The River

Friday, January 18, 2008

Winger Wars, and the bloated MIC that markets them, have a price tag

Now, Bush, our Debt Junkie-in-Chief, needs another fix. The US Treasury, Citibank, Merrill-Lynch and other financial desperados need another hand-out from Abdullah’s stash. Abdullah, in turn, gets this financial juice by pumping it out of our pockets at nearly $100 a barrel for his crude.

Bush needs the Saudis to charge us big bucks for oil. The Saudis can’t lend the US Treasury and Citibank hundreds of billions of US dollars unless they first get these US dollars from the US. The high price of oil is, in effect, a tax levied by Bush but collected by the oil industry and the Gulf kingdoms to fund our multi-trillion dollar governmental and private debt-load.

-- Greg Palast

More on the Military Industrial Complex, Zionist-Israeli, neoliberal, New World Order, right-wing, left-wing, corporate-sponsored, Republican-Democrat debacle:

It's funny in a way. The Bush administration has been warned repeatedly about the disastrous effects of their supply side theories. Of course, they brushed off their critics and carried on with the plundering until they hit a roadblock. Now they're running around in circles trying to find some way to stop the bleeding. Good luck.

Remember the $2 trillion wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) that could be paid for with “unfunded” tax cuts to the rich?

Remember the cuts to capital gains and corporate taxes that were supposed to “trickle down” to working class Americans creating more jobs and making us all more prosperous?

Remember the low interest rates that were supposed to create Bush's “ownership society” that, in fact, generated the greatest speculative frenzy in real estate in American history?

Remember Dick Cheney's brusque assurance that, “deficits don't matter”?

Remember the myriad corporate giveaways, the lavish “no bid” contracts, and deregulated subprime shenanigans that were supposed to “grow the economy” and strengthen our markets?

The system is failing because it was designed to fail. The impending economic crisis is no accident, but the predictable outcome of deeply flawed policies that are thrusting the country towards a 1930s-type catastrophe.

-- Mike Whitney

I don't agree with Palast, and not sure that I agree more with Whitney. Reason being, the system was not designed to fail at all. It's just failing, and taking an impressive amount of time to do it. Supply Siders and the Chicago School very much believed their own bullshit and have gone to great efforts, over and over, attempting to prove it right. Their magic bullet ideas were picked up because they attracted amoral hucksters who wanted them to be true.

Many observant people can see the loopholes opened by consistently applied idiotic policies, and they take full advantage. This philosophy of economics is being gamed by legally protected entities like knights gamed the chivalric code, like priests gamed the Catholic Church, like aristocrats gamed the Divine Right of Kings.

Not one of those systems was designed to fail, but at first was an honest intellectual attempt to apply a more efficient and equitable principle to policy. They were just all, each in its own way, wrong.

I do believe the country is being thrust into something perilously like a 1930s-style catastrophe. The bail-outs of last summer became those of last fall, which are becoming those of this winter, and each time the number grows.

The junkie-in-chief, his minions, citizens, consumers and 99.9% financial professionals and media do not understand, have forgotten, a couple of simple principles: banks have to woo the people who have the money, because this is what banks do; it just happens to be Asians and Arabs. I guess deficits do matter, Mr. Dick. And the Law of Diminishing Returns most definitely applies to stimulus, particularly when banks and "consumers" (a.k.a. people) are scared.
Yes, and isn't "stimulus" defined as "exciting to fleeting state of something or other"? And won't we need a bigger hit in no time at all?

Re: system designed to fail: It seems to me the manipulation of the system is designed to have the system fail. Once again, as with Iraq, it's not so much incompetence, idiocy or mismanagement as the act of letting the people suffer catastrophe as the path to looting. The system can be most easily gamed during times of chaos rather than times of stability. Iraq is the extreme example, but it's SOP for America as well. The only resistance then is not so much political as mob/crowd control, which happens to be Cheney's specialty and a lucrative market. It's the dark side, if you will. Lawless, predatory capitalism.
No, no, Bruce. It's not lawless. It's just deregulated. ;-)

Yeah, my main beef with Palast and Whitney is over language and clarity. Eventually the robber knights took over in the 1300s, the Borgias controlled the Catholic popes, and these systems began to fail right around that time. Here we've got rogue CEOs going back subverting government. The system is late-stage, being looted, but it was not designed to fail. The abuse is in overshoot mode, so there will be push-back.

I want better thinking out of good writers like these guys because I don't have the frigging time nor the audience to state a meaningful case. They have both.
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