Sunday, October 17, 2010

Steps Toward Taking Back America

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The U.S. is bankrupt, literally owned by China who tops the CIA's World Fact Book with the world's largest positive Current Account Balance. The U.S. is on the very bottom as a result of the policies of four incompetent, corrupt and/or crooked U.S. GOP Presidents: Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr and, more recently, Bush Jr.

The U.S. position on the very bottom may be traced to Richard Nixon's visit to China in the 1970's, a trip which George H.W. Bush laid the groundwork. Prior to this trip, the United States was competitive in world markets, known for its steel production in Pittsburgh, its automotive industry in Detroit, its oil production in West Texas.

I spoke with Bush Sr personally about the deals he cut in China. Admittedly, the interview was hasty, an opportunity seized. Had I been better prepared, I might have tried to pin the Senior Bush down. What --precisely --had he agreed to? What precisely were the concessions made that resulted in the U.S. conceding its leadership to China, reduced to thanking heaven above for merely pulling up the rear?

The U.S. economy might have already collapsed but for the brief resurgence in 'positive' job creation and the increases in GDP during the Carter years. Check the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You will find confirmation that Jimmy Carter is among the best U.S. Presidents in both job creation and GDP growth. Carter, in fact, beats any GOP President since World War II. Carter is reviled by the GOP --not because he failed but because he succeeded! He will never be forgiven that!

My challenge to the incompetent but unrepentant GOP is this: if you truly believe the economic claptrap that 'you' have sold the American people, then repeat these failures in yet another GOP administration to follow Obama. Undo the good that he will have done, just as Bush Jr wiped off the Clinton gains with more GOP nonsense and failed policy. The problem with challenging the GOP is this: they will eagerly take me up on it and outdo previous debacles. Why should they care? In fact, they don't care! The typical GOP politician is owned by the ultra-rich upon whom he/she is dependent. The typical GOP politician/office holder takes his orders and, like a good li'l Nazi clicks his heels and says Heil, Mein Fuhrer! Then he supports a bill that will exclude his rich, elite sponsors from life in the real world!

The GOP and the elite base that supports them have long ago exported their wealth to offshore tax havens. Neither the GOP nor the increasingly tiny elite that supports them have anything 'riding on' American success! This betrayal of a nation by a political party, in fact, a crime syndicate of kooks, liars, crooks and cultists, is simply unprecedented in world history. I can think of nothing comparable to the GOP betrayal of the United States and millions of hard working U.S. citizens.

Since the Bush/Nixon overtures to China, the U.S. has consistently declined and, most recently, achieved 'dead last' on the above referenced CIA list. But what does the U.S. position on bottom mean? It means that instead of earning more money on your job, you may not have a job at all. It means that the U.S. is no longer a producing nation. It means that the U.S. is better compared to a cow that is milked by China. It means that even if you have a job the dollars you earn are worth less (if not worthless) when you buy products at any other outlet but Wal-Mart. Check the shelves at Wal-Mart. Make a list of U.S. made products! Make a list of those products manufactured in China, to whom Bush/Nixon sold our economic souls by selling out U.S. labor.

Reagan/Nixon/Bush policies are incompetent, to be sure, but they are far worse. The policies were known to be incompetent among 'brighter' members of the GOP but were pursued and/or effected anyway.

But why? Simply --the GOP pursued those policies knowing that it would enrich their base, a payoff for their support! These are, in fact, Faustian bargains struck by ambitious politicians! Owned by the elites who finance them, they do what they are hired to do, that is, support, promote and vote for economic policies that benefit only the increasingly tiny ruling elite --now just one percent of the total population.

We are in debt because we don't produce enough to balance the trade. See the CIA's World Fact Book. We are owned by China who will drop us like yesterday's news when it is no longer beneficial to them. We are already broke and on the bottom of the CIAs list. The dollar is worth what it is only for as long as it is beneficial to China to maintain it; secondly, oil is traded in dollars, thus creating an artificial floor. When China drops the dollar every nation selling oil for dollars will insist upon almost any other major currency BUT dollars. At that point, the U.S. will be finished.

