The Gangster Economy

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

(Cross-posted at Wild Wild Left)

I’m told that discussing the issues is important.  I’m told it matters.  But what good does discussing the issues do when the politicians in Washington don’t give a damn about the issues?  All they care about is expanding corporate power so the corporate thugs they work for will reward them.  It doesn’t matter what the issue is, they twist and distort it until it can be used as a pretext and justification for maximizing corporate profits and increasing corporate control over everything.

If you’re one of the few Americans who has a dollar left in your pocket, take a look at it . . .  

in greed we trust, gree, economic crisis, economic downturn, economy is down, capitalism, failed capitalism, media, media influence Pictures, Images and Photos

I hope that clarifies the issues for you.  

It explains why . . .

Much of the beef you eat has been exposed to fecal matter in processing. Your chicken has been contaminated with salmonella.  Your stock animals and poultry have been pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics.  In most other countries, the government would act to protect consumers from this sort of thing; in the United States, the government is bought off by industry to prevent any effective regulations or inspections.

In a few years, the majority of all the produce for sale in the United States will be from genetically modified crops, thanks to the cozy relationship between Monsanto Corporation and the United States government. Worse still, due to the vast quantities of high-fructose corn syrup Americans consume, fully one-third of children born in the United States today will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives.

Has discussing the issues prevented any of that?  


Has it prevented any of this?

It’s not just the food that’s killing you, it’s the drugs.  If you show any sign of life when you’re young, they’ll put you on Ritalin.  Then, when you get old enough to take a good look around, you’ll get depressed, so they’ll give you Prozac. Meanwhile, your steady diet of trans-fat-laden food is guaranteed to give you high cholesterol, so you’ll get a prescription for Lipitor.  Finally, at the end of the day, you’ll lay awake at night worrying about losing your health plan, so you’ll need Lunesta to go to sleep.

Sleep is important.  It provides nightly opportunities for you to forget about all the fecal matter, salmonella, growth hormones, antibiotics, Prozac, Lipitor, and Lunesta in your system.

Did discussing the issues prevent BushCo from raping America and everyone in it for 8 years? Did discussing the issues get real healthcare reform passed?  Did discussing the issues prevent the Supreme Court from vaporizing what was left of American democracy with their Citizens United ruling?


Do America and the world a favor, progressives, haul your asses into the streets.  You can discuss the issues there, where it might actually have an impact.    

You aren’t ready to do that yet?

Then perhaps you should read this . . .

Birmingham became the poster child for a new kind of giant-scale financial fraud, one that would threaten the financial stability not only of cities and counties all across America, but even those of entire countries like Greece. While for many Americans the financial crisis remains an abstraction, a confusing mess of complex transactions that took place on a cloud high above Manhattan sometime in the mid-2000s, in Jefferson County you can actually see the rank criminality of the crisis economy with your own eyes; the monster sticks his head all the way out of the water.

The destruction of Jefferson County reveals the basic battle plan of these modern barbarians, the way that banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have systematically set out to pillage towns and cities from Pittsburgh to Athens. These guys aren’t number-crunching whizzes making smart investments; what they do is find suckers in some municipal-finance department, corner them in complex lose-lose deals and flay them alive.

This is a gangster economy.  

The families of workers killed in the West Virginia mine explosion know it . . .

They are beginning to bury their loved ones, as residents speak out against Massey Energy and government regulators responsible for the disaster.  In an especially vindictive move, Massey refused to allow miners time off so that they can attend the funerals of their coworkers.

Massey has everything a mine operator could want. They buy off judges and have political connections. They disregard safety rules and get away with it.  They make sure that an honest man will never last long as a safety inspector and maintain a blacklist of people who it will not hire. Speaking out against the company will affect not just a worker, but also his relatives and family members. Workers said that the police would not defend their families against even the most blatant robbery. The main role of the police, they said, was to protect company property.

And we cannot defend ourselves against even the most blatant corporate robbery because the main role of the government is to protect corporate property and profits.

This is a gangster economy.  Every politician in Washington damn well knows it.  But they will never do anything about it unless the streets of that crime syndicate they call a capital are filled with Americans who finally understand that discussing the issues hasn’t accomplished a fucking thing, who finally understand that nothing is ever going to change unless there are massive protests in the streets, unless there is civil disobedience on a scale this country has never seen before.  

I’m told that will never happen.

By progressives who like to discuss the issues.

While they dig for coal in this nationwide mine, while everyone they know digs for coal in this nationwide mine, owned by CEO’s who buy off judges and have political connections, who violate the law and get away with it,  who tell us every day with every action they take that our lives don’t matter, that no one’s life matters, that all that matters is corporate profit.

We can stay down here forever . . .

mine face Pictures, Images and Photos

Or we can get out of this mine before it blows up, we can tell those mine bosses in Washington that our lives matter, we can tell them that in the streets, we can keep telling them that until this gangster economy is gone and we have an economy, a democracy, a political system and a government based on justice and equality instead of greed and exploitation.    


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  1. For everyone working in this coal mine that used to be the United States of America.

    Somewhere down the road, you’ll understand . . .

    Put a word in for us if you can.

    • Edger on April 16, 2010 at 5:05 am

    did a song about dealing with gubmint agents…

  2. Inverted Totalitarianism. Check it out, some well made observations.

  3. What’s interesting to me is they’re killing off the foundations that sustains and drives the “gangster economy”.

    I’m finding developments of the present very interesting indeed.  Who and what will they tax to try to sustain this “economy”.  It is very apparent they won’t touch the Military Industrial Complex.  They won’t go after the money, where the money actually is.  Democrats, even when they mean well, are too hesitant and too fearful to go to the source.

