July 14, 2011
The View from the Top

We look back at the Great Depression and out the window at our present one, and wonder why we never seem to learn from our mistakes. At the cycle of deficits and income inequality and again wonder why. At Vietnam and Iraq and wonder why. Are we blind? Amnesiacs? Idiots?

If an individual citizen presented with symptoms so repetitive and self-destructive, no psychiatrist would hesitate to pronounce him, in laymanís terms, crazy. Why canít they ó the conservatives of both parties ó ever learn?

This, though, is to misunderstand matters. They have learned. The disasters brought on so predictably and persistently by Republican administrations were not, in their view, deplorable. They were, and are, great victories.

From the GOPís point of view both Reaganís and George W. Bushís stewardships of the economy were not failures, but wildly successful. Wages stayed flat or dropped, unions were busted, public and private debt skyrocketed. Good news everywhere you looked ó if you were a stock gambler or an asset-stripping takeover artist or a money lender. Jobs lost to assembly lines in China, call centers in India? Marvelous. Pointless and endless wars? Godís in his heaven, allís right with the world. Without war what would become of war profiteers?

What would become of the rest of us, you ask? Who cares. Weíve got ours, Jack. And yours, too.



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 14, 2011 08:04 PM
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The difference, as always, is the conscious destruction of the Communist Party in the 1950s, so that the American Left, the humanists, even the decent liberals, such as they are, have no leadership at all, no direction, no movement to take part in. I have no idea how to get it back.

Posted by: John Shannon on July 14, 2011 9:51 PM

This post reminds me of the opening scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

There the two apes attack their neighbor and take his food and tools and other things and kill him with a rock. Two Republicans no doubt.

Posted by: Buck on July 15, 2011 9:11 AM

Your picture is an insult to chimpanzees everywhere.

Posted by: Special Ed on July 15, 2011 12:48 PM

They aren't done yet.

The big corporations in the US are sitting on almost $2 trillion in cash.

There is, at least, $2 trillion sitting off-shore in "unfindable" tax

Now, if the debt default occurs, the price of US government bonds is going to drop like a rock.

When the price reaches maybe $0.25 per dollar of face value, then the money will reappear. Buy up bonds low. Then resume paying on the bonds bringing them back up to par. Super rich, rich, politicians, bankers will get insanely wealthy.

Then those $4 trillion dollars will go up to $16 trillion instantly.

Think about the bonuses the hedge funders and the corporate executives will get for a 400 percent return on $4 trillion to $16 trillion.

After all those at the lower end will pay taxes to pay off those bonds. They will put their full faith and credit, their sweat and their assets up for collateral for the payoff.

Now would the US government screw the 99 percent?

When the new Republic finally got up and running in the 1790s, the government rapidly accumulated a lot of gold from import duties on foreign goods.

The Rebellion was paid for with paper scrip known as "shin plasters."

When there was enough gold in the Treasury to redeem all of the scrip at face value, "shin plasters" traded at $0.12 to $0.15 on the face value.

So Alexander Hamilton talked George Washington into sending out agents for them personally (and some other politicians that were in on the scam.) Their agents bought all they could with the cash that they could raise.

Then they redeemed all in gold.

These were not a couple of two-bit chisling hustlers like now, these were the "Founding Fathers."

My version of a conspiracy theory. However, it has happened before.

Posted by: evil is evil on July 15, 2011 1:42 PM

Mmmmmmmmm ... fresh bell peppers!

Posted by: Tim on July 15, 2011 2:22 PM
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