Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From ZH, a cycnical hope

steveo here--unless the rule of law, and hopefully the Constitution is brought back, there can be little hope, in the below hope.

The US survived many bank induced crashes in the 1800s, we survived the civil war, and even though they're is still animosity and descendants of the former slaves suffered a hundred more years of tyranny, terror and apartheid-like discrimination, we survived. Via movements and using the government to protect people, women, black folk were able to secure more equal treatment and the vote, even when government had previously protected unequal treatment. We survived the rise of Trusts, Monopolies, using our government as a tool to break them, keep markets competitive. We survived the great depression, using our govt to clean up markets, make them more transparent and less prone to fraud, and providing a social safety net. After the great deporession we experienced a long period of not just amazing GDP growth, but a period when average working class people who had been horribly poor shared enormously in the GDP, wher one man with a HS education could easily find a job and support a family in a nice middle class lifestyle, expecting even a nice pension when he retired.
We still have horrible problems, just a partial list:
- the middle class is diminishing and being gutted by cost of housing, education, health care and by declining wages, nagging unemployment
- Poverty is back on the rise.
- Few will have secure retirements.
- Corruption of our government is at all new heights, as evidenced by unaudited money flowing to still expanding big banks, big defense contractors, big private prisons.
- Presidents can declare war at will with little, to no, democractic controls, with only one recent military action ever being banned specifically by Congress - the counterinsirgenncy in Nicaragua - and even that was subverted by executive branch..
- The bias of law enforcement, coming down heavily on regular people in oppressive searches and for petty crimes or even completely legal actions like assembly and free speech while elites, mainly bankers, are all allowed to commit massive fraud and theft unpunished, under to the Too Big to Prosecute motto.
- Horrible racial bias of our police making many black and Latino neighborhoods, schools seem more like prisons and police states than free communities. While black and Latinos are proven in study after study to do drugs no more, and often less than whites, they are hounded, arrested, charged, sentenced for drug crimes at rates embarrassingly far greater than whites. In NYC, while truly conscious evil people plot the next devious way to steal grandma's savings, to skim money off of any financial transaction, to avoid ever paying a dime of taxes, who go uninvestigated, unpunished on Wall Street, a few miles away, regular black folks walking down street get stopped and frisked with no probable cause needed.
- we have horribly high Debt to GDP to debt ratio, run up mostly becuase of unwillingness to pay as we went for our priorities and putting bloated corruption ridden programs on the credit card. These include a massively expensive pills for seniors program that was totally corrupt because ut allowed Pharma to charge US two to twenty times for price of drugs compared to what they sold for in global market place. Defencse and wars were out on credit card, even while taxes were cut, especially for rich. And the current solution proposed to adrees this mess is not o return to tax regime we had when erased our deficit, not cut bloated corrupt defense spending but rather to gut the programs that regular people actually paid for in advance, including transportation trust fund paid by gas taxes, Social Security, paid for by FICA taxes, for decades taking in far more in taxes than being spent to pileup nest egg inevitably needed when boomers paying these taxes would retire, a trust find that is currently solvent til 2036. These programs, paid for by regular wage earning people, for programs for regular people are to be gutted, while tax rates for rich are to be ever decreasing, and big businesses forever supported with big wasteful, corrupt federal spending.
- Wall Street corruption and the very unpublic, undemocractucally controlled FED.....
We have faced as worse, and we still have improved our lot. We have never achieved completely equal protection under the law and true democracy for all,, we have never completely wiped out our govt debt, we have never ended fraud and corruption, but we have made it through to periods of prosperity and increasing democracy, waning corruption.
We can make it through this. We can't deny how bad it is. It is likely even worse than many of us realize. But we also have more power and ability to improve things than many of us realize. Being aware how bad it is, is a first step, acting on this in strategic and organized/united fashion is second step. In spite of horrible corruption, in spite of police and military might, people can and do prevail.
Think cynically, act hopefully.

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Insightful and Useful Comment!