    We’re in a mode of sustaining a dying empire and the robber baron class that comes with a dying empire.  Sooner or later, all the money in the world won’t pay for one more year of aircraft carriers, predator drone strikes and military adventures where you go see the world, see interesting new places, meet interesting new people, and kill them.

    I think we should march.  I also think that slowly and steadily the foundation needs to be laid for a completely new type of community and economy.  

    I was thinking about something else interesting or at least interesting TO ME.  You know that dollar bill on your diary?  This is the medium of exchange, and the medium of exchange is the tool by which the gangster economy you speak of RUNS.

    Now, if you listen to econ 101, they will talk about things like barter economies.  People make goods, and exchange them for other goods in a vast marketplace.  Money is only created to ensure convenience, because it’s too inconvenient and expensive to lug 50 tomatoes to the bar when you want to buy BEER.

    And they’ve done their very best to ensure that alternate means of exchange cannot possibly be established.  But I was thinking.  We have computer systems now.  We can establish databases of a scale and a complexity that could make, for example, a barter economy actually WORK.  And you wouldn’t have to carry around money, and you wouldn’t need an alternate means or at least denomination of exchange.  Essentially, you buy and sell goods and services in a community marketplace, which functions a great deal like a stock market except the idea is not to profit but to provide relevant services and deliver those goods and services to the people who need them.  

    The value of goods and services is codified and updated (and this codification is tightly regulated), but what happens is the value of the goods and services you contribute is on a card.  This card, in effect, represents your alternate economy card, and the idea is to get everything on this card.  It’s not like a credit card, in that there is no credit card agency and no fees and no banks, per se, only the sum total value of the goods and services in the alternate marketplace.

    There are, however, no banks, and the value of the computerized barter system is limited to the amount of effort put into by those who maintain the system (i.e. their salaries and infrastructure, nothing else).

    Basically, the idea is to establish and build up this SHIELD, which is walled off and immune to depredation by the “gangster” economy you speak of.  At first, it would be weak.  You could pump it with money, but any money pumped in by the larger economy would automatically deprecate in value to its essential true worth .. so if you were in essence a capitalist and you put money into this alternate economy with funds like dollar bills, you would immediately lose money.   There is no interest and no profit inherent in the system, though (basically, prohibited), and it interacts with the larger economy at a deliberate loss.  

  4. thats just great.

    Im still riffin’ off edger’s star trek reference yesterday (and sipping first coffee)… lol.

    Kobayashi Maru..

    A no-win situation caused by a set of rules that can only be won by changing the rules, in effect, cheating.

    then theres…

    A true warrior fights to the death and would rather be killed than taken hostage – an act which brings dishonor on himself and his family for three generations. Their most important historic symbol of leadership, Kahless, said Klingons should fight not just to spill blood but to enrich the spirit. Their scientists are not highly regarded in the culture. Shattering the cranial exoskeleton at the tricipital lobe brings instant death.

    In the traditional sense, the Klingon people hold honor above life – although as with any culture, high-level politics and personal gain get in the way. In Klingon culture, lower-ranked officers consider it a duty to kill off a superior who is perceived as weak.


    Guess Ill grab some more coffee….

    great essay, as always, Rustymahn.

  5. What part of depopulated nature preserve did you not understand.

    Georgia Guidestones

    Then Invisible Empire.


    And yes, very sad about all of us coalminers.

  6. through the ruling elite: Egyptians, Sumerians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Europeans, Americans, Mohammedans, etc. The last 10,000 years are a blink of an eye.

    Under the veneer of our modern contrivances that showcase our insularity from the natural world, we find the same, ancient fear that cannot be put to rest: The fear of the unknown and death.

    We fight these fears by being prepared to kill them, and then killing them when necessary. Since we can’t literally kill ideas, we kill, encarcerate or torture the next best thing. We’ve managed to do pretty well with tigers, sharks, poisonous snakes etc, but have failed miserably with outselves.

    Getting rich, buying castles, riding chariots and clothing ourselves in jewels and perfume have been (and appears to continue to be) the best way to keep undesirable thoughts at a safe distance. Our history is twisted like a pretzel. Why should not our thinking be also?

  7. Gangster government period. It’s out of order. Will we hit the streets? I don’t really know depends I think on how arrogant, stupid and greedy they get with their crimes against the people here and globally. The tipping point does come it always does. Community is the only solution. Fearing them just makes us powerless. Hitting the streets may not come until everyone gets screwed a critical mass with nothing to lose, so to speak. Meanwhile you can stop giving them consent and stop all support and yell louder. It’s obvious that they are not going to provide people with anything other then debt,death, poison and misery, so why not just invest and build our own ‘economy’. The best we can, local and global.          

  8. but that would require working people rediscovering the idea of solidarity, that going it alone and “looking our for #1” will never work for us.  At the same time, it’s exactly that atomized, alienated hyper-individualism which gets pounded into our heads from every side as a virtue, swelling our heads so that our wallets and our lives can be emptied.  Sad to say, though, that as much as I know this is the answer, that we don’t need to be helpless, perpetual prey for exploiters and oppressors, I’m completely out of ideas how to make any difference in the road we’re on.

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