Sunday, June 20, 2010

Right Wing Scams: 'Why Don't You Start Calling Me Gordon?'

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

All but forgotten now, Enron --it's rise and calamitous fall --dominated front pages and sucked up airtime until knocked out of contention by 911. As I was reminded, it was the ghost of Gordon Gekko, brilliantly portrayed by Michael Douglas in 'Wall Street', who both presaged and haunted the fail of Enron and all those who served it or were temporarily enriched by its corporate shams and schemes.

As was the case in the 'Roaring Twenties', fortunes were lost in a heart beat, economic empires collapsed in the blink of an eye. Enron was one of them. Conveniently for the new Bush administration, indeed, the GOP itself a crime syndicate, corporate 'person-hood' benefited from a timely stay of execution -- 911.

Wall Street was one of Hollywood's more pertinent parables even if the name "Gekko" was a bit obvious. Real Gekkos (spelled Gecko) make fairly good pets --or so I am told! They eat roaches. And of late there are no shortage of roaches. The largest roach colonies are found in Washington D.C., Austin, TX, K-street or Wall Street --all sites of irradicable infestations. As we have seen, the GOP eats it own.

Opportunities for metaphor and analogy are endless and every comic needs a foil. Had there been no crooks or idiots, the careers of Voltaire and Mark Twain would have been much less brilliant. We owe a great debt to totalitarians, snobs, goppers, corporate crooks, Bush's surrogate torturers and would-be dictators. Where would Stephen Colbert be without them? Alas, the blog-o-sphere would be scrambling for material.

Enron was run by a gang that most certainly thought that, being "captains" of "industry", they could just pull out and disappear. I suppose every crook thinks that they will get away with it.
Enron will prove to be one of the most important episodes in the history of American business, and its story, from beginning to end, is inseparable from Ken Lay, its founder and long-time chairman. Thus, what people make of Enron—and what lessons they draw from it—will depend to a considerable degree on how they understand Lay.

As I’m sure you know, Enron has to date been blamed largely on free-market politicians, heartless corporate managers, and an egoistic chairman. In fact, as my book will show, Enron relied heavily on government favors, was run by postmodernist managers, and had as its chairman the kind of person Ayn Rand would have called “a second-hander.”
--On the Fall of Enron and Ken Lay: 'Philosophical Fraud' at an Errant Energy Company (and cap-and-trade, renewables forerunner), Robert Bradley Jr.
The US is, likewise, a financial shell. When GM, at last, is swallowed up by a foreign auto maker, what incentive will the new entity have to employ American workers when they can do just as well in Japan or Malaysia or China?

We have become a nation of consumers lent money by China so that we can buy goods manufactured in China. We are cattle, cows to be milked. When the teat runs dry we will be abandoned to third world status if we are not already.

In the meantime, the Bushies and other GOP Geckos will have run off with the last scraps of US wealth if they have not done so already. See the CIA's World Fact Book which lists the U.S. at the very bottom of the list with the world's largest negative Current Account Balance, formerly called the 'balance of trade deficit'. China tops the list with the world's largest POSITIVE Current Account Balance. Every banker can equate that with his own balance sheet and conclude that China, because of the policies of the GOP, now owns America if not the entire world.

The house of cards appears to have fallen --but not just yet! Like Ken Lay, Bush and his gang are most surely clinging to the belief that, unlike Lay, they will get away with it. Chances are good that Bush will live out the rest of his wasted life too stupid to regret a damn thing! It is this luxury, available only to the stupid, that I resent most!

Iraq was a big screw up. The invasion and theft of Iraqi oil was supposed to bail them out. Things have not quite worked out as planned. Then again, perhaps they have exceeded Bushco expectations. They are not yet jailed nor executed for capital war crimes (see: U.S. Codes, Title 18, Section 2441).

Just as Hitler thought he had learned from Napoleon's mistakes, Bush most certainly thought he had learned from Hitler's.


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