be …wait for it….fear mongering, to say that the Republican Depression we are currently plummeting into has been directly caused by greedy Republicans in the Ruling Class creating and profiting of off deregulated, manufactured ‘bubbles’ and Ponzi Schemes.
Even though it keeps happening every time the Republicans are in power. It MUST be just coincidence that financial downturns and crises and recessions and depressions follow Republican Administrations around like dogs. Then Democrats come in and, such as in Clinton’s case, fix the damage and produce surpluses. Which the next Republican Administration then helps the Ruling Class steal.
In contrast, Barack Obama seems to actually care about something besides increasing the already ginormous Income Inequality. But then he is a Democrat, not a
crook Republican. As George Lakoff says in his MUST read diary at Daily Kos he actually has the empathy gene that the Republicans so obviously lack, the lack of which allows them to rob and steal and kill and torture and sow hate and division and still sleep well at night on their silken sheets, with never even a thought for those that they have destroyed.
Obama is trying to NOT get people to panic. He is trying to BUILD confidence among all of us, instead of destroying it by using the power of the presidency and the power of government for the Greater Good instead of personal, ideological, and political power.
The Republicans cannot even understand that concept.
Which is why they have created, almost intentionally, The Great Republican Depression of the early 21st Century. Things just sort of …got out of hand …as they looted the economy this time.
And that is why, in the face of a truly scary reality, they are denying said reality, and are obstructing EVERY attempt to ameliorate The Great Republican Depression in favor of yet MORE ideologically driven destruction of the American and world economy.
Words, metaphors, numbers and charts fail to communicate just how bad of a FINANCIAL CRISIS!!! the Republicans have plunged us into and are resisting each and every attempt to fix. In what is perhaps THE most irresponsible example of putting politics and ideology over the Common Good in modern history.
The closest thing I can find to express my growing horror are the words of George Soros, a guy who knows a thing or two about money,
NEW YORK – Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis.
Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.
He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system.
“We witnessed the collapse of the financial system,” Soros said at a Columbia University dinner. “It was placed on life support, and it’s still on life support. There’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom.”
At this point in my usual routine of essay writing, I would say “we must do this” or “we must do that.” I don’t have any “we must dos” for this one. Not on the small everyday action scale. In the larger picture though, we must do what we can to support the new Moral Code that Lakoff sees Obama slowly and carefully trying to implement and impose over the Republican Moral code that we have in effect lived in and under since Reagan and Gordon Gecko in the 80’s.
Obama is not perfect and he by no means gets a pass on any mistakes or policies. But by God, he really does appear to at least have a clue as to how to defeat the Republican Moral Code of Death, Torture and Theft. And since I don’t, he has my full support in his long slow fight.
Back in 2006 as the Primaries were just heating up, I remember saying in a comment on Dkos that things were so bad that “History owes us a Hero.” I think we got one. Not perfection, not some Golden God, but nonetheless a Hero.