In the meantime, turn off FOX and boycott Wal-Mart. Trouble is, even locally owned merchants sell imported goods. I keep wondering --does anyone work for a living anymore? The U.S. used to make cars, steel, appliances and electronics products amounting to millions of jobs. Where did they go? Asia, primarily China! Thank you George H.W. Bush!

During the Reagan years, it was 'economist' Milton Friedman who succeeded in providing the GOP with some 'intellectual cover', a plausible sounding rationalization for 'free market' claptrap that has never worked. The abysmal records of every GOP President since WWII compared to any Democratic President over the same post-war period utterly refutes the many absurd right wing claims about "Friedman" economics. I met Friedman when he was riding the crest of celebrity --his book and TV series 'Free to Choose' was out; he was doing a TV thing on PBS (as I recall). Friedman's assertion --""What kind of society isn't structured on greed? " --was most surely the inspiration for Gordan Gecko's: "Greed is good", a line that defined the motion picture "Wall Street". Friedman was eagerly embraced by goppers desperately in need of an intellectual; 'Greed is good' justified rapacious practices by Wall Street predators and wannabes.
In the wake of the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression, there’s no silver-screen villain scarier than a banker. Far from the halcyon days when a loan officer like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life’’ could be a town’s hedge against financial ruin, the current crop of financiers — both fictional and, even more terrifying, nonfictional — are the least palatable of the new vampires, sucking the lifeblood from 401(k)s, mutual funds, houses, and livelihoods. Victims wake up, pale, depleted, and broke while, engorged with cash, the incubi race to Tourneau for yet another Vacheron Constantin watch.While the latest “Wall Street’’ movie packages its contempt for the whole venal crowd in entertaining trappings, Charles Ferguson’s just-released documentary, “Inside Job,’’ is an altogether different matter. This film, a feature-length investigation of what really happened to bring our entire financial system to the brink, is harder to stomach simply because it’s true. Around the globe, people are living with the consequences of that manic perversion of the system every day.
--'Greed is Good' cinema
Even so, Arthur Laffer would upstage them all with a curve drawn on a napkin. It was all bullshit too! Wealth, in fact, did not trickle down, as promised, but upward, eventually enriching just one percent of the total population. GOPs might have known this if Laffer himself did not. Otherwise, why was the party so eager to embrace this convenient, easily marketable means by which the party could enrich, i.e, pay off its base for their continued support. Laffer was either a naive dupe. and didn't know better, or he was in on the scheme from the 'git go'. Frankly, I don't know and don't care!

American's might have gotten another version, a better, more accurate play-by-play as this all unfolded. But --alas --the Fairness Doctrine had been trashed by Reagan et al and media, increasingly concentrated in fewer corporate hands, seized upon the opportunity, the green light to be irresponsible robber barons. The very first remedies are about the media because nothing else can follow until truth and real debate is restored.

Therefore:
  1. Restore the main points of the Communications Act of 1934, primarily the principle that the people own the airwaves. Updated to include cable easements;
  2. Restore strict ownership limitations that will end the concentration of all media into very, very few monopolistic hands;
  3. Restore the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time. That means that Beck, Billo, Lard Ass and other liars can be refuted and exposed on their time and 'airwaves';
  4. Require 'licensees' to devote a percentage of cable and/or air time to public service and information.
Concurrent with the media reforms I mentioned and support, campaign and election processes MUST be reformed:
  1. the primary system militates against against any system other than the two - party system, i.e, dumb and dumber;
  2. strict limits on campaign contributions will be possible IF the media reforms outlined above are effected;
  3. Direct election of the President via 'instant runoffs' which will a) cut costs of holding elections; b) cutting out those 'middle men' will more nearly put people back in charge of the government while minimizing, as much as possible, the influence of the huge lobbies in various campaigns.
These are merely first steps. Redressing the wealth an income inequalities that have literally destroyed America will require widespread popular resolve, a courageous and competent government free of interference from the paid, entrenched lobbies on K-Street! It will require politicians of courage and integrity. Bluntly: we have very few of those and when one is elected, Obama, for example, he is unfairly attacked, stymied and reviled by crooks, idiots, liars and the big corporate media.

A miracle is required! Alas --the age of miracles is over. I daresay, that short of a miracle, America, as we knew it, is finished!


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