By Linda Monk
The Crash of 2008, which is now wiping out trillions of dollars of
our people's wealth, is, like the Crash of 1929, likely to mark the
end of one era and the onset of another.
The new era will see a more sober and much diminished America .
The "Omnipower" and "Indispensable Nation" we heard about in all
the hubris and braggadocio following our Cold War victory is
Seizing on the crisis, the left says we are witnessing the failure
of market economics, a failure of conservatism.
That is absolute nonsense!
What we are witnessing is the collapse of Gordon Gecko ("Greed Is
Good!") capitalism. We are witnessing what happens to a prodigal
nation that ignores history, and forgets and abandons the
philosophy and principles that made it great.
A true conservative (Rep or Dem) cherishes prudence and believes in
fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets and a self-reliant
republic. He/she believes in saving for retirement and a rainy day,
in deferred gratification, in not buying on credit what you cannot
afford, in living within your means.
Is that really what got Wall Street and us into this mess -- that
we followed too religiously the gospel of Robert Taft and Russell
"Government must save us!" cries the left, as ever. Yet, who got us
into this mess if not the government -- the Fed with its easy
money, Bush with his profligate spending, and Congress and the SEC
by liberating Wall Street and failing to step in and stop the
drunken orgy? For years, we Americans have spent more than we
earned. We save nothing. Credit card debt, consumer debt, auto
debt, mortgage debt, corporate debt -- all are at record levels.
And with pensions and savings being wiped out, much of that debt
will never be repaid. Our standard of living is inevitably going
Foreign countries and foreigners themselves will not forever buy
our bonds or lend us more money if they rightly fear that they will
be paid back, if at all, in cheaper dollars. We are going to have
to learn to live again within our means.
THE PARTY'S OVER!
Up through World War II, we followed the Hamiltonian idea that
America must remain economically independent of the world in order
to remain politically independent. But this generation decided that
was yesterday's bromide and we must march bravely forward into a
Global Economy, where we all depend on one another.
American companies morphed into "Global Companies" and moved plants
and factories to Mexico , Asia, China , and India , and we began
buying more cheaply from abroad what we used to make at home:
shoes, clothes, bikes, cars, radios, TVs, planes, computers, etc.
As the trade deficits began inexorably to rise to 6 percent of GDP,
(gross domestic product), we began vast borrowing from abroad to
continue buying from abroad.
At home, propelled by tax cuts, war in Iraq and an explosion in
social spending, surpluses vanished and deficits reappeared and
began to rise.
The dollar began to sag and sink, and gold began to soar. Yet,
still, the promises of the politicians come.
Barack Obama will give us national health insurance and tax cuts
for all but that 2 percent of the nation that already carries 50
percent of the federal income tax load. John McCain was going to
cut taxes, expand the military, move NATO into Georgia and Ukraine,
confront Russia and force Iran to stop enriching uranium or "bomb,
bomb, bomb," with Joe Lieberman as wartime consigliore.
Who are we kidding?
What we are witnessing today is how empires end. The last
Superpower is unable to defend its borders, protect its currency,
win its wars, or balance its budget. Medicare and Social Security
are headed for the cliff with unfunded liabilities in the tens of
trillions of dollars.
What we are witnessing today is nothing less than a Katrina-like
failure of government, of our political class, and of democracy
itself, casting a cloud over the viability and longevity of the
system that has made this country the most envied in the entire
Notice who is managing the crisis. Not our elected leaders. Nancy
Pelosi says she had nothing to do with it. Congress is paralyzed
and heading home. President Bush is nowhere to be seen. Hank
Paulson of Goldman Sachs and Ben Bernanke of the Fed chose to bail
out Bear Sterns but let Lehman go under. They decided to
nationalize Fannie and Freddie at a cost to taxpayers of hundreds
of billions, putting the U. S. government behind $5 trillion in
mortgages. They decided to buy AIG with $85 billion rather than see
the insurance giant sink beneath the waves.
Unelected financial elite is now entrusted with the assignment of
getting us out of a disaster into which an unelected financial
elite plunged the nation. We, the People, are unfortunately just
What the Greatest Generation, (the WWII generation), handed down to
us -- the richest, most powerful, most self-sufficient republic in
history, with the highest standard of living any nation had ever
achieved -- the baby boomers, oblivious and self-indulgent to the
end, have frittered it all away.
How do WE THE PEOPLE put the villains who are responsible under
oath and sit them down at public hearings to determine whose necks
should meet the guillotine? Hypocritically, those who had oversight
responsibility such as Senator Chris Dodd [Chairman of the Senate
Banking Committee] and Barney Frank [Chairmen, House Financial
Services Committee] who helped get us into this mess are on every
TV channel voicing their righteous indignation and pompously
sitting on their elevated platform glaring down at those they are
chastising and grilling, trying to pass the blame to others. They
WE THE PEOPLE should be on the elevated platform in judgment and
execution of the likes of Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and the rest of
the band of thieves and conspirators who are responsible for the
financial collapse of the USA .
To name just a few of the culprits:
Henry Paulson Jr, Secretary of the Treasury
Alan Greenspan & Ben Bernanke -- Chairman Federal Reserve
Christopher Cox, SEC Chairman.
But not to worry -- YOUR PUBLIC SERVANTS who fear being voted out
of office will take their self-awarded Golden Parachute
Congressional Retirement, give WE THE PEOPLE the finger one last
time and head for their safe havens as the World Citizens they are.
However, before they waddle off into the sunset, they will go on
record one last time denouncing corporate greed, lavish salaries,
and bonuses for their key felons at Fannie May, Freddie Mac, Lehman
Brothers & AIG.
Meanwhile, WE THE PEOPLE fiddle while Rome burns and are too lazy,
too ignorant, and too indifferent to vote the scum out of office.
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